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homsan toft ([personal profile] tofsla_fic) wrote2014-02-21 08:22 am

Redefinition (Haruka/Michiru)

Sailor Moon, Haruka/Michiru, Teen
1,500 words
A relationship in progress. Michiru & Haruka through episodes 110 & 111.

Through the condensation on the window the city is full of ghosts. They wrap themselves around the buildings and softly pull the air out of them, leaving everything breathless, still and silent. In their appartment the air is too heavy, though; it presses down on Haruka, a sensation of physical weight wrapping itself around her skull, creeping in through skin and bone to tighten around her brain. She can almost believe that it's the weight of the entire sky that's bearing down on her, bowing her head for her, making it impossible to lift her eyes up from the blinking message light on the answer machine.

Of course she can look up if she wants to. But she feels very tired now. The air feels as heavy in her lungs as around her head.

The message is presumably at least partly true, and definitely at least half false. And the odds that they're being lured and trapped are non-negligible, and even if they aren't, she really never wanted to kill anyone. But she will.

She was never that fond of duty, but one can be bound by it anyway.

As though that wasn't enough, when Michiru twines her hand around Haruka's a lie comes apart.

That lie is: It's not like we're actually in love. We're just friends who fuck. Or else it is: My duty is the only thing that's important to me.

Or, really, it's both of these things. They go together.

She looks at Michiru with widened eyes and tries to say something, anything, that won't break them.

”Hey,” she manages, feeling slow and stupid, ”what's wrong?”

”Don't worry,” Michiru says. ”I like your hands.”

It feels like a code. It is a code.

It means something they don't have time for, but she responds when Michiru kisses her anyway. It's brief, and it shouldn't be any more intense an experience than other kisses they've shared – than other kisses – but it does something new.

She breathes again, but unsteadily.

If she really tries then she'll be able to build up her lie again.


They let their hands slip apart just as they leave, and Haruka boxes up her fears and puts them away, because she promised. She will play the role that is expected of her. And she will play it damn well, because as far as she's concerned there's no point in doing things if you're not good at them. Everything that might get in the way should be shut off.

When they meet with Usagi she is a near perfect copy of herself, only a little rougher around the edges. She watches from somewhere behind her own eyes, trying not to be so aware of Michiru's hands or of the weight of things that she can't go back from growing and growing, like the morning's heavy air around her head.

As they walk away she feels the hard contours of Usagi's brooch digging into her palm. It's an accusation. But the air has shifted. Now it's driving her on instead of pushing her down into the ground.

A tailwind carries the helicopter closer and closer to its destination. There is nothing here but the sea and the sky and the two of them; there is no way out.

Ahead, a black outline grows against the horizon.

They almost hold hands in front of the church doors. It's a painful relief when Michiru's hand jerks away again at the last second; right now, here at the gates and with everything to be won or lost, she might have cracked from that gesture. She might have started running again. It might have been too much.

But she doesn't get to know if it would've been. She plays it cool, says things that sound calmer and more certain than she feels. Beside her, Michiru relaxes slightly, takes her cue and smooths out her face to something calm. Whatever she's feeling is below the surface now, just like it is for Haruka.

They step inside together, and the trap snaps shut on them.

Haruka runs alone, with a roaring in her head that is like the wind fighting against the sea, churning up waves, tumbling everything violently around and around so that she can hardly hear a sound from outside her own skull. She is hardly sure which direction is up, but she doesn't fall until the darts hit her. When she falls it feels as though she'll never be able to get up again, and really, when everything has played itself out it's a relief not to need to.

A person who might be Sailor Moon or the salvation of the world or both leans over her and says things. Haruka responds. But she doesn't really hear what is said to her or what she says herself. She thinks she says all the right things, and does them too.

Everything stops.

And starts again.

The world she comes back to doesn't feel the same as the one she left, but it does still have Michiru in it.

No-one has died. The world hasn't ended, though the possibility is still hanging there. The grail is in safe enough hands - for now. And they have a new purpose, so she doesn't have to stand still.

By the time all the action is over she has almost convinced herself that it really would be too petty to spend time thinking about her and Michiru when the world still needs saving, except for the fact that she can't stop thinking anyway. The last few hours are blurred and filled with static, but the ghost-city and Michiru's hand in hers have a surreal clarity. Of all the things to record perfectly.

"No sacrifice," Michiru says later. Her voice is emotionless, and her face carefully neutral.

"No," Haruka says, just as carefully.

Their eyes meet.

The should be feeling grateful, probably, to not have killed anyone. Not to mention grateful to still be alive. Haruka is feeling grateful, kind of. But there are other things too. This idea that nothing, no-one, has to be sacrificed is too much, too idealistic, something they're not allowed to share.

They have been sacrificing and sacrificing and sacrificing since the beginning, and they'll carry on doing it.

"We were right. I don't believe it would be a good idea to fight alongside Sailor Moon," says Michiru lightly.

It would hurt. It would make them angry, eventually, in a way that might never stop. It wouldn't lead to anything good.

Michiru sighs and shifts, and the topic is dismissed.

"Hey," she says, and smiles, and lays her hand, open-palmed and cool, against Haruka's cheek. "We're alive. Both of us."

"And we aren't alone," Haruka adds.

"My," Michiru says.

"I mean, someone else who can fight our way," Haruka says, stumbling slightly. "Pluto..." She can feel herself trying to steer them back into something safer and briefly hates herself for it. It's a lifetime of habit getting the better of her. And fear.

"Mm," Michiru says, and Haruka realises that she's about to withdraw and give her space again. Go back to the status quo.

"Wait," she says. It bursts out of her, louder than she meant, and she reaches up to catch Michiru's hand and hold it in place. "Wait, I..."

Michiru waits. Haruka breathes through the swell of fear, lets it slide away again.

"Oh, Haruka," Michiru says gently, and Haruka finds herself pulled closer. "Is it so terrible?"

"No," she mumbles.

Slowly, carefully, she puts her arms around Michiru. They don't say anything more, but even so, they're admitting that their rules have changed.

Tomorrow they will have to renegotiate, and then they will have to go back to work. Right now Haruka presses her mouth to Michiru's, and they tangle themselves in each other. Haruka tries to touch as much of Michiru as possible, all at once, right away, as though making sure she's all still there, and Michiru, with a half-gasped laugh, has to take her hands and guide them to the best places.

They're too tired and beaten up to do much, though. And Haruka, who has never really let emotions into her sex life before, finds herself awkward and overwhelmed. Letting go entirely is hard, as hard as the words she'd like to have said or even harder; it really doesn't seem to be just about wanting to.

"It's fine," Michiru says, when Haruka tries stumblingly to apologise. "It's fine to just lie here as well. Isn't it?" She stretches slightly, shifts against Haruka, and settles into her new position. "I rather enjoy this too."

Yes, Haruka realises, that's true.

And even if they might not have much time, they probably do have tomorrow. And maybe the day after.

And they're together.

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