I wrote this story over ten years ago and recently found it (thank you Wayback Machine!). I decided to edit the hell out of it and post it.
I was thinking of attempting another Sil Mil fic in the future, too. I'm just so interested in different people's take on what it was like and how the war started and how the relationship was because the two kingdoms and what, exactly, happened to end it. This is one version I liked in my head and I still like it and that's why I'm giving this fic a second chance.
Please do share your thoughts by reviewing, that is, if you liked it.
You can also check out my other fics, which are also very old and were posted a long time ago but still could be fun reads.
April 23, 2000
"I would like a bedtime story, please." The little boy requested formally, not the way a child would normally ask for a nighttime ritual as tender as bedtime stories. However, the woman he was asking, although kind to him, was not his mother and never would be.
However, despite the boy's constant formal, stiff behavior, the old woman knew he was desperately hurting inside, and struggling to be strong. A struggle she knew he would have to endure for years, and a struggle that gave a small thing like a story such deep importance.
"Ok," she answered him, smoothing the sheets on his ornate canopy bed, "A quick one, before the mistress catches me."
He smiled and nodded, before obediently shutting his eyes. Leaning back against the carved headboard, the woman let her old eyes drift up the beautiful full moon. "Would you like to hear about the angels?"
"Well," she began, a serene smile settling over her wrinkled face, "there are creatures that watch us from above, comforting us in need and protecting us from harm. They are messengers, although for what or whom is often argued. But it is true they bring love."
"How far away are they?"
The woman sighed, pleasantly, "Oh, very far, but very close. It is said they dwell in heaven, where the clouds drift and the stars shine very close by.
The white, magic light of the moon is their transport and their way to protect us."
The boy was still, his face unreadable, but his breathing was not slow or regular, so the woman figured he was still awake.
"They are beautiful, these angels. If you were to ever lay eyes on one it is said your breath dies in your mouth and you will never be the same. White, pure white they seem to glow, it is said, with love and purity. There are many debates about whether they have wings, or halos, or maybe if male and female angels exist, like they do here on Earth. Either way, though, it is agreed there is no equal to what an angel is like. Not here, or anywhere."
Softly the woman wove her comforting stories of unconditional love and celestial devotion from creatures unseen. To her mind, she was telling the absolute truth. Meanwhile, the little boy lay in his huge, empty bed and watched the woman leave the room quietly through his eyelashes. The stories were beautiful, he thought, but they are just that. Stories.
The angels couldn't help him before, and they would never help him now. If he had to grow up to rule the world, he had to be strong. And angels were visions not for the strong.
He fell asleep, not realizing he had purposely moved to the edge of the bed, to be cuddled up in the beam of light that fell from the moon through his window.
Part One: Angel
There was a noticeable lack of conversation between the two Earthbeings that were projected on to most of the monitors which were humming softy in the moon palace's Main Communications* room. Besides the soft din of hushed speaking and echoing soft taps of footfalls on the marble floor throughout the shimmering chamber, there was nothing but silence from the two figures on the huge screen angled down from the sculpted moldings.
The blue eyes of Prince Endymion were common fixtures in this room, for he was the one they watched the most, the most important human, being Heir Apparent to the throne of the entire planet.
However, the flash of brilliant red hair beside him was new. This woman had just recently been spending time and attentions on the rather unresponsive young prince, and the Main Communications staff were almost starting to get used to her.
Running her hands along the red blossoms of the strange earth flower the prince was standing near, the red-head cleared her throat a little.
The sound caused a few pairs of Lunar eyes to rise the screens, but little else was done.
"Prince?" she asked timidly, titling her head and looking at him with nervous adoration.
He didn't answer for so long she assumed it was okay to speak. "Did you hear about the story of the angels?" her voice was amused, a little scornful.
Startling, he looked up at her. "Angels?"
