Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, only the plot.
Beta'ed by: MysteryPT
Thank you to all reviewers. I try to update fast. I hope this is fast enough lol.
Chapter 5: Fly Away
Frau was floating in between wake and temptation to close his eyes again. His mind was hazy but his memory was as clear as Barsburg's summer sky. A first taste of defeat was bitterer than any medicine he had ever tasted.
Cracking his eyes opened, the King lamented silently. His gaze bore into unfamiliar ceiling, not caring where he was or who patched him up. All he needed was to close his eyes again and fell into deeper despair. And that's what he did.
It was probably a few hours later when Frau opened his eyes again, for the small window in that unknown place had glowed bright orange from the sunset. Frau averted his eyes from blinding light and for the first time he finally took a good care at the place.
The shape of the ceiling was the first thing he notice. It seemed he was in an attic. The small wooden-framed window near the cone shape ceiling strengthened his reckoning. Turning his head slightly, he had a good look at the overall room. It was small for an attic with stack of books at one corner near where Frau was. A few opened books were left beside him, a proof of what his rescuer did while he asleep.
Stirred by the sudden interest, Frau picked up one of the book beside his right hand. His arm was heavy as lead but he felt no discomfort or pain, which was strange. The King paid no attention to that and instead turned the book in his hand and skimmed over the cover.
'Herbs and Their Benefit'
Amused smile graced the King's lips. His pitiful lament was put back. Someone was actually putting so much effort to keep him alive. It might be his people. If so then, he should be happy for their care. It showed the little result for all his effort to make a better life for them all. They still needed him. It was all he had to know to keep on living.
With that thought kept strongly burn in his mind, Frau relaxed his tensed mind and muscle. A tender smile graced his lips still as tiredness washed him into sleep once again.
Days passed in a blink of eyes. One moment he woke up when sky was painted midnight blue and another time when dark cloud hung thickly above. Usually his rescuer left the small window open and let the gentle wind soothed the injured man. However, today was different. There was no cold wind caressing his bruised skin. The air was damp and heavy as thunder rolled in distance.
Frau - for the first time after rescued – rose to sit with his back on the wall below the window. He had gained strength though evidently still slightly weak.
Quickly, he inspected his abdomen, searching for healing flesh where his enemy pierced him before. But what he found was more than shocking. His stomach was far from smooth. But all scars were old. There was almost no trace of the newest wound but a patch of pink.
Surprise was an understatement. Frau was flabbergasted. Healing Zaiphon was ancient art that had long forgotten. Even those in both Raggs and Barsburg Royal Family knew only Offensive Zaiphon. It was impossible to heal an injury no matter how small in a few days without trace. It had to be Healing Zaiphon.
Excitement washed over him like a strong current. To think that such person still existed, he had to convince this person to join him. But now that he really thought about it, he had not met this person even once. Frau awoke more often lately but still he saw only books, the proof of his rescuer's existence.
Time to do some exploring, the King decided.
Looking around, he found his shirt which was dirtied by his own blood thrown to near the door. His gaze moved from the blanket warping half of his body to the dirty shirt and back. The King was actually contemplating whether he should go out half-naked, wearing a blanket like a fool, or wear his shirt back and looked like a half-beaten beggar. It wasn't even a choice in his opinion. In the end, Frau decided to take the last option. At least, it was still his own dirt and blood.
Finally donning the shirt, the King approached the only exit in the room. It wasn't locked so at least his rescuer didn't regard him as a prisoner. Still, Frau opened the door carefully and not making any sound.
Beyond the door stretched a dark passageway. At the end of the passage there was intersection. Right was leading directly to a stair which probably went on until the lowest floor. Left was a rounded way until finally reach another set of short stairs but from where he was Frau could see yet another corridor. Picking the left, he threaded the only passageway until another one. The second turn was a short way which leaded to a large room full of books.
Frau scan his surrounding with interest. There was nothing really out of place but he had drawn a conclusion that his rescuer was someone from the Tower. It was rather obvious by looking at the structure of building. Meaning that the tower which held his interest so much had secrets waiting to be solved.
Frau walked to the nearest bookshelf. The books were old. Some pages were yellow. Mostly were fairytale, plants, history, fiction but the titles were out of date. It was a proof that this place was forgotten by people and time.
Turning his attention elsewhere, Frau regarded the furniture with lack of interest. Everything in this place was ancient. More importantly, he hadn't seen anyone.
Just as that thought crossed his mind, he heard voices. One was definitely male but slightly high. Probably a boy. Another was definitely a female. The voices he heard was tense, indication some sort of trouble of argument was happening. Frau intended to eavesdrop the conversation to understand more about the situation and the inhabitants. But that plan was foiled the next second when he heard glass shattered and the girl's angry remarks.
