To Have and To Hold
The Second Chapter
By Aa-chan / Angel Magess

Disclaim: Same as first chapter, buah.

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Chapter Two: To Kill a Mockingbrat

"I know that all of you knew my previous words - senses aligned like the moon and stars - would be spoken tonight, but no doubt is it true, everyone: My visions of a destroyed Crystal Tokyo are stronger than ever, and all of us need to be on alert starting tonight, especially for concern of our people more than us."

The gentle, flower-like swathings of Lady Princess Selenity's (also fondly called 'Chibi Usa,' by her parents, and the planetarial soldiers alike) voice did little to overpower her audience into staying calm; In fact, the girl winced to see the hateful expressions of digust clearly moulded on each of her comrades' visages, and the fast-paced whispering each of their lips flared into. Her head shook, hand reaching up to scratch a temple closely hidden in the massacre of lush shoulderlength cherry-blossom-coloured tresses, as she inadvertely glanced at her parents - her mother seemingly intrigued with a fork; her father groaning quietly at her mother's actions.

They're not gonna be much help, the small maiden thought, reeling her gaze back to the soldiers, and clearing her dainty throat. "Everyone, I -"

"Do you think she still could be mad?" Soldier Mercury burst, honestly not hearing the princess beginnance to speak. The soldiers' eyes quickly shifted to the empty seat adjacent to Soldier Neptune upon her words.

"Haruka? Nonsense. Soldier Uranus is still the same Haruka we've known her as," responded Soldier Mars, absently tucking a lock of raven-black hair behind her ear, and ignoring the glares the other soldiers (sans Neptune, who was staring almost boredly at her plate) gave her.

"Papa, I told you that you shouldn't of asked her to lead the senshi!" snapped Princess Selenity, figuring now to be a good time to remake her presence known amongst the gatherings.

All heads turned to the shrill voice of the girl, wincing slightly as they did so.

King Endymion sighed, glancing at his daughter through a solemn headshake. "Yes, Little Selenity, I know, I know. I'm going to go talk to her," he added, standing from his chair next to the queen.

"Don't forget to tell her about Chibi-Usa's premonitions, and party!" crowed his wife, tugging slightly on the coatsleeve of the indigo jacket he wore.

This mere mentionace made her audience groan slightly once more. Even pregnant for a second time, and older nonetheless, the queen still never ceased to amaze her comrade soldiers with her overly forgetful-like remarks.

Princess Selenity's eyes widened, glancing from either parent "A party?! But Mama, Papa.. I don't want a party this year!"

"I won't, dear," the king sighed, glancing down briefly to cast a warm smile back at her bright one, purposefully ignoring his daughter.

"I'll make sure he won't," remarked a quiet voice, yet audibly heard over the telltale scraping of the chair against the marble floor. Everyone didn't have to look to see (although they did, just in case) the Time Guardian and Soldier of Pluto quietly standing next to her chair. "I'm going to accompany him, as there are a few questions I'd like to ask as well," she nodded, glancing across to the king, who, struggling to keep a serious face, nodded his approval (his wife frowned, however, as did the rest of the court maidens, when they were sure the daughter of Chronos wasn't looking.), then Michiru, who shook her head, and glanced back down to her plate.

"Hurry back, Puu, Papa. I don't think I can last that long with Mama," said the princess, unable to hide her smile. The queen rolled her eyes, shortly shooting a mock glare at her daughter, ultimately trying to hide her disapproval at the Time Guardian's imperitivity to join her husband. She and the rest of the court, save her daughter, thank the Moon, knew of the strange bond between the Elyusian-born prince and the daughter of Chronos, and each knew it wasn't one of friendship.

"And just what is that supposed to mean, Chibi Usa?"

Endymion patted his wife and daughter's heads (in a diverted remark towards both their intentions to make the other mad), and started towards the dining hall's exit, nodding to the Plutonian Soldier as he did, who followed.

Little did either know that would be the last meeting with family and comrades for quite awhile..

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The lanky, stacattolike clattering of booted heels against an equally shell-hard floor (such as marble) quietly reverberated in a dark hallway, not too far off from where the planetarial soldiers, and the queen still sat at their table, attempting to look busy eating the remains of their dinner for sake of young Selenity, who was still rambling on over 'necessary precautions' to insure the safety of their kingdom.

