The Four Points

Chapter Three: Return to the Dark Kingdom! The Fate of the Moon Princess is Revealed

© 2006 by Shari


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Jadeite scrambled to his feet, a gasp of disbelief forming on his own lips as the man stepped forward, still bedecked in the attire he had been wearing the last time Jadeite had seen him. The Youma had attacked so fast and without warning, quickly rendering himself and Zoisite immobile whilst they went for Kunzite. The attack was planned, Jadeite had realised at that moment. It had been no ordinary random attack of renegade Youma. This had been a strategically planned move against them. Someone had known to take them by surprise and cut Jadeite and Zoisite off from Kunzite so the most powerful Shitennou was forced to fight alone. Someone had known all this and now Jadeite knew whom.

It was not possible he told himself. He had watched the man die in his love's arms. He had watched through his crystalline prison as Serenity's screams when the man breathed his last breath echoed around the silent throne room. Now the same man stood before them once more, a hardened frown spreading across his once gentle yet vacant good looks as he gazed upon the fallen Youma.

He moved forward with a feline like grace, his armour clinking together was the only sound save the sharp intakes of their breath as they gazed upon him.

Zoisite growled, racing forwards in white-hot fury, ignoring even Kunzite's command to stop. Endymion chuckled and drew his sword and before Jadeite could even comprehend this movement he felt a steel blade against his throat, the tip digging in just enough to cause a spot of blood to well up and trickle down the column of his throat.

Zoisite heeded this silent threat and stopped his attack, skidding to a halt at Endymion's side. The dark Prince drew back a little way, motioning Jadeite to follow him. The blond did so; what else was he to do? Even with his powers he would be helpless against the man. All Endymion had to do was push the blade in deeper and Jadeite's newly found life would be taken away from him forever.

"I must say I am surprised" Endymion's voice, still the gentle overtone of the Prince and tuxedoed hero he had once been but with hidden depths of malice and a sickening evil that twisted his very soul into something more deadly than poison. Just what had Beryl done to him?

"You are without magics and yet still you managed to take out three of my most loyal servants."

"Your servants?" Zoisite hissed, taking a wary step forward "Grape and other sisters are mine and Bandana belonged to Kunzite-sama."

Endymion chuckled and clicked his tongue "I would stay back unless you want to see your fellow king's throat slit."

"Zoisite" Nephrite snapped as Kunzite pulled the shorter king away from Endymion "Do as he says."

Zoisite uttered some protests but fell silent when Kunzite shook his head signalling that he should heed Nephrite's words.

Endymion, not trusting Zoisite's temper, drew back even more forcing Jadeite to retreat with him. The blond tried to remain calm but inside he could feel fear bubbling up as much as he tried to force this feeling down. Gods he didn't want to die... not when he had just found life again free from his crystal prison.

Kunzite, sensing Jadeite's terror, addressed Endymion quietly, his voice barely above a whisper.

"What is it you want with us?"

Endymion chuckled again, "I don't want anything with you. Had it been up to me I would have had Grape and the others murder you all. However, it would seem our Great Ruler has other plans for you."

No Jadeite started to shake go back to how they were before. Helpless slaves of Metallia's evil. He would rather Endymion cut his throat right now!

"You bastard Endymion" Zoisite snarled, the little king unable to attack as Kunzite had him firmly by the shoulders could do nothing but hurl insults at the black haired Prince "I killed you once..."

Endymion snorted indignantly "And I was reborn with the grace of Queen Beryl and our Great Ruler. I seem to recall that they were not so generous towards your death. By all means we can fight if you wish but first you will see me kill him" he shook Jadeite roughly to accentuate this point. The blond gasped, as the blade was pressed against his pale throat, streaks of blood trickled down his collar. Zoisite hesitated and Endymion laughed, a cruel grating sound as he grabbed a fistful of blond hair, pulling Jadeite's head back and pressed the blade impossibly tighter still.

"Stop!" this was Nephrite. Jadeite did not expect them to defend him; indeed he expected death at any moment. Nephrite would not endanger himself for him... would he? Yet the auburn haired man was talking softly now agreeing to whatever Endymion wished.

The dark Prince smirked; sensing victory was near and with his free hand opened up a portal. Jadeite knew where it led. Nephrite took a step in its direction and Endymion nodded quickly.

