Thoughts of Home: The Reckoning
~ Chapter 4: The Rest of the Story ~
by Sailor Doc
As the laughter finally started to die down, Ami couldn't help but notice there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Well, except for maybe Makoto's. Her highly embarrassed partner had finally stopped hiding behind her hands and was just sitting there, shaking her head, a slight smile on her cherry-red face.
"Oh, God! I can't believe it!" Minako sputtered, wiping tears from her eyes. "You mean it really happened like that?"
"Believe it," Makoto said. "Both of them teased me for weeks afterward. And don't even say the word 'bra' around her mother! I swear, she will never let me live that down! Never!"
"Oh my," Haruka said, finally catching her breath. "I don't think I've laughed that hard since the time we caught Setsuna..."
"That's enough now, Haruka," the lovely Guardian of The Gates of Time responded. I'm sure you don't want ME to start telling tales, do you?"
"Haruka..." Michiru said softly, raising one elegant eyebrow.
"That would be a 'no'," Haruka said, looking from her lover to her house mate with a sheepish grin.
"I didn't think so," Setsuna replied, a Mona-Lisa smile on her face.
"So anyway, " Rei said, trying to bring the conversation back on track. "What happened after that? Was she mad about the armoire? That had to be pretty expensive! Was she ever able to restore it?"
"Was she upset she caught you guys making out?" Usagi piped in.
"Did you stay the night?" Minako asked with a wink and a smile.
"Minako-chan!" Usagi and Rei shouted. "How can you ask such a question?"
"How can I not?" Mina returned, totally unrepentant. "Lighten up, guys! You know you're dying to know if they were able to pick up where they left off."
"It's all right, we don't mind a few questions, do we Makoto?" Ami said.
"No. After what they've already heard, I guess not," Makoto replied, smiling at her partner. "I'll answer Rei's question about the armoire first. Turning to Rei, she said, "Well, I guess you could safely say it was pretty much trashed. The shelf I was laying on collapsed, and when I hit the bottom of the cabinet, I just kept right on going. When her mother opened the one remaining intact door, I was kind of stuck, and sitting in the bottom drawer."
"Were you hurt at all?" Hotaru asked.
"No, not really...just my pride," Makoto said with a rueful grin, which started another round of giggles.
"Don't let her fool you," Ami added. "She was bruised up pretty badly and had a few cuts too."
"It wasn't all that bad, love," Makoto insisted, glancing at her partner.
"It left a mark or two," Ami returned half sternly.
"I guess you'd know," Minako cut in, to the further delight of everyone in the room, as they watched Ami blush.
"Yes, I would," Ami replied with a shy grin as she squeezed her lover's hand, looking first at Makoto's smiling face, and then with some pride into the grinning faces of her friends.
"W-o-o-o-o-o-o!" They all chorused in delight as further laughter tittered around the room.
"So, was Dr. Mizuno able to restore the piece," Michiru asked once everyone had calmed down again.
"I think the jury's still out on that one," Makoto continued. "When I got up the nerve to ask Ami about it a few days later, she said her mother had called in some people to appraise the damage and see if it could still be restored. They came in, shook their heads, looked in it, around it, and under it, conferred in a corner and said. 'we'll see.' Throwing a few totally ruined pieces of wood to the side, they loaded the monstrosity up and hauled it off with them. I haven't seen it since," she concluded. "Have you?" she asked, looking at Ami.
"No, I haven't," Ami replied. "But I do think there's more to the story mom hasn't told me. To be honest though, I've made a point of not asking about it!"
Makoto nodded in agreement. "I don't think I want to know!" Turning back to the group, she continued. "As to whether or not she was mad about it, I really don't think she was. I do think she was concerned that I may be upset about it though."
"What gave you that idea?" Setsuna quietly asked from the corner.
"I'm not really sure. Did you say anything to her?" she inquired of Ami.
"No, not a word," Ami said.
After a thoughtful pause, Makoto continued. "Well, when I showed up for lunch on Sunday, she never said a word about it. Not one single word. All through the meal I kept expecting something, you know? But nothing. It was like the thing had never existed or had just vanished into thin air.
“After the meal was over, Ami and I went to the kitchen to wash dishes, like we always do. A little while later, she pops her head in the door and tells us to hurry up, and we'll have dessert in the living room. Well, that was weird! Ami and I just looked at each other. We'd always had dessert in the dining room before. Why change now?
“After finishing up in the kitchen, we walked into the living room where we found her mom had laid out tea on the low table and started a nice, roaring fire in the fireplace. As soon as she saw us enter the room she smiled and motioned me over to where she was standing in front of the fire! Okay, I'll admit I was a bit confused, but anything to keep the in-laws happy, you know! I walked over next to her and smiled... just a bit... I could tell something was up, I just had no clue what it was. I shot a look over at Ami – she was standing next to the couch - and she looked just as lost as I was. As I turned back to her mother, I noticed she was holding something out to me. Looking down at her hand, I saw a totally busted, stained and filthy board that could have only come from that stupid armoire! As I slowly reached out and accepted her offering, she turned and picked up another just like it from the modest pile on the floor at her feet. With a meaningful look in my direction, she turned and tossed her board in the fire and looked at me, encouraging me to do the same, which I did! And gladly I might add! We both threw a couple more of the nasty boards into the fireplace, and I couldn't stop the grin that I know was all over my face! As I turned back to her, she smiled, and I just knew that was the end of the matter as far as she was concerned. Reaching under the table, she pulled out three long sticks and a big bag of marshmallows and said, 'Now. Who's ready for dessert?'
