Untitled - A Jadeite-centric shortfic

By Naru-chan naru-chan@tokyo.com

Jadeite was alone. Not lonely, merely 
alone-separated from his fellows by a chill, impassive wall that no one cared to 
breach, himself least of all. He preferred detachment from their fights, their 
side-taking and endless power plays. He knew he did not have the raw power to 
match Kunzite, or the depth of esoteric knowledge to challenge Nephrite. He 
knew, in the same fashion, that in a test of sheer magical strength, Zoisite 
could not hope to win. That was enough. Let the others squabble amongst 
themselves for scraps of favor in Beryl's ever-whimsical assignments. He would 
get his own job done, and without the flamboyant squabbles Nephrite and Zoisite 
went through. Assured in the calm knowledge of his own efficiency, he set his 
goblet aside and returned to his work.
"Excellent vintage... I wonder where Nephrite obtained it." His jaw tightened for 
a moment in faint disapproval of the excesses Nephrite flaunted with his casual 
assumption of a human identity. "Queen Beryl would no doubt disapprove... if she 
knew how much time he spent there." Shrugging slightly, he ran a finger across 
the crackling paper and paused to jot down a notation along the edge. "Oh well. 
It is hardly my concern, and I have no complaints about the wine he sends in the 
expectation that I will keep my silence."
His lip curled for a moment in a sneer at what he read, and he leaned back. 
"Foolish, to deploy the youma through those tunnels... I am surprised Kunzite 
allows Zoisite such freedom with his resources." He held a certain indefinable 
respect for the white-haired king, who seemed to share his philosophy of cool 
reserve. Unfortunately, in his mind, Kunzite grew far too lax with his fiery 
catamite, letting the copper-haired beauty run unchecked much too frequently for 
his own good. The relationship still surprised him, after endless years. He'd 
once doubted the icy demeanor of Queen Beryl's second-in-command could thaw for 
anything... and still would not believe it if he hadn't seen the way Zoisite 
leaned against Kunzite, stared up at him with green eyes sparkling and lips 
slightly parted. And even that had not sealed his belief, so much as the 
undeniable shade of a smile that crept across Kunzite's mouth as he returned the 
look. A pity, that the strongest of them should fall to such weakness over the 
hot-tempered brat.
Heedless, vain, prone to tantrums of sheer rage when insulted... he couldn't begin 
to name all the faults Zoisite exhibited. And yet, the way his face softened 
sometimes, dropping all the layers of mockery and sophisticated boredom that he 
normally pretended to... it was intriguing. Did Kunzite keep him for the 
unquestionable devotion? Did he value the beauty of the copper-gold curls that 
always managed to escape being strictly bound, that sprang forward to lend an 
air of delicacy to the angular face, all poison-hued eyes and sharp chin? He 
shook his head, blue eyes dark. "Foolishness. Kunzite would have no weaknesses, 
if he did not have Zoisite... it is stupid of him to keep something Queen Beryl 
can use against him."
Queen Beryl would have little hold on Jadeite himself, beyond his obligatory 
vows as one of the four Kings, were it not for an ill-planned dalliance, back 
when he had still believed the core of flawed hate and anger that ran through 
her to be steel. Her statuesque figure had held a certain appeal and her 
dominating desires had proved... exciting, but only briefly, and then he had found 
himself looking for a way to distance himself. That experience had strengthened 
his vow to have nothing more to do with women like her. It had not lent him any 
respect among his compatriots, either, as they had looked on his association 
with the Queen as a cowardly attempt to gain favor. Now the woman seemed to have 
lost all interest in him, instead preferring to call Kunzite to her chambers now 
and then. He idly wondered how Zoisite handled that. Probably not well. 
He set his newest plans in the drawer of his desk, locking it carefully with a 
warding spell, and stood up, stiff from hours in the same position. A small bell 
rang, announcing the presence of one of the slave youma, too weak in magic to 
serve as a fighter and too weak in body to be useful in the pits. He gestured, 
freeing the spell that guarded the door. "Enter."
The door opened, admitting a thin figure, who padded barefoot into the room. The 
youma kept her head low, glassy onyx eyes reflecting light from the fixtures 
spaced along the walls. Deeming her approach close enough, she knelt, touching 
forehead to sumptuous rug.
Jadeite waited several moments, unconcernedly flipping through several pages, 
then replaced the book on the shelf and turned to the slave. "You are not the 
usual. Where is she?"
Crouched awkwardly, the youma raised her head a fraction, not enough to meet 
Lord Jadeite's gaze, for that would be impolite. She spoke in a soft rustle, 
barely intelligible as speech for those who were not accustomed to lower-class 
dialects. "Mine pack-sister hath returned her substance to the Great One, my 
"I see. What message do you bear?" His gaze raked across her, finding no 
whipping scars or signs of mutilation. Either she was so young that she had 
never been assigned a task before, or she completed her tasks to satisfaction, 
unlike her predecessor.
"My lord, the Queen Beryl hath requested that ye gather more energy, and 
He frowned, eyes narrowing slightly. "Very well. You may report to her that I 
have developed a new method of gathering energy from the humans. I will begin on 
the morrow." Dismissing the youma with a wave of the hand, he turned back to his 
desk, ignoring the scrabble of claws on the floor as the slave hurried out. If 
the hapless creature had any luck, Beryl would be in a decent mood when she 
arrived with the return message. If not... well, Beryl had a tendency to take out 
frustrations on innocent bystanders.
He pulled the sheets of paper from the drawer once more, to tuck away inside his 
jacket, and headed down the hall. "Morgue." His voice was low, and the hall 
empty, but a disembodied voice replied, the speech carried through mind rather 
than air.
"Yes, my lord?"
"Prepare yourself for the Earth realm. I will require your presence tomorrow."
