Author's Notes: Okay, okay, okay. I did not mean for this chapter to take almost seven months to write. This chapter was supposed to be out at the end of October, but I never got around to finishing it! I wrote myself into a plot point that I just could not figure out and by the time I remembered that I had, it was 2017. I am so sorry, guys. But here is the final chapter of House on a Hill. I hope you guys like it! Big thanks go to:
Saiyajin Princess Chichi – Thanks for your review. Would you believe that that was the hardest decision I had to make with this chapter? Does Diamond get what's owed to him? Do Serenity and Endymion come out unscathed? I really had no idea back in June and even when I started working on this chapter again in October I still kept debating back and forth. Hopefully you like what I chose!
SerenityMorrison – Thanks for your review! I'll be honest your review made me smile a lot. I've never been called a monster before for the way that I ended a chapter, and I was so ecstatic when you did! Hope you like this one!
TropicalRemix – Thanks for your review! Interesting theory. I won't say if you're right. You're going to have to read on to find out. :)
slightlyxjaded – Thanks for your review! It was so awesome reading all of your reactions real time as you went through the chapter. I had to be very careful with the ending of this story since I didn't want to have it end up like B&B…well not completely at least. Hope you like this!
NikkiBC – Thanks for your review! I'm curious to see if you add this one to your playlist! Let me know!
Latebuttruefan – Thanks for your review and for reading my other stories as well! The darker side is always a fun story to write. Hope you like the ending!
Ilazo4108824 – Thanks for your review! Your wish is my command. Here's the last chapter.
darkphinix – Thanks for your review! Yeah, I really did not think security through when I was creating Endymion's mansion. I guess I thought that because it was out so far into the woods that that would be its own security? Hope you like this one!
SMSM92 – Thanks for your review! Whimsical mystery is always fun. Endymion's decision was a very tough one, but I think it not only worked for his character development but also for the overall story. Hope you like the endgame!
ericlover6288 – Thanks for your review! It's here and I hope you like it. :)
For your reviews. You guys keep me going!
Disclaimer: This story is rated M for a reason. Mostly because of language, violence and innuendo in this one. I don't own Sailor Moon and I don't own the song "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" by One Direction. Buckle up, folks you're in for a bumpy conclusion.
House on a Hill
It Ends Tonight
"Counted all my mistakes and there's only one
Standing out of the list of the things I've done
All the rest of my crimes don't come close
To the look on your face when I let you go
So I built you a house from a broken home
And I wrote you a song with the words you spoke
Yeah it took me some time but I figured out
How to fix up a heart that I let down"
~ "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" ~One Direction
Endymion may have been drunk, but at Diamond's appearance and when he saw him squeeze the trigger of the gun that was pointed in their direction, he sobered. And he sobered up quickly. He didn't even think as he pushed his sister to the ground and heard the thwacking sound the bullet made as it wedged itself into the wall behind him. He looked up and found Diamond staring at where they had been in dismay before he lowered the weapon.
"Raye," he whispered. "You need to run. He's not after you."
"You really think he's going to let me escape?" She replied dubiously.
"He will if I cause a distraction."
"I told you, he wants me." Before Raye could even puzzle out what he was going to do, he stood from the floor and made a direct B-line for the door. This took both Raye and Diamond by surprise. The gun that the white-haired man was holding was still lowered as Endymion came at him. "GO!" Endymion roared at his sister who was frozen. At the word she moved on hands and knees for the door.
Once she was free, Diamond seemed to remember that he had a gun while Endymion had nothing because he raised it and pointed it directly at his chest. "Do you really think it's wise to threaten me, Chiba? I could kill you right here!"
Endymion widened his arms as if in welcome. "Then go ahead."
The gun lowered for a second. Diamond hadn't been expecting the defeated man that stood before him. "Why aren't you putting up more of a fight? Don't you value your own life?"
"What do I have to live for? You've already taken her," he replied knowing that it was the truth. Despite Serenity and his best intentions, she had failed in her mission. Endymion knew that as soon as Diamond appeared waving around the pistol in his hand. Because if she had succeeded, he wouldn't be standing there gloating right now. Instead he would be out for revenge. Although, if Diamond did have Serenity, then why was he here? Raye had explained before, but he couldn't remember…
"Yes, I have already taken her," he said with a wicked smile. "Although I can't believe you'd be so willing to give her up. You must have known what was going to happen? She tried to be so sneaky coming before the deadline, before I even suspected that she would appear, but she was lazy. And I found her." Diamond must have felt confident that Endymion wasn't going anywhere because he began to walk around the study. "I do have to admit that she reminded me a lot of you right now. She seemed so defeated to her fate…until I brought up my plans for you."
"And what are your plans for me, Diamond? You got what you wanted. You have Serenity." The words hurt to say. If it wasn't for the gun pointed at him, he would pummel this sick piece of trash into his wooden desk.
"That's where you're wrong," Diamond said. "I don't have her heart and you know how I know this? Because when I told her my plans for you, she got very protective of you. She tried to take the gun away. She demanded that I not…how did she put it? Oh, yes, 'don't you fucking dare touch him,' is what she said. That told me that you have her heart. That she is in love with you."
Endymion couldn't breathe. Out of everything that had happened over the last five hours, he had completely forgotten that Serenity was supposed to break the curse. That she was supposed to answer his question before Sapphire showed up and changed the course of the evening and the rest of his life. But here was his answer, if the white-haired man could be believed. Serenity loved him despite his faults. She loved him. And he…had been a complete and utter idiot in letting her go. He needed to get back to her. But to do that he had to stop the asshole in front of him. With the gun. Who wanted to kill him.
Luckily for him, because of the defeatist attitude he had at Diamond's threat, the guy was being lax with keeping an eye on him. There was something on the desk that had captured his attention, which gave Endymion the opportune moment to escape and get himself a weapon.
"So you decided to kill me, hoping that my death will remove me from her heart?" Endymion asked as he slowly backed towards the door.
"Yes, and so that she realizes that no one is going to rescue her this time."
He took another small step backwards getting closer to his goal. From here he could see the hallway. He just needed Diamond to stay distracted. Another slow, backwards slide of his feet and he was in the hallway looking into his study. Now, he just needed to make a break for it and hope that somewhere along the line he could pick up a weapon.
