The Fall and Rise of Creed Diskence

An Alternate Universe Redemption Fic based on Yabuki Kentaro's Black Cat series
Black Cat and pretty near all the characters in this story belong to Yabuki Kentaro

Author's Forward:

Black Cat was a manga series that ran in Shonen Jump over the last few years. Offbeat and off the wall, it's the kind of story that might happen if Quentin Tarantino were forced to work with Jackie Chan. Though utilizing numerous manga and anime cliches, it always managed to take those cliches and twist them into entirely different paths.

Among the many cliches Yabuki-san used was the theme of estranged partners battling each other. Except, Yabuki-san turned the story on its ear by having the villanous Creed Diskence be desperate to have the hero, Train Heartnet join him. As the story progressed, the shonen-ai potential of that sub-plot became more and more intriguing, and while I doubt Yabuki-san ever intended it that way, somehow it took a wrong turn at Alberquerque in my brain.

Thus this fic. It is Shonen-Ai and most definitely an Alternate Universe, as I have given Creed a background entirely different than the one Yabuki-san ended up giving him. It is also a redemption fic, because Creed's madness was the sort that could never be healed on his own power. The story begins at a point where Train, instead of permitting one of Creed's lieutenants to escape, follows her through her teleport warp and straight into the Hoshi's stronghold. From here on, things take an entirely different turn from how Yabuki-san ended his series.

I will be posting author's notes at my Live Journal ), so as not to take up space here. Answers to any questions or comments and various trivia involved in creating this massive piece of fanfic will be posted there.

So, if you're still with me and still interested....


CHAPTER 1: DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES

October 11, 2002

The target fell, eyes bulged out. His blood stained the ground, creating an intricate pattern on the linoleum. Creed took several deep breaths, relaxing his guard at last. Then he turned, angrily, on the man he'd nearly cut down instead. "JUST WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?"

Train shrugged, that infuriating, insouciant, gesture and expression nearly sending Creed incandescent with frightened fury. "I COULD HAVE"

"Don't get your undies in a twist, Creed. It worked. I distracted him long enough for you to do your slice and dice routine. What more do you want?"

Creed jerked to a halt and stared at the man, unable to express his fears, the moment of terror when he'd thought that his sword, aimed for their target, had sliced through the back of Train's neck. "TRAIN!"

With another shrug, Train responded in the way that he'd come to use on Creed whenever his junior partner's emotions got the better of him. He tossed an arm over Creed's neck, dragging his head downwards and rubbed his other fist in Creed's hair.

The scent of him filled Creed's nostrils, the pressure on his neck was everything. Creed relaxed into the gesture, sure sign of Train's regard, and listened to the beating of his companion's heart.

---

Sitting up rapidly sent blood rushing to Creed's head. It was just a dream. The realization hit him hard, as it always did. The knowledge that his Black Cat was no longer there, that – somehow – he had managed to estrange Train from himself returned. It was agony, greater agony than the loss of his left arm. Greater agony than losing Train in the first place, of losing him to that witch.

He still couldn't understand how he'd erred. It was obvious that that horrible woman had been misleading Train, tempting him with her softness, her kindness. Teaching him to think like she did – until nothing was left of the old, strong and powerful Train. Yet time and time again his Black Cat held her death up between them as if it were a wall, as if – by killing her – Creed had committed a horrible crime, an unforgivable sin.

Forcing the thoughts back, Creed stared down at his arm. The pain of its healing had finally settled back down to the dull ache that would not go away. Two weeks ago the stump left behind by Janos Hazard's wires had consisted of half his upper arm. Now, at last, the nano-machines that the Doctor had long ago injected into his system were rebuilding the missing limb.

It was, according to the Doctor, unexpected. The nano-machines, prototypes, and for all practical purposes, essentially the same as those Creed had accidentally shot into his beloved Train, were programmed to repair damage only within limits. The ones in Creed's body were exceeding those limits, much to the Doctor's amazement. He lay back in bed, feeling the newly created joint, moving the elbow tentatively. If only healing the heart could be this simple. Drug him out of his mind again and wait for the loss and emptiness to go away.

