Of Carps, Fitness and a Rescue Attempt

(Tears of Crystal - Pt.26)

© 1999/2006 by Stayka deyAvemta & Shavana Rhea


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Kunzite and Zoisite returned home, for they desperately needed to look after their bruises. The white-haired King had the impression he was black and blue from the neck down to the lower back, so he lay down on a mat and demanded to be massaged by Zoisite. The small man didn't hesitate a second and was delighted to comfort his beloved.

Zoisite was pouring scented oil on Kunzite's back when Obsidian appeared within his usual three circles of light.

"Oh, hi, Obsidian."

"Hi - where are the carps?"

Zoisite ceased the massage. He was delighted that someone took interest in his fishes. "The carps? They're in the garden. I'll show you!"

"Hey, you can't leave me here like this," Kunzite protested.

"Why not? I want to see the fishes," Obsidian grinned.

"But he hasn't finished taking care of the bruises he caused."

"He can finish later." Obsidian pulled Zoisite by the arm in direction of the garden.

"Wait for me, beloved!" Zoisite blew Kunzite a kiss and lead Obsidian to the pond with the Koi.

When they sensed people coming near, the tame koi swam curiously in their direction. Obviously they expected to be fed.

Obsidian looked at the fishes in utter admiration. "They are beautiful."

"Yeah, I agree. It's cool, the former owner of this house seems to have forgotten them."

Obsidian held his hand into the pond, and the carps came to look. "They won't bite?"

"Well, at least I haven't been bitten yet."

Obsidian tried to touch one of the kois. "That's a weird feeling."

Zoisite turned his clothes into a swimming trunk and stepped into the pond. He fished one of the koi and held him in the arm. "They are absolutely tame," he said proudly.

"I think this is a very huge one."

"And he's pretty heavy!" Zoisite put the fish back into the water.

"I believe so."

"I like this one in particular!" Zoisite fished a big silver carp out of the water. "I named him Kunzite."

"Because of the great resemblance?"

"You saw it, too?" Zoisite giggled.

"Sure. They certainly have similar traits, too."

"Well, maybe." Zoisite examined the fish.

Obsidian also looked at the fish, and it returned the gaze stoically. "He gives me an angry stare just like Kunzite does."

Zoisite put 'Kunzite' back and conjured some fodder that he sprinkled onto the water. "Well, but Kunzite-sama decided to christen this koi 'Zoisite' in return." he presented Obsidian a sleek orange-golden carp.

"Have you already found similarities?"

"No!"

"I think he is much too well fed for any similarities to you."

"Pah!"

Obsidian grinned. "Besides, fish have got cold blood and that's something you definitely don't have."

"Certainly not," Zoisite giggled. "Oh, I guess I should return and finish Kunzite-sama's massage." For a moment he considered taking one of the fish and putting it on Kunzite's back, but then, they'd probably better stay in their pond.

Thus Zoisite turned the swimming trunk into a comfortable kimono and dried his hands at the trousers. He grinned. Kunzite was in for a little ice-shock.

Obsidian wondered what Zoisite had in mind when he put on such a treacherous grin.

Zoisite went to his beloved and put his hands flat onto Kunzite's back. Kunzite squeaked in shock.

"Little rat, you know how I hate it when you have such cold hands!"

"Yeah!"

"That was a nice squeak," Obsidian said with a grin.

"I know." Zoisite giggled and kissed Kunzite on the nape of the neck.

"You are absolutely nasty."

"Did you expect something else?"

Kunzite growled something unintelligible.

"No," Obsidian answered.

Zoisite smiled and sat carefully down on the sofa on which Kunzite lay. Obviously the older man didn't want to stand up.

"You got rather lazy."

"Especially Kunzite-sama," Zoisite found and slapped him on the butt.

"Indeed, he barely moved."

"Hm." Kunzite decided to sit up after all. "Currently there isn't much to do, so why shouldn't I rest a little for a while?"

"You'll only get fat and immobile." Obsidian declared.

"Obsidian is right, you know?" Zoisite caressed Kunzite's cheek.

"Certainly I'm right. I'm always right."

"Not always," Kunzite contradicted. "But in this case - maybe a little bit."

Zoisite poked into Kunzite's belly. "A little bit, yes."

"Humpf!"

Zoisite grinned and examined Kunzite's broad chest. "You really should work out a bit more, or you won't look perfect compared to Cyanite."

"Don't mention him!"

"But he looks much better than you." Obsidian teased.

"He doesn't!" Kunzite grumbled.

"He does."

"You're jealous," Zoisite discovered.

"I'm not!"

"You can't deny it."

Zoisite gave Kunzite a light kiss on the lips. "Well, there's a solution to your problem. A little training might help."

Obsidian grinned. "There's no way around it."

Kunzite wrapped his arms around Zoisite. "But I prefer to spend my time together with you and not in some bodybuilding studio or the like."

"Then I will be your trainer."

"That's a thing I want to see."

"We will buy a fitness studio and then I'll let Kunzite-sama work out from morning to evening - and in the night he is to work out, too, or course."

Kunzite looked at him in shock.

"Sounds good to me," Obsidian said.

"That's torture!"

"You have to suffer if you wish to be beautiful."

"Exactly." Obsidian nodded.

