A/N: My first attempt at humor *sweatdrops*

Disclaimer: I neither own Sailor Moon nor making profit out of this fic. Entertainment purpose only.

NIGHT AND NAILS

Stifling a yawn, Zoicite turned on his heels to return to his quarter. Patrolling the Dark Kingdom at night had never been more boring. Most of the youmas had learned of his temper by now, and knew better than to get in his way when his beloved Kunzite-sama was away.

Which meant none of them had appeared in sight for him to show off his deadly aim.

On his way back, the sound of what seemed to be several bottles clattering against one another caught Zoicite's attention. Curiosity got the better of him, he followed the intriguing source, and was surprised to find himself outside Queen Beryl's chamber.

"What could she possibly be doing at this hour?", Zoicite wondered. "I thought she had to get at least eight hours of sleep each night to resume her roaring rounds the next day..."

"Are you volunteering to be the first receiver of my summons then?", a voice not his own slashed through his thoughts.

"Uh-oh" Zoicite shivered, he completely forgot that the Queen could read the minds of anyone too close to her proximity. "My apologies, my Queen, I didn't mean to..."

"Eavesdrop?", the telepathic voice seemed to enjoy his submission.

"Ah, that is... I've just finished the night patrol, my Queen," - Zoicite emphasized, secretly hoping that mentioning his keen sense of duty would help...

"Any youmas got fried?"

Or not.

"My Queen, that is... Those were my attempts to train the soldiers... You see, who knows when the enemies will attack..."

"If they hadn't all learned a lesson I don't think any of them would be left for the enemies to finish", the Queen interrupted sarcastically.

Sweat began to form on Zoicite's forehead. He really wondered if he had interrupted some sort of nightly rituals and provoked the ever-furious Queen Beryl... hell, he did not even dare to think of the consequences...

"You know what, - the telepathic voice continued, a bit more thoughtfully – actually I was planning to summon you. You're the only one among my ranks that can actually give me an insightful opinion on this matter".

Zoicite straightened visibly, the flame of power-thirst dried away all his previous concerns. "I would be honored to be at your service, my Queen".

"Come on in. This conversation is tiring me out, and I need energy to solve this, ah, dilemma".

"Dilemma?" Zoicite echoed unconsciously while pushing the door open.

_Seriously, my Queen, - he began, breathing heavily and looked down to examine his palms. These metal doors need replaced. I think the trainings are heavy enough, there's no point in tiring ourselves out...

_I didn't say you have to come in through the main entrance, - Queen Beryl said with her back to him. Ever heard of that very common and simple means of transportation, you know, what we called "teleport"?

Zoicite blinked, snapping out of his trance. It was all that word's fault, he countered silently, pouting. Ever since he was promoted to the rank of generals and long before that, he had come to recognize as an absolute fact that "dilemmas" were something his Queen always brought to others. So basically his mind was racing to deduce what could possibly result in her use of that very word to refer to herself, before he actually witnessed it.

_A word of wisdom for you Zoicite, - the Queen said, still hadn't turned around to face him – STOP your musings ABOUT me when you're in MY vicinity!

Emphasis included.

Emphasis acknowledged.

_Forget it, - the Queen shrugged nonchalantly. Come closer; you need a good look to thoroughly understand this matter.

Zoicite obeyed, but this time did not forget his trademark: he disappeared into thin air, then re-appeared in a twirl of sakura petals as always, next to his Queen and whatever it was that had been holding her gaze fixed.

In front of them was a huge shelf with several tiny bottles in various shapes, each of which contained a differently labeled liquid in a different color.

_Why my Queen, - Zoicite bowed to properly address his ruler – I never thought you have an, um, interest in poison...

He trailed off, mentally revising his recent accomplishments. Not bad. Surely the Queen could not be intending to include in his job description a column spelled "test subject"... or could she?

_If you keep those thoughts going I surely would, - the Queen growled.

Zoicite lifted his head to glance at her, and immediately realized something was off.

An ice spear formed in his left hand, directed at the throat of the person in front of him.

_Who are you and what did you do to the Queen? - he demanded.

_I appreciate the loyalty Zoicite, - the person shot back – but you will regret this if you don't stop AT ONCE this display of disobedience.

_For an impostor you seem to be playing a convincing role, - he laughed coldly – but may I remind you that you forgot a crucial fact?

_And that would be?

_The Queen has crimson nails.

He smirked at the person's shocked expression.

_Now, tell me who sent you here if you value your life.

_Cut the act if you want to continue living, Zoicite, - the voice turned dangerous.

_Why yes, I would love to be alive, - he laughed, but was cut off midway by a shot of pain in his chest. The energy signature, no doubt, it was really...

