Bye-bye, Hollywood

(Tales from the Dark Kingdom - Pt.11)

© 1997/10/21 by Stayka deyAvemta & Shavana Rhea


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"I hate it!" Zoisite hurled an energy blast at a vase that he had never liked. It exploded into a myriad of splinters.

"I know. You said that at least a dozen times only today. But I would appreciate it, if you didn't blast our furniture into pieces." Kunzite stepped behind his beloved and wrapped his arms around him.

"It was only a silly vase - the one you said you didn't like anyway." Zoisite leaned back against him.

"I know. But still..." Kunzite sighed and buried his face in Zoisite's silky gold-copper hair.

"But I do hate it!" Zoisite sulked.

"It's our Majesty's order, and we have to obey."

"It's boring. We have collected energy there for at least three weeks now."

"Queen Beryl was very satisfied with the results, or she wouldn't have ordered us to go there again."

"Hm..." Suddenly Zoisite smiled wickedly. "That gives me an idea. If we aren't that successful anymore, she might send someone else." He turned around to face Kunzite and kissed him passionately.

* * *

Nephrite was really surprised that Queen Beryl hadn't been angry with Kunzite and Zoisite for more than three weeks now. It seemed they worked fully to her satisfaction and were successful with their energy collecting.

Unfortunately that was bad for him, as Beryl directed all her fury now at him, especially as Obsidian didn't show any progress at all.

Sometimes he had the impression, though, that Obsidian only pretended to be so dumb. He sighed and sipped from his wine, before his called his student to attend. He had to do something so that Beryl was satisfied with him as well.

Obsidian took his time as usual. It was almost half an hour later until he appeared at Nephrite's quarters.

Nephrite had managed to calm himself down by drinking another glass of wine and gazed reproachfully at his pupil. "What took you so long?"

"I was occupied," Obsidian replied and twisted a strand of his dark blue violet hair around his finger when Nephrite started to shout at him and tried to get it into his head that he had to come immediately when his teacher called.

Even though Obsidian lowered his gaze, after the first words he didn't listen to Nephrite anymore. Only when his teacher mentioned the word 'Hollywood', he became attentive again.

* * *

"Awwww, Zoisite..." Kunzite was disappointed that Zoisite refused to put on the short red dress that looked so nice on him.

"No," Zoisite declared. "Obsidian said no one would take me seriously when I'm clad in a dress, so I'll stick to the uniform from now on."

"And there's no way I can convince you otherwise?" Kunzite smiled and stroked the cheek of his lover.

"Well, maybe in private and for your eyes only," Zoisite said thoughtfully. "But nevermore in public."

"I can live with that." Kunzite pulled him in his arms and kissed him. "And now let's open a doorway to Hollywood again, little rat."

He waved his hand, and a black energy gate came into existence. They went through and appeared in the vicinity of the studios.

* * *

Nephrite ordered Obsidian to Hollywood, too. He swore he wouldn't take his eyes from his pupil again so that he wouldn't be able to play silly games anymore.

They desperately needed some successes, at least in collecting energy, so that Queen Beryl looked favourably on them again.

Obsidian sulked because Nephrite forced him to work, but he had no chance to escape. This time he had to collect energy.

Frustrated he chose a crowded shopping mall and watched the crystal that he had positioned above the street. Time and again he gazed at Nephrite who waited in his vicinity and watched that his student did what he was told to do.

As rank had its privileges, Nephrite chose a nice café where he enjoyed an expensive glass of wine.

Obsidian was bored as usual. The crystal still wasn't filled with energy, and he wasn't allowed to make even one step aside without a reproachful glance from his mentor. This was more than dull, and Obsidian played with another energy crystal while he was waiting for the first one to be filled.

* * *

Zoisite ordered one of his youma to harvest the energy in another of the film studios. During the last three weeks he had taken care that they had directed their attention to different places so that it was not too conspicuous.

At least the assignments left him time enough to stroll through the city with Kunzite, although he would have preferred to spend the time together with him at home.

As they had to wait some time until the youma had finished, they went into a restaurant to eat, before they wandered around in the city again.

"I sense a familiar kind of energy," Kunzite remarked.

