Fire and Ice

Chapter Two

© 2004 by Shari

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"I do not see why I have to be present?"

Jadeite winced at the whining tone in his student's voice and resisted the urge to slap that pretty mouth which was presently curved into a feral sneer. He already had a headache as a result of the night before and did not need Zoisite adding to it. Still the final words spoken between himself and Nephrite were so curious that Jadeite felt that he had to bring Zoisite to the audience with him as the older king had requested simply to see where he was going with this. Zoisite, however, was less than thrilled at the prospect of appearing before Beryl without being summoned. Tugging on the ends of his brightly coloured ponytail, his delicate face set in a pout he continued to utter his protests.

"I am your teacher and you will do as I instruct," Jadeite replied softly, not meeting the blazing emerald eyes and allowing a hardened edge to his voice which anyone would recognise as meaning that Jadeite was just about to lose his temper, which seldom happened with anyone other than Zoisite.

"But what for?" he pouted, ignoring all the warning signs. He really is like a child, Jadeite mused, his blue eyes narrowing he glared at Zoisite and prepared to aim a blast of energy at the younger man which would hopefully render the nasty little rat unconscious for several days when his curiosity pulled his temper into check.

"Consider it a part of your training." Jadeite replied instead through gritted teeth.

Zoisite pulled a stony face but ceased in his protests and Jadeite located his jacket, which had been thrown over the back of a chair after his drinking session had ended and pulled it on, quickly buttoning it and checking his appearance in the small mirror hanging by his bedroom door before turning to Zoisite.

"Are you ready?"

The younger man nodded, the scowl still fixed firmly onto his face.

"Good." Jadeite forced a smile at the sulking pretty boy and focussed on a teleport that took him directly outside the throne room. He half expected Zoisite not to bother following him but sure enough the man appeared beside him, as his trademark Sakura petals faded Jadeite noted that he had stopped pouting and smiled encouragingly at him. To this Zoisite scowled and turned away, his arms folded across his chest. Jadeite sighed, running a hand through his short hair he decided to greet Nephrite, who was leaning against the door to the throne room, his gaze resting on the feminine student at Jadeite's side.

"Did you teach him to do that trick with the blossoms?" was the first thing Nephrite said as Jadeite drew nearer "Very cute."

"Of course not," Jadeite huffed, annoyed with his colleagues laid back attitude "I have been trying to un-teach it for the last month. He is incredibly stubborn..."

"And beautiful," Nephrite added.

Jadeite cast a glance at Zoisite and then back at Nephrite "Even the most beautiful rose has its thorns."

"I wouldn't expect otherwise," Nephrite replied.

"So what is this all about?"

"All of what?"

"Don't play dumb. Why did you want me to bring Zoisite along? Beryl is going to have my head on a platter as it is..."

"She won't mind. Zoisite is her 'pet project' after all. Just tell her you wanted him to observe a senior officers strategic meeting or something along those lines. She is too excited over Kunzite's successes to care very much one way or the other."

Jadeite knew this to be true but that did not mean that he had to like it. "Where is Kunzite anyway?" he cast a look around and could not see the first king anywhere in the vicinity. "I assume he has to be present here too?"

"He does. Beryl called him in ahead of us." Nephrite scowled at this, "They will probably decide the entire strategy against the Moon Kingdom now and inform us of it when we are summoned before her."

Jadeite silently nodded, agreeing with this; after all he had seen it happen on a number of occasions. Still it would not be wise for one to criticise Beryl outside her throne room.

At this particular moment Zoisite decided that he was bored simply standing around and stomped over to the kings, not even acknowledging Nephrite's presence he instead started to complain about being made to wait.

"I thought you were an important king," he sneered at Jadeite "And here we are standing outside her door like a pair of naughty school boys."

"We have to wait to be summoned inside," Jadeite hissed, praying to all the deities that Beryl was too absorbed in her plans to conquer the moon than what was being said right outside her throne room.

"Well," Zoisite huffed loudly, "I don't even have to be here. That was your bright idea remember?"

"And I am already regretting it," Jadeite muttered darkly, and then louder "Zoisite for once in your life shut the hell up. Do you realise how much trouble you could get us into?"