He turned to flee, but the movement or his silence caused the white-haired man to look up. His eyes flashed dangerously as he lifted the gun and took aim again. But Endymion didn't give him a chance to line up his target, he turned and fled deeper into the mansion.
Raye sprinted up the stairs to the bedrooms like the hounds of hell were at her heals, and in a way they were, because the white-haired devil himself was in her home. With a gun. And her brother…she couldn't even think about what was going to happen to him. He was depressed about losing Serenity, at his one chance at happiness at staying his execution and then that bastard Diamond shows up with a gun to kill him. He was going to die to protect her. And why not? If Diamond was here that meant the worst had happened.
She made it to the last step and didn't know where to go next. She should lock herself into her bedroom, but what if that wasn't enough? Sure, Diamond was only here for Endymion, but what if he didn't want there to be any witnesses to what he had done and came for her? She flew past her brother's room and was going along the hall when three figures appeared at the end of it.
This caused Raye to come up short. That's right. She wasn't alone in the house. Lita, Amy, and Mina were here with her too. And they didn't know what had happened and who was now downstairs. She jogged up to them and ignored their startled expressions as they took her in. She was sure she was a mess, but she had every reason to be and no time to damper their worries. They needed a plan and they needed it now.
"Raye, what's wrong? We heard a noise come from downstairs…" Lita began and Raye motioned for her to stop talking.
"We have to get out of the hallway. I'll explain everything once we're hidden." Thankfully, all three were good in panic situations because they didn't even ask questions and just moved into the empty guest room at the end of the hall. Once they were all inside, Raye locked the door and kept the lights off. "Quickly. Behind the bed."
The girls did as they were told. Once they were all settled, they turned to Raye expectantly. "The guys were right, Diamond was on his way here to kill my brother. He's downstairs in the study with him now and he's got a gun. He distracted him long enough so that I could get away. But he's still down there…" She took in a deep breath and tried to slow down her racing heart.
"Diamond is here with a gun?" Mina repeated her eyes wide.
"Endymion is still down there with him?" Amy added.
"And that sound we heard earlier?" Lita finally said. "Was a gun shot?"
"Yes," Raye replied. "I don't know what we should do, but we have to do something."
"I'll let the guys know that Diamond is already here and he has a gun. They're on their way back from the hospital and we don't need them walking into whatever mess Diamond has planned." Mina took out her phone and hit Kunzite's number. The phone rang…once…twice…three times before it clicked over to his voicemail. They must have already been en route. She was about to leave him a message when they heard a loud thunk come from the roof.
"What the hell was that?" Raye asked as they all looked to the ceiling. The thunks continued.
"Well, I don't think its Santa Claus," Lita quipped. "And I highly doubt the guys made it back that quickly. So, I'm thinking that Diamond isn't the only one we have to worry about."
The first thing that she was aware of when she came back to consciousness was her aching head. The second was that there was way too much red in front of her eyes for her liking. Had Diamond really hit her that hard that she was bleeding from her head? And if that was the case then why wasn't she dead? Surely a head injury that bad would have been a death sentence. So surely the red in front of her face wasn't blood, it had to be something else. The only question was, what?
As her eyes started to focus she started noticing that the red wasn't just red, there were also strands of brown. Strands? She thought to herself. The only thing that had strands was hair. Who did she know that had red hair? She turned her head and immediately hissed in pain. That's when the red in front of her eyes disappeared and she instead saw a pair of green eyes.
"Oh, you're awake," the unfamiliar voice said and the person pulled back so that Serenity could actually see what was going on. She was still in her childhood bedroom and from what she could tell she was by the foot of the bed and on the floor. Her father was behind the woman in front of her and seemed to be asleep. His feet and hands were tied with thick pieces of rope. The woman in front of her did in fact have long red hair, but Serenity didn't recognize who she was.
"There'll be time for explanations later," the woman said. "All you need to know is that Diamond has left and is at Endymion's manor with the gun. And he didn't go alone, he took some hired thugs to go with him. Whatever he has planned, is not going to end well, unless you get over there and stop him."
"And how am I supposed to do that? I didn't have much of a chance going up against Diamond when it was just the two of us. Now he has thugs and a gun and he wants to kill…" She couldn't even say his name because the thought of him dead made her heart ache. Besides, Diamond wouldn't have left the house unprotected and her free to do as she pleased. Her bedroom door was no doubt locked from the outside. And even if she did get past that, there were probably men guarding the door to make sure she didn't escape and meddle with his plans.
"Well, two of those things are true," the mysterious woman replied. "The door is locked from the outside and there are two guards at your door, plus a few more downstairs. But when has that ever stopped you from sneaking out of this house?" The woman's green eyes glittered like emeralds.
Whoever she was, she was right. The kitchen wasn't the only way to sneak out of this house. But after what happened last time didn't Diamond bind her? She flexed her arms and legs, finding that they were unbound. The mysterious woman held up a piece of rope.
"Figured I'd lend a hand," she said with a smile and got up off the floor. She offered Serenity a hand up and she gratefully took it. When she stood, she let the small bout of dizziness subside before glancing at the red-haired woman.
"Do I know you?"
"No, but I know you, Serenity Tsukino and if we do this right, we'll be able to rid the world of two monsters tonight."
"Monsters? What are you talking about?" The red-haired woman ignored her and turned her back to help Serenity's father. Sometime during their exchange he had woken up and was looking at the two of them wide-eyed and confused. His wrists and legs were bound. The mystery woman leaned down to start working on the complex set of knots. Serenity followed suit.
"You know what I'm talking about, Serenity. But maybe this will help. One of the monsters we'll defeat tonight, isn't really a monster at all. He was a beast, until he met you."
Serenity frowned over the knots she was busy undoing. A beast until he met her? What was this woman talking about? Unless…her hands froze as she realized what was going on here and what this woman meant. Endymion had been cursed to cave into his darkest desires, he'd became a beast and the only way to break that curse was to find someone who loved him despite it. That was her. But the only people who knew about the curse were those who lived within the walls of Chiba Manor. And…
She turned to face the red-haired woman. "You," she breathed in understanding. "You're the one. The woman who cursed Endymion."
