Title: Crescent Mirror
I am so sorry that it was been more than six months since I last updated! I couldn't even believe it myself! I am also going to hang my head shamefully and say this is not the chapter I wanted it to be. If I had kept the chapter as I wanted it—it would have been maybe three times longer and not nearly as interesting. I am really trying to move away from the lovely family piece of Selenity, Apollo, Serenity, and Endymion and more into Serenity and the Sailor Scouts fighting the deadliest evil Luster has ever known. I hope you guys are beginning to pick up where the story is going and I hope you are having as much fun as I am in extending this epic.
Again, I really want to apologize and thank you, my fans, for sticking to this story and forgiving me time and time again for not updating, and for not making the chapters as long as they can be. Please forgive me and have patience! Med school is soul consuming ;)
CHAPTER THIRTY EIGHT
Serenity, Princess of Luster… and recent betrothed of Endymion!
Endymion and I sat arms and lips wrapped around each in other for what seemed like forever as the marigold sun set into a violet twilight. My heart was singing as I caressed the beautiful heart shaped diamond ring I was now in possession of.
I was torn between staring at the ring and continuing to kiss Endymion so I began some sort of super energized rabbit as I bounced from his lips down to staring at my hand. Endy laughed heartily, nibbling my ear.
"I am just happy it doesn't sing," he murmured into my heart and I swatted him with my right hand.
"Hush, that rod got us together," I kissed him briefly and felt his mouth open to protest—which he did.
"I would like to think I had some hand in that!" He objected hotly.
"Hmm," I hummed, "I think it was the entire Saturn being kidnapped and Neptune and Uranus trying to kill me that really brought us together,"
Endy blew his bangs in frustration, "At least I gave you the ring,"
My face broke into a wide grin and I flung my arms around him, "Yes my darling you DID get the ring and you DID propose and you did it because you WANTED to and no one MADE you," I emphasized kissing him even more.
Endymion broke free from my hold and looked into my eyes with a perfectly seriously face, "I always knew you would be part of my life, Serenity, and no one could make me do anything—except you, and for you I would go to the ends of the Earth and back,"
I put my ringed hand against his mouth, "Don't say that," I whispered,
Endy took my hand gently and kissed the diamond, "I mean it, Sere, no one could have coerced me to do something I didn't want to do unless you wished me to,"
I rolled my eyes, "So you completely saw through Mom's plans?"
Endy's eyes sparkled, "Let's just say it was exceedingly eye opening," he teased moving in to kiss my cheek, then earlobe, then neck.
"Oh?" I questioned softly with a knowing tone to my voice.
"Oh indeed," Endy playfully pretended to nip my ear, "Don't think I am unaware of the lovely mind meld you and your cousin like to play it,"
"I have no idea what you are talking about," I turned my head from him and he immediately began tickling me, "Endy stop! You're going to make us fall!" I squealed.
"Oh?" Endy mocked, "Are you afraid we might ruin your dress? I remember a time when you were only to eager to ruin your dress," Endy swept me up in his arms.
I threw my arms around his neck, "You wouldn't dare! I swear I will hurt you!" I threatened as Endy took one large stride closer to the Crescent's rounded edge.
"Will you cut off my head?" Endy gave me large puppy eyes and I couldn't help but laugh and deliver a playful jab to his ribs, "Omph! Don't MAKE me drop you! Honestly if you punch and you fall that is NOT my fault," Endy nodded in an infuriating way.
I scowled, "Yes it is! You," I pretended to swoon, "are my knight in shining armor! What kind of knight would you be if you dropped your Princess?"
"Someone who loves a good joke," Endy replied smoothly. I squinted my eyes.
"Someone who wants to be dead," I corrected and Endy burst out laughing, twirling him and me on the spot.
"Eeeee!" I shrieked as I realize that Endymion was not only turning on spot but also transporting us.
He stopped and my head stopped spinning long enough to realize we were in the main foyer of the castle.
"Hullo!" Endymion called loudly and it echoed throughout all the halls and I could hear footsteps rushing, heels clicking on the marble floor. I felt the magic in the air, as I believe one or two girls and several of the Generals materialized into the air.
"ENDY!" Aunt Gaia cried holding her blood red skirts high as she rushed into the room, "Where have you been! Your Aunt and I have been searching for you everywhere!"
Mother skidded in literally, almost knocking Endy's mother over, "Endy! Darling, we have been so—Serenity? Is she okay!" Mother almost screamed as she realized Endy was still holding me.