"I only hope Cyanite suffers thrice this much."

"He does nothing in particular. He only plays with his girls."

"What?" Kunzite shouted.

"Don't you dare turn to any woman," Zoisite threatened.

"I don't think that the girls are responsible for his condition."

"Do you think he knows this metabolism spell I'm hunting for?" Kunzite asked the violet-haired youth.

"Possibly."

"You will find out if he knows it - and if he does, you will tell me."

"Why? I'd rather keep it for myself"

"I'm still your superior," Kunzite declared in a huff.

"No."

"What?"

"I don't follow your orders any longer."

"I am stronger than you and I could kill you on a whim."

"I know."

"So what makes you think you can refuse my orders?"

"Well, I only have to follow your orders as long as you are in my vicinity."

"You bet on it."

Obsidian looked thoughtfully at Kunzite who gave him a stern look, which in turn made the young man grin.

"But you will find this metabolism spell and give it to me."

"Please," Zoisite added. Obsidian was astonished that he actually said 'please'.

"I would give it to you."

"You would rather give it Zoisite than me?"

"Sure. He is cute."

Kunzite looked open-mouthed at him, and Zoisite smiled like an angel.

"Everyone says that."

"Because it's true," Zoisite grinned. Kunzite sighed deeply.

Obsidian looked at Zoisite and wondered how he managed to be so cute when he was in fact far more a devil than an angel.

Absently, Kunzite stroked Zoisite's hair. It was really annoying that certain people seemed to respect him less and less now that he wasn't the first of the Dark Kingdom warriors anymore. He really had to conquer the Dark Kingdom and assume the throne. Maybe then the others would obey him again.

Obsidian wondered why Kunzite had become so quiet. He had never tolerated such disobedient behavior before. As he watched Kunzite and Zoisite for quite some time, Obsidian became really bored. Should he go now? Unfortunately he didn't know where to go.

"I have to take back the Dark Kingdom as soon as possible," Kunzite finally said. "I will put Cyanite to his place," he declared. "And then no one will dare to tease or contradict me again!"

"You're welcome to try," Obsidian said.

"I will not only try it, I will succeed!"

"I will believe it when it's done."

"Just wait and see." Kunzite stood up and posed dramatically in front of Obsidian. Unfortunately it was less dramatic than very sexy, as he only wore some loose fitting silk trousers and glistened from the massaging oil.

When Zoisite saw Kunzite like this, a sigh escaped his lips.

"Is this supposed to intimidate me?" Obsidian inquired.

"I'm sure it is," Zoisite said. "But if you pose like this you only whet my appetite, my love."

"I don't get it," Kunzite sighed.

"Like this you're everything but intimidating," Obsidian stated.

Zoisite giggled and caressed Kunzite's chest. "You look absolutely inviting."

"I really should return to wearing my uniform and cape."

"Some people will regret this," Obsidian grinned.

Zoisite nodded vigorously and laid his head against Kunzite's shoulder. "I respect you regardless of your clothing," he claimed.

"I know - and especially when I'm not clothed at all," Kunzite remarked dryly.

"Sure?" Obsidian asked.

"Actually, in this case he has to ...respect me," Zoisite giggled.

"Shhht!" Kunzite hushed him.

"Sounds plausible to me."

Kunzite folded his arms and pouted.

"Oooh," Obsidian said. "For once you manage to look quite cute, too."

"He's always cute", Zoisite sighed.

"I have to disagree. He only wants to order me around."

"Hm." Zoisite hugged Kunzite like a teddy bear.

"Well, he never threatens you."

"Of course not."

"You're lucky." Obsidian walked around the two men.

Zoisite nodded. "Indeed. - Although there was a time when he also ordered me around all the time."

"Well, then you were my disciple," Kunzite pointed out.

"Everybody orders me around," Obsidian complained.

"Well, maybe it's because you look like someone who has to be ordered around," Zoisite remarked, and Obsidian grimaced.

"Maybe you could try to look a little more determined?" Zoisite suggested.

Obsidian shrugged. "I certainly can't."

"I could lend you a mirror so that you can train the 'determined look'."

"Thanks, but I've got my own."

"Fine. By the way, do you know a fitness studio that I could buy?" Zoisite asked.

"No, I have no interest in such things."

"Too bad." Zoisite tested the muscles in Kunzite's upper arms. "You need to do something about these."

"I think, they're okay," Kunzite muttered.

"I think, he wants more."

"Sure," Zoisite grinned.

"Do you want me to turn into this Schwarzenegger guy?" Kunzite had seen some movie posters of the Austrian muscle man.

"That would be a bit exaggerated." Obsidian grinned.

"Yeah, I like him best aesthetically muscled." Zoisite admired Kunzite duly.

"You know what you want."

"Yeah. Here he needs a little more, there it's okay... Here's a bit too much fat... This is okay..." Zoisite explored Kunzite thoroughly with his hands.

"Ah, I can imagine," Obsidian said.

"You tickle me!" Kunzite protested.

"Well, I'd prescribe sit-ups for the belly as most important exercise," Zoisite declared.

"I hate sit-ups!"

"If you begin now, you will soon be in shape again."

"Later," Kunzite begged. "I have to put together the schedule of the magick lessons I give the Senshi."

"Since when?" Zoisite asked curiously.

