Author's Note: Allo! Well, this is a one-shot, sorta…see it's a forerunner to my new songfic that I'm not going to post until I finished What If Things Weren't the Same, but it's kinda like a hook. The thing is, you don't really have to read this to understand the new story, it just sorta helps…I guess is how you would explain it. Anyway, I decided to post it separately because it's a different band than the lyrics to my newest songfic, and I decided I wanted to write a one-shot, even though it's not really, so don't fret my friends! It will all work out in time…

Disclaimer: I do not own Magic Knight Rayearth, last time I checked it still belonged to CLAMP, though you never know. Did you know all the Beatles' songs belong to Michael Jackson? WTF? Anyway, I also don't own Depeche Mode, or their lyrics, though I wouldn't mind getting my hands on the creative genius who writes such seductive lyrics, nevermind if he's three times my age! ponders Anyway, this is a work of fiction, none of the characters are real...I don't think, and you all should know they're not! Etc...etc...

Rush

He watched her silently through the small crack in her half opened door; the moment was so intimate he didn't feel like he could intrude. Her long blue hair washed over the edge of the bed like a waterfall, and her sinuous cream colored legs were folded against her silk sheets. She held the book she was reading over her head, her arms propped up on her chest. Sighing heavily, she handed the book to her left hand and let both arms fall lazily onto the comforter, "I'm so bored," she thought out loud, and his heart clenched. He bit his bottom lip, hesitating, then cursed himself for doing so. The Master Mage didn't hesitate about anything!

But this one thing, he did hesitate about; he always had, and just because she, Fuu and Hikaru had decided to stay for good didn't make this time any different than the hundreds of visits before.

Do it before you can think through it, his mind ordered, and he nodded to himself and tapped lightly on her door. Immediately, her head rose, spreading her light blue hair beneath her. Agilely, she sprung out of bed and opened the door the whole way so their eyes met, and it felt like the first time he'd ever seen her - resilient, graceful, strong-willed and utterly untouchable. His throat caught his words and for a few moments he floundered.

"Clef?" she drew his name out, testing it on her tongue, her eyes wide with curiosity and a spark of annoyance at his silence. The Water Knight was far from silent.

"I-uh-" he used all his strength to fight back his blush, forgot what he was saying, and cursed himself; think, you idiot!

"Yes?" now there was more than a hint of annoyance, but it was deftly masked by amusement.

She must love to see the Master Mage tongue-tied, he told himself bitterly, which gave him more than enough motivation to collect his thoughts and begin again, "I was going to the shore for a bit of a stretch and thought you might enjoy a distraction from your reading." All his bumbling was well worth it when she grinned at him and nodded.

"Sounds good."

Walk with me

Their footprints were the only trace of them, and even those washed away in the tide. There were no words; Umi stared passionately at the sea, Clef gazed lovingly at her. This was how their hours spent together usually went. Clef sighed softly, not wanting to disturb her silence. For some bizarre reason, Umi rarely spoke to him. That wouldn't have bothered him if she was Fuu, who was generally quiet, but Umi was naturally outgoing and loud, so why did she insist on maintaining these long stretches of nothing?

More than anything, Clef wanted to tear open her head and find out just what was inside it, because as outgoing as Umi pretended to be, she was the most mysterious of the Knights. Sure, she would bombard you with trivial opinions of clothes and make smart opinions about outward appearances, but she never spoke openly about things that mattered, at least not to him. There was a time when he would have decided she simply didn't think about things like that and dismissed her, but he knew better now; he knew her better now.

He'd spent a lot of time studying her in their hours of silence, and in that study, he'd learned that a lot more existed in the Water Knight than she admitted to. That had been his purpose when he brought her here today – to find out what she thought about one particular idea, but as of yet, he hadn't had the courage to break the silence, and it didn't seem she was about to either.

Open your sensitive mouth

And talk to me

"Wow," she muttered as they approached a segment of the Forest of Silence that met the ocean. It was like an oasis in the center of a desert. Clef looked up, startled; he hadn't realized they'd walked that far, "Come on," she grabbed his hand and pulled him after her, and even in his new form he had trouble keeping up with the athletic pace the Knight set for him.

By the time they reached the oasis, he found himself panting for breath, but noticed Umi's small chest heaving and didn't feel so badly. Casually, he flicked his fingers and a group of vines around a nearby tree reformed so they created a small hammock facing the sea. Umi laughed delightedly and jumped into it, letting her feet dangle carelessly above the sand, "Come on, there's room for two," she moved over to make room for him, and he smiled and sat beside her as the sun began to set.

