|Tear Down the Stars
Author: drakonlily PM
Ryu and FouLu do not stay joined long. FouLu must come to terms with humanity, and goes on to find the one person that changed his mind, even if that means bringing her back from the dead. [In Progress]Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,730 - Reviews: 21 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 07-09-05 - Published: 03-27-05 - id: 2325439
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Down the Stars
The wheat waved back in forth in the breeze, a man and a woman were sitting to the edge, weeding before the sun got too hot. The lack of trees in the area had the effect of making the surrounding areas seem hotter. There were monsters as well, that lived in the hex area that like liked to prowl around. However, the man – Loren – and his companion, named Nora, were not ready to leave the village yet.
Loren looked up from his work and blinked. "'Eh Nora, ya see that 'ore there? Looks like we got visitors."
Nora blinked, turning her head up. She wasn't as cheerful as she had been before Mami was taken and the hex cannon decimated the forest. She took a moment, pulling a weed and tossing it into the path before she finally found the people walking from the woods. Wiping her hands on her apron, she stood and cupped a hand over her eyes to block out the rising sun. "Pretty large groupa folks huh?"
Loren nodded, sitting his hoe down. He yelled to a boy who was half asleep in a low watch tower, rifle leaned on his shoulder. "Wake up there, Jeffery! Who's comin'?"
The younger boy started and then grappled with the rifle a bit before leaping to his feet. His eyes narrowed as he leaned over the rail of the tower, watching. "One a 'em is an Imperial type. But, I donna ken if the rest are, they ain't in uniform."
Nora shrugged. "Not like them Imperials are much to worry 'bout-" She rocked up on her tip toes, trying to get a better view. Her eyes widened. "OH ma lords! Look behind them! The one leaning on the blue haired fella. Is that Ryong!"
The other two looked at each other, then back to the hill. "He musta gone to the capital…" Loren started. "Does he ken about Mami?"
All three looked at each other a while. Ryong and Mami's relationship was something that was well known in the village, though they pretended not to know much about it. Mami would always blush when asked about him, and Ryong, who was known as being very stiff around others, would actually smile if she was brought up.
Everyone always joked about how they would handle children, because they all seemed to know that Mami and Ryong would end up having one, even if they didn't plan on it. But Mami was dead now…
Nora ran up to where Fou-Lu and his unwanted companions were emerging from the tree line. "He's hurt!" The group halted as the maid pushed her way past to Ryu and Fou-Lu. "Ryong? Lord's almighty I thought ya'd be dead."
Nina spoke up before anyone asked anything. "He's just very sore still, and needs some rest, ah, we-" Her wings drooped as she thought. "It's a terribly long story ma'am."
Nora waved a hand at Nina. "Oh, deary, don'tcha be call'n me Ma'am, Nora'll do ya fine. Come on, any friend of Ryong's more'n welcome in ma home." She spun on heel, not noticing the looks on Ryu's companions at her fond tone regarding the fallen dragon god.
Once again, Fou-Lu was resting. Of course they couldn't blame him; he had been battled to near death, and then basically absorbed for a week while they traveled. Nora made them all fresh tea while Nina gave a rather rushed explanation on how they had been traveling to the capital for her sister, found it in shambles and then found Ryong. She looked back to the bedroom of the small house. "How do you all know Fo-er-Ryong." She asked.
Nora sighed. "Its'a long story I'm afraid." She brushed some hair from her face. "Ma best friend, Mami, lived just down the road yonder." She pointed out the door, but there was no way the others could see the house without leaving the one they were in. "We grew up together, 'an when her ma and pa died, she took 'ore their jobs. No one worked harder 'en that girl."
"One day she drags this fella in from the woods." She sipped from her tea cup. "She was the type to do that, real naive and good hearted. She found the best in everyone, or she just keep looking." She laughed. "She certainly brought out the best in Ryong. Maybe that's why she kept him."
"What?" Cray asked. "What do you mean, 'kept him'?"
"I mean jus that." Nora responded. "I could 'ear the two a them chatting all night long, and don't think I didn't ken why the girl was late to work sometimes." She smiled knowingly.
With a sigh, Nora stood and crossed back to the tea pot. She started to refill the cups. "But ya'see, the landlord that lives up the hill always had a thing for cute, innocent, naive girls like Mami." With a frown she crossed back to the stove. "He'd always try to get her to start dating him, but he was one of those guys that even Mami didn't care for. So she kept turnin' him down."
"After she dragged Ryong back to the village, Mami got this new… I dunno, a life about her. She had a crush on him pretty bad." Sitting back down, Nora continued. "He seemed to have it jus as bad. Even though he was really… distant, he did stuff fer her. Like carry the water and the little stuff. And so we never mentioned Ryong ta the landlord."
