Title: Floodland II
Author: Sybil Rowan
Pairing(s)/Characters: Kurogane/Fai, Yuui/Boris (OC)
Warnings: some colorful language, sexual situations, and... well... a pregnant, hormonal Fai (so Mpreg)
Summary: AU. Picks up where Floodland left off. Fai and Kurogane go through a lot of trials for their quest for natural children, also there is the threat of war against Suwa. Yuui is learning how to be a good monarch, however, there are threats to his future rule. Also, Boris and Ran struggle to control Valeria.
Author's Notes: You'd have to read the first Floodland to understand how everything came to be in this story. I'm afraid it'd be confusing if you dove into this one first. A lot of OCs in this one- the same ones from the original Floodland. I felt they were really well received, in particular, Boris. Ran will be in it as well as some of the Weiss Kreuz guys. I still miss working with them. Also, Icchan from Angelic Layers is in this one. As I reread Tsubasa, last month realized Icchan, the pervert scientist, was in the background in Piffle World, therefore, he's fair game! I'll use him for some comic relief, and as a royal pain in Kurogane's backside. Also, lifting Hikaru from Magic Knight Rayearth. Oh yeah, Floodland II is also a Sisters of Mercy's song on the Floodland album. It seems my stories titled after their songs are my most popular :)
Disclaimer: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Angelic Layers, and Magic Knight Rayearth's names and characters, belong to CLAMP. Weiss Kreuz, its names and characters belong to Koyasu Takehito, Project Weiss, Marine Entertainment and Animate Film.
Beta Reader: WingedPanther73
Date: October 31, 2012, 4:18 pm
Word Count: on going
Boris sighed and and shook his head. He then flopped his leg over the arm of the Valerian throne and pointed the tip of his magic staff at the criminal's nose. "Fess up, or I'll tie you in a charnal house, and you know the rest of what I'll do. After all, the jury has spoken."
"Okay! I beat my wife to death! She was a nagging bitch! Just don't let zombies eat me!" the man shouted. He was tied and on his knees at Boris' foot. Ran stood behind the criminal, his one eye closed. Boris noticed Ran was relying more and more on his other senses now.
"Is that your true testimony?" Boris asked.
"Yes, I hated her so much!" the man raged. "I'd kill her again if I could!"
"My father had no mercy when it came to one thing: men who beat their wives," Boris said, remembering watching his father harshly punish men that did that sort of thing.
"Fuck your father! He was a Celian bastard and so are you! You're a filthy pig just like him!"
"I'm not a thing like him, which is a shame for you because he'd let you off with life in prison. Ran," Boris said, lackadaisically, not revealing how pissed he was at the insult to his father.
Instantly, the ninja's katana was drawn and sliced through the man's neck, cleaving the head cleanly from the body. The head rolled toward Boris' foot that remained on the marbled ground. Boris scowled at Ran. "Now I can't use that one. I told you to disembowel them, please. Heads parted from the body or burning renders them useless to me."
"Sorry. I'll do better," Ran said dryly in heavily accented Celian after sheathing his katana and running his hand over his stiff mofuku. Ran still clung to his clothing and Nihongo traditions, but he was well settled into his life in Valeria. He'd had Boris remove the translation spell and worked hard at learning Boris' language, writing and speaking.
"Oh well." Boris shrugged and kicked the head away from his foot. He summoned some combat mages to clean up the mess and then he turned his attention to Ran again. "What else do I have to listen to?"
"Just a girl that claims she's heard a plot against you and the Celes throne. Big surprise," Ran said dryly as he rolled his amethyst, right eye. There was hardly a person in all of Valeria that wouldn't cheer Boris' death, especially now that his apathy had gone by the wayside.
Boris had had a few assassination attempts, all of which were caught between Ran and himself. All of which were punished by death, so they had tapered off lately. And not all of the assassins were from Valeria. There were two from the slacker Celes soldiers that didn't care for the new and improved Boris, only they used their aversion to necromancy as an excuse to attack him.
