Dreams of Divinity, by V0ID
It was way past midnight, but ten-year-old Shigure Sohma was not asleep. Clad in a blue shirt with matching pants he hid under the covers in the shelter of his comfortable bed. He only half-believed the stories of monsters climbing into the rooms of little boys who didn't fall asleep, but the risk was great enough to retreat under the scratchy blankets. The cold moonlight made eerie shadows in his room, and restless minutes oozed into hours and finally his eyes slipped closed. It was a peculiar dream, where Ayame was trying to convince Hatori to walk over a bridge that was stationed in an empty field of tall grass.
"Come along, ducky." Ayame crooned to the other boy as he pulled him along by one hand.
Somber as usual, Hatori blandly scuffled his shoes in a weak attempt at escape. "There's no point in crossing the bridge. It's perfectly fine to play over here."
Shigure was just about to grab Hatori's other hand when out of nowhere, his mother came running towards them.
"Where have you been, Shi-chan? We've been ready for the fancy party and you almost made us late!" She huffed as she arrived. "I had to make the car come all this way to get us." On cue she pulled a round red ball out of her pocket, like in Shigure's favorite cartoon. Upon throwing it to the ground it revealed a shiny Sohma car. Though the sky was unsure whether it wanted to be cloudy or clear, the car gleamed slickly with it's shiny coat of black paint.
During the silent ride with his mother she pounded angrily on her phone and ignored her son as he rolled the windows up and down and watched people run their errands, wishing to be anywhere but here.
As the car came to a stop his mother grabbed Shigure's hand. "Behave." and giving her hair one last comb she tugged through the formidable gates and into the courtyard of the Sohma house. The sound of barren winter trees creaking mixed with the chatter of the many adults who milled around, wearing suits and kimonos while politely chatting about this business deal or that scandal.
Approaching the crowd his mother chirped to another woman. "Will Akira-sama be joining us tonight?"
Shigure wriggled free and in order to escape the inevitable rain of adoration for such a handsome boy, and one of the Juunishi, no less. He knew it was expected of him to be sociable, but also figured that he had a lifetime of being the family's pet ahead of him. Numbingly bored, yet slightly thrilled with his act of defiance Shigure let himself get lost in the endless maze of walls and inlaying buildings and eventually found a place that looked entertaining enough. It had used to be a garden, but most of the plants looked brittle or dead. A fountain choked with scum glugged half-heartedly into a fetid pond and ignoring the many scuffs and scrapes his fanct shoes now bore he clambered over to it's side. Thinking of all the cool turtles and fish that must live there and how much fun poking them with sticks would be he strolled over to the edge and took a peek.
It must have been his shoes. As Shigure careened face-first into the onyx ripples of filthy water he only had time to think that they had been the correct size only a few hours ago, but yet he had somehow tripped on them. Though he was far from fat the boy sank like a stone, and as he didn't budge towards the surface he wondered why he didn't float like the swimming teacher said he would. Forgetting what he had been taught Shigure thrashed around in the deep twilight of underwater and was soon hopelessly tangled in the slimy clutches of weeds; panicking even though he was just feet below the surface. Silver pearls containing his last breath floated lazily towards the surface and he shivered with the water's permeative chill. Desperation lent him the strength to give one last convulsion, and not even thinking of saying goodbyes Shigure felt the water pour down his throat when he reflexively tried to breathe. As if mocking him the sun seemed to wink as the boy felt clarity slipping away.
Small hands rhythmically pounded his chest.
It was a girl's voice, clear and nice and something he could never get sick of hearing like his mother's.
The hands were relentless; striking him until he felt the acrid taste of water coming back up. In two great heaves he could finally breathe, daring to open his eyes and see his savior. It was a little girl he had never seen before. Her deathly black hair was shot through with subtle streaks of blue and purple; both brilliant tones disappearing as a cloud crossed the sun. It framed a sweet, delicate face that somehow exuded wisdom past it's childish appearance.
"W-w-who are you?" Shigure's teeth chattered and his lips felt clumsy.
She laughed as if that were the dumbest question in the world, and Shigure felt himself blush despite thinking that it was a perfectly valid question. He could hear a shade of teasing in her voice. "You don't know me?"
Wondering if she was distant a relative of his Shigure shook his head. "N-no."
"It may not be obvious..." The girl smiled as if she had just thought of a private joke. "But I'm God."
Don't tell me you don't remember your god, Shi-chan." She said. The playful undertone felt muted now and had almost totally dissipated. Though he did not know her he didn't want to make this girl angry.
Something seemed to click into place and the memories hit him. A strange man on the mountaintop had sent an invitation...he hoped not to be late. A thousand lifetimes of joy-tears-sorrow-pain and seeing everyone die; and a bittersweet promise of reuniting one day that made it almost bearable.
Together at last.
Quick flashes of memory that raced through his mind and made him complete.
She smiled in response and he immediately sat straight up. She jerked back in response, staring wide-eyed at him. "What are you doing?" The girl demanded, not unkindly.
He bowed politely and said "I am very pleased to make your acquaintance." His mother would be so proud.
Akito burst into giggles, a sound that made him also want to laugh. "You're funny. You're the dog right? So you'll be by my side. Loyal to me. Forever, okay? Do you promise?"
Forced awake by a light in the hall Shigure realized that there was something wet on his face. He gently touched his cheeks to find them sticky with tears, and the girl's words still echoed in his ears. As if to answer her he shifted in his crumpled pajamas and whispered softly into the darkness. "I promise."