It's a Kind of Magick

(Tears of Crystal - Pt.20)

© 1998/2006 by Stayka deyAvemta & Shavana Rhea


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"Let's go to the Hikawa Shrine," Kunzite said after about half an hour had passed. He gave Zoisite a light slap on the backside before they rose from the deckchair.

"But I like it here," the small man pouted and looked at the people swimming and playing in the water.

"I will make it up to you tonight, my little rat." Kunzite smiled and kissed him lingeringly.

"Well, that's an offer I won't decline."

They went to their car and drove to Rei's where the Senshi already waited for them.

When Rei opened, she stared open-mouthed at the tall King. He was clad in a black robe with silver stitching at cuffs and hem and looked absolutely stunning in it.

Pic
of Kunzite in his Master Mage's Robe by Stayka

"I have seen that before," she said in awe.

"Where?" Kunzite looked at her quizzically.

"In the fire."

"Your fire reading seems to be really interesting."

"It is, it is."

"You will show me how to do that."

"One thing after the other."

"Agreed." Kunzite and Zoisite entered the house, and they gathered in Rei's room.

"We will start with meditation first," Kunzite announced. "Have you ever learned how to breathe properly?"

* * *

About three hours later, the Senshi were totally exhausted, even though they hadn't done much more than breathing in differents rhythms.

"I guess that should do for today," Kunzite said when he watched the panting girls. They had to invest a lot of further work in their technique, or they wouldn't get anything done.

Only fifteen minutes after they had begun, Obsidian was half asleep from boredom, so he decided to walk around in the vicinity of the temple. Jadeite, though, had fallen asleep and lay curled up in a corner with a peaceful smile on the face and dreamed of a certain raven-haired beauty.

Zoisite on the other hand had used the time to play with Kunzite's long, silvery white mane. The older man had endured it stoically and just continued the lesson.

Ami sighed. "I didn't know that learning magick was so tedious!" She had hoped it would be done by reading books of spells and memorizing them.

"I don't think I'll ever be able to breathe again without counting," Minako remarked wryly.

Kunzite grinned. "It's a good idea always to be aware of your body functions. You need to be able to master even subconsciously controlled body functions such as temperature and blood pressure before you can awaken the hidden powers within you."

Minako hung her head. "I'll never be able to learn it."

"Diligent training is the way to master it," Kunzite lectured. "In the Crystal Kingdom the children began their training in the primary schools so that they were well prepared once their powers became manifest."

Now all the Senshi hung their heads.

Slowly but surely Jadeite awoke when he heard the discussion that was considerably louder than the training. "Is the lesson over?" He yawned.

"It's for the best," Kunzite announced. "We'll have to continue the breathing exercises for some more days anyway."

The Senshi looked incredulously at Kunzite.

"Are you serious? I shall do this for several more days?" Minako squealed.

"Have fun," Jadeite grinned.

"I'm afraid your breathing rhythm is a disaster." Kunzite shook his head and turned to Jadeite. "Why don't you use the time while I'm giving lessons more productively and continue to teach Zoisite to cook properly?"

"But... Lord Kunzite..." Zoisite said tragically. He had so hoped that Kunzite would forget his cooking lessons when he taught the Senshi.

"No problem with me - to watch you here is way too boring. Furthermore, Zoisite needs to be shown quite a bit until he can actually reproduce the recipes on his own."

"Very well." Kunzite smiled and looked at his beloved. "I know you will make me proud of you, my little rat."

"Of course, my Lord," Zoisite said unenthusiastically.

"Don't worry we'll prepare some very special dishes over the time," Jadeite promised.

"Wonderful. I'm looking forward to it."

"He really does cook?" Rei gazed incredulously at the pretty man with the coppery golden hair. But from Jadeite she wouldn't have thought that either.

"He's astonishingly talented if he wants to," Jadeite nodded.

Zoisite sulked. He didn't want it to become public knowledge that he learned to cook.

"When shall we continue our lessons?" Jadeite asked.

"I suggest during the time I'm teaching the Senshi, because then I won't have time to spend with Zoisite anyway. Probably tomorrow afternoon."

"But the evening, the night and the morning belong to us, my Lord," Zoisite demanded.

"Of course, little rat."

"What a schedule," Minako grinned.

"What do you think?" Zoisite wrapped his arms closely around Kunzite. "I want him for myself whenever I get the chance."

"How cute," Rei commented the picture.

