A/N: Hey kids! It's time for an update...!
So, Yamato and gang will be gone for a bit, but don't worry, they'll be back soon enough! This just makes room for Bierce's character. Also, the first major OC shows up in this chapter--but, like it says in the summary, no pairings. With canon characters anyway. Well then, let's see what happens!
Disclaimer: Battle B-daman, its characters and related media all belong to Takara/Hasbro/Inuki Eiji. This is a work made for fun and is not for profit in any way. Only the plot and the few original characters belong to Beaslays.
were you hoping for something
He was in a field of flowers, all white and swaying in the cool breeze. He stood, however, in a patch of blue roses, all stationary and unmoving. Upon closer inspection, he saw that they had begun to wilt.
Leaning slightly, he touched one and it immediately sprung to life, blossoming into fullness and spreading its petals as he jumped back in surprise. Calming himself, he looked around and begun to lightly brush the other roses around him.
He found himself delighted with the display of life around him as the roses became vibrant blue in color, with their petals reaching out to him and the sky.
"So kind, to let them grow…"
He straightened himself, coming to alertness and looking around himself quickly. He was, as far as he could tell, completely alone—so where had that voice come from, and who had spoken?
"Child…oh, how you've grown…"
He turned, slowly, as he felt his body grow cold. Around him, the blue roses began to fall back into lifelessness, wilting into their former appearance of pale blue and drooping petals.
When he came to a full turn, he found himself looking up at a slim figure, shining and framed with a pair of wings of white feathers, flapping and sending wind around him. The figure, a woman, held out her hand to him.
He moved closer to her with a surprising sense of familiarity, smiling gently as he reached out to grasp her hand. She smiled back at him, bright blue eyes gleaming with pride.
"You've grown so much, Bierce…" she said as she pulled him into the air alongside her, "Come with me…everyone wants to meet you!"
He nodded as he followed her, flying over the sea of roses below. His very shadow seemed to paint the roses with the color of blue, and his companion's own shadow painted them a bright orange.
The sea of roses soon faded into rolling hills and bright, colorful meadows. Above them, the clear sky slowly turned to orange, yet
It only occurred to him that he was dreaming as they approached a large, looming white structure.
"Everyone's inside," said his companion, "Come now—"
"Angel Silver!" A sudden shout from above them. They stopped, hovering in mid-air as another winged figure came floating down before them, a male, with cropped dark hair and wings of black.
"Archangel," said Bierce's companion, apparently named Silver, bowing her head. Her hold on Bierce's hand tightened, and she pulled him close.
"You would dare bring a demon to a holy place?" asked the newcomer, dark eyes shining.
"Bierce is no demon," answered Silver, pulling him behind herself. All throughout, she kept her hand over his.
"He reeks of demonic power!"
"But he is no demon!"
"You dare to defy our laws…………"
"…no…but…ah…" Her voice had gotten faint, and Bierce's vision began to blur. Panicking, he lunged at the winged man.
Then he was falling, his hand having slipped out of Silver's grasp. She screamed his name as he fell, and he could see her diving towards him, but he was falling, falling, too quickly, into the dark abyss below them…
He awoke with a jolt.
For what seemed to him like hours, Bierce lay in his bed, red eyes watching the gray ceiling as he let his mind wander. The memory of his dream had become hazy—he recalled roses, very vaguely, along with feathery wings and the sensation of flying.
He shivered whenever his mind lingered on the memory of falling.
Eventually, sunlight filtered in through the single window across the room, and suddenly he felt tired, his eyes heavy as lead. Sleep had been scarce, with little thanks to a dream he could no longer remember.
He forced himself to awaken and go about his daily morning routine. Afterwards, he settled himself by the window, bitterly gazing out at the silent desert plain before him.
Yamato and the others had gone after Terry the day before. Now, it was only him, Enjyu and the women left in the Café. Yamato had refused to bring him along, even going so far as to knock him out when he had protested.
He heard the door open and close behind him, but he paid no attention to it, keeping his gaze out the window. The desert was becoming far more arid than it usually was, growing hotter and hotter with each passing day. Soon, the full heat of summer would be on them….
"Bierce," said a voice which he identified as belonging to Karat. He remained still, even as he felt hands on his shoulders. "I'll be leaving for Neon soon."
He stiffened, wondering to himself if she would leave now. Instead, her grip on him tightened, though with a soft growl from him she loosened it a little.
"Were you hoping for something?" he asked quietly, keeping his tone blank and emotionless. He let his face twist into something of a smile, "A goodbye, perhaps?"
