A.N: And a Happy New Year! Yup, New Year's Day and I'm actually publishing something! Amazing, I haven't been on in forever. Oh well.

So, this I found in my room, it's a bit darker than anything I've done before, it's at the high end of the T area because I enjoy dark violence, sorry. So that was a warning there.

This sorta ties into that Brushfire FF I was going to eventually create. So you get to see her character at least. I tried not to make her Mary Sue-ish, please tell me if I did.

-Brushfire is Eliza

-John is Rawbones

-They are the same people, they just go by (Eliza/John) as Humans and (Brushfire/Rawbones) as wolves

The steady 'drip, drip, drip' of the melting water, or that that leaked in through the cobblestone ceiling, was a steady background noise. It was so consistent that one could almost keep time by it. But as the echoes rebounded against the four hard walls of the dungeons, they seem to draw out, time slowing down just for her, the young woman in the corner.

She sat in an iron-barred cage, the corners of it bathed in symbols and light, almost blinding to the eyes to look directly at, arms folded around her knees, which were drawn up tight to her chest. Her tattered burgundy hair was cut at different lengths, almost haphazardly and without much thought, with choppy bangs long enough to cover the pair of harsh jade eyes and pencil-thin eyebrows. Her face was a pale oval that shown dully in the unnatural luminance of the runes on her prison, highlighted with its own aura was a double-diamond shaped outline that appeared slightly orange. Also outlined in the light was a tattered white cape that covered her back save for two large slits that made dark, gaping holes on the grungy fabric. From these slits came two large wings, the feathers darkened and colorless in shadow, but they rustled with life of their own even though they looked ragged and broken. Whatever soft breathes she might have been taking were lost in the darkness.

Around the dungeon, in many cages like her own, were creatures of darkness and hatred, ones that had been locked up for the good of the world below. These ones had dwelt in humanities darkest nightmares since the beginning of time itself. Their eyes glowed with a hungry light as they stared at the female intently, as if planning their next meal. The gloom was so heavy that the gleaming of refracted light could only be picked up at odd intervals, though the rank stench throughout the stout hall betrayed their presence easily enough.

The woman let out a breath, the vapor rising upward and fading quickly in the cold air and she rubbed her arms in a desperate attempt to get warm. Underneath the cape was a regular black Vee neck shirt and boot cut black jeans, both obviously worn from travel and tattered by the elements. A wrist guard-like object adorned her left forearm, appearing to almost be a knife sheath, the blade had been curved and double sided, gone now. She rubbed a thumb over the worn leather in reminiscence, recalling better times, with Tristan and Tornado, Thrasher and Silverbane. They were as close as she could ever to friends, even though Silverbane was her own son from a few of her lives back.

A sudden loud clank created a hush over monsters and human alike; eyes were turned to the thick set of wooden doors, the sound unfamiliar sound of a lock being opened creating a sparking tension. Light burst into the shadowy room, revealing a packed gravel floor slick with brown and black liquids that had also stained the grey rock.

This was only present for seconds as a dark shadow blotted out the light, a silhouette in the doorframe. The woman, who had perked up a bit at the excitement, stiffly turned her back on it as the figure accepted a torch from the guards outside and strode into the dungeon. Their black leather boots made a sharp grinding noise with each step and the doors swung shut behind them, leaving the visitor in a pool of golden light from the torch held tightly in one hand. The other carried a length of something too lost in shadow to be recognizable to any who didn't know what was coming next.

This visitor passed the other cages, barely casting a glance at the assortment of demons and hell-monsters that lined the walls in aisles, their cries diminishing as they watched. Finally, all that was left was the crunch of the stranger's boots on the gravel and the steady melody of the water falling from the ceiling into a pool somewhere in the darkness.

The woman shifted slightly to the right, turning her head an increment to pick up the sounds. Her hair swung over her shoulders and the tarnished remains of whatever had been her left ear were exposed for seconds before the dreadlock-like hair fell expertly to hide the weakness again.

"Eliza," The stranger muttered, oblivious to how his voice travelled in the near-silence, "You never cease to amaze me."

