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 These Untruths We Share

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Momma Jupi
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Senior Member  Jupiter Emeritus

Title : Rebecca Freckleton
Posts : 3641
Join date : 2011-06-27
Age : 33
Location : NY


PostSubject: These Untruths We Share   26th July 2012, 10:44 pm

I never expected myself to write something like this. I have never spent much thought on the Ayakashi sisters and I admit that I ship Diamond & Saffir. But for some reason I could not put these thoughts from my mind and I had to write them down. I suppose this is mostly based off of the anime, although a few things have changed. Please feel free to point out any typos or passages that did not seem clear to you.

Thank you for reading. Smile




When you and I were first in love we drove
to the borders of Connacht
and entered a wood there.

Look down you said: this was once a famine road.

-Boland

She remembers standing in that great open valley, with its swells of shimmering wild grass that spread up and over bluffs of seemingly endless rolling hills. Like tiny fingers reaching up and sighing towards the sun, it brushed against her knees, that beautiful restless sway. The air often tasted dry and cool, but sweet somehow, like nectar that spilled from the blue violet leaves of the Laisen flower, which were so rare to bloom or be found except by those who took the time to seek them. The valley spread for miles from their home, the luminous castle made of the blackest of onyx. She remembers the massive old Grandfather Tree that stood quietly at the far southeast end of the valley, a trunk so thick she was sure that she could lay flat upon its circumference if it were ever cut. Thick coarse branches lay low to its base, its round grey belly of gnarled bark, and leaves as big as her hands splayed freely across those branches, into the sky, blotting out the sun if you stood beneath it.

She remembers the heat, she remembers the solitude and the comfort beneath those large grandfather wood claws. She remembers the cool dark soil beneath her wiggling toes and the taste of rain and the way it clung to his black eyelashes and sluiced down his cheeks and gathered at the bottom of his chin.

Most of all, she remembers his laugh.

But those are only fragments now, from a time that Petz can hardly remember existing at all. The spacious halls and meeting rooms of their travel ship are cold and empty, much too large for the small group that ghost its entries. Petz hates their dank quarters, the black crystal walls and windows that cast stark reflections upon anyone that ventures close enough to their flat lifeless surfaces. She lingers by the windows at times, hoping to see out but is only ever met with the same bleak and unwelcome face of the woman she has grown to despise.

From somewhere in its empty stories, Petz can hear a laughter, free and clear as it dances upon the walls, the ceilings, the chambers of her ears. She scowls darkly, and the lines that have settled at the corners of her eyes embed themselves deeper. She hates those sounds, those airless lilts of giggles and pleasure that no doubt belongs to one of her youngest sisters. Although she is upon the highest of the floors, she hears the voices quite clearly. The walls are thin, slates of black crystal holding no warmth, no secrets, no solitude.

Rubius’s voice rumbles teasingly, dark and throaty and vile. Petz hates the games he plays, hates his twisting smiles and the lewd manner in which he flirts and the way her sisters eagerly drink up his attention. Stupid things, she thinks and below Berthier lets out a delighted squeal, Rubius’s laughter dancing in par.

He is a dark presence, Petz knows, and not in the same manner as the rest of them, the Dark Moon Family. He preys on the vulnerable and finds himself to be charming, boasts of his power and believes himself to be an informidable enemy and an even greater asset to their cause. In truth, he is nothing but a simple baby-sitter.

But her stupid sisters adore him, fight privately amoungst themselves when he is not around, petty squabbles over who has won the greater affection from their master. Petz hates her two baby sisters especially, the seemingly innocent and sweet Berthier, with her ice blue eyes that mock Petz so brazenly; and the youngest of the Ayakashi sisters, Koan, the poor naïve creature who is painfully in love with Rubius, regardless of how many times Petz has berated such folly.

Calaveras seems to be the only other one besides Petz who is unfazed by Rubius’s witless charm but Petz suspects that this has more to do more with the fact that Calaveras would rather have another opportunity to torture her pathetic siblings than become the bunt of ridicule herself. She laughs at them, snaps her whip with the flick her wrist, the cattails kissing a mere breath away from their cheeks so that the girls shriek and jump away.