He stood, shaking her hands off. His red eyes glowed as he loomed over her, despite being shorter. "Why is it that you can leave as you like?" he growled, the glow of his eyes growing stronger.
"That isn't true," she said, her voice turning angry as she frowned at him, "I just have matters in Neon that require my presence—otherwise, I am as much of a slave to others as you are, Bierce."
He looked into her bright blue eyes, large with a prevailing sense of innocence yet with the slightest hint of sharpness in them. Bierce, not knowing what to say, or do, only sighed and turned away, towards the window again. Karat said nothing.
"I only wish I weren't so useless," he said after a moment, breaking the uneasy silence that had fallen over them without their noticing.
"Far from it," said Karat, moving to stand next to him, "You aren't useless Bierce…if anything, I think you're the most powerful out of all of us."
"Ha!" he said, turning to her with disbelief showing all over his face, "Me? The most powerful? A long time ago, maybe, yes, but at this time? Never."
The thought was far from unfamiliar to Bierce though. For as long as he could remember, he had always wanted to wield power—power so great that he would have control over anything he desired. He had tasted this three years ago, when he rose through the ranks of the Shadow Alliance and gained control over the entire organization.
All at the tender age of ten years. By the time he was eleven, Bierce was leading the Alliance in full out war against the IBA, the head of which was Ka—
The sudden memory of that time long past jolted him back to reality and he began to back away from the golden haired girl before him. The sudden realization that he was standing with a former enemy.
"Bierce?" Karat was moving closer to him, arms held out warily, as though he would fall into his psychotic state.
He eyed her now with caution, and perhaps some suspicion. When had he fallen into the trap of trusting Karat? He had never quite trusted her before.
"Bierce, are you all right? What's the matter?" said Karat, moving ever closer. She was leaning in, watching him with a mix of caution and concern in her expression.
Everything began to blur around him as he suddenly felt uneasy. He felt cold, and his body sluggish, despite his mind having become unusually alert. Just then, he felt himself come up against the wall, and his eyes widened as Karat moved even closer.
"You look…oh dear," she said, touching the back of her hand to his forehead, "You should rest…"
She seemed to offer this with genuine care, yet, as she moved to pull him towards the bed darkness filled the room, the sky outside having suddenly gone dark. He jerked away with alarm as tendrils of dark substance began to lick at his arm where she had grasped him. Letting his gaze follow the black substance, he saw that Karat had turned completely black in color. She glowed with bluish light, and she was smiling, showing a full set of white teeth against the blackness of her skin.
Her eyes were glowing white as she moved towards him; her movements mad an odd clicking noise.
"Come now, little Bierce! Would you not want to rest?" she said, her voice taking on a scraping quality. It hurt his ears, and, he was suddenly filled with the desire to flee.
She reached out to him, and he saw that her arms had turned into tentacles of black, fluid matter. As they suddenly lashed out at him, he ducked and, with nimbleness he did not know he had, rolled away to the side.
He leapt to his feet, dashing towards the door with Karat—no, the monster in hot pursuit. When he touched the door handle though, he jerked back on impulse, shocked at the dark, sticky substance now oozing out of the door.
His way out was blocked. With renewed resolve, he turned, slowly, but certainly, to face the monster. It laughed, rising and growing larger so that, as it crouched to leer at him, it touched the ceiling. Its laughter shook him, yet, he readied himself before lunging forward
It was only now that he registered the weapon in his hand. It had materialized seemingly from nowhere, a black blade with a golden hilt. With his momentum, he pushed it straight through the monster's form.
It screeched and everything was white, bright and he felt as though he was going blind and—
Something heavy collided with his head, sending him flying against the wall. He blinked, recovering his vision and his sense. Sitting up, he saw Enjyu standing there, eyes blazing with outrage and fists clenched tightly.
"What the fuck is wrong with you!?" shouted the redhead. Bierce blinked; he was entirely unaware of anything that could have transpired to make Enjyu angry. Looking around though, he saw Karat sitting up with Liena and Mie's help. The first was gasping for breath, clutching her chest and her eyes were wide with shock.
"What…what happened…?" asked Bierce, still slightly dazed from his impact with the wall.
"You little shit," snarled Enjyu, reaching down and pulling him up by the front of his shirt, "Pretending not to know—!" With another snarl, he threw Bierce against the wall again, causing the dark haired boy to cry out with pain. Bierce flung his hands up in an effort to protect himself as Enjyu pulled him up again, one hand drawn back and cackling with energy as small orbs of purple light came to his fingertips.
