Darkness comes to Light

Chapter 9 Dark X's POV; Dark Demonic Rumble

Ugh… damn, am I sore… Esh… rough night. Oh well, I shouldn't be complaining anyway.

As I blink my eyes open, I instantly spot Zero, still asleep beside me. Wouldn't blame 'im. Not after last night's nightmare… Hell, I can guess what it was about. It's been a while since he last had that dream, though…

Well, dream… memory would be more like it…

Shaking the thought away, I get out of bed and stretch out for a minute, cracking the joints in my neck a few times before I start getting dressed. After tying my ribbon about my head again, I take a moment to look in the mirror, before turning away again, heading for the kitchen to fix breakfast. Damn, I hate mirrors…

Well anyway, I do believe it was my turn to cook this time around. Entering the kitchen, I realize Zero never got around to putting the leftover spaghetti in the fridge. Damn. Well… we were rather busy weren't we? Heheh. I'm just glad he had the common sense to put the lids on the pans. Taking the pan with the sauce, I somehow manage to get it in the fridge before I scoop the noodles into one of those tupperware thingies, or whatever, before they follow the sauce into the fridge.

"Now!" I say, clapping my hands together. "Breakfast!"

Nothing Japanese right now, though… don't think Zero's ready for that yet… And eggs and bacon is just cliché. Hmhmhmhmmm… Salad's out. I know he hates that (or as he'd say "I ain't a rabbit.") so what does that leave?

I finally just pull out a number of slices of bread and several other things, such as cheese, ham, pepperoni, mustard, and that kind of stuff. By the time I finished mixing it all together, I had two tape-sized sandwiches dripping with all sorts of sauces that I had added. So we'd better keep some tissues within reach when eating.

And, speak of the devil, just as I turn to head to the bedroom, Zero walks into the room, rubbing his eyes and letting out a bit of a yawn. "Ohayo," he mumbles around the yawn, making me chuckle.

"Yeah, ohayo. C'mon, I fixed breakfast, so let's eat, ne?"

"Sure…" he mumbles sleepily, and I briefly note he'd redone his hair, plus pulled on his pants again. I hand him a plate with a sandwich and we sit down on the table to eat in silence. He still looks awfully sleepy, and almost spills all of the sauces back onto the plate, making him dip the sandwich into them more often than not.

Not that I was a very clean eater with this, but hey.

"So any clue what to do today?" I ask after a moment.

Zero blinks, before he shrugs. "I dunno. Your call."

My call, huh? Esh, that doesn't leave much room open now, does it? But what's there to do here anyway? Back at home, what we'd usually do on our spare time was just sit in the room or train. Or… …… a-HA!!

Allowing a small smirk, I quip: "I think I've got an idea."

"With that look on your face… it can't possibly be good…"

"Being a smartass is my job!"

Zero just shrugs.


After we finish eating, Zero goes to clean up and get dressed, so I take the time to read a book I'd found someplace. It wasn't really that interesting, and pretty corny, but I still read through the whole thing. I at least wanted to know how the thing would end. Who knows, there might be a very nasty plottwist in here somewhere and the main char will kill everyone. I doubt it, but it'd be fun, right?

As Zero finishes up, I dogear the page and get up. "You ready to go?"

"Go where?" he asks in return. I just roll my eyes and lead him out of the room.

Whilst moving through the halls, neither of us pay any attention to the stares directed at us. They better get used to us soon, 'coz we probably won't be leaving for a while. And I ain't planning on changing anything about us, and I doubt Zero would, too. Hell, that's a guarantee.

As we step into the recreation room, first thing to notice is the amount of noise. Hmm, seems a few people had the same idea as I had. Zero looks a little surprised, before he smirks, watching in amusement as someone trips over and makes the machine give out a loud "FAILED!!"

Heheh… honestly…

"That your idea?" Zero quips at last.

"Yep."

He hums a little, before he smirks and says: "Cool."

Figured he'd say that. As the next rookie steps up on the machine, we decide to just stand back and watch 'em make fools of themselves. At first, it seems to be going good, before he makes one too many wrong moves and winds up with the dreaded "FAILED" screen as well.

"Looks like they set it to Heavy," Zero quips softly. I just nod, because it sure seems like it. It's not as chaotic as Challenge, but some of them get awfully close.

"Enjoying yourselves?" a familiar voice quips and we turn our heads in synch to face Zero's Light.

Zero just shrugs. "Well, it's pretty funny to see them make fools of themselves," he says, gesturing for the machine up ahead. His Light turns to face it as well, just as someone else falls over and gets the far too dreaded screen.

"Now that was pathetic…" I mumble softly.

Zero's Light looks at me, then says: "Well, it's not that easy."

"It's only DDR for cryin' out loud!" I exclaim. I notice the slight twitch of my best friend and turn on him. "One word and you die!" I warn dangerously, ignoring the fact that his Light won't understand a thing of what we're talking about.

Zero has the audacity to blink, twice, before he smirks. "Word," he quips.

"Alright that's it!" I hiss, and yank him along by his arm, making him yowl. I ignore it and just drag him toward the nearest console, watching with a bit of amusement as everyone immediately clears the runway, so to speak.

I shove Zero toward the console, and he can only just find his balance by grabbing hold of the bars behind it meant for extra leverage. "Esh, no need to get so pushy," he mumbles softly.

"Oh just shut up," I mumble, scrolling through the selections of songs. And then I spot it.

Smirking, I set the song, taking the level up to Challenge. Zero spots what I'm doing and smirks icily, getting in position as I finish. As we stand on our marks, we just wait for the song to start. We don't really pay attention to the surroundings, even as everyone gathers round, as a voice begins to speak from the machine.

"A young man trying to impress beyond his abilities. Too spiced, too um… uh… too many notes."