Petz hates the sound of their voices, the high pitched noises that pierce the air and clash against the cold walls mercilessly.

Calaveras never seems to mind, only smiles and floats closer to her older sister.

“They are so easy to play with, my sister. It is almost too easy a game.”

Petz gives her no notice most of the while, although, admittedly, she does possess a fondness for her nearest of age sibling. Calaveras is not charmed by Rubius, nor does she prattle on about smooth skin and sickenly sweet perfumes and she knows how to fall into quiet when it is just her and Petz, up in the high room, gazing through the black glass into the empty sky.

“Sometimes I wish the walls would shatter,” Calaveras had murmured once, “and then we can be free.”

“Don’t be stupid,” Petz had replied, but not too unkindly. “Where would we go? We would die first.”

The younger woman had shrugged. “It doesn’t matter, I just want to be away. From here and that Rabbit.”

Petz would have crashed through those prison walls long ago, if only she could have, if only she was not yearning for something else so desperately.

The male voice is gone now, probably off in one of the lower chambers, where the glass walls gleam so magnificently that one can see their reflection as clearly as if looking into a mirror.

She allows her body to melt through the hard floors, down, down until she has settled in the room where perfume and girlish wiles are rank about her.

Berthier and Koan are huddled close, cooing and whispering like two witless pigeons. They stop when they notice Petz though. Koan’s bright purple eyes darken with a scowl and Berthier smiles with a lovely malicious affection.

“What are you doing here?” Koan says through heavily lipstick laden lips.

“Why, Pretty Petz,” says Berthier, a nickname she had bestowed upon her older sister when they first took the ship as home, a nickname that made Petz feel ugly. “Have you come for Rubius? I’m afraid that you just missed him. We tired him out, you see, the two of us lovely things were just too much for him.”

“Rubius cares nothing for you two,” Petz spits out, although she knows it is futile to even try and convince them of otherwise. She cannot understand why she tries, why it bothers her so to see them pulled under his lies. “He’s simply using the both of you.”

“No one uses us,” Koan replies sharply, but she is trying too hard to sound convincing and the naïve little girl that she is peeks timidly through those words. “Rubius adores us.”

“You are fools.”

“And you are jealous, dear sister,” says Berthier. Her lips have formed a thin smile, her posture straight and stiff. “Do not blame us for being so irresistible in our youth, while you have grown bitter with age.”

A mocking laugh brushes against Petz’s cheek. Calaveras lands gracefully on her feet, one hand resting on the curve of her hip.

“Rubius pushes cloth into his ears before he comes any two feet from you,” she says, “that is the only reason why he can bear to be around you.”

Berthier stiffens, turns her face away, chin jutting up determinedly.

“Stay out of this, Calaveras. You know nothing of what Rubius desires.”

Petz feels something wither inside of her, close up from the sounds of disagreement that thicken the air. Rubius, it would always be Rubius, wouldn’t it.

She allows her body to drift away, away from the quarrels, up to the highest level of the ship. It is quietest up there and rarely visited by anyone but Petz. Its chambers are too cold and separated from the rest of the ship’s quarters, too far away from the heat of the black crystal that rests low in the belly of the ship.

The muscles in Petz’s neck are stiff and sore. She is tired of these squabbles, tired of the poisonous anger that snakes through her veins and crawls beneath her skin. She hates that she has forgotten how to laugh, and that Calaveras laughs too much and that Koan can barely laugh at all. She hates that Berthier used to have pretty eyes that danced when she saw her older sister, only now they have grown ugly with jealousy over Rubius’ attentions, the man Petz despises.

She has never cared for Rubius. He is shallow and a ladies’ man, full of himself and engrossed in the act of flirting and touching. Petz finds his nature to be revolting. He acts as if he is their Prince, when he is no Prince at all. She wonders sometimes how this family of theirs became so bleak and infected. She thinks of Prince Demando, so beautiful in his garments of white, his quiet tongue, his smooth strong confidence. Petz used to find him their regal leader, but he too had succumbed to his own disease, staring for hours at the holograph of a queen he could never have, a queen buried in a sleeping chamber of unbreakable crystal. He was obsessed, they all knew, and it frightened her.

