Fire and Ice

Chapter Three

© 2004 by Shari

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For Jadeite the evening couldn't have come sooner enough. Zoisite had been an absolute nightmare for the entire duration of the afternoon. The incident with Kunzite had not helped matters and for an hour Jadeite was forced to listen to the angry cursing coming from his student's bedroom on the subject. Finally the blond had snapped and told Zoisite, in an ice like voice that could have rivalled the first king, that if he did not shut up then would give him to the Ice King as his pet (which was what Nephrite was planning upon doing anyway, Jadeite thought with some satisfaction, Zoisite was really getting on his nerves). Zoisite surprisingly had done so and promptly stormed out of the house deciding that he was going to vent his frustrations out on any luckless Youma who happened to be present in the training fields.

Jadeite allowed him to go, instructing him to be at Nephrite's manse no later than eight to discuss today's audience with Beryl, or that was what Jadeite assumed Nephrite wanted to discuss. When 7.30 finally rolled around Jadeite set out alone for the mansion, he was beginning to get an uneasy feeling about the entire thing.

Nephrite immediately offered the blond a drink when he appeared in the auburn haired man's front room, taking a seat on the black leather sofa. Against his better judgement Jadeite accepted the glass of red wine that was offered and Nephrite took a seat in a chair opposite him and requested to know where the little Sakura had got too.

"I told him to come along at eight," Jadeite replied, "Not that I am entirely sure that he will bother to turn up. He has been in a furious mood ever since that incident with Kunzite this morning."

Nephrite smirked, "So I take it he is plotting revenge against our first king as we speak?"

Jadeite shook his head. "Not likely. Even Zoisite is not fool enough to take on Kunzite alone."

"Which brings me straight to the point. I believe he can."

Jadeite snorted at this, taking a large sip of wine. "Zoisite is powerful but Kunzite would kill him the instant he raised his hand."

"Yes," Nephrite agreed evenly, looking into the glass rather than meeting Jadeite's gaze. "I am not suggesting that Zoisite fights Kunzite and nor am I suggesting that the three of us fight him. There are other ways to obtain power within the kingdom. There are other ways to manipulate even the most ice like of kings, if you get my meaning."

"Fire melts ice," Jadeite murmured repeating Nephrite's earlier response to his questioning and then he shook his head suddenly very interested in what Nephrite had to say.

"Simple," the auburn haired man smirked, "Zoisite has to seduce Kunzite."

"How will that help us obtain a better rank?"

"If Zoisite manages to get close to the Ice King then he can plant something in his room that will royally piss Beryl off enough to get rid of him. As second king I will receive a promotion, you will automatically go up a rank and there will be an opening for a third king... Zoisite. You said he was ambitious. This is the perfect opportunity for us all to get what we want."

Jadeite had to admit it was an interesting plan but there were flaws. "How do you know that Kunzite will take a liking to Zoisite and not fry him on the spot if he does reject the Sakura's advances?"

Nephrite chuckled, "I have heard that Kunzite likes to walk on both sides of the street and you saw the way he looked at Zoisite. Of course these are rumours and if they happen to be untrue and Zoisite is killed then at least he is out of your hair and maybe Beryl will become angered at Kunzite for killing her little project."

"What about Zoisite? You do realise he cannot be trusted. What if he decides to ally himself with Kunzite against us?"

Nephrite sighed, "Gods what do I have to say to convince you? Zoisite is not going to ally himself with Kunzite. You saw his reaction when Kunzite grabbed his chin. He hates the first king even more than perhaps me and even if he does decide to betray us he will be dragging himself down too. I am sure that the Ice King would hate to be humiliated so."

Jadeite nodded, considering what the other was suggesting. Nephrite's plan could work and even if it did back fire Jadeite could always claim that he had nothing to do with it after all he had been promoted to his current position through his intelligence and skills as an warrior not because he slept his way to the top or killed any rivals as had Zoisite, Nephrite and Kunzite. Jadeite had never shown any interest in obtaining a better rank but if one could be obtained at relative ease then why should he be against it? Also, he had to admit that he wouldn't mind seeing Kunzite killed. The first king's superior attitude really did rile him at times.

"Very well," he agreed, "Now all we have to do is convince Zoisite."

