|A World Unkown
Author: Diana Obelisk PM
Anita Heathers in known by many names. She exists in many worlds. And when fate decides something, she rarely listens. But what will happen when fate finally gives her what she wants? Sequel to Images.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Tragedy - L & Skulduggery P. - Chapters: 13 - Words: 22,267 - Reviews: 5 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 05-16-12 - Published: 02-29-12 - id: 7884169
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I own Anita Heathers, Il'Guin, Romanius, and Skulduggery's gun's runes. That's it. Nothing else! I swear it! Not Death Note, or Skulduggery Pleasant, or even The Discworld series.
Anita caught on fire.
Or, more precisely, her hair turned into fire, leaping into the air, ending a foot above her head, her wings spread and the flame in the shafts of her feathers grew. Her eyes turned orange, streaked with blue. A charred spot formed on the concrete where she stood, Anita noticed sadly. Her powers were bound to the constraints of Skulduggery's world. But at least…at least she was still a Nafar, she supposed.
"And our battle forms can look like this!" Anita cried, and suddenly she was fire, green fire which turned white near the top, in the shape of a human body.
All sound was drowned out, but in Anita's exultation and bliss she did not notice, Skulduggery's voice coming through foggily as he said, "Please don't burn my house down."
And then everything slowed, and it was pain, a pain in her chest and she didn't know why. Not knowing was, in that moment, the worst thing that could have happened. And she was falling, her power source exhausted. Thin hands caught her, and she was reminded of Valkyrie, the first time she had met the thin man to whom the hands belonged. The skeleton.
And all was dark.
Anita woke on a couch, a her arms wrapped around a pillow and a blanked wrapped around her, feeling too cold. She probed inside of herself, looking for her spark, but found a void.
She wasn't dead, but her soulstone was gone. She should have been dead. Nafar without soulstones were sent back from the Gounar, charred and falling to pieces. They were encased with ice as they died, staring forevermore into their daughter's helpless faces.
The flashbacks threatened to come back, so Anita stopped the line of thought. "No reason to see them die again," she thought. "No reason at all."
She opened her eyes, and started back when she saw the face watching her, shadows highlighting its eyes.
"Ryzaki!" Anita shouted. She was cut short by a dull, aching pain in her chest, and she saw what had happened.
"Of course!" she exclaimed internally. "I ran out of power! My soulstone must have ejected itself to avoid being consumed."
"Is there anything you need?" Ryuzaki inquired as she sat up slowly.
"Well, a glass of water, but there's no tap. I'll make it, I think," Anita replied slowly.
"Or," Skulduggery argued, "I could just make you a glass of water." He held out a glass and water collected swiftly inside.
Valkyrie stepped in from a different room, phone in hand. "Silly, you aren't making anything. You're just condensing it. Anyway, Ghastly found Tanith. She's been brought in, too," she told them. Turning to Anita, she continued, "So it's time for you to prove what you've been saying you can do. Ghastly's got his hopes up, you know—you'd better deliver."
"Then I'd better practice. And I'll need that water, first," Anita declared. Skulduggery handed her the cup as Valkyrie and L frowned.
"Is that important to your magic somehow?" she asked.
Anita smiled, saying something over the water. It began to glow. "Yes, actually. This is where I get the power for my magic from," she answered before tilting her head back and draining the glass. "Now, before I explain, has anyone seen a soulstone about here?"
Ryuzaki nodded and held out his hand. "Would you care to tell us why it came out?" he queried.
"Well, the magic a Nafar works comes from a reservoir of power. At least, the energy for the spell does. Anyway, complexities aside, when that power runs out, something needs to be consumed for our spells. It's a choice of soul or life at that point, and life would leave us dead quickly. But a soulstone is sentient on a level—it'll flee to save the soul it holds," Anita explained.
Valkyrie nodded, asking, "And then to keep the body alive, the Nafar passes out so no magic can be done and use up the life force?"
"Yes, exactly!" Anita cried gleefully. Then she took the stone and closed her eyes. It dissolved into a mist and she re-absorbed it. The dull ache in her chest faded and light sparked in her eyes, Skulduggery saw once she had opened them again. "But for one second, may I speak to Ryuzaki—alone?"
Skulduggery seemed startled, and Valkyrie narrowed her eyes. "Why?" she asked.
"I need to see about something. It really doesn't matter—don't worry, it's not about Il'Guin or Nu'Undech or anything," Anita assured them.
Skulduggery nodded silently and stepped out of the room reluctantly, taking Valkyrie along by the wrist.
Anita waited for a few seconds to make sure no-one was about to burst into the room, then leaned to Ryuzaki, whispering in his ear. She spoke fast, he noticed. "Ok, so you know I'm Nu'Undech—no, don't answer, just let me finish, then talk quietly—and I'm supposed to kill the Nafar. If I become her, thousands will die. I can't let that happen, but I'm not sure I can stop her. I need to be able to trust you to do something for me."
Ryuzaki hesitated, not sure what she was about to ask, but getting some sort of sense of it anyway. When she didn't start talking again, he assumed she was done and responded in her ear, "That would depend on what it was you wanted me to do."
His stomach sank as she confirmed his worries.
"If Nu'Undech resurfaces, you have to kill me." He started to argue, but she continued, "Look, I need someone I can trust. Please! Don't let me become a killer. I'd be as bad as Kira—maybe worse! I would end up killing thousands of innocent people out of pure spite and hatred! Don't let me become that…please…"
Her voice was choked, and Ryuzaki flinched as something wet hit his shoulder. She was crying. He wasn't used to feeling strong emotions, and had no way to express them because of it. He could tell, by analysis of her body language and facial expressions (he could be a whiz at analyzing emotions even if he didn't feel them strongly, after all) that she had taken it as a lack of feeling on his part. But now he felt…angry. Angry at the world that she hurt in the way that she did.
