warnings: sorta shounen ai-ish…a bit agnsty…y’know, all the good crap!
disclaimers: don’t own ‘em, just messin’ w/ their lives fer a bit.

threads
lady of the mer
[prologue]

[unknown time]

[dahni]

Dahni was nervous.

No, scratch that, he was afraid.

Hell with it. He was green with mortal terror, something akin to a quivering mass of jelly. Why was he so afraid, you ask? The Gods had discovered something.

Dahni, Prince of the Eiryes, was missing half of his soul.

Guess who the other half belonged to?

Pellydryn, Lord of the Areyia.

His people’s mortal enemy.

Gods, the total irony of it all.

He had seen Pellydryn; the young, stoic Lord had come often to the royal Eirye. The Areyian people frequently declared war on the Eiryans, for they craved it; like a giant snake basking in the fleeting warmth of the battle. He had heard from his father that all Areyians were warriors, fierce war-loving brutes. Personally, Drahni agreed with him. When he had first gone into battle with the Areyians, there had even been women fighting--cradling young babes whose horns were still tiny nubs upon their foreheads in one hand and their weapons of choice in the other.

The Areyians were big, stocky people. They stood up to a winglength in height, giant hooves upon their feet as large as a handspan. The silvery horn in the middle of their foreheads grew or shrank depending upon their strength, some of the more powerful males’ as big as a palmspan. A long, sinewy lion’s tail sprouted from their backs, trailing the floor.

But Pellydryn was different from the other Areyians. Three-quarters-winglength tall and slender, he did not fit the stereotype. Drahni knew that his small cloven hooves looked weak, but the Lord was anything but. The silvery, spiraling horn in the center of his forehead was a palmspan long, a stark contrast to his deep brown mane. His eyes were different, too: Prussian blue in color and so deep one could drown in them,[an: hmmm...and how who he know that pretty little tidbit? ^_^] opposing the small, black eyes of his Blood.

And so it had come to this. Him, riding Zephyr--his Wind Brother--up to the altars of the gods.

[pellydryn]

|By the shards of Sashali, why did it have to come to this? | Pellydryn thought. |My pain is too much for him to bear. Such a beautiful creature should be spared from such hurt. | Although he’d promised himself that he wouldn’t let it happen, his train of thought snagged once again upon the Eiryan Prince.

Small and slender--his Blood had always been diminutive--the prince’s head was a horn’s core shorter than he was. His ears, however, were another matter: a hoofspan long, they were elegant, elfin. A small, silver ring was pierced through his right ear, a symbol of his status. Long, black, leathery wings sprouted from the prince’s shoulder blades, his race’s most famous trait. The magnificent wings rose higher than the Eiryan’s ears and reached their waists when folded. Another of the prince’s more notable features was his braid. A waist-long, honey-gold braid. Amaryllis eyes dominated most of his face, pure and untainted. The long, pronged tail often sat in repose.

Except when he fought. When any Eiryans fought, for that matter. The prince’s normally gentle eyes hardened to amethyst, and turned blood red with bloodlust. He used his great wings to an advantage, rising high in the air and laying about with his scythe, Deathscythe. The pronged tail was infinity useful: all the Eiryans darkened the twin, hooked spikes with the most powerful poison in their arsenal. Longhorn males could be felled with one slit that reached blood. He’d seen them battling long after they had been mortally injured, never giving up without a fight. He had no doubt that Dahni would be able to kill him in an instant if he had had the chance.

And now he knew where his other half was.

Maybe that was why he had fallen in love so easily.

[dahni]

Dahni shivered as Zephyr’s warm arms left his middle, leaving him alone and stranded in the middle of a cloud. Three giant, gleaming, crystal alters stood in front of him, one white, one black, one silver.

One for Life.

One for Death.
And one for Fate.

Four blindingly white marble statues surrounded the Alter of Life.
A beautiful maiden. Esjul, goddess of fertility, love and beauty.

A crone. Demnusa, goddess of the stars.
A child. Perasu, god of youth.

A youth. Barcanti, god of the earth and all things living.

Four glittering, black onyx statues encircled the Alter of Death.

A horseman. G’sundi, god of strife and sickness.

A woman. Avendua, goddess of war.

A blacksmith. Farandel, god of weapons and metallurgy.

A darkly beautiful girl. Gaiyia, goddess of death and night.

At the Alter of Fate, however, there was only a young boy playing with what seemed like beads. Some he strung on a growing chain of them, others he tied together with a tiny, deep red thread, and the last bunch sat in two mounds of beads.

Suddenly the boy’s head jerked, and he raised his head to look at the Eiryan prince. Dahni gasped. Where the irises of the eyes should have been, there was a black space with a glowing, pulsating white light in the center. He produced a queer looking pipe out of thin air, closed his eyes and began to play a soft, lilting melody. Like a lullaby.

Slowly at first, then faster and faster and faster, Danhi’s surroundings began to swirl and blur together. And then, suddenly, it stopped. After reeling dizzily for a few moments, the prince took stock of his surroundings.

He was surprised to find himself standing on the Eiryan character for death. Across from him, he faintly recognized the Areyian symbol for life etched in the black . . .something . . .he was standing on. And a very strange ‘something’ it was. Ever swirling and changing, the darkness writhed as if it were in pain.

Then, for some strange reason, the character for life started to glow fiercely. A circle formed in the middle of the word and grew larger, and he could recognize a faint figure in the center. The glowing stopped abruptly and Dahni caught a glimpse of Pellydryn before a wall of light rose between them.

And then the Lovers appeared.
[pellydryn]

They were complete opposites.

Light and dark. The angel and the demon. Yin and Yang. Life and death. Call it what you like, it was the same. The forbidden Lovers.

Gaiyia and Barcanti, gods of life and death.

