This is a missing scene from my "Slow Process to Redemption" fic. In this scene, Naru and Nephrite meet face to face for the first time.

As Naru prepared to make her final move in the tennis tournament, she glanced briefly at Nephrite. She had wanted to meet him ever since she saw him at the record store a month ago, but was too shy to do so. She vowed not to chicken out this time, and to meet him after the competition was over. 'Hopefully I won't make an idiot of myself and say the wrong thing. Maybe if all goes well, it will lead to friendship and me eventually going steady with him.' She proceeded to fantasize about what a date with him would be like. Dancing, stargazing, sharing a kiss, Nephrite asking her to marry him...

'No, no girl, now is not the time to think about that! You don't know him yet, and besides, you have to wait until you're twenty to even consider marriage, and that won't be for another five to six years.' Naru waited for her inner voice to fade before quickly pulling herself together and tossing the ball to her friend Rui. The rising tennis star hit the ball with ease, scoring the winning serve for her team. The spectators erupted into loud cheers and gave Rui a standing ovation.

Rui smiled at the adoration she received and walked off her side of the court, but not before patting Naru on the shoulder as if to say, 'Good work.'

"It was fun," said Naru.

"You said it. I'll see you later."

" Bye."

Rui exited the tennis court and headed for home.

Naru waited for the other participants and the spectators to leave, as she wanted to speak to Nephrite alone. She crossed her fingers as she watched them go one by one, and heaved a sigh of relief when she saw he had remained. 'Now is my chance.' She approached the young man, all the while praying she wouldn't say or do anything too stupid. She quietly cleared her throat, prompting him to face her. "Hey there. I'm Naru Osaka. Your name is Masato Sanjouin, right?"

Nephrite took a good look at the teen in front of him. His first impression? Definitely a sweetheart. So far, she was the friendliest human he had ever come across. He also couldn't help but notice how attractive she was. Still, though, he felt a bit awkward. He was an evil Dark Kingdom general, and he didn't know whether to reveal his true colors or return the friendliness shown to him. He was certain Beryl would have his hide if he let himself become too distracted. 'Relax. Being cordial this once isn't going to hurt. You aren't on a mission,' a voice inside his head reproached him. He redirected his attention towards Naru, realizing she was waiting for a response."That I am." He stuck out a hand and took hers in it for a firm handshake.

Naru looked a bit surprised and flustered at first, but she eagerly returned the gesture. That simple maneuver sent a shiver through her and sped up her heartbeat. 'Such nice soft hands.' She gave him a shy smile.

Nephrite shot the young girl a charming smile. "It is a pleasure to meet a young woman as kind and as beautiful as you are. No one else's beauty compares to yours." He was initially saying those words just to flatter her, but a part of him truly meant them, although he wouldn't have admitted it then.

'Oh my gosh! He called me beautiful, and he thinks I'm a woman!' Naru felt her cheeks becoming hot as they were turning different shades of red. She had to force herself to maintain eye contact with him. "T-Thank you," she sputtered. She paused, mentally debating whether she should say anything else or not. Overcome with a sudden boldness, she added, "You're so beautiful." Unable to help herself, she slowly brought up a hand and ran her fingers through his long, silky chestnut brown tresses a few times. 'Mmmm, it feels so good.' Ever since she laid eyes on him, she was in love with his hair, and had that "I wanna touch it" urge. Afraid she had made a huge mistake, she jerked her hand away and smoothed down her outfit.

Nephrite froze, clearly not expecting the young girl to do such a thing. He had to admit, though, it felt somewhat soothing. 'However, if she had known my true nature, she would not have done it. Her bravery is intriguing, but foolish.' He shut down the disdainful train of thought and subconsciously let his hand brush against hers before gazing into her green-blue eyes for a bit. She gazed back, feeling slightly weak in her knees and like she would melt into a puddle. 'Those beautiful eyes…I'm gonna have a hard time moving from my spot.'

Naru broke the gaze before she could become paralyzed and said, "I had better get going now. I don't want to be home too late, but I hope we run into each other again. I would love to get to know you better. "

The star shitennou nodded as if he understood. "All right, then. I would like to become more acquainted with you as well," he heard himself say, although he knew he should be relieved.

Naru waved goodbye, and walked off the tennis court with a small smile on her face. On top of that, butterflies fluttered around in her stomach, and she felt extremely warm inside. 'I hope I see him again.'

Once the red head was out of sight, Nephrite wandered over to his car, getting inside and driving away. 'Well…that was an interesting turn of events.' He was sure his chief henchwomen would have a good laugh once he told them about Naru, but he knew Beryl was another story. He shuddered at the thought of feeling the queen's wrath. 'Even if she doesn't chastise me too harshly, I will have to remain on my guard from now on.'