Gundam Wing Fan Fiction / Outlaw Star Fan Fiction / Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Fan Fiction / Zoids Fan Fiction ❯ All Death's Children ❯ Chapter 12

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Notes: In case anyone was wondering, the mark on Vega's cheek that labels him Prince of the Dead would look exactly like a solid black cross. The one that makes him a Deathwalker (I just realized that's scarily similar to Skywalker…) would look exactly like Raven's. You can find a tiny pic of it (and a slightly bigger one in the Z:CC profile section) at which is were I've gotten nearly all my info on both Zoids shows. You should check it out, even if you do know the mark already.

DEFINITELY only one more chapter after this one. The last one ran long, so I saved the Zoids Trials entirely for this one. And I hope Sarah's new guy surprises you. If not, I tried.

Chapter 12

"Bit! Hey, BIT! MOVE YOUR BUTT!!!"

Bit blinked and turned away from the window to see Leena scowling at him from the doorway. "Huh?"

"Come ON, Bit! We're gonna be late for the Zoid Trials! Aren't you ready yet?!"

"Oh, yeah! Well, almost…" Bit pulled on a blue and white jacket, and then wrapped a black bandana around the right sleeve.

Leena noticed a set of shiny, silver letters sewn into the bandana. "Hey, what is that?" she asked, pointing.

"What, this?" Bit fingered the bandana absently, his lips drawing into a thin line. "Just thought it'd make me look cool, that's all." He quickly brushed past her, walking faster than usual.

Leena stared after, and was able to pick out the letters a little better before he moved away. One of them had definitely been a V, and she got the feeling that something should've clicked in her mind, but it didn't. Shaking her head, she headed for the bridge, only to find that Brad was wearing a similar armband. "They act like somebody died," she murmured, not knowing how close to the truth she was.

* * * * *

"Welcome, one and all, to the forty-third annual Zoid Trials!" the announcer shouted.

The crowed roared its approval.

"Thank you very much for coming out, folks! Before we proceed any further, let's have a moment of silence for one of our fallen comrades. To some, he was merely the stuff of legend, and to others, he was the terror of the burning sands. But to those that knew him best, he was a true, fighting champion, and the uncrowned King of Zoid Warriors. So, please, bow your heads, and let us remember the one, the only, Vega Obscura."

High up in one the reserved skyboxes, Sarah gripped the railing so hard that her knuckles turned white. "Vega…" she whispered, her eyes watering.

A strong, gentle hand came to rest over hers and squeezed gently.

After a few moments, the announcer returned. "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. And now, without further ado, let's get to the competition. We've got a wide array of pilots today, and they're all raring to go! First up, representing the Champ Team, is Harry Champ and his spanking-new Helcat! Let's hear it for `em, folks!

The older man beside Sarah chuckled softly. "And the fools do rush in," he murmured in a gravelly voice, sounding amused.

* * * * *

"Are you nervous, sweetie?"

"Nah," Vega replied, flexing his fingers a bit. "This'll be a piece of cake for Fury."

"I wanted to talk to you about that," Hanmyo said over the headset. "You're not going to try and win, are you?"

"Why not? That's the whole point!"

"Vega, it's difficult enough just masking Fury. But if you actually WIN, it'll be impossible for me to hide your identity!"

"Sorry, love," Vega apologized. "Fury's never really been one to settle for second place."

His Zoid rumble in strong agreement.

Hanmyo growled in frustration. "PROMISE me you won't use your full power."

Vega sighed. "I promise I won't use my full power."

"Good. I'll see you later. Good luck, sweetie!"

Vega could hear her blowing a noisy kiss before cutting the connection. "Well, I did promise," he noted. "But you didn't, did you, Fury?"

The Berserk Fury rumbled again, and this time, it sounded a lot like laughter…

* * * * *

"What a competition we've had so far! Jack Sisco of the Fluegel Team is STILL in a first place tie with Bit Cloud of the Blitz Team, with Brad Hunter, also from Blitz, at a close second! Now, let's welcome our last competitor, an unknown in the Zoid ranks who calls himself The Dark Prince! He hails from the equally unknown Darkness Team, and is piloting a customized, and VERY rare, Genosaur! Let's hear it for him, folks!"

