as told by Moon Momma
Nephrite (Nephlite, Nephlyte, Neflite, or Neflyte in the NA dub) and Naru's (Molly's) story only spans a few episodes of Sailor Moon, but it captivated me from the first time I saw it. At first, I only saw a few fragments of the "Tuxedo Nephrite" and "Molly's Folly" episodes late at night on the Cartoon Network's Toonami Midnight Run, but I was intrigued by the cute red-haired little girl and the really cool-looking bad guy who seemed to have this strange fascination with each other. A few months later, I got to see the whole series when it was shown in the afternoon, and found myself desperately hoping that somehow, some way, Nephrite would break free of the Negaverse and he and Molly could be together. Alas, it was not to be. I kept hoping right up to the end of the "Nephrite Dies" episode, then I cried and cried when Nephrite died. I watched the tape later that night, over and over, and cried and cried and cried. (*sniff* I'm a sucker for a tragic love story.) I kept thinking (okay, I became obsessed) that it just couldn't end that way, which eventually gave rise to Moon Momma's Nephrite-Naru stories and, now, this site.
It began when Jadeite, after a series of ignominious failures, was trapped in Eternal Sleep inside a crystal, and Nephrite was sent out to continue gathering energy for the Dark Kingdom. Nephrite was full of confidence, and boasted about how he would use the stars to pinpoint humans who were approaching a creative or emotional peak in their lives, and then steal the energy these humans generated. Another General, Zoisite, appeared and needled Nephrite about his overconfidence. Nephrite brushed Zoisite aside and proceeded with his plans. He set himself up with a human identity as wealthy businessman Sanjouin Masato [Maxfield Stanton], with a huge mansion of indefinable architecture and a cool red Ferrari.
Nephrite's first victim was up-and-coming young tennis player Saionji Rui [Katie Sandler]. Rui and Naru had been friends since they were very small, and on this day, Naru and Usagi were hanging around the tennis courts watching Rui practice. Nephrite arrived on the scene, to general acclaim and swooning by all the females present. Naru and Usagi thought he was gorgeous and got big pink hearts in their eyes.
[Naru: I did. I thought you were the most gorgeous thing I'd ever seen. You probably didn't even notice me, though.
[Nephrite: Of course I noticed you . How could I miss you, standing with that strange-looking girl with the balls on her head? Besides, you were the cutest girl there.
[Naru (blushing): Huh, you're just saying that.]
Nephrite went on to whack the bejeebers out of Rui's best serve,
then planted a youma in her racket to increase her energy to the point where it would make a good haul. Of course, this plot was eventually foiled by the Sailor Senshi and Tuxedo Mask, as were the next several plots Nephrite hatched. Naru was directly involved in one of these, a scheme where Nephrite planted a youma in the camera of prizewinning young photographer Shinokawa Kijin [Peter Fisher]. Kijin grew bored with photographing landscapes and decided to hold a modeling contest. Naru entered the contest along with Usagi, and was one of the unfortunate young women who were sucked into Kijin's youma-possessed camera for their energy. Although the youma Cameran captured both Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury, this plot was also foiled by Sailor Moon.
After this, Nephrite began to feel some pressure from Queen Beryl, who, at Zoisite's suggestion, ordered him to accept Zoisite's help. Nephrite refused, rather rudely, much to Zoisite's delight. Zoisite seemed to look at Nephrite as a rival, and was eager for him to fall from Beryl's favor.
Nephrite decided that the solution to his problems was to destroy Sailor Moon. He consulted the stars, and found that Sailor Moon's great weakness was her love for Tuxedo Mask. Nephrite hatched a scheme to trap Sailor Moon. He wrote love letters, signed 'Tuxedo Mask,' to all the girls at the local junior high school, inviting them to a rendevous at a department store that night.
[Nephrite: By the way, I did not put my real return address on those letters. How stupid does DiC think I am?]
Naru wished that the letters had come from the hunky new millionaire in town, Sanjouin Masato. When she saw him at the department store that afternoon, she asked him about it.
[Moon Momma's Note: Though there's nothing specific about this, I definitely got the impression that Nephrite and Naru had run across each other since the first day at the tennis club.