The woman tilted her head to the side as she undid the final knot holding Serenity's father's hands together. "Hm. That somehow wasn't the reaction I was expecting. Most people would have called me a witch. An enchantress. A devil woman."
"I've watched enough movies and read enough books to know that you don't want to piss off the woman who cast such a spell. Besides, you can't be too bad if you're here helping me. Why are you here?"
"A good question, one that I'm not entirely sure the answer to myself. All I know is that Endymion has surprised me in the last few months and you are mostly the reason why. I don't usually meddle in the affairs of my cursed, but for this one I thought I had to make an exception."
"That answer makes no sense, but thank you all the same." The final knot on the rope binding her father's legs gave way.
"Don't thank me yet, Serenity," the woman said as they helped the man to his feet. "We have to get out of here and to Endymion's manor before it's too late." It was a directed comment and Serenity took the meaning clearly. Making sure that the woman could handle her father's weight on her own, she then proceeded to the balcony doors.
She opened them as quietly as she could and shuffled out. She peered over the edge and saw that Diamond had remembered that she used to sneak out that way. There were two men directly below. She quietly backed inside and turned to the mysterious woman.
"No good, there are two guards at the bottom of the balcony," she replied. "Even if there weren't, the climb down would kill me. My shoulder is still not what it was. We might have to go with Plan B."
"No clue," she shrugged a hysterical laugh at the back of her throat. "I was hoping you'd have an idea."
The sharp look that the mysterious woman sent her told her that she in fact did not have another plan. This was Serenity's childhood home. She was supposed to know every nook and cranny, but the problem was, Diamond knew it too and he would have every exit covered. So, unless, they could do a disappearing act they were stuck. And Endymion was going to die.
Wait…disappearing act! Serenity thought. "How did you get in here?" She directed her question to the mysterious woman.
"I used my magic," the woman replied. "But don't even think about it. I can't transport three people at once. I can barely do it on my own."
A plan rapidly began forming in Serenity's head. "That's all we need," she said with a smile.
Rubeus DeWitt had been through enough to know when he had gotten himself into a shit storm. He'd been through a war, he'd been through prison, and there was that underground fighting ring when he had gotten in a little too deep. When the helicopter landed on the roof of one of the biggest houses he'd ever seen, he knew something was up. He'd been involved with a contracted unit for the longest time. If something needed doing he didn't ask any questions other than when, where and who. He didn't need to know why. Especially when the money hit his bank account.
He'd been kind of slow in the work department recently, until the other night when he gotten a phone call from someone by the name of D who told him how many men he needed, where they were supposed to meet, when he was supposed to be there and what he was supposed to do. It seemed easy enough, and the payday was going to make him a very happy man for the foreseeable future.
But something was wrong. He didn't know what it was, but when the helicopter landed and his men hustled out, there was something in the air that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Something was going to be off about this op, he just didn't know what.
He tried to shake off the feeling as his guys surrounded him to get their orders. "Okay, men, the object is simple. There are five people in this house – one male, four females – our job is to make sure no one comes in and no one comes out. If you see the male, let him be, he's not ours to kill. The females are not to be harmed. If you see them shoot them with the tranq gun and gather them towards the entrance. When the boss is done he'll load them up and get them out of here. Understood?"
"Sir, yes, sir," the seven men echoed.
"Good, then let's move out." They moved through the door that led them from the roof into the dwelling and Rubeus swore that the feeling that something was off intensified. He'd never questioned his jobs before. Why was this one so different? He couldn't put his finger on it and he knew that he either had to figure it out or get out of his head, because one bad move and…
A flash of color got him out of his head. He signaled for his men to stop and they fanned out behind him, trying to see what he saw. The hallway was empty. There were doors on his right and left that led to other rooms, but they were all closed. So what had he seen?
"You all right there, DeWitt?" One of his men asked.
"I think so, I think I'm just seeing things," he replied with a shake of his head. "All right, back to the mission. Fan out and find these females. Remember, tranqs only." The seven men nodded and began to walk the hall, each stopping at a door. Rubeus took the immediate door on his right. He waited several seconds before he opened it and went inside his tranquilizer gun out in front of him. He searched the empty bedroom, checking every possible place and closet before he walked out of the room again.
In the hallway, three of his men stood outside their respective rooms that they had searched. But the others weren't there. Rubeus frowned as that feeling crawled up his spine again. If there was nothing in those rooms, like the others, then the other men should have been on the outside too. Something was off. He signaled what was left of his men to check where the others had disappeared to, before he stepped across the hall to the last door himself.
He stepped inside the room, but like the room he had searched, there was nothing there. Not even a trace that one of his men had been in there. Rubeus frowned, his weapon lowered to his side. What was going on?
"DeWitt!" A voice hissed from the entranceway. He looked up. "You're going to want to take a look at this." He followed his man out of the room and into the third door on the left. The other three men were standing in what appeared to be a sewing room at one point. It was hard to tell with white drapes covering most of the furniture. Except for a black shape on the floor, the room looked untouched. As Rubeus approached, it was clear.
The shape was one of their tranquilizer guns and it was missing the dart that was preloaded.
"Shit," he murmured.
"That's not even the worst part," his man said.
"And what is?"
"Take a look," his man pointed in the direction the gun was pointed. In the wood paneled wall was a hidden closet for the room. The door hadn't closed properly. And the reason behind that was there was a body there. One of his men. Passed out, cold.
"Shit," Rubeus said again. He was going to need backup. These women were not going to go quietly.
Kunzite was breaking about two, maybe three different driving laws. But he didn't care. As soon as Sapphire had admitted that Diamond had lured everyone away as a trap to get to Endymion he knew that he had made a mistake in coming with the other guys. Endymion wasn't the only one in that house. Mina was there too and all it would take was one stray bullet – or hell, just a bullet – and his whole world would end.
That's why when he found out that it was in fact a trap, he had gone for the helicopter. Only to find that it was almost out of gas and it would take too long to refuel. So he had done the impossible – no, immoral.
He hotwired a car. It wasn't anything flashy, but the car he chosen fit all four of them and had a bit of kick to boot. Hence why he was going one hundred down the freeway out of the city and getting the nastiest of looks from the cars he passed. Hopefully, he was going too fast for them to get the license plate number, because if they reported it to the police they would realize the car was stolen and that would not help things right now.
