Another Course of Action

(Tales from the Dark Kingdom - Pt.3)

© 1997/09/03 by Stayka deyAvemta

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The huge ice mirror that Zoisite had conjured was as high as the room and about three yards wide. He floated in front of it and tried out some particularly decorative poses that he intended to use when he had to appear somewhere via teleport.

of Zoisite, floating around by Stayka

For practice he disappeared and appeared again and again, until he was satisfied. He looked really nice, he thought with a complacent smile, especially when he floated cross-legged in the air. That way his small stature wasn't so obvious. He sighed. Six or seven inches more would have been perfect - but no... He would have to live with it.

He envied Kunzite who was almost one head taller than him and who radiated a cool, detached commanding presence that he probably never would achieve. Zoisite flushed slightly when he thought about his handsome, silver-haired mentor. It was a pity that Kunzite always seemed to be so distant and reserved.

Zoisite sighed again. Grudgingly he had finally come to terms with the fact that he wasn't able to assault Kunzite anymore. He didn't even try to think about further attempts on the life of his tutor, as he was fed up with the agony that came from any violation of the oath he had been forced to take. Not that he liked it, but he had realized that he hadn't accomplished anything but causing himself excruciating pain.

Somehow he admired Kunzite for the clever move. Until now no one had managed to defeat him so elegantly and completely. Well, he had to find another way to retaliate. Where brute force didn't work maybe seduction could help.

Zoisite floated back to the ground and put on a dangerously sweet smile, before he decided to style himself with double care. Of course it did help that he actually felt attracted to Kunzite. He certainly would not consider this course of action with Nephrite. Never! He just couldn't stand the second of the Kings, and the sooner he got rid of him the better, preferably in an especially agonizing way.

He brushed his shining wavy hair that fell in a coppery golden cascade down to his waist, before he bound it in a loose ponytail. Two strands he left purposely out so that they framed his pretty face. Perfect!

"Zoisite." The mental call from Queen Beryl could not be ignored. He sighed, before he teleported to the audience chamber where he materialized in one of his long-practiced poses.

The majestic red-haired woman on the throne looked a bit puzzled when her youngest King floated some feet high in the air instead of properly kneeling in front of her. Fortunately he decided to land immediately and bowed his head.

"At your service, my Queen."

"Have you been successful in locating the silver crystal, Zoisite?"

"Err, no, my Queen. Not yet," Zoisite admitted contritely and studied the freshly polished tips of his boots.

"I hope you will increase your efforts," Beryl said threateningly. "You know the punishment for failure."

"Yes, my Queen," Zoisite said with a properly chastened mien, though internally he churned. How he would like to see her dead! Well, maybe he would find a way - somehow, somewhen...

"You are dismissed."

Zoisite teleported back to his quarters.

* * *

When he materialized, Kunzite was already waiting for him. Zoisite shot him a furious glare.

"Am I not entitled to at least a little privacy?" he fumed.

"I'd thought you'd never object," Kunzite replied amusedly. "Consider it another part of your training to devise a means to keep unwanted visitors out of your rooms." - 'Although I would miss the opportunities to watch him outside of our official training meetings', he thought.

"I've never had any problems keeping out youma and the like," Zoisite grumbled.

"I hope you don't want to compare me to a dumb youma, little rat," Kunzite chided.

Zoisite blushed and cast down his eyes. "Of course not, Lord Kunzite."

"That's better." He made a little pause, before he changed the subject. "How did your meeting with Queen Beryl go?"

With the mention of Beryl's name, Zoisite's temper flared again. "She was angry because I couldn't present results. How could I in so short a time? - Oh, how I hate her!" he blurted out.

"Zoisite," Kunzite warned, "it's grossly unwise to say something like that aloud. You should try to keep your temper better under control." - 'Although I must admit this burning fire is a welcome change from the cold calculation of some other people around...'

"That's easy for you to say," Zoisite pouted. "You don't seem to be disturbed by anything."

Kunzite watched him silently while he tried to keep his emotions in check. 'If you knew, little one', he thought. "It's all part of the discipline," he said aloud in his usual calm voice.

Zoisite sighed. Discipline definitely wasn't his strongest point.

"Well, there are some other things that call for my attention. In the meantime you should work on this security system of yours."

"As you command, Lord Kunzite."

The older King teleported away. He was glad that Zoisite most likely wouldn't realize that it was more of an escape so that he could sort out all of those confusing emotions his student evoked in him.

Zoisite pondered on where he should begin. Of course, Beryl's task was important, but the problem with the wards around his quarters seemed even more important. True, no youma had managed to break in, and except for Kunzite none of the other Kings had appeared without invitation, but that didn't mean they couldn't.

The thought of maybe being stalked by Nephrite was enough to prompt Zoisite to work with unusual diligence. After several hours of exhausting experiments with different kinds of magickal wards he thought he had found something that should deflect even higher level teleport spells.

When he tried to teleport through his new barrier, he was forcefully smashed against the energy flows and crashed to the ground.

"Ouch!" he groaned and rubbed his aching backside. "But it seems I finally made it."