Their forms swirled and twisted like swamp mists, vague and unformed. Then, suddenly, their bodies appeared. They held each other tightly, as if afraid that the other would slip through their fingers. A misty voice drifted through the matrix of darkness.

“You are the fated ones…the Masters of Light and Dark…the Great Rivals…”
The wall of light that had risen between Dahni and himself disappeared, revealing the object of his affection. A sudden, black wind whipped at the Prince of Eiryes, leaving him clad only in a scant, black garment with his great black wings extended. A strange black pendant had formed about his neck: a rearing gryphon with blood red, glittering rubies for eyes and glowing eerily.

“…The Master of Dark…”

Suddenly, Pellydryn felt all his clothes drawn off his person until he was clothed in only a pure white garment, the same as Dahni’s. Warmth radiated from his chest and he knew without looking that there was a gleaming diamond pendant of a unicorn in mid-leap. The eyes were set in a brilliant sapphire, and it, too, glowed with a weird light.

“…The Master of Light…”

There was a pause.
“…And the soul of Fate…”

There was pain; searing, white-hot. A spot right above where Pellydryn knew his heart would be glittered for a moment, and then strange, glimmering silver crystals danced away from his chest and to where the Lovers floated.

Dahni did not scream, but Pellydryn’s heart clenched painfully with the feelings he wasn’t supposed to have. The black crystals emerged from his chest and rose to be carried toward the crystals of Pellydryn, joining in their fateful dance.

Then, suddenly, the crystals’ spiraling dance sped up, forming a twisting, turning matrix. Faster and faster then spun, until there was a great flash of light. When the light faded, there was only a single, many-faceted gem.

Twin dark red threads spiraled gracefully out of the slowly turning crystal, weaving in the air until they reached either prince. They wove themselves around and about Pellydryn and Dahni, until each was pulled inexorably toward the soul-gem, and when they reached the center, the two lights clashed and everything went mercifully black.

“…Sleep, little ones…your time has not yet come….”

[ac 193]

Clack. Clack. Pause. Clack-clack-clack.

The boy’s mind whirled furiously as his fingers danced over the keys. This was too easy. Doctor J had underestimated him, once again. He had had half an hour to finish the task, and was almost done in twenty minutes.

The boy paused once to collect the data he had hacked out of the computer’s system, eyes rapidly scanning the information. There. He saw it. An opening to the motherboard. The boy wrote the key command to allow himself access in the language of the computer and waited for it to be processed. He easily repressed a tiny smile. Soldiers didn’t have feelings. It was all easy sailing from here. The information was meaningless, confirming a time and place for something ancient called ‘pizza’.

Suddenly, something cold and sharp squeezed his heart, twisting and wrenching it furiously as images flashed in front of his eyes in a weird vision.

A burnt down church.

Running.

Horror.
Self-loathing.

The acrid scent of burned flesh.
A priest, dead. Father Maxwell.

A nun, still alive, just barely. Sister Helen.
Two grimy hands clutching a tiny golden cross.

Hate.
Survivor’s guilt.

Running.

An alley.
Gasping, dry sobs.

No, he wouldn’t cry. Boys don’t cry.
The boy fell to the floor, clutching his heart, furious with himself.

The vision had one thing right. Soldiers didn’t cry. Doctor J would be mad at him.

“Boy.” The voice crackled menacingly over the intercom. “Are you done yet?”

“Hai.”

Yes, the vision had been right about one thing.

Soldiers certainly didn’t cry.

[ac 193]

Duo awoke in a cold sweat, breathing heavily. The dream had been more than disturbing. It had been gruesome. He shuddered. The strange premonition echoed in his mind eerily.

[“Are you lost, ‘niisan?”

“I’ve been lost all my life.”]
Guilt.

Remorse was an understatement.
That girl, her blue eyes were so trusting, so pure, so innocent.

Untainted by the dirty truths.

Innocent.

He had killed an innocent.
No. No. NO!

It was wrong!
Duo suppressed a scream as the rusty knives buried themselves in his gut and in his heart and twisted mercilessly once again. He clutched his cross tightly, as if it would bring release from this internal torture. One of the corners of the golden cross, the one that had melted, bit into the tender flesh of his palm and fingers, drawing blood.

No…

No…

Soldiers don’t cry…don’t cry…don’t cry….
Dry sobs, hacking in his throat painfully.

Doctor J would be mad. Very mad.

No…
No…

He had done what was the evil of all evils.
He had killed an innocent.

An innocent with blue eyes, a teddy bear, and a puppy.
An innocent.

[ac 195]
“You’re in over your head.”

Click.
Relena’s eyes widened impossibly.

Foolish girl. Hadn’t she known what she’d gotten herself into?
Heero’s finger tightened on trigger when suddenly he heard the dry click of the hammer on another gun.

Crack.

His brain registered the path of the bullet in a millisecond and was about to dodge when he caught sight of the shooter.

A black cap pulled low over his eyes.

A long, honey-gold braid.
A clerical collar.

Something clicked. He was frozen to the spot. The force of the bullet threw Heero back a few feet, but he barely registered the sharp pain in his upper arm.

Why hadn’t he dodged the bullet? Was it surprise? No, it hadn’t been that. It’d been something much, much stronger.

Fear? No. Of course not. What kind of soldier would he be if he felt fear?

Then, unbidden, a word popped into his head.

Fate.

[end]

notes: be afraid, minna, be VERY afraid. that was only the prologue. ::cackles:: anyway, ‘bout the dude w/ the beads? well, the beads in one pile were the dead, in the other the not yet born, on the chain were the living and w/ the threads were the destined. hehe. I have no clue where I got the beads from. honest. c&c would be much appreciated. i, myself think that it moved too quickly. but that’s me. well, george broke another bout of pottery again...so i gotta go. ja ne!