The Mysteries of Love

(Tears of Crystal - Pt.21)

© 1998/2006 by Stayka deyAvemta & Shavana Rhea


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Makoto stood in her kitchen, hummed a cheerful melody and cut celery and bell peppers into thin stripes. The chopped pork lay already in the marinade and had to stay there for another ten minutes, when the door bell rang.

This time she put the dangerous looking banno-bouchou aside and opened the door.

"Obsidian!" She beamed at him.

"Hi Makoto," he greeted her. "Can you imagine - I got another three days off, and I thought I might visit you again if you don't mind." Actually he was almost starving, and he didn't want to eat the canteen fodder in the Dark Kingdom if he didn't have to.

Pic
of Obsidian by Shavana

"That's wonderful," she smiled and waved him in. "You're just in time for dinner."

"It already smells very nicely."

"Swindler! I only cut the vegetables so far." And the rice was nothing one had to comment on, she thought.

"Well, I guess then the nice smell comes from you," he told her cheerfully.

Makoto cast down her eyes and blushed.

"What are you cooking today?"

"Buta no yakiniku," she announced. "I only have to finish cutting the vegetables, then I can start to fry it."

"May I help you?"

"That would be great. If you would lay out the table and prepare the oshibori? The towels are over there and the small bowls and chopsticks are in the cupboard here. Ah yes, and I haven't prepared the green tea yet."

Obsidian smiled and began his work while Makoto fried the vegetables and the meat before she saved the rice from the already turned-off oven and put it into a wooden box.

Soon they sat at the table, sipped their tea and ate with great appetite.

"So you have holidays again? I think Naru mentioned some time ago that Nephrite had told her there are no holidays in the Dark Kingdom."

Obsidian grinned. "It depends on how good one is."

"Good? In what respect?"

"In the completion of one's tasks."

"So Nephrite wasn't that good?"

"I can't remember that he collected much energy or did win even a single victory against you Senshi. And in the end he even fell for Naru and got killed by Zoisite's henchmen. This doesn't sound like a success story to me."

"Hm. And what did you do to win Beryl's favour so that she gave you this time off?"

"I returned her dear sweetheart Endymion to her. She carried him away in triumph, and now I can do what I wish for the coming three days."

"Well, that's wonderful! And what are your plans for this time?"

"Hm." Obsidian said thoughtfully. "Idling around and eating, I guess."

"Why don't we do something together? Visiting the amusement park for example."

"Would you like to do that?"

"Well, I'm open for suggestions if you have something else in mind."

"At the moment I'm just too stuffed to think properly."

"Well, then I can start to clean the table." Makoto brought the bowls and dishes into the kitchen and Obsidian helped her.

"This dinner was absolutely great," he said and looked down at his belly. It seemed it wasn't as flat anymore as it used to be. "Sometimes I wish you wouldn't cook that good."

"Thanks," she smiled. "But you don't need to worry, those meals don't contain much fat, so you shouldn't put on too much weight."

"But I have gained at least five pounds since we first met."

"I could take you with me to my karate lessons. A little training would take care of that problem."

"I guess so. Somehow I have neglected my training quite a lot in the last time."

"Well, the next lesson ist tomorrow afternoon - oh damn, tomorrow afternoon Kunzite wants to continue his magick lessons. I guess I have to skip my karate course once more. The sensei won't be pleased."

"Well, Kunzite would be even less pleased. But it's a pity. I would have loved to watch you."

"I could train a bit at home, too," she considered.

"You're pretty good in martial arts, aren't you?"

"I guess so. I even managed to hit Zoisite when I first met him, and I didn't have my Senshi powers then."

"That's quite a feat," Obsidian nodded appreciatively.

"Yeah," Makoto grinned. "He was pretty peeved about it."

"I can believe that!" Obsidian chuckled. Being hit by a girl would have hurt Zoisite's pride quite a bit.

"Oh dear," Makoto sighed. "I'm totally stuffed, too."

"We should do something to remedy that. But what?" He conjured a brush and started to work on his hair. This usually helped him to think.

Makoto admired his gleaming, deep blue-violet hair and regretted that hers was only a dull brown.

"What about if you taught me something?" he finally said and admired himself in a tall mirror that he had conjured for this purpose only. He had neglected that, too, in the last time.

"Me? What could I teach you? Shall I show you how to cook?"

"I don't think I would ever learn to cook," he laughed. "I'd rather leave it at eating."

"What else could I teach you?"

"Show me how you turn into SailorJupiter," he asked her suddenly. He had never seen one of the Senshi transform closely until now.

"Hm." She frowned. "But don't look too closely," she demanded. "You see, we don't have much stuff on after our normal clothes disappear and until the Sailor fuku materializes."

"Indeed?" he asked with interest.

She blushed furiously and nodded. "That's another reason why we try not to transform where people watch."

"Sounds logical," he grinned.

"Only because it's you." She took out her transformation pen and spoke her formula. "Jupiter Power, Make Up!"

Immediately flashes crashed down, and in a triple ring of sparkling energy, she became SailorJupiter.

Obsidian watched the process with fascination. This whole show with thunder and lightning was cool. Finally SailorJupiter ended in her usual pose.

"That's hot," Obsidian admired her.

"If you ask, this outfit is much too impractical for proper fighting. I would have preferred something like my karate kimono."

"Although that wouldn't look so nice."

"But it would be warmer. Actually I'd like to get the designer of those fuku in my hands and force him or her to wear such a thing. I'm pretty sure he or she would immediately reconsider this design."

"I like it." Obsidian tugged at her dark green skirt.

"Hey!" She slapped him lightly on the fingers.

"Ouch," he pouted.

SailorJupiter smiled conciliatorily. "Have you seen enough?" When Obsidian nodded, she transformed back.

The young man watched it with regret. He liked the Sailor outfit better than her current dress.

"Why don't you have to transform to be able to use your powers?" Makoto inquired.

"Dunno. Maybe because I had my powers from birth on?"

