AN: Greetings earthlings, this be my fan fiction, and if you are reading this...good luck.
If I am honest, I do not think this is my best work, but this plot bunny has been nagging me to the point of insanity, and I just finally decided that if its good enough for me, its good enough for you. Simply put: you're eyes won't bleed just by looking at it. They might water a little, but you won't die, or go blind, I promise.
There isn't anything particularly gory or explicit as far as I know, so I'll rate this T for now and if I start delving off into horrific details maybe I'll consider changing it.
I Don't Own Guilty Crown, any of its Characters, etc. etc. - if i did,(spoiler) the ending wouldn't have been so sad.
The church was quiet, and peaceful. High vaulting ceilings providing open feel, pale walls and stiff pews clean and organized, the colorful stained glass windows bright in the cold winter sunlight. An enormous Christmas tree dominated the right side of the room, a hoard of glass and plastic painted obnoxiously bright colors speckling its body. It was all fairly innocent and normal… and doing nothing to distract the slight blonde child, no older than nine or so, fidgeting beside the altar.
He would be lying if he said he wasn't nervous.
He stood there, glancing at the door every few seconds, shifting his weight, thinking of various different scenarios of how this long-awaited conversation would go. Each one seemed to be worse than the last.
I have to do this. He told himself. I have to warn Shu about…
He heard footsteps.
He turned towards the door eagerly, expecting to see his friend, only to freeze at the sight of an eerie smile, lips forming that nickname he had come to love.
He swallowed. "Mana…"
Shu didn't know what to expect as he headed for the church his friend, Triton, had asked him to meet him at. He had refused to tell him just anywhere, which led the boy to believe his friend didn't want to risk being overheard. But then who was there to overhear them? Father was usually at work and Haruka, while perky and occasionally exaggeratedly affectionate, was not the eavesdropping type. All that really left was Mana, but they shared virtually everything with her so… wait.
Triton had said, 'There's something I need to tell you about Mana…', which could very well mean that Shu's sister was exactly the person he didn't want overhearing them.
This both captured Shu's attention, and confused him. He rarely kept things from his sister, Triton even less.
This only opened up the question of what was so important that even Triton wouldn't want Mana to know about it?
Pondering this, he found himself thinking about Mana's recent behavior. She wasn't so different than she had always been at first, but it seemed that lately she had been doing odder and odder things that… frankly kind of scared him.
For example: not so long ago his sister had asked Shu to marry her.
On the one hand, he loved his sister and would be happy to spend the majority of his life with her. On the other, he was very much aware of what marriage entailed, and was quite sure he did not possess those kinds of feelings towards his sister.
Then she had kissed him.
He had been too shocked to do anything other than blush and stare dumbly at the time it had occurred, but he had since been mentally in denial about whatever message that action may have held.
It was perfectly normal, he told himself; he had been kissed before. Admittedly, only on the cheek, by family and once by Triton when Haruka had dared him to, but on the lips isn't really that different right?
Wrong. And he knew it. No sibling kissed their younger brother quite like that.
Shu was relieved when he saw the church; it meant he could push side this rather disturbing train of thought in favor of meeting Triton and figuring out what this was all about. He hoped it wouldn't take too long; Haruka had brought them here to Tokyo so it could be their first Christmas together as one big family, and he wanted to enjoy every minute of it.
When he reached the big double doors it had just begun to snow gently, and he saw they were already open.
"I loved you, you know."
He heard her giggle. "Just kidding."
When Shu looked into the church, the first thing he noticed was Triton on the floor, in a pool of his own blood.
He ran to his friend, temporarily disregarding his sister who knelt nearby.
"Triton, what happened!" He collapsed at the other boys' side, hovering over him anxiously. The blonde boy didn't respond, in fact he hardly seemed to hear him. Shu didn't know what to do, he'd feel better if he could see his friends face, but he didn't dare try and shake him to get his attention for fear he might make things worse.
Mana was sitting there, smiling. Her lips were red with something that didn't look like lipstick, smeared a bit across her cheek as if she had painted it on with her fingers.
She was calm and beautiful and innocent as she ever was, in her hands was a purple string twined in a shape reminiscent of a double helix. She offered the cat's cradle to him with something akin to excitement, happiness.
"Take this, Shu." She told him. "Let's use our genes to make a new world, Shu, a better one, for you and me."
Shu was taken aback. What was she talking about? Why was she acting so strange? Triton was hurt and she didn't seem concerned in the slightest.
Mana saw his startled flinch and scooted closer, her voice soft and comforting, something like childish surety mixed in.
"It's okay, don't be scared." She said soothingly, coming ever closer. "Let's do something fun together, Shu."
As she leaned towards him, something crystalline and purple seemed to erupt on her trailing locks of hair, covering them briefly, then shattering again. It freaked him out quite a bit. What was she, some sort of monster?