She could feel Rubius’ presence now, lingering about her. Her skin felt cold where his hand landed upon her naked shoulder. His lips were dry as they scraped against her ear, breath damp and sour.

You are no prince, she thinks, her stony glare defiant against their reflection.

Her thoughts went to Prince Saffir, before she could will it otherwise. He never occupied himself with the Ayakashi sisters. While Rubius flirted and amused himself, Saffir was the opposite, never one to speak unless spoken to by his brother, or when he felt the need to speak on Demando’s behalf. Saffir loved only his older brother and stood devoted by his side despite the misdeeds Demando had fallen into, because of her, that Queen with the white blond hair.

Rubius curls his left arm around her waist. She can feel his chest of solid muscle against her shoulder blades; he presses his hand flat against her stomach, grinds the heel of his palm gently into the soft flesh.

She closes her eyes. A warmth overtakes her and she is suddenly basked in sunlight, the air sweet and calm, with the Grandfather Tree beckoning with heavy arms and rustling fingers.

“Petz!”

She turns. The prince is beneath the tree, dark blue bangs sweeping into his eyes as the breeze tugs for his attention. There is that soft unassuming smile upon his lips, the one he scarcely wears but for his brother.

She runs towards him, but her legs are not her own, instead they belong to someone else, the Petz of long ago, when she was a girl and the kingdom of the Black Moon Family spilled its bountiful fields across their tiny planet Nemesis.

“Petz, you run like a girl.” Saffir tells her when she finally arrives by his side slightly breathless, her cheeks stained a youthful pink.

“I am a girl,” she says, sixteen and young and skin so smooth.

“Look,” he tells her, fingers brushing against her elbow as he motions, “I found one.”

She blushes at the contact and hopes he does not see and ventures nearer to where he has stooped by the roots of the tree.

Saffir sits on his knees, and tugs at her hand when she hesitates to do so as well. She yields, moving closer to see what has caught his interest in such a manner.

He is a boy as much as he is a prince, yet his calm graceful demeanor enfolds around him as if he were a man.

Petz looks, and her eyes grow wide.

“The Laisen flower,” she breathes. “But how did you--”

“I walked to the edges of the stream, found her tucked beneath thistles and broken bits of rock and muck. I think she was being swallowed up by the mud but I saved her. She should thrive and regain her health again once we take her back to the palace.”

He turns and his smile is beautiful, Petz thinks, although she knows that she shouldn’t, he is Prince Demando’s younger brother and Petz is only an Ayakashi Sister.

“It’s lovely,” Petz hears herself manage.

Saffir lifts her hands and places the flower in the small cradle of her palms. He rests his hands back on his thighs.

“Take good care of it, alright?”

Petz’s eyes grow large for the second time that hour.

“I couldn’t --”

“You have to,” he says. His eyes seem sad for a moment, wistful and then the emotion vanishes, hidden in his deep blue eyes. “Nii-san doesn’t like the smell of them so much, so I cannot keep it in our room. I wouldn’t dare trust Esmeraude to take care of it.” He makes a disgusted sound from his mouth and shakes his head. “I do not understand how Nii-san can put up with her.” He gives another shake of his head, lifts up his hand as way of apology. “I’m sorry, that is unnecessary. I shouldn’t be talking about such things.”

The boy comes back.

“Take care of it for me, alright?” He asks again.

Petz nods. She wishes he would touch her hand again.

He smiles. “Thank you,” he tells her, clasps under her elbow gently as he helps her to her feet. “I think you are my very best friend here. I do.”

“…my best girl.”

Petz’s eyes snap open and she jerks her face away from the man’s touch.

“What do you want?” She asks Rubius, coldly. The memory seeps away, melting back to the safe confines of Petz’s subconscious.

“You are not sweet at all,” the man chides, his eyes soft with mirth as she steps away from him. “Not like your little sisters. They call you Old Petz, do you know that? They say you’ve lost your use along with your age.”

Petz crosses her arms across her breast, watching him.

“The Rabbit?” she asks, uninterested in his jests and jabs. “You need me to find the Rabbit.”

