24 Hours to Life
by Moon Momma

3:00 am, Tokyo

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Nephrite dreamed again. This time he dreamed of explosions, and pain in his right shoulder and the right side of his chest, and Naru's voice begging him not to die. In this dream, her voice seemed to be drawing closer instead of retreating into the distance.

His head drooped suddenly, and he started awake. He was sitting in a chair in Mamoru and Usagi's living room, in a position that was none too comfortable. He shifted, trying to give some relief to his aching backside and stiff legs. The girls who were the Senshi were sleeping on the floor, scattered around the room, except for Usagi, who was stretched out on the sofa with Mamoru. He looked at the young couple and imagined himself and Naru-chan in their place. He wanted that so badly - why hadn't he realized before it was too late that was what he wanted? Even if he had had to wait a few years, for Naru-chan had been far too young, back then; even if he had had to find a way to excape Beryl's wrath at his desertion; at least he could have had a chance. Now, with every passing moment, as the Senshi slept and regained strength, he felt his chances slipping away.

He glanced at his cheap new watch. There was no rush; it was only a little after three in the morning. There were still almost six hours until the time he had told Kunzite, Zoisite, and Jadeite to meet him on the harbor walk. Until then, even if the world was shifted back to the reality that included the four of them, there wasn't much of anything he could do.

Except see if Naru-chan would remember him and choose him.

But he couldn't do anything about that, either, except wait and try not to worry. He focused on taking deep, slow, even breaths, and finally fell asleep again.

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