…No. She was his beloved sister, Mana. Mana was not a monster. But she was definitely acting strange. This was not the way Mana acted, there was something wrong with her.
Shu leaned back from his advancing sister, somewhat ineffectively. He attempted to hide the quiver in his voice as he spoke.
"Sis? What's wrong with you?" He asked.
She paused slightly, by now she was practically in his face. She gave him a puzzled look.
"Nothing's wrong, Shu. I'm fine." She smiled again and leaned further, her lips a hair's breadth from his before he placed his hands on her shoulders and pushed her back. He didn't mean to push her very hard, but she seemed to get further away from him than he meant.
"You're not fine!" He exclaimed. "You're acting strangely, Sis. It's scaring me!"
Mana sat there, a blank, faintly surprised look on her face. After a moment, during which Shu became increasingly worried, she blinked slowly.
"Shu… is scared of me?" She said softly, hurt in her voice. He quickly tried to amend the misunderstanding.
"Of course not, Sis!" He said, crawling over to her when he saw tears forming in her eyes; he tried to look reassuring. "I'd never be scared of you, but the way you're acting… It's not you. This isn't you, Sis!"
Mana seemed startled for a moment, then her features morphed into horror, and the tears that had been threatening to form flooded at full force.
"Shu…" Her voice shook. "Shu…I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Shu."
Her whole body trembled, she hugged herself as she hung her head and cried. Shu raised his hands as if to comfort her, but ultimately didn't know what to do with them and they only hung there. He also didn't understand what she was apologizing for.
Then he saw the crystals again. They had hidden beneath her hair, on the side of her face around her ear and hairline. Now they seemed to have a life of their own, crawling up her skin as if to consume her. He backed up instinctively.
"Please don't be scared, I'm scared too. Something's wrong with me." Mana sobbed, the cancer slowly crawling over her hair. She looked down and saw it, shivering uncontrollably, and screamed.
Like a bomb going off, light exploded from her body, and Shu was temporarily blinded. He felt his back hit the floor, his head spun, and spots danced before his eyes. As soon as he regained his bearings, he immediately looked for his sister, his worry for her taking first priority.
Everything was on fire: the tree, the ceiling, the altar, the pews. The windows seemed to have been blasted from their frames.
Mana stood there among the flames, her reddish pink hair billowing hauntingly. She might have looked terrifying, if her tears and anguished expression didn't make her look so sad.
"I'm sorry, Shu." She said again. "I… I'm changing. I'm becoming something, something that's not me." The cancer spread more, working its way out her sleeves, down her legs. She tore at it with her hands vainly, crying.
She looked terrible. She was turning into something horrible. He could feel the power inside her, ready to burst out and wreak havoc, or something far worse.
She looked frightened. She looked sad. She was his sister.
"Help me…" She said. "Help me, Shu!"
He didn't know what he could do. He did the only thing he could.
He hugged her.
"It's okay." He said sternly, tightening his grip. He could feel the crystals spreading. He ignored them. "I'm right here with you, Sis."
Slowly, he felt her relax. Her crystal covered arms wrapped around him and squeezed tightly, as if he was her only lifeline.
"Shu…" She whispered, tears streaming down her face. "I'm scared."
The boy closed his eyes. He could feel the crystals crawling over him now as well, as if he were an extension of his sister's body.
"I know." He said. "I am too."
Everything exploded into white.
This time, it was much worse.
Shu didn't know quite what was happening to his sister, but he could feel the power escaping from her. He held on for dear life, and she did the same. In the back of his mind he wondered if Triton was okay, but the thought was blown away as he felt a strange twisting in his body, right down to his DNA, his sister's power wasn't blasting him away, but instead seemed to be accepting him, joining with him.
Even so, it was out of control.
Everything was a blur, Shu had no clear indication of anything, ground and objects were suddenly inconsequential, but he was aware of a number of things.
Mostly he was aware of Mana, in his arms, the crystals crawling over him, the worry and anguish and unexpectedly pain.
He was torn away from Mana, only able to hold onto her when they both latched onto the others wrist. The crystals were consuming her body, spikes suddenly exploding from her new crystalline form, one of them catching him in the side.
The pain was exponential, and Shu abruptly found himself crying, but when he stared into Mana's eyes he knew it wasn't the wound that made him cry.
"Shu…" He could barely hear her over some background roar of an unidentifiable source. "I'm sorry."
She looked so sad; he didn't want that, so he smiled. "Don't be. I love you, Sis."
Her sad, tormented face creased into a smile, it somehow managed to look beautiful even though tears still streamed down her face, and her body was crystallizing before his eyes.
"I love you, too."
He reached out to her with his free hand, and she did as well. Their fingers had almost touched when Mana abruptly let go.
Triton grunted as he pushed a chunk of what was once a wall off him. His stomach throbbed painfully and he wrapped an arm around it in a half-hearted attempt to support it and stem the still flowing blood.
