Unbroken

© 2000 by Sofía 'Toffee' Francisco

This page was last modified: 2000/04/03


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Author's Note:

As usual, I base myself on the fact that Hyoga was trained by Camus and Crystal did not exist...


Milo:

"Seriously... I'm sure you could seduce anyone!"- Aiolia laughed as he hit me on the shoulder, smiling widely.

"Oh please, there are limits, even to Mr. Casanova here."- Shura pointed at me, his haughty voice strengthening his comment. Aiolia rolled his eyes and leaned against a pillar.

I had invited a few Gold saints over to my temple, to talk and have a drink. Being one of the few saints who dared to smuggle alcohol into the Sanctuary was an advantage, and since I was a Gold saint nobody ever commented on it.

"Let's see, you seduce everybody, you have illegal substances hidden and you are a serial killer."- Aiolia ticked the fingers of his right hand, enumerating my crimes. -"Yep, you are going to go straight to hell, no chance of salvation for you."

We all laughed, all too aware that this might be everybody's destiny no matter what happened. But the weight of the future was not something I had wanted to hear tonight. We all knew it, we all feared it.

And that was why I had invited the few saints I liked over here, to try to have fun and forget.

"No comment." I answered and smiled. I saw Shura frown at my smile, all too seductive despite the lack of female presence in the temple. But who cared? It was the way I behaved with everybody.

"Please don't give me that I-want-you-in-my-bed-tonight look."- Aiolia muttered, a blush spreading across his cheeks. It just came out naturally, but I made men uncomfortable often.

Shura laughed and slid to the floor, giddy due to all the drinks he had had so far. Aiolia was not much better off, and Aldebaran was just fiddling with the ice in his glass, too shy to speak about my quirks in my face.

Of course, Shaka had not graced us with his presence, and the other saint I had asked over was present... yet absent.

Camus stood near the entrance, leaning on a pillar, arms crossed. He simply stared off into space, lost in thought. I walked over to him, and smiled at his wistful expression.

"A penny for your thoughts."- He turned his head in my direction, his blue eyes worried and darker than usual. He sighed heavily and pushed a few stray blue strands of hair from his face.

"It's nothing important."- I always liked to hear his accent, such an odd mixture of French and Russian, it was often hard to understand him completely. He had never been particularly talkative, but tonight he seemed downright closed off. I smiled and huffed.

"You don't look like it was nothing important."- I pressed on, even though I saw him frown and felt him stiffen.

"Well, then let's just say it's none of your business."- He muttered between clenched teeth. I was mildly surprised, it was very hard to get Camus angry, and he was quite used to my goading.

"It's about the coming Wars, right?"- I suddenly realised that even though we were practically the same age, Camus had greater responsibilities.. namely, his pupils. I had chosen not to train a child yet, but Camus had taken two students in up to now, and he seemed greatly attached to them.

"Hm. Yes."- We were going to fight and I doubted we would be defeated, but the children Camus trained would be lower ranking, the first line of defence, and so, easily expendable. The would obviously die in the wars.

"Awww, for once forget your work and enjoy your life! It doesn't last forever."- Camus looked up at the starry sky and folded his arms.

"I think I ought to leave now..."- He had had enough of this then. I didn't want him to leave, he had for a long time been my best -and only- friend. I did not want him to go...

He had seen me through the worst times in my life, and now I wanted to help him. I laughed inwardly, how unusual of me, to behave so emotionally. But it was true, it had been a long time since I bothered myself with emotions and things of the like, Camus was perhaps the only one who could make me feel them, even though what I did feel was still minimal.

"No, don't. Just stay here, let's do something else."- He turned to me and, upon seeing my fake innocent look, he sighed and let me guide him to the centre of the reunion.

"Be cool Camus, not cold."- I told him laughing, and I saw a ghost of a smile appear on his face. I patted his shoulder, feeling awkward as I did, but it seemed to reassure him a bit.

"Come on Milo! Stop seducing everyone!"- Aiolia called out. They had seen me get close to Camus and had, of course, misinterpreted the whole thing.

"I'm not seducing him, just trying to make him like you!"- I called out laughing. No, I wasn't seducing him... not that I hadn't tried before. When we had been younger I had had a serious crush on him, but he never showed anything beyond friendship. And if he saw what I felt, he had ignored it. I got tired of the same game and fell in love with someone else some time later.

It was the last time I loved anything at all.

"Yeah right! We all know you could seduce a statue if you wanted to!."- Shura tossed an ice-cube at me and I dodged it laughing.

"Nonononoo... wait, there are limits to everything!"- Aiolia said suddenly. -"And there are people even the great Casanova here can't conquer."- I felt a twinge of curiosity, having my trademark ability disputed.

"Really? I'm quite sure I could seduce anybody, you name it."- Camus shook his head smiling bitterly at my recklessness.

"Milo..."- He began, but Aiolia cut him off with a loud laugh.

"Anybody? Well then let's make a bet! If I win..."- He paused as he though it over. -"I get to keep half of whatever you smuggle in."

"And if I win?"- I asked, finding all of this quite funny.

"I take the blame if you are ever caught."- He offered.

"Not good enough, I WON'T get caught."- Camus sighed and ran a hand through his long blue hair. His irritation was evident.

"Well then... I will owe you a favour, and you can use it later on."- It was a good offering. I saw Shura's eyes widen, seeing the possibility in what Aiolia was giving. Liquor really threw people off balance, and the proud lion was selling himself off without knowing.

"Fine, that will be enough. Shura, you will be witness to this."- The Capricorn saint nodded and watched as Aiolia and I shook hands. Behind me Camus shook his head again and smiled sadly.

"That is so like you..."- He whispered. I turned to him, a slight frown on my forehead.

"What?"- I asked a bit forcefully. "You put everything on the line, when you don't even know the danger."- I was naturally reckless.

"Don't worry, I am a master in the art of seduction."- Everybody knew that. Nobody minded my bisexuality, they took it as an almost prerequisite to be Scorpio. I assumed Aiolia would have me seduce somebody tough.

"Seduce the Pope."- He said. I stared at him, not believing what he had just said, so nonchalantly. I felt something cold grip my heart, twisting it. The Pope...

Shion. Mu's teacher.

Saga's lover.

I had to keep myself from screaming outrage. And I knew Camus understood what that meant to me. Now that was a bet I was destined to loose... because I hated Shion, and I could not conceive the idea of seducing him... after he had...

Saga.

Yet, all of a sudden Aiolia broke out laughing and slapped his own thigh.

"Athena! You should have seen your face!"- He breathed in deeply to calm himself. -"No, the Pope is too dangerous. I have something else in mind."

The cold grip lessened, making me feel light-headed. -"Yes?"- I asked, keeping my tone seductive and unaffected.

"It's really very easy... I want you to seduce, the Virgo saint."

* * *

Shaka:

I knew Aiolia was up to something, it was too obvious. The way he looked at me, as he walked past my temple after having partied at the Scorpio temple. He came through walking unsteadily and had greeted me with a smug smile. Alcohol had weakened his self control, and he walked by me with that look on his face and said.

"I'm counting on you."

So it was pretty evident that something was going on.

I had been invited by Milo, but I decided not to go. I was not one for parties and I often the Scorpio saint's personality a bit too unsettling. He did not intimidate me, I just found him too closed up and overly ironic.

Not to mention he was a cynic, and I hated that in a person.

I might seem like one to the untrained eye, but the truth was that I only revealed what I truly was, no lies about it, and I never hid under false smiles.

