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  1. #16
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    Mild gore warning. It's not graphic, if you ask me, but then again, I don't think that Double-Scythe was graphic, either.... =/ Meh.

    Chapter Seven: In Your Little Small World

    ::Sarina::

    Takeru sighed in mild exasperation when Suri left. "I don't understand why you put up with that one."

    "She's difficult sometimes, but it's rewarding to see someone you've taken under your own wing flourish."

    He was silent for a while, brooding anxiously. "You... didn't tell her, did you?"

    "Did I tell her why you're so frustrated with Keiji? No, dear. I know and respect my boundaries."

    He snorted, grimacing. "I'm not frustrated with Keiji. I used to be frustrated. Now I feel nothing but hatred and disgust towards that little waste of a life."

    "You shouldn't be so hard on your other self," I began. "He'll get over it eventually."

    "There's nothing to get over!" He bellowed, standing and glaring at me. "What he was born is not what he's become! You understand that he's like this because of what traces of humanity remain in his mind, don't you? He's trying to go back on what he's accepted as truth for the past six-hundred years of his life!"

    "You can't tell me that you wouldn't fall apart like that if you found out that you aren't what you think you are?" The irony of my words made me ill—I was talking to a mask—but I knew better than to try to carry on a conversation with a schizophrenic without catering to the idea that their two halves were in fact a single entity. "You can't tell me that you wouldn't."

    "Sarina, he chose to make a lie a truth. He obtained the capability to make his life what he wanted it to be, and he used it. He's in denial that he ever had such power."

    "Takeru, I've told you—give him time to recover. It's not like Rukuru wounded him. Rape renders unimaginable emotional scarring...!"

    "I can't have this conversation right now. Merely talking about those disgraces... it makes my skin crawl." He closed his eyes stiffly and grumbled.

    "It's not his fault!" I exclaimed, frustrated. "Do you really have to be so disgusted with Keiji, dear?"

    "He's pitiful. You can hear his thoughts—you have to know just how annoying and spineless he's become. I can't take it any more!" He gritted his teeth.

    I swallowed hard, having thought on whether to say it aloud.... "Is it just that you're in denial that you're a male in the body of a female?"

    He simply stewed. "The audacity," he snarled, his glowing golden eyes furiously wide. "He's not a woman! You know he's not a woman!"

    "He may not be genetically female, but have you ever thought that he could still think like one?"

    He said nothing, standing there, completely dumbstricken and confused. After a minute he threw his hands to his head, tearing at his hair with a roar, and vanished in a puff of smoke.

    I sighed, now depressed, and stood, walking out of the room. 'I wish I could at least get some gratitude from that beast....'

    I came to Suri's room to find the door open, and entered slowly, confused at the sight of a note on the end of her bed. It was addressed to me. I unfolded it and read.

    Dearest Sarina,

    By the time you read this note, you will know that I am gone. Don't expect to see me again for quite some time. I have left to rediscover myself. I simply don't know who I am or what I'm good for anymore. If Tsume Surudon comes looking for me, tell him not to come for me. I will return when I have found some answers.

    I know it's understood, but don't worry about me, all right? I'll be fine, Kizuki-sama.
    I sighed again, smiling faintly. 'Self-discovery, what a youthful notion.... She's too cute....' I left the note there on her bed, then walked off. 'I wonder how long it will take before she'll come back?'

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    ::Suri::

    A month later

    A young trainer walked past, and I chuckled to myself. "Kurai, we have another victim. Can you get his scent?" I looked on at the brunet preteen, awaiting analysis. Having a good bloodhound for a pet was always a perk.

    She let out an amused, hot breath. Kiddy has... she snuffled deeply for a moment, three Pokémon. Quagsire, Pidgeotto, and.... She snuffled again, confused.

    "What? What's the matter?"

    Third Pokémon smell like Ivysaur, but Kurai can't tell....

    I made a face in impatience. "Is its scent more or less pungent?"

    More. Issa Venusaur, she agreed.

    "Lovely," I beamed quietly, walking out of the brush after our prey. "Hey kid."

    He turned around and looked at me. "What do you want?"

    I grinned dementedly, my hair falling over my eyes. "Give me a challenge. It's been too long since I've had one."

    He growled at my pride. "I'll show you challenge," he muttered, snatching a Pokéball from his waist. "What's the count on the match? I've got three Pokémon."

    "Use all the Pokémon you like, love. But I've only got one." I played with her empty Pokéball in one hand. But he didn't know it was empty. "If I win, I get your highest-level Pokémon, all right?"

    He immediately knew that the proposition smelled fishy. "I don't trust you, lady. What'll you give me if I win?"

    I snorted, slipping the bag off my shoulder and tossing it to the ground in front of him. The flap that had held it shut flopped open, revealing that it contained hundreds of Pokéballs. "If you win, you can take your pick."

    He stared in confused awe and sudden fear. "Wh—why aren't you battling with any of these Pokémon?"

    "They won't listen to me 'cause I'm not the trainer that caught them."

    "You're sick! Taking someone's best Pokémon and then selling it...!"

    "Oh, I'm not selling them, love...." I shrugged, picking the bag up again and returning it to my shoulder, then began to fiddle boredly with the ball again. "So, are you going to fight me or what? You sure seemed hot to pull out your monsters on me a minute ago."

    He got that classic, delectable look on his face, the look of a wild Pokémon that somehow knows it can't get away from a trainer's pursuit, and he clenched his fists, afraid. "You say that, if I win, I get whatever Pokémon I want out of that bag of yours?"

    I made a face. "Hell, if you'll make your mind up, I'll let you have a handful."

    That made his mind up for him, and he readied his Pokéball again, thinking that the fight was worth it. "Pidgeotto, go!"

    Heh, leading off with that ball of nothin', are you? "Kurai."

    She replied with her simple, cute "chaaa", coming slowly out of the brush. As the bird Pokémon took its shape and his opponent emerged from the shadows, all colour fell from the kid's face. "Kurai like chicken," she grinned, splaying and falling to all fours.

    "Th—that isn't fair!" he uttered, shakily pointing a finger at her. "That's not a Pokémon!!"

    "It says nowhere in the Pokémon League Handbook that a Ditto has to be in the shape of a Pokémon when it battles," I corrected, chuckling cruelly.

    The ten-foot-tall creature smiled at him with a Ditto face and he lost his breath, and his face twitched in fits. The Pidgeotto fell to similar dismay.

    He pulled out his Pokédex and brandished it at Kurai, then realized that it wouldn't recognise her as a Pokémon and typed the name in manually. "Ditto, the Shapeshifter Pokémon. Little is known about this creature because it is so good at avoiding human contact."

    "Kurai, you have permission to have lunch, dear," I roared, motioning to her opponent with a mad flourish of my hand. "Once you make quick work of the Pidgeotto, remember that you've still got a Venusaur and Quagsire."

    She screeched and began to advance on the hapless bird, baring all her fangs in an enormous grin not much unlike that of a Feraligat'r.

    "H—how did you know what Pokémon I have!?" he squealed, frantically trying to recall the bird. He dropped the ball, and he glared at me in horror.

    I smiled, calmed by his fear. "It pays to know your opponent beforehand."

    The crunch of bones and the rip of flesh was heard and the boy wailed, holding his head in his hands as he could do nothing but watch Kurai devour the prized Pokémon alive. Once the act was done, she trilled, feathers falling from her bloodstained mouth, plopping down on the ground. "Kurai still hungie!" she taunted.

    "I—I give up!" he squeaked. "This is messed up! You can have my Quagsire and Venusaur! I didn't know people could be so sick!" He threw their balls at me and began to run away.

    Kurai started to chase after him, but I held a hand up and closed my eyes tightly shut. "No. You don't eat humans, Kurai."

    She cocked her head to one side. "Suri-lady let Kurai eat Pokémon. Why Suri-lady not let Kurai eat boy?"

    "I've explained this before. Humans aren't Pokémon. Dittos drink the blood of Pokémon to increase their abilities. Humans have no abilities like Pokémon do. If you started eating people, you'd be a murderer."

    "Kurai understand that human not strong like Pokémon. Kurai just sad 'cause humans taste good." She frowned.

    "You can't eat just because it tastes good, dear," I continued, the topic worrying me. "Food is for feeding you, not for appeasing your cravings. If you want something because it tastes good, you have to have permission, Kurai."

    She whined, returning to her diminutive form before fluttering over to me and perching on my shoulder. Hesitant, she promised, "Kurai not ask to eat trainers anymore."

    "Good girl." I picked up the two Pokéballs and put them in the bag. "I thought you were still hungry. Why'd you get little again?"

    "Kurai not have to eat right now. Kurai just want to smell boy's fear."

    I chuckled, walking on.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  2. #17
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Interesting. Very interesting.

