Fire and Ice

Chapter Four

© 2004 by Shari

Beta Read by SailorTerra1

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Nephrite frowned, pacing up and down inside his mansion, listening to the irritating rapping on the oak door. Kunzite was early and there was no sign of Zoisite. Cursing the little man, Nephrite was about to call the entire thing off. He could blame it on a migraine and suggest to Kunzite that they reschedule.

He sighed, about to cross the room to the door, thus informing Kunzite of this 'headache' when he heard soft laughter behind him. Nephrite growled inaudibly. Only Zoisite could manage to raise his ire with just one laugh. The boy levitated to the ground beside the second king, his hair loose from its usual ponytail and flowing in golden waves down his back, some shorter pieces framing his delicate face.

"You are cutting it fine," Nephrite growled angrily. "I was about to call the entire thing off."

Zoisite shrugged and licked his lips. "I like to take my time in the mornings." He nodded towards the door and added disdainfully, "aren't you going to answer that? The knocking is giving me a headache."

Scowling Nephrite marched over to the door and pulled it open.

"Where have you been?" Kunzite demanded frostily, the first of the kings was not used to being kept waiting. "We are late," and then an, "Oh... I see the little one is here. Had I known you were otherwise occupied I would have requested that Jadeite accompanied me."

Being late was entirely untrue and in fact they were still early but Kunzite, being the first of the kings had the luxury of deciding when Nephrite was early and when he was late. Still it did not mean he wished for Kunzite to think that he and Zoisite had... Nephrite shuddered in disgust as his mind processed this thought. Zoisite may be beautiful but Nephrite found himself growing to detest the little man.

"Jadeite requested that Zoisite attend as part of his training." Nephrite shrugged, "Beryl-sama also thought it to be a good idea," he added smugly.

Kunzite's grey eyes narrowed as he regarded the little man at Nephrite's side. To this Zoisite gave him a shy smile and twirled a stray piece of hair around a delicate finger in an attempt to look cute. Kunzite, completely unaffected by this, simply turned and muttered again about being late and disappeared in a flash of pink light, obviously expecting them to follow him.

"This is not going to work," Zoisite muttered as he gathered his own energies for a teleport to the designated part of the kingdom.

Nephrite too had a slight cause for concern but pushed it down inside of him and snapped, "He is hardly likely to jump on you with me present is he? Now listen to what I tell you and follow the plan accordingly or I swear you will live to regret it. You need to get inside his manse and to do that we need too..."

Zoisite frowned; he disliked this plan more and more by the minute.

* * *

Kunzite looked over his shoulder for the third time and scowled at his trailing comrades. The entire morning had been a waste as far as the Ice King was concerned. The new 'recruits' if they could even call them that were a poor bunch who would serve as nothing more than cannon fodder. Most were good looking young men who were offered the choice of being one of Beryl's 'servants' or fighting in a Youma army against the Earth and Moon Kingdoms and had picked the latter.

There were a select few that could be of some use, Kunzite supposed, taking a mental note of them before again turning back to his colleague and the pitiful excuse for a student. It was obvious to Kunzite that Nephrite couldn't stand Zoisite so why allow the little one to accompany them? The auburn haired man was known to ignore even Beryl if she said something that was not to his liking. These concerns were cast aside by the sudden appearance of Tetis. Tetis was a Youma who specialised in water attacks and answered directly to Beryl through more often than not the elemental could be found hanging around Jadeite, it would seem she had taken quite a liking to the blond king.

"Nephrite-sama, Kunzite-sama," she acknowledged the kings with a bow and then turning to the auburn haired man she added, "Beryl-sama requests your presence immediately, Nephrite-sama."

Kunzite, with approval, noted the fear flickering across his rival's eyes before it was replaced with confusion. "Now? May I ask why?"

"Beryl-sama did not say but she was most insistent, Nephrite-sama," Tetis trembled slightly. "She was not in the best of moods. If you do not mind me saying, I think it would be dangerous to keep her waiting."

Nephrite sighed, "Very well then" and then started when he realised that he had Zoisite with him. "You will remain with Kunzite until I return," he instructed softly and disappeared in a flash of red light before either man could protest. Tetis too made her exit, smiling slightly as she did so. Kunzite sighed to himself. Now he was stuck with the little Sakura for the remainder of the day. Though inwardly his heart leapt at the chance to spend some time with Jadeite's student without it looking suspicious, Kunzite was not all together sure that this was a wise move.

"It would seem your teachings will have to be cut short," he turned to the smaller man. Zoisite was standing a little way away, nervously chewing on his lower lip. He jumped slightly when he realised that he was being addressed and quickly lowered his gaze submissively. "You will return to Jadeite-san and explain the situation."

At this the little one's eyes filled with horror and fear. "But Kunzite-sama! It was Beryl-sama who instructed me to come here! If I return to Jadeite-sama now..." He trailed off and uttered a barely audible sob.

Kunzite's expression softened, the younger man managed to look incredibly cute when pouting he thought to himself. Perhaps it would not hurt for Zoisite to accompany him for a while?

