The Four Points

Chapter Ten: I Don't Love You Anymore! Zoisite's Shock Confession

© 2006 by Shari


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Nephrite winced, staggering backwards; a hand raised to gingerly touch his cheek. It hurt, not as much as the thorns the day he died but enough to make him realise that this must be but a tiny amount of the pain he had put Naru through. Even the exhilaration that she was alive did not break through the utter shock that she had actually struck him and then hugged him, as though offering an apology that was somehow insincere. The boy on her arm looked blankly on through thick glasses. Nephrite frowned at his presence and the boy quailed slightly, requesting to know what was going on.

"Nothing" Naru whispered, blue eyes burning with tears, confusion and what Nephrite hoped was some love. Did she still love him? He loved her. Gods he loved her more now than ever before. Naru had blossomed in the year that they had spent apart. Her face had thinned and her hair softened, curly locks just brushing sparkling blue eyes that still held that innocent look that Nephrite had once scorned and now loved. Even through the bulk of the kimono, Nephrite could see that she had slimmed down; she now had hips, bigger breasts... Nephrite bit his lower lip; suddenly aware of the effect these thoughts were having on his body. Instead he struggled for something to say. Anything to wash away all the hurt... the pain... the regret at what might have been.

Naru waited, then that glimmer of hope in her eyes faded when she realised that the words she had longed for were not forthcoming.

"Naru-chan?" the boy requested again, "Who is he?"

"I don't know"

"But you slapped him?"

"I said I don't know!" Naru rounded on him "Come on. It's getting cold out here. I don't know who he is anymore."

"Naru" Nephrite grabbed her arm, causing the girl to flinch as he dug his hand into her soft skin. "Wait. I can explain."

She shook her head, "I can't... please don't. I don't want to hear it... not now. Only when you decide to tell me the truth though, God help me, Haruka-san has told me enough times. I know who Usagi was and I know who you were."

"I am not that person anymore."

"I know" her gaze softened just a little as Nephrite released her arm "I don't think you know who you are."

This time Nephrite made not attempt to stop her leaving.

I don't think you know who you are.

No, I don't. I don't know who any of us are anymore.

* * *

For Jadeite, the next week passed in an uneventful haze. They had all seemed to have slipped into an uneasy routine. Jadeite spent his days with Hotaru, without the Outer Senshi knowing of course, for Hotaru advised him that they would not like it. Why did he spend all this time with her? Jadeite was damned if he knew. There was something about her... a secret to uncover perhaps. He had assumed that Michiru and Haruka had rescued Hotaru as they did the other survivors yet it did not quite fit. Why did they have her stay in the piano room, away from everyone? What kind of life was that for a girl? Still Hotaru seemed quite content, happy with her frequent visits from the blond king. She rarely spoke of herself, and when she did, she was sad, as if her life was already over.

Apart from Zoisite's occasional visits to Hotaru, to help her work on her song, Jadeite had not spoken to the other kings. Nephrite spent his days with the Outer Senshi learning from them what he could about the Heart Snatchers. As far as Jadeite knew, the auburn haired king had not mentioned what Zoisite had said the purpose of their rebirth was, though he decided that they possibly already knew. Michiru, at least, was very perceptive and would guess that there was something not quite right. Jadeite still did not trust them. To him they were the enemy as much as Beryl; he still held the mindset that the Sailor Senshi could not be relied upon. Haruka and Michiru had a hidden agenda and had never asked any of the kings to accompany them into Tokyo to try to locate the base of the enemy before Beryl's minions found it and attempted to harness the power for themselves. Of course the Outer Senshi had the same goal that Beryl did; to acquire the powers of the Death Busters and destroy the Dark Kingdom. They had no wish to heed Sailor Pluto's words that it was the Shitennou who were reborn for this purpose and indeed Jadeite was not going to get involved. He did not want this; he was not interested in saving this world. This was not cowardice, it was realism. What could he do against Beryl's infinite Youma armies and the brainwashed Prince Endymion? He had no powers in this world. Only Zoisite had a chance against any of them and the youngest king had no desire to become the next Sailor Moon. Even Kunzite was powerless. Their leader kept to himself, only Zoisite was permitted to stay at his side. A part of Jadeite wished that Kunzite would come and announce that he knew what to do, that there was a way out of this nightmare they were living. The blond laughed bitterly to himself. Now he was the one being foolish. Kunzite did not care about him, any sort of bond between the Shitennou had been severed the day they died in the Earth palace.