"No don't" Jadeite was vaguely aware that the shrill voice he heard was his own as his strength started to ebb. Fatigued from the days pressures his body could take no more... he slumped forwards, almost cutting his throat open on the blade had Endymion not removed it in time in an attempt to keep the slightly smaller body pressed up against his own, shielding the Prince from any attacks.

Nephrite turned, his eyes widening slightly in surprise.

"If you go through that portal..." Jadeite was cut off when once again fingers tangled in his blond curls, pulling his head back and again the blade was back, cutting off his air.

"If you hesitate again I will kill him" Endymion snarled, "Now which is more important; your freedom or his life?"

Kunzite silently shook his head; he was not in agreement with Nephrite it seemed. Nephrite saw this too and as he took another step towards the dark hole churning with the promise of the frightening familiarity of what would await them below, he grabbed a hold of the white haired king's arm, jerking him forwards and the darkness swallowed them both.

"Kunzaito-sama!" Zoisite cried out, racing forwards into the portal after his lover.

Endymion laughed again and as he also stepped forwards into the darkness Jadeite heard a voice whisper in his ear as the power took them both.

I've got you

And the blond knew this to be true.

* * *

Nephrite's stomach lurched as he began his decent through the blackness. He doubled over, bile rising in his throat, one hand still wrapped tightly around his fellow king's arm. Gods he had never felt like this before when gating. Of course this was no ordinary portal and it led back down the hellish realm that they had thought they had escaped from. Yet now they were back here once more. Were they destined to be reborn, serve Beryl and die as the Senshi were destined to be reborn, shape the world and then die? No this could not be true Nephrite knew deep down that they were here for some other divine purpose. He fell forwards, hitting the stone floor with a grunt; the white haired king fell beside him also feeling the effects of the portal.

So this is what it must be like for humans Nephrite mused cursing their weak bodies he pushed himself up. Kunzite was already standing, one hand resting against the wall of the cell as if to lend him strength. Nephrite only had to glance at the man to know that Kunzite was furious though he tried to hide it. His brows had furrowed tightly together, his fists clenched at his sides and the corners of his mouth had turned into a near sneer as he glared at Nephrite, silently seeking an explanation. Nephrite opened his mouth to explain when a third figure appeared through the portal. Instantly the little king started ranting.

"What the hell have you done?" Zoisite screamed at Nephrite, "You ignorant bastard! Do you really think Jadeite's life is worth selling our souls to the devil? If I had my powers I would... ugh..." Zoisite bent over, the effects of the portal hitting the youngest king like a tone of bricks. He sank to his knees, rocking back and forth as Endymion appeared, Jadeite still in his grip. The dark Prince smirked, letting the blond hall heavily to the ground before disappearing in a flash of black. "Fools" his voice echoed around the cell.

Nephrite, feeling panic arising from them all, hurried over to the bars and tugged, the steel was firmly in place. The only light was emitted from lanterns hanging on the outsides of this mortal prison. No windows either Nephrite thought grimly and no way to teleport out. They were finished.

"Is he dead?" Kunzite enquired, nodding towards Jadeite's still form.

Zoisite, heeding his lover's question, knelt down beside the blond man "Unconscious" was the soft reply.

"There has to be some way out of here" Nephrite pulled at the bars again, using all his weight and still they did not give in the slightest "Kunzite, Zoisite" he turned to the other two "Help me with this."

Zoisite's delicate mouth turned up in a sneer at these words "Help you? I would sooner die."

"Which is what will happen if we don't escape before Endymion comes back, for when he returns... you know what will happen."

"Beryl?" the youngest king trembled slightly "She... she wouldn't?"

"She killed you before."

That was enough, Zoisite joined Nephrite, taking hold of two of the steel bars in his hands and pulling. The auburn haired man noted in annoyance that Kunzite was simply staring at their futile efforts, a lofty expression etched across his tanned features.

"Aren't you going to help?" Nephrite snapped irritably.

"Why? No matter how much you pull on them we all know those bars will not give."

"That is not the point" Nephrite growled, "We have to try. Are you so willing to become Beryl's slave once more?"

"Of course not. I just think there are better ways."

