24 Hours to Life
by Moon Momma

6:00 pm, Tokyo
Nephrite, Jadeite, Zoisite, Kunzite

* * * * * * * *

"Nephrite. Jadeite. Zoisite. Kunzite." The same low, feminine voice that had spoken to Nephrite in the void between life and death paused. Nephrite waited nervously to see what it would say. "You have made an... interesting effort to keep to both the letter and the spirit of your instructions."

What did we do wrong? Nephrite wracked his mind. As far as he could judge, either they had done nothing wrong or they had done everything wrong. Naru wrapped her arms around his and clung to him, as though she intended to keep him with her by force if she had to.

"However," the voice went on, "the sincerity of your efforts cannot be denied, and they demonstrate the purity of your hearts. In particular, your selfless devotion to your brothers has pleased us. Your second chance at life is granted."

It took Nephrite a moment to understand what the voice said, and then the meaning of it burst into his heart. He grabbed Naru into his arms, lifting her off her feet and spinning her around. She was laughing, tears of joy in her eyes. Oblivious to everyone else around them, he pressed a hard kiss onto her mouth. Cheers arose from the people still standing in line, even though they couldn't possibly have understood what was happening.

"Now," the voice said, "finish your work here, and then go find the Sailor Senshi. They could use a little help. Congratulations, and remember, this is your last chance. Your prince and princess will have great need of your loyalty through the changes and challenges that are to come, and that loyalty will be greatly tested. Remain true, and you will have the long and happy lives with your loved ones that you hope to have."

The voice faded, but not the cheering from the crowd. Even if they didn't have the slightest idea what was going on, they had to know that something important, something good for the four repentant men and two women at the table, had happened and were excited to share in their happiness.

Nephrite disengaged from his kiss with Naru and set her back down on her feet. He noted Jadeite and Thetis and Kunzite and Zoisite also disentangling themselves from each other. "Next!" Jadeite called out, and the next person stepped up to the table.

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