That is not true, Zoisite and Kunzite's love survived. If that did then perhaps there is hope...

"Jadeite-san?" Hotaru peered at him with huge violet eyes, "What are you thinking about? Do you worry about Zoi-chan? Are you close?"

"No... I don't know... perhaps we were... long ago." Pluto had not shown them exactly how close the Shitennou had been. Indeed Jadeite was sure that he had been closer to Nephrite than any of the others. Zoisite and Nephrite had hated each other even then...

If their hatred survived...

Jadeite had always cut himself off from them, claiming that he did not need anyone. He had not wanted the guardianship until King Endymion had shown him his son, Prince Mamoru. Jadeite had wanted to go home. He had secretly resented the others and the course his life had taken. King Endymion had made a lot of empty promises. How did he feel about the others now?

"You don't need to worry about Zoi-chan" Hotaru smiled slightly, "I'm going to look after him. I'm going to make sure he never hurts again."

Jadeite returned her smile; Hotaru could be really sweet towards Zoisite at times. The blond wondered if she had a crush on him. For some reason he felt angry at this prospect and was glad that Zoisite did not come to see the girl that often. Jadeite liked having Hotaru to himself.

"I've been practicing like Zoi-chan said" Hotaru broke the suddenly tense atmosphere by gesturing to the piano "Would you like to hear our song again?"

Jadeite nodded, he felt uneasy whenever she played. Hotaru was not like other girls. She was weak, prone to suddenly collapsing without warning. The first time Jadeite witnessed this he had nearly called for Haruka until Hotaru came around and explained. It also explained her childish behaviour. Hotaru had never had any friends at school. The other children had not liked her and called her weird. Jadeite tried telling himself that here was just a sweet and lonely girl, though he did not quite believe it himself. She had been destined to befriend Tsukino Usagi's daughter had Usagi lived, or so Michiru had explained.

"Destines can change" Hotaru had said to this, "Even if it looks as though there is no hope, one path can join another and we will all end up in the same place at the end."

Jadeite didn't know much about destiny and chose not to dwell upon it. What mattered was what was here. Still the Dark Kingdom was a threat. Were the Outer Senshi enough to defeat it? Jadeite did not know, he suddenly didn't care, as Hotaru started to play.

* * *

"I can't" Zoisite snapped, folding his arms across his chest, he turned away from his lover, jutting out his lower lip in a pout. Kunzite sighed, over the last week Zoisite had been through yet another personality transplant. He threw jealous rages if Kunzite went too near Michiru, convinced that Kunzite found her more attractive than him, Zoisite and Nephrite had been at each other's throats for most of the week. Zoisite would deliberately rile the older king; every word that came out of his mouth and was directed at Nephrite was pure poison. Nephrite sometimes retaliated and sometimes ignored him. The rest of the time he was either with the girl, Hotaru, or in the bedroom.

Talk to him... find out what is truly bothering him.

"Zoisite"

"Yes, Kunzaito-sama?" he looked up as Kunzite pulled him into an embrace.

"You do not try hard enough. I know you can do this."

Zoisite lowered his eyes and snuggled into his lover's arms "I do try Kunzaito-sama. I would do anything..."

Kunzite sighed, for the past week he had been attempting to find out more about Zoisite's new powers. To do this he had constructed various training exercises, which was difficult enough to do, as there was a shortage of targets and equipment. Today, Kunzite was trying to teach Zoisite how to levitate objects with his powers. Zoisite was especially reluctant to do this as the results of using his powers usually ended up in something being set on fire.

"Why don't you try a little harder?" he suggested finally, releasing the younger man and nodding towards the vase set upon a table on the other side of the room.

Zoisite bit his lip "I won't be able to do it" he muttered reproachfully.

