The Four Points

Chapter Eight: Guided by a New Era! The Outer Senshi's Mission

© 2006 by Shari


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Jadeite woke upon feeling the stone floor of the Starlight Tower beneath his cheek. He shivered, partly in a reaction to this cold and partly in horror at seeing his own death. All Jadeite had known was the Dark Kingdom; Beryl must have wiped all knowledge of their former lives from their minds. Guilt did not exist in the Dark Kingdom, Jadeite told himself... nor did love. He gazed down at his comrades. Nephrite was on his stomach, still unconscious, to Jadeite's right. Kunzite was to his left, the older man was moving slightly. Jadeite shivered again, hating this tower and hating being alone. He leaned over and shook Kunzite, to quicken his return to consciousness. Slowly his blue-grey eyes opened, taking in the bareness of the tower and then those eyes darkened as memories similar to Jadeite's cast a shadow across his mind. The blond was not sure what he expected from the oldest king. Shame, guilt perhaps even some fear. Kunzite pushed himself up off the floor; his expression was as inscrutable as ever. He then noted Jadeite staring at him.

"The past" was all the blond could force out, his mouth suddenly dry and he coughed slightly, unsure of what to make of Kunzite's closed reaction. The older man was shaken, Jadeite realised, and he, himself, was too. In the matter of an hour, everything Jadeite had known to be true had been taken away, his entire life in the Dark Kingdom had been built on a foundation of lies and twisted half-truths. He did not doubt what Sailor Pluto had shown him. The Senshi of Time could do so many things that the other Senshi could not. She was not of this world. But she had left so much unanswered. Why had she allowed the world to be plunged into darkness? Why had she shown them the tragic past? Was she Eternal? Who was Eternal? Jadeite bit his lip at this last question. He had an idea, but, like the rest of them, was loath to voice this.

"The past is dead" Kunzite must have sensed Jadeite's confusion and spoke, allowing strength to flow into his words, strength that Jadeite didn't even know he had. "We cannot change what happened. There is no sense in despairing over something that we had no control over. As far as I am concerned, we remained loyal to Endymion until the end. We have done our duty."

"You are wrong" Jadeite turned his head in Nephrite's direction. The auburn haired king was getting up, he was staggering unsteadily and Jadeite would have reached out to help him, had he not seen the lambent fury burning in his fellow king's eyes. "We failed Endymion that day. It shouldn't have happened. His father took us in, looked after us and we paid his son back by allowing our own bitterness to bring about the downfall of the kingdom."

"Have you forgotten your own words? The people of the Silver Millennium had a hold over Endymion. He was weak. It was his weakness that led to the downfall of his kingdom. For too long I have obeyed the will of another. First it was Endymion and then it was Beryl. I am free and intend to stay free."

"Weak? You are a fine one to talk about weakness. If you had just kept your hands off of Zoisite then this wouldn't have happened! The only ones to blame for the destruction of the kingdom are you and your little catamite."

Jadeite could sense the fury behind Kunzite's closed expression, even before he drew his sword and took a defiant step in Nephrite's direction. The auburn haired man had no weapon to speak of, but that didn't stop him from squaring up to the older king. This didn't bother Jadeite at all. What did he care if they killed each other? But this talk of Eternal... it had them all rattled and Jadeite was loath to wander the Earth alone.

"Kunzite, back off" he snapped, daring to grab the older man's wrist, pulling his sword hand down, away from Nephrite's throat. "This isn't helping."

Kunzite must have seen sense in his words, Jadeite knew, but his pride would not let him do what another told him and it was only when Jadeite distracted him by enquiring to know where Zoisite was that Kunzite sheathed his sword. The tension between them did not dissolve; instead it remained muted just below the surface.

Jadeite ignored this and scanned the room they were in. He guessed that they were about half way up. The elevator was to his right and to his left was the huge glass window that looked out over Tokyo. Apart from these features, the room was bare. The blond took a step towards the elevator. Kunzite did not have his hesitation and brushed passed Jadeite and practically punched the button that would open the doors. Jadeite did not expect it to work and was shocked when it groaned into life.