"Enjyu!" shouted Mie, "That's enough!"
Enjyu turned to look at her, before looking back at Bierce. Mie was pointing at him, eyes burning with fury. Her other hand was set firmly on her hip, and a faint, reddish glow surrounded her. Slowly, Enjyu lowered his raised arm, before throwing Bierce against the wall again, a look of disgust plastered across his face. He turned and stormed past Mie and out the room.
Mie watched him go, before turning to Bierce with a dark look on her face. "Liena," she said, keeping her gaze on him, "Take Karat to your room and start tending to her. As for you…" She walked over to him and reached down, pulling him to his feet by the arm.
Instinctively, he struggled against her until she suddenly struck him across the cheek with the palm of her hand. Stunned less from the pain than from the shock that she had dared to slap him, he went limp in her grip, letting her lead him to the bed. He sat when she instructed such, remaining unaware of the icy glare he was receiving from Liena even as she left the room with Karat in tow.
He heard, faintly, the click of the door swinging shut. Bierce found that he gone numb, his body already guessing at what could come next. The last time someone slapped him, he had been beaten to within an inch of his life.
He was brought back to reality when Mie shook him, her grip firm but gentle. Bierce looked up at her, meeting her concerned gaze.
"Bierce," she said, "Why did you…what happened?"
He stiffened, looking away from her. Images of Karat morphing into the monster from earlier came to his mind, and he clutched his head and shook it quickly in an attempt to clear the images away.
"You can tell me," said Mie, kneeling so as to be eye level with him. Still, he avoided her gaze, holding his head and staring at his lap with wide eyes.
Then, suddenly, Mie had her arms around him and he was pressed against her. She sighed, holding him tightly as he felt something wet fall onto his head. Looking up, he saw that she had begun to cry, tears forming rivulets down her cheeks.
"I wish you would tell me," she said softly, "I may not be anything to you, but you're Yamato's friend and…that's more than enough for me. You're…Yamato trusts you, so I trust you too but…but out of all of Yamato's friends, you're the only one I don't know if I should trust…"
He remained silent, growing uneasy at her touch. Having lived under her roof for a few years, he knew very well that Mie was one prone to mood swings, easily angered, even outright violent, at times, while at others she was as caring and gentle as she was now. Having raised Yamato alone in a world such as theirs…it was expected, that she would be as fierce as she often was.
Now, he remained tense, still avoiding her gaze.
Mie sighed again, releasing him from her hug. "I only wish you would trust me as you trust Yamato…"
She appeared to be completely sincere, and when Bierce glanced up to look at her in the eyes, he regretted it immediately. She was watching him with the saddest look he had ever seen on her, and a part of him wanted to tell her everything.
So he did. He gave in; gently, he chipped away at a few of the secrets he held. He told her of the strange dreams and of the faint memory of someone holding him close. Despite his confiding in her though, he avoided any mention of the angels, and he described the earlier incident with Karat in vague terms.
When he finally finished, the sun was almost high in the sky and his mouth felt dry. Mie had listened quietly, at one point moving to sit next to him. She had offered no commentary, nor did she interrupt him at all. All she did was sit there and listen.
Now, she stood, not meeting his eyes. He fell silent, looking at the floor, expecting words of comfort or perhaps her advice. She would hug him some more, then tell him it was okay and that he would go apologize to Karat, explain a little and everything would be all right. He had seen her do this before, though rarely. She had calmed down the emotionally unstable Bull, had given advice to a confused and lost Enjyu, and had comforted a heartbroken Terry.
Contrary to his expectations, Bierce received none.
"Pack up," said Mie suddenly, turning to look at him. Her eyes had turned icy as she looked him over. "Start packing up now, there's a spare backpack in Yamato's room, you can borrow it."
"…what?" Bierce let his jaw hang open as he gaped at her, eyes wide. Was she about to send him away? Was she about to tell him to leave forever, and to never come back? She…she wouldn't…she couldn't…
"Come downstairs when you're done packing," she said, turning and moving to the door, "I expect you won't need more than an extra set of clothes and the usual traveling things. But bring along what you must. It wouldn't do for Yamato to come home and find that two of his friends tore each other apart!"
He felt his heart calm and slow to a less frantic rate. So she was not sending him away completely, but sending him off on a trip. Yes, yes, that was good. He was still safe.
He let out a breath he had not known he was holding once the door clicked shut behind Mie. He sat there for a moment, staring blankly at the floor, his mind running through the possible scenarios that could happen.
But…this was what he had wanted, wasn't it? He had wanted to go out, to leave this place and go help Yamato…
Slowly, Bierce stood, red eyes burning as he went to gather his belongings.