He sent those Celian men to Judge Vlad who gleefully dealt with them. Vlad was still pissed at having been sent to Valeria in the first place, so the very word "Valeria" sent him into a frothy rage he took out on Boris' would-be assassins and harassers. Yeah, Boris just skipped reading those reports from Judge Vlad because they got rather colorful.
Boris sighed and slumped further on the throne as the young girl was led in. Ran checked her cloak for weapons and allowed her to approach Boris.
She lowered her hood and he saw she had to be fifteen at the most. She was also wearing Celes clothing. She carried a magic staff so he held out his hand and demanded, "Give me your staff."
"But I have something to tell you right away."
She finally handed over her staff, and he looked at the base of the topper. No signature or dedication. He was suspicious because that was a hallmark of a staff crafter like himself. He'd never craft a staff without leaving his fingerprints on it, unless he was making it for a criminal.
She had a pink signal color, that's all he could tell from the fluorite topper. He handed it back, leery of the girl. "You're from Celes. Why are you here?"
"Because I needed to tell you about something that Prince Yuui needs to know. I know of no other way to get a warning to him. My family is out of favor with King Ashura."
"And so you came all this way to ask my help? Why?"
"Because rumor has it that you have Prince Yuui's ear," the girl said.
Boris smirked to himself as he thought about all the other parts of Prince Yuui's he had, too. "So who are you anyway?"
"We met once before. At a dinner party, Governor." The girl stepped closer. "I'm Bresha Harvoan. I'm afraid my grandmother is plotting some trouble for Prince Yuui. I'm loyal to the crown and want to protect him."
Boris sat up and recognized the young girl, now, from that dinner party with Yuui and Ashura's malevolent aunt. His father had talked of horse sense, and right now Boris' horse sense was now telling him there was something off about this girl. He handed her back her staff and said, "Dinner is at six sharp. You must attend. If you leave the castle you must tell me so I can assign a detail."
He remembered giving those instructions to Yuui, but this time, it wasn't because he was bored and wanted Yuui the runaway to entertain him. This time, it was to keep an eye on this girl.
Fai was so angry with Kurogane he could spit. Kurogane was acting way too macho for Fai's liking. Sometimes Kurogane forgot Fai was male, too. He wasn't just physically male, but mentally male, too. Part of being a man was wanting to defend his family and be responsible. Now, part of Fai's family was Lord and Lady Suwa.
He should have equal information and say about things affecting Suwa, but Kurogane and his father had pushed him to the side and not told him very much, other than a neighboring province wanted to attack. They kept telling him to go watch after Lady Suwa or other such tasks.
The final straw was when Kurogane told him it was a "man's job" to go and confront the enemy, and Fai was to now "worry about the home front." Fai was a combat mage and had defended Kurogane many, many, many times. Now he was confused about why Kurogane would exclude him from fighting and defending Suwa. It was a sudden, unpleasant change that was starting to cause friction between them.
It was a day before Kurogane and his father were to leave to answer the charges brought against Kurogane in Edo by Lord Ueda. Fai found the charge ludicrous, that Kurogane was mentally unstable and a pervert.
It was a mental slap to Fai's face that Lord Suwa and Kurogane insisted Fai stay behind in Suwa with the admonishment he was not to leave the family compound. He felt as though he was being treated, not only as a child, but also as the wrong gender. He felt they were now trying to jam him into a gender role that he wasn't suited for. Yes, he did a lot of feminine things, but it didn't mean he thought like a woman. He had thought Kurogane respected that and was attracted to it. He didn't understand the sudden change.
He stood in the courtyard with Kurogane. They had gotten back from Celes a mere month ago, and he'd thought things would go more smoothly. He spent his dream life bitching to Yuui, who kept consoling him and encouraging Fai to be patient. But he knew Yuui was getting a little tired of hearing about it.
"Keep next to my mother while I'm gone."
"Is that an order, Kuro-sama?" Fai snapped with crossed arms.
"Stop being so petulant. I have too much to worry about. I don't need you acting like such a brat," Kurogane snapped back gruffly.
"Then you should stop acting like a chauvinist. I'm tired of being left in the dark."
"My father and I will let you know what you need to know," Kurogane snapped. "Now get in the compound with Mother!"