"I understand, my lord."
Days pass. The latest attempts at energy gathering are foiled by an improbably 
short-skirted young girl, who calls herself Sailormoon. Somehow, the inept child 
manages to destroy youma after youma.
Jadeite raged through his castle, impotently angry with the latest turn of 
events. The stupid human girl had somehow managed to botch his last few plans, 
which meant he had no new crops of energy to show Queen Beryl, which meant she 
was growing impatient and peevish with him. He disliked spending time in the 
Earth realm to begin with... it was so alien a place. Looking up into the endless 
blue sky had sent him into nauseating bouts of vertigo more than once. And yet, 
he couldn't resist the temptation to stare up into that emptiness.
His pacing was abruptly blocked by the bony form of a youma who was scrubbing 
the floor, tail lashing carelessly back and forth across his path. Snarling, he 
whirled to face the creature, fingers locking around her neck to lift her bodily 
off the ground and slam her into the wall. With a thought, he cut off the 
trickle of energy that fed the demonic form, watching her eyes roll back before 
she collapsed into dust. "There's your damned energy, Beryl. Suck it from the 
spineless crowd in your throne-room. If they have nothing better to do than 
stand around and watch my public humiliation, you ought to use what energy they 
Cutting loose with a torrent of curses, he struck the wall again with his fist, 
then squared his shoulders, schooling his features to calm. He strode to his 
main chamber, where favored youma often waited in hopes that they would be next 
selected to fight for the Great Leader. He needed a different type of youma this 
time. One that had better be strong enough to handle the short-skirted brat, and 
intelligent enough not to fall for another of the stupid tricks the others had. 
Eyes narrowed in thought, he recalled a crimson-scaled, fanged youma who had 
taken assignments from him once or twice. "What was her name...?"
"Garoben!" His face remained impassive as he threw open the door, but strain 
showed in his voice, and he cursed the weakness.
A lithe red body quickly slipped through the gathered youma, hurrying to stand 
before him and offer him a fighter's salute. "My lord Jadeite. I await your 
He motioned for the youma to follow him. "Garoben. You know of this human 
youngling called Sailormoon, correct?"
"Yes, my lord."
Turning to stare coldly into the youma's bulbous, pale yellow eyes, he spoke. "I 
want her dead. Consider that your top priority, if she appears. This is the 
plan. I have set up a 'school', a seminar for the humans to send their young to 
study and pour endless amounts of energy into their learning. This energy will 
be harvested by a special device I have made, which works in tandem with their 
computing machines to bring their energy to the correct peak and drain it away. 
Go, and do not fail me." He held up a small diskette. "You will find more of 
these waiting at the site." Concentrating, he wove magic into a pattern, 
creating a warp, a patch of utter blackness hanging midair. With a last salute, 
the youma dove through to begin her work.
Jadeite ran a hand through his hair, grimacing at the prickling discomfort of 
his scalp. He felt dusty, sweaty, and entirely unfit to accomplish anything. 
With Beryl on his tail and the troubles of Sailormoon chasing him around in 
circles, he hadn't had time to so much as bathe in the last few days. His 
stomach chose that moment to rumble protest, and he opted to postpone 
cleanliness in favor of sated hunger.
He warped from the hallway of his castle to a cavern where cook-fires were 
continuously burning to feed the thousands of youma and anyone else who didn't 
care to spend time making their own meal. It wasn't that he liked the 
unidentifiable overcooked slab of meat and bowl of more or less tasteless slop, 
he simply didn't care. Taking a tray, he picked his path through the huddled 
groups that crouched here and there around the room, making his way to one of 
the tables that were reserved for higher ranking officers. Someone already sat 
there, coppery hair in a tail down his back, but Jadeite merely grunted 
acknowledgement of Zoisite's presence before seating himself and attacking the 
Zoisite looked sideways at him, wrinkling his nose in visible distaste, 
doubtless thinking what a poor slob he was. The younger king offered his usual 
sarcasm in greeting. "You look like you've been sleeping with pit youma."
Jadeite rolled his eyes, mouth occupied with the tough meat.
Zoisite watched him still, arching an eyebrow, telltale signs of curiosity 
flickering across the sharp features. "Queen Beryl doesn't seem happy with your 
progress. Have your plans been failing?"
He swallowed with effort, wiping his lips with a cloth and glaring for a moment. 
"My plans..." and he stressed the word carefully, "...are fine. They worked 
beautifully before that Sailormoon chit showed up."
"Oh my." Zoisite's tone was laden with amusement. "Your plans are being ruined 
by a half-grown human brat?"
"Do you have any suggestions to remove the nuisance from the playing field?" 
Jadeite's voice went cold, annoyed by the malicious barbs the younger man so 
easily planted.
"Yes." Nonchalantly crossing one leg over the other, Zoisite toyed with a strand 
of hair and looked smug.
His eyebrows rose, and he waited. The self-absorbed king would either tell him 
of his own accord, or keep it to himself and laugh about it for the rest of 
their days. Either way, it would do no good to ask.
"Kill her yourself. You had her cornered once, I don't know why you didn't solve 
the problem then. That fool with the top-hat shouldn't have stopped you." 
Jadeite shook his head. "Whatever... anything's worth a try, at this point." When 
he looked back up, Zoisite had vanished, leaving only a few scattered petals 
across the tabletop. The back of his neck prickled, and he turned, sensing eyes 
upon him. In a shadowed side-tunnel, he caught a glimpse of long gray hair and 
recognized it as belonging to one of Kunzite's chief youma. "Hrm."
