Version: Manga (Crystal Tokyo)
She lay beside me, but she'll be there when I'm gone
Black heart scarring darker still, yes, she'll be there when I'm gone…
What I've felt, what I've known
Turn the pages, turn the stone
Behind the door, should I open it for you?
– Metallica, The Unforgiven 2
He stood in the darkness and gazed into the shadows. Another sleepless night, the moon shining bright over the sea. Sometimes he was tempted to go down to the see and end it all, but he wouldn’t, he wouldn’t. He wouldn’t do that to his master.
He would stand here in the shadows, and wait. Wait for her to come back. For she would surely come back. She’d told him. She’d said.
“No matter how many times you’re reborn, you will be my follower…”
“Kunzite.” The warmth in that voice, so different from that of the one in his memories.
“Master.” His own, melting into the darkness around them.
“Why do you come here?”
“Because this is where I belong.”
Endymion came and stood by him at the window, shoulder to shoulder. “On the lookout?”
“You don’t have to…”
“Let me pay my penance in my own way.”
“Penance… is that what this is?” Endymion looked at him, a figure of lavender and blue.
Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly, lavender’s green…
“I knelt to her,” Kunzite said, the words barely audible. He put his hand on the crystal, cold to the touch. “I gave her obeisance. I cannot forget. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”
“She’s gone, Kunzite.”
“You’ve knelt to me.”
He smiled, humourless. “If I had my way, I’d walk on my knees.”
“I hate it when you talk like that.”
“I know.” Kunzite turned and looked at him, silver in the moonlight, silver in the shadows. “That’s why I come here.”
Something flickered behind Endymion’s mask, behind his eyes. “Don’t ever be afraid to come to me,” he said, his voice rough. “Even if it’s something I don’t like, tell me, Kunzite. I want you to do that.”
Kunzite nodded, his face as blank as the stone in which he had once been imprisoned. “Is there anything else you want, Master?”
Endymion opened his mouth and then closed it. He looked at the man opposite him, tormented and unsure. “Your happiness,” he said.
Kunzite smiled, one corner of his mouth lifting, lopsided and ironic. “You gave me life,” he said. “That’s quite enough to be getting on with.”
Title: Accidents Will Happen
Version: Manga (Exiles Timeline)
Ken surveyed the chaos. Three shelves were now lying against each others. The boxes which had been on the shelves were now on the floor, with plushie toys spilling out in a riot of colours and shapes. On top of that, boxes of collector cards and figurines had also fallen thanks to the vibrations and now they were scattered around the storage room, along with those weird foam twists that the manufacturers always put in to cushion the products. Everything was silent, the muffled silence after a great shock.
Ken felt calm but he knew it wasn’t going to last. This was the calm of despair, of knowing that nothing could get worse. It was like a sunny moment on a cloudy afternoon, soon gone. He could feel the panic building up even now, the sheer frustration of having ruined it all again.
It had all been so simple. Just look after Crown while Motoki ran to get some library books for one of his classes. The simplest task imaginable. He should have known he couldn’t do it. He’d managed to keep things clean, he’d managed to handle the till and the tickets, he’d even fixed a crane machine. He’d been on a roll, opening the door, whistling to himself. And then, of course, he’d tripped over the cable of the vacuum cleaner he’d left lying there earlier. He always tripped himself up, always.
He tripped and stumbled and landed against the metal shelf and felt it rock. His nerves squeaked in alarm and he heard himself moan, “No—!”
Pointless word, hopeless plea. Even as he said it, he could feel the shelf tip away from him, land on the other shelf with a horrible grinding noise. Then he watched, paralysed, as the second shelf began to tip, like a domino, and fall forwards onto the third one. And the boxes slid off and fell, crashing to the floor, packets spilling out with plastic shrieks, and the third shelf landed against the wall with a crunch and there was silence.
Ken felt the rage boil up in him, like lava rising from the centre of the earth, inevitable and as destructive as any clumsy action. He clenched his fists and teeth, trying to shut it out, trying to shut out that voice inside his head.
Look at you, you can’t even milk a cow without kicking over the bucket afterwards! How do you expect to treat animals when you cut yourself every time you peel potatoes? You’d be better off working for a supermarket chain, at least they don’t mind you having muscles and not brains…
“Shut up,” Ken muttered. “Shut up, shut up, shut up!” He turned and slammed his fist into the door and the pain seared through him, cutting the voice out, cutting out everything except the fact he’d just slammed his fist into a door. Which was just what he’d wanted. Even if his hand was now burning and aching, at least he could focus. He took a deep breath and stepped forward, grabbed the first shelf and pulled it back upright. He did the same with the second, then the third. Takehiko had taught him that the appearance of order was almost more important than the existence of order. Once everything looked ordered, you could work to maintain that appearance. Then he glanced down at the floor and sighed. This was going to take some work.
Deal with the toys first. He could almost hear Takehiko telling him. Deal with the easy things first, tackle the difficult ones afterwards. He squatted and put the plushies back into their boxes, put the boxes back where they’d been, smoothed the tape down. And now to pick up all these foam twists. Ken looked at the floor and sighed. He hated tasks like this: he hated repetitive actions, he hated doing the same thing over and over with no variety. In this, he and Xavier were alike. They couldn’t lose themselves in a task unless it engaged them and picking things up off a floor (or glueing them or stacking them or anything like that) was not interesting, never was, never could be.
There was a knock and the door and his heart dropped. He was back already, he’d see the mess and that would be the end of this job—
“Ken-kun, what are you doing?”
Ken let out a shuddery laugh of relief and turned to the doorway. “Don’t scare me like that, Hi-kun.”
“Didn’t mean to,” Takehiko said, angling his long body so that he was looking over Ken’s shoulder. “What happened?”
“I barged into the shelves and everything fell off,” Ken said, shrugging and smiling. It was easy to smile at himself with Takehiko, because Takehiko was not going to mock him.
“A few boxes is not everything.”
“That’s because I’ve cleared most of it up.” Ken felt a bit smug at that, at catching Takehiko out.
“You’ll need the dustpan and brush for that lot.” Takehiko disappeared.
“Yeah, they’re under the… counter,” Ken said as his friend reappeared, holding the said items. He took them without a word and began to sweep the twists into the pan in order to put them back in the box. When he turned around, he discovered that Takehiko had taken a broom and was now sweeping the rest into a big pile. Ken opened his mouth, then shrugged and smiled. If Takehiko wanted to help, he wasn’t going to protest. Besides, having another person help him meant that there was a better chance of having the room clean before Motoki came back.
