A/N: Not my usual SoMa fics but I really like Kilik and his twins. Happy reading!
Sweat poured down the sides of Kilik's face as he threw down his pack on the dusty road, pausing to catch his breath. In the distance, Death City laid sprawled out before him, almost like a shining mirage. It looked like a macabre pyramid city, bone-white buildings with blood-red roofs crammed together, moving towards the sky and culminating with the DWMA, the crown jewel of the city. To some, the view may have been gloomy at best and terrifying at worst.
But to Kilik, it looked too good to be true. As soon as he had received his acceptance letter a month ago, he had done nothing but prepare for his journey, eager to be in Death City.
Bending to grab his pack, he pulled a water bottle from a pocket, taking a long swig. Capping the bottle, he tried not to picture his parents' faces as he bid them good-bye. They had long known his dream of being a meister and were supportive of everything he set his mind to but saying good-bye hadn't been easy. He had vowed to make them proud but now as he set down the road again, a fluttery feeling sprang up in his stomach.
He prayed that he wouldn't have to return to them as a failure, unable to find a single compatible weapon. Wiping the sweat from his forehead, he shook the thought from his mind. That won't happen. There were sure to be plenty of weapons at the Academy-the chances of finding someone to partner with was in his favor.
And with that comforting thought, he started down the road again, feet itching to feel the streets of Death City underneath his soles.
Kilik stared at the food on his plate, not hungry for once. He was too worried to eat-too worried to do much of anything, actually.
He had started off the day optimistically enough. After finally making it into Death City late in the afternoon yesterday, he had found a cheap hotel to sleep at and had collapsed on the flimsy bed and straight into a deep sleep, mentally noting to find housing as soon as possible. An internal alarm had woken up him up and after shrugging off his sore calves, he had gone for a quick exploratory walk before heading to the DWMA, wanting to get a better feel for his new home. Every store had had a touch of morbid humor to it (from Deathbucks Cafe to the Killer Fashion shop) but beneath it all, he had felt a bright sense of life pulsing within the city that called to him like a moth to flame.
The excitement brimming in his bones had spilled over and he had cut his walk short and gone straight to the center of the city, where the DWMA waited. As he got closer to the school, other kids wearing the same nervous expression had joined him in his march to the DWMA; a boy with the strangest hair, completely bald save for two neatly done pillars of hair on the side of his head, had started talking to him out of the blue, declaring with a proud sniff that he would be the smartest meister the school ever had. But Kilik didn't judge-the boy-Ox Ford-was nice enough, even with his pompous attitude.
Stealing a glance at him across the table that they had chosen for lunch, it seemed he also liked to talk about a certain pink-haired girl, jabbering on and on to his new partner who managed to look completely bored despite having half of his face covered by chrome sunglasses. The girl in question, Kim, hadn't seemed to feel the same way about Ox. She had turned up her nose at his invitation to sit at their table, choosing to sit at a table across the lunchroom, her weapon, a brown-haired girl, following her.
The very word made his stomach clench. Although Kilik had introduced to what he felt like every weapon (except for a strange-looking white-haired guy who had slipped off during Lord Death's welcome speech on the front steps and hadn't shown up the rest of the day) none of them had been a match with his soul. To say it was his worst nightmare was an understatement.
And even if he wanted to, he couldn't even blame it on anyone but himself. All the weapons had been nice enough, like a girl named Tsubaki, who had been the second person to talk to him out in the DWMA's hall. But she had been too preoccupied to a blue-haired kid's speech to make a connection and the next he had seen of her, she'd matched up with the still-rambling boy.
He gave his head an impatient shake, nervous fingers tapping a beat on his chair. He was the only one without a weapon. Well, he amended, not the only one as he noticed a pigtailed girl with the tag "meister" sitting at a table sans weapon. She didn't look too worried though but rather annoyed as a red-haired man stood at her side, talking eagerly to her.
Kilik looked down at his hands. What would his parents say if he was forced to return home? What would he do?
The din of new partners talking was suddenly too loud for him. He stood up and cut off Ox on whatever tangent he was on. "Sorry, I gotta get some air."
Without waiting for a reply, he grabbed two apples off his tray, stuffed it in his pocket and walked out of the room.
There was only an hour before the tour of the school started but he couldn't stay at the DWMA so he chose to wander Death City, finding himself in one of the shopping districts of Death City. He stared into one of the windows at the grinning skulls gazing up at him. "Maybe I should get a souvenir since it doesn't look like I'll be here much longer."
A shout from behind him broke his reverie.
"You get back here and pay for that, you little gremlins!" The angry voice came from a burly grocery keeper as he ran in the street after two little kids dressed in clothes that would better be called rags. They were carrying their weight in food yet easily outstripped the keeper.
That is, until one of them fell. The food in her hands spilled out everywhere, turning into a crushed mess. Her sibling, Kilik assumed from their nearly identical looks, immediately turned back. Dropping his own pile of food, he grabbed her hand to pull her up just as the keeper's hand clamped around his in a tight grip.
Kilik acted purely on an impulse. Diving across the street, he put himself between the keeper and the kids. "Hey, let them go!"
A vein throbbed in the keeper's forehead. "Did you see how much food those little thieves stole?! I'm reporting this to the police!"
