Okay, so maybe diving straight in hadn't exactly been his brightest idea yet, but it was definitely too late now to change his mind. No, there had been no other way, and he needed to save his companion immediately and this was the sole method that had presented itself. And, as pleasant as it was to finally have a body of his own, he certainly wasn't going to take this opportunity and let Daisuke take the punishment for it. He wasn't quite sure when, but somewhere along the way he'd gotten rather fond of his little partner. He certainly wasn't about to let some woman from centuries ago trapped in a painting steal the boy away from not. Not only did he have a reputation to maintain (How would it look for the master phantom thief to have been successfully stolen from? Not a little painting or piece of jewelry either, but his partner and current host. He'd never live it down.), but there was this strange... affection he had for the latest Niwa.
Still, the wind bit into the slice across his stomach, as well as the stab wound deep in his shoulder. There was still no blood, which he counted as a good - albeit a strange - sign, but it hurt like... well, like the devil himself was shoving a red-hot poker through his arm. Krad certainly hadn't been pulling blows on him, that was for sure. And his partner, as he'd seen him last, was out here in nothing but his pajamas and his bare feet. The snow below him and blowing through the air may not be cold, but still...
In the end, he needed to get Daisuke out of here before it was too late, before Freedert's world swallowed the boy whole - or before Krad regained control of that Hikari boy and closed them both into the painting.
"Daisuke... where are you?" he muttered, almost to himself. He was getting nowhere. He'd been flying for what felt like hours, and there was still no sign of his partner. Dai could be anywhere in this crazy world. He had no idea where to find him or even if Freedert would allow Daisuke to be seen this time.
Wait! There! Below him, a sole break in the white landscape drew his attention, and he swooped down to examine it more closely. Snow crunched beneath him as he landed and sank up to his ankles. "This is -" It was Dai's easel after all; on it sat the painting of the exact same snow-bound landscape he found himself standing in. He twisted about, eyes darting around wildly. But where was...?
"Daisuke! Where are you?" he yelled. "Daisuke!" Fear, an almost completely unknown feeling to him, ate at him as the wind swallowed his words. Even on the barrenness of these plains, there was no echo.
His gaze cast around, desperate for some sign of his missing other half. The snow had filled whatever footprints there might have otherwise been. He certainly wasn't giving up yet though! They were running out of time before this place ceased to be.
The wind whipped around him, and he held back a wince as he had to push his hair out of his eyes. Then something in the distance caught his attention. Was that -? It couldn't be - But it was the windmill monument. He knew he hadn't seen it in the painting when he'd entered it, so that Hikari boy must have added it. But would Dai remember to go there? It was as good a chance as any he had.
He shook the snow from his wings and took to the air again. The wind was growing worse, making flight all the more difficult. It was almost like this world didn't want him to find his little partner. Well, obviously this world didn't know him very well if it thought that this would stop him. He was the Phantom Thief Dark Mousy, after all. He did not fail to retrieve what he set out after, be a famous treasure or be it his partner, Niwa Daisuke.
He was over the tower now, and faintly he could hear Daisuke's voice echoing "Freedert-san". He'd found him.
Daisuke... "Daisuke!" escaped him. A hand wrapped around the back of his pajama shirt and yanked. He vaguely heard himself and Dai arguing (for some reason, the boy didn't want to leave). Then he felt Dai's grip on the blonde woman kneeling before them slip, and he pulled him free, starting to rise into the air. They had to hurry; there wasn't much time left. The Hikari boy would be closing the painting soon, and he had no wish to remain here.
Daisuke was beating on his arms, demanding to be released, to be allowed to go back. He was silent. Even struggling, at least he finally had Dai in his arms. That would do for now. Yes, for now it would suffice.
:: Owari ::
08 August 2004
Waii!!! I finished! This is sort of a companion piece to "Alone in the Dark". It's not necessary to read them together, but it gives you a more rounded view of the situation. There's at least one more coming after this one, called "Absence of the Light", with yet another POV jump. I'm not saying who, though. And I swear I'm still going to rewrite the series' ending someday, just not yet.
And whee! 830 words!