"Er, well..." Of course this was just an excuse to shirk the training.

"It seems you enjoy giving the Senshi magick lessons," Obsidian said.

"Well, the more my memory returns, the more I rediscover things that please me. Teaching definitely belongs in that area. Rei, Ami and your girl-friend might even grasp the theory in the the next time."

"My girl-friend?" Obsidian asked incredulously.

"Isn't Makoto your girl-friend? At least she always talks this way when I teach them magick."

"Definitely not."

"Indeed?"

"She's a fantastic cook, that's it."

"Indeed," Zoisite nodded.

"Why does she tell such stories?" Obsidian wondered.

"Well, don't you live in her apartment?"

"That's no reason."

"Well, she seems to think so."

"Hm."

"The customs in the Earth Realm are different from those in the Dark Kingdom," Kunzite reminded him.

"I don't understand how girls think. I stay in her apartment and that's all."

"Well, it is not very common to live together with someone who's not your mate."

"Probably I should rent my own apartment. But I can't cook."

"Well, neither can Kunzite-sama." Zoisite smiled at his beloved. "You could still conjure something."

"I can't. Conjuring something edible is far too complicated for me."

"You could ask Kunzite-sama to teach you how to do it properly."

Kunzite looked pretty stressed - currently it was enough to teach the Senshi. Rei, Ami and Makoto were not the problem, but the blondes were. At least one of them was currently in the Dark Kingdom. But then, maybe he could convince Jadeite to do it. After all, it was food related.

"No, thanks," Obsidian said. Kunzite as teacher was the worst thing he could imagine.

"Good," Kunzite said in relief.

"Perhaps I could persuade Cyanite to teach me conjuring. Or I could learn to cook."

"Well, I must admit I wouldn't want to be too close to Cyanite," Zoisite said thoughtfully.

"Why not?"

"Well, he's pretty powerful. And I guess Kunzite-sama wouldn't like it either."

"He is powerful and that's very fascinating for me."

Zoisite agreed with him, but he didn't dare say it for fear of angering Kunzite.

"Besides, I use every viable source for information."

"That's true," Kunzite nodded. "But as you are in his vicinity, Zoisite can stay here."

"Do you think he would keep Zoisite, if he'd get his hands on him?" Obsidian asked.

"Well, Zoisite is the sweetest little rat around."

"But he's not a she."

"So what?"

"Cyanite prefers girls."

"Ah, that's good." Kunzite appeared visibly relieved.

"I don't think so." Obsidian didn't like the idea of the harem Cyanite wanted to collect.

"Why not?"

"I don't like stupid girls."

"Oh. So you prefer boys?" Kunzite frowned. Probably he should better watch out and see to it that Zoisite didn't get too close to Obsidian.

"I didn't say that."

"Well, it sounded that way."

"Girls always get on my nerves. I don't want them in the Dark Kingdom."

"Ah. I see. Well, one could still turn them into youma."

"There are already too many of them, and they don't behave either."

"Well, most of them are cannon fodder - who cares?" Kunzite shrugged.

"Now they have another duty."

"At least they're good for keeping Cyanite occupied."

"A little bit. I can't understand that he wants to keep them around." Obsidian shuddered.

"Well, he seems to have weird tastes."

"Exactly. But I have to return to the Dark Kingdom now. I want to see how far he is with his newest plan."

"In what way?"

"He wants to put Metallia's essence in the body of the girl he took with him."

"Fascinating." Kunzite wondered how Cyanite thought to accomplish this. "If he miscalculates, Metallia will surely blow him to dust."

"Probably. But if he can't do this, no one can."

"Hm." Kunzite grumbled. He still didn't think that Cyanite was truly more powerful than him. He was just more lucky.

"Till then." Obsidian returned to the Dark Kingdom.

And what are we going to do?" Zoisite snuggled seductively up to Kunzite.

"Well, we should devise a plan to stop Cyanite."

"Awwwww, Kunzite-sama..."

* * *

The four remaining Sailor Senshi Rei, Makoto, Ami and Minako met at the Hikawa Shrine, just as usual.

"Please, tell me," Minako looked at Rei. "How was your visit to the theatre?"

"Great!" Rei beamed. "Jadeite was just sweet! He even invited me to dinner afterwards."

"Tell me, tell me! What did you do?" the blonde urged.

"We went to a nice Italian restaurant - and it was soooo romantic." Rei blushed slightly when she remembered the evening.

Pic
of Rei and Jadeite by Stayka

Minako wanted to know every little detail of the meeting, but Rei evaded her questions.

"How can anyone be so curious?" Ami asked, shaking her head. "We'd better study."

"Ah well. But I must admit I was totally wrong about Jadeite - he's actually really nice," Rei smiled happily. This was about all she wanted to concede.

Minako sulked. She wanted to know more, but no, they had to learn. Stupid school work!

Rei hummed something. This evening Jadeite had promised to cook a nice dinner for her. If she was honest, she would never have imagined that he could be this kind and charming. But then, they had been on different sides earlier.

"What about you?" Minako asked Makoto. "You're so quiet."

"Obsidian hasn't shown up for three days now." Makoto complained.

"Really? I thought he'd turn up for every meal?"

"That's why I'm worried. I wonder what this Cyanite guy did to him."