Kunzite walked straight inside and selected a floor, causing his fellow kings to break into a run to catch the elevator before the doors sealed shut. Jadeite was surprised that Nephrite had joined them, as Zoisite and Nephrite's hatred was legendry. The blond could only assume that Zoisite saving his life had changed Nephrite's opinion of him somewhat. Again the confusion, Jadeite frowned to himself. Zoisite could heal in the Silver Millennium, but he had not had the power to strike back at Beryl. Jadeite had never thought much of Zoisite. He had not thought much of any of the other kings until he was sentenced to Eternal Sleep and was given time enough to dwell upon such things. Did he care if they found the little king? Jadeite tried to tell himself that he did not, but that changed when the elevator doors opened again.

They were taken to the lobby and as the doors opened, Jadeite realised that Kunzite intended to start his search on the ground floor and sure enough, his gaze swept the scarce floor of the building and fastened upon a shape leaning up against the outside of the glass front doors. The Ice King moved and Jadeite followed him, keeping his hand on the hilt of his sword as he did so. Kunzite pulled the doors open and Zoisite slumped from his position against the glass and fell at Kunzite's feet, his dagger clattering loudly as it fell to the floor beside him. The sound was painfully loud and Jadeite knelt down, pulling the limp body of the forth king inside and then leaned over to shut the doors again.

"How did he get out there?" Nephrite wanted to know. The second king stood apart from them, his arms folded across his chest as he stared down at Zoisite's unconscious form.

"I don't know. Zoisite?" Jadeite knelt back down beside the younger man and shook him roughly. To his surprise, Kunzite knelt down beside him, he held Zoisite's dagger in one hand as he studied his lover's almost grey complexion.

Kunzite shrugged, ignoring the men and concentrating on the smaller king, willing him to wake. He did. Very slowly his eyelids fluttered before opening completely. For a second Kunzite was stunned at the radiant beauty in those green pools, even more so than ever before. He felt his body becoming aroused simply by holding the delicate creature in his arms. Biting his lip, hard, to force down desires that would have to wait until they were somewhere a little more private, Kunzite requested to know what Zoisite had been doing outside. The reaction to this was typical Sakura fury.

"How the hell should I know?" he snapped, "That bitch Sailor Pluto must really have it in for me! I hate this! I hate waking up alone..." he trembled slightly at this last statement and then stood, roughly pushing away from his lover, pausing only to straighten out his uniform and untangle himself from the flowing cape. Doing this caused him to stumble and had Kunzite not caught him then Zoisite would have fallen. Instead of his usual gratitude where concerning his lover, Zoisite reacted violently to his touch and snarled out "I do not need your help!"

Kunzite was too stunned to react to this. He took an involuntary step backwards, not sure what to say or do.

Zoisite saw the confession in his eyes and his expression changed. Full of remorse he tumbled into Kunzite's arms whispering his apologies over and over. The older man nodded, to show that amends had been made and stepped back from the embrace, wondering the same question that formed on his lover's lips.

"Where to now, Kunzite-sama?"

Kunzite in all honestly did not know, but the Starlight Tower made him feel uneasy and he was eager to get away from it sooner rather than later.

"What about my mansion just north of the city?" Nephrite suggested, "If it is still there," he added as an after thought.

Kunzite nodded, this seemed like a sensible option. Nephrite's Earth home, purchased under his alias Sanjouin Masato, was unknown to most in the Dark Kingdom and indeed even Jadeite looked surprised at this divulgence from the auburn haired man.

With this silent agreement that Nephrite's proposed option was the most sensible and indeed the only one Kunzite could think of. He had never really considered Earth to be of any use other than providing energy to feed the Great Ruler and as far as Kunzite knew Zoisite and Jadeite had not bothered to create Earth identities. He was not going to admit to this however and simply suggested to Nephrite that he might want to lead the way, as Zoisite had only visited the house via teleport and this was obviously out of the question. Nephrite agreed with this and led the way silently down darkened streets. The darkness made Kunzite uncomfortable and he began questioning his decision to leave the tower so quickly. Perhaps they should have stayed on there until morning? Youma would roam the streets at night and without powers they were helpless. This brought about another train of thought. Zoisite. Kunzite cast a wary glance at the man beside him. Zoisite was tired... they all were. The little king stifled a yawn and smiled slightly when he saw Kunzite watching him and then shyly reached out and took Kunzite's hand in his own. Kunzite was stunned slightly and then sensing Zoisite's need and held on tightly to the shaking grip as they walked in silence down Tokyo's deserted streets.

