Full summary: Centuries ago, the people worshiped the brightest of stars in the sky; owing their lives to the massive ball of heat we now call the sun. Of its warmth, a goddess was born. Some say that when she danced, the sun shone ever more bright and thus the summertime itself sprang up from her joy. But one selfish creature didn't care about any of that. His cruel ambitions swallowed up the goddess, leaving behind only few and scattered clues: vague memories, a newborn's eyes, and a world without light.

(Author Notes: This story was written in response to a request by the user of the very same name. It can stand alone as a one-shot fantasy/romance or go along with its parent fic "Without Light".

For those of you who know the original story "Without Light" the prompt was this:

"I wanna see kuroi and kintra/kuro's mother first meeting, the back story to Chris's parents/life and Kuro and Heather confessing something to each other."

Due to the nature of this request, the story will shift in both time and worlds, beginning many hundreds of years in the past. It draws the astounding connection between worlds and time, showing just how the past can shape the present. Lives being touched by people they never even knew existed...

Please enjoy.)


Fiery Dancer


It wasn't that he loved her. Or even that… he wanted her.

But on one fateful day, the God of Death felt his life skid to a halt, his very heart freeze in his chest, just from his first chance to see her dance. And that was when he realized… he needed her.

She stood alone in the garden, oblivious to her silently enraptured audience. Those graceful limbs moved like water as she danced, on and on. The sun seemed to draw closer to the earth. Light itself intensified. Life itself began to thrive, and the summer warmth flooded down in a warming wave, not even as a brightened beam.

When her feet hit solid ground, flames sprung up in their wake; magical golden fire that neither extinguished nor burned. The flowers below remained healthy and vibrant. For fire from her was something beautiful and warming. It was necessary to sustain civilized life and therefore vital to all that she loved.

For she was the goddess who solely governed the sun, pouring blessings of warmth onto the shivering Earth. Some say she danced alongside Midori to create the season of flowers. One goddess to grow the flowers, the other to fight off the frosts that threatened them. With springtime in the palm of her hand, she had become all but invaluable. And so, with their combined strength, the ancient gods of old had granted her not only eternal life but the power of immediate reincarnation. "For if the sun were to go out, for even a moment, life itself would fall into chaos."

And that was what Kuroi desired; infallible eternal life. It whispered behind her fierce violet eyes and spurred every bound in her dance. She twirled tirelessly on this precious first day of summer, just as predicted, that the Earth might receive its blessing of sunlit warmth.

The goddess before him stood naked but unabashed. From her golden skin poured those redhot waves of heat. Direct contact would produce flames, but from the distance he stood, little more than soothing warmth. Maybe that was what melted his frozen limbs, just enough to take one step closer. Fire was anything but threatening to him after all. He breathed and summoned it with his bare hands on a daily basis. It was only her rumored gift of foresight that kept him at bay. If she knew what he had planned... But surely she could not. Or else she would already have known to run oh so much farther away, to somewhere he could never hope to find her.

Not that such a place exists...

But still he stood for another moment, simply mulling over the possibilities. No, he finally decided, she can't possibly be aware. Maybe she was not the prophet they claimed. But at the very least, he figured, she looked a bit like Haku. At the very least, she was lovely to behold...

Her body only grew more alluring as she danced. Soft, golden curves on a slim yet generous frame. Long red hair stretched far past her back, mingling with the flames on the ground as it tickled her thin but trained ankles.

And she is also the goddess of lust. He kept this little warning whispering in the back of his head. It made everything more tangible; less threatening. It wasn't that he felt lust toward her, like so many thousands of men before him. No. He only needed her. The magic within that golden body flowed nowhere else. If only he could somehow have it for himself. Somehow…

She paused, having finally become aware of his presence. The goddess turned to him with pleased kindness in her large, purple eyes. "Good evening," that liquid silk voice greeted; full red lips smiling pointedly, "I thought I might finally be meeting you here today Lord Kuroi…"

"I am here every day," was his dismissive retort. "Just like the other seven."

"Seven," she echoed wispily, gazing off at something, just to dodge his eyes. "Something about that number seems oh, so lonely…"

"Shut up."

She only smiled; knowing just why Kuroi did not want to speak of the only recently lowered number of gods. It was in fact Kuroi's own lover who'd first been met with an especially bloody, untimely death. As was prophesied, the other gods would one day follow suit, even though gods could not truly die. Each would be reborn, but without an heir, that process could be stalled for many thousands of years.