  3. #18
    Onimusha Whisper in the Wind's Avatar
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    Heh, interesting concept about how she got all those Pokemon, same for the bending of the Pokemon League Rules. I can't exactly imagine a trainer willingly letting his Pidgeotto get devoured (I'd assume he'd return it) - let alone giving up both Pokemon. Forfeiting and giving up 1 seems more likely.

    Does Bold mean thought now? I always used to think whenever Kurai spoke (which gives me the occasional half-laugh due to the way she speaks ^^) it was bolded, but it wasn't this chapter.

  4. #19
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    Heh, interesting concept about how she got all those Pokemon, same for the bending of the Pokemon League Rules.
    Heh, when I started writing that part, I had actually thought that she could pawn the Pokémon to buy human food, but it hardly seemed like something Kurai would do, to get full-up on human food when there are perfectly healthy Pokémon out there. xd;; Now that she's got the choice in the matter, she's likely to embrace her Ditto instincts, neh?

    I can't exactly imagine a trainer willingly letting his Pidgeotto get devoured (I'd assume he'd return it) - let alone giving up both Pokemon. Forfeiting and giving up 1 seems more likely.
    I guess I have a hugely shallow person that just ran off from Suri. 'Snot like Kurai would eat the Venusaur or Quagsire, though. Venusaur is stinky "icky icky" and, er, "pungent", as has been requested by a prior fan of the saga, and Quagsire's covered in a slimy film. o_O;; Though I know from experience that getting feathers stuck in your teeth isn't fun, either, so I guess writing at 4 AM is a bad idea when you're making a random stand-in scapegoat....

    Does Bold mean thought now? I always used to think whenever Kurai spoke (which gives me the occasional half-laugh due to the way she speaks ^^) it was bolded, but it wasn't this chapter.
    Actually, italics are the standard for thought. Double quotes are "English" (at least, the common human language, as written in the author's native language), and single-quotes are Tenshi, Pokéspeech, or another non-"English" language. I have always used boldface for Kurai's speech because I don't really consider it thoughtspeech or a Pokétongue. I don't know. XD;; But, she speaks in thought to Suri for the first part of that passage, and then speaks human for the rest of it, however broken the syntax of her grammar may be. xd;; I would mimick K. A. Applegate and use the < greater-than/less-than symbols > for thoughtspeech that someone else would hear, but I do HTML for one way I post my fiction, and it's too rough on my logic when I use the "replace all" key. T__T

    Meh. I've never been consistent when it comes to keeping thought and thoughtspeech separate. I usually discern between the two when I tag the text with one of those "he said, she said" things. ;x Who wants an indirect object?

    —Kurai "I Do! I do! .... MY FOOT IS OUTSIIIDE" Tenshi x;

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  5. #20
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    *dies* It's been too long since I wrote. I feel like death. X__x;

    Chapter Eight: Yay?

    I was working my way to Ecruteak. I was taking my time, though—I was in Viridian Forest, and it was easy to appease Kurai's seemingly insatiable hunger here, considering the sheer number of Trainers here that came to capture the wildlife. It almost made me not want to leave the place for fear that she'd turn on me for sake of silencing her stomach. But, I knew I had to move on eventually.

    You see, even though the hormone spike that Sarina had given Kurai a month ago had long since worn off, her metabolism had steadily grown, thus oftentimes making her feel as though she were in an endless state of starvation. I had no choice but to grant her permission to consume the living beings around her. I had previously denied her access to trained Pokémon, but soon found that it took far more wild, low-level Pokémon to appease her. I held a continuous fear that even high-level Pokémon would soon be no match for her hunger.

    As I walked northwestward, Kurai napped, curled up at my neck. I felt her stomach rumble and shivered slightly.

    "Phanpy, keep on," I heard a male voice encourage.

    "Phan," it murmured, its mind elsewhere.

    I hurried towards where I'd heard the pair, and looked on as the dark-haired boy followed his pachydermic Pokémon. By no means was this creature large, however, as it only stood about two feet tall, but it was certainly incredibly strong. Its sense of smell was impeccable, and thus was used to root out rare vegetation and ore veins. I figured that this was what the boy was doing.

    "Phan!" the Phanpy exclaimed after a minute, stopping. It stiffened its trunk and used it to point at the ground where it had stopped.

    "Did you find it?" he asked it.

    "Phanpy phan," it agreed.

    "Then go for it. We need to gather a good amount of brio root."

    After a minute of digging into the soft dirt, it stopped, wiggling its rear end in the air trimphantly as it fished out the plant. It presented its find to its trainer moments later, upon which it received loving attention.

    "Great," the boy plauded. "You found a horde of this stuff! This is easily enough to make more PokéChow."

    It cooed warmly and rubbed its head up against his outreached palm. As the two of them stood there in contentment, I inspected the boy more closely. Though shirtless beneath, over a many-zippered vest he wore a series of belts and sashes, from which were hung various satchels and pouches. Khaki cargo pants covered his legs. He had a pair of running shoes on, scuffed from use, but not worn to pieces. His face was full of concentration, despite his current mirth. I wondered how such a young boy could be so preoccupied.

    "Enough gloating, Phanpy," he began, losing his smile. He stopped petting the Pokémon and turned to walk back up the path. "The other Pokémon have to be hungry."

    Hearing "Pokémon" and "hungry" in the same sentence brought Kurai around from her nap and she trilled, stretching while crawling up on top of my head, much like a snake of some sort. There she perched, looking on at the boy and his Pokémon. She cocked her head to one side. "Boy said other Pokémon, Suri-Lady..." she began.

    "Yes, Kurai," I agreed, remembering that her stomach was probably waking up as well. "Can you tell what he's got?"

    She snuffled around a little bit. "Scent is weak. He already too far away. Kurai can smell a Crobat, though. Crobat icky icky. Easy to smell." She stuck her tongue out in disgust. "Messy eaters. Don't groom themselves, either." She poked her head down to look me in the face upside-down. "We follow them?"

    I nodded silently, and she fluttered off ahead of me as I made my way up the path.

    ~*~*~

    North to Pewter we came, where the boy ducked into an alleyway in the North-West downtown area. He entered through the back entrance of a large building, then walked several hallways until he came to what I supposed was a kitchen of sorts. He stripped the hardware from his body and set them on the isle in the center of the room. Once unburdened by this some twenty pounds, he proceeded to dig up pots and pans, and a mortar and pestle, then began crushing the brio root.

    He smiled as he worked, that same intense, almost insane look in his eyes, mixing together an assortment of berries and indeterminable spices also. Once these were incorporated, he used his hands to pick up pieces of the doughy stuff, rolling it into balls of about the size of a gold piece. Then, he put each rolled piece into a jar. I looked at the label and mouthed "PokéChow." I arched my eyebrow. A Breeder. Hm....

    I wasn't paying attention to how quickly he'd finished off the batch and was caught off-guard. He glared at me, eyes narrowed. "Who are you, and what do you want?"

    "I—"

    He saw Kurai atop my head and took a step back. "What in the world!"

    She took her natural form then for sake of the boy not having a heart attack, then trilled, clinging to my head with her pseudopods.

    He instantly calmed down, albeit in a nervous sweat. "Explain yourself," he continued.

    "I saw you rooting around with your Phanpy, and got curious. But I'm glad I followed you, since you're obviously a Breeder. I hope you can help me."

    ~*~*~

    I led him to sit with me at the isle, to talk to him. "You see, my Ditto has been having some metabolic problems."

    "I... don't follow." He looked at Kurai funny and she stuck her eye-tongues out at him. He recoiled with a yelp. "You'll have to forgive me. This is actually the first time I've ever laid eyes upon a Ditto...."

    "That sure comes as a surprise," I muttered sarcastically, half under my breath. "Well, I suppose I should explain that Ditto absorb bits and pieces of other Pokémon in order to transform into them. My Ditto's problem is that it doesn't, er, get full from what a Ditto should normally eat."

    I was apparently being too vague, because he was squinting even more now than he had been from the moment I'd seen him. "You're trying to tell me that your Ditto is carnivorous? That's hard to believe, I'm sorry. From the reported natures of the species, I've heard they're very docile and would never harm a Caterpie."

    "I doubt seriously that my Ditto is the only vampiric Ditto in the world... what did you say your name was?" I smiled nervously.

    "My name is Brock—Brock Morris. This is my Gym."

    I blinked in disbelief. I'd trailed a Gym Leader...!

    "I—I'm Suri Mazoko. I'm from Lavender." I blushed. "Pleased to meet you. I'm sorry that it had to be on such awkward terms...."

    He smiled suavely. "I'm sure it's no problem." He put his hand on mine, which was resting on the countertop. "Do continue, though. You've got me enthralled."

    I shirked the affectionate lovepat and put my hands, laced, in my lap. He frowned, but said nothing. "As I was saying, I doubt seriously that Kurai is the only Ditto that sustains itself like this.... If other trainers that have had Dittos have reported them as a nonsustaining species, then it's for fear that Ditto would be persecuted if it were found out. They truly are a rare find, I must say.... They really dislike human contact in general."