I knew Camus and Shura had also gone there; I like Camus, but I didn't know him, and Shura was too arrogant to be good company. So I had much preferred to stay at home here in my temple and read a book.

Yet now, after they had all returned to their temples for the night, I wondered what it would have been like. It was what I would define as scientific curiosity. I hadn't been in the company of other people for a long time now, almost as soon as I became a gold saint people stopped approaching me. I didn't really regret the loss, but I often wondered if my reputation was the cause of that distancing, or if the distancing was the cause of my reputation.

The man closest to god.

I knew it was the truth, but I disliked how pompous it sounded. I would have preferred to have a less showy name. But I guessed that due to my power level, it was rather hard not to be called something flashy.

Did Milo really want me to go, or had he invited me out of courtesy knowing I would decline? He was very polite anyway.. unless, of course, he wanted to seduce somebody, then he was the most charming creature ever to have walked on this earth.

Or so I had heard.

Not that it interested me very much either, he could do as he pleased as long as I did not get pulled into his problems.

I sighed and walked to my bed, pulling my night-clothes from under the pillow. The bed was large and soft, and the room was illuminated by beeswax candles that glowed dimly. I liked it, comfortable, homely despite the looming pillars and unreachable roof.. I could feel the heat of the candles when my eyes were closed, so I enjoyed them. I pulled of my clothes and left them on a chair near the wall, where I kept my books, and slipped on the thin white pants and loose grey shirt. With a huff I sat down at the edge of the bed and begun to brush my hair, wondering not for the first time if I should cut it.

"Hello?"- I stopped in mid-brush as a familiar voice rang through the temple. I got up, pushing my hair behind my ears and walked towards the centre of the temple. Halfway through I opened my eyes, knowing that there was no real threat. My quarters were in a small room connected to the main building but not quite in it, for privacy.

"Isn't it rather late to be paying house visits?"- I asked as I approached, and found something completely unexpected. I had enough time to wonder what he wanted and concluded it was to ask something or just find out why I hadn't gone to his little meeting. Instead I found myself facing a very charming Milo dressed in very sexy clothes.

He wore tight black hip-hugging pants that accented his long legs and hinted at what he did not want to display openly, and a thin long white blouse, completely unbuttoned at the front to reveal his well muscled chest. I blinked, surprised at finding him like this and seeing all the details he wanted me -or whomever he was after- to notice, really had a strong effect on me. I guessed it was part of his Scorpio nature, and that when he wanted to, he really could be irresistible.

"I felt like it."- He answered, and I detected the suggestive undertones he used. He was trying to seduce me?

"It's late, go back. I'm tired."- I answered fast and short, feeling annoyed by his sudden behaviour and by the way it affected me. Who did he think he was anyway?

"Can't you be a bit friendly... just once?"- He inquired softly, walking closer to me, his eyes alight. I stepped away, frowning angrily.

"I don't know what it is you are after, but I don't like it. Leave."- His smile only widened as he edged closer with the calm self-possessed walk of a proud cat. When he was in front of me he put his hands on his hips and cocked an eyebrow at me.

"I just came to find out why you didn't show up, for the... pseudo party."- He replied with a shrug and a toss of his silky mane.

"I find those meeting boring."- I answered with levelled tones and an uninterested look in my eyes.

"You might have had fun."- He smirked, his eyes lidded and glowing. Oh, how the girls and boys must have swooned when he gave them those looks, hinting of seduction but all too common in him. Oddly enough, I was able to read between the lines easily, even though I was completely ignorant on these grounds.

But then, it was hard to know when Milo was trying to bed someone or not, he tended to seduce everybody.

But.... Would I have had fun there? Among all the other saints?

"No."- And suddenly, Aiolia's smug smile came to my mind. Something had been about to happen....

And he had been drunk, with Milo. I felt my stomach churn at the thought of being seduced for the fun of it.

It was something I would not take, from anybody. -"Go away."

I flared my golden cosmo as a warning, and I saw Milo's eyes widen. -"No need to be so direct."

"You are well past subtleties, Milo."- I answered coldly. He shrugged.

"I just came to say hi."- He shifted his weight to his other foot, completely unafraid of my glowing cosmo.

He knew my power level, so why was he so confident? Wasn't he afraid of getting hurt? Of dying?

"You just did, now leave."- He frowned a bit, his look was nonetheless terribly... haunting.

"Fine, come and visit me whenever you feel like it."- He strolled towards the exit with the same proud sway.

"Unlikely."- But I wasn't sure he had heard.

Not that it mattered anyway.

When he was gone I flopped onto my bed with a growl and lay down. Whatever had he been thinking of?

What had I been thinking of?

It was hard not to notice him when he was so obviously intent on being noticed.... But why had Milo decided to go after me? A joke, a bet?

A bet.

Milo versus Aiolia. I could just see it. And of course I had helped Aiolia win, but who had started this whole stupid event? I was seething, wishing I could just show them who they were betting over. To think he had tried to seduce me as a bet! A little game... he had done it as a way to have fun.

It slowly dawned on me that I had more upset at having been seduced as a joke than at the seduction itself. I laughed at my own stupidity and crawled under the sheets.

Tomorrow I would be able to think more clearly, and I would let Milo have a piece of my mind.

* * *

Milo:

"And he threw you out of his temple? Hardly surprising."- Camus laughed for the first time in days as I told him about my small midnight hunting. -"I guess this means you lost."

"Not at all. We never agreed on a time limit."- I smiled innocently, but felt a bit uneasy as I saw Camus' eyes grow slightly colder.

"So you are going to pursue this little bet?"- He asked, no longer joking.

"You know I love a challenge. And besides, after seeing him last night I realised he is quite desirable."- I was used to being open with Camus, and he never protested. However, this time he seemed.. unsettled.

"I just hope you know what you are doing."- He whispered closing his eyes. I shrugged and leapt off the rock I had been sitting on.

"Sure I do. And by the way he looked at me, it won't be all that hard."- I told him smiling in feral way.

Camus only sighed and shook his head. I knew all too well what he was thinking; that I was too focused on what the body could give not on feelings, but that was my way.

It was the only way I could be happy, feelings had proved to be nothing but trouble to me.

* * *

Shaka:

I woke up feeling decidedly rested and in a much better mood than last night. I sat up and stretched languorously before slipping out of bed. The sun shone in through the window that led to the garden beyond my temple, and the air felt pleasantly warm. Maybe I would go out for a walk after meeting the Kyoko.

I stepped into the large bathroom facility and eased myself into the warm water with a sigh.

This was going to be one of those quiet days when I could read a book under the two enormous trees in the garden and relax. All I had to do was visit the Kyoko in the morning to give him a briefing on all the important things that had happened in the last week.

In other words: nothing.

And after that, I was free to meditate and use this day to get some decent gardening done, perhaps... then read. I washed myself unhurriedly and brushed my long hair, after I was done I got out of the pool and dried myself with a towel.

Today would be warm so I had better wear something light... I chose pair of plain red pants and a sober white blouse that I buttoned up almost completely, leaving the last one open. After giving it some though I pulled my hair into a loose braid and tied it with a red ribbon, the same colour as my trousers.

When I looked in the mirror I realised I was being particularly picky about my looks today, I usually paid no attention to that kind of thing. I shrugged to myself and walked out of the temple, using a secret passage to get to the Kyoko's room faster.

And I wasn't going to pass through the Scorpio temple today.