"I suppose we should all go our own ways soon," she sighed, "else we too will be left without heirs..."

He made a disgusted scoffing sound. "To build our empires with the watered down blood of those filthy humans?"

"Was that not Haku's command? Does it so trouble you Kuroi?"

"Very much."

"Is that why you look so unhappy?"

"I often look unhappy when made to talk in circles by flippant know-it-alls such as yourself."

"Ahh," she chuckled absently, gazing off at nothing. It was true, after all, that she'd anticipated their meeting and thus had already thought of what she'd like to say. "You know Kuroi, I always thought it strange that you and I should get along so poorly. Destruction and lust. Shouldn't it seem only natural that those two should always go hand in hand? You and I should have been twins then..."

"Not so," he challenged, "destruction follows lust, hence your being born first."

"Yes, and nothing follows death, hence your being born last of us all…"

"Oh but you are mistaken. Life itself follows death, as you should well know, being the only one granted with such a gift."

"Not so. Life follows you endlessly. Did you never feel his eyes upon you? Why did you not choose to simply become one with him?"

"Because he sought not to join me but overthrow me."

"Ridiculous. Neither life nor death shall ever overthrow the other. But if they were to work tog-"

"I don't need to hear this from you," Kuroi all but growled, "you who cower away from death, only to turn around and tell others to embrace it."

"Perhaps that is so…" She was apparently a very fair-minded person…

"But I, being death, shall never be overcome by it. And thus, you and I are two of a kind. You and I, then should ever be joined."

She paused, seeming surprised. Those gentle eyes were wide now, and her voice echoed uncertainty; hesitance. "Of what nonsense do you speak, Brother?"

"A master race such as the world has never seen. Dragons born of two gods and the purest blood; thus with strength beyond all comprehension."

For a moment the two fell silent, but finally she spoke once more. "You are mad."

"Am I?" Kuroi shrugged, "For simply daring to create what others have only dreamed of? Was god himself mad as well then, to have sculpted the world beneath our feet?"

"Yes," replied she, banishing the dancing golden flames with a flick of her wrist and turning to leave. "If by his will one such as you were ever born." Now that sweet voice had turned cold, but Kuroi was not at all surprised.

He caught up to her, however; recognizing this opening. She had grown defensive, true, but remained honest and ready to speak. "NeeSan, it is unlike you to flee. Are you so overly concerned with righteous that you would turn down such an infinitely superior match? Want you not long lives and limitless strength for your own precious offspring?"

"Not badly enough to defy nature itself."

"Selective breeding is not defiance, but intelligence."

She made a noise of disgusted shock, snapping her head back around to glare those purple eyes with as much fierce intensity as such lovely things could muster. "Do not ever dare speak to me of this nonsense again! Banish all thought of it from your head if you know what is good for you!"

"I certainly will, if you wish me to." There it went; Kuroi's tendency to shift modes entirely. Suddenly all madness was gone from his voice and those mismatched eyes; a snake turned suddenly to a humble, yet still regal lion. "I apologize for having troubled you, Love, and shall banish such thoughts as you say."

"I-" She was obviously stunned by his immediate compliance. "Well yes. It would be- you are very wise to do so." He caught every drop of hesitance; her silent admittance of his own vindication. And it was then that Kuroi himself decided to take his leave. He bowed to her deeply; a valiant farewell, and went on his way, feeling her eyes follow each and every step.

It is only a matter of time now, his yellow eye promised, flashing visions he'd already expected. Tightly bound wrists and tears streaming down those golden cheeks… Huh. Stupid, stubborn female. But it was just as well. That she might have to be forced was of little consequence. He only needed to lure her a few steps further, to the mouth of the snake hole.

Only a matter of time, my pretty little fiery dancer.


Crystal Avalon fell to her knees, hands over her face, and tried. Oh, how she tried not to let the tears fall. Her shoulders shook with sobs that wracked her small, nauseated form. The cold tile of the bathroom floor pressed pain to her already aching knees, but she just couldn't bring herself to stand.

The stench of morning sickness still filled the small room, but she deserved little else, she knew. Brushing short ebony locks out of the way for just another moment, she prayed her blue eyes had deceived her as she forced one more look at the white stick in her hands.