Hours later found Bierce wandering through a small forest, his stomach growling loudly and likely scaring all the animals away. Mie had sent him off with instructions to seek out the Sage Armada, and Bierce had agreed without a word, putting up a cheerful countenance while avoiding the dark looks Enjyu had been sending him. In his mind though, he cursed Mie for sending him off like this, he cursed Armada for being a cat and for living out in the wilderness, and, most of all, he cursed the B-damage for shaping the world so haphazardly. After all, it was likely only on the Bdaworld that deserts gave way so suddenly to lush forests.
He sighed as he sat and lowered the green rucksack he had "borrowed" from Yamato. A quick glance around told him he was in a safe area, and, without any further commotion, he pulled out a sandwich.
The sandwich was out of his hands scarcely a few seconds after he took it out.
Outraged, he leapt to his feet, roaring obscenities at whoever was there. All he received was taunting laughter.
Fuming, Bierce turned around, slowly. He closed his eyes, trusting his other senses more than he trusted his sight. A rustle, somewhere north—then another, to the east—
He spun around and shot a ball of blue energy to the south. A loud yelp reached his ears, and he smirked, striding calmly to the slightly singed bushes.
Now, his curiosity began to get the better of him, and he reached down, preparing to push aside the thin foliage. Through it, he could see, just faintly, something white in color lying stationary.
The moment his hands touched the leaves, something white and heavy slammed into his hand, throwing him off balance as the white creature shot out of the bushes and straight for something behind him—
With wide eyes he spun around and let loose another ball of energy. It connected with its target, who yelped once more before collapsing to the ground, dropping his rucksack. Slowly, Bierce neared it, one hand raised and already charging an energy ball. The white creature groaned, rolling over, and he saw that it was, in fact, a cat humanoid.
"Okay, okay! I surrender!" it said, in a voice Bierce recognized to be female, "I'll pay you back for that stupid sandwich!"
He lowered his hand, stepping back as the cat popped open a golden eye. When it saw he was no longer threatening it, it opened the other eye, revealing bright, shining blue underneath. It purred, smiling at him as it stood, coming up to stand a full head taller than him.
Annoyed, he grabbed his rucksack and turned away, no longer hungry. He would have to hurry if he wanted to find Armada before nightfall.
"Hey! Wait for me!"
Ignoring the desolate wail, he continued on. The cat would only get in his way…
Lost in his thoughts, he was startled and thrown off his feet when the cat reappeared before him, hanging upside down from the tree above them. Bierce growled, glaring at the cat as he stood and rubbed his aching rear end.
"What do you want?" he snarled, picking up his rucksack and dusting himself off. "You already took a sandwich from me, and I don't entertain strays."
"Ouch, so rude!" said the cat, crossing its arms. He frowned as it dropped down and landed on its feet, standing and grinning at him. It reached a paw out at him, blue and golden eyes shining brightly. "You're looking for a way out of this forest, right? I can help you with that!"
He blinked, staring at the outreached paw, before casting his gaze all over it. Now that they stood on equal ground, he saw it was dressed in some kind of revealing outfit, with something like a miniskirt hanging off its hips and a top barely covering its chest. A quick glance at its furred face confirmed that it, too was scrutinizing him.
"No," he said, turning. He would find another way past it, he decided. Much to his annoyance, the cat did not back down, instead grabbing his arm and whirling him around to face it. He snarled as it did so, and he could feel his blood turning hot with anger.
This seemed to have the intended effect, as the cat released him, raising its hands before itself defensively. It blinked at him, eyes wide and shimmering with fear even as he raised his hand, curled into a fist over his head.
He froze at its expression, so wide and lost and fearful. For a brief moment, he saw a small dark-haired boy with flame colored eyes cowering in a corner, crying as a cat humanoid with reddish fur lashed at him repeatedly. Then—the moment was over, and Bierce was standing before a white-furred cat humanoid, one of his hands raised and poised to attack.
Slowly, he lowered his hand and began to back away from the cat, his eyes wide. As he stepped back, the cat lifted its head, watching him, quietly, before slowly rising, reaching its paws out warily to him.
He turned and fled, not bothering to collect his rucksack.
A/N: And now...the main plot can get started...!
I only realize now that Karat is pretty OOC...oh well...
Also, check out the B-daman LJ community! I've posted something that could be used as really useful reference--that is, the Directory of Battle B-daman Characters, typed up straight from the manga and as canon as you can get! :P
Reviews are, of course, much appreciated.