Kunzite gave no reply and waited. After a few minutes and nothing happened he became aware of a dull throbbing between his eyes. He sat down on the edge of the bed, one hand lightly tracing the fabric of the duvet as he watched Zoisite's pathetic attempts. The vase would occasionally glow pink but nothing more.

"Zoisaito" he began and then paused. What could he say? Why was he even bothering?

As if Zoisite could read his mind, he turned to face the older king. "You shouldn't trouble yourself with me, Kunzite-sama."

"You are right" Kunzite replied coldly, his headache was pounding and he couldn't stand to see Zoisite so hurt and being unable to do anything about it. "I shouldn't bother with you. I wouldn't bother with you if I weren't so fond of you."

Zoisite's eyes filled with tears at this statement. It was the closest Kunzite had ever got to telling the little man how much he cared for him, loved him.

I loved you, Kunzaito-sama

They held each other's gaze for a moment more, and then Zoisite left. As he did so, Kunzite heard a crash. He looked round and found the vase lying shattered on the carpet, about a metre away from the table.

* * *

Zoisite hurried down the corridor, towards the piano room, struggling not to think of his lover as he pushed open the door, recalling the words Sailor Pluto had spoken to him.

"But she would not have chosen you for this if she did not believe in you. Allow me to explain. At least give me that much."

Zoisite nodded, slowly pulling away from her embrace. No one but Kunzite-sama was allowed to hold him, yet as soon as that thought was processed, more memories invaded his mind. Memories that both he and Sailor Pluto knew were not his. Again tears welled up in his eyes as he recalled such events. He felt the Prince of the Earth in his arms as the man lay dying, an ice spear embedded in his back, he could hear a shrill voice (not his own yet coming from his mouth) begging the Princess of Mars not to sacrifice herself.

"Explain then" Zoisite snapped, cutting short his thoughts/memories/fears. "I do not have all day. Kunzite-sama will be looking for me."

Pluto frowned, "You care for him more than the fate of this planet?"

"I am not a Senshi!" Zoisite shot back, "This world means nothing to me!"

The Sailor Senshi of time sighed softly, her eyes glimmering with unshed tears "Then I pity you for this is harder for you to accept. When the Moon Princess died she made a wish, she wanted someone to save the world but she also cried for you."

"Me?"

"All of you. Beryl told her who you'd been. She showed the Princess who you were and Usagi cried. Her tears brought about a new incarnation for you, one free of Beryl's control and yet simultaneously her first wish was also granted. As Beryl sealed her soul here on Earth, some of the ginzuishou's powers remained with her, giving her the chance, in the future, to strike back at the Queen. You were reborn a day later, though time has distorted and here in Tokyo a year has passed."

Zoisite was stunned, he did not know what to think, and it was as he already knew. Shaking his head, he pulled back further.

"You woke in the desert because I had it so. I do not think you are worthy enough to save this world and so I tested your loyalties to each other. Of course you acted as I suspected. Kunzite would not have left you to die, as he did before. Jadeite, I must admit, surprised me. I did not think he would sacrifice his new life to save you. Nephrite again, there was no love lost between himself and Jadeite and yet he tried to save the blond king. The bonds that kept you together as Prince Endymion's guardians are deeper than you think. Still I am not convinced. I do not think you are worthy to save this world. I do not think you are worthy to have received the powers bestowed upon you."

"That makes two of us" Zoisite snapped, "Do you think I want this? I'm not a hero! I am not Sailor Moon! None of us are! We were the great four Shitennou of the Dark Kingdom. Does it matter what the Princess wished for? All we want... all I want is for this to be a dream. I want to wake up."

"You are a coward. Even when you embraced her light I knew it. I knew she was making a mistake. When you stood up to Beryl, you created a rift in the Dark Kingdom. No one has ever defied Beryl like that before, not even your disobeying of orders came close the defiance you showed when faced with the choice between death and serving the devil once more. Your insubordination broke the spell that held the Princess and she was free. Of course she could not rest. How could she? Her family is dead, her lover now serves their murderer and the world is on its knees. So she did the only thing she could, she gave you the power that was once her's, she gave you the power of the ginzuishou but with it she left a burden; a part of herself. The Princess's essence resides within you. Her love for her Prince, her memories, her desire to save the world, are all inside you now. I know you can feel them. It sometimes takes you over; you can hear her speaking as if she were really there. She will not let you rest until..."

