Chasing Past Memories

(Tears of Crystal - Pt.11)

© 1997/2006 by Stayka deyAvemta & Shavana Rhea

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Obsidian sighed when he became aware where the five Senshi, the Kings and the rabbit had materialized. "That was somehow what I had expected," he grumbled.

"You really could tidy up your room once in a while, Kunzite complained. He had appeared exactly on a wire brush that made him jump up. Zoisite who hadn't moved from his lap during the whole episode in the past woke up, rubbed his eyes and yawned.

"I didn't invite you," Obsidian said testily. "And you aren't very tidy yourself either, so you should rather hold your tongue."

"I only leave clothes on the ground," Kunzite grumbled and rubbed his backside, before he used the brush to straighten his hair.

Zoisite blinked. "What happened? Where are we now?"

"In my living room," Obsidian commented dryly.

Zoisite sighed. "But why are we here? I only remember that I lay down in the grass."

"And then you fell soundly asleep, little rat."

"...which is obviously one of his few hobbies," Obsidian sneered.

"That's not true," Zoisite sulked.

"Well, I don't understand anything anymore," SailorMars grumbled.

"But that's easy," SailorMercury contradicted. "Kunzite opened a time portal, an attack by Endymion caused an interference that sent us back who knows how far into the past, then this SailorPluto appeared and sent us back into our own time. Obviously we were returned to the Dark Kingdom, more precisely to Obsidian's house."

"So it seems," the violet-haired man agreed.

"Well, then we can return to our main objective, which is killing Queen Beryl," SailorMars suggested.

"Good idea," Zoisite nodded. "I'm with you."

"Actually I would like to figure out where my lost memories have gone and if - or even better how - I can retrieve them," Kunzite mused.

"Yeah, where may they have gone?" Obsidian asked amusedly and examined Kunzite with a thoughtful gaze. Kunzite frowned angrily.

"At least I have more memories than the rest of you! I'm sure Queen Beryl is responsible for the gaps."

"Why don't you help us to punish her then?" SailorMars wanted to know.

"Because I don't think I'll get them back when she's dead. We have to find a way to capture and disable her, so that we can safely interrogate her."

"You have ideas," Obsidian sighed. "Killing her would be much easier."

"But I want to know what happened between the time of the Crystal Kingdom and my reawakening in the Dark Kingdom!"

Obsidian looked at the horde of people that crowded his not so large living room. "What do you think about leaving my quarters now?"

"Yeah, try to go," Zoisite grinned. He was sure that no one but him would be able to shut down the wards.

"We should figure out a plan to capture Queen Beryl first," Kunzite said.

The Sailor Senshi huddled together and tried to invoke their teleport spell. Unfortunately they rebounded from the magickal shield around the rooms, and Zoisite grinned at the girls.

"I won't help you," Obsidian declared.

"Why not?" Jadeite asked.

"What's in it for me?"

"I always thought all of you bad guys would work together," SailorMoon wondered. She was peeved that the teleport didn't work and they depended on the Kings to get out.

"Who said I'm evil?" Obsidian asked back.

"But you belong to the Dark Kingdom and wear their uniform, therefore you have to be evil."

"No one asked me if I wanted to. But now leave, here are quite some persons too many."

"Yeah, Queen Beryl for example," Zoisite interjected.

"But Beryl at least doesn't hang around in my rooms."

"Good. We'll leave if you help us to kill-"

"Capture," Kunzite interrupted Zoisite.

"Okay, capture Queen Beryl."

"Why do you need my help?" Obsidian collected some of his things from the ground, so that no one would step onto them. Kunzite looked around and searched for the large spellbook. He would give quite a lot to get his hands on the ancient tome.

"Just in case," Zoisite said.

"Are you looking for something?" Obsidian asked the silver-haired King.

"Er... No. I'm just trying to figure out a plan," he claimed.

"Do you think you'll find one lying around in my quarters?"

"Well, do you have an idea?"

"Me? I don't have any ideas while I'm a captive in my own rooms."

"If you agree to work with us I might shut down the wards," Zoisite proposed.

"I don't understand why you're so intent on my collaboration," Obsidian wondered.

"Well, when you're with us we can watch where you are and what you do," Kunzite said.

