"I am a person who has no right to be loved by anyone."
She woke up, sweat rolling down her cold body. In a vain attempt to stave off the coldness, she wrapped her arms around her body; when that didn't work, she stood and tried to shake it off, with somewhat better results than the previous attempt.
Aya-san... she thought to herself as she walked towards the dungeon, you're mine. You always have been and you always will be. Those women cannot change that. And besides, if I have my way, you'll never see either of them again. Just as I did back then, I'll kill anyone who gets in my way. She frowned. What's that noise? It sounds like... like... a swordfight...
As if on cue, the door leading down into the basement flew open under Thanatos's weight. She jumped back out of the way to keep the tall man from dragging her across the hall with him in his fall into the wooden wall. A scowl on his face, he pulled himself out of the hole he'd made using the leverage his sword provided.
"Not very graceful there, Thanatos-san," she commented idly. "Prisoners get loose?" She grinned as he growled in her direction. "I still say you should have let me kill them right away."
"I take it back, Tomoe-san. You can kill them both now, however you want to. Just get rid of them."
"You're too kind." She slipped between the broken planks of the door and down the stairs to the dungeon. There she paused a long moment then came back up the stairs slowly. "Thanatos-san?"
"You let them get away."
"They won't get far." A smirk built on his face. "Not as long as she has the Masamune."
"Planning on tracking her through her silver-haired lover's sword?"
"All these millennia and it still reeks of his death and blood and demonic influence. Makes it so easy to trace." He smiled grimly at her. "I'm sure Morrigan knows that; she's probably saving that sword to kill one of us with."
"Is that so?" the demon purred. "Then we'll just have to see about that..."
~ * ~ * ~
Usagi stared at the woman beside her in awe. Wow... I never dreamed Elder Gods could be so powerful..."Sugoi, Oneesan..."
A half-smile on her face, Oneesan reached over and grasped Usagi's shoulder tightly, apparently using her and the sword to stand up. "Just don't make it a repeat performance, Usagi. It's exhausting."
"I will be in a little bit. I'm beyond exhausted at the moment." She glanced around. "We're near the house. Why don't you go on back," she let go of Usagi and leaned against a tree, "and I'll check up in a bit?"
"I... don't want Aed to see me like this, little sister."
Usagi bit her lip lightly but slowly turned away. "If you're not there five minutes after I am, Ran-nikun-tachi and I will come find you."
"You drive a hard bargain, but I accept. Like I have a choice. I'll be on in just a few minutes."
She smiled at the Elder Goddess, nodded once, and then took off running towards the house. Once she thought she might be within hearing distance, she yelled as loudly as she could, "Heero! Duo!"
Almost before she could blink, she found herself enveloped in strong arms. "Daijoubu, Usagi?" that so-familiar, so-welcome voice asked.
"Hai, I'm all right, Heero."
"Morrigan?" a deeper voice interrupted. She looked up from Heero's chest to see the Elder God skidding to a stop before them, sword already drawn. "Where is she?"
Is it just me, Heero's voice whispered into the back of her mind, or does sensei sound a bit...
~...worried?~ She flashed a purely mental grin at him. ~It might actually be working, Heero. They might actually be beginning to notice each other!~
About damned time too.
A sudden shudder ran through the earth beneath their feet, nearly knocking them all off their feet. "What the -" Heero started to exclaim.
"Oneesan!" Usagi cried. Startling purple eyes turned her way, a faint hint of worry evident in them. "She's out there, in the woods!"
Before the words had finished leaving her mouth, he was gone. With a quick nod between them, she and Heero followed.
~ * ~ * ~
She clung to the Masamune with fierce strength, praying that she could last out this battle. It had taken all of the Elder Gods to put this demon down once; what chance did she alone stand?
"None what so ever," the demon girl taunted, apparently reading her thoughts. Fire sprang from her fingertips and danced along her body. "So just come on and give up. I'll try my best to make it painless." The flame rushed off her body and flew at Morrigan.
All she could do was raise the sword before her and pray for a miracle. As the heat surrounded her, she had to bite back a scream, closing her eyes tightly shut and biting down on her lower lip.
"Do you really expect that sword to save you, Morrigan? It will fail you, just as it did Freyr."
The Elder Goddess's eyes snapped back open, glowing a startling shade of blue unlike their normal color, and the sword before her began to take on the same tint. As the fire continued to rush at her, it split before the huge blade, now completely bypassing her. Over the noise of the fire, there came a faint sound like a thousand birds taking flight at once, and huge black wings unfurled behind her, easily double the size of her own body.
The demon released its attack and jumped back a couple of feet, just in case. "What the -" Suddenly she grinned, taking in the waves of power coming off the Elder Goddess. "So... Morrigan, it seems that you're one of us after all..."
Blue eyes silently glowing, the goddess shifted her stance subtly and drew the huge sword up to fight, in a stance that was both familiar yet also not her own, balancing the gigantic weapon in a way only its true and previous owner had before.
"Morrigan!" a deep and innately familiar voice to both of the women called out, echoing through the stillness of the woods. The Elder Goddess lowered the sword just slightly, and the demon grinned widely.
"Looks like Aya-san gets to see you like this anyway," she sneered.
"Doushite?" she whispered under her breath. "Why does he have to see this?"
She took deep breaths, trying desperately to calm the force that seemed to be turning into a blazing inferno from within her. He could not be permitted to see this. She would die first. How could she face him after letting him see who she really was? That her crusade was nothing but a lie? That the very thing she sought to destroy was the thing that she was? What she was becoming?
"I'm sorry, Aed. More sorry that you'll ever know."
A blast of light exploded from Morrigan's body, temporarily blinding the demon. The shriek went by unnoticed as Morrigan thrust the Masamune in the direction of her enemy's heart. Even as she wanted the younger girl to die, her sword was not co-operating. Almost with a life of its own, it veered sharply to the side, causing her to lose her balance and stumble.
"Morrigan?" The voice, slightly out of breath, filled with urgency and unrecognized emotion sent her head snapping upward.
She raised wild eyes to meet Aed's confused ones. He had seen her like this. He had seen who she really was. Was life even worth living at this point?
"Why didn't you tell me?" There was an accusing tone to his voice that sent her heart plunging straight to her stomach. It was over. In his eyes, she had betrayed him. She had put pain in those beautiful amethyst depths.
"I?" Was that her voice sounding so weak and uncertain? Damn it! Morrigan, this isn't you. Sound stronger than this!
"How nice, a lover's reunion," the young-looking demon called out sarcastically.
Dark blue eyes suddenly whipped back over to her opponent, barely taking in the arrival of Heero and Usagi behind Aed. "Omae.. " Morrigan began, resuming her stance, her voice deep with anger and anguish, "Tomoe Sakura... I'm going to kill you."
7 September 2001
Author's (closing) notes:
Merry meet, my friends! I wish I could say I'm proud of this chapter, but I promised myself I'd get at least one more out before Mabon. I succeeded, but not without a lot of help from my dear co-author! *glomps Tenshi-chan* Actually, as you can see from my dedications at the top, this chapter took a lot of help, so thank you to all the lovely people who helped out! Now, I probably won't get another out before Mabon, but if I do, hells, it's all in the good, ne?
And I'd like to announce that I have applied for (and received) an official title. Watashi wa... Shindou Shuichi no Koujo desu! *does a little Victory sign* I'm becoming such a GRAVITATION fangirl! ^_~ Even had to buy the manga and the novel...
To Nishi-san, for letting me claim my new title! To my irl imouto-chan, because she just got her driver's license and I'm proud of her. ^__^
All that's it for now! See you in the next chapter!