A flicker of sensation ran through the edges of his web of wards and tracing 
spells, curling inward from Outside, beyond the slowly deteriorating wall that 
sealed the majority of the Dark Kingdom's denizens up in this hellish domain. He 
caught the 'strand' with a thought, following it out to where Garoben held the 
first swellings of human energy gathered from duped students. Allowing himself 
an inward smile at the flow, he warped back to his quarters to prepare himself 
for an audience with Beryl. As soon as the day's harvest of energy was gathered, 
he would take it to the Queen and hopefully restore her flagging faith in his 
An hour later, he stood gathering the energy into a bluish ball of light, when 
the flow wrenched dizzyingly, and abruptly reversed itself, speeding outward to 
seep back into the human chattel it had come from. Shock held him motionless for 
a moment. "Surely Garoben did not fail... how could this have happened?! Garoben 
held power enough to destroy Sailormoon!" A quick check, as the last of the 
energy dissipated, revealed not one but two magic-bright auras standing before 
the crumbling form of the youma. "K'so... another one... another 'sailor soldier'..."
"Jadeite. I await your results."
He half-whirled, Beryl's impatient summons raising the hair on his neck, and 
stared around the darkened room in search of something, anything, to buy time. 
The room was utterly empty. He felt a muscle in his cheek jerk, and lowered his 
head in resignation. "I merely need to stall her... buy myself enough time to send 
Ramua." He didn't want to send the time-warping youma in, but if Sailormoon now 
had another equally powerful ally, it was time to pull out a few more stops. 
Yet again, Jadeite's plan fails. Ramua traps Sailormoon and her new ally, 
Sailormercury in a bubble of skewed time, but is destroyed when the interfering 
Tuxedo Kamen shatters the container that holds the stolen energy.
Jadeite stormed out of Queen Beryl's throne room as soon as she finished 
berating him. His lip curled as he recalled her infuriatingly obvious orders. 
"Finish off the Sailor senshi, she says... What does she think I have tried to do? 
Now she wants some idiotic mythical rock, and it's my neck on the block if the 
Sailor senshi somehow find it first." He muttered to himself, scowling. "Kill 
the senshi... gather energy... how would you like me to free our great leader and 
find you a new bedtoy while I'm at it, oh patient queen..."
Rounding a corner in the dark corridor, he nearly didn't see the dark-haired man 
until he heard a sardonic chuckle.
"I take it Queen Beryl's in a mood?" Nephrite smirked lazily, his hands in his 
"How astute of you." Jadeite forced his foul mood back, steeling his voice to 
calm once more. "No, I have merely run into a little... trouble with my 
assignments in the Earth realm."
"Trouble in skirts, I'd say. Here's a bit of friendly advice..." Tone laced with 
faint sarcasm, Nephrite tossed his hair back before continuing. "Why don't you 
get them off their own ground... put them somewhere where they'll be at a distinct 
Jadeite mumbled noncommittally and turned to continue down the tunnel. 
"Concentrate on your own assignments, Nephrite."
Nephrite had the audacity to laugh lowly, walking towards Beryl's throne room 
with that damned confident swagger of his. "I do, Jadeite, I do."
It struck him between brief fits of dreamless sleep, bringing him out of bed and 
lurching to his feet in a spat of excitement. "Off of their own ground... Perfect... 
Not here, but somewhere ~between~ here and Earth. If the youma gathers energy 
from victims trapped in a pocket dimension, there will be no chance for 
Sailormoon to reach them." He grinned, a short fierce baring of teeth. This 
would be a masterpiece.
Later, after the ideas churning around his skull had proved further sleep 
impossible, he walked the halls, meandering through long, tortuous routes that 
no one took to get anywhere. The stone was worn smooth, of course, by the 
passing of countless feet, just like everything else in the Kingdom, but for all 
he knew, no feet but his own had touched this floor since the dawn of memory. 
Well, until he came across the still-warm traces of energy left by another's 
"Zoisite? What's he doing out here at this hour? I would figure he'd be getting 
screwed senseless by Kunzite, if he were awake at all." He scowled dourly, 
annoyed over the odd intrusion. Picking up his pace, he followed the faint trail 
down the corridor, across a trickle of mineral-laden water that had turned rocks 
green and white with crust, and up around the mammoth ridges of a stalagmite the 
size of a hill.
Zoisite stood near the top, eyes glittering mistrustfully in the blue fungal 
light as he watched every step of Jadeite's approach.
Jadeite stopped, looking up at the outcropping Zoisite perched on. "I mean no 
harm. You needn't act like I'm about to blow the spire to smithereens."
"Who sent you?" The light tenor was brittle, edged with anger.
"What do you mean who sent me? I walk here sometimes. What are you doing here?" 
He scowled, turning away slightly but keeping one eye on the younger king.
Zoisite seemed to deflate slightly, the tension leaving his lines to be replaced 
with a vague, bitter sort of antipathy. 
"That's a dangerous spot to sit. Occasionally a chunk of rock from the ceiling 
comes loose and crashes down the slope there." Jadeite pointed at the scattered 
debris evident at the foot of the spire.
Hesitating, Zoisite glanced upwards, seeming about to say something, then tossed 
his head and made his way down the crest of stone in a few short jumps.
Jadeite turned to continue on his way, but in a few moments, footfalls behind 
him announced that Zoisite was following. Rather than keep on with his back wide 
open to any fit of ill-will or sudden desire for promotion the fourth-ranked 
king might have, he slowed his steps imperceptibly until Zoisite drew abreast of 
Zoisite looked askance at him, brows furrowed in a scowl that didn't suit the 
pretty face.
Jadeite looked back, saying nothing, until Zoisite broke eye contact. "What 
brings you all the way out here?"
"It doesn't concern you." His chin came up, defensively.
Dropping that line of questioning, Jadeite rolled his eyes slightly, with a 
longsuffering look to the mute fungal growths that clung to the walls.
The next few minutes of silence seemed to irritate Zoisite, and he coughed once 
or twice to break it. Eventually, his eyes slid sideways to study Jadeite once 
more. "And what brings you out here?"
