Four universes Jaden, Lia, and the others never met in. Four roles they never had to play. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Yugioh GX, Naruto, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Fushigi Yuugi, or Hellsing
the existing state
For Death and Glory.
The Chuunin Exam took place in Konoha that year, and Jaden whistled at the turnout. Shinobi from all over, wearing different hitai-ate and strangely styled clothing stood in groups about the room, chattering and laughing and pushing out their chests in an attempt to hide their fear. From across the room, he caught Alexis' eye and winked as she gave the examinees a good look.
" Lunch at Ichiraku says they get cut down to half." Chazz shifted in his seat next to Jaden.
" Have you no faith?" The boy asked, laughing. Chazz shrugged and crossed his arms behind his head, feigning not to care, but Jaden had been on enough missions to know the difference between a feint and the real thing.
" Zane's got a knack for tearing down newbies too big for their boots. Wait and see."
And in an explosion of smoke, the buzz of conversation died down into fearful silence. From his position at the front of the crowd, Zane just barely hid a smirk at the wide eyes and trembling lips of the Chuunin hopefuls. Chazz snorted and leaned his chair back on two legs.
" See?" He asked the brunet, but Jaden wasn't looking at him. He was looking towards the back of the crowd, where a muscular, dark-skinned boy had jumped up on a table and was glaring at the front like he thought he could take anyone in the room. Jaden sighed.
" What the hell is yer problem, soldier?!" He shouted at the top of his lungs, and Jaden wondered why the loudest ones always have to embarrass themselves. " Y'all invahte us here and then make us wait for hours on end just for sum' stupid test?!"
Jaden pushed off the wall.
" Oh boy..." And gathered the chakra in his feet, ready to spring at the boy and show why it was a bad idea to mess with Leaf Village Chuunin.
" Stop it, Tyranno. You're embarrassing our village."
The voice belonged to one of his teammates, a pale, thin girl with waves of dark brown hair tamed in a ponytail at the base of her head. She was leaning against the wall, but regarded the boy with one, cold hazel eye.
" But, Lia..." The boy on the desk trailed off, cowed by the frigid look in her gaze. She pushed off the wall and walked past him towards the front, her gait slow and purposeful. She took a number from Bastian, who stood at Zane's side, and walked back to the group, paper clenched in between her fingers. As she passed him, she looked up at the boy.
" And for the love of the Sky Weavers, get off the desk. You look ridiculous."
And just like that, the Chuunin Exam was kicked off.
Jaden stood next to Chazz, staring at the girl in the middle row, his face contemplative, as the students around her milled over their papers and tried to cheat without getting caught.
" Say, Chazz?"
" Mission report duty for a month says the cool cutie from Cloud makes Chuunin."
" Huh?" Chazz opened his eyes and looked over at the girl bent over her test paper, face pinched in concentration. " Why her?"
" Dunno." Jaden shrugged, but the girl moved onto the next problem with a satisfied grin. " Just got a feeling."
Forged in Steel.
" What is this, exactly?" Lia Shanner blinked in confusion as Jaden Yuki finished sweeping the floor and placed the rug back down. On the table watching the going-on sat the small, easily excited ball of fluff Jaden had insisted by called 'Kuriboh'. Said ball of fur gave a delighted squeaking noise as Jaden finished, and launched itself at the boy.
" Kuriboh!" Jaden caught the thing and spun around, curling his arms around it and holding it to his chest. " No! You'll just make everything messy again! And after I worked so hard to make it nice and clean for Miss Lia."
" Look, could you stop with the 'Miss Lia' business." Lia sighed, and flopped down into her bed. Jaden followed after her, gently placing Kuriboh on the table, and made himself comfortable at the foot of her bed, smiling benignly up at her. Lia scowled.
" But I'm engaged to you, Miss Lia."
" And cut that out too!" Lia snapped, glaring at the still smiling boy. " There's no way in Hell we're engaged! All I did was beat that prick Chazz Princeton in a sword fight because of what he did to my friend." She clenched her fist and felt her blood boil as she remembered the look on Syrus' face when he'd seen his love letter to Alexis posted up on that board for everyone to see. The tears in his eyes had been more than enough incentive, but the way he'd shrunk into himself as the bastards had laughed was what had made her storm into the Blue common room, demanding a fight with the asshole who'd done that to her dear friend. When she'd found out the blame could be laid at Chazz Princeton's feet, she'd almost whooped for joy. She'd hated the stuck-up boy since her first day at Duel Academy.
" But Chazz was the current champion of the Duels." Jaden explained. " And when you beat him, you became the champion. And I must always be engaged to the champion."
" And another thing!" Lia tried desperately to bring the conversation back onto a plane she could understand. " I thought this school was all about those duels with cards. But when I fought Chazz, it was with a sword! A real sword! How the hell did he get something like that onto campus?!"