    "That is a brilliant take on such a situation," he nodded. "I have to agree with you. And I have to believe you, considering that frightening form it had taken on before now." He looked at her peculiarly then. "Fascinating. I had always thought that Ditto had eyes.... I guess it's a mutation isolated to the species?"

    "They eat with the mouths that look like eyes," I explained. "The slit that looks like a regular mouth is actually home to its sense of smell and hearing. Ditto are blind, so they move around similarly to a bat or a snake, tasting and smelling the air, as well as comparing sonic waves."

    "You are beautiful *and* brilliant, Suri. You know your Ditto so very well."

    "Well, it helps that she's picked up English from being around me...."

    Up to that point, he'd grown more and more impressed with me the longer I talked; this stopped cold when I uttered that one sentence. "I—it speaks English?"

    I nodded. "She only speaks out loud when she's in other forms. She's fond of using telepathy to talk at any time, since she can't really form words with her mouth normally."

    "This really is a wonderful creature, isn't it, then?" He reached a hand up to touch her, and she lashed out, biting his finger viciously. "That smarts," he uttered acridly, snapping his hand back and putting it in his mouth. I could hear her coarsely chuckling—at least, what a Ditto can possibly produce to be chuckling—and I surpressed laughter myself. He glared at her intensely, studying the trickle of blood that ran out of the eye-mouth that had bitten him. "You weren't kidding. ....Ooh, that smarts."

    "You see, that's my problem," I frowned, plucking her off my head and holding her in my arms. "Her levels of hunger have grown exponentially as the time's gone by. I got her a month ago. She started out being satisfied with a blood bag every few days—but now she's been satisfied only with a live Pidgeotto—or larger!"

    All colour washed from his face. "Y—you're the Menagerie Dragon people have been talking about—!" He instantly snapped away from me. "You're the one that's been challenging trainers to Pokémon ante, then letting your Pokémon devour the profits!" He began to worry that Kurai would eat him and frantically grappled at the Pokéballs at his belt. "C—Crobat—!" In a flash of light the enormous bat emerged from its resting place, seeming to hover at the ceiling.

    "Brock! She listens to me! It's okay!"

    "'She' consumes whole Pokémon—while they're still alive! How the hell is that okay!?"

    "That's why I need your help! You have to know how to keep her hunger down!"

    He began to whimper, looking this way and that, thinking of ways to escape alive. "That's the problem.... Until today, I had no clue what Ditto were capable of.... I may be a Breeder, but that doesn't mean that I've had every Pokémon at my fingertips!"

    "We can work together! You have to be smart—you run this Gym! And you have a Crobat—Golbat only evolve when they really love and trust their trainer...!"

    Still he was horribly uneasy. "...Are you certain it won't eat me?"

    "I've made her promise she wouldn't eat humans, Brock. Please, help me. I can't go on like this much longer...!"

    The sound of breaking glass was heard, and the two of us turned to look. Kurai had made her way over to the jar of PokéChow and had broken it by taking it into her body. It had cut her up pretty badly, but she didn't seem to care. She was tearing into the Chow as though it had been the Pidgeotto from the day before.

    "What the heck is in that stuff?" I asked pointedly.

    "Brio root," he replied, also bewildered. "It's supposed to cure stomachaches and poison. You don't suppose the Ditto's been eating so much because there's a problem with its stomach and not its metabolism... do you?"

    "That possibility hadn't dawned on me...." The two of us were so dazed by the fact that she was eating the stuff that it was hard to carry on much more of a conversation until she was finished. "Kurai?"

    She gave a curious "Dit" and faced me, returning to her favoured form. "Kurai tummy isn't angry anymore," she announced, rubbing at it with a peculiar face.

    Instantly Brock was again enraptured by her, considering her no longer a threat (though I was hardly going to make the possible mistake that she still hungered). He scooted his stool up to sit next to her, and began to pet her. She purred, sprawling out on the countertop. "It's cute, now that I get a good look at it. I guess I had been frightened of it because I didn't know what it was?" He laughed.

    You still have no clue, human, I thought to myself cynically.

    "You're a trainer, aren't you, Suri?"

    I hesitated for a moment, then agreed to his assumption. "Yeah, I suppose you could call me that."

    "I would love to see your Pokémon's capabilities. Could you battle my Crobat?" Crobat seemed frightened by Kurai, regardless of the course of events. It had roosted upside-down in the corner, and occasionally gave her an acidic glare of attempted intimidation. Brock chuckled half-heartedly. "Or maybe one of my other Pokémon?"

    I snorted. "Sure. But only if you give me more of that stuff. I have a feeling that her stomachache isn't going to cease with a one-time cure."

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  6. #21
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    Chapter Ten will be better than this crap. n__n

    Chapter Nine: Perverted Games

    ::Rei Takunei::

    I leaned over the side of the pool table, aiming to make a trick shot. Some say I've got a poker face, no matter the game. To them, I say life's the game. "1 in the right corner pocket, followed by 2-3 in the left pocket behind me." The 2 was sitting almost sunk in that pocket, but the 3 was in front of the 1, in the middle of the table.

    "Oh, you can't make that," the guy I was playing muttered quietly, grinning about it. "I suggest you call different, otherwise that fifty-gold wager's mine before you even shoot." My fuschia eyes drifted over to him, emotionless. He could sense the rage that welled up inside me at his statement, and he said no more, swallowing hard.

    I reared back and struck the underside of the cue ball, such that it leapt over the 3 and came down hard on the 1, then rolled backwards to strike the 3. The 3 came to knock the 2 into its pocket, but the 3 just barely failed to sink. The guy snickered at me lightly. His attitude had me electrified, gritting my teeth, and I gave the treacherous lump a telekinetic nudge such that my shot had followed through as called.

    He simply stared at the pocket, stewing. "How'd you do that?"

    "Are implying that I cheated?" I glared at him. My mouth curled up into a demented grin. "How could I have cheated?"

    "I—I—"

    With a single hand I grabbed him by the collar, and I lifted him about a few inches off the ground, my eyes burning deep into his, now even with mine. "Get over it and pay up." He instantly threw the contents of his pockets on the table, freaked out completely.

    "Dude, get an attitude adjustment," another interjected from behind me, putting a hand on my shoulder.

    I snapped around and snarled at him, not letting go; he backed off.

    The bartender had seen there was a disagreement going on and came over to break it up. "I'm going to have to ask you guys to leave if you don't stop it right now." Grumbling, I let go of the guy. He dusted himself off, disgruntled. "Good. Keep it clean in here. Just because I serve alcohol doesn't mean that I don't run a smooth bar."

    I hadn't complied with the man's wishes because I felt my authority compromised—I had complied to maintain my easy access to the establishment. I didn't like that that pipsqueak had made me look bad. I voiced my displeasure of him with a guttural growl, then ignored him entirely once I'd collected my winnings. He was small in comparison to me, as were most of the humans in there. That's easy to say, though, since I'm six and half feet tall—hardly any match for me. I saw them as nothing more than playthings, something to work out stress—and I had lots of it as of late. I don't know what it was, but I couldn't sleep; and, no matter how much I drank, I couldn't get my nerves unknotted. I would suppose that literally sustaining life with life tends to do that to a person....

    After I'd sat at the bar and had another drink or two, I left. I heard rushed, angry footsteps behind me, but didn't care; I simply stuck my hands in my pockets and continued my stroll down the misty night sidewalk. I walked by an alley and looked in there nonchalantly, and spied a Grimer rummaging through the dumpster. I snorted. Such filth, I thought to myself, shaking my head.

    I caught scent of someone behind me and the hair on my neck stood on end. It took nothing for me to realise that the guy had followed me to get revenge.

    "Hey, you!" he called after me, only about five feet away from me now.

    As I turned to face him, he slammed a pipe down at my collarbone; I almost effortlessly caught it with a single hand, every muscle in that arm rippling to defy the idiot's assault; I had my hand wrapped around his so he couldn't let go of his weapon. I glared down at him, gritting my teeth. He yelped, frightened by how easily I'd foiled his attempt to hurt me. I grabbed his free hand before he could back away.

    "Ah—ahh, let go of me, you freak!"

    I bared my now-prominent fangs at him and gave him a low, throaty growl. Then, I threw down his hands and flashed to grab the collar of his shirt again; the pipe clattered to the curb and fell into the gutter. "People say that I have a problem with my anger," I told him, eyes manic-wide. "Especially when I've been drinking." I snapped my face down into the side of his throat, smelling of him. Taking only a moment for my instinct to have the chance to salivate, I ripped into his jugular and sucked him dry. I left the corpse in the gutter alongside the pipe. Walking away, I wiped my mouth with my hand. Not looking back, I muttered over my shoulder, "I hope you enjoy your meal as much as I did, Grimer."

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    ::Suri::

    As Brock led me to his Gym's Arena, we made short conversation.

    "Where do you plan on going from here?"