Zoisite wrinkled his nose, managing to look extremely cute as he did so and pulled a face. He opened his mouth to retort when the throne room doors opened and Nephrite who had been leaning against them almost toppled forward into the room. Jadeite winced as Beryl's grating summons reached his ears. It was time, Jadeite suddenly felt nauseous at the thought of facing Beryl with Zoisite in tow but by then the pretty man had marched into the room, in full view of Beryl and Kunzite.

Here it comes...


So much for her not minding, Jadeite thought ruefully.

* * *

The audience went well, Jadeite supposed as they left the room, one behind the other after hearing Beryl's decision. After spending a few minutes screaming at him for bringing Zoisite to a 'kings only strategy review' Beryl had decided that Jadeite's excuse, that he wanted Zoisite to learn about tactics and since Beryl was a master tactician he thought that Zoisite should learn from the master, was a good enough one. Of course flattery got you everywhere in the Dark Kingdom and Beryl 'graciously' allowed Zoisite to stay.

Again Nephrite had been right in saying that Beryl and Kunzite had decided on the best course of action against the Moon Kingdom long before they had entered and Beryl was simply sharing information. This infuriated Nephrite more so than ever and Jadeite could sense that the king was near breaking point. Still Jadeite was surprised when Nephrite abruptly addressed Kunzite, enquiring if there was anything he could do to speed up the planned attack on the Moon, which according to Beryl's calculations would not be possible for at least another five years as Metallia-sama needed time to awaken and then the necessary energy that would be spent in an attack would have to be gathered from Earth.

Kunzite, as ice like as ever, told Nephrite that he might want to spend less time in his mansion drinking and more time gathering energy if he was that keen on attacking sooner than planned. If this infuriated the man more he hid it well, instead saying that he would endeavour to do his best to aid the revival of Queen Metallia.

"And what were you thinking of?" Kunzite was addressing Jadeite now; looking at the blond as if he were no more than a lowly Youma, his ice blue gaze fixed firmly on the third king "Why bring the little one to such an audience? You are very lucky Beryl-sama did not punish you both."

Zoisite bristled at the name 'little one' and unfortunately this did not go unnoticed. Jadeite felt the corners of his mouth tugging upwards into a pleased smile. If Kunzite wanted to punish Zoisite for his disrespect then he was certainly not going to stand in the older king's way.

The Ice King regarded Zoisite coolly for a few minutes, never taking his eyes of the pretty face and then, taking Zoisite completely by surprise he clasped the younger man's chin in an unbreakable grip and said softly "You should not frown so much little one. It only mar's your beauty."

Zoisite struggled to free his chin and when he failed to break Kunzite's grip his gaze darted to Jadeite, looking for help. Kunzite chuckled and released him, causing the man to stumble backwards slightly. Then, without another word, Kunzite made his leave. Jadeite waited until the pinkish light of his teleport signature had faded before turning to Nephrite.

"What was that all about?"

The auburn haired man smiled, "Join me for a drink this evening and you might just find out."

"Oh and bring the little one, too," he added as an after thought.

Jadeite sighed and allowed him to go before turning his attentions back to Zoisite. The smaller man was gingerly touching his chin and looked positively furious.

"Come." Jadeite decided to ignore this and opened a portal back to his quarters. Zoisite shot him a dirty look and stormed through leaving Jadeite again to wonder what exactly Nephrite had planned.

* * *

Kunzite sat alone in his quarters, attempting to study the intricate figures and details of Beryl's planned attack on the Moon Kingdom, searching for flaws in her scheme. Beryl had requested on the quiet that he do this, she could simply not handle another humiliating defeat she had confided in him before the entrance of Jadeite and Nephrite and of course Jadeite's student. Kunzite smiled slightly at the thought of the little one. He really must irk Jadeite so; Kunzite thought to himself and tried to imagine what it must be like training someone as volatile as the little one. Still Kunzite had meant what he said. The little one was breathtakingly beautiful. He regretted that he had not enquired more about him. Kunzite sighed, slamming the book shut. He, unknown to anyone, liked things of beauty. Beauty, in the Dark Kingdom, was a rarity and Kunzite felt that any such beauty should be nurtured and he often took it upon himself to look after such beauty and indeed even all the beauty on Earth did not compare with the little one. He would have to get to know Jadeite's student better, Kunzite decided. After all such beauty was wasted being in possession of the third king.

The End of Chapter 2 - Goto Chapter 3

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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.

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