(Tears of Crystal - Pt.5)

© 1997/2006 by Stayka deyAvemta & Shavana Rhea

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The five Sailor Senshi met at the Hikawa Shrine. As Rei wanted to do a reading at the holy fire, the others sat in her room and waited for her. Usagi had a large box of daifuku mochi sitting on her lap and one after the other of them disappeared into her mouth.

Ami used the time to hack something into her computer, while Minako brushed her golden hair. She really had to try out Usagis hairdo, too. Artemis and Luna looked at her wonderingly.

Rei saw strange things flickering up and down in the flames, visions she couldn't understand. A white winged regal woman who looked a lot like Usagi soared in the air, her hair the colour of the moon. She held a shining jewel in the hand and faced another woman who looked like a mirror image of the first one, only that her hair glistened like the sun. There seemed to be a horrible fight, until the sun-haired woman fell down into a dark abyss.

Rei returned to her room, and her first sight was Usagi who looked disappointedly into the box.

"It's empty," she complained.

"I wonder if he'll really meet me at the cinema complex on sunday," Makoto sighed dreamily.

"Who?" 'He' meant there was some boy involved, and that immediately caught Usagi's attention.

"Obsidian. A more than kawaii boy with long, dark violet hair who doesn't mind that I'm so tall."

"Oh," Usagi was fascinated. "Where have you met him? Where does he go to school?"

Makoto enumerated the answers at her fingers. "I met him in the restaurant yesterday, he's seventeen, I think he said something about going to school, but not to any school here of course." She sighed enraptured. "We want to go to a movie."

Usagi jumped around. "Makoto has a date!" Then she suddenly remembered something else. "And what about me," she sniffed. "My Tuxedo Kamen is still imprisoned in the Dark Kingdom. I want him back! - Waaaaaah..."

Ami turned off her computer. "I can't find any hints about that blonde woman," she said. "The Dark Kingdom probably wants to discredit SailorMoon with a new fake. At least this time it isn't Zoisite who masquerades as her."

"True," Minako agreed. "But he was also there, just as Kunzite was." Dissatisfied, she examined the result in the mirror. Her hair was a bit too short.

"What are you doing, Minako?" Makoto wanted to know when she discovered the odangos on Minako's head.

"I wanted to try whether this hairdo suits me, too."

"You look ridiculous," Rei commented.

"Minako?" Usagi squeaked. "Do you want to copy me, too?"

"Okay, okay." Minako took out the odangos and brushed her hair in the proper hairstyle.

"One meatball head is more than enough, two are an imposition, but more would be a catastrophe," Rei quipped, and Usagi stuck out the tongue at her.

"Not again," Ami sighed.

"And what shall we do against this shameless copy?" Minako wanted to know. "I agree that one SailorMoon is fully sufficient."

"I really want to know who the woman is," Ami mused. "She resembles Usagi in more than only the hairdo. Then there is the question - how do Kunzite and Zoisite fit into the picture? And last but not least I'd like to know more about this Obsidian-guy. Is he another King as well?"

"I thought there were only four of them," Rei pointed out. "After all, they call themselves the Shitennou, and the syllable 'shi' translates to 'four'. On the other hand, he wore the same uniform. Well, actually he was the only one who wore a uniform." She frowned.

"I don't think he is a new King," Makoto said. "He's much too young, and he wasn't arrogant at all. He was only cute."

"All Dark Kingdom members are evil," Usagi contradicted. "I'm sure they're torturing Tuxedo Kamen!"

"If only we could find the entrance to the Dark Kingdom - or if we could force one of those guys to open a gate for us."

"Well, when Makoto meets this Obsidian guy, she might try to interview him," Minako proposed.

"No, we will capture him and exchange him for Tuxedo Kamen," Usagi demanded.

"I refuse to give you Obsidian. I saw him first, so he's mine," Makoto grumbled.

of Makoto by Shavana

"But I want my Tuxedo Kamen back," Usagi cried. "We have to free him!"