Bit nearly dropped his soda. "A Genosaur?!"

Brad shrugged. "Let's see how he handles it first."

"Even if he's never piloted one, he could easily take the Trials by storm," Doc Tauros said. "Assuming his body can handle it, anyway." He grinned at Brad. "Getting a little nervous, are we, son?"

"I don't get paid to be nervous," Brad muttered stiffly.

"Look, there he goes!" Leena shouted.

"Don't you mean, there he WENT?" Jamie asked. "I've never SEEN a Zoid move like that!"

"I have," Bit and Brad said at once before slowly turning to look at each other.

"Hey, you don't think…" Bit began, glancing at his bandana.

"No way," Brad said quickly, pointedly ignoring his armband.

"Nah," they both agreed after a moment. "Couldn't be." But neither of them looked all that certain anymore.

* * * * *

"Just a little more, Fury, and we're home-free," Vega chuckled.

"VEGA!" Hanmyo shouted in his ears.

"Yes, love?" he asked meekly.

"You slow down RIGHT NOW! You're going to win!"

"But I-"


Vega took his hand away, but the accelerator didn't stop.


"I'm not doing it, I swear!" he cried. "I told you, Fury likes to win!"

"Vega, when I get my hands on you, I'm going to strangle-"

The line went dead.

"Thanks, Fury, but I think I'm gonna regret you doing that later today…"

Fury rumbled happily.

"Sure, YOU'RE happy, but I won't be. Can't you slow down just a bit? Please?"

Fury sounded extremely disappointed, but did as Vega asked. Not that it made much of a difference.

* * * * *

"What a shocker! The Dark Prince comes in .3 seconds ahead of Sisco & Cloud! HE'S WON THE ZOID TRIALS!"

The crowd went crazy. As did Bit and Jack, but in a far different manner.

The Genosaur jogged to a stop in the winner's circle and grew still.

"Now, let's get a good look at our mystery man!" the announcer said, running up to the Zoid. "Sir, if we could get an interview…?"

The pilot climbed out of the Genosaur, wearing what seemed to be a black motorcycle helmet and a matching bodysuit. He hopped lightly to the ground and took off the helmet, tucking it under his arm.

"Sorry, I don't do interviews. But I do want to say one thing." He took the microphone and grinned brightly. "I dedicate this win to my mother…who I'm going to see in…oh, right now. Thanks." With that, the pilot walked away.

"That…that…wasn't that?" the announcer attempted to say.

"Vega," the cameraman whispered in a similar tone. "Vega…Obscura…"

"But…isn't he…?" the announcer whimpered.

"Well…I'm pretty sure he was when we had the moment of silence for him…but I…hahahAAAAA!" he fell on his rear and backed away as quickly as possible.

The announcer followed the cameraman's gaze to the winner's Genosaur. The air around it was shimmering strangely, and then the Zoid seemed to sprout large, coal black armor plates all over its body, before it became obvious that he wasn't looking at a Genosaur at all.

* * * * *

"I really think we should-" Hanmyo tried to suggest as Vega dragged her along by the hand.

"No. We have less than ten hours left. What if she wants to have dinner or something?"

"But you can't just go walking around with your FACE!"

"Then you'll just have to make all this seem like a dream afterwards, won't you? A worthy test for my regent, don't you think?"

Hanmyo frowned. "You'd better keep in mind I'm your girlfriend, too, buster!"

"I'm aware," Vega replied, spotting the door he knew Sarah would be just beyond. Predictably, there were two guards directly in front of it.

The guards looked up warily as Vega got closer.

Hanmyo, polite as ever, tried to provide a distraction. "Hi there! Sorry to alarm you, but we-"

"Have no time for this," Vega interrupted, raising a hand. "Excuse me."

The guards went flying in opposite directions, each crashing into the nearest available wall.

"Vega! There was no need for that!"

