Soul's Journey

Chapter Fifteen

Fight or Flee

Tyson shifted, snuggling deeper into the warmth that surrounded him. He could feel himself waking up, try as he might to resist. As he became more and more aware of his surroundings, he came to the realization that the warmth around him was from a body.

Someone was holding him.

As that thought hit his sleepy mind, he came wide awake in an instant; eyes flying open and body stiffening.

Only to be met with very familiar golden eyes. "Dragoon…"

"Morning sleepyhead!" the Dragon chirped, before proceeded to nuzzle him in happiness.

It took Tyson's tired brain a few seconds to process what was wrong with this picture. Dragoon was touching him and this wasn't a dream. That meant…

"It worked!" Tyson cried joyfully.

"Yup!"

A few seconds passed. "Uh, could you maybe let me go now?" Tyson asked.

Dragoon paused, pulling back to look at the boy in his lap. "Nope!" He decided, before going right back to what he was doing.

"Dragoon!"

Smack

Tyson combed fingers through his hair, straightening it as he stood; purposefully ignoring the pouting Guardian who was comically holding his head where Tyson had smacked him.

Taking stock of his surrounding, Tyson felt a frown grow on his face.

"Dragoon, why are we still locked in the room? Dragoon?"

"…"

"Oh for goodness sake, I didn't hit you that hard! Now be serious. Why are we still in the room? Can you not get us out?" Tyson questioned a hit of worry obvious in his voice.

With one last hurt glance at his friend, Dragoon turned to the matter at hand. "Actually, I haven't tried yet." At Tyson's raised eyebrow, the Guardian continued. "Well, you were asleep. And I'm pretty sure that when I break us outa here, it is going to alert somebody. And trying to escape with you unconscious was way too risky."

"Well, that makes sense I guess." Tyson took on a thoughtful look, glancing at the door before turning back to his friend. A smirk began to grow across fair features as a mischievous light entered bright eyes. "So…you ready to make a big boom?"

XXX

Kai's eyes widened as he suddenly heard the sound of a large explosion, followed by slight shaking of the ground. "What the…?" Narrowing his eyes, he straightened. Looking in either direction he could see nobody. Making up his mind, he turned and began to head in the direction of the sound. Something told him that that was the way he needed to go.

XXX

Tyson coughed as he tried to see through all the smoke. "When I said make it go boom, I didn't mean this big a boom!"

"But…!"

"Forget it and let's go!" Tyson cried, grabbing his friends arm and pulling him out the door. Or, to be more accurate, the absolutely huge hole that used to be where the door, and most of the wall, had been. To say Dragoon had overdone it a bit would be an understatement.

If breaking out wouldn't have alerted them before, it sure as hell would now.

Running down a random hallway, Tyson came to split, with one way heading right and the other left. Skidding to a stop, he glanced down first one way, then the other. They looked exactly the same.

"Which way?" He asked, breath coming out in soft pants from running so hard.

Without hesitation, Dragoon grabbed his hand and pulled him down the right passageway. "This way!"

Running once again, they soon found themselves in a very large room. Many passages could be seen leading off the enormous space. Again Tyson asked the way.

"Err…"

Tyson stared at Dragoon. "I thought you knew the way!"

"I was just guessing!"

Tyson sweat dropped. "Well what now?"

"I…" Dragoon began but stopped abruptly. "Someone's coming!" He cried in a harsh whisper.

"What?!" Tyson exclaimed.

"Come on, we have to go!" The dragon grabbed Tyson and once again began to pull him along before Tyson stopped him.

"Wait." He said, as he stared at one of the openings.

"Tyson, we don't have time for thi…" Dragoon broke off as he stared at the hallway Tyson had been staring at.

They had been found.

"Kai…"

XXX

Kai hid silently in a dark corner, waiting for the group of… whatever they were, to pass. It seemed that the large explosion had gotten more than just his attention. Before the fortress had seemed deserted, but now there were things every which way he turned.

When the sound of their passing finally faded away completely, Kai moved from his hiding spot.

Taking a passage way different than the one the creatures had taken, Kai continued to make his way through the dark place of stone.

It was only moments later that Kai realized something. He had absolutely no idea where he was going. He had been heading toward where he thought the sound had come from, but this place was like a giant maze. Now the only thing he could be sure of was which way was up; and even that could become questionable.

Frustrated, he came to a stop; bowing his head and closing his eyes tightly. He had to find Tyson. He just had to.

When the boy had been taken…he had never felt more useless in his entire life. What good was he when he couldn't even protect the boy he loved? And he did love Tyson, with all his heart. Even if he could never tell him.

And he wasn't about to abandon him when things got tough. Kai was anything but a coward.

Determination in every line of his body, Kai began to walk again, strides purposeful. He didn't know where he was going but that didn't matter. He would simply let his instincts lead the way. And they seemed to be leading him this way.

It was when he had entered yet another passage and was coming upon an arch that he heard it. Voices were coming from up ahead.

