we drift deeper into the sound and life goes on so bring it on
DNAngel does not belong to Meg
this fic, however, does.
Daisuke pulled open the door. "I'm back," he said. He took a listless step in, and said something he learned from Dark. He back flipped to the edge of the door and looked down at the pit, filled with very sharp spikes, where the floor usually was. "Mom, today is not a good day."
::Like that's ever stopped her before.::
"Just for once," said Daisuke, "I would like to come home and not have my own mother try to kill me." He eyed the distance from the door to the hallway. "It's longer than usual."
::Hey, it's not a challenge otherwise.::
"Would YOU like to go through it then?"
::Bring it on.::
"That'd be cheating, though," said Daisuke reluctantly.
::It would be an efficient use of resources.::
"Mom would get mad."
::And I could totally butter her up.::
Daisuke considered that. "Eh, she'd make me do it over anyway," he said, and crouched.
::Point. On three?::
::Two - ::
"THREE!" Daisuke jumped. He barely made it over the pit, scrabbled for a second, and landed safely. He looked ahead. "Aw, man..." Laser lines criss-crossed over the hall, and if his eyes were right, there were arrow ports on the walls. "What sort of person tries to kill her own son when he comes home?"
::Emiko loves you and she wants you to survive?::
Daisuke sighed. He bolted into the hall, flipping over the laser lines and hoping the arrows weren't -- crap, he thought, as an arrow embedded itself in the wall an inch from his ear.
Daisuke spared a glance behind him to see a pack of robots with very, very sharp spears roll out behind him. "Where does she find these things?"
He leaped and went into a flying somersault to the end of the hall. He reached the door, and stopped. He pulled out a rubber pot holder from his bag (nobody saw the inside of his bag at school because Daisuke didn't want to explain why he had innocent bundles of rods and hooks that added up to a set of lockpicks, let alone the rubber pot holder to keep himself from being electricuted or the pocket computer that put Hiwatari-kun's to shame. The computer was his father's idea; his mother thought it was cheating) and tried opening the door.
Live current, of course.
He gritted his teeth, wrenched the door open and had just enough time to slam it shut as the robots reached him.
"Hello, dear," caroled his mother. "Did you have a good day at school?"
"No," said Daisuke, allowing himself to be violently hugged. "It was awful."
"Eh?" said his mother, pushing her face around to study his. "What happened?"
Daisuke wiggled out of her arms and picked up his slightly charred bag. "Stuff," he said. "I don't want to talk about it. What time is the job tonight?"
His mother put her head to the side and studied him. Daisuke hunched his shoulders.
"Emiko-san," said his father from the hallway. His voice was gentle but his meaning was clear.
His mother looked at his father, and sniffed. "Nine pm."
"I'm going to go study," said Daisuke. "Call me when it's time."
"What about dinner?"
"I'm not hungry." Daisuke went up the stairs and into his room. He didn't slam his door, even though he felt like it.
Dark didn't say anything, and Daisuke was glad of it; he wasn't in the mood. He set his bag down and With hopped up on the desk. "Kyuu?"
"Sorry, With," said Daisuke, trying to smile. "It hasn't been a good day."
With put his head to the side and then jumped on Daisuke's shoulder, pushing his nose against Daisuke's cheek. He made a half-chittering, half purring sound that vibrated on Daisuke's jawbone, a sound that he only made when Daisuke was upset. Daisuke thought it was supposed to be comforting, but he'd never bothered to ask his mother or grandfather about it.
::They do it at their kittens,:: said Dark, suddenly. ::To calm them.::
:....so With thinks I'm a ....:
::You are a couple hundred years younger than he is, you know. And he likes you.::
Daisuke smiled, with an effort. "Thank you, With." He reached up and scratched With behind the ear. With pushed his nose -- very cold and wet -- against Daisuke's face again and hopped down.
Daisuke slid down to the floor, leaning against the bed. Hiwatari-kun hated him, he had a test he was going to fail the next day, and he had to go steal something. Hiwatari-kun hated him. It wasn't that he could blame Hiwatari-kun, after all; he was a Niwa, he stole things from Hiwatari-kun's family. It just wasn't fair, he thought. They could have been friends.
Of course Hiwatari-kun had done /that/, too. Daisuke lifted his hand and looked at it. It had probably been to freak Daisuke out or something. He remembered exactly how it had felt, which was sort of gross. Not gross, though; strange. Strange was definitely the word. Kind of like With poking his nose on his cheek. Hiwatari-kun's mouth hadn't been cold, but surprisingly warm.