"Ideas." Jadeite let it fall. The other man would needle for more information, 
or he would not, and nothing Jadeite did would have much bearing on it.
"Oh?" Zoisite arched an eyebrow, apparently willing to hear more.
"I walk to think, sometimes. I have a new plan to get energy without being 
disturbed by the Sailor senshi." He wondered, idly, what the others' current 
duties were. Perhaps one of them had been ordered to find that stone the Queen 
was so enthralled with.
Zoisite glanced at him again. "Are you going to attack them yourself?"
"Not if this works."
"Hn. I hope you're using a smarter youma this time."
"So do I." Jadeite frowned a bit. "Yes."
They lapsed back into silence, punctuated by the scuffing of their boots on the 
rock, and the occasional drip of water. A juvenile youma scurried across their 
path, once, pausing to stare at them with blood-red eyes and clacking fangs 
before it recognized stronger magic than its own and darted away into the 
Zoisite examined one fingertip of his gloved hand, picking at it with such 
apparent absorption that his voice startled Jadeite, when it came. "Kunzite's 
with Queen Beryl again."
Jadeite raised one incredulous eyebrow. The youngest king was hardly wont to 
sharing confidences, much less about his Officially Nonexistent Relationship 
that everyone knew about. "I suppose it must get under his skin quite a bit, 
when Beryl summons Kunzite."
"We had our duties arranged to spend a few extra hours together, and she called 
him to her chambers..." The copper-haired man's voice trailed off.
For a moment or two, Jadeite wondered if Zoisite was even consciously aware of 
his presence. He sounded for all the world as if he were talking to himself.
Zoisite turned to rivet him with a poisonous glare. "I wouldn't talk about this, 
you know... not usually. If you breathe a word to anyone, I'll make you regret 
it." The green gaze dulled, turning inward once more. "Why am I talking to you? 
I suppose it's better than talking to a youma."
Jadeite couldn't resist adding a dry comment. "I should hope so. Youma gossip 
about anything."
Zoisite snorted and looked away down the tunnel. "I know."
Glancing sideways, Jadeite studied Zoisite's face. "Queen Beryl... she does it to 
spite you. It's childish."
Eyelids lowering, Zoisite replied in a wearier tone. "I know."
They remained silent for the rest of the walk back towards more populated 
tunnels. When the corridor forked, one branch leading downward, the other up in 
a curving arc, Jadeite stopped. "Kunzite's castle is that way."
Zoisite studied the tunnel, then nodded. He looked back to Jadeite, face relaxed 
and curiously open. A hint of confused... gratitude, perhaps, hung in his eyes. 
The alien expression held for a few moments longer. "Perhaps your plans will 
succeed this time."
Jadeite half-smiled. "Perhaps. Good luck with... well.. good luck." He shrugged.
"Zoisite." The smooth, low voice startled both of them, coming from the shadowed 
tunnel ahead. A patch of lighter shadow detached itself and approached, 
resolving into pale gray uniform and long cape. 
Zoisite straightened, his weary air falling away as he flitted the few steps to 
Kunzite's waiting hand. 
Kunzite's icy gaze slid steadily across Jadeite, seeming to look straight 
through him for all the notice the white-haired king took, yet he found himself 
suppressing the slightest shudder. He watched the two walk down the corridor 
together, Zoisite burrowing obliviously against Kunzite's shoulder, and shook 
his head slightly. 
Jadeite sets his newest plan into motion. Opening a portal into a pocket 
dimension, he instructs a youma to drive the 6 o'clock bus through, then steals 
the passengers' energy while they're trapped. Unfortunately, Sailormoon somehow 
bumbles her way onto the bus, and when the youma gains the upper hand, a new 
senshi appears, wielding the power of raw fire, Sailormars. And even then, to 
add insult to injury, the portal somehow remains open rather than closing fully, 
so the senshi escape.
Jadeite traced a finger slowly across the tabletop, half-watching the recorded 
images of Sailormoon and the other two foiling his plans play over and over 
again. He clenched his fist, abruptly, teeth grating at the unfairness of it. 
"Those cursed girls..."
A soft giggle behind him prickled his senses, and he tensed, expression steeling 
into a cold mask. Water swirled midair, frothing away with a briny scent, 
leaving a youma with pale blue skin. She smiled fractionally. "Jadeite-sama, of 
all people, having trouble with such little girls?"
He did not turn, merely narrowing his eyes imperceptibly. "Tethys?"
"I am honored that you remember me, Jadeite-sama." The precocious youma still 
bore her infuriatingly faint smirk.
"You belong directly to Queen Beryl. What are you doing here?" He pondered 
whether to strike her down for this audacity. One mostly drunk liason several 
years ago should not have given any youma the right to enter his personal 
quarters unannounced and uninvited. "Damn... at this point, Beryl probably 
considers her more important than myself."
"You haven't changed." The youma paused, eyes boring into his back in a most 
rude manner. "No matter how I devote myself to you, you still treat me coldly."
Mentally snarling, he schooled his face to impassivity, glad his back was to the 
impudent youma. "I have no time for your foolishness. Get out of here."
She didn't budge. "Don't say that. I have come upon an efficient way to extract 
He started, gaze involuntarily jerking toward her. "W-what?" He clenched his 
teeth at the slight stutter, a sign of weakness.
Tethys giggled softly, her thin smile spreading. "So, I finally have your 
attention." Her soft taunting tone left him uneasy. "I call it the Romantic 
Cruise Plan."
Jadeite surveyed the ship, maintaining a relaxed yet authoritative stance as he 
watched the flocks of humans making their way up the ramp. To all outside 
observers, he was a sharp-looking young man in a crisp white uniform, dark hair 
and deeply tanned skin contrasting with blue eyes. Tethys stood beside him, a 
half-step behind, in human guise and a similar uniform.