"I wonder what would happen when you would speak such a transformation formula."

"I guess I would transform, too."

"Are you sure? I mean, firstly, you're a guy, and secondly, you're from the Dark Kingdom."

"So what?"

"I thought one had to be born a Sailor Senshi."

"I think one only needs to be able to work magick."

"But according to Luna we're the reincarnations of the past Senshi, and we were only a handful. Although, I don't know where this SailorPluto came from, and probably there are Senshi for the other planets as well, but even if we add Earth, Saturn, Uranus, Neptun and maybe the Sun, that still makes no more than a dozen of us. When everyone with magickal powers can turn into a Sailor Senshi, there should be more of them, wouldn't you agree?"

"Hm. Maybe there's only one Senshi for one planet? Actually I don't know the obsession of the Moon Kingdom with these Sailor Senshi anyway. In the Crystal Kingdom we didn't need such at all, when I interpret some of the comments in my father's book correctly. If there was need, some Mages were enlisted as War or Battle Mages and then they got the permission to use otherwise forbidden attack spells."

"Hm. But then nothing should happen if you speak my transformation formula, don't you think?"

"I don't know."

"You could try it," she grinned.

"You only want to see me in a Sailor fuku," he accused her.

"Oh yes!" she giggled.

"Out of the question."

"You're only afraid that you'd turn into a girl."

"You have watched too much Ranma 1/2."

"Then why don't you try it?" She held out her transformation pen to him.

Obsidian took the pen and cursed himself for bringing up this idea. But then, he was curious what would happen when he activated it.

Makoto watched him intently. "You only have to say 'Jupiter Power, Make Up!'"

"I know. But don't you dare tell anyone else that I tried this!"

"I promise."

Obsidian held up the pen as he had seen Makoto do and spoke the formula. To the surprise of both, he really transformed in a show of thunder and lightning. When it was finished, he wore a fuku identical to SailorJupiter's.

"These colours absolutely don't go together with my hair," he complained.

Makoto stared at him in disbelief before she started to laugh. "How sweet!" she panted. "Although you lack a little substance in the upper area."

"Well, I am a guy after all. Although, I could change that as well." He had seen some transformation spells in his father's spellbook, although they would need much power.

"Oh no, don't do that. I like you much better as a guy."

"Really?"

Makoto nodded vigorously.

"Hm. It would be very exhausting for me anyway to make such a difficult transformation."

"Good."

"But I like this outfit - except for the colours." Obsidian turned the fuku blue-violet like his hair, although the bow remained pink.

"Hey, that's cool!"

"I wonder if the others would recognize me like this."

"Well, I do."

"Maybe I should change my hairstyle."

"Let me see." Makoto fetched a brush and put his hair into a long ponytail.

"Hm." Obsidian observed himself in the mirror. "I don't know..."

"Just a moment." She worked on his mane again until he had two ponytails.

"Strange feeling," he commented and shook his head so that his tresses flew. "Now I have to do something about those bootees."

"I think they are really comfortable."

"Maybe for you." He turned them into real boots. "So, now I like the outfit."

"You look pretty ...unusual this way."

"I guess so," he grinned and turned in front of the mirror. "I'd love to know if anyone recognizes me like this." Normally the transformation put some glamour on the Senshi so that they weren't recognized as their normal selves, Obsidian pondered. Probably this should be the case for him, too.

"I thought you didn't want anyone else to see you like this?"

"Ah well, I changed my mind. I love to be admired."

"Would you please give me back my transformation pen? I wonder if you stay like this when I have it back."

"Sure." He returned the pen.

"Hey, you're still in this outfit."

"Well, then I will have to stay like this, I fear. Hm. Why don't you turn into SailorJupiter and we go to the amusement park together?"

"I guess Rei would be upset when she learned that I ran around as Sailor Senshi without good reason. - Oh dear, I wonder what she would say if she saw you like this!"

"We could visit her and show off a bit. Come on, turn into your Senshi seeming, too!"

"Well... Why not? - Jupiter Power, Make Up!"

They went to the Hikawa Shrine and Rei's grandpa opened. He let them in and his gaze followed them lecherously.

Obsidian looked back over his shoulder and grinned at the old man. He found it highly amusing that he obviously mistook him for a girl. This was real fun! Probably this was why Zoisite liked to show off like this once in a while.

When they reached Rei's room, they heard voices, one of them male.

"Interesting," Makoto said. "Rei told us she was exhausted and wanted to retire soon after the lesson."

Obsidian listened more closely. "This doesn't sound as if she would sleep."

"That's definitely some guy there with her, and he doesn't sound like Yuuichiro. I didn't know that she has a new boy-friend."

"The voice sounds like Jadeite," Obsidian said in wonder.

"What?"

"Let's go in and look for ourselves."

"We'd better knock - who knows..."

* * *

Rei spoke the formula Jadeite tried to teach her for the 7th time when someone knocked at her door.

"Do you expect visitors that late?" Jadeite wondered.

"Not that I would know." She considered asking him to hide, just in case - but where? And anyway, they hadn't done anything untoward. Probably it was just her grandpa who wanted her to run some errand.

"Don't you want to look who's there?"

"Er, yes, of course. - Come in!"

To her utter shock SailorJupiter entered, together with another Sailor fuku clad person.

"Hello Rei," she greeted her. "Oh, Jadeite! I didn't expect you here."

"Hi," Obsidian said cheerfully.

"Ah-hi," Jadeite said sheepishly and examined SailorJupiter and the strange Sailor Senshi. S/he looked somehow familiar, but he couldn't place her.

"But Rei, didn't you tell us you wished to retire earlier today? Is there something you haven't told us yet?"

Rei blushed deeply red. "It's not as you think it is," she stuttered, but of course this made the situation only worse.

"And what is it when it's not as I think it is?"

"Well." Rei thought feverishly. She couldn't tell her either that Jadeite gave her private lessons in magick, lest she might accuse her of trying to deceive the Senshi. "He came here just by chance," she claimed.

