The Heir of Siol

Part 9 - Dreams and Nightmares

© 2000 by Luna, Phoebe and Selene

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Mighty doors were opened in front of them to let the elegant woman followed by him and some of the Prince's guards enter the throne chamber. Of course everything was still the way he knew it. Endymion was sitting on his father's throne with his personal guards beside it. Salix and Mandragora on one, Syrinx on the other side. Anemone's place was still unmanned. There was no successor yet.

They halted and his queen indicated him to stay behind her. Beryl didn't bow. Instead she started to speak openly ignoring the number of guards that were gathering at the entrance behind them. Kunzite understood all too well that no-one was putting any trust in that evil smile which had decorated her face all the way to this room and that had been the last thing the guardian on his post who denied her the entry she wished had been seen before Kunzite had stabbed him down with the dagger he had gotten from Endymion an eternity ago.

"Prince Endymion, hereby be informed that the Kingdom under the rule of the powerful Queen Metallia declares the war with Earth Kingdom. Surrender within fourtytwo hours or we will attack."

With that Beryl turned on her heels to leave the throne room in large confident strides.

"Wait!" Endymion stood up from his throne signaling his guards at the door to stop her. Horror was written on his face, the same as with his friends. Kunzite wondered what Endymion could do to stop his queen from leaving the room. Endymion wouldn't start anything stupid, would he. He felt a grin spreading over his face.

"Lady Ruinogh! Please think this course of action over. I cannot and I won't surrender to whatever powerful queen there might be. And I am not willing to push my people into a war. Is there no other way to get to an agreement than ... this?"

The guards at the entrance stood together blocking the way out completely. Queen Beryl turned around and smiled dangerously. "Surrender or die, there is no other option. Now please, tell your guards to step aside."

Endymion didn't move. He was too shocked by the situation to do or say anything, Kunzite thought. His eyes drifted from the prince to the guardians beside him. Mandragora was watching every move of him and his queen silently, while Salix and Syrinx both showed a similar shock in the latest happenings.

Then suddenly Syrinx frowned and turned to Endymion. "My prince, do I have the permission to speak?"

Endymion looked at him and nodded slightly. "Lady Ruinogh, by chance I heard that Lord Anemone was last seen with you before he left. Do you happen to have any idea on his whereabouts?"

Kunzite's eyes turned to his queen. He was afraid that Beryl would tell them where Lord Anemone was at the moment and decided to do something and strode over to the door himself drawing his sword.

"Hush, Kunzite!" Beryl interrupted and gestured him to put his sword away. Hesitantly he put it back into the scabbard and turned to Endymion without saying anything.

"Indeed I met him the morning he left. We talked for short, then he went away. Are you missing your general?"

Mandragora stepped towards Endymion and started to speak. "My prince, let them take their leave, there is nothing we can do about the situation at the moment." Endymion stared at him but then nodded, still not saying anything. The guards at the entrance stepped aside to let Queen Beryl and her minion pass.

"I thank you, Lord Mandragora, a wise decision. You won't regret it," Beryl said in a velvety voice and left.

As soon as they were through the entrance's door Kunzite stopped in his track, looking around in panic when he noticed that something was terribly wrong. His queen seemed to notice it too but obviously it didn't affect her as much as it did him. There was something here. Kunzite could feel it. Nothing more, he just felt it. And then it was impossible for him to breathe anymore. His legs gave away as his muscles suddenly were of no use anymore. Without being able to do anything against it he sunk to the ground, choking and coughing, a hand searching for a point on the near wall that could support him. Then Beryl was beside him and laid a softening hand onto his back. She was close and so was her energy, like a shield that blocked out the attacking force, whatever it was. Over the dizziness that he felt he could hear footsteps of people who were approaching them in a hurry. Kunzite concentrated on the energy his queen was filtering for him and forced himself up. As soon as he was standing a new attack hit him. This time he saw a red glowing from the other side of the floor, a red pyramid that was carried by an old man. That was when it entered his mind, roaming around while he screamed...