In the end, it was even quicker than he’d thought, because Takehiko didn’t mind repetitive tasks like he did, so he was the one who swept up most of the twists and Ken did the rest, carefully putting the vacuum cleaner away before closing the door. He turned and looked at Takehiko. “Two more rooms to destroy and then this place will be Ken-proof,” he said solemnly.
Takehiko raised an eyebrow, smiling. “Why don’t you leave the pessimism to me?”
“I’m not being pessimistic, I’m being realistic,” Ken replied smartly.
“Since when did you start being realistic? Besides, you didn’t destroy the room, Ken-kun.”
“Give me time.”
They both laughed and just at that moment, the doors pulled open and Motoki walked through. “What did I miss?” he asked, smiling.
“Oh nothing, you had to be there,” Takehiko answered, glancing at Ken, and they smiled at each other.
Title: Can't Change The Inevitable
Version: Manga (Silver Millennium)
And so it is:
The shorter story,
No love, no glory,
No hero in her sky.
— Damien Rice, The Blower’s Daughter
Kunzite was aware that life was full of irony but he had never been quite so aware of it until now, when he was standing with his master and his comraders, waiting to be presented to the Queen of the Silver Millennium and her government, which included the Princess of Venus. Or Sailor Venus, as she was better known.
No. Not any more. She didn’t use that name here. She was Venus and that was all. She was not a person any more, she was a symbol, a soldier. Oh, he knew that feeling. He knew it so damn well that it often felt like that it was the only feeling he had left.
Kunzite almost cursed. He hadn’t even looked at her yet and already the old bitterness was rising up. It came from frustration, from an unfulfilled liaison, and none of that was her fault, but the feelings were inextricably linked to her. Just the memory of her eyes, of the sunlight on her hair, and it would rise up in him. A chronic sickness, manageable but incurable.
Endymion was looking at him, his eyes dark with worry. Kunzite knew what he wanted to say without even guessing: You don’t have to be here. You can go. I will say you are indisposed. I don’t want to push you beyond your limits. He shook his head in reply and Endymion sighed and looked straight ahead, watching the door. Ever since they’d been told of this private audience with Queen Serenity, he’d been anxious, constantly reassuring Kunzite that he didn’t have to come. As if one glance at Venus would either kill his head guard or enchant him so completely he’d never come back to Earth. If only things were that simple, Kunzite thought, allowing himself an ironic smile.
He wasn’t worried about himself. He was worried about Jadeite. This would be much harder on him. It was easy to live with unrequited love if you never saw the object of your affection, but having to stand there and pretend like she was nothing, like you had never met… Kunzite knew that would be a strain on Jadeite. In fact, this whole visit was a strain on Jadeite and Kunzite had no idea how it would end. Jadeite was not the kind of person who could be divided: if you divided him, he split apart. Kunzite had watched this happen over the past three years and he didn’t think an audience in Erinya’s presence would help.
“They’re late,” Jadeite said, the tension in his voice confirming all of Kunzite’s fears. Jadeite was very rarely nervous. Usually, he thrived on tension, but this was different.
“We’re on their time, they can’t be late,” Zoisite pointed out, his voice completely blank. Kunzite couldn’t have faulted him.
“It’s rude,” Jadeite said with gritted teeth. “We should have been let in ten minutes ago.”
“They’ll have their reasons,” Endymion said, calm without being pacifying. Kunzite couldn’t have faulted him, either. He felt a warm glow for a moment: we are ready. He knew that once they got into that room, the adrenalin would kick in and Jadeite would perform perfectly. After all, he hadn’t been chosen as the ambassador to Mars for nothing.
“The point is, they can’t fault us,” he said out loud and they all looked at him, surprised that he’d spoken, more surprised that he sounded so confident. He smiled back at them and the shadows melted from Endymion’s eyes.
“Well, if you’re so assured, there really is nothing to worry about,” he murmured, and as if these were the magic words, the carved doors suddenly opened with a whish and a voice announced, “Endymion, Crown Prince of Earth, and his guardians, the Four Kings.”
Kunzite saw Endymion straighten his back, pulling back his shoulders a little further. He wanted to put a hand on Endymion’s shoulder, give him some physical suggestion of support, but that was impossible. Instead he concentrated on seeing an outline of golden light around his master, a light of grace and loyalty, a protective aura, feeling the others join in. It didn’t matter that Endymion would not see it, the point was that Queen Serenity and her government would. They would see Endymion literally surrounded by his support. One of the lessons that Kunzite had learned early was never underestimate the power of symbolism when dealing with government officials.
They walked smartly into the white room and found that Queen Serenity’s government consisted of her and two cats. One black, one white, both with the moon emblem on their foreheads. And Kunzite knew the white one immediately from the heat in the green eyes, just as he knew from one glance that Venus wasn’t there. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sailor Mars pale slightly and he felt Jadeite breathe in beside him. He could feel the air thicken with emotion, with long-suppressed desire.
It didn’t matter that she wasn’t here. He knew that they would meet sooner or later. It was inevitable. He felt it in his skin. Artemis could delay the inevitable as much as he liked… he could not change the fact it was inevitable.
All he had to do now was wait.
Title: Wish Fulfillment
Version: Manga (Silver Millennium)
He fit my body like a one horse town
And I was drunk like a vagabond on his street
And I lay face down
And I rode his joy like a child on a merry-go-round
I was young in his eyes
I was sweet on his thighs
I was profound
I was shot like a bird in flight
To the ground.
— Sophie B. Hawkins, Your Tongue Like the Sun In My Mouth
He was not surprised when his door opened and she stepped through in a dress that shimmered rainbow colours. Only her arms were bare but the material clung tenderly to every curve of her body and she had a lot of curves. His hands itched with the urge to explore them but he held back, reminding himself that it had been a long time, years. There were things to discuss, gaps to be bridged.
He smiled. “I hoped it would be you,” he said and saw her take a breath at the words. Their eyes met and they drank each other in, desert travellers who’d finally found their oasis.
“He couldn’t have kept me away,” she said softly, walking forward, sure of her welcome now. “He kept finding things for me to do but in the end… in the end, I wasn’t going to let him get in the way. Especially not after last time.” Her voice deepened at those words and he felt his pulse quicken slightly.
“Do you mind if I change?” she asked. “This is a little… confining.”
“Be my guest,” he replied and watched as the gown melted away to the familiar senshi uniform. She walked over to him, her heels clicking softly on the marble floor, her eyes fixed on his face.
