Disclaimer: I do not own MR. Tiger x Hare yaoi!
The Hare Guardian Appears
'Did you hear that?' Genki whispered to his partner, staring up at the city they were racing towards. 'Mocchi!' 'It must have been Hare!' he sped up.
Tiger of the Wind snarled and attacked, lightning flowing from his horns. The dino captain turned in surprise, just in time for him to swipe. In a flash, there was only a glowing lost disk upon the ground. The pixie flew off to inform her master of this new situation, leaving a tied up and unconscious youth in the dust.
Tiger was approaching him just as Genki reached the gates. 'Tiger!' he yelled, pushing himself over there. That was when he noticed the boy. The boy with flowing white and red robes and brown hair... wait... were those bunny ears?
'Tiger, who is he?' the boy asked, staring at his friend. The wolf monster simply stared down, noticing for the first time that a strange tear shaped red gem hung from the young man's throat. Was that... the Phoenix Tear?
'Who could he be?' Holly wondered aloud, watching Genki sitting next to the new youth. 'You said... the guardians were half monster, right? Well, I think he's a guardian,' Genki said, pointing to the obvious bunny ears dangling from the other boy's spiky brown hair. 'The hare guardian,' Suezo whispered, hopping up for a better look. Tiger narrowed his eyes, something about this whole situation just gave him a weird feeling.
~This place... I feel as though I know it. Like I've been here before.~ Tiger sat at the edge of the fire, staring at the ancient city in ruins around them. The group had moved into one of the buildings to hide themselves from any baddies that might come looking. This place they were in, was large enough for even Golem to enter.
A movement drew his attention to their guest. Genki watched the youth's dark eyes blink open, unfocused for a moment. 'Are you all right?' he asked, watching as the eyes found his own. The older boy nodded, one ear falling over his cheek. 'Can you sit up?' Genki helped him do that, even though it seemed like a struggle.
The youth gazed around the campfire, taking in the scene. He didn't seem shocked or afraid of them, that was good. 'Are you the hare guardian?' Holly wanted to know, smiling gently. The boy nodded and returned his gaze to the blue furred monster at the edge of the circle. Seeing his attention, Genki decided to introduce them. 'He's Tiger of the Wind, he saved you,' the boy grinned at his friend who simply turned away.
'I know,' came a hoarse whisper. The youth coughed suddenly into his hand. 'Here, have some water,' Genki took the cup from Holly and helped the boy sip it. When he finished, dark brown eyes gazed down at Genki. ~He looks about 16.~ Genki mused to himself.
'Thank you, Genki' the younger boy's eyes widened in surprise. 'You know me?' he asked, with a tilt of his head. 'Yes. I know all of you,' a hand held up something for them to see. A very familiar red handkerchief.
~Could it be?~ Tiger stared at it, then at the youth. 'Do you know where our friend, Hare, is?' Genki asked, blinking at the guardian. 'He's the hare guardian, of course he does!' Suezo yelled from his seat across the fire. 'Yes, I do. He's... safe,' the youth whispered, tucking the handkerchief into his crimson belt. ~I can't tell them yet. It's too dangerous.~
'Master Moo, one of the guardians was seen in the city,' the pixie knelt before her master. 'Bring him to me,' the evil creature commanded, turning away. He needed the last three to complete the chain. Needed their powers to fuel his own.
'Yes, my lord.'
'What's your name?' Genki decided to ask, glancing at the boy beside him. 'As guardians, we take the names of the species we protect. I am Hare... or just the hare guardian. It matters not what you call me,' was his answer. 'That's weird, our friend's name is Hare too. I don't know why he was never given a name of his own... but Suezo and Golem and Mocchi over there are the same. Only Tiger has a unique name,' Genki glanced at the curled up figure in the shadows. 'Yes, I know. Tiger of the Wind,' Hare let himself smile gently before becoming expressionless again.
'Why are you doing that?' Genki asked, looking at the boy. 'Doing what?' the other wanted to know. 'You... and our Hare... both wear masks. Why can't you just let us know how you feel?' the younger boy wondered. The look of surprise was replaced by a thoughtful one. 'Perhaps, because we both have secrets, ones that are dangerous to tell. Besides, he smiles to bring happiness to your group, especially that creature over there,' Hare motioned to Tiger with his head. 'You don't have to be happy all the time. Sometimes, it's nice to cry,' Genki admitted, wrapping his arms around his legs. 'There is no time for tears. I've learned that,' the hare guardian whispered, looking up at the ceiling of crystal above them. ~Tiger...~
It was dawn when the group decided to leave the safety of their shelter. With the hare guardian leading the way, at least they knew where they were going. Where were they going?