* * *

He huddled in the space, pushing himself back against an unseen wall, shivering in the moonlight. The light fell on his features and felt strangely comforting, as it was frightening. He whimpered, pushing back further still, uttering a low sob, which sounded suspiciously like "Kunzaito-sama."

Where was his lover? Why was he continuously waking up alone? Zoisite shuddered; he hated being alone. Even Jadeite or Nephrite's company would be preferable to this dark existence. After the vision, a vision of his past that they could all witness, Zoisite had found himself drifting in this endlessness of time and space. Icy panic had hit him; he wanted to scream but could not bring himself too for fear that his cries would attract other beings aside from Kunzite-sama... Youma or Beryl herself; the bitch queen of the Dark Kingdom who wanted Zoisite dead for reasons and events that Zoisite himself could not even comprehend. What was happening to him?

"Do you wish to understand?"

"W-who? Who said that?" he dared raise his voice above the whisper it had grown accustomed too. He peered out from behind locks of curled golden hair that had fallen across his vision due to his despair.

The Sailor Senshi of time stood over him. Her presence striking fear into the core of his heart as realisation dawned in Zoisite's eyes.

"No! Go away! Leave me alone!"

She smiled, kneeling down beside him to push that hair back "Yes you do but I think you already know what happened that day... I think you know what you are."

"What I am? No..." a tear trickled free, rolling down his cheek to be caught in a gloved hand "I'm one of Endymion's guardians... I was a slave to Beryl and the Dark Kingdom. I don't know what you want but... please... leave me alone."

Sailor Pluto's gaze softened "You are afraid... I understand that. Despite the legends I am not heartless."

"It's taking me over... I'm losing myself."

"Only for as long as you fight it."

"I don't want this! I'm not... I'm not her!"

"You embraced this willingly."

"To save Kunzite-sama! I only want us to be together."

Pluto frowned, sympathy fleeing her eyes, "You have a weak heart" she said coldly before adding "But she would not have chosen you for this if she did not believe in you" she smiled, pulling the trembling man into her arms "Allow me to explain" she urged him "At least give me that much."

* * *

"How could you let them escape? No one can escape my darkness! This is unforgivable!"

Endymion winced as the grating tenor of his Queen grew louder... and louder. She was furious when he had reluctantly returned to her chambers to inform her of the Shitennou's escape. Of course inwardly Endymion could not be happier at this turn of events. Smirking slightly he boldly asked why Beryl would need such incompetent kings when she already had him, her most humble and willing servant. Beryl's reaction was to aim a blast of red energy straight at the object of her desires, knocking him back into the wall.

Endymion winced, getting up slowly, keep his gaze fixed to the ground. "I beg forgiveness your majesty," he whispered though inside he was seething.

Beryl ignored this act of submission "Queen Metallia-sama tells me that they have already met with Sailor Pluto and that she has restored their memories of the old kingdom." The red haired demon paused, unsure how far to go. If Endymion became suspicious of his own past and how he was connected to the Shitennou...

"My Queen?" he enquired, looking like the curious Prince she had so often watched from afar.

"I will allow your mistakes concerning the Shitennou to go unpunished... this time. Now go... find them and bring Zoisite back here. Metallia-sama would like to meet him."

Inwardly Beryl trembled as Endymion bowed and in a flash of red light left her side. Metallia had been adamant that she now dealt with the youngest king herself. Beryl did not like it. Metallia, she knew, could not be trusted. The Queen of the Darkness did not take pleasure in torturing traitors in front of her court, as Beryl had planned to do. Metallia must have sensed the power... power that Beryl wished to harness for herself. Of course sending Endymion to simply retrieve the kings would not be enough. Beryl smirked to herself. There were other ways. Her Shitennou seemed to forget that she knew everything about them. She knew of every weakness and knew how to play them against each other. There were other ways to obtain her goal and only then would she have the power to rid herself of Metallia... She had been wrong. The Shitennou were going to be of use after all.

* * *

"Why did you have to have your mansion built so far from the city?" Zoisite hissed half-heartedly at Nephrite as they approached the outskirts of Tokyo. Like Kunzite, Zoisite hated each minute of walking around in the darkness and he was sure he could sense something following them.