“So here we are,” she said.
“Here we are,” he agreed, stepping forward so that there was only an inch between them.
“I thought I’d never see you again,” she whispered.
“You knew that wasn’t the end,” he replied, laying his hand on her neck. He smiled. “You wouldn’t let it be the end. Isn’t that why you’re here?”
She closed her eyes at his touch and tipped her head back, exposing more skin, answering his question without a single word. He ran his fingers down the curve of her throat and felt her pulse throb beneath the skin. There was an echoing beat in his body, but much lower down. Hard already. He wasn’t surprised.
“I hated him,” she said, so sudden and fierce that Kunzite stopped touching her.
“Artemis.” She opened her eyes, lilac-blue in the earthlight, the gold spots almost lost. “I know. You’ll say he was only doing his duty. I know that. I knew that. But it didn’t stop me hating him.” She laughed but there was an edge in her laughter. “In the end, you treated me like more of an adult than he did, despite all your protests about my age. Artemis has never said I’m too young for anything but he tries to protect me from everything.”
“It’s different for a guardian, Venus. You know that. We both know that. You are not an ordinary princess, you cannot be protected from ordinary things… most of the time,” he added with a small smile. “So when he can protect you, I imagine he does his very best.”
“He didn’t need to protect me from you!” She pulled back and turned to the window, hugging herself. “It was my choice. You were my choice. I chose you and he had no right to take that choice away from me.”
“He didn’t,” Kunzite said, gathering her hair in one hand and lifting the golden rope away from her neck. “He just delayed it. You haven’t changed your mind about me. I haven’t changed my mind about you. And now you’re here. We’re here. Nobody is going to interrupt us this time.” He pressed his lips to the nape of her neck and heard her breathe in at the touch. She took his other hand and slid it under the bow at the front of her uniform, fitting it over the curve of her breast.
“Yes,” she said, her voice low and full of desire. “Yes.”
He straightened and slipped his hand over the other breast, pressing her back against him as he caressed her through the material. She arched her neck and rested his head on her chest, high small sounds curling out of her open mouth. Then her hands suddenly slid over his trousers, finding him ready and willing, and she laughed deep in her throat.
“Yes,” she said again, then slipped one hand inside the trousers, and his mind almost dissolved at the first touch of her fingers.
She laughed again, delighted with his reaction, and opened her eyes, which were full of satisfaction. “This is what I want,” she said, with long deliberate strokes that dragged animal groans out of his mouth. “This is what I choose.” She took her hand out of his trousers, turned around, put her arms around his neck and kissed him on the mouth, chaste but firm. He grabbed at her, even while he told himself to go slow, gripping her hips and yanking them against him, thrusting. Even through the material, he could feel the heat of her, pulling him like a magnet. She cried out at the contact, wordless and primitive, and the sound cleared his brain a little so that he lifted his head and breathed in, trying to think. No use pawing her like an animal. Any man could do that. He had to do better, be better.
“Venus,” he began, looking down at her, but she was gazing at his trousers.
“Oh, you’re hard,” she whispered. She had the look he remembered from last time, a mixture of greed and wonder. Back then, it had been flattering; now, it bewildered him. The last few minutes had shown him just how much experience she’d acquired. An erect penis was no longer a mystery, so why this expression?
“It’s nothing you haven’t seen before,” he pointed out.
“But this is you,” she replied, looking up with shining eyes. “That makes all the difference.”
Kunzite tried to work out the logic of this while Venus kindly stripped him of his boots, socks and trousers, but had to admit defeat. “Why does it make all the difference?” he asked.
She rolled her eyes up at him. “You must have seen a naked woman by now and you still touch me like I’m the most beautiful woman you’ve seen.”
“That’s because you are,” Kunzite said, amused despite himself. “And the female body in itself is beautiful. That’s why it’s celebrated in poetry and in stories. Nobody has ever celebrated the finer points of the penis.”
Venus snorted and put a hand over her mouth, trying not to laugh.
“It’s true.” He sat on the edge of the bed and unbuttoned his jacket, then slipped it off and hung it on one of the carved bedposts, leaving just his undershirt, fine and white. “Nobody has ever written a poem celebrating the beauty of the male organ and nobody ever will. That’s why they try and cover it up by calling it a sceptre and a… jade scimitar and other metaphors like that.”
Venus gave up and rocked back and forth, holding her stomach and laughing. It was the perfect laugh, joy condensed into sound, a golden scale rising and falling on a single note. It made you want to laugh as well but Kunzite enjoyed watching her too much to join in. “Lovely, laughing Aphrodite,” he said softly and she stopped, gazing at him with shadowed, sombre eyes. Kunzite could have kicked himself. “I’m sorry,” he said, pulling the undershirt over his head. “I shouldn’t have said that.”
“Nobody’s called me that name for such a long time,” Venus said, lowering her eyes. “I’d almost forgotten what it sounds like. Here, I’m Venus, just Venus. Don’t apologise,” she added as he opened his mouth. “I’m not angry.” She stood up and looked at him through her hair, shy and hopeful. “Will you call me that? Just for tonight? Because… you called me that in the orchard.”
The look reminded Kunzite so much of her younger self that his heart ached for a moment. He nodded and she smiled, slow and happy. “Good.” She raised a hand and pressed the brooch in the centre of her uniform. Strands of gold energy emerged and wrapped around her figure, turning her into a vision of light. Kunzite blinked and it was gone, and she was standing before him completely naked. His throat went dry and his heart pounded, just as it had done years before when he discovered her waiting outside his door. She smiled, restored to herself, and walked over to him with the light, graceful step of a panther.
“Now,” she said, her voice low once more, her eyes dark and desirous, “now I shall have what I want.” She put her palms on his chest and pushed and he found himself lying flat on the bed, his mind reeling as she straddled him. Curiously, she did not kiss him or caress him. She ran her hand over his stomach. Kunzite raised his head and she felt his gaze and looked up.
“You’ve still got the marks,” she said, pointing at the thin red lines that her nails had left under his skin.
He put both hands on her thighs and pushed them wider, making her slip further towards him. She gasped and put her hands on his ribs to keep her balance but Kunzite was looking for something. Then he saw them: two identical purple marks on the pale flesh of her inner thighs.
“Yes, they’re still there,” said Venus, following his gaze. “I’ve been asked about them, as well.”
“And what did you say?” he asked, remembering how she’d gasped when he bit her, the clench of her fingers in his hair.
