Hi! It's me again. Here's a new fic that I started working on - the idea popped into my head, and I really don't know quite how it got there. :) I have a vague idea of where I'm going with it, but I don't quite have the details worked out yet. It's going to follow Zoisite and Kunzite's relationship through the different time periods they were together, starting in the Moon Kingdom and ending in Tokyo (I think). :) Anyway, I'm going to attempt to write this with the Four Kings as opposed to Generals, so it's a little new to me - I hope I did them justice. :)
Disclaimer: Any characters that you don't recognize probably belong to me (unless I say otherwise). Don't use them without my permission. All other characters belong to whatever lucky people created Sailor Moon. :)
Don't forget to let me know what you think! Compliments and constructive criticism are welcome, flames will be returned in kind. :) I hope you enjoy it!
Prisms -- Prologue
The carriage pulled to a stop. The journey had been a long one for both driver and passenger. The driver wearily hopped down from his seat and opened the door for his reluctant traveler. “Miss? We're here. It's time for you to go, now.”
He felt bad waking the girl - so young, so fragile. The poor thing had been so exhausted, she dropped off to sleep as soon as the coach was on the road. The girl blinked her eyes, slowly adjusting to the morning sunlight. “We're here?” her voice was husky from sleep. She sounded confused, as if she wasn't sure where she was. The coachman held a hand out to her, “Yes'm. Here now, let me help you down from there.” She smiled, a genuine smile, and took the man's hand. “Thank you,” she said. Once she had hopped down from the carriage, she stood, her hands clasped in front of her and leaning against the carriage as if she hadn't the strength to stand on her own.
The coachman reached up to pull her bags down from the top of the carriage, What could her family have been thinking? This wee lass isn't ready to be leavin' home yet! I'd better carry her bags in for her - I doubt she could manage it herself. “Here, miss, I'll carry your bags in for you,” he said gently.
The girl looked startled and immediately reached into her money bag to give him a tip for his trouble. He shook his head and gently pushed the money away, “Nay, lassy. 'Tis no trouble for me to carry these little bundles for ye. Just humor me old soul, all right?” She smiled and nodded, he thought he saw a tear in her eye. The girl swallowed and said, “Thank you, kind sir. You have been awfully nice to me. I hadn't expected that.”
The coachman looked up at her, “Well, now, lassy. Never you fret - if you ever need any help while you're here, you just look me up. Anything I can do for you. You understand? You're not to hesitate to ask.”
The girl's eyes were shining, and in a sudden burst of emotion, she gave him a hug. The coachman, his arms full of bags, couldn't hug her back, but he made soothing noises in his throat, “There now, lassy - I had wee ones of me own once. They're all grown and out of the house, now. It'll do me good to have someone to keep an eye out for. Now, dry your eyes, it's time that we got you settled in.”
The girl pulled away from him, her eyes still shining. Then she happened to look towards their destination. Immediately her smile stilled, The Palace. King Endymion's Palace. A sudden surge of fear left her shaking, but she squared her shoulders and started to walk off briskly for the Palace, It's only a building, and King Endymion is only a man. Look out, Earth - here I come. She smiled, a predatory smile meant mostly to reassure herself, and laughed.
Endymion paced the throne room restlessly. He finally turned to the other man in the room, “Well, where are they?” he demanded. The other man put a hand to his head before he straightened and answered, “They're on their way, your Majesty. It takes a long time to travel here by coach from Endarn, and they just left yesterday.”
Endymion snarled, “Fine. Just as soon as they get here soon. I'm tired of waiting!” He flung himself down on his throne and put his head on his fist.
Kunzite wearily put his own head in his hands and massaged his temples, The man gets more infuriating every day. Thank the gods I won't have to spend much more time with him. The Prince is a lot more even-tempered, for all he's only eight years old. Of all the men in King Endymion's army, Kunzite was the one he had chosen as protector for his young son. Kunzite had protested and said that he couldn't take on this task all by himself. He had been told to find people to help him - he could search the entire Earth if necessary, was what Endymion had told him. So, he had started looking - though he never got as far as “the entire Earth”. He knew that the Protectors of Endymion's young child would have to be the very best - magic users, fighters, thinkers.
He had found the first in his very own ranks - Captain Nephrite. The man had served with him for many years, they were very close friends - when duty permitted. Nephrite was suave, charming, very personable - everything that Kunzite was not. And he was an excellent tactician and individual fighter. Not many could match his information network, either. Kunzite smiled, There aren't many who have the stars jumping to serve them. That mastery also made him a powerful force to be reckoned with when powers got involved.
