Sweet Dreams

Chapter 13: Few Can Cheat Death

© 2006 by Pyrite aka Jessi Duffour

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The blast never struck me. I felt a somewhat familiar power shielding me from the blast. Opening my eyes, I saw the hem of a black cloak, black and white sneakers and white pants. I blinked in surprise, looking up at my savior, not believing my luck.

"Beryl, you misjudge your Guard." The man turned and knelt down, offering me a hand up. Shaking in surprise, absolutely wordless I numbly reached out my hand to him, getting carefully pulled to my feet. I winced and clutched my aching chest and swayed slightly, but I could stand. My rescuer favored me with a cool, polite nod then looked back to the Queen who stared at him in shock.

"Pyrite had not been anything but faithful to you."

Prince Demando then turned to me. I bowed my head in shame...having caused a fight in his own domain.

"I must admit, the loyalty to your Queen's honor took me by surprised. Very rarely have I seen any fight against such odds with such fire." I paused and glanced up at the prince, feeling his deep violet gaze. Managing a weak smile, I bowed to him.

"Thank you, Prince Demando. I...I did not wish to fight...but I could not let an insult to my Queen pass by unscathed..." The Queen looked at me sharply...apparently wanting to know of the insult. I gulped, swallowing further words. The Prince cast her a cool look...somehow convincing with a glance the ill tempered woman to calm. I bowed my head. "Forgive me for combating in your domain." He nodded silently, his face impassive, those eyes giving away nothing. The asture prince spoke sharply, not turning around.

"Rubeus." The cocky man walked up and bowed to the Prince...looking more than a little fearful. He was bedraggled and cut, well showing the signs of our fight. I held a secret pride at my handiwork. My first real battle. And I won!!! Pausing briefly, I glanced at Kunzite...and saw a briefest of approving smiles. I cheered somewhat. Hesitating, I paused...hearing the tail end of the Prince's declaration. His voice was soft...as it always was...but there was a deadly hint to it...and Rubeus paled with every word.

"...is utterly rude and undiplomatic. I gave you direct orders to treat them with the courtesy and respect that you would give me. By all means you should be punished with death..."

"Wait!" Every pair of eyes turned to me and I fought the urge to slink away at the attention. The Prince slowly looked at me with that piercing gaze. His dark violet eyes narrowed slightly and I shrank somewhat behind the eerie weight of his gaze, carefully avoiding meeting it directly. I bolstered my resolution and stood at military attention with as much starchiness as I could muster with the pain in my chest and ribs.

"There was a misunderstanding. Rubeus thought that I was harming the Sisters, though I did not have the slightest intention to. One thing led to another, rash words were exchanged, and it wound up as you see." *What the hell? WHY are you defending RUBEUS?* I calmly thought a reply back to the voice in my mind. It's the human thing to do. The prince gave me a level look, his dark eyes intent, searching. I bowed my head, avoiding making eye contact. The Prince spoke softly.

"Is this true?"

The Weird Sisters chimed up in an eager chorus of agreements.

"Oh yes..."

"Bye all means!"


"Uh huh!!!"

Rubeus leveled me a sullen glare and mumbled softly.

"Yeah, I guess so."

Beruche chimed up.

"Pyrite is such a dear, we know he didn't mean any harm!" She immediately quieted after the other sisters gave her a warning glare, and Cooan nonchalantly delivered her an elbow to the ribs.

Demando's eyes narrowed in thought, his face holding a slight contemplative frown, still watching me carefully. I resisted the urge to squirm under his keen intense gaze. Why am I always the center of everyone's scrutiny? He did not take his eyes off of me...and that was more than a little unnerving.

"Very well. Rubeus your life is spared. In fact...you owe it to Pyrite." I blinked in surprise. Like a distant chill, I felt the Queen's gaze as she looked at me, and I could feel my mentor's silent eyes watching impassively. The Prince then nodded. "Not only that, but also that he spared your life in the battle as well. Going by the warrior's code, that strengthens your indebtedness." He turned and walked to the door coolly, pausing at the threshold not turning around as he spoke quietly.