“I said they were all I had left of my first love,” she answered. He looked up, speechless with shock, and she smiled.
He didn’t know if it was the words which released him or the smile. Either way, something relaxed inside him and he knew there was no need to hold back anymore. He rolled her onto her back and kissed her, open-mouthed, openly greedy, his hands wandering over her breasts. She kissed him back with a sigh of delight, sucked gently on his tongue, wrapped her arms and legs around him like ivy. “I never thought this would happen,” she whispered, catching the rim of his ear between her teeth and trying not to moan too loudly as he slid one hand between her legs. “I thought I would have to go through the rest of my life… dreaming of you… imagining you… now what am I going to do?”
“Enjoy yourself,” he suggested. She writhed under his probing fingers and he sighed. “You’re so wet, Aphrodite. So very… wet.”
She jerked as he slid one finger inside her and whimpered his name.
“Like that?” he murmured.
“I’d like it even more if it was your jade scimitar,” she retorted, the words dissolving in a moan as he gently stroked her. “Kunzite, please… I’ve waited so long…”
“You’ve waited?” he said with a crooked smile, withdrawing. “I’ve waited… I’ve waited for you to lie beneath me, moaning my name, begging me to…”
“Kunzite!” She lifted one fist and tried to hit him, but he caught her wrist and pressed the arm back over her head, chuckling. She flushed and her eyes seemed to darken even more.
“Admit it,” he whispered in her ear. “You like the fact I can hold you down, don’t you?”
Venus turned her head sideways and closed her eyes. “Yes,” she whispered, her body convulsing in pleasure as he pressed down on her. This was what she had dreamed of, though she wouldn’t tell him. This was what she’d treasured most of all: the memory of his refusal to let her dominate him, his ability to take control, his willpower. And her memory had not deceived her: he was just as strong, just as dominant as ever. And she loved him for it. But she would never tell him. She heard him laugh in pleasure at her admission and then he moved a little and she felt him, pressing against her, and it was all she could do to stop herself moaning his name. But she still had a little self-control left. She opened her eyes and looked at him, her heart thudding in anticipation and arousal.
“Now,” she said and he slid inside her, more like an embrace than an invasion. She closed her eyes and bit down on his shoulder to quell the moan rising in her throat.
“Marking me again, are you?” he murmured as he found a rhythm.
“Any way I can,” she replied, clinging to his shoulders as their hips met over and over again. She’d often heard this act compared to a dance but up until now, it had been her leading the men. This was coupling in the true sense of the word, both of them moving together, but it was he who set the pace, and it was so slow that it made her sob. She should have known that he wouldn’t be hurried. She should have remembered what he’d said back then: “I think before I speak.” And you think before you act, too, she thought dizzily, her head falling against the pillow as he slid back inside her and small spasms rippled all over her body.
“Go faster,” she whispered.
“I want you to remember this.”
“You think I could forget?” She lifted her chin, making an effort, and glared at him. “If you don’t start moving faster, I’ll go mad.” This would have been more convincing if her voice hadn’t broken into a moan on the last word as their hips connected again.
“Now we both know that’s an empty threat,” he murmured, his voice shivering down her spine. “You won’t go mad. You’ll fly apart, but you won’t go mad. And you’ll enjoy every second of it.”
Venus wanted to scream at him but she had no breath for it, no breath for anything except this slow, sensual dance and the low rhythmic cries that accompanied it. She wanted to tell him that she hated him but he would know it was a lie. Frustrated to the point of tears, she loved him all the more for being able to bring her to this. This was what she had seen in his eyes all those years ago, this dance on the edge between pain and pleasure. It made her blood sing. I’m so glad I didn’t know what I was missing, she thought.
“Faster,” she sighed, not expecting a reply.
“If you insist,” he said, making her blink, and slammed his hips into hers so fast that she stopped breathing for a moment. Then he pulled back and did it again, and this time she met him, the jolt shaking a scream from her body. He pressed both arms above her head, their fingers locking together as her legs locked around his hips, and then he kissed her as the dance began again, frenzied, a tarantella instead of a waltz. And it was not like the other times: she was present, almost unbearably so. She didn’t want to close her eyes and lose herself in fantasy, she wanted to stay where she was, kissing him, feeling her body jerk, feeling the spasms flow through her body and then return, centering down there. She could feel the bed groan underneath them, she could hear the smack of their bodies as they thrust against each other, she could smell his sweat and she wanted to bury her nose in his skin, to melt into him. She spread her legs wider, as wide as she could, and he sighed her name into her ear.
“Aphrodite, Aphrodite, Aphrodite…”
Tears filled her eyes and she wanted to beg him to stay with her, never leave her, but these were forbidden words. She could only repeat his name, muffled because she was pressing her face into his neck, and then suddenly her whole body shook, spasmed, and she screamed, arching upwards, unable to bear it any longer. Out loud she screamed his name, but in her mind she screamed words.
I love you. I love you. I love you.
She heard him cry her name once, so quiet in comparison, and then his hips jerked and caused another set of spasms as he let out a long, long groan. Venus pulled her hands free and wrapped her arms around his shoulders as he sank down, panting. She held him close, luxuriating in his heaviness and the wet ache beween her legs. Her body was still shaking and it took her a while to realise that she was crying. Hearing the sound, Kunzite pushed himself up (even through her tears, Venus admired the muscles in his arms) and carefully pulled out. He lay down on his side and gathered her in his arms, his tenderness producing more tears.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. “Aphrodite? What is it?”
I love you. I love you and I cannot tell you, ever.
“It’s been… so long,” she said, gulping. “I didn’t think… I’ve imagined it so many times and now it’s happened. And it was… it was wonderful.”
Kunzite couldn’t help feeling relieved. “Well, that’s something,” he said, and she began to laugh in the middle of her tears, which naturally resulted in hiccups.
“I don’t want this to be the only time,” she said when the hiccups had finally subsided. “I can’t… I can’t go back to someone else. Not after that. I don’t care how we manage it, but we have to manage it, Kunzite.” She looked at him, her eyes steely through the tears. “I’m not giving you up again.”
“What makes you think I’d let you?” he said and kissed her. He meant it to be a comforting kiss, but then she opened her mouth and that was an invitation he just couldn’t refuse. By the time the kiss was over, she was lying on top of him, moving her hips from side to side, like a cat preparing to pounce.
“I love a man with stamina,” she said softly, thinking this was the closest she’d ever get to telling him the truth: qualifying her love with a condition. “How long can you keep this up?”
