~ kittykittyhunter ~
He doesn't deserve to be somewhere so beautiful.
Britannia's last emperor sways unsteadily. His hand reaches for the tree trunk. Surveying his surroundings, he identifies that the rolling hills and climate belong to Europe. It smells like the United Kingdom.
Lelouch's thoughts groggily click into clarity. He is not garbed in imperial robes, rather, his Ashford Academy uniform.
He confirms his suspicions.
There is a scar on his chest.
Dead and displaced. Lelouch smiles wryly. How exciting.
The realisations cannon through him one after another: first, he is no longer in release form; second, he is not in Hueco Mundo; third, he lost to Kurosaki.
The last makes him howl and beat the ground with his fists – he would rather die – why is he still –
"Are you alright?"
A child is witnessing the tirade. Furious, Grimmjow's hand lurches, preparing to snap that scrawny neck –
The hand is caught in an iron grasp. All of the boy's concern has dissipated. "Don't attack me," he says.
Grimmjow only hears a challenge. "Fight me."
The boy declines. "I just lost my father and I don't know where I am." Grimmjow recoils: the words stink of youth. "I'm not ready to fight anyone."
Actually… understanding their location isn't the worst idea. "Grimmjow Jeagerjaques," says the Espada. "If you want, brat, I'll help you find home."
"My name is Gohan."
Echizen Ryoma wakes, decides he is dreaming, and returns to sleep.
He is found by a traveller. "Excuse me," the boy probes politely, "have you seen my pokémon?"
Ryoma sits up. He is surprised to find himself still in the same dream. It occurs that he was asked a question. "Sorry?"
The traveller grins, repeating, "Have you seen a Pikachu around here?"
Ryoma blinks. Nope. He honestly hasn't.
"Oh." Disappointment. "If you see him, say that Ash is looking for him, okay?"
"Wait." Ryoma tilts his head. "Where… are we?"
A bizarre Duel Monster.
"A Thunder-type." Seto Kaiba raises an eyebrow. "Your stats must be pathetic."
The yellow thing, capable of three syllables, gives a "Ka-chu" in response. To Seto, it sounds like a violent sneeze. "Look," replies the CEO, "I don't know why I've been brought here, again, but I'm assuming you're the guide. Since you're easier on the eyes than Yugi's chief puffball, I'm willing to follow you until we find someone who speaks a human language."
Pikachu's tail twitches. Never mind… this suits his purposes.
What a tranquil place… it makes him restful…
Except Dranzer is missing, removing all of Kai's peace. The last time he was conscious, Dranzer had been in his hand – then a flashing attack, and Kai awoke in the middle of nowhere.
A creeping doubt at the back of Kai's mind warns that his head should ache if he had been knocked out… the thought is squashed; after all, there's always chloroform.
Kai goes on his way.
Lelouch doesn't spot the beyblade until it's almost underfoot.
He picks up the blue object, turning it in his hands… a spinning top? But it's made of sophisticated materials… won over by curiosity, Lelouch sits. He carefully twists it apart, setting the five components on his knees.
A central device, allowing rotation. Then a disc to balance weight, another for defence, and a final for offence.
And this last piece – for personalisation?
Lelouch shivers. He could have sworn that the bird just blinked.
He locks the pieces back together.
"I don't think we're from the same 'Kanto'."
"But!" Alarmed, Ash seeks another avenue. "Gym badges? Like Cerulean City? Haven't you ever heard of Misty?"
Ryoma gives it some thought. Ash is hopeful, then – "No way."
Ash groans. "I can't believe you've never seen a pokémon."
"I can't believe you've never seen a tennis ball." Ryoma draws one from his pocket. He sorely misses the weight of a tennis bag slung over his shoulder.
"Yeah," Ash sighs, "in my world –"
"– In your world?" Ryoma stares incredulously, doubting Ash's sanity. "What do you mean in your world?"
Ash shrugs. "It's obvious, right? If you've never seen a pokémon, never heard of one… we've got to be from different planets."
"It's no use." Gohan opens his eyes, frustrated. "I can't sense anything or anyone – if it were Dad –"
"– Quit whining about your Dad," cuts in Grimmjow, "if you can mask your spiritual energy, chances are others can do the same."
Gohan agrees. "Let's look."
"Let's not. Why are you so obsessed with discovering other people?"
"Because…" Gohan trails; there is no answer Grimmjow will accept. Instead, the child bargains: "If you help me, I'll fight you."
"Hah!" Grimmjow laughs. "Nothing about you suggests the slightest challenge."
Perhaps it's the continued influence of warriors like Vegeta, or the Saiyan blood warming the boy's veins. "I guess. In that case… you'd destroy me."
Pikachu's ears hurt. His companion, lost for a topic of conversation, is rambling about quantum physics. It's –
"Interesting," drawls a new voice, "I missed a lot in Science."