He gripped Kunzite's hand tighter, grateful for this contact with the man he loved. As they continued, Nephrite not rising to Zoisite's bait and stoically ignoring the little king, his mind wandered. He thought of the past and what had happened because of the choices he had made. Zoisite knew, if presented with the same choices again, he would not do a thing differently. A thousand years serving the devil was well worth even one night with Kunzite-sama. Of course though Pluto had shown them what happened, Zoisite did not recall it. He had scoffed at the idea that he and 'cape boy' were even on speaking terms, let alone best friends.

He yawned, feeling his eyes threatening to close, and he bumped against Kunzite as he struggled to force himself to remain awake.

"How much further?" his lover demanded icily "We are all tired."

"Not too far now" Nephrite replied, for once the man was being of some use, Zoisite thought idly before again stumbling as fatigue threatened to overwhelm him. Yet he knew that sleep was not the only problem.

"We will stop for a minute," Kunzite decreed, pausing beside a small torn down bakery shop.

Jadeite looked nervously about, his hand on his sword. Nephrite too was on the defensive, though he had no weapon to speak of. Zoisite sighed, just grateful for the rest, and slumped down on the concrete, massaging his throbbing temples as he did so.

"Will he even make it?" Nephrite nodded in his direction. Zoisite managed a half-hearted scowl before his head dropped onto his chest, eyelids sliding closed.

"He just needs to rest" Kunzite snapped back, "We are all tired."

"We have to look after him," Jadeite sounded resentful, and Zoisite was surprised to find that he did not hate the blond for this. In fact he was growing tired of them tiptoeing around him.

"Hold your tongue unless you wish for me to cut it" Kunzite threatened the man. Instead of silencing him Jadeite shot back with:

"Why? We all want to know what is going on? Isn't it time he started talking? Sailor Pluto was not much help. She did not tell us anything but she must have told him."

Zoisite froze, looking up from behind a curtain of coppery curls. He trembled slightly.

"She did not tell me anything" he lied softly, his eyes locking with Kunzite's.

Don't ask me this... please... You cannot possibly understand. I don't want to talk about this yet... I can't...

Kunzite nodded, as if reading Zoisite's sleep filled mind "We will continue to the mansion, get some rest and come morning Zoisite will tell me anything he knows."

Again the ponytailed king concurred, knowing that he would lie to them again in the morning. Sighing he again rested his head in his hands, struggling to stay conscious. Jadeite did not seem happy with this idea and Zoisite supposed it was because he did not trust Kunzite to divulge any information that Zoisite might tell him.

After what seemed an age, Nephrite voiced his thoughts of getting going again "It is dangerous to stay here" he added as an afterthought. "Beryl, I imagine, is beside herself with fury that we managed to escape the Dark Kingdom." Zoisite sniggered at this, he could very well picture the enraged Queen screaming and ranting at the Youma court.

"Which means" Nephrite continued, "That she will not rest until she has taken revenge upon us... upon you" he nodded at Zoisite.

Zoisite sighed, standing up whilst replying to Kunzite's concerns that he was fine. "Don't you think I know that?" he snapped at Nephrite, in a bid to crush the fear that threatened to burst over. Gods... Beryl would... if she... He forced this down and smirked, "I should think she would be more worried about her own safety and that of her darling Endymion's, don't you?"

Nephrite did not seem sure how to take this and said nothing and even Zoisite did not trust his own words. How could he fight Beryl when he did not even know how he had managed it before?

Shaking his head he took up his place at Kunzite's side. Again silence ensured as they reached the outer limits of the city and started into the surrounding woodland.

Zoisite, subconsciously, leaned closer to his lover, gripping the offered hand tighter than before. He hated these woods... who knew what creatures could be lurking in the darkness? Why did Nephrite have to build his mansion so far out of Tokyo? He shivered, despite his uniform. It was getting colder. Zoisite longed for a hot bath, something to eat, a place to sleep without fear of being hunted down by Youma but most of all he longed for this to be a dream... a nightmare and he would wake up in the Dark Kingdom once more, preferably in Kunzite's arms. The past... he didn't want to know of it, he didn't want this... he didn't want the responsibility.

"We're here" Nephrite's voice filtered through his thoughts. Zoisite sighed, mostly in relief, when he saw the roof of the mansion peaking between some closely knit trees.

"Is it fully furnished?" Zoisite wanted to know, recalling the bare star room and wondering if his dreams of a hot bath and a place to sleep were about to be shattered.