"No. But it was fun, wasn't it?" Vega waved his hand slightly, and the doors flew open.

Two more guards sprang up and twisted around, pistols flashing in their gloved hands as they both drew beads on Vega's forehead.

Vega stopped, not because of the guns, but because of their auras. They were…familiar.

Finally, the woman seemed to recognize him and hesitantly lowered her gun. "…Vega? Is that…you?"

The man snorted. "You're crazy, Pierce. No way this kid's Ve…" He trailed off upon getting a closer look, and then he whipped off his ever-present shades. "Holy shi-"

"Pierce?" Vega asked, his voice coming out strangely choked. "Palta?"

Instantly, a woman's voice broke through the silence. "Stand down, you two. Let my son come to me."

"Sarah?!" Vega cried, pushing past them.

Hanmyo shrugged, smiled hesitantly at Pierce & Palta, then followed Vega. She found him weeping unashamedly in the lap of a woman with a striking profile, to say the least.

"Sarah…it's really you…it's really, finally you…" Vega was saying as his tears stained her dress.

The woman's only reaction was a tender smile as she lovingly ran her fingers through his hair. "I knew you would come back to me, my son. I just didn't know when." She paused, finally noticing Hanmyo. "But who is this…?"

Vega sniffled loudly and raised his head, wiping his face. "That's Hanmyo. She's…"

Hanmyo tensed, not because she was afraid or nervous about what Vega was about to call her, but because she knew it would be something he'd never dared to call her before.

Vega slowly lowered his arm from his face, and really looked at her for the first time since he'd seen Sarah. "She is…my wife." There was simply no room for argument, the way he said it, the way his eyes were locked on her, seeing just what he'd said and nothing else.

Still, the rational part of Hanmyo's mind wouldn't be silenced. She was about to point out that Vega had never even implied proposing to her, and here he was calling her HIS wife. Where was her ring, and--?

Hanmyo's eyes widened as they settled on the golden band, shining almost tauntingly on her finger. It had certainly not been there a second ago, because there was a certain weight to it that she would've noticed.

Vega, still on his knees, merely turned to her and took her hands in his. "I know calling you that was a bit premature, love, but…I can't help it. It's how I see you…how I've always seen you, just…now more than ever."

Hanmyo eventually found her voice. "The ring…you…how…?"

"I gave it to you last night, when I kissed your hand. But like my mark, it wasn't meant to show up until you truly believed in it. Which must mean that you've just accepted my proposal."

Hanmyo's mind raced. This was all progressing so fast and yet, she knew that it was right, anyway. It certainly felt that way to her. "You brought me here…to propose to me…in front of your mother?" she whispered.

"…and Pierce and Palta, apparently," Vega replied with a smile. "But I hadn't planned that part."

"But…what if I'd said no?"

Vega shrugged. "Then the ring would never have shown up, and I wouldn't have said a word."

"NEVER?!" Hanmyo cried.

"I would never marry you unless you wanted me to, love. What would be the point otherwise?"

"You wouldn't even try to change my mind?!"

Vega smirked. "Hanmyo, I'm practically a god, and even I know better than to try and change a woman's mind."

"I raised you well," Sarah murmured, stroking his hair fondly.

Vega beamed at her, then turned back to Hanmyo. "The ring did make it official, but it'd be nice to hear you agree just once."

"YOU didn't lose the race. You don't deserve to have nice things," Hanmyo said scornfully.

"I promised not to use my full power, and I didn't. Fury was of another opinion…"

"Fury's not the one you're proposing to."

Vega held up his hands defensively. "So what's it going to take to turn that glare into a smile?"

Hanmyo smirked. "Kiss me."

Vega instantly got up and moved forward.

She stopped him. "Not THAT kind of kiss."


"I mean the `we're-alone-in-my-room-and-everyone-is-asleep' kind of kiss."

Vega turned bright red. "Love, I really don't think-"

"No, you don't. Usually because you've got your tongue down my throat at the time. Now kiss me like I say or you'll be looking for another wife."

