Kunzite was quite surprised to find her playing with his sword when he woke up that morning.
He watched her for a moment, leaning on his arm. She seemed to be mostly distracted by how it caught the light, though she'd occasionally slice it through the air. He wouldn't say that he was surprised be her skill with the blade, but he hadn't thought it would be something he would ever see. He knew she preferred other methods of combat.
Eventually, he raised an eyebrow at her and cleared his throat. "Having fun?"
Venus spun around, moving the weapon behind her back like a child caught playing with something that didn't belong to them. She looked worried for a moment, but when she saw the amusement in his eyes, she relaxed a little. Then she smirked at him and said, "Of course not. You were asleep."
He chuckled. "Touché."
She smiled at him for a moment, the joke quickly fading into embarrassment. She brought the sword back around, holding it reverently. “I am sorry. I was just curious to see how it felt.” She glared at him mildly. “You weren’t supposed to wake up.”
Kunzite shrugged. “My apologies. Next time warn me when you’re going to go through my things. I’ll be sure to oversleep.”
She darkened a bit. “You don’t have to--"
“It’s all right,” he assured her gently. “I’m not as territorial about my weapon as others.”
Venus regarded him for a moment, silent for the time being. His shoulders relaxed when her face softened again. He watched her turn her attention back to the blade, holding it aloft and running two of her fingers over the metal. “So this wasn’t a present from your father or the sword of a wicked king you slew nobly.”
Kunzite scoffed quietly, the derisive noise obviously taking her off guard. “No. It was passed down to me by the former Kunzite.”
She blinked. “Former?”
He nodded. “You’re not the only one called by a name that isn’t your own. Our names are ceremonial, passed down to each generation of the Four Kings who protect Endymion.” Kunzite narrowed his eyes, recalling the day when the titles had been transferred a few years before. “Generally, it’s reserved for when the prince inherits the thrown. But when Prince Endymion’s father was killed, he was still too young to ascend. The current Four survived Endymion III. They were disgraced in their failure and relinquished their titles to us.”
Venus looked somber, but she was still held captive by the sword. He wondered if perhaps she were trying to find out some truth about his own nature from his weapon. She would find nothing. “What happened to them?”
“No one knows for certain,” Kunzite said softly. “Most suspect that they went out into the woods and took their own lives.”
Venus winced, her fingers covering her mouth. “How horrible.” He saw her swallow, her throat tight, and he wondered if the concept had actually sickened her. “Is that why you don’t have any connection to the sword? Because the last Kunzite failed?”
“And because the last Kunzite was cruel,” he muttered bitterly. “He was merciless, bloodthirsty, and headstrong. He would kill at even the slightest provocation.” He paused, remembering the pain he sometimes saw in Nephrite’s eyes. “Even women.”
She gave the blade one last look and then slid it back into its sheath, shaking her head. Once it was put away, she still would not look at him. “If I had known, I would not have…”
“You didn’t know,” Kunzite reminded her, climbing out of the bed. He closed the distance between them and brushed his fingertips against her cheek. She turned to him, surprised. He couldn’t be sure if she hadn’t known he was there or if she simply wasn’t used to such tender gestures. He felt anger well up in his chest at that thought, but he never let it reach his eyes. “I will not blame you for that.”
She stared at him for a moment, genuinely confused. Finally, a smile spread across her face. “I’m glad you’re not like him.”
It was perhaps the kindest thing she had ever said to him.