"Do you have a plan Kunzite-sama?" Zoisite asked, stepping away from Nephrite and focusing his adoring gaze upon his lover. Kunzite's mouth curved up into a smile, he always had liked attention and flattery, Nephrite thought bitterly.

"When Endymion comes back we simply wait for him to open the cell and then we rush him, all at once. As powerless as we are he cannot take on three of us."

Zoisite grinned, "I like that plan much better Kunzaito-sama."

Kunzite drew his younger lover into a quick embrace murmuring in his ear "I thought you might."

Nephrite scowled and knelt down beside Jadeite. If they were to have any chance of escape they needed the blond too.

"Wake up" he commanded, shaking the man's shoulder. Jadeite... why had he surrendered to save him? That voice... she was guiding them Nephrite knew. She told him not to let them die... not any of them.

"What?" Zoisite and Kunzite were both looking curiously at Nephrite now and the man realised that he had shared this sentiment out loud.

"None of us is to die" Nephrite repeated, "We must stay together."

Zoisite snorted yet no comeback emerged. Nephrite sighed and shook Jadeite again, roughly this time and sure enough the blond started to stir.

"What? Where am I?" he groaned, a hand placed on his forehead as he pushed himself up into a sitting position, his free hand instinctively touching his throat.

"The Dark Kingdom... the prisons" Nephrite stated matter-of-factly "Endymion left us here."

"Endymion..." Jadeite's eyes widened in shock as what this meant registered "You... you surrendered to save me?"

"Don't flatter yourself" Zoisite sneered, "We wanted to leave you. Unfortunately this idiot" he jerked a thumb in Nephrite's direction "Made it so we did not have a choice."

Jadeite chuckled, "Still I am grateful but where does this leave us now?"

Zoisite's sneer vanished and a malicious grin now spread across his face "When Endymion returns we are going to rush him all at once. He cannot possibly defend himself against the four of us."

Jadeite sniggered, shaking his head "You really do hate him don't you?"

Nephrite remained silent at the two youngest kings continued this repartee. He was suddenly aware that he had changed again. Now Nephrite no longer felt like giving up, instead of the lost and painful realisation that his kitten was dead he felt a fire burning in his soul. He did not want to become Beryl's slave once more. He wanted to kill her and all who had contributed to the death of this planet. Nephrite hadn't felt like this since that night so long ago when he had found Zoisite's ransom note upon Naru's pillow. Hot rage had filled him then and it did so again. He growled inaudibly and with this came his decision. He would not rest until the Dark Kingdom was destroyed.

Then he heard a clinking of armour. Endymion was returning...

* * *

Zoisite froze as he too heard the clinking that signalled Endymion's return. He felt weak at the knees at this sound, not because of the approaching dark Prince but the woman he served, the woman that was Zoisite's murderer. He trembled and moved closer to Kunzite-sama and was shocked when he felt his lover pull him into a tight embrace. Kunzite was not afraid... Kunzite was strong. Zoisite took a deep breath, drawing his strength from the man who held him. Jadeite and Nephrite had both drawn back as well, feigning fear.

Endymion wore his usual superior smirk, the type of expression that irked Zoisite so. He growled softly, tensing up in Kunzite's arms. His lover's hold on him never faltered and the younger king realised with dismay that the only reason Kunzite had embraced him then was to keep him from doing anything foolish. They had to wait for the signal.

Endymion chuckled at the sight he perceived as quailing in submission. He threw the cell door open, it banged loudly against the adjourning wall, causing Zoisite to jump slightly at this sudden noise. Then came the signal, an insignificant cough from Nephrite and Kunzite released his lover. Zoisite lunged at Endymion with full ferocity, landing a direct hit on the dark Prince's nose. Endymion howled in pain and staged back as the cartilage broke with an ear-splitting crack. At that instant the others were on him as well, kicking and punching until the man fell to the ground. Zoisite laughed as Endymion hit the dirt, cowering away from their attacks.

Leave him be now

Zoisite jerked as the voice of before slammed through his mind. The others had heard it too. Nephrite, content to trust unknown voices coming from what seemed to be a void in their own consciences, faltered and stood. Kunzite and Jadeite too obeyed without question. Zoisite found himself hesitating. Shouldn't they kill Endymion whilst they had the chance?

He will have a chance to be reborn and make good his wrongs. If you kill him he will never have that chance.

