Queen Beryl in Peril

(Tears of Crystal - Pt.18)

© 1998/2006 by Stayka deyAvemta & Shavana Rhea


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SailorMars sat in Makoto's living room and admired the moon - or currently rather the mars - sceptre. It had been a fine scheme by Queen Serenity to claim that only members of her family could wield it!

But now she had proven the claim wrong, and that meant she could convince the others that they had to choose her as new leader of the Senshi. Who but her had the inborn power of second sight, and who else was properly educated both spiritually and secular?

"Hi, I'm back," Obsidian stated when he materialized in Makoto's apartment.

"And? Where's Endymion?" Ami asked him anxiously.

"I guess he's still where he was - you can't expect that they manage to fetch him so fast. Think of these warped energy lines around Paris..."

"And what about Usagi?"

"They want to check her for authenticity."

"Well, they only need to threaten her a bit. With her screaming and wailing around there should be no doubt about her authenticity," the black-haired Senshi shrugged.

"How can you be so cruel?" Ami said scandalized. "Usagi is the Moon Princess and our leader after all!"

"What has she done to earn that position, anyway?" SailorMars looked at the other girls.

"I'm sure that's one of the big mysteries," Obsidian grinned.

"Luna and Artemis said that she's the Moon Princess and thus the leader of us," Minako pointed out.

"They're entitled to make mistakes, too." SailorMars grinned at the others. "Is there anyone around who wants to challenge my position as new leader of the Sailor Senshi?""

"Well, Usagi isn't there and you have the sceptre," Minako commented.

"I still think that only Usagi is the rightful leader," Ami stated.

"I'd say we should let SailorMars prove herself. When she gets more things done than Usagi, I'm with her," Makoto said. She was always the most practical of the girls.

"Good choice." SailorMars nodded with satisfaction.

"I think you will be a better Senshi leader than SailorMoon, and if it is only because I don't think anyone can be worse," Obsidian grinned.

"Thank you very much," she said wryly. "I propose we start right now to figure out a way to take on Queen Beryl. We have tarried around much too long. Once she's eliminated, we'll get rid of Queen Metallia, and then we will heal the poor youma and everything will be fine again."

"Great. When do you start?" Obsidian looked at the energetic girl.

"First we need to figure out something to distract Queen Beryl so that we can sneak into the Dark Kingdom and attack her while her attention is directed at something else."

"And what do you have in mind?"

"Well. Where did you leave Usagi?"

"She's in Kunzite's and Zoisite's house."

"Then you have to get her back from there and plant her in the Dark Kingdom. Endymion just has to wait."

"That's no problem," Obsidian said. He looked at the black-haired girl in admiration. If the Senshi had let her do the planning from the start, Beryl would have been eliminated by now.

"You can't do that," Minako protested.

"Indeed - I'm sure Queen Beryl will kill her immediately," Ami supported the blonde.

"I don't think so," SailorMars disagreed. "She'll try to brainwash her - but then, you can't wash what's plainly not there."

"Exactly," Obsidian giggled. "And we have quite a personnel shortage at the moment. Currently there's only Celestine around except for me."

"I'm pretty sure Usagi is a greater threat for the Dark Kingdom when she's supposed to work for them than otherwise."

"How can you be so mean?" Ami frowned.

"Mean? I'm just telling the truth."

"She'll ruin the Dark Kingdom in no time," Obsidian agreed.

"Great. The less work for us," SailorMars commented.

"It's really obvious that you're the perfect leader," Obsidian told her.

"I know. And now you should go, fetch Usagi and drop her in the Dark Kingdom," she commanded the violet-haired man.

"What do I get for following your orders?"

"Your freedom from the Dark Kingdom slavery?"

"That's not enough."

"Well, Makoto - your turn!"

"Ahm." The tall girl look surprised, then she blushed. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"You've got the crush on him - so be creative!"

"That's unfair," Obsidian remarked. "I'm supposed to follow your command, not hers."

"So what would you consider a fitting payment?"

"Suggest something."

"Well", SailorMars frowned. "I could do a fire reading for you."

