I don't own the characters of Sailor Moon. So there. ;P

I really love this fic, but it's hard to find time to work on it. It's also hard because I started writing it like six or seven years ago and can't recall where I was going with it. So, I'm reinventing it. Hope you enjoy it.

Annnd, I stripped the scouts of their powers over the elements and such, just because. I wanted them to fight using normal weapons to put them on the same level as everyone else.

I THINK I fixed all the this n' that about them having powers in the earlier chapters, but if anyone notices something I've missed, let me know!

I apologize to your eyes, for this is a LONG chapter. Yay!

~*~*~*~

Morning came all too soon, though the weather was relatively pleasant despite the bitter chill that yet lingered in the air. Serenity awoke to find herself wrapped tightly in heavy blankets, though Endymion was nowhere to be found. She flushed as she recalled the night before…another moment of weakness, she thought to herself. Cursing her own lack of self control, the princess quickly scanned the tent, seeing that a set of men's clothing had been laid out for her.

"Finally," she said aloud. She was rather sick of wearing her tattered gown, her hands greedily snatching up the shirt and pants. Thankful for the belt still on the floor, she managed to make herself somewhat presentable, though her borrowed clothing seemed to swallow her entirely. She took the uniform jacket in her hands before slipping her arms into it. It too engulfed her small form, though she was grateful for its warmth. Her sullied clothing had been removed from the tent, and she silently hoped that they'd burned the accursed garments.

The last things she put on were the black boots, which were also too large, but not by much. She wondered to herself which member of the guard had such small feet.

She sat there for a while, until her legs began falling asleep. She was utterly sick and tired of waiting on Endymion's return when he appeared, her smile greeting him immediately.

"They don't fit you very well, do they?" he asked, humored by the sight of the diminutive girl sitting upon the tent floor, swallowed up by her borrowed clothing.

"I managed to scrounge them up. They'll at least keep you from freezing," he pointed out.

"I am grateful to you, Endymion. I thank you," she said, as he extended his hand towards her. She gladly accepted it, allowing him to lift her to her feet.

"No need. I am the one that should be grateful. So thank you, Serenity," he said, still holding her hand in his. What he did next took every last bit of strength he could muster, for he knew that his words would scar the very soul of the beautiful girl before him. He would curse himself for it for many days to come, though he knew it to be an all too necessary evil.

"Come. We're taking our leave. We must be on our way if we are to get you back home," he said, feigning apathy as he turned to exit the tent. When she didn't follow, he turned back, a stern line across his face.

"You want rid of me so much?" she asked. He could see the hurt and anger flash through her crystal blue eyes, the pain immediately striking him.

"I suppose I've been nothing but a play thing for you, haven't I? Another notch on your belt, perhaps? Something to spread tales to your generals about?" she asked, jerking her hand from his.

"Serenity…"

"No. If I am nothing more to you than simply an amusement…"

His kiss silenced her, his arms nearly crushing her against the panes of his chest. Her hands rose, pushing against him, trying to put space between them, and yet he wouldn't budge. At last she was able to break their kiss, her breaths heavy as she looked up at him.

"You think you can soothe my heart with your lips? Have you taken control of it only to shatter it?" she wondered, his face still stern as he looked down at her. Fire raged in her eyes, her anger overpowering the hurt lacing her voice. It was then that he delivered the death blow.

"At least I made you a woman," he said without emotion, hating himself as the words left him. The sting was immediate as her hand connected hard with his cheek, the princess shaking as she seethed with rage before him.

"You bastard. You hellish beast! How could you spout such lies to me? How could you dare to use me like this?" she shouted, his hand catching her arm before she could deal him any further damage, though he knew how much he deserved it.

"Come now. We've had our fun. Did you actually think you were any different than the rest?"

The words burned like fire as he spoke them, his heart paining him as he saw the hurt wash across her face. She would hate him for this, that much he realized. However, if he didn't put an end to it now, she would only be hurt…hurt far worse than even now.

"You…you're nothing but a lying bastard," she accused, tossing his hand off her arm as she stormed past him.

"Don't touch me," she snarled, before disappearing outside. He followed, stalking after her, trying desperately to keep up his façade, when all he cared to do was comfort her…to beg her to forgive his words.

His generals looked up as they approached, the horses saddled and ready to take them across the land and back to the palace. Zoisite's brows furrowed as he noticed the look on Serenity's face, and he immediately knew that something was terribly wrong. Endymion grabbed the reins of his horse without uttering a single word, pulling the beast over to the very displeased princess. He mounted, then holding out his hand to lift her up. He wasn't surprised as she pulled away from him before marching over to where Jadeite stood in shock.

"May I ride with you?" she asked, her voice still shaking despite her efforts to control it. The general glanced at Endymion, who merely grimaced and turned his horse away, beginning the journey without them.

"Of course, my lady," Jadeite returned, mounting before pulling her up and depositing her before him in the saddle. He felt her tense as his arms went around her, her body sitting upright and leaving space between his chest and her back.

The other generals took off in a trot to join their prince, the remaining escort following close behind them. A few stayed behind as before, leaving only a handful of men in the party.

The ride was quiet, even eerily so as they made their way across the frozen landscape. They were yet several days ride from the palace, having been stranded and waylaid by disaster for so long. Nephrite struck up a casual conversation with Zoisite, who couldn't help but glance over at Serenity now and again. She was like a doll, unmoving, a dazed look upon her face. He wondered what the hell had occurred to cause her to fall into such a state. It was obvious that she and Endymion had been on good terms the night before, from what he'd heard while standing guard. Still, it was obvious that his prince had done or said something very stupid to cause the princess to look so miserable.

