Music Box
by happyhappysunshine

Chapter 7 - Starlight

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As the days went by, they had fallen into a pattern of events that repeated nearly the same every day.

Jadeite would spent his mornings training, as he was still very unsure about what dangers could lie ahead and finding himself with no allies, he decided he needed to devote time to be ready if ever an attack occurred.

He would regularly spend the rest of his day in leisure, knowing now that the only thing he could hope to do was wait for Nephrite to arrive to put an end to his uncertainty and nothingness.

Most of the time he would watch some of the old movies or read the books in Nephrite's library. He had developed a growing interest in the works of Shakespeare. Not only did he enjoy the beautifully written genius poetry, but he often felt he could relate to the state of ensnaring perplexity the characters experienced. He had finished Macbeth and had now worked his way to Hamlet.

The girl would arrive promptly around the same time in the afternoon. Though he had grown to tolerate her more as she now seemed less ignorant and no longer asked her insufferably obvious questions, he still made every attempt to discourage a friendship between them. Although she seemed harmless and followed his every direction, he still felt she could not be trusted and that it would be best that she know as little about him, should she ever alert the Sailor Scouts.

They would spend most of the evening in silence, where he usually read for the most part and she occupied herself with either schoolwork or, as he had allowed, exploring the mansion. He thought it strange that she had never been there before, since she was apparently the true keeper of the music box, but he decided he would ask Nephrite for clarification rather than confront her.

Naru did not seem to mind much that he had treated her so coldly, and though she still appeared a little frightened by him at times, she accepted it as simply his way. She occupied herself more with preparation for his visit. After the first time, she continued to clean but also began to allot herself a certain amount of time to mend her appearance right before it was time. She seemed to think it would make a difference if she would style her hair or apply gloss to her lips. Jadeite thought it was ridiculous she spent so much time on things he knew Nephrite was not accustomed to notice but said nothing to her about it for although she did indeed look lovely, why would he pay her the unnecessary compliment and flatter her?

They had begun to play the music box outside now, and watched every night in dismay as the gleaming box glimmered in the moonlight and played, yet no Nephrite had come. Jadeite had been growing more and more anxious after every failed try though he knew that it had to be soon. It had been more than two weeks already and the girl swore that she was sure it happened in the early spring. They could do nothing but wait.

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One morning as Jadeite was returning to the mansion from his practice, he was surprised to see Naru in the front hall, waiting for him. She was there several hours earlier than usual and though it was a school day, she was not wearing her uniform. Instead, she was dressed in a informal yet pretty spring green dress, with a light cream coloured sweater. She was beaming and practically hopping with excitement.

"It's today. I don't know how to explain it except that I can feel it. I know it's today. It's finally today!" She danced and skipped around giggling. He had never seen anyone look so happy.

Jadeite was still in a state of bewilderment and just gaped at her for a few moments.

"And even if you are so sure, why are you here so early?" was all he asked, his eyebrows raised.

"I couldn't possibly go to school! Not today!" she stopped swirling and smiled up at him, "Don't be mad. I'll still stay out of the way. I even brought lunch so you don't have to order or make a mess."

He looked at her as if she was delirious for a moment but then merely sighed.

"Fine. Entertain yourself with what you like, I'll be upstairs." Though he put on a straight face as he said that and walked upstairs to take his shower, he was feeling enormous relief and excitement that the time had finally come.

When Jadeite came down, he found he was actually looking forward to the lunch. He had never had a home cooked meal before and had grown tired of ordering take out and eating boxed or canned foods. It was no secret that he was no cook, and felt no desire to try.

When he came out to the terrace, hefound she had set out a meal of home cooked dumplings and sushi for them on the outdoor table, and though they did not look like they did at the restaurants, they smelled delicious. However, there was no sign of the girl. He went back into the house, looking for her but could find anywhere.

His heart started to beat quickly and for a moment he worried. How could she disappear the very day of Nephrite's return? He checked everywhere around the house, becoming more frustrated and even angrier as time went by and he still did not see her. He ran around every room in the mansion in a mad frenzy, until he was out of breath. How could he be so stupid? The music box was also missing. He should have never let her go out of his sight and now his chances were gone.

She had tricked him. He sat with his hands clenched on the front porch, cursing the girl under his breath.

"Who are you talking to?" he looked up and saw her looking at him with her head cocked to the side, a heap of flowers in her arms.

He stared at her dumbfounded and speechless, embarrassed and angry still.

"Next time you take off like that without warning, I'll -"

"Well, I couldn't really tell you when you were in the shower. C'mon let's have lunch,"said she innocently, cutting him off as she walked by him, waiting for him to follow her into the house.

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Vases full of freshly picked flowers were now on every table of the main hallway and in the dining room, every window was open and the warm light breeze from outside was sweeping through the house.

Jadeite was lying in the grass in the garden, reading. Despite his excitement, he was in a state of calmness he had not felt for a while. He lay lazily on his side, stomach still full from the lunch they had had.

He hadn't told her how much he had enjoyed the meal she prepared. They had eaten in silence as he had still been angry, but he had eaten it all very quickly and when she had offered him more, he could tell she had taken that alone as praise.

It was now almost time and he could hear her footsteps coming down from the terrace and then plop down on the grass sitting beside him.

His blond hair was tousled again as he sat up, and in eager quieten they watched as the pink sky faded to a deep bluish black and the sun finally set. She took the shining music box out of her dress pocket.

"I've been listening to it all day," she confessed to him, "but finally I know now he will come."

At that, she turned the knob, and the music surrounded them. As always, they looked around as the music played but like usual, nothing was happening. As the tune played on, Naru's face became more and more panicked, as if she could not believe she had been wrong.

But then, just as the song was coming to an end, the music began to crescendo into a harmonic melody and the music seemed to becoming not only from the box but from all around them. The box began to shine blindingly, casting rays of sparkling light in every direction. It seemed as if the rays of light shining from the stars had begun to get even brighter, before they both looked up at the sky to see the light of each twinkling star look as if it were coming directly at them. Crashing bursts of light surrounded them so that they could hardly see.

Little by little the bursts seemed to gather to a spot before them to form what looked like the figure of a man. And little by little, the figure of light whose long flowing hair swept with the breeze became the undeniable figure of Nephrite.

And then suddenly, a burst of light exploded and the figure of light materlized to flesh, and finally before them stood Nephrite, in all his glory.

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return to Index / go to Chapter 8

The Nephrite and Naru Treasury