The Four Points

Chapter Two: Darkness and Light! Tokyo, the deserted city

© 2006 by Shari


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Let's believe in them... the people who love this world

Zoisite jerked into full wakefulness, no transition between sleep and consciousness for him this time. He sat up, frantically rubbing sand from his eyes, gasping and sobbing in relief. Had it been but a dream? No, that was not possible. He felt the stone floor beneath him with shaking fingers scraping the surface, just to check that it was real. Exhaling loudly he understood that again he had cheated death. He was alive when he should be dead. Zoisite climbed to his feet, slowly, the sand still clung to his uniform and his hair in matted clumps around his shoulders. Scowling he attempted to brush out these tangles, cursing loudly as his slim fingers achieved nothing except snag knots painfully, bringing tears to his eyes.

"Oh hell" he snarled angrily, wanting to lash out, strike something, anything that would help rid him of these feelings of loss, helplessness and above all fear. He was alone... this time truly alone.

"Kunzaito-sama?" he called, his voice echoing around the dimly lit hallways. Zoisite shivered, wrapping his arms around his trembling form. It was cold here and the already torn tatters that were his uniform brought little relief from this cold.

"Kunzite-sama?" Zoisite began to walk, slowly at first and then picking up a faster pace as he called for his lover. It was funny how it did not occur to him to call for Jadeite or Nephrite as well. Zoisite did not want them he realised he did not give a damn about the other two kings. He just wanted his Kunzite-sama and no one else.

He did not understand why he was suddenly alone again. Kunzite had been with him... they had all been together. Zoisite uttered a tiny sob, recalling the muffled cries coming from his lover as the sands had pulled him under that final time. With this came more feelings, not of regret but they still hurt. Why had Kunzite-sama not saved him from Beryl? Zoisite again answered his own question. Kunzite could not have saved him. Had he done that then they would have both died. Zoisite did not, would not, want Kunzite to end his life alongside him. Zoisite had known what would happen the moment that his ice crystal hit the caped hero. He had known the instant the masked man fell to the ground that he had just signed his own death warrant and yet looking back on this Zoisite knew he would do nothing different. He was destruction, as Kunzite had once said. The youngest and yet most unstable of the four. Zoisite always liked to have his own mind. He took pride in the fact that not even Beryl could second-guess his thoughts and feelings. She could not manipulate him as she had the others. Zoisite had always kept her wondering. It was a dangerous game to play and he always knew that one day he would push her over the edge. Killing Tuxedo Kamen had been the last straw. Beryl was angered at him for his hand in Nephrite's death. Zoisite had robbed her of the execution and satisfaction of doing the job herself. Beryl always did like to make punishments as public and as painful as possible and Nephrite dying on Earth far away from his Queen or an audience of her subjects was not something that pleased Beryl terribly. Yet what could she say? She could not admit to this Zoisite knew and thus she said nothing.

Zoisite did not have a death wish, or so he thought. He did not want to die that day. His hatred overcame his love he had realised in shame. Kunzite had encouraged him to take his revenge on the Sailor Senshi but had then added that he leave Tuxedo Kamen be. If his hatred was stronger than his love...

I am not that strong

That voice again. It sent shivers down Zoisite's spine. He turned, yet there was darkness. Where was he? His boots tapped loudly on the marble like floor. It was a shiny surface, polished almost to the extent that his boots lost their grip and nearly sent the young king sprawling across the floor. He placed trembling palms on the wall, to steady himself. This place... it was haunted... no that was stupid. Ghosts were a silly human myth and nothing more. Then what was this? Zoisite shivered again as he came to a stop as the corridor abruptly ended. He halted, confused his hands pressed up against the wall blocking his way as if to make sure that it was real.

It was cold plaster beneath his fingers. Zoisite frowned and then shrugged, turning to walk back the way he had come. It was then he saw it. A shape standing at the end of the corridor, where he had just woken up. He froze; a tremor shook through his body as it stepped nearer.

Youma

Zoisite knew he shouldn't be afraid. After all he was one of the Shitennou wasn't he? Youma bowed down to him. The Youma, ignoring his commands to stop, continued to shuffle towards him and as it drew nearer its features became apparent as moonlight from the skylight above shone down onto it.

