The Shitennou Awakened
Chapter Four: Zoicite
Sakurazuka Soichiro was born in London on a typical rainy day to a father who was a translator for the Japanese Embassy, Hayate, and his wife, Yumiko. His mother marveled at the bright green eyes that seemed to drink in the surroundings. His father briefly checked to make sure that his son was born alive then left to go to a meeting.
Soichiro was a happy child. His mother made sure that she read to him every night. During the day, she encouraged him to try: crawling, walking, running. When he started learning to read, she began to teach him math and languages. She wanted her son to be successful and she felt that a good education was a path to that.
By the time Soichiro was twelve, he had lived in eight different countries. He was fluent in ten different languages: Japanese, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Russian, and just for the heck of it, Vulcan. His mother thought his learning Vulcan was funny. His father thought it was useless and a waste of time.
Soichiro discovered the piano when he was three. His parents took him to an afternoon tea at another embassy. Soichiro wandered away from them and entered a room where a staff member had left the door open. He saw the piano by the window and clambered onto the bench. With the typical carelessness of a child, he banged on the keys creating quite a racket, which was noticed by a white haired man.
"That's not how you play that, my boy." Said the man.
Soichiro turned large green eyes to him. "It isn't?"
"No. You play it like this." The man's hands rippled up and down the keyboard eliciting a beautiful sound. Soichiro clapped his hands and laughed. The man smiled down at the boy. "Now place your hands here…this key is called C…"
Some time later, his mother came looking for him and gasped in shock. The Italian Ambassador was teaching her son piano. That Esteemed Gentleman looked up and smiled at her and motioned her to come forward but to be quiet. She watched as her small son imperfectly played a minute of "La Campanella" by Franz Liszt but his face glowed.
"Find the boy a teacher." Said the Ambassador. "Even if he never performs in public, it would be a waste of talent."
Yumiko bowed deeply to him. "Yes, sir." She held out her hand to Soichiro who reluctantly climbed down from the bench. "Thank the Ambassador for his time, Soi-chan."
Soichiro bowed. "Thank you, sir, for your time."
The Ambassador smiled. "It was my pleasure, my boy."
As Yumiko lead Soichiro out of the embassy, she asked him, "Did you like playing the piano?"
"Yes! Very much!" Soichiro grinned up at his mother. "Can I learn more?"
"Yes, we'll find you a good teacher."
Over the years, Soichiro had several piano teachers. There were teachers he didn't like. The ones who wanted to treat him as if he was an ignorant child who had to learn how to play "Chopsticks" or "Twinkle Twinkle." The ones he liked the most were the ones who encouraged him to learn difficult pieces. Those teachers had the challenging task to keep the boy from being frustrated because his fingers didn't always do what he wanted or that they wouldn't stretch far enough. They had to reassure him that he would grow, his fingers would grow and he would get better all the time.
Soichiro also had a love of water. Any type of water. Swimming pools, oceans, lakes, ponds, fountains and puddles. His mother despaired every time it rained because inevitably Soichiro came home soaking wet even if he had a raincoat and umbrella. Though it had been several years, she would grab hold of Soichiro's hand whenever they were near a fountain. Yumiko never forgot the time they were coming home from a birthday party and she was stopped by an acquaintance that wanted to chat. The next thing she knew, there was a police officer tapping her on the shoulder. "Madame, is that your son in the fountain?" She turned and looked. To her horror, there was four-year-old Soichiro, stark naked and splashing around in the water.
His father was not often in Soichiro's thoughts. Sakurazuka Hayate seemed to spend most of his time away from the house. He claimed the reason he worked long hours was because it was difficult getting things correctly translated from one language to the other. Soichiro didn't believe him. He heard the rumors from other embassy children about his father and various co-workers. Which explained why they never spent more than two years in any one country.
One thing that his father did seem to focus on was how Soichiro looked. Slim build, long strawberry-blond hair, and almost girlish features. Once he, not so privately, accused Yumiko of being unfaithful because HE could not have possibly created a son such as that. Yumiko didn't do anything at the time since they were attending an embassy party. But later, she slapped Hayate for saying such a thing and threw photos of Hayate's grandfather at him. A grandfather who looked a lot like Soichiro.
