A little one-shot that's been collecting cobwebs on my laptop.
hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: all God(s) Eater characters belong to their rightful owners
A feeling of dread came over the members of the 1st unit as they arrive at the tranquil temple, the traditionally built structures clothed with snow that gave it its serene ambiance gone, replaced with worry and stress as this was the last place that they last detected their leader's signal
Their quiet, caring, and reckless moron of a leader… missing; the only thing good was that there were no aragami, but that doesn't last long.
"I think I found something!" Kota picked something up and opened his palm revealing a white ribbon half tinted with blood; a gasp, a curse and held back tears echo silently with the wind.
"We have to keep looking, she might be injured and the cold might get her if we don't hurry" The seriousness in Lindow's voice reflects the dire situation.
"Right, let's split up if you find her send up a flare right away." And with that they split up, hoping that their leader is somewhere safe from the harsh cold.
Moving through each building I remember the first time I saw her, a clueless rookie just waiting to die.
Long black hair in a ponytail, standard issue casual top and bottom: green. I hadn't bothered looking to see her eyes as Eric had approached her like he was at home and not on a mission; had she not been somewhat alert he'd have been dead on the spot. It was then that I welcomed and asked her what she expected of the place she has to work in, only to be surprised to see her look at me straight in the eye without flinching, deep earthy brown clashing with my dull blue eyes. I had told her to stay out of my way, she followed it and for some unknown reason I thought it was odd.
I enter a building a bit bigger than the others and the farther I go the darker it gets plunging me back into another memory, if she wasn't able to think of that crazy strategy Kota would've been gone by now. That day at the sunken grid.
I was forced into babysitting those two on one of their missions. It was the usual routine; find it, extract the core and go back. Kota just couldn't keep his mouth shut while looking for the target, so we ended up getting ambushed. It left him unconscious, me with the target, and she had run away... I shouted at her as I dodged, but before I got hit by another attack she came falling on top of the target from the ceiling stunning it long enough for me to get to the loudmouth, she told me to get him somewhere safe and recover before helping. Needless to say I gave them more than an earful of curses as we got back to the den. "Sorry; but at least we didn't lose anyone, right?" she grinned at me then.
I turned to leave when I heard something faint.
*heave* It was coming from somewhere inside but it was weak.
A gasp followed by violent coughing got me moving, not wanting to take any chances I snapped a glow stick as I ran through the halls checking each and every room frantically. I was losing my grip.
"Damn it where are you?" knowing I'd receive no answer, and the alternative was too much to bear, I keep going and stop at a gaping hole with a trail of blood entering the next edifice which led to my question "where the hell are you going?". With no choice left I wander into the structure.
I look around the places Leader showed me long ago; the small shrine at the back, a small house at the left field and an old storage house full of antiques. "Leader?" my voice echoes eerily through the walls adding to the creepy feeling that the wind made as it passes by.
"I'm really no good with places like this alone." A shiver ran down my spine as I enter another building; though the whole place was made with durable wood, the creaking sounds from the floorboards creeps me out. Further in I saw a small altar with incense sticks lit and erected on it "I wonder who lit this." A distant memory came to me.
Standing in the middle of Leader's room I could smell a nice scent.
"Why don't you sit? I have to find the bag I put it in" I had asked her earlier if she had any air fresheners cause mom and sis were having trouble keeping the smell outside from coming in.
"Thanks… I'll repay you somehow. Hey, how bout I give you the recent updates on Bugarally? There's been a lot of action going on." She flashed me a smile as she placed a blue bag on the table.
"That sounds like fun. What scent do you want I have all sorts of them" she said as she took out packages that held sticks, candles or weird triangle thingies. I think she saw the question on my face so she explained that the candles are scented and that the sticks and triangles are called incense.
"How does that work though? Do you light it up like a candle?" She laughed a bit and explained to me how to use it. Mom and Sis were happy when they got it and even told me to bring back a bunch of snacks to share.
Ash from the incense fell and so did the realization that she'd be the only one here to light it.
"LEADER!" I shout out at every turn that came my way, keeping the hope alive that she's okay and that she's just tired from the fight with the aragami.
"You can't die on us" the moment after she had saved Lindow at Aegis came to mind.
Lindow woke up after a week; she woke up two weeks later. Two whole weeks of going to missions and taking turns keeping an eye on her at the sick bay; at that time Soma was so irate Tsubaki had ordered him to stay by her side for a week instead of being so unfocused. Thankfully that was the same time she had regained her consciousness.
