Author: Twilidramon PM
Loaño Ishida is probably the weirdest girl you'll ever meet. Insane jokes, crazy schemes, and so far, nothing special about her. Until, however, two new kids enter and change her whole perspective on the World and the things in it... Believable or not!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Humor - Chapters: 789 - Words: 2,045,971 - Reviews: 1,770 - Favs: 130 - Follows: 56 - Updated: 04-26-13 - Published: 10-09-08 - id: 2581873
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
732: Stuck In the Mud
Altaïr swished his tail to and fro. He leaned against the kitchen counter and looked out the window that sat above the sink. The rain had finally stopped, thanks to Azreal. It had been a long time since he'd seen his brother outside of the body that he'd made for himself, or outside Loaño, for that matter. Seeing his brother's fire again had him itching to get out of this body and run through the stars again.
Oh, brother… what have you done? Altaïr thought in wonder. His brother had always been one for diplomacy over violence – but Altaïr had never seen him act so… unlike himself. His brother had always been calm and collected, no matter what. What had offended him so much that he would go so far as to impugn Zeus's authority? Azreal could have killed Zeus then and there, yes – he has the power, but that didn't mean he was going to use it.
He sighed and thought, I think I know what you're playing at, Az… but I'm not sure. You're more like Father than you realize…
"Is your brother insane?" Tarot wondered, her eyes wide. She had been uneasy since Azreal had brought Loaño back into the house. It'd gotten worse after he gave a brief explanation of what he'd done. Tarot was horrified. "He just pissed off Zeus! Zeus, dammit!"
"It might seem like he's crazy, but he knows what he's doing," Altaïr soothed. I hope, at least. Otherwise we might be looking at the bad end of some very pissed off Olympians…
Taort ran a hand through her long red hair and breathed, "It's Zeus, though – he won't take what AA did lightly. You don't just call one of his storms to a halt or snap his lightning bolt in half! That's just not done!"
"What, so Az should have kissed Zeus's toes and begged?" Altaïr growled, bristling. "Pipin, we're Old Gods. We don't do that sort of prissy shit. We got our respect because we earned it. We commanded it. We didn't do any silly miracles or petty tricks to win over the people. We were respected because our deeds were great and our power greater. Gods today don't know how to get people's respect – no offense."
"None taken," Tarot decided guardedly. "But seriously – couldn't he have been at least a little respectful?"
"Zeus offended him," Altaïr said, shrugging. "It's hard to offend Az; but Zeus said something that upset him. In my opinion, Zeus was lucky: Az could have done a lot worse."
"Just how powerful is your brother?" Tarot wondered, one eyebrow raised.
Altaïr frowned. "I can't really describe it other than, well, he's just as strong as Coyote; if not stronger. I don't know if that was intentional on Father's part or not, but it's true. A lot of Gods and people alike have underestimated my brother because of his demeanor… and it's been the worst mistake they've ever made."
Tarot shivered a little. "And you…?"
"I'm not sure how high I rank on the power scale," Altaïr replied, "but I know I'm close to Father. What I did with Domino and her son… I could have done more than that."
"I thought you couldn't bring the dead back to life?"
"I can't," Altaïr told her. "Not on my own, at least. I had Az, Father, and hell – I had Fara backing me. I would have been able to do anything."
"So… why didn't you?" Tarot wondered. "Bring back Domino too, I mean? Wouldn't that have been easier than just saving the baby? Domino would have been able to take care of him like she normally would have…"
Altaïr shook his head. "There's something called the circle of life, Pipin. For every life, there is a death. Upset that balance, and who knows what the hell will happen… It was either Domino dies so that her son could live, or her son dies so that she could live."
"So you chose to save the son?"
Altaïr nodded. He told her, "It's what she would have wanted, I'm sure. A mother's instinct is to do anything so that their child may live. Domino would have hated us even more if I had used her son's life to bring her back. Instead I used her life to give him his. Not to mention… well, I don't know if Bastion even knew this at all…"
"What?" Tarot wondered.