Surprised that the man actually reacted to her question, the green-eyed woman nearly lost herself in the stormy blue eyes her companion had turned impatiently toward her. "Um... yes. It's some bizarre servants' fairy tale. Been told for ages. Something about beings watching us from above, protecting us," she smirked a little. "Absurd, is it not?"
The dark-haired man was silent for a while, whirling the flower in his hand absentmindedly. "Yes," he answered automatically, "but some people need to believe in intangible things." The flower's sharp thrones scraped the tender skin between his fingers, but he didn't notice.
First in Command of the Royal Senshi to Her Majesty Princess Serenity of the Moon Kingdom; Her Lady Venus watched this conversation with an expressionless face. Shaking her head, the all-knowing senshi of love murmured, "She isn't the one for you, Endymion." 'Another one who isn't for you.'
"V-chan?" a soft voice came from behind the taller girl, and Venus turned to find herself staring into the dusty blue eyes of her Princess.
"Serenity," Venus sighed, "You can't keep doing this."
The princess lowered her head, twisting and tangling her pale fingers through her silver shimmered locks of hair. "I just wanted to see if the rumors about the red-head where true-"
"It shouldn't matter to you." Venus said firmly.
But it was too late. The gray-blue eyes were already fixed on the largest monitor, as dreamy as when she always came into the communications room, but also a little misty, dimming. "I guess they are true," she said needlessly as she watched the girl talk to Endymion.
"Princess, with all due respect, I'm sure you have someplace more important to be-" the golden-haired senshi took the smaller girl's arm gently but firmly.
Twisting from her grasp, Serenity hurriedly took a few weightless steps
forward toward the large screen. "I just want to hear what they are saying."
It had been a while since Endymion had spoken and the woman was obviously searching her mind for something to say. "Do you?" she finally asked.
"Do I what, Beryl?" His voice was smooth, low and intoned with depths
Serenity could listen to all day. Yet his tone was always so harsh and cold, and the little princess could take a little joy in hearing it spoken to her Earthly rival that way.
"Do you believe in the intangible?"
He smirked a little, lifted his eyes toward the sky. Directly into the monitor. Whenever he did that, Serenity's heart stopped. He always somehow looked directly at her.
"Like angels, you mean?" he said, amused, "No, I don't believe we are being watched over by other beings." He laughed a little, a dark sound to Serenity's ears. "I don't believe in things you can't see and touch, Lady Beryl, where would I be if I did?" And with that he turned and left the gardens.
One or two monitors stayed on the bewildered Lady Beryl before they were changed to other things: the four continents, the generals, the land illuminated by the full moon lending its celestial, pale light to the sleeping earth.
And Serenity's tear-filled eyes stayed on the figure of Endymion, whose face was filling her vision from the largest screen, until Venus came to gently lead her away.
The soft shear curtains fluttered inward as the sweet smelling warm wind breathed around the palace ground. Between their white ghostliness stars twinkled above the clear crystal sky. Serenity sighed.
Suddenly a heavy, leather-bound book fell into her hands.
Sighing, the princess lifted her eyes, "Mercury," she nearly whined, "I do not want to study right now. Please, please can we do this another time. It's late."
Blue locks fell into Senshi Mercury's eyes and the girl shook her head.
"No, Princess, you've had all the day. The fact that the hour is late has nothing to do with the amount of study you have still not finished."
A strong arm encircled Serenity's small shoulders, "Ah, and when she's done, Serenity, we can all go look at the stars and dream." Senshi Jupiter smiled a little, "That was what you were doing, right?"
Linking her figures and stretching her arms out, the princess let a small smile curve her lips. "Yes," she said softly into the warm night, "I was dreaming."
"That's nothing new," a new voice rode on the soft air to Serenity's ears, teasing gently. Senshi Mars and Venus stood in the doorway, shaking their heads.
"What is this, now, Senshi?" Mercury asked, her sweet lilt marred only slightly by irritation, "A party? I hardly think this is what her majesty needs right now."
