Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon is the property of Takeuchi Naoko, Toei Animation, and Kodansha Comics. This story features (extremelyw tame and relatively nondescriptive) lemon content. Please be aware of this.
Also, I'd like to apologize to everyone who's ever been so kind as to put up with listening to me gripe about not being able to write anything with even mildly explicit content. Look, I'm getting better, you guys!
The Searching Compulsion
by Gita Toronjil-Lee
The final word of her incantation rang out -- quite firmly, Zoisite noted on a mostly-subconscious level, and strikingly powerful for a woman who had just watched the annihilation of both her child and her kingdom. Her posture was so regal that she appeared to be even taller than Kunzite-sama, let alone than himself.
This would be the one of the last thoughts on any level of consciousness he would have for several hundred years.
Vaguely, very vaguely, he heard his sovereign's gasp of disbelief and her ensuing cry for her patron Metallia-sama; more audibly, he heard his own shriek, the highest pitch in the chorus of four around him. His flesh seared, flying from his body as though his skeleton had suddenly reversed its polarity, and while the sound the lowest voice in his quartet of yells made the hurt even worse, he couldn't even register the source of this particular agony at that moment; he couldn't think at all as he blindly clutched at his throat to throttle the pain.
The compulsion was there, however, embedded deep in his developed reflexes, so strong that it the question he just had to ask would be on his lips the next time he spoke, and this was no small feat; it would be decades before he could heal enough to even have lips again.
Soft arctic light trickled through the upper regions of the sealed-away land, weaving its way through the overhanging vine-like foliage in the canopy. This ray was the first of its kind to appear in centuries, and acted as a beacon indicating the revival of not only a Kingdom and a people but an era in and of itself.
And, when it finally reached the kingdom floor, it fell right over Zoisite's eyes.
His lashes twitched, and his long-motionless body suddenly jerked into reanimation as his left arm flopped over his face to block the beam. He stirred, long legs kicking like a fussy infant's in slow-motion, and stretched in his sleep. The first sound to escape his throat in a long time was something akin to the gargle of a wounded beast, but then...
"Where are you, Kunzite-sama?" he said, in a voice as clear as a cloudless sky, and woke himself up. His eyes opened in a start, and he blinked uncomprehendingly before pushing himself into a sitting position.
Around him was an unfamiliar area: the dark, oppressive atmosphere, crawling flora, and purple-weaved granite around him clearly spoke of the Dark Kingdom that was his home, but it was so much colder than he'd remembered, and he'd never seen this particular place before. Looking down, he noticed that the stone beneath him was softly curved, and pulsed softly with Metallia's rarely-utilized curative warmth. He touched it wonderingly with a bare fingertip, and this was strange, because he'd thought he was wearing gloves; in fact, when he checked, he was, but they were so charred and torn that he feared making a fist would cause them to crumble.
He thought for a moment about trying to move himself from the uncomfortable stone, but the gentle heat was too inviting; instead, he closed his eyes and tried to gather some semblance of memory. Everything felt wrong, wrong, and he just needed to look for...
"Wha...?" He turned toward the sudden stern familiar voice, but the strong hands that grabbed his forearms were too fast for his gaze to catch their owner, and he was lifted from the bier harshly. His legs nearly gave out from under him when he was set on the ground, but somehow he convinced them to be supportive enough to stand upon, if still bent and unsteady.
"You want to know where Kunzite is? The throne room. You should be there, too."
Finally gathering the energy to turn and glare, Zoisite snapped, "Why're you here, Nephrite?"
The auburn-haired man, who Zoisite couldn't help but to notice was dressed in a uniform which had seen far better days, shrugged. "Queen Beryl-sama said she didn't want to send Kunzite after you, and we haven't found Jadeite yet. Most of our youma are either wiped out or, in the cases of the rare ones which Metallia-sama managed to save or who weren't there in the Silver Millennium siege at all, still unconscious. I don't know why I'm telling you this. Get going."
Nephrite had never been a dear friend, but rarely had Zoisite seen him this harsh; perhaps, he decided eventually, he is not a morning person.