He pulled out his wallet. "I can pay for it. Just them let them go."
The grocery keeper eyed him suspiciously. "You can pay for all of this?"
Taking out a wad of cash, the efforts of saving over many years, he simply asked, "How much?"
After he paid the grocery keeper, who had left without another look at the kids, Kilik turned to the two. The one who had fallen was on her feet now, still holding her brother's hand. They were both dark-skinned, with blond hair and eyes as blue as the sky. Both regarded him warily, although the girl was turned toward Kilik rather than away from him.
Again, he noticed their clothes, threadbare and dirty. A pang of sadness pierced his heart and he peeled off a few bills, reaching out to the pair. "Here."
The brother pulled his sister back a couple steps. But she pulled away from him, a tentative look on her face.
Kilik knelt down, stretching his hand to her. "It's okay. You can have it."
For a moment, she hesitated. Then she quickly snatched the money from his hand, her brother grabbing her free hand and they were off.
Kilik didn't chase them. Instead, he stood up and sighed, wishing he hadn't bought those boxing gloves for Christmas.
As he headed back to the Academy, taking an alley shortcut he had found on his run, Kilik couldn't stop thinking about the twins. He couldn't imagine how hard it was for them, living on the streets when they were kids. "Practically babies," he muttered.
The sound of footsteps was his only warning that someone was behind him. He turned quickly but it was too late, a punch to his side keeling him over and leaving him gasping for breath.
A raspy voice above his head spoke. "Quite the stash you had back there? Didn't you?"
Still wheezing for breath, Kilik looked up. A dirty, unshaven man stood over him, a long, grimy knife in his hand. "What do you want?"
With his free hand, the man gestured to his pocket. "Your wallet. And make it snappy or I start using this!"
Kilik cursed himself internally for flashing his cash so obviously in public. Hadn't his parents warned him about that? He struggled to his knees, raising his hands in surrender as the man waved the knife at him. "Okay, okay."
Then, his mugger fell to his knees, hit in the back of the legs by an invisible force, and two pairs of blue eyes looked around the doubled over body of the mugger and worriedly at Kilik.
A wave of relief swept over him as Kilik scrambled to his feet, barely shooting a grin at the twins before launching himself at the mugger struggling to his feet. But with a force he was surprised to find the mugger possessed, the man shoved him off, pushing him back into the alley's other wall.
Kilik's breath came in and out in gasps as he looked for the twins, sure they had enough time to run. Instead he felt two pairs of hands pulling on his pants leg.
"What are you still-?" his question was cut off as the twins glowed, turning into metal gauntlets. He caught them in the air. "Weapons," he said wonderingly. He was forced to break from his thoughts as the man launched at him with the knife, blocking instinctively, the knife leaving no mark on the gauntlets.
He smiled. These were odds he liked. One of the gauntlets began letting out little sparks of flame while the other sparked blue lightning, rumbling loudly.
The man's eyes widened in fear. He stumbled back a couple steps. "Y-you're of one of those DWMA people!" With another look at Kilik's flaming and sparking fists, he dropped his knife and ran out of the alley.
Kilik let out a laugh, slightly disappointed that the fight ended so easily. The gauntlets glowed as the twins returned to their human forms and they looked excitedly at him as he knelt down to look at them eye to eye, surprising him by grabbing him in a hug.
He returned the hug. "You guys really helped me out. I would have been a goner if it wasn't for you two."
The girl blushed, her cheeks a rosy pink while the boy gave a small smile.
He wondered aloud, "But if you two are weapons, then why aren't you at the DWMA?"
Both twins' faces dropped. In answer, they pointed at each other.
For a moment, Kilik was puzzled. Then it struck him. "It's because you'd be separated?"
They nodded sadly in unison.
Kilik bit his lip, considering. "Well, why don't you be my weapons? We worked pretty well together, didn't we?"
The twins' eyes, if possible, grew even wider in disbelief. The brother looked at his sister. Then, they looked at Kilik and nodded.
"All right!" He stood up and held out his hands, the twins grabbing hold. "Let's get out of here."
It doesn't occur to him until they're halfway to the DWMA; Kilik stopped in his tracks and looked at the twins curiously. "Wait, what are your names?"
The twins looked at each other, shrugging. Kilik felt his brow knit in confusion. "But didn't your parents give you one?"
The girl's eyes welled up while the brother shook his head.
Kilik felt his stomach drop. "They're dead?"
The boy's head shook even more vigorously while a tear fell from the girl's lip.
He spoke slowly. "They…left you?"
The girl hugged Kilik's leg while the boy started to cry and Kilik cursed himself for even speaking. What had he had been expecting? They had been in rags for Death's sake!
Speaking quickly to cheer them up, he said, "It's okay! You can live with me. And the first thing we need to do is get you out of those rags and into real clothes." He squeezed their hands, spotting a children's clothing store. "Come on."
Twenty minutes later, Kilik and the twins emerged from the store, twins dressed in beige overalls and study shoes. Kilik reached for something in the bag he now held. He pulled out two hats, one red and one yellow. "Okay, which one of you makes fire?"
The boy raised his hand and he plopped the red hat on his head. "And you make lightning," he said, placing the yellow hat on the girl.
"From now on you're Fire and you're Thunder."