'Gods,' he thought to himself. 'Surely he couldn't have done it again. Not to her.'

He'd known the prince for many years and had witnessed his dismissal of many women during that time. But Zoisite was sure that this girl had been an exception. There was no way in hell he'd have done the same to Serenity…was there? The more he thought, the more the man seethed until he nearly unleashed his rage on the unsuspecting Endymion, who had yet to cast even a passing glance over his shoulder.

"Zoi? Are you listening?" Nephrite muttered, snapping him back to reality.

"Forgive me. My mind is elsewhere, I'm afraid," he said, unable to stop himself from glancing over at the princess once more. Nephrite followed his gaze, his brows furrowing.

"What's the matter, then?" Nephrite asked, moving his horse closer to Zoisite's.

"I think our beast of a prince has done it again," he answered, his voice a low whisper that only his companion could hear.

"Done what again?"

"He's had his fun with her and has now turned her away, as he has all the others. What an incredibly selfish…" Zoisite began, before gathering himself once more.

"That cannot be. He'd send anyone to hell if they laid a hand upon her. Surely you've seen the looks in their eyes when they behold one another," Nephrite argued.

"Then why, pray tell, is she riding with that wolf?" Zoisite asked, pointing stealthily to where Jadeite and the princess rose a few yards away.

"Yes, there is that. Perhaps you're on to something. If he has in fact done such a thing, I pity them both…her for being toyed with and him for being such a raging idiot. I dearly hope you're wrong, Zoi."

"That makes two of us, but I fear I am not," he said gravely, imagining what he would say to Endymion once he was granted the opportunity.

Meanwhile, Jadeite was growing weary of the silence and decided to break it at last.

"I suppose you moon folk don't experience weather like this. It's a pity you arrived during winter. I assure you, our planet is beautiful during the other seasons," he told her, wishing she'd relax a bit.

"I'm sure it is, though I find myself regretting ever coming here," she said, her voice icy as he sighed mightily.

"Is there something plaguing you, princess? Perhaps I can be of help," he offered.

"No, thank you," she said, making him wonder why the hell she was being so short with him.

"Could it be that our prince has displeased you?" he wondered, her hands balling into fists at her sides.

"I do not care to speak of it," she said swiftly, a small chuckle escaping the blond general.

"Very well. I see you're in no mood for conversation," he grumbled, set to simply enjoy the silence. After a moment, he was surprised to hear her voice.

"Forgive me, Jadeite. I'm just a bit tired," she lied, her anger still consuming her, though she was desperately trying to hold it in check.

"I'm sorry to be rude to you because of it," she added, nearly shivering as he leaned forward, whispering in her ear.

"No need for forgiveness, princess," he said, his breath hot against her neck.

Soon, he'd engaged her in conversation, even causing a laugh or two to escape her, which did nothing to calm the seething Earth prince at the front of the line. Endymion rode, his eyes straight ahead despite how badly he wished to look back, to take her in. The ache in his chest remained, but not because of the wound he'd received the previous day. No, this ache ran much deeper, spreading until he felt as though his entire body were on fire. Hearing her laughter, incited by his general, caused his scowl to deepen, his mood darker than the clouds above them.

~*~*~*~

Miles and hours drifted by, Serenity unsure whether her heart was still beating within her chest despite Jadeite's attempt to raise her spirits. At last, Endymion's hand rose, signaling the troop to stop for a rest. He dismounted, stretching his legs before making the mistake of glancing over, catching the eyes of the one person alive that had managed to commandeer his heart.

She looked so pale, as if her blood had drained from her body. He turned away as Jadeite lifted her down, his hands lingering upon her far longer than Endymion approved of. He cursed himself again, knowing he had no right to feel jealousy. He'd hurt her, more deeply than he could begin to know. She would go back to her planet, would one day marry a man of the Moon Court and would never have to bear the burdens of being his woman. She would be safe, away from the dangers of the seemingly endless wars scarring his planet. He looked over again, perturbed to discover no trace of Serenity as he strode forth to question Jadeite.

"Jad, where is she?" he demanded, the blond general stretching his arms over his head.

"She said she needed a moment alone," he answered, his eyes holding those of his charge.

"Which way?" Jadeite pointed behind them into the trees, Endymion's frown growing impossibly deeper. He stalked off without another word, leaving Jadeite wondering what the hell he'd missed.

~*~*~*~

The princess trudged through the melting snow, her eyes focused on her feet as she wrapped her arms about herself, as if to hold herself together. She felt as though she'd been completely broken into a million pieces by his words, which ran though her mind again and again.

"Lies," she said aloud, "from the lips of nothing more than an animal. How could I have fallen for them so easily?" she wondered, only then noticing that she'd walked deeply into the forest, conifers and bare hardwoods surrounding the clearing almost menacingly.

"Gods," she sighed, her eyes scanning her surroundings. Just as she was beginning to panic, she felt an arm snag her roughly about the waist, pulling her backward as a scream left her.

~*~*~*~

"Jad, where are the royals?" Kunzite asked, his eyes darting about as he tried to spot them. The two were nowhere to be found, it seemed, which made the silver haired man uneasy. He realized that they were yet in danger. Diamond's men were surely tracking them, though he knew not how many. Until the princess was hidden away behind the palace walls, the man would have no peace.