"Hm, that would be interesting, indeed."

"What would you like to know? Your future? The past?"

"Actually I'm pretty much interested in the past."

"If you like we can go to the Hikawa Shrine right now."

"Good. I'll open a doorway, then we don't have to walk."

"Great." The girls stepped through and Obsidian followed. In the next instant they were at the Hikawa shrine. Makoto gave him a dazzling smile. Those doorways were really practical.

"Come." SailorMars finally changed back into her normal seeming and led them into the sanctum where the holy fire burned. It was a nice change that this time Usagi wasn't there and asked for something to eat or the newest manga first.

"Ask your question so that I have a focus to meditate upon."

"Does it have to be something about me or can you find out something about others as well?"

"Well, I can try it. But it's easier when the subject one wants to know something about is around."

"Well, I want to know if Kunzite was together with Zoisite in the past, too."

"I can try to check it out - but why do you want to know that?"

"I'm sure it would anger Zoisite pretty much if he knew that he wasn't the number one in Kunzite's life for all time. We still have to settle a certain score, you know."

"Alright." Rei grinned. "Helping you to settle a score with these two is something I'll gladly assist you with." She knelt down in front of the fire and tried to get into her meditative trance.

Obsidian and the other girls watched the fire as well, but for them it held no information.

Rei recited the formulas that helped her to concentrate. It was difficult to conjure pictures from past events when she didn't know much about the subject.

Slowly but surely her consciousness slipped away and pictures of the past appeared.

She saw a scene that took place in a palace. When she made it out correctly, Zoisite seemed to train Endymion in unarmed martial combat. She was so surprised that she snapped out of her trance.

"What?!" she exclaimed.

"What did you see?" Obsidian inquired.

"I'm not so sure about it - but it seems that Zoisite trained Endymion. They looked to be about the same age. I mean, our dear Prince Endymion knew Zoisite in the past and they weren't enemies then!"

"That's interesting," Obsidian stated.

"Indeed! I have to find out more about that." Rei recited her mantras and fell into the trance again.

Once more she saw Endymion and Zoisite who were engaged in their training. Somehow the young Dark King was different in her reading. He seemed to be much more bright and cheerful and his nowadays ever present inclination to cruelty seemed to lack as well.

When the door to the training hall opened and Kunzite entered, she discovered similar changes in him, too. He was clad in a long, black robe that was embroidered in silver with ancient magickal symbols at cuffs and hems.

"Aha," she muttered, this time without falling out of her trance. Kunzite leaned against the wall with folded arms and watched the two combatants - or rather Zoisite - with an appraising smile.

When the session was over only a short while later, Kunzite bowed to Endymion.

"You have done well, my prince," he said. "Am I allowed to abduct your trainer now?"

"Sure, honoured Master Mage. I'm sure Jadeite is already waiting for me. He wants to show me his newest invention."

"I hope it won't explode again like the last one. - Oh, no, that didn't blow up, it just fell apart, if I remember correctly," Kunzite said with amusement. Jadeite was an excellent engineer, but his pet projects usually turned out to be more entertaining than useful. At least he had managed to get Endymion interested in natural sciences that way, and this was a major achievement in itself.

Zoisite walked over to Kunzite and gave him a light kiss on the lips. "I'm sorry that it took a bit longer, but I had to give our prince some extra lessons. He went to some parties too many and put on some unnecessary weight." The young man examined Kunzite thoroughly. "You should invest some more time in sports again, too," he remarked. "You'll lose all of your nice figure if you only sit over your books."

"I always thought you were training enough, little rat," he grinned and played with the long, coppery golden ponytail of his lover.

"Well, I have to hurry," Endymion interjected and went in direction of the showers. "Have fun, you two."

"Sure. - Please try not to be late for your class tomorrow morning, my Prince. I have a conference at noon so I have to finish the lesson punctually."

"I'll be there in time," Endymion said with an amused gaze at the two men and winked at Zoisite.

"I'll try not to tire him too much," the small man giggled.

"Shhht," Kunzite grinned. "Shouldn't you get into the shower as well?"