[Nephrite: Remember, part of my human identity was a part-time tennis coach, and Naru-chan used to hang around the tennis club, watching her friend Rui practice and play in tournaments.]
Nephrite thought that Naru been able to guess that he wrote the letters because she was Sailor Moon. He flattered her, telling her she was the cutest girl in Juuban Junior High and that he'd been interested in her from the beginning, and reminded her to meet him that night.
[Naru: I know you were just lying to me and leading me on --
[Nephrite: No, I was telling the truth. I just didn't realize it at the time.
[Naru (blushing): Well, I forgive you anyway.]
Naru arrived at the department store early that night. Nephrite appeared at the top of the escalator, disguised as Tuxedo Mask
[Nephrite: I hate tuxedos!]
and greeted Naru. She told him she knew he was Sanjouin Masato by his voice and the way he moved.
[Moon Momma's note: Not to mention the long auburn hair...
[Nephrite: Hey, no one ever notices Sailor Moon's hair, why should they notice mine when I'm in disguise?
[Moon Momma: There was a lot at stake here. You could have at least cut it.
[Nephrite: Cut the hair? No way!]
Nephrite, convinced that Naru could see through his disguise because she was really Sailor Moon, demanded that she transform. Naru didn't know what he meant. She told him she loved him, then fainted. Nephrite caught her as she fainted. He also began catching the enormous amount of love energy that was pouring out of her. Though he wasn't sure what it was, he was impressed with its power.
Sailor Moon arrived, and Nephrite threw the unconscious Naru to her. The real Tuxedo Mask also showed up. Though Nephrite trapped them in the elevator, which he made plunge from the top floor of the building, Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask managed to escape. Nephrite had failed in this assignment, but (much to Zoisite's chagrin) he escaped being turned into a giant paperweight because Queen Beryl was impressed with the energy he had collected from Naru. Back in his mansion, Nephrite summoned a vision of Naru's face, and laughed at her for being so foolish as to fall in love with Sanjouin Masato, even though her love saved him from being punished by Queen Beryl.
Some time after this, Queen Beryl had reason to believe that the long-sought-after Silver Crystal was going to be presented at a ball at the Diamond Embassy. Nephrite demanded the assignment and Beryl gave it to him, over Zoisite's objections. The Queen thought that Nephrite's desperation, after his series of failures, would drive him to succeed this time. Zoisite was upset, and became even more bitter and jealous towards Nephrite. Nephrite seemed to have no idea what a dangerous enemy he was making of Zoisite.
The morning of the ball, Naru was walking to school feeling very confused about Sanjouin Masato, wondering how he could be both so kind and so frightening. She later told Usagi that she was going to the Embassy ball; her mother, as a jewelry store owner, had received an invitation to see the great treasure that would be unveiled there. At the ball, Naru was standing in a corner, bored and lonely, when Nephrite saw her.
[Nephrite: I just want to say that the purple tux was *not* my idea. I don't know what I did to get the people in Costume mad at me, but I wouldn't have worn that thing if I'd had a choice.]Knowing that her feelings for him would make her vulnerable to his influence, Nephrite asked Naru to dance, and flattered her, telling her how glad he was to see her. After their dance, they went out onto the balcony. Nephrite fed Naru some very smooth lines, then, while she was waiting for him to kiss her, he sent his shadow into her to possess her.
[Naru: Now that wasn't very nice of you, was it?
[Nephrite: Sorry. What can I say? I was evil, and I had to find that crystal.
[Naru: Well... Just don't do it again, okay?]
Under Nephrite's control, Naru went upstairs and sent Nephrite's shadow into Princess Dia, then fainted. When she awoke, she didn't remember anything about being possessed. This whole episode seemed to only intensify Naru's feelings.
[Nephrite: I really like that picture, you know?
[Moon Momma: Do you mind?
*Ahem* Anyway, some time after this, Naru was at the swimming pool, daydreaming about Nephrite. Usagi splashed her and Naru told her about her grown-up love for Sanjouin Masato. Usagi went ballistic and tried to tell Naru to stay away from him, but Naru accused Usagi of being jealous and walked away in a huff. Later that day, Usagi went to Naru's apartment and tried again to warn her about Nephrite, but Naru wouldn't listen.