He exhaled loudly and slumped back against the wall.

"Bandana" he whispered her name, one of Kunzite's Youma. At last a familiar face in this frighteningly silent world.

The ninja Youma stopped as he uttered her name, a frown upon her lips and then she drew back an arm. Zoisite dodged the blade, feeling the wind as it whistled past and imbedded itself in the wall.

"Bandana? What are you doing?" he hated the strangled pitch of his voice and Bandana's lips drew back into a feral grin at his fear and again let fly with almost deadly accuracy. This one grazed his shoulder as it sailed past. Zoisite winced and barely managed to dodge the third knife hurled his way.

What was she doing?

"Bandana, I order you to stop this foolishness" Zoisite forced his voice to steady as he uttered these commands. Bandana did not stop.

Why? Why was she doing this?

Don't think about it. Run!

Run where? Zoisite looked frantically about for some way of escape. The only possible way out of this death trap was the aforementioned skylight. Dodging yet another attack, Zoisite jumped upwards, thanking the gods that he had always been quite the gymnast, punching out the thin metal grating with one hand and then pulling himself upwards and out onto the roof. Or rather this was what he intended to do. His blood ran cold when he felt a hand wrap around his leg, and he was jerked in a downward movement. Zoisite shrieked, without his powers he was helpless, and dug his hands into the rooftop, kicking out at Bandana. Her grip loosened for a second and this allowed Zoisite to get a firmer grip on roof, ignoring the pain in his palms as he clung to the gravel texture beneath his skin. He pushed upwards once more ignoring the burning agony spreading from his fingertips and down his arms. Bandana reached for him again. Zoisite, not being able to see the Youma, kicked out blindly and heard her cry out as his boot connected with her head. He heard a crash and then silence. Not waiting a moment longer the young king pulled himself up and slumped down on the roof, dizzy with relief. Slowly the rushing adrenaline dissipated as he lay still, willing this all to be a dream.

Yet Zoisite knew this was no dream. It was funny, almost, how it seemed that his life in the Dark Kingdom had been no more than the fantasy he was willing this nightmare to be. If it weren't for the gasp of dismay, the horrified look in Kunzite-sama's eyes as Beryl handed down Zoisite's punishment the youngest king would have decided that perhaps it was all a dream. Still those eyes, terrifying for one who refused to show the slightest of emotion. The pale grey orbs suddenly became unfocused, disbelief flickering in them and then tears welling up, yet they would not fall... Kunzite was too proud, too dedicated a king to allow emotions to rule over this devotion. Zoisite whimpered softly. Did Kunzite even know where he was? Would he come for him? Of course he would! Kunzite cared enough to dive into the sands that held him. All Zoisite had to do was wait. Kunzite would come for him... he would... he would...

* * *

Nephrite gasped, the breath knocked from his body as suddenly the sands hold on him was released. He fell, his back striking stone. He winced at the crack as he landed. The auburn haired man lay still, relief flooding his senses. The sand and the desert were gone. Slowly, as the pain deadened, Nephrite began to contemplate the events of the last few hours. He decided that somehow he had been reborn and that this had nothing to do with Beryl and/or Metallia. Yet the latter's power could be sensed all around him. Nephrite gagged as the power invaded his thoughts and feelings, a black evil cloaking every kind thought he had... even his memories of Naru were becoming twisted somehow.

"Nephrite-sama!"

"Naru-chan..."

She reached for him and Nephrite allowed the small arms curving around his back as he leaned forward, inhaling her scent, her warmth... then agony. A white-hot burst of pain momentarily blanked his vision. When Nephrite looked again, Naru was laughing. Her pretty face twisted into a look of malice and disgust. Her lower lip curled back and she raised a hand, striking Nephrite across the cheek. He fell back, stunned by this show of aggression.

"You fool" Naru hissed, "What made you think I could possibly care for someone such as you? A traitor... a demon! You have no heart, Sailor Moon was right. You are no better than the Queen who rules above you."

Nephrite gasped, at her words and the pain in his shoulder. He looked up, Zoisite was floating above them, his face too was twisted into a sneer.

"At least you get to die with the girl you love."