* * *

Milo:

"You look fabulous, you know it, so why are you so uneasy?"- I scolded my reflection with a mock pout, trying to decide what to wear today. I had already tried on several different outfits, all of them in different styles and colours. But nothing seemed to suit my demands.

I was NOT going to loose this bet. Especially when it was against Aiolia... and after all, Shaka wasn't such a bad looking person.

The problem was, he was obviously a virgin, and he seemed uninterested in women and boys alike. The man closest to God was a freaking monk.

But there had to be a way to get past his aloofness and conquer him! If not the nice way, then by force. If he was a virgin then he knew nothing of what pleasures the body could give... that is, unless he.....?

I shook my head and stared at my reflection with a critical eye. Tight blue pants and a loose white shirt bound with a string at the collar; classy, sober and yet sexy.

I was going to need more than that, but for now it would do.

"Well Shaka.. there is only one way out of this, and my bed is the exit."

* * *

Shaka:

"Nothing much has taken place. The gold saints are all in their houses, and there has been no attempt at breaching our defences."- I detailed the situation, kneeling on front of the Pope, my eyes closed.

I heard shuffling sound of his robes as he got up and walked towards the back window.

"I felt you flare your cosmo last night."- He informed me in his unaffected deep tone of voice.

"I received an unwanted visit."- I told him, not wanting to explain the whole situation. The Pope did not move.

"An enemy?"- I sighed and shook my head.

"No, a seducer.. it seems. Apparently the Scorpio saint decided to try his luck out on me."- The Pope laughed as he heard this.

"Well, that does sound like Milo."- He murmured, and I wondered it the Pope too, had been on of Milo's former lovers. I wouldn't have been surprised.

"You sound like you knew him well."- I informed him, testing my ground. The air around us grew tense. I didn't need to open my eyes to know the Kyoko was frozen where he stood.

"I have heard a lot of him."- It was a lie but I decided not to press the matter any further. -"But if you are willing to take some advice... I knew someone close to him."

"Hn?"- I raised my head, but I didn't open my eyes. Since he wore a mask it wouldn't be able to see his face anyway. But his words had caught me.

"Milo has had a... complicated youth. He seduces and defies all things, to him it's all the same. But he feels nothing, keep that in mind."- I was nothing short of fascinated by his words. I did not know why, but the Kyoko seemed to know Milo, very well.

"No feelings?"- Milo was truly a heartless seducer?

"No, none. Due to.. problems in his youth he abhors feelings. And yet he hates being that way at the same time. It's surprising that he is after you, since you are not his usual prey."- He spoke in a sad way.

"Not centred on sex like him? Well, I think it's not his idea. He seems to have made a bet with Aiolia."- I smiled bitterly. There was no way he would have come to me unless something forced him to.... And why was I thinking about that anyway?

"Just beware. I'm not sure what this little bet -as you called it- might end on. But it may be good for both of you, if Aiolia looses."- I was struck dumb by his final words. I stood up and bowed formally, pretending to have been completely undisturbed by his words.

But as I walked out of the temple I wondered. What was there between Milo and the Kyoko? Did he have something to do with the Scorpio saints' past? And why should his seducing me lead to anything good?

If Milo truly had no feelings then I wanted even less to do with him, I might seem outwardly cold, but purity of heart and true feelings were important to me. I felt a lot more than I let people know, I just acted colder around them, to keep them off. I wished I could be as detached as I appeared to be... but sometimes, I just couldn't escape my own feelings. So there was no point in thinking about this any further.

But even knowing it I couldn't get him out of my mind.

* * *

Milo:

I walked down to the Virgo temple, but when I got there I found that Shaka was nowhere to be seen. I let out a frustrated sigh and walked into his domain fearlessly. The pillars were practically unscathed, as if all Virgo saints had been careful to keep their temple in perfect condition.

"How clean and pure."- I mumbled as I examined the smooth walls and strong foundations. My temple was hard to keep in good order, but I managed fairly okay.

"Virgo IS a symbol of purity."- I turned around to see Shaka walking up to me. He looked... sexier than I recalled ever seeing him. I stood in front of him smiling and tossed my head to get the hair out of my eyes.

Shaka frowned as he saw this deliberately seductive gesture and crossed his arms. -"And would you please not be so obvious?"

"As to what?"- I inquired in a purr, while giving him burning looks. He gazed back at me, his eyes open and shining coldly.

"I already know about your little bet with the Leo saint, and I must tell you I have NO interest in you, so go home and let me be."- It was my turn to frown. Had Aiolia told him? No, Shaka had probably figured it out on his own.

Interesting.

"What makes you so sure you know what I am after?"- He raised an eyebrow, as if what I asked was ridiculous.

"You think I'm blind?"- His voice was neutral and unaffected.

"Well, you DO keep you eyes closed most of the time..."- I let the sentence trail off, smiling playfully.

"Yes, and you throw seductive smiles to anyone..."- He answered without emotion.

Damn! This was though... but wonderfully challenging.

"But I am seducing most of the time."- I my smile widened and I cocked an eyebrow stepping closer to him, until he was only a meter or so away from me. Enough to reach over and....

"Then I find you frankly disgusting."- He replied with an look that echoed his words perfectly. I felt suddenly cold and uncomfortable. Never before had I been rejected like this... with such utter disgust.

But then, I had never tried seducing someone like Shaka. I usually sought people willing to have fun a night or two and then move on as if nothing had happened. I seduced using an appeal that was completely directed to the body, and Shaka couldn't be any less interested in that.

I realised then that I might not be able to win this bet after all....

"You don't even know what I offer."- I growled, dropping the seductive act.

"I know what it is you offer. I have not experienced it, true, but I don't want to try it out with you either."- I stepped away from him, feeling suddenly nauseated.

"Have it your way."- I turned my back on him and strode out of his temple.

"I am."- He answered as I crossed through the massive doorway and left.

* * *

Shaka:

How angry and confused he had looked...

Perhaps I had been too direct in my rejection. But then, it was better that way, or he would probably try it out again. And he probably would try it out again anyway.

The Kyoko's words puzzled me.

He had obviously hinted that I should let Milo get what he wanted... but why?

What was the point? I wasn't interested in matters of the flesh, and that was all Milo cared about. Virgo was pure and down to earth, Scorpio was hypersexual and mysterious. What was to be gained of such a joining?

And sexuality was sacred to me, if I ever slept with anybody it would be if I fell in love.

With a woman.

But since I was trying to detach myself even more, to increase my power and purity, that was an unlikely event.

Still the idea of surrendering my virginity to a heartless sex-crazed assassin was not appealing at all. And yet... weren't we all assassins in the end?

Did the cause really justify our means?

Soon war would break out.. and then... we gold saints would stand back and watch hundreds of youths, children trained to be killers, die as our first and completely expendable line of defence.

All those children who put it all on the line to become saints, would die now that they had achieved their goal.

My pupils were silver saints.. they would die soon too.

But that was their purpose.

Wasn't it?

I sighed and tossed my half-braid behind my back.

I didn't truly understand everything, some aspects of life I preferred to leave aside. In the end we would all die and reincarnated so why not be as pure as possible now, so as to have less to atone for later.

And as a saint I HAD to be pure... killing was not something light. It would cause me pain in my next life.

My pupils too would return after, so there was no point in grieving for them; they would return.

We all did.

And yet.....

Milo's personality fascinated me, even more after the small hints the Kyoko had dropped not unintentionally. Sanctuary was so monotonous sometimes, so a puzzle was always welcome.

But would he go on trying to seduce me...?

Oddly enough, I realised I liked the idea.