"Of course" Nephrite scowled slightly at this request "The rooms you saw had to be bare for my magics to work. The rest of the house is fully furnished."

"Thank Kami-sama for that" Zoisite muttered.

Now they had reached the gates. Nephrite paused, a frown marring his face "Zoisite?"

"What?"

"When I died did you ever come back here?"

"No. Why would I want to do that?"

Nephrite shrugged indicating the gates "The lock is broken that is all."

His lover had seen them too and had already drawn his sword and Jadeite did the same. Slowly the two figures stepped out of the trees, what little light was left from the moon shone down upon them. Zoisite gasped, he had been expecting Youma, Endymion or even Beryl herself but not...

"Guided by a new era, Sailor Uranus acts with elegance."

"Likewise, Sailor Neptune acts with grace."

"Sailor Senshi?"

* * *

The events that followed passed in a blur to the fatigued king. From the little he did manage to understand it would seem that these Senshi, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune were the last resistance against Beryl and had taken up residence in Nephrite's mansion as it was the only building in Tokyo that Beryl was unaware of. Uranus and Neptune had awakened soon after the death of the 'Inner Senshi' and resolved to free the planet from the Dark Kingdom's rule. They had also, after Beryl destroyed Tokyo, found survivors and had brought them back to the mansion. There were but a handful and not enough to use in any strike against the Dark Kingdom. The Outer Senshi knew whom they were, demanding that they disarm before being allowed admittance to the mansion. Nephrite was particularly infuriated seeing that the mansion had belonged to him to start with but they were too tired to argue. For the most part Uranus and Neptune had been most gracious, considering who they had once been. Zoisite was following Neptune now, as she led the youngest king and his lover down the corridors of the mansion in silence, pausing only when they reached a door at the end of a long corridor.

"You can sleep here. The bed is a double but seeing as you have not let go of his hand for the entire evening that will not pose too much of a problem" Neptune observed casually, addressing Kunzite.

"Who are you?" was his reply, "How do you know who we are? Beryl killed all the Senshi. How did you survive?"

Neptune shook her head. "You are tired. We will speak of this come morning."

"Very well" Kunzite replied after taking a moment or two to consider this "We will wait until then."

Neptune smiled again. "Until then" and then she was gone, turning and walking back the way she had come. Zoisite scowled in the direction of the green haired Senshi. Neptune was pretty, he noted uncomfortably and he did not like the way Kunzite-sama had been looking at her.

"You needn't worry" the older man whispered as he guided Zoisite into the room, "She has a lover."

Zoisite debated pouting anyway. If he did then Kunzite-sama would tell him how beautiful he was and... he sighed. He was too tired to bother. Instead he took a moment to look around the room they found themselves in. It was not as big as Zoisite would have liked, the window was painted shut and had torn net curtains hanging across it, and the curtain rail however was bent at an angle. The bed was made out of solid oak, slightly stained white curtains hung around the tall posters and a red duvet was folded neatly on one side of the bed. There was no other furniture save for a small bookcase against the far wall. The walls themselves were bare.

"This is what he calls decorating?" Zoisite asked himself, as he crossed the bare room and opened the adjourning door; a bathroom. It even had a bath! Zoisite gazed at the white tub longingly and then back at Kunzite.

"Do you mind?" he asked of his lover. Kunzite looked up, he had been in the process of smoothing out the duvet across the bed.

"No" was the soft reply.

Zoisite leaned over the tub and tried the facet. The pipes groaned and then the tap burst into life... the water was even warm! Smiling gratefully, Zoisite ditched his uniform, tossing the articles of clothing carelessly to the wooden floor. When the bath was almost full, Zoisite climbed in, sighing at the feel of the warm water on his skin. Gods he needed this... a chance to relax...He laid back, his head resting against the back of the tub thinking of nothing in particular, simply enjoying the sensation of the water and the calm it radiated. It was too bad, he thought, that there were no bubbles. He used to like that, in the Dark Kingdom and before in the Earth palace, he used to like running the water and pouring an entire bottle of bubble bath in until the bath overflowed and then just staying in there forever, listening to the voices in the next room. There were no voices at all; the occasional sounds from the bedroom that indicated that Kunzite was still awake. Soon the water began to cool. Zoisite shivered and reluctantly climbed out of the tub, finding a single towel hung over a radiator he quickly dried himself off and ventured back into the bedroom. Kunzite looked up from the bed, setting down the book he had been reading to take in the sight of his lover padding across the room to meet him. Zoisite shivered again, this time not because of the cold. He licked his lips nervously as Kunzite motioned for him to be seated beside him. Zoisite sat, nervously pulling at the damp towel around his waist. Kunzite drew the smaller body to him, and Zoisite leaned into this contact, resting his head against Kunzite's shoulder, his eyes starting to close.