"Love?" Naru snorted at the word, her eyes narrowing, as she spat upon the dying man "I do not love him I could never love him."

Nephrite fell back; the thorns and Naru's words were killing him. His spirit was turning cold, he could feel the darkness wrapping around it like a gloved hand. He heard a soft laugh in his ear, reminding him so much of the Queen he had served. Then hands, pulling him back down into the darkness.

Nephrite screamed for Naru to save him but all she did was laugh. Her mocking cries mixing in with that of his murderer as Nephrite cried for someone, anyone to save his soul.

"Nephrite?"

The man gasped, he could still feel the cold touch, even as the blond king shook him from this nightmare. He shivered... but it was not the wind whipping down the alley that caused him to shudder. He gazed at Jadeite through misty eyes, not understanding why the blond king was here. What did he want? Had Beryl not sentenced him to eternal sleep?

"What happened?" Jadeite asked softly, his blue eyes troubled, scared almost.

"Nothing" Nephrite grunted, pushing away the hands that reached out to help him stand.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes I am sure!" he thundered, "I do not need..."

He broke off, recalling his earlier vow to turn into the person he was before Beryl, a person Nephrite no longer remembered but wanted to become. It was strange; here in this dark alley, the wind tearing through what remained of his uniform and the burns from the desert, Nephrite's desire had dampened. True it was still there but it was growing weaker as something else took hold of him. The darkness squeezed and Nephrite gasped.

"We... we have to get out of here" then he was running, grabbing Jadeite by the arm he dragged the blond king along with him, down the streets pausing only to take in the empty shells of buildings, the corpses littering the ground.

"What happened here?" Jadeite whispered, ripping his arm from Nephrite's touch he halted, gazing with a mixture of wonder and terror at the devastated streets of Tokyo. Nephrite shook his head. The streets were dark, even the odd street lamp still working could not brightening the landscape.

Burned out cars, their owners still inside of them all but skeletons now, their faces twisted in frozen expressions of terror. The school was a mound of bricks and rubble and nothing more, the stone paving awash with dried blood. Nephrite closed his eyes, trying to recall the bustling city he remembered and yet all he could see was darkness clouding his mind. He opened his eyes again, casting a sidelong glance at Jadeite. The blond had sunk to his knees. Nephrite could see whispers of the darkness, snaking its way to the man, Jadeite gasped, doubling over where touched him.

"Get away from it!" Nephrite shouted, once again seizing the blond. Jadeite struggled.

"No... I can feel it... Metallia-sama's power."

"Metallia-sama?"

Nephrite, felt a tiny spark of light inside himself and it was enough. He heard screaming, Metallia's roars of fury in his mind as he fought back against the darkness, enough to reach down and pull Jadeite to his feet.

"What are you doing? Let me go... the power... I am..." Jadeite shrieked as Nephrite swept the other man into his arms, feeling a renewed burst of strength as he pinned Jadeite against his chest and ran. The darkness followed, it did not want to give up its servants. Nephrite could sense it following them, even as Jadeite hollowed like a wild thing, clawing at his saviour, Nephrite winced as he felt nails digging into his burns. Ignoring this he pressed on, as if guided by some mystical energy.

There... ahead of him. Galaxy Television. Nephrite kicked the wooden doors, already rusted by rain they gave way with a groan and crashed inwards. The auburn haired man drove into the first room he came to, practically throwing the struggling blond to the floor with a heavy thud, then he slammed the door behind him. Immediately Jadeite stopped struggling as the door shut and the feelings of darkness left Nephrite. He sighed, flicking on a light and looked around the room. Television sets lay smashed upon the floor, films strips in torn heaps, hanging off their rolls and scripts from various shows were crumpled beneath his feet. Nephrite kicked at them, causing the papers to fly around them in a storm of fluttering white.

Jadeite laughed softly, observing Nephrite's annoyance and fury from his position on the floor.

Nephrite raised an eyebrow and made a small noise, causing the blond to look up and wince at the dark blood that flowing from several deep scratches on his arms and chest. He did not seem to recall his actions of a few moments before and Nephrite was content to leave the matter be.