Perhaps it was the things I did not understand that kept me from distancing myself from everything.

* * *

Camus:

I walked into the Scorpio temple without bothering to identify myself, Milo had long ago stated that I was always welcome here. So sometimes, when the road got too long and my cloth too heavy I visited him. But not for too long, lest he begun seeing me as a potential lover again. As he had all those years ago.

I had rejected him...

It was strange, at first his approaches unsettled me, then I felt flattered, but I soon got tired of it. Milo was my best friend, and it bothered me that he saw me as something else. So I had told him off.

Repeatedly.

Until he got the idea.

Maybe it would have been better if I had accepted him right there and then. After he got over his fancy on me he somehow got himself into something much much bigger. We had been only trainees then....

But that did not stop Milo, he had already become a well built handsome teenager and he took advantage of it.

But back then he was still innocent at heart.

As it turned out he got involved with a Gold saint. And then.....

I shook my head and smiled bitterly.

It was ironic.

Back then I hadn't felt even slightly attracted to him, but now....

Now pain and sainthood had given him and edge... a quality in his personality that rattled me to the very core.

Now that he was heartless, now that he had no love to give.

I couldn't say I went as far as loving him, but there was something...

Yet love... well, that was something I had begun to think myself incapable of feeling.

I sighed and called out to him.

"Milo?"- I found him sitting on the floor near the centre of the temple, back leaned against a pillar. He looked up suddenly, his eyes lidded and vague. I frowned. -"You were drinking."

"It's not like it will kill me."- He smiled ironically. It upset me to see him like this.

"I take it your second attempt was a failure."- A big one. It was rare to see him so affected. And it seemed that it was not just his ego that had been hurt.

"Most certainly. Cheers."- He lifted a glass of a strange purple liquor to his lips and drank it down in one gulp. I kneeled on the floor in front of him.

"Milo?"- I felt suddenly, very worried.

"Camus..."- He seemed to be torn between asking something or not, waved his fingers as if searching for the right words while his face remained expressionless. -"Do you think I'm....disgusting?"- I stared at him, completely thrown of balance.

"Well, last time I checked you were the handsomest saint around."- He looked up briefly, a hollow look in is usually hard eyes.

"That's not what I meant."- I sighed and sat down more comfortably.

"You are... complicated, to say the least. To Shaka - for I assume all this originated there - you might seem a bit unidimensional. He doesn't know you though, few people do. You have only the minimal amount of feelings... and you are a cold blooded killer."- He smiled bitterly at this. -"But I think there is more heart in you than what you realise."

"Thank you."- It made me ache inside to hear him thank me so earnestly.

I felt guilty.

Maybe, if back then I had tried to like him... he would not be like this now. He would have never been involved with Saga.

And only the Goddess knew where he was now. The Gemini saint had long ago vanished.

Even when Milo and I met him he was mostly gone, the Pope seemed to require his presence often.

Too often.

* * *

Shaka:

I sat down on my bed and loosened the red ribbon that held the braid in place. I glanced at my mirror, seeing myself only dimly in the darkness of the room. I hadn't lit any candles yet, and the sun was almost completely gone now, setting over Sanctuary's high mountains, followed by heavy dark clouds that brought the promise of rain.

Yet all I could think of was Milo.

His piercing gaze, his unfathomable moods and sly enigmatic smiles. Everything about him I knew seemed to come to my mind now. Old whispered gossip, little urban legends based on him and even facts I had seen with my own eyes...

Grizzly killings.

But there was an aura of intense mystery about him, something that I had not seen until now...

And it seemed I would not find peace now that he had awakened my curiosity, so I decided to do the one thing I had never done before:

Ask for help.

Questioning the Kyoko would be of no use though...

So maybe I would have to ask somebody else.

I got up and stretched, smoothed my clothes and walked out of my temple.

* * *

Milo:

It had been a long time since I had felt like this. Perhaps it was because I was used to being liked immediately, perhaps it was because I had been shown how disgustingly frivolous all this had been.

When I thought about it, none of the people I had tried to seduce after - I swallowed, forcing myself to stomach those memories - after Saga, had been really interesting.

Just people to have sex with, I didn't even remember most of their names..

But Shaka was something else; he had morals and...feelings - or at least I thought he did. He was intelligent and a valuable person...

It had been a long time since I saw anybody as that.

Maybe that was why I felt so rotten now... because I realised I stood no chance against the people that mattered.

And it hurt, because it brought back old memories I had thought long lost.

Camus appeared all of a sudden, carrying a mug of something that smelled of strong black coffee. I ran a hand through my hair and extended an arm to receive the brew.

"I have to go now."- He told me in his deep steady voice. I looked up and nodded absently.

"Yeah."- He stood there for a few moments, unsure, and finally decided to leave me alone.

I closed my eyes and leaned my head against the cold marble pillar behind me and took another sip of coffee.

Outside the first cold drops of rain began to fall.

* * *

Camus:

I left him alone, for at times like this it was better to let him cope with things on his own. Something cold fell on my nose. I looked up to see dark storm clouds rumbling above and small drops of rain falling here and there. The weather seemed to be as dark as my mood.

I slowly made my way down the stairs, needing the walk to calm my nerves. But halfway down, a few meters before Virgo temple, I was halted by a blond figure.

"Virgo Shaka."- I greeted him formally and without much enthusiasm. The tall blond warrior gazed at me with his piercing sky-blue eyes and bowed slightly, acknowledging me.

"Aquarius Camus. It is good to see you"- I was taken aback by this, Shaka was not known for his good manners. He was spoken of as antisocial and reserved.

But then, I hadn't really met him myself.

"I suppose I should feel the same way."- I replied, testing the ground.

"Does that imply you don't?"- He inquired softly, blue eyes flashing calypso under the sudden blinding flash of lighting.

"I'm not sure, under these circumstances."- I preferred being honest with him. Shaka did not smile, but his eyes lost that cold light somewhat.

"I need to talk to you."- This was bordering on the surrealistic. What could he need of me?

And then it hit me, it obviously had to do with Milo.

"If this is about Milo, then I suggest you talk it over with him."- I answered coolly.

"There are things he won't answer, and things I cannot as him directly."- I gazed at this odd man and sighed, realising that he was right. Talking things over with Milo seldom led anywhere.

"Fine."

* * *

Shaka:

Camus walked behind me, letting himself be guided docilely into my temple. I used my cosmo to determine the state of his mind; he was unsure, but calm enough. I led him into the less visible section that joined my room, where I had placed more candles and had thrown some cushions. I had never had visitors actually come here, even though it was meant for them, but it would do.

"Please sit."- I gestured towards the cushions on the floor, taking seat on one of them myself.

"Thank you."- He sat down in one smooth movement, his legs folded under him, his back ramrod straight.

"Let's get to the point, Id like you to help me puzzle over something I was told."- Camus raised a brow, his eyes reflecting no emotion.

"By whom?"- He asked, his steady voice cold.

"The Kyoko."- He didn't even flinch, but something flickered behind his eyes, cold flames of knowledge.

"What did he say?"- It surprised me that this cold creature could be a close friend of someone as intense as Milo. But, perhaps their differences created a balance in their friendship. It was amusing to think about the possibilities.

"He said it might be good for both of us - Milo and I - if Aiolia lost his bet."- I sat back and let him take it in.

But there was more than surprise in his eyes, there was a cold dark fury that seemed to smother his usually calm countenance.

"I couldn't really tell."- He answered, his fist clenched and his eyes fixed on the floor.

