After saving the world, is the fate of a few objects so important? Focused on the Dreams of Zeal. One slight change to canon.
The child cried, but neither the flames nor the battle touched her. She thought she had found a safe spot. She did not understand that the spot was safe because she was in it.
Doreen danced in a circle around the child, singing "It's Gonna Rain." The chuckling notes of the song seemed to comfort the child, but that could not be. The odd beasts who prowled the fires saw Doreen and withdrew, but no human laid eyes upon the well-dressed ghost. Her odd sing-song was lost on human ears.
The child cried a lot that night.
"Why... why does everyone always leave me?"
"You silly child," Doreen patted her head. "We never left you. You just forgot we were here. But we are."
And she grinned into the flame-licked stars, the huddled child sobbing at her feet.
"I'm tired, Masa."
"I know. I know, Mune."
It was so dark and cold. There was no Sleep in this world; they had lost the others; they were alone in the dark and the cold. Melchior had pieced them together all right, but with so much of their original dream stone gone, they felt incomplete just the same. What's more, Melchior himself had died a few months ago. They had felt it, they had felt part of themselves die with him. Others believed; but they believed wistfully, in a sword or a legend. They did not believe in a reality, nor a dream, they did not believe in Masa or Mune.
"It's just..." Mune panted, the air in the room stirring with him, through his power rather than his breath. "It's like humans after a big meal, I think, Masa. We need a nap..."
"That makes no sense, Mune. Stay awake. Stay up."
But Mune's eyelids were already closing. The breeze in the room had completely died down. Masa reached over and shook him, but his eyes stayed closed.
"We can't, Mune... What happens when Dreams sleep? It's not good, Mune. We can..." Masa's eyes closed for a second, and he jolted awake. "Wake up. We may be ghosts, but we can make them believe, believe in ghosts. Wake up..."
But one twin was nothing without the other. Mune stayed asleep, and soon his twin was snoozing on his shoulder. The red glow of the sword behind them slowly darkened, darkened, waiting to be rekindled.
Epoch glanced over his shoulder, annoyed. He hated when Trigger said his name that way. He wasn't "Epa-kun." But at least it was better than "Wot."
"What?" Epoch enunciated clearly, so that the word had no resemblance to "Wot."
"Nothing. I'm bored." Trigger jogged down the corridor, his long hair barely managing not to sweep the floor. In this new world, they had found their old masters, still alive, and been re-assembled. In a hanger was the Epoch, whole but grounded, rechristened "Neo," which annoyed Epoch, as he was older than that other, lesser, non-important Epoch. The heavy time egg was hidden somewhere as well. But with no Sleep in this dimension, they could only manifest in human form as ghosts; adult and whole, but intangible. The scientists left the objects alone to quell their nightmares. The last technician to get the idea of throwing away the Time Egg had dreams of being strangled (by one of Trigger's long hairs) and crushed (by the boys jumping up and down on him in his sleep.) Reminded, Epoch sidled up to one of the scientists at a nearby station.
"Touch the plane, and the big dumb hedgehog will eeeeeaaaat yooouuuuu~" said Epoch in what he thought was a spooky voice. Trigger snickered.
"The egg is your friiiiiend," Trigger said to the man's other ear. "The egg protects you from the big dumb hedgehog."
"Fear the wrath of the big dumb hedgehog."
"The big dumb hedgehog doesn't like you."
"You never call the big dumb hedgehog."
"Really," said Trigger, grinning as the man started to look around in paranoia, "Nobody calls the big dumb hedgehog. Nobody likes the big dumb hedgehog."
"That's why the big dumb hedgehog is asexual," Epoch added glasses to his outfit and pushed them knowingly up his nose. "No one would date the big dumb hedgehog."
Trigger nodded. "The big dumb hedgehog cries itself to sleep at night."
"The big dumb hedgehog had to spawn just to have some little friends."
"Nobody loves the big dumb hedgehog."