"So?" Zoisite concentrated. "You're right," he nodded. "Someone invaded our hunting ground and collects energy."

"The energy signature feels like that of the obnoxious student of Nephrite," Kunzite observed.

"Oh no, not him again!" Zoisite clung to Kunzite's arm as usual, when they reached the location of Obsidian's collector crystal. "Where are they?" The small man looked around.

"On the roof of that building and in the café," Kunzite replied.

Zoisite sighed. Why could Kunzite sense this almost effortlessly while he had to concentrate rather hard? It was really unfair.

Nephrite sensed his greatest rivals as well. He wasn't happy that they had noticed him here, because he knew they weren't pleased that he and Obsidian collected energy in their target area.

He thought a moment, before he disappeared from the Earth Realm without notifying Obsidian. His pupil should try to overcome certain problems on his own.

"Hm." Kunzite frowned. "Nephrite teleported away, although Obsidian is still on that roof."

"Well, one problem less," Zoisite smiled and rested his head against Kunzite's shoulder. "I really wonder why he was here anyway. I'm pretty sure Beryl didn't ordered him to harvest energy where we already work."

"I guess he was fed up to be bawled out by our dear Queen because he couldn't present any successes," Kunzite grinned and played with Zoisite's long, wavy hair.

Obsidian noticed Nephrite's sudden disappearance as well, but he assumed it was a test, if he still continued with his task even when his teacher wasn't around. So he stayed on his place and juggled with freshly conjured forms of energy.

"Kunzite-sama, may I play with him a bit?" Zoisite looked up to his partner.

"It depends..." The silver-haired king grinned.

"I only want to tease him a little."

"Well, I can allow that."

Zoisite gave him an affectionate look before he teleported to the roof and sneaked silently up behind Obsidian. "Booo!" he made loudly. It would have been more fun to stab him with an ice crystal, but he was sure that Kunzite wouldn't consider this 'a little teasing'.

Startled, Obsidian whirled around. Zoisite at his back definitely wasn't what he considered safe, even when the small man didn't seem to have the intention to murder him for once.

"What are you doing here?" Zoisite demanded. "This is my territory."

"It wasn't my idea," Obsidian stated.

"How dare he!" Zoisite's eyes sparkled angry green embers. "I bet Nephrite wants to best me again!"

Obsidian shrugged and examined Zoisite. The pretty boy actually wore his uniform today, he observed. Zoisite folded his arms and floated in the air, and so Obsidian had to look up to him.

"Is there something else?" Nephrite's pupil asked.

"Why do you ask?"

"Your presence bothers me."

"One reason more for me to stay," Zoisite laughed.

Obsidian also folded his arms and looked up to him. No way that he would turn his back to him.

As the violet-haired man didn't do or say anything, Zoisite grew bored and teleported back to Kunzite.

"So, now I'm satisfied," he declared.

"Are you?" Kunzite arched an eyebrow.

"Oh no - not what you are thinking..." Zoisite giggled and wrapped his arms around Kunzite's waist.

"Good for you," his partner said dryly.

Obsidian was glad when Zoisite finally disappeared. The fourth of the Kings made him absolutely nervous, especially when Kunzite wasn't around to restrain him. He looked at his crystal, but it still wasn't finished yet.

"We should do something to discourage them to hunt in our area," Zoisite mused.

"Do you have something in mind?"

"Let's blast their collector crystal!"

"They would immediately notice if you used one of your energy attacks. As they currently collect energy for Beryl, too, our Queen might consider it an attack against her, and that would be grossly unwise."

"And if we use a mundane method that can't be tracked back to us?"

"Such as?"

"Well, what about shooting it with a gun?"

"Are you able to conjure a working gun and hit something as small as a collector crystal with it?"

"Well... I don't know... But I thought maybe you..."

"So... You thought. It's your idea, so you have to do it."

"Awwww, Kunzite-sama..." Zoisite kissed him.

"No."

Obsidian was still bored to death. He wondered where Nephrite had gone, but his mentor always disappeared when Zoisite came into sight.

Well, this meant he could leave the crystal where it hung and stroll through the city for a change. He was hungry and decided to find a nice restaurant that served big portions of food.