"I'd say you want to hinder me to read and try out any more spells from my father's wonderful spellbook."

"I don't think I could hinder you anyway," Kunzite sighed. It was unfair that Obsidian owned Amethyst's personal spellbook when he had been able to save only several minor volumes. Unfortunately the University of Magickal Sciences had belonged to the first targets in the Crystal War, just like the military headquarters and weapons storage centers.

The Senshi followed the dialogue with fascination even though they didn't know what to say.

"Be assured that I won't let you get your hands on that book, ever," Obsidian declared with a broad grin.

"Well Obsidian, then you have to change back Nephrite into human form," Jadeite demanded.

"But I don't know the spell by rote," Obsidian admitted.

"Well, then you have to consult your spellbook," Kunzite said and looked at him intently.

"That's true." Obsidian pulled off his uniform jacket, as it became pretty warm with all the people in here. He wore a dark violet shirt and a silver necklace with a large amethyst pendant.

Zoisite yawned again. "Did I miss something when I slept?" the small man wanted to know. He followed Kunzite's gaze with worry, Obsidian was rather handsome, he found.

"Do you really think something would happen as long as you are asleep?" Obsidian grinned and looked into every closet in his room, as Kunzite wanted to know so desperately where he hid the spellbook. It was plainly visible at the moment, but the silver-haired man didn't know.

"Then I'm content." Zoisite said and followed Kunzite's gaze that followed Obsidian. "What are you looking for, my Lord?"

"Er... Nothing."

"You may sleep again," Obsidian declared and looked behind the sofa.

"No, I won't sleep when you are around. You threatened to turn me into SailorMoon."

The blonde girl squeaked in shock. "Don't you dare! I'm unique!"

"You're right," Obsidian grinned and pulled at Zoisite's coppery golden hair. "Zoisite isn't blonde."

"Don't touch me," the small man hissed. "Only Kunzite-sama is allowed to do that."

"Although I must admit that Zoisite played a very convincing SailorMoon," SailorJupiter remarked. "He was almost better than the original."

SailorMoon pouted.

"Well, I can't imagine Zoisite in a Sailor fuku," Jadeite shook his head. Nephrite grinned to himself. The blonde King had definitely missed something, he thought. Just like the time when the pretty man ran around in that short red dress and showed off his shapely legs.

"He looked really sweet," Obsidian stated. "That's why I consider the thought so appealing to turn it into a permanent state."

"Don't you dare!" Kunzite caught his lover and wrapped his arms around him protectively. "I prefer him as he is right now."

"Your opinion doesn't count, I'm sure you like him in any case."

"Well, but if he looks like SailorMoon..." Kunzite gave Zoisite a soft kiss on the lips, before he let go of him. He had to be prepared if Obsidian made a wrong move. He glanced at the blonde girl and shuddered. "No thanks."

"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?" SailorMoon sulked. "I'm pretty and cute."

"That's a matter of taste," Obsidian commented.

"Indeed. I prefer my beloved to be intelligent and temperamental," Kunzite grinned.

"Or something like that," Obsidian giggled.

"What do you want to imply with this comment?" Zoisite glared at him, and his emerald eyes sparkled with fury.

"I'd say you only own half of said characteristics."

Zoisite put the hands on his hips and looked as if he was short of a devastating explosion. To prevent a bloodbath, Kunzite clasped his lover in a tight embrace.

"See? I'm right," Obsidian laughed.

"Pah. Now I don't want to be angry anymore," Zoisite sulked and snuggled close to Kunzite. This was where he belonged.

"You're boring," Obsidian remarked and watched the loving pair.

"He isn't," Kunzite defended him, before he lifted Zoisite's chin and gave him a tender kiss. "No, not at all." He put on a suggestive smile.

"What does he mean?" SailorMercury asked curiously.

"You don't want to know," SailorMars assured her.

Obsidian laughed amusedly and leaned against the doorpost of his bedroom.

"Are you going to turn Nephrite into human form now or aren't you?" Jadeite wondered.

"Only if I have to," Obsidian said.

"I refuse to carry him around any longer," Jadeite declared.

"Okay," Obsidian gave in. "As I don't have any more pressing obligations..." He touched the amethyst pendant hanging around his neck and it turned into a large black spellbook that floated suspended in the air in front of him.