" The Sword of Haou appears when its master needs it."
" The...Sword of Haou?" Lia looked at the boy, really, for the first time. " Is that what it's called?"
" Yes." Jaden nodded.
" And...it comes out of you?"
" I am the sheath of the Sword of Haou. As the Dark Groom, it is my duty to hold the sword when it is not being used."
" The Dark Groom?"
" That's my title, among the duelists of the Gentle Darkness Seal."
" The what now? You're not making any sense."
" Tell me, Miss Lia." Jaden turned away from her, reaching to the table and beckoning Kuriboh. The ball of fluff cooed happily and shot forward, nuzzling Jaden's outstretched hand. " Why do you dress like that?"
" Huh?" Lia looked down at her clothes. Instead of the girls' uniform the entire faculty seemed to think she should be wearing, she had on a pair of jeans and a green tank top over a sheer, black top that showed her shoulders. The yellow jacket marking her as a Ra was tied around her waist. " Is there something wrong with the way I dress?"
Jaden shook his head, carefully petting Kuriboh.
" No, what I mean is..." He paused and turned to her. Lia flushed at the earnest look in his eyes and scooted back a bit, not used to dealing with boys. " What I mean is, why don't you wear a girl's uniform?"
" Why would I want to?" Lia sniffed, but looked down at her feet. " It's impossible to...do anything in that outfit."
" Do anything?" Jaden's voice was soft, and Lia nodded, twisting her fingers in her lap.
" ...Once, when I was a little girl, after my father died, I...met someone. A knight in shining armour. He...he helped me, when no one else could. He saved me, I think. And I remember thinking that the knight looked really cool and strong, and I wanted to be like him. I wanted to be a brave knight who could help everyone and save people. But how can I ever hope to be taken seriously as a knight if I'm running around in a short skirt and heels?" Lia snickered. " Sorry, you must think I'm crazy."
Jaden looked at her for a moment, his eyes gleaming with an unfathomable look. If Lia had been looking in his direction rather than her squirming feet, she may have had a clue as to the turbulent time in her life she was about to enter. Instead, she stared down at the floor, half lost in her memories of the golden eyed knight who pulled her from her father's coffin with nothing more than words.
" No, I don't think that." Jaden was facing Kuriboh again when Lia looked up. " I think having high goals is important."
" Do you have any high goals?"
For a split second, Jaden stiffened. Then he relaxed, and pulled away from the ball of fluff to smile.
" I'm the Dark Groom. I do whatever I'm told."
Lia frowned at him.
" There you go again with that Dark Groom stuff. It's really weird."
" I'm sorry."
" Don't be sorry! Just...Just quit acting like you have no opinion, or whatever."
" Do you want me to have an opinion, Miss Lia?"
" Stop calling me that!"
" But I'm engaged to you."
" You're impossible!"
With Flying Banners.
The girl lowered her arm, a red flush of anger blazing to life over her cheeks, flashes of pale skin peeking through her strange, silky clothing. Around her, the bandits shrunk back. Their faces paled in the moonlight, and the weapons, the swords and knives and blunt, painful bats that threatened to bludgeon him to death dropped to the ground with clatters and the ringing of metal. The girl, still clutching her fancy robes closed over her damp body, snarled at them.
"Keep your hands off of the Chosen, you understand?"
" Uh, yes, of course." One of the bandits stuttered, taking her in. Another stared, dumbfounded as the woman fixed her clothes with one arm, her eyes flickering back up to watch the would be assailants. A third tried his luck.
" I mean, it's not...not as if we knew who he was." She looked up sharply. " We-We would never have tried...have tried to...done that if we'd known-"
" Be quiet." She snapped, and the man shut up quickly. Her robe tied securely shut, the woman drew herself up to her full height. While she wasn't exactly the tallest person in the crowd at the moment, the aura of power and calm fury sent the men normally able to face down a snarling wolf scurrying away, trembling like leaves in the wind.
" Get out of my sight." The woman said, and the men took it as their cue to scatter, running away as fast as their legs could take them. As the last one faded into the distance, the woman let out a long-suffering sigh and let her shoulder slump. From his position on the ground, Jaden Yuki blinked.
" Um..." He started, but trailed off as she turned around, and knelt before him, looking him over for injuries. Up close, the powerful aura seemed to dissipate, and Jaden was struck by the fact that his saviour was less of a woman and more of a girl. Her long, curly brown hair fell over one shoulder and her eyes, though filled with wisdom, were wide and bright, and her face had just a touch of childish pudginess to it. As far as Jaden could tell, she couldn't be any older than him.
" You are alright, aren't you?" She asked in a low, rolling voice. Jaden, startled out of his musings, flushed at the attention she was giving him.
" Huh? Oh yeah, I'm fine!" He reached up to rub the back of his head in embarrassment. " Thanks for that."