"Serenity went that way," Jadeite said, pointing behind him once more, "and Endymion followed. I assume they'll be back in a bit. Better to let them work out whatever has soured their moods, don't you think?"

"You realize what's happened, don't you?" Zoisite piped in, his arms crossed over his chest.

"What are you talking about, Zoi?" Kunzite asked. Surely he wasn't so dense that he'd yet to notice the friction between the two royals the entire ride.

"Haven't you seen them? They aren't even speaking to one another, while only last night, they were…" he trailed off, unable to complete his sentence.

"Yes, Endymion was laying claim to her once again. What of it?" Kunzite asked, the thought nearly enough to make him ill. Word traveled fast amongst these men. They were an entirely gossipy bunch, after all.

"He's obviously dismissed her already. Only rejection would cause a woman to look that way. We've seen this many a time before, have we not? It's predictable that he would only do it once again. I don't know why I ever expected anything else from him," Zoisite raged, Nephrite clapping him on the shoulder.

"We cannot interfere in the matter, that you surely understand. It would be best if we never uttered a word of this entire matter. Should those of the Moon Court discover what Endymion has done, it would devastate our relations with them," Kunzite noted, though he too found himself to be disapproving of the prince's actions.

"You don't suppose Serenity will tell her guardians what has occurred? They're very close, from what I hear. They'll surely want his head for this," Zoisite pointed out.

"Whatever may occur, we must remain loyal to our prince. He may act a reckless fool, but we still serve him. We shall deal with it as it comes," Kunzite decided, bringing the conversation to an end.

"They've been gone a while," Jadeite noted, effectively changing the subject.

"We'll give it a bit before we go after them. Endymion isn't helpless," Kunzite told him, his eyes gazing off into the forest. It was then that they heard a faint sound coming from deep within the woods, a sound the four easily recognized as a woman's scream.

~*~*~*~

Her scream died suddenly, a cold hand covering her mouth. Her heart began to race as she realized she must be in Diamond's hands once again. Even after she found herself devastated by Endymion's words earlier that day, she still wished desperately for his aid, for him to rescue her as he had before.

"Quiet," came his voice, her breath catching in her throat. His hand withdrew, though his arm remained firmly about her waist, her back pressing against the front of him.

"Let go of me," she ground out, though his grip didn't loosen.

"Haven't you done enough? Let go!" she shouted, turning and shoving him roughly away from her.

Endymion stared her down, disintegrating her wall of anger with his mere gaze, leaving her feeling totally vulnerable. He moved towards her, her hands coming up before her as if to shield her.

"You shouldn't wander alone. Who knows what may lurk in this forest?" he said, wishing to do nothing but take her in his arms and tell the truth behind his mask of ice.

"Perhaps it would be better," she said, "if something did slay me out here. You'd not be able to explain your way out of that, would you? Just imagine what would happen to you, should any harm befall me."

"You are testing my patience. Stop being so insolent. You're only making a fool of yourself," he said tersely, taking hold of her arm as he began to make his way through the trees. She fought him, her feet digging into the snow.

"No, Endymion. You're the fool. You honestly believe that you can simply use women to fulfill your own selfish desires. You'll never know what it's like to love someone," she told him, her eyes still filled with hurt.

"And you do?" he asked, his will nearly breaking down as he looked down upon her.

"I thought I did…but you've proven me wrong." Her words struck him hard, hurting him almost as much as what he'd told her earlier.

"Then you truly are a fool," he said, delivering another death blow before grabbing her, tossing her over his shoulder as he began making his way through the trees.

~*~*~*~

Just as the generals had organized a small search party, a tall figure emerged, a smaller body slung across his shoulder and protesting all the while. Jadeite, as usual, was first to speak.

"Endymion…we were poised to search for you," he told him, the prince setting his small burden down at last. He held fast to her arm, though she attempted to free herself with gusto.

"You think I'm so incapable?" Endymion barked, Jadeite quick to retort.

"I said nothing of the sort. Perhaps you should take a moment to clear your head," he suggested, the prince taking a step towards him, finally releasing Serenity.

"It's best that you not concern yourself with what I do," he growled, Serenity looking on as the general stood his ground.

"Someone needs to," he informed the raven haired man, the other generals and their men nearly staring at the scene playing out before them. Jadeite, it seemed, had gone completely mad.

"Are you challenging me?" Endymion asked, gritting his teeth.

"Perhaps that's just what you need to grant you some sense," Jadeite said, before all hell broke loose.

Endymion was quick to act, his fist landing a blow across his general's left cheek, Serenity's hands flying to cover her mouth, stifling her cry.

Jadeite, never one to hold back, quickly responding with a blow of his own, Endymion doubling over as he was punched in the gut. The two continued, landing blow after blow before the other generals could restrain them. Kunzite and Zoisite gripped the prince's arms, pulling him away from Jadeite, who was soon restrained by Nephrite and a soldier that had been standing close by. Serenity's eyes widened as she saw blood staining the faces of both men, Jadeite's nose dripping blood just as Endymion's split lip.

"Enough!" Kunzite shouted, utterly fed up with both men. Endymion shook his generals off, still glaring at Jadeite as he wiped blood from his lip with the back of his hand. The general was soon released, his hand going to his nose.

Though she should've been amused by his distress after his sudden change in demeanor, Serenity stepped forth without fear, her hand moving to touch his lip. She gasped as he caught her arm, hauling her roughly behind him to his horse without another word. Zoisite was quick to tend to Jadeite, who griped and complained and attempted to run him off, swearing that he wasn't in need of assistance.