"Obsidian left his position on the roof," Kunzite reported.

"But the crystal is still there," Zoisite said enthusiastically when he sensed its energy emissions. "I can simply snatch it away." He teleported to the roof and held out his hand. The gleaming crystal floated to him, and he laughed gleefully before he returned to Kunzite.

Afterwards they went to the studio and fetched the other crystal as well. Zoisite was a little peeved that everything went well and he hadn't had any chance for a little sabotage.

Contrarily, now he had even two well filled crystals, and Queen Beryl would be really delighted.

Obsidian ate heartily two big portions before he returned to the roof. To his dismay he found that his collector crystal had been stolen.

Well, this was not too bad, now he didn't need to stay here any longer, especially as Nephrite didn't reappear either. He decided to open a doorway and go back to the Dark Kingdom.

Probably Nephrite would claim that his disappearance belonged to his task or something like that. Nephrite always did when he didn't want to stay with him.

Anyway, he had to find a way to explain the abduction of the collector crystal. He chose not to tell it Nephrite as that would only cause another dressing down; he decided to go directly to Queen Beryl to complain to her that someone stole his crystal.

He was sure the thief had to be someone from the Dark Kingdom, but unfortunately he had no evidence, even though he suspected strongly that it had been Zoisite's work.

Just when Obsidian told Beryl about the theft, Kunzite and Zoisite materialized and bowed before their Queen. In the next instand Zoisite saw Obsidian. The small man blushed and tried to hide behind Kunzite's cape.

Obsidian gazed at them angrily, but kept his comments to himself.

Queen Beryl observed Zoisite's act with amusement. She always thought that it was good to stir up the competition between her warriors a bit.

"You have returned," she acknowledged Kunzite and Zoisite.

"Yes, my Queen," Kunzite said. "Zoisite's work was exemplary and crowned with good success." He shoved his student forward, and Zoisite presented her the two collector crystals. The young man's cheeks still looked rather pink.

"I am satisfied with your performance," Queen Beryl told Zoisite und examined him thoughtfully. Even though he looked so delicate and frail, he turned out to be one of the most determined and toughest of her warriors, it seemed. "Tomorrow you may continue with your harvest."

"Yes, my Queen," Zoisite said inexuberantly and gazed tragically at Kunzite. The silver-haired King didn't dare to comfort him in front of the Queen. Obviously (and most fortunately) Beryl still wasn't aware of their romantic relationship.

Obsidian couldn't stifle a grin when he saw Zoisite's enthusiastic look. Luckily Queen Beryl couldn't see it as he had turned his back to her when the other two Kings had arrived.

"I will see to it that Zoisite's training proceeds in due course," Kunzite promised.

"I expect that," she replied and waved her hands in a dismissing gesture.

They bowed again and teleported back into Kunzite's house. By now Zoisite spent most of his free time here, although he still kept his own quarters as long as it wasn't too widely known in the Dark Kingdom that he lived with Kunzite.

Queen Beryl sent Obsidian away as well before she called Nephrite. He got a severe tongue-lashing because of his conduct, and only the fact that he was still needed as teacher for Obsidian saved his head.

In any case, Nephrite was glad that he had gotten away that easily, but of course Beryl saved the worst for the end as usual...

"I think you should observe how a good teacher works. You will go to Hollywood, too, and show Obsidian how one collects energy properly. Should you have difficulties with your student, I advise you to ask Kunzite how he handles Zoisite."

Nephrite didn't like this idea at all. He was well aware how Kunzite managed to 'handle' Zoisite, and he had no designs to apply that method to Obsidian, although he didn't want to tell Beryl what he knew. It might come handy someday when he could blackmail Kunzite.

"You are dismissed."

Nephrite bowed his head and disappeared.

* * *

"Well, it seems we have to go to Hollywood again," Kunzite remarked with amusement.

Zoisite looked miserably. "Yeah," he sulked. "Maybe I should have left that crystal to Obsidian."

"True." Kunzite grinned. "I wonder if you'll ever manage to think before you act."

"That's unfair! I always think..."

"...afterwards." Kunzite chuckled and Zoisite pouted.