Kunzite almost let go of Zoisite when he saw the ancient tome. "The personal spellbook of the Great Mage Amethyst," he said devoutly.

"Exactly," Obsidian agreed and browsed through the pages.

"He was my teacher at the University of Magickal Sciences in the Crystal Kingdom," Kunzite explained reverently.

"I know." Obsidian nodded.

"Huh?! How?"

"Just a moment." The violet-haired man looked for a certain page. "Ah, here it is. 'Experiment 23-A III conducted by my dear student Kunzite turned out to become an explosive failure again. I wonder what our public liability insurance will say to the third similar event of a claim in as many weeks.'"

Kunzite blushed when this fragment of memory resurfaced. "It was a crucial experiment."

Obsidian laughed. "Actually there are even more comments about you in the book. It seems you were a pretty bright student, although your failures usually blew up at least your lab."

"I'd like to know what I did in the past," Zoisite said wistfully. "Did we know each other even then?"

"I think so, but there is still much I don't remember, little rat," Kunzite admitted und buried his face in Zoisite's hair.

"Was there something about Nephrite and me in that book, too?" Jadeite inquired.

"I haven't seen anything about you," Obsidian answered. "But you probably weren't of high enough rank for my father to put you under his personal tutelage. He only trained future High Mages."

"Oh." Jadeite thought it was really unfair, although he was certain that he had been a mighty warrior in the past.

"I've found the spell," Obsidian finally announced.

"What do you want to do?" SailorMoon asked anxiously. She feared that Obsidian would made true his threat and turn Zoisite into a double of hers.

"I'd like to turn Nephrite into a human again. But you should be aware that I can't change his size."

"You only need to join forces with me," Kunzite suggested. "If you invoke the spell and I channel my power into you, everything should work out perfectly. You only have to trust me so far that you dissolve all of your internal barriers against me."

"Forget it!"

"Then you have to work on your own."

"Why should I do that anyway?" Obsidian wondered again.

"Because I'm positively fed up with running around as a large pink rabbit," Nephrite complained.

"Well, I'm sorry about that. I wanted to do it right in the first place, but there are quite some spells in this book that are much too difficult for me."

"I could try it," Kunzite suggested. "I was a Master Mage at the University after all." The rank of Master Mage was the 3rd degree and couldn't be achieved without long years of studies and practical work. Only a High Mage outranked him. Kunzite pitied the fact that Beryl's manipulations cost him quite a bit of his magickal knowledge, too, as he should have been able to perform far more elaborate spells without having to relearn the weavings first.

"Well, I haven't even completed the 1st degree," Obsidian sighed. It was unfair, now that there wasn't any University of Magickal Sciences anymore, he would be forever stuck with trying the stuff on his own and hoping that he did it right. Antimony had been a Mage, too, but since she was bereft of her powers, she had only been able to teach him the theory. He fought with himself. "Well, then, I could show you the spell," he finally said. Maybe he could convince Kunzite to teach him the stuff Antimony wasn't able to.

"Kunzite-sama, why haven't you taught me any of the real magickal stuff?" Zoisite looked poutily up to his mentor.

"I tried to, little rat. Everything that your impatience allowed me to teach you - and your bad habit of falling asleep whenever I let you work through certain books."

"I promise that I will work harder the next time." Zoisite declared with unusual eagerness. He definitely didn't want to be outdone by Obsidian in anything.

"We'll see."

"Do you want to try the spell now?" Obsidian asked.

"Of course. It would be nice not always having to fear to step onto Nephrite." Kunzite let go of Zoisite again and went to the floating spellbook.

"Oh dear, what a magickal scrapbook!" he exclaimed. Obviously it was a cross between a diary, a spell collection and a notebook. "You chose the wrong spell," Kunzite pointed out. "This completely leaves out the matter component."

"Sorry, I only understand but half of it."

Kunzite held out his hand, but refrained from touching the book. "It's keyed to your personality," he oberserved regretfully.

"What did you think? - What kind of spell shall I look for?"

Kunzite described the properties in all detail. The Senshi who stood huddled in a corner of the living room were absolutely fascinated. SailorMercury watched the scene through her visor while she recorded everything for further use.

