fandom: sailor moon
setting: au, present
rating: alright for all
notes: written for sea_thoughts on the occasion of her birthday.
summary: she still hadn't spoken with zoisite. there had been one kiss, three days after the shitennou had been freed from the rocks; she did not talk about that kiss.
ami didn't think about it often, why she still went to lunch (with him) every tuesday, wednesday and friday at an hour after noon, and she didn't think often about why the restaurant always changed; she left her biology three class and walked to the back entrance and kunzite was waiting in the hallway, and ami walked with him and they went to lunch together.
ami didn't think much during lunch. the first time he had asked her, his hands were in his pockets and he was staring at some point over her right ear and she had agreed without really knowing why. (until the fifth lunch, they didn't even meet eyes) when she was at lunch, she studied him. kunzite's wardrobe was fairly revealing, when he was in a good mood he wore light colored clothes and when he was in a bad mood he wore dark colored shirts and when he was depressed he wore black pants. he never wore his hair up. she studied his posture and waited for him to mention mamoru and tried not to think of zoisite.
and later that night, ami would call minako. (sometimes she wondered if kunzite was doing the same. she also realized that it was never a good idea to wonder about kunzite. wondering had driven poor mina out of her mind and all the way to england.) she would tell minako about kunzite's outfit, his posture, his job, every little detail that she could scrounge up. minako appreciated ami's good memory, and it seemed like her mood had elevated at the end of each call. (she didn't want to know if mina and kunzite were speaking.) ami liked the lunches and phone calls; the calls gave her a reason to talk with mina, and she got to break up her schedule and usagi wouldn't worry that she wasn't speaking with any of the shitennou.
she still hadn't spoken with zoisite. there had been one kiss, three days after the shitennou had been freed from the rocks; she did not talk about that kiss. (they were at mamoru's apartment for a meeting, and the shitennou were so vividly awake and only looking at mamoru. and she had looked around the room, at her best friends and she could read their expressions perfectly. their eyes said I killed you, and it was in everybody's eyes but hers. and she couldn't stand it, had gone stumbling to the bathroom to vomit, cry, something. zoisite had gone rushing after her, three steps behind, and his hair was down and wild. she had wanted him to put it up again; she had wanted him to close his eyes so she couldn't see how green they were. and he had kissed her, the sort of kiss that was unsure and mostly sweet; she was backed up against the wall and he just looked so happy to see her, and he had tasted like a sweet fruit and also like ashes, and she could not deal with it. she had pulled his head from the best spot at the crook of her neck, "I never killed you," she said. and then she had run.) none of the others knew about the kiss. ami didn't think the shitennou knew either.
but whenever she thought about zoisite, maybe worried about him and what he was doing, she remembered that she had lunch with kunzite. if there was something wrong, he would tell her. (kunzite and zoisite were closer than mamoru and zoisite, even.) and that was all she would let herself think of him. mako had tried to talk with her, mako had made up with nephrite first, while rei tried to talk with mina. mako said that zoisite was barely eating, that he was completely guilt-ridden, that he would go for hours barely talking or moving and that he refused to talk about her. ami had said that mako should bring her concerns to mamoru if she was so worried, and hated the iciness in her own voice when she said it, and then mentioned how busy she was with college. she hadn't talked with mako since, but she still had her lunches with kunzite.
seven months ago, when the shitennou were first woken, she wouldn't have believed anyone if they had said that she would be talking to kunzite and not to mako. she also would've said that minako would never ever leave tokyo, and that maybe in a little while she'd be ready to talk with zoisite. but she was still not ready to talk with him, and looking at kunzite was just simply easier.
