|Tiara And Graham's Reflections
Author: Salt-the-Catgirl PM
PG13 BC I'm unscertain what's to come later. Full summary inside. Suppose that when Kagetsu and Graham fought each other, Kagetsu didn’t really kill Graham, but instead, sent him back to his own world. Would everything in Graham’s world be like he rRated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 13 - Words: 38,379 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 11-27-12 - Published: 01-15-04 - id: 1688030
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Tiara and Graham's Reflection's
Summary:Suppose that when Kagetsu and Graham fought each other, Kagetsu didn't really kill Graham, but instead, sent him back to his own world. Would everything in Graham's world be like he remembered it...? Would he even remember it? Would he return in the form he'd had before entering Tiara's world, or would his disfigured form in her world be just as he originally looked had she healed him? Would he have retained the powers he'd received in Tiara's world, and if so, would those around him accept him back or find him even more frightening than he'd thought he was in Tiara's world? What if Tiara came back from recovering the Throne of Yord and began to think back on Graham, suppose she suddenly realized the horrible truth behind the summoning of a partner and she decided to leave her world forever? Would their paths eventually cross over again?
Author's Note:I do not own Shamanic Princess nor any of its characters, so this whole thing is just for fun. I'm open to any and all opinions on this story, including flames, I guess. This is the second fic I've tried to write based on the thought of Graham simply being returned to his own world. But I lost the first half of it and I'm afraid got rid of the correct rating category for it. And this is the only Shamanic Princess fic I've ever written by myself.
Graham sat alone in a small wooden shack starring blankly at the golden arm bracer on the table in front of him. As he sat looking at the item, his thoughts returned to Tiara and whether he liked it or not, he couldn't hold back the tears. "If only she'd allowed me to make things right with her that night. Perhaps, I would still be there with her now," he sighed.
He continued starring at the bracer for a moment, then growled angrily and knocked it off the table. "Why can't I bring myself to hate her!? I feared her when I first entered her world, but her persistence and courage made me feel more comfortable with her, but my life has been miserable, ever since I was pulled out of this world into hers..."
Graham sighed and stood up. "The fight with Kagetsu...? The last thing I remember about it was the searing pain rushing through my body when he grabbed my chest. The next thing I knew, I opened my eyes and was back in this world, lying in a bed, surrounded by others. They all looked familiar, but I couldn't place a name with any of their faces. As a matter of fact, when they called me by my real name, I told them that wasn't my name. I told them my name was Graham... Apparently, I'd forgotten, not only everyone around me, but my own name as well. Everyone told me that they'd been searching for me, for much longer than I had realized I'd been with Tiara and that when they'd found me, I was laying at the bottom of a steep ravine. They said that I must have hit my head hard and caught amnesia, that Tiara and her world were all just a bad dream..."
He turned and looked in a mirror and sighed, as his wolf-like ears flickered. "I wasn't like this in her world. I had human ears... But, I'd seen my reflection in the water of one of the rivers in Tiara's world. My face... While half of it was covered with that accursed mask, the other half was perfectly fine. Looking at myself in the mirror, had she taken the time to heal my deformities that had come to me while passing through worlds, I would have looked the same as I do now," Graham sighed at the very thought. "She never would have thought me ugly and horrifying then. Sometimes I think I never really meant anything to her, and yet, I still can't bring myself to hate her for her actions."
"A dream, they said...?" he thought to himself, as he turned back to look at the golden arm bracer. "That's what they said, but when I asked them to show me where they found me, this was laying on the ground in a bush, right beside where they found my body." He turns and looks at the dresser under the mirror, his eyes grow harsh and narrow starring at the top drawer. "And so was that horrible mask. I kept them as proof that I was there, but I can't stand to look at that mask any more. Perhaps I should take them and melt them down. If I had a picture of Tiara, I'd have them both turned into a statue of her. At least then I probably wouldn't feel so alone in this world."
He turns and glances out the window. Far down the path, just barely in sight, there stood another house, it looked as though a rich family lived in it. Graham growled again and slammed the shutters to the window closed. "If it were just a bad dream, then why did you throw me out!?" he shouted as the shutters slammed. He jumped away from the window and glared at it. "Apparently, I came from a rich family of humanoid wolves with an extensive ranch... When the youngest daughter was out playing, only a couple of days after I came back, something spooked some of the cattle they raise and started a stampede." Graham looked down at what had been his good arm while in Tiara's world and it disfigured itself, turning into whip-like tentacles. "I rushed out to pull the girl away from the on coming cattle. As I did, I over heard someone mention that I seemed much faster than I had been before my disappearance. When I grabbed the girl and pulled her out of harms way, I tried to restrain the frightened cattle in order to prevent any other risks." He sighed. "Without even trying to make it do so, my arm turned into this. I managed to slow down and stop the herd. When I turned back and looked, the girl was crying in fear and two of the older children came running out to grab her. One started to complement me on having become stronger, until he saw this."
