Author's Note: The ideas for the Shitennou's personalities and alter-egos were inspiried by the original myths of the Heavenly Kings and also influenced greatly by the website Peppermint Storm (Spirit-hime). I feel I ought to explain a bit about the circumstances of the story: i.e. Why are the Shitennou revived in the first place? I am planning a pre-quel to this story (already mostly finished) that explains everything, but as it isn't finished yet I thought I'd go ahead and just hint a bit in the prologue here rather than write out a long, detailed explanation.

For clarification purposes: Kunzite is Toshiro, Nephrite is Kazuya, Jedite is Junshi, and Zoicite is Sazume. (And this order corresponds to their ages, ranging from 25-17).

As this is my first fic, I feel I ought to include some disclaimers apart from the usual ones. This story is only meant for enjoyment and nothing else - the ideas about these characters are my own, certainly I don't assume these are accurate representations of cannon or anime personalities. Finally, all criticism is welcome and appreciated. And, of course, I do not own nor do I intend to make a profit off of Sailor Moon!

Please enjoy,

- A.C.


the Light Fantastic

Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer.

- Plutarch, Moralia

Yet here for ever, ever must I stay;

Sad proof how well a lover can obey!

Death, only death, can break the lasting chain;

And here, ev'n then, shall my cold dust remain,

Here all its frailties, all its flames resign,

And wait till 'tis no sin to mix with thine.

- Alexander Pope, Eloise to Abelard.


Prologue

In modern-day Tokyo, above the beautiful city at dusk, a dark haired young student leans against the railing of his apartment balcony, closing his eyes to feel the cool wind against his cheek. Opening his clear blue eyes he watches as the sun sets over the tops of the towers. The golds, russets and purple tints of the setting sun are swiftly fading into the starry night, and he watches the moon, pale and brilliant, as it rises higher and higher. The moon always seems an image of mystery, beauty and symbolism for him - but tonight it opens up a well-spring of thought. Tonight is the first night that he will be alone in his apartment again. Until tonight, this morning actually, he shared his small apartment with four other men. And fewer than five weeks ago, these friends that he now trusts and depends on, had been total strangers.

He had once had in his possession four stones, disparate in color and texture, but they hadn't been ordinary stones. He'd found, to his delight, that whenever he most needed advice, these stones had released the spirits of four familiar men. These ghosts were, in fact, the remnants of the four guardians who had originally pledged themselves to his service more than a thousand years ago. The strange circumstances that had contrived to re-engender both himself, these men, and five extraordinary women into this modern world, and the doubly mysterious destiny that seemed to connect all of them, were matters he knew he would probably never understand completely. But for tonight, he is simply grateful for the present lull in Chaotic activity and the pleasant company that fate has finally provided him with. The past is a dark glass for him, only a few glimpses in that mirror are clear - such as his princess and their long struggle to be together. Another memory he treasures is the link between him and the four guardians, who, under the influence of that inseparable bond, have become living men once more.

Five weeks ago, an enemy having captured all of the five heroines who protect Tokyo, and respectively the world, attempted to regain power for the machinations of Chaos. The attempt was only nearly foiled by the timely reappearance of the four guardians, known in this present time as the Shitennou. At the behest of Setsuna, and with the knowledge of Helios, Chiba Mamoru was able to unlock the spirits of the four guardians so that, joining their powers with his own, he rescued his beloved and their friends, and in turn defeated the evil that threatened the planet. It was an almost overwhelming experience, and now, during the aftermath, the four men, who had no memories of their past lives save as guardians of Mamoru, are trying to find their feet in the fast paced city of modern Tokyo.

For them it is as though they've been reborn fully mature and thrust into an alien world. Mamoru is their primary link to the new world. Even something as simple as their names had to be bestowed by Mamoru, as well as their identities in Tokyo. He'd allowed them to reside in his apartment, helped them to find jobs and (for those who so wished) enroll in schools, he'd helped them in every way he could think of to adjust to their new situations with ease. But he thinks, as he counts the stars above, that there are many things these men will have to figure out on their own.