"SHUT UP!" Zoisite screamed, reeling backwards, "I don't want to hear it!"

"You and the others were reborn to save the world. You have to defeat Beryl. There is no one else who possesses the same level of power that you do, save for the dark queen herself."

"Then why the others? Why was I alone granted power and them none?"

"You are all Endymion's guardians. You all have a part to play."

You all have a part to play, Zoisite shuddered at these words. They did not understand; how could anyone understand? If Sailor Moon really cared about any of them then she would not have done this. She forced him to feel things that were nothing to do with him; she forced emotions upon him that he should not have. He was no longer one of the Dark Kingdom Shitennou, all that hatred that Beryl had poisoned his mind with was gone and yet Zoisite still struggled to hold onto it. Gone were all his memories of his past in Endymion's court and all he had was those recollections as Beryl's slave. He only knew how to be the Zoisite that had served the Dark Kingdom. He didn't know if he could be anyone else... he didn't know if Kunzite would still care for him if he knew what he was really like... Zoisite shuddered, swallowing the lump that had formed in his throat; he entered the room with a fierce resolve. He knew what Hotaru was... he had made a deal with the devil once before...

"Do you want to be rid of it?"

"What?"

"Her. Do you want her gone?"

"How do you know about...?"

"Do you play?"

"I used too"

"Then perhaps we can finish this together?"

"What are you?" Zoisite had asked as she played, her little fingers hitting many wrong notes and forcing her to start over. He could sense the evil aura radiating from Hotaru mixing in with an array of natural magics that were of her own making.

"Me?" her mouth had curved up into a vicious grin as she replied, "I am the Messiah of Silence, Mistress 9 and I can help you, if you want my help that is."

Zoisite did, he realised as Hotaru looked up from her piano. He wanted to be rid of the responsibility, the pain and in return Mistress 9 wanted him to help her escape the mansion. As long as she did not obtain the true pure heart she could do no damage, Zoisite reasoned. Beryl would probably kill her before she had a chance to enjoy her freedom. So this he would do, but Hotaru was insistent that there were certain things that had to be discussed. That was why he was here now. Jadeite had just left, so they would remain uninterrupted. The blond king had taken a liking to the innocent Mistress 9 possessed and until she obtained a true pure heart the girl would continue to fight for control of her body. That was what these seizures were, Mistress 9 explained. Hotaru was trying to dispel the evil from her body, but such a weak girl could not manage this alone.

She stood, crossing the gap that separated them, reaching behind Zoisite and pushing the door shut. Only then did she speak.

"We go tomorrow. At dawn before anyone can stop us. Jadeite is really quite a foolish man when you get to know him. He truly cares for me, do they all still remain ignorant to Tomoe Hotaru's true self?"

Zoisite nodded, feeling a little uneasy. He did not want to involve the other kings in this. They were reborn with the freedom that before they could only dream of. Zoisite was adamant that they be allowed to continue to have this freedom.

"And you will keep your end of the bargain" she continued, "You will steal the Holy Grail from the Outer Senshi?"

Again Zoisite nodded, "And then she will be gone?"

"She resides in the little goodness inside of you. If you chose evil over good again then the Moon Princess's essence will leave you and so will her powers." Mistress 9 confirmed.

"And what the Grail? What will you do with it?

She snorted in contempt at this "Just get out of my sight and remember, you must sever any ties you have here with anyone you do not wish to be hurt, if they try to stop you then I will kill them."

Zoisite confirmed that he understood and left the demonness to her piano playing.