* * *

Nephrite and Obsidian set out on the way to Hollywood. Nephrite deemed it more secure as he didn't want to incite the wrath of Queen Beryl again. There had to be a way to teach Obsidian satisfactorily.

But when he saw Obsidian all of his good intentions vanished in a second. He needed a glass of wine... But this time Nephrite refused himself the wish. He couldn't afford another failure.

Nephrite let Obsidian conjure a collector crystal that he should place in a location of his choosing. When this was done, he didn't put his eyes from either Obsidian or the crystal.

The student sulked as he wasn't even allowed to move. Now he waited for at least two hours that the crystal filled, and Nephrite forced him to stand absolutely motionless while he waited. This was boring.

Unfortunately he didn't manage to distract his teacher this time. Not even a discussion about different excellent kinds of wine helped. Obsidian was frustrated.

* * *

"I hate it!"

"I know." Just in time Kunzite managed to deflect the blast that Zoisite had directed at another vase. "Would you please cut that? This is still my house, little rat."

"I'm sorry, Kunzite-sama. But I'm angry that we have to go again."

"I noticed." Kunzite shook his head and stroked Zoisite's hair. "Get ready, little rat," he said softly.

The young man sulked, but he complied nonetheless.

Only half an hour later they materialized in Hollywood.

"They are here again," the silver-haired King remarked.

"Well, let's set the youma to work in the studio," Zoisite suggested. "Then we can watch Nephrite and Obsidian."

"Good."

They did as planned and teleported to a roof in the vicinity of the other two men.

Nephrite stood with folded arms on a roof and observed every single movement of Obsidian, who pouted demonstratively.

Kunzite grinned. "They don't seem to like their work here either." He put an arm around Zoisite's shoulders.

"Yeah," Zoisite agreed and laid his head against the shoulder of his partner.

Nephrite noticed the Kings but refused to be distracted. He acted as if he hadn't seen them, just as he ignored Obsidian's pout.

His student was peeved that nothing moved him. He was sorely bored and wanted to be relieved from this silly job immediately.

Zoisite smirked when he noticed that Obsidian continously alternated between being angry and sullen. This was even better than the funny movie that he had watched with Kunzite about a week ago when they had waited for the crystal to be filled.

Obsidian tried to find a way to get rid of Nephrite. It was too bad, but he couldn't do anything as long as his teacher stayed in the vicinity.

Nephrite was almost as bored as Obsidian was, but he intended to present Queen Beryl a success this time.

"The only thing that lessens the fun is the fact that they torture themselves," Zoisite mused. "It should be me who is the cause for their discomfort." He leaned closer to Kunzite who caressed his neck.

"You are vicious as usual, my little rat," the tall man smiled. "Why don't you just enjoy the view?"

"Well, maybe you're right..."

Nonetheless, after some minutes they decided to teleport back to their youma as the situation didn't seem to change any further.

Finally the crystal was full, and Obsidian called it to him. Thoughtfully he gazed at the shimmering stone. Why couldn't he leave it to harvest the energy on its own?

Kunzite and Zoisite got their collector crystal back as well.

"I still need to figure out a way to convince Queen Beryl that she has to find a more interesting job for us," Zoisite sighed. "This energy collecting is way too boring. The only consolation I have is that I can spend the time with you..."

Kunzite smiled and pulled him into his arms. "Well, at least this job is easy and not dangerous. And..." He interrupted the enumeration to kiss his beloved, "we get back home early enough that we have lots of time to spend together."

"Hm, you have a point," Zoisite admitted. Being together with Kunzite had even surpassed torturing Nephrite as his favourite pastime for the last weeks. "But still I want to show what I'm able to do."

"Don't be afraid, I'm sure there will be new and more difficult tasks soon enough."

They went back to the Dark Kingdom, where Queen Beryl commended them on another task well done and ordered them to continue the next day.

When she dismissed them, they teleported back to Kunzite's dwelling.

"I..." The fourth of the Kings lifted his hand and looked out for a viable target.

"Zoisite! You will go to the training range immediately," Kunzite said sternly. He wouldn't allow the impulsive young man to blast further pieces of his furniture.

