Little White Feather
"If you want to
I can save you
I can take you away from here
So lonely inside
So busy out there
And all you wanted was somebody who cares" – 'I Can Save You,' Michelle Branch
It was a sunny day, a regular day, like any other of it's kind. There was nothing special about it; it was summer after all. There were a million other days just like this one. Just as hot and humid, just as sticky as the one before it, and the one before that. . .
To others it might have been a wonderful, beautiful, extravagant new day, one filled with meaning and a hopeful note of clarity. It might not have been just 'one more summer day,' but 'a meaningful day' that was to be remembered fondly in the future. But to young Chibiusa, it was no different from the rest of the summer days that had followed her around her whole life.
She still had sugary pink hair and red eyes; she still wore her hair in those strange odango's that were pointed instead of rounded like her mother's. The only thing that was changing every year was her age, at least, that was all she ever noticed.
Thoughtfully, she strolled down the street, now a young woman of eighteen years; her long, pink pigtails bouncing at her sides with each step she took. It was odd; the coloring of her hair and eyes, not many people in her country had that color hair or those colored eyes, or anything relatively close for that matter. Not naturally at least.
Some believed that she dyed it that color, and for her eyes, she knew not what they truly thought. Whenever she inquired as to what people thought her natural eye color was, if it wasn't red, they simply shrugged and found some way to wheedle out of the question. It frustrated her that they didn't believe that it was her true color, but there was no helping it.
The more superstitious types that had known her since she was a child and knew that those were her true colors, they believed she was possessed by some demon. But her sweet, caring manner totally threw that idea out the window. Still there were some that believed that and avoided her or watched her uneasily when she came around.
But really, it was a trait common to those of the Royal Household and those protected them. Strange colored eyes and hair, sometimes even unnatural height and powers were commonplace on castle grounds. The peasants on the outside were the ones that believed superstitiously that it was not natural.
It might have been true that the Guardians and the Royal Family were made of something different than the normal people outside the gates, but they were still quite the same in other ways.
As she went along, a little tune popped into her head and she hummed it under her breath so that no body else would hear her.
The Traders on either side of the paved walkway were waving fine golden necklaces, shiny red apples and nice pastries for her to see while shouting loudly to gain her attention. She ignored them, used to this by now. If she needed or wanted anything, she knew how to haggle too.
It was just her luck that she had been recognized. She had hoped that by not wearing her Royal crest and hiding her Royal marking on her forehead by combing her bangs over it that she would not be found out. She had totally over-looked the fact that she would be noticed anyway with her hair, and being the only one in her family with that color hair, it was easy to put a name on her right away as well. Now she sighed, ignoring those shouting her name and waving various objects at her excitedly.
She glanced ahead and to either side, hoping to find a new vendor. They usually came more often during the summer to the active capitol, though they were always coming. She had not been out in quite some time and hoped to find something exotic, something interesting and new.
Chibiusa's head shot up swiftly, pulled away from her musings as a loud ruckus was raised not far away from her. Down one of the narrow alley ways she could see a group of nicely dressed men and women gathered, their forms moving into positions to see better. Intrigued, Chibiusa sprang around the crowd easily and disappeared down the alley before anyone had noticed she had darted out in front of them.
The alley was dark and dank, the walls on either side were wet and slippery, moss coated places and the entire place reeked of garbage. Chibiusa held her nose, feeling her stomach churn at the disgusting smell.
As she came out, she found herself almost thrown back into the thin opening of the alley by the number of people gathering to view whatever the vendor had. There were shouts and cries of joy, the women and young children looking on had a glimmer in their eyes, and the men were watching with an appraising look.
Curious, Chibiusa pushed her way through the crowd roughly, not caring for the people that were trying to shove her out of the way.
As she was pushing through, a clear, ringing neigh rang in her ears. The people applauded loudly and cheered. Chibiusa blinked as she looked up and spied a shower of little sparkles – almost like fireworks – streaming through the air. Her face lit up in a magic smile and she let out a delighted sigh before pushing through the last of the people standing in her way.
Breaking out, she found herself in the middle of a circle of people that surrounded the vendor and his animal. In one hand the grizzly vendor held a prod that spat a thin line of blue light every once in a while; it fizzed nastily. It reminded her of an attack she had seen Makoto - Protector of the woodland Realm and of the Royal Family – use. In the other hard, callused hands of the vendor were the reins that connected him to his beautiful prize, a white stallion with wings. In a word, a Pegasus. Creatures of legend even in her country. They were hard to capture and even harder to tame, by the look of this one, he had been broken harshly. But Chibiusa overlooked that for the time being, awed by his beauty and regal air.