Her.

Zoicite clutched the front of his uniform, staggering until the pain stopped, as suddenly as it had come.

_You brought that upon yourself, - Queen Beryl shrugged, with a malicious glint in her eyes – though I do appreciate the loyalty.

_But my Queen, what... - he stuttered – what happened to your...

The Queen eyed him strangely.

_Zoicite, you haven't been assuming that I was born with crimson nails have you?

_Well, actually all the Generals...

Queen Beryl sighed.

_Ignorant idiots. Ah well, back on topic. What do you think? - she gestured toward the shelf, on which the multicolor bottles were twinkling from lights of torches around her place.

_Just out of curiosity my Queen, - he could not stop staring at her, um, natural nails – why do you use crimson almost everytime until now?

_It goes with my hair, - Queen Beryl simply stated as if that was the most obvious truth.

"How creative", Zoicite thought almost unconsciously. At least he thought he had thought that unconsciously until his Queen spoke in a dangerously low voice:

_The third-last straw, Zoicite, if you keep getting on my nerves...

_My apologies my Queen, - Zoicite hastily added, all the while cursing himself for his sarcastic habit, and tried to turn toward the shelf in a perfectly serious face.

_I want your opinion on this matter, - she said, temporarily setting aside her legendary fury. This was more important.

_I suggest using the poison on Tuxedo Kamen, - Zoicite said in a rush, he had to navigate the Queen's thought of himself as a potential test subject as soon as possible.

Queen Beryl sighed in frustration.

_Zoicite, are you insisting on angering me? The second-last straw.

_But my Queen, - he protested – I didn't...

His eyes traveled from her nails to the shelf, and unwillingly he drew the seemingly impossible but unavoidably only possible conclusion...

_You are asking my opinion on nail polish colors.

He stared at her incredulously.

_Don't make me announce the last straw to my patience.

_Of course not my Queen, - Zoicite hastily added. He stepped closer to examine each and every bottle; after a while turning to her with one in the color of onyx.

_How about this my Queen? After all we are the Dark Kingdom.

_How creative – Queen Beryl mocked.

_Then, - he lifted another one – how about silver? It will help you stand out in the crowd...

_As if I'm not easily spotted enough on my throne, - she rolled her eyes.

_Gold, then? Its contrast with darkness seems impressive enough.

_Queen Metallia may assume I'm staging a coup d' état.

_How about mint green?

_I hate the flavor.

_Jade?

_As if seeing his repeated failures these days hasn't been enough.

_Lilac?

_Color of the weak.

_I didn't know that, - Zoicite confessed, completely honest.

Queen Beryl looked enraged by the distraction. "Zoicite..."

_Okay okay, how about pink?

_Can you imagine me with that? - Queen Beryl snorted in disgust.

Zoicite shuddered at the thought.

_Then why do you have it in your collection?

_Who knows, - the Queen drawled – maybe to color your hair someday...

_My Queen!

_Then don't get distracted if you don't want your strawberry blonde hair turns pure strawberry.

"Thank Metallia", - Zoicite sighed in relief, glancing at the shelf for inspiration.

_I know! Eggshell!

_Do you want to make me sick or are you actually intending to make my nails look like those of a sick person?

_Lavender?

_Too vague.

_Cadet?

_Boring.

_Chocolate?

_Dark Valentine's Day is still more than half a year to go.

_Corn?

_Eww.

_Cobalt?

_Too remarkable a contrast with my hair.

_Coral?

_No color associated in any way with pink. I hate the cute type.

_Co...

_All of a sudden you grew fond of colors starting with C or what?

Zoicite pouted.

_I'm very disappointed in you Zoicite. - the Queen straightened. I had expected better. Even though it appears impossible with the one who always appears in the same twirl of sakura petals and the same afloat posture.

_My Queen, I...

_Leave. Before I change my mind and vent my latest anger on you.

Zoicite did not have to be told twice.

He was turning his back when he overheard Queen Beryl's final decision.

_I'll just stick with crimson.

"How creative", he blurted out mentally.

_The last straw.

Needless to say, the entire Dark Kingdom was woken up when it was barely past midnight that day.

Worse still, they did not manage to get back to sleep due to constant thundering sounds from a certain part of the palace.

A/N: I hope that didn't bore you to sleep *sweatdrops again*

Well, I was applying nail polish and suddenly recalled Queen Beryl's long, red nails. So...

Review please?

P/S: Thanks for reading! Until my next fic then!

Oh, and the mind-reading stuff was just my invention, whether or not it actually took place I don't know. But if it did it would be of ownership to Takeuchi Naoko. I take no credit even if it didn't.