His knuckles were white as he clutched the steering wheel and maneuvered around a slow going minivan. He just needed to go a little further and then he would be off the freeway and into the country backstreets where at this time of night, no one should be on the road. The speedometer read 105 and it was inching up. He was surprised that the other guys hadn't said anything about the speed, but on the other hand, was he?
They had girls in the mansion too and if a bullet hit anyone… His foot slammed onto the accelerator some more as the thought of Mina being hit by a bullet, being killed, tore through him. He needed to get off the freeway and onto those country backroads, now.
The other three members in the car didn't dare say anything as Kunzite's grip on the steering wheel tightened even more. Jadeite was surprised that his knuckles didn't pop out some claws ala Wolverine he was clutching it so hard. But he couldn't blame his silver-haired friend. He knew what he was going through. Raye was in the house with Diamond too. And the last that they heard, she was going down to the study to warn Endymion of the danger headed their way. They hadn't heard anything from the girls since.
For all he knew, Raye was lying dead in Endymion's study. He inhaled sharply as the images floated through his head. His beast was quivering in anger, but there was nothing that he could do. Not while they were in the car on their way to hopefully save their friend and the women that each of them loved.
The car made a sharp turn and then they were bumping along as Kunzite finally got what he wanted and ended up on the country backroads. Nephrite was clutching his fists almost as hard as Kunzite was. He had made a grave error in judgement. He never should have asked for Lita to stay with them at Chiba Manor. She would have been better off back at the house that she shared with Serenity. But now because of his dumb actions she was probably going to die. Maybe. Possibly. He didn't know her all that long, but she was tough. At least, she wouldn't go down without a fight.
As Kunzite pushed his foot further down on the accelerator the only one who wasn't worried about the impending doom on the occupants of Chiba Manor was Zoicite. It might have been stupid and naïve, but he knew that Amy was smart and she would find a way to make sure that the other girls and herself would be safe. She knew that house backwards and forwards. She would find some hidden passage to hide within until it was all over.
Kunzite made another harrowing turn that almost caused the car to lose its traction before straightening it out and continuing on for another few hundred feet. With brute force he stomped on the brake and threw the car into park before jumping out of the vehicle. The other guys were on his heals as they ran up the stairs and to the front door that was already cracked open. Their pace slowed as they inched into the foyer and looked around.
Nothing looked amiss except for how quiet it was. They inched further into the hall and then Kunzite looked back to the others. He motioned to the stairs, hoping that the girls had been smart and sought refuge in one of the spare bedrooms. The other three nodded their heads and followed the silver-haired man up the stairs as quietly as they could.
The first few rooms they checked held nothing within. But as they got closer to the third room, they heard people talking and they weren't women's voices.
"Dude, this is bad," one of them said. "We were not expecting for this to happen! The girls were supposed to go quietly! Not take us out!"
"I know, but what can we do? We're under orders. We have to find them!" Another exclaimed. "Let's go through the closet! They have to be in here somewhere."
Kunzite and Jadeite were the first into the room and they had let their inner beast out to play. The three men who were in the room and looked like they were on a mission turned with a surprise and their fingers on the trigger of their guns.
They never got the chance to pull them.
Raye, Mina, Amy and Lita were all huddled together in the back of a guest room closet. Amy had shown them that each closet had a secret back panel that connected all the rooms together. When they had heard the men come from the roof to take them out they had executed a plan of their own. Only the man that Mina was supposed to take out hadn't gone down without a fight. He had took too much time and before she could hide the body away the other men had come searching. And they had found him knocked out by one of his own tranqs.
The other three girls had come to get Mina, but she was too afraid to move. It was one thing for a surprise attack, but now that the other men knew what was going on their guard was going to be on high alert. So they had hid and listened, waiting for their opportunity to get out.
That was when the screaming started. They didn't know what was going on out there, but Raye wasn't about to sit around and find out. Taking the tranq gun that she had taken off the man she had taken out she hesitatingly made her way through the secret passage door and into…
It looked like a free for all. The four remaining thugs were being taken out one by one. As each body hit the floor, Raye couldn't help the smile that cut across her face. They weren't dead, or at least the two that Zoicite and Nephrite had taken out weren't. The two in Kunzite and Jadeite's possession looked a little bit worse for wear though.
"Jadeite," Raye said from the doorway to the closet. Nephrite and Zoicite turned to her in surprise as the other three women appeared behind her. Even Kunzite let the bloodied red haired man drop from his clutches as Mina appeared. But Jadeite kept pounding. "JADEITE!" She tried again. But he didn't hear her.
So she did the only thing she could think of. She set him in her sights with her tranq gun and pulled the trigger.
He plopped to the ground along with the other thug and didn't rise again. Kunzite, Zoicite and Nephrite all looked to the raven-haired woman with stunned expressions on their faces. She looked at each of them and shrugged. "He would have regretted it later."
The three nodded their heads without making a sound as their eyes roamed over the other three women behind her. Everyone was all right. That just left two…
"Where is Endymion?" Zoicite asked.
"We don't know," Lita replied.
"I was with him down in the study when Diamond arrived. He bought me time to get upstairs. I'm not sure what happened after that." The raven-haired woman lowered her weapon to the ground and went towards the knocked out blonde.
"The study was empty when we came in," Nephrite murmured as the realization dawned on all of them that that meant Diamond was somewhere in the house hunting down Endymion. With a gun.
"Oh, shit," Mina said for them all.
The plan was surprisingly simple. In theory. Since the red haired witch – Beryl, Serenity had found out her name was – didn't have the best of control over her disappearing and reappearing power with more than one person, they would only use the one. Beryl would disappear out of the room that they were all in and reappear in front of the guards that were in front of the door. She would knock them out using whatever means necessary and then unlock the door. Serenity and Beryl would then go throughout the house and knock out any guard that remained in the house so that way Serenity could make her escape to her car.
"I still don't like it," Serenity's father repeated.
"Why?" Serenity said with a frustrated sigh. "Because it involves leaving you behind?"
"No," Kenneth replied with a glare. "Because it wastes too much time."
"What do you mean?"
"You're going to knock out all these guards and then you'll go to your car. The drive back to Chiba Manor takes too long, even if you break a few speeding laws. There has to be a better way."
