Voice of a Fae

This's another "Surprise! Who's singing?" fic, but with a different feel to it. Zero is convinced he heard a fairy (or, in his case, fae) singing, and is determined to find the owner of such a voice. You'd be surprised (and no, it's not Bakunetsumaru!). You know, I was writing this thing, and I kept thinking "I'll never be able to pull this thing off. Never in a million years. It is too farfetched, it'll never work." But I'd always come back with "It can work, I just have to do it just the right way" so I did! And this is the final product! LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS, KID! THEY'LL GET YOU GOOD REVIEWS!

"CAPTAIN! BAKUNETSUMARU!"

Bakunetsumaru jumped as Zero bolted up from behind him, falling out of the deck chair and spilling the snow cone he was eating all over himself. Captain, not the type to be surprised easily, gave a small jolt and regained composure. "Hello, Zero. What seems to be troubling you?"

Zero, indeed was having trouble breathing, and his eyes were beyond glowing. Even in the dusky evening, they stood out from the yellow sky without trouble. He was barely able to hover anymore; he was so tired, he sank down to the ground and came to rest on his knees. He lowered his eyes and began.

"You... you will not believe what I just heard!" Zero gulped and continued. "I was flying... I was... I was praticing a spell, and my sword flew out of my hand, and I went to get it, and I found it in the woods, and I picked it up, and then..." Zero gulped again and picked himself up of the deck. "I heard... a fae."

Bakunetsumaru took this time to make his presence known again. "What's a 'fae'?" he growled as he picked himself off the floor.

"Internal dictionary identifies 'fae' as a synonym for 'fairy'," Captain explained.

"Oh, I know what those are. Little winged half-naked people. They're painted all over Nana's walls." Bakunetsumaru pushed a stray bit of snow cone into his mouth. "Strawberry. Okay, so, about the fairy?"

"The fae!" Zero growled before continuing. "The fae, I heard it singing. Everyone knows there is nothing more beautiful than a fae's song."

Zero conjured a rose and held it to his cheek. "I have truly been blessed by the song of the fae. This is obvious an omen that my life will soon take a turn for the better."

A pause.

"And..."

Zero snapped out of his stupor and continued. "Oh, yes, right! Well, I flew forward to meet the fae, but hit a tree-"

"HA HA!" Baku laughed, pointing a cruel finger. The finger was immediately covered with a dozen roses. "HEY!"

"When I got out of the tree, the fae was gone!" Zero sighed. "Her angelic voice still haunts my soul-"

"Hey! You were calling it an 'it'!" Bakunetsumaru yelled again, earning him a rose on each tip of his v-fin. "GRR! STOP IT, ZERO!"

"All faes are female!" Zero snapped. "I simply called her an 'it' out of habit! Besides, that wonderful a voice could not belong to a male anything!"

"Very strange, considering fairies are considered a mythical creature," Captain spoke. "Are you sure it was-"

"I'm sure it was a Fae, Captain!!" Zero growled, clenching his fists. "And I will prove it! You two are coming with me tomorrow night to find the her!"

"What?" Captain, this time, was genuiely surprised.

"Why?" whined Bakunetsumaru.

"Because humans would not understand," whispered the Winged Knight. "Just meet me here tomorrow night."

***

The Next Day...

"Hi, guys!" Shute called as the Gundams came into his sight. "Anything planned today?"

"We're going fairy huntin-"

Zero slammed his hand over Captain's mouth. "Uh, nothing today, Shute!"

"Fairy hunting?" Shute cocked his head. "What'd'ya mean by that?"

"Zero said he heard a fairy singing somewhere in the woods!" Bakunetsumaru squealed with a mocking tone. "And we're going to look for it!"

Shute, suddenly, went slightly red. "In the woo- um... are you sure the fairy wants you to find him?"

Zero laughed. "Shute, faes are naturally very jovial and gregarious creatures! She will not mind our company!"

"Well, how do you know?" Shute heard his mother calling him. "She might be shy or something, and doesn't wanna be heard! I gotta go watch Nana, bye!"

Captain "hmmm"ed.

***

It was dark in the woods. Owls sang and bullfrogs croaked. Gundams exchanged scary stories.

"And then, when he turned around..." Zero whispered.

Bakunetsumaru gulped. "Yes..."

"The girl..."

The Samurai's eyes went wide. "Yes..."

"Was...."

"Erreerrerrr...."

"GONE!"

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

Captain watched Bakunetsumaru jump far above the canopy of the trees. "Bakunetsumaru would best be described as... exciteable?"

"Precisely," Zero chuckled. A rustle in the brush reached his ears. "What was that?!"

CRASH!

Captain looked over the red Gundam who was face-first in the dirt. "Was it Bakunetsumaru falling?"

"Okaa-san?" Bakunetsumaru moaned.

"Maybe..."

