The Four Points

Chapter Five: The Sands of Time! The Mysterious Sailor Senshi, Sailor Pluto Appears

© 2006 by Shari


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Jadeite's first thoughts were to flee, far away as he recognised Youma voices outside the door, speaking in low whispers in their native tongue. He drew a deep breath and obeyed Kunzite's silent command to get up; he did so slowly mimicking the older man's movements.

"The weapons" Kunzite instructed softly, "Where are they?"

Jadeite nodded silently and motioned for them to follow him, walking as quietly as possible as though each step would make the Youma aware of them, which it would. He led them to the back of the house, to a small built in cupboard. He pulled the wooden door and it came off in his hand. Zoisite giggled but was given a silent reprimand by Kunzite for this action. Jadeite set the door aside and gestured to the array of different swords. His collection consisted mainly of broad swords from the Silver Millennium. Beryl had sent him on a mission to study the ruins once and he had been drawn to these four swords in particular. They appeared identical but if one looked closely you could see distinct differences in the cut of the blade and the hilts. Engraved on the first, though rusted and faded with time were letters, no a symbol was a more accurate description. The symbol depicted the Earth or rather a certain region of the Earth; middle east. The second, again identical yet the symbol clearly depicted Europe. The third showed the Americas and the final one the Far East; Asia and Japan.

Whilst Jadeite stared, the swords bringing back a memory that he could not even recall.

"Jadeite?" he jumped when Zoisite placed a hand on his shoulder, the other offering one of the four swords to the blond. He took it, noting the pattern on the hilt was the East Region. Funny that, it was the one Jadeite had always used himself. How had Zoisite known to hand him that one?

"Come" Kunzite, looking strangely out of place in the robes indicated the backdoor "If we are quick we can get to the tunnels before they spot us."

Still he was the leader and Jadeite automatically fell into a step behind the white haired king, Zoisite beside him and Nephrite behind.

"Which one did you choose?" Jadeite asked the younger man, whilst taking this opportunity to study Zoisite's new clothing. It was familiar and yet it was not. Jadeite shook his head, not understanding himself where this question had come from.

Zoisite shrugged and let the blond see the hilt of his weapon.

"Europe" Jadeite whispered.

"Is it?" Zoisite replied, giving Jadeite a confused look and then inspecting the sword, "So it is" he added, "How did you know that was what it was?"

"I don't" Jadeite murmured, "I forgot."

Zoisite shrugged and hurried after Kunzite once more as they went through the exit and out into the silent corridors of the kingdom once more. Jadeite winced when sounds of things breaking reached his ears.

"I hate Youma" he whispered, gripping his sword tighter wanting nothing more than to turn back round and cut them to bits as in payback for the given situation.

Nephrite smiled sympathetically but Jadeite, tired and a little more than irate decided to take it as an insult or mockery of his plight. This proved a foolish move. As Jadeite knocked the comforting hand on his shoulder away he caused Nephrite to drop his sword, it clattered loudly to the stone floor.

For a split second there was silence before a cry went up from the Youma tracking them.

"Idiots" Kunzite growled softly, "Why don't we simply fall atop our swords now?"

"What shall we do Kunzaito-sama?" Zoisite asked fearfully.

"Jadeite, how many do you estimate there to be?"

"Four"

"Spread out" Kunzite commanded, "If we kill these four then we can reach the portal without fear of being followed."

Jadeite was not sure, it had been an age since he had wielded a sword let alone used one in battle. Zoisite, he noted looked equally unenthusiastic about this new situation, one Jadeite realised in shame that had been his making.

As if on queue the Youma stepped out of Jadeite's quarters, pale orange flames flickering in their wake. Jadeite again resisted the urge to race forwards; knowing such an act would be foolishness and there had already been enough of that today.

"The mice are cornered" the first Youma spoke, she was not one Jadeite recognised, she was tall dressed completely in black, a row of spikes growing down both arms, gripping two daggers. Her mouth was a mass of sharp fangs, her thin black lips pulled back into a feral sneer, cold red eyes glaring out at them through thick eyelashes. She could have been a beauty if it not for the teeth and mottled green skin. The second one too, was unfamiliar to them. Her skin was a strange tint of blue, and in places thick white fur covered her flesh. She wore a tight band of material wrapped around her thin body and nothing more. Grinning, and showing off a mass of rotting yellow teeth she stepped forward, also armed and ready to attack. The last two Jadeite did recognise.

"Tetis" he whispered just as Nephrite murmured the name of the Youma that had once served him; Tensie.

Tetis had always been a beauty in her human form and now looked no different. Blue-black hair like clumps of seaweed spilled from the top of her head, bright blue eyes that used to gaze adoringly up at her master now were filled with nothing but hate as she drew her blade.

"Remember" she instructed softly, "We want the white haired one alive."

Jadeite was almost struck as she lunged at him as he digested this statement. They had orders to bring Kunzite before Beryl again? Granted he had been the most powerful but Zoisite was the only one who possessed any kind of power now. The blond drew his sword, countering her first strike. She was good he realised in discomfort and she should be because I taught her. As Jadeite countered another swing intended to slice him in two he saw out of the corner of his eye Nephrite fighting Tensie. Zoisite and Kunzite were fighting alongside with the remaining nameless Youma. They always fought together Jadeite knew and yet he did not understand how he knew this. He had never seen Zoisite wield a sword being as like Jadeite, Zoisite hated physical confrontations.

Tetis swung her blade again and again Jadeite moved to block, realising too that he was loath to strike down one of his most loyal servants. Tetis however was not loath to strike down her once master, and with strength Jadeite did not recall her having she swung the blade in a downward arch, this one cutting into his shoulder. Jadeite gasped as blood sprayed from the wound, the pain gripping his entire shoulder. He stumbled back, his sword clattering to the floor as he cursed his weak body. Tetis drew her thin lips back into a smile if victory and raised her weapon above her head. Jadeite closed his eyes and waited for the blow.