“And THAT my friends, was the last I've ever seen of that hideous old hulk!" Makoto concluded. "Does that answer your questions Rei?" she asked.
With a slight chuckle, Rei said, "Yeah, I think that covers all of them!"
"What about mine?" Usagi said from her spot on the floor. "I know my dad walked in on Mamoru and I kissing in the laundry room one afternoon, and boy, did he ever hit the roof! My poor Mamo-chan was banned form the house for weeks and I was told," she said affecting a serious, mock-manly tone, "'you will NOT see that young man again until you can both prove to me that you can behave in an adult manner.'"
"Sounds like that's exactly how they were behaving!" Minako quirked, to everyone's amusement.
"I'll take this one, love," Ami said to Makoto. Turning to Usagi and Minako she said "Well, you see, technically Mom didn't really walk in on us. She never actually saw us together, much less what we'd been doing. True, there was little room for doubt..."
"...very little..." Makoto mumbled.
"...but the bottom line was, I think she preferred to just not think about what she'd never actually seen..."
"...in the flesh." Makoto mumbled again.
"Makoto!" Ami exclaimed, and received a sheepish grin from her girlfriend.
"Sounds like she saw enough 'flesh' as it was," Haruka added as Makoto blushed again.
"True! Too true," she replied to Haruka. "Somehow it just doesn't seem fair that I owned two shirts in that room, and when the chips were down, I wasn't in either one of them." Makoto shook her head in disappointment.
"I beg to differ," Ami said with a smirk. "One of those shirts was mine."
As Makoto started to protest, Ami placed her fingers gently over her lover's lips. "We'll finish this conversation later," she whispered and responded readily to the sudden smile on Mako's face as she nodded her head in the affirmative.
"Now. As to your question, Mina," Ami said, turning her attention back to the group. "Yes, Makoto did stay the night."
Minako grinned broadly.
"But," Ami continued, "it's not what you think! We were both so traumatized by everything that had happened..."
"...and so paranoid about being overheard..." Makoto added.
"...that it was all we could do to settle down enough to go to sleep!"
"Speak for yourself!" Makoto said. "I never did fall asleep that night!"
"Poor little thing!" Minako wailed in mock sympathy, and everybody laughed as Ami pulled Mina's head over within range of Makoto's long arms, and held her in place while her partner bopped the helpless blonde on the head in retaliation.
"Some people just never learn when to shut up," Rei said to Usagi.
"True," Usagi whispered back. "But you know, that's just part of Mina's special charm."
"If you say so... Odango..." Rei replied with an evil grin.
"Rei-chan!" Usagi whined. "Why are you so mean to me?" she asked as tears started to form in her eyes.
"Oh, for the sake of the gods, Usagi," Rei shouted. "GROW UP!"
Thus ended another evening get-together of the
fearless Sailor Senshi---Guardians of the
...and totally devoted friends.
Makoto's apartment was dark and quiet as she and Ami began to settle in for the evening. On the way home, they had both agreed on what a wonderful night it had been, and had returned to the apartment, both happy and tired. A comfortable combination.
As Ami took care of her pre-bedtime routine, Makoto turned down the bed and smiled, thinking back over the revelations that had come forth that evening. True, everyone had enjoyed hearing about one of her scariest, happiest, and most embarrassing moments, but she thought what had really surprised them was her Ami.
Placing the roses she had hidden in the refrigerator in the vase on her lover's side of the bed, Makoto reflected on what their friends knew about Ami. They knew she was loyal, brilliant, true, and totally trustworthy. They all loved her compassion and saw her as the shy genius she was. They relied on her as a steadfast tactician, always seeking a foe's weakness to help the Sailor Team find the best way to take them down.
Makoto sighed as she checked her hair, and the fit of the forest green teddy one last time.
"They saw just a hint of my Ami tonight," she said, smiling at her reflection in the mirror. The passion, the protectiveness, the boundless love, and the shy fire that seemed to light her from within whenever they made love. Lowering her eyes to the dresser, she whispered, "I love you, Ami."
The bathroom door opened, and Ami paused a moment in the doorway.
"Did you say something, love?" she asked.
Smiling as she turned, Makoto said, "I was just saying that I love..."
Suddenly speechless, she stared at Ami. She just couldn't believe her eyes!
"I love you too, sweetheart," Ami said with a gentle smile as she slowly stalked forward wearing nothing but Makoto's old white, button down, oxford cloth shirt. "But I'm afraid I still have a problem with your claim to my favorite sleep shirt. I think it's time we settled this," she claimed as she slide her arms around Makoto's waist.
"Oh," Makoto said when she finally returned to her senses. Pulling the smaller girl against her chest, she said. "So this is where we finish that conversation you were talking about earlier."
"You've got it."
"I see you're still refusing to give up my shirt," Makoto said as she began to rock them gently back and forth.
Ami started to place delicate kisses up the line of Makoto's breastbone to the hollow of her throat. "Possession is nine-tenth's of the law," she said sliding her tongue softly into the depression she found there.
Giving in to the shiver that swept over her, Makoto decided on a different tack.
"What if I just tell you I want it?" she asked, looking directly at her playful girlfriend.
"That doesn't sound too bad," Ami replied, tightening her hold around Makoto's waist and meeting her eyes. "I'm always open to...negotiations?" she said with an impish wink, that totally melted Makoto's heart.
There could never be another. She was an original.
"Ami-love," she whispered against her partner's waiting lips, and words became unnecessary as, indeed, love has a language of its very own.