Guardian

A Shadow Skill Fanfic by Yen (December 2000)

Author's note: This is a sequel to Consequent and Possibilities

Disclaimer: Shadow Skill belongs to Megumu Okada and others.


"Where is he, Darkness?"

"He is watching over his family."

She smiled upon hearing that. "He cares about them very much."

Darkness replied, "He allows distractions."

Put off, she glanced at him with irritation. A moment later, her frown smoothed. What use was it to argue with him. Instead she focused her senses on the vista before them.

Both were standing on Juliannes' highest point. The open platform was only ten paces wide. A winding unprotected stairway led up to it from below.

"You should return," said Darkness in a monotone, "They will be searching for you."

"Let them," she said, lifting her face to catch the wind. She didn't see him look at her momentarily.

"You have changed." She started at his words.

"... What do you mean, Darkness?"

"You seem more spirited," he answered.

Darkness watched as she blushed, her white cheeks flushed with pink. "Have I?" Odd, she sounded breathless, perhaps because of the high altitude.

"I believe you have been spending too much time with Black Wing."

The young woman shrugged playfully. "It is nice to have someone to talk with." She smiled at him. "You are not much of a conversationalist, Darkness."

He shrugged minutely. His cloak fluttered with the slight movement he made not because of the winds blowing against them.

"What is there to waste breath about?"

Disappointment clouded her expression at his response. She turned away, her hair and dress billowing gently about her.

"There is a lot to talk about, but I guess you wouldn't be interested."

"Humans think too many meaningless things," he observed.

She glanced back at him with an unreadable expression on her face. "Do you always think so lowly of us?"

"Some of you have potential."

She looked away then turned back to him. "Am I one of those with potential you speak of?"

"Yes."

"Is that why you visit me often?"

"Yes."

Her eyes narrowed. "When I die, will you recruit me as you did them?"

"Most likely, but you will not die."

She became even whiter than the color of her skin. "W-what do you mean?"

... Why did I tell her that? Darkness made a mental sigh. Perhaps I have been spending too much time with these humans. Either that or I am tired. "Never mind, my dear princess."

Her eyes were wide. "Darkness, what did you mean by that?!"

"It is too soon for you to under-"

"You're always saying that I won't understand! How can I when you don't tell me anything!"

Suddenly, the Soma around her dimmed, and she screamed when the strong winds snatched her away.


***

"... Darkness?"

"I'm here, my dear."

He watched her eyes open slowly and blink up at him.

"... Where are we?" She twisted slightly in his arms and stared at the swiftly passing horizon.

"We're riding the wind which took you. We'll return shortly."

Her face was filled with wonder. "It's so beautiful," she breathed out softly. He followed the direction of her gaze. All he could see was a violet-blue sky and grey-white clouds.

She asked, "What happened?"

"The level of Soma dropped abruptly." He looked back at her. Her eyes were fathomless. "You became too weak to hold against the high winds at Juliannes' peak."

A miniature hurricane continually swirls above the Holy City.

Her eyes darkened thoughtfully. "I feel so strange. The Soma-"

"Is stable for now," he interrupted.

Her expression became unreadable again, and Darkness found himself hard put to follow her thoughts.

"Thank you, Darkness," she then said. He remained silent as she began to play with a corner of his cloak. She shifted again and pressed against his chest.

"You're warm," she suddenly stated, sounding surprised.

"... What did you expect?"

"I always thought you would feel cold."

"Now you know otherwise," he said.

"Uh huh," she murmured. She moved her hands to his shoulders. "Will you please let me down?" She requested.

His arms slacked, and he let her down gently. Silently commanded, part of his cloak lowered to lay flat underneath her feet so she could ride the wind. Folds of black swirled and shimmered about them.

She laughed, "I always like how versatile your cape is, Darkness."

"It is part of me," he answered immediately, again wondering why they tend to separately identify it from him.

She looked up at him then smiled as she rubbed her cheek against it. "It's so soft."

He almost smiled back at her.

Fin.

Go on to Learning

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