Sorry it's been a while. Been busy with school just starting and all that. Don't have as much time to write as I did over the summer, but I will still try to finish this. Anyway, enjoy and please review!

I own nothing.


CHAPTER TWELVE

Mahiru is in an abandoned warehouse by the ocean. She can hear the waves crashing against the shore and the smell of sea salt hangs heavy in the air. High above her head she can see metal rafters rusting and patches of sky showing through holes in the ceiling. Through one of these holes she can see the moon, a waning crescent, smiling down on her in a backdrop of black. Mahiru can't help but think the smile menacing on this night.

All around her is chaos. Her friends, all in their Lunar forms, are battling Dawn's Venus trying to get her back. Akira charges at Hokuto and Mutsura, but something pushes him back. Misoka throws fire at them, the fire streaming endlessly from his hands, but the fire meets resistance, coiling back from the two men, outlining some kind of invisible wall. Nozomu sends his bats to find a way in but the wall stretches all around them making a dome. Mahiru then notices something shining in Hokuto's hands and she senses a familiar power drawing her to it.

Hokuto has the last Teardrop of the Moon.

With the power of the Teardrop, Hokuto makes Mutsura's arrows more powerful than ever before. Each arrow, thankfully missing her friends, causes a massive explosion that still sends them flying.

Mahiru runs to them to try to help but only gets about a couple of feet when something bites into her ankles and wrists. Mahiru looks down to see that she is bound to the ground with metal shackles.

When she looks up again Mitsuru is there, the other three having acted as a distraction. Mitsuru uses his claws to break through the chains and wraps his arms around her in a tight embrace.

"Your time has come to an end," Hokuto says. Mahiru and Mitsuru turn to see Mutsura facing them with a sadistic smile and an arrow cocked in his bow aiming at Mahiru. Mutsura releases the bowstring, the twang of the string echoing throughout the warehouse, and the arrow is released into the air. Mahiru screams and closes her eyes waiting for the pain. But the pain never comes. She hears the sickening sound of the arrow piercing through flesh, tendon, and muscle, but it is not her body that was destroyed. Mahiru opens her eyes to see Mitsuru fall to his knees in front of her. She catches him by the shoulders and helps to lie him down on the ground.

Sticking out of Mitsuru's chest is an arrow, blood streaming out alarmingly fast, and his transformation fades until he is back in his human form.

Mahiru presses her hands on the wound careful not to touch the arrow. She isn't sure if taking the arrow out would help or only make things worse. "What do I do? Mitsuru, what do I do?" Tears stream down Mahiru's cheeks as fast as the blood is flowing out of Mitsuru, taking his life with every crimson drop. Mitsuru tries to say something, but it's hard because blood has entered his lungs, choking him. Mahiru leans down and puts her ear next to his mouth.

He whispers, "I love you."

And then he is gone.

Mahiru wakes with Mitsuru's name ripping through her throat in a deafening wail. Over and over she screams his name, only a small part of her really aware that what she saw was a dream and she is now awake. She flails about, tears flowing down her face, trying to escape the horror of what she saw, but something gets tangled around her arms and legs. It's her blankets, but she thinks it's the shackles and struggles even more. There is the sound of a door opening and voices saying her name but none of this reaches her. Suddenly, the bindings are gone, replaced with arms wrapping securely around her. Familiar arms. A familiar presence. A familiar voice in her ear.

"Shhh," Mitsuru says. "It's alright, I'm here. I've got you." He pulls Mahiru into his lap and gently rocks her back and forth while rubbing soothing circles into her back. "Come on, Mahiru, come back to me."

Mahiru looks up and sees Mitsuru's face swimming before her tearful eyes. She's no longer in the warehouse but back at the Moonshine. Mitsuru is not dead.

"Mitsuru," she chokes out with a sob while reaching up to wrap her arms around Mitsuru's neck and burying her head against his chest.

"Mahiru…." Mitsuru holds her closer and kisses the top of her head. "What happened? Why were you screaming? Was it Dawn's Venus?"

Mahiru's voice is muffled by Mitsuru's shirt so he pulls her away. He stares into her puffy blue eyes as she says, "I-I s-saw you d-die." Everyone's eyes widen and Akira whimpers. "Ever since Dawn's Venus almost kidnapped me I've been having the same dream," Mahiru's eyes fly to the clock to check, "at exactly 5:31 every night. At first, it was just disjointed images and I just had a feeling of someone dying, but this time I actually saw who it was." Mahiru's lips begin to tremble. "It's not going to really happen, is it?"