    "Well, I was on my way to Ecruteak, but I got caught up in Viridian Forest."

    He stopped in his tracks at hearing this and couldn't help but letting out a laugh. "You were going to cross the Silver Ridge on foot?"

    "Uh...." I blushed, embarrassed.

    "The Magnet Train passes through the mountains, but the only terminal on this side is in Saffron, Suri."

    I nodded, unable to reply. I said nothing more until we got to the arena.

    The ground here was barren of flooring, and boulders protruded upwards from beneath the sandy soil. Patches of weeds and grass grew in places. But, aside from painted boundaries, the expanse was nothing but dirt and rocks. The ceiling was open to the air, and the walls were painted a dark pewter grey.

    We took to our respective ends of the terrain. Kurai fluttered out and perched atop a medium-height rock, smiling coyly at Brock's Crobat. It shuddered, apparently quite frightened of the sheer thought of a Ditto. She "cha"ed at it and it hid behind its Trainer.

    Brock laughed nervously, embarrassed by his Pokémon's lack of resolve. "Crobat, if you don't want to fight the Ditto, you don't have to...." It took the opportunity to skip out on the excitement, becoming a flash of light before vanishing into its Pokéball.

    "I guess I'll have to use a gutsy Pokémon against Kurai, won't I?" He smirked, pulling out a different ball from his belt, then tossed it out onto the field. "Graveler!" he exclaimed as the creature emerged from a similar flash of light. The mess of jumbled-up rocks stood and looked at us, sizing up the competition. "Rock Throw!" he ordered, trying to catch Kurai off-guard. It would have worked, too, had Graveler been faster; she had just enough time to escape the thing's volley of stones it had picked up from the arena floor.

    "Kuuu," she murmured, pouting, now airborne.

    It took me a minute to establish a list of potential moves that Kurai's form would be capable of using. "Kurai, Faint Attack!"

    She nodded, looking down at the Graveler. I sighed in relief, glad she had understood the order.

    Brock knew what I was trying. "Dig underground, Graveler!"

    In its own element the Rock Pokémon was very quick, easily avoiding Kurai's attack. She vanished in a puff of black smoke, reappearing where Graveler had been; she tried to slam into it, but instead crashed into the ground. Graveler came up from beneath her in an instant, sending her flying through the air with a squeal.

    I cringed. "Get up, Kurai!" She wailed in pain, but managed to comply. She was breathing pretty hard.

    "Kurai can't fight as little Kurai. Want be big Kurai, Suri-lady."

    "By all means, my dear. Whatever it takes—you know that's how I live."

    She grinned, rippling ever-larger until she stood at least at human-height. I wondered why she hadn't taken on her full-fledged form, but this size adjustment would be more than enough for her to overcome the opposition.

    Brock simply stared at the stark-naked female before him, and blushed furiously. He was thoroughly bewildered how she had managed to take on such a peculiar form, let alone that her curves bore remarkable likeness to those of a human being.

    Seeing just how much this paralyzed the perverted boy, I sighed. "Kurai, synth some clothing, please."

    She cocked her head to one side at him, then did as told, a tank top and pair of pants emerging from her skin, both articles silver-coloured. She posed for him, enjoying being a tease, then glanced over to the Graveler and splayed at it. It jumped, startled.

    "Your Ditto truly is creative," Brock commented, on edge, "but that's dirty pool, Suri. It's too beautiful to KO!"

    "I'm sorry that you think so," I replied snidely. "Kurai, Slash Graveler's hide open, then use your poison on the open wound."

    She leapt at it and latched on with her feet and her claws, then gouged its face with her free hand.

    "Ah!" Brock freaked out, suddenly swept back into the battle. "Graveler, Rollout!"

    It started to roll forward in an attempt to knock Kurai off. To keep from being squished by the half-ton Pokémon, she let go, flying up to the highest rock on the field. When it noticed she'd taken to the air, it stopped its attack and glared up at her.

    "Rock Throw!"

    "Dive down and dodge those rocks, then get in its face and poison it!"

    Kurai fell headlong from her perch, trying her best to avoid being hit by Graveler's attack. She managed to go without getting hit with over three-fourths of them, and latched onto its face again, giving it an enthusiastic kiss, her lips shimmering green with venom. The faux embrace lasted only a moment before Graveler fell over with a rattling groan. She leapt off of her prey, taking a stance of pride at its feet. The rock had corroded away where her lips had touched.

    Brock stared intensely at his Pokémon, returning it to its Pokéball with anxiety. "I can't believe just how strong your Ditto is, Suri."

    I smiled cruelly. "You might want to take off to the Pokémon Center about now, dear. That poison is stronger than any other I've ever encountered."

    He broke a cold sweat at hearing my snide words. "But a Pokémon's health doesn't deteriorate when it's in digital form!"

    "It might expire just from exerting the energy to rematerialize from its Pokéball, dear. Like I said, you'd better hurry."

    In an instant he was running out the door in purest grief. I chuckled. "Thanks for the help, human," I muttered once he'd left. "You've been inexpensible." Once Kurai'd taken to her smaller form (she decided she liked the outfit she'd made, so she made it smaller so it would fit her in this form as well), I, too, left the Gym, making my way to Saffron City.
    Last edited by Kurai; 25th April 2005 at 04:09 AM.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  7. #22
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    Instead of making this a separate chapter, I'd rather make it a splice-on to Chapter Ten. Chapter Eleven will be the last chapter before moving on to the next book. ;x

    Chapter Ten: Dissolution of Disillusion

    ::Takeru::

    Can you not get over yourself, even for a moment? I sneered at Keiji. You're pitiful—not even worth anyone's time.

    He sighed, melancholy, and settled himself against the padded wall of the asylum cell. "You keep telling me just how worthless I am, but you never even have any reason for it...."

    You have immense power—the power to change yourself, on every level!—yet you still hold onto what you were born. You aren't human, you spineless piece of trash. Quit acting like one.

    Sniveling, he ignored my comment, unable to form a coherent response.

    I can't take this any more! You disgust me beyond words! I seized his body fiercely; with a raging roar, I tore myself from his body. From head to toe I sat up from inside him, standing, my back to him. I could hear him breathing heavily, drained from the separation. I turned to face him to find him staring up at me with exasperation and fear. "What?"

    "In all these years... you've never physically separated us....."

    I snorted. "No reason to. You're weak enough that I could control you with ease."

    He seemed hollow, the look in his eyes possessed and yet lifeless. "You... you aren't real...."

    I glared at him in utmost, defiant bewilderment. "How can you possibly say I'm not real!?"

    "I made you when I was sixteen. You're a part of my mind, and nothing more. And, because I made you, I can unmake you."

    I didn't have any idea how to react to such a turn of emotion. He had never had such strength in his words—I had been the potence in his voice when he'd needed it, his courage, his pride. I was a part of him, but he'd never admitted to it. Flustering madly, I leapt upon him, sharp ends focused on his throat and face.

    He flung me back before I had the chance to land, pinning me to the far wall, effortlessly, with his telekinesis. He stood, the anger in his gaze the only emotion in his face, his left hand outreached in my direction, as he focused his strength to keeping me restrained. "You've always told me I was the weak one," he muttered acridly, a vile grin forming at the corner of his mouth; "yet, you've never proven to me that you're the strong one. I say you're nothing but talk, old man."

    Rage welled up inside me then, as he said this, and I hissed, baring my fangs at him. I slapped him hard in the head with my own telekinetic force and he recoiled. However momentarily it may have been, it was enough to distract him. I flung him to the floor and leapt upon him, strangling him. "You dare defy me!" I roared, digging my nails into his neck.

    He returned the gesture, throwing me to my back and kneeing me in the gut. "You're afraid of me," he chuckled, choking. "I—haven't fought—your presence since I first—made you...!"

    "You didn't make me, little one—I made—you!" I sliced his arms off with my kinesis, then sank my teeth into his jugular, ripping his throat wide open. I peeled his hands from my shoulders and took his left hand in mine. I mockingly gnawed on it with a sneer. "I am your very strength of character, and you can't accept that you have no spine."

    He regenerated his hands in an instant and leapt to strangle me again, this time with a force I could not possibly comprehend coming out of him. I cried out as my throat collapsed, the sound of him shattering my voice box was the last it made; it was then that I realised he was combining his kinesis with his stranglehold. Seeing my pure, wide-eyed fear of him calmed him, and he relinquished, still atop me. He smiled down upon me, content. "Shut up already."

    I twitched. That's exactly what I wanted out of you, bouya...! I uttered in awe. I knew I could get you to get over it.... I chuckled hoarsely, lifting myself only just barely up from the floor. I took hold of his face, kissing him gently. You know I'm real, chiisai. Never forget it. With that, I let myself melt and fall into him, just as I'd come out.

    Once I'd done so, he fell to his hands, exhausted. He sighed, content, then stood, dusted himself off, and wandered away, hands in pockets.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    ::Keiji::

    I smiled, completely and thoroughly amused with myself.

