In an ancient ruin in Clow, the feathers of one girl fly away, slipping through thousands of dimensions, unaffected by time or space. Some fall into the hands of evil; others accidentally manipulate the weak hearted into becoming evil themselves. Only one escapes this fate.
In an icy palace in Seresu, one king cries for the loss of his queen and unborn son, his advisors unable to comfort him. But when destiny steps in, it looks like all is not quite lost. A chance walk on a balcony will start a chain of events that no one had ever dreamed of…but when magic and mortality mix, can there ever be a happy ending?
For love of a feather, one man's heart will die…
Chapter Three; Creation
Ashura's whole body thrummed with excitement as he seated himself in the Hall Of Memories, his various books spread open nearby in case he needed them during the ritual. The feather, still trapped in its glass prison, lay before him, glowing a dim pink as if it was wondering what was going on. Smiling to himself, Ashura simply shook his head. Sentient as the feather may be, it was in no way intelligent enough to 'wonder' about anything…yet.
Taking a deep breath, Ashura forced himself to calm down, diving into the blank meditative state that Mahouda had taught him so long ago. Clapping his hands together as if in prayer, his brow furrowed slightly, a cool wind gently blowing itself into existence around him.
"Help me, oh mighty gods, to bring this unfinished being to life." He intoned, keeping his eyes closed even as he reached for a small box he'd placed next to him. Blindly flipping open the lid, he scooped several grains of red powder up and threw them into the air, resisting the urge to sneeze as some settled on his nose.
"To the creator gods, and watchers of Fate, I offer you this token as a sign of my faith. Pray take this precious spice and bestow your benevolence upon I and my ritual." Ashura shivered slightly, feeling his senses begin to tingle as the air around him grew thick with magic. Hopefully this would appease any god he's angered last time in his attempts to resurrect his wife…if not, both he and the feather were in for a rough ride.
Lifting his ceremonial dagger, Ashura winced as he dragged it across his palm, creating a fine cut that spilled out blood eagerly. Dipping his fingers into the liquid and trying to ignore the sting of powder accidentally getting into the wound, Ashura reached down to draw several markings on the floor, the red characters standing out clearly against the white marble.
"I offer my blood to Izanagi and Izanami, to Rod and Rodenica. Shape this feather into a being worthy of its potential. Look kindly upon its birth and bless it, for it is your child and creation."
Picking up the glass prison, Ashura took a deep breath before throwing it as hard as he could onto the floor, watching as it smashed into hundreds of pieces. Instantly, a small whirlwind sprung up, and the feather floated up through the middle, unaffected by the buffeting winds surrounding it. There were voices whispering now, echoes of words phasing in and out of earshot. What little Ashura could hear was meaningless anyway – the words hung strangely in the air, and defied his attempts to understand them.
"Bless this feather with the light of love and beauty. Bless it with the warm heart of the Sun, the fortune of happiness and luck. May it be as bright and shining as the soul which lies at its heart, and may the gods of the sky watch over it." Ashura chanted, dark eyes never leaving the floating feather. His words meant nothing now – the ritual had been completed as soon as he had released the feather and spilled his blood. What was left was strength of will, his desire to mould this feather into a human being.
His words, although dressed up in the familiar language of magic, were nothing more than his own prayers.
"Protect this feather from harm and misfortune…watch over it, and let its light shine." Ashura pleaded, resisting the urge to jump as the feather suddenly started to glow, brighter and brighter until he could barely see. Then there was an explosion of light, and he knew no more.
The next time Ashura opened his eyes, it was to the sight of Mahouda leaning over him. He immediately bolted upright, leaving the elderly wizard to scramble back in a rather undignified manner in order to prevent a collision.
"Mahouda! What…what…" He gasped, unable to collect his thoughts together enough to be able to formulate an appropriate response.
"What am I doing here? Well, contrary to popular belief, I'm not quite old enough yet to miss a sudden blast of magic emanating from the Hall Of Memories. Really, Ashura-sama, didn't you learn from your mistakes? And what on Seresu is that man doing here?"
"Man?" Ashura repeated fuzzily, turning to see what Mahouda was pointing at. His eyes widened at the sight, and he pushed himself unsteadily to his feet. Staggering over to the unmoving form, he collapsed back down to his knees, hands twitching with the desire to touch and explore.
"It worked. It worked." He breathed, eyes raking over the slender body clothed only in a loose white robe. Settling back on the pale face, Ashura reached out with a trembling hand, sliding gentle fingers wonderingly over the delicate features.
"And he's so beautiful…" Ashura was unable to resist the urge to plunge his fingers deep into the silky blonde locks that spread out around the man's head like a halo. It felt as good as it had looked. A shadow fell over the pair, and Ashura glanced up to see what had become between them and the light.
