Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own deranged plots.
A/N: For bunnyangel, not letting me forget.
READ FIRST! This is an unfinished scene I've been working on for the sequel to my story "Out of the Abyss". For those of you who haven't read it, the Shitennou (Generals) are back, and are once again good guys. They're also once again with the Senshi. After the events of "Abyss" Mamoru and the boys went to Europe so the Shitennou and Senshi would have a little time to think through all the craziness since the boys came back. This scene picks up as the boys have just returned from Europe after two months, and are looking for their respective women. They happen to stumble across several young men from Mamoru's university, including the Student Body President, spying on the Senshi. Rumors have abounded about each of the girls, from Usagi's innocence (making her an "easy mark") to Rei's fiery nature ("wildcat in the sack.") Instead of letting the boys pound them into the pavement, Kunzite makes a wager with the ringleader over which of them can attract Minako more. The Student Body President agrees, and goes to talk up the Goddess of Love. Kunzite is unimpressed, and takes his turn…
Kunzite shook his head sadly.
"Iie, my friends," he muttered to the other men. "He speaks too much about himself. Perhaps he should try something like this."
He clasped his hands behind his back and strolled forward with an air of casual grace. Minako, still talking to the Student Body President, laughed at something he said. Then her eyes happened to glance towards the source of movement, and her smile froze. Azure eyes widened, and her whole body seemed to tense.
"Blessed Sol," Jadeite grumbled in Mamoru's ear, "he's in his element."
"And about to show the little boys how it's done," Zoisite added, grinning wildly.
Kunzite stepped up beside his oblivious rival, pausing for a moment to look deeply into those wide blue eyes. His face softened into a look of awe.
"Artists have for centuries, even millennia, used the goddess Venus when trying to trap that ever elusive reflection of true, feminine splendor," Kunzite murmured, reaching to take one trembling hand in his. "Titian and Botticelli with their seashells and fat cherubs, Greeks and Romans with their," he slowly stroked one finger up her arm, "cold marble flesh. And always, always, the lady is nude."
He smiled sadly and shook his head, his hand beginning to slide back down towards her wrist.
"In their obsession with flesh, each and every one of them as missed their mark. The truest womanly beauty is found in the eyes of a woman who knows she is loved as she should be, adored as she merits, worshipped as she deserves."
Ever so gently, he pressed a small, lingering kiss to the back of Minako's hand, his eyes never leaving hers.
"But sadly," Kunzite whispered, his mouth still tantalizingly close to her flesh, his fingers stroking her wrist, "male ignorance and manly arrogance makes it so very rare to find such a look in any woman's eyes. That is why a man fixated only on flesh can never achieve true beauty."
It was not only Minako who was gazing up at him with melting eyes anymore. A collective sigh seemed to go up from eight girls. Haruka blinked, then looked accusingly at Michiru, who quickly lost her amorous smile.
"Gomen," Neptune muttered.
Nephrite frowned and tapped his fingers against his leg, thinking over what they had just seen. Then he, too, shook his head uncertainly.
"Now, Kunzite my friend," he began uneasily, moving towards them without Kunzite's grace, but a stronger, more purposeful step, "there is a certain charm to what you say. I can see that from the ladies' expressions."
On cue, the girls gave a helpful, agreeable sigh. Jadeite saw a muscle in Mamoru's jaw twitch, but his Prince managed to keep a straight face.
"However, can you really confine the splendor of a woman's beauty to merely one thing?"
A glance at Makoto showed her all but bouncing on the balls of her feet. She threw a speaking look at her companions that plainly said, My turn.
"Take this young lady," Nephrite said, gesturing to Makoto as if he picked her at random. He stepped close to her, crooking his finger beneath her chin and tilting her face up to his. He stared down into her eyes as a fortune teller with a crystal ball. "No sane man could say she is anything but beautiful. And while her eyes may be the center of it all, there is so much more in her than the love of a man. There is independence like a storm, delicacy like an arc of lightning, and strength like emerald thunder. So much of what she is shines in her face, without any help from a man at all."
