Precious Metals

Chapter 6: How Much More

© 2008 by DaHaloChick

This page was last modified: 2008/08/08

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Roxohnda wasn't sure how much more of this she could take.

I can't believe how much this sucks! She thought to herself as she sipped her drink. She cringed as the woman sitting on Milo's lap laughed just a little too loud.

For the past two months Roxohnda had been spending time with Milo, and it had been rather pleasant. He didn't bring up the incident at the bar again, nor did he repeat the actions he had taken that night. They had simply gone out casually, catching dinner or a movie, and getting to know each other. Roxohnda had learned much about Milo because of it, but one thing in particular stuck with her.

While having a conversation over dinner one night about being a Saint, Roxohnda had found herself compelled by Milo's thoughts and feelings on Athena. His loyalty to their Goddess surprised her, as she had not thought a womanizer like him could be so devoted to one thing or person. Loyalty like that from a man like Milo, she had thought to herself, would be something any girl would want.

She knew that for a fact, because just about every woman in town seemed to want a piece of Milo. That part of things wasn't exactly what was causing her so much pain.

She knew that Milo would be continuing his normal routine of picking up girls. What right did she have to argue against it? They were just friends, after all, so why should it bother her. The frustration was becoming unbearable for the Perseus Saint.

Roxohnda was jolted from her thoughts when Milo's 'new friend' flailed her arms, knocking Milo's drink over and onto Roxohnda. She stood up, looking down at her now wet top.

The woman began to laugh, as did her friends who were also sitting at the bar. Milo, however, was not laughing. "Are you okay, Roxy?"

Roxohnda clenched her fists. I've had enough. "I'm fine. I'm going to head home and change out of these clothes."

She turned to walk away, but was stopped by Milo's hand gripping her own. "Hey, Roxy, are you sure you're okay?"

She turned to him, seeing genuine concern in his eyes. She felt her chest pang as she squeezed his hand. "Yes, Milo."

He looked at her warily. "Alright. Hey, listen, stop by and see me tomorrow morning, okay?"

Roxohnda nodded. "Sure," and with a wave, she left the bar.

* * *

The walk seemed longer than normal, and Roxohnda had felt as if she were in a daze the entire time. She valued her growing friendship with Milo, but she couldn't deny the toll that his flirting took on her. Perhaps, she thought, she should stop going out to bars with him. That way, she could see him one-on-one and avoid his legion of 'friends' altogether.

The idea felt like copping out to Roxohnda. She had promised herself that she would expose herself to Milo's actions, that she'd get used to them and accept them as a part of him. She had been sure that she could handle it, but the more she began to feel for the Scorpio Saint, the harder it was becoming.

Am I just fooling myself? What the hell am I expecting from him, anyway?

"Hey, Perseus Saint!"

She looked up, her train of thought derailed by the voice. She saw a man approaching with a muscular build and dark blue hair. "You are the Perseus Saint, right?"

"Yes…" As he came closer, she began to recognize the angles of his face and his deep, almost menacing voice. There was no mistaking it. "You're DeathMask, the Gold Cancer Saint!"

He smirked. "Well, aren't you observant?" he looked down. "You're also wet. What happened?"

Roxy looked down, crossing her arms over her chest reflexively. "Oh…some girl at the bar knocked a drink on me."

"Tch. That sucks." He grinned mockingly. "Didn't your boyfriend stick up for you?"

She looked at him oddly. "My…boyfriend?"

"Yeah," he replied, "You know, Milo."

Oh, and I thought this night couldn't get any worse. "Milo is not my boyfriend."

DeathMask laughed. "He's not? What happened, did you two have a fight?"

"We were never dating. He doesn't want a relationship."

"Of course he doesn't!" DeathMask exclaimed, "He'd rather just flirt around than actually put effort into a relationship with someone worthy." He moved closer, his smile widening. "However, there has to be somebody who can change his mind."

Suddenly, Roxohnda felt nervous. The pure, natural cosmos of this man was beginning to make the hairs on her body stand on end. "What are you getting at?"