"What have you done, Ashura-sama?" Mahouda asked warily, gazing down at the newcomer. "I can't comprehend it…it's unlike anything I've seen before."
"That's because it hasn't been done before, Mahouda. I've created life from a magical construct…breathed a soul into a thing that had only partial awareness before…" Ashura said softly. Mahouda's eyes went wide.
"You're not saying that's the feather? Ashura-sama, have you gone mad? You cannot play God like this!" He growled, shooting the unconscious man an uneasy glance. Ashura shrugged, fingers still combing through his creation's hair.
"And I don't intend to, Mahouda. It was just this once." He whispered. Mahouda sighed, standing up straight again and subtly tugging Ashura away from his new obsession.
"What's done is done, Ashura-sama. We'll have him moved to the room next to yours, and assign a watch. I just hope you realise what you've done." He said seriously, gesturing for the mages who had been hovering anxiously at the door to come in and take the blonde man away.
"I know you don't approve." Ashura began, gazing at Mahouda with shining dark eyes that seemed more alive than Mahouda had seen them for days. "But I had to do this. It was aware…sentient. I couldn't leave it trapped in that form."
"And if it was happy in that form?"
This time, Ashura had no reply.
Later that evening, the castle was shocked by the sound of screaming coming from the floor where the king's rooms were situated. An almost unearthly shrieking echoed round the stone walls of the castle, and the staff cowered as it seemed to fill every room, such was its volume.
In his study, Ashura froze, eyes widening as he heard the wailing. Carelessly dropping the documents he had been signing onto his desk, he strode from the room, practically running the short distance to his private floor. Pushing the doors to the room next to his open, Ashura was greeted by the sight of the blonde man being held down by several struggling mages, his body bucking up in an attempt to get free even as he continued to yell.
"What is the meaning of this?" He demanded furiously, unable to believe his eyes. One of the mages looked at him helplessly, shouting in order to be heard over the former feather's protests.
"We don't know, Ashura-ou! He just woke up and started screaming!" He protested.
"Then try letting him go! Set up a barrier if you feel the need, but release him! No wonder he's in such a state if you're holding him down like that!"
Glancing at each other nervously, the mages did as they were asked, hastily murmuring spells of protection as they backed away. Instantly, the blonde jerked off the bed into a standing position, only to crumple instantly to the floor as if he was not used to having legs. Which was, if you thought about his origins, exactly the problem.
Ashura winced, feeling his heart tug with pity for the creature. Whilst the screaming had stopped, the blonde was still quietly keening to itself, not attempting to move again. Moving carefully towards him, Ashura crouched down next to him, placing a gentle hand on the man's arm.
"Shh…it's ok…you're fine…"
He never got any further than that. The blonde simply lashed out, shrieking as Ashura was forced to retreat. The moment Ashura was back among the other mages, however, the blonde quietened down again, hooking his arms round his knees and drawing them up to his chest so that he lay in a little ball.
"I warned you, Ashura-sama." The sudden voice behind him made the Seresuan king jump, and he whirled round to find Mahouda standing there, sad eyes watching Ashura's creation
"Look at him, Ashura-sama…he is miserable in this form. He can't understand what has happened to him – even his depth of thought must be alien to him…he was only partially aware of things before. Now he has not only a strange new body to deal with, but a new mind to cope with as well."
Ashura glanced back at his creation, feeling guilt overwhelm him.
"He's terrified, isn't he?" He realised. "I can't believe what I've done…I honestly thought he'd be happier like this. Can we change him back?"
"I don't think so, Ashura-sama."
"There is no spell I know of that would return him to his previous state. A feather, yes…but nothing more than an ordinary feather, with no awareness of the world surrounding him at all."
"Then…I have sentenced this man to eternal torture…" Ashura whispered in horror, watching in silence as Mahouda cast a sleeping spell on the blonde, allowing the mages to pick him up and move him back onto the bed. He couldn't believe what he had done…he'd been so confident that it would work, that the feather would be grateful. But all he'd done was ruin what had before been such a beautiful, precious thing.
Unable to stand another minute of it, Ashura fled the room as quickly as he could whilst still appearing dignified, suddenly anxious to be getting back on with his paperwork.
He visited the former feather every day after that, only getting as close as the blonde allowed him to. He didn't try to force himself closer, as the man would only react in fear, trying to fight him off. At night, when he lay in his bed, he only heard the sobbing that came from next door.
The feather man was wasting away, slowly but surely. With seemingly little control over his limbs still, and an acute fear of anyone getting close, he had not eaten or drunk since his creation. Which whilst unnecessary for a feather, was vital for a human. Ashura didn't even know if the blonde realised that.