" It was my duty." The girl stood up, brushing her hair over her shoulder. Jaden scrambled to his feet.
" No, I mean, you didn't have to help me. You coulda just walked away and let those guys mess me up. I really appreciate it. Really." He grinned at her. The girl half turned to look at him, giving him a once over.
" You're nothing like I expected you to be." Jaden blinked at that, but it didn't seem to deter her in the least. " For one thing, you're so strange. You're always running around, trying to help everyone and getting into messes. I would've thought you'd have more reverence for your station." She started to walk away. " Not to mention how young you are."
" Hey! You can't be any older than I am!" Jaden shouted, running after her. The girl laughed.
" Yes, but I was born knowing what I was meant for. You, on the other hand, have a few weeks to accomplish what should take a lifetime."
The girl merely shook her head.
" As the Chosen of the Embodiment of Gentle Darkness Haou, you have a hard task ahead of you. You have to find the seven warriors born with Haou's Divine Blessing, who will watch over you and protect you. And once you've finished that, you have to summon Haou, take him into your body, and then use his power without being consumed. And you must do all this before the Chosen of the Embodiment of Tormented Love Yubel completes his tasks."
" Wait, what?!"
" I pity those warriors, bound to do your bidding." The girl continued walking with her head held high, looking ahead to where the palace gleamed over the treetops. Jaden jogged to catch up to her.
" Hey! That's not fair! I don't want people bound to me!" He stepped in front of the girl. She was looking at him with wide eyes, and Jaden took that as a sign to keep going. " I never asked to be this 'Chosen' person, and I never wanted anyone to have to protect me. It isn't fair at all, and I really don't like it. If I could, I'd get rid of that law, but Syrus and Tyranno told me that I can't, and that I have to accept that any of the warriors will protect me with their lives, but I don't want that! I don't want people to die for me! I don't want anyone to have to die because of me!" He lowered his gaze. " I just...I just wish I could make everyone happy."
There was a moment of stunned silence, in which Jaden didn't dare look at the stately girl who'd come to his rescue. And then, impossibly, the muffled sound of a smothered giggle. Jaden's head shot up. The girl had her left hand pressed delicately against her mouth, what little he could see of her lips curled into a smile underneath it. The smile reached her eyes, which had thawed out remarkably, and were looking at him with something akin to fondness.
" What?" He said, his brow creasing in confusion. The girl shook her head.
" You are..." She searched for an adjective. " Interesting. I think it might be fun to serve you."
" Serve me?" At his surprised tone, the girl dropped her arm. Blazing through the silken cloth over her heart, the bright red symbol for 'bonds' burned a fierce, fiery red.
" Lia of the Seven of Darkness." She made a slight bow. " At your service, Jaden Yuki."
Creatures of the Night.
" It's too dark!"
" Just focus. You'll be fine."
" How the hell will I be fine?! I'm on top of a roof at three in the morning with a sniper gun in my hand and no scope! In what screwed up universe does that equal fine?!"
Jaden wearily rubbed the bridge of his nose.
" You like to yell, don't you?"
" I think this situation merits yelling!"
" Ow. Hi, um, advanced hearing here. Kindly keep it down."
" Oh, fuck you!"
" I'll show you language!"
" I'm sure you will."
" Go die!"
" Um, I don't know how to tell you this but...I'm already dead. And so are you."
Lia went very still, her grip on the gun loosening as her eyes widened. Under her standard, Rhodes Organization issued uniform, Lia felt her body tremble, and bit her lower lip, a habit becoming undead had not robbed her of. Shivering, she pressed the gun deeper into her stomach, the cool metal stinging her skin through the rough material of her military outfit. It felt strange, but then again, everything in the last twenty-four hours had reeked of strangeness. From the abandoned church where'd she's been sent to take pictures to the gaping, horrible thing, with its fangs gleaming with blood, to the sharply smiling blonde woman in the suit that didn't hide her curvaceous body, telling Lia that she would have to work for them now. Her neck felt frightening light without her camera strap slung around it, and the gun in her hands felt far too light, almost as if it wasn't there at all. Lia swallowed thickly.
" This feels wrong." She moved the gun slightly. Behind her, she heard Jaden sigh, a soft little sound she would never have been able to catch two nights ago. But her hearing was getting better. Amazingly better. And her sense of smell was improving, at a slower rate. Not to mention her eyesight-
She stopped the thought there, trying very hard to ignore the way the night-shrouded countryside was as clear as day to her eyes.
" Denying it won't change that it's true."
Lia tried to jump and spin to look at him, tried to gasp and sway in the shock of how close he sounded, how deeply his voice echoed in her ears. Instead, something twisted in her head, and her limbs went stiff, locking her in the position she was sitting in, her whole body rigid against her will. Somewhere by her ear, she heard Jaden start to whisper.