"Captain Jadeite, the prey is coming aboard."
He allowed himself a small feeling of satisfaction. The senshi would have no way 
of reaching the ship when the attack began. "Very nice work, Tethys. It's hard 
to believe that this is just a derelict, powered by your seawater magic." The 
youma deserved a little congratulation, if this plan worked.
She lowered her eyes in proper humility. "With my magic, it is really nothing."
Turning back to look over the boarding passengers, he spoke in an undertone, an 
edge of hatred seeping through his voice. "Savor your love, stupid humans."
One of the 'crew', a disguised youma Tethys had created from seawater, spoke up 
then, dull eyes gazing blankly at Jadeite. "We are now ready for departure."
He nodded, back to cool impersonality. "Very well. Prepare to cast off."
The ship lurched slightly as it began to drift away from the dock, carried 
smoothly by Tethys's power. Satisfied that all was going as it should, Jadeite 
stepped into the captain's cabin to rest until the vessel reached a proper 
distance from the shoreline. As he entered, pulling his cap off to run a hand 
through his hair, a chill raced down his spine and he went rigid, looking up 
Kunzite stood by the desk, eyes revealing nothing of what lay behind them, his 
cape draped perfectly across one shoulder, the way it always was.
Jadeite inhaled through his teeth with a slight hiss, cursing Kunzite's ability 
to catch him utterly off-guard. "Why are you here?" He reached for the plans 
that lay on his desk, instinctively checking them for missing or misplaced 
pages, keeping his eyes trained on the older Lord.
Silent for several moments, Kunzite glanced unhurriedly out of a porthole. "This 
plan is unlike your usual. You are now relying on youma for inspiration?" His 
tone, flat and cold as ever, bore a trace of supercilious amusement. 
Resisting the urge to grind his teeth, Jadeite spat out a response. "With all 
due respect, Lord Kunzite, this plan is none of your business."
Kunzite might have narrowed his eyes a fraction... it was difficult to tell. "You 
forget your place, Jadeite. Be wary, Queen Beryl grows impatient." He accorded 
Jadeite the barest of nods as he swept out of the room, vanishing in a flash of 
Jadeite stayed still for several minutes, gripping the back of a chair as he 
breathed slowly in and out. "Why did he come here? Why does he threaten me? He 
has never interfered in my business before. Damnit, I don't even know what his 
assignment is! If Queen Beryl told him to take my place, I am a dead man..."
He exhaled one last time, willing the tension out of his body, and strode out of 
the room. With no objective in mind, he slipped through the hallway, past 
several couples, and down into the bowels of the ship. It was quiet, lacking the 
engine thrum a true cruise ship would have, merely creaking and groaning 
occasionally as the water carried it along. Rounding a corner, he came upon the 
engine room, vast and shadowed.
Something moved, and he frowned, stepping to the railing to look down into the 
room. A slim figure... flash of blond hair... Zoisite, come with Kunzite to taunt 
him? He'd thought the younger king actually halfway civil the last time they'd 
spoken. The intruder stepped into a patch of light, and he shook his head 
slightly. No, not Zoisite. A human girl with boyishly short hair.
"What are you doing here?" He raked his gaze across the girl, noting the camera 
case she carried. "Are you with the media? I'd appreciate it if you didn't 
wander into restricted areas."
The girl looked up, obviously startled, then stared at him with an infatuated 
He suppressed a slight sigh. "It's dangerous down here."
She blinked a few times, glancing around. "Uhh, I was separated from my staff."
"Is that so?" He turned to face her fully. "You must be worried."
Offering a wide, innocent smile, the girl shot him another melting look. "Would 
you mind helping me look for them?"
Caught off-guard by the girl's hopeful expression, he grimaced slightly and 
cleared his throat. "Er... Very well." He motioned to the stairwell, for her to 
join him. "What is it that worries me about this girl?"
She bounded up the steps, grinning infectiously at him. "Thank you so much! I'm 
Tsu...ack!" Red-faced, the girl muffled a minor coughing fit behind one hand. 
"Tsu..basa... Usagi, I mean." She recovered quickly, smiling sweetly. "You can 
call me Usagi-chan if you like!"
Jadeite smirked slightly, faint amusement at the girl's antics seeping past the 
chills of dread Kunzite's appearance had left. "Alright, Usagi-chan. Come along, 
the passenger decks are this way."
Usagi immediately latched one arm through his, pressing against his side as if 
glued there.
He looked sharply at her, but she was gazing wide-eyed around the corridor. 
Steeling himself to the contact, he bore a resigned expression as he led her 
"Oh! Where does that go?" She pointed to a darkened doorway, cringing more 
against him as if she thought something would leap out.
"That is a maintenance hallway."
"What are those?" This time, she gestured to gaping vents along the ceiling.
"Those are part of the ship's ventilation system." The questions didn't let up 
as they neared the passenger decks, and Jadeite found himself smiling at a few 
of the girl's innocent queries, although he wondered why she didn't press to 
take any pictures. "Do you know where your crew might be?"
"No, I don't... sorry." Usagi smiled sweetly up at him, blue eyes sparkling. It 
was rather unnerving, but her expression looked almost identical to the one 
Zoisite favored Kunzite with, when the two thought no one was looking.
They rounded a corner, stepping into one of the well-lit upper hallways, and 
Jadeite looked down to Usagi. "I wish I could ask using the PA, but it would 
disrupt the romantic mood of the passengers."
"I'm sure you're right." She tightened her hold on his arm, impulsively leaning 
her head on his shoulder in utter trust.
Jadeite swallowed hard, looking down at the top of the tousled blond head. "What 
is this strange feeling?" A chill ran down his spine, and he tried to mask the 
unease he felt. "How could I be feeling danger from a girl like this?"
