"You can't hide from me forever" is even more true when the girl searching has millenia on her hands... [shoujo-ai/femmeslash] [one-shot; complete]
Warnings: No warnings, save to say that, as is true of my short story "Shadow's Children," this short is a side-story to a longer piece I was writing by the name of Elemental Shadows. It takes place in the same universe as ES and "Shadow's Children," a universe of my creation. It isn't exactly part of the ES canon, but might be considered to "happen" prior to ES. Also, this contains shoujo-ai, or femmeslash, which I should probably warn for. Finally, a slight warning for blatant abuse of Japanese honorifics. For those not anime-knowledgeable, things like "-chan" can be used like pet names.
Summary: "You can't hide from me forever" is even more true when the girl searching has millenia on her hands...
Notes: First, as with "Shadow's Children," this was written some time in late 2003 or early 2004. I've read it through to proofread and do minor editing, but the story has not been edited or beta-read by an outside person. With that said, I have two notes. The term "mi shintan" as used by one of the MCs happens to have some significance in regards to the plot of ES. Sometime in the future, when I'm farther with the rewrite, I may post new chapters of that story here if anyone is interested in reading. Also, both MCs are elemental goddesses; the story takes place in one of the elemental realms in the ES universe as controlled by one of the goddesses. The goddesses have both an "elemental" or non-material form, and a human form they can occasionally assume. Just as a little FYI comment.
The plane stretched on, in all two-hundred-fifty-six directions, seemingly forever. The entire plane was also visible in a pale shade of red, like the world seen through tinted sunglasses. The entire area was quiet, silent almost, but not empty. Scattered throughout were mysterious elemental creatures with fiery bodies, in all ranges of shapes and sizes. They moved stealthily, but were stalking nothing. Rather, they were cowering, hiding from an omnipresent feeling of foreboding. A presence so strong that it became physically tangible.
The flame elementals were scattered, but even so, none were present in one area on the plane. Their eyes of embers perceived the area differently than human eyes would; it was the flame-eyes that gave the plane its red tint. Human eyes could only view the area from their own little world, but still, the flame-plane was like a mirror to them. Humans gazed up at it, and through it, and saw their own world through the veil of heat and magic the plane produced. In this way, they manipulated the plane to use it in their magic, as a focus.
Humans used the plane to reveal the truth of their world to their earthly eyes; the flame elementals used their fiery eyes to reveal the truth of the plane. Whenever one of their numbers gazed upon the single area devoid of elemental presence, they saw the planar embodiment of Kiriwaru, she of the fiery temper, the temper capable of cleaving an elemental in two. It was no surprise they avoided her, for if they were to anger her, it would be their downfall.
Kiriwaru surveyed her plane of fire regally, her gaze unwavering. The elementals, on the other hand, nervously averted their eyes and looked down at the "ground" of frozen flame. Kiriwaru was a goddess in this plane; in any plane. The elementals she ruled still wondered why she'd remained with them so long. As a goddess, she was entitled to her place in the divine plane, the realm of the gods. Why wasn't she there with her holy brethren? Something had her preoccupied. When their ruler became preoccupied, her anger flared up swiftly. They would not be caught in the ensuing firestorm.
Kiriwaru's eyes darted to one side, belying her appearance of icy calm, of restraint. She saw nothing - but she'd felt something.
"Who's there?" she asked herself aloud, the nearest thousand elementals flinching at the sound. Not that her voice was unpleasant; it was steady yet low, this time laced with a hint of uncertainty. It was the tone that scared the elementals, that and the fact that her speaking was the first sound they'd heard in what must have been an eternity. The fact that she was uncertain... That spoke of something big.
Kiriwaru should be in her element, so to speak - literally. But her senses felt clouded, as if a rain cloud had passed in front of her figurative sun. She had been "seated" before; she hadn't been in her "physical" form. In the flame-plane, nothing was truly physical; it was all amorphous. Nonetheless, as Kiriwaru rose, she transitioned from her state as a mere presence to the manifestation of her physical form, seen in the plane. Before, she'd been more flame than woman, with two brightly dancing eyes floating within the flames. As the switch was made, a face appeared out of the flames as if coming from behind a veil of water. Her complexion was brazen, her cheekbones high, and her eyes a shade that danced from black, to brown, to flame-red-crimson. Her lips were red and full, smiling. After her head had appeared, long black hair swirling with red highlights flowing out behind it, a hand appeared as well.
The hand rose until it was above her head, coming down in sweeping strokes to etch her name suspended in midair, glowing gold-red. Where the symbols of her true name appeared, her physical body became visible behind them. She was clothed in a rich red dress that seemed to cling to her possessively, her red-slippered feet and lower legs appearing beneath its uneven hem. She took a step forward, stepping into the fire of the magic symbols; they flickered like flames as she walked into them. As she passed through the symbols they wavered and went out and Kiriwaru became completely, physically tangible.