Kunzite woke up with a start, pulling most of the covers with him. His eyes were wide open and his gaze fixed to the opposite wall. For a moment he wondered where he was. His heart was pounding rapidly, he even had the feeling that someone with sharp ears could hear it throughout the entire room. Slowly breathing his messed up thoughts cleared bit for bit and his senses found back to reality. Zoisite who lay nestled against him stirred in his sleep and some of the fingers that touched his back moved to form small claws that lightly scratched him. Kunzite knew that he had woken him and whispered an "It's alright, love, sleep!" into the ear. Zoisite mumbled something as a reply which Kunzite couldn't understand. But whatever it was must have been a confirmation that he understood that Kunzite was alright so that he could sleep on peacefully. Kunzite would have smiled if the dream he had didn't disturb him too much. He could remember that day clearly, that day when he and Queen Beryl were forcing their way up to Endymion's throne to announce him that he had to surrender if he wanted to live, but he thought he was certain to have never had an encounter with this pyramid before. He would remember this. But he didn't. As far as he knew he and Beryl left the courtyard without any incidents. The guards were too much afraid of their power. There hadn't been a pyramid. Neither before nor after the day with Endymion. The first time he was introduced to that thing was some weeks ago by Beryl. But the more he thought about it, about the dream, that feeling yesterday and now in that dream ... something was nagging at him, strongly, somewhere in the back of his mind. Something that wanted to be heard but was wrapped up in dizziness and unfounded fear. As if ... locked away. He concentrated on it but felt his heart pounding stronger again until a high sound echoed through his ears, like a malfunction of a radio. Kunzite turned his head but the sound didn't have its source somewhere in the room. It came from inside his head. It grew louder until he felt dizziness overcoming him and he closed his eyes. He was sweating. What was this? What was causing him this feeling of giddiness? He was glad that his head rested on the pillow now and slowly the spinning around him stopped and the high sound started to cease too, but never faded completely. Instead it started to form itself into different tones, sometimes higher sometimes lower, a whole melody formed inside his head. A melody he knew from somewhere but was unable to place it and so he started humming it over and over again in his mind, sometimes a bit faster, then slower, or combined with some classical instruments until it felt right. Then voices started to sound up in his head. Voices that mingled with the music but that were too many to clarify one in special. As if many people were talking, chatting rather, people in small groups here and there, some closer, some farther away in the background. He tried to concentrate on one group to understand their words to make any sense out of them, until he noticed something. His eyes were still closed. Maybe he should ...

The moment Kunzite opened his eyes everything was quiet. The music was gone as were the people. He was in that room still, with Zoisite at his side. A cool breeze touched him and he noticed that he felt cold. The sweat from before had turned into a cold film that covered his skin. He moved deeper under the cover.

Another dream. A half-dream. This dream had been really close to reality, too close. He remembered the melody and like a shock he recognized where he knew that melody from. Longsince forgotten pictures rose up in his mind. The ball, the one where he had met Lady Ruinogh the first time. And then he knew what the voices before had said, what all the people had been talking about. They had all heard of Siol's destruction and were afraid that Earth could be the next target of the unknown enemy. Some were starting speculations that maybe Queen Nehelenia was behind that attack and that she wanted to prove the Moon that she had become quite powerful. Others just didn't want to talk about this matter and discussed the relationship of Prince Endymion with the Moon Princess or wondered aloud if the prince or the king would invite them to the certainly soon held marriage. But all in all the mood had been rather depressed. The musicians gave their best to play the fear away but only halfheartedly, because they shared the fear of most of the people in the room. Kunzite remembered that only few people were dancing this evening. He had been one of them. He was dancing with a beautiful red-haired lady that had been one of the only two known survivors of Siol's destruction. She was casting him some vicious glances from time to time and far too often she danced very close to him. Her hands were soft and her skin smelled of something he never wanted to miss again. She was a skillfull dancer and a beautiful one. She moved really graceful, with the same charme that sounded in her voice when she spoke to him. She was of royal blood no doubt. And when she spoke her voice chimed like a crystal flute through the room.