"It is nothing," he murmured, crossing the silence room to the window and looking out at the desolate city. The darkness had fallen across the Earth, Metallia's darkness. The Sailor Senshi had fallen. There was no hope for the planet now.

I like this world because I could meet everyone

That voice, was it just his imagination?

No, Jadeite had looked up too. "What was that?" he asked, his eyes giving away the fear of the unknown.

Nephrite shrugged, not wanting to delve into the mysterious and strange sense of belonging he was feeling. "We cannot go out there" he nodded out the window "Metallia's power is too great. If we touch it..." he broke off, recalling that feeling of the power wrapping around his soul, bending his will to that of the darkness once more. Never had Nephrite felt so suffocated by the power that had once given them all life. It had been cold, filled his heart with dread and evil thoughts. Nephrite did not wish for the power again. The thought of it revolted him. It twisted his insides, bile rising in his throat as he thought of that touch. Never again... he did not want it ever again. He was done with the power. He was done... it was gone and he hoped would never return.

Nephrite moved back from the window to address Jadeite again when his boot kicked something on the floor. Thinking it was no more than another television Nephrite ignored it until it made a small sound of protest.

Nephrite gave a startled yelp as it moved and then sat up, grey eyes locking with his own. Nephrite held the silvery gaze as long as he dared, still out of respect for the once most powerful king as Kunzite stood, carefully, brushing sand from what remained of his clothes. He silently gazed around the room, staring first at Jadeite and then at Nephrite, as if searching for something someone.

"Where is Zoisite?" Kunzite's tone was almost accusing as he addressed Nephrite, and the other man tensed, yet no response formed on his lips.

Jadeite replied for him, the blond was, it seemed the first to get his bearings in this place "We don't know. We woke up here. We haven't seen him."

Kunzite digested this reply silently and then with a sweep of what remained of his cape he strode quickly to the door, "Then we must look for him. It is dangerous for him to be alone in this place."

Nephrite was in agreement of this. As much as Zoisite irked him, he thought Kunzite's proposal was a sensible one. If they stuck together they would have more of a chance. Then as if on queue they heard shrieks from further down the corridor.

"Zoisite" Jadeite murmured softly. Kunzite nodded and threw the door open with a crash that caused the other two men to wince. Who knew what beasts were lurking these halls? The same ones that probably attacked the youngest king now.

After a moment's hesitation Nephrite jerked his head in the direction that Kunzite had gone, the shrieks were growing fainter now. Nephrite was sure that this could not be a good thing.

* * *

He felt a wild rush of panic as he was pulled from Metallia's powers. Suddenly it was gone... he was cut off, alone. Jadeite struggled, a scream caught in his throat as he was pressed against another body, he could hear his attacker's/rescuer's heart beating loudly in his chest as he ran, cradling Jadeite's body to him like a fragile doll. He screamed at Nephrite to let him go, he couldn't do this... he was not strong enough, he needed Metallia's powers. Alone he was nothing... he had nothing. Jadeite, barely realising what he was doing dug his nails into the smooth skin, a feral joy circulating his body as he felt Nephrite wince in pain. He dug deeper, tearing at the burns that marred the flesh. Blood ran from these wounds and under his fingernails. Jadeite felt victory as Nephrite at last hurled him down onto the floor... and then it was gone.

He gasped, painfully drawing in the stale air as the horror of what he had done became apparent. Nephrite was bloodied; badly through he tried to hide it. He laughed, at this and the fact that Nephrite had walked to the window, his obvious frustration of the given situation displayed by a few well-aimed kicks at various objects around him.

Then came shame. Jadeite lowered his head so that Nephrite could not see the redness of his usually pale complexion. The power had almost carried him away; taken away the freedom he had in the desert cherished so much. He had readily embraced the darkness.

"It is nothing" Nephrite referred to the wounds as Jadeite attempted to ask him if he was ok. The auburn haired man had been acting strangely too since they met in the desert. He was more considerate of others feelings and put up with Zoisite's presence and even tolerated the bad temper and murderous disposition of the youngest king. His former self was showing Jadeite knew, just like his was, even if here it was muted somewhat by Metallia's evil that tainted the globe.