The tears made everything blurry, but somehow, not that one haunting image. Nothing would change it. It seemed to glare right back up; that tiny pink… +


With a soft crackle a dragon fledging tumbled out into the world. The sticky little newborn fumbled over its eggshell for a moment, blind as a bat, while its father overhead gasped in surprise. "It's red," the king of dragons muttered, trying to keep his disgust inaudible. He held out a hand, comparing his own ebony scales against the newborn's, and indeed found them to be of a different color; thick, murky red. "Great, all because of that useless female…"

"Ooh…" Kuro, who had seen only two summers at that time, had to be held back, since his Father insisted that newly hatched fledglings were fragile. The child prince was already bouncing on the balls of his feet; too excited to sit still. "Cool! Red! It looks like blood!"

"More like bloody puke," his father scoffed, reaching down to flip his new child over. The poor little thing made a fearful chirping noise as its feet were swept from beneath it by what to it, was an invisible force. But Kuroi ignored this, as he was busy trying to lean down far enough to sniff between those chubby little legs. "It's male."

"Really?!" Now Kuro refused to be further held back. He squirmed out of Kuroi's grip and all but threw himself at his new baby brother. Another shocked chirp escaped from the little, discolored creature, but Kuroshi hardly cared. "I want him! Can I keep him? Please! Please!"

"But it's red!"

"He's pretty!" The stubborn little dragon took a snap at his father's hand, not allowing Kuroi to touch the newborn anymore. "If you don't want it I do," he insisted, "Imma name him Ruby."

"Ewww, an R name…"

"How 'bout Scarlet?"

Kuroi made his infamous disgusted scoffing/gag noise, but by then Kuroshi was too distracted to care. He'd meant to lick his newborn brother's face clean of whatever stickiness was on it, but wound up helping its eyes to open. "Whoa. Purple eyes! Dad, let's name it Grape!"

"My god, that's even worse. At least try something with a K."

"Mmm…Koi? Oh. haha, look he's gonna try to eat me." Kuroshi collapsed in a fit of giggles as his brother did indeed crawl up on him and try to engulf his entire right hand in one toothless bite. He managed three fingers, which the now similarly giggling baby prince only succeeded in sucking on. "No teeth, no teeth," Kuro teased, giggling breathlessly.

"A dragon born without teeth?" Kuroi seemed to be getting only more annoyed by the moment. "Seriously Kuro, let's kill this one too, eh? It cant even feed itself. I can always just make another..."

"Nope." Was his simple reply. "Mine."

"Ugh."

"I'll feed him," Kuro insisted, standing up as he gathered the now cooing baby prince up into his arms. "Just needs like… a mushed up cow right?"

"Ground beef," his father corrected.

"Yeah? Okay. Imma go get that." Kuro made to carry his brother off, but seeing that he was so determined, Kuroi finally gave up and stopped him. "Alright, alright. Just sit here and name the thing okay? I'll go find something for it to eat."

"Yay!"

Just in time too, since the baby decided to spread his sticky red wings then and wound up unbalancing his not much larger brother. But Kuro had scarcely been happier. He toppled right over and then just lie there with an ache in his back and a squirming baby on his chest. "Mine," he told those big, purple eyes, snuggling up with the messy, cooing little ball of warmth. Love at first sight? Well that was a gross understatement. "Mine, mine mine…"

And all the while Kuroi just rolled his eyes, perhaps more times in the last five minutes than in his entire life. "K names," he reminded, before finally stalking off and leaving them alone.

By the time he'd returned, one sunset later, he found his new son fast asleep, still sucking on his big brother's fingers, and Kuroshi had only just made up his mind. "Kintrasera." He nodded firmly. "That's his name."

"That's not a word," his father sighed, "neither in Japanese or English is there a Kin-"

"Kintrasera! He's mine and that's my language okay?"

"Fine, but what does it mean?"

"Hmm… um… Pretty."

"Right…"

"And 'red' and 'mine' and 'little', all mixed together."

"Whatever. I'm going to find some way to dye it black though, just so you know."

"Oh, well then he'll be Kintrasero."

"Um… Fine."

"Yes!" Kuro stood and dragged his drowsy brother over to the very large pile of ground beef, but when offered some, Kintra promptly snapped his mouth shut on his brother's hand again and refused to let go. "See? He likes me best Dad."

"Whatever." Kuroi just lie down, trying to massage away his swiftly growing headache.
"I love ya," he heard his older son whisper then, and couldn't help but chuckle at the resulting joyful chirp.

