Ami Confronts Her Friends

Ami confronts Rei, Mako, and Neil about attacking Takashi in Ireland. There are explanations and tears and make-ups (not of the magical kind!).

Date: 2018-12-09
Pose Count: 27
Ami Mizuno 2018-12-09 23:53:31 101509
Ami's called Rei, Makoto, and Neil to her house, right after Takashi went into hiding. When they arrive, Ami greets them at the door, polite and sweet as ever, but there's iciness in those deep blue eyes as she shows them inside her rather large apartment. "Refreshments, anyone?" she asks. "I can make tea, or there's cookies from the bakery down the street. They're quite good, if I do say so myself." A little stiff there, Ami.
Rei Hino 2018-12-09 23:59:07 101510
Rei's muted optimism - and general delight to see her friend - turns to cold dread as she realizes the the implications of the guest list when they all arrive at the door. Staring blankly at Nephrite and Makoto, the sound of Ami's door opening suddenly carries all the ominous weight of a cursed tomb cracking its seal.
    Rei swallows really, really hard.
    "Uh! That's...!" Rei considers Ami's offer only after she started nervously answering. She's... PROBABLY not going to poison anything? Right?
    "... that... sounds lovely." She answers a bit more solemnly, the initial shock of realization giving way to a sort of resigned peace. This was gonna happen sooner or later.
Makoto Kino 2018-12-10 00:03:25 101511
Mako has been to the Mizuno home often enough to be at ease there, usually, but she doesn't miss the chill underlying Ami's polite greeting - and even if she had, the fact that it's the three of them she's asked over is enough of a tip-off. So it's with rather more reserve than normal that she steps into the spacious apartment.

"I'll have some tea if you're making it anyway," she says, "but you don't need to go to any trouble on my account." A sidelong glance toward Nephrite, and then those green eyes settle back onto Ami again, clear and steady. "I mean... since it's us, I'm guessing you have some things you want to say."
Nephrite 2018-12-10 00:09:41 101514
Having already discussed, and complained, and argued over a particular individual extensively with Mamoru, Neil can't say he is particularly surprised to now have the matter brought up again by someone else who might be less than pleased with their handling of the situation. That said, though he considers everyone here a friend, he is still a team that he is not part of. How they deal with this as a team, that's not his place to have an opinion on. He should probably shut up for whatever this is.

Neil's hand rests on Makoto's back and stays there reassuringly as he smiles at their host. "Thanks, Ami. I'm sure the cookies are great."
Ami Mizuno 2018-12-10 00:13:14 101515
Ami smiles with a definite chill in it at Rei and Makoto, inclining her head to the latter. Got it in one, Mako-chan. She eyes Neil with a bit of surprise, but her smile toward him is the same as the girls get. She nods. "Be right back," she promises, and disappears into the kitchen. It's not long before she returns with tea for four and a plate of cookies. She sets the tray on a coffee table and then begins to pace, staring at each one of them in turn.

"You know why you're here," she says quietly, with anger and disappointment simmering in her voice. "And you knew how I'd feel about this." She takes a slow, calming breath, her temper threatening to take over. "You could've at least told me. I wouldn't have tipped him off." There's the hurt seeping in, and the tears coming. Ami wipes them away angrily with the tips of her fingers before fluffing her hair a little.
Rei Hino 2018-12-10 00:20:01 101517
Rei takes a seat at the table and... can't quite meet Ami's gaze as she speaks, though her expression has been wrangled with enough control that it doesn't betray a lot of emotion. "We're... I'm..." Rei hesitates twice, not sure if speaking for the others is wrong, or if singling herself out as the only sorry one is wrong. Things were way simpler when she could be distant and aloof from people her age. "We didn't mean to hurt you, Ami-chan; we just..." She lowers her head and finishes lamely, "... no one was doing anything."
Makoto Kino 2018-12-10 00:29:58 101519
Mako finds herself a place to sit, though she perches on the edge of the seat with her back very straight rather than make any fruitless efforts at getting comfortable. There's not much to do but wait for Ami to come back with the tea.