And so he followed without protest. His feet, thankfully, had accorded to his instruction quite suitably, and it was without a stumble that he entered the nearby portal behind the other king, reappearing nearly instantaneously in front of Beryl's dais. She sat there, looking remarkably unscathed, in her accustomed position, alone in the main hall.
Hearing the approaching clicking bootsteps, the red-tressed monarch looked up and nodded at both her warriors, parting her dark mouth in the barest glimpse of a fanged smile.
The man in front of Zoisite saluted in the standard fist-to-chest manner, awaiting his majesty's orders. She did not leave him waiting long.
"Jadeite is in the western quarter, and can be accessed by the third portal. Metallia-sama has obviously seen fit to revive us in convenient areas, and for this you should be grateful. Go retrieve him."
Wordlessly, he turned and exited. It was only then that Beryl turned to look at the younger king.
"It's good to see you awake," she said, her voice taking on a
much-used tone that seemed sincere and mocking at the same time."
Zoisite had too long been a member of court politics to not know the proper response.
"It is a far better thing to see you well, Queen Beryl-sama," he said lightly, in a way he did not feel inside. And he waited, feeling the strange compulsion yet again to ask where... to look around for...
Something he didn't have to: the steps he heard behind him were too sure and complete with cape-rustle to be Nephrite's or Jadeite's. Already tired, his shoulders and gaze drooped in a sort of relief; he didn't see Beryl's knowing smirk.
Kunzite did, and so pointedly he met her gaze directly, looking only at her. "I have found where most of the youma have been stored," he reported. "One or two look to be stirring slightly; the majority are still in stasis. I don't believe they will revive for another few hours, at least."
The queen raised an eyebrow. "Oh? And so you seek some personal time now, do you?"
He didn't move, but daringly, stolidly, continued to meet her eyes. "I am only reporting what you asked, my queen."
After a minute or so of silence, the queen shifted her orange stare to Zoisite. "Fine. Go. Both of you. I shall be calling you soon; don't relax too much."
Kunzite-sama never does, Zoisite remembered, as he obediently trailed the taller out to the portal that would take them... home.
At first, he lay there quietly, just listening to Kunzite's breathing, being warmed by his arms.
The white-haired man hadn't spoken a word to or even looked back at him as they traveled the well-known path to their tortuous castle, and this had made Zoisite more than a bit perturbed. But as soon as they were inside, Kunzite had paused and waited for Zoisite to catch up, which he had as quickly as possible -- he had still been too exhausted to burst into the out-and-out sprint that his mind urged him to attempt; nevertheless, he had braved the way the bones in his knees had chafed those in his thighs with a sound and a sensation like sandpaper on gravel in order to jog the last few meters.
He knew his partner too well to expect any sort of apology or amendment, and he was correct in that there was nothing verbal offered. The sudden hold around his waist, however, was a surprise, as was the pinkish flash of energy that filled his vision. They'd reappeared in their room, and Kunzite had silently slipped him out of the tattered remains of his uniform and pushed him back onto the bed, and then into it, between the blankets which had been magically preserved to last without dust, stiffness, or staleness.
The familiarity of it was wonderful; while Zoisite may not have remembered his time unconscious in recovery, he still felt as if he had been gone for a very long time. And when Kunzite joined him, and reached out to pull him close, he couldn't think of a place he'd rather be. That was why he lay so very still and peaceful, not wanting to shatter a thing.
He startled himself just as much as his lover when he turned his head and began to kiss his throat; in fact, Kunzite-sama was the first to recognize the change in the moment, sliding his hands from platonically around his upper back to lower, softly humming a low note as he did so.
"Kunzite-sama, I'm tired," Zoisite whispered, eyes closed. "I'm sorry I started this, because I don't know if I'll be able to make it through-"
"Shh." Kunzite raised one hand to lift his chin, finding his mouth, and lowered his other hand to grip him firmly as they kissed.
Such a gentle reassurance -- yes, he's really here, yes, oh -- was far more descriptive a reply than anything verbal.
