Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon.
Ok peeps, I've had this one on m computer for a while now and finally decided to post it, though I'm not sure whether I should have…it's a sister piece to 'A Mind Never Loses its Fire' and deals with Mako and Neph, it's more an account of their last minutes together rather than an internal monologue like Rei's was…
Anyway, enjoy! I would really appreciate some feedback on this one, I'm trying to perfect my writing techniques and also sometimes I can never really put my ideas properly to paper, especially love scenes and well…just everything really… anyway, on with the show! Luv CC2 xx
"What's going on?" he asked entering the tent, "Why is everyone in such an uproar?" he was still covered in blood and sweat from combat, his long dark hair tied in a rough braid to keep it away from his face. He had been called away from battle for an unknown reason, and had only just arrived at base camp.
Jadeite looked up from the map he had been reading and Nephrite was temporarily thrown at the paleness of his friends face. His blue eyes, long since dulled by the war, were now bloodshot, the whites almost yellow, all colour had drained, leaving his skin as pale as his hair. There had only been one time Jadeite had looked worse, and that was during the most painful time of Nephrite's life - in all of their lives – he suppressed the memory before it surfaced.
Jadeite did not move from where he stood, his eyes were unfocused, lost in thought. Nephrite frowned, feeling a sudden dread creep over him as he waited without a clue for what Jadeite was going to say. The stars had been silent for two years now. Nephrite could no longer ask them to reveal the future; it had been a side effect of changing allegiance. He knew it would happen, but this inability to have even the smallest awareness of the future left him constantly feeling vulnerable, like a part of his soul had been taken away. On the other hand, there had been positive effects of forging an alliance with Metallia: his physical prowess had increased, his life, although already long, would be stretched even further and Beryl had promised that given time, he would find new ways of reading the stars, one did not have to ask for information all the time- it could always be taken forcefully... and then there was the main reason for their decision to change Earth's loyalty: Revenge. The promise to destroy the people that had taken everything the Earth had held dear. And from his latest battle it looked as if they would get their retribution soon, the moon was falling faster and faster, they were acting desperate; it was simply a matter of killing anyone left. There would be no mercy, the moon people refused to give in, and Metallia refused to take prisoners.
There were even rumours…that Serenity had finally fallen, the princess and her Senshi were missing. The Outers were long gone, they had died seven years into the war defending their own planets. He, had dragged Sailor Uranus' unconscious body away from the battle himself, only to have her die later. The doctors attributed it to the gash in her side, but Nephrite knew better - he had seen the look in her eyes in that battle, Sailor Neptune was gone, the planet of Uranus had been lost: she had wanted to die. At least she had been given that luxury, what had been left for him when what he loved was taken away? Nothing. Nothing but pain and a sense of utter loss and betrayal. And failure. They had failed Endymion, and now, in a sick sort of atonement for their sin, they were going to punish those who had taken him away from them. Yes, there would be no mercy.
"What is it Jadeite?" he demanded, his patience (which had never been long) was growing too thin.
Jadeite sighed, he picked up a cloth from the table before slowly moving closer to his friend. A small smile played on his lips as he handed Nephrite the towel. Nephrite took it gratefully and wiped his dirty face and hands without another word; he wondered what Jadeite was thinking, what his smile was for, he couldn't decide if it was a happy or sad one, maybe it was both.
"Kunzite found her." Jadeite stated simply.
Nephrite froze, his hand stilling instantly where he had been wiping his neck. His heart beat faster with a sudden rush of adrenaline. Fear and excitement clashed within him as he realised the possibility of what Jadeite might be saying, "Who?" he asked in a cracked voice, his throat dry with anticipation. He knew the answer already; he wouldn't have been summoned so urgently from battle if it had been anyone else, they would have waited until after his return if it had been anyone but her.
Among all the emotions he had expected to feel, (and did feel for that matter), relief, redemption, satisfaction and even happiness, Nephrite was not prepared for the wave of pain her name brought him. He had been looking forward to this since the day Endymion had fallen, he had wanted to slit the throat himself of the woman who had started everything, he had imagined himself doing it a hundred times, first her and then her precious Senshi, one after the other, but now, at this very moment, when the words were really spoken…she was actually dead. Suddenly she was no longer the cause of all his torment, she was no longer the daughter of the moon-witch that had caused all this pain, she was no longer the reason they had decided to join an enemy they had once hated, she was no longer the commander of the Sailor Senshi, the women who left Endymion to die. She was no longer evil…as if a veil had been lifted in his mind, he cast back to memories he had not thought about in so very long, of before these twelve years of war, of a young girl, barely the wisp of a woman, with a smiling face and blueberry coloured eyes. Whenever she had been around, you could only help feeling at peace with yourself, she had been the only one to capture his dear Prince's heart, and she had been the only one worthy of it, her beauty and kindness matched Endymion's generous compassion perfectly. And now, sweet, loving, innocent Usagi was gone, as dead as the man she loved. His heart cramped in his chest.