Graham sighed and his arm returned to normal. He looked back up at the window and sighed again, lowering his head and closing his eyes. "It frightened them. The girl wasn't crying because she was afraid of what would have happened to her if I hadn't come to the rescue, but because of what she saw happen when I did rescue her." He looks back up to the house. "Some parents they were, then...?" He went back to the window and opened it again, but only slightly. "My father would have thrown me out completely in fear. But, my mother, and one of my sisters stood up against him. They were afraid of me as well, but after all the trouble they'd gone through to find me, they refused to allow him to throw me out with no where to go. They convinced him to at least allow me to stay in the old ranch hand shack." He pulled the shutter back shut. "But, I'm not allowed any where near the house, and have to fend for myself for food. I would have been better off if Kagetsu had killed me, rather than sending me back to my own world."
Graham heaved a heavy, disheartened sigh and sat down on the bed. The more he thought about it, the more his thoughts returned to Tiara's few acts of kindness while he was with her. Most of the time, her eyes had been harsh and cold when she looked at him after he'd disappointed her. But the night of their last assignment together, he'd noticed a slight difference in her eyes. It was the only time he could remember feeling the touch of her flesh after that day she'd sealed away her shadow. He could still feel her soft hand gently caressing his cheek, as she turned him to face her and told him that she wasn't angry with him for getting carried away. "She was so stern with me at first. But, after she'd scolded me, maybe she could tell that I was upset about it, because her whole attitude changed. She tried to tell me it wasn't my fault. When the elder punished her for it, I became a bit irrational, perhaps the elder was the one I should have turned my anger on that day, instead of Kagetsu. I should have been held responsible, not her." As he lay there thinking about it, he slid under the covers and told himself to stop. He told himself he needed to forget everything about her and start over. Perhaps leave the place all together, no body would miss him, and go somewhere where nobody knew anything about him. As he thought about doing just that, sleep over took him. Unfortunately, his dreams brought no comfort, either. Every night, since he'd returned to his own world, all his dreams had been about Tiara, and what could have been between them had Kagetsu never been in the way.
Tiara rolled over in the bed, and moaned softly. She opened her eyes, to find a tear rolling down her cheek. "Graham...? Why...? Why did I suddenly dream about him?" She looked up and saw Japolo curled up on the bookshelf and fast asleep. She sighed and glared at Japolo for a moment. "Sometimes I wonder why you couldn't be as obedient as Graham was," she thought.
She sighed and sat up, tucking her knees to her chest and wrapping her arms around them. "I was so foolish. He was only trying to make me happy. He knew Kagetsu was up to something, and I wouldn't listen to him." She turned and lifted up her pillow, pulling out the jewel from Graham's mask. "I've kept this with me the whole time. This was what spurned me on to capture Kagetsu and return the Throne of Yord. I understand full and well that Kagetsu was trying to help Sarah, and under the circumstances, Kagetsu had every right to fight back against Graham in self defense, but he had no right to kill him!"
Tiara's eyes grew wide and sad. She began to sob quietly. "Graham... I wish you were still here with me. All you cared about was my well being, and I was too stubborn to accept your concern. You were turning out to be a great partner, too. That night I threw you out. You spent the entire night in the rain, and I could hear your cries from outside. I began to hate myself for how I'd treated you, and wanted to go tell you to come back inside, that everything would be fine. But, my stubborn pride wouldn't allow me to do so. I convinced myself that you deserved to be punished, and that allowing you back inside then would never teach you anything."
Tiara whipped a tear away from her eye and looked at the jewel. "I wanted to find you and apologize the next morning, but you were nowhere to be seen. Before I found you, I ran into Kagetsu, and it made me feel as though what I'd done had been justified. You came just before the Wind Festival began, so I didn't really have the chance, nor the time to give you a real apology. If only you hadn't chased after Kagetsu... If only Kagetsu hadn't... If you had still been there after the Festival, then..." She began to sob again and found it hard to speak.
She buried her head into her knees and continued crying, squeezing the jewel tightly. After a few minutes, she raised her head and took a deep breath, regaining her strength to talk, she looked back at the jewel. "I wanted to find you after the Festival and give you a real, heart felt apology. Someone told me they'd seen you following Kagetsu, and where they thought Kagetsu had headed. But I was too late. When I got there, Kagetsu was gone, and so where you. This... This jewel is all I have to remember you by. I... I... I wanted so badly to make up for what I'd done to you. I was the only one in this world you seemed to trust, and yet, I'm the one who hurt you the most. I couldn't even make peace with you before Kagetsu took you away from me."