Zoisite shook his head angrily; spitting upon the injured Prince but heeding the unknown he did not renew his attack.

Slowly the man staggered to his feet, even as the Shitennou turned to leave the prisons. He clapped twice, his face twisted in pain, his nose bloodied and yet an evil smile danced upon his lips.

"Well done" he hissed, his voice just above a dry whisper reminding Zoisite of fire crackling over wood. "You are still the Shitennou Beryl so wanted as her own... even powerless you strike together with I have to say would have been deadly accuracy."

"We leave you alive only because our betters wish it" Nephrite snarled, taking a step towards Endymion again "And do not ever forget that."

"Your better will not save you here... this is hell" Endymion rasped, "In hell you die or serve its master."

Zoisite drew a fist back and struck the man again, Endymion staggered yet retained his balance "You think you are so brave but you do not see all that surrounds you. This is darkness... this is the radiant darkness."

Zoisite felt Kunzite cringe as he recognised his most famous lines.

Endymion spat, a mixture of blood and saliva splattering across the floor "You cannot escape. Your better was wrong."

Zoisite turned and his heart sank. The corridor behind him had filled with Youma. Hundreds of them and most of them he knew. It was if he were looking at the past. The seven nijizuishou carriers, Morga, the first Youma to die at the hands of the then novice Sailor Moon, Tensie, Castor, Pollex and more familiar faces from the past all now at Endymion's command.

"Do you still want to fight?" Endymion asked, "Please do so but you will never win... it is important to know when to give up."

"You bastard!" Zoisite couldn't control the level of rage bubbling up inside of him. How dare Endymion use words spoken from the past, how dare he control Youma that rightly belonged to them! Zoisite squeezed his eyes shut; mentally counting to ten as Kunzite had taught him... gods it was no good. He lunged forwards again, yet Kunzite pulled him back, pinning him tightly against his body he said smoothly "It would appear that you have once again bested us. Clearly we have no wish to die. What is it you want from us?"

"Kunzite!" Nephrite snarled, "What the hell are you doing?"

The auburn haired man furious but Zoisite was not. He understood Kunzite's actions. There was no way for them to win unless they wanted to die and Zoisite did not want to die. It was better to surrender now than be killed.

"Be quiet" Kunzite snapped back at the other king "We will do as he says. Anyone who does not wish to follow my orders can throw themselves at the Youma for all I care."

Endymion chuckled, a nasty cold edge to his laugh reminding Zoisite of a steel blade.

"At least one of you is being sensible" he opened a portal with a wave of his hand; painting with his magics a gateway to the devil herself. They all knew her name.

Kunzite shot Jadeite and Nephrite a look before walking through it.

Endymion regarded the remaining kings. The blond sighed; giving Nephrite an almost apologetic glance he followed the oldest king. Zoisite was next, how could he not follow his Kunzite-sama? If he had to serve Beryl once more then he would do so at Kunzite's side.

The sickening vertigo of the jump through space crashed into Zoisite again as he reappeared, immediately dropping to his knees before the dais on which the queen sat. He barely noticed that Nephrite had conceded defeat and knelt down at his side. After a few moments Zoisite dared raise his head and could barely conceal a shudder at the queen he was looking upon. Beryl had changed...

The Queen he could remember had long red hair, crashing down her back like an ocean of dark red blood, fierce blood red eyes, always angry and filled with emptiness and hatred would glare down upon him as if he was nothing before her than a speck of dirt. The royal attire, consisting of a one-piece azure blue dress, flowing down her tall willowy body, trailing the floor when she stood, her pale, white almost complexion and long dagger like fingernails scratching the misty surface of the crystal ball used to seal Zoisite's fate. Her mouth, fangs sporting in each corner, ruby red lips and slightly elfin ears, it had all changed now.

She was no taller, not really but had she been standing she would have dwarfed even Kunzite in height. Her hair now, like her skin was tinted green, she wore a blood red dress, not jewellery or finery for her this time. Her nails were neat and trimmed and her eyes pale, nearly a blue colour. In front of her sat that crystal ball still, ever glowing yet this time it glowed white, with the added light and power of the ginzuishou.

"Yes you may well stare" she started, her voice the same as ever, cold, scathing, unfeeling and edged with bitterness... "I have finally obtained the power of the darkness... empress Metallia's dark magics now flow through my veins. I am the darkness."