Finally Obsidian discovered something that fit the description, and he showed his finding to Kunzite.

"Hm. The spell is okay, but it has one minor drawback. It needs an enormous amount of power to stabilize the conjured construction and thus it is usually performed by a circle of five Mages."

"Then it's hopeless," Obsidian sighed and traced a complicated symbol in the book with one finger. He wondered what the drawing meant.

"I'll try it," Kunzite announced and braced himself. "Nephrite, sit down on the table."

Jadeite put the rabbit onto the wooden surface, as Kunzite closed his eyes to invoke the needed energies. Within seconds he seemed to glow from within, and Zoisite watched his beloved with utter admiration.

The Senshi tried to take cover in a corner, just to be sure, while Obsidian watched the scene nervously. He had never seen such an amount of power conjured in such a small space. Now he understood some of the comments his father had scribbled down that said he could very vell imagine Kunzite as his successor someday.

Now Nephrite started to glow as well. The rabbit became translucent, expanded and took on human form. The watchers were fascinated by the display.

It took a while, but then Nephrite lay on the table, naked and still sparkling from energy. Kunzite staggered back and leaned exhausted against the wall.

"I feel strange," the auburn-haired man commented when he had recovered from the influx of magickal energy. "To be precise - I don't feel anything at all."

"Is it over?" SailorMoon peered around the corner of the closet, but when she saw the naked figure, she blushed and disappeared again.

Zoisite examined Nephrite with interest, although he immediately received a warning glance of Kunzite.

"What do you mean - you feel nothing at all?" Kunzite inquired.

"Just what I say."

Zoisite went to his dearest enemy and tried to poke him in the arm. His finger went through Nephrite and touched the table. "He feels like cotton wool. Is he a ghost?"

"No," Obsidian contradicted. "A ghost looks and feels differently. It seems he didn't solidify completely."

"I told you the spell needs lots of energy," Kunzite apologized. He felt tired as hell from the strain.

"I can't touch anything," Nephrite complained.

"Sorry, at the moment I can't help it," Kunzite sighed. "I'm absolutely done."

"But you can't leave me like this!" Nephrite squealed. In his state he couldn't put on any clothes, and he definitely didn't want to run around naked.

Kunzite closed his eyes and tried to pull together what energy was left. A faint sparkle surrounded Nephrite, and he was clad in his uniform. The silver-haired man staggered to a chair and slumped into it.

"That's better," Nephrite said relieved. "But it's still strange not to be able to touch anything." He tried to grip the table, but his hand went through the wood.

Obsidian looked at Kunzite with amazement. "You really seem to have lots of power."

"Yeah, but obviously it wasn't enough," he replied without opening his eyes.

"True, but when it normally takes five Mages, then you definitely weren't that bad."

"Five mages of the second degree," Kunzite explained. "I completed the third degree. But now I desperately need some rest. - Zoisite, love, please throw out the Senshi, then we might even stay here for a while."

"With pleasure." Zoisite grinned, opened a doorway and sent the girls through without further ado, before he sat down on the armrest of Kunzite's chair.

"Finally," Obsidian said with relief. "They were more than useless."

Kunzite yawned. He hated spells that taxed his resources like that. Unfortunately Obsidian was right, the violet-haired man certainly wouldn't even have managed to begin the spell in the first place. Well, Nephrite would just have to wait until he had sufficiently recovered to complete the materialization process. At least his current state was stable.

"Are you tired?" Obsidian wanted to know.

"What did you expect?" Kunzite laid back in the chair, and Zoisite slid down onto his lap where he curled up like a kitten.

"Nothing. I only wanted to know how much longer I'll have to endure your company."

"As I'm not able to open a doorway back to Earth at the moment - even if it should be possible, that is - I can't help it," Kunzite stated and stroked Zoisite's back.

Obsidian sighed. At least the Senshi were gone. Nephrite tried to find out what his new state allowed him to do and what not, while Jadeite occupied another chair and watched everything. He had found out that he got more information by silently observing than by asking.

It didn't take longer than a couple of seconds, and Kunzite was deep asleep. Zoisite sighed. It was all Nephrite's fault - or rather Obsidian's.

The End of Pt.11 - Goto Pt.12

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