The creature stood on four thin legs, each of which sported a golden hoof that glimmered richly in the summer sun. His main and tail were blue, while his hide was a rich, pure white; and on his head a single golden horn, below which was a red jewel encrusted in a fine diamond. He had beautiful golden eyes that seemed to capture her the moment she looked at him.
Chibiusa's breath hitched in her throat as he caught her eyes, almost looking at her in a pleading, sad way. After a moment he turned his head and seemed to let out a sigh, pawing at the ground with one of his golden hooves.
At that moment, the vendor had stopped talking to the crowd and jabbed the Pegasus in the side with the blue-tipped wand. Pegasus jumped, flinching away, but within the second the tip ignited the thin blue lights again and he reared, kicking and screaming. The little lights from before suddenly flashed out again, from his horn, his wings, the jewel on his forehead. He pawed furiously at the air and the sparks flared angrily out from thin air, magic.
And suddenly, he was no longer so beautiful.
Blinking, she finally noticed what she had not before. His hide, so pure and white, was covered with dirt and smears of mud. His hooves were dirty and his main was knotted and mangy looking. His beautiful white wings had not been preened in what might have been years, and feathers stuck out oddly in places. His horn and jewel were tarnished, in all he was just a mess. His former glory as a Pegasus was gone; he no longer shone with a light that banished the darkness. He looked quite helpless and meek standing there as he was now, having calmed from the spurt of electricity in his side, the rope around his neck.
Chibiusa steeled herself defiantly as the vendor gave the winged stallion a nudge in the ribs, making him skitter to one side. The people laughed and the vendor started to talk about a price for his 'fine horse' here.
A bell rang, clearing her mind.
To her wonder though, just as he was talking, she thought she saw the stallion disappear, replaced by a young man in strange garbs. He was just as roughed up as the stallion had been, but he was human. He turned those pleading eyes on her again and she felt as if her heart might break. The bell sounded again in her ears and she blinked.
The boy was yet again a stallion again, watching her soberly.
Chibiusa drew in a sharp breath, looking at him in wonder for a moment before realizing what was happening. This man was selling a Pegasus, not only that, but a white stallion Pegasus. And if her eyes had not been deceived, this stallion was a human like her. . .Or well, as human as they might possibly be.
"Hold it right there!" She called loudly, disrupting the people bidding for the winged horse.
The vendor and those gathered looked on at her with appalled, startled eyes as she stomped out into the opening and glared up at the vendor who was at least a good head taller than her. "What do you want little girl?" He demanded grumpily. His breath stank of alcohol and he had a musty stench about him as well.
"I think I'm going to have to confiscate your wares, sir!" She growled at him angrily. "You don't seem to have abided by the Law under the handling of Mystical Creatures."
The man's giant gut jerked with him when he turned to look at his customers with a smug smirk, showing all of his nasty yellow teeth. He bent back down, pressing his hand on his hips, though it was hard to with his wide girth. He breathed a nasty, hot breath in her face, which made her blink in disgust before speaking. "Listen here little girl," He started, trying to sound as sarcastic and condescending as possible.
He glanced around to see if he had the approval of his peers and continued on with more fervor when he saw that he had it. "Who are you to confiscate anything? I don't see your identification."
And with this he raised back up and let out a loud guffaw of laughter that infected the whole crowd.
The whole time that the man had been in her face, Chibiusa couldn't help thinking that the vendor strangely resembled a rhinoceros. The way he had bent to come to eye level with her, the way he had moved his meaty head, the way he had snorted that foul air at her before 'charging,' even the way he smelled. Yes, she was certain he was a rhinoceros, a big, fat smelly one at that.
Now, glancing around at the hysterical crowd, she let out a small sigh, hanging her head. Obviously, no one here had identified her yet as Her Royal Highness Princess Chibiusa of the Crystal Court. Reaching into a concealed pocket, she produced a little wallet. At the sight of it, the entire congregation seemed to pull in its breath suddenly. Ah, there it was, now they knew.