His mother was his greatest influence. She was the one who encouraged him to learn whatever it was that he wanted to do. She wanted her son to have the largest life horizon he could have. She didn't want him to be tied down to something so narrow his life would be joyless.
She did worry over the fact that Soichiro didn't make friends very easily. Very rarely did he invite someone over to their house. She tried to encourage him to make lots of friends but he would look at her and say, "Why bother? We're just going to move and I'll never see them again. They'd be only Internet friends and how can you have close ties with people like that?"
One day when he was thirteen, his father called Soichiro into his home office. As Soichiro entered the room, he noticed that his mother looked like she'd been crying.
"Sit down, boy." His father gestured to the chair in front of the desk.
Soichiro sat, crossing his legs and smoothing his long strawberry-blond hair down his back. He did the latter on purpose because he knew that his father despised the length of his hair and the fact that it made his features look even more delicate.
Hayate scowled at that but didn't comment on it. "I have come to a decision. It's time you returned home to go to school."
Soichiro raised an eyebrow. "What home would that be, sir. We've had several."
His father slammed a fist against the desk "Don't get smart with me! You are going home to Japan!"
"Home to Japan?" Soichiro laughed as he repeated what his father just said. "I've never even BEEN to Japan so how could it possibly be 'home'?"
"Shut up!" His father said. "I've made up my mind. You are a citizen of Japan therefore you will be returning to Japan and you will go to Middle and High school there. After that you will attend University. You will stay in Japan until you graduate. After that you can go wherever you want."
"I don't want to go to Japan." Soichiro leaned forward in the chair. "I've never been there. I don't know what it's like."
"Too bad." Came the heartless reply. "Pack your belongings. You leave in two days. You will be going to Edo Academy. It's very prestigious so don't embarrass me. You may leave."
Soichiro stared at his father who had begun to work on something on his computer. He looked at his mother who was looking at her hands. He could see a tear fall and splash against her fingers. He stood up, silently bowed and left the room.
He ran up the stairs and quickly turned on his own computer and began researching Japan and Edo Academy. If he was going to be exiled to a country that he was allegedly a citizen of even though he'd never lived there, he better learn what he could about it.
"FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!"
Nobuyuki cursed and stretched his long legs into a run. The third year middle school student had been told that Miyamoto Tatsuo, second year student, notorious bully and all-around pain in everyone's ass, was beating up a new student. Miyamoto had the delusion that because of the meaning of his name and the fact that his father was some flunky to some senator named Hino, he was better than everyone else. Everyone else thought different and tried to ignore him most of the time.
He came upon the large circle of boys who were laughing and shouting encouragements and suggestions. Which was unusual because several of them had been Miyamoto's targets. "MOVE! MOVE! Let me through!" Boys looked up and whispers of "Takaki-sempai" ran through the crowd and they began to back up. He got through the crowd and looked down at the two fighters.
To his surprise, Miyamoto was losing. The larger boy was crying and swinging wildly while his smaller opponent with long strawberry blond hair kept punching him in the gut or in the face.
Nobuyuki reached out and grabbed the new boy by the collar of his jacket with one hand and barely stopped the fist to his own face with the other. Somehow, he wasn't surprised when he stared down in to a face dominated by bottle green eyes. Zoicite.
"What is going on here?"
Kazuya had arrived. Nobuyuki could feel the terror of the boys surrounding him and thought the complete silence was amusing. The second year high school student was clearly Not Amused. "Well? Is anyone going to answer me?"
Nobuyuki turned around, still holding onto the boy he had collared. Kazuya looked at him with little expression but Nobuyuki could tell that Kazuya had also recognized him.
One of the second years bravely stepped forward and bowed to Kazuya. "Tsukino-sempai, Miyamoto saw this new student and decided to pick on him because of the way he looks. Miyamoto asked him if he was really a girl and if he wanted to become Miyamoto's whore. The new student told him to go to hell and go on a diet. That's when Miyamoto threw the first punch. After that, the new student annihilated him." The boy bowed again and backed up into the crowd.
