RENEWING OF A DREAM
I dont own the beautiful bishounen here! Dont sue me! Any comments, however, are appreciated! This is alternate timeline, you realize, for both series. Its supposed to happen after the battle with Shishio but it doesnt follow the anime after that. And there are warnings of OOCness! Not to mention, a lame attempt at light-hearted humor to balance the angst fics Ive buried you guys under. Read at your own risk! ^_^
1. Grading system is based on the Canadian one, using percentages.
2. Id add Xena: the Warrior Princess as part of the title because it is where I got the idea of the Chronos Stone but I only added that one tiny thing so I didnt bother.
3. Okay, a year and a half have passed since the start of the war and its still going. Well see what happens next, kay?
FIRST DRAFT: Sunday, November 28, 1999
LAST REVISED: Sunday, April 30, 2000
CHAPTER 5: RESCUED
Yahiko limped as he followed Saitoh out of the woods back towards town. Night had fallen and most of the streets were already deserted. The policeman, effortlessly cradling the unconscious Duo, stalked quietly through the cobbled streets. They stopped before a row of apartments. Yahiko noted that the buildings were well-kept, with lit paper lanterns swinging lazily at regular intervals.
Saitoh stopped before the one at the very end, leaning against a great stone wall. He slid the door open, taking his shoes off before stepping in. Yahiko followed, eyes wide as he tried to absorb his surroundings.
The apartment was just one big room. There was a gorgeous silkscreen panel on one side, depicting Mount Fuji in autumn glory. On another corner was the kitchen, a mere clay stove and a cabinet of pots, pans, bowls, and knives. Yahiko saw the sliding wooden window and thought that was where all the smoke from cooking would go.
Worn tatami mats covered the rest of the floor, and there was a small shrine in the near right corner, incense sticks clustered along the small stone Buddha. On the opposite corner was a low lying black lacquer table and several thin square pillows. The boy looked for the latrine, but couldnt find any and assumed that an outhouse was situated somewhere outside.
Saitoh moved beyond the silkscreen panel before bending down to gently lay Duo on a thick pallet. Yahiko came forward to kneel by the young mans side, a little nervous.
He heard Saitohs footsteps softly padding away, followed by a clink of metal and the whoosh of a newly-lit fire. There was the scrape of a metal lid being twisted away. The familiarity of those sounds relaxed the boy and soon he found himself crawling beside Duo, falling asleep.
Saitoh took the kettle off the stove a second after it whistled. He looked over where the two boys still slept, undisturbed, and poured himself some tea. Setting the kettle back down on the unlit stove, he sipped at the hot liquid, savoring the subtle taste.
He had not expected to rescue the two young men when he spotted members of the yakuza group leaving the forest. There had obviously been a fight, considering many of their members had to be supported and the bruises and cuts all of them wore. His instincts had declared trouble and right after the group vanished into the streets of Tokyo, he went into the forest where he followed their trail.
Upon seeing the squat shack situated in the east side of the forest, he had been expecting bodies. Several of them from the looks of the fight.
Saitoh Hajime knew very well who of the two boys could create so much damage. What he had not expected was just how dangerous the long-haired foreigner was.
He stood there, leaning against a wall, and contemplated the mashed features of the foreigner. Discarding the remains of the tea out his window, Saitoh walked out of his apartment towards the Kamiya Dojo.
The trail was not very well-hidden. Heero and Kenshin had both spotted it immediately, seeing speckles of blood on leaves and scuffs of shoes against the dusty forest floor. Kaoru and Sanosuke, less versed in tracking, followed their measured pace.
Heero could not express the rage he felt when he opened the door of the shack at the end of trail and found nothing. There were marks that someone had been kept inside, but there were no traces left.
What now? Kaoru asked, her voice tight with worry.
Well have to look around carefully, Kaoru-dono, to see whether theres another trail, Kenshin said soothingly. His violet eyes were turning a dark purple.
Kuso! Those yakuza bastards! Sanosuke slammed his bandaged fist against a tree. It shook and broke against the blow, falling with a loud thud. All of his comrades turned to him with fierce glowers. The young man flushed in embarrassment.
They examined every bit of land around and near the shack but found nothing. Dawn was lighting the skies when Kenshin and Sanosuke pulled Heero from the forest and back towards the dojo.
Saitoh Hajime met them as they came out of the woods.
Your two brats are safe with me. I have them at my house. He turned on his heel and left. After the initial shock, Heero followed and the others came after.
Yahiko was awake and sitting up when the group came in the apartment. He smiled wryly as Kaoru gasped and began scolding him, kneeling before him to examine his wounds.
Duo was awakened by Kaorus voice and found that he still couldnt open his eyes. His entire body felt as if he had been stepped by a great giant foot. Like Deathscythes.
Duo, are you alright? came Heeros voice, heard as if from a great distance. Duo croaked an affirmative reply.
Wheres the Fox Lady? Sanosuke asked. Ill go fetch her.
Saitoh poured several cups of tea and Kenshin helped distribute them to everybody. Thank you, the ruruoni said solemnly. We all appreciate your help.
It is a policemans duty.
Do you know who might have done this?
The yakuza band I warned you about. I saw them coming out of the forest with wounds and unconscious members and found their trail.
Thats why the shack was empty. We must have come after you had already rescued them. Did anybody see you?
Aah, of course not. My apologies. Kenshin turned as the front door slid open once more and Megumi stepped in, bearing her black doctors bag, followed by Sanosuke.
Oh, the lady doctor said as she kneeled beside Duo. Dont worry, young man, Im here to help.
Kenshin closed his eyes and murmured a grateful prayer. His eyes landed fondly on Kaoru and Yahiko, squabbling as always, but with an undertone of fearful hysteria.
Sanosuke, lounging as far from the noise as possible, caught the look and averted his eyes, his fist tightening.
Saitohs golden eyes narrowed.
A device that takes people to any time they wish?
Wufei nodded, ignoring the incredulity in Quatres voice. He paced the large study of their latest hideaway. The other two pilots were sitting in a large couch, the item in question sitting on a coffee table in front of them.
I read of it before and saw a photo. It was a legend, a myth, back from old Greek Mythology.
Chronos, the Greek word for time, Trowa said.
The stone must have sent Duo and Heero to another time and place. If I remember correctly, all that one must do to activate it is twist the base and utter the desired time period and location.
They could be anywhere! Quatre exclaimed.
Not necessarily, Wufei interjected. The dorm-president said that Eiji Takikura, Heero, had been studying the Meiji era for his Japanese History class. That gives us a pretty good starting point.
But how could they have left the Stone here? What if we cant take the Stone with us?
Trowa answered, We cant all go after them. We have duties here. We still havent found 02 and the doctors could resurface with new mission instructions anytime. Only one person can go.
Ill go, Wufei declared. That way, if I cant take the Stone with me, there will be the two of you here to help look.
But how do we know whether you have found them? Quatre fretted. He didnt like this. There were too many random factors to take into consideration.
You dont. Ill look for them and well try to come back. If three months have passed and we are still not back, then abandon us and concentrate on the war. Two Gundam pilots are better than none.
Wufei . . .
I have to go, Quatre. We have to try. You can start researching anything about the Chronos Stone, while were gone.
Quatre and Trowa watched the Chinese pilot pluck the dull green statue, twist the metal base, and shout Meiji Era!. In a bright flash, both Wufei and the Stone vanished.