The air was colored purple. Red light shone off the massive blade, and blue shone from blank eyes as she glared at them over her weapon. "I was hoping," she began, "for a good fight from at least my little warrior there," she gestured vaguely at Heero lying prone on the ground, unmoving, "but since that's going to be a bust, I guess one of the rest of you will have to fight me instead." Her eyes traveled over the group, dismissing each of them in turn.
"Morrigan, stop." Aya spoke softer than they had ever heard him do so before, as but he stepped forward between the Elder Goddess and the others, his face and bearing were as stern as could be.
"Why?" she countered.
"You don't have to do this..."
She smirked, an evil look crossing over her face. "But I want to do this, Aed! I'm going to have some fun for the first time since She changed me into a goddess." She shifted her grip on her sword, her grin expanding as she watched Usagi leaning down to check on Heero and Duo watching over the blonde goddess protectively. "Now step out of my way, Aed. It'd be boring to fight you; I know all your moves better than you do."
"Oneesan." Usagi's voice was hard as ice. "Why are you doing this?"
She shrugged. "Like Freyr told it to me when he turned, it's fun. It's fun to lose your mind, to go a little mad."
"You're going to let Heero die so you can have fun?!"
"Why not?" Her smile widened even more as Usagi sprang to her feet, a determined look in her sapphire blue eyes. "You're not going to fight me. Without that pretty stone of yours, you're shit for a fighter."
"It's true," Usagi admitted softly. "It's been a long time since I've fought without the Ginzuishou, but that doesn't mean I can't." A pale, slendar hand stretched out before her, holding steady for a long moment before her entire arm began to glow.
"You can't fight me with physical strength, so you'll give magick a shot, eh?"
A violent tremor ran through the ground. All eyes shot to the two women, wondering which had produced it, while they kept their their gazes locked, waiting for the first to bend. A faint sheen of sweat covered the Moon Goddess's face, and her eyes were slitted in concentration.
At a sharp gasp from her opponent, everyone looked the other way. The Elder Goddess's entire frame was shaking, both her arms clutched over her chest, her breath ragged and difficult. With an intense shutter, her legs threatened to give out from under her; only jabbing her sword into the ground and leaning heavily on it saved her from collapsing. The next tremor made her lose her precarious balance as it rocked everyone else as well. As Usagi's concentration broke, the pained look left Morrigan's face and she again regained her feet.
"Not bad, little sister. Not bad at all," she commented. She was sounding better by the minute. "Ready for counterattack, though?" She leveled the Masamune at Usagi's heart - and vanished.
For a long second, tension ran through the air as everyone tried to place their friend turned enemy. Then, without warning, Duo shoved Usagi to the ground, in time for the blade of the sword to miss her and pierce his shoulder. And then there was a pale hand on the blade, pulling it out of his shoulder and throwing it aside, and for another indefinite stretch of time, he stared at the back of his savior's glaringly red hair, trying to wrap his mind around the idea of Aya helping him.
Or maybe helping him wasn't the other man's goal.
"Morrigan..." His deep voice was tense, strained, tight. "If you're fighting anyone here, it's going to be me."
For a long moment, they stared at each other. The third and most violent ground shaking broke the tableau as it pitched and rolled and knocked them into each other. Morrigan jumped back like she'd been shocked, again holding herself up with her sword. "Damn it, Aed," she muttered barely loud enough for him to hear her as the quaking ended. "I'm not going to fight you. It would defeat the purpose."
"The purpose of what?"
She rolled her eyes. "She made us gods so we'd live forever. They changed us into what we are for this point in time, when the Summoning finally took place."
"The Summoning?" Wufei's voice sounded... worried. "Does that mean what I think it means?"
"Thanatos has all three treasures," Setsuna answered. "If the legends are true, then he can summon either Vritra or-"
"He's going to summon Vritra," Morrigan cut in, "to destroy the world, so that Thanatos can remake it in his own image and Sakura can replenish the demon population. That's close to what Este wanted... close enough anyway..."
Her words trailed off as she found herself looking up into purple eyes, closer than they had ever been to her before. He grabbed her shoulders, his grip iron-tight, knocked her sword from numbing fingers, and leaned down to stare directly into her eyes. "I have already lost one person I love to Este. I'm not going to lose you to them too."
She froze, and some of the madness bled away from her eyes. "Aed...?" Her voice was soft and shook, and she tried to take a step back but found she could barely move.
"I'm not going to lose you." He pulled her the rest of the way forward. Her eyes went wide for a split second when their lips met before they slid shut of their own accord, and her arms moved the little they could to encircle his body. They lost themselves in each other, oblivious of everything else, as lightning crashed over their heads and the world went to hell around them.
A particularly violent earthquake knocked them apart and to the ground. As she landed, her wings disappeared and her arms wrapped around herself as she shivered, blue eyes darting from Aya to Heero to Usagi to Duo. "What have I done?" she whispered. Aya reached forward to touch her, and she jerked away
The sky split open, and a bellowing roar drowned out all rational thought. Faintly, in the distance, a serpentine figure was apparent for a split second across the sky then vanished beneath the horizon as a feeling of ancient evil seeped through their bones.
What have I done?
28 January 2002
Hmm... How much can I pack into a chapter less than 10kbs? Apparently, quite a bit!
Well... plans are laid, and I will be at Animazement this year! Keep an eye out for me!