~Wish You Were Here~
by Zoi no miko


Malachite made his way out of the dance hall and into the lounge off to one side that was traditionally called the smoking room. He had no idea why it still held that name - no one really smoked. Except the older lords who occasionally had a cigar. It wasn't even a men's only room anymore, though most women preferred the dance hall or their powder room to standing around in the smoking room and listening to men talk about politics, women, and themselves.

Around him, people milled and socialized properly - he was hosting a small gathering at his North palace tonight, mostly military officers, traditional for him about mid-November.

He glanced around the lounge as he entered, taking in the inhabitants - Lord Jacobs, Lord Reuban, several other high ranking army officers, a couple women, most of whom where also Military officers, civilians, Zoisite.... He sighed, feeling the familiar ache. His first impulse was to spin around and go back to the dance hall, as far away as possible, but he forced himself to ignore it. He made his way to the bar instead, sitting down quietly and resting his chin on his hands. He poured himself a shot glass of port from a nearby crystal decanter and drank about half of it before setting it aside with a grimace. He preferred drinks that didn't make him feel like he'd just swallowed toilet cleaner.

'gall, i wish minako-chan was here....' She was something to focus on, to lavish love and affection on. He was just thankful that she wasn't touch phobic or anything.... he gave a slight smile. 'what did i do to deserve her?' For the past few months he'd been spending a lot of time with her, forging a strong bond with his future wife and keeping his mind off this.... whatever it was that plagued him whenever he saw his best friend.... 'zoisite....'

But the senshi were in training again now, and had been extremely busy for the last two weeks.... Missing her was torture, though he kept having the nagging feeling that he missed the distraction more than the actual girl.... He pushed that thought aside again with a mental chide. Thank goodness they had that meeting and lunch tomorrow.

"Can I get you anything, North General?"

Mal regarded the barkeep, who was one of his minor chefs, trained in mixing drinks as well. Greg Rankeep. Must be doing double duty tonight. Malachite didn't usually drink, he found most alcohol rather distasteful, but maybe it would help.... "Can you recommend something.... really smooth?"

The barkeep smiled slightly. "Water."

Malachite grinned, point taken. "All right, then. Do you have any..." he mind searched for something drinkable, yet strong. "....citris tinted vodka?"

Rankeep hesitated, mentally searching the stocks. Most people here who drank perferred more traditional liquor... "The only stuff we have left is 160 proof Smirnoff."

Mal shrugged slightly. "That'll do."

"Straight?" The barkeep raised an eyebrow. "It's 160 proof!"

Mal nodded. "And off the rocks." He accepted the shot glass and took a large swallow. 'hmm. not bad....' "Do you have any more of this?"

The barkeep hesitated again. "I just finished that bottle.... I'll check." He returned a moment later with a new bottle. "Last one."

Mal took the whole bottle from him before he could open it. "Thanks," he said, and left.

Leaving the smoking room and the party all together, he made his way out of the public section of his palace into his quarters. He lounged on a couch, uncorked the bottle and took a large swallow.

Zoisite made his way towards Malachite's suite. He'd finally been able to get away from the Duke who'd been talking at him for the past hour, and now he was concerned about his friend, who he'd spotted leaving about half an hour ago looking rather melancholy. He knocked lightly on the door.

Malachite, who had been trying to read the ingredient list on the vodka bottle, stiffened. "Who's there?"

Zoey opened the door and looked in. "It's me...." He surveyed the scene. Mal had ditched his jacket, bow tie and cumberband and was sprawled on the couch in his tux pants and unbuttoned dress shirt. He was also holding some sort of liquor bottle. "Mal!"

Mal raised an eyebrow. "Yeah?"

"You've been drinking, haven't you?"

The other man shrugged, setting the bottle precariously on the edge of an end table.


Zoey quickly claimed the bottle before the floor could. "How much have you had?"

"Ah, onlya glassss."

Zoey held the clear bottle up and eyed it. "Bull. You've had half the bottle."

"I didna ssay it wasa ssmall glassss," came the reply, along with a lazy smile.

Zoisite sighed and shook his head, smiling. "You're drunk. Go sleep it off."

Mal frowned slightly and held out his hand. "CannI have that back?"