He put his arms around her awkwardly, not sure what else he could do. He remembered being told, once, by another of her husbands, that being patted on the back only aggravated her and made it worse, so he simply sat there, with her slowly breaking down. She cried silently, though, and was completely still—the only thing that showed her distress was the tears that fell faster and faster onto his shirt.
Slowly, her tears slowed and stopped. Slowly, she started to pull away, but his arms would not let her go. He forced them to loosen, and she slipped around so she sat comfortably. She pulled away, then, and stood wordlessly, walking to the doorway. She looked through at Skulduggery and Valkyrie, who stood together in each other's arms, just standing there.
She stepped back and turned to face where L had been, only to see white in her face. Arms gripped her gently but firmly, wings and all, and she realized that he had remembered more than she had given him credit for. He seemed to have forgotten about Nu'Undech, but other than that…
"Do you remember our wedding?" he asked abruptly. His voice was soft, gentle, and (perhaps for the first time that she had ever actually heard) not in a monotone.
Anita didn't answer for a long moment, her arms wrapping around his torso. When she did speak, it was quiet, with a small laugh. "Barely. I remember the reception, mostly. And you kept biting the sleeve of your jacket, trying to pull it so it was comfortable. The rabbi couldn't get you to stop! And…"
Ryuzaki looked down at her face. It was peaceful. She seemed more relaxed than she had been the entire time he had seen her. "Yes?" he prompted.
"I vaguely remember the vows, but I remember you said…oh, god, what was it? 'Before I met you, I didn't trust many people. Around you, my paranoia melts away.'" Anita sighed contentedly. She frowned suddenly. "And there was something else…God, I can't believe I have such a bad memory…I'm sorry, you must think I'm a terrible wife!"
"Not at all. And the other thing I said was 'I never felt much emotion before, but you bring out the color of my heart, because you are the color of my heart. I love you, and you bring out the best in me. I will always be here for you.' I tried to write those for so long, and then you said something that sparked everything all at once. That was it, you know. I didn't think we needed more of a vow recital than that," L informed her.
Anita blushed a bit, letting her head rest on his chest. She could heard Skulduggery and Valkyrie talking in the next room, but it didn't matter. Not now. "Let them have their moment while we have ours," she thought.
She felt his fingers, one hand in her hair, the other hand letting its digits float gently through her feathers. The sensation sent a tremor through her body. For so long, she had lived off of the thought of something like this—and that thought was often enough to give her a shiver. But now…it felt so right, so complete that she couldn't dream of anything else. She looked up at his face to see his small, feline smile playing across his lips as he looked down at her.
Anita felt a tug at her heart, but the love that had been bittersweet for so long was as pure and sweet as honey. She rose up on her feet a little, letting her hands move of their own accord to his hair, tangling in the dark peaks at the back of L's head, and her lips met his, her eyes sliding closed.
The familiar taste of strawberries and butter cream frosting lifted her heart, for, familiar though it was, it was the first time she could taste it…or feel the response. He kissed her greedily after only a moment's hesitation, as if he had been waiting for her to initiate this, or had known she would, at the very least.
Her mouth opened inadvertently, but then his tongue went along hers, sliding into her mouth gently. Remembering, it seemed, about her easy-to-trigger gag reflux, he stayed away from the back of her mouth, but the tip of his tongue caressed the roof of her mouth. His kiss calmed a bit, the hunger fulfilled, but his hands were on her face gently now and he withdrew his tongue, ending the kiss slowly.
Anita smiled, pulling in her wings—which had straightened out in her bliss. L's hand rested on the top of her back, under the tops of her wings, the other sliding along her cheek and through her hair to rest lightly on the back of her head. She slid one hand down to rest in the small of his back.
Anita pushed away slowly, reluctantly, saying, "I need to get some more water."
"Are you low on power just from that?" Ryuzaki asked innocently.
"Do my ears deceive me? Did you just crack a joke? Anyway, no, I'm just thirsty—I haven't had much to drink all day, and I'm starting to get a dehydration headache," Anita smiled, walking over to the table and picking up the empty glass. With a wave of her hand, the glass filled.
She didn't mutter this time before taking a sip, and the water did not glow. Noticing the darkness of the room, Ryuzaki started to search along the walls for a light switch. He had seen one earlier…
The lights flicked on to reveal a skeleton. But it wasn't Skulduggery. This one held a scythe, and his black cowl framed a skull with blue sparks in the sockets, which glowed dangerously bright.
A/N: So, we have another character showing up. I thought he would be next, and I've wanted to introduce him for a while now, but seeing as Ryuzaki (so far, you won't get me to say anything about this new character yet!) has the most memory, it wasn't fair that Skulduggery got more of Anita's affections.
And I think it's fair to say this has no logic and Anita is a complete Mary-Sue. So you all hereby have my full permission to laugh at it as you read and wonder what the heck I was thinking. (Truth is, there's nothing but wish fulfillment in this one…oh, except for her parents being dead. That would make me very sad. But Skulduggery, and Ryuzaki, and this new guy who will not yet be named are all wishes. HAH!) Oh, and pass on the allowance for laughing to your friends if you have them read this. Go right on ahead, really—I'm happy so long as someone reads this!