Part 1: The Five Generals

Chapter 1: Akari and Taiki Go to Another World!

The door crashed open as Hinomoto Akari zoomed out into the morning light, a bag with the word 'Taiki' written on it over her shoulder.

"Damn that Taiki!" she cursed as she jogged on the spot, warming her legs up for the run that she was soon to perform. "Always going off without waiting for me. Right! Time to dash!" With that said, Akari sped down the road towards the home of her best friend.

"Oh, Akari-chan! Good morning," said Taiki's mother.

"Morning," she said brightly. "Is Taiki here?"

"Oh, I'm sorry Akari-chan. He already left."

"He what?" she exclaimed, wringing her hands in agitation. "Do you know what he was going to do?"

"I remember he had a ball with him..."

"Was it a soccer ball?"

"No, it was bigger...and orange."

"Basketball," stated Akari decisively, hitting her fist into her open palm. "I'm heading off. Goodbye Auntie!"

"See you later, Akari-chan," said Taiki's mother fondly, giving the girl a hug before she beat the path towards their school.

As she ran, Akari spotted an air blimp cruising slowly through the sky. "What a great photo opportunity!" she smiled as she dropped the bag momentarily and took out her phone. Turning it back on itself, she aligned it carefully. "All done," she said as she twisted it to see the picture. There she was, her face larger than the blimp itself, a huge smile adorning it. "Great! I'll set it as my wallpaper," she mused as she grabbed the bag once more and turned for home. "Wait, what am I doing?" she cried as she belatedly realised her mistake and ran for the school once more.

oOo

"Taiki!"

"Over here!"

"Pass it, Taiki!"

Three separate shouts from three different directions drew Taiki's attention as he dribbled the basketball down the court, his sneakers squeaking loudly as he moved. His opponents were desperately attempting to block his path. With a cry, Taiki jumped into the air and span rapidly.

"Super Miracle Pass!" he exclaimed as he passed up a perfect chance to score big and set up his teammate for a much easier two-point basket. With that move and the points secured for their team, the klaxon sounded signalling the end of the game, with the victory for Taiki's team.

"That was great, Taiki!" cheered his teammates as they headed to the locker room, clapping each other's backs jovially. "I thought for sure you'd go for it."

"No way!" Taiki shot back, his smile never faltering. "I was surrounded by way too many people to even think of having a shot. No, it made way more sense for me to pass it to you."

"Well, either way, thank you for this, Taiki," were the last words Taiki's exhausted mind registered before his world became fuzzy and he began to mouth meaningless words inaudibly.

"Taiki!" came the surprised cry from his teammates as Taiki began to fall.

"Hya!" With a scream of battle, Akari jumped through the air, cushion in hand. Sliding to a stop, Taiki's head collided with the cushion, rather than with the court. "Safe!" Akari declared, gaining a chorus of awe from her seniors.

"Thanks, Akari," Taiki mumbled helplessly from his position. Akari looked at her friend with a small smile.

"Anytime."

oOo

Taiki took a deep swig from the bottled drink Akari had prepared for him in her 'Taiki' bag. "Thanks so much, Akari. I feel much better now."

"I feel much better now is not what I want to hear, Taiki!" Akari snapped, swiping the bottle out of Taiki's grasp. Taking a drink herself, she began to list her problems with what he was doing. "You keep doing this, over and over. You keep 'helping' everyone who has the slightest problem until you're so exhausted, you can't even stand. Where would you be if I didn't follow you around constantly?"

"This is different, Akari," Taiki began quietly. "Kengo is transferring to another school within the month, so this was his final match. Most of the regulars got sick with food poisoning. I couldn't turn my back on them," he stated firmly, remembering a time when he was younger, a time when he was helpless...

"Taiki..."

"Ah, there you are! My eternal rival, Kudou Taiki!" A tall youth towered over the two friends, two kendo swords gripped tightly by his sides. "Today is the day we have our rematch and I claim victory over you! Today, you face the might of Tsurugi Zenjirou!"

"Taiki, who is the wierdo?" stated Akari bluntly.

"Who are you calling a wierdo?" demanded Zenjirou, his face darkening with anger.

"See, Taiki," started Akari, completely ignoring the fuming senior. "This is what happens when you keep helping people. You attract wierdos to you."

"I am not a wierdo!"

"Whatever!" exclaimed Akari, waving her arms in the air. "I don't really care. Taiki has plans for Marine Day with me. He doesn't have time to mess around with you." She jabbed her finger into his midriff for emphasis.

"For your information, this battle has been preordained," said Zenjirou smugly.

"Is that a fact?" questioned Akari blithely.

Taiki wasn't paying attention to either of them. He barely caught it, but he was certain he heard a voice.

"Yes, it is."

"Am I going to die?"

"Who is that?" shouted Taiki, startling both of his companions.

"Who is who?" said Akari, her confusion easily read.

"Just now, I heard someone. He said he was going to die."

