Hey everybody it's been a while. I'll just say life caught up with me and leave it at that. Anyway, I've recently gotten into Air Gear, as you can probably gather. This was inspired by listening to a cheerful When They Cry series song and reading the Tear Jerker page on TV Tropes at the same time. Yeah, it's not a good combination. Anyway I hope you enjoy my first Air Gear fanfic.

Disclaimer: I don't own Air Gear.

Rating: T for swearing, character death, and violence.

Warning: Spoilers of anything up to Trick 261.

Weak Wings

Ikki was going to die. He knew it clearly, as a bird knows when it is falling. Nike was right there, blade poised to slice him from head to toe where he lay helpless on the ground, AT's shatter. Everyone else was too far away, too engrossed in their own battles. The police couldn't interfere even if they wanted to, they would shoot him. Out of the corner of his eye, Ikki glimpsed Sora in his wheelchair. The man was staring at him the exact same way he had on the screen in the Trophaeum. Indifferent. Ikki smiled bitterly, a too old smile, as the moments when he first started to ride flashed through his mind. Even now, after all the hard work I've done, after everything I've done to show him I'm worth watching, worth existing... all those wins and losses were not enough. Damn it. The sky is... so far away now. And he wouldn't get another chance to prove himself either. For a moment he looked away from death toward his friends. Kazu had knocked his opponent down and was turning toward him to shout something, probably something cool. He saw the pale eyes widening with fear. His mouth was outlining in a scream. Sorry Kazu.... Ikki wanted to say. Maybe this means I'm not the main character after all. Fuck. I was so close, damn it all.

He closed his eyes and waited, accepting, for the end. The blade slashed down and his face was sprayed with blood. But the blood wasn't his. For a moment he felt ethereal. Why is there no pain? Why am I still… alive?

A gale slashed a small bird as it struggled to fly. It was still a hatchling, just barely knowing how to flap its wings.

Many voices echoed the single word, "Agito!" Ikki felt his eyes snap open. Sure enough, the smaller blue-haired teen was in front of him, golden stare firmly on his face. His body, already covered with numerous cuts and bruises, had a new addition, a long slash on his back like the mark on a keyboard. His eyepatch was dangling from his wrist, the only clean item he had. The uniform of Kogarasumaru, already torn as it was, was now beyond average repair. The hooked orange straps dangled uselessly against his legs, now caked with drying blood. Out of the corner of his eye, Ikki glimpsed the darkly tanned boy, Orca he was called, unconscious and bleeding profusely. Nike held his weapon loosely at his side. The entire battle had frozen. Everyone, even Sora and Nike, had expressions of shock on their faces. To Ikki's surprise, Agito smiled. It was a kind, gentle smile, something Akito would wear. Then time moved, and the boy fell, about to faceplant on the concrete. Ikki quickly shot up and grabbed him, moving the now critically injured child (because that was all they were really, kids with cool shoes) into his arms. Everyone was watching. They had all, for some reason, forgotten about their fight.

The little bird's wings collapsed from the strength of the wind. Gravity activated.

Meanwhile, the left eye fluttered opened weakly and Agito smirked. "Heh, look at you Crow. What's with that cryin'?"

He was crying, wasn't he? "You dumbass," he whispered, unable to scream, unable to even talk loudly. "What the hell were you thinking? And you call me an idiot!"

"S' cause you are," Agito said sleepily. There were tears streaming from their eyes. They were both crying. How painful. "Fuckin' idiot... we wanted t' do this..."

"Shut up," he hissed. Ikki could feel blood staining his pant legs. He didn't care. "Stop wasting your energy. We're gonna hurry up and get you to an emergency room alright?"

"Ain't gonna do any goddamn good," Agito rasped. "We're tired Crow. All three of us are tired. The wound ain't fatal yet, but you don' have time t' worry 'bout it. Just let us go Crow. Finish this stupid battle. Just let us get some goddamn rest alright?" Agito's eye flashed dangerously and then the energy seemed to drain out of him. His next words were panted out. "None of us wanted to do… any o' this. We didn' wanna fight… didn't wanna kill… fuck, we didn' even wanna ride. But we did and… now we're gettin' a chance to finally stop running. Just let us stop already. We were in the sky for a minute. That's enough." Ikki felt his mouth dry up. What was he supposed to say to that? Agito grinned, proud to have rendered their loudmouthed leader speechless one last time. "Akito wants t' say g'bye a'fore he gets his last bit. He pisses me off... but it was his body after all. So… goodbye Minami Itsuki... Storm King."

The little bird fell.

One golden eye closed and the other opened, this gaze softer and infinitely more understanding. "Ikki-kun... thank you."

"God you have less sense than your brother," Ikki groaned. "Shut up already!"

Akito continued as though he couldn't hear him. "Thank you for helping us fly; for giving us hope. Agito and I... you don't know how happy we were. In the beginning, all we could do is fake a smile or a smirk as best we could and hope no one could see how broken our wings were, how broken we were." Ikki had to look away, that gaze knew too much, understood too much for his age. "When Akira left... we got so scared. Kaito-nii had never betrayed us and because of him... Agito had a friend. He had done all that and yet, Akira didn't stay. You did. Two years later, you helped us get him back. We owed you for that, for that and many other things, so we stayed. The Trophaeum and the Sky Regalia, we didn't care about those things. Someone finally needed us in a way that we could still do what we loved. Somebody wanted us to live, to be human." Akito shakily reached out a hand and stroked Ikki's cheek. He managed one last beautiful smile.

"Ikki-kun... take the Sky Regalia, take it and become King. Agito and I... we believe in you, no matter what. Thank you for being like Onii-chan, like a big brother." Before Ikki could think of a response, Akito shuddered. With that the hand fell, and both eyes closed. The world was silent.