Zoisite groaned into the soft brown crook of his lover's neck as Kunzite stroked him just a bit faster, readjusting his hold to be even stronger. Through the haze of fluttering eyelids and the pounding pounding heartbeat in his ears, his chest, and especially right down by the hand of Kunzite's that wasn't wrapped around and up his back tangled in his hair, he managed to gain enough control of his body -- or at least some of it -- to rub the inside of his right thigh back and forth against Kunzite.
The larger man gave no sign that he noticed this, but when Zoisite stopped to focus on kissing at Kunzite's neck and jaw, this time far more desperately, he made a soft sound of protest so low that it made his chest resound. In response, Zoisite slid one of the hands clutching his partner's smooth shoulder to grasp the back of his neck, and the other down between the two of them, returning Kunzite's attentions in kind. And while earlier it may not have seemed that his lover was definitely appreciative of Zoisite's touch, when his hand reached its destination, Kunzite gasped, his head dropping and his fingers tightening --
--but Zoisite couldn't tell what happened just after, because it was then that his eyes clenched shut, his back arched, and the world seemed to simultaneously slam into him and expand infinitely, over and over in clashing waves. He cried out one or two indecipherable syllables in a voice several levels lower than the one in which he generally spoke, once more in a pitch far higher, and then fought to catch his breath again. Kunzite-sama was sighing into his hair, still keeping the arm gently holding Zoisite around mid-back.
Finally, he leaned forward a little to murmur something into Zoisite's ear, and so expecting something sweet and romantic -- well, okay, he knew his Kunzite-sama better than that, but he at least hoped for something a little bit emotionally satiating, especially since he had yet to hear a word from him since they'd been reunited -- Zoisite turned his head slightly, smiling. But of course he should've known better; what his lover said was:
"Can you sit up a little so I can move my arm?"
Ouch. Ignoring the letdown, he grumbled and complied; Kunzite promptly freed his arm and used a small amount of magical power to put the bed and both its occupants back in sleeping order, organizing and cleaning simultaneously. They both hated sleeping in a condition anything save immaculate.
"There," he decided at length, and reached for Zoisite again.
Zoisite yawned, and decided that because obviously Kunzite wasn't going to do it, he would break the ice. "Were you asleep like I was?"
There was a pause, so long that Zoisite wasn't sure if Kunzite was even still awake. He had his arm draped over the other's side and his head tucked under his chin, and so he didn't have a good enough vantage point to tell either way: his lover's breathing was slow, deep, and regular, but, excepting during the most furious, intense moments of battle or intimacy, when wasn't it?
Eventually, though, he felt Kunzite's shoulders shift against him in a shrug. "Yes. I'd only been awake a half-hour or so before you woke up. I think, at least. I had as much to recover from as you did, after all."
Another pause. There were so, so many crucial questions to be asked, about why they were there, what had happened, what was going on... but instead, Zoisite nodded and said nothing, closing his eyes but refusing to doze.
Just a few minutes before Beryl would summon their return to business, Kunzite began to mutter, in a voice so strangely directed that it seemed as if he were speaking to himself. "I looked for you, you know. In that half-hour. I thought you might have been lost. I heard you screaming, before, and..."
"Shh." This was Zoisite's turn to play the reticent, and he did it quite well; he'd had a good teacher. "I know."
Actually, he hadn't, but he wouldn't admit to that.
It was, however, comforting to hear that he hadn't been the only one with the searching compulsion, and it was even better not to feel it now.
Things weren't so bad. Not then. Not there.
Note: <sigh> I seem to lack the ability to write a detailed worthwhile lemon, no matter how much I try; . Ah, well. All I want to say is that this is not my end-all opinion of what became of the Dark Kingdom during its hibernation period between the fall of the Silver Millennium and the beginning of the series, but is merely an... er... option, I guess. Alternate reality. This wasn't what I'd planned to write when I sat down with story-creation in mind; nevertheless, I do hope this product of my own obsession/compulsion was an enjoyable one.
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