Wide eyes turned on her, breaths were held, not a sound was heard, the place had gone dead silent. The vendor was the only one that did not look on the pink haired girl nervously now. He seemed sure that she held no identification that he should be frightened of.
The Pegasus shifted his eyes wide as well, though with some form of anticipation, his muscles tensing.
It seemed to take millennia for Chibiusa to finally find the badge within the little leather wallet. She took her time about it, and when she finally found it she smiled triumphantly and flashed it at the vendor with a content smile.
"I, Chibiusa, Princess of the Silver Millenium, hereby confiscate your wares under clause 46 of the Mystical Animal Awareness Acts." She seemed to shine in that moment, making sure to strike the right pose so that she appeared self-confident.
The vendor halted at her words, his mind barely processing the little golden brooch that had been suddenly flashed before his eyes while she had spoken. The others had already started to flee their eyes wide with terror. Where there was a Royal family member, there were guards. And half of them were wanted criminals. Plus it was a known fact – or rather, a rumor – that Her Royal Highness the Queen and all her lineage and Guardians worked magic of some sort. They couldn't stand up to magic!
The Pegasus' wings flapped loudly in the air as he reared his head, his golden horn flashing in the sun light.
Stumbling, the vendor turned on his heel and fled, dropping the reins with a cry of shock and disbelief.
Chibiusa grinned at her show as she pocketed her brooch, looking around to make sure no one else had seen her. She wasn't supposed to be out and her mother and father would be very angry if they found out she had gone out without assistance. Though she was sure wind of this would get to her parents before she even got back to her room, no matter how many people she quieted. She sighed, they always had a way of knowing where she was, she was starting to believe she had a tracking device of some kind on her.
Sighing contently, Chibiusa brushed her hands together before picking up the rope that the vendor had dropped and walking over to the Pegasus.
It shied away from her hand and Chibiusa stood still when it moved away. She frowned sadly at it but nodded her head knowingly. "I'm sorry." She mumbled and pulled on the rope a little to try and ease him toward her in a less straightforward manner.
He came forward easily and gently she tried to untie the rope. It was secured tightly though, so it took some effort. While she tried to untie him, she talked softly and reassuringly to the Pegasus that she had wrapped her arms around. "Y'know, now that that guy is gone, you can get out of here and go back to where you belong." She whispered in a soft, hopeful tone.
Pegasus listened, his snow-white ears twisting in her direction earnestly, as if he lived on her every word. Her cheek pressed tenderly against his sleek neck, her breath warming a spot as she worked to get the hard knot undone. "This is taking forever, that guy must have really been determined to keep you." She joked sarcastically.
Finally, her fingers worked it loose, and she felt it break away.
She sat back on her knees, smiling proudly at her work. "There, you're free now."
A bell jingled lightly as she spoke.
The words died on her lips as she opened her eyes and realized that the Pegasus was no longer a winged horse, but had taken the form of that boy again.
He smiled shyly at her, thankfully, his bright eyes glistening with adoration. He had extended his arms, and they nearly encircled her now. He seemed to glow in that moment and her breath hitched at the sight of him, so beautiful. . .
"Small Lady." He said, his lips parting and coming back together in that smile that captured her.
Chibiusa swallowed, unsure of how to react to this. She had heard that some mystical creatures could take on a human form, but she had not suspected them to be so unearthly beautiful.
"Thank you Small Lady." He said in that same smooth tone that would have made any girl melt immediately.
Chibiusa was still staring at him in shock. "What's your name?" She finally asked in wonder.
He copied her serene smile, tilting his head in just the right way. "I am called Helios."
Hello there, V-chan here.
This is a two-short ChibiusaHelios AUstory I've been meaning to post for some time. But it's been a while since I've seen either of them in the anime/read the manga, so I wasn't sure about my characterization. If anyone would like to correct me, please go right on ahead and I'll be sure to fix it up.
As a bit of explanation, the 'bell' sound that is frequently referred to in this story was supposed to be related to how Sailor Chibi Moon would call up Pegasus in the anime and manga. Plus I just thought that would be a cute add-in, but I'm weird that way.
Let's see,I think that's all there is I wanted to explain for Part One, but if there is anything you are curious about, feel free to ask and I'll be sure to explain in the next installment. Heh. Well, thanks for reading thus far, I appreciate your attention and would appreciate it more if there was a review placed as well. wink
Thank you again and I'll see you all in Part Two! Ja'ne.