He adjusted the ward to encompass all of his rooms. By now it was late enough to retreat to his bed. Maybe his dreams would lead him to the location of the silver crystal.

When he went to the bathroom to take a prolonged shower, he only hoped that Beryl wouldn't decide to call him right now. Zoisite was lucky, though, and shortly thereafter, he fell into his bed. Snuggling into his cushions, he wondered where to start the search for this damned crystal that Beryl was so mad after.

Maybe he should open a doorway to the Earth Realm and just look around a bit; with some luck he might stumble over something. Or he could ask his mentor, if he had an idea. Err, better not... Zoisite decided to discard this notion as Beryl had given him the task of retrieving the silver crystal - and who knew if one couldn't use it in other ways than the Queen intended.

Zoisite started to doze off, and his thoughts drifted in other, more pleasant directions, most of them tall and silver-haired with cool grey eyes...

* * *

He had to see whether Zoisite had actually worked on the task of improving the wards of his rooms. At least this was what Kunzite tried to convince himself of as he teleported into the room where he had located his student using a psychic probe.

Interestingly his jump almost failed as he met a new barrier that hadn't been there before. Fortunately Zoisite had calculated the amount of energy a little too low, and so Kunzite went through after all.

He materialized in Zoisite's bedroom which was completely dark at this time. Not wanting to disturb the sleep of his pupil, Kunzite activated his magickal powers that allowed him to see in utter darkness as well as if it was plain daylight.

Silently he watched the beautiful young man who lay snuggled into his cushions, long silky hair spilling over the sheets in shimmering coppery waves. A slight smile enchanted Zoisite's almost elfin features and belied his fierce temper and murderous disposition. With quite some shock Kunzite realized that he had fallen in love. 'There goes my reputation', he thought wryly.

of sleeping Zoisite by Stayka

It had been some time now since he had last chosen a lover, and since then he hadn't found anyone worthy enough to share his bed or even more of his time. Soon he had been nicknamed the 'ice king', an epithet he found rather amusing, especially because it also befit his outward appearance.

He turned his attention back to Zoisite and wondered how the little rat would react to this revelation. Probably the best course would be to wait and see.

Kunzite thought for a moment, smiled, and then conjured a pink rose which he left lying on Zoisite's pillow. A little reminder for him to work on the wards...

of Kunzite by Stayka

* * *

When Zoisite woke up in the morning, he was absolutely nonplussed to find a flower - a rose! - lying next to him. Where had this come from? Hm. Actually he could only think of one person who would have the audacity of teleporting in - despite his new wards! - but why should he leave a rose?! Did this mean what he thought it might mean?

Zoisite took the flower and put it gently onto the table. In half an hour he was supposed to meet Kunzite at the training ground to demonstrate his targeting skills with magickal energy attacks. He was determined to duly impress his mentor.

Well, he should hurry to get properly dressed, he thought and put on his uniform. It was a pity that it was of such a dull grey colour, but obviously the fashion designers of the Dark Kingdom didn't have any taste at all. At least he, Zoisite, brought some colour to this otherwise colourless environment, when he flavoured his kind of magick with a flurry of pale pink cherry blossoms.

When he was finished, he shut down his wards for a couple of seconds and teleported to the training ground. Kunzite was already waiting. Zoisite sighed. He really should try to get up a bit earlier, so that he had enough time to brush his hair properly and still arrive punctually.

"Good morning, Zoisite," Kunzite said with a slightly disapproving glance. "Slept well?" he asked ironically.

Zoisite flushed from embarassment and lowered his gaze. "I beg your forgiveness, Lord Kunzite."

"It seems you still have to work on your wards." The tall man examined him with a thoughtful gaze from his cool, silvery grey eyes.

"Yes, Lord Kunzite," he said meekly. 'There goes the good impression I wanted to make', he thought miserably.

"Well, but we should not waste any more time. Show me how well you have practiced directing your magick where you want it to hit."

A determined gleam appeared in Zoisite's emerald eyes, and he managed not to miss a single target. Kunzite smiled secretly at the eagerness of his student. He was only glad that he would never be at the receiving end of his strikes. Zoisite was dangerous.

"Well done, little rat," he said appreciatively, and Zoisite blushed from pride. Kunzite was tempted to gently stroke the cheek of his pupil, but somehow he considered it a rather improper behaviour here on the training ground.

"Thank you, Lord Kunzite."

"And now you should return to your other project," he recommended.

"I know, the wards," the younger man sighed.

"That's correct. Now go." He gave him a last approving smile, and Zoisite disappeared in an exuberant storm of cherry blossoms. Kunzite shook his head in amusement.

* * *

Some more hours of painstaking efforts and trials went by, until Zoisite was fairly sure that now he had achieved his goal.

When he awoke the other morning and found another pink rose on his pillow, he sighed. So much for this attempt. But he would find a way and complete this task! Silently he vowed that he would make Kunzite-sama proud of him.

It was strange, he thought suddenly, how his intention to seduce Kunzite and use him to further his ambitions had turned into the wish to actually please his mentor. Zoisite frowned. He wasn't sure if he liked this development or not.

The End of Pt.3 - Goto Pt.4

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