"Very well." Kunzite also knew how temperamental Beryl could be. She would possibly kill Zoisite for disobeying an order, even if it was indirectly and Kunzite would hate to see such beauty wasted.

"Thank you, Kunzite-sama." Zoisite smiled gratefully and Kunzite knew he had made the right choice.

* * *

Seven hours... Seven hours! Zoisite sighed impatiently whilst trying to at least feign some interest in what Kunzite was saying. They had visited one regiment after another and each time Kunzite had explained battle histories, strategies and all manner of boring pieces of information that could have been quoted from a textbook. Still he had a lovely voice, Zoisite thought idly, a little deep but mixed in was a soft overtone that soothed even his savage temper. He sighed again, his feet also hurt. At this rate I am going to be too exhausted to try anything, he thought in annoyance and there might not even be another opportunity like this. Then, at last, Kunzite announced that they had finished. As it was always dark in the Dark Kingdom, Zoisite had no way of telling what time it was except that it was late. The Ice King was staring expectantly at him now, waiting for him to make his leave after dismissal.

Zoisite quickly ran through his options. He could make his move now before Kunzite became to irked with him to respond. The only problem with this was that, as Nephrite had warned, Kunzite might not take to his advances out where all could see them. Zoisite sighed for a third time. As Nephrite had said, he would have to get inside Kunzite's manse.

"Kunzite-sama?" he asked, as the older man turned away, seemingly fed up with waiting for Zoisite to take his leave. The Ice King paused when he was addressed however, looking over his shoulder, his eyes showing some irritation, "What is it now?"

"I still have some questions, Kunzite-sama. May I take another few moments of your time to speak with you some more?"

"Speak to Jadeite or Nephrite," was the definitely irritated response. Kunzite seemed eager to leave. Zoisite sighed a forth time; this was going to be humiliating...

"Of course, Kunzite-sama," he nodded. Stepping away from the object of his desires, he added, "How silly of me. I should not waste anymore of your time."

Zoisite, with this statement, focused his magics on opening a portal and then suddenly doubling over, clutching at the stone wall to steady himself.

"What is it?" Zoisite resisted the urge to smile when he detected very real concern in Kunzite's voice.

"Dizzy... it is nothing. It will pass... ugh..." He stumbled again, this time taking care to grab hold of Kunzite, throwing his arms around the older king's waist. Kunzite, as Zoisite suspected, did not take kindly to this and the little man felt energies engulf them both and seconds later he found himself in Kunzite's manse, or more accurately, he found himself sprawled across a dark blue sofa. He looked up sheepishly when Kunzite offered him a glass of water from a pitcher sitting on a small table.

He smiled and took it, taking care to shake slightly as he gulped down the water.

"You should not show weakness like that in the kingdom," Kunzite said softly, "It will be used against you by others who would wish you harm." He did not add that he had not liked the fact that others could see Zoisite clinging onto him in such a fashion that rumours could start, rumours that Kunzite could do without.

"I know." Zoisite delicately placed the glass back down on the table and stood. "Forgive me, Kunzite-sama."

"You are forgiven... just take care not let it happen again," Kunzite replied. Again the older man turned and abruptly disappeared in a flash of pinkish light, leaving Zoisite to find his own way out of the huge castle-like dwelling.

Zoisite nervously chewed on his lower lip as he concentrated his powers on a tracing spell and focused on where Kunzite had gone. As he thought... Zoisite followed, wondering if this wasn't a little too bold when he reappeared in the bedroom, in front of a half naked Kunzite. Too bad I didn't time my jump for a few seconds later, Zoisite thought ruefully, noting the jacket and cape folded neatly on a chair near the four-poster bed. Well at least he does not already have someone.

The king looked taken aback as Zoisite stared, marvelling at the beauty of the man before him. He took a wary step forward, so that he was centimetres from Kunzite, and then as if recalling his place, lowered his eyes again.

"What do you want now?" Kunzite demanded icily.

It was now or never...

Zoisite reached upwards, entangling his hands in Kunzite's silky white hair, he pressed a soft kiss to his lips. He did not get the reaction he had hoped for. Kunzite broke the kiss without even responding at all. Zoisite pulled away, a million thoughts racing through his mind as he locked gaze with the white haired king. What had happened? How could Kunzite not want him? He had said Zoisite was beautiful after all.

"Kunzite-sama?" he spoke hesitantly, breaking the silence that had befallen them.

The older man chuckled slightly at the wavering in Zoisite's voice. At this the younger man's blood ran cold as the realisation dawned upon him. Kunzite knew! Backing up Zoisite quickly attempted a teleport, his only thoughts at this moment being escape. Of course he was a fool to think that the Ice King would let him go now. Kunzite lunged forwards, seizing his wrists in an unbreakable grip whilst using his free hand to grasp Zoisite's chin, forcing the younger man to be still.

Zoisite trembled, knowing that he was now at Kunzite's mercy.

The End of Chapter 4 - Goto Chapter 5

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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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