This went on for a few more minutes before they got bored of it, and wrote and revised "The Hedgehog Song" (subtitled: Big and Dumb.) Then they moved on to one of their more common games.
"--and one foot hoop earrings."
Trigger took a long breath. "I went into the palace one day and saw Janus wearing ... his mother's lipstick, lacy underwear, a bag over his head, five inch spiked dominatrix shoes, neon lederhosen, a Marle wig, an "I hate Glenn" shirt, one foot hoop earrings aaand ... a ten gallon hat with an arrow through it."
"I went into the palace one day and saw Janus wearing his mother's lipstick, lacy underwear ... a bag over his head, five inch spiked dominatrix shoes, neon lederhosen ... a Marle wig, an "I hate Glenn" shirt, one foot hoop earrings, a ten gallon hat with an arrow through it ... and carrying his mother's yaoi."
"The enemy of all we stand for, bro." Epoch slid him a cool look.
Trigger raised an eyebrow at that. "What, like the big dumb hedgehog?"
"I hadn't thought of that... Lavos as the source of all yaoi... it's sick, but it explains why Queen Zeal liked the stuff so much."
"Only Queen Zeal liked the big dumb hedgehog."
"Queen Zeal just liked yaoi." Epoch stuck out his tongue. "No one likes the big dumb hedgehog."
"Poor dead big dumb hedgeh--do you feel that?" Trigger turned his head, the fragile balance of his hair overturned, making it cascade over his shoulders and fall through the floor.
"New people!" Trigger threw his hair back over his shoulders again and bounced down the stairs.
"Whoo! Any pretty girls?"
"Pretty girls?" Trigger plopped down next to one of them. "There's one girl."
Epoch glared at him. "That's not a pretty girl, that's a kid! Freaky too..." He poked a finger at the armored dress.
"What is your obsession with pretty girls anyway?" Trigger paced around and through the figures. A lot of them had red eyes. Yeah, freaky.
"Look, Schala was a pretty girl, right? Marle and Lucca and Ayla and Leene were aaaall pretty girls, right? And they were all good, right?"
"Well... yeeah." Trigger was discovering he could make long hair move if he poked at it hard enough.
"So, pretty girls are good!"
"...you are such an idiot."
"Hey, I have wings, bro." Epoch twirled around and posed, wings spread. "Chicks DIG wings!"
"What is wrong with you?" Trigger was standing in the midst of a battle, now, attacks going right through him. "You don't even have hormones, you're a friggin' rock, you're a plane, why on earth--"
"Pfft. You spent too much time as a baby. You don't know."
"I'm older than you! I'm ignoring you, let's play with the mortals."
Trigger and Epoch followed the group around, wondering why they were there.
"I can't believe bushy eyebrows has Alfie's hair color. I didn't know normal people had purple hair." Trigger had gotten the hair to swing back and forth like a pendulum, now. It was starting to creep out the little girl, although she said nothing.
"Lucca had purplish hair. Not sure if she counts as normal, though."
"His eyebrows are purple." The man had just turned, getting annoyed at his unusually active hair. He blamed the little girl. Unknown to him, he was bristling face to face with Trigger. "I don't think he'd dye his eyebrows."
Epoch ducked his head. "His pits are purple."
Trigger and Epoch had the same idea and turned to each other at the same moment. "/Ewww...."/
"I don't wanna know," said Trigger. Epoch just stuck out his tongue.
"This place is creepy," muttered the object of their disgust. "I just wanna get home, curl up and read my porn..."
"PORN?" Epoch waved his hand through the man, trying to get his attention. "You have porn? I think we misjudged this guy."
Trigger's eyes addressed the sky. There was nothing to be done; all the his siblings were weirdos. "You know, he does have an axe. You'd think you wouldn't like axes."
"Eh, he's probably just a lumberjack or some--" Epoch shut his mouth and turned wildly, but it was too late. There was a maniac twinkle in Trigger's eye.
"hhhhhhhhhh.... he's a lumberjack and he's okay! He floats all night and time travels all day!"
Epoch tried to hit his head against the wall, but he just kept going through it.