Serenity gave up her struggling as she was lifted up, settling in front of him, his body pressed more closely against her than she could handle. His arms went around her and he felt her tense, his heels digging into his horse's flanks. The others followed, Jadeite holding a bit of linen under his nose as the men chattered on about the battle between the general and the prince. Never had any of them witnessed such an epic event, and they were sure to spread the tale for some time to come.

"I care not if you despise me. You will not leave my sight until we arrive at the palace," he informed her, though she couldn't bring herself to reply.

~*~*~*~

After an entirely miserable and silent ride, night at last fell, leaving Serenity alone in a tent once again. Zoisite had offered her something to eat, though she refused, only accepting the canteen that he'd also brought for her. He frowned as he looked at her, his gentle nature urging him to do something…anything to ease her suffering.

"That fight…it was because of me, wasn't it?" she asked, the general looking away. She'd already had a horrid day. The last thing he wished was to upset her further.

"This trip is merely getting to us all. I'm sure it's out of their systems now. Do not fret," he tried, though her frown remained.

"He told me. He told me it was only a game for him," she said softly, tears sparkling in her eyes as Zoisite nearly panicked. He looked around, realizing that he was the only one available to comfort the poor girl in her time of need.

He hesitated for a moment before his arms encircled her, his hand patting her back gently as she cried against his shoulder.

"There, there. I know I cannot apologize for his actions enough. I'm so sorry," he told her, her hands gripping the front of his uniform jacket.

~*~*~*~

Endymion walked towards the tent where she would be, alone and wondering what she'd done to deserve such ill treatment. He stopped just outside, her familiar voice reaching him.

"I…I thought I loved him. I'm afraid I still do. What is wrong with me?" she asked, Endymion's hands balling into fists at his sides. Never in his life had he experienced something as hard as this, as trying to push the girl he loved away. Love? Did he love her? He turned the idea over and over in his mind, trying to understand his own emotions. It was true that he was greatly appreciative of the softness of her bare skin, of her sweet lips as they touched his. He could yet hear her voice softly crying his name, releasing the breath he realized he'd been holding.

However, it was far more than that. This girl…this beautiful girl had stolen his breath from the get go, everything about her enchanting him more with each day that passed. She'd even saved his very life, something that he would forever be grateful for. He found himself wishing to possess all of her, to keep her hidden from all harm and prying eyes that would fall upon her. He wished to know all there was to know about her, to hear her sweet voice utter the words that he had never heard from any woman before.

As Zoisite continued attempting to console the distraught girl, Endymion made his entrance, nearly coming undone as he took in the sight of his general with Serenity in his arms.

"Endymion," he said, quickly releasing her and getting to his feet.

"You may return to your post, Zoi. I thank you for seeing to her," he managed, Zoisite's mouth a hard line across his face. He leaned forward, his voice low in the prince's ear.

"Be a man and take responsibility for what you've caused," he said, before turning on his heel and leaving the two royals alone.

She became silent, furiously wiping her tears away before he could behold them. He kicked off his boots, leaving them next to the ones she'd worn before beginning to remove his cloak and uniform. He soon stood, bare chested as he stopped beside her. She shrank back as he knelt before her, the lamplight casting an orange glow upon her.

She uttered a small shriek as he pulled her down, the girl going stone stiff as he drew her against him, her back pressed against his chest. He drew the blankets over them, never breaking his silence.

"Why must you torture me so?" she whispered, her voice cracking as she spoke.

"You act as though you don't appreciate my warmth," he returned, his breath hot against her neck, his teeth nipping lightly at her earlobe.

"Stop," she said, trying to pull away from him but to no avail.

"Do you care for no one but yourself?" she asked, his hand running along her stomach, causing shivers to course through her. Gods, if she only knew.

He turned her towards him, his hands sliding beneath her shirt, slipping it over her head. He watched as her arms crossed over her exposed chest, her sudden modesty much different from her usual ardor.

"And do you not enjoy this? The pleasure I give you? Your voice tells me otherwise," he said, ignoring her question entirely as he pulled her arms away, pinning them on either side of her. His head bowed, his lips trailing along her naked skin, her eyes closed tightly as his tongue ran along her flesh.

"Do what you will. I care not," she all but whispered, his head rising as he saw the tears flowing steadily from the corners of her eyes. The sight was his undoing, his lips pressing a kiss to the hollow of her throat before he withdrew, the girl lying shivering as her eyes opened once more.

She felt utterly empty as she lay there, his back to her and more space between them than ever before. Serenity lay awake until she heard the quiet sounds of his sleep, the girl getting stealthily to her feet. She dressed quickly, donning her discarded shirt and boots before slipping inside her borrowed jacket. With one last look at the sleeping man, she parted the tent flap, making her way to the line of trees behind the tent.

She moved like a silent wind, avoiding the few men posted around the perimeter until she reached the far end of the encampment, where the horses were tethered. Though she knew nothing of horses aside from the fact that any one of them could kill her at any given moment, she found herself with one foot in the stirrup, hoisting herself gingerly onto the beast's back. It made no immediate movement, but started off in a walk as she nudged its flanks, hoping to the gods that no one would see her.

The snow had melted, only patches of it remaining here and there as she rode off into the night, the darkness soon enveloping her.

