Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ All's Fair in Love and War ❯ He's Ba-aaack ( Chapter 6 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
This is where the story really begins. Up until now I've basically been establishing relationships and characters, since most of them are more or less new and my own creation. So I hope you enjoy the story from this point on, and let me know if I say something that doesn't seem right. Also, I'll post their ages at the beginning of the chapters every so often, since it's hard to remember their relative ages sometimes, although eventually those ages will be irrelevant. For now though they are still important. So enjoy! Anja.
Selenity 17
Venus 17 (a little older than Selenity)
Helen 19
Kinotsu 22
Mercury 18
Mars 20
Jupiter 21
Paris 20 (younger than Mars)

Chapter 6
~~ He's Baa-aack!~~

The music was already playing as he stepped into the ballroom. He breathed in deeply and looked around at the crowd. It felt good to be back. Kino walked to where he knew he would find some of his old friends. He was supposed to have arrived on the moon in the early afternoon, but due to some unforeseeable delays, he and his crew had arrived only minutes ago. No matter, he was there now.

As he made his way through the crowd, he saw ahead of him the familiar face of Jupiter standing next to his wife. Kino grinned from ear to ear. He noted Jupiter had not changed all that much. He still wore his wavy brown hair to his shoulders, only now he had what looked like bangs. Kino couldn't help but chuckle as he approached his friend and gently tapped him on the shoulder.

Jupiter turned to see who was trying to gain his attention, and right away a smile lit his handsome face. "Kino!" he exclaimed as he grabbed Kino's hand and pulled him into a quick hug, his green eyes laughing with pleasure at seeing his old friend again.

Kino returned the gesture, but they pulled away quickly, remembering formality. Jupiter beamed at Kino. "It's so good to see you finally! We thought you were going to arrive earlier today and that we would have some time alone with you," he remarked, his smile not faltering once. "Then we got news it might take you another two or three days to get here."

Kino shrugged his shoulders a little. "I was supposed to arrive earlier, but we ran into some delays along the way," he said, and then he looked over to Hera. "My Lady Hera, it is good to see you again," he said as he gave a slight bow.

She smiled at him. "It is good to see you as well Kinotsu." Her voice was soft, and already had a motherly tone to it.

Kino straitened up and looked around. "So where is everyone else?" he asked, causing Jupiter to chuckle.

"What, are we not enough for you?" he asked, teasing Kino.

Kino laughed and shook his head. "No, you are. You forget, though, that I have not seen everyone in five years."

Jupiter held up his hands in defeat. "I know, I know, I understand that you're eager to see everybody." He glanced at the crowd as he lowered his hands. "Well, Helen and Paris are somewhere in there," he said, pointing at the sea of people, "Mercury and Mars were taking forever getting ready so Selenity and Venus went to get them a few minutes ago."

Kino rolled his eyes and laughed. Jupiter joined him in the laughter, which caused Hera to look at them in confusion. "What is so amusing about that?" she asked giving them a crooked smile.

Jupiter took his wife's hand. "Ever since we were little children, Venus, Selenity, and Helen were always chasing after Paris, Mercury, and Mars, trying to get them to join in the ball and dance with them," he said.

Kino chuckled. "It looks like so far Helen is the only one who has really succeeded," he remarked, causing Hera to laugh gently.

"Well you know, they are to be married by the end of the year," she told him. He nodded his head, showing that he had already heard the news. He heard a squeal and turned in time to see Helen bounding over to him, in a surprisingly un-princess like manner.

She grabbed him in a hug, and he hugged her back. "Kino, you're finally here!" she squeaked as she tightened her hold on him. He laughed, and slowly released her. She smiled at him as she let go.

Paris came up behind her, an equally happy smile on his face. "We thought you'd never make it!" he said as he grabbed Kino's hand. The two men smiled.

Kino looked from Helen to Paris. "I hear that I owe you some congratulations for your upcoming wedding," he said, and Paris put a hand on Helen's shoulder, causing her to blush and smile still more.

"You're well informed," she told him as she placed her hand over top of Paris'.

Kino chuckled. "So am I invited, even though I'm practically a stranger?"

Helen gave him a dramatic shocked expression. "How could you even think that you're a stranger and would not be invited!" she exclaimed, putting her hand together at her heart in mock pain.

Kino laughed. "Forgive me, sweet lady, if I have offended you somehow." He gave her a mock bow, and Helen giggled.

