Fire and Ice

Chapter Fourteen

© 2004 by Shari

Beta Read by SailorTerra


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Zoisite, much as he hated to admit it, had never been into the heart of a real battle before. True he had heard the screams of the dead and dying, smelt the ever growing tide of blood and his sword had embedded itself in many enemies, but he had not been in the centre of such combat. As a junior soldier in Beryl's army he had been confined to the outskirts, either helping to guard their base camps or protecting the wounded as it was the will of his 'superiors' that their youngest, and most beautiful, soldier should remain unharmed.

Whilst this had partly frustrated Zoisite, he was also strangely glad of it. He had no desire to become involved with petty skirmishes with neighbouring planets. Especially not after he had painstakingly worked his way up the ranks, endured many an unworthy touch before reaching this point. The final battle between the Moon and the Dark Kingdom, and he was not just fighting in the battle; he was a Dark Kingdom Tennou no less.

The Earth had already fallen. Metallia's powers had blackened the hearts of its army and turned them against their Prince. As expected, Endymion had fled to the Moon and the safety of its Palace, but there would be no escape for him.

The Lunarian's, full of their own airs and graces, had thought it impossible that anyone would dare launch an attack upon their Silver Millennium and thus Metallia was easily able to break through their shields. Of course they had an army, but the men of the Moon Kingdom were weak and cowards at heart and, upon seeing the Youma alone, they turned and fled.

The women, however, were a different story. They would stand and fight and did so with a relentless ferocity. Leading them were the four Senshi who protected the Princess; the warriors of Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus.

When he had first laid eyes upon Sailor Venus leading her Senshi into the battle, Zoisite had been scornful of her, and had been hurriedly reprimanded by his senior Tennou.

"Just because they are women does not mean that we should underestimate them," Kunzite told him with perfect liquid calm, even when the first Youma fell to an enemy blade.

Zoisite saw the wisdom in his words but he couldn't assuage the wave of jealousy that washed over him when Kunzite's gaze lingered a little too long on the Senshi of Venus and he had stamped his foot in frustration and in an effort to gain Kunzite's attention once more he had pouted loudly and then promptly sent a ice crystal at the unprotected back of the Senshi. Unfortunately, her comrade, Sailor Mars, had seen this assault and her 'fire soul' had quickly melted the blade before it could strike home.

"You should never attack in anger," Kunzite said softly, ignoring the furious shouts coming from the Senshi.

Zoisite glowered under the glare that was directed his way before Kunzite's teleport took hold of them both and transported them from the immediate danger of the battle. Reappearing back behind their own lines, Zoisite stepped out of the energy shield that Kunzite had created determined to remain strong, despite his lover's harsh words. Why was it that everything he did to earn Kunzite-sama's respect ended in him feeling more of a fool? Zoisite clenched his fists at his sides and grit his teeth. He hated being made a fool of.

The roar of the battle still in his ears, Zoisite moved further away from Kunzite as the older man called aside a couple of Beryl's stronger Youma and began issuing orders for the next wave of assault upon the Moon Kingdom's palace.

Even now, Kunzite-sama, you still refuse to acknowledge me as anything more than an instrument of your pleasure...

Keeping it discreet, Zoisite started to make his way backwards, away from Kunzite's side and towards the blonde Tennou issuing orders to his own Youma. Jadeite stood out in the sea of writhing beasts baying for the Silver Millennium's blood and easily spotted Zoisite's appearance, thus dismissing his Youma quickly as the younger man stepped up beside him.

"It's been done" Jadeite murmured as their shoulders touched, ignoring all formalities when addressing his fellow king.

"Good" Zoisite took a deep breath as tried to slow the wild beating of his heart, "Wait a few minutes and then tell Kunzite-sama that I've gone to the west wing of the palace."

He turned to leave, but Jadeite caught his wrist, and forced him to halt, "Zoisite? I sent Nephrite to the east wing. What are you planning?"

Zoisite smirked wickedly; "I've done what you asked of me without question. I had hoped you would do likewise."

Jadeite frowned and released his grip, "I don't want your feud with Nephrite to jeopardise the battle, that is all."

Zoisite laughed softly and invoked a teleport to take him to the east wing of the palace, "It won't. Trust me."

Jadeite's frown deepened as the younger man departed. Why did he have the feeling that there was a side to Zoisite that he had yet to see? Calling out to his Youma that he had something to take care of and leaving things to them, Jadeite hurried off in search of Kunzite, who had become seemingly lost in the tide of Youma that poured forth towards the palace gates.

Jadeite would do as Zoisite instructed and then would follow him and would watch the show. Things were starting to get very interesting.