Rei decided she'd seen enough and left the trance.

"Well, tough luck," she told Obsidian. "At least in the time I conjured up Kunzite and Zoisite seemed to be lovers as well."

"That's a pity," Obsidian sighed. "So what exactly did you see?"

"Zoisite even gave Kunzite a kiss in public!"

"So what? That's nothing new."

"Well, I think it was enough."

"I thought you saw something really interesting. Or maybe something really hot..."

"Hentai!" Rei said and shook her head. "I'm no one to pry into other people's bed chambers."

"What a pity," Obsidian regretted. "I find especially that very intriguing."

"Well," Rei said thoughtfully, "it depends on what you offer me for it."

"And what do you have in mind?"

"Some insights into the magick you use in the Dark Kingdom." It was unfair that the Dark Kings had much more possibilities to use their powers while the Senshi had to stick to their limited formulas.

"Deal."

"Deal!" She grinned and recited her mantras once more and fell into the trance. Actually she had to admit that it was somehow interesting - she'd always wanted to know how two guys did it.

Obsidian waited curiously.

When Rei got out of her trance again, she blushed furiously. "Well, that's worth at least two major spells," she said.

"Sure! But now tell me about it," Obsidian demanded.

"One spell before I tell you and one afterwards. - Ah, by the way, Ami, I guess you'd rather go and cook some tea or read something."

"Why?" the blue-haired girl asked in confusion, but Rei's attention was already directed at Obsidian.

"So, what do you wish to learn?"

"I want to be able to open such doorways as you always do."

"But that's easy!" Obsidian created a gate seemingly from nothing. "See?"

"Huh?!" Rei saw only how he lifted his hand, and then the black energy door was there. "What kind of power do you invoke?"

"I only bend an energy line and connect it to another one that's at the place where I wish to go."

"How can you grasp those lines? I can't even see them."

"Not?" Obsidian looked at her in utter amazement. "I would have difficulties not to see them." He really wondered how the Senshi powers worked when they couldn't even tap into the world's magickal energy flows.

"Just a moment." Rei recited her mantras and looked once more into the fire. Slowly but surely a vision entered her mind. She saw the Earth, spun into a cocoon of glowing energy lines. They formed a thick net that had energy concentrations at the two poles, just like the magnetic field of the Earth. Some more energy centers were located at points of ancient power, such as Stonehenge in England, the desert drawings of Nazca or the Uluru in Australia. When she left her trance, though, Rei couldn't see the lines anymore. "This seems to be more difficult than expected."

"I see the lines all the time - they surround us and they form the conducts and sources of our magickal energy."

"No wonder that you can use your powers in a much more flexible way. We have only our formulas to attack."

"Isn't that a bit one-sided? - But if you can't see the flows, you can't open a doorway."

"Can't you teach me to see them?"

"I don't know. I never realized that someone can't see the energy lines."

"I guess I have to figure it out for myself," Rei sighed. "But when I'll finally have figured out how it works you will show me how to open a doorway, won't you?"

"Sure. You just have to connect the line from where you are with the line from where you want to go, and the connection is the doorway. By the way, it's black because the flows interfere partly where they are crossed," he added, when he remembered a part of a textbook which Antimony had forced him to learn.

Rei and Ami looked at him in fascination. Obviously the baddies from the Dark Kingdom had much more indepth knowledge of the forces they used than the Senshi. It was really unfair.

"And now tell me what you have seen!"

Rei went over to him and whispered him her findings in the ear.

"Oh!" Obsidian said cheerfully. "It seems this fire reading is better than watching a movie."

The black-haired girl blushed deeply red. "Well, if you concentrate you can see everything in pretty clear pictures."

"I want to hear it, too," Makoto demanded.

"Better not, Mako. Trust me."

"I wonder if I'm able to learn this fire reading," Obsidian mused.

"Well, that's something I was born with. I don't know if it can be taught. - And now the second spell! I wish to learn how to float around like you do."

"You just have to tap into the energy lines and then you simply levitate. It's absolutely easy."

