Well, it is finally the last chapter of this fanfiction! I will again thank everyone who has kept with me throughout this story, and I hope you enjoy the final installment of it. It is shorter than the last chapter, but that can't be helped.
By the way, I still didn't look up the Tempuran Council memebers' names. Why? Because I don't like them.
I do not own Kiba :'(
Chapter 6: The Wind's Resolve
Halfway between sleepy and dejected, Zed silently followed his lover, head hung, though it couldn't be told which emotion it was caused by. Glancing back, all the ravenette wanted was to tell Zed to go back and lie down. He knew, though, that one of the others would only go and disturb him if he did. Also, guiltily, a part of him was extremely curious about what had happened to the other male and didn't want to wait.
Stopping before the door where everyone was gathered, Noa gave his white-haired boyfriend all the comfort he could, leaning down to hug him and give him a soft kiss, of which Zed responded to neither. "It'll be okay," he whispered in the white-haired man's ear before letting go and walking to the door. Feeling slightly like he was betraying his love, Noa opened it.
Several eyes turned to them, a couple following Noa as he moved to sit down, but many staying locked on Zed. "You don't look too good," Roia said to him, then turned to the others gathered (which consisted of Robes, Gitra, Mirette, Kira, Diana, and the fat council-woman from Tempura). "Maybe it would be best if we waited until he rests."
"Nonsense," the Tempuran elder said strictly. "He is perfectly fine. And we need to know what we might have hiding in our country. You understand, don't you, Zed?"
Sighing, the standing male lifted his head t take in the group, eyes blue-green with lighter marks resembling the hours on a clock around the outside of the iris (A/N: Something I really liked about them). "You need to know if I'm a threat or not," he stated. "And I can tell you right now that I am."
"With how keenly you hid it, I figured as much," she said.
"Zed isn't dangerous!" Noa shouted and stood, cutting off any other words was going to say. "He saved me, and everyone here!"
"Noa," the white-haired savior began, fresh pain invading his heart. "Please stop, and sit down. I guess I will start at the beginning.
"You could say it started when I fused with Tasker. It wasn't something I think anyone thought possible, a human and spirit becoming one. I was still me inside that monster, but Tasker had affected me to a great extent. My dreams became distorted and twisted, and I forgot why I had sought out power in the first place. Because of my stupidity Jiko lost his life. That, though, led me to be able to break free of Tasker with Amil Gaoul. Everyone knows this. I have heard it spread from child to child in Tempura, and I doubt it is only there. The next part is where our stories differ.
"I attacked Amil Gaoul. Not entirely sure what I was hoping for, maybe to destroy him so Tasker could never be created again. Maybe I was hoping he'd fight back to get rid of me. That is not the point. He opened a portal for us, and we left.
"You see, though, I didn't leave with Amil Gaoul like you'd think. When I leapt into that portal, I became Amil Gaoul." He paused at this point, calling his shimmering white wings. "For the passed three years I have flown between worlds, which there are quite a few of, avoiding this place. My power is not as great as Amil's had been, my human shell unable to release as much energy as his had, but it is still a tremendous force.
"And so long as I am Amil Gaoul Tasker can not be resurrected by anyone else."
"So what you're saying is that you have the strength of the most powerful spirit, well, beside Tasker, in your body," the lady from Tempura asked. Several others looked at Zed in shock, with Diana almost shaking with fear. Something in her eyes told Zed that she understood the true danger. "I certainly wouldn't want you as an enemy. And you can control this power?"
"Indefinitely," Zed replied, turning his gaze from Diana to Noa, who looked fearful for another reason.
"Then I do not see the problem here," she said irritatedly. "If there is no chance of an uncontrolled outburst then where is the danger, other than you have this strength in you?"
"You noticed it, didn't you, Diana?" Zed asked, chuckling slightly and looking away from his partner. It was irrational, but it hurt to see fear directed at him like that. "If you will recall, Council-woman, I said Tasker cannot be resurrected 'by anyone else'," he stated, sarcastically emphasizing her title (A/N: I never liked her, or the Neotopian guy.) "Because Amil Gaoul is no longer a spirit he can no longer be collected. But so long as I am alive he still exists. That means, the six key spirits can be gathered inside me once again. If that happens, I am afraid that I will be rendered unable to break free, since I would make up a part of his body as Amil."
There was silence again, Diana actually shaking now and looking down, as if trying to block out the information he just received.
"So long as I am here, this world is in dan-" Noa cut him off.
"The other five spirits have yet to be located," he interrupted. "It isn't even determined if they are still here. Besides, if they do show up, I will make sure Sachira stays with me this time."
"Still, the danger you mentioned is very real," the Tempuran tried to start, but was interrupted just like Zed had been.
"And if for some reason Tempura doesn't allow you residence, I will welcome you here," Gitra said. "It is the least I owe you, for saving my people not once, but twice now."