"Why not, I thought you knew him well."- His head snapped up as that registered.

"I do. But there are things I cannot tell, because they are personal and Milo's alone. If he told it was because he trusted me, that does not give me the right to tell it to anybody, especially not you."

"Especially not me."- I repeated, looking at him fixedly.

"Precisely."- He replied without a trace of shame.

"Why?"- I pressed on. Camus closed his eyes and sighed explosively.

"Because you could use it against him, and there are things you may not understand."- It surprised me, I had not expected to be told that.

"Because I have not yet felt desire?"- I inquired with a ghost of a smile on my lips.

"Yes and no. You may have more feelings than Milo, but that is not all that counts. Milo was not always like this, he loved, truly loved... someone. Love is more than just feelings, it is heart and body. I could not explain that to you."- It was true, and that surprised me even more. I knew of feelings, of purity of souls, but nothing of true love...

Yet it was strange to imagine Milo in love... but perhaps, back then he was very different from now. Maybe it wasn't that he had never had feelings, but that he had lost them?

And of desire I knew even less, I never had the energy to waste on such things.. but...

It was true, Milo did pull odd cords in me.

"So the story is that he loved... and lost."- I murmured, truly caught up in the situation.

"He didn't only loose his love though, he lost the ability to feel too. But not to experience sensations." -

Camus sighed and decided to give me his opinion. -"My guess is that he has hidden his inner feelings so he can forget them, and that he lives for sex in order to not think about them."

I was at a loss for words.

Suddenly the Kyoko's words made sense to me, in a way I though impossible. I laughed softly and shook my head. Camus gazed at me with wide distrustful eyes.

"Did I say something to make you laugh?"- He asked smoothly, with a cutting edge in his voice.

"No! nono, I'm sorry. It's just that I think I understand what the Kyoko meant."- Camus lifted a brow.

"How come?"- Honest curiosity shone in the blue depths of his eyes.

"Milo forgot how to feel, he forgot about innocence and caring, while I... well, I am as pure as a god, but too inhuman. Too detached from all things human. I could show him feelings, and he could show me the other side of the story. So a joining between us would create a... balance. Like your friendship with him. I represent one side of humanity: the soul; Milo would be the more animal instincts: the flesh. Separated they make inhuman beings but together..."- Camus sat back and stared at me long and hard, as if seeing me in a new light.

"Together it is human. Yes... it would - maybe, just maybe - make you both whole. It is ironic that the kyoko said this."- I looked at him with an honestly open look.

"I take it he took part in Milo's tragedy."- Camus nodded vaguely.

"Sometimes I think he is the one to be blamed... other times I think it may have been the one Milo loved who is guilty. I don't know...."- He let the sentence trail off, his eyes unfocused as he remembered old times.

"I guess... I might consider Milo's attempts the next time."- Camus got up, reflexively dusting his pants.

"It would do him good, he needs to understand some things he has overlooked for far too long."- I too got up and led him outside. Yet as me reached the doorway an odd thought came to me.

"Camus?"- He turned to look at me, the heavy rain beating the stairs behind him. -"Why? If you knew so much about him, didn't you ever try to help him?"- The Aquarius saint smiled a sad bitter smile.

"Because I could not teach him how to love again."- He bowed and walked out into the rain.

"Camus?"- Couldn't show him? Why not?

"I cannot teach something I don't know, can I? Neither do you, but the balance - as you called it - between you might help both loose part of the coldness you possess. As for me... well, don't know if I'm even capable of love. It's not something I lost."- He tilted his face up then, eyes closed. -"It's something I have never possessed in the first place."

Camus... unable to love?

I had never felt it, that was something... but what he was saying was that he could not feel it. That meant he had tried and failed.

What an odd troupe all we warriors were.

Some heartless, others aloof, one a Narcissistic freak, others unable to love even though they want it.

So perhaps it may not be such a bad idea to let Milo have his way. Perhaps then I would understand the people around me better, and perhaps I would understand him better.

Perhaps it would help me understand more than just him, but the other side of humanity I had long neglected myself from acknowledging.

And maybe, just maybe, I could make him whole again.

Unbroken.

* * *

Milo:

The rain pattered down with unrelenting force. I wondered if Camus was all right, he had not gone up to his temple, he seemed to want to go down to the village. The weather showed no signs of getting better, and it spoiled my already dark mood. I walked around my temple impassively, breathing heavily, like a cornered animal about to pounce.

There was no way of quieting my feelings.

For years now they had been hidden, lost where they could not hurt me; but now... now they were there, on the verge of breaking through. I had to make them go away!

I let out a growl of frustration and shook my head violently, trying to clear my thoughts.

Why was I feeling like this now?

Why was I feeling?

Shaka....

He had looked at me in such a horrible way, like I was utterly disgusting. Like there was nothing I had to give; completely useless. Like Saga's eyes... on that day.

I had never actually seen Shion, but since Saga and the Pope were always gone together all I could imagine was that they were...

I closed my eyes, willing those memories away.

But they would not go... Even though Saga was my lover... and I loved him... he went to Shion.

To the Pope.

Back then I was young and naive, full of childish dreams and hopes of undying love. Saga had seemed to feel that way for a time, but he soon got tired and left me for a more experienced and mature person.

I had heard that they had been lovers in the past, but.....

I had foolishly believed I could make him forget that. But in the end I couldn't and Saga went back to the Pope. He just came to me one day, and had looked at me with cold blue eyes, full of disgust and repulsion... and he had told me he wanted nothing more with me.

That I was to leave him alone.

So I did.

I left for a long long time, the only person who I occasionally visited was Camus, who was always there to offer shelter and a bit of friendship. He was the one that helped me keep the minimal amount of feelings I possessed. When I came back he had disappeared, nobody knew of Gemini Saga's whereabouts, and I didn't really care to find out.

So I had lived for sensations, free of feelings to hurt me. I created an impenetrable shelter around myself where all that mattered was what the body could give me.

Until today.

When I was faced with the same look that had broken me to pieces, and made me realise what I had become.

* * *

Shaka:

I had expected him to come, but he did not.

I guessed he was averse to going out in such a terrible weather, secret passages or no. But I just couldn't shake the idea that something else was amiss.

I waited on... but he still did not come.

So I did the only thing I could think of: I threw a heavy cloak over my shoulders and made my way up the stairs to the nearest passage.

As I reached the large entrance to his temple I extended my cosmo to make myself known, lest he think of an enemy attack. I probed the aura around his temple, yet no acknowledgement came... and no denial.

I stepped in, walking cautiously and looking around trying to locate him.

His aura was coming from the centre of the temple, oddly weak but unmistakably his. I paced forward until I reached the main sector and looked around. The light was dim so even though I felt his cosmo emanating from a spot in front of me I could not see him.

"Milo?"- I queried, wondering if he was perhaps asleep. If so, should I leave?

A shadow moved in front of me, and I heard a shuffling of clothes. Just then thunder struck, the bolt of lighting momentarily illuminating the whole temple. For a brief second I was able to see him; wide blue eyes staring wide and almost fearfully into my own, thin lips slightly parted as if to utter words but none came to mind. He was half-sitting half-sprawled against a pillar, arms limp at his sides; his deep blue hair shone with purple highlights in the sudden light, covering one shoulder but leaving his tanned neck exposed.

But as soon as it had come the light left and once again we were submerged in utter darkness, seeing only after images of each other in the thick darkness that covered our eyes.

"Shaka...wha..?"- He seemed to be speechless, for once struck dumb.