"Perhaps he detained him in the Dark Kingdom," Ami suggested.

"We have to go and rescue him." Makoto jumped up and looked fiercely determined.

"But that's dangerous," Minako pointed out. "Who knows if he actually wants to be saved?"

"Of course he wants to be saved. He's my boy-friend after all."

"And you're sure he knows about that?" Ami asked curiously.

"Well... He lives in my apartment, he eats my food..."

"And?" Minako want to know.

"Well, isn't that sufficient?"

"Hm. There has to be more. Tell me!"

"Tell what?"

"Did he kiss you?" Minako pried.

Ami sighed. Since Usagi was gone, Minako started to behave just like her. Maybe it was the hair colour after all.

"Well, not yet," Makoto admitted. "He is only a little shy."

Rei decided not to join the discussion. She preferred to dream of her personal Prince Charming. He suggested he might move into the room he had used when he had still been under Beryl's influence and posed as a servant at the Hikawa Shrine, and she had agreed, especially when he told her that Nephrite's mansion might not be safe anymore after Nephrite's abduction.

"Oh, then it's your turn to make the first step. If he's supposed to be your real boy-friend you have to do it."

"Sure! But do you think it's proper? I mean, I'm a girl."

"Do you prefer to wait until the Day of Judgement or rather make one unproper move?"

"Ah well..."

Rei prefered to study the ground. She certainly didn't want to explain in detail that Jadeite actually dared to kiss her the last evening. When she was together with Mamoru, everything had been initiated by her. But Jadeite...he obviously wanted her on his own accord and he was bold enough to make the first move. This was a stunning experience, especially as normally all guys found her too intimidating to try and get closer to her. And Jadeite even knew that she was SailorMars, the Senshi of Fire!

"Why you are so silent?" Minako asked Rei. "Did Jadeite kiss you already?"

Rei blushed furiously. "No comment!"

"So it's yes! How did it feel like?" Minako crawled over the table to get every word of the answer.

"Well, nice," Rei said and gave her an angry stare. This was private.

Minako didn't get it, she started asking questions about every little detail of the action. Ami hid behind her schoolbook. Sometimes Minako was really embarrassing.

Makoto grumbled. She really had to take the initiative. Considering the fact that Rei couldn't stand Jadeite, she had gone farther with him than she, Mako, had with Obsidian whom she did like.

"We have to rescue Obsidian," Minako declared. "Then Makoto can start at once."

Ami sighed. Rescuing Obsidian, well. But she suspected it would be an equally good idea to rescue him from Makoto before she could turn her intentions into action.

"What are we still waiting for?" Minako asked.

"Alone? Maybe we could ask Jadeite to join us - he knows his way around the Dark Kingdom," Rei suggested.

"Then call him at once."

Rei went to his room and knocked. When Jadeite opened, he wore the white and light blue outfit of one of the attendants of the shrine. He smiled at her and conjured a beautiful red rose as greeting. Fortunately the energies of the Hikawa Shrine masked magickal work here. Rei blushed and took the flower, before she explained to him what they wanted to do and asked him to join her and the others.

"It's a silly and perilous idea, you know," Jadeite told the girls with a shake of his head. "Now that Cyanite is in charge, it's even more dangerous to go into the Dark Kingdom."

"Sure, but we have to rescue Obsidian," Makoto urged.

"You'd better be really careful if you want to enter the Dark Kingdom," Jadeite said with a frown. "Last thing I heard was that Cyanite wanted to collect a harem - and I'm sure he considers you to be pretty attractive."

"He has to catch us first," Minako remarked.

"Don't underestimate him," Jadeite warned.

"You are only too lazy to help us."

"That's not the issue!" Jadeite was visibly annoyed. "If Rei really wants to go I will accompany her, of course - but I would prefer if you wouldn't go at all."

"Sure Rei wants to go. Otherwise I'd force her to answer some more interesting questions." Minako grinned at Rei. She would very much like to know if Rei and Jadeite did some more than only kissing.

"No!" Rei looked scandalized at her. "We will go."

"As you wish." Jadeite didn't look overly enthusiastic. He changed into his Dark Kingdom uniform with a thought and opened a doorway, hoping the energies of the Hikawa Shrine would sufficiently mask his energy signature. Minako chased the whole team through the dark energy field.

Rei sighed. "What about turning into our Senshi seeming?" She took out her transformation pen and activated it with the usual formula.

"I really like this scanty skirt of yours," Jadeite grinned with an impertinent gaze at her legs. Rei blushed furiously. Now he reminded her of his evil side from the beginning, but somehow she didn't really mind, especially as she knew that he could be completely different.

The other Senshi transformed, too.

"So, and where do you want to go now?" Jadeite looked inquiring at the girls.

Minako looked confused. "Ah. To the place where Obsidian is right now. So that Makoto can rescue him."

"I thought we wanted to save him, not I alone." SailorJupiter was slightly taken aback.

"We will help, but it has to be romantic."

"What about waiting for the romance to happen after we rescued him?"

"You'd only change your mind."

"But it's dangerous here."

"So we have to make it quick, very quick."

"But I don't want to kiss Obsidian in a hurry!" Makoto frowned.

"Okay. Let's rescue him first and see to the romance stuff later," Minako gave in.

