The Four Points

Chapter One: Chaos in the Desert! The Shitennou are Reborn

© 2006 by Shari

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A/N: This ficcie is a little different to what I usually write. It may see a little out of character and over the top but there are reasons behind this which you will see in later chapters. It is one of those ficcies that will keep on bugging you until you type it and my muse refused to grant be any sleep until I had this first chapter done.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this world of any value and certainly do not own Sailor Moon. If I did then you would see this ficcie in animation and Manga and not as a fanfiction on this site.

The Four Points

Chapter One: Chaos in the desert! The Shitennou are reborn

© 2006 by Shari

For Jadeite being able to wake was a relief. He did not know how long he had been locked inside his crystal prison but then it was gone... he was free... He fell forward, striking his head on the dusty earth beneath him. It felt as through an age had gone by and it had... a freezing wind whipped through him with an icy brutality causing the blond to cry out, his sharp cries burning his chest as the cold air poured down his throat, almost choking him. Jadeite gasped, his eyes watering as he struggled to clear his chest. Still he realised with a burst of exhilaration that he truly felt alive. During Metallia's reign Jadeite had almost felt dead, going through the motions of his life, his mission though detached somehow. He wondered if his comrades had ever felt this despondency. Beryl too. He had served the demon who ruled over him simply because she was his queen; no questions asked. Now he was free Jadeite had no desire to return to the Dark Kingdom.

In fact his first thoughts were to teleport to the suburbs of Tokyo. As the blond pushed himself up onto his knees to initiate a teleport yet there was nothing. No power flickering at his fingertips simply exhaustion and true the former Shitennou slumped forwards slightly, his eyes growing heavy with fatigue. What was this? he wondered idly. What had brought him here? What had freed him from his crystalline prison? An abundant of different memories surfaced as he recalled his eternal rest, eternal yet not eternal. Zoisite plotting against Nephrite, winning the red haired queen over with slick words and a look with his wide innocent green eyes. Beryl had liked Zoisite, perhaps more so than the others. Zoisite was the wild one, ruled by emotions rather than reserve and lacked strength. He drew his strength from Kunzite. The older man gave him reassurance, confidence and of course rank and the power that came with it. It had been this power that allowed him to get away with Nephrite's murder and bestowed a vicious sense of pride that would eventually cause his downfall. Evidently Zoisite thought he could talk his way out of anything. Smooth talk and a pretty face had not saved him from his fate.

Jadeite had seen the way Beryl looked at Tuxedo Kamen, the rather dim-witted yet heroic Prince Endymion from the old Earth Kingdom. Love, it was much more dangerous to love than hate. This was why Jadeite kept himself at a distance from the other Shitennou, the Earth realm and to some extent the Youma and Beryl herself. Because of this crazy stories had grown up around the kingdom. Jadeite the loner, the fool king they called him. What else would they call him? Zoisite and Nephrite; bitter rivals since the beginning of time and Zoisite and Kunzite... lovers... no that was not the right word to describe the two Shitennou. Partners sounded better on Jadeite's tongue. Partners on the battlefield and partners in the bedroom. Jadeite supposed it was lust rather than love... or rather he had until he witnessed Zoisite's demise.

They were all human, deep down, they all had human needs. Jadeite and Nephrite were simply better at suppressing those needs that was all. Nephrite stayed away from the kingdom in his mansion, drinking away the time if rumours spoken by lower Youma were to be believed and Jadeite... Strangely enough he had never considered taking a lover in the kingdom. Not because these urges were not as strong in him, but perhaps because he isolated himself. He stayed away from temptation. He kept himself hidden. So it had always been assumed. Kunzite, the aloof leader of the Shitennou, had taken a shine to the pretty, feminine looking Zoisite and Zoisite power hungry and seeing a way to climb the ranks of the kingdom overnight had gladly obliged to every sexual fantasy one could imagine. Jadeite used to see them, alone and when they thought they were unobserved. He would watch, not out of some sick curiosity but more of a mocking observation of just what Zoisite would do for his place in the kingdom. That was how it looked yet being encased in crystal had, ironically, given Jadeite a better insight to the goings on in the kingdom. Zoisite worshipped his Kunzaito-sama. He walked in his superior king's shadow, a little blond silhouette that would do anything in his power to please the older man. Jadeite had never really thought much of the youngest king until that moment when he realised how he longed to have that much devotion to one person/cause. He had never held any devotion to Beryl. More like a fearful respect of her powers, her status bound together with a strong magic force pulling him towards his own destruction. Why else would he return to Beryl's throne room after being defeated by the Senshi that last time? Any one else would have run, pretended to be dead but not Jadeite. A force, stronger than his own will, had made him return to that room, stopped him from casting out any defence he might have had against the spell that locked him away with only his thoughts and feelings.