"How? When?" He managed to ask, trying not to let the nausea show, this was meant to be a happy occasion, to revel in, with her death came their victory, all they had to do now was make sure everyone else in the moon kingdom was dead too: they were leaderless and would all fall easily, but he could not help feeling sick inside. Jadeite placed a hand on his friend's shoulder, the look in each other's eyes showed complete understanding, their pain radiating off of both of them like an aura, this war had caused their humanity to bury itself deep into the recesses of their soul, but just the thought of Usagi in all her naïve innocence, brought it rushing back in a wave of guilt and compassion. Jadeite answered Nephrite's questions in a nothing more than a whisper, almost as if what he was saying was sacrilege, "Beryl ordered Kunzite to do a more thorough check over the moon palace, to see if he could find anything on their whereabouts. Apparently one of the guards was frightened by a ghost in the gardens. When Kunzite got there all the rose bushes were dead."
Nephrite almost laughed at the irony, the rose bushes had been a gift from Endymion to the princess.
"It seemed that the ground had been recently overturned, he had them dig it up, and he found her buried underneath them. Endymion's dagger was lying on top of her; there was a stab wound, by her heart, and dried blood on the knife."
After a moment Nephrite realised what she had done, "She killed herself?" he whispered in disbelief.
Jadeite nodded, "Her body turned to dust as soon as Kunzite touched it, he said a wind took it away."
Nephrite suddenly smiled, tears glazed his eyes but they did not spill over, "like it took his. At least then they are together." For a moment the two said nothing, simply standing in the tent, lost in their own thoughts. Jadeite broke the silence, "there is something else."
Nephrite raised an eyebrow at him.
Jadeite breathed out a heavy sigh, trying to find a way to tell his friend what he knew. This time Nephrite waited patiently, he was already given the biggest piece of news there could be, "Usagi was not the only one that Kunzite found…there were two others."
Nephrite shifted, crossing his arms to prepare for what was coming. He set his face to hold no reaction for whatever he heard.
"He managed to capture Jupiter, and he found the body of Mars. They may have sighted Mercury, Kunzite suspects she was the 'ghost' in the gardens. Though they have yet to find Venus…"
"Jupiter is here?" Nephrite balled his hands into fists, his knuckles turning white with the strain. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply, calming the turmoil of emotions in his body. He was seething with rage and anger as he uncrossed his arms, all the hate he had for her was suddenly building up in him, he wanted to find her and tear her apart until she was nothing but a bloody corpse, but at the same time, the thought of her being so close frightened him almost to death…and her still being alive…
"She's being held for Beryl to question. She may know where the others are." Jadeite explained, knowing his friend would be wondering why she was still living.
"And Mars is dead." Nephrite repeated, his brain working slower than normal.
"She was in her meditation room, five of our elite were dead with her and a few youma too, she must have been caught by surprise."
Nephrite sensed nothing in Jadeite's voice, no pain, no emotion, it was cold and hard. And it revealed everything. Jadeite only ever wore a mask to hide something and Nephrite understood very well what he was trying to conceal, so Mars is gone too? He thought to himself, I never figured she'd be the first of the Inners. They looked at each other long and hard before Nephrite simply walked out of the tent, giving his friend some privacy. Jadeite closed his eyes for a moment and breathed in deeply before going back to studying his maps.
