Here's a preliminary first chapter/teaser/concept for something my friends
and I have been working on. This is an alternate reality fic for Gundam
Wing that takes place in a universe called the Shadow World (terribly creative
name, ne? :P) Which is basically a place I cooked up that I could transplant
any anime series to and have all sorts of fun supernatural stuff (vampires,
werewolves, etc) occuring in. I decided I wanted to put Gundam Wing there,
so here it is. ^^;;;; The title "Acherontia Atropos" is just the
working title, but I like it because at least to me, it makes a lot of sense
with what's going to be happening in this story, should I write it. If you
don't know what the title refers to (and I bet a lot of you will know!!!)...heh
heh heh...I ain't tellin. ;) E-mail me if you don't know and want a hint,
though, just for fun. C&C welcome, please keep in mind that this is
alternate reality, so nothing that occured in the real time line necessarily
applies. (Though I did carry over a lot of stuff. ^^) If anyone
out there is interested in joining in with me and the other shadow world writers (three thus far) please e-mail me and let me know. ^^;;;;
Katsu "O-ka-ne" no Miko
"Erst wenn die Wolken schlafen gehen
kann man uns am Himmel sehen
wir haben Angst und sind allein...
Gott weiss ich wil kein Engel sein..." (~Ramms+ein~)
Warning: The characters belong to who they belong to and not me. Don't sue me, I'm not worth your time. Special thanks to Laurell K. Hamilton for writing the Anita Blake novels.
Addtional warning: Characters acting wildly OOC. You have been warned.
Additional Additional warning: Alternate reality fic. Events that have happened or will happen in this reality not necessarily connected to what happened in the real series in any way. Don't wave the time line at me, I am beyond it now. A HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!
Additional Additional Additional warning: Extreme supernatural action. Supernatural abilities are as defined by me in the shadow world, where this takes place.
There was a time when I used to think that things couldnt get any more complicated. Yeah, right. Shows you how much I knew. That was when I had first been introduced to my new partner, a machine capable of mass destruction, which I am now firmly convinced is at least as intelligent as me, even though its pretty good at playing dumb. That was when Id firstgotten to earth, and was up to my elbows in blood but at least it was all human bloodor so I thought. That was when I first discovered that I was in love with my other partner, the human one and he just so happened to be another guy. Shit. I really did think that that was as complicated as it could get. More fool me.
That was before I had my first brush with something that wasnt natural, or human, or the tiniest bit logical.
Like everyone else, I used to believe that there was no such thing as magic, that the monsters under the bed or in the closet werent real and would turn into dust when the light hit them. Yeah, it sounds really naïve, but what do you want. In a world where we had to kill and run to survive, I had to have something to cling to.
But then I learned that everything they taught us in school about science and logic wasnt worth the paper it was written on. Hey, the people that wrote that stuff lived in the same blissful ignorance as me, so I cant blame them. But it doesnt mean that I have to like the weltering cesspit of weirdness my life has become any better.
A year ago, my human partner, Heero, died. Up until that point, my life had been going along as well as it could, considering Id been turned into some sort of strange guerilla freedom fighter at the tender age of fifteen. But then Heero managed to self-destruct and actually do it RIGHT for once, and things really went down the tubes. Id thoughtwellmanaged to convince myself that Id just liked Heero, or maybe just lusted after him a littlewell, a lotbut I hadnt done a thing about it because I was and still am all for self-preservation, and trying to tie the Perfect Soldier down for a evening of lustful, sinful play just didnt seem like the way to survive to live another day. That, and I wasnt entirely sure what to do, myself. Loving another man just didnt jive with anything Id ever been taught. So I held back and tried to muddle through things on my own. It didnt work at all.
I found out the hard way that what I felt for Heero wasnt just like or casual lust. When what you feel is that simple, losing the person youre focused on hurts, sure, but not how it hurt me. When I lost Heero, I lost a part of myself that I didnt even know existed. Half of what I was got suddenly ripped away. Shit, I know it sounds all mystical when I say it like that, but I cant think of a better way to describe it. When Heero died, I was not just devastated. I was dead, too.
So I did some stupid things. Thank God the rest of the guys were being a hell of a lot smarter than I was.
Now, before I go any further, I just want to say, dont get me wrong. I dont normally even think about my problems like this. They arent important enough. But this is something that has to get out of my system, and its the main reason that my life is as messed up as it is today.