Zoisite had looked calm that final time too. He was injured, that much Jadeite could tell, probably those damn Senshi, still he looked better than when Jadeite had almost been crushed by the jet. The young king seemed to know what was coming. He held out a hand, feebly trying to talk Beryl round. Beryl had been in a fury. Her beloved Endymion was injured, nearly dead and she was determined to make someone pay for this and that someone was Zoisite. Still he screamed. Reaching for the older man as he was hit, the crystal lashing out with blinding force and deadly accuracy.


But before that a voice, a protest from Kunzite.

"I will take responsibility for that."

At that precise moment Jadeite realised that he had been wrong. They were lovers and it would seem Kunzite himself had only just realised that. His pleas fell on death ears. Zoisite was gone and Kunzite carried his body away... Jadeite never saw the youngest king again.

Kunzite carried on as normal. He worked now alongside the brainwashed Prince Endymion, Beryl's unofficial bed toy. The hatred was obvious and Beryl thrived on the confrontations, revelled at the way Kunzite's brows furrowed together in suppressed fury and the sharp little retorts that he would allow himself to snipe back at the prince and the way Endymion's mouth would turn up at the corners in a sneer/smile of victory.

Only Jadeite could see Kunzite was a broken man. Without the younger king he had nothing in the kingdom. Endymion had stolen his place as Beryl's loyal council so Kunzite was gradually being pushed out of the Dark Kingdom. After Nephrite died the Shitennou had lost their place in the darkness. As four or even three they were a strong, formidable force but Kunzite and his whore? And then Kunzite alone? The Youma did not fear the Shitennou, the name carried no meaning.

Then Kunzite went. Jadeite did not know what happened. The man simply did not come back. Beryl did not seem to care. Perhaps she remained oblivious to his departure from the world? Yes Jadeite had known that Kunzite was dead. He had heard the court muttering when Beryl's attention was elsewhere that Kunzite had committed suicide, throwing himself at the Senshi, taking a sword in the chest and dying screaming for Zoisite. Rumours, Jadeite knew rumours were a dangerous game in the Dark Kingdom. Then finally the kingdom crumbled. Princess Serenity, daughter of the Queen of the Moon Kingdom had come for her Prince. Defeating and healing Endymion only to have him killed in front of her very eyes. Beryl retreated to Metallia's chambers and Serenity outside. It was the last Jadeite saw of them. Then the world had turned upside down.

Thus Jadeite's present situation.

He stood, wobbling slightly as his legs buckled yet he regained his balance, one hand shading his eyes as he took in the dark landscape. The desert he mused. Scorching hot by day, freezing by night. He couldn't have woken up in a worse place. Perhaps this was some new game of Beryl's to torture him. A quick mental probe showed nothing of the sort. Jadeite could feel Beryl's powers and that of Metallia's but they were far away... distant and yet not unthreatening. He could feel something else too. Jadeite was not alone in the desert, its vastness no more than a mirage. Eternal... that word awakened something inside of him that Jadeite didn't even know was there. Eternal...

I am eternal

Those words. He did not know what they meant but he knew the meaning behind them.

An angel... the most serene creature in the galaxy had fallen and Jadeite knew her name.

