Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Capricious Infection ❯ Act 37: Ice ( Chapter 37 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Act 37: Ice
By: Melissa Norvell
Lannad made her way over to Dante, who was swinging his weapon around as he trained. Beads of sweat flew from his body and dispersed into the air in round spheres. He was really focused on what he was doing, almost as if he was in a real battle, facing off against his most hated foe. He flung his kusarigama out, and it spiraled in front of him. The blade was then pulled tight as it spun in place, powered by its momentum before it was yanked back and caught in his hand. Orange eyes glanced back to see the girl standing a few feet away from him.
"Can we talk?" The girl asked as he turned to her.
"What now? I have enough fucking problems without someone piling on more." If she wanted to complain to him about something she had issues with then she could forget about it. Dante wasn't about to listen to anyone else's shit today.
"I don't think it's really a problem. It's more like something I want to tell you," Lannad grabbed her forearm, glancing to the side. The grass waved in the small gust of wind that swept through.
"What? It better not be something negative," Dante wasn't into having anyone whine at him either. His anxiety had enough of problems of any kind, much less hers. Usually, he would have listened to her problems and tried to talk to her about them at the very least, but today just wasn't that day.
"I've liked you, for a long time. I've been in love with you for many years, and I've never had the courage to ask you out. I wanted to tell you that," the priestess' voice trembled as she finally admitted her true feelings. It was terrifying, standing there before the man who meant the entire world to her, waiting for his response to her words. Lannad stood before him, pouring her heart out and the only thing she could do was wait on uncertainty and pray that her words would be answered in a positive light.
"Are you serious?" He didn't need this. He really didn't need this.
Lannad nodded. "I am, I wanted to say it now because I couldn't while Ayumi was alive." It might have been cowardly of her, and she knew it to be but this was the height of her courage. However, she could make up for what she had lacked in the past now.
"Do you even know the relationship shit I'm in right now?" Why the hell would she even bring this up? Dante specifically told her that he didn't want any more drama, and here she was, making things even worse than they were before. He had a grim reaper that he didn't know how to feel about, and was hurt by the fact that he went into a stratoship, and then there was David, who he ended up feeling more for than he thought he would, a dead girlfriend and now he had Lannad who also liked him. Could it be any worse? This was terrible!
"I do and I was afraid of that," Lannad's head lowered even more, her pastel blue hair shaded her eyes.
"You're my friend, but I can't be with you like that." It was the one answer that she didn't want to hear, the one she worried about more than anything. Now, it had been birthed into reality and she felt her heart free fall into the pit of her stomach.
"I'm sorry I said anything. I know that you might like Tarvos and everything that happened when you were Diablo. Is that why you won't give me a chance?" Lannad wanted to desperately make up a reason why he didn't accept her or her affections. She wanted validation.
"I just don't feel that about you. You're like a sister to me. You, Rezzi, and Mae were all just my friends. I know I've never thought about things, or what my type of girl was, but when I think about being with you and doing intimate things, I can't see it. Sorry, Lannad." Even if it hurt, he wanted to tell her the truth. It was better than lying to her and giving her a false hope. Dante wasn't about that. He just hoped that it wouldn't change anything between the two of them.
Pink lips trembled with emotion and hot tears bit at the girl's eyes, streaming down her cheeks, "I won't bring it up again." Never had the girl felt as bad as she did in that moment. She wanted out. She wanted away. Lannad didn't want to stay in the vicinity of the boy who just broke her heart. She turned around and bolted off, the sound of her fast-paced footsteps disappeared from Dante's range of hearing.
Well, he felt like a dick. Lowering his head, he whispered the girl's name in a sympathetic tone. Just how many people had he hurt recently? Did he just have some kind of weird talent for getting people to dislike him or be hurt by his actions? He felt like a walking black cloud.
"I think she had the right to know. It's one less problem that you'll have," Rezzi's voice intoned, and Dante whipped his head around to see the blind girl standing a few feet from him. She was clutching her staff in her hands.