The Water Knight scooped his left hand into her right, and he tried not to sigh happily. This had happened before; she seemed to find it just a bond of friendship, but every time they touched it felt so wonderfully right to him. He'd been waiting his whole life for completion, grown hard in his thoughts that it would never come, and suddenly, here she was, so close he could smell the bluebells in her hair.

Lightly, he caressed her palm with his thumb, and she giggled softly, "Stop that," she hissed, but he refused and grinned devilishly at her. She smacked him playfully, but he caught her other wrist and for a minute, the two were suspended – time had stopped. He threw down all his barriers and let her see him for herself.

Hold out your delicate hands

And feel me

Couldn't make any plans

To conceal me

She licked her lips and opened her mouth to speak, but he shook his head at her. He didn't need to hear what she said; he just wanted to feel it. In one smooth motion, he pulled her into his chest, so they were cradled side by side in the hammock, her head on his torso. He examined their interlocked hands for a moment, softly running a thumb over her palm before he pulled her hand to his lips and kissed each finger lightly, making her shiver and move closer to him. He moved his left arm to encircle her, and she sighed, clearly contented.

Open your sensitive mouth

Hold out your delicate hands

With such a sensitive mouth

He turned his head, so they were inches apart, simply looking at one another. By Cephiro, but she's beautiful. He didn't need to say anything; she'd read it in his eyes – he wasn't too hard to read at that moment.

With a brazen courage he didn't know he had, he pulled two strands of hair from her eyes and stroked her cheeks tenderly, just the concept of her in his arms making him glow in delight. This is how it should always be, no duties, no responsibilities, just she and I.

"If we wanted to hide, no one would ever find us here," she seemed to read his thoughts, and he grinned, glad to know they were at least on the same wave length.

I'm easy to see through

A sudden desire so intense it made every cell in his body ready to burst, alighted in him. He didn't want to push further than she wanted, but he yearned to be closer to her. With trembling fingers, he carefully touched her lips, her breath warm against them. For a minute, her eyes flew open, vast blue oceans that continued for an eternity and beyond, and then her lips curled into a secret smile, and she nodded.

He refused to let himself hesitate, so he moved in and placed a fiery kiss on her lips, trying desperately not to let it get too passionate, afraid she might be startled, but when she simply folded into the kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck, pulling him closer, he let all his inhibitions fly and kissed her deeply.

The moment lasted for an instant and an eternity, and then was over, and she pulled back from him, licking her lips, savoring the taste of their first kiss. With her eyes still closed, she snuggled closer into his warm body, "I cannot tell you how long I've been waiting for you to do that," she murmured, and he laughed softly and looked down at her as she propped one eye open to look at him.

"I cannot tell you how long I've been wanting to do that," he retorted.

She sat up slightly, making their bed of vines shift, but neither seemed to notice. She ran a hand down the contours of his face and kissed his nose gently, "Don't let me stop you," she whispered seductively into his neck, and he smiled and began to place hot, hungry kisses all over her neck.

When I rush

She was breathing heavily by the time his little game became almost unbearable for him. Her skin was silky smooth against his lips, and he was sure he was going to break if one of them didn't forfeit soon. Fortunately, it didn't have to be him that gave up. Umi turned her head downward, so he found her lips, but she didn't let him have her so easily. He got in only one quick kiss before she pulled away and brought his fingers to her lips mischievously bestowing on them the same treatment he had given her. This time it was his turn to gasp in pleasure, and before long the game had become more like an entirely too pleasurable war, both fighting for power over the other. He laughed at the thought as they both silently agreed to call a truce and their lips met in one, lasting embrace. He would remember that kiss for all the ages, long, sweet, delicate and fiery all at once, everything he'd ever wanted in a lover was lying in his arms, and he didn't plan to ever let her leave them again. He never wanted to see her with anyone else, the very thought made anger boil under his skin, but he fought the jealousy back when he tensed and she looked at him concernedly.

He didn't give her time to ask, just turned his jealousy to passion and kissed away all the insecurities he had. She was here, with him, and she wasn't leaving, she wasn't pushing him away; she was pulling him closer. There was no reason he should worry; they were finally together.

I rush for you

The Water Knight spent a year as his secret lover. Their affections were public only to those who knew them, but to the rest of Cephiro they were nothing more than teacher and student. Clef had never explained to Umi why that was, and she had never asked. He guessed that she simply trusted him to take care of her, so when he found her staring at him heatedly in his study one morning, fear leapt into his being.