"Well, there isn't. You heard Beryl. She can't transport us all."
"Yes," Beryl nodded, but then tilted her head. "But that doesn't mean I can't just transport you."
Serenity blinked. "What?"
"I can transport you back to Chiba Manor. And then I can stay here with your father to make sure everything is okay."
The blonde opened her mouth to protest, but her father cut her off. "Don't try, Serenity. You were going to leave me here anyway. At least this way I have someone here with me. And a witch to boot."
She turned to the red-haired woman. "Are you sure you can do this? You said earlier that you had trouble just using this magic on yourself."
The woman smiled. "Yes, but that's because I have too many thoughts going on in my head. You are only going to be thinking about Endymion and his manor. You should get there in one piece."
Serenity swallowed sharply. She was planning on getting back to Endymion, if it wasn't already too late, but now that she had a clear shot to get to him she was nervous. She was going into a house where not only her friends but Endymion were trapped by Diamond. Who had a gun. And there was only one thing that he was after. Something that she was not willing to give him.
There had to be a way to stop him. She just needed to figure out how.
"Okay," she said with another sharp swallow. "Let's do this."
Endymion Chiba was hiding in his own room in his own house. An hour ago he wouldn't have hid. An hour ago he would have been killed by the madman that was in his house with a gun only so that way he could be put out of his misery. But that was before the madman told him what he most desperately wanted to hear. The woman he was in love with – and who he had foolishly let go – was in love with him too.
But that made things complicated because now he had a will to live, but the madman with the gun was still in his home and was still hunting him. So he did what any sane, almost twenty-five year-old man would do. He hid out on the balcony.
It was stupid and ridiculous. One wrong move and he could fall to his death, but he wasn't about to hide underneath his bed. Or in the closet. Or in the bathroom. Although, as he continued to stand there, he wondered if maybe he should have hid in the bathroom. At least in the bathroom, there were weapons. Out here there was nothing, unless he could somehow lift and throw that very heavy vase at Diamond's head before he got off a bullet.
He saw shadows move in his peripheral vision and held as still as he could. That hadn't taken long, he thought to himself and watched the shadow move. The balcony door began to open and Endymion began calculating how fast it would take him to jump when the door closed again. He counted silently to fifty and when he reached it he slowly peaked out from his hiding spot and back into his room. No one was there.
He slowly reached out and turned the knob to go back inside and hoped that someone had been out there recently to oil the hinges. The door opened without a sound and he slipped back into his room. He silently walked towards the other side and thought he was going to be okay to check on the others when a flash of silver caught the corner of his eye.
He didn't even think. He just ran.
He made it through his door and out into the hallway when he heard footsteps behind him. And then the piercing bang. He felt the bullet go past his right side, and thanked whatever god was listening that this guy seemed to be a horrible shot. He kept running. This time he also bobbed to make sure that Diamond's aim was still horrid.
The pounding footsteps continued behind him, but thankfully the shooting did not. He made it to the stairs and took them two at a time going down, when his foot caught on one of the steps and he went flying down. He landed on the second landing going down and felt something crack. As he made to get up a foot came kicking towards him. It hit him right in the side and he felt something else crack. This time he was pretty sure it was his ribs as he went down another flight of stairs.
"Did you really think you could outrun me?" Diamond panted the gun held out in front of him. "I've known the blueprints of this house for weeks in preparation for this event. I'm not going to let you escape."
With effort – too much effort if Endymion was being honest – he lifted himself off the steps and into a standing position. He was not going to give Diamond the opportunity to kick him while he was down again. He wasn't going to give up. Not when he knew the truth.
"You realize this is a losing effort, don't you?" He found himself asking. His breath wheezed. Yes, he definitely broke a rib…or two. "She loves me. If you kill me that won't change anything. She will always hate you for taking me away from her."
"That's the thing, Endymion Chiba," Diamond said through clenched teeth as he lifted the gun and put the raven-haired male in his sights. "Love fades. And hers for you will, it may take time. But I will be there. Waiting. You? Won't be." He squeezed the trigger.
Serenity had to admit that out of everything she'd done in the last two years, this had to be one of the weirdest. Being transported by magic was just weird. One minute she was standing in front of Beryl and her father having them tell her that everything was going to be all right. The next she was going through some sort of multicolored vortex with one place on her mind. Endymion Chiba and his manor.
When she got through to the other side of the vortex she was back in the Chiba Manor. But not exactly where she wanted to be. She was in the foyer across from the staircase that led to Endymion's room and she almost cried out at the scene that greeted her when her eyes finally focused.
Endymion was against the railing of the bottom set of stairs and Diamond with the gun was standing across from him. The gun pointed at his chest and Diamond was squeezing the trigger.
Bang. The horrible sound echoed through the empty hall, but instead of causing the room to freeze – for her to freeze – it just signified her to action. She ran. She ran like the hounds of hell were at her heals as she made her way across the walkway and towards where Diamond and Endymion were. But as she ran she noticed something.
The bullet never hit flesh. At the last possible second, Endymion had ducked and rushed Diamond. This caused Serenity to stop running and watch. Endymion grabbed Diamond from around the back of his knees and hauled him down to the stairs below. The gun went skittering towards the foyer below and the two men began exchanging punches.
Endymion should have had the upper hand because he had rushed and surprised Diamond, but the effort took a lot out of him and he was lagging. Something was wrong with him and Serenity wasn't sure if she should get closer to inspect what.
A hand landed on her arm and she instantly whirled around, thinking for a horrific moment that Diamond hadn't come alone when she recognized the group behind her. It was the girls and the guys – although two of them were carrying a zoned out Jadeite between them.
"You guys are all right," Serenity sighed with relief.
"We're all right? You're all right," Raye replied with an even bigger smile. "When Diamond showed up here claiming that he had you captive I thought for sure I'd never see you again."
"I didn't think I was going to see any of you again. Diamond knocked me unconscious and held me prisoner with my father. But…" she turned around as she heard a moan of pain coming from below. The fight that had started on the stairs had now made its way to the ground floor and Endymion was laying on the ground clutching his side as Diamond – his nose dripping blood – stood above him with a triumphant smile on his face.
Serenity's heart stopped. No, she thought. "We have to do something," she whispered. "We can't let Diamond kill Endymion."