" Focus." The word was breathed against her skin, but she could hardly feel it. Her eyes went wide before they narrowed, focusing in on the figure that was running desperately down the country lane, swaying hazardously from side to side. Without even realizing it, Lia took in the long black hair, pale, pale skin, and tight miniskirt as the figure – nothing more than a young girl – went careening down the road. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, a voice screamed in terror as it tried fruitlessly to remind her that the girl she was seeing was almost half a kilometre away from her, and she could easily make out the splattered blood on the back of the girl's shirt.
" Both eyes open." Jaden's voice was smooth as silk against her ears. Lia hefted the gun up, lining it up with image she saw before her. " All senses locked on."
" Yes sir." Lia murmured, completely unaware of what she was doing. The gun clicked as she swiftly pulled the trigger, the recoil not even jostling her. The air sung around the bullet as it hurtled mercilessly towards its target. A split second before it made contact, Lia blinked, the red fading from her irises and her vision clearing of the tunnel vision just in time for her still disoriented senses to pick up a short-lived scream, brutally and abruptly silenced, followed by the thick scent of blood penetrating the night air.
To her horror, her mouth watered.
" Nice shot, Camera Girl."
" It's Lia." She snapped, pushing the gun away from her and staring resolutely at the horizon, where the first gray streaks of dawn had started to peek through the chilly black night. She fought to ignore the gnawing, aching feeling in her stomach as she bit her lip, worrying it over with her teeth. She gasped as it caught on one of her elongated canines. She let the abused lip slide out of her mouth quite quickly, a cool streak of red blood leaking out from it and sliding down her chin.
A callous, tanned finger ran over skin, gathering the liquid on the tip. Lia flinched back, startled, and flushed as Jaden merely chuckled at her reaction, bringing the stained digit up to his mouth teasingly. Lia watched with narrowed eyes, her stomach protesting loudly.
" Hungry?" Jaden's smile was just a trifle triumphant.
" Don't mock me." Her words were coloured with venom. " You're the one who did this to me."
" I only did what you asked." Jaden waved this finger at her. When her eyes followed the movement of the tiny drops of blood that flecked off almost obsessively, Jaden's grin got broader.
" You could've easily let me die."
" But I didn't, now did I, Koneko-chan?"
" What did you call me?" Her eyes flickered up to look into his.
" Means kitten."
" Oh you are not calling me that!"
" It's either that or Camera Girl."
" My name is Lia!"
" Alright." His eyes lit up, and he waved the finger in front of her face. " Are you hungry, Lia?"
Lia's eyes focused in on the blood still dripping off the finger, swaying tantalizing close to her mouth. All she needed to do was stick her tongue out – it too seemed to have grown frightening long with her transformation – and lick the rapidly cooling liquid off of the appendage. Her stomach practically rumbled at the prospect, and she felt her eyes grow hot as the world faded to nothing but the bloodstained finger. Above her, watching her twitch and twist in indecision, Jaden smirked.
Lia's mouth opened, her long pink tongue peeking out, reaching forward to lick the finger clean of her own blood. Jaden's eyes widened in anticipation, his own eyes flashing a dangerous gold.
And then Lia snapped back, her face set in a dark scowl.
" Medical blood only, sir." She snapped, standing up and walking with complete confidence diagonally down the roof. Jaden huffed his shoulders in disappointment.
" Not ready to turn completely?" He asked around the finger he'd stuck in his mouth. Though her back was to him, he felt Lia stiffen.
" That's a very personal question, sir."
" Quit calling me sir. And I get to be personal. I'm your Master."
" Yeah, because calling you 'Master' sounds so much better than sir." Lia rolled her eyes.
" Don't call me that either. They make me sound old." Jaden wrinkled his nose. Then he brightened. " You should call me Onii-san!"
" It means big brother."
" I'm not calling you that."
Jaden's face fell.
" Why not?" His voice was almost a whine, and Lia smirked at the sound of it.
" According to Madame Rhodes, you're my Sire." Lia half turned, her hazel eyes gleaming under her brown curls. " That sort of makes you my father, doesn't it?"
" I'm not old enough to be anyone's father!" Jaden shouted, stamping his foot as he jumped to his feet. Lia turned back around, a laugh threatening to bubble from her throat, and braced her feet against the edge of the roof.
" Whatever you say, grandpa."
And then she kicked off, twisting off the roof and plummeting to the ground below, smiling a smile of pure adrenaline rush, her cheek flushing lightly. Behind her, Jaden pouted until she vanished from sight, a dull thud on the ground below telling him she'd landed safe and sound. Then he smiled softly.
" This," he said to no one in particular, " had to be one of my better ideas."
Then he leapt off the roof after his Fledgling.
Hope you enjoyed it.