He chuckles. “No, no,” he tells her throatily, venturing closer. “I need you for something much more… advantageous of your skills.”


::


Calavares sits beside her, long legs stretching and folding out in front of the smooth stone bench. They are upon one of the many rooftops in the thick of Tokyo’s city and neither of them have donned human clothes. The sky glows an orange hue as the sun slips down behind the cityscape, and the city in turn seems to have taken a reverenced silence to it.

“They betrayed us, sister.” Calaveras says quietly but the tone of her voice shows that she has accepted it far easier than Petz will ever admit of herself.

She has grown crueler these days, less tolerant, with a tongue that bites just as ruthlessly as her sister’s whip.

“Traitors,” Petz spits out. She stands. “And they will die along with the rest of those pathetic senshi.”

Calaveras moves to her side.

“But still,” she insists, voice softer than Petz remembers it to ever be, “That stick that Rubius gave you – you can’t imagine it to be safe at all. No doubt Rubius wants to be rid of us just like our sisters-“

“We do not have any sisters,” Petz snaps, her words silencing Calaveras, sharp and cold. For a moment there is such a pain in her chest that Petz wants to fall to her hands on the cement ground, to break that gift of Rubius’ into pieces. Shattered yes, like all of us, scattered apart. Never to be put back together. She regains herself. The cold wall that had filled their floating home for so long lingers around her, seals her off in a protective case of misery that eats away at her insides.

She thinks of the Laisen flower, the way Saffir had tucked it into her hair and laughed softly.

It suits you, he had said.

But not now, Petz knows. Not for someone so soiled as I am.


::


She hangs from the precipice, the dark black hole spasming below, gnashing its angry teeth and bellowing gusts of wind that swirls around her, tearing at her hair, her clothes, her dangling feet.

I'm so cold, the thought comes distantly, as her wild green hair whips about her face. Bits of debris, anything the black hole has been able to devour, bites at her skin, breaking the soft flesh. Her cheek feels wet with blood.

Her fingers have blistered and scream in pain as she grips the jagged ledge above her, but she has only managed to hold on with one hand and she feels so tired, her body poisoned by too much dark energy that she feels as if she is about to split apart.

So easy to let go...

Fingers curl around her wrist, tiny fingers so thin and delicate but the grip is strong and Petz looks up in startled alarm.

“Take my hand,” the girl urges, her voice full of calm and gentle strength.

Petz squints through the aggravated whirlwind of broken rubble and particles gusting about.

Blue eyes above her, blue so clear that Petz can see sunlight in their depths. The girl's hair moves as two graceful arches behind her, so beautiful and the color of gold and Petz feels her whole world fall out beneath her, to be rescued by someone so without taint, so pure.

“I can't-- ” she says but the voice that cuts through her feeble protests is not female but a man's.

“Don't say such things, Petz,” Saffir chides gently, his blue jacket is being ripped by the wind but he doesn't seem to mind. "If you go," he says, “Who will I have to talk to? I do not want anyone but my dearest friend. Petz –you have to fight, you have to hold on.”

Something wells up inside of her and then she does, throwing her body about with all of her strength to grasp onto the ledge with her left hand and then both of Sailor Moon's tattered-gloved hands have grasped her wrists, tugging and pulling and there are voices, so many voices, crying out and her name is being shouted somewhere within the mix, but the howl of the furious black hole is too loud, and she cannot seem to care.

Her stomach scrapes along the edge of the broken ground as she is dragged back to safety, the material of her bodice ripping and she feels her flesh being clawed open but the pain is a good pain, because it has replaced the numbness that had plagued her for too long.

“It's alright, Petz,” Sailor Moon whispers in her ear, "I'm going to save you.”

Save me? Petz thinks dimly, her consciousness fading into the enveloping blackness. But you already have.

Somewhere in the empty space that Petz drifts away in comes a light rushing towards her, so bright it is blinding. It bursts through her body, so sweet and warm, pushing through her veins and running across her skin, like streams of rain cleaning and washing away all the imperfections. Then there is a pulling sensation, so sharp that she cries out and her vision blurs, but still it tugs, dragging out the black thickness that drudges through her every fiber, the light pulling at it, pulling it out, drawing it from the pulse of her heart and from between her shoulder-blades, down her belly, her thighs, the excruciating long path of her legs and arms until the very last bit of that horrid black evil is wrought from her feet, the tips of her fingers --

releasing her.