"Indeed? By chance?" Obsidian inquired. "Isn't this a bit too far off the usually travelled roads to get here by chance?"

Now it was Jadeite's turn to blush.

"Tell me, Jadeite, didn't you want to call Minako tonight?" Makoto asked with interest.

"That's not your concern," the blonde King said. He frowned, he had completely forgotten that Minako wanted him to call her when he had managed to talk Rei into meeting him.

"I just thought..." Makoto grinned.

"You should better leave it to me whom I call or not," he said in a huff. "And anyway, Minako isn't my type at all."

"Why are you running around in your Sailor fuku anyway, Mako?" Rei took the chance to change the topic. Strangely enough she felt relieved about Jadeite's statement, but of course this was only because it would be a bad idea for Minako to hang around with a guy like Jadeite. "Is there an emergency?"

"Oh, Obsidian wanted to show off his new outfit and I decided to join him in the Sailor fuku. Isn't he cute?"

"Obsidian! Do you wish to compete with Zoisite who can portray a better Sailor Senshi?" Jadeite wondered how this glamour worked that made it impossible to recognize a Sailor Senshi unless one knew who it was.

"I guess against him I wouldn't stand the slightest chance."

"You're right. You just don't look as girlish as Zoisite. - But anyway, a Sailor fuku doesn't make a Sailor Senshi!"

"And what makes a Senshi?"

"Power, determination, beauty..."

"Qualities you all have?"

"Of course."

Jadeite still wasn't completely over the shock of seeing Obsidian in this ridiculous uniform and looked from him to Rei and back.

"And I don't have those qualities?"

"Well, there's one thing that disqualifies you from the start - the Sailor Senshi are all girls!"

"So what? Do you think I can't accomplish the tasks you can only because I'm a guy? Even you can't be that sexist."

Rei looked scandalized at him. No one had ever dared to call her sexist. "Well, it's tradition."

"How boring," Obsidian sulked. "And I thought you might want some help against Beryl."

"Well, help against Beryl is always okay. But how shall we call you in this seeming? There are only some of the outer planets left if I remember correctly."

"No, I don't like the idea. Moreover, probably there are already Senshi of the outer planets somewhere. Remember that SailorPluto we met - Probably there are Saturn, Uranus and the rest, too, where she came from."

"Well, then you have to find something else."

Jadeite still looked disbelievingly at Obsidian. He never thought the young man would also like to run around in girls' clothing. But he decided to keep mostly quiet while Rei and Makoto were around. He didn't want to remind Makoto of his presence in Rei's home if he could help it. If Rei got too upset about Makoto's quips, she might choose never to invite him again.

"I think I have to figure out a new transformation spell for me anyway. I can't run around and borrow Mako's Jupiter Power all the time."

"Well, but what power could you invoke, if not one of the planets?"

"What about some crystal?" Obsidian pondered.

"You could try it. But which crystal? You see, I hate to disappoint you, but obsidian is only a kind of amorphous volcanic glass," Jadeite pointed out.

"Hm. I like amethyst."

"Yeah, it goes perfectly together with your hair colour."

"Yeah. And furthermore it was the name of my father."

"Then it should even work," Rei nodded. "To invoke the powers of the ancestors is always a good idea."

"So then you're SailorAmethyst," Makoto grinned.

"Fine," Obsidian said cheerfully.

Jadeite shook his blonde head. This couldn't be true, he thought.

"Wow, now we're five Senshi again," Makoto exclaimed. "Finally we should be able to use the Sailor Teleport once more, so that we can take on the Dark Kingdom and free SailorMoon!"

"Well, and what are your Senshi powers, ...Amethyst?" Rei wanted to know.

"Let me think about it." He considered it for a moment. "What about storms and the like?"

"Well, currently we have SailorMercury's Shabon Spray, SailorVenus' Crescent Beam, SailorJupiter's Supreme Thunder and my Fire Soul. Something like a hurricane isn't in our collection yet."

"Great, because invoking something like this is fairly easy for me."

"Sounds perfect. - Now we only have to call Minako and Ami to tell them this marvellous news," Makoto announced.

"I'm pretty curious what Queen Beryl will say when there's even another Sailor Senshi," Obsidian grinned.

"She'll be furious," Jadeite stated. He still remembered how she had dressed him down when SailorMercury and SailorMars had appeared - as if it was his fault.

"Sounds good to me", Makoto giggled and examined Jadeite thoughtfully. She still wanted to know what he did here at the Shrine - especially at this hour of the evening.

When Jadeite noticed her gaze, he decided he'd better fle- er, leave. "Please excuse me, I have to go now. There are some things that need my attention."

"Oh, I don't want to chase you away, Jadeite," Makoto said amused. "I mean, if you wish to stay and spend a nice evening with Rei, then do so."

"Ah well, I only passed by by chance," he said hurriedly. "I have to continue Zoisite's cooking lesson, I think."

Obsidian grinned broadly. He didn't believe him a single word - if Kunzite had returned, Zoisite had other things in mind than cooking lessons. Jadeite only wished to escape, or he wanted to tell the other Kings about 'SailorAmethyst'.

Rei flushed again. This was too embarassing. Makoto would tell Minako and Ami of Jadeite's visit, and she would certainly describe it far worse than it had actually been. On the other hand, she had felt strangely comfortable in his presence.

"Good-bye, Jadeite," she said. Unfortunately this wasn't the best idea either, as Makoto interpreted her blush completely wrong again.

"Bye", Jadeite said and fled.

Obsidian looked at Rei with interest. "I didn't know that you like blonde guys."

Rei exploded immediately. "Like him? I can't stand him! He's an arrogant, sexist, self-satisfied, smug, male chauvinist!"

"She does like him," Makoto giggled.

"I agree," Obsidian nodded. "So when is your engagement?"

Rei jumped up, threw herself at him and tried to strangle him. "One more word and you're toast!"

Obsidian tried to get her off his throat. At least sometimes he should keep his big mouth shut.

