Gundam Wing Fan Fiction / Outlaw Star Fan Fiction / Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Fan Fiction / Zoids Fan Fiction ❯ All Death's Children ❯ Chapter 13

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

Chapter 13

"So, as you can clearly see, gentlemen, this alliance is in all of our best interests," the prince said. "Each of you has profited from dealing with me in the past, and I assure you that combining all of our respective talents would prove to be most beneficial."

Lord Enma's representative, a thin, blue-skinned man with horns on his head, nodded. "I agree. Everything appears to be satisfactory."

Dende, Earth's current Kami, nodded as well. "I look forward to working with all of you."

But Koenma frowned. "Actually, I have reservations about this deal. I'm not sure if-"

Suddenly, there was a huge crash, and something large, heavy, and blood-soaked crushed the main table.

"Good heavens!" Koenma cried, scrambling to get out of the way.

The prince sighed and looked to the door, where two young men were standing. The first wore a green suit and a smirk, while the other wore a red kimono and a snarl. "Gentlemen, if you'll excuse me for a moment…"

"Here's the head of your stupid Shogun Dragon," the one in green said. "As you requested."

"Intact," the other added, "more or less. Can we get paid now or what?"

Lord Enma's representative cleared his throat. "This is most improper, Prince."

The boy in red turned his hateful gaze onto the man. "If you wanna keep those horns, pal, I suggest you shut your trap and let the important people discuss REAL business matters."

"Important?!" Koenma cried. "Look, I don't know who YOU are, but Yusuke, I'm your BOSS!"

Yusuke shrugged. "Yeah, well, you don't pay me anything."


"And made me a Spirit Detective against my will," Yusuke added. "Not that it's not a blast or anything, but I have more fun renting myself out to Vega. At least he pays us."

"Which I will take care of in a few moments, if you'll allow me to finish my business here," the prince said quietly.

"HEY! The dragon's head is here NOW, so we get PAID now!"

"Get. Out."

All heads turned to the prince, who had not moved from his spot, or even raised his voice. However, his eyes had taken on a peculiar blood red glow.

"Um…we'll be next door," Yusuke said, grabbing Inu Yasha's arm and dragging him away.

Vega sighed and turned back to his business partners. "Please forgive the interruption, gentlemen. I hope this incident will not adversely affect our arrangement?"

"…actually, I was quite impressed with the way you handled that," Lord Enma's representative said.

"As was I," Dende added with a small smile.

"I HATE being the odd man out," Koenma muttered. "Oh, fine! I'm in, too."

Vega smiled. "Wonderful. If you'll all just sign here…?"

* * * * *

"I can't BELIEVE you did that!" Botan cried. "He's the Prince of the Dead!!!"

"Relax, Botan," Yusuke said, closing his eyes. "It's just Vega."

"Just Ve…?! Yusuke, do you even KNOW who he is?! And who he WORKS for?!"

"All I know is Vega's cool with us."

"As long as we get paid," Inu Yasha grumbled.

"And YOU," Botan said, glaring at him. "There was NO need to slay all those villagers!"

"They were in the way."

"They were ALIVE!"

"Heh. `Were' being the keyword," Yusuke chuckled.

Botan gasped. "You're LAUGHING about this?! You're so lucky Koenma doesn't know the details of this mission!"

"And he never will," Yusuke said. "All Vega's jobs are totally top secret and guilt-free. He always covers for us. Well, for Inu Yasha more than me, but that's not important."

Botan shook her head. "I can't understand why Prince Vega would make HIM a Spirit Detective. He's usually so insightful…"

"See, you're not paying attention, Botan," Yusuke scolded mildly. "We're Spirit Mercenaries."

"You mean we WILL be as soon as we get paid," Inu Yasha muttered.

"Sorry to keep you waiting."

Botan turned to see a familiar figure gliding towards them. Stifling a gasp, she bowed rapidly. "Wonderful to see you again, Your Highness!"

"Botan," Vega said, catching her hand and kissing it gently. "Lovely to see you, as always. And I've told you, call me Vega."

Botan turned bright red. "Whatever you say…"

Yusuke rolled his eyes. "Careful, Botan. You might slip in your own drool."

"Hope she breaks her stiff neck," Inu Yasha muttered.