"Clef," her voice was a breathy whisper, somewhere between tears and raw fury. "Why doesn't Cephiro know about us?"

His eyes flew open in shock, and he felt his body trembling. I took it for granted that she didn't care, and now she does. Gods…he knew by her tone that she had discovered something, so he stayed silent and waited for her to confess what she knew. He would take it from there.

"Damn it Clef, that's how it's always been hasn't it?" she screamed at him, throwing a book he hadn't noticed she was carrying until then on his table. "You stay quiet, waiting for me to screw up first? Well, here it is; here's what I know."

He remembered vaguely thinking that she knew him too well and relishing for a millisecond in the thought before his hands traced the cover of the book wistfully, and he looked up into stormy blue eyes that were clouded with pain and fear, not the eyes that he knew; eyes he thought he'd never have to see.

"Umi," he took a deep breath and controlled himself, trying to maintain his focus despite his own swelling emotions. Here they were; this was it. He knew this day had to come, but…I didn't want it to be now; I thought we could pretend forever…

Cry for you

Seen the tears

Roll down from my eyes for you

"There's nothing in there that says it's not okay for the Master Mage to have a lover; he simply can't be in love. Nothing can be higher than Cephiro for me," Clef explained coolly, distancing himself from the girl that had come to steal his heart. He knew his words sounded formal and harsh, but if he did it any other way he would break down, throw himself at her feet and beg Cephiro to take his staff. There were things he still had to do, lives he still had to protect; Cephiro wasn't ready to take on the burden of a new Master Mage, not after it'd just restored its own peace. He couldn't be selfish.

She threw her hands up and laughed facetiously, "Oh, I guess that makes it all right then!"

"Come on Umi, you knew that before we began. You knew somewhere that I could never find myself in the position of husband or father. Think! If I were in love, and someone stole the woman I loved I would give up Cephiro in ransom to get her back! You know that it's impossible," he tried to hide his wince, but she wouldn't have seen it anyway, because her head immediately shot down, tears hitting the ground.

"So…" she stopped and looked up at him bravely through her tears.

Don't say it Umi, please, don't say it.

"I love you Clef."

His heart soared and collapsed all at once. The words he longed to hear with everything he was, the ones he wanted to respond to, were the only ones he had to vanquish, the ones he had to reprimand, "It's impossible," he found himself saying more cruelly than he would ever have wanted. "I can't love you, and I don't."

Heard my truth

Distorted to lies for you

Watched my love

Becoming a prize for you

His soul ripped in two when her eyes flew open, like she'd been struck. For a solid minute neither breathed, a feather hitting the ground would have been able to shatter the silence. He was surprised he didn't hear her heart break, or his own. I don't want to do this Umi, somehow, he tried to convey that to her, through his eyes, but she wouldn't meet them, through his mind, but hers was closed. Can't you see through the façade? Why is this happening?

"Oh," she nodded softly, keeping her head down, and her fists clenched. "I…see… then, I guess this is goodbye, Clef," she bowed formally and spun on her heels.

Call her back! But he couldn't, and he knew he couldn't. The moment she was gone, he put his head in his hands and let the tears come as his heart howled in anguish. The best thing he'd ever had had just walked out of his life.

Seen the tears in my eyes

Heard my truth turn to lies

Seen the tears in my eyes

I'm not proud of what I do

"Umi-chan's gone."

The shock of Hikaru's words hit him like a bolt through the heart and stopped him dead in his tracks. Gone?

"What? Gone where?" Fuu voiced his question, and he watched Hikaru with intensely demanding eyes, but she simply shrugged her shoulders and shook her head sadly.

"She just…left. There was a note for us, Fuu-chan, in her room this morning. I went to go get her for some practice, and it was lying on her bed. She just said that she had to get out, that she was going home and not to worry; she'd be fine," each word Hikaru spoke was like an individual dagger flying into Clef's chest.

"Clef-san, do you know anything about this?" Fuu's purely innocent eyes turned on him, and he couldn't bare it. He simply turned and walked out of the room; his heart torn and bleeding, knowing she was out there alone, probably seeking any comfort she could find, and all the jealousy that he'd kept hidden came back in full force.

When I come up

When I rush

I rush for you

None of the books or the teachers he'd had could have prepared him for this. What did a Master Mage do when he fell in love? He shook his head wearily; he didn't know, as far as he knew, none ever had, and if they had, they'd kept very quiet about it.