Makoto looked wistfully to Obsidian. She wished that he would also show some interest in her and not only in her cooking.

"We will return home now," Kunzite announced. "When shall we meet tomorrow?"

"My school's out around 3 p.m.," Rei said and looked at the others.

"We're finished about 4 p.m.," Ami added.

"So what about 5 p.m. here at the Shrine?" Kunzite proposed.

"Free time good-bye," Minako sighed.

"Then Zoisite will join me for his lessons at the same time?" Jadeite wanted to know.

"Of course," Kunzite nodded, and Zoisite sighed.

"Great! Then I will start to think about some interesting meals for tomorrow," Jadeite mused.

Makoto looked at the blonde King. "Jadeite, I've heard your lasagne is excellent - would you please give me the recipe?"

"Sure," he answered. "I have to write it down for you, though. Which would you like? Vegetarian or with meat?"

"What about both?"

"If you wish."

"Wonderful! If you like some of my recipes you need only ask. My specialty is Japanese cuisine."

"Sounds good to me. I'll certainly try some of them."

"Her tenpura tastes great," Obsidian assured him. "And all the other stuff of which I forgot the names, too."

"Fine. I'll come back to that when I have time to experiment again."

"But I like Japanese food, too," Zoisite said hesitantly. "Why don't you show me how to cook this?"

Jadeite looked at him in amazement. Zoisite actually wanted to learn something like this out of his free will?

"Well, it tastes wonderfully," Zoisite hurriedly tried to explain his surprising wish. "At least in the restaurant." And Kunzite would be delighted, too - which was the greatest incentive for him.

"It's much more difficult than pasta," Jadeite warned him.

"Little rat, probably you should start with something easier - you can still progress to the more difficult things when you've mastered the simpler ones."

"I guess you're right, Kunzite-sama. Okay, Jadeite, then it's pasta again for starters."

"I'm looking forward to it," Kunzite said. "Very well, we shall meet again tomorrow at 5 p.m.," he repeated, looking at Rei and the other girls. "I expect that you will practice the breathing techniques on your own until then."

"If you say so," Minako sighed.

"The more you practice, the sooner we'll come to the more interesting lessons," Kunzite shrugged.

"I know."

"Okay, we will practice," Rei announced and looked sternly at her friends who nodded in return.

"Good. See you tomorrow."

"Till then." Kunzite and Zoisite left the Shrine and drove home.

"I think I shall leave, too," Jadeite said.

"Don't forget to call me," Minako told him.

"Sure," he said non-committally to her, before he left, too. Unfortunately he had to fetch his motorbike from the adventure bath first.

* * *

"I must admit, Kunzite seems to be quite capable as a teacher," Rei said thoughtfully.

"But he doesn't allow any nonsense," Makoto sighed.

"I hope he'll teach us some magickal theory soon," Ami remarked.

"I found the lesson horrible," Minako complained. "I'd prefer another teacher."

"Whom would you suggest?" Rei looked questioningly at her.

"Ah well, unfortunately there's no alternative as it seems."

"I think he seems to be rather competent in his job," Makoto pointed out.

"Well, at least at the moment you'll find noone who's better," Obsidian commented. "And you definitely need the best."

"Do you think we're that bad?" Rei's eyes narrowed to slits when she gave him an angry stare.

"Considering what I've seen so far - yes," Obsidian answered her truthfully.

"That's devastating," Ami sighed. She wanted to be the best in everything she did.

"We'll show you!" Rei promised.

"I'll wait."

* * *

"And now - the lasagne!" Kunzite said in anticipation when they entered the house.

"I'm soooo curious how you'll like it."

"Where have you been that long?" Nephrite wanted to know. He sat comfortably in the living room and sipped on a glass of Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 1er Grand Cru Classé while he read the novel Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon.

"I taught the Senshi some introductory lessons in magickal sciences." Kunzite still wore his Master Mage's robe and Nephrite examined it with great interest. Somehow it looked vaguely familiar, but he couldn't really place it yet.

"Have you eaten my lasagne?" Zoisite looked at him sternly.

"No, I haven't eaten any lasagne."

"Good," Zoisite said with satisfaction and disappeared in the kitchen.

"Since when do you teach magickal sciences here?" Nephrite inquired.

"Well, since the little girls won't stand any chance against Queen Beryl otherwise. Additionally, Hino Rei promised me to give me some information about my past in return."

"How? Is she also capable of consulting the stars?"