* * *

Zoisite was bored. After killing twenty or so Youma to vent his anger he was left feeling bitter and a little humiliated after the events of the morning. How dare Kunzite treat him like that? Little one... he'd show him little one... if he could just get near enough to the so called Ice King he would show him how dangerous the 'little one' could be and perhaps finish of Jadeite and that fool Nephrite too. Hells he'd kill them all one day and anyone else who dared refer to his small stature or feminine looks. Of course it was these looks alone that got Zoisite where was today in the kingdom hierarchy. Zoisite was not ashamed of the acts he had committed to acquire his present rank. If he had played fair then he would still be a lowly soldier in Beryl's army taking orders from stupid Youma or worse a higher ranking officer who would beat him during day and fuck him senseless at night.

"Little one," he scoffed to himself, suddenly recalling that Jadeite had requested his presence at Nephrite's manse sometime soon. Zoisite briefly debated whether to go or to ignore his orders as he usually did. Shrugging his slim shoulders he initiated a teleport sequence. It was better than sitting around Jadeite's home awaiting the blonde's return. So far the king had ignored Zoisite and his less than subtle advances so he couldn't help but wonder why they wished to speak with him now. He had caught Nephrite staring at him twice that day. Zoisite frowned at this thought. Though he would sleep with the second king if it meant surpassing Jadeite in rank it did not mean he had to like it. Nephrite was most definitely not his type.

The two kings looked up at his appearance and Jadeite, at least, had a guilty expression upon his face. Zoisite frowned, as he suspected they were laughing about him behind his back! He scowled, debating whether to turn around right now and leave the older men to their drinking. This thought was cut short when Nephrite addressed him, asking him to take a seat between them but using the tone of voice that suggested that the student had no choice in the matter. Zoisite complied, his curiosity getting the better of him. Nephrite offered him a glass of wine, which Zoisite declined and instead demanded exactly what they wanted from him.

"Your help of course," was the smug reply, unintentionally confirming (in Zoisite's mind) his earlier suspicions that Nephrite wanted to sleep with him. Still, being sat between the too men was rather uncomfortable. Zoisite squirmed, wondering if they were both going to pounce on him now rather than wait until he consented. Noting his discomfort Jadeite gave him a curious look before realisation dawned in his eyes.

"No not like that!" and Zoisite pouted at the horrified look etched across the blonde's face. Was he really that unattractive in Jadeite's eyes?

"We have a proposition for you," Nephrite took a careful sip from his glass and leaned back on the sofa, his lofty gaze resting on Zoisite. The student could feel Jadeite was also watching for him and awaiting his reaction. "How would you like to earn a rank that at the moment you can only dream of obtaining, even by your underhand methods?" Nephrite continued.

The man had intrigued Zoisite but also given him cause for some concern. What exactly were these two plotting?

"What sort of proposition?" he asked.

"I assume that today was the first time you have met Kunzite," Nephrite answered, "As you know he is the most powerful of us."

"You wish to change that?"

"Of course." Nephrite took a deep breath. "With your help that is."

* * *

Zoisite paced up and down his small bedroom in Jadeite's quarters wondering what he should do. It was the first time he had been in such a dilemma and it left him at a complete loss. Nephrite's plan seemed safe enough. All he had to do was seduce Kunzite. The two kings did not think this would be a problem owing to Zoisite's beauty but the man is question was not so sure. Nephrite had instructed Zoisite to accompany him on an inspection of the troops tomorrow, an inspection that only the first and second kings of the Dark Kingdom were permitted to carry out. Kunzite and Nephrite were not particularly close due to the fact that Kunzite cared little for anything in the kingdom except for pleasing Beryl and Nephrite was insanely jealous of Kunzite's sway with the queen of the darkness. However, the second king had assured Zoisite that he could get him close to Kunzite. Then, he had said, with a hint of joyful malice hidden in his voice, that Zoisite was on his own.

It was not the actual task at hand that daunted Zoisite so. He was slightly attracted to Kunzite even though he despised the man. Gritting his teeth and recalling the incident earlier in the day, Zoisite realised that he had made up his mind. He was going to make Kunzite pay for humiliating him so in front of the other kings. Zoisite chuckled to himself at the prospect of wiping the confident smirk off of the first king's face. This was going to be one task assigned to him that he would truly enjoy every moment of.

The End of Chapter 3 - Goto Chapter 4

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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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