She frowned a bit, her eyebrows drawing together in concentration. She tugged impatiently at her dress around her chest; her concern had been for her comfort, nothing more, for she hadn't worn the dress in what felt like millennia. Comfortable once more, Kiriwaru continued forward in search of the disturbance she'd felt, being unable to locate it with mage-senses that were controlled as unconsciously, as easily, as breathing. She frowned again, this time with serious concern.
Moments later, Kiriwaru just froze. It was as if something had frozen her mage-senses temporarily, and they had just been returned all at once. With senses back in place, she was flooded by the sense and perception of magic, as controlled by a force that was only now flaring up before her. Kiriwaru unlocked her knees, stumbling back, embarrassed as a goddess to be caught off-guard like that.
"So you noticed me after all," a pouty voice complained petulantly. "And I put such work into my shielding... Three whole months, human-time - /straight! /I was supposed to evade your senses until I'd reached you... You noticed me arrive, didn't you? Ah, well, it can't be a complete waste."
Kiriwaru blinked, greeted by the one thing she'd been completely unprepared for. "Mi-Mittsu?" she stammered, clearing her throat and attempting to sound like the goddess she was.
"Of course!" Mittsu agreed impatiently. The woman - or, more correctly, goddess - glared at Kiriwaru in annoyance. Her eyes were narrowed, but the bright cerulean-blue orbs smiled when Mittsu did. Mittsu was even more waif-like than Kiriwaru, her slender form clothed in a dress like Kiriwaru's, only of the same cerulean blue as her eyes. Her complexion fair, her lips thin and of a pale shade of pink, she was Kiriwaru's opposite, in some ways.
"That's not the point," Kiriwaru shot back snappishly. "What are you doing here? Mittsu... You have your own plane. And you have the divine plane, to boot. Why must you come back here, time after time? You know this is my domain!"
Kiriwaru's voice escalated in volume as she spoke, betraying her anger to Mittsu. Mittsu was the water-goddess, the goddess who held the sway of power in the aquatic water plane. Kiriwaru, as the fire-goddess, wanted nothing to do with her. Water and fire just didn't mix; they eliminated each other.
"Kiri, Kiri," Mittsu repeated, her tone patiently impatient. "/Mi shintan./ You always ask."
Kiriwaru stared back petulantly. "I thought I asked you not to call me that..." she whined.
"But I do anyway," Mittsu returned, stepping forwards a few paces. Kiriwaru stepped back. Impatiently, Mittsu advanced on Kiriwaru again, speeding her steps so she could slip behind Kiriwaru and circling her in examination.
"What are you doing?" Kiriwaru asked nervously, only half aware that she didn't sound much like a goddess any more. A small child - that was what she sounded like. "Mittsu--"
"We've talked about that before," Mittsu said cryptically, ignoring Kiriwaru's question. "Just call me Su, Kiri-chan."
Kiriwaru glared at Mittsu all the more fiercely, saying, "I said not to call me that, /Mittsu/. Goddess of Water, she who holds sway in the plane of that element. Mittsu. Be gone from the plane of fire. As the Goddess of Fire, your opposite, the ruler of this plane, I, Kiriwaru, command you. Be gone, Mittsu."
"Don't even try that with me," Mittsu said calmly. "More ties me to your plane than you could guess. You will not be rid of me using that weak charm, Kiri-chan."
Mittsu paused in her pacing, just behind Kiriwaru. She placed one hand on the small of Kiriwaru's back, feeling the other goddess flinch away at first impulse. Kiriwaru relaxed, as much as would be possible for her, after just a moment, and Mittsu proceeded to comb her fingers through the Fire-Goddess' hair.
"You have pretty hair, Kiri-chan," Mittsu pointed out idly. "Did you know that? So long and silky... Even if you only have this hair in your physical form. I like your physical form."
Kiriwaru tensed again, but said nothing. She couldn't hold herself rigid for very long, and just allowed Mittsu to continue finger-combing her hair.
"Call me Su," Mittsu repeated, seemingly randomly. "Won't you say anything, Kiri-chan? Kiri-chan... You're always like that, whenever I visit you. That's why I tried the whole mess with the spells. You're always so tense, so rigid. I wish-- What's wrong? What's wrong, Kiri-chan?"
Mittsu stroked Kiriwaru's hair, feeling Kiriwaru shivering beneath her hand. She thought maybe Kiri was cold, despite the warmth of her realm. Her concern growing, Mittsu spun Kiriwaru carefully about to face her. But was Kiriwaru... Crying?
"Oh, Kiri!" Mittsu exclaimed, exasperated. "Whatever shall I do with you?"
Mittsu wrapped one arm about Kiriwaru's shoulders, pulling Kiriwaru close and holding her against Mittsu's own right shoulder. Mittsu knew something was seriously wrong with the Flame-Goddess, for Kiriwaru would never let anyone touch her, under normal circumstances. Especially not Mittsu. Now... She didn't even protest. After a few more minutes, Kiriwaru was still shaking uncontrollably, strange tears of a pale pink liquid that was not water flowing freely from her eyes and down her cheeks.