His only consolation was that he'd been able to get a little closer each day, although he wasn't sure if that was the feather accepting him or its general weakening of state and inability to fight back properly anymore. He was allowed right up to the bed's edge now…he could touch him if he wanted.
But of course, he never did.
Quietly opening the door that night, Ashura slowly walked over to the bed, hesitating for a moment before sitting carefully down on the edge. The blonde made no movement, and Ashura breathed a sigh of relief, glad that he hadn't upset the other man again.
"You know, you should eat. You didn't have to as a feather, but as a human you'll die without food and drink." Ashura said softly, keeping his tone as level as possible. The blonde made no reply, and he sighed.
"Please. I know you're frightened, and you're lonely, but…I'm lonely too. I thought maybe we could be lonely together, but if you won't eat then all I have is another death on my hands. You must listen to me – if you don't eat soon, you'll die. Do you know what that means? It means you won't exist anymore. You won't be in this body, and you won't be a feather again. You'll just be gone."
The blonde still didn't say anything, and Ashura bit his lip before standing up slowly. He was about to leave when a hand suddenly shot out and grabbed his wrist, startling him. Gazing down, he saw shining blue eyes staring fearfully up at him, and he crouched back down.
"Have you changed your mind? Do you want to try eating? Is that what you want?" He asked gently. There was a moment of hesitance, and then the blonde nodded, looking unsure of whether that was the right gesture or not. Smiling, Ashura freed himself of the clinging grasp, and moved away again.
"I'll be right back." He promised. Exiting the room, he hurriedly sent word down to the kitchens requesting a small meal and jug of water. Dire as the situation was, he didn't think the blonde would be up to eating much yet.
When he returned, the former feather actually turned his head to watch him, blue eyes following him as he walks. Risking an angry response, Ashura helped the blonde into a sitting position, surprised when he received no terrified screams or swipes. Maybe they were getting somewhere after all.
"Can you eat now?" Ashura asked, a sudden sinking feeling in his stomach as he realised that the feather may actually not know how to eat. The blonde's unwavering gaze answered his question easily, and Ashura shook his head with a small smile.
"Come on then. Open wide." Ashura coaxed, opening his own mouth to show the feather what he wanted. The blonde did as asked, looking shocked when Ashura carefully began to spoon feed him the stew that had been sent up.
It was not, Ashura reflected, the same as spoon feeding his son would have felt like.
But watching the look of delight that spread across the blonde's face as he swallowed, Ashura thought it had to be pretty close.
I'm sorry minna! I tried to get this out as quickly as possible after my exams! And finally - Fai makes an entrance! I am very VERY happy about that...now this should be much easier to write! By the way, has anyone noticed that my OC, Mahouda, appeared in Memories Of When Smiles Were Real too? Just wanted to point that out. And by the way, all gods mentioned in this chapter were Japanese/Norse creator gods.
I would also like to take this opportunity to advertise my Tsubasa Chronicles Ficathon. It deals with all ratings/pairings/characters and worlds, and it all depends on who joins up. Fics can include canon, AU, het, gen, yaoi or yuri...it's wide open. To join up or find out more, either visit my bio and click the link to AnimeFicathon (near the top), or go to
http (colon slash slash) community(dot) livejournal (dot) com (slash) animeficathon (slash) 583 (dot) html
Sorry, the site kept screwing up the link when I posted it.
hentai-monkey - Wow...mountain dew and chocolate. Strange combination but it was very tasty! I'm so happy you think so highly of this fic...when I first read your review I was literally bowled over. Thankyou so much for your comments, they're the sort of thing that make me wake up in the mornings itching to write.
tidus2529 - Yup, he's a feather! And I have to admit, the more TRC manga I read, the more sure of it I get!
Noi - Sorry it took so long to update this time!
Yurikitsune - Sorry...I wasn't able to continue it soon. And insane? I think he's getting there, but not quite. He's definitely off balance emotionally right now though, so he could very easily tip over the edge. That's one of the reasons Mahouda is so worried about him.
Ueste - Thankyou! I was worried about that, so I'm glad that it's working!
Zuzanny - Here you go! One Fai order with extra cheese! (You can pick off the cheese if you don't want it)
bloodytwistedangel - Thanks for your review! And you actually read my bio? Wow...I feel honoured. I understand what you mean about Miaka and Tamahome...I recently removed them, I think. As for Kyo/Yuki...it may not happen, but a girl can dream!
Demon Until Death - After he turns back into a feather? What do you mean? If you tell me, I may be able to add to the story I've got planned out so far. (gets out notebook and pen). Thanks for your comments!