Kai felt his heart begin to beat a little faster. That voice…it sounded like…

Quickening his pace just a bit, Kai passed through the arch and into a large room.

Upon sighting what was in the middle of the room, Kai came to a dead stop.

There was the very boy he was looking for, standing in the middle of the room looking shocked but thankfully unharmed.

And next to him was a stranger. And judging by the weird features, he wasn't human either.

Red eyes quickly assessed the situation. The stranger had his hand on Tyson's arm, and he seemed to be in the process of dragging Tyson away against his will.

Kai wasn't happy.

XXX

Tyson was so happy to see Kai he could barely contain it. The angel part of him was practically purring at the sight of his mate. If he let it, it would probably throw him into the taller boy's arms.

Yeah, that would go over real well.

Instead, Tyson forced himself to keep calm. Though he couldn't keep all the happiness or the relief he felt out of his eyes.

"Kai you…" Tyson began, only to be cut off by Kai himself.

"Let him go." The dual haired boy's voice was so sharp it could cut right through you.

Tyson blinked. Let, you, wha…?

Before he could ask Kai about just what he meant, Dragoon spoke up.

"No."

Wow, Kai looked really mad. Why…?

When Tyson realized what was going on, he could have slapped himself. Man, releasing Dragoon must have taken more out of him than he thought for him to be that slow.

"Kai, it's not…"

Again he was cut off.

"Let him go now or I will make you let go." Kai looked like he was very ready to make good on that threat.

"Then make me."

When Kai began to move forward, with every intention of removing Dragoon from Tyson's presence the angel was sure, Tyson snapped into action. Yanking his arm from Dragoon's hold, he put himself between the two bickering males; hands held up in a placation.

"Wait! Wait Kai, it's not what you think! He's not an enemy!"

For a second Tyson was afraid that Kai wasn't going to listen to him. But thankfully the older boy did stop; arms crossing. "Then why did he refuse to let you go?"

Actually, that was a good question…

"Because I didn't want to." A playful voice cut in. Two pairs of eyes shot over to look at the smirking dragon man.

Smack

"Ow, what'd you hit me for this time?!"

Tyson scowled at the Guardian. "This isn't the time to be playing around!"

"Awww, but I only…"

A firm 'Dragoon' cut off his plea.

"Fine." The dragon huffed, turning around in mock sullenness.

"Dragoon?" The slightly shocked tone coming from Kai got Tyson's full attention.

Red eyes were looking at the strange being in a whole new light. "He's not 'your' Dragoon is he? Tyson?"

Tyson couldn't help the sheepish smile that crossed his face. "Well, actually he is. I kind of released him from the bit chip and returned him to his real form."

Silence for a moment. Then a familiar smirk crossed pale features. "Who knew such a powerful bit beast would turn out to be such an idiot."

Dragoons indignant 'hey!'was lost under the sound of Tyson's startled laughter.

XXX

Rei gave a side long glance at the red head as they walked. Tala was so….silent. It was slightly unnerving. And he seemed so focused, like nothing else mattered except finding Tyson. Maybe…

Shaking his head against the unwelcome thoughts, Rei put his mind to the matter at hand. They had to find Tyson. That is all there is to it. But why oh why did this place have to be so big! The corridors just seemed to go on and on.

At least they hadn't run into anybody yet. That was a plus. Sort of. It was kind of creepy too. But Rei didn't want to think about that. Nope, he would not think about the fact that they were in the dark fortress of a Demon Master where hordes of evil creature's lurked, probably watching him from the shadows right now…

"Hey."

At Tala's voice, Rei just about jumped out of his skin. It took iron clad self control not to go rigid and hiss in fright. But he wouldn't allow that to happen. He would never live it down.

"Yes?" He ask, pleased that his voice seemed relatively normal. Damn, he really should just stop thinking sometimes. Him and his overactive imagination.

"I hear something."

Rei came to a stop, staring at the Cyborg. "What?"

The red head also stopped, head turning in the direction of a side passage. "It sounds like laughing."

Rei blinked. "What kind of laughing?" He asked cautiously.

Tala gave him a strange look at that. "The humorous kind of laughing. It sounds, familiar."

Rei perked up at that. "Well, where's it coming from?"

"Down that way a ways. It's faint, so it's probably a few doors down. I have better hearing than most." The red head motioned toward the direction he had been looking earlier.

"Well, let's go check it out."

A few moments later the two found themselves next to a door. With a questioning look at Tala and the answering nod of 'yes the knocking is behind here', Rei cautiously opened the door.

Well, that explains why the laughter sounds familiar.

"Max?!"

XXX

"Seriously Maxie, I think you need to get your head examined."

"Do not!" The blonde protested a pout on his face.

"Max, most people don't start laughing hysterically over nothing; especially in the middle of an evil man's home."

"It was not over nothing." Max mumbled. "I can't help it if the picture on the wall made me laugh."

Rei sighed exasperated. "It doesn't matter. Don't you have better things to do anyway? Like, I don't know, finding Tyson!"