"First we need a plan," Ami pointed out. "We can't just stumble into the Dark Kingdom - if we ever find the entrance, that is - and demand the release of Tuxedo Kamen. They would immediately imprison us and they'd certainly do unspeakable things to us."

"So what is your plan?" Usagi wanted to know.

The others looked at each other and groaned.

"Exactly that's the point," Rei said.

* * *

*Endymion, report*, Beryl called telepathically.

The black clad prince immediately appeared in the audience chamber and bowed.

"At your service, my Queen."

"Have you finally found a trace of the traitors? I want them back to punish them immediately."

"Not yet, my Queen." He carefully studied the tips of his boots.

"You have disappointed me, Endymion," Beryl reproached him and gave him a stern look. "I demand that you increase your efforts. I haven't given you the command over the whole youma army for nought."

"I have set a number of traps, but they seem to move very cautiously. Maybe there are also traitors among the youma."

"Then find them and terminate them."

"Your wish is my command, Queen Beryl"

"You are dismissed!"

Endymion bowed again and disappeared in a sparkle of energy. Slowly but surely he was stumped. The traitors obviously either were somewhere else in the Earth Realm, or they didn't use their powers, or they should have sprung his traps.

* * *

"We have to find a way to locate the whole net of youma that Endymion has deployed," Kunzite said. "The crystals I distributed are not sufficient to pinpoint the exact locations of the youma or their identity, only the fact that there are some around." The silver-haired man sat together with Zoisite, Nephrite and Obsidian in the living room of their house.

More than a dozen take-away boxes were strewn over the table, and Zoisite chewed listlessly on a double cheeseburger. He hated this American stuff, but Obsidian absolutely wanted to try it. Next time they would go to a Japanese restaurant again, Zoisite vowed, and if it had to be over Obsidian's dead body.

"When we have taken out the youma, we can finally use our powers fully again," Kunzite continued his train of thought. "I really hate to run around on foot."

"I noticed," Obsidian grinned and wolfed down his third Big Mac.

"It's a disgrace," Kunzite declared. "How does it look when I can't float around dramatically?" He sighed. By now everyone would take him for a powerless mortal.

"Face it, you're spoiled and unathletic," Obsidian mocked.

Nephrite picked at his salad. He just thought about Naru. He really would like to see her again, but she would be in for quite a shock if he met her in Antimony's body.

"I never needed to jog around before, why should I begin now?" Kunzite told Obsidian indignantly.

"If you ask me, his stamina is quite satisfactory," Zoisite grinned and fished with his chop-sticks for some cucumber slices that had escaped one of the burgers.

"I guess you have to know that," Obsidian commented. "But how are we going to find out which youma are where? It's too bad that we aren't allowed to invoke our magickal powers."

"Actually, you could do it," Kunzite said. "Remember, you are still a loyal member of the Dark Kingdom, as far as Queen Beryl or Endymion are concerned. So why don't you spy on Endymion and make him tell you which youma he sent out?"

"But I can't stand him," Obsidian moaned.

"I don't like him either," Zoisite agreed. "But I would even allow you to kill him if you like - even though I have already thought on some interesting torture methods that I would love to try out on him."

"I don't take delight in killing or torturing."

"Then you miss the greatest fun." Zoisite smiled cruelly.

"Not everybody can be like you."

"You're right. I need some victims, too."

Obsidian tsked. "Well, as long as you leave me alone."

"We'll see." Zoisite went over to Kunzite and sat down on his lover's lap. The thought of torturing someone always aroused him.

"Maybe you should spy on Endymion anyway," Kunzite suggested while he stroked Zoisite's neck.

"Endymion can't stand me either," Obsidian pointed out. "And if he discovers my intentions, he'll be very mean."

"Well, if we are discovered here, Queen Beryl certainly will be much meaner," Kunzite commented. Zoisite played with his long, shimmering silver strands and gazed lovingly at him.

"But I don't want to go spying," Obsidian nagged.