Pikachu and Seto turn – thankfully, the latter stops talking. They see a teen with dark hair, whose violet eyes flick to Pikachu.
"Seto Kaiba," announces the brunette.
Seto folds his arms. "What a mouthful of a name! So. What's your Attribute?"
Attribute… in the singular? Lelouch glances back at the yellow life form: it's twisting one digit at the side of its head in a corkscrew motion. Ah. The tall one is crazy.
Lelouch is no different.
Hearing the rustle in the trees, Kai raises his launcher, forgetting Dranzer's absence – something hits branches on its way down and rolls on the grass.
A tennis ball.
Kai is entertained by just how useless the item is. Still: tennis balls don't rain from the clouds; they have a source.
Soon, Kai is rewarded by two loud voices, squabbling.
"If you'd moved faster, you would have caught it!"
"You can say that when you learn how to throw!"
Kai rolls his eyes. Those aren't the dulcet tones of Tyson and Max, but another set of idiots. He waits for the pair to appear.
The footsteps become audible, and they emerge: both angry, both short, both wearing hats. To their credit, they're embarrassed – their argument was broadcasted to a listener.
Kai is smug. "Looking for something?" he holds the tennis ball aloft. "Of course, I need to know – who's the one who can't catch?"
"Jerk," mumbles Ash.
Lelouch's head is comfortable, a nest of hair. Pikachu yawns, content.
"You look," remarks Seto, "like you're wearing a blonde wig."
"I've looked worse," admits Lelouch.
The genii are playing chess – without the board. It's Seto's turn. "Castle to E4."
The spinning top rests in Lelouch's pocket. He hasn't raised the delicate question of whether Seto is dead or alive.
"King to C2," chuckles Lelouch.
In all his experience, Seto has never come across someone who favours the sovereign to this extent. "What? Trying to rally the troops?"
Lelouch tilts his head upwards, careful not to dislodge Pikachu. "Only those willing to be shot at should fire."
He knows Grimmjow is powerful and ambitious (a classic combination). Gohan gives an alternate version of his father's death. "Dad said, as long as he was around, he'd put people in danger, because bad guys always seek him out. That's why he decided to stay away."
Grimmjow scoffs, "Sounds stupid to me."
"It isn't!" Gohan cries. "It's brave, and noble!"
"Then let me ask you," says Grimmjow, "what'll happen to those people when your dad's not there to save them? Bad guys always appear. If your dad's so strong, he wouldn't have run away."
Tears are welling in Gohan's eyes. "My dad is strong – stronger than you can imagine. Even… if he isn't around… there are others."
Gohan agrees with a determined nod. "Like me."
They're walking over miles of grass. It's a pleasant change to trekking over acres of sand. From the sounds of it, Kurosaki will grow into a Goku-like figure: stupidly dignified.
Except… judging from Gohan's speeches, his father expressed no shame in loving battle – quite the opposite: he sought challenges, actively. Apparently, it's something to do with the family bloodline.
Too bad Kurosaki's not as gung-ho.
"Your dad," begins Grimmjow, "he trained you?"
"Uh huh," answers Gohan, "Dad, and Piccolo. What about you?"
Good question. Grimmjow ponders how to explain… "I guess you could say – I ate my way to the top."
Gohan turns slowly, his eyes stretched in horror.
Grimmjow celebrates. Finally!
But – Gohan is shocked for the wrong reasons. "Oh MAN! I suddenly realised how HUNGRY I am – we'd better find food – fast!"
With that, he jumps off one foot, shooting off like a rocket.
Impressed, Grimmjow pursues.
"You guys are crazy," grumbles Ryoma.
"Or you're just stubborn," Ash retorts. "Kai accepts the truth; why don't you face it too?"
"You haven't got any proof!"
Kai muses that this is worse than babysitting the Bladebreakers.
Ash says, "Listen Ryoma – what reason would I have to lie? Why does it bother you so much if we come from different worlds?"
"Because," Ryoma snarls, "it means we can't go home!"
Slowly, Ash unclenches his fists. He places one palm on the tennis player's shoulder. "I'm scared too," says Ash. "We don't how we got here or why we're here – but if we stick together, I promise we'll be fine. I'm asking you to trust me."
Ryoma adjusts his hat, obscuring his hazel eyes.
"If it helps," adds Kai, "I'm looking for something too. Have either of you heard of beyblading?" Ryoma and Ash shake their heads. "That's fine – not everyone has. I'm searching for Dranzer – anyway, a few years back, we discovered something useful.
"When two huge forces of power hit one another, sometimes, the collision can send people to a different dimension."
"Is that what happened here?"
Kai says, "Possibly. This might all be one giant accident; in any case, once we know who's involved, we can –"
Suddenly, all three are dazzled by a pillar of lightning.
Kai and Ryoma watch Ash sprint off. Ryoma takes the lead; Kai follows suit.