"Hey, I was looking for Tyson! But then I touched this weird lever and got separated from the others, and I couldn't find my way back to them and this place is crazy hard to find your way around in and…"

"Okay okay, I get the picture! Sheesh."

A cold voice interrupted their chatter.

"If you two are done with this pointless bickering, perhaps we can get back to the matter at hand?" The look in those electric blue eyes promised pain if one didn't comply.

Rei and Max were strangely quiet for the next ten minutes.

XXX

Meanwhile…

Boots stepped nimbly among the rubble as a dark cape stirred the dust. A gloved hand reached down and plucked up an elegant picture, now ruined and marred with dirt and grime.

With a flick of the wrist, the paining was tossed on the floor with the rest of the garbage.

"Explain to me how exactly he escaped when this room was warded specifically for him." The voice that spoke those words was devoid of emotion. But there was an underlying anger there, lying just below the surface waiting to emerge.

"W, we, I, we're not sure my Lord. There was, I mean to say."

Dark eyes turned to look at his servant, belying pain if he did not speak what he wanted to know and soon.

"There was another magical presence my Lord. A strong one. It blasted through the wall quite easily." The servant seemed to get even more fidgety, if that were possible. "But, My Lord, it…"

Dark eyes narrowed.

"It came from inside the room. Not outside it."

The room was still for a moment.

"I see." Damien muttered, as his eyes once again surveyed the room. "Release the trackers."

"My Lord?"

"Have them search out…a Guardian."

XXX

Dragoon watched the two boys in front of him as they talked. It was obvious that they cared deeply about each other just by looking at them. The way they would look at the other, then look away when caught watching; only to look again and cause the other to look away. It was kind of cute.

Kai huh.

So this was Tyson's mate. He remembered him vaguely from bey-battles. The Guardian's spirit that accompanies him is Dranzer. He seemed… like he never gave up if nothing else.

But Dragoon also knew from Tyson's dreams that he had left the angel, and more than once. And that worried him. He wanted his friend to be happy; if anybody deserved happiness it was Gabriel. And he knew Kai was the key to that happiness.

But he was also the key to heartbreak.

Wait, what was? Oh no.

XXX

Tyson had almost forgotten about his friend, so caught up with being with Kai again, that he almost jumped in surprise when he suddenly spoke.

"Tyson, I don't think we should stay here."

"What? Why?! What's wrong?"

The Dragon shook his head. "Just trust me. I have a bad feeling."

Tyson glanced over at Kai before giving a resolute nod. "Okay, let's go."

The next moment they were on the move, there pace just one step short of running. Kai was in the lead, Tyson following and Dragoon bringing up the rear.

It was about three corridors down when it happened. A cold wind seemed to pass over the group. Without even speaking, the three broke into a run; no words needed.

"Gabriel hurry!" Dragoon called out; the urgency in his voice scaring Tyson a little.

His breaths coming in soft pants now, Tyson put on another bust of speed as his friends did the same. When they swung around another corner, Tyson risked a glance behind him.

And wished he hadn't.

A strange creeping, tangible darkness was sweeping along behind them. It completely covered the floor, the walls, even the ceiling.

And it seemed to be gaining.

They had reached a stair way. Without missing a beat, they all ran up it.

It only went upward.

Tyson's breathing was becoming a little heavier now, but he wasn't about to stop. He and Kai were running nearly even now, with Kai only a step or two in front of him.

They were out of the stairway.

Bang

Jumping, Tyson turned around quickly, startled.

"Dragoon! What are you doing?!" The dragon, it seemed, had slammed the door at the top of the stairwell, and was now leaning against it.

Gold eyes met blue. "Tyson, you need to run; you and Kai. They are tracking me. If you go, they won't be able to find you."

"What? What are talking about?!"

"What I felt earlier, something was attaching itself to me. Its, listen I can't explain right now. I just know okay! Tyson you need to…"

Just then the door shook, as if something had thrown itself against it from the other side. "Just go! I'll be okay!" The Guardian called, as he used his strength to hold the door closed.

"No, I can't leave you!" Tyson cried desperately.

Tendrils of darkness were beginning to creep under the door now.

"Kai, get him out of here! I'll be fine!"

The red eyed boy seemed to look hard at the dragon for a moment before, without a word, he grabbed Tyson and ran.

"No, Kai let me go! We can't leave Dragoon!" Tyson cried, tugging on his arm; but Kai was not about to let go.

"No, he said he'd be fine. Don't you trust him?"

Tyson looked up at the boy as they ran, side by side down the hall. But Kai wouldn't meet his gaze. Finally, he lowered his eyes, giving up on pulling away and simply running. "Yes."

"Good, besides, it is you they are after."

Tyson ducked his head even more. "I know."

And they ran.

XXX

TBC:

A/N: Merry Christmas everybody! Another chapter for you and it is much longer than usual. My Christmas present to you all. I hope you enjoyed. :)

I hope you all have a wonderful winter holiday.

Wing