He stumbled, falling over his own feet as he scurried backwards. The angel... she would not forgive him this time. The blond trembled at this realisation and fell back further, clouds of sand billowing up around him as his back it the ground. Then he felt another touch, a hand clamped around his right shoulder. He froze and then with a burst of speed whirled round to face the man. He looked so different to the last time Jadeite had seen him. Wearing the same uniform, his cape hung in shredded tatters around his broad shoulders. His white hair, stained with the dust of the desert and clumping limply around his tanned face. His eyes narrowed as he stared down upon Jadeite and the blond waited, and then exhaled that breath he did not evening realise that he had held. Slowly the gloved hand was removed and he took a step back, calmly folding his arms across his muscular chest, visible where the uniform had been torn away.

"Kunzite?" Jadeite asked hesitantly.

* * *

When Nephrite woke, it was not because his body sensed the freezing cold temperatures of the desert at night or even the sand storm brewing around him but the grainy taste of the sand that had found its way into his mouth. Grimacing he opened an eye, sleepily taking in the stretch of brown beneath his cheek. He coughed, spitting out a grimy mixture of saliva, blood and sand. Wiping his bloodied lower lip Nephrite opened his other eye and looked around. The only light was from the moon; whispers of silver liquid glow illuminated the desert landscape. Naturally his confused state of mind came to the conclusion that he was dead, after all he recalled drifting off into nothing in Osaka Naru's arms.

Shaking his head, partly to clear dust from his auburn mane but mostly to clear it of any lingering memories Nephrite realised that he could not be dead after all. Why? Because his legs were numb, he wiggled his toes in his boots but did not feel anything. Cursing his misfortune he attempted to get up and failed. Flopping back down on his back his gaze wandered down to his feet and the source of his discomfort became apparent. There was a small shape slumped over his legs, just below knee level and a shape in the form he knew too well. His lip curled back in a sneer, utter revulsion as he roughly brought his legs up, kicking the limp body from where it lay, watching as it rolled coming to a stop a metre away. Not far enough Nephrite thought grimly. Then slowly as the blood began to circulate in his limbs Nephrite stood, shakily at first and then as he gained strength he was able to walk the metre that separated him from his nemesis.

Zoisite lay on his back, exactly how he had fallen, his lips slightly parted as he drew in sharp little gasps of air. His uniform torn in places hung off of him in a shredded mass of cloth. Nephrite's lip curled further up in disgust recalling his most hated enemy, the man who had murdered him in front of the girl he loved. He drew a black boot back and then brought it forward, kicking the ponytailed king in the side, smirking at the satisfying thud that insured and the cry of pain that escaped those soft lips. Then slowly the blond brows furrowed together as discomfort flickered across the feminine features and then finally emerald green eyes, now with a slightly glassed over tone opened, revolved around, first looking up at the night sky and then down at his ruined uniform and then finally at Nephrite. He opened his mouth but nothing more than a dry cough passed his lips before slowly his eyes drifted shut again.

Nephrite smirked to himself and turning his back on the little man he began to walk away. Where too? He did not know as long as it was far away from Zoisite he didn't care. He now knew he could not be dead though how his newly found life had come about he did not know. If he were dead he would not feel the sand underfoot, the grainy and bitter taste of sand in his mouth, he would not be in the damn desert to start with and he would not feel such hatred towards the man he was leaving to die out here. Yes, Nephrite did hate the youngest king. He hated him for destroying his second chance with Naru; he hated him for so easily being able to climb the ranks of the kingdom simply by allowing the most powerful of the four to fuck him stupid at night and most of all... Nephrite shook his head in mock amusement. He and Zoisite, to put a finer point on it, just did not get on. They never had done, even before Zoisite started sleeping with Kunzite and before he became a rival for power and threatened Nephrite's own position.

The auburn haired king sighed and looked back at the small body lying in the sand. He would never do something as tacky and underhand as assassinate the youngest king.

I cannot believe I lost my composure with someone as petty as Zoisite

Those words were true. Nephrite considered Zoisite a pest, a nuisance and certainly not a serious threat. Until he had his Youma abduct Naru and murder Nephrite himself whilst he taunted from afar after stealing the kurozuishou that was. Nephrite did not respect Zoisite for these accomplishments. Far from it. It just proved all the things Nephrite thought about him were true. He was vain, self-centred, malicious, manipulative and above all a coward at heart. Casting another final glance over his shoulder Nephrite chuckled to himself. He was nothing like Zoisite. He would not lower himself to his level. He would simply leave the small king here. The sun would be up soon... nothing could survive the desert heat for long...

