STANDARD DISCLAIMERS apply. No copyright infringement is intended by the author in writing this fanfiction.
This is a fic I wrote more out of nostalgia and boredom and frustration over Goki/Akira being underrated and Chiaki being paired up with Zenki. Zenki was aired here in the Philippines when I was like, in the Fourth Grade, or so… Oh, only five or six years ago. I accidentally stumbled upon this site featuring the series and thought of writing a fic. Basically Chiaki/Goki so if you don't like the pairing, you are warned. This is my first time writing a fic for a series that doesn't have its own category so I don't expect much feedback for this one. But, hey, for old times' sake, why not? Inspired by one of the best tracks in the Zenki Character Song Collection, this is a fic on confusion, regret, what may have been and what will be… Please read and review…
The moon is watching over all.
The stars are twinkling.
Even breathing from the far reaches of space...
I can hear you. It's true.
The fighting has ended.
You cast your eyes down upon the earth...
And see that all the hurt has stained it.
It's night, ah...
Does heaven unfold...
In time... You'll embrace love.
In time... Hatred will be swept away.
Now... You cared about losing.
You bring your heart with you and give it.
I wonder where the enemy is.
I wonder if he's standing next to you.
It's strange. The fighting begins,
And I am here again.
At night, oh...
Do you go and vanish?
Folding your wings.
If you are still alive today,
If you kept going today,
Again... Below you...
Let the earth sleep silently.
Senshi-tachi no Tsubasa (The Wings of Warriors)
Twilight. Dusk. Sunset. Whatever one calls that fleeting moment between light and dark, it becomes all the more beautiful for its allure. I slowly walk down the familiar path to the Enno shrine… that sacred place with which I seem to have this bond… that special place where I was born…where I grew up… where I once lived… where I once loved… where I once lost…
I sigh, hefting my duffel bag over my right shoulder as I start up the long and winding flight of stairs towards that deserted place of worship. Or, so I was told. It is sad how much things change… how much things and places once greatly revered slowly fade away with time… I almost feared reaching the top. Almost…
It was slowly getting cold, a chilly autumn wind was rustling through the treetops as though bringing with it long-forgotten memories. Dark clouds loom in the distance, eventually overshadowing the silvery glow of the moon. I hasten my steps, not wanting to be caught in the upcoming drizzle. Getting drenched by the rain wasn't part of my agenda.
I reach the top of the stairs in time before the first raindrop fell and I rush headlong into the shrine not even bothering to stop and give it a look-over. I think it would have been for the best. Fumbling for a moment, I flick on the light switch. Nothing happens. I sigh. Of course. We had the electricity cut off when we moved. Racking my memory for some sort of map of this place, I feel my way towards the main worship room, remembering that that was where the ceremonial fire usually burned. Reaching the place with only minor hindrances, I am surprised to find the place alight with warmth from the flickering flame in the hearth that shouldn't have been there. Not bothering to ponder on the matter longer, too thankful not to mind, I grab a few blankets from my bag and snuggle close to it facing the entrance overlooking that ancient shrine where five years ago I discovered something that changed my life entirely… the Demon God Zenki…
Somehow, after that time, everything that happened was because of him… the dangers I've faced, the changes I have undergone, the sacrifices I was forced to make, the people I've met… My life centered on him… and I loved him, more than a master does her servant, if she ever does… that is, I thought I loved him… which was a mistake… too late did I realize that… for that was when he left…
When I first met Akira Goto with his mentor Kazue, there was only one way to describe him… a wuss. I mean, with the lithe frame, the all-too-girlish looks which made me believe he was a girl for some time, the way he seemed to be hiding behind Kazue all the time… Little did I know that in him flowed the blood of one of Zenki's kin… the Disciple of Light, Goki. It was really a surprise to find how much different those two were, brothers though they may be. In as much as Zenki was fierce and violent, Goki had this certain calculating side to him, never seeming to go into battle without a plan. He had better manners in contrast to Zenki's sloppiness and he acknowledged me as his master willingly, which is more than I can say for Zenki. They were as different as day and night, which, I guess, was the way it was supposed to be. After all, Goki had some sort of human nature that Zenki never had. A human nature that was more predominant than his demon side at times… A human nature that permitted him to feel what, as a demon god, he should have been immune to… something I wished I had never learned to do as well…
It was on the night of the final battle. Everyone had been too exhausted and went straight to bed… that is, everyone but Goki and I. Not that I didn't try. I retired to my bed, same as the rest, but for some reason, I couldn't sleep. After almost an hour of tossing and turning, I finally gave up and decided to get a drink. On my way back, I noticed that the ceremonial fire was still burning in the main worship room. Drawing my thin robe closer, I set off to put it out just for caution. I was surprised to find someone else in there… Goki… I wondered why he hadn't reverted back to being Akira… He was clearly submerged in thought. I walked over slowly and he glanced up, sensing my presence.
"Master," he began, quite startled. "What are you doing here? I assumed you had gone to bed with the rest."
I nodded. "Hai, demo I couldn't sleep."
He smiled. "Neither could I."
I smiled back. "I figured out as much. Demo, why are you still in your true form? Wouldn't it be easier for you to rest as a human?"
"Hai. Demo, it just feels right to be as I am tonight while there is still time…"
I blinked up at him.
"Nani? For what?"
"For not being of more help than I should have been."
I blinked once again. That was strange. "Goki-san, why are you telling me this?"
He smiled again, though this time, a hint of sorrow could be detected in his voice as he spoke. "The battle is over, ne?"