Frau quickly approached the source and found a pigtail girl strangling a brunette boy on the floor. The latter was struggling to break free while his air intake was cut off by invisible force.
"I don't give you that medicine to help outsider! I gave it to help you! Why did you keep showing favor to outsider?! We're destined to live and die here! I won't let you go out! NEVER!"
Frau flinched at the intensity of power released by the seemingly weak girl. Normally he would try to persuade the girl to stop but seeing the boy's face distorted in pain, Frau didn't think long to jump in. He heard what the girl said plain and clear: the boy helped him and in return get into this situation. He had to help the brunette.
Putting his one arm as shield, Frau swiftly moved to the girl. He was lucky for the girl was blinded by rage and saw only the strangled boy. Taking his chance, Frau landed a solid hit to the back of the girl's neck, rendering her unconscious. Not wanting to risk his chance, Frau took the boy who was now unconscious in his arm and backtrack to where he thought the exit stair was.
It had only been a few days after Teito rescued the beautiful stranger. Everyday Teito would spend some time beside the man, reading a lot of books he knew wouldn't help. He had secretly procured Ouka's medicine. It was a jar of thick salve made by fusing water with Ouka's healing power. Of course, it worked better than any medicine in the world. Most of all, it was impossible for Teito get necessary herbs to heal the man, not to mention it would took so long for the man to heal. The longer he stayed, it would be more dangerous. Ouka had been rather disagreeable as of late. Any sign of Teito wanting to go out would incurred her wrath.
Heaving a long sigh, the brunette closed his half-read book. He had a feeling the man would wake up soon. It was probably better for Teito not to get involved with outsiders. Ayanami alone had made Ouka in such a bad mood. Teito really couldn't imagine how bad it would be if she found out about this stranger.
Teito gave a minute long stare at the man's sleeping form, agonizing his decision to leave. He wanted to stay, to chat with this man, to know what had happened in the outside world, what was that rising smoke, how this beautiful man is, his name, and then they would be friends. A sigh left his lips once again, knowing his wish was nothing but a dream.
Turning on his heels, Teito left the room in silence and walked back to his room. Never in his whole life had he felt so miserable. His room looked so bleak and dark. And never had his desire for leaving burn so strongly before.
Dark smoke at the edge of the forest was long gone a day after Teito found the blond man. The brunette felt that the man was the key for all questions he had. The moment Teito laid his eyes on the man, his heart jumped. It was neither joy nor curiosity that made him felt that way. This man was so much more than that. But what, he had no idea.
Arriving at the edge of his king-size bed, Teito sat down and relaxed. He had been visiting the sick man in secret a few times a day. Every time, he could feel fear built up every time he approached his own room. What if Ouka was there, waiting for him? What if she knew? What if she killed the man? And every time he saw the empty room, he would feel a short-lived relieve. He hadn't seen the girl today at all, and that was bad enough. Teito would never know what the girl would do in the near future.
Just when Teito was about to lie and close his eyes in soothing darkness, Ouka's alarmingly angry voice startled him back to stand defensively. There standing in one dark corner in his room was Ouka. Her eyes were red from crying. Her hair was in a mess. But alarming of all was her seething anger.
Teito took a step back as the girl slowly approached him. Not that Teito was afraid of her, but he thought of the girl as his only family. He didn't want to hate her. Much less hurt her in any way.
Teito shook his head at her rephrased question. "Ayanami didn't come lately. You know that."
"You're lying!" That's right. He hadn't lied. He simply decided not to tell her the whole truth. "I have healed your wound. Why did you need that salve?"
"I-I fell off the stairs."
The boy took another step back, stumbling when his heel unexpectedly met a stack of books he carelessly put. A loud thud followed by spewing dust hurt his eyes and nose. Teito coughed violently as he tried to clear his respiratory tract. When he could finally breathe better, the boy opened his eyes. But at that minute of weakness, Ouka had taken control.
She kneel, trapping his slim waist on the floor. His cold fingers pressed tightly on Teito's neck. She hadn't try to strange him, not yet. But the threat slithered around that thin arms, warping his life in deathly grip.
"You're lying to me."
"I'm not. Ouka, calm down."
In that second, everything blurred. He saw Ouka's eyes changed into golden gleam. Teito's vision also changed from red to dancing spots of black. He felt torrent of power hit him mercilessly in angry wave. While Ouka's power rendered his mind numb, that girl's thin fingers cut off his air supply. Teito struggled weakly to breath.
Ouka's raging power probably destroy most of his room because hazily he heard shattering glasses. Teito renewed his effort to break free, but it was all useless. Ouka's power had taken control of his body, specifically to prevent Teito from breathing ever again. Soon he felt darkness began to approach. It was painful, terribly.
