Tennis Lesson
by Kurozuishou

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It was the school summer holidays. Molly went with her boy-friend Melvin to the tennis court to visit her dear friend Rui. They watched her matches, amazed, and in the evening, when no one was on the tennis court any more, Molly played tennis there with Melvin.

Suddenly a man with long dark hair stood on the tennis court. He had white pants on and over his yellow shirt he wore a lavender jacket. "Put all your power into the ball!" he shouted.

Molly couldn't believe her ears. She knew that voice, but it belonged to a man who was already dead for a long time. A man who had died trying to save her. Her stomach felt cold. "Nephrite?" Molly murmured.

The man walked to her. "Give me your racket.", he commanded.

Molly hesitated. "Nephrite. You're alive..."

"Maxfield Stanton," the dead man said. "I'm a tennis trainer." Then he looked at Melvin. "Come on, kid! Hit that thing to me!"

Melvin felt challenged. He served. Maxfield Stanton hit the ball back as if it were nothing. Melvin couldn't take it. "Good for a beginner!" Mr. Stanton laughed.

"Nephrite, what do you mean?" Molly asked, despairing. "Have you forgotten who you are?"

"You shouldn't be here, girl," Maxfield said in a quiet voice. "Sit on the bench over there and watch the match."


"Everything will be okay!" the trainer promised.

Molly went to the bench.

"Try it again!" Stanton commanded. Melvin tried again.

"Hey, hey, hey! Hit to my racket, not to me!" Maxfield Stanton jeered.

Melvin was getting angry and took another ball. "Yes, boy!" Mr. Stanton grinned. "Show me what you can do!"

Melvin did his best to defeat his rival, but the dark haired man was very strong. He just laughed at him. "You're a fool, boy! You will never learn it!"

"That's enough!" Molly stood up off her bench. "If you want to fight against anyone, fight against me!"

"You?" the trainer wondered.

Molly walked to Melvin. "Can I have that?" Melvin gave her the racket. "So, Nephrite," she shouted. "Seems like you have won until now, but I am curious if you can also fight me!"

Stanton looked sceptical. "As you wish", he replied. Molly noticed that his hands trembled a little, as he concentrated on serving the ball. Molly breathed deep and managed to hit the ball back to the trainer.

"I've underestimated you," Maxfield Stanton told her.

"Molly! That was great!" Melvin was glad.

The trainer looked angry. "This time is your turn." He was sweating. Molly served the ball in a considerate way to her opponent. To her surprise he hit it back to her the same way. It worked very well. The game took a long time and was played in harmony.

At the end of the game they both went to the net and Maxfield gave her his hand. "Well played," he said.

"The same to you," Molly replied.

"You've won, Molly!" Melvin ran to her. "I'm so proud of you!" He wanted to take Molly in his arms, but Mr. Stanton pushed him away.

"Nephrite!" Molly said, frightened.

"Don't touch her!" Stanton hissed.

Molly jerked. "Nephrite, you can't hurt him!" she contradicted.

"Get away from him, Molly!" Maxfield ordered.

"So you nevertheless remember my name?" Molly noticed.

"What's wrong with you?" Nephrite asked the one he saved from Zoycite's Youma. "You aren't going to tell me that you are in love with this idiot, are you?"

Tears rolled over Molly's cheeks. "I can't believe what I see," she cried. "Is that really you, Nephrite?"

Nephrite took a look at Melvin, who was lying on the ground. "That man isn't worth crying over!"

"Isn't he?" Molly demanded. "Is your jealousy your only reason?"

Nephrite bit down his lip. Molly was surprised to see him blush a little. Nephrite sweated. "He's not good for you.", he told her, and sank his head, to not see into Molly's eyes.

Molly went to him. She saw a tear on Nephrite's cheek and wiped it fondly away. "Why are you doing this?" she whispered.

"I love you, Molly," Nephrite said. His voice sounded tight. "And I don't want to lose you."

"When you hurt him, you hurt me," Molly replied.

Nephrite turned away from her. "I'm sorry, Molly!"