That same day, Nephrite was feeling desperate about his situation. Beryl was summoning him, but he was ignoring the summons, knowing that he was in deep trouble with Beryl. He had to find the Silver Crystal to redeem himself in Beryl's eyes. Using the power of the stars, he created the Black Crystal, to show him how to find the Silver Crystal. The first thing the Black Crystal showed him was Naru. Zoisite was very upset about Nephrite's efforts to find the Silver Crystal, and Kunzite suggested he send the youma Yasha to keep an eye on Nephrite. That evening, Naru was daydreaming again about Sanjouin-sama when he phoned and asked her to meet him in a small park nearby. Naru was thrilled at Nephrite's asking her to meet him, until he explained that he had to go away. He was being threatened, he said, and he liked Naru too much to want to see her get involved in his problems.
[Naru: You didn't mean it, did you? You were just leading me on again.
[Nephrite: I don't know... Maybe I did mean it, but I was pretending to myself that I didn't...]
He got up to leave, then Naru offered to do whatever she could to help him. He said that if he had the Silver Crystal, his enemies would leave him alone. Naru thought of a rare silver-colored jewel in her mother's store, and told Nephrite to wait while she got it for him. Naru's mother caught her stealing the jewel from the store's safe. Naru ran away, leaving her mother behind, wondering what was happening to her daughter. Out on the street, Luna was dragging Usagi back to Naru's apartment so that Usagi could do a better job of warning Naru against Sanjouin Masato. They met Mrs. Osaka, who told them that Naru had taken a jewel from the store and that Sanjouin Masato had asked her to meet him in the park. Usagi hurried off to Naru's rescue, in the meantime transforming into Sailor Moon.
In the park, Nephrite was testing the jewel with the Black Crystal. The Black Crystal did not react to the jewel, but it did react to Naru's happiness at having helped Sanjouin-sama. Nephrite decided that this needed further investigation, and asked Naru to come help him with something. Naru blushed as Nephrite put his arm around her and began to lead her away. Just then, Sailor Moon ordered Nephrite to stop. When Nephrite ordered Sailor Moon not to interfere, Sailor Moon told Naru about Nephrite's true identity and that he was evil. Naru denied this, and asked Sanjouin-sama to tell her it was a lie. Instead, Nephrite fired several star power attacks at Sailor Moon.
The other Sailor Senshi arrived. Sailor Mercury confused Nephrite with her bubble attack, then Sailor Mars attacked him with fire. Nephrite evaded the attack, then was taken by surprise when Naru asked him if he was all right; he couldn't believe she was still there.While Nephrite was distracted, Sailor Moon threw her Moon Tiara at him. Nephrite thought it was over for him, but, to his further disbelief, Naru threw herself between him and the Tiara. She refused to move as the Tiara came closer. Finally the Tiara obeyed Sailor Moon's command to stop, and fell to the ground just short of Naru. The Sailor Senshi ordered Naru to step aside, but she refused. She said she loved Nephrite, and she would protect him with her life.Nephrite was stunned, asking himself why Naru would do this for him, unable to believe that she could care for him that much.
[Nephrite: I couldn't believe it. No one in the Dark Kingdom would ever risk their life for someone else.]
The Black Crystal began to glow again, and Nephrite wondered if it could be reacting to Naru's love for him. The youma Yasha saw the glowing crystal and mistook it for the Silver Crystal. She tried to take it from Nephrite. While the two were fighting, Nephrite dropped the crystal and Naru, curious, picked it up. The youma turned her attack on Naru. Naru screamed. Nephrite, crying out Naru's name, attacked Yasha with star power, destroying her mask and revealing her true form. Naru and the Sailor Senshi couldn't believe that Nephrite protected Naru. The emotional overload caused Naru to faint. Nephrite couldn't believe what he had done, either. Yasha accused Nephrite of treason, for protecting a human, and turned on him again. Nephrite watched Yasha's approach, without attempting to defend himself or get away.
