III. Fading Warmth


A small yawn escaped the young man who sat in a crowded cafe. Seiya Kou was overly tired lately, after trying to put together a new life for himself along with his two friends. He honestly didn't think he would ever return to earth. It wasn't a joyful return either. His return was permanent, and was completely out of his control. He didn't want to think about the circumstances of his return so he looked down at the warm tea he was drinking. It was actually really good but he was still slightly depressed.

The weather outside was much worse than he thought it'd be. He was glad he decided to bring a coat. The rain that poured steadily was soothing, but the crowd of people within the cafe annoyed him. It was as if everyone outside decided to run to one particular place. The people stood inside the warm place watching the icy rain. It was strange weather even though it was winter. The rain wasn't hail but it was freezing. Not that Seiya had been out in it, but he could tell that once it hit the ground it didn't take long to turn to ice.

"So are we all in agreement?" Taiki asked after drinking his coffee. The question didn't hang in the air long as the other two automatically agreed. It had been three months since their return. Their agreement was concerning their band reformation. It wouldn't be long before they started back in the business. It was fun and Seiya loved it so he didn't mind all the touring that came with the job.

Propping his head on his hand he looked down at the tea once more. Three month had passed and he still hadn't gone to see her, Usagi. It wasn't like he couldn't but he felt like he shouldn't. She was married to her boyfriend by now and knowing that made him hesitant. He wanted her to be happy but he also didn't want her to be with Mamoru. Even after nine years he still thought about her. She still held his heart and he loved her even though he couldn't have her. He felt depressed leaning his head down closer to the warm table. He completely ignored everything around himself until Yaten poked him a couple times.

"Hey isn't that-." he didn't finish his sentence as Seiya looked up abruptly. Yaten was leisurely pointing at someone in the rain. Seiya couldn't really see the person's face across the street. The woman stood in front of the other cafe. The rain that poured was too strong and she had become even blurrier. He strained his eyes to see but didn't really need to after he saw the blonde hair that was up in a familiar style. He only knew one girl that wore her hair in what he could only call odangos. He began to stand but her stance caught his attention before he could move. Her head was tilted back facing the onslaught of rain. Her pose scream out that she was in pain. She was having a break down in the rain.

Seiya didn't waste any time getting out of the cafe. He left grabbing his coat on the way out. He ran across the street to the woman who had her hands to her face. The rain was a loud roar to him but even so he could hear her pained cries. He wasn't sure if it was really her but instinct told him to grab her, to protect her. He did so hugging her tightly. He saw her face and it only made him crush her against him.

"Odango, why are you crying?" his words seem to reach her. She looked up at him with the saddest eyes he had ever seen. The tears that streamed down her cheeks mixed with the icy rain that hit against her face. Her normally vibrant eyes were a dull blue that matched her mood. She recognized him but he could tell she didn't comprehend everything just yet.

"Seiya?" she looked confused as she said his name. The disbelief on her face wiped away some of the sadness but it still remained. It clung to her and he could feel it emanating from her. It was a solid weight that was crushing her. Seiya looked left then right. He found what he was looking for and led her under an awning of a fancy restaurant.

Her hands were freezing against his hands and he was slightly happy he had grabbed his gloves on the way out of the cafe. He gently pressed her up against the wall to shield her from the rain. He pulled out his gloves and put them on her hands. She watched him carefully as he was putting her hands in his noticeably warmer gloves.

"Seiya how-" she was cut off by him. He cupped her face in his hands making her look at him. Her lashes had small ice drops attached to them. Tears still leaked from her eyes and he wiped them away with the pads of his thumbs. He stroked her cheeks lightly until the color returned to them. Then he pulled her even closer to him to give her his body heat. There were so many things he wanted to say to her and so many questions he wanted to ask. But at the moment he wanted to calm her down and warm her up.

"Who made you cry?" were the first words out of his mouth before he could stop them.

He wanted to wait before asking but his need to know had overridden his wants. He needed to know who would dare to hurt Usagi. He also vaguely wondered where her friends were. They would never leave the small rabbit in such a state. If they had, then surely they had a good reason. She rested her gloved hands on top of his hands.

She couldn't believe who she was looking at and he could tell she didn't believe her eyes still. Her mouth moved ever so lightly as if she was speaking but the sound of the rain was so strong it drowned out her already inaudible words. She pressed her lips together tightly when she finished her last sentence. Her eyes closed slowly and again tears surfaced under her lashes. Seiya leaned down to her level.