Petz’s whole body gives a slow grateful sigh as she floats listlessly in the sea of blessed nothingness.

“Free...” she thinks almost blissfully, too exhausted to raise her eyelids, they feel so heavy. Just like Calaveras said.

She feels a smile against her cheek, someone's breath caressing her skin.

“I've missed you,” he says, voice warm and tender. A hand cradles the back of her head, long fingers threading through her tangled hair. “You've come back to me, my dear sweet friend.”


::


The tiny rooms of their shared apartment are warm, bathed in a soft yellow glow from the electric lights and the sun that spills through their clear glass windows. From the small kitchen drifts the lingering scents of a home cooked meal: spiced curry and roasted fish and the rich smell of cinnamon tea. Petz had never been a proper cook when she had resided upon Nemesis, but she finds that she enjoys it now. It is quiet and soothing and she likes to get lost in her thoughts as she hums softly, nimble fingers forming little bunny shaped onigiri for her sisters’ bento boxes.

She can hear their voices, Calavares, Berthier and Koan as they murmur amongst themselves from the room at the end of the narrow hall. Petz can hear the concern in Berthier’s hushed whispers and the sorrow reflected in Calavares’s quiet replies as Koan interjects with her own adamant protests.

Petz sighs. She has spoken little these past few days, since her sisters had arrived abruptly through the door with the injured stranger hanging limply from their shoulders. Petz hadn’t meant to drop the tea cup from her hands, the housewarming gift that had been bestowed to her by Makato. But seeing him again had caused all rationale to flee from her body and it had shattered upon the floor, scattering around her feet.

She arranges the napkins on the food tray now with fingers that no longer shake, and places a spoon by the large round bowl of soup. Petz takes in a deep breath, smoothes down the front of her skirt and composes herself in the hall mirror before gathering the tray once again.

She halts by the entryway of her room, startled at seeing Saffir awake and sitting up in her bed, the sheet strewn somewhat about his lap as he places one foot upon the floor. He stops when she enters, surprise across his features. And then his face breaks into a smile. He looks a little more worse for wear than Petz remembers him, the Saffir from her memories but her heart still swells at the sight of him.

“I didn’t expect you to be up,” Petz says softly, padding slowly to the side table by the bed. She places the tray down and then links her fingers in front of her. “How are you feeling?”

His eyes flicker up at her face and Petz wills herself not to fidget under his long gaze.

“Aa - yes,” he says after what feels like an endless eternity. “Much better, thank you.” He looks thoughtful for a moment then asks, “How long was I asleep?”

“Several days,” Petz replies, taking the chair beside him.

“Your sister -- Calavares? She said that you never left my side.” There is a faint glimmer in his eyes.

Petz blushes, ducks her head down before lifting it up again. “Yes,” she admits with embarrassment, “your fever grew quite dangerous and I was frightened that you might not wake at all.”

He nods again, distractedly.

“You look different,” he says, much to Petz’s surprise. “Well, the same I suppose, like you were back when we lived on Nemesis and we both were much younger. Nothing made us worry then. Do you remember that? We used to race to the old Grandfather Tree.”

Petz laughs fondly and nods, her eyes shining with pleasure. “You used to tease me that I ran too slow.”

Saffir grins at her. “You did.”

She lifts her hand to cover her smile as the mirth spills joyously from her lips. “You would not have wanted it any other way. Would you really have enjoyed our races so much if I had the ability to beat you every time?”

He chuckles, his teeth showing as his lips pull back and he lowers his eyes. “No,” he confesses softly, “no, probably not.”

Slowly, the room falls quiet again but Petz still feels the happiness of her sixteen year old self breathing inside her.

When he lifts his head again, Saffir meets her eyes with his own.

“I’ve missed you,” he says faintly.

Petz breathes in.

He makes a vague motion at his face with his forefinger.

“Your face, it’s different now, from when you set out in Rubius’s ship.”

