New Horizons

(Tears of Crystal - Pt.19)

© 1998/2006 by Stayka deyAvemta & Shavana Rhea


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Endymion was not only angry, he was furious. He was hungry, he was thirsty, he was cold and everything. And the four Kings had had the audacity not to check on him even once during the whole time of his captivity.

And that, when they had threatened to torture him - but now he was forgotten, not worth the slightest attention. Not even Queen Beryl had done anything to rescue him! It was so unfair.

He wanted to get out of this cold and uncomfortable hole, but somehow his magickal powers were severely impeded. He had barely managed to get rid of the bonds and gag, but the securely closed door and the fact that the cellar didn't have a window still kept him imprisoned.

Suddenly the door to his prison was kicked open and a figure seemingly clad in white sheets - he looked like a cheap imitation of Lawrence of Arabia - appeared in a halo of light.

"The children of the night fight among each other, but even someone like you shouldn't die like this," he declared unctously.

"Huh?" Endymion muttered. Somehow he couldn't follow this train of thought.

"I am Tsukikage no Knight, and my fight is against injustice. Now let me free you out of this deplorable state of captivity!"

The white spectre jumped down into the mouldy damp cellar and made some heroic poses before he helped Endymion to get out.

When they had left the house, Endymion stretched and put on a dark gaze. "They will pay for this!" he growled.

"My work here is done - Farewell, Dark Prince Endymion!" The Moonlight Knight disappeared seemingly without a trace.

'I wonder who he is', Endymion thought and looked around. It was dark, and the area of the town where he was right now seemed desolate. He walked along some streets, but nothing seemed familiar.

The black-haired young man frowned. He was starving, his clothes were dirty and wrinkled, and he definitely didn't look like a prince at the moment. He had to do something about his situation, and that as soon as possible.

* * *

Kunzite and Zoisite sat at the table in their mansion, had finished their portions of lasagne and now looked soulfully into each others' eyes.

"Kunzite-sama, why don't you ask Jadeite to teach you how to cook lasagne?" the young man asked and grasped Kunzite's hand to lay it against his cheek. Finally he had let the towel around his head disappear, and his flowing locks gleamed like coppery gold.

"Mh?" Kunzite decided not to hear this suggestion and feigned that he was completely lost in Zoisite's large emerald eyes.

"No chance," Jadeite commented. "He'll never learn it."

"Actually I'd say you should learn to cook," Kunzite told Zoisite. "I don't think such household tasks go with my status as the first and most powerful among us four."

"Lord Kunzite! But you are always best in everything you do, my beloved," Zoisite tried to convince him with one of his beatific smiles.

"No, little rat, I have a better idea. - Jadeite, you will teach Zoisite how to cook."

"I don't think he's able to learn that," Jadeite remarked.

"He will," Kunzite declared matter-of-factly. Zoisite made a face.

"He'll do only silly things and nag around."

"You won't do that, will you, little rat?" Kunzite smiled at him.

"Of course not, my Lord," Zoisite grumbled. Unfortunately this meant he really couldn't do anything, or Kunzite would become angry.

"I don't like the idea," Jadeite protested.

"Me neither," Zoisite moaned.

"I don't mind." Kunzite looked calmly from Zoisite to Jadeite and back. "You will do it and I expect results soon."

"So, it's got to be fast, too," Jadeite groaned. "That's absolutely impossible."

"You will do it to the best of your abilities," Kunzite said cheerfully. "I'm looking forward to your first lasagne, little rat."

"Let's start right now," Jadeite suggested. "Maybe then we'll have our first results tomorrow."

"Indeed." Kunzite grinned. "I have other matters to attend to." He wanted to check something in the magick books he had retrieved from the Dark Kingdom. There had to be some weight reduction spell somewhere.

After Zoisite and Jadeite had disappeared into the kitchen, Kunzite leafed through his books. He was sure there was some formula that took care of too much eating and too little training and still kept the fat down and the muscles in shape. In the worst case he'd have to devise one.

* * *

"Well, first let's get into proper working clothes," Jadeite said and slipped into an apron that said 'Here cooks the boss'.

Zoisite frowned, then remembered a cooking show he had seen on TV and changed his clothing so that he also wore a white apron (his with a large heart on the chest) and a cook's hat.

Jadeite almost rolled over the floor laughing. "Don't you think you went a bit overboard?"

Zoisite sulked and let the hat disappear.

Pic
of Zoisite and Jadeite by Stayka

"Better?" It was unfair that he couldn't torture and/or kill Jadeite, but Kunzite would be angry when they didn't get anything decent to eat anymore.

"Okay, then let's begin. Fetch two pounds of flour, some salt and four eggs."

"Hm. I thought you wanted to show me how to cook lasagne?" Zoisite somehow couldn't place those ingredients with the delicious Italian dish.

"Of course. The first thing we do is cook the noodles."

"Huh? Aren't noodles noodles? I mean, you can buy them in every supermarket."

"We want to cook, not heat up ready-to-serve meals."

"Hm." Zoisite fetched the ingredients. "And what am I supposed to do with this?"

"Mix the flour with the salt and the eggs and knead everything to a firm dough.

Zoisite looked critically at the eggs. "The whole eggs?"

"Without the shell of course."

"Well." Zoisite tried to break the first egg in two. Unfortunately it shattered into lots of pieces and fell into the heap of flour. "Oops!"

"Throw it away and start over again."

"Are you sure this is cooking?! I thought cooking was with pans and so."

"The pans come after the preparation."

Zoisite sniffed. It was so unfair! His hands were sticky with the raw egg and the flour didn't improve his condition. Jadeite watched the pretty boy. He wouldn't make it too easy for him.

Sulkily, Zoisite cleaned himself with a thought and let the mess on the table disappear, too. The second attempt didn't go better. "I hate those eggs!" he hissed.

"You are much to brutal to the poor egg. It didn't do anything to you!"

"So how do you get the liquid stuff out? Magick?" Unfortunately he just couldn't do such delicate magickal work - he was much too impatient for it.

"No. Watch!" Jadeite cracked the eggs open with one hand.

Zoisite stared open-mouthed at him. "So it's magick after all!"

"No. It's practice. Now knead the dough!"