Molly stepped forward and wrapped her arms around him. "You're alive!", she cried. "Have you any idea how glad I am that you aren't dead?" Those words touched Nephrite's soul. He stopped. Molly continued: "After your death, life made no sense for me any more. I almost thought I couldn't go on." She sobbed. "What ever brought you to do something like this: We can work it out, but please don't leave me again, Nephrite."

"Molly..." Nephrite trembled. He looked behind him and saw Molly leaning on his back. "I won't leave you any more."

"Molly?" They heard Melvin's voice. Molly turned around. "Melvin...", she began. "That's Maxfield Stanton, ... I mean: Nephrite. He was member of an evil society."

Melvin's eyes got big. "An evil society?"

"Yes," Molly nodded. "Sailor Moon fought against them. They had tried to steal humans' energy."

"So it means you're evil?" Melvin was shocked.

"Don't worry, Melvin," Molly said quickly. "Nephrite left the Dark Kingdom long ago. He is not evil any more."

Melvin raised an eyebrow. He had to remember the tennis match they played together. "Really?" he asked, skeptical. "I didn't notice anything."

Nephrite blushed. "It's really so!" he confirmed.

"Wait a minute!" Molly took an orange bandage out of her dress. "Do you remember this?"

Melvin studied it. "Yes, of course! You bound my arm with that at the cemetery." At these words Nephrite swallowed.

"Nephrite had hurt himself, when he rescued me from his comrades that kidnapped me. I had tied this bandage around his wounded arm. When the monsters appeared again, they stabbed Nephrite to death. He died in my arms."

Nephrite looked down. "I think that's enough," he said. "It hurts to remember about it."

"Was that the man you were crying about when you didn't go to school for so long?" Melvin asked.

Molly nodded quietly. "Nephrite had given his life for mine," she said. "He had left his evil society just to save me. He isn't bad any more."

"Molly," Melvin whispered.

"Melvin, I have to tell you something," Nephrite suddenly began. "I might have left my evil society, but there is still something bad in me: The evil feeling when I see you with Molly together. I, I had such anger in me when I saw you both playing tennis so happily together. I ... I couldn't bear that sight." His voice trembled. "I am no real human and will probably never be. Whatever I do. You can't turn this evil out!" His voice broke and he turned away.

"Nephrite," Molly contradicted. "That's not true." As she tried to touch him, he pulled away. At this movement Nephrite's hand brushed against her nails. He jerked. Molly was shocked. "Nephrite! I'm sorry!" she said. "I really didn't want that!"

Nephrite looked at his wound. "Molly?" he asked.

"Yes?" Molly wondered.

Nephrite showed Molly his hand. "Can you tell me what you see?"

"Blood," Molly answered. "Nephrite, you're hurt."

Nephrite smiled. "It's red, Molly!", he explained. "I had green blood when I left the Dark Kingdom, but now it's red." He was glad. "I'm finally a real human!" He wrapped his arms around Molly.

"Nephrite, what does this mean?" Molly asked, confused.

Nephrite looked into the air. "Green blood was the blood we had in the Dark Kingdom, but now I am a real human. I might not be able to do magic any more, but I now really belong to this world. To your world where I want to belong." Tears rolled out of his eyes. Then he went to Melvin. He took his arms and looked into his eyes. "I'm sorry, Melvin," Nephrite said. "I am..." He stopped. His thoughts went back to the time at the Dark Kingdom, where he had called Jadeite a fool. Nephrite continued speaking: "I am just a fool, Melvin. A fool that doesn't know where he belongs. Can you forgive me?"

Melvin smiled at him. "Molly really loved you," he said. "She didn't go to school for weeks after you died."

Nephrite turned to Molly. "That's not good," he said. "School is important, Molly!"

Molly had to laugh. Melvin put his hand on Nephrite's shoulder. "I am glad she has you back again."

Nephrite smiled. "Thank you, Melvin."

"Does any one want to play tennis with me?" Molly smiled.

Nephrite stood shyly up, took a racket and went to the other side of the court. "Your turn," he said carefully.


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