"He picks up girls, he makes bad jokes, he likes to pick wild flowers! He don't know the diff'rence! 'Tween aeons, weeks and hours!"
Completely unlike Epoch, Trigger seemed to actually miss Doreen's singing. Hence, the Hedgehog Song and some other, less kind ditties. At least he wasn't calling him "Wot."
"He grows new wings, A D cup bra, he likes to wear high heels! He wish he was a girl-y, just like old Queen Zeal!"
Trigger's favorite part, of course, was making the noises of hordes of scandalized people at the end of the song. This time he threw in a "Pervert!" for good measure. Epoch was glowering and starting to melt the nearby metal. By this time, the group of trespassers were quite a ways in.
"If they try and mess with my solid bits, I'll have to hurt them." Epoch refocused his anger, frowning as the group fought off another mechanized guard.
"They're gonna mess something up. They shouldn't be here." Trigger was confident that pretty girls wouldn't be mentioned for a while.
"What do you mean?"
"Weren't you paying attention when they built this thing?" Trigger waved his hand around. "They're gonna screw up time and space. They just walked into the wrong building, that's for sure."
Epoch--and the less transparent people around him--jumped as a machine kicked into gear with a loud thump.
"I've been watching them. Idiots have it all wrong to begin with. And very unstable." Trigger was looking up, his hands crossed behind his back. "It was nice to be adult again for a while."
"What do you mean?! You suicidal moron--why didn't you do something?"
"They wouldn't stop." Trigger shrugged. "They don't care about destroying us or not. It was easy to preserve our bodies. But they wouldn't stop this, it was too important to them."
"Then why don't we do something about it?" Epoch grabbed Trigger's wrist, yanking him ahead of the bewildered intruders. He stopped only when they got to a giant golden globe.
"It's too late." Trigger had one of his more recognizable expressions on, now. Resignment.
"Who's the idiot? You're forgetting--nothing's too late for us." Epoch's gold eyebrows lowered and his teeth glinted in a grin.
Trigger gave it a moment's thought, seeming to forget he was the Kamikaze Dream. His shroud of inevitability lifted. He smiled.
They released their power at the same time, counting on the unstable reality to boost their chance. The areas hit by Trigger's powers froze; those hit by Epoch's circled endlessly around themselves, never quite reaching the moment of collapse.
"Is this really any sort of life?" Trigger gazed at the frozen sea. It would have awed anyone else. He was always aware that life was a series of instants.
"I ain't ready to join Kah Ray just yet." Epoch snorted.
"You think there's a dream heaven?"
"Hey, heaven's just a concept, right? It'd be just like Sleep. Besides, if we wait here for a while, maybe the others'll show up."
Trigger gave a little smile, forming ice skates and hopping onto the endless sea. Epoch, for his part, plopped down beside the purple-haired ghost, giving him the shock of his life.
"Now.... what was this about porn?"
I love them.
He carved the rock carefully, lovingly. He hadn't planned to do anything like this, but the hourglass shape of the rock suggested itself to him.
I want to protect them.
He was new at this and had already broken the rock once. But that had turned into an unexpected gift; after many hours work, the two pieces were reconnected, so that the top swayed gently at any movement.
For that, I need to know.
Schala loved things like this, trinkets and toys that worked free of magic, by the wonder of the world itself. He had wasted a whole week once, putting together a small bird with delicate plumage. It was still by her windowsill, still drinking.
Please, God, let me know.
He finished the face, giving it a wide grin. He tapped at the figure's side gently, and it danced.
And he put all his power into it.
And he put all his knowledge into it.
And he put all his love into it.
Into it, this little dancing figure that would, at very least, make his daughter laugh. Broken down to a shard, as it would be eventually be, it still shone as brightly as it did in his workshop. It still shone with power and knowledge and love. When it came to the new world, it remembered the Queen's angry face at her form, though, and thought perhaps it should try a new one. Unlike the others, she was left unrepaired; her dream stone form was the one to disappear, a new human in its place. Now, no women glowered angrily at their husbands, and gone were the odd, nonsensical requests. Instead, there were merely girls giggling, constantly. In his naivety, he assumed girls always giggled in this world. His hair had paled to lavender, but behind his mask his eyes still shone vibrant, with a touch of red and a gemlike quality.