Rei sighed. "Well, I'll get back to that, too, when I know how to see those flows." She definitely had to find a way to see those lines without having to meditate upon the fire of the shrine.

"Actually I wonder how you can use any of your powers without being able to tap into the lines."

"Well, we just turn into our Senshi seeming and call upon our powers by using the formulas Luna or Artemis told us," Ami explained. "I must admit I never thought on that." Probably their transformation pens were the true source of the Senshi powers.

"It seems to me that you don't have the slightest idea what you're doing with your powers."

"Well, we were only told how to invoke our attacks," Makoto defended them. "It isn't our fault."

"And I have been always told one should never use one's magickal powers without profound training."

"Well, it's useless to immerse ourselves in this discussion," Rei changed the topic. "Obsidian, you still have to bring Usagi to Queen Beryl."

"Whatever you wish."

"Furthermore you have to keep us informed about Queen Beryl's upcoming plans."

"Okay," Obsidian nodded. "See you later." He opened a doorway to fetch SailorMoon.

* * *

Obsidian discovered SailorMoon - or rather Princess Serenity - still bound and gagged in the living room of the mansion where he had left her. There was no sign of the other Kings.

Kunzite and Zoisite were probably enjoying their favourite pastime again, while he had no idea what the other two might be up to.

Obsidian took the girl just as she was and transported into Beryl's audience chamber. He bowed his head in deference and presented 'his catch'.

"Obsidian," the Queen acknowledged him. "What have you brought me here? Isn't this the obnoxious moon brat whose only task in life seems to be to annoy me?"

"Yeah! I've found her."

"Wonderful." The red-haired woman stood up from her throne and smiled evilly at the frightened girl. "So what do you propose shall I do with you?" she asked her musingly. Torturing and killing her definitely would be too easy and not rewarding enough.

Serenity only made some muffled sounds through her gag.

"Why don't you speak up a little?" Beryl grinned nastily at the Moon Princess and let the gag disappear. Serenity looked defiantly at her and tore at her shackles.

"Behave in front of me," Beryl thundered and shot a moderate beam of energy at her.

Serenity jumped up and squeaked in shock.

"May I take my leave, Your Highness?" Obsidian asked.

"You may do so. I will reward you generously for this catch, Obsidian. You'll have the next two days off."

"Great!" he exclaimed, although he thought that Beryl's generosity lacked a bit. Two days off... Delivering Serenity should have been worth at least two weeks!

"You're dismissed. I have other matters to see to." She waved one clawed hand at her cousin, before she directed her attention to the Moon Princess. Obsidian teleported away before she could decide to cancel his leave on one of her whims.

"Now let's get back to you, Princess." Beryl scratched her claws over the stone armrests of her throne. The sound had proven to be highly intimidating.

As intended, Serenity started, but as she was still bound, she couldn't even put her hands on the ears.

The majestic Queen of Evil smiled at her. "Simply killing you would really be too fast."

Serenity mumbled something. Beryl was so mean! And Obsidian wasn't better. And Kunzite and Zoisite were so nasty, too! Everyone haft left and betrayed her. She sniffed and started to wail with increasing volume.

Beryl looked down at her in irritation. Wasn't there an off-switch somewhere?

"Shut up!" she thundered.

If anything, Serenity just cried louder.

"Shut up!" Beryl screeched.

"You are all so mean," Serenity whined. "I want to go home!"

"I command you to be silent!" The Queen shot another beam of purple energy at the girl to demonstrate her the importance of her orders.

Unfortunately Serenity screamed only harder and started to call Queen Beryl names. Another wave of the clawed hand, and the blonde was securely gagged again.

"Oh heavenly quiet," Beryl sighed. "No, killing you wouldn't be a fitting punishment. I will brainwash you so that you'll lead my troops against your former friends - and if you don't succeed in killing them, then they will certainly kill you!" She smiled nastily at the defiant girl.

She would never attack her friends, Serenity vowed. On the other hand - hadn't they betrayed her? And Rei had even tricked her to relinquish the moon sceptre. She had to think about that in detail.

Queen Beryl laughed evilly and transported Serenity into the brainwashing chamber. With a thought, the Moon Princess was stretched out in the machine, bound by black energy that started to seep into her.