"And you will be welcome in Neotopia," Diana said. "As with Gitra, you saved my people. But also, if you remain in one of our allied nations we can keep a better eye on you. I also cannot deny that I have come to think of you as a friend."
The Tempuran council-woman ground her teeth in obvious irritation, but found herself not in a position to choose. The two leaders of her allied nations had decided, and her refusal could weaken their position. "Zed wound up in Tempura when he first came to this world. That was his first home here, and it shall remain a home for him. It is his choice where to stay."
There were a few other details to work out, and Roia tried to worm some stories out of her friend. It seemed like the teen didn't want anything to do with them, though, and by the time he sat down it was almost too much to lean on Noa's shoulder to doze off. Finishing details and preparations incase Jimoto was attacked again had to be worked out, and it was half-way through those discussions that Noa spoke up. "Zed really needs to get some rest. I think I'll take him to our room"
"Get some sleep as well, Noa," Roia piped in. "We'll inform you about what went on tomorrow."
Nodding thankfully, the ravenette stood, lifting his stirring boyfriend into his arms and leaving through the door Robes opened for him.
"I can walk on my own," Zed stated when they were halfway to their room, and Noa didn't argue. When they made it back, Zed walked in first, looking around the small space at the few things that were there. As in Ulbacus, he wouldn't have much to pack.
"Are you thinking of leaving again?" the ravenette asked from the door. No answer was just as good as one, and he quickly traversed the room to sling his arms around Zed's neck. "Why do you think you need to do this every time?"
The hurt in Noa's voice stung the white-haired male's ears, and he closed his eyes defiantly against the tears threatening to form. Just what he needed, to cry again. "Look, I'm a danger to everyone here. And come on, Noa, are you really okay with staying with me?" he asked, releasing himself from those arms and turning to face his lover. "Are you really fine with being with someone not entirely human?"
Almost chuckling at Zed's weak defenses, Noa said, "I think I told you before, but all that matters in that you're alive."
"Then why did you look so fearful before?" he asked, yellow eyes locked with Noa's whiskey ones.
"Because I had the feeling you were going to leave, that you planned on vanishing and I wouldn't be able to follow you," Noa informed, closing the small gap between them and pulling Zed into a firm hug. "For the longest time you have protected me from the world, and then you protected the world from me," he started, resting his head in Zed's snowy locks and breathing in the scent. Most of it was from the battle; soil and blood. "For once, let me protect you. If any of those key spirits show up again, I will keep them away from you, that I promise."
Somewhere in his head, Zed heard an annoying, I told you so, from Amil. Oh, if only he could hit the damn thing.
They stood there like that for another moment before Noa felt Zed nod slightly. Smiling, he led them to the bed, where they both collapsed and almost instantly fell asleep, Noa for once shielding Zed from the world.
It felt too early to get up, and the white-haired male tried to bury himself farther into the sheets. His internal clock annoyingly rang, though, and pushed sleep farther from his mind. Normally, Zed would greet the dawn, but the last few days had left him exhausted, and all he wanted to do was sleep until dinner.
"Still in bed?" a soft, melodic voice asked. "Come on, get up. We're going back to Tempura today."
Grumbling, the sleepy teenager lazily kicked the sheets away, rolling over to look up into Noa's intoxicating eyes. The ravenette was already dressed, and their things were packed, and he was holding a large tray. Sitting next to the other man, Noa placed the tray, with it's contents of breakfast and a small box, between them.
"I figured you'd be hungry, so I made something to eat," Noa smiled, his stomach growling at the perfect time to reveal he wasn't only thinking of Zed. "Okay, maybe I was hungry myself as well."
"It's okay, Noa. And thank you," Zed replied, taking a large bite out of a piece of toast.
"Here," Noa started after a couple moments, lifting the box off the tray and handing it to his partner. "Happy birthday."
Zed stopped mid-chew and stared at the gift. Swallowing with some difficulty, he gingerly took the box from Noa's hand and placed it in his lap. Opening it, his visage softened and he lifted the item from its container. It was slightly different than the first one, but he recognized it all the same. This one had been Noa's, he had seen it during the Neotopian Joust, but didn't realize the ravenette had still kept it, the twin feathers so like the one Noa had given him four years ago exactly, on his last birthday in Calm.
"I destroyed yours, right? Back when I wasn't thinking clearly," Noa stated. "So, I'm giving you mine. That also serves a different purpose, if you will. Think of it as a promise. I will never leave you, for I am giving you my freedom. I may fly, but I will always return to you, okay?"
Smiling and letting out a small chuckle, Zed gripped the present tightly to his heart. Leaning across the tray, he brought his mouth to meet his lovers in a passionate kiss.
"Noa. Thank you."
It doesn't really clear-cut tell you (at least I don't think it did...) but Zed did decide to not leave. That is The Wind's Resolve.