Eliza tensed minutely, unable to predict what was to happen. After a few seconds of silence, the whistle of a projectile flying through the air was accompanied a moment later by a ribbon of pain lacing down from the origin of her left wing to her spine in a diagonal slice. She sucked in a gasp of freezing air, flinching as fabric tore and flesh opened, not enough to be a serious injury, but enough to make her pay attention.

"I grow tired of your game, Elizabeth. The Council expects your answer or any other plead to your case before their final decision." The voice was deep, masculine, and Eliza took in another sharp breath, glancing over her shoulder to the stranger that she felt she knew.

There in the torchlight was John, black hair atop his bronze skinned-body, amber eyes mirroring the dancing flames of that he held. He was almost the same age as her, maybe a year or two older, with bulging muscles along his arms and silver scars that marred and puckered his skin. Battle wounds, something she was familiar with. He wore a black windbreaker with a single white stripe up the sleeves, dark blue jeans and a faded red top that seemed a little too small for his stature. Eliza had known him, though it seemed so long ago that it could be described as another lifetime, back when she had seen blazing anger and hatred along with vulnerability in his gaze. Now it was stone cold, dead, like two pieces of amber glass, cutting and harsh.

"Well I'm certainly not finished with my game, as you call it. There isn't a scrap of evidence that I killed those two." Eliza's voice was cracked, but she felt strong. So as long as the boy-no, the man- she knew didn't use her real name, she was safe. Nothing would be able to penetrate the mental shield that acted as a wall around her crumbling mind. "And until then…" Her sentence trailed off as she offered a flawed smile through the curtain of hair that covered her face.

"You know what they want, and you know they'll get it, Brushfire."

At this, Eliza started. John's tone had softened significantly, not the voice of her inquisitor, torturer or enemy. This was the John that had revealed himself to her that one night in the clearing, when she had supported him in his moment of weakness. This was now the boy she had almost fallen in love with as they grew up together, but instead was carried off by his best friend, a silver-haired boy with blue eyes…

Finally Brushfire-her truly named self- turned into the torchlight, brunette hair glowing ginger even under the layers of grime. Coils of muscle were obvious bulges under her translucent, almost white, skin along with the network of veins, a purple and blue spider web. The wings, before folded to her back, opened slightly, their colors shimmered even though the shafts were broken and there were deep holes in their soft ranks. Colors blazed forth, silver, yellow, bronze and red, the colors of her pelt in her true form. The jade eyes were deep-set in her face, shadowed by long lashes and strong cheekbones; her chin was squared and spoke of a stubborn will. All of these features, touched with the carnivorous light of her inner wolf shining through, Brushfire had been awoken from her slumbering state inside a human body.

"Rawbones, I know exactly what they want me to do, what they want me to think. But I have nothing that can change their mind, as who would trust a century-old beast? No, there is not a thing I can do, friend." Her voice was stronger, though darkened with resign to her fate. She flexed her long fingers and shivered again, wondering off-handedly why humans never grew fur. A coat would have been lovely right about then. Instead, she drew the cape off her back, revealing a mess of silver lines, some darker than others, and some fresh wounds. The recent whip mark had a single line of blood seeping from it, but she hardly noticed, leaning back against the iron floor to appease the hot flesh. A worried look haunted her eyes, other emotions flying beneath it as she stared at the ceiling.

John-truly named Rawbones- ran a hand through his hair, a look of forlorn loss crossing his features as he stared at the captive. "They're ready to let you die for this, Brush. No way out, they'll have Kenta drain the God Blood from your veins and pierce your heart with a cursed blade… Please help yourself!"

"But I never wanted help," She laughed quietly, crossing her legs and turning her eyes from the flawless metal ceiling of the cage to Rawbones on the outside. "I was to pay for my actions one day, and my day has come. Of course, you are the only one who can save me now, Raw." Brushfire watched as her friend's-enemy- teeth set in a soft snarl, the blunt human incisors were nothing compared to their counterparts in their true form. "Rawbones, you know my curse. I must be struck through the heart with a blade-anything but silver- and I will be reborn again, and again. But surely your almighty Council knows this? They have set my enemy upon me with the only thing that will rest my soul in hell for eternity. Of course, you could change all of that…" Her gaze was obviously drawn to the Bronze cutlass attached to his belt, the hilt bound with rawhide, just as the older days.