"You are forgiven good sir," she said.

Kino finally took a good look at the two. "I can't believe how old you two look," he remarked, causing Paris to laugh.

"We're not old you know. Helen is only nineteen and I just turned twenty three weeks ago," he said.

Kino gave them a small embarrassed smile. "I know that. It's just that you look very different from the last time that I saw you."

Jupiter laughed at this. "Trust me Kino, everyone looks different from the last time that you saw them. Helen and Paris haven't changed that much, but wait until you see everyone else. Venus and Selenity have probably changed the most. They were only twelve when you left, and now they're seventeen. You're in for a surprise with those two," Jupiter explained.

Hera smiled at Kino. "Venus has taken after her mother strongly. She really is a beauty." Kino chuckled at the comment, and Paris clapped him on the back.

"So, did you find any of your own beauties that interested you while you were gone?" he asked, gaining him a hit from Helen. "Ow, what was that for?" he exclaimed as he rubbed his arm.

Helen stared at him. "Kino just came back and is that all you can think of asking him?"

Paris gave a sheepish grin and slumped his shoulders. "Well, it's something that I was curious about," he replied, and then looked back at Kino. "You can answer later," he said, and gave him a quick wink.

Kino laughed. "I can answer you right now. I did not find anyone that interests me." Paris nodded his head, but a mischievous smile was on his face. Kino knew that he would be interrogated later.

Helen suddenly bounced up and grabbed Kino's hand. "Come one Kino, dance with me! Just like old times!" Kino smiled and let himself be dragged out onto the dance floor. It did feel just like old times, only now Helen was taller. The dance was fast paced, so there was not a lot of time for conversation. When they got back, the group had grown. Mercury and Venus were standing next to Paris, Jupiter and Hera.

"Venus! Mercury!" Kino exclaimed.

The two looked at him and smiled broadly. "Kino!" they both exclaimed, and greetings began once again.

Venus made him turn around so that she could get a better look at him. "You look so mature!" she said as soon as Kino finished his turn-about, which caused him to blush and laugh.

"Ahh, I think that you mistake maturity for height Venus. I don't think that I look any more mature than when I left," he said. She laughed, a pretty tinkling laugh. Kino couldn't take his eyes off the beautiful woman in front of him. Her honey-coloured ringlets cascaded down to her shapely hips, and her cerulean eyes danced with laughter. "I think that you have changed more than I have Venus," he told her and then he looked at Mercury.

Mercury had a crooked smile. "You've changed more than you think Kino," he remarked.

Kino nodded. "You've grown tall Mercury," he said. Mercury was taller than Kino, reaching nearly six and half feet.

Mercury looked down at his feet as he ran his fingers through his midnight blue hair. "Yes, I know. My parents swear that I'm not their child, since neither of them are this tall." Kino nodded, remembering the short stature of Hermes and his wife.

The music started up again and Kino watched with amusement as Hera grabbed Jupiter by the hand and Helen grabbed Paris and dragged them out to the dance floor.

Paris turned his head back quickly. "Have to keep them happy, don't we?" he asked with a grin, and then was gone in the crowd.

Kino turned his attention back to Venus and Mercury. "So where are Selenity and Mars? I was told that you two girls went to get Mercury and Mars."

Mercury chuckled and Venus looked off into the crowd. "They should be here soon. Selenity was called over by her mother as soon as we entered the room, so Mars stayed with her while Mercury and I walked over here. They don't know that you're here yet."

Kino nodded his head. As he watched his two friends, he couldn't help but notice how they kept glancing at one another. He grinned. "Well, I've seen that Paris and Helen are getting rather close, their wedding is already planned. So, is there anything new going on between the two of you?" he asked, only half joking. He was rather amused when he saw the two blushed, and Mercury masked his laughter with a cough.

Venus stayed calm though. "I have not found anyone new that might have taken my interest," she said smoothly, with a small smile.

Mercury nodded his head a little too enthusiastically. "Yes, neither have I."

Kino chuckled, but decided not to press the subject further for the time being. He suddenly heard a voice from behind him.

"KINO!" came a shriek, and even though the voice was five years older than when he had last heard it, he recognized it right away as Selenity. He spun around, and although he knew she was seventeen now, he was still half expecting a twelve year old girl with pigtail-buns to be running toward him. Well, he was right about the pigtail-buns and running part. However, apart from that, all he could do was stare open-mouthed and wide-eyed as a silver-haired demi-goddess ran to him and wrapped her arms around his neck.