"Milo is rather weak in regards to his feelings," DeathMask explained. "He flirts because he knows that he can keep women around like that. As long as he polishes his charm and flashes it to whomever he wants attention from, he'll get it. To keep a real woman around would bring uncertainty and risk to his emotions, because he'd actually have to work to keep that person around." He caught Roxohnda's gaze with his. "If someone could convince him to put in that effort, though, he would have no more reason to chase after women as he does."

Roxohnda took a step back, quickly gathering her thoughts. When she looked into DeathMask's eyes, she could almost see the wheels turning in his head. "Shaina told me that Milo would hurt me, and to stay away from him."

"Normally, I'd agree, but like I said, if he were to—"

"She also told me that you feel the same way about him, that you'd do anything to keep him away from her," she said. "People consider you to be the most cruel and fearsome Saint of all. I know that isn't necessarily true in all situations because my maître would have nothing to do with you in that instance. She may be fearsome and cruel herself at times, but she is still a woman." She hardened her gaze. "What are you up to, DeathMask?"

He sighed, rolling his eyes. "Look kid, I'm just trying to help you out. You're one of Shaina's students, one that she's put a lot of time into. I just don't want to see it ruined by some pity party you're throwing yourself because the man you have your eye on doesn't know the first thing about how to treat a real woman. All that I'm trying to say is that if you want him, just—"

"You're concerned about me? Now I know you're lying!" She put her hands on her hips. "Listen, DeathMask. You're right when you say that maître put a lot of time and effort into my training. I am aware of that, and I'll forever be grateful to her for that. I'm sure you can assume that as well. Knowing that, you're going to stand here and tell me that Milo is a flirtatious jerk, but I should go and try to change him if I want him that badly? There's only one reason why you'd do something like that." She took several steps closer to him, looking right up into his face. "This isn't about me. It's about Shaina, isn't it? You're not doing this for any benefit of mine; you're doing this so Milo will stay away from your girlfriend!"

DeathMask raised an eyebrow in disbelief. Roxohnda felt the last bit of her restraint slip freely away. "Listen, DeathMask. Just stay out of this, okay? I can handle this on my own. If you're so concerned about Milo chasing after your girlfriend, maybe you should re-evaluate your relationship with her, because for you to go this far, to try and meddle in other people's lives just for the benefit of your relationship, you must have something lacking there."

DeathMask growled, and as his eyes flared in anger. Roxohnda took a step back as she felt a dark, menacing cosmos she could only assume belonged to the man in front of her. DeathMask pulled his arm back, ready to strike the female warrior before him, but was only stopped when a voice rang out.

"What in the world are you doing?"

DeathMask turned. "Shaina…" he watched his lover walk towards them, her emerald eyes blazing as they usually were when she was angry.

"What are you doing out here?" she turned to Roxohnda. "What's going on?"

Roxohnda glared at DeathMask. He looked away, knowing he was in trouble. Unfortunately for him, Roxohnda was a fair woman, and he had it coming to him. "DeathMask was just telling me about how great he thinks it would be if I were to persuade Milo to date me so that he could no longer bother you."

Shaina looked at DeathMask. "Are you serious?" She shook her head, deciding to deal with him later. "Roxohnda, I understand that you—"

"No, you don't!" She exclaimed. "Everybody else thinks they understand my relationship with Milo, but nobody does! Milo has his shortcomings, but he's a good guy, and although he made a mistake, he apologized and has shown me nothing but kindness and respect, so lay off—"

"Do you love him?"

Roxohnda stopped, turning to her teacher. "Excuse me?"

Shaina put her hands on her hips. "I asked if you are in love with Milo."

