Kirby - Our Reflections
Chapter 1 - Meta Knight
The sky was black. The ground was sober. No birds chirped. No kids played. No flowers bloomed. The sun didn't shine, and never would again. Or at least, not on the lives of the inhabitants of Dreamland. There was no joy, and there was more than pain; more than sadness; more than anguish. Was there even a word for it?
The casket lowered quietly into the earth, and it may as well be taking their lives with it. Surprisingly, there was no sound, not even crying, just a grim silence for all but one. Desperate barely coherent whimpers were heard from one pink form as he struggled to throw himself onto the casket, but was held firm by gentle hands.
"Young one, no," Meta Knight shakily and uselessly reprimanded as he kept the baby held firm against him. "Y-you can't go." He grimaced and tightened his grip as the infant kicked and hit and even bit him. Normally Meta Knight would never tolerate such behaviour, but really, he'd be heartless to scold the child on it now. "Kirby," he strained, withstanding the light blows. The child finally tired himself out and slumped against his teacher's feet, crying. Meta Knight gently stood him back up.
It was too cruel, it just wasn't fair. Meta Knight knew the young one had to learn about death in some ways, and in the past he had tried to gently explain it to the baby in the past, but it never quite got through to him. He remembered only a few months ago, Tuff had found an injured baby bird and had taken it in. Sadly, the chick died from internal injuries only days after. Kirby could not understand why his friends cried over the "sleeping bird", or why he was put into the soil rather than sky.
It seemed painfully obvious that the young warrior understood the mechanics of death now, but why...why did it have to be under such a gruesome circumstance? It was cruel. It was simply cruel. She was a child, she was just a child! She had meant everything to him. She was a friend; she was family; she was a sister. How was Meta Knight to fulfil her job as well as his own? How was he to replace the shard of Kirby's heart now buried with her?
Tiff, I cannot do it. You can't leave him. You can't leave us...
The whole town had been surprised when King Dedede had attended the funeral with Escargoon, and they hadn't spoken a word to him. It would have been expected that the whole town would be screaming at him, crying desperately of "why did you do it?" No, the silence only became more grim.
"I-I never meant it," he had whimpered pitifully, "it was never meant to hit her! I'm sorry!" It mattered very little whether he had intentionally murdered her or not, death was death. No one attempted to make the weight of his crime worse; living with the grim truth that he had killed an innocent little girl was enough to haunt him the rest of his life.
It was funny - such bitter irony; Kirby always liked the king in the past, never feared him even though he should have. He never saw the mean and selfish old penguin as a true harmful threat; he never did anything right. Now, King Dedede didn't want Kirby to fear him - not under such circumstances. He had glanced over at the infant, who whimpered in sheer terror from the pain filled remorseful look, and ducked under his master's cape.
Meta Knight sighed shakily as he watched the town weep by the child's grave, exhaustion heavy on his face, washed over with a tidal wave of sadness. He could not show his grief. No, he cared less if the town saw him break down. If they wanted to judge him and look down at him by mourning a friend, so be it, but he was Kirby's strength. He wouldn't break in front of his infant pupil. He couldn't.
Kirby was at his knees, shivering and sobbing beside his masked friend; the moon already high in the sky.
"Come, young warrior," Meta Knight mumbled distantly, reaching towards the sobbing little ball of fluff. "It is getting late." He held out his hand to the baby, but Kirby wouldn't even look up.
"Poyo," came the incoherent broken little whimpers, "poyo...poyo..."
Meta Knight shook his head slowly at the broken form and gently picked the pink tot up, making his way down the dim road. He could scarcely believe he was holding the infant like a baby to his shoulder; he was never the babying type, though he occasionally held the child's hand, he never allowed himself to show too much affection, but Kirby needed more than someone to hold his hand. He tried his best to recreate Tiff's love, but that wasn't easy.
The child muffled hiccuping sobs into his teacher's cape and shoulder, trembling with grief in the knight's arms. She was gone. She was gone. He may not know much, but he knew well enough that his best friend was never coming back. It could not be so...it could not be so..
The knight made his way quietly over the hills, debating where he should go with the baby. He wasn't leaving him alone tonight. The castle? No, it could develop into a real catastrophe if Kirby met up with Dedede in this state. Settled on a decision, Meta Knight slowly opened the door to Kirby's little house, eyeing Tokori, who had fallen asleep in his old tree with a tear stained face. the elder knight felt a subtle stab of sympathy; Tokori has always been hard shelled and nasty at times, but he had cared for Tiff. Heck, everyone had loved Tiff.