"I didn't hear anything, Kudou Taiki."

"I can't turn my back on him."

"Not this again!" cried Akari.

"I can't believe I was beaten so easily."

"There it is again!" With that, Taiki set off in a mad dash.

"Taiki!" cried Akari, chasing down her friend instantly.

"Wait! Kudou Taiki!" shouted Zenjirou, his kendo swords slapping against his thighs as he ran.

"I was too weak."

"This way!"

"Wait!"

"What chance do I have of becoming king?"

"Where are you?" called Taiki, coming to a stop outside a towering building.

"Taiki," panted Akari, coming to a stop next to him. "Wait. Is that a car hanging out of that building?"

Looking up, they could see that there was indeed a car embedded into what looked like the thirtieth floor. The driver looked beyond terrified as office workers desperately grabbed at him. One false move, however, and the man's grip on the workers lessened, leaving him dangling by a thread.

"Help me!" he cried helplessly as his fingers lost all tension and he fell, screaming.

"No! I can't watch!" cried Akari, slamming her face into Taiki's chest and scrunching her eyes tightly shut, waiting for the sickening thud she knew she would hear.

Except, it didn't happen.

Taiki watched the whole scene in amazement as the man disappeared in a flash of green light before reappearing on the ground safely. The man seemed confused as well, for he promptly fainted.

So drawn to this scene was Taiki, he failed to notice the embedded car begin to slide out of the building.

"Jump to your left! Right now!" came the panicked cry. Taiki glanced around quickly before hearing the sound of scrapping metal. He grabbed Akari tight and jumped wildly, watching in horrendous slow-motion as the car smashed into the space they had occupied not a second earlier.

"Akari, are you alright?" demanded Taiki tightly, his heart pulsing against his ribcage wildly. "You aren't hurt?"

"Taiki," she whispered as he placed his palm to her forehead. With a cry, she smashed against his body and hugged him as tight as she could. He hugged her back just as tight, so relieved that she was okay.

"Heh. Looks like everything worked out well in the end," came the sighed voice, exhaustion belying its every word.

Taiki separated from Akari with a smile, before grabbing her hand and tugging her after him. "I'm so close."

"Taiki, where is that wierdo?" asked Akari, looking around for the taller boy. "You don't think he..."

"No, I'm sure he's fine," reassured Taiki, running towards an abandoned alleyway.

"Seems as though this is the end for me..."

"There you are," breathed Taiki as he slowly trod down the alley, Akari still holding his hand, her body trembling after their close encounter with their own mortality. In front of them was a blob of red static, flickering intermittently. Taiki released Akari's hand, smiling gently at her. For her part, Akari was transfixed by whatever it was that Taiki was bending towards. Reaching down slowly, Taiki cupped the being in his hands. "Hey, are you okay?"

"Oh. You're the one from earlier. I see you're both okay. That's good to know."

"Thank you for saving us," Taiki said.

"It was nothing. I figured I should do something useful before I die."

"Hey, you aren't going to die."

"Yes, I am. I've reached my limit. I can't hold on any longer..."

"No! I won't let you! Not again..."

"Taiki..." whispered Akari, putting her hands gently onto Taiki's arm. She wanted desperately to heal the pain that still gnawed at Taiki's mind, but found that she was unable to get past the barriers he himself had created. She only hoped that he would let her in over time.

"Sentimental fool, crying over me. What a waste of tears."

Taiki thickly wiped at his eyes.

"I guess I'm the same as you. Worrying about us when you're at the brink."

"Yeah, I guess so. A couple of idiots, huh?"

"You're right."

"Do you wish to save this melody?"

"Who was that, Taiki?" Akari asked, fear coursing through her veins.

"...You heard it as well?"

"Would you like to save this life? If so, I offer you this Xros Loader." A small device appeared in front of the two children, pure white in colour.

"Don't touch it, Taiki."

"Akari," said Taiki clearly, turning to face her. "He saved our lives. I can't turn my back on him."

Akari groaned.

"Your bad habit is flaring up again!"

"If you would use this Xros Loader, speak your name clearly."

Taiki stood tall.

"Kudou Taiki."

The device changed colour, becoming red. It floated over to Taiki's hand and absorbed the static blob.

"This Xros Loader is yours, Kudou Taiki. I pray that you will succeed on your quest. Help to save our world!" A portal of green energy appeared in front of the children and began sucking them in.

"Taiki!" cried Akari, latching onto his arm in a vain attempt to save them.

"Akari!" shouted Taiki as he pulled her closer to himself, before they were sucked into the portal, which vanished as they disappeared.

To Be Continued...

oOo

A/N: I've decided to write this story after seeing how few Xros Wars stories there are. I personally think Xros Wars is one of the better seasons, right up there with Adventure and Tamers. This first chapter was very similar to the anime. This was on purpose, however, I have set up the first major difference: that being that Zenjirou is not with Taiki and Akari. Will it make that much of a difference? You'll find out in the upcoming chapters.