At least, that's how it was for a moment.

The little bird struggled to fly, trying desperately to defy the world order.

For the first time, Ikki felt as though the wind was beating him, slashing him with icy swords. His element had never hurt him, had never bothered him. Almost everyone else relied on it, was afraid of it. Now it was showing him the same treatment. Was it nature's way of punishing him for letting his little brother die? Thinking it over in his shell-shocked mind, Ikki considered it the truth. Even the gods got divine punishment. Thunder began to boom as lightning sliced the sky like fangs.

His friends were crying, Nakayama the hardest. She had loved him after all. Meanwhile, the body in his hold had begun to squirm, causing him to blink down. Akito's hair was spiking upward and both eyes were opening, a cold black. Ikki felt himself recoil. That was a Gravity Child's stare. Wait... the eyes had two crosses instead of one. The new person sat up, groaning in pain. He turned his gaze toward Nike. The newcomer smiled icily, managing to be more terrifying than Agito.

"So you're the one who did this," he said softly, rubbing the water away. Struggling, he managed to stand. "Well then, that's good." He clenched his fists, one wrapped around the eyepatch, and loosened them. "Odd… I shouldn't be feeling so angry… but... you see...." The calm shattered in an instant and the icy eyes filled with rage. "You killed my little brothers!" With that he was gone, behind Nike in an instant and slashing a Fang before anyone could react.

"Bloody Fang: Infinity Jail!" Nike was immediately surrounded and the cage imploded. To everyone's surprise, Nike began to howl in pain. The Fangs sliced and slashed though his arms and legs. The Wanijima howled with laughter and coughed as pain racked through him, blood dripping down from his mouth. Every member of Kogarasumaru gaped.

"Such power..." Buccha mumbled in awe. Ikki silently stood, watching Nike writhe on the ground. A part of him felt satisfaction at the sight before him, of a hawk with broken wings and body. Did Akira-kun ever feel this way I wonder?

"Who...." croaked Kazu. "Who the hell are you?!" The newcomer gave him a disdainful stare, toward them all before smirking cruelly.

"I am this body's first person, also known as the Seed of Judas, Brain Charger Prototype, and many other names. My name is Lind Wanijima and this is my last stand." Lind sighed, wincing as his back continued to bleed. "It's too bad, looks I waited too long... huh...." With that, Lind leapt away toward the police. Nike let out another groan as he tried to escape. "Don't bother," Lind called almost cheerily. "That cage won't break that easily. Your Jade Road has the wrong type of strength." Lind gasped as his whole body trembled in midair, making his balance slip. Just a little further dammit. He could see him; he had to tell him before he disappeared for good.

"Kaito!" The man looked up at him from just behind a plane. He could see it, the faint despair, the love he could not show, and the fear and loneliness too. So he's my creator, my big brother…. Lind barely landed upright, moving toward his older brother shakily. His mind was growing hazy, but he felt himself fall. But instead of the ground, he was a strong, warm hold. Well whaddaya know? He thought. Akito was right after all. Heh, you wuss, you were braver than anyone else in the end. He heard a faint little laugh. They were waiting.

"Aniki..." he grinned, coughing up crimson. "I always wanted to say that at least once. Looks like I did it." He turned bleary eyes toward his brother. Others had called him menacing, terrifying, even insane. He did not look or feel anything like that now. Kaito Wanijima looked old and worn, as though the world had simply crumbled onto his shoulders all at once. No cruel light reamined in those eyes. Lind coughed again and felt himself fading away. Something else, something much more compelling than the sky was calling him. Those two, those little brats, were each waiting, the older with an outstretched hand. "Akito and Agito say goodbye," he choked out. "They say they're going to miss you, des… despite it all." Salty water was running down his cheeks. Now he was crying. How pathetic they all were. "Funnily enough... so will I and I… don't even know you. But...Kaito-nii... I'm glad I met you." Suddenly, Lind found himself in a new place, a bright one. His little brothers were still watching him, golden eyes open, as though they could see everything. Both wore a friendly smile as the wind blew towards him. He closed his eyes to the world of the living without waiting for a response. The youngest Wanijima died smiling and crying.

The little bird smashed against the ground. The sky was too powerful.

The sky opened up, attempting to drown them all. Kaito clutched the small, limp body to his chest, rain hiding the tears he was unable to shed until now. No matter what anyone said, no matter what he himself did, Kaito Wanijima had always loved his little brother very much. Akira, who had been silent from the mission's start, gestured with one hand. The soldiers moved and Akira remained standing by his adoptive brother. Glaring straight ahead, he forced his emotions aside and waited for an attack to come. He would cry afterward, when Kaito's emotions were drained out of him.

Ikki felt the storm rage around his body. No… it was inside him too. It wanted revenge. But Nike was dying. The fangs had pierced him terribly. He couldn't take out his killer but… he could make Sora pay!

Ikki… had loved Takeuchi Sora in the same way the little Wanjima had loved him, like a brother. But now… after all he had done, after what Nike had just so brutally taken from them… he couldn't hide from the lies anymore.

There was no reason to hold back. He would take the Hurricane Road and destroy Genesis. Then, as he had silently promised, he would become the Sky King. Minami Itsuki swore that on his life. Glancing up at the others, he saw the same ambition in their eyes. They would make it to the top. Ever so softly, yet still managing to echo across the war zone, he said, "Kogarasumaru!..."

The response, in contrast, was deafening. "Bu-Crow!" There was no reason not to.

Bu-Crow, taken from official English translation, literally means death by bludgeoning. Any other questions will be PMed a reply.

Well if you enjoyed, review. If you didn't enjoy, still review with as much help as you can. It will be cheerfully appreciated.