Domon came to with a gasp for breath. Air poured into his lungs and it felt like liquid fire in his lungs. He felt alive. His now open eyes suveyed the damage from a slightly tilted angle. It was then that all of his memories slammed back into him with the force of a small truck. Wincing with the effort it took, Domon pushed his head away from the table he was resting against and quickly pressed his palm to the middle of his chest. He was hole-less, that was for sure. Flexing the fingers of his left hand, he started to move his right when he found it attached to something else. Something warm. Looking to his hand he immediately felt an overwhelming sense of relief at the small, slender fingertips he was clutching. She was here, but was she alive?
Still not ready to release the small hand he held, he instead gave it a gentle squeeze.
With his free hand he reached over and gave her pale cheek a little pat.
"Rain, please...I can't lose you again."
Long, full eyelashes stirred and fluttered until at last a sliver of cerulean appeared.
"Domon? Are we alive?"
"Yeah. I knew you could do it."
Quickly, he spared Rain a quick smile before releasing her hand and walking to the opposite side of the table. Domon glanced to the tentacles that now occasioanally twitched but were for the most part motionless. And their clothing…figures.
"We've got to get out of here..."
"And that's exactly where I come in."
Domon snapped his head around and narrowed his eyes in the direction of the sound. Grasping Rain's upper arm he jerked her to her off the table. She made a little yelp at his roughness, but followed his lead as he pushed her behind him. Fire shot up Rain's legs but miraculously she held her weight. Domon's gaze immediately turned incredulous when he placed a name to the speaker.
"At your service, Neo-Japan. Whoa...no hugs though…please."
Domon growled but didn't move. It wasn't as though he relished the thought of the Neo-America pilot seeing him naked.
"We've got to get out of here."
Chibodee's carefree attitude was beginning to really get on Domon's last nerve, and it was becoming just a bit more than obvious.
"Rightaboutgettingoutofhere… Hey Rain! How are you doin' kid? You're looking a little pale."
Domon turned around quickly and looked at the pasty complexion of his partner.
She made a small noise of affirmation but nothing more. God knows she didn't feel alright. Her body ached like she'd just run two marathons non stop, her head was pounding like every single brain cell she'd ever had was pounding against her skull demanding release. And all of that didn't even include the fact that she was quite simply exhausted. The urge to simply close her eyes and fade back in to the darkness that had become her days was so tempting…so very temping.
The ship groaned under them.
"Damnit. Chibodee, give me your jacket."
"Does it look like I have a jacket? Moron…I swear sometimes."
Chibodee pulled irritably at the skin tight suit clinging to his toned form. Glaring daggers Domon didn't dignify that with a response.
"Turn around, and if you look back, I'll kill you."
Following orders Chibodee put his hands up in a gesture of surrender as he turned around and faced the door. Grabbing Rain's hand again, Domon gave her a little pull.
"You ready to go home?"
Rain gave him a small fleeting smile and started to follow him. Every step hurt and she felt cold. No, it was beyond cold. She felt like someone was slowly dipping her bones in a vat of dry ice, over, and over.
"Domon we need to move now. This place is really going to come down around us."
She opened her mouth to answer but nothing fell from her lips. Not even as her legs gave out under her and she slipped in to the cool, satin darkness. The last thing she heard was her name.
"What the hell!"
Domon caught Rain as she crumpled to the floor like a puppet with her strings cut. Wrapping his arms under her knees and around her shoulders he hoisted her limp body up against his chest. She felt lighter, perfect but different somehow. Frowning, he started to run toward Chibodee.
"Let's go. We can't do anything for her here."
"Right. Follow me Neo Japan."
With Domon still clutching a very succumbed Rain, he and Chibodee ran to what would ultimately be their freedom.
Well, two out of three isn't so bad.
What the hell am I doing here? Where is here? Let me GO! Who are you? WHO AM I.
Her own questions went unanswered as she flung herself against the invisible bonds holding her down.
You cannot hold me here. I WILL NOT LET YOU! You are nothing! Let me be. Let me live.nothing!
The darkness continued to hold on to her, sinking it's claws deeper into her but Rain knew better. She'd been down this road before. Twice to be honest, and once would have been more than enough for her thank you.
Somewhere from within the grayer parts of the darkness she could hear her father's voice speaking to her gently.
'You're stronger than this, Rain.'
Father? 'Fight this Rain. FIGHT!'
'Fight this Rain. FIGHT!'
Closing her eyes she clawed through the darkness ferociously, sinking her fingertips back into the substance trying to envelope her.
'You know how, Rain.'
Her father was right. This time she knew exactly how to fight back. Pulling every thought of Domon and her friends to the front of her mind she closed herself off to everything else.
Tears slipped over the cold surface of her pale cheeks, but she paid them no mind. It would never be over if she didn't win this battle. It would always be there, in the corner of her mind, hiding between the memories she'd rather forget. Lurking just beneath the surface. Life had given her more than enough chances, and this time around, she was going to get it right.
Enough was enough.
'That's my girl. I knew you were strong'
No more. She'd come close to losing everything one too many times. Her eyes flashed open, Azure steel blazed.