"I just came."- I could think of nothing better to say, if it was even necessary to say anything. Yet I could give that statement no emotion either.

He got up swiftly and walked to the side, coming back in a few minutes with a burning torch with which he lit the torches in the pillars. The small flames danced casting irregular shadows around us, giving him an unreal light. The was no intent of seduction in his clothing or his manner, he stood in front of me waiting for me to say something else, his eyes shining with feverish intensity.

"Why?"- He asked me in a soft whisper, his eyes stained with emotions he did not know and could not control. I took a step forward, stopping at a hand's breadth away from him.

"Show me."- I asked of him, trying to explain this to him. -"Show me this thing I do not know.. and I will show you a different way to feel it."

Milo shook his head, as if disbelieving. -"Why now?"

"Because it may be now or never."- Despite my apparent ease I did not know if I would have the courage to be here again.

Milo's eyes darkened as he took me in; blond hair tangled, clothes soaking wet despite the cloak I had used. I felt a vibration of fear go through me, not knowing what was to come or how it would come. Afraid of either pain or pleasure, simply scared of what I was asking, and of the consequences of our acts.

Would knowing this make me more pure or less worthy?

Would feelings make him better, or would they make his life a torture?

But I had no choice now: I was here, I had come. I had chosen this long before walking into this temple.

He breathed in deeply, to calm himself. -"Come."

He guided me into another section of his temple, until we reached a small doorway that led downstairs. I felt a bit apprehensive as I saw the stairs disappear below, but Milo put a warm hand on my upper arm and suddenly I was moving forward, descending the stairs with him.

They ended abruptly a few metres below, and Milo moved to light the room.

I found myself not in the dark unsettling quarters of a killer I had expected, but in a warm room, with a large soft bed covered with a blue bedspread, books stacked along the walls, a small radio beside the bed and to the other side there was a small wooden table, a refrigerator and a cooking stove.

It was, all in all, a cosy little house hidden under the cold stone temple he guarded.

And this both surprised and pleased me.

"And now?"- He asked, letting me take the lead.

"You tell me."- I replied, hovering at the foot of the stairs uncertainly.

"You really have never done this before, have you?"- He asked me, his eyes dead serious and a trifle... worried?

"No."- Milo regarded me, a bit moved by this.

"Sit on the bed."- He offered me, gesturing towards it. I looked at the blue bedspread and wondered, how many had already slept there, with him? I remained where I was, looking at him with serious eyes. Milo looked at his bed and then back up at me. -"The floor is certainly a worse choice."

I blinked twice as he smiled at me and winked. I sighed then, and moved to sit on the bed, hands clasped in front of me. -"Hm."

"Do you want anything to drink?"- He asked me as he poured himself a glass of whiskey. I shook my head, ill at ease because I truly did not know what to do or how. Milo smiled and brought a chair form the table to sit right in front of me.

I breathed in deeply and waited for him to finish his drink. Finally he finished and set his glass on top of the radio. I looked at him, expectantly.

"Do you want to lie back?"- He asked me, a small worried frown on his face.

"You don't seem very much in control here."- I informed him as I lay on my back, looking at the ceiling.

"You have never made love to anybody, not even fooled around a bit..."- He smiled a little. -"And I have never done it with a virgin."

"Is it very different?"- I looked at him and he shifted a bit on his chair.

"Yes, because there is more than just sex involved."- Feelings.

Hearing this I felt the last shadows of doubt disappear and I closed my eyes. Milo got off his chair and sat on the edge of the bed, beside me.

I felt soft fingers touch my abdomen and then trail upwards over the thin fabric of my shirt. Their touch was both fiery and icy at the same time and I shuddered involuntarily.

"Are you cold?"- He fingered the soaked fabric of my shirt.

Was I cold?

I felt very.... hot. Even though I was wet.

"No."- He nodded and continued to stroke the muscles of my lower abdomen, tracing the definitions of each.

"Good, neither am I."- And suddenly, the feral, predatory look in his eyes scared me. It had been quite a while since I felt such unnatural fear.

"Just be gentle."- I warned him.

He lay down beside me and kissed my neck softly, making me breath in sharply and then relax as he pulled one arm around my waist.

"I will."

* * *

Milo:

He looked at me, uncertain and confused. I smiled and slipped a hand under his shirt to feel his smooth muscled chest; utterly hairless, I noted. His breathing was irregular and too fast, I stole a glance at his face and found his eyes were closed tightly, and his lips were pressed together.

"Relax..."- I cooed, wanting to make him feel less upset, but not knowing how.

Emotions were not my strong point.

I left a trail of small kisses down his throat while gently teasing his nipples with one hand. He breathed in deeply, but remained as tense as before.

Better change tactics.

I took my hand out of his shirt and began to stroke his inner upper arm, slowly and carefully drawing my fingernails up and down in a gentle caress. He began to relax a bit, licked his lips nervously.

"Relax..."- I murmured in his ear, gently nipping at his earlobe. -"There is nothing to fear."

He nodded and took a deep breath, finally resting a bit more comfortably on the bed. I smiled a bit and went back to kissing his neck, for he seemed to enjoy it.

I began to unbutton his shirt, from the top downwards, one sky blue eye opened and glared at my hand, I smiled and kissed his throat with more passion, distracting him again.

Once I had succeeded in opening his shirt I began to stroke the chiselled panes of his chest. He was not muscular, but there was a firmness to his body I found enticing. I rose a bit to look at him, and smiled at the dark red blush that stained his cheeks.

"You are blushing."- I murmured with a smile and a look that reflected my desire. His blush deepened and he looked away, suddenly bashful. I looked at him; at his pale milky flesh and his long golden hair that spread out behind him like a golden halo.

"I..."- He began, but seemed unable to find the words to express himself. I edged closer to him, placing a hand on each side of his head and slipping a leg between his, finding a most evident sign of his arousal pressed against my thigh. He closed his eyes and bit his lip, unprepared and completely ignorant, all he could do was accept what I gave.

"No need to... just relax."- I eased myself down, pining him to the bed with my weight, and moved my leg upwards to press against his lower body. He drew in a ragged breath and nodded, still too tense.

* * *

Shaka:

I was strange... hot and breathtaking...

Nothing I knew felt like this, though I was sure I had felt something like this, only milder... sometimes, when I woke up after a strange dream. But nothing quite like this.. this smouldering pleasure and shivering feeling every time he touched me.

It was so alien to me... and yet it was something I wanted to explore. Something meant to last forever.

But such things were probably like the graceful flowers of the desert. Painfully short lived.

And I wondered, what would it be like at the end?

This feeling and delight to the very end? Or would it be more intense?

Milo looked at me and smiled, his fingers slipping into my yellow mane and stroking my head with deliberate slowness. I leaned into his hand and he used this as and opportunity to kiss the other side of my neck, his fingers straying from my hair to the back of my head as he pulled my closer.

"You are STILL too tense."- He informed me as he kneaded the knotted muscles at the nape of my neck with his warm hand.

"I can't help it."- I answered softly, my lips moving against his cheek. Milo chuckled softly and sighed.

"I guess, then just try to enjoy it."- I wasn't really sure it there was much else I could do, and I began to fear my ignorance. Up to now it was just Milo fondling me, but what was there in this for him?

That surely meant I would have to... do things to him too.

And it no only made me blush deeper, it also scared me like nothing I had ever faced before.

He had one leg between mine, pressing up against me... and it was something that felt oddly.... good.