~*~*~*~

"What the hell are you telling me?" Endymion growled, his fist connecting hard with the supply wagon, blood springing to the surface of the broken skin. He'd awakened to find Serenity gone, his heart immediately jumping into his throat as he threw on his clothes and stormed outside, hoping to find her in the company of one of his generals. When he'd discovered otherwise, he allowed his emotions to take him over.

"That the princess is missing and so is one of the horses. What is your order?" Kunzite asked, knowing full well what his reply would be.

"We'll track her. Nephrite, Jadeite…you're the best men I have for this. We'll go on ahead. Kunzite, Zoisite. Organize the men and get them ready to move. You follow. Understood?"

"Very well," came the reply, Kunzite barking for the men to make haste and prepare for departure.

"Gods, what've I done?" Endymion muttered to himself as he mounted his giant black steed. If only he could've told her the truth…the real truth, and not some fabrication. She never would have disappeared, putting herself in danger once again.

"Do not fear, Endymion. We shall find her," Jadeite promised, his nose still aching from the day before.

With a nod, the prince started off in the direction his two generals led him, his dread growing as they made their way across the valley.

~*~*~*~

Serenity had ridden all night and for the majority of the morning, both herself and her mount in need of a rest. She'd left on a whim, unable to be near Endymion any longer after knowing he cared nothing for her. The mere sight of him was enough to cause her heart to ache, and she knew that if she could reach the palace before them, she could be gone before he returned. That way, she'd not have to see his face again. She would once again be home, in the safety of the palace she'd left behind. Her guardians would never leave her live it down, and yet she was more prepared to face their chastisement than she was to hear Endymion tell her she meant nothing to him.

"I curse your very name," she said aloud, pulling on the reins as she stopped, her eyes wide in horror as she beheld a figure emerging from the trees ahead. Soon, more riders appeared, a circle of them surrounding her and cutting off any means of escape.

"You," she breathed, a dark laugh enveloping her.

"You thought we wouldn't find you? Foolish girl."

~*~*~*~

Serenity once again found herself a prisoner, her hands bound before her as Diamond led her horse behind his. They'd ridden deep into the woods, her eyes taking in the sight of a large stronghold rising before them as they came closer.

"What is this?" she asked, the light haired man laughing once more.

"This is our base. I would get used to it, Serenity, for this shall be your home," Diamond told her, fear pricking at her skin. She wondered silently if Endymion would bother coming for her this time. After what he'd said to her, after how he'd treated her, she doubted he would waste his time with her again.

Even if he had forsaken her, Serenity was determined not to allow this man to hold her hostage. She would fight him until her last breath to reach the palace, that she affirmed in her mind as they at last reached the stone structure. A wide river crossed their path, a massive drawbridge falling into place across it. They rode on, across the raging river and into the old stone structure, the drawbridge closing behind them with a loud moan.

~*~*~*~

"Endymion, you do realize what lies near here," Nephrite said, he, Jadeite and the prince still traveling a couple of miles in front of the rest of their men.

"I'm well aware of it, and I know what we'll be facing when we arrive," he replied, Jadeite riding towards them from his position ahead.

"It's just there, through the trees. They've drawn the bridge and we have no way to cross the river. It's swelled and angry from the weather. I'm afraid he's got the upper hand, Endymion," he told him, a grimace crossing the prince's face.

"We go. We are sworn to bring her back and that we shall do," he affirmed, nudging his horse forward, his men following close behind.

~*~*~*~

Serenity tried the door, finding it to be locked from the outside. She turned back, wishing there was a window large enough for her to crawl though. Even falling to her death seemed like a blessing at this point. The princess found herself in a large room, a bed in the corner and lamps gloating over it. She wasn't sure how much time had passed, though night had fallen since their arrival. Her hope was fading and she was sure now that Endymion had forsaken her, leaving her to her fate.

As she sat, engulfed by her thoughts, the door creaked open, revealing the man that had stolen her away not once, but twice. She shrank back from him, until her back was pressed against the wall. He continued forth, a cruel smile upon his lips.

"No need to fear, princess. Come here," he said, his hand outstretched as he came ever closer. Her eyes closed, his cold fingers taking hold of her chin as he titled it up.

"Open your eyes, Serenity. I do not wish for you to miss any of this," he said smoothly, his touch growing rough as she resisted.

"You try me so. Allow me to break that obstinate spirit of yours," he said, the girl finding herself on her back upon the bed, his body soon blanketing her own.

"No!" she shouted, struggling as one of his hands pinned her arms above her head, the other moving quickly to bare her chest. His head bowed, his tongue lapping at her breast, his body pinning her to the bed.

"Please, don't do this. Please…stop!" she cried, only to have her vision blur as his hand connected with her face, her voice dying abruptly.

She tasted blood, feeling the warm, wet trickle flowing from the corner of her mouth. He frowned, his hand touching her face as she shrank away.

"Now, look what you've made me do. I do not wish to harm you, though if you continue to resist me, I'll have to train you to want it," he told her, his lips crushing hers, his tongue forcing its way into her mouth. He tasted her blood, drank it in, his tongue lapping at the corner of her lips, cleaning up the trail of red. Serenity was in shock, unable to believe what she was experiencing. What matter of monster was this man? His lips were stained red, the back of his hand dragging across them, wiping her blood away.

"The look on Endymion's face when he discovers what I've done…that alone will be enough to make up for your troublesome nature," Diamond said, his head bowing once more. She flinched, unable to move, unable to do anything but scream for the man that would never hear her.

"Endymion!" she cried, Diamond smiling as he hovered above her.