"Not the stars - her specialty is fire reading. I hope she is able to teach me to do it myself, too."

"I think it's an inborn power such as my talent to consult the stars. You never managed to learn that either."

"That's true. I have to admit that I find it a bit unfair that I don't seem to have any precognitive powers at all."

"Well, you've seen how much that helped me. Neither was I able to flee Metallia's and Beryl's influence in the past, nor could I prevent Zoisite from killing me." Nephrite grimaced. This was still a sore point for him.

"How much of your memories of the past do you have regained by now?" Kunzite asked with interest.

"Only fragments, I'm afraid. When my spirit was freed from Beryl's bond after I had died, parts of my life flowed by my mind's eye. I saw that I lived in a realm within the Earth in the past which was destroyed by an evil sorceress.
In retaliation Princess Beryl conjured a Demon from the outer reaches of deep space that took over and slowly but surely enslaved the inhabitants of the Hollow Earth.
I - just as you, Zoisite and Jadeite - belonged to the royal court of the Crystal Kingdom. We were supposed to teach and guard the members of the Royal Family, whose last offspring was Prince Endymion.
When Beryl's soul was completely distorted and under the influence of the demon Metallia, she sought for the most capable of the still living humans and enslaved them with her control crystals, us four among them. Unfortunately from then on my memories are blurred, and even the other parts are only scattered fragments."

"The story sounds familiar enough to me," Kunzite said thoughtfully. "But it's still only a rough frame. I'd like to know more about the details."

"Well, maybe Hino Rei is able to fill in the gaps. My talent doesn't reach so much into the past than into the future."

Zoisite voice sounded from the kitchen. "Kunzite-sama, I'm nuking our dinner! It's ready in a minute."

"Thank you, my little rat - I'll be there."

"Zoisite develops talents one never knew he'd have," Nephrite grinned. He made a mental not to be even more careful around the pretty boy, just in case.

"Well, I asked him to learn it and so he does."

"Amazing."

"Why? He usually does what I'm telling him."

"That's true."

"As it should be." Kunzite turned his robe into some more comfortable clothes. "Do you accompany us for dinner, Nephrite?"

"Thanks, no. I've been to a nice French restaurant with an excellent filet mignon and several kinds of cheese and everything."

"I see." Well, the more of the lasagne would be left for him.

"Bon appetit!"

"Thanks." Kunzite went into the kitchen where Zoisite was already dressed in his white apron with the large heart on the chest. He looked absolutely sweet and Kunzite seriously considered skipping the meal and starting with the dessert. The tall man stepped behind his beloved, wrapped his arms around him and started to nibble at Zoisite's earlobe.

Just in this moment, the bell of the oven rang and Zoisite let the soufflé form float out of it.

Curiously, Nephrite peered into the kitchen. "What a cute family picture!"

"Huh?!" Zoisite turned around and the lasagne almost crashed down as he lost his concentration. Fortunately Kunzite was fast enough and caught it with a thought.

"You have to be more careful if you wish to be the perfect housewife," Nephrite teased the pretty man.

"I'll never be a housewife," Zoisite pouted. "I'm a man!"

"I'm not so sure about it."

Zoisite sulked. He would love to kill Nephrite again for the insult.

"You'd better eat your meal before it gets cold."

"Indeed - it smells deliciously," Kunzite remarked. He hoped he could distract Zoisite before he started a new fight with Nephrite.

"Then I will better not disturb you further." The auburn-haired King went back to his book and wine.

Kunzite looked at his plate where Zoisite had heaped a good portion of the lasagne. After one hesitant bit he wolfed down the whole portion. "Perfect!" he smiled.

"Really?" Zoisite watched him closely, but Kunzite finished even a second and a third helping. Zoisite smiled beatifically, obviously Kunzite really liked his first cooking experiment.

"And now I'd like to conclude the meal with a likewise delicious dessert." With a wave of his hand he let the plates disappear and lifted Zoisite effortlessly onto his arms, before he teleported them into their private chambers.

* * *

Obsidian had returned to the Dark Kingdom. He didn't want to take any chances with Queen Beryl about the end of his vacation.

Moreover, he was glad that Beryl had decided he didn't need a nursemaid anymore, and he wouldn't give her second thoughts on that subject.

Which reminded him... Somehow he would like to know where Antimony was right now.

"It's nice that you're so punctual," Queen Beryl greeted him in a astonishingly good mood when he reported to her. "I'd like you to find Endymion now - somehow I miss him quite a lot." Suddenly she looked unusually wistful.

