This, my friends, is Fanfiction. You, as a reader, have no doubt become very well versed in all things strange and freakish. Very well versed. Hopefully this isn't the most crackish thing you've ever heard of, but as I'm so darn stuck on Strong Enough (Which I WILL finish if it KILLS me) I thought I might be able to lose the writers block if I wrote this idea out. God help us all.
Like A Bird
By Patience Memory
It was a beautiful country, green and wild. Trowa had loved it from the first moment he stepped from the rocking circus trailer onto its soil. Cathy had watched him as he had looked over the valley where the trucks had stopped, his eyes as vivid and emerald as the evergreen trees on the surrounding hills and the long grass beneath his feet, and had been happy for him. There was a type of peace in his passive face that made her spirit soar.
It was nearing dark when Trowa left the caravan, his feet making no sound as he glided through the forest. He had lent his hands to the other circus employees for the purpose of setting up camp while it was light, and now he would be left to his own devices until the light had fled the vibrant blue sky completely.
The young man walked through the towering trees and low crawling plant life silently. It took him almost no time to reach what he was looking for. He found it as he took the last few steps down the mountain hill he had been trekking over and into the wild grass and open space of a valley. The land cupped like a bowl, the light wispy grass penned in by the massive, sky touching trees. In the center wound a strip of small willows, signifying what Trowa knew to be a creek in their folds. The small trees hid the water, looking everything like a great wooded snake, slithering through the open spaces.
Careful feet soon met with the large smooth stones at the waters edge as Trowa knelt under the thin overhanging branches beside the creek. Crickets or grasshoppers made their noise, and lightning bugs flitted past, ignoring the eyes of their silent observer. There had been a flash flood here, a few years previous, Trowa noted. The grass and willows covered most of the lands scars, but the evidence was still there in the deeper spots in the mostly shallow stream, and the split in the riverbank opposite him when the dirt and rock had been eaten away in a hurry, in the slope of the land around him, and the sight of massive logs and other such things once deemed unmovable strewn about like a child's playthings over the valley.
Trowa looked up the sky, noticing that the bright colors of this world were paling. It would be dark soon. He stood and turned back the way he had come, silently promising the creek that he would visit it again.
He was halfway up the softly sloping field when he noticed it. Far above him stood a forest tree, as regal and straight as it's fellows, with what looked to be the same width around, yet seemed to be a roughly three meters shorter than its brethren. At closer look a break was visible, causing Trowa to frown. What could have broken the tree in such a manner? There was no vertical split in the bark, or burn mark, so he could discount lightning. The tree showed all signs of being as healthy as any tree in the forest, so the chance of decay or disease was minimal. It wasn't a clean break, but slanted and rough as if it had been snapped under pressure, but what could have exerted that much pressure that far up?
What ever it was, chances were it was injured. That was quite a ways to fall.
Intrigued by the small mystery, Trowa changed his course. Cathy could wait a bit longer. When Trowa reached the roots of his mystery tree he frowned. There was no sign of past injury among the coming shadows. He didn't find the top of the evergreen either. Now with even further interest the solemn clown looked around, his keen eyes searching.
He found what he was looking for within moments. In the branches of one of the mystery trees neighbors hung the broken top, suspended like a ball caught in the hands of a child. Trowa stood still, processing what this sign meant. If the tree top had fallen to the ground Trowa could have surmised that a bear or other creature had trusted the wood too much, and climbed until their weight snapped it. But the fact that the force had snapped the top and flung it into a nearby tree… the perpetrator had been airborne, and coming very fast.
"It would have to be the larger than the largest bird I have ever heard of to create that type of damage." He thought.
The silent circus performer lifted a thin finger, pointed toward the broken tree. Slowly, he moved his hand to the side, tracing an invisible line in the air between the two pieces of his mystery. When he reached the broken branch he paused for a moment before continuing to point out a path into the trees. His practiced eyes caught a few other broken or misplaced pieces of foliage, marking the path of descent clear as day.
The steel in his green eyes was much more soldier then performer as he followed.
He couldn't breath. He was dying, and it hurt. The boy's heart hammered against his broken ribs, working in vain to replenish the blood leaking through his torn side onto the shadowed ground below.
The darkening forest was silent but for his labored breaths, and the sharp coughs that racked his thin frame every now and then.
Dark was coming, he knew it. He had lain here for… how long? Hours? Days? And his time was nearly up. He was a fighter, always had been, but even he had his limits, and he knew when those limits had nearly been reached. They would be surpassed by dawn he was sure…
This was what he got for running. A death in the bosom of a foreign forest, were his body would be lost to the animals that crawled therein. He would disappear. They'd never find him. He'd haunt as he had in life, forever alone. It served him right.
Something cold brushed against him, moving under his black, sweat drenched hair to lay across his forehead. Fear spiked in his stomach at the touch. Was it some kind of animal? Couldn't it have waited until he was all the way dead? He'd had enough pain in the last couple days. But no, there was no fur on the object, and the position was too familiar. It took the boy's dizzy head quite a few seconds to remember where he'd felt this same touch before. It had been the last time he was sick, his mother's hand laid in this same way, checking for a fever…
A hand. The cold gentle touch was a hand. There was someone here. Someone human.