"Goodness what's all this noise!" Rei clucked her tongue as she took in the scene.
"Why are you yelling?" Nephrite asked sounding bothered as he dusted off his shoulders. Lita looked a mess, completely dressed in training clothes. Ami had one set of glasses perched on her head and another in her hands. Zoiscite stumbled in under a dozen books, clearly finding trouble levitating them as Jadeite followed in with another pile of books, his somewhat levitating.
"Endy my lad, is everything okay?" Lawrence and Father had arrived by this point and I saw Artemis and Luna burst out of two separate secret entrances—the former being followed by a handful of Luster Guards.
"Way to go," I whispered sarcastically to Endy. He snapped his teeth at me again and I let out a joyous laugh that caused all chatter to become silent.
"Endymion, Serenity, is everything okay?" Father asked carefully watching first my blushing face and Endy's shining one.
We nodded and looked at each other and nodded again. I threw my left hand out and Endy shouted, "WE DID IT!"
"OH MY GODDESS!" Everyone screeched and started screaming and yelling and I think Luna was crying.
Arms began flailing around us and my eyes grew round as Endymion was forced to put me down for fear of suffocation by both his mother and my mother.
"Oh my gosh let's see the ring!" Lita grabbed my hand and started squealing at high levels. Nephrite delicately held his free hand over his ear and leaned over to offer his congratulations—his deep velvet eyes glistening with happiness. Ami peaked in under Lita's arm until Nephrite noticed her and gently pulled Lita back whispering to her that she could see from where she was—once again teasing her Amazonian stature.
"Oh Sere, congratulations," Ami whispered tenderly, eyes full of soft tears. She kissed my cheek sweetly and I felt Zoiscite squeeze my hand tenderly. My friends! My heart sang with joy.
"Why is everyone getting so weepy?" Rei demanded as she pushed her way into our close-knit circle. She stared brusquely at me and I could see her violet eyes shimmering with unshed tears. For a second I saw the little six year old I had met all those years ago who was purposely ignoring us children. The flashback shifted as Rei's face broke down and the tears gushed out of her eyes. She fell on me with both arms and her sobs were muffled in my swan down hood.
"Rei…" I whispered holding her with my left hand; my right still entwined with Endy's, "Are you not happy?" I asked her raven hair.
"Don't…be…daft…" She managed to get out and I felt one of her hands wipe her eyes, "Tis because I am so…so…ha…happy I weep!"
I exchanged bizarre glances with the girls and looked for Jadeite who was busy pretending to punch Endy in the stomach. He didn't seem in any hurry to get to Rei.
Nephrite placed his hand on her shoulder. She sniffed and stepped back holding me at arm's length-searching my face for once, not my mind. She swiftly kissed my cheeks and ran out of the foyer—disappearing in a turn of red.
This Jadeite noticed and he hurriedly pecked my cheek, "Better get on to the wedding night," he wolfishly added before shimmering away himself.
I turned to face my friends—somewhat shocked from the emotional high we had just all endured.
"Daughter," The voice was my father's and he looked so happy and so sad at the same time that it was all I could do not to burst into tears.
"Daddy!" I whispered hoarsely as I dropped Endy's hand to fully embrace my father. My father, my father, my father—no man would ever replace him, not even Endymion. I stepped back to see tears reflected in his sky blue eyes—my eyes. His burnished golden hair was my hair and I could see in this moment he had never been more happy that his genes had overcome the Lunarian ones to give a golden Princess for the first time in the lineage of the line of Selene.
"I was so happy when your hair didn't lighten or darken," he whispered, knowing what I was thinking somehow, "I just hope that Endy doesn't mess it up for my grandchildren!" He added loudly slapping Lawrence on the back.
"Don't look at me Apollo," Lawrence shook his head and threw an arm around his ernst while wife as she continued to hop around Endymion, "It was this lady's family that produced the dark, dark hair the lad has,"
Gaia swatted at his arm, "Leave be! My parents were only too proud to have a dark haired daughter! I'm just relived its not pink,"
"Pink?" Father echoed and looks at Mother's own lavender hair possibly trying to envision his future grandchildren.