"'Her Majesty'? Mercury, do you see any guards or courtiers in this room right now?" Senshi Mars asked, raising her eyebrow with a smirk.
"Then, forget the formalities, Serenity is Serenity and she is still a lazy little twit who refuses to study and instead stares at earth all night, when she isn't in Communications going all moony over a certain pair of blue eyes." Throughout her decidedly clever little speech, Mars had positioned herself to the princess's left, locking her arm, as Jupiter did, around Serenity's shoulders.
Letting a soft rose glow cover her cheeks, Serenity shrugged sheepishly.
"Ah, Mars, you have always been the waxing poetic." Venus said from her spot in the doorway. The oldest of the girls in the room, their leader just watched them with a silent, tolerant smile.
Jupiter just grinned. "Now, my dear little princess," she said, "Let's study."
Biting her lip, Serenity started to stand up, "Excuse me, but I ha-" the strength of Jupiter and Mars's cleverly placed arms kept her from moving more than an inch before falling softly back onto her bed.
"Now, Princess," Mercury smiled, "how do you expect to rule a planet if you cannot learn your royal history?"
Shutting her eyes, the girl groaned, loudly. "Just because you are all four years older than me**, you think I can be bossed around!"
Gentle laughter shook the girls next to her, "Oh dear Serenity, if only
you didn't *need* bossing around," Mars said, "we could leave you to your own devices, if only that included studying and work."
Graceful fingers tugged open the heavy book that lay in her lap, and Serenity let locks of silver glide over the floor as she leaned forward to squint at the small symbols and gleamed in gold on the parchment pages.
She sighed. "This is really quite boring, guys."
"It is not boring! It is important!" Mercury said, using an age-old argument on her small, unwilling pupil.
"All the great rulers must learn these things," Venus added reasonably, "Your mother and her mother before her, as well as the other lords and political leaders of the Silver Alliance."
Mars grinned cheekily at the girl next to her, "And I'm sure the great Prince Endymion of Earth keeps up with all his studies and lessons."
This sort of teasing was common among the girls, and it came to shock to all except Venus when Serenity tensed under Mars's arm and slammed the book closed so it echoed throughout her chambers.
"And if he does? What does that have to do with me?" she cried, breaking out of Jupiter's grasp and standing up, tears of anger and hurt filling her eyes. "Would I stop believing in beauty, magic a-and love and loyalty and everything I stand for? Why would I ever want to be as cold-hearted as him?"
The book flew across the room and landed, open on the floor of the room, face down. Gasping, Princess Serenity covered her mouth with her hands.
A shocked, stilled silence filled the room. The senshi wouldn't have been more surprised if Serenity had pulled a sword on them for commenting on the weather. She was prone to spouts of attitude, yes, or daydreaming, or disrespectful, humorous behavior like blowing Venus a raspberry when she called her in for dinner, but this... this was just so unlike her.
"Serenity?" Mercury murmured softly, reaching out to touch the girl's arm.
Jumping, gray-blue eyes seemed to survey the room as if they had never seen the place before, swimming with tears when she saw the book on the floor.
" I'm sorry," she gasped, horror settling over her features, "I'm sorry.." hands covering her face, she ran tearfully from the room.
"It's okay, Princess-" Mercury had started to say, lifting up the book and smoothing the pages, but Venus cut her off with a quick shake of her head.
"I don't think she was apologizing to you."
"Then whom?" Mars sighed, "Oh, for crying out..." Heaving a long-suffering sigh, the Senshi of Fire walked to the nearest guard, "I'll look in the communications room."
Still stung from the events that transpired, Jupiter followed Mars, the taller girl murmuring Jupiterain prayers of peace to her troubled princess.
Alone in the middle of the princess's bedroom, Mercury held the book in her arms. "What happened, Venus?" she said softly, Earthlight falling to illuminate the gold letters scribed into the leather binding.