"Call for him all you like. He'll never hear you."

Suddenly, a loud rapping came at the door, his head snapping up, his rage more than evident.

"What?" he roared, the door opening soon afterward.

"I'm sorry to interrupt, sir, but they've come. Endymion and his men are just outside the walls," the soldier reported, Diamond on his feet in seconds. Serenity gasped as she was hauled unceremoniously to her feet, being dragged behind him soon afterward.

~*~*~*~

"Are you insane? Endymion, we are outnumbered by gods knows how many men. We need to regroup and summon more troops. We cannot win this," Nephrite said, the prince's eyes never leaving the front wall.

" Who is to say what he'll do to her, should we wait any longer? He may already have…" he trailed off, the thought nearly enraging him.

His men stood behind he and his generals, archers standing by as they awaited what would come. They all watched as men appeared, lining the outer walls of the hold, bows in hand. It was as Diamond appeared that Endymion lost his reason entirely.

Diamond smiled down upon them before dragging Serenity into view, the girl struggling in his grip. Endymion could only watch as Diamond's hand crept beneath her shirt, cupping one mound of flesh as she cried out.

"Endymion!" she cried, the sound of her voice driving him on, his reason slowly draining away.

"Ready!" Endymion ordered, every one of his men watching the scene before them, their bows rising at the ready.

"Acting a bit recklessly, aren't you, Earth prince? And all for what? For this girl?" he asked, his arm wrapped around her waist as she continued to struggle against him.

"I can understand your madness, I suppose. She tastes absolutely divine, doesn't she? And her voice is so sweet, crying out. I can easily see how she could drive a man mad," he continued, his lips touching her neck as Endymion at last lost himself.

Even Kunzite, normally the epitome of calm collection, was startled by the look in Endymion's eyes. Never before had he seen such flames burning within them, leaving him nearly reeling for a moment.

"Endymion, stop!" Jadeite shouted, snapping Kunzite out of his momentary stupor. The prince lunged forth without reason, as if he could tear the very walls down in order to get to her. He heard his name, Serenity shouting it again and again, his heart beating madly within his chest.

"We cannot! They are too many and Serenity is in the line of fire," Nephrite pointed out, he and Jadeite holding their prince back with all the strength they could muster. Even then, he was nearly too much for them, his rage burning out of control at the sight before them.

The fires burning on the torches along the wall illuminated Serenity's face, wet with tears that shone in the firelight. Her throat burned from calling out to him, until her voice had ceased to flow forth. He was so close, and yet too far away for her to reach. Still, her arm stretched out, shaking as she reached towards him.

"What will you do, Earth Prince? It seems as though your options are quite limited," Diamond called, his arm still wrapped tightly about Serenity's waist as she struggled against him. She tried to think, to clear her mind of the haze that had nearly taken her over. She had to fight. If not, she would never see Endymion again, a thought that set pain coursing throughout her body. Despite how cold he'd been to her, he'd still come for her.

Diamond's guard was down, the man too involved in his mockery of Endymion to notice as the girl's hand shot to the dagger at his waist, fluently removing it from its sheath and slashing a deep gash across his hand before he could react.

"Ungrateful bitch! Seize her!" he shouted, the girl bolting forward as the adrenaline overtook her thoughts of self preservation. She was aware of the men scrambling towards her, trying desperately to recapture her. That, however, was something she was determined to avoid at any cost.

Every spectator then realized the princesses' plan, many of their mouths dropping open as she neared the edge of the wall.

"Do not allow her to escape!" Diamond raged, blood flowing from his hand and falling to the ground like crimson rain.

"Serenity, don't!" Endymion cried, watching in horror as the girl leapt off the stone wall, limbs flailing as she fell with a splash into the raging current of the river.

"Jad, let me go, or I won't be held responsible for my actions," Endymion ground out, the two generals finally releasing him.

"What do you intend to…" Jadeite began, his mouth dropping open as the raven haired man dove into the icy water, allowing the current to carry him.

"He's a mad man," Nephrite exclaimed, though he realized that in this situation, Endymion had done the only thing his heart would allow him to do.

"We have no time to discuss his sanity. Retreat!" Kunzite called, turning to the small band of men behind them. Once set in motion, the retreat was quick, the men disappearing into the surrounding trees like shadows in the night.

"Sir, we tried to…" one of Diamond's men began, before he emitted a swift guttural sound as he was run through with Diamond's sword.

"You…you're all nothing but useless," he ground out, cutting down another of his men as the others watched helplessly.

"If you value your lives, I suggest you get out of my sight and go after her," he informed his remaining men, "and if I were you, I'd not come back without her." He brought his hand to his lips, his tongue laving at his wound as if he were some matter of beast.

"Bring her to me," he repeated, his eyes roaming along the river that had carried both Endymion and Serenity away. The blood he'd tasted this day wasn't nearly enough to sate him, his desire for the Moon Princess having reached an unmanageable level. He would have her, and he would hear Endymion beg.

~*~*~*~

She was sure that death had already consumed her, her lungs burning as the icy water filled them, her body lost in its grip. Darkness was all she could see, the girl unable to force her eyes open as she was tossed about in the unforgiving water like a rag doll. Despite her struggle, only one thought danced through her mind. She would never see his face again…would never hear his voice or feel the heat of his body as it meshed with her own. Had she the time, Serenity was sure she would despise herself for thinking such things at such a time.