Jadeite chuckled. The Senshi were very amusing. He was really glad that he didn't manage to kill them - especially not his raven-haired beauty.

"Where do we have to go?" Minako asked Jadeite.

"I fear he's close to Cyanite. So we only need to find him."

"Then let's get going!"

Jadeite closed his eyes and concentrated. "He seems to be in Queen Beryl's rooms."

"And where are those?"

"You really wish to go there?"

"Didn't I say that?"

Jadeite shrugged and opened another doorway to the vicinity of Beryl's quarters. They should better walk the rest, though.

They all went through the gate.

"Where is Obsidian?" Minako wanted to know.

"Well, I brought you just outside the outer wards of Beryl's dwellings. Now you have to bypass them to get in there."

"You're certain that he's in there?" Ami asked anxiously.

"Well, I can feel a powerful energy concentration which is obviously Cyanite's signature."

Ami sighed and took her computer to look for Obsidian.

Jadeite folded his arms and watched the girls.

"My Computer says that Obsidian is about 500 meters in that direction." She pointed straight forward.

"Well, then there are probably his quarters." Jadeite commented.

"Let's go," Minako shouted.

Makoto took the lead and stormed in the direction that Ami had pointed at. The others followed with Jadeite trailing along. That way he had a nice view at the girls' short skirts.

Fortunately there weren't any youma around and so they reached the door of Obsidian's quarters without any obstructions. Once more Ami checked her computer.

"He's in there," she declared.

Makoto stood at the door and hesitated.

"What about ringing the doorbell?" Ami asked and pointed at a blue sensor field that her analysis had given away as way to announce their presence to the inhabitant of the room.

"Well..." Makoto finally pressed the button.

Obsidian opened the door and stared at the crowd at his threshold. "Hi."

"Hi, Obsidian," Makoto stuttered.

"What do you want?" Obsidian asked, still irritated. What were the Senshi doing here? Didn't they realize that it was dangerous for them to run around in the Dark Kingdom?

"She wants to kiss you," Minako announced.

Makoto blushed brightly red.

Obsidian immediately took one step back. "Really?"

"They're just kidding." Makoto stuttered.

"So, why are you here? It's dangerous."

"I'm here to rescue you in the name of Jupiter."

"Rescue me?" Obsidian asked uncomprehendingly.

"Well, you haven't been home for three days now."

"I had much work to do."

"But I missed you," Makoto sniffed.

"Really?" Obsidian smiled at her.

SailorJupiter nodded.

"Cyanite hasn't give me much free time during the last days," he explained. "Come in, it isn't good for you to stand out there."

The girls and Jadeite entered. "Hi, Obsidian," the blonde man said.

"And what do you want here?"

"Well, the girls wanted to rescue you and I couldn't let Rei go alone into the Dark Kingdom while there is this Cyanite guy around." Jadeite's cheeks showed a faint blush.

"I don't get it. Once more, please. The girls want to rescue me? From what?"

"Well, they feared Cyanite could be dangerous to you," Jadeite grinned.

"That's nonsense, I'm no baby. I can take care of myself."

"But I was worried," Makoto sulked.

"Why? Cyanite won't hurt me."

"You sure?"

"Yes."

"What a pity."

"Hm?"

"I would have loved to rescue you."

"I always thought it is the other way round - boys rescue girls."

"See - I had better not break the rules," Makoto told Minako. "He seems to be pretty traditional."

Minako looked angrily at Obsidian and Makoto. They were both very complicated.

"Am I wrong? Isn't that the rule for the Earth Realm?" Obsidian asked.

"Well, currently the question is whether a girl should be allowed to kiss a boy first," Minako grinned.

"Why do you always mention this kissing?" Obsidian didn't understand what exactly they wanted from him in that respect.

"It's important," Minako told him.

"Whether a girl can kiss a boy first?"

"No - kissing in general. Have you ever tried it?"

"That's none of your business," Obsidian said angrily. "Have you only come down here to ask me silly questions? Don't you understand that it's very dangerous here for you?"

"I've come here only for you." Makoto said and looked at him with her big tourmaline green eyes.

Obsidian didn't like the situation at all. Makoto's strange glances made him highly uncomfortable. "I'll be right back," he told the girls and fled into his bedroom.

Jadeite almost exploded from suppressed laughter when Makoto uttered a disappointed sigh.

"What are you waiting for?" Minako urged and gave Makoto a push forward the bedroom.

"But... I can't... I mean, it's his bedroom."

"No panic. I will accompany you."

"Do you really think that's a good idea?"

"Sure. We are here - so why wait for a better moment?"

"Well, if you insist..." Makoto stormed the bedroom.

Obsidian was startled. What happened to Makoto? Why did she hunt him like this?

"Don't hesitate! Go for it!" Minako urged.

"Do you really think so?" She looked back to her friend.

"Get out!" Obsidian shouted. His room wasn't tidied up und he didn't want the girls in there.

Makoto decided it would be the best choice and so she fled, leaving Minako with Obsidian.

"And what are you waiting for?" Obsidian asked Minako.

"Er... Nothing." Minako was disappointed. She would have loved to see Obsidian kiss Makoto.

"I don't understand what you want from me." Obsidian was really angry now.

"Makoto wants to kiss you, but she's a coward and doesn't dare."