Zoisite did not speak; he doubted he could even if he wanted too. No this was Nephrite who dared raise a voice against her and Zoisite envied him for having that strength.

"So you used this power to destroy Earth... you poisoned this planet with your darkness."

"I did not destroy it" Beryl did not like that word it seemed, her face twisted in annoyance as she gazed at the auburn haired king "I simply modified it to my liking. All those pathetic humans wasting precious energy going about their meaningless lives. Now they serve the glorious Dark Kingdom. Those who would not join willingly had their energy sapped from their weak human bodies. I have no use for traitors and usurpers for power."

Why is she telling us this? Zoisite couldn't help but wonder. Is she trying to win us over? Is she mad? Nephrite will not like this... that dull human girl... Naru... he would not side with Beryl now. The only way she would take him would be by force.

"And what of those who betrayed their planet?" this was Jadeite, he too had dared raise his head to the demon Queen "What did you do to them?"

Beryl smiled, showing off a full set of pearly teeth, a far cry from the yellow fangs of before her transformation "They are all around you. I need subjects, soldiers do I not? This planet is a perfect prize for any who dare to challenge me. I needed armies... Youma."

"So you turned them into slaves?"

Beryl did not like that word either "They gave themselves to Metallia. They are all mine to do with as I wish as are you four!"

Ah so that was her game. Zoisite glanced at Kunzite. The older man was still lowered submissively to the floor. There had to be another way...

There is always another way

"Endymion... he would never have harmed us?" Jadeite questioned.

"Endymion obeys my every command" Beryl was proud of this fact; indeed she allowed a smile to flicker across her face, yet it faded when her gaze fell upon Zoisite. He trembled under that look. She had not looked at him like that since... since she sealed his fate.

"You are very quiet" she was speaking directly to him now. Zoisite quailed; even Kunzite could not protect him here... "Surprising that... considering you always had the most to say in my presence. Perhaps you learned your lesson when I killed you before... I do hope so. It would be a shame if I had to repeat things and I do so hate that."

Zoisite did not dare answer her and Beryl quickly forgot about him, moving now to Kunzite.

"Kunzite. I was saddened to hear of your dishonourable suicide the day before my awakening."

Suicide? What was she talking about? It had never occurred to Zoisite since his resurrection to question Kunzite of his passing. Indeed the thought that Kunzite killed himself had never crossed his mind...

Zoisite felt his lover bristle at Beryl's words and he managed a defiant reply "I died an honourable battle death defending the kingdom."

Beryl was amused and then glared at Nephrite "There was nothing honourable about your death. Allowing yourself to be killed so a fool Earthling could live. A pathetic and at the end of the day meaningless waste."

She did not approach Jadeite and the blond seemed glad of this. What would he say? Beryl had sentenced him to eternal sleep in a fit of rage, the identity of the Sailor Senshi still on his lips.

The Queen settled back on her stone throne, hands wavering above her crystal ball. "You all made mistakes but those are mistakes I am willing to forget. I now have this planet on its knees before me. Endymion is my most loyal commander (she did not add in only commander) and will remain so but I think I can find a place in my new Dark Kingdom for you, the Shitennou."

"No" Nephrite whispered, "No way."

"Silence" Beryl snapped, "You will not talk, you will listen. You have nowhere to go. Metallia's touch taints the ground and as mortal humans you cannot walk the streets without being tainted also. You were reborn for once purpose only and that is to serve me, your Queen. You either surrender to the power of Metallia willingly or I shall simply drain your energy until you die."

"No" Nephrite shook his head, "I will not serve you."

"That was exactly what she said," Beryl sounded amused, proud "Right before I killed her."

"Her?"

"Princess Serenity. That fool Sailor Moon. She told me similar things when I offered her the choice. Yet her refusal brought about a fate much worse than yours. After she died I tore her soul from her body before it had a chance to cross over and using the power of Metallia I imprisoned it here on Earth. The Princess can never reach heaven. She will stay, as a witness to the glorious and eternal power of the darkness."

Zoisite felt sick at her words. Beryl had the power to meddle with life and death, souls were the essence of being, and the one thing beside Kunzite-sama that Zoisite had ever wanted was a soul. Of course doing the dirty work of the devil had guaranteed that it was the one thing Zoisite could never have... until now.