The pressure changed suddenly, her body being hauled unceremoniously from the churning river. The cold of the air around her had no effect on her, as she was chilled through and positively numb already. Serenity struggled to breathe, feeling pressure on her chest and then her back, the girl violently coughing up the water that had taken up residence within her lungs. Her body rocked as she expelled the water, her lungs and throat burning as she sat, shivering in an unknown grip.

"Dear gods, Serenity. What the hell were you thinking?" came his deep voice, her teeth beginning to chatter as relief washed over her. He was here. She ignored his chastising, her arms going about his neck in an almost automatic fashion. Though she should've despised him, been revolted by him, she couldn't help but hold him as if he would fade away at any moment.

"Save your scolding, Endymion," she said, his uniform soaked much like her own garments.

"We cannot remain in the open. We'll meet our deaths if we don't warm ourselves soon," he said, rising to his feet and cradling her against him. She was aware of him walking, though she didn't have the will to take in their surroundings. Soon, unconsciousness took her, the blackness all consuming.

~*~*~*~

The middle aged woman bustled about, the fire roaring in the fireplace, lamps casting cheerful light over the rooms of the small house. As she stirred the stew bubbling over the fire, a loud thump sounded at the door. Located deep within the arms of the forest, Marion's home wasn't visited often, much less by anyone that wasn't an unsavory character. Darkness had long since fallen, leaving her both curious and bothered by what or who could be at her door at this hour.

Never one to be ill prepared, the woman armed herself, taking the iron sword on the wall from its sheath. The weight of it was perfectly balanced in her grip, her feet carrying her forward towards the door.

"Who goes there?" she called, receiving no answer. She stood, ever cautious, awaiting any response at all. Silent moments passed, no further sounds coming from the other side of her door. Finally, she grew impatient, her hand unlocking the door before flinging it open, revealing a sight that caused an audible gasp to escape her.

There on her stoop lay at least one body, though she couldn't really tell from the small bit of light that reached it. She bent down, peering into the face of a rather handsome young man, his dark hair nearly shading his closed eyes completely. She was sure he'd died where he lay, though upon placing a hand on his back, she realized that he was in fact breathing, though it was quite shallow.

Only then did she notice upon further scrutiny that a long blond tendril flowed out from under his cloak, her hand lifting it to reveal yet another collapsed being, her mouth open in an O shape as she took in the beauty before her. Never had she seen such a beautiful creature in her years, though the girl was a bit too pale for her liking. She touched her face, icy to her touch. Upon further inspection, she realized the two were soaking wet, Marion making her mind up quickly.

~*~*~*~

Her eyes fluttered open, a wave of dizziness washing over her and forcing them closed once again. After a moment, she tried a second time, finally focusing on her surroundings. The room was lit by the roaring fire which was currently helping to warm her body and the girl noted she was no longer numb from the cold. With a tremor of fear, she realized that she was alone in a most comfortable bed, piled high with blankets and furs, Endymion not by her side. Her voice cried out before she could stop it, fearful that she alone had made it to this strange place.

"Endymion!" she called, sitting bolt upright as her wild eyes searched the room. Soon after, a comely woman emerged from the adjoining room, a calm look upon her face.

"Where…where am I? Where is Endymion? Where is he?" the girl nearly cried, the woman taking a seat on the edge of the bed.

"Hush now, child. You are safe here. This is my home, and your companion is just in that room there," she said, pointing to where she'd come from.

"Is he…?" she trailed off, unable to even imagine the scenario her own mind was rapidly creating.

"He'll be fine after a bit of rest. I can only imagine what the two of you were involved in to leave you in such a state," the woman noted, a small smile gracing her lips.

"I want to see him," Serenity said, attempting to rise. She had to know he was well, had to see it with her own eyes. Two hands were on her shoulders, holding her in place.

"In due time, dear. First, may I have your name? I am Marion," she told her, her hand touching the girl's forehead. She was no longer chilled, though she yet needed to rest.

"My name is Serenity," she offered back, only then noticing that her soaked clothing had been replaced by a dry shift.

"And your companion? Could it be that man is Prince Endymion?" Marion wondered. Serenity hesitated for a time, though she could sense no danger surrounding this woman.

"Yes, he is. We were traveling back to the palace. I left on my own and was ambushed by Diamond's forces. I'm quite sure his men are after us even now," she revealed, a frown touching Marion's lips.

"Diamond. He's nothing more than a glorified bandit. He's been bringing trouble down upon the heads of the people of this kingdom for too long. But my dear, how do you fit into all of this?" she asked. Serenity took a deep breath before filling her in on the details of her exploration, Marion gasping as she told her of her kidnappings and the cruelty she'd been dealt while in Diamond's hands. By the end of her tale, there were tears in the girl's eyes, Marion's hand touching her cheek almost automatically.

"So you see, I've caused so much discord with my appearance on your planet. Had I realized what would have occurred, I'd never have…" she trailed off, realizing that it also meant she'd never have met Endymion, would never have known the pain of losing what she thought would be her only love.

"Now, now. The prince has protected you with his very life, and you have saved him as well. It seems as though you care much about one another," she noted, her smile returning at last.

"He means the very world to me," Serenity whispered, "though now, it cannot be," she added, her fingers touching her lips lightly as she bowed her head.

"Nonsense. You must have faith, my dear. Faith that what you feel for one another will destroy all obstacles in your path. As long as you keep that faith, you'll be just fine," Marion advised, before rising to her feet.

"Perhaps you are right. Is Endymion awake?" she wondered, Marion shaking her head.