He heard Tetis gasp, and indeed so did the other Youma. Jadeite opened his eyes and saw her standing above him; the sword long since had fallen harmlessly to the floor. Blood dripped from her chest, the edge of another sword embedded there. Tetis gasped again as Kunzite ripped the weapon from her body, the edge slick with sticky green blood. She fell, dead before she even hit the floor.

Without a word, Kunzite sheathed his weapon and held out a hand to the blond. Jadeite took the offered palm and allowed the older man to pull him to his feet and then take his own weapon back. Looking around Jadeite saw the nameless Youma, blood pooling from a fatal wound to their hearts and Tensie slumped against the wall, her face twisted in a scream of eternal agony.

"You've lost your edge" Kunzite said quietly referring to Jadeite's poor swordsmanship.

Jadeite shrugged, feeling a blush creeping across his face. His blush deepened when he allowed a whimper of pain to escape his lips as this movement sent a burst of pain down his injured shoulder.

"You're bleeding" Zoisite stated softly, moving over to the blond, sheathing his own sword as he reached up to get a closer look at the wound. Jadeite, embarrassed that he allowed Tetis to catch him off guard, shrugged away from the younger man. Since when was Zoisite openly compassionate anyway? As if reading his mind Kunzite answered for him "If you bleed everywhere then it will be easier for other Youma to track us, now let Zoisaito have a look at the wound."

Grudgingly Jadeite pulled off his jacket and sat down on the stone to allow the youngest king a look at the ugly gash marring his pale skin.

"Since when did you become a nurse anyway?" he muttered, permitting a certain amount of resentment into his voice.

Zoisite did not reply, merely glancing at Kunzite for consent to continue. The white haired man nodded and then instructed Nephrite to keep a guard of the tunnel ahead of them to prevent any further Youma there might be lurking in the shadows from sneaking up on them. Jadeite turned his attention back to Zoisite as the man pulled off his white gloves for fear of staining them and gently probed the gash.

"It's not a deep wound" he spoke to his lover rather than to Jadeite, "All we need do is stanch the flow of blood and he should be fine."

Jadeite bit his lip to prevent the escape of a snipe at the younger man. He was right here and they spoke as if he were out of the room. His attention though was turned back to Zoisite when he heard the sound of fabric ripping. He watched in amazement as Zoisite tore the bottom of his own cape and pressed the cloth to his wound, sincere compassion reflecting in his emerald eyes. Jadeite was amazed also at how gentle the little king was being. He could barely feel any pain, in fact he felt calm all over as if Zoisite's touch was enough to keep him peaceful... sleepy. A warm sensation started to radiate from the palm pressed tightly on his wound, Jadeite actually felt his eyes closing, and his mind began to wander into the realm of sleep... dreams.

"That will do" Zoisite broke the contact and Jadeite jerked backwards, one hand going to his face rubbing his eyes until they watered. The small man stood, wiping off excess blood on a spare piece of cloth he slipped the gloves back on and took a step away from Jadeite as their gaze met.

He felt it too

Jadeite glanced round at Kunzite and Nephrite. Both were keeping their eyes fixed firmly on the tunnels and had not seen the strangeness that had taken place here. The blond suddenly felt awkward, embarrassed again as he broke Zoisite's stare. He felt like a shy schoolboy in front of the other king. Why? He was certainly not attracted to Zoisite. That couldn't have been further from his mind. Then what had it been? The wound no longer hurt. Jadeite shook his head and stood.

"Better?" Nephrite enquired, finally noting the uneasy silence between the two men.

"Yes" Jadeite turned his back on Zoisite and now addressed Kunzite "The portal? Where do we go now?"

"This way" Kunzite indicated a small tunnel leading off from the main one they had been following. It was dark; no torches lit the way here. Nephrite reached for one lighting the main tunnels.

"No" Kunzite shook his head "They will know we passed this way. Come... I know these old passages well enough."

The oldest of them led the way, Zoisite quickly rushing after his lover ignoring Jadeite's questioning gaze and even Nephrite's snort of disgust as the little man grabbed Kunzite's free hand, the one that was not constantly resting on the hilt of his sword.

"So that we don't get separated," he explained quietly.

"A good idea" Kunzite replied stopping and regarding the remaining Shitennou with an expectant gaze. Jadeite glanced at Nephrite and could tell even in the gloom that he had no intention of taking the palm Zoisite offered and that the copper haired man did not offer it to his once enemy. Reluctantly Jadeite grabbed the fragile hand and felt none of the power that he had moments before. He then offered his free hand to Nephrite. The auburn haired man sighed and did as the silent command told him too.

* * *

Endymion stared at carnage before him with a look of indifference etched across his handsome features as the Youma moaned and wailed at the loss of their comrades. The sight of the blood, the innards spilt out across the stone awash with green sticky liquid did not faze him in the slightest. Endymion had seen Youma die; death was not uncommon even now. The small resistance on Earth still killed a fair number of Beryl's soldiers. He did not care for the deaths, except perhaps that of Tetis, Beryl's own Youma. Beryl would be displeased. For this Endymion decided to make it his personal duty to ensure that he discovered which of the traitorous filth had done this and that they died horribly.