"Captain..." Tethys stood there, a faintly betrayed expression on her face. "It's 
almost time."
"I see!" He moistened his lips, glancing around, and freed himself from the 
girl's grasp. "I'm sorry, but I have to go."
Usagi only looked at him for a moment, then spoke in a small voice. "I see."
Jadeite sat back, listening as Tethys made the announcements to gather the 
passengers to the reception hall. He frowned, chin in one hand, studying the 
blue crystalline orb she had provided. "Where did she get an artifact like this? 
Surely she isn't so powerful that she could create an energy-funneling device 
like this by herself... why, I'm not sure even Zoisite could create a crystal of 
this caliber without putting more energy into it than any youma should be 
allowed to handle." He shook his head slightly, dismissing the 
counter-productive thoughts, and raised the orb in one hand, generating the 
illusion of a glittering decorative ball around it. He warped it to the ceiling 
of the reception hall , where it snapped into place and hung, reflecting 
glimmers of light.
He stood, straightening his white jacket and cap, and turned to Tethys. "Come. 
The hall will be filled soon." He started down the steps toward the curtained 
stage, Tethys' footsteps sounding behind him.
Tethys spoke up softly as they stepped onto the stage, gaze fastened on him with 
a singleminded tenacity he found quite unnerving. "Remember... when this works, 
you will pay more attention to me."
Jadeite half-turned, eyes narrowed, then exhaled in a hiss, jaw clenched. "If I 
didn't need her help to keep this damned ship afloat, I would kill her now for 
her utter lack of decorum." He gestured with one hand, and the curtain began to 
lift, revealing all the human passengers watching in anticipation.
Stepping forward slightly, Tethys smiled. "We present to you, the most romantic 
show on earth." She began to giggle softly, crossing her hands before her and 
transforming to her youma guise, hair flaring out around her. The disguised orb 
began to spin, slowly, its magic activated to siphon the energy of love from the 
expectant crowd. One by one, the humans sank to the floor, drained, and the ball 
glowed brightly as it whirled above them.
Jadeite laughed, watching the growing crop of energy. "This will please Queen 
"You two!" Tethys' interjection startled him, and he looked up.
Two humans remained standing, two girls who didn't look old enough to be on a 
cruise like this in the first place. He sneered slightly, turning to the youma. 
"Now this was a little mistake, Tethys. You only drained the energy of love. The 
magic was useless against these girls without any lovers."
Tethys glared at the offending children. "You two! Why did you come by 
The girls glared back, seeming embarrassed. One of them, a pretty girl with long 
black hair, drew herself up. "Shut up! We have our own problems!"
Jadeite hesitated, recognizing the girl from the shrine he had worked at. "What 
is she doing here?"
"Little pests." Tethys eyed them in distaste. "My servants, get them!"
Several members of the 'crew' she had created from seawater moved towards the 
two humans, reaching to grab them. The girls squealed and fought back, 
attempting to defend themselves with chairs and other objects.
Jadeite smirked faintly. "Hm. Futile resistance."
The blue-skinned youma turned back to him, calming. "Jadeite-sama, despite this 
exception, we've gathered a large amount of energy. I am sure Queen Beryl-sama 
will be pleased."
"True." He gestured with one hand, opening a warp hole to take them and their 
collection of energy back to the Dark Kingdom.
"Hold it right there!" A high-pitched voice rang out, drawing the attention of 
everyone in the room. Tethys gasped and tensed.
Jadeite narrowed his eyes as the girl babbled on about love and justice. 
"Sailormoon... How did she get aboard?"
"What is this impudence?" Tethys glared up at the senshi in her ridiculously 
short skirt.
Sailormoon took the opportunity to launch into another incoherent spiel, and 
Jadeite looked sharply at Tethys, speaking in an undertone. "Finish her."
The youma looked back at him quickly, eyes widening, then smiled. "At last, 
Sailormoon! I will deal with you!" She leapt into the air, tackling Sailormoon 
out through the window before the girl could react. 
Jadeite afforded the two human girls a brief glance, then warped outside to keep 
an eye on the fight. He laughed, enjoying the sight of Sailormoon on the 
defensive against Tethys' powerful attacks. "Keep it up, Tethys." "If she 
succeeds in destroying Sailormoon on her own, perhaps she deserves some... 
personal attention after all."
Suddenly, fire blazed across the deck, startling the youma and blasting heat and 
smoke into Jadeite's eyes.
Tethys regrouped quickly, snarling. "Die!" She began to gather energy for a 
final blast, when mist flooded the deck, cloaking her in its depths.
Jadeite could hear the youma curse faintly as she searched for her opponent. He 
leaned forward, preparing to sweep the mist away, when another surge of fire 
struck her, battering her back a step. Before she could gather herself again, a 
streak of bright energy lanced toward her from Sailormoon.
"Cursed brats!" He hissed quietly, watching Tethys stagger back, mortally 
wounded. Several beams of light appeared, escaping from her dissolving body. He 
stopped, eyes narrowing. "Light? Some kind of spell was destroyed with her body, 
some sort of geas... unfinished.." Quickly drawing on every impression the 
fleeting aural glow had given him, he rubbed his forehead, trying to place its 
source. "A love geas. Someone spelled her to ensure she would offer her help to 
me... one of Beryl's chief youma... damnit, I've been completely duped. Now to all 
intents and purposes, it will appear that it is my fault Tethys was destroyed... 
and with her death, the energy we gathered is no longer being contained in the 
orb!" He shook himself, bringing his mind back to the matter at hand with a 
grimace. Even then, the look on Kunzite's face the last few times they had 
spoken seemed to hang in his mind's eye. "Did he lay the geas on Tethys?"