"I think it's enough." Makoto saved Obsidian from Rei's wrath. "But he's right. Jadeite and you - you make a really cute couple."

Obsidian rubbed his throat. "It has to be true, or she wouldn't have made such a ruckus."

"Absolutely!"

Rei sat down and sulked. Obsidian looked down at her.

"She already misses him," he teased.

Rei chose not to reply anything. They would turn it against her anyway.

"She doesn't even shout at you or me," the violet-haired youth commented cheerfully and observed her closely.

Rei only growled something. She and Jadeite - this was utterly ridiculous. He only needed to appear in her vicinity and she wanted to fry him. Although, today he had been tolerable, she had to admit.

"Poor Rei," Obsidian couldn't help to make another snide remark when he sat down next to her.

"What's this supposed to mean?" she hissed.

"Oh, nothing." He didn't want to feel her hands around his neck again.

Makoto also grinned at her. "I'm really sorry that we disturbed your rendezvous, but then, you can still invite him again."

Rei's gaze was more than murderous.

"It's all my fault," Obsidian sighed. "I should never have talked Mako into coming here. You certainly wanted to spend a romantic evening together."

"Graaaaaa!"

"I must admit, Jadeite is pretty handsome," Makoto said thoughtfully. "And I still don't understand why you call him sexist and the other stuff." After all, Makoto joined the Senshi only after Jadeite and Nephrite had been defeated.

"We shouldn't keep on teasing poor Rei," Obsidian said.

"You're right. - Oh Rei, I must admit I'm almost a bit envious. I've heard Jadeite is a marvellous cook."

"He is," Obsidian nodded. "But you're at least as good as he is, Makoto."

"Thanks," she smiled in return.

Rei gave it up to tell them that she wasn't interested in Jadeite at all. And about this cooking thing... Well, she would only believe that if she saw it. Maybe she could ask him the next time they met. She almost did a double-take when she caught herself at that thought. Did she really want to see him again? Thankfully, her thoughts were interrupted by Obsidian.

"And what shall we do now?" He tugged at his blue-violet fuku.

"Well, what about visiting the amusement park now? Although I have still a bad conscience that we ruined Rei's rendezvous."

"It. Was. No. Rendezvous." Rei exploded, her annoyance additionally fueled by her utter confusion.

"Yes, yes," Obsidian tried to soothe her. "Of course it was no rendezvous." He winked at Makoto.

"Okay! Sorry again and bye!" Obsidian and Makoto waved farewell and left a slightly confused Rei. She wasn't sure if they were not maybe a little right about... - but no, she couldn't stand Jadeite. Honestly.

* * *

"I'm going to kill him," Jadeite muttered when he entered the living room of the mansion. "Slowly and very painfully."

Kunzite and Zoisite still sat at the table, candles flickering while they looked soulfully into each others' eyes and whispered sweet nothings, while Zoisite kissed his beloved's fingertips.

"What?" Kunzite ripped his gaze reluctantly from Zoisite's wonderful emerald eyes and saw the newcomer. "Jadeite? Whom do you wish to kill?"

"Obsidian, of course!"

"Welcome to the club," Zoisite said and let regretfully go of Kunzite's hand. "What did he do to you?"

"He ruined my rendezvous!"

"You had a rendezvous? Who is the lucky guy, er, girl?"

"That's none of your business, and the rendezvous was cut short anyway because this silly boy appeared."

"Then it has to be one of the Senshi," Kunzite deduced. "Otherwise it would have been highly unlikely that Obsidian found you out."

"One of the Senshi?" Zoisite echoed. "But of course! It has to be the Venus girl. You were really friendly with her in the adventure bath. Yes, I think you two look really nice together."

"You will learn about it early enough," Jadeite tried to evade further inquiries.

"Oh did you already fix a date for the engagement?" Zoisite looked at him with excitement.

Jadeite shot him a murderous gaze.

"Oh, that means you have," the pretty man giggled.

"If I ever marry, you may be one of the bridesmaids," he said exasperatedly.

"Oh, I'd love to! Kunzite-sama - did you hear?" Zoisite went to him and sat down on his lover's lap.

"I did hear. Although I don't think you actually qualify as maid."

"I don't think anyone would notice," Jadeite commented wryly.

"Sure? Great." Zoisite beamed at him while he caressed Kunzite's cheek. "I have to go shopping tomorrow. What colour of dress would you prefer, Jed? White or rose?"

"Whatever." If he started to argue or explain, things would only get worse, he thought. He'd simply let Zoisite do whatever he wanted in that respect.

"Perfect!" Zoisite hummed a cheerful melody and laid his head against Kunzite's shoulder. The silver-haired man sighed. Zoisite was utterly impossible - but he loved him anyway. With a smile he held him close.

"Oh, and there's something else - another Senshi has appeared," Jadeite told them.

"Another Senshi?" Kunzite frowned. "And who would that be? Earth? Saturn? Uranus? Neptune?"

Jadeite shook his head. "You're on the wrong track."

"Terra? Sun? Asteroid? Comet? Meteor?"

"Wrong."

"Hm. Now it's getting difficult. What have we left? Galaxy? Milky Way? Universe?"

"Nothing like that."

"So it's no Sailor-some-celestial-body?"

"No. It's more of a gemstone."

"A gemstone? That can't be a Sailor Senshi. Gemstones are reserved for the Dark Kingdom."

"Now you're closer."

"Just a moment... You had a rendezvous with a Senshi, you were disturbed by Obsidian and a new Senshi appeared," Kunzite mused. "Don't tell me he wants to play SailorObsidian?"

"Almost. He wants to embarass himself as SailorAmethyst."

"Does he also wear one of these scanty Sailor fuku?" Zoisite asked with interest.

Jadeite only nodded, and Zoisite giggled.

"I want to see that! Now!"

"Don't you get any wrong ideas," Kunzite warned his lover. "You belong to me, little rat."

Jadeite sighed tragically. "Anyways, I think it's highly embarassing that Obsidian runs around as a 'Sailor Senshi'."