Sometimes we lie with kind intentions too

Damn it why did he have to think of her at that moment of crucial decision making. Naru... an innocent child really. Small, playful like a kitten gazing wide-eyed at the world around her. It was why Nephrite had liked her he supposed. Kittens were easy to manipulate. He would give her a kind word or a Sanjouin Masato smile and she would be back for more, he used her as an energy source, the possible keeper of the ginzuishou and he regretted this. Nephrite had never thought himself able to feel love until then. He had loved her in his own way. Not the passionate fire in his heart that Naru had been able to feel for him but deep down inside of him, the part of his soul that had not been filled with Metallia's hatred and malice. Now the darkness was gone Nephrite wanted to shake off all the remnants of his former self, the self that had served the devil. To do that he would have to forgive...

* * *

"I thought you were Zoisite"

Kunzite was surprised, even more so than expecting to come face to face with his dead lover, when the man turned around. It was as if he were staring at a ghost. The last time he had seen Jadeite, alive anyway, was when he had watched from the shadows as Beryl handed down the punishment of eternal rest to the terrified king.

Now he was standing before Kunzite, his uniform like Kunzite's own was torn and dirty and he was missing one his boots. When Kunzite quietly pointed this out Jadeite looked surprised... shocked even... as if he had not noticed this. Quickly casting his astonishment aside he formed a question of his own.

"What are you doing here?"

Kunzite shrugged, an act that felt unnatural as the sun rose fully into the sky. "I was dead" he allowed no emotion, none of the inner turmoil he was feeling into his voice. If Jadeite was back then that meant... he crushed this thought. It pained him to think of Zoisite and all he could have done and did not do to save his lover. Lover, Kunzite had always used the word loosely in describing what he and Zoisite had. He supposed they had been lovers, behind closed doors anyway. Still everyone had known what went on in Kunzite's chambers at night. Even the lowest Youma could guess and it was no surprise to them at any rate. The few women generals they did have had been killed in the final battle against the Moon Kingdom. In any case Kunzite had not been looking for a relationship with any of them. Was he gay? Kunzite chuckled to himself. If he was honest he had no idea. He certainly found women entertaining creatures to be observed from a distance. The fifth nijizuishou carrier, Reika, had been a beauty. It was too bad that she had been involved with the dopey Earthling who ran the video arcade. Kunzite, if he had wanted to delve into the mystery that was Earthlings relationships, would have suggested to her Youma form that she could do better than that. Of course Zoisite would not have liked this interference and it was not wise to rile Zoisite too much though Kunzite was the one person Zoisite would never stay angry with for too long.

"We all were" Jadeite agreed to Kunzite's earlier retort. "Endymion too."

At last some good news Kunzite thought. Unless the pathetic caped catastrophe was also wandering around the desert that was. If he was, Kunzite decided, he would kill him, Queen Beryl be damned.

"I take it that little piece of information does not pain you" Jadeite said dryly, a flicker of amusement in his pale blue eyes.

Kunzite gave Jadeite a look, trying to decide what to do next. The logical step was to try and find some civilisation and since he no longer had his powers, being the first thing he had tried to do when he woke was to open a portal, he would have to walk, a prospect that Kunzite had to admit he was not looking forward too.

Jadeite... the fool king the Youma called him and Zoisite when he had a migraine or was in a bad mood for some obscure reason. Jadeite had liked to work alone, cutting himself off from everyone save Beryl herself. He had been devoted enough to the cause, a loyal king who would have done anything for his queen and now? Kunzite was not sure. Did everything he knew about Jadeite no longer apply now that Beryl's hold over them was gone? Not sure what to think Kunzite said:

"I am going to find some shelter before the sun becomes at its most powerful. You are welcome to follow if you must." That was as gracious as Kunzite would allow himself to be. He started walking, in no particular direction until Jadeite's voice halted him.

"Look at the sun."

His voice, so soft, almost inaudible but fearful dread that seeped into those few words caused Kunzite to turn, shielding his eyes with a hand he too glanced for a second at the billowing inferno.

