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Michiru knows was everyone assumes about her and Haruka. She does not fault them their assumptions, even though they are not true. She and Haruka are friends yes, and together they shoulder a harsh mission that has brought them together closer the siblings. But they are not lovers. It was Michiru herself who drew the line, not long after Haruka had accepted her destiny.

"So why doesn't a beautiful girl like you have a boyfriend?" had been the words asked Are you like me? had been the meaning, written plain on Haruka's face.

"We don't have time to fall in love" she'd replied, even as her eyes said Yes. She'd drawn the line because it was true, they couldn't afford any distractions, even the distraction of each other. And Haruka had nodded, and they had moved on. Both of them were flirts by nature, and the line had never stopped them from playing that particular game. But it is just that, a game, played for amusement.

During the day, Michiru pushes any further thoughts about their relationship far down, locking them away to focus on the greater mission. They don't have time for love, not with the world at stake.

Which is why Michiru loves the nighttime. The cool moonlight filtering through a curtained window. The quiet muffled sounds of the city filtering up from the streets below. And the quiet breathing of a sleeping Haruka, watched from a doorway.

When they had first moved in together, Michiru had envied Haruka her ability to fall asleep quickly and deeply, no matter what had happened the day before. Now she's come to appreciate the blonde's ability. This is the only time Michiru lets those locked down thoughts and emotions free. She lets herself watch Haruka's sleeping form, admire the long, graceful neck, the curve of a shoulder. The athletic body obscured by the sheet and blankets. Here, in the nighttime, Michiru lets herself imagine what it would be like to touch, to run her hand down the curve of a cheekbone, to tangled her fingers in the short blond hair.

Here and now she gives herself the freedom to regret the line between them. To wish she could give voice to a fraction of the emotions that fill her heart and mind, causing her breath to catch ever so slightly as Haruka sighs and shifts in her sleep. She lets herself think about the 'might have been' if they hadn't been senshi, if they were just two girls who'd happened to meet. Would they have had the same deep, instant connection? That instinctive knowledge of each other that allows them to move, work, fight in perfect sync?

Even now though the line stretches between them, as thick and solid as a glass wall. Michiru stands looking at the sleeping Haruka wanting, wishing, burning to touch her, but she doesn't move. Instead she draws a deep breath with only the barest hint of shakiness to it. Haruka would have noticed, but that is why Michiru only allows herself these moments of indulgence when the blond is asleep. She tears her gaze away and slips back to her own room.

She understands why people make assumptions about Haruka and herself. They share a life. They share a mission. They share an apartment. But there is a line that is always there. They sleep in separate rooms.

Dawn has always been Haruka's favorite time. With the sun just cresting the horizon, there is a stillness, a quiet anticipation of the day about to begin. This is the time she has to herself, before the rest of the world wakes up. A time to get out and run, racing the wind.

Like every morning she finds herself pausing in a bedroom doorway, caught momentarily by the sound of soft breathing, by a glimpse of sea-green hair.

She understands the line between them. She understands why Michiru drew the line. In a way she's thankful the line is there. When she lets herself admit it, the depth and intensity of emotion she feels for her fellow senshi frightens her. It's easy, too easy to pull back from the line, to quash those feelings. To fool herself into thinking of Michiru as nothing more than a close friend, a partner but nothing more. But were there ever friends so close? So close that half the time Haruka finds herself not having to speak, the looks she shares with Michiru communicating so much more than words ever could. And that frightens her as well. She considered herself a private person, yet there seemed no secrets she could keep from Michiru. Except maybe that one secret that brings her every morning to this doorway to watch Michiru sleep.

She knows that the few steps she takes into Michiru's room come dangerously close to crossing the line. But she takes them anyway, in the quiet morning when she can let herself approach the line, let herself admire the smooth pale skin, the graceful fall of an arm above the blanket. Her hand reaches out, almost of it's own accord, wanting to brush back the few errant strands of wavy sea green hair that have fallen over Michiru's sleeping face. She stops herself, fingers mere inches away from the hair. Michiru is a light sleeper and even that small gesture might wake her. Haruka pulls her hand back and drops it back by her side. The line is still there, even on this early morning, and she will no more cross it now than she would if Michiru was awake.

Perhaps if they were not senshi… But no, before she met Michiru, she was lost, a silently crying child searching for something without even knowing what she was looking for. She'd been running away from everything, a desperate attempt to let nothing tie her down. Everything, the short hair, motocross, the boy's uniform, F1 racing, using boku… All of it had been to escape, to run away from all the expectations of those around her. Then Michiru had walked into her life asking - no, demanding - that she be nothing more than who she was. Everything she was.

And so, she turns and walks quietly out of the room. The sun rises far too fast sometimes, and she still hasn't had her run. She closes the apartment door quietly, wondering, as she does often these days if she isn't still running away.