Flippity brat. I can't wait to see her dreams shattered.

The stepping - muted by way of the princess' shrill voice - came to a halt in order for a pair of caliginous amethyst eyes, also eerily hidden in the darkened path, to slowly scan over the gathered court. Had anyone been able to see the ethereal figure, clearly past the robe she was wearing, all they would've honestly saw were the beginnings of a harsh smirk upon violet-stained lips and visage, and nothing more.

Come here, to my side. Amid the dark robesleeve her arm raised, a shadowed medley of digits curling up into her palm as was done. Almost before the tips of her gnarled (or so they appeared) knuckles touched her covered shoulder had a small onyx pool of opaque dust swirled and swished in whirling bouts at her unarmed front.

I said 'to my side,' moron. Violet lips downturned into a growl of disgust, eyes briefly shimmering in glared assaults (which, of course, no one of the court noticed, as the equally darkness-shrouded being was blocking any tempts of view). But of no matter. The king and his little mistress, or so I have gathered, are somewhere down the hall. I want you to find them, and bring me back their hearts wrapped in locks of their own respective hair as your proof of killing them. Got it?

A low rumbling protruded from the figure, which was hunched over as though it had a bad back, but definetly didn't seem humanesque at all, especially by the dark-sapphire shimmer of scales in an adjacent light..

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"I can't believe we're stuck on this goddamn, pansy trip to Flower Hell!"

Everyone sitting within the hovercraft - Damcyan's preferred method of transportation, as Anna had previously inerated - blatantly ignored Palom's remark; The Bard offhandedly glanced at his wife with a look that plaintively said, "Just like him, no?" whereas Porom sighed boredly, letting her small body finally uncap a tone of relaxation to sink comfortably into the leathery-soft cushions surrounding her back, and undersides.

The child wasn't content to shut up, however. "This is all YOUR fault, Porom, you.. you.. Demented, demonic BITCH!"

"PALOM!" the two monarchs sitting in the seats in front of them thundered.

"Oh, shut up, Palom, and start taking some responsibility for your actions," grumbled the boy's twin sister, raising her arm to swiftly block a half-attempted bash to her head, both ignoring their parents, as per usual. "Besides, it was Mother who wanted to go to the festival."

"But you agreed to go with her, you.. you.. agreer! Agreer! Agreer! Agreeeeeeeeer!"

Porom shook her head, turning somewhat to glance out at the endless ocean amid the shores of Damcyan. Too many times over had the child magess found her way out of listening to her brother annoy the everliving star-lights out of her was to simply ignore him.

Palom didn't catch her drift, as usual. He took Porom's gesture as an advance to stick his tongue out, and make stupid faces at her turned back. "Psssst. Poorooom.. Por-DUMB! Agree-gree-gree -- OW!" That ought to get him to hush for awhile, thought Edward, glancing briefly at the boy's half-stunned, half-angered expression off the windshield's reflection before turning his attention back to the path he was guiding the hovercraft over. His wife pummeled him in the shoulder.

"Edward, slamming into that shallow like that was extremely unecessary! You'll throw the Hovercraft off into the water, and we'll be stranded!" snapped the monarchess, who had known this attempt to make their son shut up was going to happen, like it usually did on trips in the Hovercraft with both children.

The Bard didn't bother glancing back at his wife. "Not a worry, Anna. This machine's designed to travel especially over the shallows without hesitation. Besides, even if we were thrown off, we still have the emergency fuel to propel us back over them," he chuckled, glancing over at the Damcyani queen, whose glaring visage was also still pale from fright. "In fact, Crude Steve, the airship pilot you adore so much," (here, he winked briefly at her, before resuming his gaze on the shallow's path), "and his father were both the main developers in the production of putting the craft together all those years ago."

"Oh yes. That puts my worries to rest allright," mumbled Anna in a sarcastic tone, finally pulling her glare away from Edward to the ocean. The essence of the Water crystal hadn't fully penetrated her lithe soul like her daughter, but there was a string of solace she genuinely found within the sunlight gently sparkling upon the water's surface, like the diamonesque display of crystals in the sand, and nighttime sky.