Zoisite did as ordered. It was so unfair that Kunzite wanted him to learn this stuff. It was demeaning. He grumbled and it looked as he was about to strangle the dough.

Jadeite hummed a cheerful melody. Giving orders was fun, he thought.

"I hate it," Zoisite grumbled. "Why did Kunzite-sama make me do this? It's so demeaning!"

"Well, maybe you aren't the housewife he'd like to have."

"I am no housewife and I'll never be! I am a man."

"You sure?"

"Of course!" Zoisite pouted. How he would like to stab this insolent guy with one of his ice-crystals! Ah well, he could still do it when he knew how to prepare the lasagne.

"Now you have to roll it out."

"Whatever you say." Zoisite first tried the rolling pin, but when the dough only rolled along with it, he used his telekinetic powers to flatten it.

"Interesting method," Jadeite commented amused.

"You didn't say how."

"True. Now the sauces are to be prepared."

"Sauces?" Zoisite couldn't remember where sauces fit in where the lasagne was concerned.

"We need a sauce béchamel and a sauce bolognese." Jadeite gave him exact instructions, and Zoisite sighed, but complied. At least the task was manageable that way, although he didn't think he was able to repeat it on his own.

* * *

Nephrite stood in front of the mansion which wasn't his anymore - a fact that angered him to no avail - but then, he didn't dare challenge Kunzite and Zoisite, especially as the latter had succeeded to kill him once already.

The auburn-haired man wondered if he should conjure either a tennis or a squash court, as Jadeite's delicious cooking could be seen on his hips and belly as well, a fact that didn't go well with his vanity.

Kunzite lay in the living room, feet on the table and read one of the books he had retrieved. There had to be a way to keep in shape without having to do too much.

Obsidian was completely stuffed after his visit at Makoto's and looked for some new things to do. He decided to visited the four Kings and materialized in the hall. Curiously, he looked into the living room.

"Hello?"

"Hm?" Kunzite looked up from the spellbook. "Obsidian?"

"Who else?" He stepped into the room and discovered that Kunzite was alone.

"Where have you left your constant companion?"

"I asked Zoisite to learn how to cook."

"And he complied?"

"Of course."

"You have to be pretty convincing. - What are you reading there?"

"It's 'Applying static spells to living organisms' by Master Mage Vivianite."

"May I look?" Obsidian gazed at the heap of books with curiousity.

"Sure. - By the way, have you ever encountered any metabolism spells in the book of your father?"

"Not that I would remember. What do you need it for?"

"Well, I thought it might be nice to keep in shape without having to exercise."

"Has Zoisite discovered that you have become a bit portlier?"

"So you noticed something as well?" Kunzite asked in alarm.

"Sure." Obsidian nodded vigorously. "You've eaten too much in the last time."

Kunzite sighed. "Indeed. And I neglected my training."

"You're lazy! And I always thought you were so vain."

"I'm not vain. I only know that I'm handsome." He ran a hand through his shimmering silver hair.

"I guess no one will argue that." Obsidian took up another of the books. 'Maintaining static spells without interrupting biochemical processes', the title read. Boring stuff, but he leafed through it anyway.

"Good." Kunzite grinned smugly. "Just check on that spell, too, will you?"

"I'll try to keep that in mind. - Although I neither need it, nor would I mind if I put on one or two pounds."

"You're lucky then," Kunzite sighed. "My beloved very much cares about my weight."

"Maybe you're becoming to heavy for him," Obsidian giggled.

Kunzite grinned. "Maybe." He uttered another sigh and looked to the kitchen door. It was uncanny how much he had gotten used to Zoisite's presence. Now that he wasn't absorbed in his studies anymore, he missed him already, especially when he was reminded of him.

"Let me guess - Zoisite is in the kitchen?"

"Hm? Yes, why do you ask?"

"Because you look so longingly in that direction."

Kunzite smiled. Indeed, sometimes Zoisite was so demanding that he felt a bit overwhelmed by him, but then he made him feel so much alive that he just didn't want to miss his presence anymore.

"I'm glad that I don't have your problems." Obsidian sprawled all over the armchair.

"Actually, it's not really a problem," Kunzite said softly and decided to direct his attention back to the books. If he didn't find a spell, he would have to design one himself.

"Hm, I smell food," Obsidian suddenly exclaimed.

Kunzite looked up and sniffed. "Indeed." His face lit up. "This means my little rat was successful after all."

"Or Jadeite did it himself when he discovered that Zoisite was hopeless."

"Oh no, Zoisite is really skillful in everything he does."

"Really?" Obsidian looked curiously at the silver-haired man. "I think he's pretty interesting anyway."

"Hm. What do you find interesting in him?" Kunzite frowned. Zoisite was his personal property, and no one should dare to dispute his right to him.

"Everything."

"Hm."

"Why are you surprised?"

"I'm not so much surprised but worried. After all he is my beloved."

"But I find him interesting. Especially the stuff from the past. For example the time when he was Endymion's martial arts instructor..."

"He was what?" Kunzite's eyes narrowed. "I guess that's the time I don't remember yet. Do you have any knowledge about that time?"

"I know that you were there."

"And what did I do?"

"Well, the usual stuff when you're together with Zoisite."

"I beg your pardon?!"

"Rei told me you played your usual little games."

"How do you know?" Kunzite blushed slightly. It was one thing when others knew that Zoisite and he were lovers, but when they started to dig out details... "And what has that Mars girl to do with it?"

"Well, Rei is pretty good in fire reading. Unfortunately I don't see anything in the flames."

"How dare she pry into Zoisite's and my private chambers?" Kunzite said angrily.

Fortunately for Obsidian, Zoisite stormed out of the kitchen in just the same moment. "I did it," he beamed. "I really managed to cook a lasagne!"

Kunzite stood up and enclosed him in his arms. "I'm proud of you, my little rat." He kissed him tenderly. This way Zoisite would be more inclined to continue his studies.

"That you cooked it is fine - but is it edible?" Obsidian wanted to know.

"Sure. Even Jadeite said it was good." Zoisite smiled at Obsidian while Kunzite held him close and buried his face in the coppery golden hair.