Kunzite smiled. “I’d like to know that myself.”
“Ready?” she challenged.
“Always,” he replied softly, gripping her chin and bringing her down for another kiss.
It was going to be a long night.
Title: Jadeite's Art of Sexual War
Version: Manga (Crystal Tokyo)
Inspired by dhoney's drabbles
The truth is, he’d like to fuck her in every room in the house (it’s a big house). But he can’t just say that to her. When it comes to sex, he has to plan his every move. It doesn’t matter that they’re married now. In fact, marriage means he has to be even more careful. There are so many ways she can pay him back as his wife, and he really doesn’t want to get engaged in one-upmanship when he knows that underneath all that pride, she’s just as eager to scratch that itch. She’s not the senshi of fire for nothing.
There’s an art to it, of course. Too little and she’ll just laugh. Too much and she will explode and other people will be caught up in the blast. He likes to keep that blaze all for himself. Reverse psychology requires a delicate touch; but then, if he didn’t have that, she wouldn’t even give him the time of day, let alone her hand in marriage.
He walks upstairs, to the music room. Everything is warm in this room: the walls are golden, the furniture is rust coloured, the piano is made of rosewood that looks as if there is a fire in the heart of the grain. He sits down and plays their song, the song he would always play for her, old and wistful, the keys rippling underneath his fingers.
Hey, little girl, is your daddy home?
Did he go away and leave you all alone?
I got a bad desire.
Oh, oh, oh, I’m on fire…
She’s in the doorway almost immediately, watching him, listening. He doesn’t look up or acknowledge her presence in any way.
Tell me now, baby, is he good to you?
Does he do to you the things I might do?
I can take you higher.
Oh, oh, oh, I’m on fire…
She walks into the room and sits beside him on the piano stool, letting him feel the heat from her body, from her eyes. He continues to ignore her, though it’s difficult.
Sometimes, it’s like someone took a knife, baby,
Edgy and dull,
And cut a six inch valley through the middle of my soul.
He allows himself a small glance, just to measure her reaction. Her eyes are smouldering, deep purple. She’s biting her bottom lip. Good.
At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire.
He catches her eye and repeats the line softly. “Only you… can cool my desire…”
“Cool it?” she whispers, invisible sparks flying between them. “I don’t cool things down. You, of all people, should know that.”
He smirks and allows his fingers to play around for a moment before the last line of the song comes in, plaintive and lustful at the same time: Oh, oh, oh, I’m on fire…
“If you’re on fire, there’s not much I can do about it, is there?” she says, her voice belying the look in her eyes and the way her hip is pressed up against his.
“Nope, guess not,” he says with a sigh, standing up. “After all, you set it going…”
He doesn’t get any further. Her hands yank up the t-shirt he always wears underneath his uniform and he feels her lips on his stomach while her fingers unbutton his jeans. “I set you going?” she mutters.
Jadeite almost laughs in triumph but victory isn’t completely assured yet. He steps back primly and clears his throat. “Here?” he says. “I really should go and chop some wood for the fire and then there’s the food to prepare for supper…”
“You can talk all you like but your body’s saying something completely different,” she says, following him, grabbing the hem of the t-shirt and pulling him down to her lips. “I thought you were on fire?”
“I wouldn’t want to burn you…” he murmurs, even as they’re both kneeling on the thick rug by the window.
She laughs out loud, throwing her head back, her hair shimmering violet in the evening sunlight. “Burn me? I’d like to see you try!” She pulls down his jeans and pants together, and he kicks them off, pushing up her short, short skirt and sliding a hand between her legs to ascertain that, no, she is not wearing any underwear.
“Naughty,” he whispers, intrigued.
“I’m the one who does the burning,” she retorts, and impales herself on his cock, making him gasp. His hips jerk upward in instinctive reaction; she flings her head back and closes her eyes, relishing the sensation. He runs his hands around the curve of her buttocks and up to her hips.
“How long have you been planning this?” he asks, his voice almost normal except for a certain huskiness.
“Long enough,” she replies, opening her eyes and gazing at him with fierce satisfaction. “I knew it would work if I wore a short skirt.” She places her hands on top of his, then raises her hips and thrusts back down, making him groan. “You never can resist that, can you?”
“Apparently not,” he answers, thinking that they’ve only just started and he’s already getting close to orgasm. He doesn’t know if it’s the knowledge that Rei planned this, or the sight of her sitting above him, outlined in sunlight, her torso so proper in a delicate red shirt, her lower body also red but for a very different reason, the skirt rumpled around her waist as she moves around him. It occurs to him that she is very wet, more than she should be when all he’s done is sing to her. “What have you been doing, little girl?” he asks, voice strained as he thrusts up to meet her and makes her moan a little in return.
“Thinking of you,” she says, voice trembling, her eyes half-closed. “Thinking of this. Why did you take so long?”
“Because… being kept waiting… has a good effect on you,” he pants.
She opens her eyes fully and looks at him, glittering. “So you guessed?”
“About this? No.” He reaches up and unbuttons the shirt, wanting to see her breasts sway above him, wanting to touch her. “This is a complete surprise, my darling… I did not expect this at all. Congratulations.”
She smiles and reaches behind to undo her bra, rewarding him for that word. Her eyes flutter closed as he touches her and he sighs. “Then I might do this again… when you least expect it,” she says, raising her hips and then ramming herself against him. “If you’re a good boy…”
“Aren’t I always a good boy?” he asks, rubbing a thumb across her nipple.
She shivers and moans, soft and high. “Yes,” she says. “But not as good… as you might be…”
He raises himself and gently runs his tongue over her breast, opens his mouth and sucks, closing his eyes, holding her hips to keep himself balanced. He feels her contract around him once, sharply, and she half-sobs, her fingers digging into his scalp. “Jadeite…”
I love you, he thinks, gently moving his hips in a circle. I love you and I love being like this with you, because nobody else has ever had this and nobody else ever will. In this moment, in this place, you’re mine.
Her body shudders and she lets go of his head, pushes him back on the floor. “You stay there,” she says, cheeks flushed, “I can’t trust you otherwise,” and then she begins to move, hard and fast and it is his turn to arch his back and cry out. He puts his hands over her breasts and she presses them against her, moving faster, whispering words that he can’t quite hear but he can feel himself stiffening, thrusting, meeting her again and again, he can hear himself gasping her name and she laughs at the power she has over him and then the laughter stop abruptly and she moans his name and then he’s gone, over the edge, into the flames, crying out blindly. When he comes to, he finds her head on his chest, her hair covering them both. He wraps his arms around her and sighs. “God in heaven, I love you,” he says quietly and she lifts her head and looks at him, her eyes narrow with automatic suspicion.
