archive: DHML & HB, if she wants it. anywhere else: ask and ye shall receive.

warnings: fantasy au, dark duo (!) and some 2 + 1. (basically, du-chan checking heero out. ^_^)

disclaimers: this is getting old. ::grumbles:: get kyuu-chan to tell you, i dunna feel like it.

[hair that curls on fingertips so gently
hands that rest on jutting hips, repenting
hurt that's not supposed to show and
tears that fall when no one knows
when you're trying hard to be your best,
could you be a little less?]
-madonna, what it feels like for a girl

[dangerous games]
lady of the mer

[prologue]

Who am I?

I am the high king of the underworld.

I am the shadowmaster.

I am the flames of Hell.

I am the keeper of the dead.

I am the first king of the Shitennou[1].

I was once Duo Maxwell.

But now I am Onyx.

[*]

The Dark Kingdom is an ugly place.

I contemplated this as I sat in my throne of burnt, black skulls. Skulls of animals, of monsters, of humans. From this high point, I could view all of my kingdom. I could see all of my minions, working feverishly. They were many-colored: some pink, some yellow, some striped. For lack of a better name, we called them youma. They were preparing now, grabbing swords and shields and arrows, to protect the front line against the Light Kingdom.

I surveyed their from my point high atop them.

I reiterate: the Dark Kingdom is an ugly place.

For one thing, it’s always damp. No matter where you go or what you do, the humidity sticks to you like a cloak. It gathers on the stalagmites and drips on passers-by. Sometimes, so much water gathers on them that it literally rains. And the dankness always makes it somewhat cold: cool enough that you need a mantle, but warm enough that the thing becomes stifling after five minutes.

Then, there’s the light. It’s always dark here, hence the name. The most light we ever receive is by way of the luminous lichen that stains the walls and ceiling, and it’s a sickly lime-green at that. Not at all pleasant. Thankfully, in my quarters I am generously provided with lanterns and roaring fireplaces.

And then there’s the—

“Onyx-sama.”

I was stopped in mid-gripe.

“Onyx-sama,” the green youma repeated, somewhat annoyed. “We have captured another slave. Graphite thought you might like him.” She reached behind her and shoved a figure into my view. The figure stumbled and fell, falling to his knees.

I came down from my vantage point and got a better look at the new slave that my general had sent me. It was a boy, and he was clad in gauzy white garments. From what I could see, Dark hair crowned his head in an uncooperative mop and his skin was tanned from the sun, unlike my ghostly-white hide. Muscles were tense and knotted, so he must’ve been a soldier. I moved around him, surveying him with a critical eye.

“Hmmm, yes, he might do…” I said absently.

I squatted down in front of him and lifted his bent chin with my finger. A finely chiseled face, jaw hardened with what seemed fury. He was of Oriental origin, I discerned, the place from which our language was derived. His shock of hair tumbled over one eye, half-hiding it from view. Ah, his eyes. They were dark blue, hard as steel and just as unforgiving. And they snapped with something unmistakable.

Spirit.

I grinned now, though it was more a sadistic bearing of teeth than a real sign of pleasure.

The spirited ones were so much more amusing to break.

[end]

[1] ironically, the ‘four heavenly kings’

well. oddities all 'round, ne? c&c craved like a duo & heero sundae. ::drools::