Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy
A Xenosaga fanfic by Princess Artemis
© copyright S.D. Green 2007 except what is clearly the property and © copyright Namco/Bandai and Monolithsoft
Note: This is a Pre-U.
"I'm taking Shion back, no matter what happens!"
"All right, then. I shall grant...your wish."
Smoke followed one more bolt of Kevin's red lightning. Mary turned away, her white hair effectively blocking out anything behind her. No one would see the tears in her bright blue eyes.
The smoke cleared. Allen had been thrown onto his back by the blast and slid a good distance along the ground, finally coming to rest near Jin. His uniform was singed, burnt in places. So was he. Blood trickled freely from his mouth and nose.
The room was silent for a time. The Red Testament smirked slightly, taking Shion's arm. He was about to turn, but a soft gasp stopped him. Allen's fingers twitched. A hand tried to rise, but did not make it far.
That besotted fool still wasn't dead?
The soft gasping turned to a voice, too quiet to hear.
He felt Shion's arm stiffen in his hand, saw her raise her hand to her mouth. The only outward reaction for his frustration Kevin allowed himself was a clenched fist. "No matter what happens, you said?"
Damn him but Allen answered. His voice was too weak to carry.
Jin loosened his scabbard and held it in his right hand. "If you're going to ask a question, shouldn't you at least be good enough to hear the answer?"
Kevin narrowed his eyes at Jin.
"What have you to lose?" Jin said in response.
Fist still clenched, Kevin let go of Shion's arm. He walked with confidence, every step certain and precise, his red cloak flowing behind him. Fine, he would grant Allen a last audience if that was what he wanted. He had nothing to lose.
Shion followed him. Kevin didn't see the calculated look in Jin's eyes.
Kevin stood at Allen's side, facing Jin. He looked down at Allen from an angle. "No matter what happens, you said."
For a moment, Kevin was certain Allen wouldn't answer. His eyes were closed, he was struggling to breathe, every breath coming a little further from the last. But he did answer. "I will save her."
How foolish could he be? "How? How, when you can hardly breathe, much less stand?"
A breath. "I..." A cough. More blood. "...love her."
His hand clenched tighter. "You think I don't?"
"Never leave...her." Allen opened his eyes, a slit, looked up at Kevin. "I stand. Right here." A finger weakly tapped the ground; it chimed softly in answer. "I love her."
Kevin kept the incredulous expression off his face by main force of will. Maybe Allen was delirious. One last delusion for a powerless man. "You can't do anything now."
At that, the faintest, faintest smile graced Allen's features. He shifted his gaze, started to inhale, but stopped. Then he died.
With a disdainful sniff at a distraction finally out of the way, Kevin was about to turn back toward Shion, but Jin advanced on him so fast that he took an involuntary step back. Only one. He and Jin stood a few inches apart.
"I stand with him," Jin hissed, throwing down his sword. It made the crystal floor tinkle with the sound of silver bells as it clattered down, well out of Jin's reach.
"What? With who?"
"With Allen, you fool." Jin made it sound like the most obvious thing in the world.
It was getting harder to keep the frustration out of his voice. Was Jin blind? He had to know Allen wasn't standing anywhere now. "He's dead," Kevin stated.
"So are you."
Then that short red head, what was his name? Junior, that's what he called himself. Junior slowly unholstered his guns and set them on the crystal floor, then walked to Jin's side. He said nothing, just crossed his arms and glared fierce blue hatred at Kevin.
Kevin tried to ignore Junior's heated look, tried to keep his eyes on Jin. "Really, what do you hope to accomplish with this ridiculous game? He's dead; he lost. He failed."
"Allen won," Junior spat.
The calculating look Kevin had missed earlier was back in Jin's green eyes. "You really are a fool, Kevin. Do you think only a Testament can gain power by casting aside his physical body?"
"What are you talking about?" Kevin demanded. Who had done that? No one had gained any power here.
"What, are you blind?" Junior asked, his voice taunting and smug. "Or just stupid?"
Kevin didn't take kindly to being called stupid. "I demand to know what you delusional creatures are talking about!"
Jin spoke very slowly, with that low, quiet tone that portended danger. His voice was so low that Kevin was sure only he and Junior heard his words. "Must we really explain this to you? History has shown over and over that martyring a man has a way of causing others to reevaluate their positions."
Kevin furrowed his brows in honest confusion. "I didn't—"
Jin interrupted him by forcefully pointing to his left, slightly behind him, to where Allen lay. Jin's fierce eyes never left Kevin's.
Ziggy, who had remained quiet up to this point and was holding a crying MOMO to himself, said, "Perhaps you should look."