Soft sounds began to register in his ringing ears. They were words, he realized. He could not make out their meaning, but the fact that they were words uttered by human lips was enough to light a spark of hope in his discouraged heart. With an effort the boy cracked one eye open, searching through the fog clouding his vision for the owned of the hand and voice. His sky blue eye met dark green for just a moment before the gentle hand moved from his forehead to probe carefully at his twisted arm, causing him to gasp. His eyes slid shut once more as he reconciled himself with the blinding pain.
The boy woke after two days lying in the circus trailer. Trowa had been there, having just rebound the boy's wounds. Light blue eyes, strained with pain, had glided over him, before flickering over the room. It was small and Spartan, holding the small bed the boy was laying on, a chest of drawers nailed to the floor, and a small window. The boy had given the window the most attention.
"How do you feel?"
The eyes darted back to Trowa's tall frame. After a moment of close scrutiny, they widened marginally. Recognition perhaps?
The boy grimaced as he answered. "Like I was flung across half the world with a giant slingshot." The boy's voice had a bit of a melodious bite to it; the kind of voice given to sarcasm, Trowa decided. He didn't sound as young as Trowa had first expected, and his eyes held their own list of unwanted memories. He had been hurt before.
The boy scratched at the bandage around his head, and then at his night-black hair with his cast-less arm. "Although I'm sure I could be feeling a lot worse right now." He said sheepishly. It was a thank you, and with a nod Trowa accepted it as such.
"You were lucky." He said softly, watching the boy's face. "I found you in a bit of a trench, half buried. If I'd been walking any further from you, I wouldn't have noticed at all."
There! A flicker of panic. The child knew what had happened to him, and was not in the sharing mood. Better to back off now, as opposed to pressing further. With those injuries the boy was stuck here for a while, no matter how often his eyes jumped to the window. There was time enough to get answers.
Trowa eased himself up from the wall he had been leaning against and stepped towards the door, easing it open. He could see Cathy in the kitchen, her hands deep in the dishwater. She looked up as the door opened, and caught the message is Trowa's eyes, gasping and rushing to wipe the suds from her hands before walking quickly to the room.
Trowa turned back to see their mysterious patient's eyes dart between the two, dark eyebrows furrowed.
"Well look who's coming around." Cathy said brightly. "You probably don't remember, but you made quite a commotion. I was getting worried seeing Trowa hadn't made it back yet and there he comes, dragging two poles with his shirt tied between them and you lying on top." She smiled. "I'm Cathy by the way, Cathy Bloom."
The boy nodded. "It's nice to meet you." He said politely, before his lip twitched with humor. "Actually, it's nice to be meeting anyone right now." A bit of worry flicked over his face. "You said I made a commotion?"
Cathy waved it off. "Just among the circus people. For entertainers, seems they've been lacking in entertainment lately."
The boy relaxed. "A circus? Wow. That's… actually, seeing how a normal day is impossible for me to have, that's not too surprising."
"So this happens to you often?" Trowa questioned, leaning back against the wall once more, his arms folded over his chest.
The boy laughed. Trowa wondered if he'd imagined the bitter edge to it. "More than you know."
Someone yelled something outside the trailer, their voice panicked. Cathy huffed. "I better go see what that's about." She turned to the boy. "Do you need anything?"
He shook his head. "I'm fine. I might actually go back to sleep. Go ahead, you and your… Are you her brother?" He questioned. Trowa gave a small smile and a nod, while Cathy beamed.
"We'll be back." She promised, and left the room, Trowa behind her, only to rush back in. "Oh, I almost forgot… What's your name? We can't keep calling you 'The Wounded Boy' or 'Trowa's Latest Injured Creature'."
Blue eyes bored intensely into the knife-thrower's for a moment before he seemed to come to a decision. "My name is Danny. Danny Fenton."
"He seems like a nice kid, doesn't he?" Cathy asked as they followed the ringleader. There had been a problem with the lions, and Trowa was needed. Cathy's smile dimmed a bit while she thought. "I wonder what happened to him."
Trowa had no answer. The broken tree, the trench Danny had caused in the forest floor, the anxiousness in eyes much too old for a child…
"Do you think he may stay? After he's healed? We've been needing someone to clean up after the animals. I mean, you saw those scars. If he's having trouble at home or something…"
"He won't stay."
Cathy paused, surprised. "How do you know?"
Trowa stopped beside her, and lifted his eyes to the blue sky above them. Cathy had almost given up on him answering when he did, with a soft voice, and clouded far-away eyes. "He reminds me of a bird with a broken wing. He will endure until he is healed, but he will never welcome a cage."
Trowa walked past Cathy, his long strides quickly catching up with the Ringmaster's. Cathy was still, as if rooted to the spot, her wide eyes followed after him as she wondered if Danny was the one Trowa had really been talking about.
No, your eyes have not been playing tricks on you. I've been savagely attacked by no less than TEN rabid Danny Phantom, Gundam Wing crossover plot-bunnies, that have been running around my head like they own it. And they WON'T GO AWAY. *cries* Therefore, I'm writing this, a work consisting on parts of all ten ideas, out. Ratings will be from K-T. Hopefully I can get back to Strong Enough then.
On the off chance that this interests anyone, I'm planning to put up a pole when I finish writing out all ten story ideas, so you may vote on which story beginning I turn into a full fic. After that decision, the rest of these will be up for adoption. Hey, there are few if any GW, DP fics out there, so might as well start a few to choose from, right? ^.^
I hope you enjoyed!