"Nephrite, he's your student!" Kunzite rather wanted to turn his attention at the little rat who currently caressed his cheek.

"I refuse to be burdened with him again in my new life," Nephrite declared.

Kunzite sighed. "But we have to get rid of Endymion and the youma. Unfortunately I can't risk an open confrontation. I fear that Beryl will get me back under her control immediately if she gets her hands on my again. I don't think you would like me to fight for the wrong side, do you?"

"Certainly not," Nephrite emphatically shook his head. "In that case we may as well give up."

"So it's Obsidian who has to do the spy work. I still haven't figured out how Beryl managed to get me under her control in the first place," he mused. "I can't believe she only hypnotized me or something - but whatever means she used, I'd really like to get rid of it permanently."

"Well, I'll try to find out what's going on," Obsidian yielded. "But don't expect any miracles."

"That's good enough," Kunzite nodded and pulled Zoisite closer. He was more than glad that he had managed to break Beryl's hold on him, and he definitely had no desire to be her henchman again. Now he would be the only one in command.

"I'll go then," Obsidian announced.

"Good." Kunzite hoped that Nephrite former pupil was able to locate Endymion's troops. "You should be careful, though, that no one follows you here."

"I'm always careful. There are too many people who bear a grudge against me."

"I'd like to return only once to fetch my books," Kunzite said wistfully. "Unfortunately my house will be under strict surveillance, I surmise."

"Actually it's not always under observation," Obsidian remarked. "Endymion needs lots of youma for his search."

"I'd love to slip in and-"

"It's too dangerous, my Lord," Zoisite interrupted him worriedly and wrapped his arms around Kunzite's neck. "I wouldn't survive it, if Queen Beryl reclaimed you." He looked deep into his beloved's platinum eyes.

"I wouldn't try it," Obsidian warned, before he returned to the Dark Kingdom.

Kunzite sighed and buried his face in Zoisite's silky gold-copper hair. Today he had used the cherry shampoo, he discovered.

"I wouldn't put too much hope in Obsidian," Nephrite commented. "He's incapable in every regard."

Kunzite looked up and directed his thoughtful gaze at Nephrite. Obviously his collegue wasn't aware of Obsidian's heritage.

*Where am I?* Suddenly a female voice sounded in Nephrite's head.

"What?" he asked confusedly.

"I haven't said anything," Kunzite replied likewise puzzled.

*What happened to me?*

Nephrite shook his head. Where did this voice come from?

"Nephrite?" Kunzite looked quizzically.

"I think I hear a voice," the other King replied.

"What kind of voice?" Kunzite inquired.

*Hey! I want out!*

"I think it's in my head."

Zoisite giggled. He always knew that Nephrite was nuts. Kunzite, though, had a suspicion. "Would you say it's a female voice?"

"I guess so."

"Well, I'd say you should say 'hello' to Antimony."

"Huh? Where is she?"

"As you may or may not remember, Obsidian used a powerful spell to call you back from the dead. Obviously it neither erased Antimony's essence nor did it pull her out of the body, but it imprisoned her in a remote area of her brain," Kunzite formulated a hypothesis based on the stuff he once had read about spells like this. "The shock of the displacement seems to have put her in a kind of mental catalepsy from which she only now recovered."

"That was all I needed - not only that I can't stand this body anyway, now I even have to share it!"

"At least currently you're stronger," Kunzite stated. "Although I wouldn't be so sure that it stays that way."

"Then I should hurry to find a body for myself."

"It might be wise," Kunzite agreed. "But where do you want to find one - especially a body that isn't inhabited by someone else?"

"I don't know."

"Shall I kill someone for him?" Zoisite asked and stretched lasciviously.

"Little rat, I don't think that would help. If Obsidian performs the spell again, the spirit of that person would probably still be around, and the result would be pretty much the same as now. Another problem is the fact that Nephrite currently is no disembodied spirit anymore, and I don't know if the spell would work properly in that case anyway."

"Actually, I don't want to return to that state anymore."