“Do you mean that?”
“You’re my wife,” he says.
“That means nothing,” she scoffs.
“It means something to me,” he says, touching her cheek, and the scorn dies away. She presses his hand against her face, her eyes sad.
“You only love this.”
“I love every bit of you,” Jadeite says honestly, pushing her hair back. “I love your body, yes, but I love your spirit, too, and your mind, and your heart.”
She closes her eyes and he thinks she’s going to cry, but then she leans forward and kisses him and he sits up, holding her close, kissing her all over her face and neck. She buries her face in his hair and shivers.
“Are you cold?” he asks, stopping immediately.
“Not with you,” she replies, combing his hair back with her fingers. “Never with you. My husband.” She smiles shyly at him and his heart leaps. It’s the first time she’s used that word affectionately.
“I’m not satisfied,” she says, sounding both surprised and frustrated. “I thought I would be…”
He hides a smile against her skin. “Well, we can take care of that.”
“First, we need to take care of dinner,” she says, pushing herself off him. He draws a sharp breath and she closes her eyes for a moment. When she opens them again, they are soft and vulnerable. Jadeite reaches forward and unzips the skirt so it falls to the ground.
“Jadeite,” she says, trying to sound forbidding.
“I don’t want any food,” he murmurs, leaning forward and kissing her belly.
Rei grabs his head, intending to push him away. “You’ll be singing a different tune when we’re finished,” she warns, but she hugs him to her and her eyes close as he kisses lower and lower, eventually slipping his tongue over that flesh which is still red and wet. She lifts her head, feeling the warmth of the sunlight on her closed lids and the warmth of his tongue curling around her.
He pulls back, slips his arm under her knees and picks her up in his arms. She looks at him and raises an eyebrow, waiting. He doesn’t need psychology to know what to say.
“I’m cooking tonight,” he tells her and carries her to their bedroom.
Title: A Dry Spell
Version: Manga (Crystal Tokyo)
I had your number quite some time ago —
Back when we were young —
But I had to go.
Ten thousand years I’ve searched, it seems,
And now, got to get to you,
Won’t you tell me how?
Call me, call me,
Let me know you are there.
Call me, call me,
I wanna know if you still care,
Come on now,
Won’t you ease my mind?
Reasons for me to find you:
Peace of mind.
What can I do to get me to you?
— The Seatbelts, Call Me, Call Me
He knows he has no right.
He knows that her relationships are her own business. He knows that it’s partly his fault she has such bad luck with them. He knows he has no right to speak to her about anything to do with romance.
He knows all of this.
But he still speaks before he thinks, and when he sees her come in after the latest fight with her boyfriend, his sense of injustice flares up and he hears his voice, harsh with anger.
“He doesn’t deserve you.”
She stops. Her head lifts and she looks at him. He is aware that he’s said the wrong thing again. Her eyes are dark, full of pain and resentment. She opens her mouth and he jumps in before she can say the obvious.
“I know you can say the same thing about me. But it’s true. He doesn’t deserve you.”
“And who does?” she asks. “You?” She turns and walks towards him, chin jutting out. He doesn’t care that he’s just volunteered to be her target. What matters is that she’s no longer dejected or unhappy. There is life in her eyes now.
“No,” he says, frustrated, because what he’d really like to say is ‘yes and I’ll show you just how much’. “But you deserve to be happy. And he doesn’t make you happy. You need to find someone who makes you happy.”
“I thought I had,” she says, low, her eyes burning into his. “But we both know what happened then, don’t we?”
The words thud into him. She turns and leaves him aching both inside and out.
“Feel better?” he says.
She doesn’t answer but her feet speed up. He watches her turn the corner. Always leaving him behind.
Whenever she sees him, she’s drawn to him. She hates that. She hates the fact he has this hold over her (though, thankfully, he doesn’t realise it). She ends up yelling at him, insulting him, throwing the past in his face over and over again so that he goes away. She tells herself it’s better than throwing punches but the look in his face hurts her every time: the regret, the misery. She ends up feeling like she’s kicked a puppy. She ends up feeling like she’s in the wrong, when he’s the one who betrayed his vows, he’s the one who turned to evil!
“Why do you do it?” Serenity asks sadly after she’s driven him from another council meeting, white-lipped. “Why do you do it when you only end up hurting yourself?”
Makoto turns away. She knows that Serenity will never understand. Because she needs it. She needs some kind of release and he is such a willing provider. He steps up to the plate again and again. He makes himself a target. She’d call him a masochist except that masochists enjoy pain and he obviously does not enjoy being her target.
So the question is, why does he do it?
The question haunts her through springtime, through the worsening arguments with Susumu.
“All I’m asking is that you be home at a certain time so we can have a quiet evening together.”
“I told you at the beginning that my schedule’s erratic! You said that you could handle it!”
“Not this erratic!”
She slams the drawer closed and turns to him. “If you don’t like it, you know what you can do.”
“Why are you doing this?” he asks, pleading. “We never used to fight, Makoto. But ever since that man came back…”
“This has nothing to do with him!” she cries, feeling the words stick in her heart, jagged pieces of glass.
Susumu looks at her, his face tight with frustration and sorrow. “I’m not stupid, Makoto. It does have something to do with him. You should resolve this… before it ruins what’s left of our relationship.” He walks towards her and kisses her very lightly on the cheek. His lips feel cold. Then he’s gone, the door closing behind him.
Makoto hugs herself. Resolve this? Susumu has no idea what he’s asking. And that’s probably a good thing.
It wasn’t always like this. Back then, back when they were new to each other, young and fresh, it had been joyful. It had been like the taste of rain on your tongue after a dry summer: startling yet inevitable.
He remembers that she tasted like raindrops, and so whenever it rains now, he stands and lifts his head and opens his mouth, just to remember, just to taste her one more time.
He remembers chasing her through the gardens while it rained (where? Earth? the Moon? he doesn’t remember that part), and they were both laughing, because they were young and happy and they had no idea what the future held. Her dress was green, like the grass, like spring, and he remembers catching her about the waist and falling to the ground, rolling in the wet grass. Her hair curled into ringlets in the damp, just like it does now, and he remembers that she took out the ribbons so it fell around them in auburn waves. He remembers putting his hands into those waves, kissing soft pink lips.