[Nephrite: I knew what I had done. It was treason. But I didn't care; I would have done it again. I just couldn't bear to see Naru harmed.]
Sailor Moon threw her Moon Tiara again, this time aiming it at Yasha and saving her supposed enemy Nephrite's life.
When the fight was over, Nephrite placed the silver jewel back into the unconscious Naru's hand, then turned to walk away. Sailor Moon asked him if he really cared about Naru. He laughed and boasted about the day when the Dark Kingdom would obtain the Silver Crystal and rule the universe, then disappeared.
[Moon Momma: You ever hear of the river in Africa called De Nile?
[Nephrite: All right, I'll admit it, I was fighting it pretty hard by then.]
Naru was very confused. She had seen first-hand how evil Nephrite was, but she just couldn't get over her feelings for him. Nephrite was also confused. He was trying to figure out why the Black Crystal was reacting to Naru, but kept getting distracted by memories of her either laughing or saying she loved him as she defended him from the Moon Tiara. Nephrite chided himself for his foolish thoughts, and decided to see if he could get Naru to reveal Sailor Moon's true identity, since Sailor Moon seemed to look at Naru as a friend. He went to Naru's room while she was sleeping. Using the power of the Black Crystal, he looked through Naru's blanket and her pajamas
[Naru: You WHAT?
[Nephrite: (sweatdrop) Umm...
[Naru: Never mind. We've got guests right now. We'll discuss this later in private, sweetie.
[Moon Momma: By the way, gentle readers, this part was cut from the DiC version, so if you want to see Naru naked you'll have to get a fansub.
[Naru: Hey, don't tell them that! Geez, how embarrassing.
[Nephrite: It's okay, it's not like you can really see anything anyway...
[Naru: (evil glare directed at Nephrite)
[Nephrite: Okay, okay, sorry...]
and into her body. After determining that the Silver Crystal was not inside Naru, Nephrite stepped back behind the curtains as Naru awoke. She exclaimed at seeing him there, and he said he wouldn't lie to her any more. He told her his real name, Nephrite, and that her love had made him decide to fight against evil. He asked her for Sailor Moon's identity. Naru cried as she told him she couldn't help him. After he left, Naru, not knowing who else to turn to, called Usagi. Nephrite, lurking outside the window, overheard the conversation and guessed that Usagi, Naru's friend, must be Sailor Moon.
Zoisite was across the street from Naru's apartment the whole time. He correctly guessed Nephrite's feelings for Naru
[Moon Momma: Pretty smart of him, since Nephrite himself was still in massive denial.]
and ordered his youma to kidnap Naru and set a trap for Nephrite. Meanwhile, Nephrite was confronting Sailor Moon, whose true identity he had learned when she unknowingly transformed in front of him, and Tuxedo Mask. He laughed as he prepared to meet Tuxedo Mask's challenge, appearing confident that he could defeat the two of them. Then he heard Naru cry out to him for help. He told Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask that their fight would have to wait for another time, and went to help Naru.
[Nephrite: That was my big turning point. I could have stayed and beaten Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon and become a big hero. But Naru needed me and I went to her.
[Naru: If you had known what would happen after that, would you have done the same thing?
[Nephrite: Of course I would have. How could I not come to you when you needed my help?
[The scene proceeds to turn rather mushy. Back to the story.]
In Naru's room, Nephrite found a note offering Naru's safety in exchange for the Black Crystal. He tried to tell himself he didn't care what happened to the girl, but in his mind he pictured her running towards him and smiling. In anger, he crumpled Zoisite's note and burned it in his hand.
Naru was being held by Zoisite's youma in an abandoned bar. She was sitting on the floor, her arms bound by ropes to a broken tabletop leaning against one wall. The youma had decided to kill Naru if Nephrite didn't show, when he arrived. After Naru cried out a warning, the youma attacked. Nephrite evaded their attacks, then summoned a magical sword. He ran towards the only youma left standing, but didn't kill her. He drove the sword into the wall next to her, and told her to tell Zoisite that he wouldn't give up the Black Crystal. He pulled the sword from the wall, then he and Naru looked into each other's eyes.
