Black Bird

By: yukito mewprout@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: I don't own Zoids. If I did I would be very happy. But I don't, so I'm not.

This story takes place during the Guardian Force episodes, when Van and Raven are both about 16 or 18. It's a little while after Zeke raises the potential of the Blade Liger.

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Raven and Shadow were traveling through a large desert, looking for one of the Republican bases. Raven was starting to get very annoyed; they should have found something. His main reason for even going through all the trouble was to find Van. He hated the normally cheerful Liger pilot and wanted to eliminate him. Van haunted his thoughts and Raven did not appreciate that.

Suddenly, a loud roar sounded. Raven smirked and turned around. The Blade Liger was standing atop a plateau, staring down at him.

"What are you doing here, Raven? Are you insane?" Van yelled through the radio. Raven didn't reply, but his eyes lit up with cold amusement. He fired the Genobreaker's Pulse Lasers, but Van jumped out of the way and bounded down the cliff.

"I see you've gotten better. Where are your friends?" Raven could care less about where the other two were, but felt the need to ask anyway.

Van hesitated. "They're off on a mission…" 'Makes my job of taking him out easier,' Raven thought.

"SHADOW!" Raven called his black organoid.

"Let's go, Zeke!"

The battle began. Van knew he had to wait a few minutes and Shadow wouldn't be able to stay bonded to the Genobreaker's core. Raven used his Hyper Strike Claws to catch Van and pull him in. Van fired the Anti-Zoid Shock Cannon, and managed to escape. Raven swung around and tried to knock Van's Blade Liger off its feet with the Genobreaker's tail. Van jumped up, and Raven fired the Pulse Laser, this time hitting the Blade Liger. Van's Zoid smashed into the ground, but regained its footing quickly enough to dodge another blow from the Genobreaker.

Just as Van expected, Shadow soon bailed out of the Genobreaker. Raven grumbled, once more becoming annoyed. He decided his fun was over, and charged the Particle Cannon. He fired it, and Van once again moved out of the way, trying to sneak behind for an easy attack. However, Raven had been expecting this. He suddenly turned on Van and slashed at him with his claws. A large gash was cut through the Blade Liger's chest, and electrical sparks shot out everywhere. Raven wasted no time and began stomping on the Blade Liger. He heard Van cry out in pain, probably from the jolts of electricity being sent through the cockpit. Raven the picked up Van's Zoid and threw it against the wall of a cliff. The badly damaged Zoid's cockpit flew open, and Van came flying out. Zeke bailed out as Shadow had, his energy completely drained.

Raven smirked (he does that a lot) and began to walk off, sure his job had been finished. Until he heard the small groan that came from Van's prone form. Raven stopped and looked back, wondering what he should do. Deciding to finish the job, he raised one massive foot of the Genobreaker and was about to bring it smashing down on top of Van when he heard him groan again.

Steel eyes narrowed in agitation. He couldn't just kill the young Guardian when he wasn't in a Zoid a capable of defending himself, could he? Sighing, Raven lowered his Zoid's foot and climbed out. He checked Van for a pulse, and found one that was still very strong. He picked the boy up and placed him in the Genobreaker, retreating with Shadow and leaving Zeke and the Blade Liger behind.

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Van awoke with a start, jumping into a sitting position. No one was around, so he took a good look at his surroundings. It was dark and stars winked at Van from their heights in the sky. There was a campfire and a pack set up next to it. Van smelt something cooking, and noticed a pot of soup.

"Rrr…?"

Van looked behind him to see Raven and Shadow approaching. Raven held what looked like wood for the fire. Raven glanced at Van with his cold eyes, but otherwise took no notice of him. He checked on the soup, and must have decided it was ready to eat. He looked around in the backpack and pulled out two bowls. He put the soup in them and gave one to Van.

Van stared at it suspiciously, but when Raven started to eat his, he let his guard drop. He was hungry, and it looked good enough. He would've preferred a papaya, though. They both ate in silence, Raven generally ignoring Van, Shadow watching Van, and Van keeping a close eye on both Raven and Shadow.

When the two boys were finished, Van finally broke the silence.

"Why did you help me?" Raven looked surprised before slipping back into his indifferent mask.

"I don't know. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Besides, you're amusing. I might keep you around for a while as entertainment."

More silence.

"Where's Zeke?"

"Probably back at that base. I left him and the Liger there." Van glared at Raven. "What? You don't have a problem with that, do you?" Van didn't answer, but instead looked at the stars, checking to see if any constellations he knew were visible.

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The sky grew darker and darker, and Van fell asleep. Shadow lay curled in a ball, his nose touching the tip of his metallic black tail. Raven was the only one awake, and he stared at the dying embers of the fire.

Suddenly, a loud snore startled Raven. He looked in Van's general direction. The kid was in a deep sleep, snoring worse than Shadow. He was drooling and mumbling something about papayas. With a loud snort, he turned over so he was facing Raven. He looked completely relaxed and unburdened by dreams that haunted Raven every night.

"Papayas…"

Raven snorted. Van was definitely amusing.

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Yay! Shounen-ai rocks! But seriously, I'm surprised no one has written a RavenxVan story yet. Oh, well…