Obsidian made a face. He couldn't stand Endymion at all. "As you wish, my Queen." He bowed his head and raised the fist to his chest in the formal salute.

"I expect you to bring him back to me soon."

"I'll have to search all Paris for him! I fear that won't be so easy."

"Paris?! Why should Endymion be in Paris?" Beryl clasped her hands around the armrests of her throne. "He wouldn't want to watch the showgirls there," she pondered with a threatening undertone.

"I don't know, but he was there when I last tried to locate him."

"Then bring him back to me. And if he really watched those scantily clad girls in the nightclubs of Paris, then I will take my time while I punish him in the name of the dark powers."

"I will find him for you, my Queen." It might be even a source of entertainment to see Endymion punished, he thought cheerfully.

"Good." She waved her hand. "You are dismissed."

Obsidian bowed once more and left the audience chamber. He'd have no other choice but to teleport into the Earth Realm as near to Europe as possible and take a plane to Paris from there. It still rankled that he was to weak in power to open his own doorway into the center of the European region, but it couldn't be helped.

So he opened a gate to the island of Mallorca and took an airplane to the French capital.

* * *

Antimony sighed. Being Obsidian's nursemaid had been bad enough, and when Beryl had told her that she wasn't needed anymore in this capacity, she was relieved - until she learned who was now given into her care.

"Antimony!" Phonolite whined. "I can't do it. And furthermore I'm hungry."

"You will repeat the exercise, or I'll send you to bed without supper."

"Waaaaaaah!" Phonolite wailed. "This is way to difficult!"

"It isn't. Even an eight year old youma child can do it." By now Antimony desperately wished Obsidian back. He may have been insolent and a nuisance, but at least he had been talented.

"But I don't want to. I'm hungry!"

"You will get even hungrier, if you don't do it," Antimony threatened. "Take an example in Celestine."

The red-haired girl hadn't had any obvious magickal powers in her former life in the Earth Realm, but she had learned to use her new abilities in an amazing speed. Phonolite on the other hand...

The blonde girl pouted and looked angrily at the spellbook Antimony had procured from the library. She couldn't read most of the highly complicated kanji used there anyway.

"Well, now read spell number 247.1," Antimony demanded impatiently. This illusion spell was much easier than the one Phonolite had tried before.

"Er, what does this mean?" She pointed at the second and the third kanji.

Antimony sighed and read them to her. It was a shame that her own powers had been obliterated when she had battled her sister, for she knew some nice punishment spells she would have liked to use on Phonolite.

"Aha," Phonolite grumbled and tried to repeat the words in the correct intonation. Suddenly the picture of a rabbit with pink and yellow stripes appeared.

Antimony sighed. "You have to pronounce it more carefully."

"Pah." Phonolite sulked. It was much too difficult, and she didn't like to learn anyway. It was abysmally boring.

"Repeat it again. I want to see the illusion of a dragon."

Phonolite intoned the spell once more, and this time a heap of violet worms could be admired.

"Interesting," Antimony commented.

"I told you it's too difficult for me," Phonolite whined.

"Queen Beryl ordered me to teach you and this I will do. Repeat the spell again."

The next try still wasn't crowned with success, and Antimony sighed. Phonolite was not only bad, she was worse. After a dozen more unsuccessful attempts, she gave up.

"You may retire to your quarters now. But we will repeat this lesson tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and the next day, too, until you will have mastered it."

Without looking back to Antimony, Phonolite stormed out of the room. She desperately needed something to eat.

Antimony sank into her chair. She really wanted Obsidian back.

* * *

Jadeite looked at his brandnew wrist-watch. It was half past two. Didn't Rei say something that her class was out at 3 p.m.? Maybe he could go into the city and meet her there 'by chance'.

He grinned broadly. Yeah, this was a great idea, he thought and took his motorbike so that he wouldn't miss her.

At the gate of the T*A Private Girls' School he waited patiently to catch Rei.

* * *

When Rei left her classroom, she sighed. The political sciences lesson today had been particularly boring, and English wasn't better either.

Unfortunately learning wasn't over for today, for they had their next lesson in 'magickal sciences', as Kunzite termed it, this afternoon. She hurried towards the bus-stop.

Jadeite followed her immediately. "Hello Rei," he called before she managed to disappear around the corner.

Rei stopped and turned around. She knew that voice. "Jadeite. What do you want?"