Gaia nodded, coming over to ruffle my hair, "The guardians of the Earth have always had vibrant pink hair, raging in colors from the deepest magma red to the lightest pink of twilight," She reminisced softly, perhaps seeing her own mother, "Be warned Apollo, you may live to see that hair come back,"
Father pretended to shudder but threw a dazzling smile to everyone, "I say this calls for an impromptu family dinner! Lita, Luna?" Father asked the two women. Lita flashed me a thumbs up and hurried away.
Luna came up to me, tears streaming down her face, "I do not think I could be any happier," my oldest friend whispered as she held my face in both her hands and leaned forward so her crescent mark touched mine and I felt a glow permeate my very soul, "Go in peace," she added before following Lita out of the foyer.
I turned to my mother who had said little over the entire thing and waited for her to say something as Father almost gruffly asked for everyone to come with him please.
"Mama?" I asked tentatively and no one could have prepared me for her response as she fell upon both Endymion, crying fearfully and holding us as if someone was trying to take us away and me.
"Mama! You are happy?" I asked worriedly and tried to turn my head to look at Endymion who was awkwardly patting my mother on her back saying reassuring things.
"I just always wished this for you two—and…" she could not finish, showing us a tearful smile but clinging to our bodies with tight hands, "It is as it should have BEEN" she whispered reverently and kissed us both. She stepped back and looked at us silently, small drops of tears tracing the valleys their predecessors had forged.
In that moment I saw that my mother's time had come and gone. She was looking at the future and that was me. I saw her and suddenly all the years of her life were upon her. I saw the stiffness in the arch of her back from years of holding her neck high. I saw the way her hands were slightly cramped from decades of book keeping. Most of all, I saw her heart, glowing, warm, young, and with a light so strong that I knew this would be her legacy to me—the legacy of the Silver Imperium Crystal-the Crystal that gave us the extended life and protected our very existence. The Crystal had been called from my mother and my own crystal was shining from my heart. A bond sprung between us in that moment. She had protected the crystal all her life and was finally passing it on to me—its rightful guardian.
"Mama," I whispered reaching out my hand to her.
For the first time in my life, my mother did not reach across the gap to take my hand. She held her clasped hands together and lifted them to her lips. She kissed them and blew the kiss in my direction. With a power I never quite got the hang of, she managed to shimmer away from our presence.
We were alone in the chamber. Everyone else had discretely disappeared. I looked up at Endymion, my eyes shining with tears of joy, "So was it everything you hope it would be?" I teased even now not able to break myself out of that habit.
Endymion's eyes were bottomless as he held my gaze and I felt my cheeks blush furiously, "Even more so," he responded with a voice stuck deep in his throat. I felt his slightly calloused hands brush up against my cheeks and my eyes were closed before his lips found mine and we were lost in our moment of time. A moment not stolen—a moment not interrupted—a moment that was simply ours in time.
The Wraith Kingdom
A youma smartly stepped sideways as another wine glass managed to miss him by mere inches. He snorted internally wondering how long he would have to play this game before Prince Diamond bored of it.
"You are all fools!" He slurred as he stumbled down from the throne, "Fools! You can't even manage—" he stopped thinking hard. The youma fought the urge to roll his eyes.
"Manage what dearest of all brothers?" A purr echoed in the throne room. Diamond squinted in the direction of the voice.
"Ah," his voice was heavy with drink and full of pleasure, "Sister," he slurred and managed a deep bow despite his inebriated state. He was all business again, forgetting his anger for now.
Beryl paused in the arched entranceway, leaning an alabaster arm against the black granite stone. Her arms were bare despite the cold that permeated the air. She wore a skin fitting deep purple dress that seemed to be painted in with the fluidity of movement it had against her curvaceous body. The dress was strapless and it seemed to be staying up by a separate force of nature all-together. Her feet were hidden by the draping train that was lined with gold lace yet the sharp clicks of the heels could be heard as she made her way slowly and sinuously towards her brother.
Diamond's eyes were misted with wine and anger and unnatural desire to possess anything he could not have. Where this perversion had come from one could not say but somehow Diamond wanted what he could not have. First the kingdom, then Luster, followed by the Princess Serenity and now his own secret contender for the Wraith crown. Perhaps it had been the Wiseman who put it into his head that as heir to the Wraith crown he could have anything he desired. Perhaps it was the fact his sister was seen as such a forbidden object to him—equivalent to his lust for the Luster crown and heir. The sister who had been kept in the shadows all those long lonely years and then the sister who had disappeared when he had gone with the Wiseman to the Tau system to lock away his father and receive the unholy gifts from the Cauldron itself.