Kunzite and Nephrite were placing Jadeite on the carpet and looked like they were ready to move when Mina brought up what looked to be a tranquilizer gun and began to aim for Diamond. Serenity was staring open mouthed when she barely caught the small movement out of the corner of her eye. Another tranq dart came flying through the air and caught Mina in the arm. She went down as if she was nothing but a plastic bag floating in the wind.
The others were on alert and Serenity ducked behind a potted plant as men in black came out of all the guest rooms and even more poured down from the hall. Diamond hadn't come alone.
Diamond had paused in his pursuit of Endymion for just long enough that he was able to see a beautiful sight. Endymion's men and the other women that he had been housing were being surrounded by the contracted help he had hired. He smirked at the sight knowing that no one was going to get in his way now. Endymion was his to kill.
"Take a good look, Chiba," Diamond said. "Your friends are being round up as we speak. You are all alone."
The raven-haired man on the ground looked up at the walkway that connected the upper floor and cursed. His friends had made it back, but so had Diamond's hired thugs. Now, not only were they being hauled together, but the girls were too. Couldn't he keep anyone safe?
"Let them go, Diamond," he wheezed as he slowly sat up. "I'm the one you want."
"Yes, you are," he signaled for the men to stop what they were doing as Endymion stood up. "I'm glad you see that there are somethings not worth fighting. If it's any consolation, you didn't deserve her anyway." Diamond withdrew a knife from the waistband of his pants and lunged.
Endymion closed his eyes as he waited for the final blow to come. He had been lucky but he knew his luck had run out. But that was okay, because at least he had done it to save his friends. His sister. The women that Serenity cared for. After everything he'd put them through over the years it was about time he did something for them. Hopefully they would all live happily ever after now. I love you, Serenity, he thought and tried not to scream as he felt the knife pierce his flesh.
Serenity knew that she was going to be too late as she snuck the other way away from the men that Diamond had hired to help him in his task. Endymion had stopped fighting if Diamond let the others go. That stupid, stupid man. So she crawled as fast as she could until she would be safe from being detected from the eyes of the hired men and then she ran. She ran as fast as she dared towards the stairs and to where she could see the metal of the gun glitter in the light.
She grabbed it midstride, turned, aimed, and fired. She didn't even feel the small kickback the pistol gave after being fired as she continued her frantic pace. All she cared about was the raven-haired man she was running towards. The one that was falling, his shirt covered in crimson with a knife protruding from his chest. She tried not to sob as she saw the sight, but it was no use her eyes were already blurry with tears.
I was too late, she thought and fell to her knees in front of Endymion's body. Blood spread from where the knife stuck out of his chest and his breathing was shallow. Diamond had stumbled off to the side, his arm trying to reach behind his back, but he couldn't. His shirt was turning red too, but not as fast as Endymion's. She had missed.
His eyes found hers and widened in shock. "Serenity?" He whispered. "How?"
She still had the gun and this time pointed it directly at his chest where his heart should be. She didn't stop to answer him. She just pulled the trigger.
Diamond fell and by the time he hit the ground he was dead.
Serenity dropped the gun and pulled Endymion into her lap smoothing back his hair. His breathing was getting worse. "Amy, Zoicite!" She exclaimed knowing that they were going to be the only ones who could help her at this point. There was no chance that an ambulance would get to them in time. And with those two…well, it was still a long shot. But she had to do something. She couldn't just sit there holding him as he died and her heart broke into a billion irreparable pieces with him.
"Sere…" Endymion murmured his eyes flickering open and finding hers. "You're here. You came back."
"Of course, I did," she replied tears flooding down her cheeks. "I couldn't leave you."
A small smile appeared on his face. "I love you," he whispered before his eyes closed and his breathing stopped.
"No," she said frantically. "No, Endymion, don't you dare stop breathing. Come back to me, Endy. Please." She moved and began pounding on his chest, administering CPR…or at least from what she remembered of it back when she did CPR training in high school. She wasn't doing a good job of it and when Raye gently pulled her away and let Zoicite and Amy take over she cried into her friend's shoulder. This could not be happening.
"Still nothing," Amy murmured tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Serenity, Raye, I'm sorry, but he's…" Zoicite trailed off his eyes red-rimmed.
"No," Serenity breathed and went back to Endymion's side. His heart beat no longer and he looked somewhat peaceful in death that smile still on his lips. She cried into his chest not even realizing that a crowd had formed behind her. Kunzite, Zoicite, Lita, Amy, Raye, and even Jadeite who had awoken from his tranq gun haze were there. The men that Diamond had hired were disappearing before the cops came. And Mina was still on the walkway sleeping off her tranq dart.
No one dared approach the blonde as she continued to weep into Endymion's chest.
No one was sure what had happened but one minute it was just them by the body the next the auburn-haired witch that the guys remembered from a cold March night three years ago was standing there. She looked down at the blonde crying and knelt down beside the body herself.
"Serenity," the witch whispered.
The blonde peered up with tears still streaming down her face. "Beryl?"
"You know what you have to do."
"What do you mean? Endymion is dead. He can't come back from that. I've lost my chance to tell him how I really feel."
"Have you?" The witch countered. "Remember, Serenity, that a declaration of love has its own powerful magic." The witch stepped away and left the blonde to stare after her before she looked down at the man whose chest she had made her own personal snot rag.
"I love you, Endymion Chiba," she whispered.
Nothing happened. At first. Then the lights flickered out and the doors opened as a gust of wind blew through the room. Whatever it was, wasn't natural as the wind picked up Endymion's body from the floor and then began to spin. It reminded Serenity of the multicolored vortex that she had traveled through to get back to the mansion. With each twist the wind changed colors until finally the vortex gently placed Endymion back down.
Serenity didn't dare to hope as she watched the body that was now crumpled in on itself for any signs of movement. The lights flickered back on and the wind was gone in an instant. Everyone quietly stared waiting for something, anything to happen.
A muffled groan caused the blonde to bite back a sob of hope. The crumpled body began to move, to sit up and then slowly, shakily stand.
She didn't remember standing up, but she did remember running across the space between them and stopping just short. "Endymion?" She murmured the tears freely flowing again. He whirled around and his azure blue eyes found her cornflower blue ones. Each pair held a question.