"I'm sorry..." Zoisite grimaced wryly. "It's only that I'm a bit frustrated."

"I know, little rat, but I'd like you to vent your frustrations otherwise." He fished for Zoisite's ponytail and played with the silky, long hair.

"Do you accompany me to the training range?"

"Of course." Kunzite would never miss a demonstration of Zoisite's skill with ice crystals or fire as it was always a great display of precise, lethal beauty. He took Zoisite's hands and kissed his fingertips, before they teleported to the training area.

* * *

When Obsidian presented his crystal to the Queen, she was for once content with him and Nephrite. Of course she sent them to the next harvest tomorrow.

Obsidian almost couldn't believe it. Did they really have to go again? He was absolutely fed up with this boring assignment. It was at best a job for youma and other creatures of lower rank, but not for him!

He was so frustrated that he even ventured voluntarily to the training room. Obsidian needed to destroy something, but unfortunately he found no one who volunteered to be obliterated by him, and so some targets were the next best choice.

As usual Kunzite and Zoisite materialized about 5 feet above the heads of the practicers.

"There's he again!" Zoisite pointed at Obsidian. He had hoped not to see him for at least the rest of the day. Well, that reminded him... He conjured a nice sharp ice crystal.

Kunzite caught his hand. "Don't, little rat. It's not wise to blast him here."

"Where else?"

"Well, when no one notices and you have an alibi."

Fortunately Obsidian wasn't aware of the happening at his back. He was fully occupied to hurl energy balls at the target on the far side of the booth.

Zoisite pouted and went to another free booth. Within seconds he riddled the target with about two dozen ice crystals.

Kunzite kept hovering in the air and watched both Zoisite and Obsidian. It was interesting, now that Nephrite wasn't in the vicinity, Obsidian's skills had vastly improved. Of course he didn't reach Zoisite's casual perfection, but the crystals, stars and flashes that he fired only rarely missed their target.

The silver-haired King applauded. "It seems you're not as incapable as you want to make your teacher believe, Obsidian," he commented ironically.

Nephrite's student whirled around as he hadn't heard Kunzite's approach.

"What...?" His eyes turned from gleaming red back to his normal blue violet.

"Nice shooting."

Obsidian shrugged. "Luck."

"Whatever you say..." Kunzite gazed back to the booth where Zoisite trained. His lover didn't seem to tire obliterating his targets with absolute accuracy, he observed proudly.

As he was interrupted, Obsidian's anger disappeared at once. When he left his booth he discovered Zoisite who placed his ice crystals with deadly precision. The small man was really good, he had to admit.

He decided to leave the training area, for he had some other matters to attend to. Nephrite would drag him to Hollywood tomorrow morning, and he had to find some means to get rid of boring jobs like this.

Kunzite stepped behind Zoisite and put a hand on his shoulder. "Feeling better, little rat?"

"Yes." He looked up to his mentor. "We have to find a way to get a new and more exciting assignment."

"I will think about it," Kunzite promised. "Now let's go back home. I'd like to spend the rest of the day with you there and not on the training range. I wish to relax a bit before it's Hollywood again."

"You're right." They teleported home.

* * *

When Nephrite collected Obsidian in the morning he was greeted by a tragic face. He didn't want to go. Unfortunately Nephrite wasn't bothered by his demeanor, and he commanded him to conjure a crystal and collect the energy.

This time Nephrite didn't stay with Obsidian, though. He had better things to do than watch a lowly student perfom his duty. He wanted to try out his other method of collecting energy again.

The auburn-haired King even found some people of whom he could take the energy when they were at their peak. The only problem he faced was the storing of that energy. Somehow a crystal just didn't work. Its capacity was way too small, and the energy immediately returned to the human. He had to devise something else.

Obsidian was bored again. As the crystal just hung in the air, he decided to occupy himself by trying out some tricks he had heard or read about. Finally he dug out his locator crystal to fund Nephrite. Fine, his mentor was pretty far away, so he decided he could fetch something to eat.

He went to a bistro and paid with stolen money as his mentor had done successfully before. When he returned to the roof he found that the crystal was almost full. Soon he would be allowed to go home!