He didn't understand, and he wanted to understand. But he couldn't understand if Hiwatari-kun didn't let him. It hurt, he thought. He didn't know why and it hurt him. His head was pounding. He was dizzy and he wanted to stay in his room and he wanted to understand why Hiwatari-kun hated him and he wanted to help Hiwatari-kun, if he could, if he at all could. He wanted it so badly it was choking him, like his clothes were too tight.
::Uh.....your clothes are too tight.::
:What are you talking about?: said Daisuke, miserably.
Daisuke got up reluctantly. His hair brushed against his arms -- wait. Daisuke looked down. Purple strands of hair fell against his face. His shirt rode above his wrist bones, and it was no wonder he had felt choked, because his collar was tight against his neck and his shoulders were broader than the shirt was.
He whirled around to face the mirror, and looked back at Dark's face.
::Well, this is awkward,:: said Dark.
:Why did I transform? I wasn't thinking of anything. Except Hiwata--: He stopped.
:Can I not think about this for a while? Please?:
::It's up to you.::
:I'm not in love with him or anything, am I?:
::I thought you just said you didn't want to think about this?::
:I can't help it,: said Daisuke miserably. :I mean...:
::I know what you mean,:: said Dark, sounding resigned. ::Look, think of it like this. You change because of strong emotion.::
:That still doesn't help,: said Daisuke, unbuttoning his shirt. At least now he didn't lose buttons when he transformed. Thank God for growth spurts. Before he'd hit his growth spurt the difference between the two bodies was almost ridiculous, but now Daisuke was only about two sizes smaller than Dark. Before that he'd looked like a five year old playing in Daddy's dress clothes.
::So think of it as a strong emotion and worry about it AFTER we get done with the damn heist,:: said Dark, exasperated.
Daisuke finished unbuttoning his shirt. "Yeah," he said.
"Emiko! You about ready?"
Kosuke looked up at Dark clattering down the stairs. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," said Dark. It was really hard to fool Kosuke; he didn't trust Dark any further than he could throw him. Liked Dark, probably. Trusted him, no. It was sort of refreshing to have someone give him that particular look, like 'I expect you have enough sense of self-preservation to not actually kill my son but if you hurt him I will seal you myself'. It reminded Dark that he was really crazy after all. He and Krad, crazy like a pair of loons, living off families that were even crazier, if possible. Kosuke was the only sane one of the lot, poor bastard. Well, Daisuke was almost sane.
Now Emiko, on the other hand, coming out of the living room with a smile on her face and something leather and complicated in her hands, was crazy. But he loved her anyway. He loved all of them anyway.
Kind of stupid, when he thought about it.
"What's that?" asked Dark.
"A special outfit," said Emiko, with a maniac gleam in her eye.
Dark controlled a wince and took the pile of ... leather straps, apparently. "Thanks. Lemme get changed and then I'll be back."
It took him a few minutes to figure out what went where; there was, somewhat to Dark's relief, actual pants. But the pants were very ... leather ... he thought, staring at the straps on them. Emiko had a theory that if one was going to go steal something, one should go steal it with style. Dark totally agreed, in theory, but he wondered about Emiko sometimes, he really did. Like when he was attempting to pull a fishnet shirt over his head without snagging it on the belts on the pants, or on the vest he was apparently supposed to wear over it.
Dark glanced at the mirror, and had to admit he looked goddamn hot. Emiko had taste.
He went downstairs to the living room. With jumped on his shoulder along the way. "Don't shed on me," said Dark. With dug in a little tighter with his claws. "All right, Emiko," he said, coming through the door. "Let's get this show on the road."
He stepped outside the house, looked up to the sky. It used to be you could see every star in the sky from here, but the city had grown and the electric lights had come. The stars were still there, though. If he listened he could hear them singing.
He stretched out, With shifting on his shoulder, on top of the backpack Dark wore. "Ready?" he said.
With shifted and chirrped at him. "Yeah," he said. "It's a beautiful night."
Wings spread, lifted, and he flew into the night.
The target was a figurine, rose quartz. Made within the last century - not Hiwatari's mother, or her mother, but Hiwatari's great-grandfather. He'd liked the bastard, as much as he liked any Hikari. Quieter than most of them -- and that took something -- sort of thoughtful. When he wasn't having a migraine called Krad he liked to sit in his workshop and carve. Horses, mostly, or cats, or dogs. Never humans.
He landed lightly on a roof a few buildings away from the building, and pulled out a pair of goggles. Pretty standard, he thought. Saehara Sr freaking out, Saehara Jr hanging in a tree by an old climbing harness and hope.
:He's going to kill himself,: said Daisuke, the first time he'd spoken since he transformed.