Zero began to hear the voice again! Singing!

"The fae!" he forcibly whispered. He lifted Bakunetsumaru onto his feet. "Baku! Captain! The fae!"

The knight wasted no time in flying past the trees to find the voice. As quickly he would catch sight of the fae, she would disappear behind some tree, leaving him with only brief glances of her legs and feet.

Zero finally stopped (he hit another tree) and let the others catch up with him. Captain hovered above the defeated Zero. "Did you... see it?"

Zero was lying spread eagle on his back, pieces of bark mashed into his helmet. "No," he admitted. "I caught a few glimpses of her, but it was not enough to paint a clear picture."

"I am sorry," mumbled Captain. He bent down and pulled a twig out of Zero's cape. "We were of no assistance to you."

Zero smiled as a still zonked-out Bakunetsumaru collasped from exhaustion beside him. "I enjoy your company. You will join me tomorrow night, same place. This search is not over yet."

***

Keiko tapped Zero on the shoulder as he flew past her the next day. "Shute tells me you and the boys went fairy hunting last night."

The knight sighed and wiped a bead of sweat off of his forehead. "Must everyone in Shute's family know?"

"Well, I think that's absolutely wonderful!" Keiko responded with a wink. "I hope you find your 'fairy'. She could be looking for her chance in the spotlight."

The woman giggled cheerfully and walked away. Zero hovered their, trying to contemplate what had just happened.

***

"Hi-mahoumaru-sensei always said that green berries were dangerous to eat," Bakunetsumaru grunted with a suspicious eye.

"They're fine, trust me," Zero coaxed, pushing Bakunetsumaru towards the green-berry bush. "Go ahead, what's gonna happen?"

Captain suddenly yelped, "Do you hear singing?"

Zero bolted upright to try and catch sight of his fae. "What? Where? How? Hello- Wait a minute."

Zero looked down to see Captain whispering something into Bakunetsumaru's ear.

"THANK YOU!" screamed the red warrior.

"You're welcome. It is wrong for Zero to try to deceive you that way."

"CAPTAIN! You ruined the prank!"

"You were about to ruin Bakunetsumaru's stomach!" Captain argued, earning a strange look from Zero.

"Yeah, you were!" Bakunetsumaru hollered, thrashing about his arms like he usually did. "You know what, I'm tired! I want to go back home and sleep, okay, Zero? No more stakeouts! How do you know the fairy's gonna be back here anyway?"

"Because faes are creatures of habit," Zero recited. "They pick one singing spot and stay with it for the rest of their lives."

"That sounds stupid!" Baku shouted.

"Well, it's true! All of my masters have said so!" Zero defended himself.

"Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me. Starlight and dew drops-"

"It's the fae!" Zero gasped. "But... it's not here!"

"We'll search for it on the ground!" Bakunetsumaru galloped away.

"You search above the trees!" Captain nodded as he too disappeared into the forest.

"RIGHT!"

The Winged Knight flew as fast as he could towards the noise. Faster-faster- faster-faster-

THERE! By a small outcropping of rocks! The voice was much clearer now!

He flew down to find...

The voice was coming out of a weird-looking little box.

"By Maana!" Zero poked the thing. "Is this what this dimension's faes look like?"

"That is a tape recorder."

It was Zero's turn to be taken by surprise. He leaped from the ground only to get tangled in the complicated branches of an oak. He sighed through Bakunetsumaru's laughing and Captain's explaining.

"A tape recorder records sounds and plays it back to whoever pushes this button. This song must have been recorded earlier. It is not a fairy."

Zero rubbed the vein that was forming above his eye. "Another failure."

"Creatures of habit, he says."

"SHUT UP, BAKUNETSUMARU!"

***

"You guys are looking for fairies?" Sayla chittered to Zero. "Oh, that's so cool! Could you bring her back here if you find her?"

Zero, despite his love for Sayla, groaned inwardly, "Why must everyone in Neotopia know?"

"Me and her could sing together!" Sayla laughed. "I don't like to sing in public, but my mom says I'm really good!"

"If your voice is as beautiful as your mother says, Princess Sayla, it should not be kept to a choice few." Zero bowed before his princess.

"Oh!" Sayla giggled airly. "Thank you, Zero!"

"Oi! Sayla!" Bakunetsumaru ran up to the girl with a rose on his head. "My swords are inside Shute's house! Could you get them for me so I can chop off this stupid rose!?"

"Okay!"

Zero waited until Sayla was out of sight before punching Bakunetsumaru in the stomach. "You do not request a princess to run errands for you!"

"She's not a princess, she's a kid! And kids are supposed to work! That's what Hi-Mahoumaru-sensei taught me!"

"Then your 'sensei' was wrong!"

"Why, you little-"

"AAAAH!"