"Kiri!" Mittsu exclaimed again, more softly, holding Kiriwaru at arm's length. Sorrowfully, she brushed tears from Kiriwaru's cheek with her thumb, but this gesture of concern seemed to have no effect. "I guess I'll have to delve deeper into my arsenal," Mittsu muttered to herself.
Mittsu hugged Kiriwaru for real the second time, cradling her fellow goddess against her chest as she gently rocked back and forth. It was then that she realized their closeness in height. Kiriwaru had only about an inch on Mittsu. Mittsu had never been close enough to tell. Almost expectantly, Mittsu's tongue darted out to lick her own dry lips. Levering herself up on her tip-toes just slightly, Mittsu cupped Kiriwaru's face in both hands, still watching the tears trickle down. She leaned in close, licking at Kiriwaru's tears near her left ear with her little pink tongue. Slowly, Mittsu worked across Kiriwaru's cheek, leaving a slick trail of saliva, but no tears in her wake. Kiriwaru's sobs were subsiding.
Caught up in her efforts to elevate Kiriwaru above this strange depression, Mittsu tongued gently at Kiriwaru's lips, hands caught up in silky black hair and breast full of a guilty pleasure that somehow accompanied Kiriwaru's weakness. Kiriwaru protested not at all. Kiriwaru's own tongue darted out of her mouth, taking a curious taste. Kiriwaru's lips parted, but she didn't leave Mittsu quite enough time to take advantage of this.
"S-Suuuuuu-" Kiriwaru choked out, speaking against the warm lips pressed strangely close to hers. "Su . . . Su . . . No . . ."
"What?" Mittsu drew back.
There was no oxygen in Kiriwaru's lungs. It took her a moment to reply. "You're... My /sister/!"
"Not sister," Mittsu protested immediately. "Your equal. Kiri-chan... Deny it not. I will find none equal to you! None! We are goddesses together. Together... Kiri-chan. Together at last, after the longest time. I waited for you."
Kiriwaru stared back blankly, mouth half agape. Mittsu kissed her full on the lips, drawing back slowly when Kiriwaru was still frozen. Shocked. Mittsu kissed her again, harder, as if trying to suck the breath from Kiriwaru's lungs. She paused, catching her own breath, and Kiriwaru gasped.
"Mi-Mi-Mi... Mi-chan," she forced out at last. "I... Love... You."
"I know," Mittsu replied softly. "Kiri-chan. /Mi shintan./"
Mittsu went back to kissing Kiriwaru, met not by resistance, but by eagerness. Kiriwaru was back to her fiery self, nipping at Mittsu playfully. Kiriwaru, the ice-princess of a Fire-Goddess. Kiriwaru didn't have much height on Mittsu, but she used what she had to her advantage. One hand she placed strategically on the small of Mittsu's back. The other hand dropped from Mittsu's neck to sink lower, to rest upon Mittsu's thigh. She lifted Mittsu against her, almost desperately, the entire lengths of their bodies sandwiched together.
Mittsu was the one who thought to feel behind Kiriwaru's neck, unfastening the other Goddess' dress, a devilish glint in her eye. Still lip-locked from before, Kiriwaru said nothing, merely sweeping Mittsu's feet out from under here; with where Kiriwaru's hands were positioned, she had leverage. Rather than letting Mittsu fall on her butt, spell-symbols raced through Kiriwaru's head, forming the air under and behind Mittsu into the equivalent of a featherbed. Kiriwaru dropped Mittsu down onto it, and half sitting up, Kiriwaru caused the unfastened half of her dress to fall open. She felt Mittsu's giggles through her lips.
Kiriwaru broke off their kiss herself, squirming against Mittsu so she could pin the other goddess down, and relieve her of her dress fastening.
"Mi-chan," Kiriwaru gasped at last, much later, her attempts to relieve Mittsu of her cerulean dress having finally come to fruitation. "I'm tired now."
"You shouldn't have taken me on," Mittsu laughed back, haughtily. Sitting up, she paid surprisingly little attention to her topless state, considering how much she'd squirmed.
"Oh, you're no fun," Kiriwaru whined. "You started it!"
"Started it, did I?" Mittsu tried to look innocent, but failed. Both were failing at presenting an image of a goddess.
"Yes, and now you've got to make up for it," Kiriwaru said, sounding petulant. She tackled Mittsu around the waist, plowing her into the "bed." Mittsu almost lost hold of her physical form, upon impact. But it held, and Kiriwaru snuggled against Mittsu's back, clamping her legs around Mittsu as well, to keep her in place.
"I wonder what it's like in your natural form..." Mittsu mused. Kiriwaru started, as if Mittsu had suggested something dreadfully scandalous. Then she smiled.
"Well, we've got all the time in the worlds to find out."