"Well, maybe Queen Beryl will get a heart attack, if she sees him that way." Zoisite tried to imagine the face the queen would display if she discovered Obsidian in the fuku and failed.

"On the other hand, she has a heart of stone. I fear a heart attack is out of the question," Kunzite chuckled. "The only soft spot she has is for Endymion. Which reminds me, isn't he still in this damp, mouldy cellar?"

"I guess so," Zoisite grinned. "And as we didn't leave him anything to eat or drink, he should be dead by now. Wonderful! I'm sure it took him quite some agonizing time to die."

"Well, I haven't thought about him anymore and I don't think Nephrite did either, so this problem should be taken care of now," Kunzite shrugged.

"I won't miss him," Jadeite said.

"Although I still think it would have been more fun, if you had allowed me to torture him properly," Zoisite sulked.

"At least this way you didn't have to dirty your fingers on him."

"Jadeite is right," Kunzite nodded and played with Zoisite's coppery golden hair. "Think of the time you have saved which you could spend with me instead."

"You're so right, my Lord," Zoiste sighed and gazed affectionately up to him.

"I'm going to get something to eat," Jadeite announced and went into the kitchen.

"Why don't you take some of my spaghetti napoli? There's still lots of it left. Somehow I just didn't manage to figure out the proper amount."

"You need to measure more exactly," Jadeite shook the blonde head.

"Well, I'm sorry, but the spaghetti package looked so small and I was hungry, and two packages didn't look like much more."

"You still have a lot to learn."

Zoisite cast down his eyes. "I guess so," he said meekly.

"If you cooked too much you just have to invite some guests." Jadeite only hoped he would consider inviting Rei, too.

"Really?" Zoisite's face lit up. "That's a great idea. - But whom shall I invite? Let's see, there's Nephrite and Obsidian... But then? Jadeite, do you think I could invite the Sailor Senshi, too? I mean, we're no deadly enemies anymore although they still don't seem to like me too much." He sniffed.

"Why not? They'll come from curiousity if nothing else." He had to stifle a satisfied grin, this meant he could meet her once more pretty soon.

"Tonight?"

"Zoisite, I thought we wanted to spend a nice evening together?!"

"Oh, my Lord, don't we have the whole night, the morning and the time until noon for us?"

"If you want to get rid of the meal you should do so as long as it's fresh," Jadeite told him.

"Indeed! Do you happen to know the phone numbers of the girls?"

"I have only Minako's number." Jadeite was a bit annoyed that he forgot to ask Rei for her number.

"Aha," Zoisite grinned. "So why don't you call her and tell her she shall inform her friends that I invite them to a spaghetti party?"

"Okay." Jadeite phoned Minako who told her friends to meet at the Hikawa Shrine in thirty minutes. They were nonplussed (it was already dark after all), but decided to follow the invitation nontheless. Kunzite was soon convinced to fetch them with his car, while Zoisite cooked some more of the sauces.

* * *

"I must admit that I would never have thought that I would follow an invitation by Zoisite without having to prepare for a battle," Rei stated and shook her head when they sat in the car and Kunzite drove them to his and Zoisite's home.

"Admit it, you only agreed to that invitation because you wish to see Jadeite again," Makoto teased her.

"What do you mean by that?" Minako frowned. She had talked to Jadeite in the adventure bath, so she had the first claim on him.

"Nothing. I can't stand him anyway," Rei hurried to say.

Makoto grinned. "You say you can't stand him, but I still remember how I caught you two together at your home."

"What?" Minako looked darkly at Rei.

"It's not what you think it is," the black-haired girl began and realized in the same moment how unconvincing it sounded.

Kunzite grinned as he overheard the conversation. He was a little surprised that it was Rei and not Minako his colleage was interested in, but then, Rei was the current leader of the Senshi and Jadeite always respected power. "Well, Jadeite was pretty annoyed that Obsidian disturbed your little rendezvous," he commented.

Rei blushed as red as her Sailor fuku usually was.

Minako sulked. "But I saw him first."

"That's not true. We fought him even when you were still in England. And is it my fault that he's more interested in me?" Rei exploded. "Er, I mean, I still can't stand him and everything."

"Pah!" Minako stuck out her tongue at Rei. "You are really mean to steal my prospective boyfriend away."

"Your prospective boyfriend?" Rei looked amazed. As far as she could tell, Minako had talked to Jadeite only once in the adventure bath. But then, she didn't have any intentions towards him anyway. "You can have him if you wish," she exclaimed.

"Really?" Kunzite was more than amused. "According to Jadeite you're as good as engaged. He even agreed that Zoisite could become one of his bridesmaids."

"Zoisite?!" Makoto laughed until her sides hurt.

"Engaged?! Me and this arrogant, chauvinistic, self-satisfied, sexist... whatever!" Rei exploded again.

"This has to be love," Makoto grinned.

"After only one rendezvous," Minako commented. "Are you in such a hurry?"

"Shall I repeat it once more for all to understand? I can't stand this blonde git!"

"And we're supposed to believe you that?"

"Believe it or believe it not - there won't be an engagement and there won't be a marriage either."

"Zoisite will be really disappointed," Kunzite chuckled.

"I won't marry Jadeite!" Rei fumed.

She was ignored.

A black cloud hovered over Rei's head. "No."

For a moment there was silence, but soon Minako continued to whisper with Makoto about possible marriages and how one could convice the persons in question to go through with it.

"Maybe we should let Rei marry Yuuichirou, then you could keep Jadeite," Makoto proposed.

"Oh no, let her keep Jadeite. She seems to like him very much, if you hear how she denies it. And they make a cute couple, don't you think?"

Finally they arrived at the mansion, and Zoisite opened the door. He wore his apron with the large red heart on it. "Hello!" he greeted them.

"I'm back, little rat." Kunzite kissed him briefly.

"It was way too long, my Lord," Zoisite sighed and looked up to him.