"Why did you fucking do that?" Dante didn't understand the prophet. If she knew that Lannad was just going to be hurt by his words, then why did she purposely send her to him? That was just cruel.
"She wanted to know the truth. She's loved you for a long time." Why did everyone know this but him? Was he just oblivious to it all?
"I didn't even know she felt that way," Dante glared down the blind girl.
"It was obvious by how much she hung around you and always tried to help and speak to you," Rezzi didn't think that it could have gotten anymore out there. Lannad practically threw her heart at him every time the two of them were together.
"I thought that she was just being a good friend." That was what good friends did, right? They spent time with their friends and tried to give them advice and help when they needed it. Dante couldn't see how that constituted for love.
Rezzi frowned. "You didn't even give it any thought."
"I've never felt that way and when I imagine it, I feel nothing. Why should I consider and make her wait even more? What kind of jerk do you think I am?" Dante knew that he could do some pretty horrible things, and at times he disregarded or even mocked others feelings, but that was low even for him. He hated the fact that Diablo took advantage of people and used them. Why would he follow his old ways?
"In any case, now she can move on as well." It was for the good of both people, even if they both didn't see it.
"What?" Dante wasn't so sure about that.
"I think that everyone should be honest with each other. I'm tired of keeping secrets," Rezzi knew that first hand. Keeping secrets only resulted in pain and heart ache. It was something she learned the hard way.
"Fine thing coming from your gaping hole," Dante spat, "you were in cahoots with them all along." It was disgusting when he thought about it. All of that time, Rezzi had completely deceived them and in a way, she contributed to the end of the world. He was still pissed at her for that.
"Lannad's birth signified the end of this world. She truly is the Apocalyptic Priestess. Tarvos was merely doing his job. I couldn't have stopped him. Surely, you realize that." It was just as she explained before. She had no other options but to do what she had done all along.
"He would have killed us all," Dante knew that for a fact. Tarvos lived to end all life. That was his job as a Dimension Reaper.
"I think we were meant to stay alive and see this end. The Dius are merely bringers of destruction. However, I believe them to be gods in their own right." There were certain things that she still had knowledge of that he did not. It constituted to her psyche towards their current situation.
"Everyone thinks that about them. They have such prestigious titles and they represent what they're element is well. I'm just not sure if I believe it or they're full of shit," Dante was highly skeptical, even at this point. A part of him wanted to see them as gods, but another part of him thought that they only implanted ideas into their minds to make them believe they were gods. It was like power of suggestion in a way.
"I think that are, and I believe that the war we are in is a battle of the gods." Something this large was far beyond either of their scopes, and that was certain.
Tarvos and Ares laid together, nude against many different blankets of luxurious fabrics. It cascaded around their muscular forms with the fluidity of water. The feeling of silk and satin rubbed against their skin, snaking around them, caressing their forms. Ares cast a loving gaze into the eyes of his new stratos and reached out, his clawed hand cupping the side of the reaper's face.
In the distance was the repetitive and rhythmic banging of hydraulics. They acted as a peaceful background noise that often lulled the war Dius into a deep sleep at night and awoke him each morning. In this moment, they were drowned out by his current distraction.
"It's so nice to feel the touch of another again. I don't know how long it's been since I've been held like this," Ares was enamored by the reaper, who had his arms wrapped around him and a calm smile plastered on his face.
"I had to find an excuse to come here, but I wanted to spend as much time as I could with you." There was no better excuse than saying he was going to try and convince Ares to join their side. It wasn't like he wasn't going to ask it anyway, but he had ulterior motives.
"Can I ask you something?" Ares glanced up into the Dius' eyes.
"You can," Tarvos nodded.
"Why do you still try for Diablo?" Just what kind of feelings did he have for that Dante boy? Ares couldn't understand why Tarvos would want to be with someone who betrayed and manipulated him.