::Not a hell of a lot we can do about it,:: said Dark practically. "Come on, Hiwatari, where the hell are you -- ah, there you are." Hiwatari turned and looked at the building Dark was on, as if he saw him. It wouldn't have surprised Dark at all. He resisted the temptation to wave or stick his tongue out, and continued looking through the scene. "Oh, hello," he said. "It's that idiot Saga."
"Doesn't look too bad," he said. "Arguing with the police -- bet you he's trying to get in with some sort of line about the public's right to know."
Good audience, he decided. The usual screaming girls, the media parked front and center, the city watching on TV.
"Time to go," he said, putting the goggles away. "Let's give them a goddamn show."
An entrance, decided Satoshi, for the reporters and fans and curiosity-seekers. And for Saga, because Dark didn't much like Saga. Right about --
Someone shrieked, and the crowd looked up and roared at the sight of black wings blotting out the moon.
-- now, thought Satoshi.
Dark's wings spread against the night, highlighted by the lights. It was a good effect, thought Satoshi. He watched as Dark soared up, wings blacker than the sky, and folded his wings, dropping down like ... well, the effect was probably supposed to be 'hawk' but Satoshi's first thought was 'vulture'.
Satoshi turned away. It was time for the hunt to begin.
Always the sheer thrill, even with the stupid policemen who couldn't think their way out of a paperbag, even with the stupid traps that never worked. Always the feeling of power and excitement, your heart racing like a wild thing. Close your wings and land, smile for the camera and throw a wink for the girls. Run through the empty halls of the museum, watching for traps even as you think through the next hall, and the next. Jump over the silly policemen, so earnest, so below your level.
Used to be you'd get to a job and there'd be retainers, samurai with katana and bows, works of art used to kill. Now there's just electronics and guns and nets. Boring, you think, boring, simple. Leave them cursing and panting behind you.
Where's the Hikari? Where is he? Daisuke in the back of your head worrying about his friend. No Hikari was ever a friend of a Niwa, but this one comes close. Give him a show, because he gives you a fight. Useless alarms, useless things shrilling and closing behind you, don't pay attention because there's the target and that's all you can focus on.
Yes, you think.
Hikari aura. Hikari behind you, staring at you with his dead blue eyes, so calm, so cold. Hikari pacing up to you, a part to play, the way things must be done. Grin at him, and you know your smile is too feral to be human but you don't care, because humanity is riding inside you, the color of amber and citrine, the prettiest thing you've ever stolen. Hikari feints, grabs, and you duck and avoid him.
Get to the case, smash it open, grab what you came for.
A little thing, a pretty thing, rose quartz and inlaid jade. A horse for luck, to carry the bad dreams away.
Spread your wings, crash through the window. Got to give them an escape scene. Hikari behind you, hate in his eyes. You won, he lost. Yes.
:I don't like it,: said Daisuke, fretful. Dark was practically skipping down the deserted museum halls, still lost in the adrenalin high. He'd had barely enough sense to get back in the museum, heading toward the basement and the underground paths of the city.
"Don't like what?"
:Hiwatari-kun doesn't give up that easily,: said Daisuke.
"Maybe he feels awkward around you," suggested Dark nastily.
:Maybe,: said Daisuke. His tone wasn't convinced at all.
"What's your problem?" said Dark, exasperated. "We got away. With's got the target to Towa already. He wasn't captured on the way there or back. We're fine, Daisuke."
:Something just feels wrong,: said Daisuke unhappily. :I wish we were home.:
"Daisuke," said Dark, "I will tell you when it's time for you to flip out. And now --" He stopped.
Krad stood in front of the door to the basement, looking cool and distant and bloodthirsty.
:You were saying?: Daisuke had learned sarcasm. Dark didn't know whether he was proud or aggravated.
::-- would be a really good time to flip out, yeah.::
"Well, heeelloooo, sunshine," drawled Dark. He was never going to admit it, but it was actually sort of comforting to have Daisuke freaking out in the back of his head. He preferred having his hosts flipping out, actually. When they stopped flipping out it was because they'd either resigned themselves to their fate (and Dark needed them fighting, he needed them alive and kicking and with their full willpower) or because they were about to fade away.
:--- AAARRRGH DON'T YOU DARE SAY 'well, /hellloooo/, sunshine' WE ARE ABOUT TO DIE."
"It's always a pleasure, Dark," said Krad, smiling faintly.
::I have to agree with you there.::
:Is it just me or does he get creepier every time we see him?:
::No, he totally gets creepier every time we see him,:: said Dark. He smiled, slow and lazy, at Krad. Krad hated it. Dark did it every time he saw him. "Did you need something?"
"Maybe I wanted to see you."
"Maybe you're full of shit," said Dark.