His hand slammed into the narrowly-spaced bars with a ring, the strength of a God battling the ancient curse placed upon the metal. For seconds, Brushfire felt the vain hope that he could bend them for her, just enough for her to escape. But the emotion quickly died as Rawbones rested his head against his forearm, avoiding her gaze and redirecting his intense golden eyes to the ground. His face was hidden in the shag of obsidian hair, and she could not read his emotions. "They charge you with Alma's and Dijinni's deaths. Nomads haven't been present in the recent years, and you are the last well-known threat to our empire. There is no way you would get out alive, you couldn't hide anymore, with their combined power, and the Council could find you and kill you elsewhere." He glanced upward, eyes resting steadily on hers. "I've known you for so long, Brushfire. Do you really want to put your loved ones at stake? If you escaped, all of them would be captured, tortured, and killed as they looked for you. It comes down to that one decision: You r life or theirs?"

A sad smile crept over the female's face as she turned her head away, letting the mask fall for a second, mouth falling open and eyes squeezing shut to let one tear slip down her face, and one ragged sob to pass through her throat. It wasn't enough for now, but it would have to do. She had to make this decision now, before it was too late.

Mastering her facial features, she waited for the tear to drip onto the numbing metal, just another drop that kept time in this hellhole, and turned about to face her friend again, who watched her with eyes older than anyone she had ever met. He knew what it meant to be plagued by the constant rebirth, and eventually, the want to die just a normal death.

"But I don't want to go yet." Her voice was quiet, catching at the end as she withheld her emotion again. Her family was just reforming; recovering after the death of Rising Flame, her eldest son, and she had yet to tell Tristan her largest secret… she was carrying his pups. She didn't know when it happened, but she loved him still, and he was out there, waiting for her to come home. And now… now she never would.

This is not the end, this is not the beginning

Putting off the emotional outburst that was sure to overwhelm her soon, she lay, paralyzed for seconds by the shock. When she at last regained her voice, she asked quietly, "Will they at least give me a fighting chance? If I could defeat Snake or Cobra, Kenta or Dean, could I go free? Isn't there a law somewhere for this?" Her voice was steadily rising to a wail, unrestrained tears blurring her vision.

Rawbones looked on as the strongest leader he knew, something akin to himself, who had been cursed with immortality and had seen more than his fair share of battles and breakdowns, tore herself apart from the inside out. He couldn't reach out to comfort her, and he couldn't speak a word to reassure her, as it would be blasphemy to his race.

Just a voice like a riot rocket every revision

But you listen to the tone and the violent rhythm

'Fuck this' He thought suddenly, and reached through the bars, resting a warm hand on the ginger's shoulder , patting her awkwardly in what he hoped was a reassuring manner. She seemed to take strength from his touch, and grasped his hand with her own, slightly wet from wiping away tears. Brushfire caught his eyes, an intense green stare that spoke of more than a way out for her, but a way to protect everyone she cared about.

"I'll see." The two words were a promise that Rawbones knew ran stronger than blood between them.

And though the words sound steady

Something's empty within 'em

The door creaked open behind them, light piercing the darkness like a dream was being interrupted, slicing through the reality that was not, and into the reality that is.

Rawbones withdrew his arm quickly, snaking it between the bars and turning to face the intruder in a swift motion, even as the doors were opening to their extent. "Dean?" He questioned after a second of analyzing the figure, the silver hair burning with a circlet of hazy red-gold light that even from the distance Rawbones was standing, was highly visible.

"The Council requests your return." He intoned with a quiet drawl, though his eyes threw daggers over Rawbones's shoulder to the girl behind him. "Well you reduced her to tears. Wonderful." His indifferent tone took on one with a slight sneer in it, and before anything else happened, he turned and walked away.

We say Yeah! With fists flying up in the air

Like we're holding onto something that's invisible there

Turning around again, Rawbones could only make out the red-veined eyes of Brushfire as she hid in the darkness. Without another word, he nodded to her and walked away, out of the room with the doors creaking closed behind him.

Cause we're living at the mercy of the pain and the fear

Until we dead it, forget it, let it all disappear

Brushfire was still on her back, resting her tired shoulders and letting her wings extend and rustle at her sides, arms gripping the bottom of her ribcage for support. Things were spinning out of her control inside her head, thoughts running amok at a million miles per hour… and they suddenly cleared. An eerie melody tuned up in the back of her mind, a soft song that she recognized yet didn't know.