He had to bite his lip to suppress his own gasp of shock. As strong and as bright as the sun was, it was covered by spots, little flakes of blackness seemingly dancing across its fiery surface.

"Metallia" Jadeite whispered, "Only Metallia's powers could do this."

Kunzite made a small noise, intended to sound like a snort of indifference, "We shall find some civilisation. Then we will know better what is happening."

"Don't you want to look for the others?" Jadeite shut his mouth as soon as this question passed his lips. He lowered his gaze, probably expecting a sharp reply or even some kind of physical retort.

Kunzite did not have his attention on Jadeite now. Something was coming across the horizon. Kunzite started towards it, taking long strides and the blond had to break into a half run to keep up with him.

"Kunzite-sama where are we going?"

Kunzite was mildly astounded by this immediate acknowledgment that he was the leader yet accepted that even here Jadeite would look to him, the oldest and back in the Dark Kingdom the most powerful for guidance.

"Do you want to find the others?" he asked, a slight smile spreading across his face.

"Yes. Why?"

"I believe that is Zoisite and Nephrite making rather slow progress in our direction don't you?"

Jadeite followed his gaze and a grin broke out across his face too "It is them" he agreed evenly "Both of them... together."

"Together" Kunzite echoed, even from this distance he could tell by the hunched shoulders of his lover that Zoisite was furiously mad. The little man had hated sweating and walking long distances Kunzite recalled.

As they closed the gap separating the four of them Kunzite began to make out words spoken between the pair. Zoisite was not best pleased with the company which he kept and Nephrite... he seemed different. He held a sort of almost merriment of the predicament they were in. Lightly teasing the furious Zoisite who would half-heartedly take a swing at him only to have Nephrite catch his fist before it connected with his face.

Kunzite chuckled and this laughter caused the smaller man to stop attacking Nephrite and look over in their direction. He had been so absorbed in lashing out at his companion that he had not even noticed the presence of the other Shitennou. His reaction though was in typical Zoisite fashion.

"Kunzaito-sama!" the adoring gaze blushed across the youngest king's face when their eyes met and forgetting his fury with the auburn haired man Zoisite raced forward tumbling into Kunzite's arms. Kunzite was unsure of what to do with this open display of such emotion though inside he was experiencing the same exhilaration at having his lover back in his arms. He did, however, wrap his arms tentatively around the smaller king's back his fingers clenched around the slight frame feeling the fabric of his uniform and in places bare flesh. Kunzite breathed in the scene of his lover... Sakuras' he almost mumbled aloud. It was Zoisite... He had come back... Suddenly the desert did not seem as unendurable after all.

* * *

When Zoisite woke, this time properly and not the constant slipping in and out of consciousness that had been the case before he felt the hairs on the back of his neck start to tingle. Squeezing his eyes shut, wincing as grains of sand dug in deeper, he opened them again, now watering. His hands felt sand beneath them as he pushed himself up into a sitting position. It was hot... scorching hot, sweat streaming down his forehead; his hair clung to him in sticky clumps. Zoisite scowled. He hated sweating... he hated the desert. Like the others, though he did not know it, he recalled his fate. The red burst of hot light striking him in the chest, his screams to Kunzite and finally his last wish; to die beautifully that Kunzite had granted as best he could given the circumstances. Grinding his teeth and then spitting to rid his mouth of excess sand Zoisite wondered, again as the others had done, if he was dead. He was still wearing his old uniform, it was torn in more places than not and his skin had already burnt where the flesh was exposed to the sun.

The first real emotion to hit the little man was fear. He couldn't be dead if he burnt. A wave of panic crashed into him and he sprang up from the shade of the tree and winced as the sun's full force hit him when he came out from that shelter.

"Kunzite-sama!" was what he said... or rather tried to say. The words got stuck in his throat and he coughed again, sinking down onto his knees. He hated the heat. Slamming a fist into the hot sand, disturbing a rattle snake that quickly slivered off down into its burrow, Zoisite felt tears spring into his eyes. He was all alone...