He moved his leg slightly and I moaned softly, revelling in the aching warmth between my legs that seemed to take my breath away. I felt him smile against my neck and do it again, making my breathe in deeply and pull myself closer to him. He wrapped his muscular arms around my waist and pulled me closer, laying beside me and making me lie on my side too, his fingers leaving my neck and going down my back, stroking my backbone in a way that made me all but purr.

I tried to regain some of my composure... my usual calm demeanour, but it was all so strange and new... so incredible, that for once I made myself forget who and what I was and I submitted.

For the sake of both of us.

* * *

Milo:

All of a sudden he relaxed in my arms, leaning his forehead against my shoulder. His breathing became less strained, though laboured still, because of his evident excitement. I stroke his back a bit more and then went back to kissing his neck, this time with more passion and desire. He sighed and I felt his fingers run through my hair, playing with it. I kissed harder, loving the feeling of having a warm body pressed against mine... and yet... this was different.

It was more giving than taking.

And Shaka was so ignorant in this that all he could do was try to quell his fear. But I enjoyed it nevertheless, hoping he too would feel like I had felt on my first time.

But I didn't want to think about that... not now.

Still, the memories seemed to come back no matter what.

Saga holding me... touching me in ways I never thought possible... telling me he loved me... he found me beautiful...

All I could do was let him have me, as he took and gave with equal tenderness. Even at the last moment, when he was taking me, I felt no fear, because he was so gentle and loving I realised he would never forgive himself if he caused me any pain.

But I didn't love Shaka....

Just as he didn't love me. We did this because we both needed it more than we could say.

I moved my hand forward and caressed his chest, pinching his nipples gently to arouse him. He shuddered a bit and rested on his back again, letting me move on top.

I moved down and ran my tongue across a nipple, making him gasp and squirm under me, his face flushed and his forehead glistening with sweat. I did it again, biting on it carefully while my hands stroked his lower abdomen, never going bellow the line of his pants.

Shaka's hands fisted in my hair as his excitement grew and he became more and more impatient.

* * *

Shaka:

It was like a game. He gave so much I didn't know what to focus on. He seemed to be all over me, touching me in places I never dreamed could make me feel this way. I tried to keep my eyes open, to see what he did, but it was so wonderful all I wanted was to close my eyes and let him do as he pleased. He was being so gentle and patient it both surprised and annoyed me.

I wanted him to be stronger...

I wanted him to... to...?

I realised I wasn't really sure of what I wanted, just that I needed him to go on and on until I could take it no more. His fingers and trailed down my chest as his warm tongue teased me, and they stopped just above my trousers. And it was infuriating!

I so wanted him to go lower....

To touch the sweet burning between my legs that seemed to take over me for now, leaving me completely at his mercy.

"Milo..."- It was more a warning than a plea, but I knew my tone conveyed my desire to him. He rose from my chest to look at me, his eyes glimmering with something unknown to me. He was willing to give me all I could take, ready to receive nothing in return for it. It was a startling realisation; to understand that Milo did this not to please himself but to teach me.

As if he were trying to atone in his mind for things he never said or did with whom he loved. And it didn't matter if I cared for this gift or not, because he gave it freely.

I stared at him, at the turbulent blue orbs of his eyes and saw him as what Camus saw him, a beautiful tormented creature that could never find true happiness, and it lived trying to forget it.

But now he was giving in to it... into the emotions he so despised.. because I, of all the people he had bedded, had been the only one to show more than just lust.

And he would teach me what only he, of all the people I had met, had dared to offer.

I closed my eyes and sighed, letting him do as he pleased.

* * *

Milo:

He just submitted.

For a moment, as he stared into my eyes I felt he understood me, and then he just gave in.

I tried to understand this... and tried to imagine what this would do to Shaka. He would learn the one thing about human behaviour he was completely unaware of... and then?

Would it make him more human?

Or would it give him the key to stop being one all together?

But as I felt my excitement take over I knew there was no real answer to my question, and all I could do was go through with this and see what came of it.

I kissed his stomach and went back to teasing his nipples with my fingers... pinching and rubbing them until I knew they ached. Shaka gasped at twisted below me.

I smiled and ran my fingernails gently over his inner thigh. His head sunk into the pillow as this new sensation registered. I went on doing it, changing from one leg to another, never so much as brushing against his hardness.

His breathing came in short ragged gasps, I licked his chest and went back to sucking his neck.

I looked at him, and placed a steadying hand on his chest, to see how he was doing.

He was tense and terribly aroused, but very ready to go on.

I let my hand trail down his abdomen to the buttons on his pants, and slowly undid them. Shaka let out a small short moan as I touched him in the process, and then let me slide his pants off without protesting.

"Are you sure?"- I couldn't help asking him one last time, giving him the chance to back down before he regretted it. One eye opened and regarded me with almost critical light.

"Yes."- It was simple answer, but it was all I needed.

The choice had been ultimately his.

I slipped a hand between his legs and let my fingers begin to stroke his erection through the this fabric of his underwear. Shaka moaned suddenly, his eyes closed tightly as his hand fisted, grabbing handfuls of sheet.

"Ungh.."- I smiled as his strangled sound of pleasure as he bit into the pillow.

"Relax...."- I mumbled against his ear, his body feverishly hot against mine. I began to stroke him with more strength, making the pressure a bit harder every time.

His breath hitched and he writhed against the sheets.

* * *

Shaka:

It was like nothing I could have imagined... sweet, aching... unbearably intense...

I moaned helplessly as Milo touched me expertly, his fingers lightly playing against my member and then going down with more pressure.

I thought it couldn't possibly be any better when he stopped, his face only inches away from mine.

I realised then that he was taking off his shirt... his trousers.

I felt my eyes widened as I took him in completely naked, and as he lay over me to take the last of my clothes away I was fully aware that I could not get out of here anymore.

His swollen member rolled against my thigh as he moved beside me and began to massage me in earnest.

I cried out as his hand picked up a steady rhythm between my legs, making my hips move by their own volition.

"Mi-lo?"- I mouthed his name between two gasps, suddenly afraid, but unable to ask him to stop. Not because I couldn't, but because I didn't want to.

"Shhhh."- He cooed in my ear, his erection pressed against my leg as his hips moved slowly, concentrating mainly on what he did to me. I groaned as his fist tightened and he stroked my tip with his thumb.

It was a tension that took me entirely... I let myself be touched and fondled and he in turn showed me all I had only been vaguely aware of. My hips jerked as he increased the tempo, and I felt him smile against my cheek.

This was it... what I had never truly understood was suddenly, painfully obvious. Its more than just touches... there was care and concern in them. Things Milo had given no other lover in a long time, but he gave them to me because I was too ignorant and new to this to be left without. To do this he had been forced to recover part of his emotions.

Milo would not be the same after this... and the Kyoko knew it. He would not be able to seal the emotions he had recovered. And I..?

I was unsure of what there would be in here for me, except a greater understanding of humanity. But... one thing was for sure, this would either break the Scorpio saint... or make him the strongest.

But...

His fingers lightly stroked my member, then closed on it again going back to the delicious rhythm they had just left. I moaned under his expert touch and closed my eyes.

But...

His other hand moved over my chest, tracing invisible patterns on my abdomen, making me smile as it tickled occasionally; arousing me all the more.

But this wasn't right. He would give me all he had, but what of me? How could I really understand this if I did not fully participate in it? It was, I realised, a rather scientifically analytical observation to do at a time like this. But I wanted to do to him what he did to me...

I wanted to make him feel what I felt.