Zoisite waved them into the house, and Rei looked around whether Jadeite was around. She hoped not, especially as she as she was in the best mood to strangle him here and now. What went on in his head to claim they had a rendezvous?

"Look, Mina," Makoto tugged at her arm. "Rei is desperately watching out for her love."

"You're right!" Minako searched the room for a sign of the blonde man, but Jadeite chose to hide in his rooms in the first floor. He would only come down if called so that he didn't appear too eager.

"Why don't you sit down?" Zoisite had already laid out the table and put the really large bowl of steaming noodles onto the table next to the bowls of a sauce napoli and a freshly cooked sauce bolognese. "Dinner's ready."

The girls and Kunzite took place. One place next to Rei and one next to Makoto stayed empty. Rei decided not to comment on that.

"Did you cook all of this?" Minako wanted to know.

"Of course," Zoisite declared proudly.

"It smells yummy."

The small man beamed. "I hope so. Help yourself!"

Kunzite concentrated and called Jadeite telepathically. *Won't you come to eat with us?*

*I'd rather not...* Jadeite was torn back and fro. If Rei had come alone, but now all of her friends were there, too.

*Rei really seems to long for you.*

*You're kidding!*

*Well, on the drive here the girls even talked about the upcoming wedding.* Even Kunzite telepathic voice conveyed his amused chuckle.

*Really?* Jadeite didn't understand anything anymore. *What's up with these girls?*

*I must admit I'm not sure about this either. Rei claims she doesn't like you, but on the other hand she didn't sound too convincing.*

*Hm. I guess I have to join you after all.* Jadeite had this funny feeling in his stomach again when he thought about the beautiful fire senshi.

*Great. You really should talk to her directly.*

*But only without witnesses!*

*Shall I tell her to visit you upstairs?* Kunzite grinned broadly and got some strange looks from the Sailor Senshi who didn't know he was engaged in a telepathic conversation.

*Don't you dare!*

*Then we're waiting for you.* - "Jadeite will join us in a couple of seconds."

Rei couldn't help but blush again when she saw the curious glances of the others who didn't want to miss her reaction. Minako gave Makoto a 'Didn't-I-tell-you?'-grin, and the brunette Senshi giggled and regretted that Obsidian wasn't here yet.

"Hello," the young man said just in the same moment after he materialized in the living room. He had made a little diversion back home to change into more suitable clothing.

"Hi Obsidian!" Makoto exclaimed. "Oh, you've changed."

"Sure. You won't expect me to join you for dinner in that."

"Hey, there's Jadeite," Minako discovered when he entered the room. Jadeite wore a comfortable dark blue jogging suit, but all eyes immediately turned from him to Rei whose face suddenly shone like a tomato when she noticed that the attention was directed at her again.

"Hello," Jadeite made a bit shyly. He wasn't overly comfortable with all the attention either when he sat down next to Rei, the only place that was still unoccupied after Obsidian's arrival.

"Did I miss anything?" Obsidian asked and looked around in wonder.

Makoto nodded. "Oh, yes! It seems that Rei and Jadeite really fit together very well."

Jadeite stared darkly at his plate, but chose to say nothing. Whatever he uttered would be turned against him, he was sure. Rei did exactly the same.

Obsidian observed the 'happy couple' closely. Fate seemed to move in mysterious ways.

Zoisite looked intently at his guests and hoped that they liked his meal. Kunzite tenderly caressed the nape of his lover's neck while his gaze was directed at Jadeite and Rei.

Both of them felt utterly watched and became more and more insecure. Jadeite picked at his noodles.

"Don't you like the spaghetti?" Zoisite asked with a frown.

Jadeite started. "Oh, yes, yes - of course!"

"Good!" Zoisite sighed in relief and smiled at Kunzite who gave him a fleeting kiss that said he was very proud of him.

Rei fumed silently. She really wanted to have a little private 'talk' with Jadeite.

When the meal was over, Kunzite looked at the two and grinned. "Why don't we go into the swimming bath and leave the young couple alone?"

"Oh yes, I guess they have lots to talk about" Obsidian nodded.

So they all went to the building next door, and Kunzite conjured bathing-suits for all of them.

* * *

When they were finally alone, Rei exploded. "What did you tell them?" she hissed and jumped at him to strangle him.

"Absolutely nothing," he assured her and tried to fend her off without hurting her. She could be very mean-spirited, it seemed. He caught her hands at the wrists so that she wasn't able to hit or choke him anymore.

"And what about that rendezvous?! There was no rendezvous as far as I was concerned." She glowered at him now that he held her wrists in a strong, yet surprisingly gentle grip as long as she didn't try to struggle out of it.

"I merely didn't want to tell them about the magick lessons, and so I said it was a rendezvous," he defended himself.

"Hm." Good, he had a point. But a rendezvous...

"I was sure they wouldn't like the idea of you getting extra lessons."

"True. They'd probably be jealous," she nodded. "Well, sorry." She gave him an apologetic smile. "But I still wonder why they insist to tease me all the time," she grumbled.

"It's certainly jealousy," he stated.

"But as they don't know of the lessons in magick - that would mean they'd be jealous because you visited me." Rei frowned. "By the way, you can let go of my hands." While he held her that way, he was closer than she felt comfortable with.

"Do you think I'm that repulsive?" Jadeite pouted. He released his grip, and Rei examined him from head to toes, before she gave him a mean glare, just for good measure. Unfortunately he looked really nice with his blonde hair and deep blue eyes, although it was annoying that he was a bit too sure of himself. But then, all of the four Kings had this trait. She had to think about this.

"Well, not really", she admitted. "But that doesn't mean I have to fall for you right away."

"The more you try to deny it, the more they will believe you wish to hide something." He put on a wry grin, then he noticed that she said 'not right away'. This was probably a start.

"Haha. So you want me to tell them they're right?"

"It's your choice." Jadeite gave her a disconcerting smile, and Rei looked at him in bewilderment. Did this mean what she thought this might mean? He shrugged suddenly and snapped Rei out of her thoughts. "I'd say we should simply ignore their comments." And maybe over the time she would reconsider her attitude towards him, he hoped.