The young Prince did not remember much of his time with Beryl before her merging with the darkness Metallia. His memory was patchy, a fogged haze covered any memories of three of the Shitennou and the ones he did have of Kunzite spoke of a cold, ruthless, heartless warrior who would stop at nothing to achieve his goals. Kunzite, if rumours were to be believed, had become even icier after the death of his lover. Still the oldest Shitennou had been liked among the lowly Youma. Kunzite had been the voice of authority they all needed, a calm air of stoic merciless composure that had been admired by Youma and soldier alike. If the truth were known Kunzite also took pity on the Youma, he had treated them with understanding and yet still ruled above them with the leadership and callousness that had earned him his title as first king. They, the Youma, were not so fond of his Sakura plaything. Endymion, listening to rumour, had never quite realised how much the smaller king was hated. Whilst Nephrite, also a popular king among them for reasons only known to them, and Jadeite was ignored by most of them; the fool king who worked alone had never bothered to forge a partnership with either Youma or fellow Shitennou. Zoisite had been a different story. Youma hated him simply because they feared him. Zoisite's temper had killed far more of their kind than Sailor Moon had ever done. Endymion could recall the excited whispers throughout the kingdom when they learned of Zoisite's punishment for committing treason. Endymion had heard rumours speaking of why it was that Beryl murdered her most successful king. Murdered was probably a too strong a word for it Endymion mused. According to Youma stories he had disobeyed a direct order and ultimately lost them the much-wanted ginzuishou as well as nearly killing Endymion himself allowing him to be reborn into the darkness. No one knew exactly what had taken place in the throne room the moment the death sentence was handed down to the youngest king. Endymion did, however, know what took place after Zoisite was fatally wounded. Kunzite had carried him away to a supposedly secluded part of his castle, unaware of the few curious Youma that had followed the first king, either eager to witness the death of the man they hated or simply out of respect and pity for Kunzite's loss. Whatever the reason it soon melted the rumour that Kunzite was completely cold and unfeeling.

"I want to die beautifully."

What else for the vain little man than that? His beauty so important to him even at death. A pitiful request Endymion sneered and yet one that Kunzite willingly granted him.

Then the boy died and something died along with him. Youma spoke of sobs echoing the lonely castle at night. The heart wrenching misery of the final king alone with the solitude they had thought he craved and now realising that he needed someone as much as the rest of them. The Shitennou were no different after all. They bled, they laughed, they cried and they even loved.

Youma pitied Kunzite but still hated Zoisite. When he died there was nothing for them to fear. No one corrupting Kunzite's will, no ice crystals thrown at their backs during tedious training sessions.

Endymion's face twisted into a smirk as he regarded the lumps of meat that had not long ago been living and breathing Youma.

"They will pay for this" was all he allowed before instructing his group to follow him further down the endless halls. He had no need to say anything else.

"Blood" a voice stopped him. He turned, staring inscrutably at the Youma who dared speak.

Yakaki was short for Youma standards, a delicate thing that would probably bend in the breeze if she ever visited the Earth realm. She dressed all in black. A thin layer of cloth covering the female parts of her supple body. Glossy black hair fell all the way down her back and almost to the floor, its ends brushing it as she walked. She peered out at Endymion through thick eyelashes her eyes, also black, reminding the Prince of polished coals. She was pale, her skin almost translucent and stretched tightly as if it were too small a fit. Yakaki was more than a Youma. She lived on blood. Not a Vampire creature of human legends but she fed on it just the same as Metallia had fed on energy. She did not crave blood of the living, Endymion would often see her haunting the battle grounds in the aftermath, waiting to drink the blood of the victims, be it Youma or human. She did not bite people; she did not turn humans into creatures of the night. Blood was her food and nothing more.

"One of them bleeds," she continued, not forgetting her place bowing down before her Prince. Her dark eyes studied the tips of Endymion's boots in respect for his station. Endymion knew to heed her words. Yakaki was wise beyond her years in Beryl's service. She knew more than an average slave of the kingdom.

"Really" Endymion prompted her to continue. Yakaki, like the vampires in legends could smell blood even over the pungent stench of the bodies of her own kind.

"This way" Yakaki nodded towards a side tunnel leading downwards. Endymion doubtfully followed her gaze. He, in truth, had no idea where this passage led to and if he wanted to commit himself to following it.

"Are you sure?" he did not doubt Yakaki's abilities. This particular Youma had never let him down so far yet Endymion was nervous about taking such a risk. In these old parts of the kingdom silence reigned. The Shitennou would hear them coming... well most of them. Yakaki was known for her stealth as well as her blood drinking.

"I trust in my abilities Endymion-sama but as my master I trust in you even more. I shall do whatever you command" this was the only reply she gave and the only one Endymion would expect.

"Then I shall allow you this opportunity to prove to me that those very abilities are trustworthy" Endymion drew his sword; it glimmered in the lamplight. He had used this weapon since he was reborn into Metallia's service. It was long, stainless steel, its edge so sharp that it could cut through some metals. Encrusted on its hilt were four parts of the world; the Far East, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East. The dark Prince had no idea what these meant but he trusted Beryl-sama. It was she who gave him this sword, even as he lightly traced the silver symbols etched their, gazing at the Earth and Moon, also depicted.

Yakaki quailed slightly as he handed her the sword; to even gaze upon it was an honour in itself.

"Take this" Endymion instructed, placing his most prized weapon into the Youma's shaking hands, "If indeed your judgement is correct then your stealth will enable you to kill at least two of them before they even realise that you are there."

"Endymion-sama" Yakaki stammered, her eyes growing wide in a mixture of honour and fear at the thought of facing the Shitennou alone. "I couldn't..."

"You can. I believe that you are capable or I would not entrust you with this weapon. We shall keep on this way. Indeed I have trouble believing that they would venture down into the depths of the kingdom."

"That is true Endymion-sama" Yakaki agreed quietly, "And as you wish I shall check these lower regions as a precautionary measure."

Endymion nodded and turned, signalling to the remaining three Youma how had watched the exchange with interest. They thought, as did Yakaki, that he had sent her down there to die. Endymion supposed this was true to some extent. Yakaki would find them; her orders were to kill all but Zoisite. Endymion would not be held responsible for her actions. He would kneel before Beryl with Kunzite beaten and bloodied before him explaining that the dead Youma had slipped away into an unknown passage and had come across the four kings. He had gone after her, tried to stop her but she had taken his sword and cut down three of them before Endymion could prevent this. He would explain that he managed to kill her thus saving Kunzite for Beryl to do with as she wished. She would be angry but that anger would fade and Endymion was confident that she could not stay upset at him for any length of time. Beryl needed him and the added pleasure of torturing and then killing the once first king would curb her temper Endymion knew. Yakaki was simply a pawn to him as were all Youma. Endymion would not be held responsible for the rebellious creature's actions.