"He is a different person now. I know you don't want to hear it, but he does have redeeming qualities," Tarvos knew for the moment it was brought up that he was destined to lose this argument to the hard-headed Dius of war. Ares had just been too badly damaged to see eye-to-eye with anyone.
"What about what happened to me?" Ares knew that the reaper was apathetic, but sociopathic? He wanted to believe that Tarvos cared at least a little about the immense pain he went through.
"I know it was wrong, but what can I say? I nearly got my wing clipped up for saving you from getting pummeled by the crowd." In truth, he would have done it any day, but at the same time, he took a hit as well. Ares had to understand that much.
"That would have been bad," Ares glanced down, the vivid images running through his thinking organ. "Your wings absolutely have to stay attached at all costs. I just...wonder if what happened to me truly mattered to anyone." After all, in all honesty Ares was just a traitor, branded with a cruel fate for a crime he was tricked into committing. He felt completely alone at times, when he thought about the masses and their twisted faces of malice as they watched him hang there and accept his punishment.
It was a feeling of isolation.
It was a feeling of complete exile.
It was like he didn't belong in the presence of his own people.
The arms that were wrapped around him squeezed him tightly and he felt the reaper's lips on his ear. "Hush about that, you have me now so you shouldn't think about Diablo."
A small part of the anxiety was lifted from his form. Tarvos was right, he did have him. He should enjoy this moment. "I don't want to be in that triangle. Fuck that fucking shit." It was his worst nightmare to be a part of any of Diablo's romances, ever.
"It'll be fine, trust me," Tarvos reassured him.
"I would if you weren't so hard to read," Ares couldn't even predict his moves. Unpredictable was Tarvos' middle name.
"You're no two-puzzle yourself," Tarvos found it an endearing part of their relationship. Why would it be interesting if they could easily figure each other out? The reaper liked a little mystery in his relationships.
"I've been thinking about your proposal," Ares decided to bring up the subject of joining Tarvos' little gang of humans in their conquest to make a new world.
"About joining my side of this war?" The reaper wanted to be sure that he knew exactly what the Dius of war was referring to.
"What if I told you I would at a cost?" Ares wasn't going to make this easy, was he?
"I might be willing to pay. What do you want me to do?" Tarvos arched an eyebrow. Of course his stratos wasn't going to make this easy, but what exactly were his terms?
Then Ares leveled him with a serious look and spoke in a dire tone. "I want you to get Dante to come up here."
Tarvos blinked a couple of times. He thought that Ares was going to being him up there to kill him or something sinister. He wasn't about to hand over Chaos like that not knowing what exactly the raging warrior king was going to do. Above everything, he couldn't let Chaos disappear or it would be a repeat of the past.
"Oh please, do you see him dying?" Ares knew how important the resurrection of the new Earth would be. Of course they needed Dante to be alive.
"Tell me what you want me to do and what you plan to do," Tarvos wanted to know everything. He wouldn't comply unless Ares told him his plans.
"I want you to be the pall bearer of his pride as I take from him what he took from me. Revenge is all I want, and I know just how to do it, thanks to you." A twisted smile crossed his stratos' face as he thought of the suffering and horror he would bring to the smart-mouthed boy.
"Is this because I've been feeding you information about Dante this whole time?" Tarvos felt a little bad for what he had done. He should have seen it coming, but at the same time, Ares was right. However, Dante was no longer Diablo. He just wished Ares could see that.
"Don't look so crestfallen. It's bad enough that you have pyrex feelings about him. Why should you care? He wants you to be a heartless monster. He doesn't care about you." Didn't the reaper see that? Didn't he see Diablos' true plans? After all of this time, he still didn't see that Diablo was no different than Oz. It didn't matter who he claimed to be, Diablo was still Diablo.
"I would be more at least if you'd tell me what you plan on doing," Tarvos prodded at his stratos. All he wanted to know was what the warrior king planned on doing, then he would act from there.
Ares ran his hands down the reaper's face, through a few ringlets of black curls and rested them on his bony shoulders. He closed the space between their faces as his voice turned dark and twisted. "I want him to see the true capacity of my death factory. This also directly affects you."
