Helios curled around himself weeping his heart out. He had sensed his beloved brother and the other Shitennou die. And with them a part of himself.
He'd sensed the battle on the moon begin. How could he miss it? As soon as the fighting began, massive earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and cataclysmic tsunamis started decimating the Golden Kingdom. One such tsunami was currently hurtling towards the Isle of Elysium and its companion, the Sanctuary of Elysian, with astonishing speed and power. Everyone panicked, even Helios. He knew then that he was going to die.
That is until he heard her voice again.
"What!? Who's there?" the young priest cried, whirling around in search of the voice's owner.
'Helios, please. It me, the Shitennou's mother.'
"Mother? What do you want?"
'I want you to save Elysium! Use the Crystal's power. Please, Helios! Before it's too late. You want to see the Shitennou again don't you?'
"Yes, I-- What do you mean see them again? They're dead."
'They'll be reborn, but not if this world is destroyed. They're tied to the planet's fate. If it's destroyed, they'll never rise again. Helios please!'
"Alright. What do I do?"
'Just let me take over. I'll do everything, but you must allow me to control your body for while.'
Instantly, Helios felt himself become detached. He felt like he was watching his body from an outside source. It was strange, but not altogether uncomfortable. He watched as his body folded its hands as if in prayer. Then the Golden Crystal on his forehead glowed intensely. The priest's body forced its hands up to the sky as an intense beam of energy soared from Helios' hands up into the heavens before arching away on all sides. Slowly, the glimmering energy blazed through the heavens until it started returning to the earth in the distance.
He could see the oncoming tsunami racing towards their island and the capital of Atlantis. He blinked. And then the tsunami was gone. Vanished. As if it had never been.
The atmosphere had changed as well. It felt lighter, purer. The sky was a beautiful blue with no sun, but numerous brightly glowing stars blazed from their heavenly perches providing the required light. The trees around him had remained the same, except for the numerous other trees and plants that had suddenly appeared. Crystalline trees glittering in the stars' light. Birds sang from the branches of the crystal and living trees alike.
"What is this place?" he asked when he was in control of his body once more.
'This is the Dream World, Elysian. This is the place your Sanctuary of Elysian was meant to guard and protect. This is the haven of all dreams and dreamers. And the birthplace of the Shitennou.'
"They were born here?" Helios whispered in awe.
'Yes. Would you like to see them?'
Hope stung Helios' heart before he remembered the Shitennou were dead.
'Are they? Didn't I say before that the Shitennou are bound to the earth? As long as this world survives, so will they. They have died, yes. But now they await the time when they will be reborn to once again aid and protect the chosen heir of my power.'
'You haven't answered my question. Do you wish to see the Shitennou, Helios?'
"Yes. I do."
'Very well then.'
He was falling. Falling. The pain had been brief, but the contentment had been briefer. He felt weightless, cold, numb.
Then suddenly he was floating. And then he was breaking the surface of the warm water holding him within its depths gulping in the air he needed. Gasping he struggled to crawl ashore when two arms caught him just as his arms gave way. He was drawn close to someone's breast and held their tightly, almost possessively. He gasped for breath and his soaking wet body shivered against the stranger's body. His chest hurt from where he'd stabbed himself but it was slowly fading.
Weakly, he opened his eyes and took in his surroundings through dripping wet strands of white hair. He recognized this place. This was the Elysian. This was where they always came after their bodies had died to await their next rebirth. He could feel the soft billowy material that served has his shirt and the relatively tighter material of the same make that served as his pants clinging to his wet body.
Zoisito. Jadeito. Nephrito. Zoisito. Zoisito-koi. My lovely little sakura. Where are you? he thought dimly closing his eyes as tears began to stream from them.
"Zoisito-koi," he whispered despairingly.
"Yes?" came the unexpected but most welcome reply.
Kunzite jerked in surprise. It couldn't be. Please don't be a trick, he thought as he carefully pulled away from the warm body cradling him and sat up so he could gaze into the stranger's eyes.