    Maki walked into the Valley from behind me, curious. "Keiji...?"

    "Hn, hey, love."

    She seemed frightened by my mirth, then noticed the doll in my hands and choked up completely. "Th—that's...."

    My grin couldn't have been any bigger. "Yup." I smoothed his hair down and chuckled. "I guess it's not true anymore that all the dolls I've made are girls."

    "But... what compelled you to do that...?"

    "Heh." I pinned the fingernail-sized brooch at his throat, then messed with the frill of his ascot a bit. "Well, Takeru *is* a part of me, is he not?"

    She was beyond words. "I—I guess that's true...." She got over the initial shock and also grew a smile. "That's ironic, actually."

    "Hm?"

    "Takeru is the part of you that made all those dolls so long ago, and you just made a doll of him."

    "All the better way to embody him, if you ask me. You know just how much he loves irony."

    ~*~*~

    It was about a week after the brawl. Smiling curiously, I came up to Maki, where she sat at her office desk. "Whatcha doing?" I asked asked coyly.

    She put down her pencil. "Oh, I'm taking notes from the sessions I had with my patients today." I mused over this for a moment. "What?"

    "Oh, nothing...." She gave me that stern, smirking look and I melted. "You never actually made any note that you've lost a patient." I scrunched my nose, trying to be cute and not get her irritated.

    When her attention fell back to her pages, I hooked my chin over her shoulder to spy on what she was writing. "I'm still not used to the thought you've put all of that to rest, dear."

    "Hn, I haven't, really." I crossed my arms behind my back and began to pace slowly back and forth behind her. Contemplative, I tried to find a way to explain it to her. "Takeru's still in there somewhere. He's just not commanding my life." I bent over and wrapped my arms around her shoulders lovingly.

    She stopped what she was doing again, becoming rigid. "Having your lips that close to my neck is still disconcerting for me, if you would return your hands to where they were."

    I was horrified to find myself overwhelmed once she'd made it clear to me just where my face had rested. I went pale at feeling my stomach tie itself in knots as her pulse became more and more obvious. Completely entranced, my breathing grew scarcer. As my tongue reached out from within my lips to caress her throat, I knew almost immediately that the Ditto in me had taken liberties with my mouth. I couldn't take it anymore and grabbed her, opening my jaws wide and ready to sink my teeth into her tender flesh. She managed to get away from me by phasing through my hands and falling to the floor. I realised what I'd almost done and my eyes grew wide. We stared at each other in total horror.

    You bastard, I seethed in my mind, gritting my teeth.

    He'd obviously been paying attention and hadn't helped matters one bit. What? I didn't do anything. He was amused, to say the least.

    Like hell you didn't! You can't stand being inside of me instead of on the outside!

    Believe it or not the world does not revolve around you, Keiji, he muttered, again bored. That was you letting yourself go.

    That isn't a part of me! That's a part of you! I don't eat people! I'm not a vampire!

    Chiisai, you're part Ditto. I'm just the one of us that's found there's pleasure in embracing it.

    I couldn't react to such a statement. The look in my eyes had to have been scaring Maki senseless from the expression she had on her face. I squinted my eyes shut and turned from her, slamming my head against the wall in angst.

    I'd tell you not to take it so hard, but then again, it's you I'm talking to....

    Shut up, Takeru.

    Why should I? You're the one that attacked me, he fake-pouted.

    I don't want this. I can't do this. Even after having seen you murder thousands of times, I just can't do this.

    He understood what I meant and so suddenly felt used. You want me to take responsibility for your feral instinct. That would just be too easy for you, wouldn't it? He thought about it for a minute and snorted, growing less amused by the minute. I suppose it's a guarantee that my head won't become dusty in the Valley, is it not...?

    If you put it that way, certainly, I snapped coldly. If I let you out, you can't just go around, free as you please. It will be a task, not a game.

    You take all the pleasure out of these things, he wailed, pained by the demand.

    I find no pleasure in such things, so I can see it no other way. I knew I had to stand up to him or I would most definitely fall apart like I had countless times in the past.

    After a pained silenced, he complied, defeated. I suppose that's the way it will be then. ....If I happen to enjoy my "job," you won't hold it against me, will you? I could tell he was amused again.

    It's in your nature, isn't it? I can't hold it against a living creature to be himself, you know. That'd just be inhumane of me. I smiled, propping my arms against the wall and looking down at the floor.

    Your choice of words, chiisai—! he uttered. You toy with me so.

    You wouldn't have it any other way, now, would you, Takeru?

    He didn't reply, content.

    "Keiji... are you all right...?"

    "I'm fine. I tried to deny my own nature and just saw how foolish it was of me." I snorted, looking to her. "There's just no ignoring it, is there?"

    ~*~*~

    Minutes later Takeru was still roused inside my mind, curious and restless. I... can't quite place it, chiisai. I've always known Maki smelled... unique, but....

    I was amused by this, oddly, and decided to cater to the poor thing. I walked over to Maki and helped her stand, putting my sharp ends away.

    Don't do anything you'll regret.

    What, little old me? Seriously, chiisai. I'm appalled!

    Wary of him, I held her to me warmly, trying to get a smell of her without her noticing me doing it. "I'm sorry for that. My emotions just got the best of me, I suppose...." I had thought Takeru had just been trying to trick me into getting close enough to her for a nibble, but I, too, could tell he wasn't lying. What in the world IS that I smell?

    "Keiji, you know Takeru made me just like you," she consoled, returning the embrace. "I have the same instincts wash over me every few weeks."

    He thought on it for a moment before taking any guesses. Your scent is good as mine, but you've never used it like I do. I know what that is now. I've never really paid much attention to it, but I can't believe it. I just simply can't. You know what that is, don't you?

    I smelled of her hair again, then frowned slightly. Just tell me, you cookie.

    She murmured, amused. "I suppose you're used to blaming Takeru for it, aren't you, dear? In all the years we've been together, I've never once seen you feed. It's always been Takeru, you know? There's no need to snivel over it. You'll be able to get used to it. I did, didn't I?"

    I smell Tenshi on her—no, in her. She's part Tenshi. I just know it.

    His statement took me aback, and, combined with Maki's rambling, I just stood there and stammered. "I... I guess you did, didn't you?" I pulled her back away from me and looked her in the eyes strangely.

    "What's the matter?" she asked me, confused.

    "Maki, I never thought twice about how you knew to show up in Ecruteak less than twelve hours after Rivelle died.... How did you know you'd be needed?" Maybe there was some sort of intelligence network among Tenshi, and she'd been informed about it or something. I felt somehow betrayed....

    "I—" she was completely flustered from my inquiry. "I had had a dream that had called me there, and I never go against my dreams—my empathy has always given me premonitions. I was living in Mahogany at the time, so it took me no time at all to get there overnight."

    "Were you born there?" Fishing for answers that I'd never before wondered continued.

    She looked down, sullen, then sat at her desk again. "I actually don't know where I was born, Keiji. I grew up in Mahogany—in an orphanage. My memory doesn't go back much further than from the point I was five years old."

    I was dumbstricken by this. "So you don't know who your parents are? How in the world did you get to be a doctor then! I'm more than certain that, a hundred years ago, an orphanage courtier would never have put a child in her house through school, let alone a girl!"

    "I was fortunate to have had my nanny see my abilities as a gift, not a demonic possession or something of the sort. She thought I was the most beautiful, intelligent, intuitive creature she'd ever laid eyes upon, and wanted nothing more than for me to succeed. She had a good deal of money from inheritance, but she herself wasn't wealthy. She spent all her inheritance on me, Keiji." She smiled, reminiscing over such kindness.

    She purely doesn't have a clue, Takeru uttered, completely beside himself and yet somehow in awe over the fact. In his dumb state he drew in a breath for me, beginning to try to take over my senses and motor skills.

    Takeru... I warned.

    I... I've smelled that specifically before.

    It couldn't be that she's a mother, could it? I muttered flatly. Hateri and Yoake look more like their mother than they do me.

    No, I mean that scent—that Tenshi scent, you snide little— He cut off, trying dearly to place it.

    Well, you're wrong. You've only come across a handful of Tenshi, Takeru—Sarina, Rivelle, and Rhesh and his children. Which one is it?

    He mulled over those I'd just listed off. No, no... it's not any of them. It... it's.... Oh, I don't know! I could tell he wanted to tear his hair out from the uncertainty.

    "What's going on, Keiji?" Maki could tell I was talking to Takeru from the look on my face. "What's wrong?"

    I stumbled over quite how to put it to her. Irritated with him, I spat it out with a sour expression. "I, um. ....Takeru thinks you're part Tenshi, but he can't for the life of him tell me which Tenshi he thinks you smell like."

    She flustered. "I thought you were crying on my shoulder, but you were smelling me—!" she squeaked, her eye twitching. "....Takeru thinks I smell like a Tenshi!?" She was reminded of how Takeru had treated other Tenshi and shivered, upset.