She hugged him tight as he spun her around a little. "Kino you're back! You're finally back!" she said as he gently put her back on her feet and pulled back a little. "I thought you'd be here earlier."

He gazed down at her, still not over his initial shock. "I was…I mean, I was supposed to be early…..but problems…w-we ran into delays, and…and…" he couldn't find the words to say, but was brought out of his daze when Selenity started to giggle.

"It doesn't look like you got to practice talking very much over the past five years," she teased.

Kino blushed, and regained his composure. "I did. I'm just so surprised and thrilled to see you, that's all. You-you've changed Tenshi," he said gently, which made her smile even more.

"Of course, I was only twelve when you left," she pointed out, as though he had not already considered that fact. Both seemed oblivious to the fact that Venus and Mercury were still standing there, watching them, smirks on their faces.

"Yes, I know. Still, I guess I wasn't expecting such a dramatic change," he said, trying desperately to save himself.

Selenity kept on smiling. "You've changed too you know," she said as she stepped back, causing his hands to slide off her, and her own arms to drop from his neck. She looked him up and down. "You look more…masculine!" she said triumphantly.

He laughed. "Oh really, masculine? Well, you look more feminine then!" As soon as the words were out of his mouth he realized how that sounded, and commenced blushing while Selenity, Venus, and Mercury started to laugh. "That didn't really come out the way I wanted it to," he said, trying to cover up the fact that he had actually noticed the new feminine curves, which Selenity had acquired over the time he was gone.

Selenity giggled. "Don't worry about it Kino," she said, and then looked to the dance floor, and then back at him. "I believe that I promised you my first dance at the first ball we were able to attend together as soon as you returned," she commented, a small smile lighting up her face.

Kino chuckled as he stepped back and bowed a little. "How could I forget? Would you honour me with a dance?" He asked as he straitened up. Selenity smiled as she curtsied, and accepted his outstretched hand. He led her onto the dance floor just as the music was starting up again, a slow, gentle melody.

Kino put his hand on Selenity's hip, and clasped her other hand in his. She put her hand delicately on his shoulder, and let him start to guide her. He hadn't realized how tall she had gotten, even thought the top of her head only reached his chin. He also didn't fail to notice the delicate curve of her hip beneath his hand, or how smooth, graceful ones had replaced her awkward childish steps. He felt the room grow a little warmer as she stepped closer to him and tightened her grip on his shoulder.

She turned her gaze up to meet his, and he was startled to see how gentle the angles in her face were, and how, even though it was in the same style, her hair seemed elegant and framed her with an almost soft glow. Not until she started to giggle did he realize that he had been staring, and blushed.

"You seemed lost in thought," she said cheerfully, and he looked back into her eyes, a shy smile on his face.

"Sorry. I just can't get over how much you have changed. I left you here a child, and I come back to find a woman. Right now you're as old as I was when I left."

She nodded her head at the statement. "I know. It seems a little odd, doesn't it," she said, and he nodded his head. "I'm just so happy that you're back now," she added, and Kino could not understand why his heart skipped a beat at the statement. "We're all together again," she continued, and Kino's heart calmed down.

He cleared his throat. "Yes, all of us," he said, and swung her out from him slowly, bringing her back in with great care. She didn't need it though, she seemed experienced enough. He brought his arm in an arch and twirled her under it, before he continued to lead her around the room again.

"You really are better than you used to be," she commented.

Kino chuckled. "I think that it is you who has improved greatly Tenshi, that's why I may seem better."

She rolled her eyes at his comment. "You said yourself that you were attending many balls on your visit and improving your skills," she pointed out. He smiled at her, but said nothing further on the subject.

"So, how is your mother?" he asked. Selenity went on to tell him about how things had been since the time she had sent him her last letter. The music was ending finally, and Kino spun Selenity one last time, and brought her into a dip. He gazed into her eyes for a brief moment, and as he brought her back up, he could help but notice the way her eyelashes fluttered, or the warmth of her skin on his hand, or the soft smell of lilies that came from her as she straitened back up.

As they walked back to where they had left Venus and Mercury, Kino's heart was racing, and he really didn't know why. Venus watched the two approached, and she certainly did not miss the new change in Kino, and smiled to herself.

Neither did she miss the same change in Selenity.