I like this world because I could meet everyone

"What was that?" Jadeite asked his companion but if he was completely honest with himself he realised that he already knew. It was the voice of dead, the voice of eternal whomever that may be.

Nephrite did not respond, showing indifference perhaps as he spoke yet Jadeite ignored his words. He knew what would happen if they went outside and without their powers they had nothing to defend themselves against Metallia's evil. Then Nephrite gave a startled cry, almost falling over the third member of their group.

Kunzite did not appreciate this, though he tried to hide it behind a brusque mannerism, his eyes searching the darkening room for his lover.

"Where is Zoisite?" he asked when it became clear that the youngest of the four was not present.

"We don't know. We woke up here. We have not seen him" Jadeite was still in awe of the most powerful Shitennou. Kunzite had once had power to rival that of Beryl's. Had he been anything but dedicated he probably could have killed the Queen and ruled in her place and even now he still held that regal air that set him apart from the others. His clothes were torn and dirty, his hair had lost its silvery sheen and hung limply in ragged tatters but still he was the Kunzite, Jadeite remembered. Icy determination behind those emotionless blue-grey eyes.

"Then we must look for him. It is dangerous for him to be alone in this place" came the only reply Jadeite could expect and agreed with. They had to find Zoisite. He knew this deep down inside of him.

Jadeite jerked as screams cut through the silence that had settled upon them. Kunzite threw the door open and hurried out into the hallway.

"Zoisite" Jadeite recalled that kind of scream. The scream of terror that the man had cried when Beryl shot the fatal blast towards him, striking him... He screamed like that now. Kunzite remembered that too and did not hesitate. Nephrite was hesitant but after what must have been a moment he raced out into the hallway, a few steps behind the older man.

It was dark... too dark. Jadeite skidded to a stop and only succeeded in knocking into a shelf that held videotapes, causing them to crash to the floor with a painfully loud clatter. Kunzite turned and though Jadeite could not see the expression on the man's face he felt it.

"Sorry" he whispered sheepishly, noting that Zoisite's cries had died away completely.

Kunzite turned around again, striding confidently down the corridor, the only sounds being uttered now were the three separate pairs of boots tapping against the polished floor.

Galaxy Television... that name. Jadeite knew it meant something important. He could feel it in every ounce of his being. Galaxy... Eternal... what did it all mean?

"Kunzite-sama?" he called out hesitantly, using the honorific out of fear of what the older man would do if he did not keep to the proper decorum. Then Jadeite chided himself. What could Kunzite do to him anymore? The man had no powers now... none of them did. It was silly to think of Kunzite as their leader when any of them could be suited to the roll. Jadeite shook his head slightly knowing that this was not true. He was not a leader. True he had worked alone but he was no leader. He cast a glance at Nephrite. Zoisite would never acknowledge Nephrite as leader. He hated Nephrite with a passion and as for Zoisite himself, Zoisite would always follow Kunzite.

Still Kunzite was the leader. It was how it had been and how it would always be.

"What is it?" the tone was not cutting, rather one of annoyance. Kunzite wanted to find Zoisite quickly Jadeite could only assume and already his question sounded foolish before he had even voiced it.

"What is eternal Kunzite-sama?"

"Eternal?" Kunzite repeated, clearly not understand the question "Forever, everlasting... why do you ask?"

"No reason" Jadeite shook his head, feeling a little stupid but already he knew something was changing inside of him and the other Shitennou.

"And who is eternal?" Jadeite pressed on.

"Metallia" Kunzite replied, "Metallia is eternal."

"Is there anything else? Can anyone else become eternal?"

"I do not know" the white haired king sounded afraid, defeated all mixed into one, "I do not know. I..." he broke of in a gasp and halted. Nephrite, who had been silent up until now, had not noticed that Kunzite had stilled and walked into the back of the man. Kunzite ignored this and knelt down beside a shape lying across the floor.

"Zoisite?" Jadeite struggled to look over Nephrite's shoulder.

"No" Kunzite shook his head "Bandana."

"Bandana? Youma Bandana?"

Kunzite nodded, "She was healed by Sailor Moon and the ginzuishou."

"Then why is she here?" Jadeite wanted to know.