Petz wonders if she knows how to breathe anymore. “Different?”

“Hm,” he can’t seem to tear his gaze away from her, “… soft. You frowned so much on that ship, I worried that maybe you had lost your smile.”

Memories return, cold and empty and so lonely; they sadden the corners of her eyes.

“Yes, I was… ugly, my bitterness made me forget what it was like to be happy at all. But Sailor Moon – she helped me. She chased away that ugly thing that I had become.”

Saffir nods but says, “Not ugly, never ugly. She just helped return your smile.”

She blushes and the corner of his mouth tugs in amusement. He raises his right hand and touches the center of her bottom lip. The contact causes her to still and her eyes grow wide but Saffir makes no comment of her reaction. His eyes have focused on her mouth and when he finally leans back there is a smile on his own lips.

“See? There it is.” He inclines his head to the side, “Not ugly at all.”

A rose hue blooms across her cheeks and she draws in her bottom lip, tasting the spot where his skin had rested and for a quiet moment they share a warm smile, memories creeping in around them, secrets united and moments unspoken settling around their shoulders.

Saffir is the first to break the moment. The burdens he harbors return as shadows to his eyes and he pulls back the sheet, placing both feet on the carpet floor.

“I have to go,” he tells her, standing up.

“What?” Petz’s whole body constricts with alarm and she is off her chair immediately, reaching out to steady him as his knees give out and he braces himself on the edge of the side table. “You cannot go,” Petz protests, hating how childlike she sounds but unable to force her voice otherwise. “You’re still too weak, your injuries have not healed!”

“I am well enough,” he grunts, steadying himself. Saffir musters a pained smile for her. “I’m alright, Petz, you’ve taken good care of me. But now I have to go.”

“But,” her voice is so small, “why?”

He regards her tenderly, and for a moment Petz thinks that he might touch her face again. But he does not, only responds, “Because I must warn my brother. He still is under Wiseman’s influence. He doesn’t know about Wiseman’s treachery.”

Petz’s eyes flicker back and forth searchingly.

“But you are not strong enough. What if Wiseman catches you again?”

“My brother will protect me.” Saffir reassures her, “Nii-san won’t let anything befall me, even Wiseman.”

Still, Petz holds on, desperately.

“If you have to go, at least take Sailor Moon with you. She can protect you.”

Saffir makes a sound of disapproval.

Sailor Moon? ” he echoes. “My brother will be sure to suspect a betrayal if he sees me with her.”

“Then Sailor Mars,” Petz tries for quickly, “or Sailor Venus-- ”

Saffir shakes his head. The action is not done unkindly but Petz knows: the matter is not to be argued any longer.

Petz’s shoulders sag, her hands gripping the fabric of either sleeve of his shirt. Her head hangs dejectedly.

“But why,” she asks miserably. She is going to lose him again, only this time he is doing the leaving, not her.

He touches her shoulder gently.

“You love your sisters, don’t you?” It is a knowing question.

She nods, unable to face him.

“You would do anything for them?”

She is quiet; she knows the answer already. Petz swallows, and drops her hands back against her sides. When she lifts her face to his again the feeble little girl is gone.

“Yes.”

Saffif gives a small nod.

“And I must do the same. I must protect my brother, regardless of the risks.”

He gathers himself upright, his eyes moving to the horizon outside the bedroom window, as if gauging his surroundings. He is already planning what he will do once he leaves the apartment, Petz knows, can see it in the way his eyes take on that strong determined look.

“Wait!” She cries out suddenly, and runs urgently to the bureau at the corner of the room. She pulls at the small metal rings of the draw, opening it.

“This, this belongs to you,” she holds out the coat to him, both hands grasping the soft fabric, fingers clutching it as if never wanting to let it go.

Saffir seems startled for a moment, confused by her so abruptly turning from him. But then a fondness slowly settles upon his face.

“Keep it,” he says. His mouth tugs into a smile. “It suits you.”

“But why--”

“You need to keep it safe for me, remember?” He reminds her.

She remembers the flower and looks down. “Oh.”