Nephrite did not need to ask where she was being kept. There was only one area in the entire camp that would hold her. He made his way slowly there, debating whether or not it was a good idea to see her. It wasn't, he might not be able to control his temper, and Beryl would not be happy if Jupiter was dead before she was questioned. But by some impulse, Nephrite quickened his pace. He needed to see her, it would be the first time he would see her up close since her betrayal, two years ago… his mind paused at the thought, it had really been two years, that meant that he had known her for eighteen years, almost two decades, he had loved her for sixteen, from the moment he set eyes on her; and when the war had started, she had been his reason to keep living, but then…he shook his head and willed himself to turn the final corner and make it to the soldiers' area of the encampment. To him the woman he had loved, his wonderful, devoted Makoto, was dead. The woman he was going to face in the tent was Sailor Jupiter, the soldier who broke her oath to keep Endymion safe from harm. He approached a sort of barred cage, with a canvas covering it creating a makeshift tent and heard her screaming from inside, as if in severe pain, there was a crowd of soldiers laughing around it, listening to her. Two soldiers stepped out, one was bruised heavily in the face, and the other was fixing his pants, both had satisfied smiles and received whistles and pats on the back from the others. From inside, Jupiter's cries turned into wails. Another two were men were about to enter the tent, but Nephrite pulled them back vehemently.
"What is going on?" he demanded throwing the two men to the ground roughly. They put their hands in front of their faces in fear of being struck.
One of the bigger soldiers in the crowd answered instead, "Queen Beryl has questioned the Sailor Jupiter and found she knows nothing. She says we are supposed to kill her and hang her and Mars for display." A loud roaring cheer was raised by the others, drunk on a victory that would soon be theirs, "But she also said we don't have to do it until tonight. Would you like a turn my lord General?" the other men laughed noisily at the crude invitation; heartened by his fellows, he continued, "Queen Beryl only finished with her a little while ago, the two captains and I are the only ones who've had a go yet, she should still be quite fresh."
Nephrite's eyes darkened in fury, "All of you get back to your posts, we are still in a war! She may be defeated, but she is still a Senshi," His whole body shook with anger and darkness seemed to suddenly envelope him, his eyes were white with a sort of glowing anger, "You should have killed her the second you were given permission. You're all lucky she hasn't fried some of your genitals yet; now move! Before I cut them all off myself!" Without a second's thought, the soldiers rushed silently away, fearfully begrudging the General, if she did have those legendary powers wouldn't she have used them by now? They figured he simply wanted her all to himself. He seemed to confirm their suspicions when he entered the tent without his sword drawn, but despite their annoyance they obeyed his orders, no-one defied Nephrite.
It took him a second to adjust to the sudden darkness in the tent. His eyes fell straight onto the naked Sailor Jupiter, trapped by heavy iron chains on her neck, hands and feet. Her thick, auburn curls were loose and covered her shoulders, hiding one of her breasts. He simply stared, hypnotised at her battered form, crouched in a corner, sobbing. Most of Jupiter's body was hidden by the corpse that she was clutching, rocking it back and forth like a mother putting its child to sleep. Nephrite noticed with some satisfaction that her screams had not been because of the soldiers who had been in there earlier, but because Sailor Mars was dead. Jupiter was holding onto her blood-sister for dear life, smoothing her hair and rubbing her arms, mourning in a frantic and pitiful manner. Mars was a ghostly white pallor, which contrasted sharply against the areas on her skin dried with dark blood; her once shining black tresses were filthy, and she was no longer the untouchable, ethereal beauty that she had been in life. She was now nothing but a dead, pale ugly witch; Nephrite smiled, so much for the great Sailor Mars.
Sailor Jupiter had not even noticed his presence. Or if she did, she did not show it, she simply sobbed into the neck of her fellow Senshi, her entire body shaking with grief. Nephrite walked up to her, his boots not making a sound as he approached. He knelt down to where she sat, smiling broadly at her pain, even in the state she was in -unwashed, wild hair, streaked with strands of white; hands that were calloused and had aged prematurely from fighting; ugly scars that marred the once perfectly flawless skin, her eyes and nose swollen and red from crying - she was still the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. He waited, unmoving, until her sobs became quieter, until she had tired herself out. She took her time, crying until tears would no longer come to her eyes, eventually she placed Mars on the hard earth of the tent's floor, laying her friend down as gently as she could, she closed her eyes in readiness for prayer and then she heard him speak. She looked up, shock evident in her eyes, and pure hatred. She wondered how long he had been there for.
"We've won Sailor Jupiter," he said, "your princess is dead." The emotions he had felt earlier were hidden deeply under the blanket of detestation he felt for the woman in front of him. His smile had never wavered, the happiness he felt watching her wither in agony was just too much for him, she was finally feeling some of the pain that he harboured and Nephrite was loving it.
Jupiter's eyes went wild, flashing a deadly green; she swung at his face. But Nephrite had expected it, after knowing her for sixteen years, even if was only in sporadic periods, he had become very good at predicting her reactions, he caught her hand easily. Jupiter swung with the other, he caught that too, her reactions were slowed by the heavy chains she was clasped in. "I'll kill you!" she screamed, struggling against his grip.