"Nothing of importance. I just came along by chance and saw you running by," he lied.

"I see."

"Well, but obviously you are in quite a hurry to get to your lesson with Kunzite, so I will better not delay you further."

"Sure. I really want to be able to do similar things with my powers like Kunzite does. But you seemed to be pretty bored yesterday."

"Well, Kunzite only teaches you the most basic beginners' stuff at the moment. That's not too exciting, I have to admit."

"Thank you very much for reminding me," she said gruffly.

Jadeite admired the deep violet sparkle of her eyes that was especially beautiful when she was angry. "It seemed to me that you grasped the exercises a bit better than your friends," he remarked casually.

"You think so?" Rei eyed him critically. Next to Nephrite Jadeite had been the greatest liar of the whole Dark Kingdom, and she didn't think she should believe him too easily. But he did have a cute smile.

"Well, from your stance I'd say you think so yourself," the blonde man claimed.

"Hm." She definitely wanted to know on which grounds he based this statement, as he had been asleep almost the whole lesson. But unfortunately his remark was right on the mark.

"I'm sure you would learn much faster if you trained a bit more for yourself."

"Probably," she sighed. "But the others are entitled to learn this, too."

"You could still study some more on your own."

"Well, I am exercising as Kunzite suggested."

"Of course it's always easier to do these exercises under guidance."

"I guess Kunzite is much too glad to return into the arms of his beloved Zoisite to consider giving me private lessons."

"There might be other people who could teach you some magick."

"And who might that be? According to Obsidian, Kunzite is the only true teacher of magickal sciences left."

"This is only true where higher magick is concerned. Even Obsidian could teach you the basic techniques that you are shown at the moment."

"Well, I don't think Obsidian has the patience needed to instruct us."

"Most likely not, that's right."

Rei looked at Jadeite in amazement. "Does this mean you want to volunteer? I thought you were supposed to teach Zoisite cooking." Rei wondered what kind of ulterior motives Jadeite might have when offering this.

"But that doesn't take the whole day. You see, now that I don't have to work for Queen Beryl anymore, I'm a bit out of my occupation. And building model planes and stuff like this isn't an overly fulfilling task either." It was indeed true, currently Jadeite was looking for a place in the world where he could fit in, but so far he didn't have the slightest idea.

Rei looked at him in puzzlement. Building model planes? "Hm," she began. "Why not?" It might be nice to have the opportunity to learn some more about magick than the others, especially as she was currently the leader of the senshi.

"If you wish I could certainly show you one thing or the other."

"Well. And what do you expect in exchange for your teaching?"

Jadeite looked at her in confusion, he hadn't thought on that when he had put together his plan. "Er, nothing," he stuttered and was really angry at himself. He should have thought of a better plan first. He couldn't tell her that he just wanted to get to know her better and hoped that she might realize he wasn't that bad either.

"Really nothing?" She looked at him distrustfully. Normally those guys from the Dark Kingdom did nothing for free - or so she had believed. But then, why not grasp the opportunity. "Well, in this case I'd be delighted!" She smiled at him, and Jadeite barely managed to stifle a sigh. Somehow he had a strange feeling in his stomach, and he wasn't exactly sure what to make out of it.

"And when would you like to take your first lesson?" He had to work hard not to sound too eager.

Rei shrugged. "Hm. What about tonight after the 'official' lesson with Kunzite?"

"Okay," Jadeite said with a broad grin. "Until then." He would have loved to accompany her home, but then, as he had met her only 'accidentally', he should rather refrain from that. He had to buy some ingredients for the next cooking experience with Zoisite anyway.

"Until then," Rei echoed and ran after her bus, and so she missed the picture of Jadeite virtually floating back to his motorbike.

The black-haired girl jumped into the bus und thought about that chance meeting. Somehow Jadeite had acted rather strangely. She had remembered him a bit differently - but then, even Kunzite seemed to be more or less okay, now that he wasn't under Beryl's direct influence anymore.

* * *

When Obsidian left the airplane at the airport Charles-de-Gaulle, he was utterly relieved. He didn't trust these unsafe human flight vehicles.

The next problem would be to find Endymion between the millions of humans living in and around Paris. Fortunately he had asked Oniwabandana to give him a photo of the Dark Prince, although now he owed her a small favour.

He showed it around and after some unsuccessful hours, he was directed into a red-light district. Now this was interesting, he found.

