Precious Metals

Chapter 5: Only Just Begun

© 2008 by DaHaloChick

This page was last modified: 2008/04/25


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Milo had to stop his hands from shaking as Roxohnda reached the top step of his temple. When she stopped, Roxohnda took a deep breath to try and calm her nerves. This was their chance to fix what had been broken, and the delicacy of the situation hung in the air between them.

Roxohnda locked her gaze with his. "I got your letter," she said, breaking the silence. She suddenly realized how pathetic of a greeting that was. Why else would she have come here if she hadn't received his request for a chance to explain himself?

Milo let out a breath he didn't know he'd been holding, his lips curling up slightly. "I see. I'm glad you decided to come. I...appreciate you showing up." He motioned for the door to his temple. "Would you like to go inside and discuss this? I won't blame you if you don't want to, I just figured—"

"That's fine," she said, interrupting him. "I...trust you," she said hesitantly.

He looked at her seriously. "No, you don't, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't lie about it. You have every right not to trust me, considering what happened."

She sighed. "You're right, I'm sorry. If you're going to go out of your way to explain yourself, the least I can do is cut the crap, so to speak." She walked with him into his temple until they reached a simple room with a coffee table, couch, and a few sofa chairs.

"Make yourself at home," the Scorpio Saint said, "I'll make us some coffee. How do you take yours?"

* * *

Roxohnda sipped the hot cup of coffee before setting it down on the table. She turned to him. "So...um...where do we start?"

Milo sighed. "Well, since I called you here, I should start I suppose..." He turned to her, catching her gaze with the utmost seriousness. "I am deeply, deeply sorry about my actions at the bar. I understand that I acted like...well, I was an ass. I really do like you and respect you, Roxohnda, and I never, ever intended to hurt or insult you. I want you to understand before I continue that the person you last saw in the bar was not me. It was a moment of stupidity, and I swear to you, it will never happen again."

Roxohnda was taken aback by the serious of Milo's apology. Her heart leapt softly in her chest. "I...I know that, Milo. Looking at you right now, I truly believe you." Milo visibly relaxed. "Still...what brought that all on, Milo?"

Milo looked down. His mind debated over how much of the truth to reveal to the woman before him. He looked up at her, their eyes locking. He couldn't stop himself from feeling a pang of guilt shoot through him. If he was going to do this...

"Well...I'll tell you the truth, but you may not like it."

"That's alright," Roxohnda replied softly. "I'd rather you be truthful." She clasped her hands in her lap, trying to stop her hands from shaking with anxiety.

Milo nodded. "Alright. Well...I had been drinking before I came to the bar, and then I was drinking there..." He cringed at the scowl she presented to him. "Hey, let me finish, I'm not using being drunk as an excuse! See, I wasn't really gonna drink so much, but...well...when we were talking, you mentioned something that just...brought back bad memories."

Roxohnda looked down in thought, replaying their conversation in their head. After a few moments of thinking, she looked up at him. "...You mean...Shaina?"

Milo blinked. "How did you come to that conclusion?"

"Well," Roxohnda began, "Thinking about it now you were sipping slowly at your beer until I mentioned how lucky I was to have her as my maître. Once I said that, you got this...look on your face and started slamming your beer down." She took in a deep breath. "What exactly...happened between you two?" She couldn't even fathom Shaina and Milo as enemies, or maybe, they were just the opposite...a jolt of a foreign feeling shot through Roxohnda at the thought.

"Well...I have a pretty bad reputation around here as a...ladies man of sorts. I used to pass a lot of my time by making passes at Shaina." He looked down sadly. "Truth be told, I honestly do like her, a lot. I've always admired her, in a way. She's strong, smart...but I'm too much of an ass to just say it. I drove her away with my tactics, and now she's with DeathMask." He sighed. "It's just...been weighing heavily on me lately, and my drinking got kind of excessive because of it. I'm really, really sorry Roxohnda."

Roxohnda swallowed, fighting to keep a straight face, because inside she was screaming. She had thought he was interested in her, but really, his true feeling lied with her own teacher. I should have known she thought to herself. Why would someone like him be interested in someone like me? Of course, Shaina is all those wonderful things he mentioned...I'm none of them...She smiled gently despite the pain radiating in her chest. "I...understand now." She cursed herself mentally as she felt her fingers curl up into balls.

Milo could easily see how tense she was. "Hey Roxy, listen, I didn't mean it like that. I wasn't just flirting with you to get to Shaina or anything." He reached out and took Roxohnda's hand into his own, putting his other hand over it gently. "I know we don't know each other very well, but I do know that you're someone special. You have a great personality, you're funny, smart, and it's been nothing short of a pleasure hanging out with you. I honestly mean that."

Roxohnda took in a shaky breath, her fingers intertwining with his. She felt her cheeks pink.

"And that's exactly why I can't be with you."

"What?"

"I've been thinking the past couple of days over this whole thing, and...I'm young, you know? We both are. Honestly, I'm just not ready for a serious relationship," he admitted sheepishly. "You...probably feel a bit led on, and I'm really sorry but it's because I respect you so much that I'm telling you this. I still want to be your friend, to get to know you better..." His voice turned soft. "I feel like we really click, you know? Like we have some sort of bond already, even though we don't know each other very well, like we have some sort of—"

"Connection." Both Saints looked at each other in shock as they spoke the word in unison. They couldn't help but break down into laughter.