Altaïr looked at her carefully. Domino had been her friend, not so long ago. The two had been close. Perhaps some part of Tarot still thought of Domino in that way. Altaïr didn't doubt it – as much as he had hated his brother, deep down he had always loved him just as he had before everything between them was ruined.
"Domino's body couldn't handle the baby," Altaïr explained. "In the end, it would have been either her or the baby. In the end, she probably would have just chosen to let the baby live. She knew that. That's why she did what she did."
Tarot was silent and pale. She sighed and wondered, "Did Bastion know?"
"Not that I know of," Altaïr sighed. "I think she tried to tell him somehow, but he didn't listen."
"That's terrible," Tarot murmured. She rubbed her face with her hands. "How could… She did bad things, but she never deserved something like that…"
Altaïr sighed again. "Call me evil if you like, Pip, but I think it was better that it happened sooner instead of later. She wasn't in as much pain. Her death was quick. Whereas if she started dying during labor, it would have been a lot worse."
"I know," Tarot sighed. "I know."
Altaïr laid a hand on her shoulder. He pulled her into his arms and held her close. She was warm in his arms and she rested her head against his chest. He wondered if she was imagining herself in Domino's shoes right now. He was sure that mothers often did that – thought of what could be, and what could have been. He was sure that everyone did it; but he knew that mothers had to do that more than anyone else.
"Fara…" Tarot mumbled against him. She pulled her head away. To her credit, she showed no signs of crying for her dead old friend. "What do you think Fara can… you know, do?"
"I don't know," Altaïr admitted.
"When will we know?"
"I don't know that, either," Altaïr told her. "When she gets in control of her fire… then I suppose that we'll know; but we've got no way of knowing when that will be. It could be in a month, a year, or even a decade from now. And even then we might not be able to tell just what she can do. It's something that she has to discover for herself."
"Do you think she… she helped you save Domino's son?"
"She was there and I heard her song along with all the others," Altaïr told her. "I felt her presence and her fire, but as for if she contribute din any way, I don't know. She might have come along to watch. She does love her parents, after all."
"Yes, yes she does…" Tarot sighed again. She touched Altaïr's cheek. "And she's starting to take after her father."
Altaïr grinned and wondered, "Do you think that's a good thing or a bad thing?"
"Sometimes I wonder," Tarot admitted.
Altaïr touched her cheek and told her, "She may start acting like me, but she looks like you."
"Hmm… is that your way of consoling me?"
"Well… she'll be wild, sure; but she'll be as beautiful as you at the same time," Altaïr said, kissing Tarot's forehead. "I think that's consolation enough."
"Have you figured out what to do yet?" Solidad wondered.
Kidd watched her walk in. She sat down beside him and touched his forearm, her hand comforting. Yuugata stood in the room with them, leaning against the wall and looking out the window at the night sky. He, like always, seemed so calm despite all that'd occurred.
"No," Kidd sighed. " 'Ow's the pup?"
"Fine," Solidad replied. "Though, I find it strange how she doesn't remember anything that happened while AA was out of her body. Usually, regarding physical mediums, it's the other way around."
Yuugata interjected, "She'll remember as soon as Azrael resurfaces within her mind. Remember, Solidad, their relationship isn't like that of others that you may have seen – Azrael is a God. As far as we know, the little one is the only being on either world that is compatible with him. Of course it's going to be different. If a God were to leave one of their hosts' bodies, they wouldn't remember a thing – not unless they find just the right host."
"S'true," Kidd added. "AA kin possess me an' do alla 'is crazy shit wit' me an' in 'e end I don' remember a thing. S'weird." AA had only possessed him once; during the fight with Altaïr on the other world. Afterward, Kidd was so confused that he had to have someone explain just what'd happened to him. He remembered talking to AA briefly and feeling that this wasn't what AA had wanted, but that was it.