"Serenity? How…" he trailed off as her eyes took him in. His shirt was still soaked in blood, but the knife and the wound it had wielded was gone. "I could have sworn that I was dead."
"You were," she replied. "I thought I lost you, but…I had some help." She pointed behind her to where she had last seen Beryl and Endymion's gaze found the witch's with a raised brow. He had not been expecting to see her again. Beryl smiled and then in a blink of an eye was gone, her job done.
"The witch brought me back?" He asked.
"No," the blonde shook her head. "Breaking the curse did."
Endymion blinked as the realization hit him that he had forgotten about the curse again. But apparently it didn't matter. He was no longer cursed, which meant… "You love me?"
"So it would seem," she said with a slight twitch of her lips. Lips that he desperately wanted to kiss. He lowered his head to do just that when someone cleared their throat. He peered up and looked directly at the group of his friends that were watching all of this highly amused.
"We hate to interrupt this love fest," Raye said with a grin. "But there are some things we need to take care of before we all get our happily ever afters."
To clean up the mess that the fight and intrusion by Diamond's hired thugs caused took four hours. Unfortunately, the police had to be called because of Diamond's body. Luckily because of the situation with Diamond and Serenity from the month before, the police didn't even bat an eye when Serenity and Endymion explained what had happened. It helped too that Serenity's father – who was okay except for a few knocks to the head – had matched his statement to theirs.
After the police left for the night with assurances that if they had any more questions they would call, everyone was too exhausted to do much else. Mina and Kunzite with sparks in their eyes disappeared to Kunzite's room, while Jadeite and Raye did the same. Amy went towards her original room, but Zoicite stopped her by just placing his hand on her lower back. A whole conversation seemed to take place with that one touch and they disappeared together. Lita didn't even say anything as she dragged Nephrite's surprised hand and took him upstairs.
Serenity tried not to laugh at the astonished expression the brunette male's face, but it was hard not to. As soon as Lita and Nephrite disappeared it left just Endymion and Serenity in the foyer. They hadn't spoken since she had confessed that her love had broken the curse and brought him back to life. And she didn't know what else there was to say. Especially not now when she was so tired she could probably just lay down on the floor beneath her and be asleep in seconds.
As if sensing her wariness, Endymion approached from behind and whispered in her ear, "Shall we? Or are you going to refuse to sleep until all your work is done again?"
A smile tugged at her lips as he referred to their first time together. "I just might refuse…" she said a playful lilt to her voice. "But I am exhausted."
"Then let's get you into bed," he trailed off as parts of him began to stir. "To sleep. There will be plenty of time for other things later." He put his arm around her waist and began walking with her towards the stairs. She leaned into his body and tried to fight her drowsiness.
"You're feeling pretty sure of yourself," she mumbled as he showed her down the hall to his bedroom.
"You did say you love me," he pointed out. "Truthfully I'm still waiting for you to run." The statement fell from his lips without him thinking too much about it. But even as he said it he realized that it was true. Even though she had broken the curse by declaring her love, she still could decide that all of this wasn't worth it.
Serenity didn't say a word until he let her into his room and closed the door behind him. When he did she turned to him and forced him back against the door. "I'm never going to run. I chose you the minute I decided to come back here. I chose you again when I told you I loved you to bring you back to life. So don't think that I'm ever going to run. I'm staying right here, until you tell me otherwise. I love you, Endymion Chiba even if you are a gigantic moron."
He didn't even reply. Instead he did what he'd been wanting to do since he had come back to life. He kissed her and her lips were just as addictive as he remembered them. He felt himself stirring again and realized that they really needed to stop having passionate conversations against walls and doors. It always led to some extraneous activities afterwards. So much for getting any sleep.
Mina and Kunzite fell asleep in each other's arms and for the first time since the curse had been cast Kunzite slept the night through without any nightmares. When he awoke the next morning he found himself curled around Mina and she was wiggling in a way that made him realize just how early it was.
"Mina," he growled into her hair.
"Kunzite," she mocked and turned herself around so that way her front was plastered against his.
He groaned again. "What are you doing?"
"Isn't it obvious?" She asked. "Now that you're no longer cursed…" Kunzite's eyes opened as he realized that the night before hadn't been a dream. He was no longer cursed. Serenity had done the impossible and saved them all. Which meant…
He smiled a feral smile which caused Mina to quake in all the right places. "Remember, you asked for this." He said before he lowered his lips to hers.
Jadeite woke up naked in the bathtub and his raven-haired beauty was nowhere in sight. His head was pounding like he had one too many drinks and he was thoroughly confused. How had he ended up here? And why was he naked? He didn't get any answers, even when Raye herself walked into the bathroom. She threw him a disgusted glare before grabbing her toothbrush.
"Raye," he said softly. "What happened?"
She spat her toothpaste into the sink. "What do you think happened?"
He honestly couldn't remember. He remembered going upstairs last night after everything had quieted down with Raye. After that…it was a giant blur. "Raye, please…" he pleaded.
She threw down her toothbrush and stalked over to him, her eyes enraged. "You went to go take a shower and asked me to join you. I told you I would wait for you out in the bedroom. But you never came back. When I went to check on you I found you like this with the water running. You fell asleep."
He frowned. So what if he had fallen asleep in the shower? That tranq gun dart had really taken a lot out of him. But why was Raye so pissed off. Unless…he turned his gaze back to hers and her eyes were burning with rage. She had waited up for him. "I'm sorry that I kept you waiting," he murmured. "But you know how I like to take the clothes off of you myself." With a gentle tug he had her falling on top of him with a surprised yelp.
Amy woke up the following morning with someone kissing her neck. She blearily opened an eye to find Zoicite grinning down at her. "You are way too perky this morning," she mumbled and closed her eyes again. After the night before she could honestly sleep for two more days, which was saying something since usually she was a morning person.
"I'll give you a few guesses why," Zoicite replied with another kiss, this time to the corner of her mouth.
"Just because we slept together you're this happy?"
"Oh, you have no idea how long I've waited for this," he said with laugh. "But there's something else…something that I want to ask you."
She felt him move off of her and she sighed in defeat. Obviously she wasn't going to be getting anymore sleep today. She opened her eyes and searched the room to find her auburn-haired man. He was still in bed next to her, but he was leaning across the bed to the nightstand beside it. When he found what he sought he closed the drawer and turned back to her.