Kunzite did not reply and instead his gaze was drawn to the skylight above. The metal grating was gone. Silently, the older man reached up, tall enough for his fingertips to brush the edge of the skylight. He jumped and his grip tightened as he effortlessly pulled himself up. Nephrite was to follow and to Jadeite's surprise Kunzite leaned down, as Nephrite being a few inches shorter had trouble reaching the edge, his hands closing around Nephrite's wrists and pulling the auburn haired man up. Jadeite, shorter still, waited a few minutes and sure enough Nephrite leaned back down and helped him to scale the skylight and very soon he joined them on the rooftop of Galaxy Television.

Jadeite looked up at the black sky, no stars covered the darkened atmosphere. Metallia's powers covered all he realised. He shivered as once more he felt the darkness touch him though not as strong as before. Galaxy Television was hallowed ground he realised. Metallia's powers could not touch it. His gaze then fell upon Kunzite and the small shape huddled against him. They had found Zoisite. Again they were the great four Shitennou, reunited at last.

* * *

Kunzite paused after climbing up onto the rooftop only to help Nephrite out and then his gaze quickly swept the flat surface and saw a small figure sitting in a crouch a few metres away.

"Zoisaito?" Kunzite called softly. The youngest king looked up as he drew near. His uniform was like Kunzite's, no more than a shredded mass of fabrics, barely covering the pale skin. Automatically Kunzite unhooked his cape, as torn as it was it would provide some comfort, and wrapped it around Zoisite pulling him up into his arms as he did so. Zoisite huddled there, his own arms curving around Kunzite's back as a small sob escaped his lips.

"What is happening Kunzite-sama?" he whispered, "What is all of this?"

Kunzite made a small sound in the back of his throat designed to sooth the trembling man in his arms rather than answer his questions. It worked and Zoisite's ragged breaths evened and his desperate grip on Kunzite's back went lax.

Now the oldest king formed a question of his own "What happened to Bandana?"

Zoisite jerked and then drew back to show Kunzite the ugly gash in his shoulder "She is... she no longer serves us Kunzaito-sama."

The logical part of Kunzite's brain could not fathom why the Youma had attacked Zoisite. In the Dark Kingdom it was death for a Youma to attack one of the Shitennou unless commanded and Bandana had always been one his most faithful and loyal servants, even when she was in human form.

Still he would believe Zoisite. Zoisite often lied but not to him, not to his Kunzaito-sama.

"And what now?" Zoisite added, "Metallia is everywhere... do we... do we serve her?"

"No" this was Nephrite, "We are no longer part of the Dark Kingdom" and when Zoisite went to protest Nephrite added, "Don't you feel it? Don't you feel different? The desert... I heard a woman speak as I was pulled under the sand. She told me it was a test and that we had passed. We should find that woman. She can tell us why we were reborn."

"A test?" Jadeite echoed, "Maybe."

Kunzite frowned; he was not as easily convinced. If it had been a test then why were they here in this hellish world? Was it a pre-death hallucination? No it could not be that. He could feel Zoisite in his arms and the man felt real. This was harsh reality.

"Kunzaito-sama?" they were all looking at him now, waiting for Kunzite to make a decision. Kunzite in truth did not know what to decide. If they left Galaxy Television then Metallia would have them and if they stayed here they would either starve or freeze.

"Let's go inside and try to get warm" he replied at last, "If the desert was a test then the woman behind it will come to us eventually."

The others, in agreement to this followed Kunzite's lead back down into the corridor. There he paused, taking one of Bandana's knives he plunged it into the Youma's chest, piercing her heart.

"She will not be telling anyone of our presence," he explained quietly. Youma were expendable creatures Kunzite used to tell himself and yet he felt pity and sadness at Bandana's death. He was the Ice King and yet he found his resolve to be that man was fading as he led them to another room, down a flight of stairs. It was the lounge room where the staff of Galaxy Television had come on breaks. A skeleton sitting in one of the armchairs was carelessly tossed aside as Kunzite made himself comfortable on the blue over stuffed sofa, knocking an ashtray balancing on its arm onto the floor startling the other kings. Jadeite sat opposite him on a red hard-backed chair whilst Nephrite wandered over to the vending machine and after several kicks he managed to get some bars of what the humans called 'chocolate' from the machine. Then the king handed the bars round and they ate in silence, the sugar in the bars replenishing some of their strength.