"As unpleasant as always," said Krad. "As long as you grace me with your presence, however..."
:We're totally about to die.:
"Yes?" drawled Dark. He shifted his eyes to the window, measuring the distance as casually as possible. He might just barely make it.
"Your Tamer," said Krad, his smile shifting from cool and polite to cold and dangerous.
"What about Daisuke?" Dark put his hands on his hips, within distance of the blade he'd brought to get into the case. If Krad was after Daisuke he'd need all the weapons he could get or find or fucking /make/, if he had to. "I didn't know your interests ran that way."
Krad's eyes narrowed and he smiled again, like ice snapping under your feet. "Oh, I am always very interested in the Niwa," he said.
Dark shifted. "In killing them, you mean."
"Well, of course," said Krad calmly. "Vermin should be taken care of."
"Too bad he's not vermin, then," said Dark, bracing himself.
"Really," said Krad. "He just looks like a cockroach to me." His eyes glowed. "I'll crush him and you under my foot. I'll take him away. I'll take him away and he'll pay. He'll pay for this."
"Like /hell/," snarled Dark, and sprang. Krad followed and they crashed through the window, Dark a split second ahead of him. "WITH!" he bellowed.
Krad had his wings out already, and his face was entirely too close for comfort. "Hello, little mouse."
Dark slashed at him with the blade and Krad hissed. That was really going to suck for Hiwatari tomorrow, thought Dark, and then With was there and his wings settled on Dark's shoulders. Dark shot straight up in the air, Krad much too close for comfort. Dark dropped down again, cursing.
"I'll kill you," crooned Krad, close behind him. "I'll kill him. You hurt him, you hurt him. You'll pay."
:Dark, what's he --:
::Never mind that now!:: snapped Dark. Krad was smiling, gently, happily, as his hands reached for Dark's throat. Dark kicked, made contact, and Krad screamed in rage. It only distracted him for a second, but that was long enough. Dark put all of his power into getting away.
"I'll kill you. I'll kill you," said Krad. Dark saw Krad's hands were moving, cupping over each other to frame an imaginary ball. Shit. ::Brace yourself,:: he said. He had one second to dive and roll in midair when the edge of Krad's magic hit his shoulder. Pain blossomed outward, dizzying him, and Krad was there again, with power coiling around his hands.
:Dark!: screamed Daisuke. :Are you all right?:
::Sorry, Daisuke,:: said Dark. ::Hang on for a second, OK?:: He pushed his wings, fighting gravity, and shot up above Krad.
:What? What's going on?: Daisuke's voice was panicked, but still trusting. He trusted Dark, to make it all right. Oh God, thought Dark, he trusts me.
Dark concentrated, pulling shards of darkness from the night into his hands. It swirled around him, becoming visible, tangible. He was using up his reserves and most of Daisuke's. He had to make this shot count. Krad was getting ready to attack him again, slower than before. Hiwatari must be at his limits. Fucker, he thought, why do you have to use so much? Why do you have to use their lives like that?
Such little lives.
Krad raised his hand to throw the magic.
Krad screamed, high and angry, as the darkness wrapped around him and knocked him from the air. He fell, white feathers and gold hair weaving together, hateful eyes staring at Dark, even as he transformed.
Satoshi fell for a sickening eternity and then a hand clamped around his wrist and pulled him up. Dark's face was white. Too much effort, Satoshi thought. He's going to lose control and then I'm going to die. How stupid is that.
Dark swerved, made it to the top of the building, but his grip loosened on Satoshi for one second before he could grab it again, and Satoshi crashed against the side of the building. He was breathing hard. His hair, falling over Satoshi's hand, was damp with sweat.
"Sorry, Daisuke," said Dark, and transformed.
Niwa's pale face looked down at Satoshi. "Hiwatari-kun! Hang on, I'll get you up!"
Satoshi thought about letting go. He really, seriously thought about letting go. "Why?" he said.
Niwa braced himself and tried pulling. "Why /what/?"
"Why are you pulling me up?"
"Because you're my friend," said Niwa, gasping. His face was going red with effort and he looked earnest and innocent. Satoshi thought his heart was going to break.
Satoshi was dangling off the side of a building, the only thing between him and splattery death was a boy twenty pounds lighter than he was, and he found himself opening his mouth to say, "I'm not your /friend/, Niwa."
"Yes. You. ARE," gasped Niwa, gave a grunt of effort and pulled him up. Niwa fell over from the effort and they both rolled a couple of times, Satoshi landing on his back with Niwa half-on his chest, panting hard. "I'll make you my friend, Hiwatari-kun."
12:08 AM 7/7/2005: in conclusion, I would just like to say I HATE WRITING ACTION SCENES.