That psycho Relena managed to get a hold of Heeros body, and she was throwing a huge, overdramatized funeral service, which of course I and the other pilots crashed. I wasnt feeling real rational at that point. I ran up to the coffin, grabbed Heeros bodyand this is where things really took a turn for the bizarreI started saying something, some sort of ritual thing that no one can remember no matter how hard they try. Im not sure what I said, or why I said it it was like remembering a tiny piece of something youve completely forgotten. Thats how disjointed it was. But anyway I started saying all this odd stuff, and then I kissed Heeros corpse on the lipsand heres the REALLY fucked up part
HE OPENED HIS EYES!
I tell no lie. He started breathing again, his heart started beating, he was alive. It was like something out of those old fairy tales, except the problem is, everyone knows that stuff like that is not really supposed to happen!
Not that Im objecting. God no. The instant Heero opened his eyes its hard to describe but I wasnt alone. Not any more. I was a whole person again.
That night, Heero and I slept together. No, not sex or anything. We just went to sleep in each others arms. Ive never felt that good in my entire life.
But since then, things have gone back to normal. No one mentions what happened, I think because were all too confused to deal with it. It could have been me, it could have been some kind of magic, it could have been God, though sometimes I wonder if I can believe in Him any more. Who the hell knows.
After that first night, Heero and I havent touched each other or done anything beyond the boundaries of pure friendship. Its driving me nuts. But at the same time Im not going to be the one to say anything. I already lost Heero once, and it almost killed me. I dont want to risk losing him again.
Heero, of course, is just being well Heero. As if thats not bad enough.
And right now, hes here, sitting at his scarred-up school issue desk, typing on that god damn laptop of his. Wearing only a pair of crisp, white boxers.
Sometimes I think that Im stupid for wondering if there is a god. Its pretty obvious that theres one up there, and hes having a lot of fun making my life hell.
I let out a soft sigh and brought myself back to harsh old reality to find myself staring blankly at a tattered manga. It was one of my new ones a historical one this time, about a legendary sword guy that swore off killing. Interesting stuff.
Not that I could concentrate on it. Hell no. But come on, how could anyone concentrate on anything when the object of all their lusts, embarrassing dreams and dirty thoughts is sitting not five feet away from them, clad only in a pair of thin cotton boxer shorts. My life is just too damn hard some times. I think I should get put up for sainthood when I die.
The room was completely silent except for the steady clacking of the keys of Heeros laptop. I and the other pilots have been to a lot of schools before in our travels, but Id have to say that this one took the cake as far as cheap, tiny rooms went. Im talking about something smaller than a bread box, here. The two narrow beds in the room were practically side by side, and this time around, we had to share a desk. The bathroom well, I dont know what to compare it with. If I wanted to take my life into my hands and attempt to dry off in the bathroom and away from Mr. Perfect Soldier, I had to get into the shower stall to do it, or else risk falling over the toilet. About the only thing this prison cell of a dorm room had going for it was the fact that it was clean, new, and had some good wiring for my stereo system.
Not that Heero ever let me turn my stereo system ON when he was in the room.
God, what could be worse than being trapped with a roommate in the tiny elf room from hell? Being trapped with a roommate that I was terminally, hopelessly in love with.
And terrified of.
With a sigh, I put the manga on my face and let my eyes go all unfocused. Heero just kept typing away, completely oblivious. Damn him. The silence stretched out longer and longerfunny how I didnt notice it until I thought about ituntil I just couldnt handle it any more.
Some people say I talk too much. I say, take a look at my roommate. Its self defense, pure and simple.
Hot dog. A response, and only on the second try. I was in business. I pulled the manga off my face, hoping that I wasnt leaving any smears of ink behind on my nose, and sat up. Watcha lookin at?
Information on this school.
I waited, just to see if he would elaborate on his own. No luck. What kind of information?
Heero swiveled slightly in his chair and fixed me with one of his glares. You get that kind of look from a wolf right before it decides youre a threat or food, and attacks. A normal person would have gotten the hint and left him the hell alone. After dealing with him for over a year, though, Ive gained some immunity. Well? I grinned at him.
Heero snorted and turned his attention back to the laptop. The keys started clicking again. Baka. Was his only comment.
Come on, damnit, tell me! Its not nice to tease! I jumped off of my bed and tried to look over his shoulder. For once, he let me, which made today something to mark down on the calendar. Some girls school file was on the screen; picture, class schedule, pertinent information, uniform size Why Heero, I never figured you for the voyeuristic type
He ignored me. Just peachy. Better to be ignored than to be hit. I guess. I leaned over Heeros shoulder to take a better look at the file. One thing I have to say is, Heeros gotten a lot easier with casual touching ever since his damn, I never know what to call it his brush with death. So friendly touching is ok now. Most of the time. The rest of it, though damn, I gotta stop thinking about this stuff. Anyway the file. It belonged to one Kishiro Ayako.