"No, he has yet to wake. You too should rest while you are able. From what you've told me, there will be men scouring the forest for you all too soon," she told her. "For now, sleep."

Serenity lay there, fighting off sleep for as long as possible before relenting at last, allowing it to take her.

~*~*~*~

Marion had at last retired when he crept silently into the adjoining room, the sight before him almost heavenly. There lay his lady, her hands curled beneath her chin, her body rising and falling steadily. He moved closer, drawing back the blankets covering her before slipping in next her, his arms gathering her up and holding her against him tightly. Her eyes flickered open, his sapphire gazed locked with hers. Her arms were swift to lace about him, the warmth of his body permeating her very being despite the cries of her mind to push him away.

"Are you well?" he asked, closing his eyes as he took in the familiar scent of her.

"I'm fine. Thank you…for saving me again," she said softly, feeling him smile against her hair.

"You realize you aren't getting off this easily, don't you? What if you'd killed yourself? What of me then?" he all but whispered, her eyes locked with his once more.

"What? You told me I meant nothing to you," she said, his fingers smoothing along the softness of her cheek. Her brows furrowed, the princess entirely confused by his words and sure that she would be unable to take any more heartache.

"All lies, Serenity. It's nothing but a farce. I only wished to protect you. Had I known you would go this far, I'd never have said such things. I can only hope you can forgive my cruelty, but I will understand if you cannot," he said, the change in his demeanor leaving her questioning her very existence.

"Protect me? From what, exactly?" she wondered, her heart thumping erratically within her chest.

"From the darkness of my world. There are dangers here that you should never have known. Should you return to your home…"

"Don't you understand? I want to stay with you. It matters not to me how danger may present itself. I only wish to stay by you," she told him, pain still lingering within her eyes.

"The selfish part of me wishes only for you to remain by my side," he told her, tilting her chin up gently.

"How can I believe you? You've been so cold. You told me…"

"I realize what I said. I'll regret it for the rest of my life, for they were the most painful words I've yet to utter. Please…believe in me," he asked, kissing her forehead softly.

"I am more than prepared to fight for you, for as long as it takes." His words cut into her heart, nearly stealing her breath. Could this be? Her words left her before she could stop them, flowing forth unchecked.

"Endymion? Do you love me?" she asked, hoping that her heart wouldn't ache afterwards.

"If loving you means that I think of you always, that I want to protect you with my very being, that I never want you to be anywhere but by my side…then I truly love you, Serenity. I have never known it before, this intense feeling you've caused to grow within me," he answered, causing her to fight back the tears pooling in the corners of her eyes.

"Surely you must know that I love you," she said, her eyes closing as his lips touched hers, warm and familiar.

"I shall always protect you, until I draw my last breath," he promised, "and I shall love you long after."

"Therefore, you cannot leave. I'll not allow it," he said, his voice a deep whisper as he attempted to keep from disturbing the woman who had saved them both.

"But your father…"

"Damn him if he means to stop me. I'd be damned for all time for you," he told her, the princess sighing deeply.

"My guardians will come. What of that?" she asked quietly, gasping as he rolled atop her.

"Must you question everything?" he wondered, a sly smile touching his lips.

"Believe in me and what I feel for you, Serenity. That alone should be enough to sate you," he said, his hands beginning to run along her lightly clothed body.

"I want to, Endymion…with my very being. But I'm still sane enough to realize exactly the kind of opposition we'll be facing upon our return. I may love you, but they care not," she told him, her hands coming to rest upon his, halting his explorations.

"Not here," she whispered harshly, his smile never fading, his head bowing as his lips ran along her neck.

"You may refuse me, only because I would hate to wake Marion after she has been so kind to us. Even so, perhaps I should make you regret denying us both what we most desire," he said, his voice a bit dark before his hands moved to mold the flesh of her breasts. Her breath left her as her head tilted back, her fingers weaving through his raven black hair.

"Endymion…st…"

"Are you so sure that you wish for me to stop?" he wondered, nipping along her exposed neck and drawing more soft sounds from his consort.

"Do you have no self control?" she hissed, though her irritation was short lived. His tongue was parting her lips, tasting her thoroughly, her arms moving to hold him to her. He tasted the cut on her lip, being careful not to anger it, his own still throbbing a bit from the fight the day before. He pulled back all too soon, gazing down at her with a wicked glint in his eye.

"It seems I am not the only one. Your voice deceives you, my princess," he said, continuing his most divine torture. No sooner than he had her craving his touch, nearly begging him for it, than he reclaimed his place next to her, leaving her stupefied.

"You are the wickedest tease alive," she chided, nearly breathless as she clung to the front of his borrowed shirt.

"Hardly. You're much more of a tease than I," he informed her, his arm snaking about her waist and pulling her close.

"But when we return to the palace, I will be sure to remind you just what a tease I am," he said, his finger trailing along her collarbone where he'd left small bruises in his wake.

"You assume that I will be there for more than a moment," she said, her voice soft as she spoke. He cradled her face between his hands, his eyes sincere as he delivered his rebuttal.

"I've told you already, dear one. I shall not allow anyone to take you from me…not anymore," he reminded her, claiming her lips as his own.

~*~*~*~

Okee, so I didn't really forget about the senshi and everyone else in this fic, but I'm concentrating on Serenity and Endymion for the moment. The others will appear soon, I promise. I'm also trying to keep this fic moving pretty quickly, so I apologize if it's going TOO quickly for you. Thanks for reading!

*Cosmic Moon Baby*