except that this time he had remarked on her weight, politely of course, but it had still caught her off-guard. (it was easier to be close to him now, because they hadn't been close before; and when he ruffled her hair or gave her a hug, it was okay because he hadn't ever done it before.) his arm was around her waist, sort of using his bulk to protect her from the wind, and there wasn't anyone around but she still stiffened when he said "ami, you seem thinner. when was the last time you ate?" (he was so refreshingly blunt about it, not at all like other people would've asked her) but kunzite knew when she was lying, so ami admitted that she couldn't remember. the way he furrowed his eyebrows and looked concernedly at her, it was almost heartwrenching and she had to fight from pulling back and running away. that look was why mina had run, she knew, all the way to europe where she wouldn't have to feel that distress and know that she had caused it. when she had calmed down all the way, they had almost reached the outdoor cafe that kunzite had chosen, and his shirt was grey.
kunzite wanted to order lunch for her, so ami let him. he had picked a soup for her and a sandwich for him, like he didn't know that sandwiches were her favorite food. but he looked slightly worried so she sipped her soup and tried to think of something to say. this morning was terrible, and she could feel the strain of a sleepless night on her shoulders, and her classes were all so boring that she had almost fallen asleep. and kunzite was perceptive. "you look tired, too. are you sleeping?"
ami tried to keep her voice soft, "not really." his eyebrows lowered and furrowed again, and she felt an ashamed little feeling settle at the bottom of the stomach. "it's just hard, not being able to talk with usagi." (usagi, of course, had decided that she was not going to talk with anyone that hadn't tried to make up with the shitennou) and he looked more worried then, but only ate another bite of his sandwich. "it's not like I need to be ready for active duty right now." she liked their lunches because kunzite knew when to stop talking, and when he needed to change the subject; and because he knew which outdoor cafes had good soup. (and his pants had been black for three weeks in a row.)
so he talked about work and about that book he had just read, and she talked about a book that she had just read and they did not talk about mina or zoisite, not at all. but when she was talking about the heroine's strained relationship with the hero, and how he had spent the whole book trying to make up for his mistakes, her throat caught and his did too. "have some of my sandwich," he said, and broke off part to hand to her. ami didn't want to look at him, didn't want to see her expression mirrored back at her, but she smiled at him anyway. and after he had deposited the half sandwich on her plate, he lifted his hand and placed on her face (thumb rubbing right over the spot where the tears would be catching if she were crying) like he was trying to send some strength over to her.
so of course there was zoisite, staring at them over her shoulder. ami caught only a small glance at his face before turning away, he looked so confused and his eyes were narrowed with anger. she needed to get out of there, zoisite wasn't supposed to show up, kunzite's grip on the sandwich gave him away. she had her hand on the purse and was exiting the table when zoisite started to walk towards them, and the words all came out in an undefined jumble, "sothelunchwasgreatandsoI'llseeyouforthe
she was five steps away when he started yelling. "kunzite, what the hell!" kunzite just looked steely, but zoi wouldn't stop. "why are you meeting with her? what were you doing? you never told me about this!" she wouldn't start running, ami was not going to run away, even though it felt like her chest was going to collapse if she spent any more time near him. "I had to follow you to find out what you were doing! have you been meeting with her the whole time?" (and the way he referred to her sent shockwaves all throughout ami's body) she was twenty steps away and almost out of earshot now that zoisite had lowered his voice, "kunz, what happened? how come she looks so terrible?"
zoisite thought she looked terrible. he thought she looked terrible. ami started running, and found that she couldn't stop. she only paused for a second when she was at the corner, looked back to see kunzite. he looked ready to strangle zoisite, he looked like he felt sick, he looked like he wanted to hug her. and then she couldn't help herself and started crying. it felt like something had stabbed and twisted in her gut and just kept twisting. (she knew that she had bad dark circles under her eyes, but she hadn't thought that they were enough to make her look terrible)
he was following her. and ami did not want to be caught, she didn't want to see zoisite's face ever again and especially not when she was looking terrible and crying. she wanted him to leave her alone, but he wouldn't stop running. (and zoisite always was the faster runner, and she hadn't had to run in so long) she didn't look back, but he caught up to her. zoisite's hair was in a ponytail, he was wearing dark pants and a light grey sweater, and his eyes were wild when he spun her backwards. (but his hand was so gentle on her wrist) "ami," he said, "ami, I am so sorry. please talk to me."