After another tiring hour walk, he discovered him in the Le Folies Pigalle, a cabaret where quite a lot of beautiful people met and amused themselves with drinks and watching the striptease dancers.

Endymion sat at a table - a drink standing before him - and smiled at an Asian beauty who occasionally smiled at him in return.

Obsidian took place at the free chair next to him.

"Finally I found you," he sighed. His feet hurt and he was hungry and thirsty - all in all, he wished to get home soon and fast.

Endymion looked at the violet-haired youth. "Obsidian? Have you been looking for me?"

"Of course. Queen Beryl misses you."

"She does? I almost thought she forgot me. I was left for ages in this horrible town where almost no one speaks Japanese or English. Fortunately I met Akiko - the girl up there," he pointed at the dancer, "who helped me a lot and translated for me. How did you get here anyway? Our magickal powers don't seem to function properly here."

"I took an airplane from a region to which I could open a doorway. And it was so difficult to find you because the magick doesn't work as it should."

"An airplane?!" Endymion's face showed clearly that he never considered this possibility.

"So do you wish to stay a little longer with this Akiko or do you accompany me home?"

"I'll accompany you of course." Endymion smiled. Finally he could return to his queen!

The two men returned to the Dark Kingdom as fast as they could with a surprising strike of the public transport workers and a delay of the plane that should transport them to a place where they could work magick again.

* * *

To say that Beryl was delighted to get her little boy-toy back was a slight understatement.

When he appeared in front of her, she stood up and pulled him into a violent embrace that almost crushed him. She definitely had to celebrate his return.

"Obsidian - you may leave now. As a reward for your fast delivery I'll give you another three days off." She looked at the court. "No one is to disturb me the next three days - is that understood?"

Obsidian didn't teleport directly home, so he witnessed the most amazing sight of Beryl who threw Endymion over her shoulder (Obsidian winced in sympathy - those thorn-thingies certainly hurt!) and carried him triumphantly away.

When he was in his quarters, he grinned and painted some signs that he glued magically to Beryl's throne. They read:

'Be back in 3 days' - 'Closed because of family business' - 'Enjoy yourself the next days - so do I'.

The courtiers snickered when they saw the signs and filed out of the courtroom. They were glad that they were spared Beryl's temper tantrums for the next couple of days.

* * *

Nephrite sat on a chair at the patio of 'his' mansion and looked at the bottle of wine that stood in front of him. It was his last bottle of Château Latour Pauillac 1er Grand Cru Classé.

Everything was so frustrating, he thought. The other Kings had usurped his house, they drank his wine without appreciating it properly, and they got on his nerves, especially this sneaky weasel Zoisite.

Naru was a captive in the Dark Kingdom, and she had even tried to kidnap him so that Queen Beryl could get her hands on him again. Life was really unfair.

He tried to figure out a plan to free her from Queen Beryl's clutches. When he had her back again, they might consider emigrating to France and building up a new existence there, far away from the Sailor Brats, the Dark Kingdom and his former colleagues.

* * *

"I'm just great," Zoisite exclaimed when he tried the sauce napoli he had concocted all by himself. He looked to Jadeite in the hope he would praise him as well.

The blonde man fetched a clean teaspoon and tried the fiery red sauce. "It's okay," he said absently. His thoughts were with Rei and the extra magick lesson he had promised to give her. Where should he start? He had never taught anything to others.

"Just okay?" Zoisite sniffed.

"Yeah, it tastes like some sauce napoli - although I don't think chili peppers belong in there."

"Well, I like it hot," Zoisite smiled suggestively. Kunzite's judgement was the most thing important anyway. "I only hope Kunzite's lesson is over real soon," he sighed and looked wistfully afar.

"Me, too."

"You, too?" Zoisite looked at him in surprise.

"Yes. Then our lesson is finished, as well."

"I'm not that bad, am I?" Zoisite asked poutily.

"No, but I have other things to do."

"You do?" Zoisite was a bit mollified.

"It's almost time. You should start to clean up now. I'm sure Kunzite prefers to eat at a clean table."

"But you cooked, too."

"You are my pupil here, and so you have to obey my orders. And anyway, the pupil always cleans up."

Zoisite sighed, but Jadeite was right. Kunzite wouldn't be amused when he fought with him about who had to clean the kitchen when he had agreed to learn from him. Probably Kunzite would make him clean the whole house if he heard of that. He still remembered too well when he had to clean Kunzite's dwelling in the Dark Kingdom just on his whim.