"It smells nicely," Obsidian observed. "Will you cook more often now?"

"Sure he will do that," Kunzite decreed and gave Zoisite a kiss on his head.

"Hm. I didn't think you'd do it voluntarily." Obsidian was astonished.

"Lord Kunzite wants me to, so I will do it," Zoisite declared. And somehow he had discovered that it was somehow satisfying to actually prepare a really tasty meal.

"Why do you always call him Lord Kunzite anyway?" Obsidian asked. "I always wondered about this - I mean, you are together for quite a while now, and now you are not even within the Dark Kingdom's hierarchy anymore."

"Well, Kunzite-sama is the only person I have ever truly respected." Zoisite smiled and looked up to him. Kunzite returned the smile.

"I see. Ah well, I don't think I'll ever learn to cook. It's is a job for girls."

"I heard that!" Jadeite shouted angrily from the kitchen.

"With you it's something different. You don't need to learn it, you're already able to cook anyway."

"Hm." Jadeite wasn't convinced. "You do realize that most celebrity chefs are male?"

"Whatever, I definitely don't want to learn to cook," Obsidian stated.

"Well, I have enough work with Zoisite anyway."

Zoisite sighed. If Obsidian had joined the cooking course, he'd have to do only half the work.

"I prefer to eat," Obsidian explained. "And I wouldn't learn it anyway."

"If Zoisite is able to learn, you could do it, too," Jadeite shrugged. He would have never thought that the pretty boy would manage to prepare the lasagne. But then, he had told him every single step in meticulous detail.

"Well, I'm content if Zoisite learns it," Kunzite said and let go of his lover so that he could sit down in the chair again. Zoisite took place on the armrest and played with Kunzite's shimmering hair. "We will eat the lasagne for dinner, little rat. Currently I'm still stuffed from lunch."

"Indeed." Zoisite laid a hand against Kunzite's belly. "You'd better return to your training, my Lord." He gave him a sweet smile and a fleeting kiss on the lips.

Kunzite grimaced. "I don't think I can swim right know."

"Swim?" Obsidian asked curiously.

"Yeah!" Zoisite looked up to Obsidian. "Kunzite-sama conjured a real swimming bath."

"So that he can train and keep slim?"

"Exactly. You can't imagine how gorgeous he looks in the water - although I still think he would even look better with some pounds less." Absently, Zoisite drew figures on Kunzite's chest with his fingertips.

"I don't think I'm fat," Kunzite pouted.

"Only a little around the hips and the belly," Obsidian teased.

Zoisite giggled. "You see? It is important that you train, my Lord." He gave him a consoling kiss.

Kunzite's visible pouting made Obsidian grin. "Are you sure it's a good idea that Zoisite learns to cook?"

"I could show him some low fat foodstuffs, too," Jadeite suggested.

Obsidian shuddered. "Rabbit food!" Fortunately Nephrite wasn't around.

"The variety of low fat food is greater than you might think," the blonde King started to lecture. He wiped his hands at the apron he still wore. "You can add steaks or low fat poultry to the vegetables, and if you like it you might even use fish."

"Luckily I don't have to eat it."

"You don't know what you miss. - I will invite you the next time I cook something like this."

"But leave me some, too," Zoisite begged. Somehow he had gotten addicted to Jadeite's cuisine.

"No problem," he grinned. "You will cook it."

"Well, then I'd rather not try it," Obsidian said. "Hm. When you all start to cook, you will all need such a spell to keep slim."

"Are there such spells?" Zoisite looked at Obsidian with interest. "Kunzite-sama, wouldn't that be something for you?"

The silver-haired man blushed.

"It was his idea," Obsidian declared cheerfully.

"So you intended to cheat?" Zoisite poked a finger in Kunzite's belly.

"Only for you, my love," Kunzite hurried to say.

"Zoisite, you should be careful that you don't put on weight either," Obsidian cautioned him.

Zoisite jumped up from the armrest and posed in front of the violet-haired man. "Me? No. Or do you see even one ounce of fat?" He turned around.

Obsidian circled the small man, and Kunzite watched every move he made. "I think you have been slimmer."

Zoisite sulked.

"I disagree." Kunzite shook his head. "Zoisite looks as sweet as ever."

"In the apron he looks rather fat."

Zoisite squealed and sat down on Kunzite's lap. He needed comfort now.

"They really look cute together, don't they?" Jadeite asked grinning. "It makes me almost regret that I'm straight."

"Does it?" Obsidian looked questioningly at him.

"Ah well, I still haven't found a girl I'd like," he sighed.

"Hm. Strange. There are many girls around - much more than I want."

"Where?" Jadeite looked very interested.

"In the Juuban Junior Highschool."

"Hm. Actually I didn't think so much about school girls." That was more to Nephrite's taste when he thought about that red-head his colleague had fallen in love with.

"Well, you are a bit older."

"Yes, a bit." It was unfair, he thought, somehow he just didn't have luck with women.

"I think most girls are silly."

"I'm still searching for the right one." Jadeite sighed. "She should have red or black hair, be pretty and lively..."

"What about Hino Rei? She is quite spirited and has black hair."

"Hino Rei? You mean SailorMars? Hm. But she's not only a schoolgirl, but also one of those Sailor Senshi who are sworn to fight us."

"You only have to convince her properly."

"Are you sure?" Jadeite frowned. SailorMars was somehow cute, but he had the impression she couldn't stand him at all.

"I discovered that all of the Senshi are easily convinced of one's good will. And they're even rather nice, at least to me."

"Hm, yes, I heard that you visit SailorJupiter considerably often."

"She's a great cook. SailorMars has a fascinating gift as well - she can do fire readings. Since SailorMoon isn't with them anymore it's fun to visit the Senshi."

"Maybe I should accompany you when you visit them again," Jadeite pondered. At least the Senshi with their powers were more than merely human which made them more interesting than other girls.

"Sure, I don't need the four of them, if you like you can keep one of the girls for yourself."

"Fine." Jadeite smiled contentedly. So what when they were school girls, Nephrite's little girl-friend hadn't been older, and it seemed he had been content with her.

Obsidian examined Jadeite thoughtfully. He would have to keep an eye on Makoto.

"So, when will we go?"