Such a foolish man, she thought scornfully as he watched him leave. Does he not realise that a pure heart is ones life force itself? That the Grail alone cannot fuel my awakening? Does he not realise that when I extract that pure heart he will perish? He does not even realise that the purist heart in the galaxy, the pure heart that made a wish for someone to save the world and who would not hesitate to sacrifice herself for a friend/lover, resided within him? The pure heart of Eternal... that was what lay inside the little man and come tomorrow Mistress 9 would take that pure heart and awaken, and then she would have the world and the Dark Kingdom on its knees. Pharaoh 90 would rule supreme.

* * *

Nephrite had lost count of the number of times he had rehearsed many scenarios of what would happen when he summoned up the courage to speak with Naru again. He had left her alone with her boyfriend for the past week, afraid that if he tried to get too close to her too soon then it would drive her further away. Boyfriend... a hot jealous wave threatened to overcome Nephrite as he thought of the little boy on Naru's arm, chattering away to her, making her giggle and her mouth curved up into a smile that Nephrite used to think had been for him alone. Only he had ever made her laugh like that, and just once, right before he died. Forcing down the rage, he reminded himself why he was here. He was here to speak to Naru, to apologise and earn her forgiveness and also to find out if she were truly happy with this Umino and if so then he could concentrate on putting the past behind him. If she were really content with Umino then Nephrite was not going to stand in her way. Naru's happiness meant more to him than anything else. Now he was here, standing outside the bedroom that was used by Naru and some of the other women. Umino, according to Haruka, had his room the other end of the mansion. Also, this time information given to him by Jadeite, Nephrite had learned that Umino was in the gardens and Naru was alone in her room. For this he was glad, he wanted to speak with her without her beau on one arm. Taking a deep breath, Nephrite knocked in the door.

"Who is it?"

"It's me... can I come in?"

Silence ensured before Nephrite heard footsteps the other side of the door and it opened.

"What do you want?" she asked softly, she had been in the middle of brushing her hair, Nephrite noted, marvelling at the silky locks curling down her back. She was dressed in another kimono; this one was pink and white.

"I want to talk."

"I see... you should come in" she held the door open and Nephrite entered, making sure it was shut behind him. Naru seated herself down upon the end of the bed whilst he opted to stand, leaning backwards against the closed door. He awkward silence was back until Naru snapped:

"What is it?"

Nephrite managed to chuckle at her abrasiveness "Before I came to see you I had all my thoughts organised and now seeing you again... like this... I don't know. What do you want me to say?"

Naru's lower lips trembled and a tear trickled down her cheek "I don't know. That you are sorry, I suppose."

"Sorry?"

"When you died my entire world was torn apart! I had nothing... I loved you so much and you left me! You fed me empty promises and then left me! No, take that back. You tore my entire world apart and then left me. Have you any idea how much I hurt my mother, when I was trying to help you? That night you died, Sailor Moon had to help me back to our apartment! I found her crying in her bed. She was afraid that she had lost me! I was all she had, Nephrite. And what of Usagi? You would have gladly murdered my best friend, knowing that she was Sailor Moon! You took me for everything I had and still I stepped between you and my best friend. You used me, you betrayed me and then you left me with nothing but empty promises and a broken heart." She broke off, sobs racking her small body and for this Nephrite was glad. It was true; every word of it was true. He shouldn't have come to see her, it had been a mistake. Nephrite stood, reached for the door handle when Naru's bitter voice stopped him.

"And now you are just going to leave again. You've torn me apart from the second time and again you are simply going to leave me to pick up the pieces alone! Go then, I don't need you anyway."

"Naru" Nephrite paused, considering his options. What could he say? He should just leave, yet when he looked at the girl he knew in his heart that he could not do this. He loved her too much to leave her again.

"Naru" he repeated, instead seating himself at her side and tentatively wrapping an arm around her shaking shoulders "I did not want to leave you. I would have given anything to stay with you. You are a wonderful, kind, beautiful young woman and Umino is very lucky to have you. I am truly sorry for all the pain I ever caused you and your mother. As for those empty promises, if there is any way I can make this up to you... you have just to ask."

Naru drew back, shrugging off his contact with her body and wiped her eyes, "Do you really think you can make it better just like that?"

"No but I would like too. Tell me where to start?"

"Hold me"

"What?"

"I always felt safe with you, which was stupid really seeing as whenever I was around you I would get attacked by Youma or your enemies."