Finally unable to keep the heat from his expression, Kevin glared at Jin for a moment longer, then followed his hand. He gaped at what he saw. In all his arguing with these people, while they had distracted him, Shion had moved over to Allen's side, pulled him partially into her lap. Her hands were red, and Allen's blood stained her clothes. "Shion!"
Shion snapped her head up, looking at Kevin, an almost dazed expression on her face. "You killed him?"
"I stand with him!" Jin nearly shouted in Kevin's face.
"We're gonna save her, no matter what!" Junior declared with just as much force.
"We will not run. We will not leave her," Jin finished.
All these arguments, thrown back at him, again! He didn't have time to indulge more of this foolishness. He did admit to some surprise at how Jin and that violent little URTV had changed tactics, but he did not show it. "You aren't going to fight me again. You'll lose," Kevin hissed.
Junior sneered. "Don't you get it? We don't have to. You've already lost. I'm standing with Allen, right here, on this spot."
"We will not run. We will not leave her. We love her," Jin repeated, determination strong in every word.
Shion blinked back tears. "Junior...Jin...?"
Kevin stepped back, clenching and unclenching his hands. These arguments, these useless arguments! Pointless, useless arguments! Could they not see what they were doing? Allen was not there to stand! He had not lost; there was no way for them to win Shion back with the same arguments. They would have to kill him first before he let Shion go, and they had thrown their weapons away. The same arguments demanded the same response. Kevin snarled, "Fine, I will grant your wishes as well!" He let loose with two bolts of powerful lightning. He was through playing.
"No! Jin! Junior!" Shion cried.
The blasts caught both of them square on, flinging them backward. Junior flew back into a wall, cracking the crystal on impact. The beautiful gong-like sound it made was obscene. Jin fell and hit a column with enough force that it snapped his spine. That sound was less obscene but no less sickening; MOMO started crying harder and Kevin saw Shion flinch in his peripheral vision. Junior slid down the wall, leaving a wide, bloody streak, but somehow managed to stay on his feet, though he staggered badly. Jin, despite the sudden paralysis, forced himself up on his hands. He glared at Kevin. "It will take more than that," he stated defiantly, taunting the Testament.
Shion was up and clinging to Kevin's arm when he flung two more bolts at Jin and Junior. "Kevin, stop! What are you doing?!" She was nearly hysterical.
This time, Junior and Jin did not get up. Kevin had poured so much power into the last two blasts that neither of the other men could have survived long under any circumstances. The smoke that rapidly cleared left an unbearable stench of burnt hair and flesh.
"What did you do?" Shion demanded, crying, pulling away from him. The hysteria was gone, replaced by accusation.
"I..." ...martyred them. "Shion..."
She shook her head at him, a decisive negation, wiping tears from her eyes with her sleeve. She backed away, but moved toward the doorway into the cavern where Zarathustra waited.
"Are you still going with him?" chaos asked.
"I don't have anywhere else to go." Something seemed to click in her mind, and she suddenly sounded bone weary and deeply troubled. "This time...I really don't."
chaos just blinked acknowledgement. Ziggy said nothing, silently leading MOMO after Shion. He would follow, if for no other reason than to get MOMO out of the room.
"Shion," Mary said, reaching a dark hand out to her, trying to comfort her. Shion flinched away. Mary bowed her head and followed her friend into the cavern.
Kevin watched them all move forward, dumbstruck. How had he gained what he needed but lost everything he wanted? No, it wasn't even what he needed; it was what Wilhelm needed. Kevin had nothing. He looked back at Junior, Jin, Allen. They had known exactly what they were doing. Jin and Junior had goaded him, securing irrevocably what Allen had died to gain. Shion had left him. How had they accomplished that with nothing but words?
Oh, but that hadn't been all they had, had it. He, himself, Kevin, the Red Testament, had given them thrice as much as they needed for their goal. Not one sacrifice, but three. And Shion had left him.
He looked away in disgust, then entered the cavern. He was certain that everything would go according to Wilhelm's plan. He was certain that his role was over.
Indeed, Wilhelm's plan came to fruition. Shion, desperately sad that her brother and two dear friends had not had to die, feeling keenly that their blood was on her hands, that she was forever alone, agreed to use her power and her key to activate Zarathustra. Mary did not question Wilhelm's will, but stood with her suffering friend, unable to reach her. chaos and Ziggy held back, resigned, while MOMO shook her head at the waste.
Wilhelm favored Kevin with one of his enigmatic smiles. "You have done well, Kevin Winnicot. You are dismissed."
As Wilhelm removed the power he had loaned Kevin, erasing him from existence, his last thought was to wonder how he had gone so desperately wrong, to be used so completely...and to wonder if Shion felt the same.