Kazuya looked at the new student. "What's your name?"
The boy spat a mouthful of blood to the floor, wiped his chin and glared back defiantly at Kazuya. "Sakurazuka Soichiro."
Kazuya nodded at the boy who had come forward. "Is what he said was correct?"
"Almost." Sakurazuka said, glaring at Miyamoto. "He also made a nasty comment about my mother."
"Ahh. I see." Kazuya looked at Miyamoto and smiled. Several boys who could see his face, paled. "Miyamoto, clean yourself up and report yourself to Abe-san."
"No need, Tsukino-san. I'm already here." Abe-san, the Dorm Supervisor, had her hands on her hips. She didn't like Miyamoto. He disrupted her dorm far too often. "Finally you met someone who wouldn't tolerate what you say. Get up off my floor!" Miyamoto crawled to his feet. He was bleeding from his nose, mouth and other places. Tears and snot also covered his face. "You've been warned about causing trouble and here it is, not even the first day of the new school year! You're coming with me!" She looked over at Sakurazuka, "You're new. I'm disappointed that you are involved in a fight on your first day here. Tsukino-san, take care of him!"
Kazuya bowed to her. "He'll be punished appropriately."
Nothing was said as the boys watched Miyamoto follow Abe-san out of the dorm. Kazuya turned back to the group. "I do believe it will be appreciated by Abe-san if this mess is cleaned up before she returns." Several boys promptly made a beeline for the cleaning closet. Kazuya turned back to Nobuyuki. Jade had shown up and was standing on the other side of Sakurazuka. "Bring him. We'll have a talk."
Nobuyuki looked down at the smaller boy, "If I let go, are you going to come quietly?"
Sakurazuka glared up at him. "Only if you don't try anything."
Jade laughed. "Trust me, you aren't his type." He yelped. Kazuya had smacked him up upside the head.
They entered the dorm nurse's office. Jade dampened a face cloth while Nobuyuki got peroxide, gauze, ointment and bandages. Jade handed Sakurazuka the wet cloth. Sakurazuka used it and grimaced at the amount of blood that came off his face. Nobuyuki tilted the boy's face up and began the process of cleaning the wounds and bandaging them up. He looked in to those familiar green eyes, "He did a number on you." Then began addressing the battered hands.
Sakurazuka snorted with derision then hissed as the peroxide stung his knuckles, "Only because I wanted to see how he fought, then I cleaned his clock!"
Kazuya stared at him. "Was it really necessary to beat him that badly?"
Sakurazuka stared fearlessly back. "One: No one says anything like that about my mother. Two: I wanted to make sure that he would NEVER pick a fight with me again."
Jade, feet lightly drumming against the cabinet he was sitting on, asked, "Where are you from?"
"Okay, but where specifically?"
Sakurazuka shrugged. "I was born in London, but my dad's a translator for the Japanese Embassy. We've never lived anywhere for very long because he keeps getting transferred. I came here from Portugal."
"Well, welcome to Edo Academy and to Japan." Said Nobuyuki. "By the way, I'm Takaki Nobuyuki, that's Tsukino Kazuya and drummer boy over there is Yamamoto Jun, but everyone calls him 'Jade'."
Kazuya added. "You can call us by our given names."
"I'm Sakurazuka Soichiro." He stood up and bowed. "You can call me Soichiro." He hesitated. "Wouldn't it be presumptuous of me to call you by your given names when I'm younger than you and barely know you?"
"In most cases, yes." Said Kazuya. "But we've given you permission to do so, so it will be alright." He looked at Nobuyuki. "Finished?"
"Yeah." Nobuyuki threw away the trash and put up the unused items. "He'll be playing piano again in a few days."
Soichiro gave him a startled glance. "How did you know I played piano?"
Nobuyuki laughed. "I was told by the stars."
Jade just rolled his eyes. "Come on. We'll get you settled into your room."
"One moment." Kazuya reached out and lightly twisted Soichiro's ear. "Your punishment for fighting."