Sayla came running back outside, pale and terror stricken. "It's dark in there! I went inside and I heard a noise and I couldn't see what it was!"

A beautiful purple rose appeared in Zero's hand. He placed it effortlessly behind Sayla's ear. "My princess, do not worry. My idiotic friend will fetch his own sword, won't he?"

Baku took the hint and stomped away, casting suspecting glances at Sayla over his shoulder.

***

"I don't think we're following a fairy," Baku stated as Captain knocked an apple of a nearby tree. "I think that Zero's following a human who likes singing in the woods in the middle of the night."

"Nonsense!" Zero snarled. He calmed down, though. "However, if by Any Miniscule chance I am wrong, I believe that the voice is coming from Shute's mother."

"Why do you think Keiko is the fairy?" Captain asked as he rinsed off the apple in a nearby stream.

"Because she told me that the fairy wanted to be heard," Zero explained. "She was hinting at it, so she's probably the one!"

"Ridiculous!" snapped Bakunetsumaru. "If she wanted us to find her singing, she would not run from us! I believe it is Sayla! She's shy about her talents, she said so!"

"But Sayla is afraid of the dark! She would not be out at night!" Zero snarled. "It has to be Keiko!"

"What was that?" Captain disappeared from sight as Zero and Bakunetsumaru kept fighting.

"It's Keiko!"

"It's Sayla!"

"It's Keiko!"

"It's Sayla!"

"Princess Sayla would not bother walking out into the middle of the woods to sing!"

"Keiko would not bother running away from us!"

Captain returned with Zero's apple and stated, "Neither of those hypotheses are correct."

Sweat drops rolled down both Gundam's cheeks. "And just how do you know?"

"Listen."

It was just a few seconds after the Gundams had quieted down when the soft music reached their ears.

"Nen nen kokoriyo okokoriyo, Boyawa yoikoda nenneshina..."

"It's Edo Komoriuta!" Bakunetsumaru whispered, tears forming in his eyes. "My mother used to sing this to me to help me sleep!"

"That's why it has to be Keiko!" Zero counterred. "This is Upper Neotopian, and she's the only woman I know who knows it!"

"The language is called 'nihon-go'!" Baku hissed. "And I'm sure that's something everyone on Shute's mother's side of the family knows!"

"Then why would Sayla know it?" Zero grinned.

Bakunetsumaru stuttered for a moment. "Well- becau- it- SOMEONE COULD HAVE TAUGHT IT TO HER!"

"Both of your assumptions are wrong," Captain chuckled. "Follow me, and be silent."

They wormed their way through the trees and down the bank of the stream until they reached the source of the stream, a little pool. The small, yet rocky and deep little spring was cute enough in itself, but sitting at the pool was...

Decked in silk night clothes, holding baby Nana in his arms; it was Shute!

Zero and Bakunetsumaru each stared, bug eyed, as the little human boy sang his lullaby to his fussy baby sister. From him came an angelic, soft voice that Zero had never heard coming from a human boy! "Denden taikoni sho no fue, Sho no fue..."

"It's not a fairy," Bakunetsumaru moaned.

"And it's not a girl," cried Zero.

"All evidence when collected pointed to Shute as the mysterious voice," Captain surmissed. "But you two were so involved in the search, and having so much fun with it, I felt it pointless to discourage you."

The two Gundams each tried to pound Captain over the head, but he nimbly jumped out of the way. Their fists hit the ground with a thunderous BANG!

Shute's head shot upward. "What was that?" He stood up and faced the forest behind him (the Gundams were watching him from the side; he could not see them). "Hello?" he whimpered, beginning to shake. "Who's there?!"

"You two have alerted Shute to our presence," Captain announced without emotion. "He is probably thinking someone is stalking him."

"Oopsie," said Zero.

"What now?" Bakunetsumaru pleaded.

"I guess we confront him, and ask what he is doing out so late at night." Zero drifted into the air.

"Show yourself!" Shute yelped, holding his baby sister with every ounce of his strength. He hunched himself over her protectively and turned to face the pool, thinking someone might've been hiding in the water.. "Uh- I- my three closest friends are Gundams! If you hurt me, they'll hunt you down and-"

"Shute! It's alright!"

Shute turned to see something dark and unrecognizable floating above him, reaching out his massive hands towards him and his sister.

"NO! Please! Don't hurt us!"

Shute stumbled backwards wildly, Nana screaming at the top of her lungs! His feet slipped, he felt cold water against his calf muscle-

And two hands keeping him from falling.

He enveloped his precious sister even tighter as he met eyes with his savior, Captain. And as their eyes met, the fear seemed to melt out of him and Nana; they immediately stopped panicing. In fact, Shute smiled and Nana started to giggle.

"Captain, it's you!" laughed the boy. His smile quickly left his lips. "But, wait, that means-"

The dark floating figure moved forward and became Zero, the Winged Knight. "Hello, Shute. Um... sorry, about that."