But there's one thing that I do know, I know that when a Magic Knight is in danger it's my job to look after her. With that little loophole in mind, he turned to his scrying crystal and brought forth every image of Umi he could, probing the earth with his magic, trying to find just where she was. He thought of her long, sinuous hair and her ravenous body, her gorgeous, soul-seeking blue eyes and her melodic giggle. By the time he had told his magic everything he knew about her, he was exhausted, but the picture was there in front of him, a beautiful blue haired girl lying on someone's lap, crying her heart out.

I come up to meet you

Up there somewhere

Something in him sighed, and he smiled finally, touching the crystal gently, as if he could somehow reach her through it. When he had his fill of seeing her cry, he moved his eyes to the man she was crying to. Yet, this man was not her father; he was much younger than the man Umi had shown him in the crystal once. This man had the look of someone about Umi's age, and a seasoned veteran in the workings of women by the way he possessively held Clef's angel against his chest and soothed her tears, combining his words with soft touches that tore the breath right from Clef's throat. And Umi didn't even realize it! His hands tightened on his staff, his rage boiling over. But it's all your fault, something whispered, and he knew it. He knew it was all his fault; and he wanted to die because of the pain he'd caused her. But there was nothing to do except watch the heartbreaking scene.

My soul is bared

Clef kept tabs on her recovery, making sure she didn't grow hateful or sullen. Outwardly, she seemed to have grown, but inwardly, she was a battered wreck, and she refused to let him speak to her in her dreams except once in a great while, and on those rare occasions she would either run from him with her head in her hands or beat him back with the anger in her mind. There was only one constant in her life – she was not going back, even if he tried to drag her.

And her broken life told him that she was determined never to come back. Things happened to her that he didn't quite understand, but her expressions and actions told him that they were horrible. She cried all the time; she never went out, and her appearance grew tired and haggard. She lost weight and added years, so she was ten years older in two, and he felt himself being affected by her actions. Then, one day, an evil presence entered her life, and all of Cephiro shifted.

Creatures began to rise from the sea, at first presenting only a small danger, but quickly becoming more of a trial to deal with. The people that Umi had personally touched grew sullen and tired easily. Storms were reintroduced to the land, and Clef knew why, but as much as he yearned to fix it, there was nothing he could do.

And it's all your fault.

Gave more for you

Dropped my crutches

And crawled on the floor for you

Went looking behind every door for you

Men were initiated into her world, more men than he could count, and more than he wanted to. He remembered the first time he saw it happen, had to shelter his eyes, hoping to spare his heart, but it was like a train wreck, and the more it happened, the more he was drawn to it, drawn to her pain, her self-disgust.

He witnessed acts so horrifying he could barely explain them to himself let alone the Magic Knights, things done to the love of his life that kept sleep from him most nights. Everything in his being crept at the sight of the people who continuously abused her, and he grew vicious and angry at his own helplessness. Yet, his eyes focused, and he realized that no matter what happened he had to get her back to Cephiro where he could finally set things right, to hell with consequences, to hell with Cephiro.

I do love her, that had never been more apparent than in that moment. He had been willing to curse Cephiro for her, before long, he would be stripped of his staff, there was no other way, but before that happened, he was going to make sure he found her and brought her safely home. Then he could begin training a new Master Mage, then he could worry about what that meant for Cephiro. But Umi came first, and he understood that now. He finally understood how much he was willing to sacrifice for her.

And because of the things

That I saw for you

I spiritually grew

He was standing on a dock near Cephiro, looking out to the glittering blues and greens of the ocean, thinking of a love long past. Sighing heavily, he turned, and met the eyes of the sea creature who'd so enamored him. She blushed slightly, her long blue hair flowing behind her, but he continued to let his eyes wander down her slight frame that was accented beautifully in the long white and blue dress she was wearing, her slender legs slightly tanned, the blush on her face lighting her up with a warm glow.

"Umi?" he whispered, and she nodded.

"So you remember…"

He walked forward hesitantly, and she neared, so he shivered even in his sleep. She still smelled the same, bluebells and the ocean breeze, "Don't be ridiculous, Umi, I'm sorry I lied to you. I…"

She put a hand to his lips and stopped him, but he pulled it away, holding her wrist gently and made sure she was looking into his eyes as he spoke.

"I love you."

Reaching forward blindly, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her deeply, letting her become one with him, refusing to let her go. Not anymore, not ever again.

When I come up

When I rush

I rush for you…

Author's Note phase TWO: Anyhoo, like I said before, keep your eyes peeled for my new story Angel's Punishment which will be out relatively in the not- too – too distant future. Besides that, please read, review and enjoy!

Lots of love

Umi-chan