"Don't forget that you still have to teach Zoisite," Kunzite remarked after a particularly passionate kiss. As long as he cuddled around with him, he didn't have to train.

"I don't have problems when we postpone it a bit." Zoisite laid his head against Kunzite's shoulder.

"I don't want to return to the Senshi right now - I've just been at Makoto's."

"Uh-oh. You visit her pretty often - is she your girl-friend?"

"Definitely not - she's only really good at cooking."

"Hm," Jadeite looked thoughtfully. Even though this Makoto wasn't exactly his type, it might be fun to talk to her. Maybe they could trade recipes.

Obsidian gazed suspiciously at Jadeite. Makoto was his property. He had no intentions to do without her great cooking.

"Well, just tell me when you visit them again."

"Agreed."

"Perfect!" Jadeite grinned happily.

"And what are we doing now?" Obsidian looked at the men, he was getting bored.

"Kunzite-sama will swim a little bit," Zoisite decreed.

"I will?"

Zoisite nodded vigorously.

"Great," Obsidian said cheerfully. "Finally we'll see some action."

"I could very well do without this kind of action." Kunzite sighed, but as Zoisite would nag around until he gave in anyway, he teleported into the swimming bath, immediately followed by the small man.

Obsidian decided to walk to the swimming bath. When he left the mansion and stood in front of the bath, he discovered that an indoor tennis centre had appeared next to it.

Kunzite dived elegantly into the water. His clothes had miraculously changed into a pair of silver swimming trunks that contrasted perfectly to his tanned skin. Zoisite sighed at the view. And he was all his!

Obsidian observed everything from above, where he floated so that he didn't get wet.

Zoisite floated next to the basin and peered at a stop-watch. "You have to swim a little faster!"

"What time do you consider appropriate?" Obsidian wanted to know.

"Well, it should be at least human world record, don't you think?"

Kunzite stopped in shock. "What?"

"Of course. Doesn't he always say he's the first in everything?"

"Well... Actually... But..." Kunzite uttered.

"Swim on, my Lord!"

"I guess I would be faster when there were more people who admire me." He turned on the back and folded his arms behind the head.

"You're not training anymore," Obsidian remarked.

"Well, I want some compensation for my efforts." He looked invitingly at Zoisite who turned his clothes into swimming trunks, too, and floated down to him to kiss him tenderly.

"And when you swim the next lane in record time, you'll get another."

"Cute," Obsidian commented.

"That's an argument." Supported by his telekinetic powers, Kunzite swam indeed record time.

"He's cheating," Obsidian exclaimed.

"That's true. But he did swim a great time - and anyway." Zoisite bestowed him his reward, and Kunzite grinned in satisfaction.

"And you even reward him for that." Obsidian found it absolutely unjust.

"Well, I love to do that anyway," Zoisite blushed slightly. "And he does train, doesn't he?"

"Well..."

"See! - Now another lane," Zoisite demanded.

"Your wish is my command, little rat."

"I still don't understand why you do that out of your free will." Obsidian shook his head.

"Zoisite likes it - that's enough for me."

"But swimming always gets you so wet."

"I think he looks really sexy that way," Zoisite declared with a hungry look at him.

"He looks like he's been drowned."

"He looks ravishing," Zoisite contradicted.

"No, rather bored." Kunzite sighed. "I'd like to see something else but those boring lanes."

"What about an adventure bath?" Obsidian suggested.

"Now that's an idea." Kunzite's eyes lit up. "Let's go to the adventure bath in the city."

"But there are lots of people there," Zoisite said in alarm.

"I thought Kunzite wanted some people who admire him."

"Yes - he wants them. But he's mine and mine alone!"

"I think it's nice to be admired."

"But don't you dare smile at any men or women!" Zoisite cautioned him.

"Okay, I promise." Kunzite said, and Zoisite put on a satisfied smile.

"You actually promise him that?" Obsidian looked incredulously at the most powerful of the four Kings.

"I love to see Zoisite smile," he stated and floated out of the water. With one thought he was dry and clad in a combination of white jeans, shirt and jacket. "Let's go, little rat."

"I hope you don't mind if I accompany you," Obsidian said. Actually he'd do it anyway - he wouldn't want to miss the upcoming events for anything.

"Why not," Zoisite offered generously and admired his beloved. The tight jeans showed that his figure still was near perfect, but it never hurt to train a bit in advance. "Isn't he just gorgeous?"

"When I say 'yes' then you'll only sulk again," Obsidian grinned.

"Well, it depends. I'm sure you don't want anything of Kunzite-sama."

"Are you sure?"

"You do?" Zoisite squealed in shock. Obsidian answered only with a wide grin.

"Tell me - do you or do you not have designs on him?!"

"Why should I tell you?"

"Because I want to know if I can dare to leave Kunzite-sama alone with you."

"Do you think he can't defend himself?"

"Well, who knows if he wants to defend himself!" Kunzite chuckled at Zoisite's jealousy.

"You don't seem to trust him too much," Obsidian observed.

"You haven't seen him moon after this Reika-girl," Zoisite pouted.

"Zoisite, that was only a joke, nothing serious," Kunzite hurried to assure him.

"And when you said you wanted to present the silver crystal to Queen Beryl, just to see her pretty smile?"

"There's exactly one thing I hate about Zoisite," Kunzite muttered, "his perfect memory of everything I ever said."

"So you'd better think twice what you're saying."

"Trust me - I do." Kunzite smiled at Zoisite. "No need for jealousy, my little rat. I love only you."

"I sincerely do hope that!" Zoisite looked at him a bit doubtfully.

Obsidian shook his head and wondered how Kunzite could live with this, but the silver-haired man only smiled and changed Zoisite's clothing into a fitting street outfit as well.

They left the bath and went to the garage as they still didn't dare teleport. Kunzite sighed. Somehow it was unfair, but then, they didn't know if Beryl hadn't sent new youma after them. The area of the mansion was shielded, okay, but teleports or doorways over greater distances might give them away.

* * *

Some time later they arrived at the adventure bath.

Obsidian lay in a deck chair and waited for them. He was clad in comfortable leisure wear and watched the pretty girls in the water.