"No, of course not." Mitsuru says as he wipes her tears away with his thumb. However, even as he says the words he gets the feeling that they are really a lie.

"What did you see?" Misoka asks, his eyes calculating behind his glasses, and Mitsuru knows he's thinking the same thing.

Mahiru tries to sit up a little and blushes a bright shade of red, realizing she's sitting in Mitsuru's lap. She tries to move away but Mitsuru's arms wrap around her more tightly. She sees a familiar scowl on his face and decides to stay put. "E-each time I see it, it becomes clearer. I'm in a warehouse, chained to the floor, and you guys are fighting Dawn's Venus. Then Mitsuru comes to free me, but they see us. Mutsura fires an arrow, aiming at me, but…," Mahiru takes in a shuddering breath, "M-Mitsuru shields me and the arrow hits him instead, killing him." Mahiru's blush deepens as she remembers Mitsuru's last words in the dream but decides to keep it to herself.

"Is it during the day or at night?"

"At night. I remember seeing the moon in a black sky. A waning crescent moon."

"Hmm…." Misoka contemplates everything Mahiru said. If she were a normal human, her repetitive dreams could still be thought of as just that: dreams. But Mahiru is not just a normal human, she is the Descendent of the Princess with powers none of them may ever fully understand. She could be capable of just about anything, including precognitive dreams. Misoka glances over at Mitsuru. Mitsuru is glaring right back and slowly shakes his head. Misoka sighs. "It's probably just a nightmare created in the aftermath of your kidnapping and the incident with your friend Himura, especially since she hasn't woken up yet since we found her. Your anxiety is simply seeping into your subconscious. I wouldn't worry too much about it."

Mahiru sighs in relief. "Thank goodness."

"Well, Princess, I think we shall take our leave now. Try to get some more sleep." Misoka, Akira, and Nozomu leave Mahiru's bedroom. Mitsuru puts Mahiru back on the bed and gets up to leave too, but Mahiru grabs his arm.

"Mitsuru, can you stay for a minute? Please?" He sighs and sits on her bed again wordlessly, surprising Mahiru for he would normally put up a fight. "Mitsuru, I want you to promise me something." He looks at her warily, his eyes narrowed. "If…if something like this ever does happen, please, promise me you won't ever do something that will get yourself killed because of me."

Mitsuru looks at her for a long moment and shakes his head. "I'm not going to make a promise I might not be able to keep."

"But this promise should be easy to keep. You wanted me dead when we first met, remember?" Mahiru smiles a little but her smile fades when Mitsuru's hand comes up to stroke her cheek.

"I was a fool then, but now I know that if you were ever to die, I would die, too. So if I have to give up my life to protect you, I will."

Mahiru opens her mouth to say something but is stopped when Mitsuru's lips crash into hers. Mahiru's eyes widen, but then they soften and close. Her arms snake around Mitsuru's neck, her fingers weaving themselves in his hair. Mitsuru pulls her into is lap again and holds her as close as two bodies can be. Their lips move together slowly at first, getting a taste of each other, but then move more hungrily, passionately, as if this kiss has been held off for far too long. They only stop when they remember the need for air. Their foreheads rest together as they breathe in each other's breaths.

Mitsuru is the first to speak, "I love you, Mahiru."

"I love you, too." She looks into his brown eyes, eyes so much like the horned demon's from her dream of the Minister of the Left's Princess. Being like this with Mitsuru now reminds Mahiru of how she would see the demon and the princess and she can't help but wonder if those two were really in love, despite what everyone else believes. "Will you stay with me tonight?"

Mitsuru answers by pulling Mahiru down to lay on the bed with him and pulls the blankets over top of them. Mitsuru is unsure of what to do, not used to wanting to be so close to someone, but as Mahiru snuggles closer to him instincts he didn't even know he had kick in. His arm wraps itself around her waist and Mahiru eases closer into his side with her head resting on his shoulder so she can hear his heartbeat. Her arm lies across his chest and Mitsuru entwines his fingers with hers. As they drift off to sleep nothing else exists in the world but each other.