And the King of Zeal had put all his power into it, but the power was down almost to a normal human's. He had tricks, but nothing a human couldn't manage, nothing more than the best work of baby Janus. So he was strong and didn't seem to age, so magic suffused him even without elements, so his rod danced by his side without strings or illusion.
And the King of Zeal had put all his knowledge into it, but that was the first to go. No longer knowing all, he took comfort in knowing more than most. He had senses others lacked and a feel for the leilines of the world, the crossroads of fate. He had unfathomable luck and intuition. There were other signs--he didn't eat much, and alcohol failed to affect him. One of his favorite jokes (although no one else found it funny) was to pretend to get wasted and lose at cards until the last, most crucial hand. It was how he afforded the expensive jewelry he draped around himself as much as possible. He loved metal and gems.
And the King of Zeal had put all his love into it. And that, like the dream stone, twinkled just like before. Alfador was quieter, his smiles soft, but his movements still feline, long braid tapping hypnotically against his chair as he tipped his drink back.
The door jangled, but Alfador did not bother to look. He had known, he had felt it coming. He was standing on the leiline. They could not help but come to him. And he would find his way, even if he had to do it as a mere human, even if he had to walk pathless steps under starless skies. He thought of firelight, and it seemed to him that the mysterious entity they had talked of must have been Spekkio. In that world, in any case. In this world, he hoped to be that person himself.
He dipped his head down against his drink, smiling, smiling cattishly. Doreen had found another young neck. She was good at it. He pushed his chair back, standing.
"Here we go again..."
"The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to their dream."
--Joan Didion (I had to get it in here somehow.)
First of all, pleeeease do me a favor and don't mention to anyone that it's a crossover.
I consider this an episodic success, in other words, I had no idea where it was going but it worked out all right in the end. I would never have planned to involve CC--I hadn't played it when I started this fanfic, and anyway, it gives me a headache. I don't really care about debating whether my explanations make sense, but I will bow down and acknowledge you as right in all things, yes yes, if only you don't spoil the ending for other people. Thank you. ;)
If I had known where I was going, for one, I'd probably have made Alfie a guy, even though this way it's more of a surprise. Then the transition to CC's Alfie would have been easier, and no one could mistake this for a Mary Sue. I also wouldn't have anyone thinking this would turn romantic with Magus, except me, because I like yaoi (guy/guy porn.) Which is why I had to make Epoch say that. ;) With Alfie's gender what it is, my yuri fanboy friend is dreaming up Alfie/Marle ideas as we speak. To be honest, I'm pretty curious as to how that could happen.
"It's Gonna Rain" is one of Rurouni Kenshin's ending songs, 6th I think. There's a Hedgehog Song in Terry Prattchet's Discworld novels, but this isn't it. There's a Lumberjack Song in Monty Python, and, of course, this is a version of it. It's kind of obvious I had too much fun with Trigger and Epoch, but they don't get much screentime before this, so I felt justified in indulging.
For those of you who don't know, Guile's name in the original Japanese is Alfador or Alf. In my game I named him Alfie. There are many who believe that Guile is secretly Magus, which I never believed because Guile isn't a jerk like Magus. Although Magus is just the sort of dork who would name himself after his cat. And don't go on about Radical Dreamers, I know, I know. If you have played CC, you ought to be able to figure out Alfie's goals, what item Spekkio becomes, etc. I must admit this is perhaps my most evil fanfic, as most of it is spent ripping apart the characters, but I hope some other people will write for the Dreams now.
I would love to start a trend, though if you're going to use my versions, crediiiit. I like influencing people, I like reviews, I even like getting MiSTed. This was my longest and last CT work, so bye all. I hope you liked it.