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Always the Quiet Ones

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The first time, it wasn't that big of a deal.  Ami was a little ahead in all of her classes for just such an emergency.  So when Rei called saying there was a youma on the loose, Ami set aside her calculus with nary a longing glance.  She suited up and went to fight a monster.

The second time was only mildly annoying.  Ami was just finishing up a particularly verbose essay on the questionable validity of chaos theory when her communicator went off again.  This time it was Minako telling her of yet another youma attack.  Ami listened to her directions, signed off, and then called Makoto to find out how many wrong turns Minako would have sent her down.  Once she had the correct route memorized, she saved her essay and left, hoping the essay would still flow well despite stopping in the middle of a crucial paragraph.

The third time, Ami started to get testy.  She glared at the communicator when it beeped, waiting a moment before answering.  Luna could tell Ami was beginning to get upset and apologized profusely, though Ami assured her it wasn't necessary.  One all-nighter fighting evil and finishing the assigned reading wouldn't kill her, after all.  She went and fought like always, though the other Senshi couldn't help but notice that Ami attacked with a little more vigor than usual.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth times were more of the same.  Ami answered; Ami fought; Ami stayed up all night to do her homework.  Minako kept her supplied with coffee, and Rei replaced it with tea.  Makoto offered to run errands for her.  Usagi told her she was worried.

Then came the seventh day.  Ami was running on adrenaline and caffeine, and for the first time in recent memory, she was struggling to keep up with her classes.  Worst of all, for the first time ever, Ami received a grade below 90.  A 'B.'

Mizuno Ami did not get 'B's.

And on the seventh day, Usagi called.  She was nervous; she was scared.  Neither emotion was triggered by the youma.  She did not know what to think when Ami calmly assented to meeting them at the correct location, her twitching eyes relaxing for the first time all day.

The Senshi fought hard before Sailor Mercury arrived.  Venus's chain could not hold it, and it seemed impervious to both flame and thunder.  They could not weaken it enough for Sailor Moon to deliver the final blow.  They needed Mercury and her computer to formulate a winning strategy.

Instead, Sailor Mercury brought a chainsaw.

"This is for the 'B,'" she told it coolly, just before lopping its head off.

It's always the quiet ones.