Author's note: This story started as a one shot, but I've decided to add a chapter for each pair. The story was originally entitled "Rain." That is now the first chapter. Hope you enjoy.
Nephrite didn't necessarily believe in magic. Odd, considering he possessed the power to talk to the stars, release blasts of energy from his hands and teleport. But he never considered those to be magic. After all, they were merely extensions of his own power, things that he had control over.
Magic was wild, untamed, unpredictable. Magic was the promise of the extraordinary.
But he had to admit, this could be nothing other than magic.
It had rained last night; the first rain of the fall. And with it, all the wearniness of the thick summer heat was washed away. The air was clean, and the ground beneath his boots was soft and yielding once again.
This was magic. A simple potion from the clouds and the brown earth turned green. It was, of course, entirely predictable and understandable completely rational. But for a man who had been trapped in a crystal, the clean air in his lungs and fresh smell that threatened to overwhelm his senses was nothing short of magic.
He knew it was no coincidence that this was the day he had finally been released. Crystal Tokyo was a year old, and King Endymion had grown into his powers. Usagi's wish had made paradise and released the powers of her Senshi, but it had taken time for their own hearts to be released from the pain of a thousand years of memory.
It took time to heal and to forgive the unforgivable. Betrayal was the cruel summer sun that parched the heart and hardened it, made it unyielding, and destroyed all that grew. Forgiveness was the gentle rain that softened and brought life back to the barren wasteland, making it flower and turn green.
Nephrite had grown to realize that he loved the color green. If he ever told his fellow Shitennou that fact, they would tease him mercilessly of course. But he knew he could take it. After all, he had a suspicion that he loved green as Jadeite loved red, Zoisite loved blue and Kunzite loved orange. Each man would defend himself with some ridiculous analogy. Jadeite loved the passion of red, Zoisite the serenity of blue and Kunzite the vitality of orange. And as to whether those colors looked good on skirts, he was sure each man would deny any such base and crude thoughts.
But it didn't matter. Nephrite still loved green. Green was life and honesty and promise. He could see it in the land before him, feel it in the ground beneath him, and smell it in the air around him.
It was why he was here today. He could only come back with the rain. The old world had to be washed away. If he was to return, it had to be to a new world, one in which the old and withered leaves had gone and the rain would bring color to the barren hills.
And so, when he awoke, he knew to go to the gardens, because he would find her there. She would be among her beloved trees, reveling in their joy and welcoming the rain.
Drawn by the smell of fresh rain, he made his way to the clearing, and felt as though he had stumbled into a dream. The autumn sun made the dew still fresh on the leaves glisten like tiny jewels. Wildflowers were blossoming, greeting the changing weather. A slight breezed rustled the canopy of trees, making them sway as if they were dancing a country dance. They moved in time with the goddess dancing at their feet. She was barefoot, and her green cotton skirt flared about her ankles as she twirled and leapt about the glen. Her white tank top revealed her arms which swayed gracefully, accentuating the lines of her body as she moved. She was alternately powerful and welcoming, strong and soft, fearsome and beautiful. She was arrayed neither as a princess, nor as Sailor Jupiter, but Nephrite could not deny that Kino Makoto was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, and he was hopelessly in love with her. He ruefully remembered that they should have had their happily ever after a thousand years ago, but for his own betrayal. His heart broke at the thought and he nearly turned and fled under his burden of shame before she turned and locked eyes with him.
Any other thought was forced from his mind as she gave him a sultry smirk before closing her eyes. At once, the dance became something more. Subtly, her shoulders rolled a little more, and her hips twisted a little more, and her movements became much more fluid. And every step brought her closer, tantalizingly slow. When she was close enough to reach a hand into his hair, Nephrite is sure he has forgotten how to breathe. She moves her hand down his cheek, something he had not felt in a millennia, but had longed for all that time. Slowly, it moves down its neck to his heart, which was now beating at a furious pace.
And without warning, a firm shove sends him sprawling into the damp ground. He looks up at her, and sees her seductive smirk replaced with a mischievous grin. Softly, she giggles, and suddenly, she resembles the young girl who enchanted him in the moonlight a thousand years ago. Her laughter falls like a drizzle, and suddenly awakens his own. Within moments, they are both laughing in a mighty downpour, their voices echoing in the glade like sweet music.
Just as suddenly, he flips himself back onto his feet with a predatory gleam in his eye. She sees him and gives a squeak of amused terror before running off through the glen. She can not resist taunting him, knowing it will only spur him on. Neither of them can stop laughing, and when he finally tackles her to the ground, they are panting from their exertion. His somber attitude is completely gone, washed away in a tempest of her smell and the feeling of her body pressed against his. The predatory gleam returns to his eye as he tickles her, and she shrieks in protest, attempting to squirm away. She succeeds only in bringing them closer together.
Her scent fills him now. She smells of flowers and trees and the first autumn rain. She smells clean and honest and pure. And when his mouth finally descends upon hers, she tastes the same. Hastily, clothes are shed and they make love under the clear blue skies. There are no moans of wanton passion, but laughter, and sighs of contentment. Terms of endearment fall as dew from the leaves. Promises are uttered, and this time, they are meant to be kept.
She lies sated upon his chest as his hands gently stroke her back. The air is chilly, but neither of the lovers feel it. The damp, pliant ground cushions and nurtures them. Nephrite is grateful. He knows that to all things, there is a season. There is a time for spring's vitality, summer's passion, and winter's serenity. But today, he is grateful for autumn's cleansing, and the promise and purity of the first rain. He is grateful for forgiveness that falls as rain from the heavens and washes away despair. He is grateful for green that is honest and pure. He is grateful for goddesses who smell like flowers and rain. He is grateful to be alive.