For all intents and purposes, Seto Kaiba sounds like a man aware of the world. So… why doesn't he recognise the despot who was so recently assassinated?
And what exactly is Pikachu?
And what is this place called 'The Dominion'?
Lelouch sorts through eighteen explanations before settling on the most feasible: fractures in the time structures have caused those of different existences to be flung together. In Lelouch's case, it is a by-product of The World of C.
Geass is always an option. Lelouch can feel the dreadful authority whispering to him, insidious – no, he wants to avoid the technique. Besides, Kaiba is a worthy rival – he won the match.
Lelouch has no desire to hike all over the world: he's not Suzaku. When they take a break by a cliff, Lelouch throws the theory at Kaiba.
Kaiba roars with laughter.
"If magic's involved," he says finally, "and this isn't all one big hologram, then the optimum number is seven."
It is a strange reaction, but at least it isn't an outright rejection.
Pikachu wakes up. He taps Lelouch's cheek in thanks, then slides off the royal's head.
"Thunder-type," Seto orders, "any ideas on how to get attention?"
Pikachu smirks. He moves five metres, inhales – and explodes with energy.
Seto and Lelouch dive for cover.
Without consulting one another, Grimmjow and Gohan change course, heading for the bright light. In his peripheral vision, Gohan spies three people, running, running – one glances up, shocked –
What a wave of energy! Excitement is drumming on Gohan's nerves – he spirals in flight, free –
The two airborne warriors swallow their strength, floating down until their feet touch the ground.
"There was something weird in the sky!"
"There's something weird ahead of us too!"
No argument there. Apparently, Ash Ketchum from the town of Pallet has good stamina and a one-track mind: for over two kilometres, he hasn't slowed down or turned back once.
Internally, Ryoma thanks his captain. Those hundreds of laps are paying off.
The crackles come to a halt. Gingerly, Lelouch looks up from his elbows, wishing he had goggles.
"Wow," he hears Seto say, "now there's a diet that works."
Two new arrivals… One is a boy – the other has a hole in his stomach.
"Hi," begins the boy, "do you know where we are? My name's Gohan, and this is my friend, Grimmjow."
Kaiba has already risen. Lelouch stands, introducing himself, then continuing, "This is my associate, Seto Kaiba." He signals with one hand: "This is Pikachu."
Grimmjow is still scowling at Gohan, who continues, "I woke up and found myself in this place… but I have no idea why I'm here."
"Duh," says Seto dully, "you're here to fulfil your destiny."
Gohan praises Pikachu – "You have a great power level!"
Lelouch crosses his arms. "You got here quickly after seeing the beacon."
"We flew," says Grimmjow. He returns his attention to Gohan. "Brat! You have a debt to pay!"
Gohan points out, "But – there are at least three others on their way –"
"Huh. You flew? Wind Attribute: Winged-Beast – without the wings, and," disgusted, Seto looks at Gohan, "a Spellcaster."
"Whereas I'm just mad."
"Dark Attribute. Machine-type."
Pikachu nods at Gohan and makes the corkscrew motion. Gohan blinks.
The group look up – someone is sailing over the side of the cliff! Gohan stirs, Grimmjow holds him back – the boy is falling; wait, he judged it well, his heels connect with the cliff-face: he's skidding down.
And Pikachu launches himself into the boy's arms.
Gohan's shoulders fall.
Two more materialise at the top of the cliff; the taller one calls, "Is he dead?"
"He's fine!" yells Lelouch.
They proceed to slide down.
It's a plain in stasis; that much is clear. Despite clouds drifting along the sky, the sun has not changed position – it is, Lelouch declares, a meeting-ground.
Kai hoarsely thanks Lelouch for looking after his beyblade; Ash has found Pikachu and Ryoma feels puzzled. He remarked to Grimmjow that there was something white on the side of his face – Grimmjow queried if Ryoma wanted to make something of it: the boy replied in the negative, thinking that Tooyama would have been spooked by a photo.
But… all of the others know about alternate worlds, have had supernatural encounters – the tennis prodigy can't fathom why he's there.
Perhaps it is all a dream.
Now, at Kai's suggestion, Gohan and Grimmjow are in the sky, about to begin a fight great enough to rupture reality. The theory is backed by Seto – then again, he will probably try anything to get back to work.
Gohan tells Grimmjow, "There's no need to hold back on me."
"Don't be so confident."
A second later, Grimmjow staggers. Gohan's spiritual energy soars; he is wrapped in a golden radiance.
The fight begins.
Beyblade, Bleach, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Dragonball Z, Pokémon, The Prince of Tennis and Yu-Gi-Oh! They're my seven favourite anime and manga, and in this fic, I've included my favourite character from each series.
I know that there's a severe lack of a plot. But it was still a lot of fun to write this story.
Which of the series do you know? I only know three other people who are familiar with all seven.