Kunzite felt Zoisite shift next to him, a delicate yawn on his lips. Jadeite had already slumped forwards in the chair; sound sleep and Kunzite could feel his own eyes getting heavy. He jerked back into consciousness. It was dangerous to fall asleep here.

"I was going to look around, we need a change of attire" Nephrite spoke in a hushed whisper, out of respect for the two sleeping Shitennou. The auburn haired king had been tolerant of Zoisite and the situation they were thrust into Kunzite mused. He wondered if perhaps they could all meet an understanding after all.

"I see no sense in fighting each other" Nephrite explained, having guessed Kunzite's thoughts "We are all tired and I for one want to shake off any remnants of my life in Beryl's service. I have no energy to fight. As I said I was going to look around but if you want to sleep then I can stay. One of us should keep guard."

Kunzite saw sense in this and again was surprised at Nephrite's consideration. He glanced down at his lover, his uniform barely covering his body.

"No go" he replied, "I can stay awake until you get back."

Nephrite nodded and rose from the chair and to the door, shutting it quietly behind him.

"Kunzite-sama?" Zoisite murmured snuggling closer. There had been few outbursts from the coppery haired man and Kunzite supposed this was simply because he was too tried to waste energy on arguing with Nephrite and when he had a good nights sleep that temper that Kunzite loved so much would reassert itself.

Kunzite looked down at his lover, his head resting in Kunzite's lap, he was lying on his stomach giving the older man a perfect view of his bare back and only partially clothed backside. Kunzite shifted slightly in his seat; this was not the time for... he couldn't help it. He reached out, his right hand lightly caressing Zoisite's lower back. The younger man mumbled something and arched into the touch, rubbing his cheek against Kunzite's thigh, green eyes remaining closed. Kunzite sighed and withdrew his hand. Zoisite was sound asleep and if he knew his lover, would not wake up for hours. He looked up meeting Jadeite's sleepy gaze as the blond murmured, "Had you forgotten I was here?"

Had Kunzite been anyone else he would have blushed with the realisation that he was not alone with Zoisite but his arrogance would not allow him to blush and he merely retorted in a smug manner "I had thought you were asleep."

"Almost" Jadeite mumbled, "I drift in and out of consciousness. I can't sleep properly here."

Kunzite nodded in silent agreement.

"You look like hell," Jadeite casually observed after a few moments more. Kunzite frowned; being one who normally took pride in his appearance he did not appreciate this remark.

Yet he held back on sniping a retort. He was above that he told himself.

"Where did Nephrite go?" was the next question.

"To look around. We need some new clothes."

"Is that wise?"

Kunzite was annoyed now. He did not know Jadeite that well; the blond had kept to himself in the Dark Kingdom yet his offhand manner was starting to get on the older man's nerves.

He refrained from becoming angered and simply enquired "Why?"

Jadeite shrugged, "I do not think we should split up that is all."

As if on queue Kunzite heard footsteps in the hallway outside.

* * *

It hadn't taken Nephrite long to explore what remained of Galaxy Television. Most of the stairs and elevators to the lower floors were buried under rubble or locked up. The only stairway clear leading straight up from the ground floor to the top floor was the one they had used when in search of Zoisite. Nephrite had, however, come across some old news reports and with their aid he had been able to shed some light on exactly what had happened here. The sunspots had grown over a period of a few days, slowly but surely covering up the sun rays, creating a cold wintery landscape. Then when that happened the monsters struck. The humans, not knowing what Youma were or how to fight them were helpless, their energy was drained from them and they died. Nothing had saved them. The Sailor Senshi, Nephrite knew then, had to be dead and that meant that Naru was too. He felt tears building up behind his eyes at this realisation. Naru... the girl he had given his life to protect had not been spared. Nephrite slumped down against the wall as he tried to come to terms with this piece of information. Naru... gone like that. His little kitten was dead.