Botan spun around and bashed them both with her broom. "Just ignore these two idiots, Pri-I mean, Vega…"

"How I wish I could." Vega drew a small, violet pouch from his pocket. "Another five pieces of your jewel, Inu Yasha."

The demon eagerly grabbed at the bag. "Yes!"

"And another five years added to your life, Yusuke," Vega continued, briefly touching Yusuke's forehead. Then he smiled. "And five for Keiko."

"Yeah, whatever," Yusuke replied, though inside, he was smiling.

"You're welcome." Vega turned and walked away. "I'll be sure to call if I come across any jobs." Then he glanced over his shoulder. "Oh, and Botan?"

Botan jumped, looking embarrassed. She'd obviously been caught staring again. "Yes?"

"Would you mind walking with me?" Vega asked, smiling slightly.

"I'd love to!" Botan cried at once, firmly ignoring the way Yusuke and Inu Yasha were snickering behind her. "Oh…but…Koenma wanted me to come right back…"

"I'm sure we can think up some excuse that will satisfy him," Vega offered. "After all, we're business partners now. It's important that we improve inter-company employee relationships, don't you think?"

"Right," Botan murmured faintly, hurrying to catch up with Vega. "Don't wait up for me, Yusuke!" She giggled and latched onto the prince's arm as they walked away.

"How does he do it?" Yusuke asked no one in particular.

"Don't know, don't care," Inu Yasha replied, grinning at his pouch.

* * * * *

"I can't thank you enough for coming to meet with me, Teela-sama," Hanmyo said. "I hope you didn't have too much trouble getting away?"

"No trouble," Teela murmured as they walked. "Rei is still very capable without me. He has a talent for such things."

Hanmyo smiled wistfully. "Still, it would've been nice to see him again."

"I'm certain he'll find his way back here eventually," Teela replied faintly.

"They always do," Hanmyo agreed.

Abruptly, a vid-screen appeared in front of them.

Hanmyo frowned. "Who would be so rude as to-"


She scowled. "I should've known. What is it, Heero?"

"The Queen has summoned us." He narrowed his eyes. "All of us."

"Even Vega? But why-"

"I. Didn't. Ask."

"Oh, right. Of course not…"

The vid-screen vanished.

"He reminds me of Hiead," Teela said at once. "I should check on him…"

* * * * *

Washu shook her head sadly. "I'm so sorry, Vega. There's nothing I can do for him anymore."

Vega nodded absently. "It's over, then?"

"I'm afraid so. The best you can do now is make him comfortable."

"I see. Thank you for your help, Washu. I appreciate the effort, as always." He turned off the vid-screen before she could remind him about the summoning. With his head lowered, he turned to the pillow. "I suppose you heard her."

Oscuro yowled weakly, his whiskers waving in something like annoyance.

Vega smiled and sat down beside him, running his fingers gently along the cabbit's graying coat. "I could make it quick, old friend. Painless. You wouldn't even feel it."

Oscuro snapped at his fingers, clearly insulted.

"You're right, I'm sorry. It's just…I hate to lose you this way. After all this time. I feel like I should be able to turn back the clock for you, just one more time. I should've known there'd be limits."

The cabbit coughed quietly and burrowed down into the pillow, trying to keep warm.

Vega stretched out beside him and gently laid his cheek on the cabbit's back.

A moment later, the door slid open.

"Vega?" Hanmyo asked quietly.

"Yes, love?"

"…it's Hotaru. She's called for us."

"I'm aware. How late would we be if we left in ten minutes?"

"…no more than usual, I suppose."

"Then let her wait." He paused. "I'm saying goodbye."

She nodded, then ventured closer and leaned down. "Bye, Oscuro," she whispered, tapping his nose. "It's gonna be boring around here without you. You just keep them in line where you're going; let `em know who's boss."

Oscuro nibbled on her finger and closed his eyes, breathing slowly.

Hanmyo pressed her hand to Vega's cheek, then left silently.

Vega closed his eyes and waited.

* * * * *

By the time Vega & Hanmyo arrived in the throne room, Heero, Duo, Washu, and Hotaru were already there.

Hotaru moved forward to greet them, and then noticed something odd. "Vega…where's Oscuro?"