* * *

"I hate this" Nephrite gritted his teeth and subconsciously clenched Jadeite's hand tighter as he listening to the incessant whining of the youngest king as they trudged on. Jadeite winced at Nephrite's sudden death grip and pulled away slightly though afraid to let go completely lest the other man got lost in the unending passageways. Zoisite's grumbling was not all together simply him being Zoisite and having to have an excuse to start an argument. They had been walking for what seemed to Nephrite to be hours. The tunnel had got narrower; forcing them to walk in single file and now had opened out into the extensive sewage system of the Dark Kingdom. Modelled on the systems that the people of Earth had used they smelt twice as bad and the constant aroma was making Nephrite nauseous. Of course, like a true king, he gritted his teeth and kept going without so much as a word and Zoisite being like a true pain in the ass decided to prolong the agony by complaining to his Kunzite-sama. Nephrite recalled his earlier vows to become the man he had been destined to become but that obviously did not include tolerating Zoisite for extensive periods of time and he was just about at the end of his tether. The auburn haired man glanced down to his right, where the rock had been cut into a passageway for the sewage to travel and then at their continuingly narrowing pathway beside it. Nephrite suddenly had the desire to change places with Jadeite and shove the youngest king into the filth; that would give him a real reason to complain, especially if his new attire were ruined.

Nephrite glowered at Zoisite's clothing. He jealously regarded the warm boots, trousers and jacket wondering why he had not been granted a change of clothing. He still wore the bathrobe that had belonged to Jadeite, and his underwear and nothing more. Zoisite had always had all the luck he grumbled to himself. Everything came easily to the smaller king. Nephrite decided that Zoisite probably could magic them up some new clothes with his new found powers if he desired but simply did not want too due to his spiteful nature or worse he would conjure some just for his Kunzite-sama and leave the others to freeze. The little whore probably liked looking at Kunzite wearing the robes that were torn at the back, giving the little king a perfect view of the older man's bottom. Nephrite shook his head as the complaints continued.

"Kunzaito-sama? How much further is this portal? My feet hurt and I am sure I can hear rats following us."

Kunzite wisely chose not to reply but Nephrite did, he had always enjoyed riling the younger man.

"I can hear them too" he kept his voice slightly above a whisper to give it that more chilling and ghostly edge, "They have been following us for a while now. I can hear their chattering little teeth, squeaking excitedly and waiting until we get separated in the dark. Then they will pour out from the darkness in a black tide, smothering everything and everyone in their paths. Yellow fangs dripping as they taste human flesh, ripping and tearing at your face. You open your mouth to scream and they take advantage of this, climbing down inside you and they will eat from the inside out."

"Shut up!" Zoisite hissed and Nephrite chuckled when he heard the small whimper that escaped the little man.

"They will climb in your hair too," Nephrite continued in that same low voice, "Clawing at your precious face, scarring it forever. You will feel their naked tails brushing your cheek and then sharp little teeth sinking into the flesh of your..."

"SHUT UP!" Zoisite shrieked. His cries echoed around the tunnels and small pieces of debris fell from the roof, splashing into the sewage with a painfully loud splattering.

Nephrite did not have to see Zoisite to know that the little Sakura had raced into Kunzite's arms. The older man, turned, one hand soothing his lover as he addressed them all.

"Do you realise that little outburst may have given us away?" he demanded icily, "Nephrite you will refrain from teasing Zoisite and Zoisite you will stop complaining."

"But Kunzaito-sama?" Zoisite whimpered, "The rats..."

"There are no rats in the Dark Kingdom" Kunzite snapped, "And if either of you make anymore noise I shall push you both in the sewage and leave you here for the Youma to find. Do you understand?"

Nephrite rolled his eyes, pulling a face at the oldest king. Kunzite was treating him like a child! How dare the man speak to him in this way? He was the second Shitennou!

"Yes Kunzite-sama" Zoisite replied meekly. When Nephrite said nothing to this authority Kunzite decided to let the matter drop and continued down the tunnel, his hand still gripping that of his lover's.

Nephrite sighed and decided to keep his thoughts to himself. Kunzite was partly right after all. The slightest noise could give them all away. Nephrite was confident that he could handle the odd Youma but Beryl would be fuming from Zoisite's attack on her and would want revenge and for this she would send an entire army after them. Nephrite did not understand how Zoisite had managed to attack the Queen of the Darkness. Even Princes Serenity had failed to destroy her.

"I think we should talk" Jadeite said quietly opposing the older man "There are things we need to discuss. What if the rest of Tokyo is like the Juuban region? If we touch the outside world then Metallia will corrupt us."

"You said you recalled nothing of that?" Nephrite snapped sharply at the blond, ignoring Kunzite's warnings of silence.

Jadeite shrugged and paused, as the tunnel opened out into a cavern, at the centre of this a portal was opened, its silvery light the only brightness in the entire kingdom. It glowed softly, grey shapes forming out of the mist.

"Why didn't you tell us?" Nephrite insisted, alarming the other man as he squared up to him. The auburn haired king realised somewhere in the logical thinking part of his brain that he just wanted someone to blame. He was tired; he was not considering the consequences of his actions and most of all he was hurting, struggling to come to terms with the death of a girl he had died to protect.

"Stop this" Zoisite interrupted softly, "We shouldn't fight among ourselves when we have other enemies to worry about."

This statement was comical. Here was Zoisite, the epitome of arguing, killing, and hatred and yet he wanted Nephrite to stop?