When Kunzite walked into the bath, only clad in dark blue swimming trunks, many more adoring glances followed him than Zoisite was comfortable with. The small man had decided to wear a losely fitting T-shirt again, so that he could cuddle around with Kunzite without causing too much of a sensation.

"Ah, there you are! I almost got bored." Obsidian greeted them and noticed Zoisite's outfit with amusement. The pretty man wore his coppery golden hair open and looked decidedly female at the moment, even without any hint of make-up.

"Sorry, but I don't speed like Nephrite," Kunzite shrugged.

Zoisite looked around and smiled contentedly. While Kunzite got lots of interested looks from the female visitors, quite a lot of the men around admired him.

"Do you have enough admirers around here?"

"Almost." Kunzite ran a hand through his shimmering hair that looked like spun starlight.

"There could be more," Zoisite agreed with an angelic smile.

"You seem to be rather insatiable!" Obsidian commented.

"He is, indeed." Kunzite caressed Zoisite's neck.

"In every respect?"

Kunzite blushed slightly. "Yeah..."

Obsidian grinned. "And what do you intend to do now?"

"Play around a bit. I have to burn some fat so that I can eat the lasagne that awaits me without a bad conscience, until I have figured out this metabolism spell.."

Kunzite gave his lover a fleeting kiss before he climbed the diving platform (he decided not to float up as it would arouse to many suspicions). Under the admiring glances of the onlookers, he dived down in a perfect header.

Zoisite admired him duly and sighed. Kunzite was absoluetely gorgeus, he thought.

Kunzite climbed the platform again and dived down once more.

"Can you do this as well?" Obsidian wanted to know.

"I could. But I'm content to watch my beloved."

"You're not alone, I'd say. - One obviously doesn't see a man like Kunzite every day."

"If you'll excuse me for a moment." Zoisite went closer to the diving platform and made sure that no one of the observers came too close, especially when they looked pretty enough so that they might become a danger. These experienced strange accidents like slipping and falling into the water.

'Tse', Obsidian thought. Zoisite guarded his 'property' quite effectively. He was only glad that he was far away from the commotion, for he hated water and getting wet.

Finally Kunzite decided he had enough, and he climbed out of the water where Zoisite stood. Together they walked back to Obsidian. Kunzite sat down in the unoccupied deck chair next to him and pulled Zoisite onto his lap.

"Are you done diving?"

"For the moment, yes. But it's really nice to be admired."

"As long as they leave it at that," Zoisite said sweetly.

"You took care of it as far as I've seen," Obsidian remarked.

Zoisite smiled evilly. "Of course."

"You are definitely mean. I'm only glad that I don't have any quarrels with you."

"It's definitely healthier," Kunzite agreed and played with Zoisite's gold-copper locks.

"Look! Over there - aren't these the Sailor Senshi?" Zoisite pointed to the entrance where four girls entered.

"Indeed," Obsidian nodded and examined them appraisingly. Makoto's dark green swimsuit with pastel green frills looked particularly pretty, he thought. "They want to take a little swim, too, it seems."

"You should inform Jadeite," Zoisite suggested. He really would like to see what happened if his colleague really tried to hit on one of the Senshi. And maybe then he would be otherwise occupied, too, and he could skip the cooking lessons.

"I will do that early enough."

"Please, do it now," the small man begged.

"You only want to make sure he has no time to teach you to cook anymore," Kunzite chided him playfully, and Zoisite blushed.

"Do you tell him anyway?" Zoisite asked.

"I will think about it," Obsidian grinned. But he would make sure that Makoto stayed his property alone.

"It seems you will yet learn to cook," Kunzite stated cheerfully and stroked Zoisite's back.

Obsidian watched the Senshi who had jumped into the pool and splashed around.

* * *

"I still think we shouldn't play around as long as Usagi and Naru are still trapped in the Dark Kingdom," Ami sighed.

"But Obsidian said they were in no danger," Makoto pointed out.

"I don't trust him," Minako frowned.

"We should go and rescue them," Ami proposed.

"I don't think so. We will wait until Usagi's presence has weakened the Dark Kingdom considerably, and then we will strike," Rei decreed.

"Who knows if that will ever happen," Minako cautioned. "We should rescue them right now."

"We will wait," Rei said matter-of-factly, and Makoto nodded.

"Well, then..." The blonde girl sighed. "But as long as we're here we can still enjoy ourselves." She started to splash water over her friends.

"Hey!" Makoto valiantly defended herself, and soon they were engaged in a wild waterfight.

* * *

As Zoisite and Kunzite were pretty much occupied with themselves, Obsidian decided to call Jadeite after all. This waterfight really was worth watching.

The blonde King took his motorbike and drove to the adventure bath, where he arrived only shortly after the call.

"Obsidian?"

"I'm here."

Jadeite walked over to him. He glanced at Kunzite and Zoisite who didn't take notice of their surroundings at the moment, grinned, and turned to Obsidian.

"So where are they?"

"Over there." Obsidian pointed to the Senshi who were currently engaged in a piggyback fight. Makoto carried Rei who tried to splash Ami who sat on Minako's shoulders.

"In the bathing suit she even looks nicer than in her Sailor fuku," Jadeite commented. Hopefully the girl didn't intend to fight him on the spot when they didn't meet as enemies here.

"Which of them?"

"The Mars girl. Rei." To be truthful, he had already admired her when he was still collecting energy for Queen Beryl. As one of his plans involved staying at the Hikawa Shrine for a while and sell specially prepared good-luck charms that later sucked out the energy of their bearers, he had his first run-in with the beautiful young miko.

"Yeah, she's pretty," Obsidian agreed. "And she's really vivacious, just as you wanted your prospective girl to be."

"Indeed. - Just look at the fire in her eyes!" Jadeite admired her.

"Let's wait until they've finished their little fight."

"Good. - By the way, you didn't mention that Kunzite and Zoisite were here as well. They look cute as always."

Suddenly Makoto threw Rei into the water. "There's Obsidian!" she shouted.

"Why, thanks for telling me." Rei spew out a mouthful of water.

"Uh-oh. She discovered me," Obsidian said and watched as the tall girl made her way through the basin.

"Obsidian!"