"Screw you, Kuro-gi. I'm going for a walk."
Fai turned and marched towards the cherry tree grove. Kurogane kept shouting at him to stop, but Fai ignored him, wanting to assert his own dominance. He was walking past that one, infamous bench when an arrow sunk into Fai's upper, left chest and laid him low right beside it.
"Fai!" Kurogane shouted. There was some fighting and commotion, Fai was too busy trying to figure out how to stop blood loss. In spite of the pain, he could tell they caught the assassin and were dragging the person to the stockade. He clenched his eyes and prayed Kurogane was fine.
Kurogane came over to him and and pressed cloth to his wound. "Don't move! A healer is on the way."
"I'm fine. Just stop moving," Kurogane ordered. They were silent for several long seconds while Kurogane fussed over the dangerous wound. "Why the hell won't you submit to me!"
"Submission is obedience veiled in gravity. Something Ashura would tell us," Fai said. "I only bind myself to you by affection, not by gravity. You aren't going to bend me the way you're doing it right now, with force. I thought you'd know that by now. The more you yoke me, the more I'll kick."
"And now you see why I yoke you, dumb mage! There are people that will try to kill you!" Kurogane pressed Fai's injury harder to clot the wound and asked, "Why do you buck against me?"
"Because you're not respecting me as a man," Fai said before passing out at the blood loss. Kurogane flinched back at what Fai had just said.
"Good morning. How are you feeling?" Ashura asked Yuui as he had a seat in the smaller dining room.
"I'm feeling good. How about you?"
"I'm fine, too. How's your brother?"
"Can I give you back your dream seer gift? He's complaining... again," Yuui said, stopping just short of rolling his eyes.
"So he's still griping about Kurogane?" Ashura asked in incredulity. "He picked his mate and knew the culture he came from. He made his own bed, so he can lie in it."
"I know. I finally told him that. Anyway, what were we doing today?"
"Holding court. I put it off since Fai moved to Nihongo, so it's well past time." Ashura sipped his dark, unsweetened hot tea. "Only this time, I'm going to let you conduct it."
"Me? That's a big responsibility."
"I'll be by your side. You'll have to listen to people and decide how to deal with them fairly. I know you can do it. I watched you in Nihongo when you had to deal with someone who wronged you. I think you learned a lot from that experience."
Ashura watched Yuui get a subtle smile. Ashura was amazed at the forgiveness Yuui had given Ran and at the acceptance with which he allowed Boris to have Ran as his retainer. "Have you heard from Boris lately?"
"Not directly. Judge Vlad sent me a report yesterday, though. He'll be in attendance today with a few soldiers that tried to attack Boris." Yuui's face darkened, so Ashura reached over and patted Yuui's arm. "He wants to govern Valeria to make his father proud. He's a strong man that will take care of himself."
"I know," he said glumly.
Milcent entered the room with a folded piece of paper and a tea kettle. "Good morning, Highness."
Yuui nodded at her and said, "Good morning. Thank you for the tea."
"Majesty, a dispatch from Valeria," Milcent handed the paper to Ashura. He unfurled it, keenly aware of Yuui's worried eyes on him. Milcent left, and Ashura scanned the letter.
Ashura didn't like what he read at all. He looked over to Yuui. "Well, it would seem my aunt is trying to find an assassin to do away with you. Bresh overheard something when she went to visit Naidra last time. She claims she was too afraid approach to me, therefore, she went to Boris to pass the information to us. Boris feels that something isn't right about the situation."
"So what are you going to do?" Yuui asked. Ashura could feel Yuui project some worry.
"I'll have to go visit Naidra and see if she is up to something. I will not risk her harming you." Ashura then smiled at Yuui. "Also, this is for you."
He handed the paper to Yuui and watched his son's face go red. At the bottom of the dispatch was "Note to His Royal Loftiness: I miss you."
Kurogane fretted over Fai as the healer worked on him. Kurogane was standing in the doorway so he wouldn't get in the way. Fai was unconscious, but actually doing well. He'd be fine. His mother was kneeling by Fai's head and praying over him.