"So you have the choice. Serve me or die and become doomed to wander Earth for all eternity."

"Die" Nephrite spoke without hesitation and again Zoisite wished he had that courage. The blond king nodded silently in agreement. Zoisite flickered his gaze towards Kunzite before whisper his choice, the same as his comrades. If they died then there would be a chance of redemption. Serving Beryl again would not cleanse their souls. Kunzite too felt the same way.

Beryl was not expecting this. Her face twist in pure rage, Zoisite could feel the malice and fury emitting from her in waves of emotion. He trembled again, much worse than before.

I am not that strong

"You always were fools. That is why I am willing to ignore your imprudent choices" she stood, her dress rustling as she walked down from her dais, evoking the power of the darkness. It danced out from her crystal ball, racing from the stone towards them.

She needs us Zoisite realised, Endymion is no good on his own. She needs the Shitennou too.

Then he felt it. The floor was alive with a river of dark magics. Zoisite gasped, doubling over as they took hold of his body, pouring through his veins like a black tide of hot wax. He heard the others cries too yet there was no escape. How could there be escape? He could feel it now, blackening his soul, twisting his mind against even his Kunzite-sama. Every argument they ever had was coming to mind, every pain Kunzite had ever caused him was washing over the pleasure. Beryl was not going to tolerate their relationship a second time around.

Relationship? What relationship?

He was starting to forget. Who was this man, trembling beside him? Who was he? Why did he mean so much to Zoisite?

The only thing left is to surrender your shine and perish!

Because I believe in the world everyone tried to protect

If a soldiers pride means hurting each other then I don't want it

Eternal... she was eternal, as she had raised the ginzuishou high, its powers flowing through her, a soft pink light of purity and grace. Even as Beryl's slave Zoisite had recognised her greatness. Sailor Moon, Princess Serenity... Eternal. They were all one... the serene angel that had fallen. Now Zoisite understood everything.

You saved the world...

... with your belief

Zoisite felt something inside of him at that moment as he heard those words echoed once on Earth, in some far away fantasy of a dying Princess. It gave him the strength to stand; he felt a white light, fighting the blackness in his heart driving it away... never to return. His body was awash with a pale pink aura. Looking down at himself, Zoisite saw the light had spread, covering him from head to toe, magics bathing in the light that had suddenly appeared in this cold world and embracing it with both hands.

"No" he whispered, "I will not bow down to you again." His voice gained strength as he reached out; touching the forehead of the man he loved... his Kunzite-sama... Kunzite gasped under his touch as pink magics sparked out from Zoisite's fingertips and true the youngest king was also in awe as the magics spread, cleansing not only his lover but Jadeite and Nephrite too washing over them and then fading. Metallia screamed as the magics also touched her and drew back in horror, as the floor became stone again. His fellow kings fell heavily, the battle against the darkness taking what little strength remained.

"What is this? How dare you? This is unforgivable!" Beryl screamed as the ginzuishou exploded in a shower of pink light and then disappeared. "I will never forgive you! I gave the choice and you throw it back in my face?"

Zoisite felt calm as he faced the demon, the pink magics, now faint ribbons around his body lending him strength. He remained still as the blast from the crystal ball engulfed him, just as it had before.

"No!"

This was not just Kunzite's scream. Jadeite and Nephrite also screamed as the magics hit home. The struck yet they did not. There was a burst of pink light, white sparks danced as the two magics collided in a shower of colourful fireworks lighting up the darkened throne room. Zoisite fell, heat and pain tearing through him. It was knifing into his nerves, twisting his body in eternal agony. His clothes, all but burnt away by the force and ferocity of Beryl's attack, so much more powerful than the one that had killed him before, fell from his body as the heat flooded his senses. Then he was on the ground, not falling as he had thought but gently lowered down by unseen hands. Zoisite could no longer move as he watched the pink light surround him once more, wrapping ribbons around his dying body. Tears prickled the backs of his eyes when he saw his Kunzite-sama kneeling over him, the older man's face showed no emotion outwardly but Zoisite could sense the helplessness and grief behind the icy fašade. He reached up, tried to reach up, he didn't want to die alone... he wanted to feel Kunzite-sama's touch one last time. He couldn't... he couldn't move. This was the end.