    He overwhelmed me then and stepped up to her, holding her shoulders gingerly, looking her in the face. "I've got it," he said silently, eyes wide suddenly. "There was another Tenshi, Keiji," he corrected, aloud. "That woman that Sarina brought with her a month ago.... That little idiot that fed my DNA to that pipsqueak Ditto...!" Rage began to well up as his pride again grew injured over the incident.

    "Sarina told me she's not more than 130 or 140 years old," she led quietly, trying to calm him down. "She'd have to have been no more than twenty years old when she gave birth to me, if that's what you're saying!"

    "I conceived my first son when I was sixteen, love," he muttered with a bitter smirk. "Age means nothing, for the most part—and the younger they are, the less the counterparts can even imagine the repercussions of their actions. She was probably too young to tolerate the idea of having a child!"

    "Even if she did, how can you prove that to me?"

    "Tenshi are almost always born with a sixth sense. You don't have a clue where you came from. And you can't forget just how good my senses are." She felt cornered, his golden eyes pinning her in her seat. "It's nothing, really, dear, to be Tenshi. After all I've done to you..." he tickled the lobe of her ear with the tip of his tongue, smiling, "it's not like you'd ever be another Rivelle...." He snorted, then whispered in her ear, "It just surprises me that it evaded me for so long...."

    She shoved him off her and gave him a vile look. "Don't you even think about taking advantage of me, you beast."

    He laughed. "My dear, you know I'd never do such a thing." He opened his arms wide, smiling generously. "I love you with all my very soul; that is, if you can even believe I have a soul, considering how you treat me."

    She was completely confused all of a sudden, unable to read him at all. "I—" She never finished her thought, and vanished in a puff of smoke, having teleported away somewhere.

    You scared her away, I seethed.

    "No, I think she went someplace to figure out exactly who she is. You've had experience with that, have you not?"

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    ::Maki::

    I tried to clear my mind by walking around in the gardens. It was spring now, and the climbing roses that covered the high stone walls and trellises were budding up. It had misted that morning, and I could smell the dew and rosebuds. It was very calming for me. I let my curly brazen hair down out of the high ponytail in which it had been, and unbuttoned the top button of my collar. Picking a rose that had just barely opened up, I smiled and held the golden bud to my nose and smelled of it. I sighed, content, and found one of the benches to rest, sitting and looking up at the sky.

    A few hours of just sitting there passed without interruption. I heard a "cha" from overhead and looked to see a small black creature perched atop one of the walls of the estate. I sat up and stared at it curiously, somehow frightened by not knowing what it was. I stood and walked up to where it was, all the time our eyes locked. It fluttered down and perched on my shoulder, snuffling and crawling all over me. It seemed half-reptile and half-mammal, and it had wings and a tail, and purple hair. I panicked when it first landed on me, but it grew on me the longer it stayed. It was so weirdly adorable...! I couldn't quite place why.... Maybe it was just how fluffy its black fur was.

    I pulled it off me by the nape of the neck as it clung to my chest, looking up at me with those huge, golden eyes, then cradled it in my arms, smiling. "Where'd you come from?"

    It cooed softly. "Suri-lady told me to come looking for a mean man with long black hair. Just now came to Ecruteak—came looking for mean man that hurt Suri-Lady and Kurai!"

    It startled me that it had actually replied to me, let alone hear it speak perfectly-articulated, however broken, human speech. It took a minute for what it had said to sink in, but when it did, I got a really sarcastic look on my face. "A mean man with long black hair, you said?"

    ~*~*~

    "I believe this is yours," I muttered, walking up to Takeru with a sneer.

    He stared at the little gargoylish creature on my arm and blinked, at a loss for words. "Y—where *were* you all morning, Maki, that you found this thing!"

    "Pff, I was in the garden. It flew up to me a few minutes ago."

    "Kurai" glared at him with daggers in her eyes. He matched her gaze. I broke up laughing at such a sight, then yelped when he lunged at it, the eyes in his face suddenly popping out and glowing as viciously as his bared teeth were sharp. I backed off when the thing fluffed its fur out violently and splayed at him.

    "What the hell is wrong with you, Takeru!?" I squealed, completely beside myself in fright that he of all people would be so turned to rage by the mere sight of something so small and cute.

    "That—" he hissed, "—is your mother's Ditto. That—that thing has my Kurai strand...! Look at what it did to such a beautiful creature! It's disgusting!"

    She bared a sudden mouthful of toothpicklike fangs at him and he returned the favour to scale. "Suri-lady didn't know giving Kurai the blood would make mean man angry! Not blame Suri-lady or Kurai for having mean man's blood!"

    I began to grow more and more nervous by the minute with the two of them in the same room together. If I knew anything, he got REALLY possessive when it came to things of such a matter. Hell, I'd been his wife for a century now, and he never once had even considered giving me a Kurai strand. If this thing had practically stolen it from him, I could only imagine just how violent the ensuing scene would be. "Takeru, stop this instant!" I demanded.

    He wagged his tongue at the creature, hunching over and thrusting his wings out of his back, splaying at it in a return of intimidation.

    "I SAID STOP IT!" I roared, glaring at him.

    He turned to look at me and blinked, flustering, unable to finger quite how to react. "But—"

    "No! I refuse to let you tear this poor thing to pieces!"

    The fluff got a surge of pride and grinned. "Last time Kurai fighted with mean man Kurai won," it beamed.

    I stared at it, breaking a cold sweat. "What."

    Takeru snarled at it. "That creature absorbed my base genetics somehow; apparently the species that make up a Kurai have particularly poisonous female counterparts."

    The comment went straight over Kurai's comprehension, but it ignored this. "Kurai bite mean man lots of times! Mean man couldn't move!" It giggled at him, but squeaked when he screeched at it and lunged down to grab it, scrambling up the curtains to get away from him.

    The creature's attitude was getting to be far too much for Takeru to be able to control himself, and he started shifting completely Kuraitenshi in his fury. About half-way through the transformation, Kurai began to undergo the same changes, taking a defencive stance on the wall, claws dug into the wood. I looked on in horror when the two full-blown beasts pounced upon each other, becoming a flurry of sharp ends, locked together in total, passionate hatred.

    ".... BOTH OF YOU!" They ignored me. My ears rang in total irritation, then built the resolve to take the letter opener from the desk and slice it across my bare forearm. I gritted my teeth as I felt the blood trickle down onto my palm, and tried to concentrate as hard as I could on what part of me would get their attention. My skin became infinitely smoother and scaly, a beautiful powder blue; I felt my ears taper upward into my hair; but, other than a few rearrangements of internal organs, no other noticeable differences took place. It would have shocked me then that it had actually worked, but I had put everything on the line that it would. Before I had done such a thing the blood of my veins had run crimson, but it now was an almost nauseating deep purple—thick, pungent, and staining.

    Not an instant after I'd finished the metamorphosis did both of them stop what they were doing to stare at me hungrily, not even breathing they were so shocked. Their eyes wide, they let go of each other and slowly inched towards me, both of them on all fours, tails twitching behind them. Not a foot from me each of them, I forced a breath of annoyance through my flared nostrils as they drooled over the sheer sight and smell of the wound.

    "Kurai hasn't had that since Suri-lady left Lavender..." she whispered, gaze locked on the drop that was about to fall to the carpet.

    "If you promise me you won't fight, then I'll let you each have a taste."

    The both of them instantly complied with me, returning to their normal forms, and sat there, begging like sick dogs. I sneered, disgusted, and swept up a fingerful from my arm, then, completely fed up, rammed it in Takeru's gaping mouth, leaving it there just long enough for him to suck it off my fingertips. I proceeded to do the same for the dysfunctional Ditto, then forced my Ditto strand to shut off the wound immediately.

    "Now then, might we attempt a civil conversation?"

    Takeru and Maki o_O
    Last edited by Kurai; 20th May 2005 at 12:01 AM.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  8. #23
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Have I ever told you that I adore the way you describe things?

  9. #24
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    *blinks, dumbstricken* o-o No, actually.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  10. #25
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Really. Well, now I've corrected that oversight.

    Seriously, that's what I've always lacked is descriptive ability, and I greatly admire yours.

  11. #26
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    And slowly, you come to realise it's all as it should be. You can only do so much. If you're game enough, you could place your trust in me.

    For the love of life is a trade-off. We could lose it all, but we'll go down fighting.

    And what of the children? Surely they can't be blamed for our mistakes?

    And slowly, I've come to realise it's all as it should be. That hiding space, that lonely place. But can the right thing be so wrong? I've found mistakes where they don't belong....

    For the love of life will defeat this. They might tear us down, but we'll go down fighting... won't we?