"You promised me you'd help me with girls!" as if to humor me I saw a trail of blood lead into a big ancient looking house; for all the times I was saved by her I brave the darkness.
"Hello?" the word fades like the light that keeps on getting dimmer by each step.
"Leader, are you here?" the noise of each stride echoes in the silence.
"Can you hear me?" I walk cautiously into a dimly lit room taking in what I could see through the darkness. I move forward. Squish.
"Huh?" beneath my feet was a puddle of blood, alarmed, I search the room again; on the table was a torn dark shirt with a missing hood, the contents of what seems to be a first aid kit sat across it. I walk over to an open cabinet which contained some clothes and it looks like whoever went through them left bloody hand prints on everything.
"Oh, please hold on we'll find you no matter what". As I exit I caught a glimpse of a white gown.
"Isn't he being too relaxed about all this?" Leader looked over to where Kota was chatting with the guys from the 2nd unit.
"He's so unfocused; he doesn't conserve his strength at all! He just uses bursts like they were just so abundant!" I noticed an understanding smile on Leader's face as she said "yes, he does tend to do that doesn't he?"
"It happens every time we go on missions, not to mention that he talks nonstop" I open and close my chopsticks imitating that of a mouth, after receiving a giggle from the other end of the table I turn my attention back to Leader.
"That's part of his charm; it's what makes him Kota. Besides-" She faced me and grinned, her eyes sparkling with amusement "-who would be the one to cheer us up regardless if it's a bad pun or bad timing? We're all living with each other and although there are things that irk us about the other we learn to love them as they are".
I look over to the rowdy bunch then back to her "If you say so" with that said we ate and spoke of small things.
I have to admit that she was right about that or else I would still be affecting me. My feet led me to another hall. A coughing sound caught my attention. "Leader?!" my jog advanced into a run as I repeatedly called for her. I blindly turned to an opening and clashed right into someone "Ouch, hey are you alright?" It was Kota.
…Kota and Alisa…
"Have you seen her yet?" Alisa asked as she retrieved her God Arc.
"Not yet but there were lit incense from back there as well as a trail of blood; did you find anything?" Kota jabbed his thumb from where he came from.
"I found her torn shirt in one of the rooms, I think she changed clothes and took some time to rest there too. Hey, Kota can I ask you something?" she looked around uneasy.
"What's with the sudden formality?" he cocked his head to the side.
"On your way here did you… hear anyone?" Alisa received a confused look and decided not to pursue the topic "never mind let's just go and find leader".
"If you say so…" Kota followed behind her wondering what made the other so anxious.
…Lindow and Sakuya…
The wed couple stood in the middle of a large room with broken idols on a raised platform. "It still looks the same huh" Sakuya scanned her surroundings for any clues of their little leader.
"I doubt the aragami will do any housekeeping here" Lindow said from behind the idols,
"I looks like our little leader is quite skilled in hide and seek" he chuckled at their pet name for their young leader
"Better not let her hear you say that or else she'd pout us to death"
"And to think that Kota's the smallest of the four" The pair smile at the memory.
"What's up with the happy couples?" Leader grinned at Lindow and Sakuya who were watching Kota and Alisa argue about something, again.
"They're arguing about whose taller than whom." Sakuya answered, "Little orange here is insisting that little red is cheating with her heels" Lindow added in amusement.
Just then, Soma arrived behind leader scowling at the sight before him "can't they just shut up? It's annoying."
Leader shrugged as she said "it's either that or him, your pick" she pointed to the two then at Lindow, followed by a grin.
"No thanks" Soma sat beside her and watched in silence.
"Leader" said person looked at the standing pair mid-sip from her iced curry drink; "tell us once and for all who is taller" Alisa leaned over the table, "and heels shouldn't count!" Kota interjected earning a glare from the Russian girl beside him, after a bit of a stare down they both turned to their Leader, who answered with a straight face "Soma".
Lindow roared with laughter, Sakuya tried to cover hers, Soma hid his tinted face and the two juniors looked at her, heartbroken. "Ahaha~ our little leader is so honest" Lindow said in a sing song voice. She, in turn, pouted "I'm not that small". By the end of the day they had all received the title 'little' from Lindow and Sakuya.
"And they're all growing so fast" Lindow sighed at the lack of trail when they heard the sound of a flare going off. "It's coming from the center building" Sakuya scouted from the entrance. "Let's go get our little leader." The pair ran as fast as they could to their destination joining Kota and Alisa on the way.