"I don't give you that medicine to help outsiders! I gave it to help you! Why did you keep showing favor to outsiders?! We're destined to live and die here! I won't let you go out! NEVER!"
But…I want to be free…why can't you understand?
His thought was left unheard. All he saw then was darkness and more darkness.
Holding an unknown brunette boy in his hand, Frau ran down the spiraling stairs. His breath was short and heavy. His arms and knees were weak but he knew he couldn't stop. Forcing himself was the only way of survival. Frau knew completely nothing about the two but the girl was dangerous. His instinct said his life was also in danger.
A short glance at the boy, Frau felt invisible string began to tug at his heart. He had certainly never met the boy before. However, strange attachment slowly infected him. Nothing about this boy particularly interesting. His hair was rough brown but soft enough upon touch. His face was small and rather effeminate. With a body thin and fragile looking, the boy looked even more like a girl instead. Anyway, the point was that this brunette had no outstanding feature but something tugged at the back of Frau's mind. This boy was an important key. That's what he felt.
For a while, Frau almost felt like magic was put in place to prevent anyone from going out. Or it was only his imagination because his limbs screamed to rest. When Frau was about to stop running, small light renewed his determination. The exit was close, he fervently hope.
Two more rounding the stairs and Frau finally reached the bottom. Drying blood smeared the floor. It was probably his blood. To think this boy managed to drag his bigger body up this hellish stairs was a big wonder in itself.
Frau's one hand hovered hesitantly at the door, considering whether he should really take this boy out. What he did can be considered a kidnapping, but leaving him here might cause his death. In the end, unable to decide which was worst, Frau decided to follow his heart. Against his throbbing heart, Frau opened the door and ran out without a second glance.
The sun was obscured by thick rain cloud. The wind was cold and piercing. It was a sign of incoming storm. Frau cut through the wind, shielding the boy with his arms and hands. With the tall trees as his shield from wind, Frau made his way to Barsburg, evading the border where he was defeated.
After fifteen minutes of running, Frau reached the edge of the forest. From where he was, Frau could already see the frontier village. Hastily, he exited the barrier, evading a long branch sticking out his way. Actually, Frau didn't understand why and what people meant by barrier. When he accidentally came into the forest, he didn't feel anything. Even now as he left, he felt no obstruction.
Between the forest and the village was a few hundred meters long. Frau could feel his feet couldn't move even a step further. They were heavy as lead. Whatever technique the boy used to heal him had successfully closed up his wounds but not his fatigue and blood lost. Currently, the King felt faint.
He fell to his knees, but still desperately use his last strength to protect the boy from getting hurt. One of his hand shielded the back of the brunette's head as the King finally gave up resisting and fell. His consciousness drifted. From afar, he head galloping sound of horses. And then, he heard Castor and Labrador calling his name.
Frau woke up an hour later. Castor sat beside his bed reading a small book. His glasses reflected light from lamp. Funny how he felt nostalgia when he only met the bespectacled man a few days earlier.
"You're awake," his best friend stated without turning away from his read. "How are you feeling?
Castor closed his book and turned to face the King, eyes smiling. "I bet you do. Care to fill me in?"
"How'd you find me?"
The Advisor tilted his head, frowning at Frau's evasion. But still, he replied, "We have been patrolling around, searching for you. It was really just a coincidence that we went that way," the reddish haired man trailed off. "…or maybe not." He added quickly.
Frau took a cup his friend offered. Now that he saw water, he finally realized how perched his throat was. Gratefully, he gulped down the water to the last drop and urged his friend to continue.
"Lab had a premonition. He hadn't said a word while we were frantically searching for you…or your dead body. But today suddenly he came and told me to go that way. And so I found you with your stupid face on the ground."
Frau laughed. It had been a while since he last heard a very sarcastic remarks from Castor. He was usually rude, but never this rude. It showed how angry his best friend was. And for that he felt guilty.
"Sorry and thanks. Where's the boy?"
The King shivered. Castor was smiling evilly and that could never be good.
"Uh…the boy I was carrying? Brunette, thin, short, girly face?"
"I know," answered the man. "I won't tell you until you tell me what I want to know."
There was no chance for him to win the battle. He never won from Castor or Lab. They were trickier than a trickster. Heaving a long sigh, Frau told him what he had gone through. Who the boy was. The girl, the Healing Zaiphon, and finally, where he came from. By the time he finished the story, Castor's eyes were sparkling from interest and curiosity. And the sky had turned crimson once again.
Huh...I just realized how I like to end the scene with the character falling unconscious, at least for this chapter XDXD
Anyway, FRAU finally KIDNAPPED TEITO KYAAAA~ *cough* ehem... please reviews if you find this worth reviewing :)