Rei answers first, and Makoto sighs out a soft breath, the first hint of a guilty expression coming over her face at the sight of how upset Ami is. "It's not like we thought you would," she says. "We just... didn't want you to feel like you were stuck in the middle."
Nephrite 2018-12-10 00:38:14 101520
Neil sits back, tea in hand, his other hand still on Makoto's back. He nods along with Rei and Mako's statements. "This was a spur-of-the-moment decision on our part. We saw our chance and we took it. Nobody else was informed, either." He shoots a glance at the other two: he's just as culpable as they are in this.
Ami Mizuno 2018-12-10 00:41:25 101521
Raising an eyebrow, Ami stares at Rei. It's an incredulous expression. "You're so sure?" she asks coldly. "Because Lacrima hasn't kept tabs on him for us while he's gotten more powerful and out of control? Because I haven't been trying to reel him in." She scoffs and turns, shoulders shaking somewhere between cruel laughter and tears. And then she turns to Mako. "Because this is better somehow? Feeling betrayed by my best friends and teammates?" She sniffles and the tears fall again. This time, she doesn't try to wipe them away. "I am so incredibly hurt, angry, and--and--To use an English colloquialism, I feel like I've been stabbed in the back." There's a pause as Ami arranges her thoughts. "I understand you think this was the best course of action, but I'm here to tell you, there were other ways." Neil, for his part, gets an angry, hurt look too. But her rage is mostly focused on the girls, her eyes flashing with hurt.
Rei Hino 2018-12-10 00:48:22 101523
Rei looks down, saddened, but honestly a little frustrated herself. "... I don't know what to say, Ami-chan. I know... I *know* how much he means to you..." Rei grits her teeth and finally looks at Ami properly. "But it wasn't *working*. He isn't *changing*? Do you know when we went there, he threatened to make *more* duplicates of us? That... that *humanity* was the problem, and he needed to... to *fix* it? If that's him when he's *softened up*, Ami-chan, I... I just..."
    Rei shakes her head. "We only went there to warn him. To make it... to make it clear that he COULDN'T get away with anything like Sailor Earth again. We have a duty to Sailor Moon... to Usagi above everything else... and we just couldn't let him... let him feel like it was *safe* to keep acting this way. It... escalated. It... it was my suggestion, so..."
Makoto Kino 2018-12-10 00:57:26 101524
"Look," Makoto puts in, interrupting where Rei trails off. "I'm sorry that this hurt you, and that you feel like we betrayed you. If you're saying we should've talked to you first - you're right, we should've, and I'm sorry for that, too.

"But I'm not going to apologize for taking action about Agera. Because Rei-chan's right, Ami-chan. Even with Lacrima-san and you doing your best to rein him in, it's not working. Mamoru-niisan almost died. That fake Sailor Earth he made almost broke reality, and when we went out there he was still talking about all the ways it wasn't his fault. He still thinks he's the only person who knows what's the best thing to do, and if this keeps up he's going to keep making bigger and bigger messes until he makes one we can't fix."
Nephrite 2018-12-10 01:03:42 101526
Neil is... continuing to endeavor to shut up. Because if he opens his mouth about Agera's many crimes against the two most important people in his life, he is going to lose his temper, and make this conversation worse for everyone involved. He sips his tea, his eyes dark and not meeting Ami's.
Ami Mizuno 2018-12-10 01:04:58 101527
Ami blinks, her rage melting. "He threatened what?" she asks softly. But then the icy anger flows back in, and she shakes her head as well. "This is why you at least send a message, Rei-chan." She's still using honorifics; that's good. "What... what if he'd hurt you as badly as you'd hurt him this time?" she asks suddenly, wounded, looking between the girls and Neil. "What if he killed you?" Her voice rises slowly. "And we didn't know where you were?" The conflicted bluenette turns away and sighs.

"This whole situation stinks." She tugs at a ring on a necklace, distressed, staring out the corner windows across to the bay. It's a faint blue glimmer between two buildings, but it's a visible thing.
Rei Hino 2018-12-10 01:14:16 101530
Rei frowns and nods slowly. "I know. She agrees softly, glad Makoto took the reins more eloquently than she could. "I guess..." she smiles ruefully, "... I guess we were just confident." She sighs. "That... and everyone's given him so many chances... maybe we didn't want to be talked out of it." She shakes her head and looks to Ami, not without sympathy, but with a certain hardness in her eyes. "But Ami-chan... you know I don't want to believe that people can't change... but I know there's some people who *won't*. Takashi... he's done good before. And I..." her voice takes on a begrudging edge, like she can barely spit the words out to acknowledge it, "... I *know* what he did for Mamoru-kun. But this man, Ami-chan... he has *no* self-reflection whatsoever. It's all... strategy and superiority with him. I don't know how you get through to someone who treats people like cattle for not being as intelligent as him. Who can't even see the benefit of HELPING or TEACHING others instead of just using them. There's so much that..." Rei bites her lip in frustration, "... that I think he could *do* and yet... I don't know. I just don't want to see the world he wants to live in. And I don't ever want to wait for him to decide he wants Usagi's crystal.
Makoto Kino 2018-12-10 01:25:02 101533
"It really does," Makoto agrees as well - for the first time looking away from Ami for a moment, down at her own hands. "It stinks a lot. I'm sorry that you're stuck in this kind of a position."

