Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ All's Fair in Love and War ❯ Wisps of Smoke ( Chapter 33 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter 33The day was warm and held promise of an enjoyable afternoon. I sat at my vanity, brushing my hair. The black waves fell down to my shoulders, catching the morning sun streaming in through the window. Mercury was already awake and had just finished dressing. One thing he couldn't stand was people dressing him; it was something he insisted on doing himself. I sighed, thinking of the two ladies that I needed to help me dress.
Wisps of Smoke
Wisps of Smoke
He walked up behind me and placed his hands on my shoulders, leaning down to plant a tender kiss on my cheek. I smiled as I looked at his reflection. His dark blue hair framed his face so beautifully, and his misty blue eyes gleamed with knowledge and wisdom well beyond his years. He was only two years older than I, which suited me just fine. I had been happy when my father had announced the unexpected marriage to me, since my husband was still youthful and healthy, as well as handsome I must admit.
My quiet nature had not repelled him. In fact, he seemed to like it. There were many evening that we would spend in our private library back home, reading or gazing into the fire, were only a handful of words passed between us. The silence was comfortable, and we were simply happy to enjoy each others company.
"I have to go and meet up with Kinotsu and Paris sweet. I'll see you at breakfast," he said to me, gazing at my eyes in the mirror. I nodded and leaned my head back on his stomach for a brief second before pulling back and letting him go.
The door closed behind him and I stood from my vanity. Since I was still wearing only a robe and night gown I decided I could spend a few more minutes in bed. I stretched myself out over the white sheets, enjoying the feel of the silk against my skin. I lay there on my back, my hand resting gently on the swollen curve of my stomach. It wasn't noticeable yet, but eventually it would be. I now only hoped that it would be a son, a son that Mercury wanted. He never said so, but he needed an heir. After all, it had been drilled into me all my life that it was my duty as a wife to give a male heir to my husband. That was now my goal. Of course, Mercury had been overjoyed when Ami had been born, I could not have asked for a more favorable reaction. Still….
I gazed up at the canopy of the bed. Everything in the room was filled with the soft glow of the rising sun, warming everything. These moments were rare for me, since it gave me the chance to think completely alone. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy spending time with my husband, quiet the opposite. It was just that sometimes I got the feeling that he needed his time away from me. Sometimes he got this distant look in his eyes, as though he was thinking about someone or something that he couldn't have...to tell the truth, I knew what it was. It was another woman.
No one knew that I knew. I didn't know who it was, but I had learned to read my husband well enough to know. He never complained, never let his gaze stray to other beauties, never looked at me with scorn or disrespect. I touched my face gently with the back of my hand. It was true that I was no stunning beauty. My face was plain and my stature short. I leaned toward plumpness, although not so much that I was round. I had not been blessed with any exquisite features. Still, he did appreciate me.
I sat up. It was something my mind would dwell on every so often. I wanted to make him happy. Once I had tried to approach him on the subject, but he had dismissed it quickly, saying that I was worried about nothing. I let it go, but I knew better. He loved another. Don't get me wrong, he loved me too, only in a different way.
I stood and walked to the crib and picked up Ami from her crib. The nurse had brought her in shortly after dawn. I gazed down at her as she lay in my arms. She had her father's eyes and features, although she was still a little plump. Her hair was darker than his, still blue, but bordering on black. She had his eyes though. Those amazing, stunning, blue-blue eyes. Brushing her hair from her forehead I smiled at her. My smile faltered slightly as I noticed that her forehead was a little warmer than usual. I would have to make sure she saw the doctor to make sure she was all right.
Her smile dazzled me. She was my exquisite feature, and soon I would have another. I would make Mercury happy, whatever the cost.
In two days we would be leaving the Moon.
The sun was high in the sky, bathing the gardens in its glory. The laughter of Tory and Crin reached my ears as they played with their wooden swords.
"Have no fear, oh fair Princess Lita!" came Crin's voice. "I will save you from the evil Lord Tory the Terrible!"
"Ha, you will never escape," Tory cried as the two boys continued in their sword fight, their sister watching from the blanket she was sitting on. I smiled as I felt a hand on my shoulder. Taking my eyes from my children I turned my attention to my husband. Jupiter's eyes twinkled with laughter and contentment. Deep down I could see that the laughter and contentment was laced with worry, but I knew he was waiting for us to leave to let that worry consume him.
I sighed a little and leaned my head on his shoulder. He was my weakness. He was my god.
I felt the pressure of his lips pressing against my hair. "I love you," I heard him whisper, and almost melted on the spot. Even after so many years of marriage he could still cause my heart to skip a beat, my legs to tremble, and my knees to buckle. All he had to do was look at me a certain way, caress my skin, or say a few words as he just did.