"And why doesn't she just ask me?"

"She's too embarrassed to admit it."

"Please, leave me alone." He started to collect his clothes from the floor.

"Of course." Minako took a good look around before she left.

"If Makoto wants something, she has to tell me herself."

"I'll tell her!" Minako went back to the others.

Obsidian packed his stuff into the wardrobe.

"He wants you to tell him what you want of him," Minako said to Makoto.

"Sure?"

"I think you behave like idiots." Ami said.

Jadeite watched the girls highly amused. At least Rei behaved sensible, he thought. He fought the impulse to take her into his arms, but at the moment it would be inappropriate. And Makoto... She didn't fear the danger to come here, but didn't find the courage to say what she wanted right away. Humans!

Rei looked stressed - this was embarrassing. She would have preferred to undertake something together with Jadeite, but he seemed to have a good time watching them.

"Now go and tell him." Minako said and hushed Makoto towards the bedroom.

"I don't know..."

"But I do. Go now!"

Hesitantly, Makoto knocked at the bedroom door.

"Come in!" Obsidian said and threw the last pieces into a large chest.

Makoto stepped into the room. "Well... It's..." She blushed and looked to the ground.

"What?" Obsidian asked impatiently.

"Well, you know... I was very worried about you."

"I have been away for only three days."

"You know, I like you.."

"Sure, I know. But I can't come and go as I wish."

"Well, sure. But this new guy... You see... We feared you were in danger."

"I can get along with him. But he isn't easy to manipulate."

"So you mean we don't need to rescue you after all?"

"No. I've had much fun the last days."

"Fun?!" Makoto looked at him wide-eyed. She only hoped it wasn't another girl.

"We were at the fair, in the skating hall - and everywhere a crowd of girls surrounded Cyanite."

"Only Cyanite?"

"Sure. They only see him."

"Well, I wouldn't like it if those girls flocked around you."

"Why not?" Obsidian asked interestedly.

"Well.. You see..." She blushed even deeper and studied the ground.

"Do you like my carpet?"

Makoto forced herself to look up, but when her gaze met Obsidian's, she couldn't get a word out.

"Somehow I don't understand your problem."

"Well, I want to tell you... something, but it's so embarrassing, I mean, if you... Ah, damn... I really do like you, you see," she blurted out.

Obsidian looked at her with great confusion.

"I mean - do you want to be my boy-friend?"

"I never thought about this." Was that the matter Makoto wanted to tell him?

"You haven't?" Makoto was surprised. "And?"

"I thought we were friends."

"Well, but I had hoped it could become more." Makoto looked to the ground once more.

"I never had the feeling you wanted more."

"Not?"

"No."

"And now?"

"What exactly does it mean 'to be your boy-friend'?"

"Hm. Well, maybe that you take me out to a date once in a while..." She began carefully.

"And?" Obsidian asked suspiciously.

"Don't you know what boy-friends are supposed to do?"

"I wouldn't ask if I knew."

"Hm." Makoto was tempted to tell him what she would like to have, but then, somehow this seemed to be improper. "Maybe you should ask Jadeite," she proposed. Yes, that would be the best idea, she thought. Jadeite obviously knew this.

"Why? Does he know what you mean?"

"Ahm, I meant..." Makoto sighed. Somehow this was highly complicated.

"Can't you make it simple?"

"It is difficult! Why don't we start with a date and let's see?"

"We did this several times already."

"Well, but not alone together."

"Why would you like to be alone with me?"

"Well, because it's romantic."

"You are alone with me now. So isn't it romantic yet?"

"Not exactly. You see, there should be stuff like holding hands and so."

"What is this good for?"

Makoto looked at him in amazement. "But - you really don't know? I thought as Kunzite and Zoisite are together, Nephrite fell in love with Naru and Jadeite with Rei, that you in the Dark Kingdom do know about romantic relationships."

"No one has ever taught me such things," Obsidian sulked.

"This shouldn't be taught. It's something that has to be experienced."

"And with whom should I make those experiences?"

"Hm. What about me?" She looked at him.

"If you like to."

"I really would like you to become my boy-friend."

"Well, I could try it out."

"Oh, yes!"

"Somehow I have the feeling I don't know what exactly I have agreed to."

"Then you have to learn. - You do like me, too, do you?"

"Sure."

"That's a good start," she smiled.

"And what am I supposed to do now?"

"I guess we shouldn't move too fast." Makoto was quite astonished that Obsidian didn't seem to know anything about courtship rituals at all.

"That's mean, first you make me curious and now you change the topic."

Makoto blushed. Should she really dare?

"You want me to experience something."

"So you never kissed a girl?"

"No." Obsidian said and that was really the truth. He never kissed a girl.

Makoto made a step in his direction and looked expectantly to him. "Then you should kiss me now - you're the boy."

"Okay." He gave her a short kiss.

"Hm.. That's a start. Now a bit bolder." She put her arms around his neck and pulled him down to her.

"Do you want to hold me tight?"

"Sure!" She gave him another kiss, this time a little less fleetingly.

"And for this, you came down to the Dark Kingdom?"

"Er, well, I must admit - yes."

Obsidian pulled at Makotos ponytail. "You could have had this much easier."

"Sure? You were away for soooo long."