She looks up again before she goes on, eyes a little softer now. "I've been on your side this whole time, Ami-chan. I still am. I hope Agera can be saved, I really do. But I just can't keep sitting on my hands waiting for him to come around... not when the stakes are so high."
Nephrite 2018-12-10 01:37:58 101537
"We took the risk," Neil says. "Maybe we shouldn't have. But if you're worried he would kill your friends, even in the heat of a dispute, maybe that's a red flag."

He sighs. "Speaking as someone who has been there," Neil says grudgingly, "in Agera's shoes, I mean. As someone whose mind was clouded by dark energy. Having people in my corner, believing in me, that helped me get out. But also having people ready to stop me from doing harm, that's maybe the only reason I can sleep at night now. Not that I'm worried about whatever future conscience he might grow, but I just don't see that treating him with kid gloves benefits anybody, even him."
Ami Mizuno 2018-12-10 01:42:53 101539
Ami runs her hands through her hair and looks at the three of them, angry and frustrated and sad. "I know you're right," she says, voice brittle. "I know Tak.. Agera isn't the best person." Her voice breaks on 'best'. "But I can't help who I care about."
Rei Hino 2018-12-10 01:46:36 101542
"Ami-chan..." Rei says softly with regret in her voice for Ami's situation. She really wishes she could fix this, or even knew how. But... she really doesn't.
Makoto Kino 2018-12-10 01:56:35 101546
Almost reflexively, Mako reaches over to rest her hand on Neil's arm, an added point of contact. "Of course you can't," she says softly. "We're not saying you shouldn't care about him. That's why we didn't talk to you about what we were going to do - how could we ask you to help us fight someone you care about?"

She stops there, glancing toward Neil for a moment before she continues. "I've been there too, you know. I know how hard it is. And honestly, you caring about him is probably the best chance he's got. But if he keeps doing stuff that gets people hurt, somebody's got to stop him."
Nephrite 2018-12-10 02:08:25 101549
Neil nods along with Makoto. "I'm in no position to judge you for who you care about, even if I don't share your feelings about him. But don't forget that you've got other people who care about you too."
Ami Mizuno 2018-12-10 02:09:55 101550
Ami nods, and lets her tears fall. "I'm sorry. I've been so wrapped up in helping to make Takashi better that I haven't thought about anyone else." She sniffles softly. "Can you forgive me? I've been an awful friend, lately."
Rei Hino 2018-12-10 02:16:32 101553
Rei immediately rises from her chair and hugs Ami from the side, surprising herself a little with her earnestness as she gives Ami a squeeze and says, "Of course, Ami-chan! You're... we're..." she shakes her head and smiles, "We're all together forever, you know?" More literally than she knows, but the lot of them transended death together. It means a lot. "You're... too important a friend to hurt, Ami-chan. I'm sorry we did..."
Makoto Kino 2018-12-10 02:20:58 101555
Mako's on her feet in the next moment, moving to Ami's other side to wrap an arm around her. "Hey," she says. "You haven't been an awful friend, you've just had a lot going on."

Her free hand reaches into her skirt pocket, coming up with a clean handkerchief (embroidered at the corners with little pink flowers) which she offers to Ami. "I'm sorry, too," she says. "Really."
Nephrite 2018-12-10 02:27:09 101558
Neil hangs back -- this is a moment for the girls to support each other. He makes sure at least someone samples those cookies.
Ami Mizuno 2018-12-10 02:29:49 101560
Accepting the handkerchief, Ami dabs at her eyes. "Shh. We're all sorry, and we all screwed up." She hugs the other girls tightly. "We gotta figure out how we're going to deal with Takashi from here out. As a unified front, I'm afraid. We should talk to Mamoru and Usagi, and Minako, too." She sighs, dabs her eyes again, and then says, "Mako-chan, should I wash this before I return it?" offering the hanky over.
Rei Hino 2018-12-10 02:37:01 101564
Rei nods her head, solemnly. "... Yeah. I'm worried I know what Usagi and Mamoru are gonna say but... all the same."
Makoto Kino 2018-12-10 02:38:00 101565
A surprised little laugh hitches out of Makoto, and she shakes her head as she accepts the hanky back. "Don't worry about that. But yeah, it really is way past time for a Team Discussion about all this." She gives Ami another little one-armed squeeze before she steps back a little, giving her friend some space and beginning to drift back to where Neil is studiously occupying himself with the cookies. "With all of us working on it together, we'll get it figured out. I'm sure of it."