Jadeite glided down, landing behind the three senshi swiftly. "I underestimated 
you as little girls. But you have improved since we last met." Fixing them with 
a cold glare, he waited for Sailormoon to launch another tirade, half-listening 
and using the interval to draw on energy reservoirs. Once she seemed to run out 
of breath, he cut her off. "It is a waste of effort. This will finish you off." 
Raising his hand, he formed the energy he'd drawn into a sphere and readied to 
blast at the three. Abruptly, darkness swallowed him whole, tearing him away 
from the human realm. He gasped and steadied himself as he reappeared in a 
cavern in the Dark Kingdom. "Queen Beryl-sama!" "Why did she do that!? I had 
them in my clutches!" He raised his eyes to meet the towering projection of the 
Queen that wavered in the air before him.
Beryl stared at him, illusionary eyes gleaming red. "You have used one of my own 
precious youma, Tethys, and caused her death."
He drew a ragged breath. "No, your majesty... She planned everything by herself."
The queen cut him off, face going colder yet. "I will hear your explanation in 
the throne room. Prepare for the consequences if you cannot convince me."
"Yes, your majesty." He let his head fall as the projection vanished, feeling 
the strain of the forced teleportation in every muscle, his entire body shaking 
slightly. "Damn! Sailormoon, I will make you pay for this!"
Jadeite stood in the throne-room, hair still damp from the rushed bath he had 
managed before the queen expected his arrival. At least now he could stand 
without feeling as if he were about to topple. He kept his head slightly bowed, 
awaiting Beryl's orders.
"Jadeite." Her voice rang out, and the attendant youma crowds hushed. "You have 
gathered a great deal of energy on earth. But you have also made many mistakes."
He gritted his teeth. "On the bright side, if she were in a bad mood, I would be 
dead now."
"Sailormoon, Sailormercury, and Sailormars interfere with us, and you haven't 
defeated them."
"But... Queen Beryl-sama.." "I had them cornered when you forcibly brought me back 
here! If you'd just let me alone for another moment..."
"No excuses!" The queen's eyes narrowed fractionally. "Sailormoon threatens the 
revival of our Great Leader. You have one last chance. If you fail, I will put 
you into eternal sleep."
A whisper ran through the hordes of youma, and he felt hundreds of pale, glowing 
eyes turned upon his back. "Eternal sleep... how horrible..."
"Jadeite. Do you understand?"
He jerked his attention back to the throne, mumbling an affirmation under his 
"Those put into Eternal Sleep fall into the darkness and never return."
Jadeite kept himself upright by force of will alone until Queen Beryl dismissed 
him, only then teleporting to a deserted corridor and sinking to the floor. He 
drew a shuddering breath, leaning back against the rough wall and trying to feel 
some hint of the calm he ought to possess. "I'm not going to fail... I won't get 
put into Eternal Sleep. I have got to focus..." Opening his eyes slightly, he 
rubbed at his forehead with the heel of one hand. He stared numbly at the wall, 
noting the faint phosphorescent patches of fungus that crept along the crevices. 

"I wish I could just disappear down into the tunnels... if Queen Beryl couldn't 
locate me instantly, I would..." A fleeting vision crossed his mind, a picture of 
himself clad in rags, armed with a spear, hair long and tangled. He exhaled, a 
grin involuntarily creeping into his lips. "Jadeite, the tunnel-dweller. I could 
hunt juvenile youma... perhaps tame one of the odder creatures in the deeper 
regions. Oh yes, and wouldn't I be a sight riding into the throne-room in my 
loincloth and slaying the Demon Queen with my trusty youma-tooth spear." The 
grin refused to be quelled, so he sat in the dark and smiled until his face 
ached, shoulders shaking with silent laughter.
Jadeite challenges the Sailor senshi to meet him at Haneda Airport the next 
night, threatening Tokyo with destruction if they do not appear. The human media 
goes wild, but is quelled by the Metropolitan police, who issue official 
proclamation that the threats are a hoax.
Jadeite stood on the rooftop, looking down at the runway where he'd told the 
senshi to come. Police were patrolling the area, as he expected. All it took was 
a simple sleep spell and the humans collapsed without a single alarm. He 
chuckled softly to himself as he descended an escalator into the airport itself. 
He could feel wards he'd set up at the monorail station being triggered by the 
arrival of three girls. "Come, Sailor senshi." "Come... and die."
At precisely 1:05, the monorail arrived, and he sensed the three girls on their 
way into the station. He smiled, mentally commanding the clay golems he had 
animated and disguised as police to attack the girls and chase them into the 
open. It didn't take long before three young girls ran out onto the runway, 
pursued by the pack of golems. Jadeite's eyes narrowed as he recognized the 
miko, the shrine maiden who had been on the ill-fated cruise ship, as well as 
her friend, the quiet girl with dark blue hair. The third was a blonde with an 
odd hairstyle, but familiar features. "I've seen her before, too... she went to 
the gym... and the photographer! I didn't see it because of her hair... How did she 
disguise herself!?" He hissed softly to himself as the three raised wands in the 
air and transformed into the senshi that had made his life miserable since they 
first appeared. Somehow, the disguise seemed pathetically inadequate now, and he 
couldn't understand how he had failed to recognize them from the beginning. 
"Damned moon magic."
Crossing his arms, Jadeite watched as Sailormars destroyed the golems with a 
well-placed blast of flame. The little girls were so confident in their 
ineptitude. He laughed, a good full-throated one that echoed across the airport, 
drawing their attention. "They've somehow managed to cause all my problems... but 
no longer!" He looked down at the girls, smirking. "Sailormoon... Sailormercury... 
Sailormars. I saw your true forms. Pretty flowers last a short time, and your 
lives are limited to tonight."