"Do you really think I'd give this back to you? If you have any more you're not going to be able to see straight, let alone think.... Mal! This is 160 proof!"

Mal smiled again, trying, but not succeeding in looking innocent. "Umm.... hee?"

Zoe gave him a look. "I'm going now. And I'm taking this with me."

"Zoe-y!" Mal picked himself up off the couch, a little unsteady, but braving the possibility of falling over to re-claim the bottle.

Zoey held it slightly behind him at arms length. "Na-uh. No way."

"Ah, comon."

"No! I'm serious!"

"Soum I!" He made a slightly wild grab for it, reaching over Zoey's shoulder. This, however, really accomplished nothing except Zoisite making it disappear all together, in a swirl of flower petals. Mal sighed, looking down at his friend who was,
unfortunately, inches from him. "Zoe.... didya haveta do that?"


He sighed again, leaning his head on Zoisite's shoulder, draping his arms around him loosely. "You're mean."

"Most likely."

Mal closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. Dangit. He smelled good.... He ran a hand down his back, resting it lightly on his butt.

Zoisite stiffened. "Mal -"

He pulled back slightly, brushing his cheek with his fingertips, meeting Zoe's green eyes with the gaze of his gray ones. "You're beautiful."

Zoisite's eyes widened. "Mal, what are you doing? You're drunk, you -"

Ignoring his words, Mal cupped his face in one hand and pulled it towards him. Just as their lips brushed Zoisite jerked back, pulled away from him. "Mal! Stop it!"

Mal gave him a rather sorrowful look. "Sstay with me tonight."

Zoisite shook his head almost wildly, a little fear caught in his green eyes. "No way. You need to sleep this off." Grasping Mal's arm firmly, he started to tug him in the direction of his bedroom.

"Zoe.... please sstay. I -"

"You miss Minako and you're drunk out of your mind. You're going to sleep and nothing else."

"N-no. I want you, I want to - " Malachite pulled him against him, trying to kiss him, and Zoisite pushed him away roughly, then brought his hand back to slap him across the face.

"Snap out of it! For goodness sakes, Mal! You don't want that!"

Malachite stared at him, slowly bringing a hand up to touch his stinging cheek. His voice was mournful. "Zoe...."

Zoisite swallowed hard, body trembling slightly, though Mal didn't notice. "Go to sleep, Mal. I'll get you up in the morning in time to get human again before we go to that meeting on the moon. To see Minako-san. Okay?"

Mal reached out, trying to touch his arm, but only batted at empty air "Don't leave...."

Zoisite turned. "Good-night, Mal." He told him firmly, walking out and shutting the bedroom door. He put lock spell that wouldn't let it open until seven in the morning tomorrow.

"Zoe... don't...." The voice was quiet, muffled, but still yanked at his heart. "Don't go, don't go...."

Zoisite quickly teleported to the guest suite where he was staying, left before he lost his resolve. 'it would be so easy... so incredibly easy. even just to kiss him, just this once... goodness knows i'll never have the opportunity... no. i couldn't do that to him, not without totally wrecking our friendship, and hurting him. and i couldn't stop at just a kiss..... so that's that.' The half-full bottle of vodka was sitting on the night stand, which was the first place he'd thought of to put it. He picked it up and eyed it, waves of despair washing over him.

He set his alarm, then put a barrier spell up to keep him in his suite until seven the in the morning. 'no sense me getting drunk and going back there,' came the achingly responsible thought. 'but... gall, i wish i could....'

He collapsed backwards onto his bed, took a large swallow of the vodka, tears streaming down his cheeks now that he was safely alone. 'oh.... mal....' He took another swallow, then wrapped his arms around a silken pillow and buried his face in it,
shoulders shaking, sobbing as if his heart would break. If it hadn't already.

Several suites over found a certain white haired general doing pretty much the same thing.....

Short, yes. Sorry! I work best in short dramatic bursts. ^_^
And I'll apologize as well for mixing original and NA names....
Anyhow, if you want to give me feedback and make my day, or shoot me if you like. I'm
at zoi_no_miko@zoisite.zzn.com
(fitting, ne?)
Anyway, thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed!

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