    =========================================================

    Last chapter of The Kuraitenshi. Those Things with Wings Chapter One will be coming along shortly. (And I apologize to my vet readers for having done a transition-between-books chapter like I always do. :X)

    And the title of this chapter is from the opening theme for the first season of Mons†er, called "The Love of Life." Look up the lyrics sometime, if it matters. Great series—little Keiji makes a great Johann. LMAO

    Chapter Eleven: It's All As It Should Be

    I sent Kurai off to get "Suri-lady" and bring her up to the estate. About half an hour later the woman showed up with her pet on her shoulder, half-hiding behind her owner's head. I hadn't had much of a look at her when Sarina'd brought her to the asylum before, but I got one then, our clover green eyes locked. She was wearing a white button-down shirt, unbuttoned, over a black undershirt, and a pair of jeans. Her dull black hair was relatively short, cut in such a fashion that made it look rather fluffy; it hung just long enough to hide almost completely a pair of round green earrings. The more I looked at her, the more I realised just how similar our facial features were. She was even about as tall as I.

    Takeru knew better than to get me angry and kept his distance, sulking in the far corner of the room. She saw him there beyond me and he glared at her intensely.

    I shot him a dirty look and he stopped, mumbling under his breath. "What is it that you wanted with him?" I began, taking a seat on the edge of the desk. "The Ditto told me you came all the way from Lavender."

    She shook the daze from her. "I—I'm sorry. I'm just not used to seeing Tenshi, I guess. I didn't know you were... Tenshi...?"

    "Nor I," I muttered quietly. "I didn't know about it until just recently; I grew up in Mahogany, in an orphanage. They brought me up as a human...." I had hoped that it might spur her to remember—I had to know whether Takeru was actually right about this. He'd already blown away an entire chunk of my reality within a matter of minutes.

    "I... I'm sorry...."

    I could tell that my words had actually had some effect upon her memory from the facial expression she bore then. "I think it's rather ironic—I could say that I'd still be alive a hundred years later because I'm Tenshi, but Takeru probably would have killed me by now if he hadn't given me a Ditto strand. You know his tendency for Tenshi, I'm sure."

    She stared at me, completely bewildered. "And yet you're married to him!?" she exclaimed in exasperation.

    "I gave her the Ditto strand so I wouldn't kill her, even if I couldn't control myself," he admitted. "Besides, even Tenshi have a life span."

    I glanced at him, suddenly somehow belittled by his statement. After a minute, my heart fell, and I forgot my subtlety then. "Suri, you didn't have a child in the 1890's, did you?"

    She sat down in one of the two chairs in front of the desk (it happened to be the closest thing that could have given her balance from her shock). "I... I did...." She understood all of what I'd hinted a minute ago and looked at me solemnly. "I'm sorry.... I... I just didn't know how to handle having a human's child...."

    "Did you even love him?" I asked flatly, not looking at her.

    The longer it went on, the more disgusted she was with herself. "I... I don't even remember him, to tell you the truth.... Back when I was a teenager, I'd been rather unrestrained in my activities. You were a wake-up call, so to speak. I hadn't gotten pregnant from any of the other men before, but then there you were.... I don't know how long it was before I just decided to leave you at that orphanage. I realised that I'd been wasting my life with decadent ways, and I cracked back down on my genetic studies. This is my first time out of Lavender in a century."

    "Heh, I guess you're not the only one that runs away from her problems," Takeru mused, playing with his fingers. "It runs in the family to shove harsh reality out of your system."

    Silence ensued as we stewed over his derision, unable to make out whether to pipe up about it.

    "You never answered me—why did you come to Ecruteak, Suri?"

    "Oh! Ah, yes, why I came...." She snorted, smiling a little. "I don't actually know. I just knew I had to."

    "Impetuousity. Yet another way you're just like your mother," he continued.

    "Shut your mouth," I snapped.

    He rolled his eyes and kicked back boredly against the paneled wall. "Yes, dear."

    She simply blinked. "He... he listens to you."

    "Of course I do," he muttered. "I love her."

    "I'm sure there's much more to it than that," I told her. "It doesn't make any sense to me, either."

    "You don't love him?"

    My eyes had been on Takeru, but they fell to the floor when she asked this. "I... I don't love Takeru."

    "Even though she's a psychiatrist," he crowed, starting to pace, "she treats me like two different people. It's weird and particularly unexpectable—you'd think she'd make us a single entity because we're in the same skull, like all humans would. But I'm not entirely sure whether she doesn't love me." He smirked coldly and looked to me. "She wouldn't let me nibble on her if she didn't like it."

    "You're completely different from Keiji," I spat. "I only let you taste me from time to time because it keeps you quiet."

    "Hardly true, you lying sow," he grinned, craning over me with a wicked look in his eyes. He pinned me to the desk and locked gazes with me. "Try to fool someone that doesn't know you. You think you fell in love with just Keiji, but you're an empath. You subconsciously knew I was there—just not that we were two different people."

    I flustered, glaring up at him with disgust. I shoved him off once I could muster the arm strength, then stood up again and brushed at my shirt. "You don't suppose you came here to make amends with him for having stolen from him, do you?"

    "You're changing the subject because you know I'm right," he sang.

    Again, I shot him a dirty look, and he receded to where he'd previously slumped in the corner, grumbling.

    "I—" She now was the one unable to form a response, bemused by not only the question but the entire conversation. "I didn't consciously accept that what I'd done was theft when I did it. I only cared whether what I did could be done."

    "Scientists are all alike," he muttered, feeling like a beaten animal from how I was treating him. "You don't care about how you do what you do—you just do it."

    She now was the one put off by his attitude. But, like myself, she couldn't come up with a rebuttal. "I—I didn't think I was stealing!" she exclaimed, defencive.

    "Yeah!" Kurai sided.

    I pinched the bridge of my nose in annoyance. "I didn't want to get the two of them fighting again, let alone you and him," I whined, irritated.

    She was about to speak up in confusion over what had happened before she'd gotten there, but the phone rang, cutting her train of thought off.

    I picked it up. "Hello...? Yes, this is she.... Oh, it's you...... I'll tell him.... Yes...." My ears rang as I hung up. "That was Anne. Apparently, Keiji's acting up."

    Takeru made a face. "Why in the world would she call you?"

    "How *else* would she get a hold of you? She wants you to talk some sense into her."

    "Uh, I'm sorry, it's probably not my place for asking, but what the bloody hell are you talking about?"

    I snorted. "Takeru's from another dimension, Suri. He came here somehow, and for some reason decided that he'd make the Keiji in this timeline like him."

    "She would have ended up a Dragon regardless," he muttered, put off. "Her father found the brooch here, too."

    "I am so incredibly lost..." Suri uttered, smushing her face in her hand.

    "Go deal with her," I growled. "She's like this because you screwed with her head."

    "I didn't think she'd get like this!"

    "Stop defending what you did to her and go talk to her!" I creeched, brandishing a finger at him. "This conversation is over!"

    "B—"

    "SHOO!"

    His eyes shot wide and he hissed at me, vanishing in a puff of smoke.

    "What did you *do* to him to make him obey you like that?" she wondered, completely frightened by the fact.

    "I don't know, actually. One day he decided that he'd start treating me like he's my pet or something."

    "I knew there was something wrong with that one," she replied, looking at where he'd last been. "You know, it somehow makes me happy that you're still alive and doing well. In a way, the fact that you still exist proves that moving on was for the best."

    "Why's that?"

    "Because. If Takeru hadn't met you, he wouldn't have married you. And if he hadn't married you, then he would probably kill a lot more people than he does."

    "What a reason to be happy your daughter's still alive," I grumbled, rolling my eyes.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    ::The younger Toshi, about half an hour earlier::

    As I grabbed an apple from the countertop, I looked out the kitchen window. I blinked, staring at my little sister sitting out in the back yard. I was still getting used to the fact that she was my sister—it was only about a month ago that I'd found out that my father had been forcing her to be a boy all these years. Our mom had told us that he'd gone away on a Trainer's journey, but we both knew better now—he'd been committed.

    "Mom, she's doing it again," I whined, not turning from watching her work away.

    "What's she doing this time?" she called back from the living room, where she was sitting, watching TV.

    "I... I think she's building a box or something. A big, black, rectangular box."

    This got her attention and she turned the TV off, coming to take a look for herself. She stared in exasperation after a minute. "Go tell her to quit it. She listens to you when she's like this."

    I nodded, ducking out the back door. I walked up to her, polishing the apple on my chest. "Keiji... what are you building?"

    "A coffin," she replied coyly, not looking to me as she worked at painting it black.

    I had been just about to take a bite out of my apple, but stopped short at hearing it. My jaw dropped. "Why are you making a coffin!" I exclaimed.

    Her emerald green eyes glanced at me without emotion. "You should know why I'm building a coffin."

    I made a face. "I know I should probably know why, but tell me anyway."

    "I dunn' feel right sleeping in a bed," she uttered, returning to her work. "Humans sleep in a bed."

    "Keiji..." I began, wrapping my arms around her in an attempt to make her feel better. "You're human."