Jadeite glanced to his left, and nearly lost his somber expression. Mamoru was innocently studying the sky, and Zoisite the ground. Laughter was shaking both their forms, though they managed to keep it silent. To his right, the rest of the more modern young men stared at Kunzite and Nephrite in a kind of frightened wonder.
"Let's take this up a notch," Zoisite whispered to his friends.
"Go, man," Jadeite managed to mutter around laughs.
With a step neither casually graceful or strongly purposeful, but easy and comfortable, Zoisite approached the grinning mass of girls. He scanned over Usagi and Rei, both of whom seemed ready to dissolve into giggles, then, as if by chance, his eyes settled on Ami. He tipped his head, studying her as if she were something rare and exquisite.
"There is much to be said for a woman who is strong yet delicate, independent yet content to be adored. She would indeed be a woman of unusual beauty. But there should be something more. A desire to be more. A yearning to stretch outside of the little cocoon of everyday life, a need to reach out and see everything she can, know everything she can.
"In these cerulean eyes," Zoisite whispered, his hand brushing a strand of hair from her face and lingering on her cheek, "I see a desire to learn, to understand everything, from the awesome might of the universe to the splendor of her own power, her own beauty."
To the amusement of several, Ami gave a very un-Ami-like, almost, dare he say, dreamy, giggle.
Looking again right, it took all Jadeite's strength not to double over laughing. The Student Body President had retreated to stand next to his friends. The foursome were staring at Kunzite, Nephrite, and Zoisite with something between hatred, jealousy, and reverence.
"You take the next one," Jadeite whispered to Mamoru. "I need a minute."
Mamoru closed his eyes and took a deep, calming breath. When it looked like he could contain his mirth, he opened his eyes. He did not bother trying to appear casual. He looked at only one girl as he started forward.
Jadeite watched his Prince with a touch of envy. He moved with unconscious elegance and barely controlled power, like a man who was used to being in control, to being obeyed. Yet the hand that stretched out to his Princess was nothing but tender.
"Love," Mamoru whispered in a voice unmistakably like Endymion's. "Strength. Independence. Delicacy. A yearning to understand. And all of it wrapped together in unfailing innocence, unsurpassed sweetness, and a compassion that is both naïve and awesome. More than anything, a fearlessness of what others will say. A willingness to do what is right when friends say, 'No,' when parents say, 'Don't,' when even the gods say," he raised his hand to touch her lips, " 'forbidden.'"
A small smile of unspoken secrets flitted across her face, and she kissed the tips of his fingers.
"What is more beautiful than a woman with all of that?" Mamoru breathed.
Jadeite could not even look at the other young men. From just the corner of his eye he could see their jaws sagging.
Alright, let's finish this up.
He knew he did not walk with grace or power or comfort or control. He swaggered a tiny bit, his eyes catching Rei's. Immediately a flame lit deep within that violet gaze. Yet she did not move forward to greet him. In fact, she crossed her arms and stared at him with cold disdain.
"Well, what do you have to say for yourself?" she asked with a small sneer.
Jadeite shrugged. "I think my friends," he gave a mocking bow to Kunzite, Nephrite, and Zoisite, "and my liege," a deeper bow to Mamoru, "have said it all. All I have to add is that one thing that makes a woman more than a perfect porcelain doll. Hotter than the heart of a flame, wild as a bonfire…a woman must have passion."
He smiled as her stance relaxed slightly, before adding, "There is only one way to truly appreciate the full beauty of a woman."
He reached out, his hand flat against the small of her back. He gave her an almighty pull, and she was flush against him. His mouth landed on hers in one long, searing kiss.
"Woohoo!" Makoto's voice shouted from somewhere to his left. "Now we get to start the kissing!"
Laughter came from the three elder Outer Senshi. Jadeite heard, before Rei completely consumed his world, Haruka's voice.
"Welcome home, gentlemen."