Music Box
by happyhappysunshine

Chapter 9 - Not For Her

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If anyone had told him he would witness thing anytime beforehand, Jadeite would not have believed them. Still, he could almost not believe what he was seeing as he discreetly looked on through the window to the study where he said he would wait.

As soon as he had seen him appear, he was sure it was the same Nephrite. Despite his disorientation, he still stood with his gallant pride, spoke with his way of nonchalant supremacy and Jadeite still felt his undeniable air of arrogance just in his demeanour. Yet, as Jadeite watched him now he wondered what was making him seem so different.

The Nephrite he remembered had been a ruthless warrior, manipulative, and colder even more so than Jadeite fancied himself. Speaking to him, he seemed unchanged. But now, as he peered through the windows, he caught a glance of him setting the girl down on sofa ever so gently. It was not this gesture alone that puzzled Jadeite, Nephrite had always been able to be suave and charming to women. It was all part of his package and came with his ego. What mystified Jadeite was the expression on his face, the one that as he stood hovering over her for a moment seemed solemn and saddened.

That was what did not make sense. Not only had he never seen Nephrite look troubled, he saw no reason why he should. If he had died for this girl as she claimed, would he not be happy to see her? Surely, he cared, or he would not of been so angry that her energy had been drained. And yet, his face betrayed signs of something Jadeite could not place his finger on. Was it sadness, regret, longing, or guilt? Nephrite was not known to have displayed anything like this before. It was difficult to tell.

Jadeite continued to watch through the curtains as he saw him lean his head over her and lightly brush the hair off from her face. It looked as if he was going to kiss her cheek, but instead he pulled his face away and stood up.

As he turned to start towards the balcony, Jadeite turned to face the other direction as to seem to be looking at the gardens. In the distance, the trees seemed to cling to moonlight through the darkness.

"Don't try and pretend like you weren't watching, I feel you peering, you prying dolt." Through the corner of his eye Jadeite could see Nephrite come up beside him to the balcony's stone rail. Jadeite turned around and cast him a semi-apologetic shrug. He knew Nephrite was not any angrier than he was sorry. He opened his mouth to ask his a question, one of the many he had been dying to know for so long, when Nephrite interrupted him and spoke first.

"Before I say anything, let me take a look at the music box first."

Without a word, Jadeite reached into his pocket to produce the box and handed it to Nephrite. He watched in impatient silence as the auburn-haired Shitennou scrutinized the jewelled box holding it close to his eyes and tracing his finger along the engravings as if he were making sure it was real. As he examined the box, Nephrite looked as if he were trying to figure something out or solve a puzzle.

Finally, Jadeite's impatience got the best of him and he could not help but say, "You know, there isn't much time, Nephrite. What is the matter?"

Rather than answer his question, Nephrite looked up as if snapping out of his daze and turned to look at the girl through the door still unconscious, then answered with a question of his own.

"She had the music box with her when you found her?" Jadeite nodded, though raised an eyebrow as he did not see where this was going.

"And the girl, how did you find her?"

"At a park in Juban, I saw her holding it and thought she had stolen it. Of course I wouldn't believe that you- " Nephrite cut him off.

"And you made sure she was able to play it? She could play it and no one else can?"

Jadeite could not understand the motive to these questions. They seemed extraneous or obvious. "Evidently she can play it. You're here aren't you? And it would not turn when I tried it so of course I believed her when she said it was hers. "

He waited for another question but instead Nephrite slowly paced back and forth, seeming as if he were still trying to make sense of something. He would look at the ground, then the box, then the girl, then back to the ground. Under his breath, Jadeite thought he heard him mutter the phrases "just a girl" and "impossible". All the while, he could not help but think of the time being wasted.

After a while, Nephrite stopped in his tracks. "Don't you see? It doesn't make sense. The legend."

"I don't understand. What do you mean?" The blond man finally asked, somewhat wearily and annoyed. This was not the conversation he had been hoping for. He had not waited so long for this. "Is she not your true love?" He dragged out the last two words almost mockingly.

Nephrite glared at him annoyed. He turned his head back to look at Naru again, and then turned back to him shaking his head.

"The legend…no – something does not make sense… the legend… this," he said, looking to the jewel encrusted shining box in his hand, "was not meant for her."

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return to Index / go to Chapter 10

The Nephrite and Naru Treasury