Startled eyes flew around to meet the deep purple ones of the newcomer who had interfered with an Elder Goddess's actions- and stopped her no less. Usagi found herself staring at a man who appeared almost gothic in nature. Tall and lean, he wore a long black coat made out of material that made it seem very touchable. The cold glint shining from those eyes suggested otherwise. The rest of him, like Oneesan, was dressed in all black, from the high round-necked shirt to the leather pants molded to his thighs. Perhaps the most devastating combination of all was the shock of red hair cropped close to his head, with tendrils flowing along the side that should've made him look feminine but didn't.
"What are you doing?" Oneesan asked, a perplexed look upon her face. This was obviously something she hadn't anticipated.
Usagi watched in shock as he gave her a cursory glance, and from within those amethyst depths, she swore she found a warm golden glint within those irises.
Oneesan tightened her jaw almost imperceptibly, and with an angry push, she separated her sword from his own.
"You won't harm her. She's innocent in all this."
His words were staccato, echoing in the room. Heero, not one to miss an opportunity like this, wrapped his arm around Usagi's waist and brought them a safe distance away. Duo only raised his eyebrow as if to suggest no distance was safe from the Elder Goddess should she choose to try killing them again. The questions still remained as to who this mysterious man who showed up was and how he could somehow have the power to stop Oneesan.
The man stood with his back straight and met Oneesan's glaring eyes unflinchingly. He either had a spine made of steel or he had a history with her, Usagi thought privately. They were standing just a few feet apart, and she thought she saw a spasm of emotion cross the Elder Goddess's face as she glanced back and forth between Usagi and the man.
"We need to stop the demon, or have you forgotten?" Oneesan said finally, resheathing her sword. The rest watched in amazement as the sword the man held seemingly disappeared into thin air, not before catching a glimpse of liquid metal.
"I haven't, but I won't have the blood of innocents shed. You know I can't allow that." His eyes softened momentarily, and he glanced at Oneesan before Usagi found herself the recipient of that gaze as well. "I know how it's like to want to protect someone with your life."
Heero tightened his arms around Usagi, and he couldn't help the chill of apprehension that crept up his spine. The room was fairly crackling with energy with having these many gods contained in such a small area. He did notice that the air sizzled the minute this newcomer arrived and stopped Oneesan's wrath. He wasn't quite sure what to make of the Elder Goddess. She had appeared almost playful in nature when she had first arrived, but then he had inadvertently provoked her ire with his suddenly runaway mouth. It didn't matter what happened to him. He had to make sure Usagi was safe.
With his mouth next to her ear, he whispered, "Leave the room now."
Usagi whirled bright eyes to stare at him in confusion. "Nani? Iie, I won't. I won't let you leave me."
Duo heard those words, and he could feel his heart breaking. A small and gentle hand came to rest upon his shoulder, and the sympathy flowing from that simple touch offered some semblance of comfort.
"We need to find out Thanatos's plan and who this new person is. Although--" Hotaru said with a thoughtful expression on her face.
"Although what?" Wufei growled out, having made his way beside her.
The hushed whispers of Usagi and Heero bickering seemed to draw their attention briefly, and Hotaru only shook her head at the twosome. "It would take considerable skill and power to stop someone like Oneesan. She's an Elder Goddess after all, for crying out loud. You can be sure of one thing: he's definitely not mortal."
Twin gasps sounded from further away as Usagi dragged Heero against his will to join their group. Duo and Wufei were giving her similar shocked looks.
"That could only mean one thing though," Usagi said wide-eyed.
~ * ~ * ~
It was as if time stood still for the both of them as they stared at each other, glances that seemed to exchange words they could not speak aloud.
"Why did you do that?" she asked with an underlying plea to her normally hard tone.
The words that the other gods were exchanging didn't reach them, bouncing off the invisible wall that had somehow risen about them. As an Elder Goddess, time manipulation frequently came as a part of the package, though they were strictly forbidden to interfere with the natural course of the timelines. That was reserved for the one who created the gods, she absently and bitterly thought to herself.
"I had to."
Oneesan could not believe her ears. Was it possible that he was attracted to the younger goddess?
Around them, the walls seemed to crumble as her thoughts reverted into chaos, drawing them back into present time. As she closed her eyes, she failed to see the warm gaze her companion gave her before making his way to her side.
~ * ~ * ~
Amused laughter greeted them as dark eyes flashed in their direction. Whatever Oneesan and the other man had been talking about had obviously been settled. The man now stood stoically behind her, his aura seeming almost protective in nature.
"Have you children figured it out yet?" she asked, her tone still less than happy.
One man seethed, holding onto his fists with un-Wufei like restraint, which perhaps came from the hand Setsuna had on his shoulder. Heero barely held back his growl; Usagi and Hotaru both shrugged, while Duo quirked his brow.
"They're smarter than you think," was all the man would say.
"Perhaps. But they need to be smarter than this if they can hope to defeat Thanatos. Only idiots would keep fighting amongst themselves like this," Oneesan replied thoughtfully.
"Why don't you stop taunting us and just tell us who the other man is?" The quiet voice of Usagi sounded, and both Oneesan and her companion's eyes flashed briefly in strange approval. However, the people surrounding Usagi were doubting her sanity at the way her words seemed to challenge them.
"I'm sure you already know," Oneesan replied shortly. Kuso, she's a tough one to read, Wufei thought to himself.
"He's obviously not mortal," Duo blurted out, only to cause Oneesan to roll her eyes, a faint hint of amusement on her lips.
"He's an Elder God," came Usagi's answer.
22 May 2001
Closing notes from Eternal:
- Again, no reviews, no updates. If anyone notices this... Somehow, I doubt it. 10+ reviews means another.
- 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.
- Please, people e-mail and/or review for Chibi Tenshi. See? She told me to quit holding fics for ransom, but I'm here harassing you anyway... REVIEW!!!!