"How so?" Tarvos wanted him to elaborate.
The smile on the war Dius' face couldn't have been any wider than it was in that moment. "I'll put him through a test and if he loses, I will never come back to them." That was his ultimatum.
"If he wins, then you stay with me as long as I want you to," Tarvos propositioned leveling him with a smile of his own. "If he wins, then you are mine."
"I'm yours anyway," Ares closed his eyes. "Now, shut up and kiss me."
Tarvos closed the remaining space between the two of them, capturing his lips in a passionate kiss. Ares leaned into him, slipping his tongue past those triangular-shaped teeth. His cheeks flushed the slightest hint of gray as he ran his fingers through the reaper's curls. After about five minutes, Tarvos pulled away, staring deeply into his stratos' eyes.
"You know what I mean."
"Will you help me?" Ares asked.
"You won't shut up about this until you get him, will you?" Tarvos knew the answer to that. Ares wanted revenge; he wanted to call things even. He wanted Dante to suffer.
"You'd feel the same way. What about your feelings about Oz?" Didn't he dislike Oz? He was put through so much by the Dius of Time and manipulated like a puppet, tangled in his strings for all those years. Surely, he wanted to see him suffer.
"I see your point. You and I are a lot alike, you know? We are both things that no one wants, everyone fears, and that fit so perfectly together." Death and war were those exact things. You couldn't have one without the other, no one wanted them and the majority of people feared them happening. Not only that, but the both of them were used by Oz and Diablo. They had far too many similarities to count.
Ares' voice sunk into a kind tone. "I want you to have feelings, and to teach you how to love." It was something that he wanted from the beginning. More than anything, he longed for Tarvos to be more like a normal Dius and less like a merciless, stone-hearted killer.
"I would like that," the reaper smiled pleasantly. "I don't want to let you down."
"You could never do that, not after you stuck up for me all those eons ago," he held his stratos close, nuzzling his face affectionately.
"I would get punished for you, if it would take part of the pain in your eyes away. When I say this, I mean it. I might still have a thing for Diablo but I feel something for you. It's deeper than anything I could ever feel for him. I might not know what love is but there's something about you," his wings folded themselves around the male in his arms, caressing him with their mixed textures. "Right now, you are most precious to me. I've never felt this way about anyone, not even Diablo. So, never count yourself out." Long, clawed fingers traced over the brand make on his arm, following the lines of the Cancer symbol.
Ares trembled at the touch and cast an unsure glance towards his stratos. That look of sorrow and unease showed up in those black irises of his, but the reaper was reassuring towards him. He simply smiled gently and told him that black was a beautiful color. It was the color of his heart, the color of his soul, and the color of their bond. Black was the color of mystery, night, evil, power, sexuality, formality, wealth, fear, remorse and misfortune.
"It's bad luck and misfortune," Ares added.
"Accept the fact that your black blood is beautiful," Tarvos pushed. If Ares wanted him to have feelings, he wanted Ares to accept compliments.
"It's shameful," the male Dius turned his head away, "I've trashed my name and-" He was cut off by Tarvos' hands trailing down his stomach. They went lower and lower as Ares' cheeks turned blacker and blacker. "You fuck hole," Ares dug his claws into his partner's bony shoulders. His head sunk into the other male's chest as he felt his hands work their magic.
"Shut up and stop worrying in my company." This was supposed to be a happy time, and he would make sure that it was.
Claws ripped through his snow white skin, dragging down his back as blue blood welled to the surface. "Fuck, I hate you," Ares hissed.
"I will see you smile, or I'll hear your pleasure, one of the two," Tarvos' smile widened as he felt the lacerations on his back burn and sting. It was a wonderful feeling, an emotion of true bliss. He loved the feeling of pain, and Ares had fulfilled his longing with that little deed of his.