"Poyo.." came the young tot's little thin mew during sleep, and Meta Knight felt his shoulders go wet with tears again.
He sat himself down on Kirby's bed, lowering the pink sobbing tot to his lap. Kirby laid there crying, hiccuping deep and sharp sobbing breaths; he was becoming pale.
Meta Knight frowned in concern, placing a hand gently on the pinky's chest. "Kirby, you must calm down or you will be sick!" he said sternly.
Sobbing and shaking, the baby sucked in a loud sobbing breath, trying to steady his erratic breathing. Finally having cried himself out, he laid limp over his guardian's lap, too exhausted to utter a single whimper.
Gently, Meta Knight laid Kirby down on the pillow, and watched the tiny quivering tot with a helpless yellow gaze. "Oh, I do not know how we will all survive this trial period, my young Star Warrior, but we will. Somehow." He folded his cape neatly around himself, eyes trained to the ground. No one would understand the pain he felt because no one knew how dearly he cared for Tiff. He had watched her grow, guarded her, though from afar.
He remembered the many days he sat in the tree closest to the castle, watching over the inhabitants of Dedede's castle, and watched young Tiff play. He never interacted with her unless she came forth to him, and she would probably never believe him if he ever told her that she did that all the time.
She didn't become prouder and more independent until she turned a little older, and was as clingy as Kirby at his age now. She looked up to and admired Meta Knight with childish adoration, constantly hiding and playing in his cape and giggling. With dim amusement, it dawned on Meta Knight that Kirby did the exact same thing, playing in his cape or hiding when scared.
She invaded his room often too. He often found her tangled in his bed sheets if she was searching for him, or his secret stash of candy. She loved grabbing onto his cape while he walked, tripping him. He recalled the many times he was out reading a book under a tree and she always joined him as he read, though way too young to understand any of his books.
Like he still did when she was older, he saved her from many dangers as a child, and could recall one specific time…
It was a cool summer's evening and he had been relaxing in his quarters, where he could clearly hear the sound of arguing and Tiff crying from their room. It wasn't hard to tell the situation based off the parents hollering at one another, and the child pleading for them to stop. He had watched her take off sobbing down the halls, running out of the court yard and into the direction of the forest. It was already dark.
She walked deep into the forest, trying to ignore the frightening screeches of wild animals, and billowing howls of the wind. "I wan' Mama…" The girl was far from her mother now.
Meta Knight had stayed out of sight inside a tree, following her from branch to branch, and not making a sound. He heard the low snarl emit from a distant bush, and saw the gleaming eyes, striking the wolf in the chest with the Galaxia at mid leap at the girl, and the beast crumpled to the ground.
"Meta-ta!" – similar to Kirby's 'Kn-Kni" – she had sobbed, flinging her arms around her startled 'knight in shining armour', clinging to him and wailing in fright.
He had been very stern in scolding her on her reckless runaway attempt, but calm enough for dealing with a distressed child. "Tiff, great stars in the sky, what did you think you were doing? This was very dangerous and stupid to do, child! Had I not been here, you would have been killed!" It was rather blunt, yes, and frightened her further, but that was his intention. "Don't you ever do something like this again! You should never be in the woods on your own – but at night, it is just plain foolish!"
Like Kirby would do if he got in trouble with him, she had lowered her head in shame and to cry quietly into his cape. Oh, they probably didn't realize how alike they were.
He had made the tone of his voice surprisingly more gentle as they continued walking back to the castle, trying to awkwardly comfort the sobbing child. He forced himself to calm down upon arriving to the parents, but he was steaming. How dare they just fight like that in front of their toddler!
"Do ya haffta go?" Tiff sniffled, one tiny fist still clinging to the older knight's cape.
At that, Meta Knight smiled a little bit under his mask. "I live just a hallway away from you.." He watched the hope and childish sparkle surge through her face.
"So then, can I...can I come 'n visit?"
Meta Knight had quieted at that point. It was not that he was not fond of the child, but he was a Star Warrior, and at easy target for Nightmare if they found his where-a-bouts. He couldn't chance endangering the girl. "Um, little one, I am not sure that is the best-"
Tears trembled in her eyes. "Please?"
