Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ All's Fair in Love and War ❯ Anything Goes, But This... ( Chapter 34 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter 34It had been seven months. Seven months of blood, tears, and sweat. Seven months of pain, agony, and fear. Seven months of wishes unheard and prayers unanswered. The war began only hours after Aminiha's message was read by those of us left over.
Anything goes, but this...
Anything goes, but this...
I sighed as I gazed out at the terrain below the balcony. The sun was setting and everything was bathed in shadows. Not that it really mattered. It always seemed to be night now. Even when the sun was shining, there was too much gloom and depression. I could still see the scene in my mind as clearly as though it had happened only yesterday. Paris' arm around me tightened as we heard the shattering of glass, and we all looked to see what had happened. I can still remember the feeling of terror I felt in the pit of my stomach as my eyes darted to the spot where the ship had been only seconds before. The wisps of smoke that clung to the black sky seemed to be taunting us, laughing at us and our pain. I don't think any of us could breathe for the period of a few seconds.
Jupiter had been the first to react. His cry had shattered the deathly….wait, I shouldn't use that word, it's too eerie….the deafening silence and he began to run to the edge of the dock. Kino had regained his senses as well and dashed after him, which was probably what had saved Jupiter's life. He ran in the direction of the smoke, and would have probably run right of the dock to his death in a vain attempt to reach his already dead wife and children. Kino grabbed his arm just in time and swung him back, causing them both to tumble to the ground, Jupiter a sobbing mess. It was the first time any of us had seen him cry.
Venus' face went pale, all colour draining from her face as she grasped my shoulder for support. Paris reached out to steady her as her gaze remained fixed on the empty hole of space. She licked her lips as her eyes began to glaze over with tears.
Mercury had walked a few steps ahead of us and sank down to his knees, tears streaming down his face. His wife had been on that ship, his wife and unborn child. He let out a strangled whimper.
Venus still held on to my shoulder, although it was Paris who was helping the two of us stand. I shot a look in Selenity's direction, the prickling of tears in my eyes growing steadily stronger. She was still staring up at the sky, but broke her gaze when another loud cry came from Jupiter. She quickly looked at Artemis, who was still in a daze beside her. I don't remember what orders she had barked at him before she ran over to Jupiter and Kino, wrapping her arms around Jupiter to stop him from getting up and trying to make another mad dash for the sky again.
A sob brought my attention back to Venus. Her unshed tears clung to her eyelashes as she buried her face in the crook of my neck, and let her emotions take over. Paris let us go since I could now stand on my own, and walked over to Mercury who was still staring up at the sky. He crouched down beside his friend and put a comforting hand on the weeping man's shoulder.
It was a hard day on all of us. I don't think anyone slept that night. I don't think Jupiter could sleep for at least a week. Venus fell asleep the next afternoon from sheer exhaustion, and Mercury the next night for the same reasons. Selenity was very shaken too, since her brother had been on that ship, as well as some of her dear friends. All of us were shaken up about our friends.
Aminiha's letter succeeded in bringing Jupiter into the war. Although he had not been planning to fight before the war began, he was now determined to bring an end to the Dark Queen. Everyone now had a stronger determination to bring her down.
We didn't dare to try and leave the solar system again. After the girl were well, we split them up, each going to her home planet. It was safest that way, since Aminiha could not strike them all down at once. Selenity moved down to the earth to be with me while Kino and Paris went to the moon to strategize. The moon actually became the central base for the generals and kings of the solar system.
As I allowed my mind to wander thus, a rare opportunity in my life now, I was brought from my thoughts by the sound of the door being opened. I turned around and saw Selenity entering the chamber. I had been expecting her, since this was, after all, her room. I could tell that she had been training hard, her once loose gown now clinging to her figure with sweat.
"Oh, Helen, I didn't expect you to be here," she said as soon as she saw me, her voice laced with fatigue and irritation. I knew she wasn't irritated with me, but with the crystal. Even with all her training and determination, she was still unable to get it to respond. Still, her duty dictated that she keep trying to learn to use its power, otherwise she may have already given up.