So I sent my light of hope away, to find someone who would embrace it willingly

Zoisite's gave was no longer fixated on his Kunzite-sama now... nor even on the figures of Jadeite and Nephrite standing helplessly behind his lover or even Beryl, seeming to be at a loss at what to do but the light behind them all. The light was moving closer now, white wings formed, a white gown, blond hair twisted up into two Odango's atop her head... it was the Princess from the Moon Kingdom. She smiled, brushing passed Kunzite who did not even acknowledge her presence and knelt down beside the fallen king.

"Eternal" Zoisite whispered, "Serenity..." then the light died, he could not longer see her or Kunzite-sama. Zoisite knew what this was... he was dying. He had been here before, he had felt the icy touch of death and he was not afraid. His only regret was leaving Kunzite-sama again...

* * *

For Kunzite the events of the next few seconds happened in a passing blur. One moment he was on his knees before Beryl, feeling Metallia's dark energies poisoning his body once more and then he was free. He felt warmth touch him as Metallia screamed, her poisons flowing back into the ground. Kunzite fell, slumping heavily onto the stone, his strength leaving him, as did the darkness. Jadeite and Nephrite too hit the ground, a weak glance at his fellow kings confirmed that they too had little or no strength left.

"What is this? How dare you? This is unforgivable! I will never forgive you! I gave the choice and you throw it back in my face?"

Kunzite vaguely became aware of Beryl shouting, he furious cries echoing around the cavern. It was then also that Kunzite realised that his lover was still standing. Yes it was his lover that stood before them though Kunzite would never have recognised him under any other circumstances. He stood, firm against the raving Queen of the Darkness, calm radiated from the serene figure, as did the warmth magics that covered every inch of his body. It was a power Kunzite had never felt before yet held familiarity, hope in its flickering form. It washed away all that remained of the darkness, Kunzite had never been moved by anything until now, he found, to his utter shock and disbelief, that he was smiling at the radiant beauty that was his lover. Zoisite had transformed into something from legends. He was still the man Kunzite loved and yet he was more than that, he reminded Kunzite of the Princess they had once fought against; innocent yet powerful, a beauty too in her own right.

This calm only lasted a minute more. They had forgotten Beryl.

Kunzite shouted his protests as the energy crackled towards his lover, and then there was the explosion, the dazzling array of lights and magics blinding the kings. Kunzite blinked, rubbing his eyes as little stars danced before his vision. When Kunzite could see again he was met by the scene he had relived in nightmares ever since it had first taken place. Zoisite was lying on the ground, on his back; his clothes had been burnt away by the ferocity in which Beryl had launched her attack on the youngest king. Still that serene smile stayed on his lips. Yet even as he was faced with death the beauty could not be denied. The pink ribbons now wrapped themselves around the king's body, the pinkish hue increasing as a liquid glow transforming the ribbons into something else...

"Eternal... Serenity"

Kunzite gaped as clothes appeared before his eyes on his lover's naked form. They were not all that different to the uniform he had worn in Beryl's service; a long jacket, a lone gold button holding the flap closed, plain trousers and boots, as well as the same gloves and waistband and yet they were different. They were all pure white. The lining of the uniform turned gold, as did the waistband, a dagger appearing sheathed at his side and then Kunzite felt heavy cloth beneath his hands as a cape formed out of the remaining ribbons, a soft white and held in place by matching golden epaulettes, in the shape of an angel... an angel in a form they all knew.

"Sailor Moon" Jadeite breathed softly.

Zoisite slumped forwards with his statement, his eyes closing even as he struggled to reach out for Kunzite. The older king gave a strangled cry and pressed a cold palm to his face, willing the younger man to open his eyes.

"He still breaths" Nephrite whispered, "He still has a chance." The auburn haired king had not drawn his eyes away from Zoisite even as he stood, one arm wrapped around Jadeite's shoulders hauling him up with him.

Kunzite almost sobbed with relief when he realised that what Nephrite was saying was true. The man in his arms was alive, though barely, his chest rising and falling slightly, sharp little breaths coming from his slightly open mouth.

"We must leave this place" Kunzite agreed, shakily, "He... we must go."