Waiting for the End to Come,

Wishing I had strength to stand

This is not what I had planned

It's out of my control

Flying at the speed of light

Thoughts were spinning in my head

So many things were left unsaid

It's hard to let you go

As if from far away, the woman could here the murmur of many voices, human and animal, God and mortal combined together in the Court of the next room. She did not question the sudden fluxuation in her senses, but instead listened as the jury quieted.

"Father, I stand before the Court of Hallstroms and the High Council as a representative of the accused, Brushfire. She continues to plead not guilty, and requires that you show proof that she herself committed the murder of the two deceased members of our order, Dinnji and Alma." That was Rawbones, evicted from the High Council for this one case, because of the personal connection. Yet Dean, the silver-haired, blue eyed boy that had more or less spit in her face, remained. It was obvious as to which way this case would go from the beginning.

I know what it takes to move on

I know how it feels to lie

All I want to do is trade this life for something new

I'm holding on to what I haven't got

The rest of the obviously stacked case continued, voices rising and the rumble of the jury in the general background. Eventually, the noise quieted and the High Council Leader stood and gave his verdict: Guilty.

Sitting in an empty room, trying to forget the past

This was never meant to last

I wish it wasn't so

More screaming, more action, Brushfire's senses were fading back to normal, the shrieks and growls of the demons did little to appease her growing fear. She was going to die, and there was no way to avoid it. It was imminent, there was no way to get out, no sneaky plan that they wouldn't see coming. She was stuck inside a prison while the people, the very people that wanted her dead, decided her fate in the next room over. And even she knew that the punishment for killing Hallstroms was death.

I know what it takes to move on

I know how it feels to lie

All I want to do is trade this life for something new

I'm holding on to what I haven't got

She didn't need super hearing or any powers to hear the pounding of feet coming towards the prison, and she cowered backwards. Brushfire had always faced her fate head on, sure that she would always get out of it. It was as if she was in a tree, and she always expected the branches to be there when she jumped down. But this time, she missed. And she would be hitting the bottom. A quiet whimper swelled in Brushfire's throat at the thought of what she was leaving behind, leaving to chance and leaving in life.

What was left when the fire was gone?

I thought it felt right, but that right was wrong

All caught up in the eye of the storm

Trying to figure out what it was like moving on

The doors slammed open on their hinges, faster than Brushfire had ever seen them move, and a crowd appeared. In a way, they were worse than the demons, with eyes flashing in many colors, completely clear in the bright light. She searched, but could not see Rawbones among them. This gave her some relief; she didn't want him to see her die. In all reality, she wanted him to be outside the walls, warning Tristan and her family that they had to hide. Convincing Silverbane that Zena wasn't safe with him, working to find Dark Ember, her missing daughter.

Then the chaos reached her, the screaming accusations, and the angry eyes and weapons drawn, slashing at her; Brushfire had nowhere to run. She folded her wings into her back, and held herself tightly with her arms, attempting to dodge the multitude of sharp objects and torches. One lit her cape on fire, and she ripped it off, throwing it to one side as the hungry flames consumed the dear white fabric. Then she was screaming, refuting their claims, trying to get them to believe she was innocent, even as they chanted 'witch' and other names of the sort.

And I don't even know the kinds of things I said

My mouth kept moving and my mind went dead

So, picking up the pieces, where to begin?

The hardest part of ending is starting again

A voice of power rang out over the masses, freezing them in their places as a violet-clad woman strode forward, black heels clicking in a sinister rhythm against the stone. The silence was eerie after the barrage of noise, and Brushfire felt her eyes drawn to the woman.

With long black ringlets that fell to her mid back, a black and white sock cut so she could push her fingers through on her left forearm, and golden ringlets jangling along her arms and ankles, it was impossible not to identify the Blood Hallstrom, Kenta. Her smile was chilling, and as much as Brushfire wanted to back away from the woman who had attempted to kill her newborn children, she found her body frozen. It was Kenta's power, to freeze the blood in a body, leave the body in a state of suspended animation.