"Why? Why does someone who has no love know how to get feelings from me?" Ares questioned in a strained voice. It made no sense. Realistically, Tarvos shouldn't know how to please him like this, and yet he was fully capable of showing him.
Tarvos got close to his face, so close he could feel his hot breath on his skin. Those blue eyes peered down on him, holding the faintest of warm light within their confines. Their skin touched as they nuzzled each other, warm bodies moved against each other in a rhythmic fashion. Ares gripped the reaper's bicep as Tarvos' hand continued to work their magic. "Even if I have no feelings, it's not wrong to want to see yours." The reaper's voice was soft and caring
The warrior king closed his eyes and flushed again. "If you feel nothing else, feel this moment with me."
"I will, and I'll help you get back at Diablo. I know that it would make you happy, and I want to see that on your face," Tarvos didn't want to make that choice, but his position as Ares' stratos came before his budding relationship with Dante. Even if he lost Dante, he figured that it would be a fair trade for Ares. He had to put his stratos above everything, even someone like Dante.
"I love you."
"For once, warrior king, let me protect you."
"I will...Just...make me feel like the luckiest man in the galaxy," Ares smiled softly.
David walked into the living room and saw Oz sitting on the couch. He walked up to the Dius and looked down at him with a serious expression. Glancing up from his reading material, the dual-colored spectacled Dius glanced up at him with a quizzical expression.
"Hey, train with me."
"Are you sure?" Oz arched an eyebrow.
David nodded. "Yeah, I need to get stronger..." his voice lowered, "and I want to spend time with you."
"I can do that. Is there any specific thing you'd like to learn?" Oz wondered if this was specific training or general endurance training.
"Anything from you that I don't already know is good. You know a lot more than I do, bro," David just wanted to learn, it didn't matter what it was.
"You made a big speech about the unity of our two races. I can see that you are not like the others," he saw something in the black-haired boy, something that set him apart from the rest of the humans that traveled with them. David was a visionary, and he wanted to unite the two races in harmony. With people like him around, it truly made Oz see that there was a light in all of this darkness.
"I've realized a lot of things. I guess you could say that I've grown up a lot since we first knew each other." Over the course of time, David had changed. Looking back on the way that he was before, he noticed how much his thinking had changed. He went from a teenager who was stuck on video games and acting cool, to a man of responsibilities, strength and revolution. It was a major change in most every way. He had to adapt to a crumbling world, and he was able to accept his true sexuality. It empowered him; it made him feel like he was fulfilling a purpose in life, that he was more than a pretty face.
"I'm impressed that you took so much damage from Boxcars," Oz stood up and faced him. It was a wonder that he was even standing before him right now after he faced off against that Intergalactic Warrior.
"How humiliating, I was the most uncool guy on the face of this planet." Did Oz really have to bring up his fight with Boxcars?
"You're too hard on yourself. Boxcars is an Intergalactic Gladiator. I never expected it to be a fair fight." Was David even thinking logically about his situation? Boxcars had strength that was second to none. It wasn't as if he was supposed to be easily defeated, in fact it was far from that. There was no way that he could have physically overpowered the strongest being in the universe, and to have those thoughts was like having unrealistic expectations.
"I'm sorry...about Dante. I think he's kind of jealous of you." That's what David got from their night of passion, at least. Maybe that was why Dante decided to do things with him. David didn't know what to make of the whole situation.
"It's nothing unusual, Diablo and I were never good friends," he didn't expect it to be any different with Dante, either.
"Because of Tarvos?" David wondered aloud.
"And, he tried to steal my pyrex at the time," Oz noted.
"She was, yes," the Dius nodded.
"Don't you guys mate for life?" He could have sworn that he was missing something. If they mated for life, then why were they trading off positions in their relationships? That was something that he expected from humans, not from aliens with weird relationships.
"We do, but when we die we start our lives over and we can have different mates." It was a part of existing as long as their elements were present in the world. When one of the Dius who controlled their element passed on, they were free of all of the bonds that they had created. When they came back to the mortal plane, they came were able to make new sectors of love with whomever they desired.