Time seemed to have no meaning as Nephrite sat on the cold floor, lost in his own thoughts of despair, misery and regret. He suddenly wished he had never been brought back. What did he have here now? There was no Naru waiting for him and he knew in the back of his mind that he had clung to the faint hope that she was the reason for his rebirth. Now that hope was gone, extinguished forever as the horrible truth of his beloveds fate became clear. He did not even have his Earth identity now. Sanjouin Masato had as little place in the world as Nephrite himself. His thoughts wandered to the other Shitennou. What did they have here? Jadeite, to his knowledge, never had a lover or an Earth identity. Still Jadeite had his freedom, a price the blond king must place high above anything else. Eternal sleep... an endless nightmare. Jadeite had his freedom to live for. Zoisite and Kunzite too had something on this planet. They had each other. Nephrite had always laughed at their relationship before; he had never taken it seriously until now. Now it was all they had. Nephrite smiled bitterly to himself, suddenly so envious of the two Shitennou. He had nothing to hope for... nothing to live for now.

The auburn haired man sighed. Was it the darkness getting to him once more? His want to start afresh had died the moment he understood the fate of the human race. The only ones left alive were the ones that embraced Metallia's evil and turned against their own kind. Traitors... Nephrite shook his head. What else was left?

Suddenly cries filtered through the still air. Nephrite froze, recognising straight away the youngest king's shrieks.

"Kunzite-sama!"

Nephrite broke into a run whilst asking himself what could he possibly do against any attacker? His panic flooded state of mind seemed to grasp at one fact above all others. If they died he would truly be alone in this hellish world.

Protect them... none of you must die. It is imperative that you survive

He did not question the soft voice. He knew it spoke the truth. Nephrite reached the room he had left the others in and gasped.

"Castor? Pollex?" he stared at his twin Youma wondering if he was seeing things. They had died. He and Zoisite had witnessed their deaths at the hand of the Sailor Senshi. Yet this was no illusion of a broken man. The twins had two of the Shitennou in their grasp; pinning Zoisite and Jadeite's arms firmly behind their back as three more Youma advanced on Kunzite. The oldest had backed away, a flicker of fear in his eyes and then it was gone. Kunzite would not allow himself to show such emotion, even on the verge of death.

"Kunzite-sama!" Zoisite was shrieking, struggling against his captors "Leave him be! Grape I order you to stop this!"

Grape? Nephrite felt a chill run through him as he became aware of the final three's identities. The three sisters, the ones that had killed him. As this fear took hold he also became aware of another even more chilling factor.

They were not listening to Zoisite's commands.

As if to test this Nephrite turned to his own Youma "Let them go" he quietly ordered them. Nephrite may as well have not been in the room. Zoisite shrieked again as the sisters launched an attack on the white haired Shitennou.

They must not die

That voice again. Nephrite did not think about his next actions. He grabbed the chair nearest him and hurled it at the three Youma. It struck home and one was down, her back breaking as the wood splintered around them. Kunzite, mimicking the auburn haired man's actions quickly picked up the small coffee table and slammed it into Grape's head. Her eyes widened in shock and horror as the wood collided with her skull, splitting it open in a shower of blood and bone. The Youma fell, joining her sister on the floor, dead before she hit the ground. The remaining sister drew back towards the door, unsure of what to do.

Castor and Pollex released the two younger kings and drew back, their lips curled back in twin motions of disgust and loathing for the men.

Nephrite did not know what to do now. The Youma were not leaving as he hoped and he doubted, without their powers, if they could win in a direct confrontation against them. Still the deaths of their comrades had shaken them up. Nephrite decided that their presence was enough to frighten the Youma into submission.

He stepped forward and the Youma drew back, a smile forming on his lips. Yes they were afraid. Nephrite suddenly had the urge to take revenge for Naru upon them... tear them to pieces for murdering his love.

"Nephrite" Kunzite's hand clamped around his wrist, jerking him back into the real world "Don't. They are waiting for someone."

Yes he was right Nephrite knew. The Youma were not retreating out of fear or respect for the Shitennou but because they were awaiting the arrival of their master and sure enough Nephrite heard footsteps outside the door.

Zoisite, stumbling to his feet, instantly allowed a hiss of fury to escape his bloodless lips as the identity of the Youma master was revealed.


The End of Chapter 2 - Goto Chapter 3


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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