"Is Baku-" No need to finish, Shute thought to himself as Bakunetsumaru swaggered into his vision. "But, what are you guys doing here?"

"Perhaps we should be asking you," said the Blazing Samurai.

"I asked first!" Shute whined with a boyish squeal, standing up in his own bare feet while standing in the cold water.

"We were searching for the fairy," Captain stated. "But we found you instead."

"Oh..." Shute bounced Nana in his arms a few times. "I shoulda guessed that."

"Your turn to explain why you are out so late, Shute," Zero snarled with angry eyes.

Shute sighed and closed his eyes. "Whenever Nana can't sleep, I walk out here and sing to her until she falls asleep. I've been doing this for ages now, it's just Zero didn't hear me until a couple of days ago-"

"Wait, you knew that I had heard you?!" Zero yelled with bugging eyes.

"Uh huh." The human Gundam adjusted the baby in his arms and walked out of the cold pool of water. "And it scared me; I don't like people to hear me sing. They make fun of me. So, I tried going to different places and-"

"Throwing us off the trail with tape recordings?" inquired Captain.

"Yeah!" Shute snickered. "It was funny, seeing Zero run into the tree-"

"You saw that?!" Zero's eyes became much larger.

Shute giggled nervously. "Still, you guys wouldn't give up. You found me, and now..." He cast a forlorn glance to Nana. "I... guess I'll have to stop singing."

CRASH! Down fell Zero and Bakunetsumaru! Nana began to fuss at the loud noise.

"But why, Shute?" Captain asked again.

Shute sat down on a rock and pulled himself into a little ball; he was getting cold. "Well, because, you guys have heard me, and you thought I was a girl! It's embarrassing! And I don't wanna sing anymore now!"

"Excuse me?"

Zero flew in close to Shute and placed a hand on his arm. "Shute, why bother with what we thought before!? What about what we think now?"

"I dunno," Shute chittered while rocking Nana. "What do you think now?"

Bakunetsumaru suddenly got a magnificent plan. "I'm not sure... you'll have to sing again so we can get a better opinion."

Shute went bright red. "That's not fair!"

"Please, Shute, I don't care where the voice comes from anymore!" Zero got down on one knee and lowered his beg. "I beg of you, just sing! I want to here the voice of the fae I was searching for!"

A strong hand placed itself on Shute's shoulders. "Please?"

The human Gundam looked to Captain, then Nana. He muttered something unintelligible to her, at which she giggled and clapped her little hands. He looked up and said, "So, whadda ya think, 'Edo Komoruita'?"

"OO! OO! Yes, yes, please!"

"I would like that very much, Shute!"

"Anything, please, just sing!"

Shute blushed, took a deep breath, and began.

His voice was almost as smooth as the water flowing from the pond, and the forest seemed to wake up as he sang. "Nen nen kororiyo okororiyo, buyawa yoikoda nenneshina..."

Bakunetsumaru began to mumble along, managing a simple harmony. "Boyano komoriwa dokoe it ta, anoyama kotoe satoe it ta..."

Bakunestumaru and Zero pushed themselves against a rock and began to drift off to sleep. Shute paused to giggle and kept singing. "Sato no miyagi ni nani morata, denden taikoni sho no fue..."

He then yawned, placed a sleeping Nana on the rock beside him, and laid down beside her. He spoke more than he sang, "Sho... no fue..."

Captain watched the children as they slept, mesmerized by the way their chests moved in and out as they breathed. He shook himself out of his trance and tapped Zero awake. "Zero?"

"Huh?" Zero blinked his eyes and began to go back to sleep again.

"Zero!"

"Wha-!" the knight barked as he snapped awake.

"I must return to home base. Will you take Shute and Nana back home for me, please?"

"Oh, of course, Captain." Zero scooped Shute into his arms, and Captain rested Nana on her brother's chest. Shute unconsciously wrapped his arms around her and did not let go.

"Don't drop them, Zero," Captain warned.

The Winged Knight laughed. "Captain, have I ever dropped them?"

"No, I guess not, but you have just woken up, so you cannot blame me for worrying."

Zero laughed again. "Captain, you have the spirit of a child, and for that I congradulate you. Farewell."

"Goodnight, Zero." Captain fired his booster rockets and blasted back to base as Zero jumped into the air, leaving Bakunetsumaru to sleep on his rock.

As he flew, Zero looked down upon the sleeping children in his arms, the boy in particular. "Rest well, changeling baby, for you have truly been blessed. Not many humans can say that they have the voice of a fae."

Note #1: Edo Komoruita is a traditional Japanese lullaby. Real deal, I looked it up!

Note #2: A changeling baby, according to my fairy book, is a human baby that's been switched out for a elf or fairy or goblin baby. Seems like something Zero would call Shute.