"How is he?" Lord Suwa asked, laying his hand on Kurogane's shoulder.
"He's fine," Kurogane said. He let Lord Suwa gently push Kurogane down the hallway. They went into Lord Suwa's sitting room. They both sat at the tea table. He noticed his father was very stiff.
"I didn't think Ueda would go this far. To assassinate Fai is a grave matter. It'll only harm his case."
"Maybe it wasn't Ueda. It could be one of the other lords," Kurogane pointed out.
"True, and we'll get to the bottom of it. But I'm concerned about the disharmony between you and Fai. He seems hellbent on disobedience."
Kurogane actually felt heat come to his face. "I'm trying to get him under control, but he won't just have faith in me. Doesn't he trust me to know what's best for him?"
"I'm sure he does or he wouldn't be here. It must be something else," Lord Suwa said.
There was a knock at the door. Lord Suwa granted permission to enter and Lady Suwa came in and sat beside her husband. "Fai is resting comfortably. Husband, what are you going to do about this affront?"
"I wanted to kill the assassin, however, I'll take her with us to Edo."
"Her?" Kurogane asked.
"Yes. It was a young girl, just a child. Her name is Hikaru, so things are complicated," Lord Suwa answered. "She's very upset, but wouldn't tell me anything."
"Maybe I can talk with her," Lady Suwa asked.
"I hope you can get some information from her," Lord Suwa said. She nodded and left. He turned to Kurogane. "You need to sort out the differences between you and your mage. It almost got him killed. What's wrong with you two anyway? I don't get it."
Kurogane felt a rush of frustration and shook his head vigorously. "I don't understand why he doesn't understand he's going to bear my children and needs to stay out of danger. I don't want him to risk his life any more as my combat partner. He needs to stay away from danger. Doesn't he trust me to protect and provide for him and our children?"
Lord Suwa took a deep breath and shook his head. "How would I know? You've chosen a path not familiar to me. I'm not criticizing you, just saying I can't advise you. You have to figure it out with Fai. Whatever it is, settle it before you two have children."
Kurogane nodded. "I'll talk with him."
Kurogane left his father. He felt frustrated. He stormed down the hallways until he got to the prayer room. He entered and knelt by Fai's side. Fai started awake with heavy eyelids. "Kuro-mu?"
"Fai, rest. I don't want you to strain your self." He took Fai's hand in his.
Fai smiled at him and gave a weak nod. "I know. You've been treating me like I'm a delicate flower." Fai squeezed Kurogane's hand. "Why not treat me like your combat partner, like we were?"
"Because you're now going to bear my children. You're an important person to them. That's why. Don't you understand that?"
"I understand part of it, but our relationship can't work like that. It's not who I am. You were the one who wanted me to embrace my life as a combat mage; now you won't let me live that life. I just can't dishonor my father or Captain Demetri like that."
Kurogane felt guilty from the recrimination. Fai was correct. Kurogane had struggled hard to get Fai to embrace his violent, magical gifts, but now the situation was different. They weren't just lovers any more. They were headed towards being parents, with a lot of hardship coming their way.
Kurogane wanted Fai to focus on children while he focused on protecting the three of them. He couldn't do that if Fai were on the battlefield at his back. He'd be too worried about making sure Fai would get back safely to their children. All of this was something he wasn't ready to share with Fai yet.
"We'll talk about all of this when I get back. Just rest and get better," Kurogane said. Fai scowled but didn't say anything. He just drifted back to sleep shortly.
To be continued.
A/N: I hope y'all like the start of Floodland II. I thought I'd start with a big splash. A few things, I'm doing a NaNoWriMo this month so my updates will be about once a week until December. Also, the "Submission is obedience veiled in gravity," line comes from The Crow. I loved when I first read it 20+ years ago and it still doesn't get old to me.
Also, thanks to everyone for all your continuing support. I really appreciate it and am glad I started this as a separate story. I did need the fresh start, so I can move on in my grieving process. It was really, really hard to put an "end" on Floodland, and I'm tearing up right now thinking about it. All of you sticking with me helps cheer me up through losing my father. Thank you for that. I'm so very grateful.