"How did you die?" David asked.
"Diablo killed me," the words slipped from his lips so simply.
"What?" Shock registered across the human's face. Somehow, that wasn't the answer that he wanted to hear.
"Maybe saying it so bluntly was a bad execution," Oz looked thoughtful for a moment, but at the same time, it truly was trivial to the Dius of time.
"Why did he kill you? Was he that jealous?" David wondered just what exactly happened in the past between them. He had heard bits and pieces with Pregmacia and Tarvos, but what about Oz? What was his story?
"Just because he could," that was the true only reason. It seemed simplistic, but it was just how Diablo was. "He went around trying to kill everyone. He got most of us. He refuses to kill Ares and he failed to kill Tarvos."
"What's this guy's problem?" Seriously! Who went around just mindlessly murdering people like that for the hell of it?
"I hope Dante can control him. I worry about that." If he couldn't, then things were going to be an exact repeat of the events that had taken place before.
"I think I could try and handle that for you. Dante and I are real close." They were even closer than he wanted to let on now that they had that little moment between them.
"In what way?" Oz arched an eyebrow.
"Would it bother you to know that I couldn't tell you the answer to that?" Was Oz jealous of him? David was actually a little curious. Could it be that Oz had deeper feelings for him than he originally thought?
"I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that."
"I had my reasons," David solidified his actions with Dante.
"Maybe it's best not to get too emotionally attached," Oz felt strange, like an inward prang of pain struck his heart. He was having feelings towards that human that were unlike ones he held for anyone in a long time. They were close, but he was unsure of what way. David often said obscure things to him that made him bewildered as to what feelings he truly held. It made him feel strange inside and he wasn't sure if he liked it or wanted to shove it to the back of his thinking organs.
"Distancing yourself won't make it easier," the boy advised.
"Tch," Oz turned away.
"You're so emotionally constipated." For once, David would have just liked it if he had some kind of emotion to his reactions. Oz acted like such a cold, dead fish. It was a drag.
"I gave up on relationships a long time ago." It was for good reasons, too. Oz didn't want to have a bond with anyone else after Calypso and he certainly wasn't about to make any exceptions now. He did well to not think of his relationship with the boy as anything more than it was.
"You have kids, right?" That question was strange, coming from David.
"Just...stop..." Oz didn't want to hear about this subject anymore.
"Stop what? It only kills you if you hide it." Holding anything in only made the pain fester and grow. It wasn't anything that Oz needed to be keeping to himself, no matter how embarrassing or painful it was.
"I'm here to train," the Dius was quick to change the subject.
"Fine," the black-haired boy sighed, "I'll let you tell me whenever you want to." Oz had to break that code of silence of his sometime. David was going to be there when he did. He wanted to know they key to the past. He wanted to know everything that the Dius of time was hiding, and crack the many mysteries that still surrounded him.
He was determined to know all that the Dius was hiding, if it was the last thing he did.
Lannad was seated under the shade of the great tree. Its massive branches stretched over the area, covering the soft grass below as the sounds of weeping carried through the air. The priestess sobbed at the base of the tree, saddened by what happened between her and Dante. Her heart bled out all of the emotion that it kept held in all of this time. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't will herself to stop crying. The tears flowed down her face, staining her ruffles and frills.
Unknown to her a figure approached from behind. Hearing the grass crunching behind her, Lannad turned and pulled her eyes from her face, staring at the figure in shock. Tears still streamed down her face, and all she could do was look upon the figure in shame. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean for you to see me like this." Her head lowered in embarrassment. She had come there so no one could see her cry and yet, she was found out anyway. "I know I'm supposed to be training but something happened. Dante..." She tried to will herself from sobbing, but it only managed to come out in a choked manner. "I told him how I really felt and he...said that he didn't feel the same way."
Her tears kept falling, more than before. Lannad couldn't help it, she just continued to sob as strong arms wrapped around her, trying to provide her with some kind of comfort.
...To Be Continued