"No one is going anywhere" Kunzite turned, Zoisite clutched protectively against his chest as he faced Beryl. The slim man in his arms was giving him strength Kunzite knew. He had failed his lover the first time and would not do so again. "Do you really think you can fight against me? You have no powers! You are nothing but the Shitennou that I command and that is all you will be again."

"You are wrong" Nephrite took a step forward, his handsome face twisted in rage as he glared at his former Queen "We are more than that. She believes we are more than that. That is why Zoisite was saved and why you will let us go now."

"You dare to threaten me? Insolent kings! I always knew you would amount to nothing! I shall kill you all..."

Kunzite stepped back, turning though there was no place to run too as Beryl raised her staff high. Red magics danced from its tip, lashing out towards the Shitennou... Kunzite closed his eyes, bracing himself for the impact... that never came.

Beryl shrieked, a high-pitched grating sound so sharp it made Kunzite cringe and even Zoisite whimpered in his unconsciousness. Then she fell, the whiplash from the magics sending her crashing back onto her dais, her back hitting the stone throne which collapsed upon her impact. The staff fell harmlessly from her hand and clattered against the floor. The Queen gasped, as did her Youma court.

"Kill them!" Beryl screamed, stumbling to her feet, her red dress torn, her eyes widening in disbelief and fury when she saw blood seeping through the cloth, "Kill them all!" the Youma moved forwards but as they touched a seemingly invisible and impenetrable force guarding the kings they too were thrown back, some hitting the dais and promptly getting executed by their enraged ruler for being 'weaklings' and 'incompetent Youma filth'.

"Kunzite-sama" this was Jadeite, speaking loudly over the screams of Beryl and Youma like as she snatched up her staff once more aiming a river of crimson magics at their shield. It wavered slightly; Kunzite could see as well as Beryl that it would not last.

"We have to go... now," Jadeite continued.

Kunzite nodded in silent agreement and allowed Jadeite to take lead as they raced towards the throne room's exit.

"Fools!" Beryl screamed after them, "Do not let them leave here!"

The Youma, caught between the terror of the unknown and the hostility and rage of their Queen quickly assembled themselves, stepping between the kings and the darkened tunnel that led out of the room.

Kunzite skidded to a halt, taking a step back from the Youma as Jadeite and Nephrite looked to him for guidance.

"You see" Beryl hissed, approaching them from them from the other side, her eyes lambent with fury, she was practically spitting her words as blood dribbled down one corner of her mouth, splattering on the front of her dress merging into the fabric and scorched flesh "You cannot win... all this" she gestured to the carnage of the dead Youma "It is for nothing. I do not need the Shitennou. You are as about as useful to me as the pathetic humans that used to rule this planet. I do not know why you returned but this time when I aim my staff you will die."

She did not bring us back? Impossible! Kunzite thought. Only Beryl/Metallia has the power to do this. Not even Sailor Moon was that strong and if Beryl defeated her and stole the ginzuishou. There was no hope for them... Beryl was right. They could not match this power when they themselves had none.

"Down!" Kunzite gasped as a weight slammed into him, knocking him down. He hit the floor, pushing Zoisite away to stop him from being crushed under his superior weight. Kunzite gasped again, tasting blood in his mouth as his face hit stone. He felt the wind as Beryl's powers missed their given target, frying the Youma blocking their way. The Queen screamed her wrath, raising the staff once more and then stopping in mid attack, her gaze locked upon the youngest king lying helplessly at her feet and the attire that now adorned the small body.

Her reaction was so curious that Kunzite, instead of racing to his lover's aid as was his first instinct, stared as her red eyes, glittering with hatred and malice widened slowly and her lower lip began to trembling, the staff fell once more forgotten onto the ground as Beryl herself stumbled backwards into her dais. "You" she hissed, her voice filling with loathing and yes a little fear as well. "Eternal. How can this be? What is this?" the fear was turning Kunzite knew and when her fear turned to rage Zoisite would die.

He raced forward, before Beryl could react, and snatched up the limp form of his lover from where he lay. Kunzite took no care in making sure he was not hurting the man in his arms as he once again tore after Jadeite and Nephrite as they raced from the throne room. He heard no orders from Beryl for the remaining Youma to follow them, just an eerie silence, brought about by the man in Kunzite's arms.


The End of Chapter 3 - Goto Chapter 4


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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