Gods and Other Creatures:
Side-Story: "Paler than Grey"
by Eternal SailorM

Disclaimers: Don't own Sailormoon, Gundam Wing, Weiss kreuz, Rurouni Kenshin, or any other manga/anime/games that show up in this fic. The only thing I own is the character Morrigan/Oneesan. Steal her and taste my wrath.
Rating: PG
Archive: E-mail me first.
Dedications: To Chibi Tenshi, my most beloved co-author; it was the best. To Comet-chan, for being my pre-reader. For Jade-chan because she's inspired me. For Usa-chan, for liking me anyway.

This is me.

Like me or hate me, this is who I am.

I don't know what I'm expected to say; after all, this wasn't my idea. That little girl (Look at this; I can't even call her a brat anymore. She's so... infectous.) all but ordered me to sit down and write out what I'm feeling. She said it would help me clear everything out, help me figure out just who I am. I had been going to refuse, but then she fixed me with this huge blue-eyed pouting stare, and all the reasons why I was going to say "no" fled from my mind. Of course, it didn't hurt that Himura also agreed with her before... So anyways, I'm going to try to figure out just who and what I am.

I know I'm something less than a god, but something more than a demon and something a lot more than human. But I've known that for a while. I knew that I wasn't like the other Elder Gods; I just didn't realize Aed was in the same boat as I was, in more ways than one. Or else, I refused to believe the truth before my eyes, which is a bit more likely a situation. I mean, Donguri says we're bonded and... no, no... I refuse to believe that! It can't be true! This thing that I am can't have bled through our bond into him and corrupted him as well... could it?

Okay, Morrigan, we're going to think this out rationally. Maybe that little goddess had a good idea with this writing thing. She said it helped her sort out the difference between herself and Hekate.

Okay, think, Morrigan, think. How could something as tangible and finite as my other half seep through such an intangible and infinite link, like the one Aed and I possess? I don't think it's possible. Or at least, I hope it isn't. I've already failed him. I have no wish to have truly betrayed him. Not like that. So what are the other possibilities? Something he and I share in common that none of the other gods do? Solved easily enough; our time imprisoned by those madmen. The things they did to us, in the name of their mad science.. what if they put something in us? One of them spoke briefly once of failed experiments in trying to raise a dark power; it could be that they were intending on trying again by using Aed and myself and the powers we did not yet know we possessed. I wish we hadn't been forbidden to use our powers to correct things in time. I'd love to go back and get my hands on those bastards and...

I think - or I hope - that was the other half of me talking.

This isn't as easy as she made it out to be. I've never been good at talking about myself, and until very recently, who would I have talked about myself to? Aed and I had something of a silent partnership; neither of us knew the other's past before we ended up in that antiseptic cell, and neither of us asked for or volunteered information. Maybe we should have. Maybe that would have helped - or even have solved the problems, even the one we now face.

Thanatos... Sakura... both are demons from our past: Thanatos from mine, Sakura from his. Of course, his demon is of the literal sort; mine is the closest thing without actually being one. If I'm going to keep playing the "maybe" game... Maybe if I had just slept with Thanatos when he... offered... insisted... whatever you want to call it all those years ago, instead of running to Freyr the moment that man put his hands on me... Maybe if I'd stayed there instead of running, this could have all been avoided. Maybe if I'd avoided Freyr all together, if I hadn't fallen for him or hadn't fallen so hard...

But I can't regret it. No matter what happened or what will happen, I can't regret it. He was my angel, even when he was possessed by that demon and... No, I won't even think about that on paper. I would prefer to keep the happy memories I have of Freyr the way they are, not corrupted by what the demon turned him into. I couldn't save him, not like I could now (another thing I'd change if I was allowed to travel through time), but at least, I was able to save the little warrior. At least, she didn't have to go through what I did.

I wonder, does my little warrior know how lucky he is to have a woman like her? She'd never consciously betray him. She'll love him with all she is, for as long as she's alive and he's alive and probably beyond that. I can hear the two of them outside, where they think I can't detect them; don't they realize how many more times sensitive Elder Gods' senses are compared to even theirs? They're talking about... their plan to set Aed and I up. As far as plans go, it's a bit transparent, but... I can't say I don't appreciate the gesture. I have to admit I want Aed more than I want to take another breath, but I still can't convince myself he wants me as much. I know what she and the little warrior told me of the events that occured while Himura and I were fighting for my soul, but... But, I mean, why would someone as perfect as he is want someone as blemished as I am? The more I learn of his past, of Wei?...

But I digress.

That girl... I can't believe how much she has come to affect us all. I mean, I realized immediately how stuck those two boys of hers were on her, but I didn't know she could even come to touch the heart I'd assumed I'd hidden completely away after Freyr. How does she do it? How can she live with all those emotions, all those feelings, running rampant through her?

How did she worm her way into even my cold heart? I haven't even known her a month, and already I can't imagine how I survived sane before her. At first I thought it was just because she reminded me of Lizzy, but I know now it's a lot more than that. How much more is hard to say. Lizzy never roused these strange protective urges I now seem to have. Until very recently, I fought only for myself and for Aed, but now I find myself wanting to fight for her ideals, to defeat Thanatos and Sakura for her reasons, not my own.