He almost broke into sobs when his silver eyes met the most beautiful shade of jade he'd ever seen set in a perfectly oval face framed by flaming copper hair. "Zoisito-koi."
He leapt forward, capturing his lover's face in his ungloved hands and sealing their lips together securely. Bursts of joy filled him along with the emotions and thoughts belonging to his lover. He was in heaven. He wasn't alone.
"You came back," he whispered pulling away just far enough from his lover so he could stare into that gorgeous face once more.
"No. I waited. You came to me," Zoisite murmured in return. "Welcome home, Kunzito-sama." He smiled and kissed his pale haired lover again gently.
"The others?" Kunzite asked.
His little sakura smirked.
"You're late, brother!"
Shocked, Kunzite dragged his gaze away from his lover's face to the newcomer's. "Nephrito?"
The auburn haired Shitennou winked. "The one and only. I was beginning to wonder if you were coming or not. Zoisite refused to budge from that spot until you came. That leaves me as the only sane person around here. Do you realize Jadeite's developed a love of playing hide-and-seek with him as the hider. Every. Time?"
Kunzite couldn't help it. He laughed. He laughed loudly, freely, uncontrollably. And it felt wonderful. I'm not alone. Nephrito. Jadeito. Zoisito-koi. I'll never be alone with you nearby.
"What's all the commo-- Kunzito!"
The next thing the Ice King knew, he was sandwiched on top of a blushing Zoisite and underneath a certain clinging blonde. "You finally made it. We've been waiting for you. What took you so long? Zoisite's no fun when he's waiting for you. Oh! I know! You wunna play hide-and-seek? Please, please, pretty please?"
Kunzite met his lover's eyes and smiled. "Of course. On one condition," he said loud enough to interrupt Jadeite's hoot of victory. "If Nephrite finds you or I find Zoisito-koi, we get to take you as long as we want, however we want. Deal?"
Jadeite paused and Zoisite's blush became even darker than his hair. Nephrite snickered and Kunzite smirked.
"Alright," Jadeite chirped.
"Jadeito!" a horrified Zoisite exclaimed.
"You heard him, Zoisito-koi. You'd better hide well, or your mine. 1…2…3…"
Jadeite shrieked childishly and dashed off in search of a hiding spot with Zoisite at his heels.
"5…6…7…10…15…20…30…50…70…90…100." Standing up, Kunzite brushed himself off, all the while smiling in anticipation.
Nephrite humphed. "That wasn't counting to a hundred," he said with a smirk.
Kunzite met his brother's eyes as a dark smirk filled his facial features. "Of course not. But then, if my lover can do things under the table and get away with it, why can't I? Besides, whoever said I played fairly when it came to Zoisite?"
"No one I know of," Nephrite smirk. He cocked his eyebrow in interest. "Shall we hunt?"
"Yes. Yes, I believe we shall."
Then they both vanished in their own teleports.
Helios heard a high pitched shriek and the sound of running feet nearing him and he looked up in fear. However, his fear quickly became shock when he saw none other than a flustered and frantic Jadeite racing down the marble pathway towards him with Nephrite hot on his heels.
"Jadeito?" he whispered.
Suddenly, Nephrite winked out of existence only to reappear in front of Jadeite who shrieked again and tried to stop his forward motion in time. But failed and instead slammed head on into his lover who instantly wrapped his arms around the blonde and chucked him over his shoulder like a pack of potatoes.
"I win, Jadeito. You're mine."
"Nephrito?" Helios whispered.
"Huh? Helios?" Jadeite said in surprise. Then he started struggling again. "Helios, help! Nephy cheated. He was supposed to count to a hundred, but he didn't."
"Don't call me that!"
"I wasn't the one doing the counting. That was Kunzite, and you know how is around Zoisite."
Jadeite had the decency to blush. "Put me down, Nephrito. Put me down!"
Ignoring his lover's furious rambling, Nephrite faced the rather flustered priest and said politely as if a screaming, wriggling, kicking, pleading Jadeite wasn't slung over his shoulder, "Hello again Helios. It's certainly been a while. Mother told us about what you did. You have our thanks. Continue protecting this place, please. Oh, and one other thing. Do you know where the nearest bedroom is?"