Vega was very aware of Palta grinning like an idiot and Pierce smirking behind her hand, but chose to ignore them. With a resigned sigh, he moved toward Hanmyo again. He'd just barely touched her lips when she suddenly pulled away. "Hey!"

Hanmyo grinned. "I didn't think you'd really DO it. I mean, your mother's right there!"

"Well, you TOLD me to do it or find another wife. What'd you expect to do, propose to Pierce?"

"I thought you'd chicken out. You're braver than I thought."

"I get that a lot. Can I kiss you now, or would you like to embarrass me some more?"

Smiling brightly, Hanmyo slipped her hand in his and kissed the corner of his mouth. "I'm done!"

"I must say this is all a bit…odd," Sarah said slowly.

"She's always like that," Vega replied, earning a quick elbow in the gut.

"Actually, I meant that you've found love, too."

"What's so odd about that?" Vega asked before catching her last word.

Hanmyo suddenly gasped and seized Sarah's hand. "Oh, it's BEAUTIFUL!" she breathed. "Vega, look!"

Vega followed her gaze-and froze as he spotted the diamond ring on Sarah's finger. "You're…engaged?"

Sarah smiled. "I would apologize, Vega, but I obviously had no way to contact you, and you've often told me that I should loosen up and settle down with someone."

"And you believed me?! I was kidding!"

"Even if you were, losing you was…painful. I doubt I would be here today if I hadn't met such a remarkable man recently. He's a highly respected Zoid pilot with years of experience and is completely self-reliant."

"Wow," Hanmyo said. "He sounds…like you, Vega."

Vega scowled at her.

"What? He does!"

"So where is he?" Vega asked, determined to ignore Hanmyo.

Sarah smiled. "Right behind you, dear."

Vega turned, and suddenly noticed a tall, silent figure on the balcony, half-hidden in shadow.

"Been a long time, kid," said a rough, gravelly voice.

Any sort of anger dropped off Vega's face, and was replaced with a look of shock-and maybe, just a hint of joy. "Captain Stoller…?"

The older man stepped forward, staring intently at Vega. "Can't say I expected to see you here today, but it is good to see you…as long as nobody's going crazy. Myself included."

"Um…it's a dream," Vega said quickly.

"A BAD dream," Hanmyo piped up, waving her hands in what she hoped was a fairly spooky manner.

Stoller's expression hardened, and he looked for all the world to be suppressing laughter.

"So. You're going to marry my mother?" Vega asked softly, and perhaps a bit dangerously.

"That's right," Stoller replied evenly.

"I don't have to tell you what'll happen if you hurt her?"

Stoller said nothing, but glanced down at where the Berserk Fury still stood.

Vega smirked. "Are there plans for children?"

"Vega," Sarah said in warning tone.

"Well, I'll leave that up to your mother," Stoller answered. "But there will most DEFINITELY be a honeymoon." He grinned wolfishly at Sarah. "A very long honeymoon…"

"Stigma!" Sarah cried, blushing slightly.

"No point in lying to the boy, Sarah. He's got his own wife, after all."

"He most certainly does," Hanmyo agreed, patting Vega's chin. "One that knows when to help him keep his mouth shut."

Vega frowned, but Hanmyo's hold on his chin tightened considerably, so he was forced to remain silent.

* * * * *

Yugi had begged her not to do it, but Hotaru had politely refused to listen.

Tsunami and Tokimi turned as one when the pair entered the room.

"Tsunami-sama," Hotaru said pleasantly, nodding slightly. "Tokimi-sama."

Tsunami nodded as well, smiling. "Hotaru-chan."

Tokimi looked offended, sparing her sister a withering glare before turning back to Hotaru. "Your Highness, I must insist that you remove that creature from this meeting at once."

Hotaru seemed confused. "But Yugi's my aide for the moment. The others are busy."

Tokimi scowled as Yugi turned bright red. "Not HIM. THAT," she said, pointing at Hotaru's head.

Yugi stared at a point on the wall.

Oscuro, realizing he was being addressed, opened an eye lazily, decided everyone present was beneath him, and went back to sleep, nestling further into Hotaru's dark hair.