Almost as beautiful as being de.. Her head shook slightly, cutting off the incoming thought with the sharp snap of her teeth to her bottom lip.

It had been nearly a year since the Mysidian Elder, the twins, and Edward had.. performed "the act," which, by a hasty reversal of souls, and the predicament of Porom's blessing by the Lunarians, had allowed the four of them to draw full life back into the only daughter of the grand Red Mage, Tellah. Of course, however, two setbacks remained: The loss of her memory before she met the now king of Damcyan, and an unsealable hole that an arrow to her lower area. The forementioned dilemma, obviously, had been fixed, but the latter seemed uncurable..

Even in the company of the three - though their lives were often split due to either duties with the Mysidian Academy of Magic, or monarchly agenditites - the young queen still felt an open sense of sadness. The other queens of the ruling nations, such as Fabul and Baron, had known of her previous demise by way of saving Edward, and were a bit hesitant to accept the reality that a child had restored full life to her, let alone without a scratch (save for the aforementioned), as were their husbands, and those who ruled either in solitary, or tolitarian government. So far, the only thing she found closest to calling a friend was a summoner of the Misty Village, Rydia, also an ally of her husband's.

But perhaps they were truly friends? Every visit, the two women were inseperable, so to the point her husband, the Ninja king of Eblan, Edge, had often nastily joked that the reason why Eblan didn't have an heir yet was because his wife was obviously romantically interested in the Damcyani monarchess. (The result of that remark, of course, was a usual smack in the ribs as administered by the summoner.)

"When we get there, Anna, do you, Porom, and Rydia want to entourage the flowers? Edge, Palom, and I can go off by ourselves, if they don't have any objection to that," bade her husband, almost as if he were reading her thoughts.

"I have a damn objection, damnit!" piped up Palom, but to all three ignoring him once again.

Anna's gaze seemed to of toned down to the exact same beauty of the sun's reflection upon the sapphire-drenched ocean - this Edward noted with an almost surprised infacture, as her eyes came to rest in interlocking twine once again with his. "Yes, that'll be fine, I suppose. Porom?"

"No one asked me!" Palom interjected once more.

"Of course, Mother; Whatever you wish," responded the small White Magess, lashing out a fist to *KER-POW!* her twin to the side of his brown-tressed head at the same time. The boy snarled, and raised his own fist to return the abrasion, only to have his sister catch his fist, and take a lash at his shoulder before he had a chance to throw his other arm in.

"Go ahead and throw us into a shallow again, dear. It's better than listening to this," sighed Anna, as the twins' scuffling quickly turned up notches.

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Garnet-coloured oculars shifted to and fro, almost in alluring time to the solemn, echoing steps the Time Guardian and Earthen endower enunciated in their sojourn down the hall leading to the suite that the soldier of Uranus 'resided' in.

Come and rest in the darkness.. in the darkness of another moon!

Her head whipped, dark-olive tresses thrown in the same direction in a similar deadly manner that her regal form often intimidated. "My king; did you hear that?"

A quiet sigh pulsated through the monarch's nose, vocals restraining an annoyed emphasis. "Setsuna, it's not going to work. In fact, how dare you try, especially just a couple of days before young Selenity's sixteenth birthday, and with Usa --"

Her hand quickly gripped his forearm, nails squeezing in a deathlike vise that it made Endymion wince slightly. "Quiet, my king!" she hissed, gaze affixed down the already traversed portion of the hall behind them. "It'll hear us."

"I'll make sure they'll hear me if you don't let go this instant," growled Endymion, attempting to release the Plutonian Soldier's grip upon his arm.

Chronos' daughter instantly complied, but not to his demands.

"Watch out, my lord!" A bare dark-olive-skinned shoulder instantly slammed just below the king's shoulder in attempt to shove him back.

Endymion, confused, soon found himself sitting on the floor, but glaring at the soldier of Pluto nonetheless. "Setsuna, what the hell is --"

He couldn't finish his sentence out of the pure horror-infused awe of seeing another form - unfamiliar at that - in front of Setsuna.

"Run, my king! Please, get Haruka, then get everyone else out of the palace!" Setsuna's white-dressed frame instantly slid into a fighting position. "She may still have Saber!"