"Zoisaito" he drew back slightly just as Kunzite's lips brushed his. Gods he was too tired... she was... he could feel it, the panic closing in around his chest, tightening... he couldn't breath.

"Kunzite-sama!" he gasped as the older man eased him back against the pillows, the towel dropping to the floor.

"What is it?"

"N-nothing..." he drew a shaking breath, the panic subsiding as quickly as it had come. Still Kunzite hesitated, rolling into the space beside him.

"If you are too tired..."

"No... yes... I don't know." Zoisite lowered his gaze, refusing to meet Kunzite's eyes as a blush crept across his cheeks. Kunzite frowned at this and asked what it was he had done to make Zoisite so uncomfortable.

"Nothing" Zoisite snapped, a little angrily.

"You have been like this for days" Kunzite casually observed, "What is wrong?"

Zoisite raised his head to stare at his lover. How could he possibly...? He couldn't... so did the only thing that he could do. He leaned over and planted a soft kiss on Kunzite's lips. The panic returned as he felt Kunzite's arms around his waist, pulling Zoisite against his body as the kiss deepened. Yet with that panic came anger from the little king. That rebellious streak once again flared up and he firmly crushed all other thoughts and feelings as Kunzite manoeuvred them so that Zoisite was underneath. Breaking the kiss the younger king smiled shyly, "Suddenly I don't feel quite so tired, Kunzaito-sama."

In the aftermath Zoisite lay quietly in his lover's arms, content to listen to the beating of his heart until sleep claimed him. Still, a vicious sense of triumph burned through him as he thought of the moments of ecstasy and how he had fought back on his own to obtain this. For a few seconds he imagined again that he was back in the Dark Kingdom. The Dark Kingdom suddenly seemed safe...

"Zoisaito?" Kunzite's voice jolted him from his near sleep. The younger king, not wanted to talk it would seem simply snuggled into Kunzite's arms, absently rubbing his cheek against the expanse of skin beneath it.

"Zoisaito? We must talk" this statement sounded foreign, strange coming from his lover. Kunzite rarely talked to Zoisite concerning their relationship, both of them had been content to show their affection in physical ways rather than actually speaking and even if Zoisite sought reassurance that Kunzite loved him, the older man did not volunteer such statements.

"What about?"

"Tomorrow. I do not want you thinking that the appearance of these Senshi have put off your own explanations."

"Explanations?" Zoisite feigned a yawn, "I do not know what you mean Kunzite-sama."

"What happened in Beryl's throne room?"

Zoisite made a small noise and leaned up, kissing his lover as a diversionary tactic. Kunzite tangled a hand in Zoisite's coppery hair, pulling his head back and staring deep into those green eyes.

"What happened?"

"I don't know. Damn it, Kunzite-sama. Why must we keep speaking of this? I don't know!"

"Jadeite and Nephrite will not be as understanding as I. You must tell me what you know and then I can help you. If you keep this to yourself then I cannot protect you."

"And what makes you think I want your protection?" Zoisite pulled free from the embrace and rolled onto his side, his back facing Kunzite as he muttered softly "Goodnight Kunzaito-sama."

I'm sorry Kunzite-sama... I'm so sorry...

* * *

When Kunzite woke the next morning, Zoisite was still curled up in the other side of the bed fast asleep. The older man wished that sleep had come as readily to him as it had to the little man. He had lain awake until the small hours, turning over the words spoken between himself and his lover so many times, struggling to find an answer hidden within their depths. There was none, just an emptiness and fear that was slowly taking over the man beside him. Zoisite had not been like this when they first awoke in the desert. Those few moments in Beryl's throne room did something to the king, something that Zoisite knew of and was not explaining. What could possibly be so terrible?

