* * * * * * * *
He stared at her uncertainly as she smiled at him with wholehearted content. Her body felt so light and soft as he carried her back home, still not knowing why he had saved her.
"Thank you for saving me," the little red head practically whispered.
Deciding to be honest, Nephrite told her he really didn't know why he saved her. He hardly knew much about her really, yet the thought of Zoisite taking her away arose such an unbelievable anger in him that he felt he absolutely had to. He knew that he shouldn't lead her on, she was just too na´ve. He even went on to tell her that he had been lying to her, and might even go on continuing to lie to her. Still, he knew that he was implying that he would continue to see her, and her face lit up at this.
"It doesn't matter, as long as you're here with me." She let her head rest against his chest. He looked down at her not knowing what to do with himself. He was finding himself torn between what he knew and what he felt but it was becoming clearer to him that his feelings seemed to be outruling his instinct lately. Realizing he had a cut on his arm, the girl insisted he let her fix it for him in case the enemies came back. Nephrite knew that it wouldn't do a difference, but couldn't help but go with as she led him into the park.
He didn't know why, but he had the strangest feeling. He had always been too proud to take orders, and didn't even like to take them from Beryl yet he did everything she told him to do just because it pleased her. He listened as she described to him her simple dream of going to get a chocolate parfait with him, and felt an inexplicable burst of happiness when he saw her face light up when he proposed they go one day. He knew she was just a silly girl, yet he remembered the bravery she showed when she ran in front of Sailor Moon's tiara and saved his life out of the love she had for him. He realized now that he was attached to her and cared for as well as he had saved her twice now, though he knew that couldn't be.
All too soon in mid laughter, his smile broke as he saw the sharp branches coming at her and his first instinct was to push her out of the way even as he felt them pierce into his shoulder. Zoisite had come and wanted the crystal, yet what did that matter to him now? He threw the crystal and told Naru to run. Instead, he watched in horror as she refused and pain and tears streaked her face as she tried with all her might to pull the branches out. Again the youma fired and despite the pain he leaped to protect her. Was she okay? That's all he needed to know.
The sailor scouts came too late and he felt his senses gradually weakening and Naru's arms around him. He knew he was dying and did his best to smile and used the last of his strength left to bring his hand to caress her cheek and wipe away the tears she was crying for him. He asked for the forgiveness he knew he didn't deserve and tried to tell her the best he could what she had meant to him as he looked up to her sweet face for the last time.
* * * * * * * *
Naru's heart was broken. A dagger of pain filled her chest as she slowly saw Nephrite's body dissipate into clusters of stars. She screamed and cried but nothing made her fell better and Nephrite was not coming back. She felt broken and empty.
The scouts watched her sadly, and after a while softly told her they would take her home.
"No! No, please. I won't. No, I just want to be left alone. Please, please just leave me alone." And as hard as they tried to bring her home, she refused and they eventually decided it was best to leave her. She couldn't stop crying and didn't know how long it had been before she was able to calm down. She ran to the spot where they had talked and laughed, but it only brought a new set of tears. She sat down hugging her legs to her chest, crying helplessly. Her firery red hair clouded her face in a mess and stuck to face, having been drawn by the moisture trickling down her cheeks.
Suddenly, she looked up to see something twinkling in the grass. Could it be something Nephrite had dropped? She picked it up and held it in her hand. It was beautiful, but she didn't think it was his. It was a sparkling box just about the size of her palm encrusted with several gleaming amber-colored gems. She turned it over in her hands in awe, admiring the way in shone, even while it was dark outside. A closer examination of the box showed her how intricately it was engraved with delicately beautiful swirling lines. Surely, it wasn't there before.
She only hesitated for a second wondering if it were a trap before she opened it, only to discover a little jewelled knob inside. There were also a few lines inscribed inside in gold in a language she couldn't recognize. She braced herself for the worst and held her breath as she turned the knob, but then let out a sigh of relief when she heard the enchanting twinkling sound of music coming from the box, and nothing else. The song was so heartbreakingly beautiful, but so sad. She didn't know what it was, but she played the sad little lullaby again and again as the tears streaked her face until she slowly fell asleep.
* * * * * * * *
return to Index / go to Chapter 1
The Nephrite and Naru Treasury