"Somehow you have to be pulled out of this body first if you want to get into another."

*I want my body back immediately!*

Nephrite held his head. "Never!"

"But how do you want to get into another body otherwise," Kunzite asked.

"A-hem, I didn't talk to you."

*Who is responsible for this misery?*

"Was it Antimony again?"


*Yes? What kind of answer is this?*

"I just can't talk to two people at once," Nephrite wailed.

Zoisite looked at him and giggled. "I think we should leave him to Antimony," he proposed and tousled Kunzite's silver hair with affection. "And in the meantime we could spend some time together - especially as Obsidian isn't around to disturb us either."

"Shall I tell you something, little rat? I like this idea a lot." Kunzite put Zoisite to the ground and stood up. "Have fun with Antimony," he grinned.

"Wonderful - now I'm left to talk with a ghost."

*I'm no ghost - you occupied my body, so you're the ghost.*

The other two Kings grinned once more at Nephrite-Antimony, before they retired to their private chamber.

"I'm sorry, but I am in here," Nephrite retorted.

*Thanks to Obsidian. Where is he anyway? And where are we?*

"He's in the Dark Kingdom, and we're in my house in the Earth Realm."

*In your house? So why are Kunzite and Zoisite here? As far as I know Queen Beryl wants them back and punished rather badly.*

"They squat in my house, and I can't throw them out."

*Obviously they thought you were dead and wouldn't need it anymore.*

"Haha," Nephrite laughed humourlessly. "But now I'm alive again."

*Unfortunately*, Antimony grumbled. *Or I would still own my body alone.*

"It wasn't my fault, you know."

*When I get my hands on Obsidian again, he'll get a thorough spanking*, she threatened. *You will have to assist me in that, as currently you seem to have more control over my body than I do.*

"But at the moment he's much stronger than I am."

*That's a minor problem. I spanked him before. It's just a matter of will.*

"I guess then my will is too weak."

*I can assure you, you develop a strong will when your other powers are taken from you and you still want to settle the score with those responsible for it.*

"We will see."

* * *

Queen Beryl sat on her throne and tapped her long fingernails impatiently on the armrest.

Order deteriorated rapidly.

The worst thing was that she currently didn't have any capable commander of her forces left. She sighed. Endymion was a nice addition for her bedchambers, but he showed no real leadership abilities.

It was annoying, but she had to admit that the loss of Kunzite had weakened her army considerably. She had to get him back somehow.

Who would have thought that he would react thus weirdly at Zoisite's just punishment? On the other hand, she had to state an example with the insubordinate fourth King.

When she got her hands on them again, she would take care to brainwash and re-program Kunzite thoroughly, and then he would carry out the punishment of Zoisite, preferably in a long, agonizing and final way.

But until then she had to figure out another way to make some new officers for herself. Maybe she should kidnap some humans and turn them into obedient tools.

Humans were more creative than youma, and when she altered them magically, she could turn them into quasi-immortal magickal beings, just as she had done with Jadeite and the others - except for Kunzite, that is. The oldest of the Kings didn't need her spells as he had already been a Master Mage in his own right.

Yes, she would send Endymion to find some appropriate victims.

* * *

Obsidian sulked. He found it absolutely unjust that he had to do the spying. This was sooooo boring.

By now he hadn't been able to figure out Endymions plans - if he had any, that is. The youma didn't know anything, and Obsidian didn't dare ask the Prince.

He had found some of the positions where the youma were deployed, but this wasn't enough, he knew. Aimlessly, he wandered through the palace.

'Where am I now?' he wondered. He seemed to walk deep down through some unused dungeons. The dusty corridors were unlit, and he had to rely on his magickal powers to give him sight. To each side one could see thick doors to cells. When he looked through a peephole, Obsidian discovered even some skeletons hanging around, still chained to the walls.

Then he came to a large storage area with boxes and shelves. The stuff stored here was ancient, some of it had even already crumpled to dust.