The Perseus Saint took in a deep breath, her voice coming out shakier than she intended it to. "I can make my own decisions—"

"Obviously, you can't," DeathMask interrupted, "Because you're sitting here tearing yourself up over some moron who will never be able to understand nor care about what he does to women, you included." He took several steps forward, ignoring the sound of Shaina's orders to leave her student alone. "Listen. Shaina tells me you're a decent fighter, and an excellent strategist, so if you think about it logically, you should be able to see the truth. Milo is an asshole, always has been, always will be. He treats women like they're toys, and there is no reason why you should be an exception; you're nothing special, little girl. You standing here trying to defend your ignorance of that is just making you seem more foolish. Rather than wasting your time here, you should go and get yourself a damned wake-up call and stop whining over it!"

Roxohnda swallowed, fixated on the Cancer Saint's angry face, feeling only trails of wetness flowing down her cheeks. Pain and tightness suddenly seized her chest, and she couldn't help but feel like she was being strangled by the elder Saint's words. She suddenly shifted to the side and dodged around DeathMask, running towards Sanctuary.

* * *

Milo looked up at the sky as he walked towards the mountain he called home. After Roxohnda had left the bar, the mood of the night had seemed to leave with her. He had excused himself from his companion for the night and decided to go home.

He couldn't get her face out of his mind. The look she'd given him before she left had made him feel something that he couldn't quite define. He'd certainly never felt it before. Guilt had quickly begun to eat at him, and he figured he'd stop by to see if Roxohnda was okay before heading back to his own temple.

He suddenly felt cosmos flair, not too much, but he recognized it as DeathMask's. He hurried his steps, curious as to what was going on.

When he finally reached the source of the power he'd felt, he saw DeathMask and Shaina looking towards Sanctuary. He looked past them to see a moonlit hint of orange running off in the distance. That couldn't have been…

Milo stepped forward, his concern growing by the minute. "Hey, was that Roxohnda?"

The two Saints turned to him, looking surprised. Shaina was the first to speak. "Ah, Milo...yes, that was Roxohnda. I think she's heading home."

He scowled. "Is she okay?"

DeathMask frowned at him. "What do you think, idiot?"

Milo glared. "I wasn't asking you."

Shaina shook her head. "No, Milo, I don't think she is. Why are you here, anyway? Were you chasing after her? What happened?"

"Nothing happened," he explained, "A girl at the bar spilled my drink on her, so she went home to get changed."

DeathMask laughed. "Oh, it was your drink? And just how did a random girl at the bar get a hold of your drink? Let me guess, you were flirting with her, right?"

Milo grumbled. "So what if I was?"

"Well, you moron," DeathMask grinned; "Now you know why she was so eager to get home."

Milo raised an eyebrow. "What are you talking about?"

DeathMask laughed again. "You really don't see it, do you? She didn't leave because she ruined her shirt; she probably left because she was tired of watching you fuck around with other women."

Milo sighed. "You know nothing, DeathMask. We're just friends."

"So she told me, but do you really think that's the way she wants it?" DeathMask's smile never left his face. "You have this uncanny way of being blind as a fucking bat when it really counts. You're so wrapped up in whatever is going on in your own head, you don't see how what you do messes with others."

Shaina stepped forward. "He's right, Milo. You're playing around with her emotions, and up until now, I was almost convinced that you were doing it intentionally, but I don't think you even know what you're doing. I'd suggest you leave her alone and let her gather her thoughts, Milo."

Milo was stunned. "You don't know anything! We've already talked about this, her and I, and—"

"And what, hmm?" Shaina took another step towards him. "You think that people don't change, that feelings always stay the same? Did it occur to you that maybe she would begin to feel more for you? Do you ever stop to think about how what you do affects others?"

Milo looked at her. He felt the pain that Shaina's gaze always brought him flow through him. He turned away only when Shaina began to give him a confused look. He turned to DeathMask, snarling at him before pushing past the both of them. He stopped a foot or two away, turning back. "You have no idea of how I feel about her, so stay the hell out of it!" he continued on his way, wanting nothing more than to get as far away from them as he possibly could.

Milo wasn't sure how much more of this he could take.

The End of Chapter 6 -- Continued in Chapter 7

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