"Pyrite, I wish a word with you." My eyes widened in surprise...and I glanced at Kunzite and Beryl. At their nods I walked over to the prince, dread and fear filling my mind. He must be furious that I had spoken out...or getting in the fight in the first place...or having bent the truth a little...Gods... Taking a deep breath I bowed my head meekly and stopped short near the prince whom had not turned around. He then proceeded to walk down the hall without another word. Blinking in confusion, I followed.

We traveled silently through the hallways...I may have been his shadow that followed him for all the notice he paid me. Eventually we came to the throne room where he walked silently and sat down with an intense aura of stateliness and nobility. His powerful dark violet eyes gazing at me intently.

"Pyrite...look at me. Since you had stepped into my Kingdom, I have yet to see your eyes." I paused, debating. Weighing the possibility of him finding out my true self versus angering him. I sighed softly and looked up slowly...meeting his gaze through my long bangs. I could feel his gaze pierce into my mind, my soul: searching out my secrets. I resolutely concealed my identity...throwing everything I could think of in the way. He paused and frowned slightly.

"You are hiding something." I nodded silently. "Something you will not tell me." He murmured thoughtfully, frowning slightly. I nodded silently again. "Why?" I paused then spoke softly.

"It is too personal." I paused and winced, clasping my ribs in pain. He simply nodded silently. He rested his chin on one hand, a glass of dark wine appearing in his other in a crystal stemmed glass, holding it by the bowl idly.

"Secrets are dangerous things." He idly swirled the wine in the glass. "Secrets can be a threat to my kingdom." The Cool prince's voice was soft, idle...deceptively conversational. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise as an eerie shiver passed down my spine. He looked at me intently, his eyes boring into mine with a frighteningly powerful intensity.

"I can tear your mind to shreds quite easily to find that secret you hold." My blood turned cold...but I kept my face carefully calm...though my voice cracked slightly as I spoke.

"Will you do that?" The Prince did not reply at first, taking a long sip of the wine...letting me stew there for a minute. He set the glass of wine down on the throne armrest.

"No." His reply caught me completely off guard. "I think that I can trust you enough not to have to." I couldn't help it...I had to ask it.

"Why?" I paused and hastily added. "Not that I'm not grateful. I am honored that you think so." I was surprised to see him chuckle softly.

"That is precisely it." I blinked, confused. He looked directly at me. "Honor." Honorable? I was totally dumbfounded by being described like that. I bowed to him. Wincing, I clasped my aching chest as I rose.

"Thank you, Prince." he nodded.

"I give you permission to call me by my name." I blinked and rose, blushing slightly. I shook my head.

"Oh I couldn't. It is due your station." I paused then added. "And I truly believe you deserve that title."

"I would accuse you of undue flattery...except that you speak your mind." He nodded thoughtfully. I smiled slightly...liking the Prince. He was noble, although a bit aloof, but he was basically honest. Not only that, he looked beyond my appearance and into my soul. I could call him a friend. He nodded.

"I would call you friend as well." I blinked as he had apparently read my thoughts. Nonplused, I murmured wryly.

"How is it everyone else knows my thoughts before I think them?" The Prince quirked an eyebrow at me.

"Is that not a rude thing to say?"

"You would have read it in my mind anyhow." I grinned sheepishly and shrugged. The Prince was quiet for a long moment then he laughed.

"Ah, you are lighthearted. So very rare to find among the denizens of the Dark Kingdom." I smiled slightly, relaxing a bit for the first time in over a month.

"Tell me about it. Half of my jokes either fly over my Teacher's head, or they evoke a sound beating from him."

The Prince shook his head and took a long drink from his wineglass.

"You are a spirit too bold to die. Too free a mind to be controlled. What are you doing in the Dark Kingdom?" I smirked...then winced and rubbed my aching ribs and chest.

"Getting periodic Royal Trouncings a few Band-Aids short of the little scene you saw today." The prince laughed softly and shook his head.