"What do you care if we fight? You only care about your Kunzite-sama and no one else?" Nephrite sneered, shoving the boy king lightly in the chest, smirking when he stumbled back into his lover.

"Nephrite?" Jadeite reached out but he roughly pushed the other king away.

"Don't," he snarled, "I'm going to Tokyo. Alone. I am going to find Eternal. She can tell me why I was reborn. The rest of you can do what you like."

Nephrite turned towards the portal, his fury sending him hell-bent of leaving behind the three kings. They did not care for him! All this about protecting each other when all they did was lie! Zoisite hated him, Kunzite mocked him and Jadeite... well the king of illusions never really had much to say about any of them and it was the same now. Jadeite was always so aloof, even more so than Kunzite, he never cared for mixing with them, speaking to them even! All he had cared for was serving Beryl.

"I do care." Nephrite froze at this statement. It sounded like Zoisite; he looked around at the little king as he took a defiant step towards Nephrite, fists clenched at his sides.

"You care?" Nephrite allowed himself to laugh, "You care?"

"I do. I care about what happened to the Earth, I care about those who died trying to save it. I like this world because I could meet everyone in it."

Nephrite raised an eyebrow at this peculiar statement. Indeed his gazed was fixed upon Zoisite as was Kunzite and Jadeite's.

"What?" Zoisite snarled, as if a spell had been broken. "Why are you staring at me?"

Kunzite did not reply with words. He walked silently to his lover and wrapped an arm around Zoisite's trembling shoulders. Zoisite shuddered and leaned into his contact. Kunzite murmured something inaudible and Zoisite replied with a shake of his head. This silent exchange continued for half a minute until Kunzite pulled away, his frosty grey-blue eyes narrowing at the darkness behind them. Nephrite opened his mouth, wanting to know what it was that held the older king's attention, when something hit him, or rather something hit the blond at his side. Jadeite crumbled to the floor, stunned by the bolt of dark energy that now struck Zoisite and Kunzite, the younger king taking the full force of the blow as he darted at the last minute between the white haired Shitennou and harm.

Shock held Nephrite immobile as the Youma stepped from the shadows. Yakaki Nephrite knew her of old. A Youma form of the mythical creature humans called a vampire. She was short, even shorter than Zoisite and twice as delicate. In a direct fight Nephrite knew that they could win. Yakaki did not rely on physical confrontations. She stepped toward on delicate legs, twirling a piece of glossy ebony hair around a thin and bony finger. In her human form Yakaki was quite lovely Nephrite had long ago noted, lovely but deadly. Yakaki's powers were weak and in their weakened forms Nephrite knew them to be weaker still.

Yakaki's lips drew back in a feral smirk as she crossed the small space separating them. "Endymion-sama has an entire army looking for you." She stated calmly as if telling Nephrite what the weather was like outside. "I can understand why you head for Earth. It is a possible sanctuary for you, had you reached it." With this she drew a sword. As she did so Nephrite glanced wildly at his companions, early animosity between them forgotten. Jadeite and Zoisite were pinned helplessly to the ground by remnants of Yakaki's attack, in this case twin black bands, tightly pinning down their arms away from their weapons. Kunzite lay dazed a few metres away; the older king had been thrown backwards into the wall by the force of the Youma's powers. Nephrite drew his own weapon once more darting between Zoisite and Yakaki. Steel met steel accompanied by two gasps of astonishment echoing around the tunnels. The first was from Yakaki herself, she had obviously thought her attack had disabled all of them. The other was from Zoisite himself. Evidently he had thought that Nephrite would leave him to die, not to stand in front of the little king defending him from death.

Yakaki screamed and raised her blade again, bringing it down with an ear splitting cracking as Nephrite countered the blow. He gaped at the weapon as tiny fissures appeared in the steel. They spread to the hilt and his sword crumbled in his hands; useless.

I'm sorry... Chibi Chibi

This had happened before Nephrite knew. Someone, in a different time and place had experienced the same thing. The doubt, the fear, and the pain all would lead to the one they were searching for. Eternal, she was nearby. They could not die now, they could not lose anyone! Yakaki laughed softly as the steel clattered to the ground and Nephrite uselessly rammed the remaining hilt back to the small belt around his waist. Behind him he felt Zoisite and Jadeite's struggles continue and another glance in Kunzite's direction was all he needed to know that the man was slowly regaining consciousness, but not in time enough to come to their aid.

That sword Yakaki was holding, it felt familiar even as Nephrite felt it tingle with dark energies. The Youma raised it high above her head and brought it down... into Nephrite's hand. He uttered a small cry of pain as the steel blade cut into his soft and suddenly so sensitive flesh, blood, red not green, dripped down the hilt and splashed onto the floor as he held the weapon in an unbreakable grip. Yakaki screamed, wrenching it upwards dragging the second king with her.

"Nefuraito!"

This was Zoisite, as Yakaki's magics weakened her alarm grew. She hissed and released her hold on Endymion's sword at the same time drawing her other hand back and then swiping forward with the precision of a cat. Nephrite gasped and stumbled backwards, three raw red lines appearing down his left cheek as she struck, raking up the flesh. Then Yakaki backhanded him, striking with such force that Nephrite was thrown against the wall, joining Kunzite.

The sword... it's Endymion's sword!

Yakaki chuckled, her lips drawn back in amusement as she walked slowly towards the other resisting Shitennou. She raised her weapon again, letting loose a cry of victory, of blood... of terror and agony. The blade cut through her bones itself, slicing off both of her legs below the knees. Yakaki fell, helpless, rolling away onto her back, Endymion's sword falling from the borrowed hand and splashing loudly into the sewerage. Jadeite stood, kicking the writhing Youma away, his bounds freed he extended a hand to the youngest king. Zoisite, as soon as he was up raced to where Kunzite lay, wrapping his arms around the older man's shoulders, whispering silent reassurances that his lover was all right.