"I've heard the most worrying rumours about you, Lord," she said not taking her eyes off him. Her face was really close to his this time so that he could feel her breath tickling his neck.

"Aah," he replied with a smile on his lips, "and which ones would that be?"

She drew even closer to him before she answered, and whispered something into his ear. His smile froze and his feet stopped to follow the dance rhythm. He stared at her and found two calculating red eyes looking back at him. Another dancing couple stumbled into his back and reminded him that they were still standing on the dance floor and while not dancing they blocked the other couples. Kunzite uttered an apology, grabbed Ruinogh's arm and pulled her with him into the garden outside. She didn't resist.

Outside the cool air eased some of his heavy breathing and after some while of walking to the rear side of the garden he turned around to the red-haired woman. "Where have you heard this?" he asked, staring incredulous at her, all romantic mood gone. Nevertheless she made a step towards him closing the distance between them again. Her hand touched his shoulder when she raised onto her tiptoes. "I have my sources, Lord." Her eyes were still fixed on him, waiting for a reaction.

"You can't possibly know that! No-one knows!" he said noticing in the same moment that he had just comfirmed her that it wasn't only a rumour. Maybe it would have been the easiest way to declare it a rumour, nothing more nothing less, but this chance was gone now. A wide smile crossed Ruinogh's face, contented with his reaction. "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone." Her hand slid casually down to his chest to rest there. He wanted to ask her who had told her, who the one was that must have witnessed his argument with Endymion, but felt that he couldn't concentrate on any word he wanted to give voice to. Her scent rose into his nose and made his head swim. He knew that this wasn't normal for him, but was unable to do anything against it. His vision slowly started to blur and the sounds of his surroundings began to mingle with her voice that was so close to him. She said something about Endymion being not careful enough and a power that was obviously eager to attack either Earth or Moon. Kunzite saw how her eyes were still fixed on him and he had the feeling that those red eyes were looking through everything, directly into him and shivered slightly at this thought. Her other hand slipped under his right arm to come to rest at his back right in time to catch him as his knees gave way and he sunk to the ground. No, this wasn't normal, but he couldn't say what was wrong. He closed his eyes and concentrated on her touch. She leaned her head closer to him until it touched his shoulder and waited in silence until he felt better. He didn't care what others might think if they saw them like this. His thoughts only circled around the questions what was wrong with him and where had Ruinogh learned about his argument with Endymion. While kneeling on the ground held by Ruinogh he started to recall the happenings from exactly a week ago, the day where his greatest problem with the prince started.

>>He was pacing up and down the hall, throwing furious glances at the prince who just stood there and watched him coldly. "How can you even ask me for that, Endymion?" His voice was bitter. The prince didn't even blink. "Without Hotaru the senshi will never reach the level of power that they need to defeat Nehelenia. If they are not complete at the attack they might all die. Is that what you want?"

"Of course not, but you won't get her, not Hotaru. This is my last word. They have my wife already, they won't get my child."He stopped pacing the room and faced the prince with the most stern face he could manage. Endymion let his shoulders hang and sunk into himself, shaking his head. "Anemone , look, it is just for some months. Hotaru will meet her fate. She is supposed to be a senshi ... like her mother. Without her the whole solar system might get destroyed. You are sworn to protect me and this planet, Guardian. Why don't you let your daughter follow your example. Only that she can protect not only this planet but all the others as well. She has the power to do it. And she won't be without her parents. Her mother will be with her. Don't you trust your wife? Anemone, please."

He shook his head. "No! I told you this would be my last word and this is it. You won't get her."

Endymion closed his eyes and sunk his head. He stood this way for some seconds before he took a deep slow breath and opened the eyes again, glancing carefully at his friend. "In that case I'm instructed by my father and Queen Serenity to give you the direct order to ..." He sighed, turning his eyes to the ceiling for a moment, obviously not wanting to say the next words. "Lord Anemone, with this you are ordered to give your daughter into your wife's care on the moon."