Jadeite took off his apron and folded it orderly. "See you later."

"See ya." Zoisite put all the dirty plates and bowls and everything into the dishwasher before he started to lay out the table in the living room for Kunzite and himself.

With a smile he conjured candles and flowers and fetched a bottle of the sweet wine Jadeite had recommended to him - the Albiger Schloß Hammerstein Bacchus Spätlese - which he put onto the table, too.

About twenty minutes later, Kunzite appeared. He had the impression he was even more exhausted than the girls and only wished to eat some bits and be comforted by his beloved.

When he saw the preparations Zoisite had made, he smiled and decided it would become a very nice evening after all.

* * *

Jadeite took his motorbike and drove to the Hikawa Shrine where he waited hidden until he was sure that Rei was alone. He still didn't know where to start with his lesson, but then, he could still improvise.

In the Shrine, Rei looked at her friends after Kunzite had left. "Would you mind if I asked you to leave right now? You see, I'm a bit exhausted and would like to retire."

The other girls returned her gaze in wonder. Rei exhausted from stuff like this?

"She's right. I'm tired as well," Minako yawned. She hoped for a phone call from Jadeite, and that meant she'd better be at home.

"Well, I guess I should learn a bit anyway - tomorrow there's this English test at school."

"And I will cook something - maybe that'll lure Obsidian to me."

Minako, Ami and Makoto waved farewell to her and left the house.

Rei breathed in relief. She didn't want them to see her with Jadeite, lest they got the wrong ideas. This was a strictly professional meeting.

Jadeite appeared after he had seen the other girls leave. "Hello Rei," he said, almost a bit shyly. When he worked in the Shrine to collect energy - almost a lifetime ago as it felt -, he already admired her beauty and determination, but now that he had his free will back, he could finally try to convince her of his qualities - or so he hoped.

"Hello Jadeite." Rei wondered if it was really such a good idea to meet with him alone. But then, she could always fry him with her Fire Soul attack if he tried anything.

"Ahm, what do you want me to teach you now?"

"Everything!"

"I guess this won't be possible in one hour or two."

"You're probably right - but what would you suggest for the start?"

"I could tell you something about magickal theory - I mean, you still can't see the energy lines, can you?"

"I'm only able to see them when I'm in a trance."

"But you can't do anything else when you are in a trance, or am I wrong?"

"Unfortunately not." Rei sighed and played with a strand of her bluish black hair. It was unfair, even Jadeite - or worse, that creep Zoisite! - was able to work proper magick, and she couldn't.

"I guess then we should stay with the theory - unless you wish to continue with breathing exercises or meditating."

"Whatever you say - in this area you are more expert than me. But theory is okay with me. At least then I'd know how it's supposed to work."

"Your wish is my command." Jadeite began to explain some simple spells to her, and Rei smiled at him contentedly. This was indeed highly interesting, she found, and she should try to get as much information out of the blonde Ex-King as she could. Who knew if she ever got the chance again to learn some more about true magick.

Jadeite was also satisfied with the success of his first step to get closer to her. She hadn't tried to fry him with her fire attacks yet and he had not even heard a single insult from her this evening.

"Now I only have to memorize all of this properly," Rei sighed. "But it's absolutely intriguing!"

Jadeite nodded and tried not to put on a too satisfied smile.

"Why is it that you have spoken magick spells when you normally do your stuff without saying a formula?"

"This depends on how well you have mastered the spell. When you begin, you need the spell as focus through which the magickal energy is channelled. It's a bit like your way to transform or attack." Only that the Senshi never went to the next step of the use of magick.

Rei nodded slowly. "Sounds logical. So that's why Kunzite is able to do everything without the need to recite some formula?"

"Actually even he has to speak spells once in a while. For example the formula that materialized a new body for Nephrite."

"He actually did that on his own?" Rei was amazed. "I can't believe something like this is possible at all!" She had wondered for a while how Nephrite could have returned fully from the dead, but that Kunzite had done this was astonishing.

"It took quite a lot of attempts until the feat was accomplished, but now it looks as if Nephrite is his old self again." Jadeite grinned. "You remember the pink bunny, do you?"

"Oh yes!" Rei laughed. The recollection of Nephrite running around as bunny rabbit was too hilarious.

Jadeite continued to explain the workings of further simple spells to her. As long as she didn't get tired of it, he would go on.

The End of Pt.20 - Goto Pt.21


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