"I guess you're right," she sighed. If her friends were out to tease her, they would find a reason.

"Let's join the others. Otherwise they might get even more funny ideas."

"True." Rei stormed to the door, and Jadeite followed her. When they reached the swimming bath, Rei whistled appreciatively. "You live quite nicely here!" She frowned. "Hm, it's somehow unfair - we're the good guys and have to make do with our average standard of living and you as the bad guys always have everything you want."

"Everyone gets what he deserves," he grinned, and Rei sulked. "You have to study harder to be able to apply true magick, too." Maybe this would convince her to continue their extra lessons, he hoped.

"I'm doing my best, honestly." She looked at the luxurious bath where the others seemed to have quite some fun. "You mean, all of this was conjured by magick?!"

"Of course. Did you think Kunzite would build something like this with his bare hands?"

"Good point - certainly not. But I have to recognise that it's impressive!" She was more than a bit envious of Kunzite's powers, she had to admit.

They entered the bath and saw how the others amused themselves.

Jadeite concentrated and changed into appropriate clothing with a thought.

"Hey, where did you get the bathing suits?" Rei asked her friends.

Kunzite grinned, waved his hand and immediately she was clad in a scanty fiery red bikini.

"Kunzite!" She glared at him when she discovered the minimum of cloth he had put her in. "Could you please turn this into something with a little more substance?"

"Only under protest," he chuckled, but when Zoisite splashed him warningly, he turned the bikini into a nice red bathing costume with frills.

Jadeite regretted it as well, she looked too alluring in the first outfit.

"Have you finally set the date?" Makoto asked her, and Rei shot her an angry glance.

"Why so curious?" Jadeite wondered. "You'll get to know it first."

Now he got a deadly gaze from Rei, too. He grinned and jumped into the water with an elegant header to swim some lanes.

"Aren't they just cute?" Zoisite (who was astonishingly clad in dark green swimming trunks, thus proving he was male after all) sighed and wrapped his arms around Kunzite who immediately sank under the surface because of the added weight.

Obsidian watched everything from a safe distance. They were all really cute.

Ami was in her element. "It's too bad that I haven't got such a bath next to my home," she sighed.

"That would be great," Minako agreed. She floated lazily on her back. "Especially when it's warm outside."

"Well, I wouldn't mind if you would visit us once in a while," Jadeite said and earned a stressed look from Zoisite and Kunzite.

"Why not?" Minako asked back.

"As you don't seem to be as evil as in the first time we met you, this might be actually nice," Ami pondered.

"Kunzite-sama - say something," Zoisite begged. "I don't want my pool to be cluttered by little girls all the time!"

Kunzite spewed out some water. "I'd love to say something, but then you have to cease drowning me," he coughed.

"There are other baths, too," Minako shrugged and gave Zoisite an angry glare. "We don't depend on you!"

Obsidian floated around and grinned contentedly. "You are really entertaining - as long as I can watch you I don't need a TV set."

Zoisite sulked and tried to splash him.

"Hey, don't do that! I hate to get wet," he complained.

"Why don't you join us in the water?" Makoto suggested and beckoned him to her.

"Because I'd get wet."

The brown-haired girl giggled. "And then you'd turn into a girl?"

"You have watched too much Ranma 1/2," Obsidian pouted.

"Ranma 1/2? What's that?" Zoisite wanted to know.

"A really great anime series," Makoto explained. "There's that guy that turns into a girl when splashed with cold water."

"Sounds like fun," Zoisite commented. "That way one could try out some clothes that wouldn't fit otherwise."

"I'd rather stay what I am," Obsidian shuddered. Turning into a female form only to fit into drag? "You are terribly vain," he accused the pretty man.

"Only a little bit." Zoisite smiled smugly and floated out of the water to assume one of his famous poses.

Obsidian shook his head. "At the moment you're looking like a drowned rat."

"What?!" Zoisite looked scandalized at him and splashed back into the water when he forgot to maintain his telekinesis spell.

Obsidian laughed out loud, even though he was wet all over from Zoisite's splashing into the water.

"You didn't turn into a girl," Makoto stated in relief when she examined the dripping form.

When Zoisite came back to the surface, he spewed out some water. "Kunzite-sama, you have to engage first aid measures to revive me," he coughed.

Kunzite grinned and consoled his beloved with a long and tender kiss.

Obsidian looked down at himself. He really hated to get wet, he thought miserably.

"Now you don't have any excuses anymore," Makoto called out to him. "Join us in the pool! - What is your problem with water anyway?"

He sighed and changed into the proper outfit. It was still horrible. "I don't like it." He sat down at the side of the pool.

"I can't believe it," Ami said. "I couldn't live without swimming."

Rei floated in the water and looked thoughtfully at Jadeite. She still wasn't sure what to think of him. But he definitely had a nice figure, not as athletic as Kunzite, but still very attractive. When she caught herself appraising him, she blushed and looked away.

The blonde man watched the girl in return, but he decided he'd rather stay in the background. As long as the others didn't notice him, they wouldn't go on teasing him.

Makoto swam to Obsidian and finally convinced him to get more than only his feet wet. But first he started to work his shiny blue-violet hair into a long, thick braid. He still wasn't convinced, but he didn't want to make Makoto angry, for he didn't want to risk that she didn't cook for him anymore.

By now Zoisite was sufficiently revived (at least Kunzite had told him so) and swam one lane after the other. Kunzite watched him with satisfaction - this was how it was supposed to be. His pupil trained and he observed his progress.

Ami, who swam next to Zoisite, tried to overtake him, but when he became aware of her effort, he stuck out his tongue at her and increased his speed, supported by his telekinetic powers. When he had reached the far end of the pool, he grinned smugly at her.

"You cheat as much as Kunzite," Obsidian chided him.

"I merely refuse to loose," Zoisite declared cheerfully. "And why is it cheating when I only make use of all of my powers?"