"I have to think about a new name for you," Beryl pondered. "And when you're finally among my minions, then you will deliver the silver crystal to me that you currently seem to have so cleverly hidden." She increased the power of the dark energy. "You are going to replace the traitors! You have been so successful as the leader of the Senshi that you will certainly become a likewise worthy commander of my forces!"

* * *

After quite some enjoyable time in their bed chambers, Kunzite and Zoisite decided to have a little break and check on the Moon Princess. They teleported into the living room.

"She isn't here anymore," Zoisite discovered. "That means Obsidian has already taken her into the Dark Kingdom. Perfect, now we don't have to worry about her anymore."

"That's true if she hasn't escaped on her own," Kunzite cautioned him. "I'll call Obsidian to be sure." He sent out a telepathic command to the young man.

"Whatever you wish, my Lord." Zoisite sighed. He had other things in mind than chatting with Obsidian.

The violet-haired man materialized immediately. "You have called, Lord Kunzite?"

"Indeed. So you have delivered the Moon Princess to Queen Beryl? What did she say?"

"Beryl plans to turn SailorMoon into a new commander of her troops."

"She has to be truly desperate," Zoisite snickered. "Good-bye, Dark Kingdom."

"Actually I'd like to keep the Dark Kingdom," Kunzite said with a frown. "I want to rule both the Earth Realm and the Dark Kingdom when we have triumphed over Beryl and the Senshi!" At least then he could be sure that no one would try to order him around anymore, Kunzite thought.

"You may go now," Zoisite told Obsidian impatiently. "Kunzite-sama, you promised me something!"

"Little rat, doesn't that have time?" Kunzite looked a little pained.

"No. You will do it."

Obsidian looked to the tall King. Was he allowed to go? He didn't dare to teleport away when Kunzite hadn't dismissed him. Kunzite sighed.

"Well, you may leave now," he waved Obsidian away, and the young man disappeared in his usual rings of energy.

"And now it's your turn," Zoisite declared and ran his hands over Kunzite's chest and down to his belly. The white-haired man sighed tragically, but what could he do?

His beloved had told him he had discovered that he had put on some fat, and now he was either supposed to do some body-building or engage in some other sports to keep in shape. Kunzite wasn't convinced at all. He had been so glad that he had escaped the tedious daily drills when he had fled the Dark Kingdom.

Zoisite stood in front of him, arms akimbo and looked up to him invitingly. Kunzite sighed again. Unfortunately the small man had a point.

"I guess I'll conjure a swimming bath," he decided. It was definitely a lesser evil than body-building.

"It doesn't matter what you're doing, it matters that you're doing something."

Sullenly, Kunzite complied.

* * *

"I hate physics," Makoto sighed when she sat over her textbook and neither understood the formulas printed there nor those the teacher wrote at the blackboard.

"But that's really simple," Ami contradicted.

"That's easy for you to say! I worry about Usagi and Naru, and somehow this interferes with my ability to find sense in these hieroglyphs." It was unfair, Ami didn't have to think hard to know what the formulas were supposed to mean, so it didn't matter when she was distracted a bit.

Obsidian was looking for the Senshi, but it was only late in the morning, and they were certainly at their schools. Fortunately Makoto had told him which school she visited, and so he decided to meet her there. It would be more fun to find out what she was doing at this school of hers than hanging around alone.

When he entered the school, he discovered that finding the girl would become more difficult than expected. There were so many corridors and doors. And the worst thing was that he had better try to be inconspicuous.

Suddenly a bell rang, and Obsidian started, especially when lots of pupils streamed out of their classes, some almost running him over.

One girl, who was among the first who had discovered him, shouted: "Look! Isn't that a cutie?"

Immediately about two dozen glances fixed on the violet-haired youth.

Obsidian chose to get out of that particular corridor and resumed the search for Makoto. Suddenly she ran into him.

"Obsidian!" She hurried to him, her progress followed by several dozen jealous or envious stares.

"Hi Mako. What's up here?"