“You need to watch over it while I'm gone.” He is standing so close now; she can feel the brush of his mouth against her forehead as he speaks, as her gaze falls down upon their feet. “Will you do that for me? Watch over it until I return?”

Petz bites her lip but nods again.

“I'll keep it safe for when you return.”

They are both liars and she should hate him for it, for lying to her and making her lie to herself. But she doesn't. She loves him for these untruths they share.

He pulls away a little, but only a small step back.

Petz hears him chuckle. “No longer stained,” he says.

It takes her a moment to realize that he is not talking about her and she looks down quickly at the coat.

“Oh, yes,” she stammers, stumbling over herself again. But then she regains her composure again, remembers that she must be brave, brave as he is right now. “Sailor Jupiter knows a very good recipe for removing,” the next words come with difficulty, “bloodied stains.”

“Seems that would come in handy,” he muses.

Petz studies the embroidery on her slippers. “Yes,” she whispers.

He is quiet for a moment, then remarks softly, “I imagine I may have use for that when I come back.”

She looks up at him now. His eyes have taken on that sad wistful smile. White gauze winds around his forehead, his unbrushed bangs hanging limply against it. But he is still so beautiful to her, although his skin is slightly sallow, a result from the lingering infection of his injuries, and his lips are pale and cracked but Petz knows that she would not have him any other way, just so long as she could keep him here with her. Safe.

He places both hands on her shoulders. His face has grown very serious and Petz feels that nervous flutter tremble inside of her.

“I lied to you that day," he tells her, “about the Laisen flower. My brother, he didn't hate the smell of them, he loved them. He was the one who showed me where to find them.”

Petz's brows raise in fearful surprise. “But why--”

“Because,” he starts, his voice sharpening. But then he sighs, shoulders slumping for a brief moment and his eyes seem a bit sad, just like that day when he had given her the precious Laisen flower. “I wanted you to have it,” he says softly, “I only wish that I could have given you more.”

He cups her cheek in his hand.

"My dearest Petz," he murmurs affectionately, “I don't know why you ever befriended me that day, when you found me out by the old Grandfather Tree when we were children. But somehow you did and I've always been so grateful for that. You gave me memories to hold on to while I lived in that horrible dark place with my brother and that evil creature Wiseman. You gave me something to hope for. You saved me.”

She wants to tell him otherwise, that it was he who had saved her but she does not trust her voice to speak. Petz can feel the heat of her tears, the swell behind her eyes but she refuses to let them fall, not now, later, later she can shed every tear that has been shut away.

The pad of his thumb brushes beneath her eye. The contact feels wet and Petz laments silently. Has she betrayed herself already?

Saffir’s eyes flicker down and then he gives a small rueful smile. His finger touches the edge of the folded jacket in her arms.

“I'm sorry,” he apologizes, “it seems that I keep leaving you arbitrary gifts instead of what I should be giving you.” His eyes seek hers and his voice grows hoarse. “What I want to give you.”

Petz knows, somehow, and that is enough. She will weep over it later but for now it is enough. She nods.

“I'll keep it safe,” she promises.

He does not touch her again, there is no fond farewell passed between them through words or physical contact. Saffir simply gives her a small smile that comes upon his face a little more grim than what he probably intends but Petz does not comment on it. She smiles in return, hoping that her eyes are not as wet as they feel and her arms are still so warm from when he had clasped them with his hands. He says, I’ll see you soon and Petz nods echoing in reply, I’ll see you soon and Saffir promises her that they will find new flowers on this home on Earth when he returns. They’ll discover every species of flower that there is to discover, no matter where they are, and perhaps they will go traveling afterwards, in search for others outside of Tokyo, together – they’ll do so together.

Later, when the sky has fallen gray with the first signs of dusk, Petz folds the fine blue coat, humbly and quietly. She pulls open the draw at the bottom of the wooden bureau and tenderly places it inside. Beside it is a curled tiny bundle of dirtied gauze, badly burnt and heavily tattered. She keeps them both safe, and checks on them each night before tucking herself into her empty bed. Years later she and her sisters move to a family style home on the other side of Tokyo. She leaves the bureau behind and puts an old wood chest in the corner of her room, by a writing table with a small flower planter atop of it. She places the folded jacket and frayed strip of gauze inside the chest lined with soft velvet. Each evening Petz brings home a new flower and places it in the small ceramic bowl and tells Saffir how she found it and where; she reads off its Latin name and then what it is called in Japanese and she describes it to him in dedicated detail: the color of the petals, they way they curl inwardly or outwards or if the petals are soft or firm; how the leaves are shaped – thin, oblong, wide or scarce -- and where she will go the next day in search of the next flower for him.