"Hm, I'd like to know what the others do out there. Apart from Minako, who listens at the door, that is."

"What?? Minako eavesdrops?" Makoto looked scandalized. "How dare she!"

"She's curious."

"But aren't we allowed a little privacy?"

"I don't think she can hear much." Obsidian said. "Let's go to another place, Jadeite can guide the others."

"That would be great!" she smiled. "And you don't have any errands to run for Cyanite?"

"Not at the moment."

"Great."

"Then let's go." Obsidian opened a doorway to Makoto's apartment after he told Jadeite that he should take care of the other girls.

They stepped through and Makoto decided to cook something for him for starters.

* * *

"I can't hear anything anymore!" Minako complained.

"It's not proper to eavesdrop anyway," Ami chided her.

"Well, maybe they sneaked away," Rei said thoughtfully.

"Then let's have a look."

"You can't stomp into anyone's bedroom!" Ami exclaimed.

"You are right. But we can't wait here forever."

"I just got a telepathic call from Obsidian. He told me he'd go to the Earth Realm with Makoto and you shouldn't wait for them here." Jadeite said.

"Well, then let's go home," Rei suggested. "Please, Jadeite, would you open a doorway baqck home?"

"Sure." Jadeite did as asked. It was better to leave the Dark Kingdom anyway. They appeared at the Hikawa Shrine.

"Thanks. So what shall we do this evening?" Rei asked him. "Are you going to cook something or do we go somewhere?"

"Whatever you wish," Jadeite said.

"Well, if you could cook something for us that would be marvellous!"

"Okay, I'll think of something." Jadeite would have prefered to spend some time with her alone, but as he stayed at the Shrine now there would be ample time for that anyway.

"Wonderful!" She smiled at him.

They all went back to the temple.

* * *

"Free at last!" Endymion thought. The strange guy with the white bedsheet costume had rescued him once more. He had feared never to be able to leave this dark room. Now he only asked himself who was this guy who always spoke in poor rhymes.

But then another thing came into his mind. He was hungry, very hungry. So he went into the direction of the kitchen. He had to eat something before he could defeat this impertinent person who conquered the throne of the Dark Kingdom.

Phonolite sat in the kitchen and cursed blasphemously. Actually, she was pretty surprised at herself that she was able to produce such foul language, but after the fifth bucket of potatoes that she had been told to peel and cut in small pieces for some nearly inedible whatever-stew, she was entitled to curse. Especially as these annoying youma loved to trip over her long, blonde hair.

Endymion stormed the kitchen. His gaze was immediately caught by a plate of tiny sandwiches. He tried to get them but on the way he stumbled over a long braid.

"Ouch!" Usagi began to wail like a siren when the black-clad guy crashed down to the ground and hit one of the buckets of potatoes.

Endymion tried to stand up, but he stepped onto a potato piece and crashed down once more.

When Phonolite saw into the blue eyes of the guy, hearts appeared in her eyes. "My Prince Charming," she sighed.

"I'm Prince Endymion," he declared outraged.

"Who cares. You are the cutest guy I've ever seen!"

Endymion gave her a dangerous stare and took the tablet with the sandwiches.

"Hey! These are the appetizers for Lord Cyanite," a youma protested.

"This doesn't make any difference, I'm hungry."

"He's hungry," Phonolite sighed. "Do you want some potatoes?"

"No, thanks. I'm not that hungry."

Phonolite sighed again.

Endymion grabbed the tablet and took place on a chair.

Phonolite stared open mouthed at him until he had eaten all of the sandwiches. "You're so beautiful!"

"What?"

Phonolite blushed in answer.

Endymion asked the youma about the current situation in the Dark Kingdom. He should look for a safe place to make a truly great plan to overcome the terrible Lord Cyanite.

Phonolite sighed once more. She wanted him. He was everything her dream guy was supposed to be. She would have him. Wherever he went, she would go, she decided.

Endymion needed to know Beryl's location, so he began to search for her. He asked the youma and tried to convince them to help him.

Unfortunately, the youma didn't want Beryl to come back. It was so much funnier without her. Thus Endymion began to search the Dark Kingdom with Phonolite trailing along as his shadow.

* * *

Breathlessly, Kunzite sank down on a park bank. He was clad in a black jogging suit with sneakers on. Zoisite had forced him to jog at least five laps through the park and he had told him he need not return before he had finished. Now he was at the end of the fourth lap and at the end of his condition as well.

Kunzite closed his eyes and without becoming aware of it, he dozed off.

One of the youma loyal to Celestine immediately reported her findings to her superior.

"Kunzite? That careless? I am amazed," the red-haired commander of the youma forces said and grinned evilly. "We should take advantage of this."

She opened a doorway to the Earth Realm and went to the park, accompanied by a dozen loyal youma. Kunzite hadn't moved.

Celestine wove a sleep spell to ensure that Kunzite stayed unconscious. As long as he wasn't awake, he wouldn't resist.

Celestine decided to give Kunzite to Lord Cyanite. First, she still wanted to plot against Cyanite anyway and so she might convince him that she was on his side and later catch him unawares. Second, she didn't dare to imprison Kunzite herself - as soon as he awoke, he was by far stronger than she was and she didn't want risking to be killed by the angry ex-king.

So she let the youma ask for an audience with Lord Cyanite which suprisingly was granted immediately.