"Enemies?" Nephrite asked, his mouth curving up into a smile even as he held the girl as she requested, "I presume you mean Zoisite?"

Naru shuddered at his name, "He frightens me."

Nephrite had to laugh. "Does he now? Why is that?"

"His temper, he is unstable... I would hate to think what he could do if his temper ever got the better of him."

"Believe me, when it does the only one who suffers is Zoisite himself" Nephrite whispered, referring to the younger king's death, "You don't have to be afraid of him" he added as an after thought "Zoisite is different now."

Naru nodded, burying her face in Nephrite's shirt, she her arms curved around his back in an embrace.

Nephrite was not sure what she wanted from him. Would he destroy her again? Would he lie to her again? No, he decided, he had, had enough of lying. Gently pulling back he said:

"I meant what I said. I would like to make things better somehow. You can ask me anything and I promise you I will answer truthfully."

A pair of tearful blue eyes met his own and held disbelief and doubt within their depths. Nephrite flinched slightly under her gaze, as she stared at him and then finally said:

"Did you honestly care for me when you were a part of the Dark Kingdom or was it just an act like your Sanjouin Masato alias?"

"I had some feelings for you. I did not really know myself until the night I died. I had thought I was incapable of love."

"Why were you reborn?"

Nephrite drew a breath, awaiting her reaction with baited breath he replied, "Sailor Pluto told Zoisite that we were reborn to save this world from Beryl's darkness."

Naru was stunned, her eyes carefully studying Nephrite's face for a hint of falseness and found none.

"I believe you"

"You... do?"

She nodded, "I don't think your lying... this time."

"I wish I were"

Naru nodded and snuggled back into his arms "Who were you before you came into Beryl's service? Were you a normal human being like me or did you have some special destiny like Usagi-chan?" her voice wavered slightly when she spoke of her dead friend and Nephrite's grip on her back tightened.

"We were Prince Endymion's guardians back in the old kingdom. Beryl flooded the Earth palace with darkness and we were killed in the conflict. Metallia granted us life again and for that we served Beryl. Now we are free I intend for us to do what is right and make amends for what we did."

"You want to save Mamoru-san?"

Nephrite nodded.

"No!" Naru shocked him by crying and she ripped herself from Nephrite's grip "You can't! If anything happened to you... how can you even contemplate doing this? Since you died... I felt as though there was a part of me missing, I was dying inside. Now your back and I... I can't let you go again! What if you... what if you get killed?"

"What if I promise I will come back?"

"Don't!" she slapped him again. Nephrite winced and raised a hand to his cheek, tracing the red mark that was appearing across his skin.

"Don't you dare make more empty promises!"

"Naru?"

"Don't you even see? I never stopped loving you. Umino is a very kind person but he's not you! We were destined to be together, ok perhaps not like Usagi-chan and Mamoru-san were but I always felt that when I was with you, it would be that way for the rest of my life. What did you give me? A few months of lies, betrayals and then you left me! Umino was there to pick up the pieces and he tries so hard, he treats me well but that's not enough... I just want you!"

"They are not empty promises. I am not the person you knew. I mean what I say. I will free Endymion from Beryl and then I will come back. I promise."

Naru turned away, "Then I must be a fool," she whispered, a tear trickling free and rolling down her cheek "For I believe you."

Nephrite left, he could not stand to see her in so much pain and be unable to do anything to help her. If he comforted her then she would lash out but then wrap her arms around him and sob into his arms. If he went then at least she would have some time to think. He cursed himself. He had done it again. How could he have been so selfish, so na´ve as to promise Naru that he would come back alive? Nephrite knew the Dark Kingdom better than anyone. He knew that Beryl would not simply hand Endymion over to them. He knew that there was a very real possibility that one of them, gods perhaps all of them, would die before this nightmare was over. Nephrite was not afraid to die, if it meant making things right again, if it meant that he could make right all the evils he had committed in the name of Beryl and the Dark Kingdom. That was before, before he knew that Naru was alive. Now he knew? Nephrite did not know... he did not know if he could bear to risk his life again, not for himself but for the girl sobbing in the next room. How could he risk leaving her again?