He remembers the taste.
He wonders if she still tastes like rain. It would probably be acid rain now. At least, if it was him kissing her. Which it won’t be.
He feels like he’s in the desert and there has been no rain for so long that he’s even forgotten what clouds look like and there is nothing to slake his thirst.
So he stands in the rain and lets the water trickle down his throat.
It helps. A little.
“What are you doing?”
He blinks and brings his head forward. There she is, arms folded, looking unimpressed.
“I’m drinking the rain,” he says.
“I can see that, why?” She glances around. “You could leave a cup outside and drink it that way and stay dry.”
“It reminds me of you.”
There, that’s shocked her. She stares at him, eyes wide. “What?”
“You tasted like rain.” Nephrite is aware that this is probably not the best time or place to remind her that they ever kissed, but he is not good at lying, he never was. Lying is for Jadeite or Zoisite. And is there ever going to be a good time or place for reminding her that they once loved? He doubts it.
“You… how…” Her lips move but only disjointed words come out.
“You tasted like rain,” he says again. “I’ve never found that with anybody else. Ever. And I get thirsty…” He licks his lips, tasting the fresh water. “I have to slake my thirst somehow.”
“You could catch your death,” she says, her eyes dark. He can’t read her expression. He doesn’t know if she’s warning him or throwing him a challenge. Either way, his answer is the same.
“I don’t care.” He looks straight at her. She turns her face away but she doesn’t leave. He could reach out and touch her if he chose. His fingers twitch. He knows what he wants and he knows what he can’t have. But he’s not like Kunzite. He’s never been good at resigning himself.
“Maybe I want to catch my death,” he adds and then she looks at him, furious.
“Then you’re an idiot!”
“Yeah, I think we’ve established that by now, haven’t we?” he throws back and he’s surprised to see her go red. “I’m the stupid one, the reckless one, the one who betrayed you. So why don’t you run away, like you always do?”
“Susumu wants me to resolve this.” She hugs herself.
“’This’? What’s ‘this’?”
“Us! You and me!”
She shrugs, the rage disappearing, looking miserable. “I don’t know.”
Nephrite looks at her and his heart aches. In one respect, he understands Kunzite: he knows that he would do anything to make that misery go away.
“I’m sorry,” he says.
She stares at him. Overhead, he hears thunder rumble and he flinches automatically, but he doesn’t run away. Her lips curl and her eyes narrow, telling him without words that he’s a coward.
“Is that it?”
“What else do you want me to say?” He throws his arms wide, showing her all he’s got. “Do you want me to say I’d go back and change it if I could? I’d go back and change it if I could! Do you want me to apologise for Endymion keeping us in stones? I’m sorry that he kept us in stones! Do you want me to apologise for him letting us go? Do you want me to apologise for daring to be reborn? Do you want to me apologise for fucking up your life just by breathing?”
“I want to know WHY!” she screams, silencing him, and the sky cracks open above her, showing blinding light for a moment. “I want to know why you did it! Why did you think that we were going to take you over?! Why did you listen to her? Why did her words have more weight than mine?!” She steps forward and lightning flashes through her eyes. “I loved you, Nephrite! I told you that! I’d never told any man that but I told you! And you…” She slams a fist into his chest and he’s sure he feels a rib crack but he doesn’t stumble backwards or bend over in pain. He holds his ground and looks her in the eye.
“And I was a coward and a traitor and I threw away what was most precious in the world to me.”
“I was not your most precious!” she yells, her voice hoarse with tears. “If I was so precious to you, you would never have given me up!”
“Haven’t you ever heard of not knowing what you’ve got until it’s gone?” he snaps. “Because that’s me, Makoto! I know exactly what I had, I know exactly how precious you were, and I know because I don’t have you anymore, because I have to watch another man stand by your side, hold your hand, kiss your cheek! I know exactly how stupid I was and I know that I’ll keep paying for it until I die again!”
“Is that what you want?” she demands, green eyes electrified and crazy. “Death?” Lightning licks the sky above her, reminding him of last time.
He laughs, feeling just as crazy, taunting a thunder goddess, taunting his killer. “How is my death going to resolve anything? You don’t get rid of me that easily, not this time!”
“I don’t want to get rid of you!”
“Then what do you want?!”
“I want you to promise me it won’t happen again!” She grabs his arms, her grip tight, almost painful. “Promise me you’ll stay good! Promise me you’re not going to believe the next crazy conspiracy theory and abandon everything!”
“So you can what? Relax? Go off and marry your sweet Susumu, the guy who can’t even handle you being a senshi when you’re not married?”
“You LEAVE him out of this!”
“How can I when he’s the only reason you’re here?!”
Their faces are so close now, so close, and the thunder is growling overhead. It’s like the nightmare of his death and yet he isn’t scared, not scared at all. He feels exhilarated, free. She looks down for a moment and he feels her grip loosen slightly. If they weren’t so close, he’d miss her words.
“He’s not the only reason.”
For a moment, the thunder pauses, the world is muffled. He stares at her and she looks up at him. He is suddenly aware of possibilities previously unimagined and wishes that one of the others was there. He is not good at these things. He is not good at handling precious things. She should know that by now. He places his hands on her shoulders and a shudder runs through his body that has nothing to do with the rain.
Careful, you must be careful, so careful.
“Look,” he says, “we’ve… we’ve talked, haven’t we? I think we both understand each other better now. It’s… resolved.”
Makoto laughs. “So you’re going to be happy for me?”
“If you find someone who deserves you…”
“Nobody will ever deserve me according to you, will they?” she demands.
He takes his hands off and looks away. “Don’t ask the impossible,” he says, his gut twisting, feeling the cold of the rain now.
“Damn you,” she says, her voice breaking. “Why…?”
“Why what?” He turns back to her, weary but willing, ever willing to try and make things better.
“Why do you still make me weak?” She brushes her hair back. It’s so wet that even its natural curl has been flattened. She looks small and young. He feels guilty.
“Let’s go inside,” he says. “You’ll catch your death.”
“Maybe I want to catch my death,” she retorts, looking up, and this time there is no mistaking the darkness in her eyes, the meaning of it, and he feels more breathless than he did when she punched him.
“Killing you once was quite enough for me,” he says, and before she can say anything, he grabs her arm and pulls her towards the palace, towards dryness and warmth and other people. She does not protest, which is strange; he feels her watching him all the way back. He says nothing, either.
Storms always make him vulnerable.