[Nephrite: I was asking myself again why I had done this, what it was I was feeling that made me turn against the Dark Kingdom for her sake.]
In the next scene, Nephrite is carrying Naru, having freed her from the ropes that bound her.Naru thanked Nephrite for saving her; he replied that there was no need to thank him, he didn't understand why he had rescued her. He reminded her that he had been lying to her all along, and told her that he would probably continue to lie to her. Naru blushed and rested her head against his chest, and said that she didn't mind if her lied to her, as long as they could be together. Nephrite appeared rather taken aback by this. Then Naru became upset when she saw that his arm had been cut in the fight against the three youma. Nephrite tried to tell her he was all right, but still followed her into the park they had been walking past.
They sat on the ground beside a tree. Nephrite took his jacket off, and Naru tore strips from her pajamas to bandage the cut on his arm. Naru asked Nephrite if he liked chocolate parfaits. He said he did, and Naru accused him of lying to her again. This confused Nephrite, until Naru told him she knew he was lying to be kind to her this time. She told Nephrite about her dream of having a chocolate parfait with him in a café downtown, and was delighted when he suggested they actually do it. Then Naru asked, very earnestly, if people in his evil kingdom ever got holidays. Nephrite was taken completely off-guard by this, and began to laugh.Naru was so happy that she had made Nephrite laugh that she began to laugh and cry at the same time. Zoisite's youma suddenly reappeared. Nephrite was able to push Naru out of the way, but he was stabbed through the right shoulder by giant thorns shot from the arm of one of the youma. The youma told Nephrite that the thorns would drain his energy until he died, and asked for the Black Crystal in exchange for Naru's safety. Nephrite told Naru to run
[Nephrite: This was one place where DiC got it right, where I agreed to hand over the Crystal. By this point, I didn't care about it any more. I only cared about Naru's safety.]
but Naru refused. Instead, she tried to pull the thorns out. There was a powerful energy current running along the thorns, which caused Naru a great deal of pain, but she refused to stop even when Nephrite told her to. The youma laughed and said it was impossible for a mere human to remove the thorns, but they began to slide out anyway. One of the other youma threw explosive red balls at Nephrite and Naru. Nephrite was able to push Naru out of the way and cover her body with his own, but he was badly injured in the explosion. Zoisite appeared, took the Black Crystal from where Nephrite had lost it in the explosion, and taunted Nephrite before disappearing again. The youma prepared to finish off the pair. Again, Naru refused to leave Nephrite.
The Sailor Senshi appeared and destroyed the youma, but they were too late. Nephrite was dying in Naru's arms. He told Sailor Moon that her identity would remain a secret, then turned to Naru. He apologized for not being able to take her for that chocolate parfait after all. Naru realized what he meant and began to cry. Nephrite reached up his hand and wiped away her tears, then rested his hand against her face as he asked her forgiveness for lying to her again.He said, "I'm glad I met you"
[Neph: Hold it. This was another place where DiC got it right. What I really said was, "Don't forget me. I just want you to know you're in my heart." I was trying to say, "I love you," but I didn't know how.
[Naru: (sniffling and wiping eyes with a soaking wet kleenex) Really?
[Nephrite: Yes, really.
[Everything starts to get mushy again, but who can blame them?]
Nephrite died, and his lifeless hand slipped down from Naru's cheek. At first Naru tried to deny his death, but his body began to dissolve into sparkling light. She begged him to stay, but finally his body was gone, drifting up to the sky *sniff, sob* and the bandage made from Naru's pajamas fell to the the ground. When Naru saw this, she realized he really was gone, and screamed, "Noooo!" as the Sailor Senshi looked on, crying too.
[Nephrite: Hold it. I don't like that ending.
[Naru: Neither do I. It isn't fair.
[Nephrite: She's right. That meatball-headed sailor brat --
[Naru: *ahem* She is my best friend, you know.
[Nephrite: Sorry. Usagi and Mamoru keep getting another chance, why not Naru and me?
[Moon Momma: That's what this site is for -- to give you two a different ending and another chance.]
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