She approached the cage with an easy grace, and then halted, staring intently at the ginger-haired girl. "Well hello there, Brushfire. It seems that you haven't become immune to my power after all."

All I want to do is trade this life for something new

Holding on to what I haven't got

Brushfire spent no time puzzling about the rumors that Kenta may have heard, she was immediately seized by pain, her skin burning with insane intensity, blood boiling. She would have screamed if she could have, closed her eyes, curled up into a ball and died, after all that time she spent worrying. Because this was a punishment that seemed to go on forever, each stab of pain leading back to her forehead, until she felt her head may explode with pain. At last, when black waves lapped at the edge of her consciousness, the pain ebbed. The roaring in Brushfire's ears was too great to think, much less pay attention to the outside world for a few moments, and she missed the incantation that opened the cage. When she finally returned to herself, she focused her eyes to see Kenta, standing over her with a wicked silver blade, the metal a few hair's width away from her eyes. Brushfire fought against the invisible chains that held her in place as Kenta rested the blade along the bridge of her nose, and Brushfire froze with fear. She watched, fascinated and horrified as Kenta peeled the God's Mark off her forehead, though the pain was nothing compared to the extraction of her God blood.

(This is not the end this is not the beginning,

Just a voice like a riot rocket every revision

But you listen to the tone and the violent rhythm

Though the words sound steady

There's something empty within them)

Brushfire could hardly pay attention, events blurred before her eyes as Kenta forced her body as well as the masses into motion, creating a circle before releasing them all. Brushfire promptly fell to her knees, one hand to her forehead to staunch the bleeding. To her horror, her hand came away red, not orange-gold as her blood was supposed to be, the gold of the Gods and the red of the mortals mixed. The pain was excruciating, and she hoped she wouldn't have to live with it much longer.

I'm holding on to what I haven't got

The silver-haired boy, Dean, stepped out of the crowd, brandishing a long silver scythe-styled broadsword. He took a threatening step toward the fallen girl when Brushfire snarled. It was a low noise, guttural and halting in her human guise, but calling upon her remaining strength, the ginger-haired female on the floor morphed slowly into a hunched over she-wolf, bronze and red wings sprouting from just below her shoulders. Her left ear was clearly missing and a swathe of skin was absent from her forehead, the wound dowsing her already gold-orange fur with red. It dripped down onto her white chest to the floor again. Always, the drops moved toward the floor.

(We say Yeah! With fists flying up in the air

Like we're holding onto something that's invisible there

Cause we're living at the mercy of the pain and the fear

Until we dead it, forget it, let it all disappear)

"Brushfire," he crooned gently before rushing her. The wolf leapt, meeting the God at the middle in a flurry of blows. Their speeds were so fast that the only the blood staining the floor in spraying patterns betrayed this as a fight, instead of an elegant dance. They eventually broke apart, both standing and panting on opposite sides of the circle. The stone floor was soaked in blood, the orange color present in some places before the ichor of the God faded to dust, leaving only its crimson ancestor.

Brushfire had lacerations all along her flanks and a single deep, piercing mark on her shoulder, make her limp. Dean had been covered in blood, but really had almost nothing to flaw him still except for a slash across his collarbone that was seeping hot ichor down his clothing.

Brushfire's mind was a hazy fuzz, confused and slow. She wasn't ready for Dean's next assault, and barely managed to dodge a blow to her left, making her leap to her injured side. Upon landing, her leg gave out with a crack and a wave of agony. Brushfire had fallen to the ground, and Dean wasted no time carrying out his grim duty.

The world faded black around the edges, with red streaks pulsating through her vision. The feeling of being Brushfire itself was fading, becoming something like a memory. Who was she again? What was she? There was nothing but the soft 'drip, drip, drip' as her time ran out, and the ginger she-wolf gave into the darkness of the otherworlds.

Holding onto what I haven't

Got

A.N: -sniff sniff- I really did love her Dx She was fun to use, very intricate plot line. To clarify a bit:

-Brushy was Dean's first mate (Mate as in spouse) before he got really mean to her

-She really liked Raw too, very much so. More like best friend though.

-Tristan was her current mate, she was carrying his pups (Silverbane, Dark Ember, and Rising Flame had a different father)

-Zena was Silverbane's mate