It was very strange. On that day I tried twice to leave, I began to feel my heart melt towards her. It was strange because on that day I wanted very much to hate her. After all, it seemed she had taken Aed's heart, something I had been denying wanting for a long time, as well as the hearts of the two younger gods. But as hard as I tried to hate her... the harder I tried, the harder it became. And just yesterday, we escaped from being held prisoner by Thanatos.

I have never been more honest with a person that I was with her in that dungeon. I told her how I hated losing, not her. Truth. I told her about Sakura stalking Aed and becoming a demon. Truth. I told her about Lizzy. Truth. But most importantly, I told her about Freyr, more about him than even Aed knows. Also, all truth. I just didn't tell her about Thanatos's role in Freyr's insanity, or about him attacking me, or how Himura coming to my rescue back then also. That one is like a guardian over us all; we'd - I'd - be dead several times over if it wasn't for him, and now he's gone... Maybe not forever, but he's gone.

But her... It scares me how she dominates my thoughts. I can't be rid of her. Maybe that's a good thing. I... like having someone depend on me, trust me. I think this is something I've always wanted. I called her "little sister;" that's what she's becoming to me, an imouto the only child in me has always wanted. I think, somehow, she's wormed herself so far into me that I love her as a true oneesan would love her imouto. I held her in my arms, even shared my jacket with her, and felt myself melt. I don't have pretty words for the vast emotions she possesses or that she gives me, but it is like being warmed by a fire that I'd thought long buried, without worrying about being burned. It's warm, not hot.

Warm, not hot... that's a good way to describe it. She's warm; Aed, for all of his frigid demeanor, is hot. She can slowly melt the shield I've built myself; but he can burn it to cinders - and he can do in just two words, three syllables... ai shiteru. Or I'd settle for even just daisuki. Something to give me a reason to believe there was a chance in hell of this working. Or am I just fooling myself? Like I said, he's perfect... I'm God's lost black lamb.

But is Aed really as perfect as I have always thought? It seems like blasphemy to me to write that, but could it be possible? I mean, he too has this thing inside him that those madmen gave us. That thing that makes us less than gods but more than demons. Maybe we're both God's little lost lambs, I his black one and Aed his white - his Wei? - one, but neither of us perfect enough to be called home. But that's going back to my roots, and I left Catholicism behind when I left Ireland.

So am I just God's lost black lamb? Neither god nor demon nor human, but something of all three? Has there ever been anyone else like me, who has suffered the guilt and anxiety I have, who wanted so badly to be loved but knew that they were unworthy, who has spent their entire life alone hoping for someone's - someone special's - presence? Or am I God's only black lamb?

My status with the Christian god not withstanding, I need to come to some sort of an understanding with myself - and soon, before I come any closer to losing myself to this demon within me.

I'm not a god, but I'm not a demon, and I'm also not human. I am tainted by the sin within me. The antithesis of everything Aed hopes for and believes in and wants - and deserves. Darkness to light... and all that...

I had the dreams again last night. I look around at the first scene surrounding me and try to hold back a shiver, ignoring as my hair falls into my eyes. The entire place is as cold and as barren as a tomb. Each weary step I take forward echoes against the tiled floor. The silence is so perfect that I can hear as my fingers slide along the wall as I try to keep my balance. There it is. Just twenty feet in front of me. The door. The way out. But I stop, leaning against the wall in my weariness; someone is watching me - and that someone is the demon me.

Then came the other dream, the dream I am more used to seeing. The castle ruins, the faded white scenery, the people - all now my comrades and fellow Elder Gods, whether dead or alive - all that surround me are familiar. I can see Signe, Thanatos, Hyperion, Himura, Freyr, Aed... Even then I knew I wasn't cut out for the job the woman with the faery wings wanted me - us - to do. And all because some heroine that was supposed to save the world vanished. I swear if I ever get my hands on her... but that's the demon in me talking again. And again, I hope that's just the demon talking.

I can't just refuse to see him anymore. I've been with him for more than fifteen-hundred years; I don't think I can stand be without him now. Besides, it would look strange for me to vanish in the middle of this battle - and after what happened yesterday. So what option does that leave? I can always try my little warrior's technique and try to act like I don't love care for him. That should work best, I believe. If I can survive it.

So I just have to be as aloof as ever, as we both used to be to each other. And try to pretend that everything hasn't changed.

I just fear losing myself to this demon and hurting him, the way Freyr hurt me and the way my little warrior might have hurt her. I fear hurting any of them now; they've all become precious to me. If I hurt them, I know now that I'd have to do just what Freyr did because I wouldn't be able to live with myself anymore.

So I will try to distance myself as far from him as possible, in my heart and in my emotions, if nothing else; I won't be the one to ask for anything more. But if he should decide he wants... more from what we have, if he should decide that, well, then that will be beyond wonderful.

This is me; this is who I am. Not quite the blackness of the demons, but not quite the pure whiteness of the gods. I'm just some shade of grey.

Original Draft: 8 October 2001
Revision: 29 November 2001

Bleh... School sucks. This is also a project for Creative Writing class. Teachers didn't like it, but I hope you guys do as much as my beloved prereaders did.

No witty notes or blurbs. Just see you in the next chapter. Wish me luck.

[ Prologue | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | Spoils of War - Lemon Version | Spoils of War - Lime Version | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | Criminal - 01 | Criminal - 02 | Criminal - 03 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | Paler than Grey | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | Between the Lines | 35 | 36 | 37 | Apart at the Seams | 38 | A Deeper Shade of Pale | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | Epilogue ]