Oh, he broke under that stare. "Well...not too often, I am..busy a lot," he made up quickly, but it satisfied her. From then on, he felt secretly devoted to that family - even more so than before, and watched over them from afar. He watched Tuff be born, and watched them grow. His attention and protection went to Kirby immediately, but he never stopped looking out for them.
Meta Knight found himself battling with a barrage of emotions, and had since Tiff died. Rage towards her; she wasn't supposed to give her life to protect Kirby, he was! He had lived a long and full life, so he was fine to go as long as the infant was left in loving hands. Now, if he died...Kirby would have no one. His two protectors would be gone, and he'd be so vulnerable...for anything. Vulnerable to N.M.E, to Dedede; he wasn't strong enough to take them on without guidance.
I won't leave him... I can't leave him... Oh Tiff, why? Why did you go and do such a thing, you stupid kid! You had so much ahead - a future, a chance to have a great life! You gave it all away for Kirby, and you should not have been the one to do that... But it showed she truly, deeply loved him.
When Tiff was killed, Meta Knight, for a few frenzied minutes, was not thinking straight. He was literally ready to slash the Galaxia across Dedede's throat. He was ready to grab Kirby to join him and Sword Blade in the middle of the night slaughter, but as if he'd really be as cruel and cold as to shatter the child's innocence like that. Ha, wait, Dedede had already done that...
You monster...you destroyed this young child's innocence - his heart! His LIFE! Oh he knew, he had to gradually ease the youngster into the cruel world of war, but not to be thrust this suddenly into it! Into pain..into death...into loss...into depression; innocence and heart shattered.
Kirby was in even more danger than ever before. There was no doubt in Meta Knight's mind that King Dedede would recover quickly from his depression, and N.M.E would strike with even more malevolent forces, knowing the infant warrior was weak and vulnerable. It didn't matter if Meta Knight was there to protect him when Kirby was unwilling to protect himself. Nightmare would stop at nothing.
An ever watchful eye still on the puff, Meta Knight walked to the window, eyeing the bright and happy looking silver moon with contempt. How dare it shine its pleasant and happy moon beams on such a night. "Oh, Tiff...what do I do? I am not able to take care of Kirby by myself. He needs you as well... We are both his guardians.. He loves you, Tiff." A determined glare came to the knight's eyes. What was he saying? A while back, he and Tiff had promised that if anything were to happen to the other, the other would take care of Kirby. He was not breaking that promise. "I'll protect him, Tiff. I promise you that nothing will harm that child. I only wish I could have protected you like I swore to myself I would when you were young. Forgive me."
He turned away from the window, sitting back down on the bed. He watched Kirby sleep restlessly; a tear trickling now and then. Gently, he placed a hand on the infant's covered back. "I promised her, Kirby, and I promised you that I would guard and protect you with my life, and I intend to do just that." He had made his decision, and it was not an easy one. "We leave tomorrow night."
The baby didn't stir, but only subconsciously wrapped his nubby arms around his teacher's hand, mumbling dreary sniffling babbles into the arm.
Meta Knight looked down at his pupil's sleeping form, rubbing a hand over the child's back a few times. He was praying this change may bring Kirby some peace and a closure on this awful tragedy. The youngster was terrified of being in the same area as Dedede, and it seemed all this crowding - even of people he knew and loved - scared him. Besides as long as he was in the eye of the king, N.M.E could struck at any minute. Perhaps leaving Dream Land would mean taking Kirby out of danger temporarily. It would be hard for the both of them to leave this town - especially Meta Knight. He despised the king with a passion, but had still guarded the other townspeople, and watched a lot of them grow.
I have watched nearly the entire town grow.. he realized with sadness. This was for the best though. It was for the best.
(I know many of you don't know, but I'm currently going through a lot of hell right now, and my angst side really shines in my writing. It is in this time that I enjoy writing fics about characters dealing with pain - usually a loss, because it just makes me feel better and not alone. Even though, I am technically not the one dealing with the loss.
Enjoy the Meta Knight and Kirby love, because they don't come back until the end. This little fic is about each character reflecting on the tragedy of Tiff's death. Next, is King Dedede.
I hope you all enjoyed my deamonizing this sweet and innocent fandom fluff with angst and depression and such.
The Meta Knight and Tiff moments aren't meant to be looked at as romance, but call it what you wish. It's only meant to be family/friend/guardian affection, but I won't be too offended if it's taken the other way. (Bear in mind, he is an older man and she is a child.)