"Break between classes." She dug through her lunch box. "Do you want something, too?"

"Thanks, I just ate something."

"Oh." As Makoto hadn't, she wolfed down most of the content of her bentou. Obsidian watched her and stealthily looked to the other girls. They made him somehow nervous, and so he started to twist a strand of his long hair around his index finger.

"Let's find a quieter place," Makoto suggested and ushered him out of the building to her favourite place in the school's garden. More or less stealthily, they were pursued by some of the other school girls.

"I fear it wasn't the best idea to visit you here," Obsidian commented.

"Oh, contrarily! I think it was a sweet idea." They sat down on the lawn behind a bush, and Makoto leaned against him. "Physics was torture, and you're just the person to cheer me up."

"I have the impression I'm closely observed."

"What about going home to me? I could cook something. I don't care for the upcoming lessons in maths, geography and English."

"You can't just skip classes!"

"Oh, I can," she grinned. "Ami can't."

"Won't you be punished?"

"Probably. But I can claim I suddenly got sick or something like that."

"And you're sure they'll believe you?"

"It depends on my acting abilities." She giggled and put her food box to the ground, before she held the hands to her stomach. "Oh! I feel sooooo bad, if I don't get home right now I'll throw up and make a horrible mess in the class room. She looked tragically in the air and slumped down, groaning pityfully.

"Hm." Obsidian giggled. "This was worse than only bad acting, except if you want to try comedy."

"Well, at least I tried."

"Fortunately you can cook wonderfully!"

"Indeed. Let's go!" She stood up und pulled him up as well. "I have a couple of new recipes I want to try out."

"You want to fatten me?"

"You're so slim that it won't hurt. By the way, have you heard anything of Usagi?"

"As far as I know Beryl intends to brainwash her."

"Shouldn't we rescue her then?"

"I think it's better to leave her in the Dark Kingdom at the moment."

"But will we be able to heal her after she's been brainwashed?"

"I'm confident that it's possible."

"Well, then it's okay." Makoto tugged him along in the direction of her home.

"Why are you running that fast?"

"I don't want Haruna-sensei to see me. She's my English teacher and can be really mean." The girl squeaked and hid behind a corner. "There! That's her!"

Obsidian follow her gaze. At first he was shocked, this teacher looked almost like Queen Beryl. Okay, she had shorter hair and lacked these thorns on her shoulders, but all in all they could be sisters.

"She looks almost like Queen Beryl," he commented.

"What?!" Mako frowned. Until now she had only heard about the evil Queen of the Dark Kingdom. "Hm. I always knew Haruna-sensei had to be evil."

To save time, Obsidian opened a doorway, and they went through into Makoto's apartment.

"So what are you going to cook today?"

The girl enumerated a couple of delicious food options.

"And you want to fatten me after all."

"No, no! It's only a little bit of each of the dishes." She shoved him into the kitchen. "You can help me if you like. It's easy, I'll tell you what to do." As she bestowed him a sweet smile, Obsidian gave in.

"But eating is definitely more fun than cooking," he said.

"One thing after the other - and cooking always comes before eating," Makoto lectured. "But I think you did great. The tenpura just came out wonderfully."

"Well, but I still prefer to eat."

Finally the preparations were over and they began to eat.

"I only wonder what Usagi does right now," Makoto sighed.

"It takes some time until the brainwashing process is completed."

"I see. But I don't have a good feeling about this at all."

* * *

"That's been 800 metres now." Kunzite panted and looked up to Zoisite who hovered above the pool and gazed at a stop-watch.

"Indeed. And your time was lousy!"

"Have mercy on me, little rat - it was me who had to conjure the swimming bath."

"That was yesterday evening. You had the whole night to recover."

"Do I have to remind you that I definitely didn't have the whole night to recover?"

"You don't want to tell me that that tired you sooo much?! In this case your condition is even worse than I feared."

Now Nephrite entered the indoor swimming pool. "Hello. Are you the culprits who are responsible for this ugly extension of my mansion?"

"Ugly?! It's important," Zoisite declared and admired Kunzite's physique. The silver-haired man lay relaxed on the back in the water and kept himself afloat with almost no effort. Telekinesis was a fine thing.

