Sweet Dreams

Chapter 24: And to Hold Firm to Our Intuitions

© 2006 by Pyrite aka Jessi Duffour


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The silence was more than a little unsettling after being in so social place as the Dark Moon Kingdom. Once more, I was back in the usual routine of training. Sitting at my wood carved desk, I let my bored eyes roam over the supply registry, writing down notes, observations, and corrections to miscalculations on a separate ledger.

I fought fiercely to stifle a yawn as I leaned back in the chair with a soft groan...hours of this intense bookkeeping scrutiny taking their toll. Being a General was not all magic, fighting and glory. There was a whole other world of record keeping and reports that needs to be done. Food, supplies, troops, rationing, resources...everything had to be accounted for by the person in command. Now, I found it much easier to forgive Kunzite for his grim stern ways and moods.

So engrossed was I in this studious endeavor, that when I felt something soft yet strong press against my leg. It elicited a startled yelp from me...veritably jumping in my seat. Biting back undignified colorful metaphors, I dropped my eyes down...and blinked in surprise.

Sitting there most alert and attentive, was my Wolf friend whom I had missed terribly in my absence. Letting a weary smile touch my lips I slipped off the chair with a rueful stretch then sunk down to one knee beside the elegant pale maned creature, wrapping my arms about it's neck as I rubbed my cheek against his.

"I missed you!!! I'm sorry for having been gone for so long..."

I could not help but smile as I felt the normally tense wolf ease, then I sank to sit next to him. Many nights in the Dark Kingdom had been eased of their loneliness and terror by this stoic soft furred companion who many times slept by my side. Long conversations were divulged with him...it seemed he could well understand my words. It did not take me long to recognize the intellect of my phantom wolf. Since he always returned, I supposed he did not mind my chattering.

I patted on my lap and let the large magnificent wolf climb into my lap as I drew great delight in scratching his ears and stroking the soft mane of his head, white as crisp fallen snow. He was a little heavy, but welcomely warm on my legs as I eagerly regaled him in the tales of my recent adventures.

Occasionally he would twitch an ear and and raise his head to settle those arctic silvery blue eye. It made things better to talk and not be judged or chastised. And finally, I tentatively touched a subject that was gnawing on my thoughts. I lightly ran my bare fingers through the soft fur of his cheeks, scratching the underside of his jaw as I pondered my own confused thoughts and feeling out loud.

"I really feel worried about Lord Kunzite. Even though he is great at being the 'Ice King'...I think his own walls he raises to protect himself are more of a prison. I really wish I could help him...but I'll be damned if I can't keep from bumbling long enough to be of any help."

I unconsciously reached up to touch the tender bruise still fading from my cheek. The pain was nothing that really bothered me...but the recollection of what had happened just before. He was like a beast freed from it's tether and approached by something hostile. I blinked...realizing that I was blushing by the heat in my cheeks. That and that the wolf was staring with unusual intensity. Thinking he was disturbed by my halted hand, I graced him with more generous scratches, earning me a more contented 'bruff' from the wolf after a moment as he settled his head back down.

"I'm not nearly as dense as people think I am...I know how much of a resemblance I bear to my predecessor. I am NOT trying to replace him...and I'm not trying to BE him. It's just...a coincidence. After all, Beruche says that our personalities are exact opposites. Kinda like night and day, I think."

I leaned my head back against the wall, staring into the darkness that always seems to encroach the room, no matter how bright a light there is inside. I felt the cool wet nose nuzzle my other hand. Hesitating with a soft smile, I reached out with both hands to scratch my four legged friend's cheeks and neck.

"I'm not upset with him for how rough he usually is to me. He assumed it's impossible to care for a tyrant, eh? I know he's been hurt terribly...lost something really dear. I think at first he wanted to keep me from replacing Zoisite...even though I never really intended to. Now....I think he's been getting more vicious to protect not just him, but me too."

A soft sad smile betrayed my lips as I leaned forward, hugging the arctic wolf sitting still on my lap, burying my face into his fur as he remained silent...ever attentive.

"I know if I asked him, he'd probably deny it. He's probably denying it from himself. He's been so kind to me, despite everything...I want to help him. To understand. Being the silly little human I am, I probably won't catch on to much...but I'll do my best to make things easier for him. Even if he acts like he doesn't want one...he has a friend."

Leaning back, I unconsciously passed my hand over my eyes as I felt embarrassing warm wetness trickle over my cheeks. Much to my surprise, my wolfine companion suddenly lunged forward with a startling growl...knocking me back to the floor breathless as he pinned me under his lustrous white furred bulk with his paws over my chest. Thinking he had attacked me...I was unprepared for what happened next.

Deft and swift, he ducked his head to trail the moist warm tongue over my cheeks. Gasping, I closed my eyes as I fumbled in a halfhearted vain attempt to shield my face from this impromptu tongue bath. I could not help but relinquish to giggles and laughter as I battled with treacherous wolf's tongue.

"Hey....Hey!!!"

Squirming mightily, I managed to slip through the assault to grasp the wolf's shoulders and used the opportunity to roll over, crouching over my friendly assailant with a roguish smirk as he struggled under my grip...then paused falling utterly still to stare up at me with those keen arctic blue eyes..

"That was a dirty trick!"

Pausing in the hold for a long moment...I stared back to that eerily intelligent sentient gaze...then shrugged, leaning back and releasing, raising my eyes to the door.

"How about dinner? If we go now...we can beat the Youma to the messhall."

Giving no time for reply, I straightened out the slightly mussed uniform jacket with a smoothing brush of a hand and a neat tug. I was out the door a moment later dashing down the hallway..my white maned companion following at my heels.

I could only imagine that I looked every bit the proverbial little Timmy with my loyal puppy at my side.

* * *

SCHLOP!

I poked gingerly at the nameless phenomena of military cuisine sitting in lurid lumpy languor in the abused metal bowl on the tray next to the rock hard piece of ersatz bread. But...I didn't care! At first, getting used to this mess hall goodness was a trying time in the beginning. Even harder was acknowledging that I was likely consuming this place's equivalent to Soylent Green after finding not only a ring in my gruel, but the finger it was attatched to.

I risked starving to death rather than dinning on something that might have had a personality until I had it literally shoved down my throat by my mentor. I came to realize...that in time, I might be able to change things, but first I had to survive.

And so...with always a prayer to my food, I dug into my meal.

Another reason...is that I noticed that my need for food has been rising steadily as I advance my training. I thought it was, at first, the physical training effecting my metabolism. Then, after more lessons, My Mentor explained the truth.

Magic.

Whenever I use my powers...I am drawing from my own internal reserves...my own energy. In order to keep up, I have to devour more food. Now, with the more advanced magical practices and training, I had been feeding on enough food for three grown men. But, then....why is it I hardly ever see Kunzite eat?

His explanation, with as much vagueness as he could muster, was that there were other ways of feeding save the usual of food consumption. When I pressed him to explain further...I received nothing but another "You will learn in time."

Regardless, I was on my third bowl of this hideous near mobile muck when I heard something from the double doors to the mess hall that constricted my throat and chilled my blood.

"Ohohohohohohooooooo!"

Her.


The End of Chapter 24 - Goto Chapter 25


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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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