The second had been a little harder to find. Jadeite was a young History professor at the official University of Earth. It never would have crossed Kunzite's mind to ask the mild-mannered historian to be one of Darien's protectors. Tutor, maybe - he's certainly skilled enough for that. But that was before the fire. He had been searching among the students at the University, trying to find another Protector - when a terrorist strike team fire-bombed the University. He had been caught in a wave of panicked young men and women - and professors, with no way to try to stop the fire. Jadeite had calmly gathered his students around him and led them to the nearest exit - he went back into the building time and again to bring people out, never losing his detached sense of calm. Once he knew that everyone was out of the building, he had gone back in. Kunzite never saw exactly what he did, but he picked up a surge in power from the young man, and he saw a block of water rise up from the bay and travel slowly into the building. Jadeite came out of the building several minutes later, soaking wet. Kunzite walked over to him. He said, “Fire's out, now.” Then when Kunzite raised an eyebrow at his soaked suit, Jadeite smiled shyly and said, “Forgot to duck.” Jadeite had been added to the team that very afternoon, Telekinetic skills would be handy if we had to get the Prince out of anger very quickly. And his vast knowledge of the History of the peoples of this solar system will come in handy. Not to mention his skills with people. He always seems to know how they'll react - and the fact that he could calm a mob in the middle of a raging fire - hoo boy! Now that will come in very useful.
The team of three began to train together - each helping the other two to enhance their skills. Jadeite knew things about magic that the other two had never heard of and Nephrite took Jadeite under his wing when it came to fighting and tactics. They were soon a very well integrated group, with Kunzite as the not-often- acknowledged leader. Until earlier that week...
Kunzite was jerked out of his reverie when he heard the ominous creak of the throne room doors opening. He looked up and saw two people standing inbetween the doors. They looked around them in obvious awe of everything. He recognized one as the carriage- driver sent to retrieve the fourth of his little group. The other... Wow, what a looker! He angrily jerked his mind away from those thoughts, then laughed at himself. Stupid, Kunzite, very stupid - get your mind out of the damned gutter!
The two travelers walked over to kneel before King Endymion. Endymion looked down, “Oh, so you finally got here. About damned time.”
The coachman saw the terrified look in his passenger's eyes and answered for her, “Sorry sire. What with all the rain about, it made travelin' very slow goin'. We got here as soon as we could.”
Endymion nodded, and some of the frustration left his eyes, “Oh very well.” He turned to the young lady, “Lady Zoisite - I formally welcome you to Court. I hope that your stay here will be enjoyable and productive.”
Kunzite winced, Productive? Then he realized what the king had just said, Lady? What? He opened his mouth to correct the king when he caught Zoisite's pleading eyes on him. He looked over at the young man, ~Please don't say anything!~ The thought most definately wasn't his, so it must have been Zoisite's. He groaned, He's a telepath, too? Just great.
Another thought crept into his mind, ~Please!~ There was desperation in that mind-voice. He thought to himself, But, why? What difference does it make? Zoisite's crystal thoughts came back at him, ~Please, he's angry enough with me already - I don't want to make him lose face on top of that. He'll just hate me even more. Please don't say anything!~ Kunzite nodded, fractionally, as King Endymion finished the introductions and left the room. Zoisite and the carriage- driver walked slowly over to him.
Zoisite was blushing furiously and couldn't quite meet Kunzite's gaze. The coachman patted her shoulder, “There now, lass. Lord Kunzite's a good man - he'll not hurt ye. I've known 'im all 'is life - and he knows he's gotta be on good behavior around me, and those under my protection. Isn't that right, laddy?”
Kunzite smiled at the old man, “Yes, Father.”
Zoisite looked up in astonishment, “Father?”
The coachman laughed, “Aye lassy! This'd be one 'o' the 'wee ones' I was talkin' about. And he'll take good care of ye.” Suddenly he looked over at Kunzite, who was having trouble containing his mirth, “And what's so funny? Did your old man do something terribly impolite?” Kunzite shook his head, “No, Father. Not really - I suspect that it isn't your fault anyway.” When his father gave him a confused look he added, “Zoisite's no 'lass'.” His father stared at him as if he'd gone daft, then turned back to Zoisite, “Lassy?”
Zoisite blushed a furious scarlet and hung his head even lower - if that were possible. He nodded, miserably. Well, I've made a right fool of myself. And I haven't even been here ten minutes! The coachman put his arm around Zoisite's shoulders, “There now, las- uh, lad. It's all right - easy now. We're not pokin' fun at ye.” Zoisite looked even more miserable. Kunzite's father frowned, “Come now, lass- oh!” he growled in frustration, startling Zoisite something awful.
He turned fearful eyes on Kunzite's father and the old man said, “Forget it! I'm just gonna get meself all confused. There now, since I'll never get myself straightened out, here - you'll just be me wee lassy.” He nodded in satisfaction. Zoisite blushed even more. The coachman patted him on the back, “There now, lassy. 'Tis nothing against you - I'm just a poor old man who can't keep these things straight anymore. 'Twill be easier for me this way.” Zoisite grimaced, I guess I'll just have to get used to that nickname. Oh well, at least he didn't decide to call me 'Zoi'.
