Star Cross*d Part Five

When the three battle-weary senshi arrived at the Cherry Hill temple, they all looked worse for wear. Tskui was a little drawn, slightly drained from bringing back Tengai. Mick was pale as well, but he was fine physically. He kept glancing at Tengai anxiously. She was dangerously pale and shaky on her feet. Tskui apparently could heal wounds, but not give back blood.

When the other girls saw them, they let out a collective gasp.

"Kami-sama!" whispered Rei. "You guys are going straight to bed. Mick, take Tengai to that room over there and make sure she sleeps, I'll take 'Kui-chan."

"Ok." said Mick.

Tengai's knees buckled underneath her, and Micheal caught her just in time.

"S-sorry, Mick, I don't want to be any trouble." murmured Tengai.

Mick scooped her up into his arms and began to carry her to one of the rice paper walled rooms. He knelt to set her upon the futon. Tengai smiled up at him, her arms still wrapped around his neck. She snuggled up into his lap and spoke, in a sleepy voice.

"Stay, Mick? Just until I fall asleep?"

She felt so good in his arms that he just held her and nodded against her hair. It felt like silk, and she smelled like vanilla. Her breath was warm against his neck.

Tengai felt like she belonged nowhere else in the world at that moment than right where she was. She shifted her body weight and looked up into his eyes. Mick appeared to come back from a far away place to look into hers. She smiled sweetly and wrapped her fingers in his long midnight blue hair. She lifted her face up until Mick could feel the air between them charge. The diminutive senshi of innocence leaned in for the kill.

As her lips finally met his completely, Tengai's heart flipped over completely. The kiss deepened, and Tengai felt like she was drowning heart body and soul. When she breathed, she breathed his scent. It was heaven to her senses. She felt him pull her closer, and she loved the way his hand pressed against the small of her back.She snuggled closer, her fingertips gently stroking the nape of his neck.

She pulled softly back for just a moment to catch her breath.

"Mick?" she whispered breathlessly.

Mick leaned closer in answer.

"I think I love you." She said softly.

"Damn" thought Mick.


Micheal was as good as his word and didn't leave Tengai's side until she was under the spell of sleep.  He rose slowly, as not to disturb her, and stood in place for a few moments.  She was curled up on the futon in a pose like a little girl, and her chest moved with a comforting regularity.  Mick's head drooped wearily and the corners of his lips twisted downwards. 

Tengai suddenly sniffled in her sleep, and his hand shot over towards her.  Realization dawned on his face as he looked down at his palm.  He stepped back from her until he found himself against the wall.  He let out a long ragged breathe and slid down the wooden to the floor. He leaned his heavy head into his hand and let out air roughly from his tight lungs.  Slowly, painfully he relaxed. 

His eyes wandered over to her still form.  She looked so warm and inviting, like a child, a mother, and an angel all wrapped into one.  He finally spoke, his voice low and cautious, so soft that even if Tengai was awake, she would have likely not have heard it.  "This is bad..."

The mood was broken by the sound of urgent voices outside the door.  He cocked his head closer to listen.

"We don't even know if we can trust him!" The words were spoken in such a way that Micheal knew exactly who'd spoken them: The Queen of Neptune. 
Oddly, it was the last person he'd expected to defend him was the next to speak, "He is who he says he is, I can tell," the future Queen of Uranus countered.

"Well, hell, she's never stood up for me before.  Must be a first time for everything." Mick whispered with a sneer.

"Michiru," Makoto put her hand on the shoulder of the sea-green haired girl, "He's helped us before, and put himself at considerable risk for our sakes as well.  We shouldn't be fighting about him, but worrying about these new enemies."

A new voice entered the conversation, one that sounded a little like that of the beautiful Queen of Venus, but he couldn't be sure, "Mako-chan is right, we have to plan for what these 'S&M' people will do next."

"Well, Micheal destroyed S before we got here," Tskui sounded drained and pained.

"'Kui-chan! You should be in bed!" the girl who'd been introduced to him as Rei when they'd arrived her cried.  He heard rustling as he assumed the priestess went to help her weak friend.

"If you're going to talk strategy, you'll need someone who was there both times, guys."

An uncomfortable silence followed for a moment.

"How did Mick defeat her?" Usagi asked tentatively.

"I've never seen anything like it... He just blew her apart."

Makoto spoke next, but no doubt voicing everyone's thoughts, "Do you think he could do it again?"

At this point Mick stood up and opened the door.  He loomed over the scene, all the other senshi were seated comfortably around the room.  He took advantage of their surprise and smirked at them self-confidently. "That's a good question, Makoto-sama, one that even I can't answer.  You see, I've never been able to do that attack before."

Faces were painted with a mix of doubt and concern, so serious and grim.  This only served to make Micheal grin more.  How else should one deal with such emotions?

He laughed.  He laughed and they flinched.  "Don't worry, I will defeat that 'M' if it kills me."  He strode to a table in the center of the room, with a half-filled bowl of fruit positioned at its uppermost corner, and picked up a gleaming red apple.  "It is our way."

Most of the women warriors present simply looked up at him with a bit of silent confusion.  The aqua-tressed ruler-to-be of Neptune grew defiant.  "Your way?  Who's this?"  she looked displeased to say the least.

It was little more than Mick expected, so he took his time savoring his juicy treat.  After a moment he swallowed, and plopped down next to the table, cross-legged.  "My senshi team.  The Moon Senshi."  Usagi blinked and drew a breathe to speak, but he beat her to the punch, "Named such since we bear the names of our mothers' home stars' moons, Usagi-sama." 

He leaned back heavily on the table, and a thoughtful look invaded his grey eyes.  "The Moon Senshi, one and all, have dedicated our lives to helping those who cannot help themselves."

Makoto tilted her head away from him a bit, "All senshi do that."

"No."  He stared intensely into her eyes, with a darkness that frightened her, "They don't."

Suddenly, a sound like fingernails on chalkboard filled the room.  A deranged voice, coming from nowhere and everywhere at once followed.  "Little girls, little girls, come and get me... Let's see if your man can save you this time...."

Micheal stood up quickly but calmly.  "Transform.  They've returned."  He made his way out of the temple, biting his lip as he walked. 

Rei turned to Makoto and mouthed, "They?"

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