"Important for whom?"

"Kunzite-sama needs to exercise a bit. He's put on at least two pounds!"

"What a tragedy! And so you decided to put this ...thing on my parking space?" Nephrite shook his head and his wavy auburn hair flew. "Can't you train him otherwise?"

"He refused to do body-building," Zoisite sulked. "I would really have loved to watch him work out in some skin tight gymnastics suit." He almost devoured Kunzite with his eyes. "Although I have to admit this is a pleasing sight as well."

"Sorry, my taste differs slightly. I want my parking space back."

"The swimming bath stays!"

"If you ask me, I'd be delighted to give you back your parking lot," Kunzite sighed and folded the arms behind his head.

"Kunzite-sama!"

"I still can't understand why you choose to endure this little pest," Nephrite wondered.

"Zoisite is right after all. In the last time I've been much too lazy."

"If you say so. I don't mind what you're doing, but I don't want any further extensions of the house. And now I have to look for a new parking space," Nephrite declared.

Zoisite sighed. "And I was just going to convince my beloved to conjure a body-building studio after all."

Kunzite looked at him in shock and almost sank under the water when he forgot to maintain the telekinetic field that kept him safely afloat.

"Not with me," Nephrite declared categorically.

"For once I have to agree with Nephrite," Kunzite admitted. He put on an evil smile and pulled down Zoisite with a thought. Immediately the small man splashed into the water. "I demand that you train as well," Kunzite grinned and caught him into his arms.

Nephrite watched them, silently shaking his head. The two were absolutely impossible.

With another thought, Kunzite freed his lover from his clothes. "Would you care to leave us now, Nephrite? I have to see to Zoisite's training."

"Sure. I'm not overly interested in watching your 'training methods'." Nephrite left the bath and joined Jadeite in the kitchen, while the other two had quite a lot of fun in the water.

"Zoisite and Kunzite will yet manage to drive me insane," Nephrite stated and took one of the carrots that Jadeite was turning into a tasty salad together with a couple of apples and a selection of nuts. He blushed slightly. Ever since he had been turned into a rabbit he felt drawn to raw vegetables, especially carrots.

"And what have they done now?" the blonde King wanted to know. He checked on the dish in the oven. Five minutes to go.

"Well, if you look out of the main door you will discover that we now have a swimming bath where once my parking lot was located. And if you ask why - well, Zoisite discovered that Kunzite put up one or two pounds."

"Sometimes I wish they would just stay in their bedroom and never come out again."

"Exactly. So, what's cooking there?"

"I tried out a new lasagne recipe. This time it's vegetarian."

"Keep some for me!"

"No problem."

* * *

About half an hour later, Kunzite and Zoisite came back into the house. They were back in normal clothing, although Zoisite still had a towel wrapped around his head. He clung to Kunzite's arm and smiled happily.

"I'm hungry," he declared.

"Finished with your training?" Nephrite greeted them and devoured the rest of his lasagne portion.

"Yeah. - This smells deeelicious!" Zoisite looked at the empty dishes on the table. "Didn't you leave anything for me?"

"Aren't you on a diet? I just divided the lasagne between us two," Jadeite told him. Of course there was more than enough left in the oven, but he loved to tease the pretty boy.

"What?! Kunzite-sama is on diet. I'm not - and I'm hungry!"

"I thought you're doing everything together," Jadeite commented.

"Well... It depends." Zoisite pouted. "You can't let me go hungry!"

"Can't I?"

"No. I'm really dangerous when I'm hungry!"

"I think it's only just that you don't get anything to eat when you want me to starve," Kunzite stated.

"Why don't we just go to our restaurant?"

"You're little rat is starving," Nephrite grinned.

"Indeed." Kunzite chuckled and pulled Zoisite into his arms. "I hope this makes you reconsider this diet nonsense."

"Okay, I'll do everything you want if you go to the restaurant with me." Zoisite batted his lashes at Kunzite.

"That's an offer I wouldn't refuse," Jadeite grinned.