He did not know how long he sat in the sand, silent tears falling down his cheeks, or rather that was what he wanted to happen but he had no excess moisture to waste on crying. There was nothing for miles... no Kunzite... not even the suburbs of Tokyo where the Sailor Senshi dwelt. Zoisite also felt his magics had run dry like the rivers and streams that had once flowed through the desert canyons. With his powers lost to him he would surely die. Indeed he would be dead if it hadn't been for the shade of the...

Zoisite whirled round as the tree behind him made a noise. He fell on his back skittering away, causing clouds of sand and dust to fly up around them and into the tree's eyes... eyes?

Zoisite rubbed his streaming eyes and slowly his vision came into a better focus. His initial reaction was I am dead and this is hell for standing over him, a slight smirk on his lips was his most bitter and hated enemy, perhaps even more hated than Tuxedo Kamen.

"Nephrite" he wanted his voice to sound disgusted at the word on his lips but the small whimper that followed put paid to that. Then the shock that not only was his enemy alive but he had also shaded the unconscious Zoisite with his own shadow rather than killing him as Zoisite would have done without hesitation had the situation been reversed hit him. Zoisite fell back further, his mouth fallen open in utter disbelief.

Nephrite chuckled, taking a step towards the pretty man before kneeling down at his side. A pair of dark azure eyes staring into his own.

"Don't laugh at me!" Zoisite snapped furiously, stumbling to his feet. Nephrite stood with him, the amused expression still on his face.

"Why not?" Nephrite's voice held no distaste or hatred, simply wry enjoyment of the given situation.

"Because..." Zoisite stuttered, "Because... just don't" he finished, lowering his gaze to the sandy carpet beneath his feet.

Silence insured and Nephrite seemed a little annoyed at the growing despondency of his companion. What was he expecting? Gratitude for saving his life? Zoisite sniggered to himself. It would be a cold day in hell before he thanked Nephrite for anything.

Finally, realising that a 'thank you' was not forthcoming Nephrite started to walk.

"Where are you going?" Zoisite demanded, his green eyes flashing with a mixture of resentment and fear. He hated being alone... even Nephrite's company was preferable to being alone. Folding his arms across his bare chest the small king stomped after his enemy, billowing up a haze of sandy clouds as he did so. Nephrite halted, turned and said; "If you follow me you will refrain from little hissy-fits such as this."

"How dare you?" Zoisite snapped back, "I can do what I like!"

Nephrite shrugged and purposely shoved him in the chest, not hard enough to make him fall but just hard enough to cause him to stumble "Then stay here alone. I will not tolerate your vile temper in this heat."

Zoisite opened his mouth and then abruptly closed it again, perhaps thinking better of his actions. Giving Nephrite a look that could kill he started after him again, lost in his own thoughts.

Kunzite-sama... where was his lover now? Was he back in the Dark Kingdom? Zoisite bit his lip, he was not sure if the Dark Kingdom was a place he wanted to return too. Still if Kunzite-sama was there... Kunzite-sama was the only person who had made serving an incarnation of the devil bearable. This present situation however was intolerable. Zoisite's lip curled back in disgust at the auburn haired man, walking slightly in front of him without a care in the would and seemingly unaffected by the heat. Zoisite sniggered to himself; he would give anything to be able to plunge an ice shard between his enemy's shoulder blades.

Nephrite turned slightly, casting a wary look over his shoulder as this thought was processed. Zoisite questioned whether the man had somehow guessed what he was thinking and quickly covered the slight smirk on his face with a grimace and a: "What?"

Nephrite tossed his head and made a small noise that sounded suspiciously he was mocking the younger king.

Zoisite scowled and stormed ahead this time, kicking at the sand and any unfortunate creatures that hid beneath. In silence they walked onwards. Zoisite did not know where he was going and each step he took was forced. The heat... gods it was unbearable. His burns were tingling and itched where the fabric of his uniform rubbed against them. Wiping sweat from his brow Zoisite glared enviously at his comrade. Nephrite, being a shade or two darker in skin tone did not seem to be burning at all and was a stride or two ahead of the younger king. Zoisite struggled to catch up and Nephrite, noted this slowed down to match his pace to that of the littler man. Zoisite resented this and sniped "Don't patronise me."