"What have you brought me here?" Cyanite asked haughtily.

"My Lord, I thought you might be interested in this little gift." She motioned the youma to lay down Kunzite in front of Cyanite's throne.

"How did you manage to make such a fine catch, girl?"

"I was more cunning that he was," she said smugly.

"Indeed you were. You shall be rewarded. And now you may go."

Celestine took her youma and left the audience hall. She wasn't particularly interested in what Cyanite might do to Kunzite, as long as he left her alone.

* * *

"Tell me," Minako asked for the third time. "Have you or have you not?"

Ami and Rei also looked interestedly at Makoto.

The Senshi met at Rei's as usual. They wanted to study, but the topic was the disappearance of Makoto and Obsidian and of course what they had done when they were alone.

"We had a nice evening," Makoto told her friends.

"And what exactly have you done?" Minako pried. "I want to know every little detail."

"Well, I cooked a nice meal and we enjoyed it," Makoto answered the interrogation.

"Nothing else?" Minako asked disappointedly.

"What did you expect?"

"Have you gotten your kiss?"

Makoto blushed deeply red. "Well, yes," she said hesitatingly.

"And? What was it like?"

"Minako," Ami interrupted. "We want to study."

"I agree!" Makoto said hurriedly. "Which first - English or maths?"

"Pah, that can wait." Minako said.

"I'd prefer to learn, really," Makoto claimed.

"You're mean," Minako sulked.

"Find a boyfriend of your own!"

"I wonder why Kunzite isn't here yet. He's never late." Ami said.

"Indeed. Maybe we should call him," Makoto suggested.

Rei dialed his number (in the new house he did have a telephone), but nobody answered. "No one's at home."

"Strange. I wonder whether something happened to him," Minako commented.

"Hm. Maybe we should go and look," Makoto suggested.

"But where?" Ami asked.

"Let's ask Jadeite!" Rei said.

As the girls were supposed to be studying, Jadeite decided to spend his time in his room in the Shrine and watched some TV or read a little. Even though he spent a while in the Earth Realm on Queen Beryl's behalf before, there was still a lot to be learned, he discovered. Especially as Rei told him it was a no-no to just go around and telepathically take the information he wanted from the brains of unsuspecting people like he did in the past to obtain his goals and impersonate people of various occupations.

"Then go and fetch him," Minako demanded.

"Okay." Rei did as told and Jadeite even volunteered to contact Kunzite.

"Strange," he said with a frown after a short while. "I can't reach him."

"And what about Zoisite?" Ami asked. "Aren't they always together?"

"I'll tr--"

Suddenly a petal storm appeared and Zoisite stood amongst them, clad in a colourful yofuku and totally dissolved in tears.

"He's gone," the petite man sobbed.

"Who? Kunzite?" Ami asked.

Zoisite simply nodded and sniffed. "He left me alone!" The whole night!"

"Really?" Minako asked curiosly. "You mean he never did this before?"

"Of course not!" Zoisite hissed. "Do you know where he might be?"

"Why should we know?"

"Because this is the time he would give you your lessons in magick!"

"True, but he hasn't shown up. And I don't think he would tell us where he goes anyway," Ami said.

"Well, that's probably true," Zoisite nodded and frowned before he sobbed again. "But I miss him so!"

The Senshi tried to be nice to Zoisite, because he was already totally distraught and chose not to make fun of his misery. Who knew what he might do in his unstable emotional state.

"I'm sure someone abducted him," Zoisite growled. "And when I catch this guy I will torture him to death. I invented some interesting new methods when I waited for my beloved," he hissed through clenched teeth, and his eyes sparked emerald fire.

"I think, it has something to do with Cyanite," Ami suggested. "No one else would dare to capture Kunzite."

"Cyanite?" Zoisite spat. "I will kill him!" A swirl of cherry blossoms was the only thing left when he teleported away.

"Oops. I guess I shouldn't have said this, " Ami grimaced.

"Well, I must admit I'm glad that he disappeared. In his current state he might have killed someone of us for a single wrong word," Rei said with a shudder.

"Indeed," Minako said.

"Shouldn't we help him anyway? I mean, Kunzite teaches us this real Magick stuff after all." Ami asked her friends.

"Hm. It might be a good idea to be secretive about it, but I agree that it would be safer if Kunzite were back," Rei nodded, somewhat in wonder. She would never have believed that she would ever say such a thing.

"So, what shall we do?"

The Senshi looked questioningly at their leader.

"Well..." Rei suddenly wished Usagi back. The main drawback in being a leader was that one had to offer the plans and solutions. "First we have to find out where Kunzite is now. Ami, your turn!" The best thing was to delegate, she thought.

Ami took her computer and tried to make out where Kunzite was. "He is not in the Earth Realm. So I guess he is in the Dark Kingdom." She looked at Jadeite.

Jadeite sighed. He hated to open doorways to the Dark Kingdom while the situation there wasn't fixed. Someday someone would notice it and catch him.

"Please, Jed!" Rei asked.

This was unfair, he thought and opened the doorway. He changed his outfit into the grey uniform, and the Senshi transformed as well before they all went through the black opening. Once more they were on the way to the Dark Kingdom.

The End of Pt.26 - Goto Pt.27


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