He stared at his prince, his chest was hurting and burning equally. And he was trembling. From disappointment, as well as from hatred, fury and fear.

"Don't do that, Endymion! You cannot take her from me. She is all I have."

"I'm sorry, Anemone. I --"

"Spare your breath!" he hissed. "You don't need to explain me. I already know that you would do everything for the moon." He felt his rage turning into pain, his breath was rattling in his lungs. "You love the princess too much to deny her any wish."

Endymion nodded his head. "Yes, and I think I will marry her."

Anemone made a contemptious sound and turned to leave the hall. "Do whatever you want, Endymion," he added over his shoulder, "but don't ask me for anything. It will take a while until I can forgive you, if I ever can."

Anemone's shoes clicked over the marmor of the hall's floor and with a hollow thud of the door thrown shut he was gone.<<

There hadn't been anyone there, only the two of them, he was certain of this. He felt how his senses slowly came back to him. Whatever had been wrong before it lost its effect on him. The high sound in his ears faded away and he could hear Ruinogh's breathing, what didn't surprise him in the least, taken how close she was. He dared to open his eyes again only to find that he was looking into a pair of red eyes. He had never noticed that she had lifted her head off his shoulder.

"Are you alright, Lord? For a moment I thought you would pass out." In her voice sounded real care for his health or condition. He shook his head and gave her a thankful smile.

"I ... am fine, thank you," he uttered staring at her. "Now, would you please answer my question and tell me where you know the thing about the argument from? I'm sure there was no-one there who could have listened. And Endymion wouldn't talk about such things with people that aren't involved in that."

She laughed. "You are incorrigible, Lord. But no, I won't tell you. There is another question that interests me. Say, do you hate Endymion for what he did?"

Kunzite kept silent for a while, wondering if he should answer her that truly. But the moment he tried to find another answer than the truth his chest that was covered by her hand started to burn and he felt that it was difficult to breathe for him. His eyes were caught by her glance and the moment their eyes met he was unable to think about anything else than answering her question.

"Yes, I ... I hate him. I hate him because he was so cowardish not to stand up against his father or Queen Serenity, if he ever wanted to do it, that is." The more he said the easier it was to breathe again. It disturbed him, but he put it away as a side-effect of his bad condition he was apparently in. Maybe he was getting sick.

Ruinogh slowly smiled to herself.

Kunzite brushed her hand off his chest and tried to stand up. His movements were clumsy and he noticed that he still couldn't trust his muscles. His head screamed when he rose up to his full height, staggering slightly, but he was caught by Ruinogh immediately. She was looking in real concern at him.

"Lord, do you think it's wise to--?"

"I'm going to visit a healer!" he cut in and groped for the next tree to support himself. His hand never reached it. Instead he misstepped and tumbled, but was lucky not to fall because she caught him again. Kunzite cursed inwardly and wondered what caused this damned feeling. He felt so weak. Like never before. Her cold but soft hands were still supporting him as she helped him to the next tree where he slid down to the ground again, leaning with the back against the dark wood.

"You better don't move, Lord. You are too weak." She was kneeling beside him not caring whether her dress got dirty or not. "Tell me one thing, Lord, would you trust me?"

He could feel her eyes watching him for a reaction. He first turned his head then shook it. "There was a time when I would have had maybe. But lately I had to learn that it is better not to trust anyone." He shoved her hand that laid on his shoulder off and leaned his head back against the tree.