Suddenly something blue sparkled in a remote corner. Curiously, Obsidian went nearer. It was a large, dirty crystal, about the same height as himself. He fetched a rug from a shelf and rubbed some of the dirt away.

The crystal was light blue in colour, and a blonde man in the grey uniform of a high-ranking officer was imprisoned in it. His handsome face was contorted in a grimace of pain, and he looked badly battered.

'Interesting', Obsidian thought. This was Jadeite, the third ranking King of the Dark Kingdom, whom Beryl had punished with eternal sleep. He never had much contact with him, as Jadeite usually was occupied with schemes in other areas, while he was stuck with Nephrite.

Maybe he could free him from his crystal prison? Obsidian was curious if he was able to counteract a spell wrought by Queen Beryl. He put his hands on the cool surface and analyzed its structure.

The crystal consisted of rather ordinary matter. A simple desintegration spell would shatter it completely, he discovered. Only the sleep spell would be a challenge. But first he had to destroy the prison.

With a mental impulse he let the crystal vibrate. A short blast of energy, and it shattered into a myriad of splinters, and Jadeite's unconscious form crashed down into the sharp crystal shards.

'Ouch', Obsidian thought. It was definitely better for the third of the Kings that he wasn't conscious yet, as the shards had cut his face and hands, and thin rivulets of blue streamed from his wounds.

The violet-haired man bowed over Jadeite and poured a massive amount of energy into him to revive him from his stasis.

* * *

The last thing he remembered before an eternity of darkness was Beryl's furious attack. And now he writhed in agony again, as thousands of needles pierced his body and caused him excruciating pain. He screamed like a frenzied animal.

Wasn't it enough that Queen Beryl had put him into eternal sleep, eternal non-existence? And now she had woken him up to torture him, it seemed.

"Please, Queen Beryl," he whimpered, "have mercy! Give me one more chance... I found out the identity of the Sailor Senshi." When he moved, sharp blades cut into his skin again.

"Do you really think it's necessary to call me Queen Beryl?" Obsidian protested.

"Huh?" Jadeite opened his eyes. Something glittered right in front of him, hundreds or more of light blue crystal splinters sprinkled with darker blue. He tried to get up and succeeded, but not without cutting his hands and knees even more.

Finally Jadeite staggered to his feet. He bled from numerous wounds, and his uniform was tattered, but he had calmed down considerably. He squinted his midnight blue eyes and tried to pierce the darkness the gloomy room. "Who are you?" The young man in front of him appeared vaguely familiar, but at the moment he couldn't place him.

"I'm Obsidian." He examined the man who looked the worse to wear. Jadeite hadn't been around much when he was Nephrite's trainee, so the King probably didn't remember him.

"Did you free me from that crystal?"

'Is there anyone else around?' Obsidian thought. Probably the eternal sleep had a bad influence on his intelligence. "Yeah."

"Does Queen Beryl know?" Jadeite decided he would only thank him if he was sure that he wasn't brought to an even worse fate.

"Of course not. I don't think she likes it when someone rescinds her punishments."

"Indeed." Jadeite looked down on himself. He looked horrible. "Thank you, Obsidian. - Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Jadeite."

"I know. Or did you think I'd free every weirdo hanging around in a crystal?"

Jadeite chose to ignore the insult. He was too happy to be conscious and released from the crystal. "Hm. And why did you free me?"

"I was bored."

"Why, thank you," Jadeite said ironically. He tried to heal himself, but the long time in the crystal had weakened him considerably. He desperately needed some youma or humans to replenish his energy.

"We should go before Beryl finds out."

"Indeed - but where to?"

"I'd say, let's join the others in the Earth Realm."

"What others?" Jadeite frowned and the cuts in his face began to throb again. He had the vague impression that somehow he had missed quite a lot during his sleep. "How long was I stuck in this crystal?"

"Dunno. Longer. - By the way, you have something sticking to your back." Obsidian removed a paper from Jadeite's uniform jacket that looked like one of Rei's ofuda.