"I'm sorry to be here uninvited, but knew you'd be coming back here," I said gently as she walked over to the bath I had instructed the maids to prepare.
"You're never 'uninvited,' Helen," she murmured softly, a touch of teasing in her voice. "I don't mind. I just fear that I won't be a pleasant companion tonight."
I helped her undress and climb into the steaming water. Normally that was a maid's job, but tonight I didn't want any maids around, but just the two of us. It had been too long since we had a night together, alone. Her body slipped into the water and she gave a sigh of contentment as her whole body was enveloped by the hot water, easing the tension from her. The scent of lavender filled the air, creating a somewhat relaxing atmosphere.
I pulled up a chair close to the tub as Selenity's body disappeared beneath he mountain of bubbles on the water's surface. "Still no luck?" I asked, hoping that she had made at least some progress.
Selenity sighed deeply. "No, nothing new is happening. I feel like I'm just going around in circles." Her eyes were focused on the bubbles. "It's really beginning to irritate me that I can't progress at all. How am I to protect the moon?"
"You're not the only one in the war," I told her as she brought her gaze to me. "We're all in it. I'm sure that you won't need to use the crystal, so you'll have more time to figure it out."
"Mother had to use it," she pointed out.
"I know," I replied with a nod, "but that doesn't mean that you'll have to. We're more prepared this time, and we can bring her down. She could not have become too strong in such a short period of time."
Selenity nodded as she dipped her chin in the water. I knew she didn't believe me, but at least the words were a comfort for the time being. I knew that she missed Kino, in the same way that I missed Paris. We saw them so rarely now that they had taken residence up on the moon. They did come down to visit every so often, separately of course so that we would not all be together at once. Since "the incident," everyone was paranoid about giving Aminiha an opportunity to strike down so many at once. When they did visit, it was always in secret, we never knew when they were coming.
Selenity and I sat in silence for several minutes, each one of us lost in our own thoughts. Finally I broke the silence, telling her how Serenity and Endy had been playing before they went to sleep. Hearing about her daughter always made Selenity cheer up somewhat, so I was glad to be able to put a smile on her face. Selenity finally deemed it was time to emerge from her bath after she had lathered her hair and I had rinsed it for her. She stepped out of the steaming water as I held out a towel for her. She wrapped herself in the fluffy white cloth, her wet silver hair clinging to her shoulders and back.
A soft knock on the bedroom door caused us both to turn. "Who is it?" Selenity called out, tightening her grip on the towel.
"Luna, my Lady."
Selenity sighed and looked at me. "Come on in Luna. Don't leave the door open, I'm not decent." With those words she closed the door to the bathroom as I went to see what Luna wanted. The door to the bedroom opened and Luna walked in.
"Where is my Lady?" she asked me as she stood at the door.
I nodded my head in the direction of the bathroom. "She's just putting on a nightgown since she just got out of the bathtub," I told her, and I was a little surprised when the young woman smiled and blushed ever so slightly. Before I could ask her though, my question was answered when Kino stepped into the room from the hallway. Well, Selenity would certainly be pleased. She had not seen Kino in nearly four weeks, and even I could tell she was pining away for him.
"Well Luna, I think it would be best if we went to see how the children are doing before we go to sleep ourselves," I said with a chuckle, staring at Kino as I ushered Luna out of the door.
Kino grinned at me. "Thank you," he murmured, and I winked at him. I knew what it was like, and the two of them would certainly not want an audience to what they were about to do. I just felt a little sorry for them since Selenity was already exhausted from her training, and now I only hoped she wouldn't fall asleep as soon as she saw him.
I could hear Luna and Helen talking in hushed voices behind the door as I slipped my nightgown over my head. It clung to my still damp body and my hair was still handing loosely. No matter….I quickly grabbed a brush from the table and ran it through my hair. At least it wouldn't be tangled, and it was already drying fairly quickly after I had rubbed it down with my towel.
I glanced out the window up at the moon. That was where Kino was, that was where I wanted to--no--needed to be. It had been too long since he had come to see me.
He was my weakness.