Kintrasero? That was an awful name. But any creature that could invoke anything even remotely similar to love from Kuroshi had to be something special. And well, maybe someday the strange little guy would grow on his father too…


"See? He looks just like you," Crystal lied, smiling up hopefully as Steve knelt down beside her. "Hmm, I think so too." he finally decided, and she let out a noise of such joy that he couldn't help but smile. "Ah, well I guess that settles it. Mom'll kill me if we don't get hitched now."

"Hurray!" She threw herself into that sharply dressed man, wrapping her arms around him and at the same time all but forgetting the newborn in the crib. Finally! She'd managed to snag not only a handsome man, but one with a job! First thing's first, she promised herself, move out of Purple P's house. Admittedly though, she owed him one. What other wonderful pimp would have set her up with so many blue-eyed customers? Perfect for fooling the blue-eyed businessman into thinking the blue-eyed child could possibly be his. All troubles flitting away, she whispered to her groom to be.

"Hey, we gotta go out to celebrate right?"

"Course," He shrugged, and the two turned and left. About an hour later, Cindy from down the street finally wandered in to calm the forgotten baby boy. "Well," the teenager shrugged, "five bucks is five bucks." And she scooped up the still crying child herself, remembering that she'd have to pester Steven about it later if she actually wanted the payment his drunk girlfriend had promised over the phone. "Let's get you cleaned up little Chris."


"Tell me your deepest, darkest secret!" Heather challenged, laughing when her master only rolled his eyes. "I don't even have one," Kuro insisted.

"Aw, you're so boring…" She put a finger to her mouth, thinking, but then came up with the solution. "Okay, instead, tell me the last thing you'd ever want to admit!"

"The last thing…" Kuro repeated thoughtfully. He loved games. This one had lasted so long that he found himself unable to break the cycle. He and Heather had questioned one another almost until the sun came up and her requests were beginning to get a bit strange. But on the other hand, he'd already learned that her favorite panties were pink, her favorite color was purple and her worst fear was darkness, a fact he now planned to use against her. Talk about an easy practical joke. But now it seemed, it was his turn to spill something she could use against him…

"Oh, I've got it. 'I love you.' If I ever had to say that I'd probably puke all over the place."

"What?! That's the last thing you'd ever wanna say?"

"Yeah."

"Ugh. Typical male," was her annoyed retort. "You mean to say you've never said 'I love you' to anyone before?"

"No cause I don't love any-" He paused, his eyes going wide with realization, and Heather almost died of embarrassment right then. "Wait. I think there is someone I said that to!"

"Oh." She tried not to sound disappointed as she sat up on the bed, casting an interested look his way. "Who was it?"

"Um, you ever heard of love at first sight?"

"Yeah…"

"Well that's what it was!"

"Yeah right."

"No, no wait I'll tell you the story," he offered, and she couldn't help but agree, thinking that this one just had to be good. And it was, she soon discovered. Kuroshi's tale was that of a newborn baby dragon's very first breath, and within the first minute, Heather was sighing with adoration. Maybe he wasn't such a typical, stupid male after all…

"I remember he had these tiny, little chubby hands," Kuro enthused, "and at that time I didn't even know he was a boy. But I did know that I wasn't gonna let anyone else have him."


Watery, puffy blue eyes startled open, staring around at a dark, unfamiliar room. But after a moment, Chris remembered where he was, and why he felt so cold. My Estelle is gone. But just when he thought he'd have to go search for a blanket, the large dragon beside him stirred. Chris almost gasped, but Kuroshi only made to pull the younger male into a gentle embrace. Those large black wings curled down to envelope them both in a curtain of warmth, and the dragon prince mumbled just one thing in his sleep.

"Mine."


A purple-eyed dragon with scales of velvet red.

His elder brother who thought he'd never utter those three most special words.

A child made a Pet, then human again. Lonely. Cold, but able to feel just one more warm embrace.

And not a single one knew of the woman who'd started it all. The goddess of the life-granting sunlight itself. That nameless, celestial... fiery dancer.


Fin

(Author Notes: Again, this story was written on request. If you liked it, but found yourself a bit confused please click on over to "Without Light", its parent story and all will be clarified. For the record, there is still plenty of room for more of my readers to ask me to write a story dedicated to them too! I am always looking for new challenges! See "Akadori" or "Without Light" ch 19 for request details/requirements.

One, final, sappy word.

The wonderful girl who requested this has been by my side, helping to shape my work with her thoughtful reviews all along. Thank you so much. My endless love and gratitude goes out to you every day, my very own Fiery Dancer.

-Crys.)