Nephrite sighed and then deliberately speeded up again. Shaking his head Zoisite cursed his quick temper. If it had been anyone else he would have been grateful for the change in pace but Nephrite showing compassion? It was as unwelcome as it was frightening. Nephrite did not care for Zoisite and he certainly did not care about the older man.

The man turned again a few minutes later, just as Zoisite stumbled. Gods he felt ill... he felt thirsty, dizzy, and weak and above all he wanted Kunzite-sama. Momentarily his vision clouded over and all he could see was a blurred outline of Nephrite reaching out and steadying him, one hand resting lightly on Zoisite's back. When his vision came back Zoisite uttered a snort of utter disgust and jerked away from this contact, his eyes narrowing into slits as he gazed upon the king.

Nephrite again pacified his face into a look of indifference and continued walking with an "Ok now?"

"I have never felt better" Zoisite sneered.

Nephrite chuckled.

"What? What is so funny?"

"You... you are quite the comedy act do you know that?"

"Don't make fun of me!" came the furious hiss and then the fist aimed directly at Nephrite's face. He laughed again and caught the hand, holding it a few seconds, just long enough for Zoisite to start to squirm and get insanely mad before releasing his hold on the younger king.

After a few more minutes Nephrite cast another glance at his companion. Again Zoisite attempted to hit him and again Nephrite blocked the punch before it could strike home. Smiling Nephrite once more released his would-be-attacker. Then another sound, a little way in front of him caught Zoisite's attention. The king froze, his gaze wandered from Nephrite's face to what lay directly in front of him.

"Kunzaito-sama!" he was blushing he knew as he suddenly found the strength to race forward and close the few metres separating the two men. Then he reached him, throwing himself into Kunzite's arms, not caring that Nephrite was witnessing his display of affection... need... love even. Zoisite buried his face in Kunzite's chest, tears springing into his eyes as his fists clenched tighter around the older man's back. He also felt Kunzite hesitate, unsure of himself and then Zoisite felt his touch, returning the embrace.

"Kunzaito-sama" he murmured again, "I've missed you so much... did you..." now his voice quavered, as he raised his head, looking into his lover's eyes "Did you miss me?"

Kunzite was taken aback, shock registered upon his face then it was gone and he smiled tenderly, "Yes" his reply was barely audible but Zoisite heard it. He smiled shyly and stood on tiptoes, planting a quick kiss on Kunzite's lips before leaning into the embrace once more... all else forgotten.

* * *

Nephrite watched the reunion not sure what else to do. He glanced at Jadeite, simply acknowledging his presence but in truth Nephrite was glad that the blond king was here. At last Kunzite and Zoisite finished their little 'kiss and make up' session. Kunzite gently drew away, turning to the other two waiting for one of them to speak.

"Why are we here?" Zoisite asked first, green eyes searching Jadeite and Kunzite for the answer they all wanted.

"I don't know" Jadeite replied, Kunzite just looked uncomfortable, the older man probably did not want to admit to not knowing something. "Look at the sun" Jadeite added as an after thought. Nephrite turned his head to the sky, shielding his eyes with one hand. Sunspots danced across its surface, almost covering it.

"Metallia" he murmured, "She has awakened."

"Were we brought back because of Metallia?" Zoisite asked next, his voice wavering in places.

"We do not serve Beryl" again Jadeite answered, "I don't feel her powers or presence as I did before... I feel different... stronger."

Kunzite gave this a dismissive snort "Stronger?" he echoed, "I feel as weak as a kitten."

Zoisite nodded, "I hate this" there was a definite edge to his voice now "I can't use my powers... I can't even teleport and if we can't teleport then we can't get out of here and if we can't... if we don't find water soon we'll all die..." he broke off in a sob and Nephrite suspected the last few hours had been too big an emotional strain on the youngest king.

"Zoisaito" Kunzite began, wanting to say something to sooth his lover but what could he say? All Zoisite had spoken was true.

"We should at least try" this was Jadeite again "We were brought back for a reason. We can't give up. Let's continue the way we were heading or at least try to find some water."

"Water? In the desert? Are you completely stupid? There is no water! This is probably Beryl's sick way of torturing us further."