Something of unwonted distress told Endymion the Time Guardian wasn't ploying to seduce him this time. "I told you to keep the Garnet Orb!" snapped the monarch, however scooting back upon the floor before standing, and rushing down the hall towards the Uranusanian soldier's room.

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"Damn straps," Haruka snorted, attempting to pull the flimsy vinyl belt of her ivory dress sandal through the nearly nonexistant hole of the buckle. "Odango-sama should just let the past go. We are still soldiers under her command afterall."

Her ice-green eyes instantly shifted up expecting to hear a comment from Michiru. Of course, though, the soldier of Neptune wasn't there in front of the vanity mirror the two women often shared (Michiru more than Haruka.), nor anywhere about in the huge, apartment-like section that the two had been granted in their stays at the Crystal Palace.

Ah, Michiru-san. If only I could tell you how sorry I was for snapping at you. Damn the buckles. Interladen fingers released the thin, worthless piece of material as though it were garbage, only to throw her whole muscular limb into action, and kick the sandal off violently.

If you were here with me right now, we'd run away... The soldier released a heavy sigh, her back meeting with the soft bedding matress. Limbs sweeping up to properly stretch out her tall, lanky form upon the bed barely missed the speculate chunks of crystal piece which fell from the ceiling where her sandal had met just seconds ago (the shoe had ricocheted with an annoying SMACK at a bare angle, and, oddly enough, landed on her bed.). Run away, and try to remind me that protecting our king and queen is our destiny, and we'll meet death with i, although together, again... And of course, you'll fight with my embrace, and argue like you usually do. But that's why I love you.. I love you, damn it. You've always known it. I've always known it. We were reborn to find each other once again. If fates had it, I'd -

The barely audible sound of the outer room door handle clicking cut sharply into Haruka's thoughts, sending her to sitting up with a jolt.

Probably Odango-sama, or Little Selenity, she mused, throwing a glare at the ornate clock as she quickly sat up, and began stabbing at properly buckling her sandal once more, and I wouldn't blame them. Dinner has probably already been served, the meeting done, and briefings sent. I'm a failure to even the others I love the most!

As the footsteps neared closer to Haruka's door, however, the soldier of Uranus felt yet another cold, sharp slice, this time into her senses. The slow, catlike stepping of heels against marble definetly didn't match with the bouncy, raucous steps of Princess Selenity, or her mother (even with her pregnancy, she still seemed to walk with an usual school-girl flair), nor the sleek, metronomical tunes of Michiru.

"Who's there!?" The sandal was kicked off once more (this time, not too far from where its twin sat innocently by the bed.) before standing, kneeling, and quickly reaching a pre-gloved arm between the double-boxed matress. Digits tightened angrily (visage resembling the same anger) halfway towards their destination as the doorhandle gave off a shrill rattle.

"Dammit, I said who's there?!" The arm sandwiched between the matresses shot forward, hand splitting open like a perennial in bloom in a successful attempt to grab the item, which, by the time, she had it safely out, the doorhandle gave off yet another annoying rattle.

Like pure water frozen in the brink of winter's tides did her gaze seem to harden even more as she stared silently at the object in her hand. Saber.. You should've been destroyed along with me, along with Galaxia, but I call on your mercenarial assistance again, even if the price itself means death.

"Allright! I've warned you enough!" she snapped, glaring to the door as it gave off a rattle once more. A hand brushed away the dark navy blue blade cover to reveal the familiar sight of the silveresque bane as pure as it was the day she last used it to strike within the heart of a Daihmon. Intrigued, she ran a finger amid the curved, almost circular portion of where the Moon-forged sword rightfully took it's name, and winced in result; Still sharp, are we? she mused, raising the glove-severed digit to her mouth. Silence didn't last for long.

The door rattled, then clicked, alarming fair noise to the supposition of intrusion. Haruka's arms raised forward, the sword's handle clenched tight in both hands.

Blood continued to drip, clinging almost lovingly to the marbled handle before making a departure for the similarly marked floor. The splatter of the first droplet was the last memoir of solitude before the soldier's perceptions went on an uncharted whim.

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Author's Note: If you're wondering whether or not Queen Selenity is pregnant with Kousagi.. Well. Nyah. Not telling. :P Stay tuned for Chapter 3! -- which should be done soon.