Suddenly he felt something strange in the crystal. It seemed to vibrate out of tune. Obsidian frowned and observed it carefully.

Nephrite also sensed something weird. He had the strangest feeling that he had felt something like it before.

* * *

With a delay of about two hours, Kunzite and Zoisite managed to assume their position in Hollywood. Fortunately it was Kunzite's schedule, so he couldn't complain, for it was at least partly his fault that they didn't manage to get up earlier.

"Do you have any idea of how to blow the job so that Queen Beryl gives it someone else?" Zoisite asked.

"Not yet," Kunzite admitted. They placed their youma in the studios again and wondered what they could do now. The two Kings had done almost everything exciting they could do - they had tried out most of the restaurants, the movies weren't too interesting either - so what was left?

Zoisite suggested a café, and they occupied themselves with idle talk and soulful gazing into each other's eyes, while Kunzite still thought on a way to get a new assignment.

"Well - what's your plan?" Zoisite wanted to know.

"We could try to create a resonance in the collector crystal. If we're lucky it'll warp the energy flows around this area similarly to those in the European region, but not as badly."

"And if we aren't lucky?"

"Then we'll get the whole Paris disaster again and all of North America will be off-limits as well."

"We should try it anyway," Zoisite said thoughtfully. "Everything is better than this boredom. We don't even have an enemy who might spice up things!"

"We have to be careful not to alarm the youma when we unbalance the collector crystal."

"I'm sure you'll manage." Zoisite kissed him tenderly.

"Okay, I'll do it..." Kunzite knew that his partner wouldn't give up until he complied.

They sneaked into the studio and took special care to stay hidden from the youma who had to watch the crystal. Shortly after, the silver-haired man produced a resonance in the crystal that should blow it up soon.

They had to wait only a couple of minutes, until it became clear that they'd better leave the vicinity of the crystal. Kunzite nodded at Zoisite and they teleported back to the café.

Suddenly a forceful explosion blew up the studio (including the youma and the rest of the inmates) and shook the energy flows of the region.

"It worked!" Zoisite shouted exuberantly.

* * *

At the same time the crystals of Obsidian and Nephrite exploded. Fortunately, both men had sought a sound distance from the crystals when the first vibrations became manifest.

By now Nephrite was sure that someone had done this on purpose. He almost suspected Obsidian, but on the other hand the young man certainly wasn't able to do something like such a clever sabotage.

Obsidian was completely surprised when his crystal burst into a myriad of splinters. He was sure he hadn't done anything wrong. Certainly someone else was the culprit.

Nephrite decided to collect Obsidian and give Queen Beryl a full report of the happenings in Hollywood on his return.

* * *

"Indeed," Kunzite agreed. "And the explosion wasn't as powerful as the one we experienced in Paris."

He concentrated to check the energy flows. They were warped, all right, but they should be back to normal in a couple of days.

"But we did it!" Zoisite grinned and sat down on Kunzite's lap. "And now it's bye-bye, Hollywood..." He wrapped his arms around Kunzite's neck and played with his long, silvery white hair.

"We'd rather return to the Dark Kingdom," Kunzite said. "I'm sure Queen Beryl will want to know what happened here."

They opened a doorway and appeared in the main audience chamber. Nephrite and Obsidian were already there.

"Nephrite, did your crystal also blow up?" Kunzite asked, all innocence.

"Yes," the second King answered. "I'm sure it was sabotage."

"Maybe it was the same enemy we encountered in Paris," Zoisite suggested.

"Maybe..." Nephrite frowned. He couldn't say much else if he didn't want to give away his involvement in the Paris disaster.

Kunzite barely managed to stifle a grin. "Anyways, it seems Hollywood is no viable source of energy anymore. We have to find something else."

The others agreed, and Queen Beryl looked at them thoughtfully. They were much too cheerful after such a failure, she found.

"I have to think about the occurences. You are dismissed," she declared, and the four men disappeared as fast as possible.

The End of Pt.11 - Goto Pt.12


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Disclaimer: SailorMoon is the property of Takeuchi Naoko, Kodansha and Toei Animation. All characters, settings etc. are used without permission. This is an amateur fiction, and I definitely won't make any money of it.


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