I realised I wanted to break him.

* * *

Milo:

I was startled when all of a sudden Shaka began to stroke me. For one thing, I had not expected him to participate much, being a virgin; but there was something else too...

He was all over me now, kissing, touching... doing things I would have never even imagined to be in his mind. It was like he wanted to give himself all of a sudden, surrender to me... and surrender me to him.

I let out a soft moan as his hands travelled lower and smiled as he hesitated just above my groin.

He froze there, his body tense with both excitement and uncertainty, wanting more and yet unsure of what to give.

I looked into his eyes, clear blue orbs; unbelievably pure, untainted, but strangely empty. I stared at him, the hand I kept on him stilling. This was Shaka, I realised, and no one would ever see him as wholly as I saw him now; a creature that absorbed all the knowledge it could, hoping to understand all things to attain a higher level, to transcend his mortal coil. And to do that he....

So that was it.

The one thing that kept Shaka human was the fact that he did not understand what that meant, not truly. There were sides of it he did not yet grasp, so he could not distance himself from them. He could not be objective about something he did not comprehend.

I opened my mouth to say something, to ask him if he knew what he was doing, but my question ended up as a groan of pleasure as he made up his mind and went lower.

I forgot about everything then, about my life, his life and what this night would mean. All I wanted was to forget everything in this small heaven I could have to myself just for a little while.

Just for a little while.

Whatever happened after tonight would come to haunt me tomorrow, not now.

Tomorrow.

I pressed myself against him, feeling his hardness against mine and moved, slowly at first.

Shaka cried out and clawed at my back, his lips on my neck, as he tried to stifle his moans against my shoulder. I smiled, sweat beaded on my brow as I moved faster and faster, pinning him below me.

I closed my eyes, not wanting to see him, hoping in some distant, stupid way that I would open my eyes and see blue hair and blue eyes... milky white skin and an angel's smile.

Hoping to find something I lost long ago in the arms of one who I did not love, and who could never love me.

But as I opened my eyes again, it was not Saga who smiled at up me, telling me I was doing fine.

It was Shaka his eyes closed tight, lips parted in soundless pleasure, his cheeks flushed a bright hot red as he clung to me. I gasped as I felt myself near the edge, and Shaka twisted below me, soft sounds escaping him.

He opened his eyes, and I closed mine, not wanting to confront his gaze, to see the unloving reality of his look. I increased the tempo a bit more and I felt Shaka let out a gasp of surprise and then a long moan as he came. I bit my lip as I felt myself climax, holding back cry of delight, and then lay down on top of him, panting.

Shaka breathed in and out, trying to calm himself down. I moved off him and leaned my head on the pillow beside his head, stroking his chest with one hand as I watched him slowly relax.

"Shaka?"- All of a sudden I wanted to hear his voice, to talk to him... to be nice to him.

No answer came.

Saga had always stroke my hair after we made love, and told me nonsense stories.... I had forgotten that.

That and many other things...

His smiles as I came up with any strange idea...

How angry he seemed when I was upset about anything....

His lips, hot and soft over mine...

His arms, warm with more than just his strength....

Saga....

The
Unforgettable Beloved by Natsumi
(c) 2000 by Natsumi

"You are crying."- Shaka's emotionless voice drew me out of my thoughts. I looked at him, and cool blue eyes gazed back without even the faintest trace of emotion.

"I remembered something."- I got up and sat on the bed. Shaka stood on the rug at the foot of the bed and looked around himself, then picked up his clothes and began to get dressed. -"Shaka?"

"Good night Milo."

* * *

Shaka:

For that?

All those words and descriptions...

All those romantic fools that told of the stars and the skies found in a kiss...

Liars.

It had been pleasurable; more than I had expected. I let myself go and let him have his way, and then gave him back as much as he was willing to receive. And at then end, when it had reached a peak I had cried out because it felt so good. But then, when it was over I came back to the hot, sweaty reality of being naked in Milo's bed. Of having let myself be seduced by that creature, by my own free will.

And there was nothing romantic or sweet about it, just a very relaxed feeling in my body.

Nothing else.

I this was for what all those people lived and died then it was not worth it. All that stupid play and seduction, just for a few hours of pleasure and then going back to their simple lives.

But I was better, I was above all that.

And now that I knew what it was that made them tremble I also knew it was not such a great thing as they made it look like.

I had walked into the Scorpio temple like a confused child, I walked out perfectly calm, free at last of any question. I understood them now.

And now I knew that their lives were not worth it.

There were better things for me.

I was, all in all, the man closest to God.

* * *

Camus:

It was late, greyish daylight flooded the damp ruins, giving them a dull silvery sheen. I passed through each temple, biding the few gold saints I encountered good health, for at last I was leaving. I walked into the Virgo temple, and found Shaka meditating above the stone lotus flower he so cherished. He did not acknowledge my presence, but his face was strangely calm, even for him.

I passed him by and walked swiftly up to see Milo.

I found him sitting on the crumbling remains of a pillar outside his temple. His eyes were darker than normal, but his posture was unusually open.

"You are leaving."- I was more a statement than anything else, and I nodded.

"I fear I may have left my pupils alone for far too long a time."- I didn't want to think about that.

I would have wanted to return to them earlier.

Isaac was so intent on learning more and more... yet I found him oddly boring.

And Hyoga, younger and more inexperienced than Isaac, he sometimes confused me, in how his weaknesses could become his strengths. He rattled me, and it scared me that a child that was so obviously destined to die could have this effect on me.

So I was cold and uncaring towards him, favouring Isaac even when I felt less than satisfied with him.

My older pupil was despairingly... dull.

"You miss your kids, huh?"- A small bitter smile curved his lips upwards. I looked down and sighed.

"Yes."- I pushed a hand through my hair and sighed again. -"Will you be all right?"

He looked up, surprised, and smiled. It was a warm smile, one that I had not seen in many, many years.

"Yes."

* * *

As I walked down the steps, and left Sanctuary I mused over what I had seen. It was pretty clear to me that something had happened between Milo and Shaka... and that the Kyoko had been right.

The perfect murderer had been saved from his own heartlessness, forced back into a world where he would have to deal with his own emotions... and his own lost love.

I hated the Kyoko for that, for knowing what would happen and for having played upon it. Even if it made Milo human again, it would bring back all his pain too.

And Shaka?

Well, he was probably disappointed and disgusted with the whole affair. Little did he know that to grasp the true intensity of lovemaking he had to BE in love. So to him, it had all been an amusing waste of time.

And that was it.

I scared me sometimes... that love could break people like this, and that the lack of it could be just as deadly.

And it scared me even more that I would someday fall in love too, with the wrong person.

But for now my main concern where my pupils. Even if Isaac was like a blank page, with nothing written and nothing to be written; even if Hyoga would die even before he could truly taste his life. Isaac could be my successor and then I would be free of this. Holy war or not.

And Hyoga?

I smiled as I thought of him, his over emotional personality and his stunning resolve to cling to his past, and I wondered, if he would remember me with the same ferocity with which he remembered his mother. And as much as I knew he would die, as much as I knew it was a weakness... I hoped he would.

The grey light was fading fast, dark clouds brewing in the skies heralding the come of another storm. By the time I had reached the city it was raining heavily, thick cold drops that clung to my hair and seemed to weigh on my soul. The sound of water hitting the earth dulled all other noises, and the thick curtain of rain hid the looming hill behind me as if it had never existed.

The storm was just beginning.

The End of Part 1 -- Continued in Part 2: The Kyoko


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