I ran my fingers over his hand. He clasped them right away. His hands were large, and callused from years of training with the sword. There had never been a time when he had not been gentle with me though, nor with the children. Yes, with them he was firm, but never harsh. He could pick up Lita with the greatest of care, and he did so often. She was his baby girl after all. His princess.
I could already see her growing into a tomboy.
The thought brought a chuckle from me. "What is it?" Jupiter asked me.
I nestled my head more comfortably on his shoulder. "Nothing. I was just thinking what our children will be like when they grow up."
Jupiter now chuckled too. "I'm not going to comment on that." We both laughed and then turned our attention back to Tory, Crin, and Lita. Crin was in the process of defeating ‘Lord Tory the Terrible,' and Lita could not have cared less that she was about to be rescued by a dashing young prince.
A cough sounded from her. My senses were suddenly on high alert. It was not a normal cough, but one that I had heard one too many times when the boys had come down with fevers. I stood from the blanket Jupiter and I were sitting on and went to pick up Lita.
"But mama," came Crin's anxious voice. "I was about to rescue her."
I smiled at him as I placed my hand on Lita's forehead. "I know, and you were very brave for fighting of Lord Tory the Terrible for her."
A frown was etched on my features as I noticed Lita's forehead was much too warm. I sat down next to Jupiter and reached for one of the blankets that we had brought along, and I wrapped Lita in it. Tory and Crin ran over to see what was going on. "Mama, is Lita all right?" Tory asked as he kneeled next to me and gazed at his sister with worry. Crin was standing behind Jupiter, his arms wrapped around his father's neck, peering at the bundle in my arms. Another cough came from her mouth, and this time she started to cry.
Jupiter sighed. "Come, let us go back and I'll find a doctor." With those words he stood and took Lita from my arms, returning her once I stood as well.
This of course had to happen two days before we were supposed to leave.
She rubbed her temple and I watched her hair fall around her fingers. She let out a sigh and I watched the rise and fall of her chest. She leaned down and ran her hand down our daughters face and I watched that motherly glow coming from her eyes.
Had it not been for the fact that Mina was sick I would have felt like I was once again in heaven.
Venus tore her eyes away from the crib and looked up at me. Worry was clearly showing on her beautiful face, but she managed to give me a weak smile. I placed my good arm gently around her shoulders and gave her a tight squeeze. She wrapped her arms around my waist and squeezed back. "She'll be fine," I murmured as I placed a kiss on her head, inhaling her sweet feminine smell. "The doctor said they would all be fine within a week."
I felt her nod her head. It had been strange, all of the children had gotten sick over the past few days. I should correct myself, not all the children, just the baby girls, Mina, Lita, Ami, and Serenity. Hera and Jupiter's boys were fine. It was some sort of fever, and the doctor said they would be fine. However, he did warn against them travelling in that period of time. It didn't help matters that we were all anxious to get out wives and children away from the Moon and to Luna's planet as quickly as possible. We had had a meeting earlier in the evening, and we decided that as many as could would still go the next day, and the rest would follow. Hera would go with her two boys, and Lady Mercury would accompany her. I would go along as well.
It had hurt my pride a little when Venus asked if I would mind going with Hera and Lady Mercury, and to allow her to stay behind. In a weeks time, Selenity, Helen, Endymion and the girls would come, since Endymion had been sick as well. Venus would stay. I wanted her to be safe, but truth was that she was a much better representative to stay behind for our planet. I frowned a little as I thought of my useless arm. That was one of the reasons I wasn't staying behind. War was sure to break out, and I would not be able to fight. Venus could not pick up the sword either, but at least she had some powers of healing.
So now I was to be the escort for Hera and Lady Mercury.
There was a soft knock on the door. I released Venus and walked over. I was a little surprised to see my sister standing there, holding a glass dish in her hand. "Selenity, what are you doing here so late?"
She offered me a small smile and the dish. "The doctor just came by again and gave me this cream. If Mina can't sleep, rub a little bit of this under her nose. It should relieve coughing and allow her to rest. I already delivered some to the others."
I took the small dish from her and placed it on the table next to the door. "Would you like to come in for a while?" I asked her, ignoring the fact that both Venus and I were already dressed for bed. Selenity wouldn't mind.
She shook her head. "Thank you, but I should be heading to bed too. Kino's waiting for me, and I want to make sure Serenity falls asleep." I nodded my head in understanding and closed the door. I took the dish and placed it next to Mina's crib so it was ready for when we would need it.
Venus was already lying in bed in the adjoining bedroom. I left the door between the two rooms open so that we could keep a close eye on Mina. I took off the robe that I was wearing and draped it across the back of a chair before slipping under the covers next to my wife. She snuggled in close to me right away, and I wrapped my arm around her shoulders. She traced the contours of my chest slowly, running her fingers up and down my stomach. I felt shivers racing up and down my spine. She began kissing my chest, making it feel like she was trying to ignite my skin.