Hanmyo seemed to flinch as she grabbed Vega's hand, and Vega himself paled ever so slightly.

"Oscuro…is dead," Vega said at last.

"What? But…" Hotaru trailed off, noticing the look on his face. "Oh, Vega, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-"

"It's…fine." Vega steadied himself. "I hope this is important."

"It is to me. I wouldn't have called you if it wasn't." Hotaru waited until they were seated, then addressed the group. "I've already discussed this with Washu, and she thinks it's something each of you should have a say in."

"I vote I get Heero's power," Duo said before Heero elbowed him into silence.

Hotaru almost allowed herself to smile. "In the past, it has been traditional for the queen to have an heir. Even though I'm to be the last queen, I would still prefer to have one. Obviously, you all know my dilemma by now."

"Well, hasn't this ever come up with another queen?" Duo asked.

"Yes," Hotaru replied hesitantly, lowering her eyes. "But in that case, the Prince stepped in and-"

"That's not even an option here," Vega replied without looking up.

Hanmyo suddenly leaned over and whispered something into his ear.

Vega turned white and looked at her, then stood up and dragged Hotaru out of the room.

"Vega! What are you doing?!"

Vega closed the door behind them, running a hand through his hair. "Hanmyo…she has an idea."

"And you didn't want anyone else to hear, I'm guessing?"

"Well, it's…um…she's pregnant."

Hotaru froze. "Really? That's great!" The she frowned. "Oh, but…no, that won't work."

"Why not?" Vega demanded with more force than he'd intended.

"The heir has to be a relative. I was only made an heir because the former queen adopted me. I can't adopt your child, Vega."

"Godmother doesn't count?"

"I don't think so…but I can still be godmother, right?"

Vega rolled his eyes. "Of course. We could always try the obvious solution."

"What do you mean?"

Vega smirked. "Duo.,"

Hotaru turned red. "What ABOUT Duo?"

"I rest my case."

"Vega, that's not-"

"Oh, but it is. He wants you, has wanted you, and will continue to want you, even if you do say yes, which is a pretty rare thing. And you never said the heir couldn't be your own child, which I think would be the best choice possible."

"But…we can't…it…"

"Hotaru," Vega said severely. "Let it go." Then, closing his eyes because he knew it would hurt her and he couldn't bear to look, he whispered, "Let ME go. There's no hope for that anymore, and you know it."

Hotaru's expression crumbled, and her mouth worked, but there were no words.

"I told you back then that I'd chosen Hanmyo. I became Prince instead of King, just so you wouldn't be tempted. I even made my home as far away as possible so you wouldn't be tormented every time you looked at us. And after all that, you still clung so blindly to the idea that I might change my mind. But I won't, Hotaru. And neither will Duo. That's why he's perfect for you, because he'll never stop loving you. That's also why Hanmyo and I are perfect for each other."

Hotaru just stared at him, unable to form a reply.

Vega sighed and cupped her cheek with one hand. "I'll expect a wedding invitation in the morning, or at the very least, news of your engagement."

Without warning, the first few tears rolled down her face.

Vega backed away, turned on his heel, and headed for the nearest exit.

A second later, Hanmyo emerged from the throne room to find Hotaru sliding to the floor and her husband almost out of sight. She suppressed the urge to comfort Hotaru upon realizing it was pointless, then hurried to catch up with Vega.

Seconds after that, Duo appeared and scooped Hotaru up in his arms. "Hey, what's wrong, Firefly?" he asked, petting her hair soothingly. "Why are you crying?"

Hotaru only pressed her face into his neck and whispered something in his ear.

The worried expression faded from Duo's face, and was replaced by something that could only be described as manic glee. By the time Washu and Heero emerged, he was already headed to Hotaru's chambers.

"Geez, you'd think we were the only ones with some sense around here," Washu muttered. Then she looked at Heero for a long moment.

"I am NOT marrying you," Heero scowled, stalking off.

"At least THINK about it first!" Washu wailed, chasing after him.


"I could get you guns! Detonators! Whiny obsessive women!"



* * * * *

Author's Note: I originally intended for this to be much more angsty (especially the Vega/Hotaru thing), but this is what happened when I sat down to type. Hope you're not TOO disappointed…