"What do you have to loose?" she teased, cupping his face in her hand and turning it back so that he faced her. When he didn't answer and just looked at her she slowly moved her hand from the cheek up to his forehead where it came to rest and than all hell broke loose. The world around him started spinning again, but this time a hundred times faster than before. He had the feeling that the skin on his head was shrinking and his vision scaled down, it got darker and darker until even the tiniest spot in his vision range was filled with humming blackness. Again he couldn't breathe --

Someone shook him. "Kun-kun! Wake up!" The shaking got stronger. "Kun-kun! You're worrying me! Snap out of it!" Zoisite's almost hysteric voice forced its way into his consciousness and he opened his eyes. The moment he did Zoisite clung to him, apparently relieved that he was alright. Kunzite looked around and found himself still lying in this cold little room of Rynnhoran's house. The cover was lying on the ground where Zoisite had dumped it when he noticed that Kunzite had problems to breathe and started his attempts on waking him. He lifted one hand and saw that it was trembling. He blinked, still confused.

Zoisite took his cold hand into his own watching him carefully. "Are you alright?"

Kunzite didn't answer. Something was bothering him, bothering him a lot. Obviously this was another dream he had. Another dream that was too close to reality to say which was what. And again he knew exactly what happened at that day a millennium ago and he was sure that the happenings he just witnessed weren't the way they were back then. They were different in this dream. He had felt weak at this day, yes, but only because he hadn't eaten for almost two days before the ball. He had had to mobilize the troops, train them for the case of an attack which had been most likely to come. But this time, inside this dream, it had been something else that had caused this weakness. He couldn't say where the point was from whereon it wasn't true anymore, it was all too smooth.

He stared into Zoisite's green eyes in silence. His koibito was still looking worried at him but didn't urge him to answer his question. He could sense how Kunzite calmed down again and the trembling of his body stopped. "I've never seen you being that affected by a dream, Kun-kun. You know, you worried me. You had problems to breathe and trembled as if someone was strangling you. Do you feel better?"

Kunzite blinked. The mentioning of the word 'strangle' brought back unpleasant memories of the last evening and than he knew what had caused him those dreams.

"I'm going to kill him!" With a fast movement Kunzite sat upright in the bed, feeling a lot stronger than several minutes before, although an inner voice told him that this had been a dream, but he felt strong enough to stand up, and to stomp into Rynnhoran's room, take the pyramid and destroy this insidious nasty toy. Zoisite tried to hold him back but was shoved roughly aside.

"Kunzite! No! Wait!"

The door to Rynnhoran's room was ripped open and Kunzite came storming in. In a second's time he was at his enemy's side who slept peacefully on the ground. He closed one hand around the other one's throat, tight. Rynnhoran's eyes snapped open and out of reflex he kicked and wriggled trying to escape the grip what let it only tighten more. In panic claws were extended and scratched deep into Kunzite's arm. Kunzite flinched at the sudden pain that burned at his arm but refused to let him go. Thinking was out of the question at the moment. He simply let his hatred guide him. Slowly the uncoordinated scratching ceased and Kunzite wondered if the other one was done already, which was most unlikely given the time he held him. Suddenly Rynnhoran's hand shot up to grab his attacker's side and Kunzite found himself getting heaved up and pushed over Rynnhoran's body. The next moment he lay on his back himself and sharp claws sank slightly into his throat. Kunzite froze, not moving. Furious eyes stared at him from behind some unruly hair and a deep growl filled the room. Kunzite looked at him, totally taken by surprise. 'Damn, he is fast' he thought noticing incidentally the small fangs that were bared at him. Zoisite who had been standing in the door wide-eyed and uncertain of what he should do darted over to Rynnhoran to catch the hand that had been raised ready to strike his prey down in case it dared to move. Kunzite caught the first time a glimpse at the claws that decorated Rynnhoran's fingers. They were black and about an inch long, thick and sharp as he could confirm. He noticed that he had hold his breath, because the pain at his throat was too sharp, and started to cough now. He felt how something fluid trickled along his skin where the tips of the claws were embedded.

Zoisite slung his free arm around Rynnhoran's shoulder and pulled him back slowly, careful not to appear as a second attacker. The growling stopped and the grip around Kunzite's throat opened as Rynnhoran's instincts handed his mind the control over again. Kunzite watched how the fury in his eyes slowly got replaced by surprise when he noticed who his nightly attacker was. "Lord Kunzite ..."