"How badly is he hurt?"

"His face should heal fine, it's that wound to his hand I don't like the look of. It is too deep, he's lost a lot of blood as it is."

Nephrite was vaguely aware of Jadeite kneeling beside him but the blond seemed to be talking from beyond a wall, a wall that was becoming thicker, smothering and less transparent as Nephrite observed the goings on.

"These weak human bodies" he heard Kunzite curse loudly, and then "Nephrite get up. We suffered worse than this back on the Moon."

The Moon... Nephrite recalled that battle. The blood invading his nostrils, the sting of many wounds, the screams of the Moon Kingdom armies as the Youma and the Shitennou leading it cut them down.

"This isn't the Moon" Jadeite replied, almost angry with the older king "We are human now... he will die."

Dying... dying did not scare him Nephrite thought, he had died before. Death had embraced him then and would do so again.

"There has to be something" Kunzite's voice held a slight note of panic beneath its usually calm, cold tenor. "Jadeite is there nothing you can do for him?"

"I'm no nurse," snapped the blond and then "Let Zoisite look at him."

"Zoisite?" Kunzite enquired at the same moment that Zoisite asked:

"Me?"

"You can help him"

"Help him? It will take more than a piece of cloth this time" was the sniping and expected reply.

"You can... look."

A gasp caught in Zoisite's throat and above the pain Nephrite was in came a desire to see what had exactly reduced Zoisite to complete speechlessness. The auburn haired man looked up, it was impossible... after all he had been through in his life and even after all that he had been capable of as one of the Dark Kingdom kings Nephrite could believe what he was looking at. Neither could Zoisite it would seem. The younger king was staring at Jadeite, his jaw dropped in utter disbelief. Kunzite regarded the scene impassively his arms folded across his chest.

"How did I? What did I?" Zoisite moved forward, reaching out with a shaking gloved hand he touched the smooth expanse of skin where not an hour ago an ugly wound marred the pale flesh.

It was all Nephrite saw, without warning his vision deteriorated. The colour drained from the scene. He allowed a moan to escape his lips as his head lolled forward his eyes dropping closed.

"Help him," Jadeite instructed; Nephrite could still hear... just.

He felt mild revulsion as Zoisite took his hand, almost laughed when he heard the feeble words of his foe "I can't... I don't know what I did... She's cut through all the veins..."

"Try" Jadeite snapped, and then his voice suddenly softened "I know you can do this."

Nephrite felt more than heard Zoisite's deep shuddering intake of breath and then his senses slipped completely. He felt his cheek strike stone and then nothing more. This was it... he was going to join his kitten at last...

* * *

For the first time in his life Kunzite was unsure of his actions. For a man who calculated his every move, every word this sudden feeling of uselessness was unwelcome and very unsettling. He tried watching Zoisite and Jadeite and yet he started to feel his observation was futile. The blond was supporting Nephrite's head, the man had since fainted, and Zoisite was knelt over him, bloodying his palms with the blood of his rival. Kunzite did not understand how his lover had come across this new power; how he had disarmed Beryl in her own kingdom, how he had healed Jadeite without even knowing it and how he could hope to help Nephrite now. The king walked over to Yakaki, the lump of meat that were her legs smelt, it would soon draw attentions from other Youma and possibly Endymion himself. Yakaki herself was attempting to crawl up the tunnel towards daylight, moaning softly for Endymion to save her. Kunzite snorted in contempt for this pathetic sight before him. He raised his sword, intending on striking a killing blow when a grip on his wrist halted the downward arch.

"Kunzaito-sama?"

"Zoisaito?"

"Please don't... she was used by Endymion" Zoisite looked so solemn, so lost that it stayed Kunzite's hand. Taking this as an agreeable action Zoisite knelt down beside the squirming creature, wrapping strips of cloth around the hissing Yakaki.

"Youma bleed a lot but her legs will re-grow given time" Zoisite stated.

"I don't..." Kunzite broke off, snapping his mouth shut again.

I don't understand Zoisaito... what is happening to you?

"I don't think we should stay here long" Kunzite said to satisfy the curious look Zoisite was giving him, "Is Nephrite well?"

"Just waking up" Jadeite replied, "He will be weak for a day or two that is all."

Kunzite nodded, not sure what else to say. He wanted to take Zoisite and demand the truth from the younger king. He wanted to shake him until the boy revealed the truth of Eternal, a truth Kunzite was not sure he wanted to hear. Yes Zoisite was a boy really, barely old enough for the title and power bestowed upon him firstly by Beryl and secondly by the force that was driving them now.

"Kunzite-sama?" he spoke, his voice wavering, delicate like the few flowers that grew in the Dark Kingdom. Zoisite had been like those flowers and perhaps now even more so.

"Kunzite-sama?" he repeated, "Nephrite is feeling able to move. We can leave here."

Kunzite stood, he had not even been aware of sitting down, his hand brushing the sword at his side. Again the desire to take the blade to the boy's throat and demand what he had done with his lover was strong. Kunzite took a deep breath, studying the pale complexion of the man standing before him. It was Zoisite, this he knew.

"Kunzite-sama? Is everything all right?" Zoisite asked softly when Kunzite offered no reply to his statement of earlier.

"Fine" Kunzite intended to finish the conversation with a sweep of his cape but on recalling that he was no longer wearing his uniform he simply turned away, concentrating on Nephrite. The man had been adamant that no one must die; he had even placed his own life on the line to save them from Yakaki's attack. Why had that been? Kunzite studied the paler than usual face of the man, as if searching for an answer. He received none except perhaps a curious stare from the second Shitennou. What had changed in Nephrite so? This woman... Eternal. Did she hold the answers they were looking for?

"What now?" Jadeite spoke, addressing them all "If we go through that portal and touch Tokyo then Metallia's magics will taint us once again."