Hotaru giggled as his fur tickled her. "Don't worry, Tokimi-sama. Oscuro is quite tame. He's my friend."

Tokimi was not pleased. "It doesn't matter. He is not worthy to be informed of our business."

At this, Oscuro sat up, decided he really didn't like the lady with the annoying voice, and made a point of glaring at her continuously.

Tsunami covered her mouth with a hand, even though she was obviously smiling behind it.

"I'm afraid Oscuro will have to stay," Hotaru insisted. "You see, I've promised his owner that I wouldn't let him leave my sight. He's been to all my other meetings today, too."

Tokimi was not moved. "I will not discuss the matter at hand until this…creature…is gone."

Hotaru smiled sadly. "Really? Oh, dear…"

Oscuro hissed at Tokimi.

"We seem to have a problem, then. I can possibly let anyone else handle Oscuro. He's quite picky about that sort of thing…"

"Hotaru-chan," Tsunami said after a moment. "I have an idea."

"Oh?" Hotaru asked, turning to her.

"It is my understanding that two of us are required to be at this meeting," she pointed out, gesturing at herself and Tokimi.

"That's correct…"

"But it was never really specified WHICH two of us," Tsunami continued, drawing a gasp of outrage from Tokimi. "And I am sure Washu-chan wouldn't mind Oscuro's presence."

"How very helpful of you, Tsunami-sama," Hotaru said, grinning. "Tokimi-sama, I believe you know the way out…?"

With a shudder of fury, Tokimi stormed out of the room.

Yugi finally lost it and snickered.

Soon they were all laughing…except, of course, for Oscuro, who realized he was never going to get the proper amount of rest until Vega got back. At least HE kept his mouth shut most of the time.

* * * * *

"Well, if it isn't the Elephant Man himself!"

Stoller's expression hardened as he was slapped good-naturedly across the back. "Hello, Bit. How does it feel to be number two for once?"

"Hey, low blow!" Bit complained, grinning at him. "You know my ego can only take so much in a day. Losing was bad enough without you rubbing it in."

"I have no idea what you mean. I don't suppose you remember the one who beat you, my new stepson?"

"Yeah. Congratulations, by the way." He leaned over to kiss Sarah's cheek, then nodded at Vega. "I think I'd be insulted if anyone else had beat Jager."

"Any reason you didn't just go with Liger again?" Vega asked.

"Oh, you don't know about the bet!" Bit slapped Stoller on the back again. "Pops here and I have a wager. He bet I couldn't go three whole regulation seasons just using one of Liger's transformation parts each time. So far, I've done it with Schneider, and I'm doing pretty well with Jager. If I can do it with Panzer, I get three times as much as we bet!"

"And if you lose?"

Bit frowned. "I have to dress up as a bridesmaid at the wedding. But that's NOT going to happen!"

"So you say," Stoller replied.

"Where's Brad?" Vega asked.

"Oh, he's complaining to the officials that you cheated," Bit answered. "I think he and Doc had a bet, too…"

"But you wouldn't do THAT. WOULD you, Vega?" Hanmyo asked sweetly.

"I have no idea what you mean," Vega said. "Fury won that race on his own talents."

"Just USING him should be reason enough to be disqualified!"

"Look, it's not MY fault everyone else is pathetic next to my Zoid! I worked HARD to get where I am!"

"Oh, PLEASE, Vega. You were all but rich when you were alive, and you're certainly not broke now!"

"Well, if you want me to downgrade your ring a little, just tell me!"

"They fight like they're married or something," Bit observed.

"You have no idea," Sarah replied with a small smile.

* * * * *

"Do I look okay?" Vega asked for the third time.

"Of course you do, I dressed you myself!" Hanmyo replied.

Vega turned to Washu. "Do I look okay?"


"You look fine, dear," Washu confirmed, brushing some lint from his black uniform.

Vega smiled at Hanmyo. "Sorry, love, but I can't take your word on how I look. You're biased, y'know. Especially since you dressed me."