Soichiro's celebrity status for beating up Miyamoto eventually diminished once Miyamoto was expelled. Soichiro joined his new friends in their sword club. He was particularly skilled at a dual sword technique. He also joined the Music and Language clubs.
Soichiro learned to love his new home. He and his new friends spent their free days exploring Tokyo. He even went to Sendai and met Kazuya and Jade's families. He, like the others, fell in love with Kazuya's little sister Usagi who was now seven years old.
It was in Sendai when he received word that a drunk driver had killed his mother as she was crossing the street. Ikuko-san held him as he cried and as he cursed his father for not letting him know until after his mother was buried. It was at school, two months later, the day before his fourteenth birthday that he found out that his father had remarried some bimbo that he worked with at the embassy.
That night, at Jade and Nobuyuki's insistence, Soichiro spent the night on a futon on the floor of their room. Eventually, his body grew tired enough to overrule the turmoil of his mind and he fell asleep and began to Dream.
His brothers. A silver-haired man, a tall man with long brown hair, a man with short blond hair. A younger boy with black hair and blue eyes. Lessons in Math, Science, Philosophy, Weapons, Tactics. Riding horses across fields, mountains and deserts. Laughing, eating and drinking with his brothers. Traveling to a forbidden kingdom. The young man with a delicate blond girl. A gentle blue haired girl with serious blue eyes. Making love with her in a moonlit lake. Murder. Grief. War. Capture. Torture. A bloody hand with its flesh scraped to the bone grasping a dagger. Forgive me, my Nymph!
Zoicite awoke, crying. Holding him on either side were his brothers, Jadeite and Nephrite. He buried his face in Nephrite's shoulder and cried harder. He cried for his mother, the King and Queen he didn't have a chance to mourn and for his beloved Mercury.
When he finally gained control of himself, Kunzite was there. The two stared at each other for a moment, and then he flung himself into his eldest brother's open arms. After a long moment, Kunzite released him. "Welcome back, little brother! We've missed you."
"I've missed all of you too." Zoicite sighed and rubbed the tears off his face. He gratefully took a drink of water from the bottle that Jadeite handed him. "Gah! I didn't mean to cry like that."
"Pffftt!" Jadeite waved his hand in the air. "Crying is a whole lot better than puking up a lung. Besides, you've had a rough couple of months."
Zoicite laughed softly. "I'm guessing you 'puked up a lung' when you regained your memories." Jadeite nodded ruefully. Zoicite smiled "I'll take the crying." He looked at his brothers, "Where's Endymion and the Senshi? I know where Serenity is. She's Usagi, isn't she?"
Kunzite smiled. "Usagi is Serenity. Of course, she doesn't know. As for the others, we haven't found them yet."
Zoicite thought for a moment. "Did all of you regain your memories on the day you turned fourteen?"
"Jade and I did." Nephrite jerked his thumb at Kunzite. "Queen Serenity made him remember at the age of ten so that he could protect Serenity and teach her what she needs to know."
Zoicite frowned thoughtfully. "I'm going to guess that we won't find the Senshi until it's time for them to awaken."
Kunzite's eyebrows shot up. "We hadn't thought about it that way. You're probably right."
Zoicite grinned wickedly. "Of course I'm right. I'm smarter than all of you put together." Jadeite and Nephrite looked at each other then at their younger brother. They jumped on top of him in the age-old brotherly greeting: beat the crap out of each other. Kunzite just sighed and moved to the top bunk to avoid the idiots who were his brothers.
Seven years later, as they sat in the house that they shared together, they sat discussing the Enemy and what they should do.
"Perhaps I can help with that."
Startled they looked around for the unknown voice but all they saw was a white cat. The cat jumped onto a chair, sat down and licked a paw. They were amazed when the cat spoke, "I'm Artemis. I was once an Advisor to Queen Serenity. And now I get to advise you."
The four men leaned forward to listen.
Author's Note #1: When I speak of Zoicite being fluent in ten different languages, I mean that he can Speak, Read and Write them.
Author's Note #2: According to , Miyamoto Tatsuo means "Palace True Imperial Hero". If everything I've read about Japan and names is true, then such a name would make someone like Miyamoto even worse.