Kunzite's father gave Zoisite a little squeeze and picked up the bags. Zoisite made as if to protest, but the old man batted his hands away, “Off with ye, lass! Let me son go show you around. I'll take these up to your room and you can both meet me there - all right?” At Zoisite's confused look he added, “Let an old man mother ye, all right?”
Zoisite smiled, infinite amounts of gratitude in his eyes. Kunzite's father smiled back, Oh, lass - if I were but a wee bit younger and you were a girl... Then he hitched up his cap and dragged the bags off to Zoisite's new rooms. He looked back over his shoulder at Kunzite and Zoisite, Hmmm... They'd make a cute couple... Then shook his head at his own foolishness, Kunzite never even hinted that he might have leanings that way. What an old, maiden aunt I'm turning into! He laughed and headed back out the door.
Kunzite was watching him, he could tell. The minute he turned his head to check, Kunzite was staring at a particularly ornate piece of stonemasonry on the wall. He nearly growled in frustration, Maybe I'd better say something. Zoisite cleared his throat, “Lord Kunzite?”
Kunzite looked startled, as if he hadn't been expecting his companion to speak, “Yes, Zoisite? And please, don't call me 'Lord'.”
Zoisite blushed, “Yes, L- uh, Kunzite. Uh, what exactly am I doing here? I mean, I'm a little empathic, but I'm not especially strong or anything. I haven't been trained in using my power at all, and I'm really not that good at fighting. I'm certainly not in your league - or Jadeite's or Nephrite's either. Why pick me?”
Kunzite didn't answer - he turned his back on Zoisite. Zoisite was afraid that he'd said something wrong and was about to apologize when Kunzite suddenly whirled and launched an attack of pure power at him. Zoisite's first reaction was to scream - but he held it back. The next thing he knew, he was all the way across the room, floating 7 feet in the air in a flurry of cherry blossoms. He urged his heart back into his chest and pleaded with it to keep beating. What did I do? Good gods! What'd I do?? He was ready to start sobbing, He seemed so nice! Kunzite had walked over to where he was floating, “Come down, Zoisite.” Zoisite shook his head back and forth violently - popping the hair-tie which held his hair into it's neat tail. “Damn it!” he yelled, diving after it. When he caught it and got it back into his hair, he looked up - and found himself scant inches away from Kunzite, who had floated up to meet him. He shrieked, and losing control of whatever had kept him in the air, Zoisite landed on the stone floor of the chamber. “Owww...” he moaned.
Kunzite landed next to him and offered him a hand up. Zoisite looked up at him and said, “Y-you're not g-going to h-h-hurt me, are you?” Kunzite, to Zoisite's extreme consternation, began to laugh. Zoisite folded his arms across his chest and pouted. Kunzite finally managed to control his laughter and said, “No, Zoisite - I'm not going to hurt you. That 'attack' wouldn't have hurt you either.”
Zoisite stared suspiciously up at the older man, If this is a sampling of his sense of humor, I'm leaving. Kunzite stared at him, “No, Zoisite - that wasn't a sample of my sense of humor. I did that to prove a point.” He noticed that Zoisite was staring at him, “What's the matter? Did I turn green?” he queried. Zoisite shook his head, “N-no. How did you know what I was thinking? Can you read my mind?”
Kunzite stared at him, “You mean you don't know?”
Zoisite, temper flaring, said, “Know what? I don't know anything!! No one told me anything! All I know is that I woke up one morning and my family was gathered downstairs - my luggage already on the coach. I didn't even get to eat breakfast yesterday! They just shoved me out of the house!! I only found out why because your father happened to know and told me before I left!” He was sobbing now, and deeply ashamed, but unable to stop the tears. It had hurt. He'd known that his father wasn't particularly fond of him, but he'd thought that his sisters, mother, and cousins liked him. And now here he was in a strange place, with a strange man who had just tried to kill him, and desperately out of the loop when it came to current events. It was too much. I didn't ask for this! I want to go home! He tried to stop the tears, but he couldn't - he nearly choked on his sobs when he tried.
Kunzite, concern and guilt written across his face, knelt next to him, “Easy, there, easy. It's OK. I'm sorry - that was pretty awful of me, but I was just trying to prove a point.” When Zoisite had calmed, Kunzite handed him a handkerchief, “There now. What I was trying to show you, is that you have more power than you know. And half-trained and working off instinct as you are, you're more dangerous than anyone on Earth. You need training. And once you get that training...” He saw a gleam in Zoisite's eyes at this last sentence. Ambitious, are we? Well, let's see if we can't turn that to our advantage... “Once you get the training you need, you'll be one of the most qualified people on Earth to protect the Prince.”
Zoisite flushed at the unexpected praise. He swallowed, “Y- you said that the attack wouldn't hurt me. W-why?”
Kunzite smiled as he helped Zoisite to his feet, “Simple,” he said, “It was only a flash of reflected light.” He held up the small glass prism in his hand. Zoisite groaned, smacking his hand to his forehead, “I should have guessed.”