…1st unit Leader…
"I wonder if they're worried about me" My voice sounded weak and hushed. Leaning on a rock I catch snow with my left hand, my right occupied with my wound. It felt colder than I remember, probably because I'm usually healthy and moving when in such conditions. Like earlier with that Chi-You and Electric Borg Camlann, those things are fine on their own but when they start working together it's a pain in the butt. Chi-Yous receive my deepest ire as they look like hard gay gone wrong.
A laugh escapes me followed by shaky breaths, gasping and coughing.
"Great" I scowl at the fresh blood on my hand.
A smile graces my lips when I hear Kota's voice "guess he found the incense." His mother was fond of the item after I gave them some, I could still see the mountain of biscuits that he brought back from that time.
A moment passed and someone was calling for me again "must be Alisa." There's that certain high pitch and slight accent that anchored it in. I chuckle remembering the times they'd argue about anything and everything, then the times that they'd be so in sync that they'd even react at the same moment with the same words when we tease them.
"So much fun" I could feel my eyes getting heavy "no… don't sleep" stifling a groan I squeeze the wound just a bit so that the pain would jolt my body alert.
I don't know how much time had passed before I heard heavy yet silent footsteps getting closer from the right. There's only one person I know who can do this.
So I whispered his name, I turn my head a fraction to the sound of rushed movements.
"You idiot" Soma's beside me now and I couldn't help but grin at him.
"Stop grinning you moron and why the hell are you lying here?" he gently lifts me up and sets me down against a pillar.
"I can't really choose when and where my feet decide to give up on me you know" he glares at me before gently opening the kimono to inspect my wound, I watch him take out fresh bandages and pour some antiseptic; he was surprisingly quiet but then again it is Soma.
I say his name softly, "What? Are you hurt anywhere else? Are you cut anywhere else?" Soma shifted his eyes to my arms seemingly alarmed by my muted tone.
I shake my head and asked "did I ever tell you?"
His eyes gazed straight into mine "tell me what?"
I lifted my palm to stroke his cheek "I love you."
His eyes dilated; cheeks red, mouth agape and speechless. I break into laughter, earning another glare and a rather rare pout.
"You look so cute like that. Don't forget to smile too, ok?"
"Stop horsing around damn it!" I felt my heart twinge at his answer cues me to avert my eyes.
"Shouldn't you light a flare? I'm sure the others are worried too."
I look to the open space then back to her profile "Don't move." She nodded a yes but didn't look at me, her eyes gone off far into the distance. I walk over to the rock she'd collapsed on earlier and set off a flare. It flew to the sky leaving a trail of red orange smoke and a loud bang, I turn but she's still not facing me.
"Hey…" she doesn't respond, her body slumps against the wooden pillar so I walk over.
"You better prepare yourself for another hell of a lecture when we get back" I receive another nod. Irritated as hell and ready to mouth off the aggravation in my head I force her to look at me and what I saw made me quiet. Her eyes were glistening with unshed tears looking lost, broken… weak.
"Don't tell me… you were serious" I asked, bewildered, she looked away. A tear fell from her earthen eyes and my chest suddenly felt tight, my throat constricts and the twisted feeling in my gut returned.
"Since when?" is all I could manage to squeeze out from all the things I wanted to say.
"The beginning." the silence after that was painfully heavy.
"There you are!" Sakuya's voice broke through the pregnant silence between Soma and Leader.
"Thank goodness Soma found you!" Kota was quick to notice her tears, and started to panic.
Alisa slapped him to calm down "We should get Leader back quickly! She's still bleeding."
"Right, let's get back so sis can scold you" Lindow moved to pick her up but Soma snapped out of his little trance and carried her bridal style.
"Yeah… this guy already told me" she jokingly moved her head to point to her poker faced carrier who tightened his hold.
"Is that so?" he shifted his gaze to his eldest junior. Sensing something wrong he asked if anything happened while they were on their way.
"No." Soma avoided any eye contact with the older man, his thoughts on their previous conversation.
"Let's go." After securing all their things they make their way back to where the helicopter is waiting for them.
Lindow pulled Sakuya to walk behind the rest earning him a raised eyebrow.
"Is it just me or did something happen between those two." He shifted his gaze to Soma and their Leader.
"I hope if something did happen; it's not going to be a bad thing to them both." She could only hope that the two of them would get together and be happy; Soma who keeps things to himself and Leader who takes the entire burden from everyone without being noticed.
Thank you for reading. :)