Kishiro Ayako. Something about the name struck me as familiar. For a long moment, I leaned over Heeros shoulder, thinking then I finally remembered. Ayako was one of the girls in my class. Quiet, unobtrusive, kept to herself didnt hang all over me like most of the other girls, which was probably why I hadnt noticed her that much. I was too busy flirting with the other girls. Me, an attention hound? Naw.
It took me a couple minutes longer to realize it, but Ayako hadnt been in class today. Or yesterday, for that matter. And as little as I knew about her, she still didnt quite strike me as the type to just ditch class. Im surprised I thought of it, actually the teacher hadnt even remarked on her absence. Kind of sad when not even the adult supervision notices that youre gone. Ne, Heero, she wasnt in class today, right? Why are you looking at her file?
Again, no answer. I kept leaning over him, though. I could feel warmth rising from his body in waves, and it felt nice to be that close to him. Isnt great how I like torturing myself? A half hearted wave of suspicion formed itself in my brain. Heero you didnt do anything to her, right?
Heero actually snorted. Again. Who says he doesnt have a sense of humor. Baka. He said flatly. I saw she was missing, just like you. Her dorm room has been cleaned out.
Changing schools? That was a perfectly good explanation. People normally didnt do it midway through a term, but hey, if we could do it, so could she.
No transfer order or explanation. Parents have been contacted. They dont know anything about it.
Shit Without thinking about it, I put a hand on his shoulder. There was something, almost like a jolt of what I felt a year ago when Heero had become warm in my arms. I snatched my hand away and sat back down on my bed, trying to keep my breathing at a normal level. Heero just looked at me from over his shoulder for a moment. Damn him and his lack of facial expressions anyway. So are we looking at a kidnapping?
We arent looking at anything. Heero stated flatly. One key clicked, and the girls file disappeared off the screen. Somehow, it just didnt seem right, to be able to dismiss someones life that easily. I was curious.
Aa. If this is a crime, its not our job to deal with it.
I shook my head. Yeah, our job. Right. I lay back in my bed for a moment. The manga scattered all over the blanket were square bumps along my back. So she just disappeared. No struggle or anything. Room packed up neat as you please, ready for a new student.
Aa. This has happened before recently at this school.
He sounded so goddamn dispassionate. It hurt, and I couldnt even begin to explain why. I wondered if hed sound just like that and say the same things if I disappeared. It wasnt fair of me to think that of him, considering that as long as Ive lived with Heero, I still have no idea how his mind works, not really. He cant be the Perfect Soldier all the time, can he? There had to be someone real under there, right? Someone for me, maybe?
I growled at myself internally and rolled out of bed, standing to go to the door. I ended up almost nose to nose with Heero. Hed gotten up out of his chair, and Id been so stuck on my own thoughts that I hadnt even heard him. Not good.
For a long, long moment, I found myself staring into those beautiful blue eyes of his. I felt like I was drowning in them. All I wanted to do, right then, was reach out and touch him.
I could still hear him, though. That dispassionate voice, mentioning the fact that Ayako was missing. Like he was calmly observing that it was supposed to rain tomorrow, or that we were out of shoe polish. All of a sudden, I just wanted to yell at him, or hit him, or do something, anything to get a reaction. Instead, I grabbed my jacket and shoved past him, brushing against him a lot more than I wanted to right then, to get to the door. Im going for a walk. Ill be back in a while. The door shut firmly behind me, cutting off anything that he might have said. Not that I really thought he was going to say anything.
Damnit. I muttered as I slouched down the hall. It was dark, no one was up, I didnt have to worry about anyone seeing me looking abnormally pissed off or upset. Further down the hall, in the direction I was headed, a door opened, and yellow, buttery light spilled out across the floor. It definitely didnt go with my mood. I made myself smile, though, in case the rooms occupant saw me.
It was Wufei. Great. Just great. The one guy that I cant bluff. I grinned at him anyway, hoping that the expression was reaching my eyes.
Wufei opened his door a little wider and leaned against the door frame. It looked like hed just gotten out of the showerhis hair was not in the usual pony tail, and tracks of water glittered on his chest in the light. He was just wearing a set of loose white pants. And wearing them quite well, I might add.
Shit. I keep trying to tell myself that what I feel for Heero is special, and has nothing to do with gender, but Im really starting to think that maybe I am gay. Just another thing to deal with. Wufei is great, though, probably the best friend I have. He was the one that cajoled, threatened, and talked me into promising to stay alive no matter what a year ago. Other than a little casual noting of how great his bod looks at times, Wufei has stayed strictly in the category of friend and nothing more, which is a relief to me. I dont need another man complicating my life. Ones enough for me, thank you very much.