"O course you canna hide a grown man fer very long, an Ryong ran into the landlord. Oh the two of them didn't like each other at all. The landlord was so jealous he coulda spit. Especially when Ryong started take'n cara things he could'na."
"Like?" Ursula asked from cleaning her gun.
"Like all the monsters we had. And passifin' the volcano god." Nora didn't notice a snort from Deis and continued. "It only took him about six months before he found out Ryong was wanted by the Empire." She took a deep breath. "They came for Ryong at Mami's place." Nora sniffed and cleared her throat. "Mami… she, she let herself." Again she stopped. "Forgive me. I jus, it's hard. The Empire took Mami away fer defending him. And by the time he got back ta get 'er, it was too late. They used her in the hex cannon…"
"OH!" Nina raised a hand to her mouth. "That. That was the… oh lords…" she looked over to the bedroom. "How could they-" she found Ryu's arm around her again, Nina leaned into him. "That explains so much…"
Loren looked around as well, keeping his voice low. "That wasn't all, I think the reason the landlord said anything at all was-" he stopped abruptly. "Feel'n better Ryong?"
"Do not discontinue the conversation simply because I hath- have- entered the room." Stiffly, the dragon leaned in the doorframe. "What were you about to say?"
Loren colored, rubbing the back of his neck. "Noth'n Ryong, noth'n a importance."
"Then you can continue with whatever it was you were going to tell them about the-" he sighed, then started laughing at himself. "What good does it do now to pretend she meant nothing to me? What were you saying of Mami?"
Nora looked at the table and Loren seemed very unwilling to continue. Jeffery threw down the logs he had been carrying in. "You two ain't gonna tell'em are ya? Some brave adults ye be. What are ya scared of? That the landlord's gonna get what's coming to him?"
"Boy…" Loren warned, but he was unheeded.
"She was pregnant, Ryong. She ken you had something important ta do, so she didn't ken if she should have told ya. She would of, if she thought you were gonna come back here and stay. But she didn't think she had a right ta keep ya."
Fou-Lu showed no shock with this information; no emotion passed his face save a slight narrowing of his red eyes. Slowly, his head turned to the door outside. Moments ticked by in silence, then, the dragon pushed off the wall. Without a word or a backward glance he casually walked out, towards the landlord's house.
"Oh gods…" Cray muttered. Shock had settled about the small house, it was as if Fou-Lu's leaving sucked the very breath from the air.
Nina blinked a few times before looking up at Ryu. She jumped back slightly, wings spreading when she realized what they were sitting by to let happen. "Ryu! Stop him; he's going to kill that landlord-"
"Let him." Ursula growled. "After everything that he did, wouldn't you want the man dead too?"
"It isn't right to just kill someone! Haven't you seen enough of that since you came to catch us? Since we saw a whole war break out around us? We should be picking each other up, not, not killing each other." Again the princess turned to Ryu. "You're the only one of us strong enough to stop him!"
Ryu drummed his fingers on the table top, then looked up at Nora and Loren. He then looked around the room and back to the door with a sigh.
"Please." Nina grabbed his hand making Ryu look at her. "Please, don't let him, he can't stop being sad and hurting until he learns not to act this way."
Ryu stood up and nodded to Nina. With that, the other half of the Yorae dragon left the small house.
Ursula shook her head after Ryu left. "You know, every time you do something brave, like standing down a god and make me respect you, you act like a little girl and revert it."
"You say that as if it is a bad thing, Ursula." Nina responded flatly.
"You th- th-think that he'll s-s-stop him?" Scias asked.
"I don't think he wants to, not that it really matters one way or the other." Dies responded.
The house had always been so easy to find. Large and ungainly compared to the simple beauty of his - no, it wasn't really his was it? It had always been Mami's house. Mami's life, and because of him that life was over. The one creature that made him willing to change his mind about humanity, the one life he thought he could have lived forever was gone, because of what that man had done.
Fou-Lu could understand if the landlord had shown the guards to him during the days when he was in the woods alone. But he made purposefully to include Mami. He deliberately put her in danger, deliberately hurt her. True enough, Fou-Lu was just as angry with himself as he was the landlord. What had he thought? That he would have simply slipped into a human's life? That he could have been, for once in all these centuries, content? That somehow simplicity had found him? It had been foolishness unparalleled. It was as much his fault that she was gone; he had involved her in goings on that were destined to crush her.