Exhibiting typical human stupidity, two of the girls broke into an argument, 
ignoring him completely. It was almost enough to make him laugh again. But 
enough, it was time to teach these girls that he held the power in this 
situation. "Poor lambs... meet your fate!" He pressed his palms together for a 
moment, building power, then held his hands palms outward, sending tendrils of 
telekinetic force to nudge one of the massive jets into motion. It began to roll 
forward, then sputtered, engines roaring to life. It was easier to spark the 
next one to life, and the next, sending all three toward the senshi. The girls 
were cornered between the jets and the edge of the runway, a dangerous drop into 
the ocean below, within moments. He laughed. "Now you are finished!"
Something flashed across his vision then, some sort of ambient magic in the 
area, not his own. It interfered with his control of the jets, and all three 
came to a stop. He looked down to see a red rose quivering still, the tip of the 
stem buried in solid concrete.
"Do you enjoy tormenting little girls?"
Jadeite half-turned his head, glancing back at the caped figure behind him. "You 
again, Tuxedo Kamen?" He turned to face the solitary fighter. "I'll send you to 
hell with them."
Tuxedo Kamen glared at him through the foolish mask. "Damned villain, using 
magic against innocent people. I won't allow it!"
He suppressed the urge to roll his eyes, and threw his arms wide. "Die!" 
Lightning arced out of his body towards Kamen, who sprang into the air to avoid 
it. Jadeite leapt after him, hovering easily to face the masked man. "Oh, taking 
to the air won't stop me, you idiot..."
The two circled, each watching for an opening in the other's defenses. For a 
split second, Tuxedo Kamen's attention wavered, his eyes almost imperceptibly 
flitting to locate the senshi, and Jadeite took the opportunity to charge 
forward, his hand closing around Kamen's throat before he could block. Siphoning 
energy from the other man's body, Jadeite was surprised at the power he found, a 
warm golden glow. Locked together, they plunged into the ocean. Tuxedo Kamen was 
weakening, he could feel the struggles stilling as he took more and more energy. 
"Fool... wearing a cape to fight. Now it will drag you to your death at the bottom 
of the sea." He released the man, finally, feeling the body drift deeper, and 
rose out of the water, nearly crackling with energy due to the amount he'd 
Jadeite smiled sadistically, watching the girls gasp and look about in 
disbelief. Now, they would fear him. "Your trusty Tuxedo Kamen is dead! Cry! 
Scream! That's all shallow-minded women like you can do without a man's help!" 
He laughed at the expressions on their faces, delighting in the energy he could 
feel thrumming within his veins. "Stupid girls! Watch my power!" He flew higher, 
summoning the jets back to life and directing them toward the senshi.
The girls split up, and mist rose to cover the runway, shrouding them from view. 
Jadeite scowled, dropping to the ground for a better view. "Why must they 
persist? All they do is prolong their own deaths." He squinted, peering through 
the fog towards half-heard noises. "What? Where are they?"
"Here!" One of the senshi, Sailormercury, stood in clear view, attempting to 
draw him closer into some pathetic trap.
"You think this will beat me?" He raised one hand, energy glowing within it as a 
jet swerved to bear down on Mercury. Laughing, he watched the girl flee. 
"Running away won't save you! Die!"
The jet turned away from Sailormercury then, and he felt something distinctly 
wrong. His limbs seemed weighted down, sluggish with a foreign power. "What!?" 
He realized the jets were converging on him, and lurched into a run. "Why are 
they coming after me?" The mist vanished almost as suddenly as it had risen, and 
he found the three senshi standing ahead of him, looking intolerably smug. "What 
is going on?!"
Sailormoon shot a dark look at him. "Don't underestimate 'stupid' girls! They 
don't always cry and accept misfortune helplessly."
He tried to shake off the horrible lassitude that gripped him. "Why? Why is my 
plan going wrong?" Just in time, he looked up to see Sailormoon's tiara blazing 
toward him, and staggered out of its path. He stumbled, falling to the ground, 
abruptly very afraid that he was going to be sick all down the front of his 
uniform. "Gods... What is wrong with me?" The incessant roar of the jets seemed 
very loud, all of a sudden, and he looked up in time to see wheels, his mind 
floundering in an incredible fog. With a wrenching effort, he threw all his 
power into opening a portal back to the Dark Kingdom. For a moment, he thought 
he would black out and lose concentration entirely as the wheel struck him and 
knocked him flat, a terrifying band of pressure grinding against his ribcage. 
And then, he was free, standing, clutching his stomach and suppressing nausea. 
Swaying on his feet, Jadeite looked up at the queen. She looked furious. 
"Qu--Queen Beryl-sama!" A flicker of motion to his side caught his eye, and he 
saw Zoisite standing there, face unnaturally pale in pity, before Kunzite's hand 
settled over the sakura's shoulder and both vanished into the horde of youma.
"You fool, you come crawling back to me!" Her eyes were deathly cold as she 
stared at him like one might stare at an insect.
He muffled a groan and tried again, frantically gathering his wits. "Queen 
Beryl-sama, the senshi's true forms..." "She's got to listen..."
"No excuses! Sleep forever!" Beryl's eyes glowed blue-white.
"Queen Beryl-sama!"
Energy lanced out from Beryl's staff, striking Jadeite and covering him with a 
horrible cold as he screamed. He could feel his legs cease function, then his 
arms, trapped in solid crystal. As the spell sealed over his face, he could no 
longer scream, only stare wide-eyed and frozen as Queen Beryl sat back and waved 
a hand impassively at him. Energy crackled around the crystal, just out of 
reach, swallowing him up and dropping him in a darkened tunnel. He battered 
futilely against the spell's binding, seeking a way out of the imprisonment, 
some way to touch the power that would shatter the crystal. It was hopeless, as 
he began to comprehend the true punishment. He couldn't even close his eyes.

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