"Amy Pots," he began. "I hope you don't mind if I don't get on one knee for this, but I've been in love with you since we were kids and if there is anything that the curse has taught me is that I'm not going to waste one more moment. Will you marry me?"
Her stunned expression took in the ring and then his smiling face. He was in love with her. Zoicite, who could have had any woman he wanted, wanted her. To be his forever. It was stupid that she had to even think about it when she already knew her answer. "Yes, of course I will," she said with a watery grin.
Zoicite let out a whoop of joy before taking the ring out of the box and placing it on Amy's third finger of her left hand. He kissed her passionately until they were both breathless and then pulled away. "You know the guys aren't going to believe this," he said with a slight laugh. "I'm pretty sure most of them had bets if I would ever work up the nerve to ask you."
"Well, then, let's go and collect," Amy said with a laugh of her own. She went to pull the sheet off of her, forgetting for a moment that she was completely naked beneath it. He caught a glimpse of the naked flesh and gently pushed her back down onto the bed.
"Later," he said with wicked gleam in his eyes. "There is something more important that I want to do."
Nephrite awoke alone and confused. Last night had been one of the strangest nights of his life. The curse had finally been broken and he had thought that he had spent it with Lita. He remembered her dragging him to his room. He remembered a kiss that had set most of his body on fire and he remember falling into bed with her. But that was it. Nothing else had happened. They had slept and it had probably been the best sleep of his life.
But now she was gone. And his thoughts were finally able to catch up with him. What had that kiss meant? He knew that he desired the brunette. He had even told her as much, but he wouldn't let himself touch her when the curse was intact. But now that it wasn't, what did it mean for them? Did it mean that they were going to explore their feelings for one another? Or was it just some compilation prize?
The only way to know was to track her down and ask her. He got out of bed and left his room knowing exactly where to look.
He found her in the kitchen whipping up breakfast for the house. She looked to be mixing up pancake batter when he walked in.
"I know, you're hungry, but breakfast isn't done yet," she said with her back towards him. "I'll have it ready…oh. You." Her eyes met his and he could tell that they were wary. She had stopped mixing.
"Me," he said just to break the silence. "You got an early start."
"I figured everyone was going to be hungry after last night," she replied and resumed mixing.
"Uh huh. Are you sure you weren't trying to avoid me?"
"And why would I avoid you?"
"Because you kissed me last night and slept in my bed. You don't think I want to discuss what that means?" He walked up to the counter and took the mixing bowl from her arms.
"I'm sure you do," she said with a sigh. "As do I, if I'm being completely honest."
"Okay, then, let's talk about it. You kissed me."
"Because…" Lita trailed off and then met his gaze. "Because I wanted to. I've wanted to since you came into my kitchen and confessed that you've had sex dreams about me."
"Had. Still having," he leaned in closer trapping her between the counter and his body. "It was very disappointing to wake up in that bed alone."
"I'm sure. But that's the problem, Nephrite, you said it yourself when you confessed about those dreams. We don't know each other. Don't you think we should, before we jump into bed together?"
He mulled this over for a minute before he took a step back from her giving her space to move. "You're right. We should. So...Lita, will you go out on a date with me?"
"Y-yes," she sputtered in surprise. For some reason that had not been the reaction she'd been expecting.
"Good. Now can I kiss you?" He leaned in close and was just about to place his lips over hers when someone cleared their throat. The two of them separated quickly and looked over sheepishly to the door of the kitchen.
Everyone was standing there, and Serenity was trying not to laugh again. "Sorry to interrupt. But we're kind of starving."
"Hold your horses. Breakfast will be ready in a few!" Lita exclaimed and turned back to her mixing bowl and frying pan. Nephrite turned to help her, but Serenity and the other girls ushered him out of the kitchen.
"Out, out," Mina said with a gentle push. "If you try and help her, we're never going to eat."
He walked out of the kitchen with a dejected expression on his face, before the girls turned to each other. Mina let out a squeal of delight while Serenity, Amy and Raye tried to help Lita with breakfast prep.
"I can't believe it," Mina said with a sigh as Raye handed her a basket to fill with muffins. "Out of all the craziness of the last two months we all ended up with boyfriends."
"Yes, who would have thought that that one phone call from Endymion Chiba would have changed my whole life?" Serenity asked sarcastically. "Although I have to admit there are some events I could have honestly done without."
"True," Raye replied as she poured milk into a glass pitcher. "But those events made you and your relationship with my brother stronger."
"And your relationship with Jadeite?" Serenity countered with a knowing grin.
"God, I can't stand him," the raven haired girl said with a smirk. "But he makes me happy."
"Mina?" Serenity asked with an eye roll.
"Kunzite is perfect," the other blonde replied. "He's serious to my spunky. He'll keep me in line when I get a little too overexcited and I'll lighten him up if he gets too dark. I love him. What about you, Lita?"
"I don't know," Lita said as she flipped a pancake. "Nephrite and I are just getting to know each other, but…he's the first guy I've dated who doesn't remind me of any of my ex-boyfriends so I think that's a good sign."
The girls continued to work until Serenity nudged Amy. "You've been quiet," she remarked. "What about Zoicite?"
"Well," the blue-haired girl said and the whole kitchen stopped to look at her. "I love him, a lot, and we're…um…getting married?" She sheepishly held up her hand and the ring sparkled underneath the kitchen lights. The others gasped in surprise before surrounding her and offering her congratulations.
Attracted to the noise, the guys came back and when they saw what was going they turned in surprise to their auburn-haired friend who smirked and offered out his palm. "Pay up," he said with a laugh. The others put bills on his outstretched palm and as Endymion added his twenty to the pile he looked across the room and met Serenity's eyes.
She was smirking, but in her eyes was something that he never thought he would ever see directed towards him. Love. And as he took in the room of his friends and their lovers, he realized that the curse may have brought him and Serenity together, but it had also done something more. It had brought together an extended family who had fought hard to make sure that not only did they get their happy endings, but that he had gotten his as well.
Author's Notes: Ack. I don't usually write sappy endings like this, but I didn't know how else to end the story. Anyway. Hope you guys liked this tale!