As the years go by the threads of the worn blue garment grow thin and faded. When the right sleeve detaches itself she sews it back carefully and re-stitches the gold buttons when they have fallen off as well. Her fingers always linger over the soft fabric a little longer than she should allow, and she frets quietly when she finds too many salted tear stains upon the delicate threads.

Still, she keeps it safe and she keeps it cared for. She tries to deal with the truth that some promises are broken (unintentionally, yes but broken nonetheless) and some words remain empty and some wounds never heal.

But Petz keeps her promise.

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PostSubject: Re: These Untruths We Share   29th July 2012, 1:37 am

Oh my God, this story made me literally cry at the end. I'm really serious. There are tears streaming down my face right now. This is a wonderful story, very well written and poignant! I absolutely love it. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: These Untruths We Share   29th July 2012, 2:56 am

I have never been fond of the Dark Moon villains, but you have such a way with words. I read it all and I clung to every word.

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PostSubject: Re: These Untruths We Share   29th July 2012, 10:09 am

The bit about the jacket at the end was probably the best part. SO sad!

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PostSubject: Re: These Untruths We Share   29th July 2012, 6:32 pm

Oh ... I will admit, Petz/Sapphire hasn't been high on my pairings priority list, but I really do enjoy what I've already skimmed. I do promise a full reading on my next day off, though. ^^
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PostSubject: Re: These Untruths We Share   29th July 2012, 6:46 pm

@PoetofMercury wrote:
Oh my God, this story made me literally cry at the end. I'm really serious. There are tears streaming down my face right now. This is a wonderful story, very well written and poignant! I absolutely love it. Very Happy
>_< Thank you so, so much. I never write endings like this. I hate sad endings and "years later" endings because they just leave me depressed. >_< I do not like reality in my fics. I was thinking of ending it with the two of them together, with the reader knowing what will happen but allowing it to bet left out. But, I don't know, I wanted to try something different. So it means a lot to me that it effected you. I didn't think I'd be able to pull it off, especially with the jacket.

@Sailor Venus wrote:
I have never been fond of the Dark Moon villains, but you have such a way with words. I read it all and I clung to every word.
I am the same way. I never liked the Sisters in the anime and in the manga they are regular villains. But something just tugged at me and I couldn't let it go.

Sailor Pluto wrote:
Oh ... I will admit, Petz/Sapphire hasn't been high on my pairings priority list, but I really do enjoy what I've already skimmed. I do promise a full reading on my next day off, though. ^^
Thank you, truly. To be honest, I probably wouldn't read this myself. Razz I only like UsagixMamoru fics, so thank you so much for giving this a look over. ^^
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PostSubject: Re: These Untruths We Share   29th July 2012, 6:53 pm

Sailor Jupiter wrote:
Sailor Pluto wrote:
Oh ... I will admit, Petz/Sapphire hasn't been high on my pairings priority list, but I really do enjoy what I've already skimmed. I do promise a full reading on my next day off, though. ^^
Thank you, truly. To be honest, I probably wouldn't read this myself. Razz I only like UsagixMamoru fics, so thank you so much for giving this a look over. ^^

Hehe, well, it's not that I don't like the pairing - it is actually interesting, as well as implied in canon - it's more of the fact that it's not a high-focus pairing that gets much attention. Thus, it kind of gets forgotten. I've really only thought about it lately when considering the canon love triangle of Petz-Sapphire-Esmeraude; since my OC Obsidian also has him as the focus of her affections. (The canon/OC thing has had quite a bit of thought put into it, XD, so it's hardly a willy-nilly pairing.)

But as I said, I'm definitely going to give this a thorough read ASAP.
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