He shivered a bit, and it wasn't because of the cold. He couldn't believe what had just occurred. It would be burned into his mind forever. His two best friends, Shu, Mana, a boy he had come to adore and a girl he had come to love, embracing as the world burned. Mana's terrified expression, her tortured scream, Shu's worry, the love and bravery it took to walk up to his insane, breaking sister and bear the pain with her.
Could he have done that? He certainly wanted to.
He swore he saw Mana fully crystallize and then shatter into a million pieces, the power of the virus she unleashed too much. He had seen Shu with her, but not at the moment she had shattered. He hoped he had imagined it and they were both alive. He couldn't bare the thought of losing either of them.
Triton looked around, the church was in ruins and in the distance the city wasn't much better. He could hear screaming and sirens and just the kind of noises people imagine when having nightmares about Armageddon.
He didn't see the siblings anywhere.
"Mana!" He shouted, not expecting, only hoping. "Shu!"
He picked his way among the rubble, looking about desperately. It was only a matter of time before some help arrived, if the sirens and other various sounds he heard were any indication. He wanted to find them before that.
"Shu! Mana!" He kept calling, turning over a few chunks of concrete unsuccessfully.
Finally, he got lucky.
It was him.
He lay mostly hidden by rubble and the burned remains of the Christmas tree. Broken crystals were scattered around the area he laid, but miraculously nothing had fallen on him.
Triton fell at his friend's side, relieved and anxious and worried all at the same time. Shu's torn winter coat had blood staining the right side, looking closer he was horrified to see his friends right hand coated in the dreaded crystal, the sunlight making it look almost rainbow colored.
"Shu! Shu, wake up," No reaction. Triton felt close to tears. "Please Shu, open your eyes."
The boy stirred, and slowly, he complied. He looked up at Triton with glassy, red-brown eyes.
"Triton…?" He asked, as if unsure.
The blonde nodded.
Sadly, Triton shook his head, holding back the part of him that wanted to sob uncontrollably. "She's…I think she's…. gone, Shu." He said. "I'm sorry."
The brunette's expression saddened, but he retained a rather half-aware outlook. This worried Triton, and then he saw crystal sprouting from the wound in his side, crawling over the outside of his coat.
"Shu!" He exclaimed, horrified. No. No no no. He couldn't lose Shu, too. Not like this.
The other boy didn't seem very alarmed. His lips turned up a smidge.
"Triton… you know you're my best friend right?" He asked.
The blonde stared at him, eyes wide. "Shu…"
"And you're Mana's friend too, right?"
"You're like the brother I never had, and we love you so much, you know that don't you?"
"And we'll never forget you, and you'll never forget us, and…"
"Shu!" Triton practically screamed at his rambling friend, he was near tears now. "You're not going to die, so stop saying things like that!"
Shu smiled at him as if he hadn't just yelled at him. As if the cancer wasn't slowly consuming him like it did his sister. As if he didn't have a hole in his side and Mana hadn't disintegrated mere inches from his grasp.
"Don't cry, Triton." He said softly, shakily lifting his left hand to pat his friends tightly clenched one.
"It's all my fault," The blonde ground out. "I should have been able to protect you, protect you both, if I wasn't so weak…"
"You're not weak…" Shu said, with soft conviction. "You're kind. Don't ever lose that kindness, Triton."
He shifted, catching the blonde's attention, and raised his right hand where something was clenched. It took a second for the boy to realize it was being offered to him.
"For you," Shu said, letting the silver cross fall into his friend's hand. "It's from both of us."
His hand fell to the ground again, and Triton stared at the trinket in his palm. His hand shook, and he clenched it, willing away tears. It didn't work.
Shu smiled. The crystals, advancing during the entire conversation, seemed to be growing not only on Shu but also on the area around him, slowly entombing him.
"I'm going to get stronger," Said the boy, looking his friend in the eye, unwavering, full of sadness, pain, and newborn strength. "For you, and for Mana."
Shu grinned weakly. "Promise?"
Triton nodded. "Promise."
He stood and backed up, watching, as his friend's face was the only thing left showing. The crystals were enormous, and strangely beautiful; shining pale, brilliant colors rather than that cancerous purple.
Triton couldn't stop his lip from trembling. "Goodbye, Shu."
Shu's voice sounded faint, as if it was coming from somewhere far away. "See you later, Triton."
So... terrible? Okay? Are your eyes still in their sockets? I admit to having this really bad habit of starting stories because of an idea I really like and then not going anywhere with them when the plot fizzles out. I've planned the next few chapters of this already in the hopes I won't do that again, but I would appreciate opinions and ideas, I'm always open to suggestions. If you review, please be friendly, I have a faint heart and you might just hurt my feelings. That being said, I'm here to improve, so feel free to tell me what I could do better.