* * *

The Youma whispered among themselves as they were summoned before their Queen. Beryl sat upon her throne, looking down at the lowly creatures with a mixture of contempt and pride. These were her finest warriors and come sundown tomorrow they would advance upon Mugen Academy and take the Holy Grail and the powers that would be called forth. Her Youma spies had learned that Tomoe Hotaru had found the true pure heart and intended on tricking the owner into handing it over freely. Little did she know that she was playing right into Beryl's hands.

"Endymion" the Queen of the Darkness instructed her most loyal of servants "You will take the Youma and get into position. We will attack as soon as they arrive. You will kill Mistress 9 before she has the chance to extract the pure heart and awaken. Then you will take back the traitor Zoisite, whilst I use the Holy Grail to invoke the powers of Pharaoh 90 and seal Metallia away."

Endymion nodded to show that he had understood, and kissed the vain Queen's hand. Beryl trembled beneath his lips and Endymion smiled. There was nothing he would not do for his Queen, but the traitor must die. Beryl would be content with the powers that Pharaoh 90 possessed. She did not need Zoisite. He would kill them all and thus forever earn his place as Queen Beryl's side.

* * *

Kunzite had spent the afternoon devoted to the dusty volumes he had found resting upon the bookcase in the room he and Zoisite shared. The little man had not been back since their argument and the older king had no desire to look for him.

I shouldn't bother with you. I wouldn't bother with you if I weren't so fond of you.

Kunzite had never admitted his feelings for Zoisite so openly before. He had always shown his affection towards the younger king with conjured flowers and gentle touches and Zoisite had never expected, or demanded, anything different. Now, with the loss of his powers, Kunzite found he had to be more honest with his student. It was hard. He had to think before he said anything, for everything he did say mattered. Zoisite was so unpredictable that any coldness in Kunzite's voice, any doubt, would be perceived by the younger man as Kunzite hating him. Kunzite did not hate Zoisite. He loved him more than he could bring himself to express. Even coming to terms with this love had been difficult. Kunzite hated to admit that he needed anyone, as he needed Zoisite. He loved every inch of the bad tempered man. He loved those jealous tantrums, his almost obsessive vanity, and the way his mouth curved up into a sly smile when bickering with Nephrite and knowing that he had the upper hand. He loved the way Zoisite laughed, his innocent smile that was completely at odds with the terrible temper and hostility of the little man. Kunzite, to his knowledge, had never loved anything... anyone before. Even when they first 'met' in the Dark Kingdom when Beryl ordered Kunzite to tutor the forth king, Kunzite had known deep down that there was something different about him. When Kunzite had looked at him he had not seen a rival for power as he had Jadeite and Nephrite but someone to be trusted, someone he could care for and of course a very beautiful young man. Yet it was not even this beauty that drew Kunzite to him. Zoisite clung to him, needed him and often came out with emotional phrases but never 'I loved you' until the day he died. Kunzite had cursed himself every minute of every day since his lover died, that he had not responded and told Zoisite what he had wanted to hear for the very reason that Kunzite was not going to admit to such devotion if he were not sure of his own feelings. Yes, even when Zoisite lay dying, he had been unsure of how deeply his own feelings went and had refrained from any such response as 'I loved you, too, Zoisaito' as he was afraid that Zoisite would hate him for taking pity on him in such a way. Kunzite believed never to admit such emotion unless it was true. He loved Zoisite and when the little man came back, he resolved to tell him with a clear conscience.

That had been an hour ago and now his lover was standing in the doorway, looking down at his boots in a submissive movement. Kunzite shut the dusty book and stood, as Zoisite finally moved into the bedroom and shut the door.

"Where did you go?" Kunzite asked softly, "I was concerned for you."

"I needed sometime to think."

He looked so lost, so much misery radiating from him alone. Kunzite took a deep breath, it was now or never.

"Zoisaito, I lo..."

Zoisite cut him off mid sentence, "I don't love you anymore, Kunzaito-sama."


The End of Chapter 10 - Goto Chapter 11


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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