A knock at the door disturbed Kunzite from his thoughts, Quickly pulling on his clothes of the night before, whilst wishing that the Senshi had brought him a change of attire, Kunzite went to the door. Jadeite stood the other side of it. The blond, too, was wearing his clothes from before. He looked to have had a better night than Kunzite. Jadeite seemed calmer; refreshed... he even smiled slightly when he saw Zoisite curled up in bed still.

"I came to tell you that Haruka-san requires our presence for breakfast" Jadeite said.

"Haruka-san?"

"Sailor Uranus"

Kunzite nodded, loath to take orders from a Sailor Senshi he added, "When we are ready."

Jadeite chuckled, "You have the same misgivings as Nephrite. He was not exactly thrilled at being summoned either."

"Zoisaito is still asleep" was the only reply offered, "When he is ready we shall be glad to join them."

Jadeite said nothing more to this and excused himself. Kunzite shut the door and turned back to the bed. Zoisite was awake now, sleepy green eyes watching his lover.

"Did you hear that?" Kunzite asked icily.

Zoisite confirmed that he did and slowly got up, pulling on his uniform. He cursed as he struggled to fasten the cape. Kunzite smiled slightly, silently moving to help his lover with that particular piece of clothing.

"Kunzite-sama?" Zoisite asked hesitantly as they moved towards the door. "Do you... are you angry at me for last night?"

"Why would I be angry?" Kunzite demanded softly, "I merely gave you the opportunity of confiding in me and you threw it back in my face. Of course I am not angry Zoisaito, a little hurt perhaps but not angry."

"Hurt?" Zoisite looked as through he had been slapped. Kunzite, too, was slightly stunned by this confession. When had he ever admitted feelings to anyone? Still, he was hurt, Kunzite realised. Zoisite had always confided in him, hells the youngest king always made sure, that if something were wrong, that Kunzite knew about it! What had changed? His lover had changed and Kunzite was not sure that he liked this. There were glimpses of the man he had been before all of this, but he had not behaved how he did normally since they awoke in the desert. Yet now the little man had thrown his arms around Kunzite's waist, whispering apologies. Kunzite automatically wrapped his arms around Zoisite, returning the embrace, only because it was expected of him.

"I'm sorry Kunzite-sama" Zoisite whispered, as his hold tightened and Kunzite felt tears soaking his clothes. "I'm afraid... I don't want to hurt you... I would rather die than cause you pain."

Kunzite, so absorbed in comforting the man in his arms, did not note the change until Zoisite pulled back, a gasp of dismay on his lips. Frowning Kunzite met his gaze, emerald eyes fixed on the first king.

"What?" he demanded, a little roughly.

"Y-your clothes" the little king stumbled back.

Kunzite looked down at himself and was appalled to find that the shrine robes had gone, he was now wearing an exact duplicate of the uniform that Zoisite wore, except for the flap that held his jacket closed was open, just as it had been on his previous uniform and rather than the small dagger, his sword from the old kingdom was sheathed at his side.

"What happened?" he asked of Zoisite "What have you done?"

Zoisite stumbled back further, his eyes widening in fear "I don't know! I don't know! I don't know!"

Even now Kunzite could still see the faint outlines of pinkish light, rapidly fading as he stared down at his new attire. The oldest king wanted to shake Zoisite, shout at him, and demand that he spoke the truth but the little one had collapsed beside the bed, ragged sobs shuddering his body. Instead Kunzite knelt down beside him, a hand placed on Zoisite's forehead. There was a concentration of power there, Kunzite noted. He could feel it surging through the youngest king. It was more power than even Kunzite had been granted under Beryl's control.

"What are you?" he whispered.

Silence is approaching

"What are you?" Kunzite repeated, taking hold of his lover by the shoulders and shaking him, as he had wanted to do, "What have you done with him?"

"Kunzite?" the door opened and Nephrite entered, followed by Sailor Neptune. "We've got a problem..." he broke off, when he saw the tight grip Kunzite had on Zoisite, and the clothes he now wore, clothes that mirrored Nephrite's own garments.

"What happened?" Kunzite asked, releasing Zoisite and standing to face the two visitors.

Nephrite shrugged, "I was on my way downstairs and suddenly... there was this light. It covered me and when I could see again I was wearing this, and I had this" he showed Kunzite his sword, it gleamed in the early morning light, the blade repaired.

"Jadeite-san too" Neptune added softly, "And you it would seem" she looked pointedly at Kunzite.