Nephrite started laughing, "somehow I don't think so. Your planet is dead Jupiter, and your princess too, the sources of your power are all gone," he taunted. At his words her struggle became wilder, she kicked at him with her legs and tried to free her arms, "I hate you! I hope you die and rot in hell! I hate you!" she screamed out in a raw voice. Her tears had already been shed; all that was left now was pure violence and anger. But no matter how she fought, she couldn't get him to let go. Nephrite dodged her legs easily, amused at her pathetic display of stubbornness. She was never one to go down easily.
Frustrated with her inability to land any kind of blow on him, she spat at his face, "traitor!" she cried. Nephrite's smile disappeared and eyes turned a cold blue as he wiped the spit from his cheek with his shoulder, the grip he had on her hands tightening further. With one swift movement he stood, yanking her up with him and slamming her against the bars of the cage. She snarled in defiance of his anger. She had never been afraid of him.
"How does it feel Jupiter?" He asked dangerously, pressing himself against her. He lifted both her arms above her head and held them in place with one hand, leaving his other hand free. She tried to bite his face, but he moved back just in time. As if in punishment, he pulled her away and slammed her back into the bars, he heard her head thud against the metal, she closed her eyes in pain, her face flushed, her lips just barely open and for a second her expression brought back a wonderful memory he had of her. With his free hand he grasped her face, "How does it feel Jupiter!" he yelled into her ear, his anger increasing with the recollection of the past. She tried to struggle again, but it was impossible, she was pinned painfully against the bars, and he held her head completely still.
Nephrite pressed her even harder against the cage, her obvious discomfort as the bars dug into her back gave him a sick sort of pleasure. He let go of her face and dropped his hand down to her breasts, drawing lazy circles, brushing the nipples lightly with his fingers, knowing exactly where her sensitive areas were. She shuddered involuntarily, "Don't touch me!" she screamed, trying vainly to free herself from his grip.
"Answer me Jupiter, what does it feel like to lose everything dear?" his voice had lowered again to a menacing whisper, "How does it feel to have your soul torn away from you? Our oaths were to protect Earth, but you…" he leaned in closer to her ear, "you swore to protect him, you promised to keep him safe."
It was Jupiter's turn to laugh, in her broken voice it came more as a harsh wheezing, her eyes mocking his pain, "My first duty was always to the princess, she was always first. Your prince meant nothing compared to her, he wasn't even worth the ground she stood on." She smiled evilly, knowing she had hurt him, he slammed her again against the bars, her head was dizzy, and she felt a warm liquid trickle in her hair. But she still kept her smile, "if I had to go back and make that choice again, I wouldn't change a thing."
He bared his teeth in anger, wanting to punish her for what she said, to wipe that smile off of her face. He went to bite her shoulder but suddenly stopped as he noticed a bite mark was already there, it was recent, it must have been caused by one of the earlier soldiers. Suddenly a very different kind of rage filled him and he bit down hard on the same area. Jupiter screamed in pain, but Nephrite did not stop until he tasted the bitter taste of copper in his mouth. He used his hand to unbuckle his belt. When Jupiter realised what he was doing she started struggling again, "don't you dare! Bastard, keep away from me!" She managed to free an arm, and push him away, but he caught it again, loosening his pants he dragged her down to the floor and used all his weight to pin her into place. She continued screaming, struggling as much as possible, the green fire in her eyes glistening with tears that threatened to spill over. "How does it feel Jupiter!" He yelled louder as he used his knee to separate her thighs.
"No! You traitor! You bastard, get away from me!" She flayed like a cat, causing the dry dirt from the floor to rise up.
"You're nothing now! You've failed in everything!" He yelled in satisfaction, she squirmed and thrashed as he tore her pride to shreds, "You were meant to be the Senshi of Protection, who have you protected? No-one! You hear me? No one!"
She suddenly stopped trying to free herself, her body simply quacking and her breath ragged, his words ringing deep within her. He was right, everyone one she had loved and swore to protect were gone, Usagi, Rei, Ami, Mina, Endy…even Nephrite. Pain tore at her heart as she stared at the man she had once loved for over a decade. She hated him now, "at least I was no coward. I never gave up."