"I see," Solidad sighed. She spread her skirt over her legs a little better and wondered, "So, are we going to come up with a plan?"
"Azrael basically told us that we were fighting the Titans," Yuugata explained. "With or without the aid of the other Gods."
"He can make that decision?" Solidad wondered.
"You really wanna star'a fight wit' 'im?" Kidd asked.
"I was simply wondering if he had run it by you first; you know, before he pissed off a very powerful God?"
Kidd shrugged, " 'E tol' me wha' 'e did. The only thin' we kin do now's figh' the Titans an' git their asses back in'a Tartarus. It don' mat'er how 'r who we work wit' ta do it. They need ta go."
"It feels like we're causing ourselves more trouble than we ought to," Solidad reasoned. "Why didn't he just assert that we join forces and work together? If we joined up with the Olympians, we might get a better idea of how to strike the Fates."
"While that thought is true, Solidad, it is also false," Yuugata pointed out. "Yes, if we got close to the Gods then they could possibly let us in on how to stop the Fates; but you must recall that the Fates control the Gods. If the Fates didn't want us to find them, they certainly wouldn't allow the Gods to aid us."
"True," Solidad sighed. She rubbed her eyes and yawned. Then, she said, "I'm just wondering why someone like AA would even get into a fight with Zeus to begin with. It doesn't seem like him."
"The AA that we have come to understand might not be the same as the fire that drives him as a God," Yuugata said soothingly. "A God is a very temperamental being, like fire itself. Sometimes a word or a gesture is enough to set a God's fire ablaze and infuriate him. They're like Humans. Just… more powerful Humans."
"Do you think that the Titans can be reasoned with?" Solidad wondered. "We might not even have to risk fighting them if you can just try and talk to them…"
"The likelihood that they would listen to reason is very small," Yuugata told her gently. "I understand your worry – it's our worry, too – but those Titans have been trapped in Tartarus for eons. It's a veritable hell there; Solidad… their experience there was most likely unpleasant. Very unpleasant. They've most likely lost all their ability to want to reason."
Solidad sighed. She leaned back against Kidd and wondered, "Must everything seem so hopeless?"
"We're gonna do wha' we can ta stop 'em," Kidd told her. "We migh' git 'urt. We migh' not. But you ain' havin' no part'a it."
"And why not?" Solidad wondered.
"Do I really need ta 'xplain 'at one?"
"Oh, so you think that just because I'm pregnant that I'm weak?" Solidad wondered. "That I'm no use at all?"
"That's not it," Yuugata told her. "Yes, Solidad; you're pregnant. We don't want anything to happen to you. That's why we've agreed that you ought to stay with Tsukikuro while the rest of us rein in the Titans."
"What?" Solidad exclaimed. "You think that I'll be content to sit on the sidelines while my son has to fight Gods… and while Kidd is there leading the bloody charge?" Tears welled up in her eyes and she said, trembling, "I don't want to lose any of you…"
Kidd gently brushed his hand against Solidad's face. "C'mon, Soly," Kidd murmured. "I 'ink ya need some rest… S'been a long day for ya…"
He stood her up and led her out of the room, leaving Yuugata to lean against the wall, disquieted. Solidad had a point – it seemed silly to recklessly charge into a fight like this. The Titans were very powerful beings, even by a God's standard of power.
Yuugata looked outside and sighed. A mother's worry… sometimes that must be taken into consideration. He remembered a time when his own son had fallen ill – Yuugata himself hadn't even noticed the changes. Saria had seen it all, though; she had known. When Koukon had become sick, Saria had devoted herself to taking care of him until he was better.
Such a strange thing, he thought, that most of these children have no one to worry for them like a mother would… or even the care of a parent other than Kidd or I.
Yuugata looked up at the stars and thought of the Fates. He frowned and wondered aloud, "Now… was all of that part of your plan…? Was that something that could never be changed?"
The Elf fell silent. There was no answer.
He didn't know the answer himself, either.
Something inside told him that he would be better off not knowing.