She held the jewel tightly in both hands and pushed it against her cheek. "Even though I knew Kagetsu wanted to rescue Sarah, my feelings towards him became harsh after I'd found what he'd done to you." She opened her eyes, feeling the cold jewel against her flesh and her eyes grew wide, as Graham's voice rang though her head.
She heard them, the words he'd said that night she'd thrown him out into the rain, as if he were standing right there in the room, repeating them. That even though the pain and blood were all fake, he could still feel them, and he'd thanked her for his disfigured body. The look on his face when he said that suddenly flashed into her mind. Her eyes grew even wider in realization. "Oh Graham... Is, is that what you thought? Now I really do wish you were here. I was never frightened of your form. That's not why I looked at you with fear that night."
She dropped the jewel and said out loud. "It wasn't that at all! I was torn. I'd been in love with Kagetsu for so long, I was afraid of my feelings for him changing... But during the few days I'd had you as a partner... My heart began to waver. You attacked Kagetsu, thinking HIS behavior was what was upsetting me..."
She grabbed her nightgown, clutching at her heart. It began to hurt. "Graham. What did I do to you? I can't blame Kagetsu, but I can't blame you, either. I'm the one to blame." The tears returned to her eyes. "I wish I could see you again and make you understand, Graham. If you're floating around in the spirit realm, I hope you can hear me...? I was torn between you and Kagetsu. The way you cared about me was so flattering, I began to wonder about the confidence in where my heart really lied. I was beginning to fall in love with you, but when I saw Kagetsu, I was uncertain about my feelings for either of you. That's why... That's why I looked at you the way I did that night. I was frightened of what would happen if I'd let you any closer to me."
She sobbed and fell over on the bed, still holding her hand over her heart. It was pounding fast. "I knew you cared, but... My feelings for Kagetsu almost made me completely over look your feelings."
She sat up, suddenly realizing something. "What have I done!?" She shook her head and looked over at Japolo, whom she was relieved to find she hadn't woken up with all her commotion. "Lena and I both did it...!" she shouted in realization, jumping out of the bed and rushing out of her bedroom and into the kitchen. "The summons... Why didn't I ever realize it before now!? When I summoned Japolo I gave her (him-which ever) a personality and free will of her own. I shouldn't complain about how annoying she gets with her criticism, I gave her the one thing you didn't have."
Tiara went to the stove and grabbed her tea kettle, filling it with water and a bag of her favorite tea flavor. "I never thought about how horrible the summons is to the partner. Japolo came here without a misshapen form, and her own personality. You were my first attempt, so unfortunately, I wasn't able to bring you here in your true form, and when the shock hit you, you lost everything. It wasn't until the day I sealed my shadow that you began to behave as though you had a soul or spirit inside you."
She sat the kettle on the stove and turned it on, then sat at the table. "What were we thinking? I summoned you, without a true will of your own. When you finally began to react, all you knew was to protect me and do as I told you. In my fear of loosing my feelings for Kagetsu, I tried to push you away. I was doing something with you I didn't have the right to do. I was playing with your heart. I was playing with your life. It never occurred to me until now, but... I didn't treat you like a friend or a partner. I was playing god. You were more of a servant or a slave than anything. I should have been more open with you."
Tiara got up and went back to the bedroom. She looked up to see Japolo hadn't budged. She sighed and smiled. "Sometimes, Japolo, I think you could sleep through anything." She gently picked Japolo up and set her on the pillow on the bed.
She sighed and took the jewel in her hands and returned to the kitchen. She looked at the jewel again. "Graham... When will this feeling of guilt leave me? I feel even more guilty now that I realize what I was doing."
The tea kettle began to squeal. Tiara sat the jewel on the table and ran into the kitchen to turn the burner on the stove off and pour herself a coup of tea. She fixed it as she preferred it and returned to the table. She sat and looked at the jewel again and sighed. "Perhaps Lena and Leon should thank me for retrieving the Throne of Yord. They haven't decided how to punish either of them, or Kagetsu yet. Maybe Lena will be banished. Hopefully along with Leon. They don't deserve to go through what you and I did."