"I must congratulate you on your defeat of Rubeus. I was rather hoping you would win. Darkness knows he needed a dire lesson in humility. You posses a great deal of hidden skill and power you yourself do not realize you have." I smiled wryly at his words, blushing slightly at his praise.

"Rubeus is a bully. All brawn and bluster, but little brains or negotiation skills." I paused then looked up sheepishly at the Prince and was about to say something. He shook his head and held up a hand.

"I know why you lied. I did not say a word about it at the time for I also am not all too thrilled to see Queen Beryl's rages."

"I think this is the first time she had truly ever been angry at me." I winced and rubbed my ribs ruefully.

"I apologize for that misunderstanding." I blinked at his words in surprise.

"No need to. I survived a blast that I had seen kill bigger Youma before. I'm a strong girl." Yipes! I blinked and shook my head, hastily wording a cover up for my slip. "Er, boy." Color rose to my cheeks as I floundered. "I'm so damn pretty I confuse myself!" I grinned crookedly...the prince blinking then bursting into laughter. After my surprise at his mirth, I couldn't help it; I soon followed in laughter. Gasping, I paused then gripped my ribs: tears of pain pricking my eyes as I drew a hissing breath. Gotta remember not to laugh. The Prince sombered. He tapped his wineglass thoughtfully.

"Rubeus is terribly headstrong. He craves power and seeks leadership." The cool sovereign shook his head silently, his silver hair shimmering ethereal. "He is not fit to be a leader." He turned his thoughtful eyes to me.

"You are not fit to be a soldier." I paused and turned my eyes to the ground. "You do not follow orders very well, you are independent, and you think too much than is good for a Soldier." I nodded silently at the blunt dressing down. "You, however, are a born commander...or leader."

"Me?" I blinked and looked up in disbelief. He nodded. I was totally shocked...and surprised.

"I would far rather ally my Kingdom now with the Dark Kingdom knowing that you are commanding troops there."

"Will be, if I succeed in my apprenticeship. I had only been training for a little over a month." I blushed sheepishly. The prince blinked and sat forward.

"Only a month?!" Silently I marveled that I had actually unwittingly succeeded in surprising the normally stoically calm Prince Demando. I nodded silently. "You are remarkably good at battle...Rubeus has been training for years. You learn fast."

"Lord Kunzite says that I am a fast learner, too." I smiled with secret pride. He nodded, silently. Demando then gestured, two crisp parchment letters appearing floating mid air. Both had black wax seals, stamped with a crescent. They levitated to me. At his nod, I took them. One was addressed to Queen Beryl, the other to Lord Kunzite.

"The one to the Queen is a formal apology for Rubeus' actions...and a personal approval of your skills. The other letter is an action for action documentary of the battle." I took the letters in my hands then paused.

"Does that include Dialogue?" I blushed red hot at a thought. He nodded. "Terrific." I bowed then paused...still bent over, wincing in pain. Slowly I rose, grimacing slightly, but standing straight.

"I think I need to straighten up a bit before this evening." I grinned somewhat weakly. "And use a little Tiger Balm..."

"Indeed! That looked to be a painful blast." The prince smiled somewhat ruefully, shaking his head. "You are much tougher than you look Pyrite. It must hurt."

"Like the Dickens." I grinned somewhat tightly. I nodded to him...too much in pain to bow and took a step back. Much to my surprise he stood and clasped my hand and shook it. I smiled sincerely, shaking his hand back. "Thank you for trusting in me...friend." He smiled.

"It is I whom should thank you: for giving me someone I can actually trust...and call friend." I smiled and nodded.

"Well, I should be off to deliver these letters. Until later. Fare well." He nodded.


The End of Chapter 13 - Goto Chapter 14

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Disclaimer: Sailormoon is the property of Takeuchi Naoko, Kodansha and Toei Animation. All characters, settings etc. are used without permission. This is an amateur fiction, and I definitely won't make any money of it.

This page belongs to Stayka's Dark Kingdom Home at http://www.dark-kingdom.de

© by Pyrite aka Jessi Duffour - Email: duffour@gmail.com

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