Kunzite looked back at him noticing that the other was at least heavily breathing if else he seemed unharmed. He suddenly felt his own wounds. He had scratches everywhere, not just on his arm, but on his chest and shoulder as well, not to forget his throat. Rynnhoran's animal-like nature surely had its advantages in a fight. Next time he tried something he better tied him up before. But this wasn't the point. Something else was it.

"Never enter my mind again, Rynnhoran. I promise you, the next time you or this damn pyramid try to manipulate me you are dead," he said initiating a healing spell on his throat.

"Lord Kunzite, I don't know what you are talking about, I ..."

"Kun-kun, it wasn't him!" Zoisite interrupted him still holding Rynnhoran in his arms. "He was sleeping in case you haven't noticed."

"I don't care. I know that those dreams before were created by Rukh and as it certainly didn't escape your attention, my dear, one at least had almost killed me, the other two hadn't been any more pleasant. And HE," Kunzite said pointing at Rynnhoran, "has the control over it."

Meekly Rynn looked at Zoisite and sank down. "I ... can't control it."

Kunzite looked at him baffled, wishing he hadn't heard this. "What did you just say?"

"Eh - " Rynn scratched his head, "It has its own will. It works on its own. When I want Rukh to do something I... have to hope it wills it, too."

Kunzite's eyes narrowed. "Are you sure it wants to fight against Metallia? If not the march into the kingdom will be the last step you'll ever take, you are aware of this, aren't you."

"Of course I am, it talks to me."

Kunzite heaved a sigh, most of the hatred was gone. He stood up and gave Rynnhoran a long supercilious glance. "That doesn't change anything. I'll make you responsible for anything Rukh does. And if it enters my mind again, I'll come back to you. Good night." With that he turned around and left the room.

Rynnhoran gulped and looked up to Zoisite again. "Try not to worry, he'll calm down," Zoisite whispered very silent into his ear and returned to the door that led into the neighbored room.

* * *

Kunzite silently sat down on the bed feeling terrible. He was too nervous lately, too edgy.

He watched how Zoisite closed the door and came over to him, pressing him lightly back into the pillows. He didn't resist. Zoisite's cold hand started to stroke softly over his cheek and hair and he saw how Kunzite's silver-grey eyes slid close after a while. It was silent again, he had calmed down completely.

"Zoisite," he whispered suddenly. "Say, do you remember the night at the ball?"

"The ball? The night Anemone vanished? Yes, I can remember that again," Zoisite whispered back. "Was it the ball Rukh has shown you? What have you seen?" Zoisite's green eyes looked expecting at him.

"Yes, it was the ball. What happened to Anemone that night? Can you tell me?"

Zoisite took a deep breath before he started to tell what he knew about that day. "It had been a terrible day for a ball, maybe the worst the king could have chosen. No-one seemed to enjoy the festival really. The horror of Siol's destruction was embedded too deep into the people's memories. Only a few were of the mood to celebrate, or maybe they were just trying to hide their fear for the upcoming. I saw Anemone dancing with Queen Beryl. I never trusted her but I couldn't do anything about it that moment. She had been an invited guest and I had no prove to support my bad feeling about her. Later he was gone. Whether he went with her or someone else I don't know, but later on when he didn't return I started to worry and looked for him. Me and some of the guards found him in the garden, at the farthest wall from the palace, lying unconscious beneath a tree. I tried to wake him but he didn't move. He didn't want to open his beautiful blue eyes and his black hair was covering his face. I don't know, have you ever met him personally? I cannot remember to have seen you anywhere this day."

Kunzite nodded slightly. "I have been at the ball too. I was the second prince of a small kingdom in the far northern hemisphere. Me, my elder brother and my father had been invited by King Endymion to come. He said he wanted to fight against the paralyzing fear that his people shared and that would be their decline if it came to a war with whatever power that had attacked Siol. And yes, I have seen Anemone that evening, but only for a short moment, when he was dancing." He paused. "You had found him and then?"