"I hope she brakes early enough," Obsidian commented. "I hate to get wet."

Of course she didn't - in the contrary, she climbed out of the pool and a wave of water splashed with her. But this wasn't the last of it - she even threw her arms around him and soaked him through.

"That's what I've feared," Obsidian sighed and shoved her a little away.

"It's great that you're here," she beamed.

"I already regret it. I'm wet all over," Obsidian nagged and looked down his dripping clothes.

"Why don't you get rid of this and join us in the water?" Makoto wanted to know.

"I hate water!"

"Oh."

"By the way, Jadeite told me he would like to get to know you all better." Obsidian pointed at the other man. Okay, they had met before, but somehow Jadeite stayed more in the background, and when he really wanted to get closer to his target, a proper introduction was best.

"Hi Jadeite. - Okay, most I know about you is that you are the baddy who fought against Usagi, Ami and Rei. They also told me you're quite a male chauvinist."

"Humpf," Jadeite grumbled. What an introduction. "This is definitely not true!"

"Well, it's what Rei said."

"What does she know of me?" Jadeite wasn't overly amused. Obsidian grinned. Makoto really could be great.

"Well, I can only repeat what they said," Makoto shrugged and watched him more closely. "Actually I'd say you look a lot like my old senpai."

"He does?" Obsidian commented with amusement.

Jadeite looked pretty confused. "Indeed?"

"Oh yes, you have just the same nose!"

Obsidian shook his head. In this respect he just couldn't follow Makoto's train of thought.

Now the other girls joined Makoto.

"Hi Obsidian," Rei greeted him. "Wait a moment - Jadeite? What are you doing here?"

"I allowed myself the liberty to visit an adventure bath," he replied ironically. It seemed Rei wasn't that nice after all. But she did have beautiful violet eyes, especially when they sparkled so aggressively.

"Yeah, I remember, you like to suck the energy from people who want to keep fit." Rei recalled that Usagi told her about some ploy of Jadeite's that involved a fitness center.

"Doesn't it occur to you that I might have changed my occupation?" Somehow Rei was the prettiest of the bunch, Jadeite thought, but he would have to teach her some manners until they could get along.

"Since when?"

"Since I ...paused a while." He absolutely didn't like to be reminded of the crystal in which Beryl had enclosed him.

"Paused?"

"I wonder why all of the baddies from the Dark Kingdom look so cute," Minako suddenly exclaimed and got some strange looks of the other girls. Obsidian grinned, but had to agree. Maybe he should think about that phenomenon later on.

"Beryl decided I wasn't needed any longer," Jadeite said gruffly.

"Fine," Rei commented. She still remembered vividly how Jadeite had thrown her through this dimensional hole when she faced him on their first encounter.

Jadeite sulked. The girls weren't nice at all in his opinion. Quite the contrary, they were rather mean. Obsidian couldn't help but laugh about Jadeite's grimace.

"Maybe he really changed his mind about who is good and who is evil," Makoto said. "At least currently he seems to be rather peaceful."

Jadeite continued to sulk. Now they even talked about him as if he weren't there.

"Look, he's pouting," Minako exclaimed. "He really is a cutie!"

Obsidian grinned over his whole face. For once he wasn't the victim of the girls' comments but someone else. He should have brought Jadeite with him sooner.

Minako climbed out of the basin, too, to inspect Jadeite more closely. When they met before they had been too busy sneaking through the Dark Kingdom and she didn't have the leisure to appraise him more closely. Jadeite returned her gaze with quite some suspicion.

"Hello Jadeite. I'd say the Dark Kingdom must be an interesting place when there are only such handsome guys."

"Currently I prefer the Earth Realm," Jadeite contradicted. "In my opinion it's more interesting than the Dark Kingdom."

"Considering the fact that all of the cool guys from there are currently here, I have to agree. Or are there some more hidden somewhere in the depths of the Dark Kingdom?"

"None that I would know of - at least in the higher ranks," Obsidian answered Minako.

"And you also don't work for the Dark Kingdom anymore at the moment?"

Both men shook their heads. Obsidian sighed. He hated wet clothing, but using his magick to dry himself might draw a bit unwanted attention.

"Sounds interesting." Minako couldn't rip her gaze from Jadeite. "What about getting some refreshments?" she suggested. "I'd like to eat some ice-cream. Do you invite me?" She gave Jadeite a dazzling smile.

"Sure." Somehow he felt a bit taken by surprise, but then, maybe he could use Minako to get closer to his actual objective.

"Great!" She took his arm and steered him to the lounge.

Obsidian looked after the two blondes with amusement. At least Jadeite hadn't tried to flirt with Makoto.

"Interesting," Ami commented. "I'd never have thought that Minako would take some interest in Jadeite."

"Well, she doesn't know what kind of male chauvinist he is," Rei said. During their last battle he accused the Senshi not to be able to fight without male support. Admittedly, Tuxedo Kamen had come to their rescue almost every time they were under attack, but that didn't mean they depended on his help!

"He really isn't that bad," Obsidian chose to defend him.

"Sure? He tried to run us over with airplanes!"

"I'm sure he wouldn't do that anymore. He has some other interests now."

"For example?" Rei's face showed that she didn't believe him Jadeite's change of mind.

"He loves to cook."

'Didn't Zoisite claim that, too?' Rei thought astonished. "If you ask me - he doesn't look like someone who would do any household tasks," she said.

"But he can cook really well," Obsidian assured her. "You should really try his pasta creations."

"What do I hear? A hobby cook? I will ask him for some of his favourite recipes," Makoto smiled in anticipation.

"He's especially proficient in the Italian cuisine."

"Oh! I always wanted to have a genuine Italian lasagne recipe!"

"Well, he'd just cooked one before we got here. Hm. Or Zoisite did it after all."

"Zoisite?! Wholly new worlds open up," Rei exclaimed in wonder.

"Kunzite bade him to take cooking lessons from Jadeite."

"I always knew that Zoisite was more girl than boy," Rei grinned. "And now he'll be doing the household tasks, too."

"When I teased him with that he got really angry."

"Somehow I just can't take him serious as a man."

"Well, he is a little different."

"But he looks really pretty," Ami remarked. "Maybe he should take up a job as model when he doesn't want to return to the Dark Kingdom."