"That means there would be no more reason to keep me and Zenki here…"
"Nani?" So this was what it was all about. "Iie. I wouldn't want to do that." Would I? "What if something happens and you're not… what if… I couldn't… even if I could, I wouldn't… because… because…" I broke down crying, the thought of losing a very good friend and the one I loved too much to bear. I was surprised to feel a pair of arms pull me into a reassuring embrace.
"It'll be alright, Master. Please don't cry. It'd be all for the best…"
I wanted to shout at him, tell him that he had no right to say that. At least he wouldn't be losing anything. After all, he did what he did just because it was his duty… nothing more, nothing less… And isn't that the same reason why Zenki did his part? No, it isn't. It couldn't be. Could it?
"Zenki-san gets restless after a while, you know."
I looked up at him. "But I could control him, right?"
He looked away. "Gomen, Master, but even our creator had difficulty dealing with him. That was the reason why he was sealed away."
"Oh…" Curiosity set in. "But what about you, Goki-san? Why were you sealed away?"
Disconcertingly, his eyes met mine this time. "I chose to… I had lost my reason to do otherwise…"
He sighed. "After Zenki was sealed and my creator foresaw no major threat, he allowed me some liberties. I met this young shrine maiden in a neighboring town and fell in love with her. With my creator's permission, we got married and she bore me a child. Months later, an epidemic spread and my wife contracted it. Hesitantly, I returned to Master Ozuno with my son in hopes of finding a cure. I never did. My wife died and…"
"You chose to be sealed away because you couldn't bear the pain of living without her…"
He nodded. "And I am afraid things would have to repeat themselves this time around."
"Nani? Goki-san, what do you…"
I was silenced as his lips brushed against mine in the softest of kisses before he released me.
"Gomen, master. I know I shouldn't have but, I just have to let you know before I leave…"
He looked at me with a sad and longing expression, something akin to those long pained glances I spared Zenki when he was not looking. "I know it isn't I that you love but my brother and I see that you have no intention of sealing us up…" He smiled and touched my cheek. "Be happy with Zenki, Chiaki-sama, but remember that I will always love you…" That was the first time he had addressed me with my name. He approached me one last time and kissed my forehead. "And that I shall return to you… someday… if you'll ever need me…" I reached up to place my hand against his that was resting on his cheek only to find that it was no longer there.
"Goki?" I looked around. He was gone. Unconsciously, two teardrops trailed down my cheeks as I collapsed onto the floor, the ceremonial fire flickering in the distance. It took me a month to realize what those tears meant.
He hmphed. "Yeah, what is it?" It was the day before I was to perform the sealing ceremony on him. He had, as Goki predicted, become restless through time and I was advised by Saki-obaasan to do so. It was difficult but necessary… It's all for the best…
"Are you sure you're alright with this sealing up thing? I mean…"
"Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Just leave me alone. Will ya?"
"Zenki…" I sighed. This was the last day he'd spend with us and he still acted this way.
I was surprised when he turned to face me.
"Zenki, what is it?"
"Anou, Chiaki… that is… arigatogozaimasu…"
My heart skipped a beat. Did that mean… I sprang up and enveloped him in a hug.
"Hey, woman. Geroff! Geroff! Need… to… breathe…"
I release him. "Gomen, Zenki, demo… I… I…"
He hmphed once again. "I am not taking back what I said demo that doesn't mean you have the permission to glomp me."
I sadly smile at him. So much for confessing my feelings for him. "Hai, I understand. I'd leave you alone now."
"Err… Chiaki… about that baka brother of mine…"
Strangely, my heart once again skipped a beat. "Goki?"
"No, the other one with long blue hair who calls you master, the baka… Of course, it's Goki. Who else?"
I sweatdropped. "Well, what about him?"
"Well, this may mean nothing now but I've noticed how much disturbed you were after he left. He may not have told you this but I think the baka has gone and fallen for you, which is such a disgrace if you ask me, but well, he did. And from the looks of it…" He eyed me smugly. "You seem to like him, too."
"Nani? That's not true! Demo… Zenki come back here!" He had already gone off on his morning hunt.
I sigh at the memory. I never did learn how Zenki knew about it. I didn't really care. It was only then that I realized my loss. I cried all night and I wasn't really paying attention when I performed the ceremony the following day. We left the shrine a month later.
I stand up and approach the entrance, leaning upon the railing like I had done that fateful night. The only difference was that there was nobody there beside me. The chilly wind blew harder bringing with it memories of a love that I never knew. If only…
The ceremonial fire flickers behind me and as I turn to face its warmth, I find myself staring instead into sapphire blue eyes blazing with an emotion that wasn't there the last time I saw them.
Tears once again flooded my eyes as I reached up and hugged him in spite of myself.
"You came back…"
"I had to, Master…"
"No, Master." He smiled. "For both of us."
I blinked back the tears and managed a smile. "I see."
Maybe it wasn't too late after all.
He was surprised. "Whatever for, Master?"
"For being a complete bakayarou…"
"For being foolish and stupid and…"
He looked at me intently. "Hai, Master?"
His features softened into a smile. My heart skipped a beat.
"As I always have…"
"As I have, as well… though I never did realize it until after you left…"
He brought me closer and nuzzled against my hair. "I'm glad to be home."
I clasped his face in mine. "So am I, Goki. So am I."
The ceremonial fire burned more brightly as we settled next to it, as though even it rejoiced in our reunion. Outside, the storm raged on.
Again... Below you...
Let the earth sleep silently.
* * *
Wings © Ryuuen 22 June 2002
All Rights Reserved.