And we're off! (1)

The pace is hectic and rapid, over a thousand, if not two thousand, notes. Many rookies wouldn't have been able to make it past the first 400, but we've practiced this one so many times before that it almost comes naturally. Slamming our feet down onto the arrows, we keep our eyes on the screen even though we basically know the song by heart, not paying a bit of attention to the gobsmacked faces around us.

As the song reaches a slower point with lots of long steps, I take a quick moment to crick my neck, while Zero pops his knuckles, before we move again. The song barely gives one a moment to get a breather, so you need some heavy duty stamina for this one.

When it comes to an end, I let out a small sigh, while Zero stretches out his legs a little as the score is calculated. I didn't really pay attention to it, having been busy watching the arrows and all…

"Ah, crap," Zero grumbles, and I smirk. I managed to get one more Marvelous than he did, managing to stand out a few points above him. Hehehe. "One more go?"

"Different song this time," I agree to with a nod. This time it's Zero's turn to pick, even as more and more people gather round. Well, see if we care.

Scrolling through the list, Zero seems to hesitate, before he settles on one.

…uh-oh… Oceans of Time… I hate that one… and he knows, dammit… (2)

The fact is, it's not such a bad song; but there's the fact that you actually have to press four arrows at the same time. Luckily he set it to Heavy instead of Challenge or this would've been impossible. THAT one is just sick. As the music starts, we both start to move a little to get ready for when the notes appear. Standing still is never recommended when playing this; you have to keep moving lest you fail to get the notes right.

Ah, there we are. The beginning isn't too hard, but it only gets harder from here. At that point, two holds appear on left and right, but we jump in such a way that we're facing each other, glaring as we do, blindly smashing our hands down on the remaining notes, first one, then the other, and then both. Once done with that, we're back on our feet and hitting the notes in the same fashion as before, with our feet.

The rest of the song has a few fast paces in it, but other than that, it's pretty easy to make this one. If you know how the song goes, at least.

Upon finishing, there's a bit of applause here and there, with others shouting out approval at the show. Even Zero's Light seems impressed. Ha! That was nothing!

"Dammit!" I hiss when the score is revealed. Better not look at Zero; wouldn't want that grin of his to blind me. Looks like we're tied for now, but I'll fix that. And I so happen to know just the song for it…

Moving forward to select a song, I pretend to have some difficulty, before I pick the one song I know he hates. And when I see him tense a little, I know that he realizes which I picked. Getting into position, we get ready for some serious stepping.

And there they are! Double left down up right up down left… gah! Stop that! Esh… J-E-N-O-V-A isn't considered a doozy on Challenge for nothing… it contains a high amount of holds, during which you also have to keep smashing your other foot on a different arrow for as long as the hold lasts before switching feet. It's exhausting after a while. (3)

Sure, there are points where it goes a little easier, but those never last long. Couple of doubles here and there, but otherwise it goes tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-you get the picture, right?

Anyway, once we're done with that one, we have to lean back against the poles behind us lest we tumble to the ground. Damn… my legs are tingling… ahhh… that hurts… Not trying that again anytime soon…

I look up at the score as it's displayed, still panting for breath, before I let out a shout of victory. "Haha! I win!"

"Gawdfrickindammit!!" Zero cursed angrily. Heheh… sore loser. Though it'll probably take a while for these legs to be able to carry our weight again. Damn…

"Wow! That was amazing!" a familiar voice calls, making us look over. Ah, Axl's Light. Should've known. "How did you do that?!" he asks of us.

Zero just smirks. "Lotta skill."

I give him one look, then sigh and--

CLONK!!

--clock him over the head. "ITAI!!"

"You were asking for that one…" I mumble simply.

"Was not!"

I roll my eyes, ignoring the snickers from all around. Turning to the kid (technically; he's still just a kid) and say simply: "Three things, actually; practice, practice, and more practice."

The kid looks at me like he can't believe what I'm saying, before he asks: "That's it?"

I merely shrug. There's a lot more involved, but if you don't practice you'll never actually get anywhere. Not like I'm about to tell that to him. We don't need the extra competition.

…?

Turning, I frown at the far wall. …Was I imagining that shimmering sound just then?

A sudden poke in my side confirms that I hadn't. Glancing over to Zero from the corner of my eye, I raise an eyebrow in question, and he merely nods. "Well, might as well get goin', what say?" he says simply, putting his hands behind his head.

I shrug. "What say," I quip simply, nodding Zero's and Axl's Light goodbye as we head out without another word.

As we walk the halls, I whisper: "He was here, wasn't he?"

"Yeah… was. But who knows where he disappeared off to afterward…" he mumbles simply.

I just nod. That chameleon can disappear in the blink of an eye if he wants to, and I have a feeling he doesn't want to be found just yet. He'll show up when he's good and ready, and not a moment sooner…

"Oy, X?"

"Hn?"

"What say we head out later? See if… it can be found."

…'it'? …Oh!

"Yeah, sure." Who knows? The place might have our ticket home.


SONG 1 "Beyond Abilities" by Warmen, Heavy, (check the dance here "http:// video.google. com/videoplay ?docid -6044766287 639703442&pl true" and remove all the spaces)

SONG 2 "Oceans of Time" from the Stepmix 1.0 on Stepmania (dot) com, Heavy.

SONG 3 "J-E-N-O-V-A" from Final Fantasy VII, Challenge, found in the "Game Pack" for Stepmania.


Okay okay!! I'm updating already! Esh… I never expected this to get so popular… sorry 'bout the delay, but I've been very very busy.

Chapter 8 will NOT be posted on this site because of its contents. If you want to read it, go to nFiction (dot) com.

One more thing; Warmen songs on DDR are SCARY!! shudders