The moon's glow was calling me, taunting me, beseeching me to come to him. I wanted to, but I knew I couldn't. I could feel the all too familiar prickling of tears at the back of my eyes. It was a sensation I had come to know very well in the past few months. Soon, soon he would come to me, I hoped, since he had been gone so long. Paris had already come to visit Helen three times since the last time I had seen Kino.
No matter though, I thought as I walked over to the door, running my fingers through my hair one last time. I would simply have to be patient. Patience was always rewarded.
I opened the door and froze as soon as my eyes landed on my bed and half naked husband waiting for me. I guess patience rewards quickly! A lump began to form in my throat as I started at him staring at he, the room completely dark except the light coming in from the window. His bare chest was bathed in silver moonlight, and a soft smile tugged at the corners of his lips.
"Kino…" I managed to whisper before squeal of excitement burst from me and I jumped on the bed, landing on top of him. He chuckled as he wrapped his strong arms around me, pulling me in for a kiss. This was a wonderful surprise, and as his hands started to wander up my thighs, I wondered if he could surprise me like this more often.
Three days I got to spend with her. Three days I spent on the Earth, and those days were wonderful. In the morning, after my first night there, I woke up early, and after kissing Tenshi gently on the forehead I started to get up to get dressed. I didn't know that my kiss had woken her up until her arm was snaked around my waist as I was in the process of slipping my legs into a pair of pants.
"Where are you going?" she murmured as she kissed my back. I shivered under her touch…god how was she able to still do this to me?
"Nowhere," I said with a smile as I stroked her arm. "I was just going to see Usagi."
"She'll still be asleep," I heard my wife mumbled as she pressed her cheek to my back and tightened her hold on my waist. I chuckled and slipped the pants back down from my knees and swung my legs back onto the bed. I pulled the sheets back up around us and wrapped Tenshi in my arms. She sighed with contentment as she snuggled in close to me. "I'm glad you came," she sighed out, and I pulled her in closer.
"Me too," I replied. I brought my hand to her chin and tilted her face up so I could kiss her. She readily accepted my lips and allowed her hands to wander over my body. I groaned into the kiss, and all thoughts of leaving the bed to see my daughter left my head.
The three days flew by way too fast, and soon I found myself kissing my wife and daughter goodbye. I held Usagi and tickled her stomach. She giggled as she tried to push my hands away, with little success. I finally had to hand her back to Tenshi. As soon as Usagi was in her arms, she stood on her tiptoes and planted a tender kiss on my lips. I found myself melting for the hundredth time in the past seventy two hours. AS she kissed me I suddenly felt an odd pressure on my earlobe, which suddenly transformed into a sharp bolt of pain. I pulled back with a small yelp, scaring both Tenshi and Usagi. Usagi pulled her hand away from my ear, which explianed where the painful sensation had been coming from.
"She pulled on my ear," I explained to Tenshi while rubbing my soar earlobe.
Tenshi giggled as she looked down at our angel. "Did you pull on daddy's ear?" she asked sweetly, making Usagi grin.
"Da-da," she squeaked out, making Tenshi nearly drop her. My heart leapt into my throat and I was sure that no force could tear me from the Earth now.
"She just said da-da," Tenshi said, a little pointlessly, but we were both caught up in the moment. It took five stern warnings from Artemis to finally get me to board the ship, and it only worked because he pointed out it wasn't safe for all three of us to be together. I walked up the plank and kept glancing back at my family. Luna stood behind Tenshi and Usagi, with Artemis at her side. It was obvious the two were interested in each other, it had been obvious for some time now. I smiled as I thought about a wedding we would probably be planning soon. Artemis had revealed that much to me.
I finally tore my gaze away and boarded. It was to be a long trip back to the Moon. There, Paris, Jupiter, and Mercury were already waiting for me. "It's good to have you back," Paris said at our first meeting as soon as we were all seated. General Malachite and General Yokiro were shuffling through papers, eager to fill me in on what I had missed in the past three days.
"Pluto is starting to get worried," Jupiter pointed out. "He's having a hard time keeping the raids on his planet under control. They are few and quick, but they are always so unexpected. He still hasn't recovered fully form the first war with Aminiha, and he's asking for our help."