-CRASH-

The sound of fighting somewhere downstairs startled Creed into opening his eyes again. Staring blankly at the canopy, he listened. Had Chronos found them? No. Too soon. The clues I planted should not be found yet. They were coming, he knew that much, but the timing had to be just right and this was too early.

Besides, Chronos would be making a lot more noise. Creed frowned, then blinked as memory of a sound that he knew only too well, a sound that played in his heart every time he dreamed. The sound of a gun being fired, the sound of Hades.

"TRAIN!"

---

---

Train leapt out of the way of the blast of air that the youngest Hoshi member flung at him, dodged a bullet fired from an entirely different angle and direction than the one it had originally come from, courtesy of Ekidona's teleportation powers. Then he was ducking the big man's blows.

Gravity shifted, sending him flying, even as ice lashed out at him. This is a fine mess. He could hear Sven cussing him out for his impetuosity, even though his partner was somewhere miles away. When he catches up with me I'm going to be lucky if I can eat anything solid for a week. He grimaced, dodging another attack, this one from a Hoshi who looked rather like something out of a bad old vampire movie.

Scanning the moonlit room, he spotted several exits. It was high time for smart kitties to make an exit. Of course, smart kitties wouldn't have jumped into the mouse hole just because it was there. Even in this moment Train wasn't sure what had driven his decision to chase after Ekidona, his flying leap at just the right moment carrying him into the woman's warp and thus straight into the Hoshi's hideout.

Wonder where Creed is. Way he's been acting, I would have thought he'd be first in line to greet me. Train shrugged off the question. He was getting really mad at Creed Diskence, an anger that had its roots in Creed's murder of Train's friend, Saya and in Creed's continued refusal to let go of the past. Sooner or later Train was going to have to kill the man, of that much he was certain. In the meantime, though, he needed to get out of the trap he'd jumped into and start working out ways to deal with the Hoshi on his own terms.

Making a leap for the balcony surrounding the room, Train swung himself up and over, only to find himself landing against another body. The two rolled in the darkness, limbs tangling momentarily and Train found himself kneeling on long, fragile limbs, hands gripping onto silk covered arms. This Hoshi's abilities must have involved something other than physical strength because the body he was sprawled atop was thin and frail, its struggles to break free too weak to be concerned with. As he held the other man down, he noted that one arm – the left one – was a stump, and wondered why the Hoshi would be bothering with an amputee, particularly one as apparently weak as this one.

Hearing the shouts of his enemies below, Train pressed down, flattening himself atop his captive in the hopes of keeping from being noticed. Oddly, the figure beneath him gasped softly and went completely limp. Then Creed Diskence's voice, its soft, sweet alto oddly frightened, whispered, "Train?"

---

Creed cursed himself, cursed his weakness, cursed the way his voice cracked with emotion. Barely recovered from the regeneration of his elbow, body still too exhausted to provide the strength he needed, the strength he longed to have, in order to be a proper match to his Train. Lying beneath the man he needed most in order to be whole, all he could do was lay, nearly mute and hopeless and waiting for whatever punishment his beloved chose to inflict on him.

In the dim light streaming through the windows of the entry hall, Creed could see only the shape of Train's head, the spiky hair and the lean shoulders. It was too dark to see more, but he didn't need to. The scent of him, the feel of his body – Creed knew them both and was lost.

A hand slid forward, gripping Creed by the throat. Then he felt cold steel press against his forehead. "Train." he managed to gasp. He was going to die. Train was going to kill him and he'd never be with Train again and he'd be lost and lonely, a wandering ghost unable to break free and unable to ever be happy. "Train." Tears started to trickle down his cheeks. There was so much he wanted to say and it was impossible for him to say it. Even if Train let him speak, his own pride would not.

Readying himself for death, Creed was startled when Train stiffened and suddenly held still.

---

The faint sting at the back of his neck reminded Train that he had other problems. The biggest, at this moment, seemed to be the fact that he couldn't move. Shiki. Damnit! That little sheet used a bug on me. He remembered Shiki's trick with Rinslet so long ago and realized it had just been used on him. The small Taoist had summoned an insect able to control people's actions. Under other circumstances, Train might have been able to evade the attack. With effort he might even overcome whatever it was the bug was doing to him.