Duo. he said quietly.
I stopped in front of him, not stepping in the pool of light that the door was letting out of the room. Kind of like that little game some kids still play not stepping on the cracks in the sidewalk. Yeah. Or maybe I just feel more comfortable in the dark. Who knows. Yeah, Wu-man?
I heard a noise. Must have been your door. What are you doing out here?
Direct as always. I sighed, and decided to be direct right back for once. Going for a walk.
Wufei raised an eyebrow. In the middle of the night.
Yeah. In the middle of the night. I didnt feel like being trapped in my room any more. /with him./ I didnt have to finish the thought aloud. We both knew what I was running from. Yeah, running. No better word for it.
You should just try talking to him, Duo.
Weve been over this before, Wu. I dont want to lose him again, and I might if I say anything. Who knows. And besides I dont think you want to have to pick up the pieces again.
Aa. Wufei smiled slyly. Ive had enough of your belly aching to last a life time. I dont need any more.
Jerk. I grinned at him. Look, Im just going to take a walk. Ive done it before. Ill be careful, Deaths honor.
Wufei nodded. If you want to talk
I know where to find your room. Daijoubu. I grinned at him and then started walking again, cutting right through the pool of light on the hallway floor. See? Easy.
Aa. Daijoubu. I heard Wufeis door shut behind me.
A couple doors later, I was out of the school and slouching my way down the street. Sometimes, I wish Wufei hadnt turned into such a good friend. He makes me want to talk to him about stuff that Im personally not ready to deal withnot that Ill EVER be ready to deal with it, mind you. But the good thing about him is, he knows when its important to push, and when he should just leave it alone. And hed definitely made the right choice this time around.
It was a nice night out, just edging its way toward spring so nippy enough that I needed the jacket, but not cold enough to drive me indoors any time soon. Im skinny, ok? Getting cold easy goes with the territory. I really wonder how Heero does it, sometimes, sticking with spandex even in the middle of winter. It make certain parts of my anatomy cringe just thinking about it.
Damn. I had to stop thinking about Heero. I needed to relax, or else Id never be able to get to sleep.
I was starting to like the night more and more. When I was little, I didnt like it very much. Not many little kids do, and after I lost everything for the second time around, I really hated it, because Id dream. The dreams dont bother me any more, not really, because after dealing with them for years and years, nightmares start to lose their shock value.
It wasnt that, though, not really. Just lately, Ive been feeling more and more comfortable at night. More sure of myself, a little stronger, the whole nine yards. Which was just as well, considering Im out here, taking walks night after night, trying to keep myself from either kissing or killing Heero.
I do this WAY too much.
The sky was totally clear, that special clarity you see only in the last few days of winter when springs wrestling the year from its cold grip. I could see the stars like they went on forever, like tiny little ice shards on black top. The moon was waxing, about five or six days from full. It went with the rest of the night décor; some atmospheric trick had colored it a cool, soothing blue.
Just walking was making me feel a lot better. I hated being trapped in that tiny little room. There wasnt any room to move in it, and that drives me nuts. Hyperactive, me? Maybe. Or maybe just a little claustrophobic. Being trapped in an enclosed space while piloting Shinigami is a little different from being trapped in an enclosed space where I wasnt doing much of anything. Besides Shinigami is Shinigami. Its hard to feel claustrophobic when you feel like youre riding in the embrace of an old friend. Never mind the fact that youre killing people and blowing shit up at the same time. Details, details.
I was rapidly approaching the line of ornamental trees that marked the edges of the school grounds. They line the fence along the teachers parking lot, which was what I was currently walking through. Occasionally, my foot kicked up a paper bag or a bunch of soggy leaves, sending them scuffing along the pavement. Time to turn around. I wasnt pissed or upset enough to take the entire trek through the woods to one of this crappy little towns myriad of bars. No, I was only mildly annoyed, so I decided to turn around just as the skeletal shadows of the trees reached up to touch the horizon.
I turned to head back, and four things happened in quick succession. The little gold cross that I always wore around my neck suddenly lit up like a halogen lamp, blinding me.
I said What the hell? mostly because Im not used to jewelry acting like that.
There was a very, very soft sound, like a breath of wind moving around a few of the soggy leaves Id been kicking up before. Except there was no wind. I started to turn around, but slowly, way too slowly.
Something big, heavy, and very fast that smelled a little bit like snakes and a lot like blood hit me from behind and took me down to the ground, doing its level best to grind my head through the pavement.