Jadeite frowned. So this was why he suddenly couldn't concentrate anymore when he fought the Sailor Senshi. Grudgingly he admired the clever move of the Mars girl.

"What's happened while I was asleep?" he continued the interview.

"With whom?"

"In general."

"Hm." Obsidian tried to remember when Jadeite was put into the crystal and what he knew. "By now there are five Sailor Senshi, Nephrite was killed, the Moon Princess reawakened, Beryl tried to kill Zoisite, but Kunzite saved him and they fled to the Earth Realm, Nephrite was called back from the dead and is in the Earth Realm, too."

"Damn, it seems I missed out on quite some fun! I should kill Queen Beryl for that."

"Welcome to the club. Kunzite, Zoisite and Nephrite are in it as well."

"Wow, if Zoisite and Nephrite have one common goal for once, it must be serious. Where can I sign up?"

"Follow me." Obsidian opened a doorway.

* * *

"Do you think Nephrite has come to terms with Antimony by now?" Zoisite asked and sat up. He looked down on Kunzite and traced some random figures on his lover's bare chest.

"Maybe. Maybe not." Kunzite stretched lazily. "We could go downstairs and look after him."

"If you wish - although I'd like to stay here with you for a little longer."

"I wouldn't have expected anything else," Kunzite chuckled, pulled him down again and kissed him deeply. "But we should still get up now. Maybe Obsidian has returned."

"Then I don't have a choice?"

"No." Another long kiss consoled him a bit.

They got up and dressed, before they returned to Nephrite/Antimony.

The second of the Kings spent the last time sulking, and Antimony did the same - at least she stayed silent.

"Hi Nephy - still talking to Antimony?" Zoisite chimed in high spirits. He slipped his arm through Kunzite's and laid his head against his shoulder.

"I think she's pouting," Nephrite remarked.

"Oh. Did you argue?"

"What did you think?"

"I didn't think anything - I had other things in mind."

"What else?"

Suddenly a doorway opened, and Obsidian and Jadeite stepped through. The other three looked incredulously at Jadeite.

"Obsidian - what have you done now?" Kunzite demanded.

"I found him in the cellar of the palace."

"He bleeds on the rug," Zoisite complained.

"When I smashed the crystal, he fell into the shards. Well, I'm no nurse."

"I'm sooo sorry about your rug," Jadeite grumbled. This was typically Zoisite - he only needed to open his mouth, and in the same instant Jadeite felt the need to strangle him. "I'm afraid, but currently I don't have enough energy to heal myself."

"So everything is left to me again," Kunzite sighed, lifted the free arm and invoked his powers. Immediately Jadeite's wounds disappeared, although the dried blood remained, and the uniform was still in tatters.

"It's not my fault that you are the strongest of us," Obsidian said cheerfully.

"Okay, would someone here please tell me what's going on? Who's that girl? And where is Nephrite?" Jadeite inquired.

"I'm in here," Nephrite grumbled.

"Huh? Nephrite? Since when are you a girl?"

"Since I was dead somewhere in between - and later it turned out that certain persons weren't able to read properly."

"That's an insult! I can read properly," Obsidian retorted indignantly.

"So what are your intentions, Jadeite, now that you're back among the living?" Kunzite asked.

"Well, first I'd like to get out of this ruined uniform, and a bath would be nice, too. Second, I heard you want to kill Queen Beryl. If that's true, consider me in. I've got a score to settle with her. Third - Nephrite, you really should take these odangos out of your hair. Has nobody told you yet that you look pretty much like SailorMoon?"

Nephrite shot Jadeite a deadly gaze. "It's none of your business how I look!"

"Well, it's only that I'm a tad allergic to those annoying Sailor brats. They're the cause that Beryl put me into that bloody crystal, remember?" He grimaced as he thought that now there were even five of them.

"I suggest you get cleaned up now," Kunzite told Jadeite and described where he could find a bathroom. "Afterwards we'll have dinner and try to figure out what we can do about Queen Beryl."

The End of Pt.5 - Goto Pt.6

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