He had gotten taller over the nine years, though when he was still Fighter he wasn't as tall as he was now. Since he returned to his male form he could only assume that his height was simply because he was male and that was the height he would be, at 24. At first he found it very odd to see at a different eye level, but over the three months he had grown accustomed to his height. Usagi stood his diaphragm so he had to lean down to hear her speak.

"Odango...tell me." he knew she had purposely whispered so that he could not hear her. A small bitter smile graced her sad face and she opened her eyes to look at him. He hated the way her smile looked. It was so broken.

The dull blue eyes that met his blue colored eyes seem to lose more of their luster. Once again she opened her mouth but stopped before words passed through. Instead of speaking she took off the glove on her left hand. She gently cupped Seiya's hand that was still cupping her face. The action spoke volumes.

His eyes automatically looked at her hand and without words he hugged her. He pressed her face against his chest. He understood what happened the moment he saw there was no ring, but a slight indent where a ring once was. Usagi and her lover had broken up. He could feel her sobs wracking her body. She tried to stop them but it only result with involuntary spasms. Her fingers grasped his coat tightly as she pressed her face against his chest as much as she could.

"Cry Odango, cry as much as you need to. I'll shield you from the rain for as long as you need me to." he whispered into her ear. She wailed into his coat and he could do nothing to calm her down. He had no words to soothe her broken heart and he hated it. He felt useless. All he could do was hold her as she broke down.

The rain had slacked off some only to pick up, turning into small balls of hail. Seiya pulled Usagi into the restaurant they stood in front of. It was quite warm inside and the heat ate away at the chill on his skin. He looked down to Usagi. She had stopped crying not because she was feeling better but because she had run out of tears. It pained him to see her so broken, so much so he wanted to find Mamoru and beat him until he bruised and battered his fist on the man's face. He did his best to ignore the anger that was building because he had and tended to Usagi.

Before he could even speak to her the host of the restaurant came over. He had a disgusted look directed to Usagi, which only served to piss Seiya off more. He bit his inner jaw to prevent thoughtless words from escaping.

"Sir? This restaurant is rather high class, I do believe-" the host was cut off.

"I want a table for two in a quiet area." Seiya said quickly taking Usagi by her hand and pulling her so she was against him under his arm. She was shivering and almost oblivious of her surroundings. The host was about to speak again until he received a glare from Seiya. The host visibly flinched then nodded. He led the two to a small quiet area of the restaurant.

Seiya led Usagi to sit down and he pulled the chair on the opposite side of the table over and sat beside her. The window in from of them was right where they were standing earlier. Seiya could see to the cafe he came from. Taiki and Yaten were still there but they hadn't expected him to return any time soon. He turned his attention to Usagi who had her eyes closed again.

"Odango..." he was unsure of what to say to her. He didn't know the whole situation and he didn't want to say anything that would make her feel worse. After several minutes she finally looked up to him. Her eyes had gained back just a miniscule amount of warmth.

"Seiya...I-I'm sorry. I got you all wet." her voice was shaking and so was her whole body. He took a second to look at her and realized that it wasn't her sobs that shook her. She was completely soaked through and through. She was only wearing a thin coat and layers of clothes. He took off the large coat he was wearing and draped it around her.

The heat left in it seeped into Usagi's tired body. She wanted to tell him not to, his coat would get wet but she couldn't find the words. All she could do was pull the warm coat closer to her freezing body. She returned her attention back to Seiya. He was so much different but at same time he was still the same. He wore his hair the same but the long ponytail was slightly longer. He still smelled of olive blossoms but there was a hint of something like cologne. He was taller, but still lithe and lastly he still had a feminine look to his face but there was also a masculinity she hadn't seen before.

Mentally shaking away her thoughts she looked at the bag she was still holding, it was wet as well so she let it sit on the floor. She looked at Seiya and tried her best to avoid direct eye contact. It wasn't because she was ashamed but because she didn't want him to see her face. She knew it probably looked terrible. Back when she was younger she probably wouldn't have even thought about such things. When she was younger she didn't think about things like that.

Now she was aware of herself and made a conscious effort to not make a complete fool of herself. Being married to Mamoru had taught her how to be more like a lady in some areas. Though she was still slightly clumsy and couldn't seem to learn the correct way of writing kanji among other things. No matter how hard she tried she would never be perfect. She couldn't live up to what Mamoru needed.

"Odango look at me." his voice jolted her out of her thoughts. She looked up slowly and finally made eye contact. His blue eyes contained so many emotions but she could see his concern more than anything else.

"Hi." she said wiping her face with the sleeves of his coat. A smile of embarrassment appeared on her face when she remembered the coat wasn't hers. She didn't want him to worry over her. She didn't want him to see her like this.