Mercury sighed, rubbing his forehead. "What are we to do though? We're having a hard enough time keeping her forces at bay around here. The stream of men she's sending is more than enough to keep us busy."
I nodded my head along to all this. Mercury was right, and none of us could understand how she could have prepared herself in such a short period of time. It had been only just over three years since her first attack on our Kingdoms, and three years just simply was not enough time for her to strengthen herself as much as she did. Granted, it was common knowledge that Mars had allied himself with the Dark Queen, which could explain some of her increase in power. If Mars was supplying her with men and tactics, then we were up against a stronger foe than I would have liked. Still, even with Mars' help it was odd that she was so strong.
"Neptune has offered to send a legion of about thirty five hundred men here to help us," Yokiro said, bringing my attention back to the conversation at hand. "He can't guarantee them being here in less than three weeks though."
Paris sighed as he rubbed his forehead. "Then we will have to wait those three weeks out to receive those troops, won't we."
Inwardly I sighed. Too many men had already lost their lives, on both sides, and I hated to hear that more were coming to meet their doom. More than anything I wanted the war to be over, since everyone was suffering. The economy was very bad everywhere, and people had to scrounge to survive. There were no massive famines or starvation outbreaks as of yet, we did make sure everyone was still fed. To say things were prosperous, though, would have been a great exaggeration.
General Malachite stopped shuffling his papers. "By all accounts, both from the reports that we are getting from the front lines as well as the data we've been collection outside the battle field, Lord Mars and Lady Aminiha should be reaching an end point, unless they have some assistance from elsewhere."
"Really?" I asked, my interest piqued. Finally a shred of good news.
Jupiter rubbed his chin as he glanced at one of the papers before him. "Yes. The way that her men look on the battle field is getting worse by the day. Each new legion seems more tired out than the one before, as though they had just been through a rigorous training program with little to no sleep, and they still don't know how to hold up a sword very well."
"Those men are probably the ones being supplied by Mars," Paris commented. "He has a very tough and strict training program, but at the rate they are needing new warriors, even his program isn't sufficient anymore."
"She has to be up to something," Yokiro mumbled. "She can't hold out much longer, so she has to have some sort of plan. She is not the type of woman to give up easily."
"We should be making some headway though," Mercury murmured as he glanced at us all around the table. "There are so many of us and two of them. Yet, they still manage to hold their ground. By what power are they doing this? And what could the Dark Queen be possibly planning?"
An odd silence filled the room.
"What options do we have for ending this battle without losing many more lives?" I finally asked, noting how my words sliced through the silence in the room.
"It's hard to say," Malachite finally said. "Since we don't know how she's managing to keep her armies so well supplied, we don't know how extensive that supply is. She could have enough men to keep going for months or just a few more days. We also don't know to what extent Mars and his allies are contributing to this war. I think that Emperor Uranus would be able to send men if we needed them, although perhaps a little reluctantly. Lord Saturn has already sent as many men as he can spare, so until the legion from Neptune arrives, we have to hold out with what we have."
"In that case we'll have to-" Paris' words were cut off as the doors to the hall burst open. All eyes turned to the cause of the comotion, and I must admit that I was startled to see Artemis rush into the room, followed by four men from the Imperial guard.
"Artemis, what are you doing here? I could have sworn I left you back on the Earth," I started to joke, hoping to lighten the mood a little, but the grave look on Artemis' face stopped any desire I might have had for humour. "What is it?" I heard myself ask frantically as I stood from my chair.
Artemis came to a stop before me, a pained look on his face. "Kinotsu," he whispered. "Your Lady and Serenity are gone."
I could have sworn that Artemis had just hit him with a mountain. "What the hell do you mean gone?" I asked as I felt my heart skip a beat and start to pound furiously in my chest.
"They-" Artemis paused and took a claming breath. "They've been kidnapped."
If I thought his earlier words were a mountain, this was a whole planet. Gone....there was no way that could have been true. They had to be on the earth, safe and waiting for me.
It took all my willpower at that moment not to break down.