24 Hours to Life
by Moon Momma

12 noon, Tokyo
Jadeite, Kunzite, Zoisite

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The young couple who were Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon looked wary as they opened their door to Jadeite, Kunzite, and Zoisite, but they cordially invited the Generals in. Four other young women, two of whom Jadeite recognized as Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars, were also in the apartment. He assumed the other two, the blonde and the tall brunette, were Senshi who had come on the scene after his inglorious defeat. He tensed, also wary. Before, he had been confident facing them even though he was outnumbered four to one. But he had learned his lesson. Now, even though they only outnumbered him six to three, he didn't dare let down his guard. The Senshi weren't in their battle transformations; they were still recovering from the fights during the night, Jadeite guessed. But he knew they could transform in an instant if they had to.

The other Senshi had looks on their faces ranging from cautious curiosity to outright suspicion, but they were polite as introductions were made and greetings exchanged. Then Kunzite asked about the monsters.

"They're tall, nearly two and a half meters," Chiba Mamoru explained. "They're resistant to most of our attacks, but they seem to be vulnerable to my roses, if they can be disabled or distracted long enough for me to hit them in the heart. If they have hearts. They have some very powerful attacks, and are physically strong enough to destroy cars and buildings. We'll welcome your help if we have to face any more of them, especially since we're still drained from last night."

"We'll give you whatever help we can, since you're fighting them because of us," Jadeite said. "We're grateful you're willing to help us, after what we did."

"We wanted to help Nephrite, for Naru-chan's sake," Sailor Moon said.

"Not just that," Mamoru said. "I remembered the four of you, that you used to be my Guardians. I still don't understand why you decided to join Beryl; maybe if I had been a better Prince and friend, you wouldn't have taken whatever she offered you and gone over to her side. In the future, I hope I will do better."

"It was nothing you did wrong," Jadeite said. "It's we who should ask your forgiveness. But right now, we need to figure out how to have a future."

"The only way I can think of to get word out to as many people in this city as we can," Kunzite said, "is to take over the Tokyo Tower and the emergency broadcasting systems to make our announcements."

"That can't possibly be legal, though," Zoisite objected. "Not that I care, personally, but I thought we were supposed to avoid doing anything illegal."

"What if we call the TV and radio stations and offer to pay for ten minutes of advertising time between two-thirty and three o'clock?" Jadeite asked. "I have a little experience in radio; I know they rely on advertising money."

"Can we afford it?" Kunzite asked.

The thought of money made Jadeite's stomach hurt, but he tried to hide his worries. "It's a necessary expense. An investment." He knew a little about such things from his operations on Earth. "And if Nephrite can get into his bank accounts, money won't be a problem any more." The only problem left would be Thetis. Even if he could communicate with her from halfway around the world, he couldn't think of any way to convince her to forgive him.

"Let's get on it, then," Kunzite said.

They asked Tuxedo Mask for a phone directory, found the listings of TV and radio stations, and began calling. On Jadeite's advice, they asked for people in charge of ad sales, whose pay often depended on how much ad revenue they brought in. All of the salespeople they spoke to were glad to sell ten minutes of airtime that afternoon for what Jadeite suspected were higher than normal rates. He, Zoisite, and Kunzite agreed, with little bargaining, to pay what they asked. They also arranged to make their ads at a studio run by one of the radio stations, for an extra fee; fortunately, the studio wasn't far away and was available at the moment. Finally, Jadeite called Nephrite, hoping it wasn't too late to catch him before his appointment with the tennis player, to tell him to meet them at the studio.

"That's all set," Jadeite said to Mamoru and the Senshi when he ended his call to Nephrite. "Nephrite will meet us there. We'll be back soon." He and the other two Shitennou hurried from the apartment.

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The Nephrite and Naru Treasury