"Zoisite" Nephrite said.


"Shut up"

"Fine!" the enraged man shouted, turning away from them all, but Nephrite saw the frightened, crushed expression on his face before his back was turned "Continue walking to Kami-sama knows where until you drop from exhaustion! See if I..." the sentence ended with a shriek and for a moment Nephrite was confused about what exactly had happened.

One minute Zoisite was standing a little way off, and the next he was waist deep in sand. The auburn haired man suppressed a snigger at the sight of Zoisite flailing about and cursing until his curses turned into real cries of terror.

"Kunzaito-sama! It's pulling me under!"

Kunzite raced forward, Jadeite behind him, getting as close as they could to the pit. Nephrite still did not believe what he was seeing before him. At first he assumed that Zoisite had stumbled upon sinking sand but this sand was dry, as if some invisible force had hold of the coppery haired youth, a hand pulling him down. The edges of the ground they were standing on were crumbling inwards too and Nephrite yelped a warning and drew back further.

"Kunzaito-sama! Kunzaito-sama!" Zoisite was stretching out with his arms now, desperately struggling against whatever force held him as his hands sought that of Kunzite's. The white haired king took a tentative step onto the unstable sand and when it held him he continued out further and at last closing his hands around Zoisite's wrists. Grunting he fought against the sands that did not want to give up their prize now that it was within their grasp. Zoisite shrieked again, this time in pain as he was pulled different ways. Then suddenly the pull the ground had on him jerked him under again, now covering up past his chest. This unexpected force caused Kunzite to over balance falling into the sands that now turned their attention to this unprecedented extra offering from the land. Kunzite scrambled for the safety of firmer terrain but they had him. Still, ignoring the downward tug Kunzite grabbed a hold of Zoisite once again, fighting the gravity and trying to pull them both free. Zoisite frantically grasped hold of Kunzite's hands, sobbing in fright as both men fought against the sands.

Still nevertheless Nephrite was surprised when Jadeite pushed passed him, going to the edge as Kunzite had done and offered his hand to the other man. Kunzite took the palm offered, his free hand in an unbreakable grip around Zoisite's wrist. The little king, so much shorter than Kunzite had sand up to his chin and was still sinking. He had given up crying out and even his struggles were growing weaker. Jadeite pulled, the combined weight of the two men made his task an impossible one and the sands, greedy and hungry for more victims. It pulled again, this time pulling Zoisite right under. He had time for a last cry before he was swallowed completely.


"No!" this strangled cry came from Kunzite. He pulled free from Jadeite and started clawing at the sands, raking it up in a frenzy, digging for his lover.

Then Nephrite heard another cry, this time it was Jadeite who cried out. Zoisite's last pull downwards had caused the blond to overbalance and now he too was trapped. Nephrite was now the only one not captured and the sensible thing would be to stay away. Kunzite was now up to his neck in sand, it imprisoned his arms at his sides, rendering him immobile. Jadeite was struggling still, all thoughts of rescuing his two fellow kings had fled his head and now he just wanted to save himself. Nephrite sighed and stepped to the edge, his hand neatly grabbing Jadeite's outstretched one. Nephrite was surprised at the strength that held Jadeite. He pulled, using all his weight and little by little the sands started to give. Spurred on by this victory Nephrite stepped closer to allow him a firmer grip on the other man; this proved a grave mistake.

The sands, angered at this intrusion, pulled again on their prize and Nephrite was pulled with them.

"Shit," he growled as he fell forwards. The sand immediately flooded into his mouth and eyes and ears. He struggled for the surface but it was far away... he could hear Jadeite's frightened screams as he sucked under too. Nephrite fought but this was one battle he was not going to win. Slowly his senses began to leave him as he was pulled down... further still and finally silence.

And then a voice, so soft he thought he was imagining things.

Congratulations. You have passed the test.

Test? What test? He asked himself and then he hit the floor and unconsciousness claimed him.

The End of Chapter 1 - Goto Chapter 2

Disclaimer: Once again I own nothing - if I did I would not be here but making my ficcies into anime, something that will sadly never happen *cries*

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