This was true Kunzite knew. They had no choice in the matter though. Endymion would find them if they stayed and if they left then Metallia would hunt them down.

The heart of the warrior is as strong as the evil that threatens him

"We will be safe" Nephrite answered for them all "Metallia cannot touch us now."

"What makes you so sure?" Zoisite demanded, a mixture of fear and doubt glittering in his eyes "How can you know this? What makes us invincible this time?"

Nephrite did not answer and he did not need too. Kunzite knew the answer to this question. It had been staring him in the face for so long and he was afraid to meet it head on.

What made them invincible this time? It was simple. Zoisite did.

* * *

There were reasons, now Jadeite knew, that he had worked alone when he served the Dark Kingdom. You could trust no one but yourself and even partnerships that had been forged could break down. Jadeite had seen it many times between the lower generals of the Dark Kingdom and kept himself apart. When working alone he did not have to worry about someone turning around and stabbing him in the back. Now he was not so sure. Casting a sidelong glance at his comrades Jadeite wondered if even now they would not hesitate to kill if the need be. Could he trust any of them? Zoisite and Kunzite had each other. Jadeite knew them well enough to know that they would not betray each other. What of Nephrite? He seemed to have as much faith in eternal as he did his stars and neither had come to their aid. Jadeite was starting to think that they might be alone in this hellish world after all. A hellish world that Jadeite himself had wanted to help Beryl achieve not long ago and now he felt shame in all that he had done. They had been fighting on the wrong side but evil prevailed even here. Jadeite shook his head and stared at the three kings. They were the Shitennou, the four heavenly kings, surely this meant something? Perhaps they could work together after all? Zoisite had saved both Nephrite and Jadeite now and he defended them all against Beryl.

Jadeite watched as Nephrite stepped through the portal leading out of the kingdom and as Kunzite stepped through he grabbed Zoisite's arm, stopping the little king from following his lover.

"What are you doing now? Let me go!" Zoisite reacted in typical Zoisite fashion, seething with rage and hostility at even this gentle touch.

"Do you know what happened back in the throne room?" Jadeite demanded, being a little too rough with the youngest king but conceding that it was necessary.

Zoisite sneered at Jadeite and struggled to push him away "Of course I don't. I thought I made that clear earlier?"

Jadeite, without warning, released the other man and took a step in the direction of the portal. Zoisite was telling the truth, he was satisfied with this. "Do you want to know?" he asked, looking over his shoulder at the man.

Zoisite's reply was a noncommittal snort followed by an "I don't know" which contradicted his earlier unafraid stance. "I don't know if I will like what we find out."

"What makes you say that?" Jadeite paused, curious at Zoisite's cryptic remarks.

"I don't know" he repeated, "I don't know why I keep saying these things. I don't know anything anymore Jadeite."

The shields wavered and Jadeite caught a glimpse of the Zoisite that only Kunzite was permitted to see. He was frightened, he was terrified of the unknown that was surging inside of him; he did not understand this any more than Jadeite did.

"I feel as though I am losing myself" came another quiet confession "Little by little... I feel as though I am dying inside" with these words Zoisite started to tremble, "I haven't felt myself since this" he indicated the new clothing.

Jadeite frowned, not sure what to make of this unusual statement. "Have you told Kunzite of this?" he asked instead. Zoisite shook his head and Jadeite added "Perhaps you should. Kunzite knows more of magics than any of us."

Zoisite shrugged and whispered softly before walking through the portal "I think it is almost too late."

Jadeite halted again, now even more confused than when he first started speaking with Zoisite. He knew they had to talk, to get things straightened out in their own minds. Jadeite also knew, without a doubt, that they had to start working as a team. There simply made not sense in arguing among themselves as well as having Beryl after their blood.

"I just don't know anymore" Jadeite murmured to himself, "Why isn't everything simple?"

"Jadeite?" he jumped slightly, not expecting to see Nephrite re-materialise in front of him. "Are you coming?"

The blond knew Nephrite had heard his mutterings but gave no sign that he wished to confide in the auburn haired man. In reality he had found Nephrite's arrogance and self-assurance to be more detestable than Zoisite's terrible temper or Kunzite's almost inhuman indifference to everything around him. At least with Zoisite or Kunzite you knew what you were dealing with. Nephrite had a ruthlessness inside of him, even now. Jadeite wondered how much of these character traits inside them all had been Beryl and how much had been them to start with.

"Jadeite?" Nephrite repeated impatiently.

The blond man nodded and followed the retreating auburn haired man.

Tokyo was as they had left it, nothing but ruins. Jadeite stepped hesitantly from the portal, expecting at any moment to be engulfed by Metallia's powers once again yet there was nothing. Nephrite had proved to them again that trusting in eternal had been a wise move. Jadeite was sure it was this strange entity that guided them now. He looked around, trying to recognise a landmark to pinpoint their exact location. Everything looked the same here; destruction had marred the city for all time.

"Where now Kunzaito-sama?" Zoisite asked, drawing Jadeite's attention once again. The little king hid in Kunzite's shadow, keeping to the older man as if his life depended on it.

"This way" Kunzite replied and without another word to his lover he started walking through the ruins, the robes he was wearing seeming too colourful and out of place across the blackened land.

"That way?" Jadeite called after him as Zoisite followed the older king not giving a thought to his own safety or where Kunzite led them now "What is that way Kunzite-sama?"

The king turned, suddenly his eyes looked troubled before that mask of unreadable indifference was back up again "We go this way" he said, as if trying to assure himself of this fact.

He doesn't know Jadeite realised he doesn't know why he wants to go that way. Is something drawing them there? If so then we must follow them.

Nephrite too had the same thoughts and without a word he started after the two kings. Jadeite reluctantly followed wondering if they weren't being led by eternal but something much more sinister. Then out of the darkness loomed a familiar building. Familiar to Jadeite not because he had ever laid eyes on it before but in a way of significance and timelessness.