"Do I want to know how she got you into a position where you needed to be dressed?" Washu murmured.

Vega blanched. "It's…complicated."

"I didn't think so." Washu sighed. "Come on, you've made everyone wait long enough."

"I don't see why we have to make a big scene of it," Vega muttered as they followed Washu to the throne room. "I mean, I've already been crowned once."

"And who witnessed that, other than Raven?"


"Well, since Shadow doesn't represent everyone here, you have to be crowned in front of them."

"I could've told you that," Hanmyo said snootily. "But you didn't ASK."

"Don't you start," Vega said, silencing her with a kiss. "I'm nervous enough as it is."

When they reached the throne room, Duo & Heero were waiting outside.

"About time," Duo said with a smirk. "I can't believe you took a vacation when you haven't even done anything yet."

"I put up with you, didn't I?" Vega teased.

"Hush, all of you," Washu murmured as the doors creaked open. "It's time."

* * * * *

Hotaru smiled as Washu walked up the aisle, followed by the trio of young men, with Hanmyo bringing up the rear. She had looked forward to the ceremony for some time, mostly because it gave her an excuse (and even a sworn duty) to kiss three of the best-looking boys in her command.

"The Separation of Powers," she said loudly, "has always been a vital choice for each and every ruler. I have considered the matter for some time, and now I name my chief officers."

She began with Heero, who looked so proper that it almost seemed painful.

"Faithful Heero, I name you Keeper of Silence. I trust you will use the power wisely." Hotaru stepped closer (immediately glad that the stage was raised, so she wouldn't look silly trying to reach up) and leaned down, pressing her forehead to his for a moment.

"I promise to serve you well," he murmured in her ear.

Hotaru smiled. "There's no need to do that, Heero." She kissed his forehead gently, passing her thumb over the glowing, violet S there before moving away.

She almost giggled and turned red when Duo beamed at her. There was no way to avoid smiling back at him, though. "Loyal Shinigami, I name you Chancellor of Chaos & Destruction. I know you will continue to serve me as dependably as you did your former queen." Hotaru leaned down, pressing her forehead to his.

"Hey, you know I'm all yours, Firefly," Duo whispered, winking at her. "And if you should ever have need of my `special services'…"

"Thank you, Duo," she said firmly, her face glowing red. "I do mean that." She stroked his cheek fondly, then kissed his forehead, tracing violet C with her thumb. Then, purely on impulse, she darted her head forward and pecked the corner of his mouth before moving on.

Duo smirked openly at Heero, who refused to look at him.

Hotaru's smile widened as she came to Vega. "Tactful Vega, I name you Prince of the Dead, and my second." She leaned down and pressed her forehead to his, cupping his face in her hands. "I'm so proud of you, Vega," she whispered.

Vega couldn't help blushing. "Where do I get kissed?"

"You'll see," she replied, grinning as she kissed his forehead and rubbed the violet D with her thumb. Then she leaned down and kissed both his cheeks, and ended with his nose. "Sorry about this."

Vega started, as her face seemed to lose some of its color. "Hotaru?" he whispered, concern in his tone.

"Not quite," she said, smirking at him. "You may not see me as often, my prince, but be aware that you are STILL mine." With that, Saturn practically leaped at him and kissed him hard on the lips.

Vega was red as a tomato when she finally let go, and he was only certain that it was Hotaru again because she covered up her giggling with a hand.

Hotaru quickly regained her poise and moved to Washu. "Wise Washu-sama, I name you my Advisor, and Guardian of Rebirth." She pressed her forehead to Washu's. "Sorry, Washu-chan," she whispered, smiling repentantly.

"You're forgiven, Firefly," Washu replied quietly. "But don't let it happen again."

Hotaru kissed her forehead and tenderly touched the red R. Her face paled again, and Saturn leaned down to kiss her cheek. "I will have much need of your wisdom, kaa-san."

"As everyone else does," Washu noted with a grin. "You just be sure to admit when you do."

* * * * *

Concluded in Chapter 13 - A typical day in the hectic life of Vega.