"We took him to a healer who checked him but couldn't find any wounds on him, nothing. The reason why he had passed out had been a great loss of energy. Back then I couldn't explain me what could have caused this but from what I know today it is clear. Beryl had wanted him to work for her. I'm sure of this. Through him she would have had the perfect tool to get to Endymion. He had been a Guardian, closer she couldn't get to the prince. He knew all the tactics, the hidden ways through the palace, the codes of the ships that could bring him to the moon in case of an attack. And, the people trusted him. But I guess he declined her offer and as reaction to that she drained him so that she didn't have to return with empty hands to Metallia. Anemone had been a bit strange those days. He was very touchy and Mandragora had a hard time to call him to duty again. I don't know what was bothering him back then, he refused to talk to anyone. And even after he woke up again he didn't talk. Well, maybe he really couldn't. He claimed that he didn't remember what had happened to him, only that during the dance he started to feel strange and went outside to catch some fresh air. And then everything went black. I helped him to his rooms where he could rest and put him into bed. I told him that I didn't trust Lady Ruinogh and that I didn't like the way she looked at him but he defended her the whole time. So there was nothing I could do except warning him not to get too close to her, not to let her entice him how I suspected that she had been trying. And in retrospect I think I can be sure that this was exactly what she had been trying. Seduce him into coming with her and betraying his friends. He sent me out to get some rest myself and so I did. I looked at him before I went through the door and this had been the last time I have ever seen him. Some days later Ruinogh appeared again to give us an ultimatum until we had to surrender or she would start a war. I asked her if she happened to know about the whereabouts of Anemone and received a smile I thought I would never forget. She had caused his disappearance that was clear to me at this moment. But what she has done to him no-one knows. Maybe she has turned him into a youma, I don't know. After she was gone Prince Endymion declared Anemone for dead." Zoisite sighed and was silent. Talking about that day brought the scenes all back to his mind. Kunzite looked at him deep in thoughts. Then he noticed tears welling up in Zoisite's eyes and stroked them away, running his thumb carefully along the moist spots. His koibito closed his eyes at the soft touch and leaned down to him, placing his head on Kunzite's chest.

"Try to get some sleep, Zoisite. It's still dark outside. You don't have to worry about me, I'm fine." Kunzite said to him. Zoisite made a mumbling sound and closed his eyes. "And you? Will you try to sleep some more too?"

"No, I cannot sleep now. But don't let that disturb you. I will stand guard and watch you."

Zoisite smiled.

After some minutes Zoisite was fast asleep. Kunzite kept on playing with the copper hair unable to ignore anymore that inner voice that told him that Beryl had manipulated his memory as well. The story Zoisite had told him about Anemone fitted perfectly in what he had seen. Actually it fitted better than what he had thought was the truth until today. It felt right no matter how much he wanted to deny it. Although Zoisite didn't tell him what happened after he left Anemone's room Kunzite knew exactly what followed. That Zoisite had warned him not to let her entice him was another thing he thought he could remember but had never been able to place that memory.

After Zoisite had left the room and the door was closed again Ruinogh had reappeared beside the bed, smiling. >>"Now, how are we feeling? Better? I hope so." She moved and sat down on the bed looking at him.

"What are you doing here in my rooms? You have no business being here," he croaked and saw how she shook her head in amusement. "Well, then I better go and leave you and your empty house, your honorless, cowardish prince you - by the way - raised yourself. I wish you a wonderful life, my friend," she laughed and leaned down to place a swift kiss on his lips. "But there are other possibilities. Nothing has to be the way it seems," Ruinogh whispered into his ear. He froze.

"And ..." he croaked again, "what can change that? HE has the power. I'm just his Guardian. All that is left to me is my rank and reputation." <<

She had invited him to meet an ally of her. He just had to come to the garden at dawn where she would wait for him. And if he came she would take him with her.

And out of interest of who that ally might be he had accepted and had been sneaking out of his rooms at the given time.

The End of Part 9 - Goto Part 10

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