"The Starlight Tower?" this was Nephrite. He too had never been to the building to Jadeite's knowledge, granted it was a famous landmark in Tokyo.

"Why are we here Kunzaito-sama?" Zoisite demanded of his lover, "Why did you bring us here?"

Jadeite felt Nephrite's confused gaze upon him before the other king's azure blue eyes flickered back to Kunzite, he too was searching for an explanation.

"I don't know" Kunzite shook his head, his voice wavering slightly, "I think there is something inside."

"Inside?" Zoisite echoed, "I haven't been inside since..." he broke off and uttered again "Why here?"

Jadeite was growing more and more agitated, firstly by the growing tension between two of his fellow kings and the fact that no explanation to their behaviour and the connection between them and this tower was being offered. He secondly, also was getting those feelings that Kunzite was. There was something important inside the tower. He took a step towards it, noting that Kunzite had also done so and only Zoisite and Nephrite held back.

The auburn haired man was speaking in a low voice to the youngest king, his words undetectable but the halfhearted sneer from Zoisite was unmistakeable.

Nephrite then, deciding that he would not gain any answers from Zoisite, started too towards the entrance. Now only the youngest king held back. He shivered, though it was not cold and called plaintively for Kunzite to come back.

"Kunzite-sama, please. I don't want to go in there. Please stop Kunzite-sama. I don't want to go in there."

"Then stay here. We shall not be gone for long" was the cold reply, icier than Jadeite had ever heard Kunzite talk to Zoisite before. Indeed the blond had rarely heard a cold word uttered between them both.

Zoisite pouted, folding his arms across his chest he made a small whimpering noise, designed Jadeite could only guess, to make Kunzite reconsider going inside the tower. If this technique had worked in the past then it seemed to have no effect on the oldest king now. Shaking his head, he turned, ignoring Zoisite and starting out once again towards the tower. Jadeite turned also, deciding that he would rather find out what drew them to the Starlight Tower than wait out here for Beryl's Youma to pick them off one by one.

"Jadeite-san?" Zoisite implored, now turning to the third king for help.

Jadeite again exchanged glances with Nephrite. The other king took a step in Kunzite's direction; the choice was clear. Jadeite scowled slightly and made his way back to where Zoisite was standing.

"What is going on?" he demanded quietly, "I am sick of your games Zoisite-san. Tell me what is so important about this tower?"

Zoisite took a deep breath, the look on his face suggested that he wanted to snap at Jadeite and then, as if recalling their conversation of earlier said instead; "It was in that tower. That was the place where the Moon Princess awoke... where I..." he broke off again, shrugging his slim shoulders and adding, "I do not like this place... it holds some bad memories."

Jadeite nodded, "I'm going inside with the others. You can wait here if you want too." Then without waiting for Zoisite's response, Jadeite hurried towards the glass double doors of the tower. Amazingly the glass was intact and he noted that the entire building seemed in pretty good shape considering the rest of Tokyo lay in complete ruin. It was almost sacred, he thought to himself, just like Galaxy Television.

Jadeite paused; his hand on the glass doors, readying to push them open, Kunzite and Nephrite had since gone inside. He felt the glass beneath his palm start to tremble, ever so slightly at first and then gain in ferocity.

"Kunzite-sama!" Zoisite cried as the doors burst open, flinging the blond to the ground. He hit the pavement, wincing as his back struck stone. The youngest king seemed torn between wanting to get as far away from the tower as he could and a desire to go after his Kunzite-sama. Jadeite stood, his gaze fixed on the doors, now banging noisily in the wind.

Silence ensured, aside from the clattering of the door. Jadeite, exhaled loudly, not even realising that he had been holding his breath. He stared at the doors and beyond that as the darkness within slowly began to light up, a golden glow being emitted from the tower. Jadeite winced; fear and fascination holding him in place as the light drew nearer, engulfing everything in its path. It was a soft light; it did not mean them any harm Jadeite suddenly realised. The ground at his feet was now bathed in the celestial glow and was creeping towards him. As it touched his left boot it stopped and behind him Jadeite heard Zoisite let out a whimper of fear. Remembering the younger man, Jadeite turned, frowning slightly as he observed the other king.

Zoisite too was rooted to the spot, held in position by a combination of fear and concern for his Kunzite-sama. The youngest king did not know, it would seem, whether to turn tail and flee as far away from the Starlight Tower and this light or race towards it, in a mad bid to rescue his lover from whatever fate threatened them now.

Jadeite stood, very slowly and started to back away, until he was almost on top of Zoisite. It was then she appeared. At first nothing but a silhouette in the doorway and then as the glow retreated, a golden tide flooding back towards the tower as if pulled by some invisible force, she became clearer. She was tall, she could almost stand shoulder to shoulder with Kunzite, Jadeite mused. Her hair was long, flowing down her back in waves, the sides pulled back into a single green-black bun at the back of her head. She was wearing a sailor fuku but she was not one of the ones Jadeite had ever fought against and nor would he expect her to be. The staff was what gave it away. Poised and at the ready it stood proud and tall at her side, she clasped it tightly in a gloved hand. She was a Senshi that only legends spoke of. Some said that she did not exist and some said that she was a ghost yet it could be no other standing before them.

The Sailor Senshi of time, Sailor Pluto.

That is right... and now I shall give to you the answers you have been searching for.

Then the golden glow rushed out from her staff again, this time engulfing the remaining kings. Jadeite heard Zoisite gasp as it took hold of them and with it came immense fatigue. The blond could feel Zoisite struggling and grasped the gloved hand of his fellow king in his own, as if to provide some comfort. If this worked, Jadeite was not to know. No sooner had he done this simple thing did unconsciousness claim him. His grip on Zoisite's hand went lax and he knew nothing more.


The End of Chapter 5 - Goto Chapter 6


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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