"It's okay, you can wash it for me." he teased her and received another smile. She was relaxing in his presence finally. He only hoped that he could take her mind off reality for a while. If only for a little while so she could relax.

"How are you here? I thought that you and the others returned home." Usagi rubbed her hands together to warm them only to have Seiya take both of her hands and place them on his cheeks. The heat from his cheeks warmed her hands. His hands covered over hers and she found herself staring at him. He really did look slightly different to her. She didn't know what it was she felt drawn to him.

"We did." he simply said not going any further into an explanation. At the moment he found it unwise to make her worry any more than she already was. He continued, "Have you eaten?"

She shook her head and her stomach also answered. A small blush spread across her cheeks as her stomach rumbled. Seiya smiled at her and let her hands go. He turned and called the waiter over. The waiter was at least smart enough to get his face blank.

"Order whatever you want." he said giving her the menu. She looked at him then at the prices in the menu. He only nodded to her. "Go ahead."

Usagi took almost an hour to order. She didn't want to order anything expensive but she also didn't want to order something too modest. She finally decided on a beef stew. It was what she had wanted to make at home and she still craved it. Seiya order a steak with a vegetable side. When the waiter left, Usagi looked out the window only to see Yaten and Taiki across at the cafe looking at her. Yaten gave her a short wave and Taiki gave her a nod. She waved back at them wondering if they were waiting for Seiya.

"Don't worry Odango, they're not waiting for me. The weather is still pretty bad, so they're probably waiting for it to lighten a little." Usagi nodded to his words and then turned to look at him. He was still smiling at her which only made her wanted to smile back.

Sitting with him in the cafe seemed like a dream. She was afraid it would end. Seiya was there with her, when she felt at her lowest. He had shielded her from the icy rain and let her cry out her eyes on him. He really did care for her.

"How long have you been back?" she asked pulling the coat closer. The heat was starting to dissipate from the coat and she was still wet.

"About three months. We've been busy trying to create lives for ourselves, but this last month has finally been calm." He noticed her shivering as she tried to ignore it. Bringing his chair closer he sat right by her leaving no space. Again he pulled her against him under his arm.

Usagi could feel the blood rush to her face. Her feelings for him still remained the same, even after all the years that passed. The confusion was still there as well, but for once she ignored it and let him hold her.

Once the food came they ate in companionable silence only talking once in a while. Seiya arm never moved from around her as he ate. Usagi completely forgot about her day and enjoyed eating with Seiya. He told her about his busy three months back and she listened happily.

After they finished eating, Usagi realized how wrong everything felt. She wasn't supposed to feel the way she did. She was supposed to be with Mamoru. It was how everything was supposed to be. She couldn't let it end the way it did, but she didn't want to go back to Mamoru. She didn't want to be hurt again, yet she still would try because she loved Mamoru. She knew that without Mamoru there would be no Chibiusa, so she had to make him see how much she loved him. Everything would fall apart if she didn't.

"I can't..." the words escaped her mouth without thought, "I can't do this...I can't"

Seiya reached out to Usagi only for her to knock his hand back. Once again her eyes filled and overflowed. "Odango?"

"You can't do this... you can't do this to me!" she cried getting to her feet in a hurry. "I have to make Mamoru see... He has to see that I love him... I would do anything for him. He has to see that, then he'll come back, right?"

Her question remained unanswered because Seiya knew she couldn't accept the truth yet. "Usagi..."

"I can't do this...I have to be with Mamo-chan. I have to or she won't exist. My daughter won't exist. I don't want her to die..." Usagi cried out startling everyone in the restaurant. Not caring if her words made sense she continued. "But I don't want to be with him anymore... it hurts so badly because I still love him and he doesn't love me! Why are you making me feel this way for you? I have to love Mamo-chan...I have to. I can't fall for you Seiya, I can't fall in love with you. I just can't!"

Usagi rushed away leaving Seiya's coat and her groceries behind. The confusion was too much for her. Seiya wanted to call out to her but he couldn't because he knew what he was doing. He was doing it on purpose and without remorse. At first he wanted her to feel better, but being around her only made him want to steal her heart away from Mamoru. He let his desire get in the way of her needs. She needed someone to cry on. She needed someone to help her through her sadness. He made a foolish mistake and he had to fix it quickly or he would lose her again.

He got up, picked up his coat and her groceries. Moving quickly he paid the bill and began to chase after the crying woman.


AN: Hello again, here is chapter three. I hope everyone enjoyed it. Once more I am very sorry if anyone is out of character. I promise Usagi will not be crying like this in every chapter. Chapter five should be the beginning of her putting her life back together. The other Sailor Senshis will show up soon as well. Please review and encourage me to continue if you like this story.