Title: The Circle Complete
Theme: Sway by The Perishers
Version: Manga (Crystal Tokyo)
I look at you and see a friend
I hope that's what you wanna be
Are we back now where it all began?
Have you finally forgiven me?
— The Perishers, Sway
He had known it would be awkward when she came back, he hadn’t realised just how awkward. The way she glanced at him and blushed with the memory of those moments they’d spent together on his bed, rediscovering what they’d lost. The way her voice shook when she greeted him, the way his fingers trembled as he took her suitcase from her and they walked up the stairs side by side.
“I didn’t know if you’d come back,” he said, trying to keep his tone even.
“I couldn’t miss Small Lady’s birthday,” she answered, equally quiet.
“You could have.” He put the suitcase on the bed and turned to her, slipping his hands into his pockets so that he didn’t fiddle with his hair or clothes. “I wouldn’t have blamed you.”
“You left,” he said, proud of the way his voice remained strong. “I took that to mean it was just for one night. And I didn’t think you’d want to come back and face…”
“If you can face me, I can face you.” The words were sharp but she put a hand over her mouth, wishing them back. He only smiled.
“Touché. Putting it against that, you didn’t really do much, did you? But what I mean is… I was hoping that meant we were friends again. Of a sort.”
“Friends?” she repeated faintly. “Why?”
“Because we slept together, Ami-san,” he said, enjoying her wince. “And not just once, either. And I wasn’t the only one who wanted it. Do you really want me to remind you?”
“No,” she muttered, opening her suitcase, since it gave her an excuse to look away from him, from those wide green eyes that acted on her like whirlpools.
“So we’re not friends,” he said, watching her unpack, making no move to leave. “It was an aberration and everything is as it was before? Because, you can’t really do something like that and expect to have everything as it was before.”
“Look who’s talking.”
“I didn’t expect anything,” he pointed out. “You were the one who wanted to come in. You were the one who lay down on the bed. You were the one who… well, I don’t really need to go on, do I?”
“What do you want?” she said, turning to him, looking so tired that he felt guilty for a moment, a feat if she’d known it.
“I want to know if what happened in Paris means anything. I want to know if you’ve finally forgiven me or if we’re going to pretend it didn’t happen and barely speak to each other.”
She sighed. “I don’t know, Zoisite, I… I’ve been trying to figure it out ever since that night and I haven’t managed it. I want to forgive you but I don’t know if I can…”
“You wouldn’t have been able to let me touch you if you hadn’t forgiven me.”
It was such a logical statement that for a moment, Ami couldn’t accept it. Her mind spun crazily. She stared at him. It was so simple and so clear. Why hadn’t she seen it?
Because she hadn’t wanted to see it. She put her hands over her face and then she felt his arms wrap around her. “Don’t,” she said weakly, but he ignored her and she was glad of it.
“Let’s try again,” he said, stroking the small of her back. “How does that sound?”
“Only if we start as friends,” she stipulated, gazing up at him, feeling the pull of his eyes again.
“I can handle that,” he assured her with an innocent look.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” she answered, stepping back. He took her hand and kissed it with a smile, watching as she blushed. Then he straightened and left the room, still smiling. This was going to be fun.
Ami sank onto the bed. Yes, he could handle friendship… she had no doubt of that. The question was, could she?
“Yes,” she murmured. “We really are right back where we started.”
Title: From The Depths
This story's old but it goes on and on until we disappear,
Calm me and let me taste the salt you breathed while you were underneath,
I am the one who haunts your dreams of mountains sunk below the sea,
I spoke the words but never gave a thought to what they all could mean,
I know that this is what you want,
A funeral keeps both of us apart.
You know that you are not alone,
I need you like water in my lungs,
This is the end.
— Brand New, Play Crack The Sky
She opened her eyes. The moonlight was bright through the curtains, but that wasn’t what had woken her. She could hear the water rushing in the sewers below the city, but that wasn’t what had woken her.
The man sitting on the end of her bed, that was what had woken her.
“Zoisite,” she said, not bothering to ask how he’d known where to find her. He shimmered but he was substantial.
“I’ve come to say goodbye,” he said.
“Goodbye?” Her heart jumped and began to pound. She sat up, staring at him. “Why?”
“Because he’s letting me go. Because it’s time that we tried again.”
“No.” She knew even as she said the word it was useless. She had no control over him, she had no right to tell him what to do, but it was hard to think logically when her heart was aching in her chest. “You can’t go.”
He reached out and took her hand. His fingers were cold but solid and she watched as he lifted her hand and took one of her fingers in his mouth, sucking it. “You taste of salt,” he said. “Like the sea.”
“I dream about you and the sea,” she said softly. “I see you under the waves and I try to pull you out, but every time I put my hands in the water, you disappear.”
“You can’t rescue me.” He sucked another finger and she closed her eyes, shivering. “I have to do this myself.”
“I don’t want you to go,” she said, her voice breaking.
“It couldn’t go on like this, you know that. You have a life. You have a body. You need to find someone else with those things.”
“I need someone who understands me. I need you.” She dropped her head. She’d never said these words before, though they’d been inside her for a long time.
“Mercury.” His cold hand touched her chin, tipping her face up to him. “Even if I’m not here, I’m with you. Remember? I told you that the first time.”
“Is this really what you want?” she asked, cupping his face between her hands, white and cold and so perfect that it hurt her.
“I want many things. At least this is something that is attainable,” he said, gently lifting her hands away. “Be happy for me.”
“How?” she whispered.
Instead of answering, he leaned forward and kissed her. His hands were cold, but his lips were oddly warm and she fell back with a soft sob, wrapping her arms around him, feeling his hips connect with hers, a touch that vibrated right through her body. She wrapped her legs around his hips, knowing this would be all she would ever get: her drowned lover returned for one brief, moonlit moment. He pushed against her — her body spasmed — she gasped — and then he was drawing away, leaving her dazed from what had just happened.
“Not even ‘au revoir’?” she whispered, staring up at him.
“This is the end.”
And then he was gone, leaving her aching, unfulfilled. Ami put her hands over her face and shuddered. She’d always known that it would end this way but that didn’t dull the pain. She pulled open the drawer of her bedside table and took out the small bottle of sleeping pills that she’d put there in preparation for this day. Two ought to do it. She popped a couple in her mouth, gulped down some water, and waited for sleep to smooth away her sorrow. It came to her that at this moment she would rather die with him than live on. In the morning, it would all be different, of course. That’s all she had to do. Get to the morning.