Tiara took a sip as a flash of Leon's face came into her mind. "That look in his eyes. Is it some unwritten rule that all humanoid partners will be the opposite sex and fall madly in love with their summoner? If so, then Leon owes me greatly for bringing Kagetsu to justice. Lena was doing the same thing to him. She'd fought over Kagetsu with me for years. She ignores Leon's feelings, if he makes them obvious, anyway. Perhaps he keeps them to himself, but I could tell by the way he looked at her he loved her. Perhaps, if things had been allowed to continue as they were, Leon would have suffered the same fate as Graham? But then again, Lena probably would have destroyed Leon with her own hands, before Kagetsu had the chance, had he tried anything."
Tiara sighed. "I hope they don't get separated. Maybe Lena will realize her mistake and fix it. We're gifted with these powers, but if we continue treating our partners in such manners, then we don't deserve them!"
She sniffled a little. "I was torn between two men, couldn't decide which one I cared for the most... My best friend was 'sacrificed' to a painting in order to continue giving power to this world. One of the men I loved is gone, and the other is to stand trail in order to decide his punishment for stealing the picture... Why I never realized how corrupt this power was before now, I'll never understand... But, knowing what I know now, I CAN'T go on living in this world..."
She looked at the jewel again and sighed. She picked up her tea cup and took it to her lips, but before drinking, she took another quick glance at Graham's jewel. "Graham... I've decided!"
She swallowed the last of her tea in one quick gulp and slammed the cup back on the table, scooping the jewel back into her hands. "Every so often, I do have dreams about you. This whole thing with tracking down Kagetsu. You continued to enter my mind. My dreams sometimes make it seem as if Kagetsu never really killed you at all."
She stood up and went back into the bed room and began to search through her jewelry box. She found a golden chain and an old charm holder/plate that had lost its stone. She held the jewel to the plate and smiled. "Perfect." She reached into the top dresser drawer and pulled out a thing of super glue and returned with all four items to the table. She glued the jewel into the plate, then looped the chain through the hole at the top. "I've decided, I can't stay here any more. I may never see you again, Graham, but... But this world holds too many bad memories for me now. I'll wait until Japolo wakes up. I won't abandon her. I'll try to be better partners with her than with you. I can at least do that much to make it up to you for what I've done. Also, the jewel from your mask... I made it a necklace which I promise never to take off. That way, I'll always have a little piece of you with me."
Tiara sighed, looking into the mirror in the hallway, as she finishes hooking the necklace around her neck. "There's nothing left for me in this world. It's time I start to look for somewhere better." She sighed and returned to her bedroom. She changed out of her nightgown and drug out her suit case. She packed a few clothes, a couple of books, her tea pot, and all of her unused tea bags. She also packed a few of Japolo's favorite foods to take along.
When Japolo woke up, Tiara explained everything that had happened the night before, turned and grabbed two blankets and a pillow out of the closet and pushed them into the suit case, latching it tight. "We're traveling light. And I'm glad you woke up when you did. I want out of here before the sun comes up."
Japolo looked at her inquisitively. "But Tiara," Japolo opposed, "Aren't you supposed to be a witness in the trail against Kagetsu?"
Tiara looked at Japolo, scowling for a moment, then sighed. "That's EXACTLY why I want out of here now! I can't stay another moment in this world. Kagetsu's put me through enough heartache. I can't see him again before I leave. But, if I leave now, not only will I be able to go where nobody can find me, but... I won't have any second thoughts, and I'll actually be doing all three of them a favor." She carries the suit case into the dinning room and stops. She sets it down on the floor and pulls something out of her pocket and sits it on the table. "Someone will come looking for us when I don't show up. This letter is addressed to be seen by Lena only. Maybe when she reads it, she'll realize she's made the same mistakes I have. Maybe she can make up with Leon before it's too late for them."
She turned back and picked up the suit case. "Alright, Japolo, let's go! There's several worlds out there waiting for us. I'm sure we can start with a clean slate, somewhere."
Japolo sighed and nodded. "Alright, Tiara," she said as she jumped on Tiara's shoulder. Tiara smiled and started to open a portal between their world and another. Once they jumped in, Japolo looked down, feeling something cold against her foot. "Hmmm...?" She sees the jewel hanging on Tiara's necklace. Tiara had kept the jewel hidden so well, that this was the first time Japolo had ever seen it. "My, what a beautiful jewel, Tiara. Where did you get it?"
Tiara looked over at Japolo. "Huh...?" She looked down at the jewel and smiled, gently clasping it in her free hand. "Oh... This...?" her voice was visually shaky. She smiled and looked back up at Japolo. "It's something very special. It belonged to my first partner. If it wasn't for this... I don't think I would have ever realized the truth of what was going on under my nose. I don't think I'd have the courage to leave if I didn't have it with me."