    She shirked me off. "You touched my brooch," she hissed, suddenly animate over such a thing. She didn't even care how mussed her hair was—she went straight to coddling the emerald brooch at her throat. "What have I told you about touching my brooch?"

    "I—I'm sorry," I parrotted, backing away. Being frightened of a ten-year-old is being seriously frightened.

    She calmed down, realising she'd scared me, and sighed, sitting in the grass. "I should be the one that's sorry.... This stupid brooch just overwhelms me so much!"

    "I know, Keiji. That's why you're compelled to do things like make a coffin to sleep in, or paint all over your doll with red paint to make it look like she's been attacked."

    "I just... I cann' take it off.... I feel so weak without it... like I cann' breathe... like I cann' stand...." She looked at her pale hands, sorrow in her eyes. "I hate what I've become."

    I heard someone walk up behind us and turned to find the Takeru standing there. "Why do you hate yourself?" he asked her, crossing his arms across his chest.

    She just stared at him. "I havvunn' seen you since I became like this..." she stated, shocked as I was to see him. "How come you came?"

    "Heh, your mother called the asylum and I happened to be in earshot. You know, it's not normal for little girls to want to make their own deathbeds."

    "You're one to talk, you stupid vampire," I snapped, glaring up at him. He glared at me and I shut up, eyes wide as saucers.

    "Don't talk to me that way, boy," he muttered, overarticulating to accentuate his teeth. He then turned back to Keiji, walking up to her and kneeling down to her level. "Why in the world did you start this project here?"

    "Why do you care?" she pouted, turning away from him.

    "I know you're not doing it to get attention," he began, reaching to put his hand on her shoulder. "Is it?" She shook her head 'no' rapidly. "Oh, come now. Talk to me...."

    "Why should I? You still haven't told me why you did this to me."

    "....You made my little sister like this!?" I choked out, suddenly enraged. I grabbed the screwdriver that laid in the grass and leapt upon him, stabbing him in the chest with it, then stabbed him again, and again. I tried for a fourth time, but he snatched my wrist before I could plunge it down into his ribcage again. I panicked and tried to get away from him, seeing that I hadn't done hardly anything to him at all, but couldn't escape his grasp. "L—let go of me!!" I squeaked, flailing.

    "What have I told you about interfering with my affairs, you little rat?" he seethed, fangs longer in his anger than they'd been. His chest had bled profusely for a minute, but now the wounds had all but completely healed.

    "Dunn' hurt him!" Keiji screeched, tears in her eyes.

    He didn't do anything else to me, just sitting there, glaring at me, enfuriated. "You don't know anything about this, Toshi. Neither of you does."

    "I know enough to understand that Keiji didn't start acting like this until you showed up."

    "You know how stupid that sounds! I've visited her for six years now!" He let go of me and looked Keiji in the eyes with a faint smile. "No, You're acting like this because of the brooch."

    I rubbed my wrist and pouted, watching him talk with her.

    "I... I know that..." she replied, dumbstricken that he was paying attention to her for once. "But what happened to me...?"

    "It's called a Permutation," he explained, holding her chin in his left hand lovingly such that she would look him in the face. "I'm sorry that you're having so much trouble adjusting to it, but it's for the best, dear.... You see, it drove your father insane because it gave him the power to get what he wanted, but it also manipulated how he thought. He got to be too demanding, too... psychotic. But you—you're not weak like he was. You can bear it."

    I was disgusted with him so completely then. He was toying with the very fate of my sister. "How do you know she can? She's just a little girl!"

    He snapped to stare at me again, irritated. "Why won't you just shut up, Toshihiro?"

    "Because I want answers, you stupid vampire!"

    He growled, closing his eyes shut. "I'm not a vampire, boy. I just look like one." He sighed, annoyed. "No, I guess you never did get the whole picture. In another time, you'd be my big brother." I stared at him, completely knocked senseless from the statement. I just didn't know how to react! "So obviously, since I *am* Keiji, I know what she's capable of."

    "B—but you're a man!"

    "Don't even start with me." He looked near to exploding how enfuriated he was with me. "I. Cannot. Handle. This. I just can't." He mustered the ability to say it, seeming almost nauseated from admitting it. "Where I come from... when I was her age... I was given the ability to choose to comply fully with my father's wishes. I never knew what it was to be female; I don't want that for her—at least, if I can help it."

    "Y... you did all this... just so I would realise that what my father wanted me to be was physically impossible...?" she uttered. "I knew that, Takeru...!"

    "Of course it's physically impossible," he replied. "What I wanted you to realise is that it isn't mentally impossible. I became a man because that's what I knew. I didn't know how to be what I really was."

    She sniffled, suddenly overwhelmed. "Do I know how to be... what I really am...?"

    "I don't know. Do you?"

    After a minute of trying to comprehend what he'd said, she fell into his lap and clutched his shirt, crying. "Why? Why is this brooch doing this to me!"

    "Embrace it, dear," he consoled, petting her hair. "It won't hurt if you let it take its course."

    "Daddy issunn' here anymore...!" she wailed. "Why do I have to do this!!"

    "You weren't mentally strong until you accepted what was in you all along. It's too complicated to explain properly, but you have to trust me, Keiji."

    "This brooch is in me?" she spat, thinking what he'd said was stupid.

    "I've told you before to think about it in terms that it's magical. That thing's so scientifically advanced that it actually has the ability to modify how your body and soul interact."

    "You're going to confuse her," I muttered. "Little kids don't understand spirits and stuff. They're afraid of ghosts and monsters and stuff."

    "You're afraid of Takeru," Keiji defended, half-amused.

    "I FREAKING STABBED HIM THREE TIMES AND HE DIDN'T EVEN CRY OUT IN PAIN!" I defended, brow furrowed. "THERE IS SOMETHING NOT RIGHT ABOUT THAT!!"

    "So what if I'm a masochist?" he mumbled, incredibly amused. "You get to enjoy and respect being practically immortal when you've been alive as long as I have."

    "You like being stabbed? That's disgusting."

    He sneered at me. "You're one to judge. You're interested in Pokémon on a much more profound level than most people would ever like to admit."

    I flustered, feeling completely violated. "Sh—shut up!"

    He laughed at me, then the two of them vanished. I just sat there and fell apart at that point, completely beside myself. A few minutes later, I exclaimed, "Bring back my sister, you stupid vampire!!"

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    ::The younger Keiji::

    From the yard, I found myself in my bedroom with Takeru.

    He smiled at me, with that warm smile that seemed so incredibly creepy to see on such a cruel-looking face. "Will you promise me something, Keiji?"

    "Mm?"

    "Promise me you won't let people tell you how to live your life." He took a necklace out from under his shirt and held it out, looking at it solemnly for a moment. "I think you should have this, dear," he began, slipping it around my neck. The pendant was a golden rosebud. "It's the trinket that let me take control of my life. You seem to need a nudge in the right direction."

    "Wh—what's so special about it...?" I uttered, holding it in my hands. "It's so pretty... but...."

    He let out an amused breath through his nostrils. "It gave me the abilities of a Ditto. And it can do the same for you, dear."

    I simply stared at it. "H—how...?"

    "It's magic," he half-mocked, in that way that adults always mock how the young think. "Just hold it in your hands and concentrate on it."

    I did what he'd told me, closing my eyes and clasping my hands around the piece of gold around my neck. Moments later I let go in shock, having felt it change shape. I gawked at it—it had opened its petals as though it had bloomed!

    "Hnn, maybe now your mother won't tell me to interfere anymore. She needs to make her mind up already whether or not she hates me." He snorted. "Yeah, she'll definitely hate me once she finds out what I did. She won't understand what I did, but sure as Hell, she'll hate me for it." He chuckled over it a minute, then held me by the shoulders and looked me in the eyes, thoroughly pleased. "Don't let anyone take that necklace, okay?"

    I nodded.

    "Do you still hate me?" he asked.

    I shook my head. "Thank you," I smiled, hugging him. "How do I...?"

    "You're a smart girl. You'll figure it out." Then he vanished like he always did.

    "What'd he do?" Toshi asked, finally figuring out where he'd taken me.

    "Oh, nothing," I smiled, having already tucked the necklace into my shirt. "You know him—always making more out of things than there really is."
    Last edited by Kurai; 8th June 2005 at 05:48 AM.

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  12. #27
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    People hate me... don't they. I mean, no matter how or when or WHAT I post, I *NEVER* get replies unless I tie someone up and torture them. What the hell am I doing wrong? ;_;

    -=: [rose.iii] -=:=- [the.kuraitenshi] -=:=- [those.things.with.wings] :=-

    i'll believe all your lies, just pretend you love me
    make believe, close your eyes
    i'll be anything for you

  13. #28
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Well, reviews haven't really been getting got lately. Mostly Misty Rocks has been doing all the reviewing.

    I've never been very good at it myself. Perhaps there needs to be a topic about how to attact reviewers and how to leave reviews.

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