Her words were enough to drive all logical thought out of his mind; all he wanted to do was hurt her. He thrust himself into her, deep and hard causing her to scream in pain and him to smile in pleasure. She was dry and probably still very sore from the last three guards who had her. "This is all you're good for now, Sailor Jupiter, nothing but a whore for soldiers," At the thought of those other men with her another wave of anger consumed him and he drove himself violently into her again, causing her to shriek. She was no longer struggling, in too much pain to move, he continued his onslaught, closing his eyes and concentrating on nothing but himself, mentally shutting out her cries, and taking out his anger on her; he relished the ability to release his pain, his hate, but gradually…ever so slowly, his right hand made its way from her wrist to her palm, interlacing his fingers with hers, something they used to do all the time when they were together. Makoto stopped screaming when she felt his hand in hers, he didn't even realise as he twisted a once cherished gesture into a sick and violent symbol of betrayal, and she sobbed in grief, squeezing his hand in sorrow for all she had lost.
When he felt her grip he immediately realised what he had done. His eyes flew open, darting to their interlocked hands and he stopped moving completely. He was shocked, he hadn't even noticed himself doing it, but there his hand was, with hers, memories slammed into him of the times when they had been together, when she would smile suggestively and they would sneak into the woods, or at night, when they were alone together in their shared bed…then he made the mistake of looking into her eyes. She was crying silent tears, his Makoto was crying. His anger dissipated in an instant as he started into the orbs he knew better than anything else in the entire world. He lifted his left hand from her wrist and stroked her hair gently off of her face, she tried not to lean into the touch, but it was so familiar and so comforting, the way he would touch her softly, soothing all her worries away. She closed her eyes and cried louder, her whole body shaking, it's not fair, there was no reason for this war, they all died for nothing, I've lost them all for nothing…It's not fair!
He shushed her gently, kissing the tears as they fell from her cheeks as he slowly continued what he had been doing before. Except this time Makoto didn't scream – the pain was still there - but he was gentle and she gave up the battle, welcoming him and letting go of her anger as she simply cried in regret.
It was like reliving a memory, she stroked his back, which she knew he loved and he nipped at her collar bone, causing her to shudder; tears formed in Nephrite's eyes as he remembered their first time together, when they had cried in happiness. He remembered the first time he had seen her, dressed like the goddess she was with eyes that screamed a challenge; the first time he had kissed surrounded by her element crackling above them in the rain; the first time she had hit him, hard on the arm; the first time he had dared to tell her how he felt about her…just before he came he whispered something in her ear; she clutched him tighter as she closed her eyes serenely, a wave of blindly, beautiful heat surging through her body.
When it was finished he got up slowly, not daring to allow himself to stay any longer, unsure of what he would do. He redid his belt and spared only a quick glance at the dead Mars at the other side of the cage; he had forgotten she had been put there, a reminder of everything perverse and destroyed by this war. Jupiter sat up onto her shins, shame, anger and sorrow welling up inside of her. She suddenly felt weak for giving into him, for allowing her enemy back into her heart, even if it was for a short period of time.
Nephrite saw the conflict of emotions in her eyes and felt exactly the same, understanding what she needed to do. Slowly he drew out his sword and placed it in front of her, "Here," he whispered before turning his back and slowly walking away. Makoto looked at the weapon and smiled to herself, "Wait!" She shouted as she picked up the sword. He didn't stop. "I still love you too…" He froze, "I always have…and I always will-I suppose that's what makes me so weak."
"I'm weak too Mako," He said without turning around. He could feel her smile, and he could here her chains clink as she moved the sword.
"No Nephrite, you're not weak, you were always the stronger one of the two of us," he said nothing as he tried to calm his emotions, just as he was about to make his way out of the tent she spoke again, "I'm sorry for loss." He turned his head at that, looking at her straight in the eyes.
"I'm sorry for yours."
A tear rolled down her cheek as she plunged the sword into her own heart, her hands never wavering as she did so. Nephrite didn't flinch, remaining frozen until he finally saw the lustre of her emerald eyes dull into grey, Makoto was also so brave. And then he left the tent.
The bodies of Mars and Jupiter were hung at the head of the camp until the other two Senshi were found. They served to represent the glory of victory for Metallia and her armies and the fall of the great Kingdom of the Moon.
A few days after the death of Sailor Jupiter, three soldiers were found dead on the outskirts of the camp, hidden among a clump of trees, their bodies had been torn to shreds; their faces had been smashed beyond recognition. When they were found, certain…parts of their bodies were missing: arms, legs…and other things besides. It was believed that wild animals had gotten to them, but Nephrite knew better.
What do ya think?