Whatever it had been that had twisted Diamond, the damage was done. The man who now stared at his sister and enemy was deeply twisted and evil. He tried to focus but the dark wine refused to release its heady hold on him.
"Brother," Beryl purred, "Where have you been hiding of late? You have not joined my…table for supper nor have you broken your fast with me," her eyes did not attempt to hide the double meaning behind her words. She slowly lifted her heavily made up eyes, "Have I offended you, again?"
Diamond swayed, "No, no it's just that," he paused again struggling to remember what had made him so angry in the first place. What was wrong with this blasted wine? Where was his head today?
Beryl allowed a slow smile to grow across her mulberry lips and for the first time Diamond saw the glint reflect off of her small, lethal fangs. When had those fangs grown into place? He heard a distant snap and he startled, hitting his knees backwards into his chair.
"Brother, are you ill?" Beryl took another two steps forward, each echoing into the hall and his mind as if he was caught in that second.
The throne room spun around him and he felt his pulse began to race. His last thought before he collapsed onto the cold ice of the throne room was…
"WITCH!" Another voice rang loudly thru the hall and Diamond saw a wave of fire as Beryl turned to snarl at her challenger.
She snickered, "I knew it would be you," she said to the unknown male.
"How could you! He is your brother!"
"And he is in my way," Beryl answered and she stepped closer to Diamond's fallen body and nudged it with a golden slipper, "As are you!"
Sapphire flung himself onto the floor and avoided the energy beam neatly.
"He would have shared anything with you!" Sapphire screamed, feeling his anger rise up in him like never before.
Beryl's eyes narrowed at him, "Like he did with you? What did he share with you, Sapphire? Did he tell you the source of Black Crystal? Did he teach you how to manipulate it? Did your dear Wiseman help you as he should have? What did Diamond tell you? You were his Heir?"
The words flung out like barbs into Sapphire's deepest of hearts. All of his dark fears realized and growing into this heinous creature that stood before him.
Beryl laughed manically and Sapphire felt his insides growing cold, "I see I speak the truth! Well dearest BROTHER, let me tell you what I have learned," she reached out and her white hands were around Sapphire's throat. He felt her hot breath on his neck and he couldn't even close his eyes in fear as her lips came close to his ear and his face was covered with her magma like hair.
"You are born alone into this world; you fight alone in this world for your survival, and you, like your beloved brother will die alone in this world,"
Sapphire closed his eyes. Goodbye dearest brother. I was too late…always too late.
Beryl snapped Sapphire's neck and the able bodied general of Diamond's guards fell to her feet.
"Pity…he was such a fiiiiine man," Beryl muttered to no one. For like she prophesied, she was alone in the room.
Watching from the Shadows….
Nehelenia watched the life leave Sapphire's eyes and she greedily wished that she could have been there—to suck the life out of his Dark Crystal heart. To have the knowledge he had and to know the things he knew. She tightened her hands into fists—long nails gouging deep into old scars on her palm. Yet, there was no blood. She felt lost—frustrated. She snapped her teeth and turned away from the scene. When would Rubeus figure out how to enter the Crystal Tower? When would she discover Beryl's weakness?
At this the evil succubus seemed to lift her head and sniff at the shadows. A slow smile bared her tiny fangs and Nehelenia felt that perhaps she had finally lost control of the beast she had created.
"Patience, my dear Stepmother, you too shall get just what you deserve—perhaps you would prefer to join my father and wait with him?" Beryl cackled into the dark. The guards in the outer parts of the castle heard this evil omen and suddenly felt the darkness in their souls. What new evilness was this?
Nehelenia leaned farther back into the dark. Her old prisons in the mirror began to feel like a sanctuary—a place she could rule in peace and not worry about others threatening her throne. She should have just stayed in the mirror and let Beryl destroy herself—now it was clear she had made all the wrong decisions. Always she had made the wrong decisions. Nehelenia let one fist unclench and her now numb fingers placidly feel the shiny obsidian behind her. If she could only—just make a single scratch…
A hand touched those fingers and before Nehelenia could scream it pulled her into the darkness she had tried to hide in.
Beryl sniffed again and laughed out loud. She laughed long and hard as she levitated the body of Sapphire into the air and descended into her own dungeon temple. Metallica had long since grown weary of youma sacrifice and there was nothing like the fresh taste of youth to encourage her to infuse Beryl with more power.
At the end of the day, that's really all there is.