Pain crept up his chest; it wasn't from his fight with Ryu, or his joining with the other. Fou-Lu wasn't ready to say what it was. He had failed, repeatedly, first to bring happiness to those that summoned him, then he had failed to even get himself to the capitol without assistance, he had failed Mami, not bothered to protect her when he knew that he should have. The idea that he had been trying to pretend she wasn't worth his effort stung as much as the pain in his chest.
She had mattered. That was abundantly clear now that he couldn't tell her so.
He halted at the walkway of the landlord's house, unsure of what to do. He could crush the man, which was obvious. He was no longer a god, his design had fallen short. Fou-Lu had forever to make a choice of humanity; impatience was never something that plagued him.
This human however, he had already made his choice about. This one was going to die, regardless of who stood in his way. Fou-Lu tossed a white bang from his face and walked to the door. Rejecting the idea of simply ripping the wooden item from its hinges, he knocked quietly.
The voice on the other side was clipped. "I told you already that the rates won't go down! Leave me alone!" It was a shame the landlord was such a waste of breath and flesh. He truly sounded like a smart man.
Fou-Lu repeated the action, knocking three times quietly, using the knuckle of his pointer finger.
"Who is it!" The landlord snapped again.
And again, the dragon's pointer finger rapped on the door. It flew open, the landlord glaring his mouth open to deliver a verbal assault. When he saw who it was standing in his doorway, the man froze on the spot.
Fou-Lu gripped the landlord by the collar. He didn't say anything, simply pitching the man over his shoulder. He turned around slowly, walking to where the landlord had slid to a halt, just at the end of his walkway.
Despite Fou-Lu's almost lazy pace, the landlord scrambled trying to gain his footing. "Y-y-you-you how are? WHAT are you!"
The man was quaking too badly to run; he stood like a shocked deer while the dragon sauntered up to him. Looking down, in a low tone, Fou-Lu growled. "I am," he started, the only outward sign of his rage the blood starting to trickle from his clenched fists, "Exceedingly angered by you."
Backpedaling to put space between himself and Fou-Lu the land lord tried to talk down the Emperor-God. "I warned you that night. I told you to get away from her; I told you that I would make you-"
Fou-Lu's hand closed around his throat with blinding speed. The palm was wet with the dragon's blood. The landlord's mouth gaped open as his hands futilely tried to pry the much stronger Fou-Lu off of him. "You warned us, not the woman." In his anger, Fou-Lu forgot to watch the way he was speaking. "You hath little sense to chase a woman disinterested in you. She was neigh yours to begin with. What kind of coward threatens a single woman and doth not face what he finds in his way?"
A gurgle was the only response the landlord could give.
Ryu jumped in between the two pushing his other half back. He spared a look over his shoulder to the landlord before centering his attention on the other dragon.
"What right hath thee to interrupt us?" Fou-Lu snapped back. "Shall we see how ye feel when the little bird hath been taken from you?"
Ryu blinked, not expecting the conversation to turn onto himself. He shook his head, indicating that he wouldn't do something like what Fou-Lu was doing now.
"You would. You know'th this." Fou-Lu growled. "Are we to stay at this impasse, wait for that plague to wither and die out?" He tilted his head to the landlord.
"Fou-Lu…" Ryu started, lifting his hands.
The landlord began coughing from his place on the ground, his throat bruising. He looked up in more shock then his face could express. Fou-Lu's strength had been amazing, and this other person came out of no where. "Fou-Lu?" He asked. It took the weak man a few moments to catch his breath back. He stood slowly, with unsteady legs. "Why are you calling him Fou-Lu?"
Ryu turned, closing his eyes in slight self chastising. He shook his head again, but it didn't really matter at that time.
Indignant, the land lord continued. "That lying little whore, I knew it, I knew it was a made up-"
Fou-Lu vanished from where he had been standing to appear behind the landlord, with speed that Ryu could barely register. The man didn't have the time to vocalize his shock, Fou-Lu lifted a hand and snarled.
The ice spell was strong. Ryu staggered back with a gasp, lifting his hands against the chill. In the end, Fou-Lu, Ryu and a pile of ice crystals were all that was left on the path. The two dragons glared at each other.
Fou-Lu took a breath before speaking, choosing his words. "Nothing you could do. In the end, god or no, I have the right for revenge."
Looking at the ground Ryu shook his head and walked past his other half. "Does it make you feel better?" He asked in passing.
Fou-Lu stared down at the pile of ice after that, watching it melt into the grass. No, it hadn't made him feel better at all.
A/N: And here is the end of my rewrite. I will be adding more soon, thank you all so much for prompting me to continue this story. Please feel free to point out any other errors. Thanks you again!