"Yeah, I agree, Milo." Roxohnda smiled at him. "Thank you for being so honest, and...I accept your apology." She looked down briefly. "I...want to know you better as well, but still...I feel like this is, I don't know...the end of something."

"Nah," he said, sitting back onto the couch with a nonchalant grin. "You and me, Roxy, we've only just begun."

* * *

The next day, Roxohnda hesitantly knocked on the door of her teacher's cabin. She waited a few moments before Shaina opened the door. She could easily read the surprise on her face. The Perseus Saint rarely ever tried to visit her teacher at her personal abode.

"Roxohnda? What brings you here?"

She smiled as best she could. "Hello, maître. Could I come in? I wanted to speak with you about something."

"Of course," she said, moving so that Roxohnda could enter. They both sat at Shaina's small kitchen table across from each other.

"So, what can I do for you?"

"Well..." Shaina raised an eyebrow as Roxohnda removed her mask. "I want to talk to you about something seriously. I need...information. Advice, I guess."

Shaina sat back. For her to remove her mask so freely, that's not like her..."Alright."

Roxohnda nodded. "I've been having some issues with...a man."

Shaina smirked. She certainly was not expecting this. "A man?"

"Yes. He and I met in a bar down in the town." She smiled a bit to herself. "We spent the whole first night we met just talking, and it was...nice. Really, really nice. But then when I saw him again the next time I went to the bar, he was a total pig to me! After a while he invited me over to his place to explain himself, and I forgave him, but I'm still unsure about it. He told me he'd been drunk because he was stressed out over another woman."

Shaina looked shocked. "He hit on you, and then freaked out over another woman? Who is this guy, anyway?"

Roxohnda looked straight into Shaina's eyes. "He's the Scorpio Saint, Milo."

Shaina froze. Now she understood why her pupil had come to her of all people to talk so seriously. "What did he tell you?"

"Honestly? He told me that he greatly admires and desires you, but he can't come out and say it, so he played his stupid games and he chased you off, and now he's crushed because you've found a lover."

Shaina raised an eyebrow. She wanted to laugh at the thought of Milo saying such a thing, but Roxohnda's demeanor made her realize the girl was being serious. "Roxohnda, listen to me. Milo is not a man you want to be involved with."

Roxohnda was stunned. "What?"

Shaina nodded. "Milo doesn't take women seriously. In fact, he doesn't take relationships in general seriously. Trust me; I have been dealing with him for far, far too long. He goes through women like water. He'll only hurt your feelings in the end. You should break things off with him as soon as you can."

"But maître, we're not dating. He doesn't want to."

"What?"

"I said, he doesn't want to date me, or anyone for that matter. He told me he's not ready for a relationship, and that he'd rather us be friends and get to know each other better."

Shaina was truly at a loss for words. That didn't sound like Milo at all. "Well...maybe he said that to you, but I wouldn't trust it, or him for that matter. I'm warning you, Roxohnda. Do not get involved with Scorpio Milo. Trust me."

Roxohnda stood up. "Shaina," She looked up at Roxohnda, perplexed by the use of her name and not some honorific. "I appreciate your concern but...well, I've been thinking a lot about this lately." Roxohnda clenched fists as her hands were shaking. "I really do look up to you, and I'm forever grateful for what you have done for me, but I know that I've been...clingy. For too long I have relied on you and your wisdom to get me through my toughest challenges, but I cannot do it any longer. I have to find my own way, become my own warrior. I need to make my own decisions. I trust Milo, and I will not break off my relations with him." She put her mask on the table. "Thank you for your time and words, maître; I truly appreciate your help and concern." She bowed respectfully before leaving the shocked Ophiuchus Saint in her wake.

The green-haired warrior got up and ran to the door, only to watch her pupil running into the distance. She couldn't help but display a bright smile. It's about time, Roxohnda. I'm glad I could lead you to this point. Now, the rest is up to you.

* * *

DeathMask sighed with content as he sipped at his drink. He loved going to the bar regularly, it was an escape for him from the pressures of Sainthood. It was nice and quiet tonight, though, and he found that a bit odd. This place is dying for something interesting to happen tonight, damn it all!

He turned to the front door as he heard it creak open. He wasn't surprised when he saw Milo walk in with a pretty orange-haired girl next to him. He watched as he led the girl to his usual table, then bent down and chatted with her briefly. The Scorpio Saint smiled at the girl and patted her shoulder before going over to the bar and ordering two beers.

DeathMask continued to watch the two interact with interest. He wasn't flirting with her, he hadn't groped her, and the girl actually looked like she had her wits about her. She wasn't Milo's usual type, and he wasn't acting in his normal manner.

The Cancer Saint sat back, thinking the situation over. Slowly, thoughts churned in his mind and formed into a plan.

He was going to make sure that Milo never bothered Shaina again, and he knew exactly how he was going to do it.

The End of Chapter 5 -- Continued in Chapter 6


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