"Because it's unfair."

"Is it my fault that the Senshi are so weak?"

"You just don't dare to take on stronger opponents."

"I take on everyone! I even had Tuxedo Kamen on his knees before me."

"But not for long."

"Only because he was rescued by the Venus girl." He looked poutily at Minako. Her shot had hurt.

"Ooooh... Did you get a slap on your fingers?"

Zoisite nodded and sniffed.

Obsidian stifled a grin and fished for one strand of Zoisite's hair that floated in the water. "What a naughty girl."

"Indeed. - Hey, let go of my hair immediately," he hissed. He should have braided it as well.

"This looks like carrot seaweed," Obsidian commented and caused Zoisite to pout. The small man frowned and concentrated on braiding his tresses telekinetically.

Obsidian watched him intently. "This was the wrong direction," he said cheerfully. "The left side was next."

"Graaaa!" Zoisite tugged at his hair and discovered the mess. "Kunzite-sama! I need your help."

The silver-haired King swam over to him. "What did you do to your beautiful hair?" He kissed him on the shoulder, and when he saw Obsidian's gaze, he decided to give Zoisite a love bite to mark his territory, before he started to untangle his lover's mane.

Obsidian grinned at the two. Currently Zoisite looked like a hair explosion, but fortunately Kunzite had more than enough experience with his mane and managed to get it in order pretty fast, but not without decorating Zoisite with some more love bites. He wanted to remind everyone whose property his beloved was.

"Now you look perfect again, my little rat," he smiled and admired his handiwork. The 'kun' on Zoisite's shoulder blade was clearly readable.

"Thank you, my Lord," Zoisite breathed in relief, and they left the water. Kunzite lay down on a thick towel on the uppermost of the stone banks along the pool and enjoyed to be massaged by his beloved.

* * *

Obsidian had gotten bored fast as usual and swam over to Makoto. After they had played around a little in the water, he fled from the wet element.

He let a warm breeze blow to dry himself. Makoto climbed out of the water as well and stepped closer. This was better than a towel. It was too bad that she wasn't able to call up a warm breeze instead of her usual thunderstorm.

"That's absolutely great! Can you show me how this works?"

"That's simple." He explained the energy weavings to her and let tiny tornados dance over the water.

Ami looked at the micro storms in fascination.

"So did you understand everything?"

She nodded. "Although I can't see the energy lines any better than the rest of us."

"Exercise, exercise," Obsidian shrugged.

Minako and Ami continued to swim around the tiny storms, but Rei left the water and sat down on the warm stone bank next too the pool. The black-haired girl watched Kunzite and Zoisite and sighed. They looked so utterly content together, she thought wistfully. Until now she had only found unsuitable guys.

Jadeite had followed her and took place next to her. "Why do you look so melancholy?"

"I don't seem to have any luck with guys," she sighed.

"Why that?" He cocked his head.

"Well." Suddenly she realized who she was talking to and blushed deep red. "That's none of your business, Jadeite!" He was the last person whom she wanted to tell about such problems.

"Okay, okay," he said hurriedly and lifted his hands in a defensive gesture. It was absolutely unfair that Rei of all people had to be so mean to him.

The girl looked at him. Well, it wasn't his fault after all, she thought. Moreover, she was surprised that he seemed to care about her - but then, he had fought her some time ago and he even tried to kill her more than once. Rei peeked at him for a fraction of a second and flushed even more. She really didn't understand what was going on with her.

Jadeite kept quiet and stared at the others so that he wouldn't provoke another angry outburst of Rei's. Currently he was content to sit in her vicinity.

Rei cursed silently. She still wasn't sure if she should strangle Jadeite or admit that somehow she liked him after all - at least a little bit. Maybe she should strangle him anyway, just in case.

Jadeite watched her from the side and wondered why she was so aggressive.

Rei was utterly frustrated because she didn't understand herself anymore. Furtively she peeked back at the blonde man.

Obsidian pointed at the two and grinned. "Look! Ain't they cute?"

"Oh, yes. This has to be true love" Makoto grinned and informed Minako and Ami as well.

"We should better not disturb them," Obsidian warned.

"Do you think they will really marry?" Ami wondered.

"I don't know, but it would be great. Marriages are soooo romantic," Minako sighed.

"And Zoisite poses as bridesmaid."

"He'll look absolutely charming," Obsidian nodded.

While her friends already planned her wedding, Rei still tried to figure out her feelings for or against Jadeite. It was way too confusing, she thought.

Jadeite was as quiet as Rei and didn't put his eyes from her.

While he still massaged his beloved, Zoisite watched Rei and Jadeite. "Who'd have thought that Jadeite would fall for a human girl, too," he mused.

Kunzite mumbled something unintelligible. He enjoyed Zoisite's tender ministrations too much to open his eyes and direct his attention somewhere else.

"But these two are also sweet," Obsidian remarked with a glance towards Kunzite and Zoisite.

"True," Makoto replied.

"Well, you two also seem to make a nice couple," Ami told Makoto and Obsidian. The brown-haired girl blushed and cast down her eyes, while Obsidian grinned and shook his head.

"I'm not sure you can say we are already a couple," he told Ami. "I like Makoto, sure, but I guess we're still a bit too young."

"I don't think the age matters," Minako pointed out. "Usagi wants to marry Mamoru as fast as possible - and she isn't older than you. Which reminds me, I wonder how she is doing in the Dark Kingdom right now."

"She'll probably whine and cry and get on everybody's nerves as usual," Obsidian said.

"Well, then she should be okay. She did the same when she was here, too."

"Indeed. And as Beryl can't allow herself to waste any officers anymore, she won't hurt either Usagi or Celestine - er, Naru."

"Good."

"And what are we doing now?" Obsidian asked. He was starting to get bored again as half of the people here were ...occupied.

"What about swimming a little more," Makoto suggested.

Obsidian sighed. This wasn't exactly his idea to pass his free time.

The End of Pt.21 - Goto Pt.22


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