The thick curtain wrapped around her started to shatter like a mirror, cracks becoming visible in the surface. And then it started to fall away like petals from the sky. Rain looked back to thank her father, but predictable, he was already gone, leaving her to wonder if he'd been there at all…
Ripping through the final layer of darkness, Rain Mikamura felt her body convulse. She was really going to be sick.
The voice sounded foggy to her ears but at the same time crystal clear to her heart. Domon was at her side in the space of a heartbeat, pressing his hand to her clammy forehead. The fever had broke, finally. He let out a sigh of relief that he could feel to the core of his soul. She was coming to….
She was looking more than a little green.
Domon pulled back and panicked slightly. He loved her to death, but he doubted he could look at her the same if she was sick in his bed. Fumbling he reached for the plastic bucket he used as a trashcan and held it out toward the rapidly sitting up Rain.
Rain think of nothing more than purging her body from whatever it was that was rotting her from the inside out, turned her head and fumbled for the trashcan Domon was holding toward her.
Lucky for her she couldn't see the look on his face as she heaved a very suspicious into the bucket.
It was metallic tasting. It reminded her of the taste of a coin. She had picked up and odd habit of biting currency when she was little. In fact, she picked it up from the child form of the man before her much to the dismay of her father. The taste flooded her mouth thickly, sticking to the surface of her tongue and the inside of her cheeks almost as though it was trying to stay. Angrily, Rain forced herself to heave again.
'Graceful Rain…REAL graceful'
As she started to sit back, weak from her episode, she felt a hand brushing the back of her head.
It was then that she felt the cool breeze against her neck.
Her answer sounded every bit as exhausted as she felt. Domon nodded in response as she pressed her hand to the back of her forehead, feeling relived, for lack of a better word. Something about her felt, right now. Standing, Domon carried the trash can out of the room and closed the door gently behind him. Rain watched him go, her small hand elevating just enough to tug a small tuff of brown hair between her fingers, waiting.
Domon returned, minus the bucket, but carrying a white mug. Holding it out to Rain, he smiled softly and took his seat again.
'Here it comes…'
After further inspection, the mug was filled with water. Grateful, Rain took a small sip, but blanched at the taste of the metal mingling with the cool water. Domon crossed his arms and looked at her, his face void of emotions, or so he thought.
Rain could still read him like a book.
Domon opened his mouth to speak, but Rain cut him off with one word.
Domon sputtered a second before he closed his mouth, slightly annoyed.
"You and I both know it's for the best Rain. Things haven't changed, and we don't know if they ever will. I don't want you here like this."
She could have slapped him. She could have cried. All of this and he was still trying to get rid of her. Of course deep down she knew he wasn't really trying to get rid of her, but God knows that's what she felt like. Like once again, he was casting her out, when she'd rather, if nothing else, go down with the ship.
"I'll hate you."
Rain narrowed her azure eyes at him, playing the part of the actress very well. She knew with ever fiber of her body she could never truly hate him. Domon looked away, his arms folded over his chest.
"You have no..no right to make this decision for me. So give it up. Domon!"
"You shouldn't have to live this kind of life."
"What kind of life is it without you!"
Rain's soft words caught him off guard and he fumbled for a reply. Of course he could just tell her that it would be a sham of an existence, but the King of Hearts was a shrewd card player. He refused to show his hand.
"I won't leave you. Even if you don't agree. You can send me away, but I'll never leave. I can't leave… I need you, don't you get it! Didn't you get it when I forgave you for what you've done? You idiot! Why don't you get it. I love you. Plain and simple. I love you with every beat of my heart. I'd rather do this all over again than be forced to spend another day without you."
Rain paused and looked straight at him, reaching a hand out to turn his face to hers. Her frustration was edged out only by the obviously love she held for him.
"What is it with you and speeches? Why does everything have to be a speech with you? Why can't I just say I love you once and you believe me?"
Domon's eyes softened radically.
Pressing a finger to his lips, Rain shook her head.
"You love me right?"
"…yeah. Of course."
As if he even needed to be asked.
"Then it's done."
Domon shook his head. She had a way with him. Swearing under his breath he pulled her against his chest tightly.
"Are you sure?"
She nodded her head against him and wrapped her arms around his waist burying herself in his chest, in his scent, in him.
"Then you're right. It's done."
The silence lasted a few moments before Rain spoke up, a small smirk playing along her lips.
"You know, if you didn't let me, I was just going to have to stay with Chibodee."
"You'd better be kidding…"
Domon growled softly making his chest vibrate against Rain's ear. She only looked up with feigned innocence and an oh so sweet smile.
"Don't you give me that look Neo Japan."
She laughed, and tucked her head under his chin, thinking in the back of her mind that this time around, maybe they'd gotten it right on the mark.
This time around I'll taste the glory,
And I'm not going down without a fight
This is my life, my own story
And this time around I'll get it right
Not sure if I like this ending. BUT IT'S DONE. Tell me what you think! Sorry this took so long. College is some serious stuff. I love you all though. Thank you for sticking with me and reminding me about this. Eventually I will be writing an epilogue, but it won't be until summer at the very earliest. Thanks again! This has been fun!