Author Note: This is the darker story I've been wanting to start - I have no idea how long it will take me to finish it (Firely is helping me with it so it'll be co-authored to some extent - she's my muse and my editor - what a great gal!) It's not like my other stories, so those of you who like the lighter romances may not enjoy this as much. (But I will keep writing happier stories while we try this one out.)

The story is set after the last battle with Galaxia and is my take on the actual rise of Crystal Tokyo (since the senshi don't own the 'easy' button I doubt it happened over night - even for them.) While it is darker, it won't be a tragedy (at least, not what I'd call one.) I hope it won't be too hard to follow, but I do want to create some mysteries. It will also focus extensively on Shitennou/Mamoru interaction.

Warning: There are some OC's in this, but I promise to do my best to make them as un-annoying as possible. The senshi and shitennou are the stars of this story, not my lowly creations.

With that said, I don't own Sailor Moon (neither does Firefly), and we do own any characters you don't recognize. Thank you for reading. Let us know what you think.

- A.C. and Firefly

The Dreamer's Kingdom

Prologue


A moonless sky's deep darkness permeated the silent peace of the bedroom.

A young man with sable hair that matched the darkness of the room tossed and turned in his cold bed, twisting the sheets around him into a tangle.

He whimpered, and his teeth ground together. Sweat was beginning to form on his pale brow.

"No." he whispered.

At the sound of his voice, a faint light invaded the dark room and began to grow in brightness.

"Sire?" a ghostly voice called softly.

The voice was really no more than the sound the wind makes as it slips through the trees – but the sleeping man heard it and his groans and movements slowed.

"Is he alright?" another voice asked.

The faintest of outlines was visible in the gloom. A tall figure, caped, peered with no eyes to see the man on the bed. Three more of these translucent beings joined him.

"He's dreaming," the first sighed.

"You know what that means," the smallest replied.

They floated together, their outlines bleeding in and out of one another like stars.

"We have to know -" one said at last, "we have to see what he's seeing."

"We really ought to ask him first – we always did before -"

"I think, in this case," a harsher voice replied acerbically (if a gust of wind could be acerbic), "we don't have to stand on formality."

"Can't you feel it?" another added, his voice so soft that it was barely audible.

The man on the bed gave a sudden, sharp cry – almost of pain. The ghosts winced in unison.

"Now," one of the ghosts commanded, and as one they began to glow brighter, their outlines became more pronounced – features were visible now, their faces could be distinguished from each other.

As one they merged their minds with their sleeping master's and plunged into his dream.


Thunder seared the sky and left angry red welts behind, rending the clouds in jagged tatters while on the earth everything green was gone.

He stood in the middle, he could feel a scorching wind ripping through his hair and across his face; he raised an arm to shield himself.

"Usako!!" he screamed, or tried to. The sound of the wind was more than overpowering.

Where is she?

He had been walking beside her when the sky suddenly had opened up and the grass had shriveled away.

He'd turned to ask her what it was – what it meant. But she was gone.

"We're coming!" a terrible voice, or it could have been a chorus of voices, thundered. Everytime lighting struck, in the boom of the blast he could hear the voices growing louder.

"Who are you!" he shouted – his voice was breaking from the strain of trying to make himself heard.

"What do you want?"

"Coming!"

The sky was tearing apart.

A piece of it hit him as it fell.

He felt blood, hot and slippery, on his head and temples - it was in his eyes - coloring everything red.

A shadow rose up before him with two glinting eyes and a wide, angry maw.

It looked as though it would devour the entire world.

Four stars shone brightly infront of it - each with a chain made of glittering tinsel that held them in their crazy orbits around the shadow.

He turned and saw a glimmer on the horizon - a golden, radiant light.

If he could only reach it.

He could feel his heart yearning for it, ready to pull itself out of his chest - driving him forward as he saw the shadow overtaking him - they were in a race to the horizon.

If only he could reach it first...


The stones were humming, shaking, flashing frantically, echoing the storm outside.

The sky was still moonless, but bolts of lighting were coming down like rain – lighting up the sky with fire.

The man on the bed woke with a gasp. He shoved his dripping hair out of his face and panted as he watched the tremendous storm.

He almost didn't notice the fainter figures that appeared above the stones on the table.

"Sire," a strangled whisper sounded.

He whipped around.

"Kunzite," he breathed, "what's happening?"

"I don't know," the ghost said – his tone was sad, almost wistful.

Mamoru stared at him, trying to slow his own breathing and heart rate. The stones began to shake harder, they were rattling against the table, threatening to fall off.

"Why are you – Are you alright?" he asked.

The ghosts were shimmering, shivering, flickering like a dying flashlight – their faces almost looked as though they were melting.

"Sire, you have to remain close to the...princess," Kunzite's voice came to him.

"We're – we're -" one of them struggled.

He was interrupted by loud popping sounds as the stones began giving off sparks and the falling white hot lighting bolts outside grew thicker.

"My liege!" the smallest shrieked, his voice writhed in pain.

"Zoisite!" Mamoru yelled, reaching out vainly for the hazy image.

There was a sudden serge of power – Mamoru felt something like being briefly submerged in water and then, to his horror – the stones on the desk flashed and splintered into light.

There was a wave of energy – like an aftershock through the atmosphere – it shook his apartment, Tokyo, the East, the whole world.

It threw Mamoru back onto the bed. When he struggled up the lighting storm was over – the sky was dark once more.

"Kunzite?" he whispered.

Silence answered him.

He called out hoarsely, "Nephrite? Jadeite?"

He felt his way to the end of the bed, his heart battering against his ribs.

"Zoisite!" he yelled desperately.

His alarm clock blinked midnight over and over again, it was the only movement in the room.

He fumbled off the bed and over to the table and riffled through the drawers until he found a flashlight. Flicking it on with unsteady hands he gazed at what remained of the four stones.

They were decimated – barely a pile of dust lay on the surface of the scared table.

He stared at the piles, his breath stirring the grains of dust on the table until they mixed together, indistinguishable.

Mamoru blinked as he felt something warm and wet running down his face and dripping into his mouth. The taste was slightly salty.

He reached out a trembling hand to touch the dust, but even as he touched it with the tip of a finger, it scattered out of his grasp.

He let his nerveless hand drop to his side in the overwhelming, smothering darkness of his room. The moon remained hidden away and the stars were quietly slumbering but shed no light.

He had never felt so utterly alone.