"He doesn't believe in us." Venus answered just as softly, walking to her friend's side.
"Very few Earthbeings do, nowadays." Mercury said, "I'm not sure how I feel about that."
Venus sighed, walking toward the door, "Will you go and tell Mars that I will find and talk to Serenity?"
Nodding, Mercury left the room, hurrying after her fellow senshi.
'It bothers me, too' the blonde thought, frowning up at the Earth as it hung in the sky, 'that they don't believe. And it must have just about killed Serenity.'
Hands clasped together and head bowed, the small figure did not want to be recognized. Glad in a dark blue cloak, the least ornate she owned, Serenity lifted tearful eyes to the figure of the man whose she uttered such blasphemy against just a few short minutes ago. It was late, and the few people left in the communications room were sleepily watching the few small screens still on, whispering among themselves as the palace slept on.
It was there Venus found Serenity, sobbing into her hands.
"Are you through apologizing, little one?" she asked kindly, putting her hand on the smaller girl's covered head.
Sniffling the princess shook her head, "What would it matter if I did?
He wouldn't hear me. Or even think for a moment he might have. He doesn't believe in us." 'All those times I thought he might be looking back at me, all those times I was so sure he almost heard my vows of love to him... it was nothing... lies.'
"Can you blame him, Serenity?"
Although it was late, the prince of Earth was awake, leaning his arms on the ledge to the veranda near the gardens. The wind toyed with his dark hair, his eyes stared meditatively at the moon.
Serenity let herself become enraptured with him, as always, and let Venus's smooth, comforting voice calm her.
"It is very hard to give blind faith to something as intangible as we will always be to the Earthbeings. He is good man, Serenity, and tries his best. However, he has had a difficult life and it will only get harder. We can guide and aid him from afar but that's where it has to stop. Endymion has to do what he thinks is right, and that might involve not getting caught up in fantasies like the Angel legends, legends of us, into his life."
During this speech, Serenity had let the clock slide from her head and face, lifting her trembling chin up to her truest friend and councilor. "Will Endymion ever believe in m-in us?"
Gently, but with deep conviction, Venus turned her friend to face her.
Lowering herself to look the younger girl in the eyes, she said firmly, "You should not care, Serenity. You are Princess of the Moon Kingdom, he is an Earthbeing. Of course we love and care for all Earth creatures, but this obsession of yours is unhealthy. He doesn't believe in us, and this is how it should be."
When Serenity opened her mouth to protest, Venus hurried along in her speech. "The Earth breed is a proud lot, and they like to think they made it this far on their own. The nobles and royalty especially need to assume that confidence in themselves. Can you imagine what their reaction would be to learning they were being watched, and guided from above? Of course they'd deny it and Endymion-sama is no different."
At Serenity's silence Venus nodded, her point had obviously been made quite clearly. "He is a human. You are an angel, Serenity, but that's all you will ever be to him. Intangible."
Long after Venus left her, long after the shifts changed in the communications room, long after the rest of the city had turned quiet and still, Serenity lifted lovely gray-blue eyes to the empty screen. The prince was asleep now, there was nothing to watch. 'Dream, Endymion, if followers of reason do dream.'
"Intangible..." she whispered. It never occurred to her that she might never one day see her love face to face. No wonder the others teased her, no wonder he didn't believe. They could never exist to each other. "You're wrong. You are all wrong. I'll prove it to you, everyone, Endymion. Angels exist. We are right before your eyes."
Far down, between miles of matter-less space and layers of clouds, and air and brick and stone, Endymion slept, and he did dream, of an angel.
And an angel decided that for once, dreams would not be enough.
End part one
*- The communications room was were they watched the earth on all their
computers and technology that looked suspiciously like what was available in 1992 ^_- I'm not sure if it was called the 'Main Communications' room in the manga, I got that idea from Jes's Always Watching You and it stuck.
**- In the manga, the guardians were four when Serenity was an infant.