"I don't think Kunzite would like the idea. He's really jealous."

"Hm, I still don't get it how they can be lovers - I mean, the denizens of the Dark Kingdom don't know love." Ami frowned. On the other hand - there was Nephrite, too, and his affection for Naru.

"Who told you this nonsense?" Obsidian shook his head.

"Luna and Artemis did."

"I get the impression the two cats told you a lots of false stories and other untruths."

"But why should they? I mean, it's so strange... When I think about certain facts now it seems that my whole world-view starts to fall apart. For example there is what you told Rei - the thing about us only being able to attack. It's frightening, as if we have been used as fighting machines all the time." The blue-haired girl looked wistfully at him. "I'd love to be able to create something with my powers, but I don't know how."

"It's not too difficult, at least not as long as you're conjuring simple forms." He let a marguerite appear in his hands and gave it to Ami. With a little luck there weren't any youma on the outlook, he hoped.

"Thanks," she smiled. "I don't even know how to do that."

"You have to imagine every single detail of the object in your mind, and then you tap into the next energy line and fill the imagined object with substance."

"We are back to seeing those energy lines," Rei observed.

"Can't you try to teach me that?" Ami wanted to know.

"I'm sorry, I'm still a student of these powers myself. If there's someone who can teach you, it would be Kunzite."

"Kunzite? Of all people", Rei muttered. "But would he do that?"

"Why don't you ask him?" Obsidian turned around where Kunzite occupied his deckchair. Zoisite sat on his lap, cuddled close to him and both had their eyes closed, smiled blissfully and enjoyed each other's presence.

"Well, I don't want to disturb them right now."

"I guess that's better," Obsidian agreed.

"I hope he can show us how to see and handle those flows," Rei said. They continued to talk a while about their different styles of magick, until Ami pointed to Kunzite.

"Look, Zoisite is gone." The pretty young man steered in direction of the bar to fetch some cocktails.

Ami walked some steps towards Kunzite until her courage left her. She gazed at the handsome silver-haired man who had been one of their most dangerous enemies.

"Don't be a coward." Obsidian shoved her gently forward.

"Ahm, are you sure he won't attack me for some reason?"

"He doesn't look so dangerous out of his uniform," Makoto commented and examined Kunzite thoroughly. It was a pity that he preferred guys. "Actually he reminds me a lot of my old senpai."

Obsidian sighed tragically. In respect to her 'old senpai' Makoto seemed to have a little problem.

"Rei, why don't you go?"

"It was your idea. Come on!"

"Okay." Ami took heart and went to him. "Kunzite?"

The King opened his ever fascinating platinum eyes. "Huh?" He blinked in confusion. He had been dozing so nicely while Zoisite fetched their drinks.

"Did you dream well?" Obsidian teased.

"You bet," Kunzite smiled. "Why do you disturb me while I'm trying to enjoy my free time?"

"Well... Okay," Ami hesitated. "As far as I heard you are well versed in magick..."

"One could say that, yes," he said with more than a little amusement colouring his voice.

"Could you teach us, too?"

"Why should I do this? We're not exactly on the best terms, wouldn't you agree?"

"On the other hand we have the same enemy," Rei pointed out.

Pic
of Kunzite-sama by Stayka

"And 'the enemy of my enemy is my ally' - is that what you want to suggest?" Kunzite raised an eyebrow and managed to display his typical arrogant bearing even lying in a deckchair and in his current attire.

"Sure. You want to get rid of Queen Beryl just as we do, and when you teach us some of the powers you have, we could attack her more efficiently."

"That's true - but then, who would assure me that you won't turn against me when Beryl is killed?"

"No one. But you know the saying - no risk, no gain."

"You really should buy this dictionary of proverbs," Ami sighed.

"Indeed," Kunzite grinned. "Ah well, I'm much more powerful than you anyway." He gazed at the four girls. How long had it been that he had given proper lessons like in the time when he had taught at the University of Magickal Sciences? It might be a worthwhile pastime.

"Of course. If you weren't so powerful we wouldn't have asked you in the first place," Rei said impatiently.

"My Lord, I have our drinks - what do they want here?" Frowning, Zoisite stared at the girls.

"They want me to teach them some lessons in magick, little rat." He took one of the colourful drinks and took a careful sip from it. "Delicious. Thank you, my love." He gave Zoisite an affectionate smile, before he looked back to Rei and Ami.

"I might consider it. What do you offer me in return?"

"We're going to kill Queen Beryl when we have learned enough."

"That's no offer. You would try to do that anyway, whether I taught you or not. No. I want to learn something from you, too," he demanded.

"But what?" Ami looked at Kunzite in confusion. What did they know that he didn't?

"I heard you are quite adept at fire reading, Hino-san. I want to reclaim my lost memories, and fire reading seems to be a way."

"I could try it."

"And what about me? I want to know my past, too." Zoisite looked at Rei.

"As you seem to share quite a bit of your past it doesn't matter if I do a reading on you alone or both of you."

"Very good. What exactly am I supposed to teach you?"

"Well, the first thing would be how to see and manipulate those energy lines of yours."

"Do I understand correctly that you can't see them yet?" Kunzite looked at her in amazement.

"No, or I wouldn't have asked you to teach it to us," Rei replied gruffly.

"I thought I was supposed to teach you magick, not the absolute basics!" He sighed. Maybe he should order Nephrite to teach them this; as he was a former second degree Mage it shouldn't pose any problems for him - and he, Kunzite, would be rid of the tedious basic training.

"I thought you were such a good teacher," Obsidian teased.

"In fact, I belonged to the best, but at the University of Magickal Sciences my students could at least see the flows already."

"Currently you are the only real magick teacher in existence," Obsidian shrugged. "If you can't do it - who else?"

"I hate to admit that you're right," Kunzite sighed. He didn't like to work with absolute beginners. He turned to Rei and Ami who seemed to be the most eager of the Senshi. "But I can assure you that you will hate me even more than ever, before I'm through with you."

"I don't mind," Rei assured him. "I want to learn it." Ami nodded.

"Have fun," Zoisite grinned. "It's too bad that I can't teach you the stuff." He would have loved it to torture them at least that way.