"What is going on?" Nephrite demanded, "And what happened to him?" he gestured to Zoisite, who was curled up against the bed.

"He needs something to eat" Kunzite replied, wondering why he was defending his lover still, but more so questioning his actions of the minute before.

What are you? What have you done with him?

Kunzite did not understand what he had just demanded of Zoisite. What had he meant? Kunzite shook his head and extended a hand to the forth king, pulling him and wrapping an arm around the trembling shoulders to steady him. What had he meant? In all honestly, Kunzite did not know.

* * *

Nephrite watched curiously, as Kunzite helped Zoisite down the stairs, being unusually attentive towards his lover when it was normally Zoisite who was the devoted partner. He exchanged glances with Michiru; the Sailor Senshi seemed as confused as he felt. Nephrite had yet to gain any answers from either parties and today he resolved to do so. Jadeite and Haruka were already seated at the small breakfast table and were helping themselves to some cereal. Nephrite scowled slightly, recalling that the Sailor Senshi were profiting off of his foresight to keep the cellar of his dwelling well stocked and also to install an electric generator to power and heat his vast mansion home. It was probably why they chose to stay here, the auburn haired man thought angrily as he slumped into a seat beside the blond king. Michiru took a seat beside her partner, leaving the two chairs to Nephrite's left vacant for the two kings. He watched, again with a mixture of curiosity and confusion as Kunzite helped Zoisite to sit down, tenderly stroking the cheek of the younger man with a gloved hand, earning a small smile from the usually hostile Sakura. Jadeite too was confused at these actions and thus they ate in silence, not even the Sailor Senshi spoke a word until Michiru cleared away the breakfast things and said:

"We all want answers. I can tell that you do not trust us and I let me assure you that we do not entirely believe your story either."

Nephrite had told the Senshi that they had simply managed to avoid Beryl and Endymion and found their way to the Starlight Tower where Sailor Pluto had shown them their past. He had left out the little details of Zoisite's actions though from the uniforms they now all wore, Nephrite knew they would have to tell the truth... or at least Zoisite would.

"As an act of good faith between us" Haruka continued for her lover "We shall divulge our tale first."

"How gracious of you" Zoisite half-heartedly sneered at the Senshi. The little king obviously did not trust them and Nephrite himself was a little nervous of them. After all Sailor Senshi had a clear cut view of good and evil and Nephrite, at the present, was not sure which side they would be considered to be on.

Ignoring Zoisite, Haruka continued.

"We were awakened soon after the Earth fell to Beryl and the Dark Kingdom. Sailor Pluto came to us and told us of our destinies as the Outer Senshi of the Solar System and the fate of our Princess. We fought as hard as we could but we alone cannot stand against the darkness. We retreated, taking with us those few survivors of the attack on Tokyo, to this mansion. Beryl does not know of it and it is fully equipped with everything we need. That was a year ago."

"A year ago?" Jadeite repeated, the other kings too were stunned into silence by this statement. A year? That was not possible?

"But we... how can this be... when we awoke we saw the sunspots. Metallia could have only just awakened when we were brought back. How can this be possible?" Nephrite demanded.

"Time has been distorted since it happened" Michiru answered, "Sailor Pluto has been struggling to control the flow of time and keep it safe from Beryl's grasp. If she were to fall then there would be no hope."

So the hours we were walking for in desert was really a year in Tokyo, Nephrite was astounded by this revelation but seeing as nothing else made sense on this planet anymore he was inclined to believe them.

"Sailor Pluto dares not walk upon the Earth for fear of capture" Haruka continued, "That is why we fight alone."

"You fight the Dark Kingdom?" Kunzite repeated, his eyes narrowing at this statement "You two alone against the vast armies that Beryl can call forth?"

"No. We do not fight the Dark Kingdom directly. There is another power that is also sought by Beryl. We fight that and try to keep it from the Dark Kingdom."

"What do you mean? What other power?" Jadeite asked.

"They wish to take this world from Beryl as a gift for their own great leader. We have been fighting them for if they succeed then Beryl plans to strike. If she obtains the darkness from these enemies then there will be no hope for this planet. Beryl will be able to cast out Metallia and become the darkness itself. She will be unstoppable."

"This power?" Nephrite enquired, "Who are they?"

"They call themselves the Death Busters."


The End of Chapter 8 - Goto Chapter 9


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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