My hand tugged at the string at the back of her nightgown, loosening the silky fabric. I felt her body press closer to mine and her legs rubbed against my own. A playful smile toyed with her lips as she leaned up on her elbow and crushed my lips with her own, her tongue flicking out against my lips. I gave out a low moan and ran my fingers along the shoulder strap of her nightgown, causing it to slip down her silky shoulder. She pulled back from the kiss slowly and I opened my eyes to gaze at the goddess before me. Her nightgown was already pooled around her waist, and the soft silvery glow from the window made her look like an immortal beauty.
She leaned forward and ran her lips across my neck, causing me to shiver. I took the opportunity to flip her onto her back, which caused a giggle to come from her throat. Her arms wrapped around my neck and she brought my head in for a deep kiss, an action I didn't mind in the least. I was leaning against my elbows, one of the few things I could do with my bad arm. I brought my good hand to her hip and slowly started to caress her stomach, each stroke coming higher and closer to the swell of her….
A scream pierced the air, and we both froze, lips locked, eyes open. I broke the kiss and sighed. "Be right back," I mumbled and got off the bed. Mina's crying tore at my heart, and not even the arms of my half-naked wife could have kept me in bed. Of course she didn't even try to hold me back.
They stood on the dock, the ship waiting for them all to board. Selenity rubbed her tired eyes. They were all tired. The girls had not been sleeping well, even with the cream the good doctor had provided. Of course, they didn't sleep at night. When they had gotten up that morning and put the girls together into one room under the careful eyes of two nurses, they had all fallen asleep. That was all right though, they needed it.
Selenity's eyes wandered over to Mercury and his wife. He had one arm around her shoulders and the hand of his other arm was placed gently on her stomach. He was murmuring something into her ear that was making her smile.
Kino tugged on her arm. "Are you sure you don't want to go with them, Tenshi?" he asked pleadingly.
Selenity brought her gaze up to meet his eyes and smiled. "I'm sure. I don't want to leave Serenity. Besides, I can't let Helen go by herself in a few days, now can I?"
Kino sighed. "I'd still feel better if you were going."
Paris nudged him in the ribs. "They'll be fine. They're only leaving in a few days. Aminiha will not be here by then."
Selenity nodded. "I need to stay, Kino. Paris is right, we can leave in a few days and we'll be fine." Kino nodded and she let her gaze wander again.
All around servants were making last minute preparations and the crew of the ship was waiting patiently for their passengers. Hera held each of her boy's hands, and Jupiter was down on one knee entrusting the two young princes with the responsibility of guarding their mother with their very lives. The two of course were taking their roles as protectors very seriously.
Selenity chuckled at the scene and glanced over to where Venus and her husband were standing. Venus stood on her tiptoes and placed a chaste kiss on his lips. Selenity sucked in her breath at the raw emotion in her brother's eyes as he gazed down at his wife once they broke the kiss. He loved her, and no one could dispute that.
Finally all the couples broke apart. Hera was escorted by her ‘bodyguards' onto the ship, and everyone else followed. The door shut, and within minutes they were leaving.
Selenity, Kino, Jupiter, Mercury, Helen, Paris and Venus stayed on the dock, watching the ship leave. Servants still scurried about cleaning up.
"I'm going to miss them," they heard Jupiter murmur, and Venus and Mercury had to nod in agreement.
Helen glanced up at Paris. "You'll miss me and Endy too, right?" she asked with a teasing tone.
Paris chuckled. "Of course."
The stayed there another ten minutes, just watching the ship slowly move away from the moon. "Well, shall we head back inside?" Kino asked, and everyone agreed. They still had some planning to do, and Selenity was anxious to get back to the girls. They all turned and began their stroll to the doors leading back into the palace. The doors swung open, and Artemis came rushing out.
"Wait, stop...." he yelled, but then froze.
"Artemis? What's going on?" Kino asked. Atemis was pale, and his hands trembled as he held out a scroll, bearing a seal of the Dark Queen. Kino took the parchment, and everyone glanced at the words as he unroled it. At first they were confused. All it said was, 'Let this be War.'
Nothing could have prepared them for the sound of smashing glass and a shriek. They turned to see what it was, and they saw a servant girl standing there, shards of glass and water at her feet. The girl was staring into space, and when they looked to see why, a pin could have been heard dropping to the ground.
They had turned just in time to see a beam of energy zip across the sky, heading strait for the ship. Their blood froze, and terror like none other that they had known gripped their hearts.
Just like that, the ship was no more.
The flames were gone within seconds, and all that was left were wisps of smoke.