"I agree." Kunzite tenderly stroked his lover's cheek. "Hunger drives him to the most desperate actions."

The small man pouted.

"I shall remember that," Nephrite said amused.

"Pah!" Zoisite grumbled, but Kunzite caressed his neck and immediately he snuggled close to him.

"Jadeite, you really should have kept some of your lasagne for us," Kunzite sighed.

"Why?"

"Because it's definitely the best lasagne around."

"And that's why I'm supposed to cook for you?"

Kunzite nodded.

"And what do I get from you?"

"My gratitude."

"Sorry, that's of no interest to me."

"On the other hand I can be pretty insufferable if I wish to," Kunzite said in slight irritation.

"Aren't you always?"

"Obviously you haven't experienced him when he wants to be insufferable," Zoisite said with raised eyebrows. "Kunzite-sama, let me torture him until he changes his mind and cooks for us."

"Are you sure you want to eat the stuff he cooks when he's forced to?" Nephrite asked.

"Oh, I'd let him try it first, don't worry."

When Jadeite refused once more, Kunzite examined him with a frown and a particularly dark gaze.

"Okay, okay - there's some more in the oven," Jadeite finally gave in. "And now leave me alone."

"Whatever you say," Kunzite declared and secured himself a portion of the lasagne before Zoisite could heap all of it onto his plate.

* * *

Queen Beryl freed Serenity from the black energy chains. By now the brainwashing should have been successful, so that she had a new commander for her forces.

The only thing left was to find a nice name to call her. Hm. Thinking of all the screaming, the only fitting choice was Phonolite. Granted, phonolite wasn't the nicest stone - actually it was even a pretty ugly rock - but the sound was perfect.

"Phonolite!"

Serenity looked around in confusion. Where was she here? It was dark, it was gloomy, and a strange voice called to her.

"Phonolite, awake!"

Serenity turned to the voice. "Where am I?"

"You're home where you belong." When she wished, Beryl could actually give her voice a fairly warm quality. "Get up, my child, you are needed. How do you feel?"

"I feel well," the girl said and sat up.

"Very good. You were wounded in your fight against the evil Senshi and I feared for your life."

"I'm well." Serenity repeated and stood up.

"That's good to hear." Beryl looked at the former leader of the Sailor Senshi. She had replaced the ridiculous white robe by a standard issue Dark Kingdom uniform with white piping.

When Serenity - or rather now Phonolite - looked around, she frowned. Everything seemed absolutely alien to her.

"Are you alright, child?" Queen Beryl tried to act worried.

"I don't know where I am."

Beryl wondered whether this had been a good idea after all. Somehow SailorMoon seemed to be pretty helpless without the silver crystal and her other magickal gimmicks.

The best thing would probably be to implant her a crystal as well so that she should be able to call upon at least some of the powers of the Dark Kingdom. Beryl sighed. The fugitive Kings had been much more usable, they had had strong magickal abilities even before getting the control crystals.

The Queen conjured a piece of the greenish grey rock and let it float to Phonolite's forehead where it immediately melted into her head.

"You were badly hurt after all. This should help you. And now I will call another officer who will help you to remember everything."

With a mental command, Beryl ordered Celestine to attend, and the red-haired girl materialized immediately.

"Celestine, you will show Phonolite around."

"As you wish, my Queen." Celestine saluted.

Pic
of Celestine and Phonolite by Stayka

"I hope I will be able to remember soon," Phonolite said.

"Remember?!" Celestine asked a bit confusedly, but a glare of her queen silenced her. "Ah yes, remember... - Okay, I'll show you around. - By the way, where are her quarters?"

Beryl took a deep breath. Maybe she should have thought it all through a bit more thoroughly. "She'll have the quarters next to yours," she decreed.

Celestine bowed her head and led Phonolite on a tour through the Dark Kingdom.

The End of Pt.18 - Goto Pt.19


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Disclaimer: SailorMoon is the property of Takeuchi Naoko, Kodansha and Toei Animation. All characters, settings etc. are used without permission. This is an amateur fiction, and I definitely won't make any money of it.


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