Helios blushed furiously, but managed to raise a shaking arm to point the unruffled Shitennou in the right direction.
Nephrite smiled brightly, "Thank you very much. Come on, Jadey. We have some personal business to take care of."
Jadeite squeaked and increased his struggles tenfold, but of course he didn't really put up much of a real fight. He wanted it just as badly as Nephrite did. But he'd never admit it. Never in a million years.
Zoisite fled as fast as his feet could carry him. He knew all about what Helios had done to protect Elysium and the capital of Atlantis by bringing it to Elysian. But he'd never imagined he'd be running down this path again. It was the same stone slab pathway that meandered through the palace gardens to his and Kunzite's secret island pavilion. Never in his entire life would he have ever imagined he'd be running down this path to escape his lover.
But he was.
He just barely stepped foot onto the wood flooring of the pavilion when suddenly he was caught and yanked into a burning kiss. He struggled frantically but Kunzite's arms were like iron and refused to release him. He whimpered as Kunzite's tongue forced its way into his mouth so deeply Zoisite thought he'd swallow the thing if he wasn't careful. He moaned desperately into the kiss trying to tell his lover to stop.
Kunzite broke the kiss abruptly and met his lover's frightened jade eyes with his lust filled iridescent silver. He smiled darkly. "Caught you. Now, what was it you were supposed to let me do to you if I won this game? Hmm?"
"Say it, Zoisito. Say it. Out loud."
Zoisite gulped. "I...I'm sup-p-posed to…"
"Yes?" Kunzite murmured, leaning closer to his lover's face never once releasing his grip on Zoisite's quaking body.
"…to let you…hum…t-t-take me…"
"Really? How?" Kunzite teased darkly, breathing against Zoisite's cheek.
Zoisite blushed and slammed his eyelids closed as he stuttered meekly, "H-h-however you w-w-want."
"However I want? Hmm. Interesting. For how long?"
Zoisite shuddered as he felt a long lick trail along the shell of his ear. "H-however long you w-want," he breathed fearfully.
"Why thank you for your permission, my little sakura," Kunzite murmured lustily into Zoisite's ear, thoroughly enjoying the boy's body wracking shudder and arousing mewl. "Tell me, Zoisito-koi. What did I tell you all those weeks ago, before all this started? You remember the time. It was the morning after we first made love this past life. Do you remember?"
"…y…yes…" the youth whispered faintly.
"Then tell me," Kunzite whispered, kissing Zoisite's ear.
Poor Zoisite felt like his face was on fire. He hated –LOVED!- it when Kunzite teased him like this. But seriously, he felt like he was going to die of embarrassment before they even started anything. He gulped.
"…you said…how q-quiet it was here…how," –gulp- "secluded."
"And?" came Kunzite's sultry response.
Kunzite brushed his lips across Zoisite cheek. Desperately, Zoisite turned his head away to the side to avoid being teased as best he could. "And?" the Ice King encouraged.
"And…how you could…t-take me here…and n…no one would," he gulped, "...know…"
Kunzite smiled like a Cheshire cat. "Very good, Zoisito. Very good." Zoisite whimpered. "Now, what do you say we test that theory?"
Zoisite whipped his face back around to stare at Kunzite in shock. "Here!? Now!?"
Instead of answering, Kunzite crushed his lips against his lover's, slowly laying the two of them down on the pillows and rose petals covering the pavilion floor. Only then did he break the kiss, pulling back so he could stare down at his flustered lover. Zoisite's jade eyes were huge, round saucers filled with fear and anticipation. Kunzite smirked. "Yes. Here and now."
Then he proceeded the strip a frantic Zoisite of his clothes all the while killing his lover's struggles through well timed and perfectly placed caresses, kisses, and nips.
Zoisite couldn't stand it. It wasn't fair! Kunzite had cheated. There was no way he could have counted to one hundred in the time it took for his lover to catch up with him. But, oh, he was glad he had. The things Kunzite was doing to him were driving him insane with pleasure and embarrassment. It wasn't fair!