* * *

Kunzite paused, as the battle raged around him, only to wipe the sweat from his brow before conjuring up yet another energy sword and embedding it into the back of a fleeing soldier. Occasionally he could still hear the cries from the fighting Senshi to signal that they were still in the battle. Privately, Kunzite had to admire their courage. Their kingdom was falling around their ears and still they fought on. They would never surrender... and nor would the Dark Kingdom.

With this in mind, Kunzite called to the Youma nearest him to concentrate the majority of their attacks on the four girls. If they could lay the Senshi's bodies out before the Queen and Princess then, perhaps, they would give up Endymion and the Dark Kingdom would win this war.

The Youma hurried to heed his commands, and, once again, Kunzite teleported away from the main battle, reappearing on a small outcrop where he could oversee his troops without making himself a direct target in case one of the Senshi became too cocky.

Creating a light blue energy shield around him, Kunzite now scanned the battlefield for Zoisite. He hadn't seen the younger man leave and this angered him slightly. What was Zoisite playing at this time? How could Kunzite hope to protect him if he did not know where the other man was?

Yes, Kunzite did want to protect him and he felt something, a small stab of fear in the back of his mind, for Zoisite when he failed to find him. Had he already fallen? Kunzite felt sure that he would have felt it had he done. Despite his words and threats, Kunzite was merely testing the younger king. Feelings could lead one to ruin and this was a lesson that Kunzite had learned through watching the mistakes of others, Beryl included. Zoisite had to learn this quickly and then, when he had mastered his emotions, Kunzite knew that it would be safe and appropriate for himself to allow Zoisite to see the true depths of his own feelings that he had kept buried beneath his icy exterior for so long now.

Kunzite closed his eyes, attempting to sense the younger man's energy patterns when he felt another move, right beside him.

Jadeite leapt backwards, almost losing his balance completely in his attempt to avoid an energy sword that was directed directly at his face. Scowling he griped his displeasure at this under his breath, but Kunzite heard this anyway and smirked slightly before demanding to know why the blonde had left his post.

"I was concerned" Jadeite said, not meeting Kunzite's steely gaze, "About ten minutes ago Nephrite left the battlefield. Then Zoisite followed him."

A part of this didn't exactly ring true to Kunzite's ears and the way Jadeite was shuffling nervously, putting all his weight on one foot and then the other heightened his suspicions, but Kunzite was sure, that the part about Zoisite leaving the battle was true. Zoisite had admitted on many occasions how he was looking forward to vengeance against Prince Endymion and Kunzite dearly hoped that the little one hadn't decided upon exacting this revenge before Beryl managed to claim the Earth Prince as her own.

"Where did he go?" Kunzite asked, keeping his voice low.

"To the west wing of the palace" was the answer that he was given.

Kunzite nodded and ordered Jadeite to keep an eye on things here. Without waiting for a response, Kunzite promptly teleported from the scene.

Getting to the west wing proved easier than Kunzite had first thought. With most of the battle being at the heart of the palace and the surrounding grounds, servants and soldiers had long since deserted both wings and thus he was able to teleport there without much trouble. Of course they had not yet breeched the palace itself and, by the west wing, Kunzite could only assume that Jadeite meant the west wing grounds, or at least he hoped he did.

Why Zoisite had gone there, Kunzite did not know, but he was furious that he had allowed himself such concern that he had broken away from his duty to go and look for the youngest Tennou.

What possessed Zoisite to leave his safety to begin with, also plagued Kunzite's mind and he, as he scanned along the boundaries, felt himself beginning to lose his temper, something that almost never happened and something that he would never outwardly show.

There

The foolish little Sakura was standing alone, completely exposed to any kind of attack that might come his way, in the middle of a glen, similar to the one that they had been in the last time that they had visited the earth realm. However, the aura in the air was different. Kunzite could feel some tension and an apparent fear radiating from his younger lover, thus he held his temper in check and called out to him.

Zoisite turned, his eyes narrowed and his hands clenched at his sides, his left one clutching an ice dagger tightly in one hand.

"What are you doing here?" Kunzite demanded softly, "Jadeite explained that you deserted your post" he added as an afterthought.

Zoisite raised his head slightly to meet Kunzite's gaze, but still did not speak.

Kunzite did not understand this reaction. Over the course of the time that they had spent together, he had come to recognise every single one of Zoisite's conflicting emotions and moods, and now... he was completely at a loss. Then Zoisite spoke: "I'm sorry."

"Sorry? Sorry for wha--" Kunzite broke off mid-sentence, his eyes widening in shock and horror as Zoisite raised his hand holding the ice crystal and embedded the weapon deep in his own chest.


The End of Chapter 14 - Goto Chapter 15


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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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© by Shari - Email: shari@senshi-of-ruin.net


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