Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Lost Soul ( Chapter 1 )

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She hadn’t expected to find him in a barn.
As speaker of the palace, he had always maintained an immaculate appearance before he retired for the evening. Seeing him in muddy farmer clothing and boots that had encountered any number of animal droppings and his hair rioting every which way, it took her a moment to identify him as the cocky blonde who could sweet talk anyone into doing his bidding.
Rapping her knuckles twice on the timber door to announce her presence, Ami inclined her head as greeting, and gingerly picked her way towards where he sat milking the cattle. Her sleeveless summer dress and ballet flats were far from being the appropriate attire for the occasion.
« I have been looking everywhere for you. »
He wiped the back of one hand across his brow and glanced up. « And now you have found me. »

“Come home, Jadeite. You accomplish nothing by exiling yourself from the palace. We missed you.”

“I am home,” he snapped, and looked away. “The Mongolia mountains were where I grew up as a child. This is where I belong.”

Ami winced, her hands fisted in her dress at how much his words had stung. It shouldn’t have been this difficult to reason with Jadeite. She inhaled deeply, then exhaled as she crouched beside him. She gathered her dress and tugged the fabric underneath her knees. “I thought Crystal Tokyo is your home now.”

She saw his mouth form a grim line before he relaxed his face muscles. He would not look at her. “It was, before I fell in love with someone who believed me to be a bad omen.”

Ami frowned. She reached out a hand to rest on his bicep, and felt the tension in his body. She had thought he would have put it out of his mind. Confidence was his second nature. That he seemed to have lost it worried her. Putting her other hand on his for support, she wrapped her arm around him. “You know that isn’t true. Rei was upset after losing her grandfather. She now regrets that she has unknowingly offended the people who love her.”

He laughed, the sound harsh and deprecating. It reminded her of the puppet soldier she had fought in her younger years. “That’s very kind of you, dear Ami. Perhaps she would have been kinder if I hadn’t acted like a moron.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself.” She leaned her chin on his shoulder and watched him work. He had deft fingers; milk discharged with every squeeze of the udders. “Think of Mamoru, Jadeite, your brother in everything but blood needs you. I have never known him to have dark circles under his eyes even when he was an intern at Tokyo General. We need our speaker back with us.”

“You don’t need me. Kunzite is a much better speaker than I am. Endymion didn’t make him Chief Ambassador for nothing.”

“He is socially inept, though.” She knew this to be a lie. The head shitennou’s enthralling charisma had won them support from politicians that had previously scorned the new monarchy.

He leaned his head towards hers, the tension seeping away. “I will pretend that you never say that.” He shifted and wiped his hands on the towel in his lap. “Go home, Ami.”

She started. “Usagi will be disappointed that you stayed.”

“She will remain disappointed for some time. Weeks, months, less than that, or maybe longer. I just need to be away from the heat of things right now.”

The determination in his too blue eyes informed her he would not be dissuaded from his choice. With a sigh, she pulled away and rose to her feet. She hadn’t invested much hope when she volunteered to travel to the remote mountains to search for him. Jadeite was a master illusionist, so tracking down his trail and eventually locating him was already more than she could ask for. She hated leaving him to his thoughts, with only the cattle as company and the closest village at the foot of the mountain, about half a day’s walk away.

She also knew, however, his reaction if coerced by force.

“You will tell me when you decided it’s time to return, yes?” She had to ask before boarding the flight for Japan in the evening and lie to her friends that her journey had been for naught.

He stared at her for seconds, then his face broke into a genuine smile, one that she had believed might be bereft for countless years to come. “You have my word on that.”