Kunzito-sama, you're intolerable!
He blushed as his lover's lips pressed against his slipping his tongue into the younger's ever willing mouth. But that's why I love you. He smiled into the kiss and stopped struggling, instead welcoming Kunzite with open arms. And legs.
Helios smiled. Perhaps there was some truth to that age old saying that all rain clouds had a silver linings. He gazed up into the starlit sky. But his eyes were distant as they gazed into the corridors of time. If only he could find out who the mysterious woman with the pink hair was.
He blinked and found himself standing before a great stone door. Intricate carvings of each of the moon's many phases decorated the door. Where was this place, he wondered?
"Who goes there?" a commanding voice called.
Compelled to answer, Helios answered, "I am Helios, priest of the Sanctuary of Elysian and Guardian of the Golden Crystal. Please, I beg of you, where am I? What is this place?"
"You don't know?" the voice replied puzzled.
Helios shook his head. "No, I don't. I am only a seer. While I recognize this door, I have only ever seen it in passing and even then I never knew what it was or what it was for. Oh, where is the woman who always stands guarding it? Every time I've seen this door she has been standing before it. Where is she?"
"She is here."
Helios practically jumped out of skin when a lovely woman with hair so black it was almost green and eyes the color of blood suddenly appeared before him. She was dressed in a black sailor fuku and bore a tall silver key staff in her hand. "You are Helios?" she asked.
"I am afraid I cannot allow you access through these doors. I am sorry, but you must return to your body now."
"I understand. But before I go, may I ask your name?"
The woman studied him for a moment before speaking again. "I am Sailor Pluto, also known as Setsuna Meioh, daughter of Chronos. You must never tell anyone this, do you understand, Helios of Elysian?" she said soberly.
"You have my word, Lady Trista," the priest answered, bowing low.
Helios stood tall and faced this mysterious woman. "You are a woman of this eternal night. Our meeting here was brief, but it had meaning. A tryst, as you might say. Thus, Trista."
Setsuna's face softened. "Trista. I like it. Now farewell, Helios. And good luck."
"And to you, great lady, I wish you a happy ending to this story." Then he was gone.
So much has happened in so little time. But it is not over, no. Death has already shown that it has no hold over our beloved Shitennou. What now? What of Beryl and Metallia? What of the Sailor Senshi? What of Prince Endymion and his lover Princess Serenity? What of Luna and Artemis?
Ah. Now there is a tale for another time. A tale of Tainted Hearts and Caged Souls.
Until then, may Nephrite's stars light your way, Kunzite's ice reflect the truth, Zoisite's sakura soften your pain, and Jadeite's laughter brighten your day.
Farewell, for now.
A/N: Hope y'all enjoyed that. The sequal to this will be called Tainted Hearts, Caged Souls (SilverLunaMoon helped me come up with the title, thanks friend!) and will detail the Dark Kingdom arc.
And now, the poem, unedited and unabridged. ;)
The Lay of the Caller
Please, oh listener, hear my plea,
From pain and torment release me!
Return my heart unto my soul,
Heal my wounds and make me whole!
Awaken me from my deep Sleep,
The boiling cold and freezing heat!
Find me! this I beg,
Hold my body, cradle my head!
Find me! oh listener, before it's too late,
Close the Window, fling wide the Gate!
My clothes are tattered, my wings are shorn,
Find me! I must be reborn!
The night is my day and the day is my night,
Stay, dear listener, do not fright!
The Darkness is surrounding,
My Imprisonment never-ending!
Release me, this I pray,
Do not tarry, dear listener, no, nay!
The Moon is waning and soon will Fade,
The light leaves me alone in this too quiet glade!
My soul tarries in Shadowlands,
I cannot feel the touch of another's hand!
I cannot see, nor taste, nor smell, nor hear,
The only emotions I know now are loneliness and fear!
My hope has long fled,
Now I am left alone with my dread!
Hear me oh listener, and set me Free,
This and this only, is my Plea!
RATE AND REVIEW!!!! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!! :)