Flashlights flared in the room, making up for the lights Train had shot out during his fight. Big hands reached down and pulled him off of Creed and someone wrapped chains around him. Meanwhile, Ekidona and the Doctor knelt beside Creed, helping the man up.

Train blinked, startled at Creed's expression. For a brief moment he looked more like a little boy than a man. Then the impression of a frightened child was gone, replaced, once more by the mad, cruel leader of the Hoshi No Shito. "If I'd known you were coming I'd have" he paused, seemed to rethink his words. "I'd have had a better reception. Marou, there's no need to be so rough with him." He turned, headed through a pair of large doors. "Come along. Let's talk."

Dragged by the big Hoshi, Train soon found himself thrust onto the floor in front of a large, sheet covered chair. Or should I say, throne? Creed relaxed back into the chair and gazed down at Train, eyes asking a question that Train was at a loss to even understand, much less answer. Silence reigned and Train stared at Creed for long moments, taking in the long black silk robe with dark red roses embroidered along the edges and a huge floofy feathery collar. A black velvet choker encircled his neck, along with a small bell on a silver chain. He would have looked almost impressively sinister if it weren't for the fragility of his face and body, as if he'd been sick. Which he had to have been. Wonder how he lost the arm.

At last Train spoke, "Geeze Creed. What's that around your neck? A dust mop?" He cocked his head at the man, shoving back all his anger and pain and fury. He needed a crack in his enemies' defenses. Just a little one, but until he found it, he had to play along. Behind Creed, Ekidona's cheeks flushed slightly. On the other side, Shiki looked ready to scream in frustration. At least I think he is. Hard to tell under all that fabric.

Oddly, Creed simply blinked, then attempted a smile. "I refuse to take sartorial advice from someone who wears donuts on his bolero. Honestly, Train. I know you have a big appetite, but don't you think that's a bit silly looking?" His tone quavered slightly as he spoke and it occurred to Train that Creed was trying, desperately, not to show some weakness.

The expressions on the other Hoshi's faces were priceless, though. Whatever they expected out of this conversation, a discussion of the merits of their various costumes wasn't it. Apparently Creed seemed to realize that and turned the subject. "I take it, then, that you've come to kill me for what I did to your lover." The faint distaste in his tone was as insufferable as his attempt at a superior expression.

Train shrugged. "You have a huge price on your head, Creed. I'm a Sweeper. I'm here to do a Sweeper's job." He still wanted Creed dead, of course, but he refused to play along with Creed's peculiar mindset. Whatever it was Creed had decided was the truth, and it was pretty obvious he'd simply traded one fantasy explanation for another, Train had no intention of encouraging it. He gazed levelly at Creed, trying to see the man as just another target.

---

Creed whimpered inside, hating the expression on Train's face, anger and anguish combining to create a rage that would destroy everything in its path, if he'd had the strength. Let it go and he'd kill Train, unable to separate his Cat from that witch's influence. Hold it in and he'd implode. Train. Please. Can't you see what you're doing to me?

Shaken, he found himself trembling, staring down at Train. Had he been fully healthy he might have launched himself at the man, might have done something he'd regret for the rest of what would be a very short life. As it was, the world was starting to spin around him.

A hand touched Creed's right wrist. "You need to go back to bed," Doctor said in his ear. "You're not strong enough for this right now."

Creed blinked at the older man, knowing the concern in the Doctor's eyes was simply the concern of a scientist for his most successful experiment. Still, he recognized the truth of what the man was saying and nodded. "Train I know you're just trying to confuse me I know you're angry at me. I want to talk about it try to make you understand. But not now. I can't" He was fading, the room darkening. "Marou lock him up somewhere safe. Don't let him leave. But take good care of him."

"I will put him in the basement."

"NO!" Creed found the strength to straighten. "NOT the basement. NEVER the basement. He doesn't belong there." He didn't know why, but the thought sent waves of panic through him.

Ekidona offered, "There's a room in the attic that can be locked."

With a nod, Creed rose to his feet and stumbled away, the Doctor's hand beneath his good arm. Tomorrow, when he felt better, he'd try again. Try and make Train understand. Try and find a way to win him back, back from that witch's power. Try....

To Be Continued