"You're a sadist," Obsidian shuddered.

"Haven't you noticed?" Zoisite asked innocently.

"This was a statement. I'm always amazed that such a pretty person has such a black core."

"I find him absolutely enchanting that way," Kunzite said with a affectionate smile. He let his drink float in the air and pulled Zoisite onto his lap.

"Well, he can't do anything against you."

"Exactly." Kunzite grinned smugly and played with a lock of Zoisite's gold-copper hair.

"So when will we begin?" Ami wanted to know.

"We can start even today," Kunzite said thoughtfully. At least this meant he wouldn't have to train anymore.

"I thought there was some more swimming on your schedule?" Obsidian pointed out cheerfully.

"Little rat, don't you think those lessons are more important?" Kunzite took his time and caressed him tenderly.

"I guess so," the younger man purred. He was content with everything as long as Kunzite didn't stop stroking his neck.

"Tse, you are bribable," Obsidian observed. "I thought you would never give in to anything."

"I depends on the arguments." Zoisite closed his eyes to fully enjoy the tender ministrations.

"So?"

"And on the person who tries to persuade me." Zoisite smiled liked an angel.

"Don't worry, I don't intend to try it. I don't want to get my fingers burned."

Zoisite opened his bright emerald eyes. "A wise decision."

Obsidian laughed. "Surely! You're not my type anyway."

"So? And what is your type?"

"Definitely not a mite like you."

"Oh!" Zoisite's eyes sparked green fire. "How dare you!"

"Has anyone told you that you're even prettier when you're angry?"

Zoisite stopped. He wasn't sure if he should continue to be angry or if he should rather be pleased by the compliment. Kunzite chuckled.

"I guess I would put you into a display case," Obsidian mused.

Zoisite pouted, but he was sure that Kunzite wouldn't be amused if he blew up the adventure bath just to kill Obsidian on a whim.

"Hey, have you forgotten that we are still here? We want to start the lessons!" Rei stood in front of Kunzite's deck chair, arms akimbo, and looked at the two lovebirds.

Kunzite sighed. "But not here." Why wasn't it possible for him to relax even a little bit? Right now he wanted to spend some private time with Zoisite.

"Where else?"

"What about this Shrine of yours?"

"Okay. Let's go there."

"We won't fit all into my car, though, and I won't teleport when there's a good chance that Beryl's troops might home in on us in the process."

"I suggest we should meet in an hour."

"Alright." Kunzite gave Zoisite a fleeting kiss. "And tonight we'll eat your lasagne."

"If it's still there," Obsidian said with a grin.

"Don't you dare eat it," Zoisite hissed. "I cooked it especially for my Lord Kunzite."

"Don't panic, I don't want it. But Nephrite's still in the house."

"I can still kill him again."

Rei ushered her friends in direction of the changing rooms.

"And what about Minako?" Ami asked.

"I'd say she's otherwise occupied - but we can fetch her anyway."

"I can't believe that she actually flirts with Jadeite!" Ami shook her blue head.

The three girls walked to the bar where the two blondes sat in front of two sundaes.

"Minako?" Rei shouted. "We're leaving."

"Hm?" Minako looked up in slight confusion, and Jadeite was not too disappointed about the disruption. The blonde was somewhat cute, but quite a bit of an airhead, too. When his gaze went to Rei, he thought that Minako wasn't fit to hold a candle to her.

"You're leaving?" She thought that Jadeite was in fact a very nice guy, and she couldn't really understand what the others had against him.

"That's what I said. We are going back to the Hikawa Shrine. The first lesson starts in about 55 minutes."

"What lesson?" Minako asked puzzled. "School's over for today - or so I thought."

"We're taking lessons in true magick," Rei explained impatiently. "Kunzite agreed to teach us."

"What? Kunzite will teach us?" Minako exclaimed.

"What? Kunzite will teach you?" Jadeite said in amazement.

"Didn't I say right that? Come on, we don't want to be late."

"That would be prudent," Jadeite nodded. He really wondered how the girls had managed to convince Kunzite to teach them magickal sciences.

"I'm so excited!" Ami exclaimed.

"Are you sure it isn't some trick?" Minako cautioned.

"We have to wait and see. But an attempt won't hurt."

"I don't trust him," Minako frowned.

"And what about him?" Rei pointed at Jadeite.

"Well, he is somehow cute," the blonde Senshi grinned sheepishly.

"Come on now!" Rei urged.

"Okay, okay." Minako gave Jadeite a paper with her phone number. "Why don't you call me tomorrow?"

"Minako!" Rei grumbled. "Have you already forgotten that he belongs to the bad guys, too?"

"Ah well... - But call me anyway, Jed."

Rei threw up her hands in the air, before she grabbed her friend and pulled her to the changing room.

Jadeite waved after her. She was an airhead, okay, but she might prove useful.

"Rendezvous finished?" Obsidian asked, grinning widely.

"Well, yeah." Jadeite grinned back. "She's somewhat cute, even though she's a blonde."

"Says you of all guys!"

"Hey, I do prefer red-heads or black-haired girls. - Actually, I hope she'll give me a chance to get closer to Rei."

"So so."

"On the other hand, I could take both of them, too", he said with a grin.

"I don't think you'd survive that!"

"That's your opinion. I don't think two little girls are too much for me."

"And I think that even one of these two is too much for you."

Jadeite straightened. "I am Jadeite, one of the Shitennou of the Dark Kingdom," he declared haughtily.

"I know, I know - and I'm not overly impressed. I want to see some deeds of yours. You know, these 'little girls' are more dangerous than you give them credit for. I really thought you would know better by now. After all, they were the reason for your stay in the sleep crystal."

"Let's go to the Shrine, too - or do you want to miss watching Kunzite trying to teach the Senshi?" Jadeite ignored the jibe as he thought this was a nice excuse to get a closer glimpse at his prey.

"Certainly not."

Obsidian opened a doorway and they arrived at once. The violet-haired man was satisfied that he wasn't wanted by Beryl, so he could teleport anywhere without fear of being pursued, while the mighty Lord Kunzite had to walk or drive.

The End of Pt.19 - Goto Pt.20


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