they were in the middle of a park, the leaves were falling from the trees and they were under the trees and there was a leaf in his hair and he wanted to talk. and ami couldn't stop crying, but this time it seemed like there were giant sheets of sobs being torn from her, she was bent over from the force of them, and she sat on the damp ground. she couldn't say anything, and he sat down in front of her. (his eyes were so green. zoisite wanted to hug her, she could tell, he wanted to make her stop and he didn't really know how, so he was crying too) she would break into twenty million little pieces if he touched her, she wanted more than anything for him to touch her. "oh zoi," she sobbed, "I don't know what to do." she had to look in his face because there was nowhere else to look and her stomach hurt and the only way she felt better was when she was around him. "I miss you and I don't know why."
zoi looked like he wouldn't ever be able to stop crying, like he was all ripped to shreds on the insides (she had done that) and ami could remember why she had loved him. "I am so sorry, ami, for everything. I've ruined everything, three times over and I am so sorry." his voice was catching like the words were jagged and tearing his throat, "but I've missed you so much, and I don't know what to do." she wanted to crawl into his lap and hold him until he felt better, she wanted to know if it was the right thing to do. "ami, I want to try to make it up to you, and I don't know if I can do it. but I want to have the lunches with you and I want to be the one you talk with. and you look so thin, like you feel sick and I feel the same way. and I don't know that if we try to talk that it'll make it better, but I want to try and be with you." (she wanted to be with him too, mostly) "the longer I stay away from you, the sicker I get, and it's like you're my air and I'm holding my breath. but I don't want to hurt you any more."
he was talking like the words were spilling out and he couldn't control him. he hadn't bothered to wipe his cheeks and they were covered in tears. his hair was shining even though it was cloudy. zoi was looking at her like she was his salvation and like he didn't deserve it. the leaves wouldn't stop falling around them, and she wanted it to rain. (ami was pretty sure that she was in love with him.) "zoi," she said, and then stopped because her voice gave out and then started again, "zoi. I think I want to be with you too, but I don't know what to do." she liked the way his eyes widened and his tears kind of stopped and she loved the look of hope on his face. (she had fallen in love with him, a long time ago)
"I killed you." he said, "and you never killed me." ami remembered how he had kissed her, all the different ways and times. (he had tasted like a sweet fruit, and like ashes.) she crawled into his lap, which was warm and kind of wet with his tears. she rested her head on the most comfortable part of zoi's shoulder and inhaled, he smelled almost the same as he used to, he felt the same except sadder. "I know," she said. "we're going to have to talk about that."
his hands were hesitant, and he was holding her like he was about to break her, but she felt the best that she had in months. "I want to talk about it with you, ami. I want to talk with you and I want to hold you and I am so sorry." he was holding her like an apology; he was sorry and she was too. she reached up and plucked two leaves from his hair, he was trying not to cry.
"I'm sorry too," she whispered. (she wanted everything to feel better, she was so tired of feeling terrible and without him.) "I need you to hold me." her voice was trembling, and a small part of her was afraid that he wouldn't hold her. (he had destroyed worlds for her, maybe this time she wasn't worth it) zoi was solid and warm and looked for the first time to be actually happy. and when he began stroking her hair, she remembered all the ways she had loved him, all the ways he had destroyed her. (she didn't ever want for him to let go, she couldn't bear it again) his hair was tickling her nose and she had finally stopped crying against his soft sweater.
zoi was stroking the back of her neck, and she didn't want to talk or ruin anything. (they each proved that they could ruin each other.) he had loved her and now she didn't know what to do. ami thought that she might be ready for zoi to kiss her again. he had leaned them against a tree, and had pulled her closer. "I'm so glad you're here," he said, "but can we wait to talk? just for a little bit?"
"alright," she murmured, nuzzled her face into his neck and listened to him breathe.