Duo's voice sounded so... hopeless, Hotaru couldn't help thinking, but she had to do this. "Can't you look at them and tell?" She gulped, her next words hesitant and slow in coming. "Besides, Duo-san, I -"
A shrill scream interrupted her, and she cursed the missed chance before her mind noted the source of the noise. "Usagi-san!" she called, whirling for the door a few feet behind her back.
Somehow, Duo beat her there, throwing open the double doors, the yell of "Usagi!" dying on his lips as they both took in the scene before them.
Heero stood before Usagi, guarding her with his own body, a rather fierce expression in his dark eyes. On the opposite wall, Setsuna and Wufei also burst into the room, apparently drawn by the sound of Usagi's scream as well. And on the furthest side of the room...
"Thanatos," Duo growled.
"Well, then," the dark god drawled, "it looks like the cast is all assembled."
"Kisama," Wufei ground out, each word forced through plainly clenched teeth, "what do you think you're doing here?"
"Actually, I'm not here. I just wanted to test the powers I got from Loki on those two," he stated matter-of-factly, gesturing vaguely at Usagi and Heero.
Something deep inside Duo clenched as Usagi grabbed onto the back of Heero's shirt sleeve and he slipped protective arms around her body.
Can't you look at them and tell?
"Stay away from Usagi." Had that growl really come from Heero? The Perfect Soldier? And was it just his imagination - or were Heero's eyes really glowing red?
"She was mine first, little god. I had her before you were a twinkle in your grandfather's eye, and let me assure you: she's not all that." Usagi's body seemed to be folding up on itself, collapsing bonelessly at the words; only Heero's arms were keeping her upright, and finally even that wasn't enough, and they both sank to the floor. "I wonder: is she a better lay now that she's got a few more years on her? Fourteen-year-old virgins just aren't that good in the sack. Oh, you can't pretend you haven't had her, baby god; I saw the illusion you two created for yourselves." The dark-haired man sneered, oblivious of the potent glare Heero was sending his way, oblivious of the glares everyone in the room, except Usagi who was sobbing against Heero's chest, were sending his way. "But you're still young enough not to know how good it can be as a god, aren't you? And if you stay with her, you'll never know. But I can -"
"Just shut up already, will you?" Hotaru exploded beside Duo. In the time he'd been staring at Usagi, wanting to do something, anything, to help her, the short dark-haired goddess had produced a sickle-like weapon (a glaive, his mind supplied) and had leveled it against Thanatos.
"You can't kill me, Kali. Nor you, Ryujin," he haphazardly aimed at Wufei, halting his approach. "The oldest ones in this room are Selene and Shinigami. I've made certain Selene won't be fighting me, and you, Shinigami, will never transform in front of Selene. What, afraid she'll be horrified by your true appearance, little Death?"
"Temee...," he couldn't hold back.
"Shin-kun?" Usagi whispered. He glanced back at her to see tear-filled blue eyes locked on his, even as she still clung to Heero.
I'll be there for you no matter what you decide. His own words rang in his head anew. Yeah, and I haven't been doing a good job of it either. Ai shiteru, Usagi. I hope Heero learns to take care of you, because you are going to hate me after this.
He swallowed deeply, and as if in response, the shadows all over the room swirled, closed in, encircled him. But Thanatos's voice interrupted him before he could even really begin the transformation.
"You're wasting your time, little Death." The man slowly faded from sight, but not before he delivered his parting line: "You can't kill an illusion, after all."
The second the vision vanished, Usagi's tears broke out anew. Heero looked bewildered, maybe even a bit nervous, but he pulled her up in his arms and onto his lap and did his best to comfort her. Can't you look at them and tell?
Wufei turned from the dark corner where Thanatos had stood not a moment before and stalked across the room to the side where Setsuna was, punching the wall hard enough to put his fist through it. With a patient sigh, she pried his hand out , but neither could meet the other's eyes.
And back across the room, Duo sagged down into a crouch. Half the reason he never transformed was because of the energy it stole from him. His new vantage point brought him to eye level with Heero. In the split second before he looked away, a strange but understanding look passed between the two best friends turned enemies; they both would do everything in their power to keep one woman they both loved happy and safe. But the moment was broken when Duo turned slightly to regard Hotaru. She leaned heavily against her glaive, her expression one of weary curiosity as she fingered a delicate white feather. Came closer to transforming than I thought, he idly mused.
Someone snorted derisively, and everyone's attention turned to Heero, only to find him so entangled in holding Usagi to be concerned with the rest of them. Only then did they trace the sound to the final set of doors, the ones Wufei had wrecked earlier, that lead outside.
"So you're the ones who call yourselves taking on Thanatos," the woman leaning against the jagged frame there stated.
16 May 2001
Again, no reviews, no updates. Chibi Tenshi's review don't go up, no updates. If anyone notices this... Somehow, I doubt it. 10+ reviews for this and at least 10+ for Tenshi-chan means another. I'm not even going to bother leaving my e-mail addie. No one e-mails me.
I am no longer looking for someone to do a manga to this. *glomps Sailorcelestial* You're a sweet, sweet person.
I'm going to let you know now. I will only be working on this for a while, so that I can concentrate on my original writing that I'm prepping for publishing. So in other words, Gods and Other Creatures will be the only thing I update for a while.