'It's not safe to stay here, Moo will come looking for me,' Hare admitted, walking beside Genki. 'Why is he after you anyway?' the boy wanted to know. 'Because, guardians have powers that normal monsters do not. And if we pool our energy together, it is very strong indeed. I think... no, I know that Moo desires that power to help him conquer the world. That is why, I can't let him find me or the other two...'
'So, who are we looking for?' Holly asked, pacing in front of Golem who brought up the rear. 'I'm not sure. He said there were two others... one is... the tiger guardian,' Hare frowned to himself. Genki glanced back to find that Tiger was now staring at the youth in shock. 'Yes, Tiger... that's right. The tiger guardian, your guardian, managed to escape. Him and one other, but I don't know who,' Hare turned to gaze at the blue furred beast with saddened eyes.
~Why is this affecting me? What is it about him that..?~ Tiger tried not to react to the other's presence, but could not explain the connection. This hare guardian was making him realize things that he didn't want to admit. That perhaps... he felt concern for him and the missing Hare. ~No! I could care less about any stupid hare. Even a guardian.~
'Search the city!' the pixie ordered, flying high above to search from the air. Baddies pooled into small groups and began running through the streets.
Hare suddenly looked up, ears twitching. 'What is it?' Genki asked, glancing around. 'We've got company,' Tiger growled, picking up the scent of evil. 'Tiger's right. Hurry, this way,' Hare led them through the passageways of the city. ~Where to hide, where to hide..?~
'You shouldn't play around the labyrinth. If you get lost in there, we may never find you again,' the dragon youth scolded the boy. Said hare guardian simply smiled and agreed to never ever, ever do it again. Course, he had his fingers crossed behind his back the entire time.
'I'm lost!' Hare wailed, searching back the way he had come. There were just too many twists and turns, too much pale light and too many shadows. 'I wish I'd never come down here,' he sobbed quietly to himself, sniffling. ~Now no one will find me... guess they'll all be happy that I'm not around to play tricks on them anymore... especially Tiger. He'd never come to save me... not in a million...~
'Bunny brat, hurry up. I'm not waiting forever,' a gruff voice spoke. The youth stood and turned, only to see a blue mane with white streaks disappear around the corner. 'Wait for meeee!' he called, racing after the figure. He turned the corner and went sprawling to the ground. Looking up, he found himself transfixed by a pair of golden eyes. 'You never listen, do you? This is not a place to play in,' the tiger guardian snarled down. 'I'm sorry... I promise, I won't come in here again.~
Hare stopped at the hidden entrance. A sapphire crystal was the key to unlocking the doors to the labyrinth. 'Sorry Tiger, guess I won't be keeping that promise after all,' he mumbled under his breath, reaching out a finger to touch the crystal.
'Eeee!' Hare fell back on his robed butt at the electrical attack. 'Are you ok?' Genki held out a hand to help him up. Rubbing his poor, now sore, brown tailed behind, Hare glared at the crystal. 'So, can we get in?' Holly asked. 'No,' Hare crossed his arms over his chest, glaring still. Stupid key. Stupid Tiger. 'He must have put a seal on it to keep me from breaking my promise, stupid Tiger,' Hare grumbled under his breath.
'I'll assume you aren't talking about me,' Tiger of the Wind snarled. 'I wasn't,' Hare hissed back, still angry at the lock. 'What do we do now?' Genki wanted to know. 'Keep running, I guess,' the hare guardian sighed in defeat. Tiger paced up beside him and studied the crystal. ~So, just touch it and...~ His let his nose touch the crystal's surface and pulled back as it began to glow.
Hare noticed the light and turned, staring wide eyed as the entrance opened. 'How did..?' he whispered, even as the others pouring into the labyrinth. 'Let's go,' Tiger growled, taking his arm robe between his teeth and pulling the halfling inside. Hare yelped and tripped, sending them sprawling as the door closed behind them.
'There's no sign of them.'
'I don't care, keep searching. Master Moo will have our heads if we don't capture that guardian.'
From the shadows, something listened and crept away unnoticed. ~So, one of the other guardians is still in the city.~
Hare groaned and opened his eyes. Blue fur was staring him in the face, making him realize that he was currently sprawled half on top of Tiger. Jolting back, he tried to hide the flush that came over his face from the contact. ~This feeling again... why doesn't it just go away? I don't like Tiger, he's a total jerk. No, must be because he reminds me of the tiger guardian. That's all. Just friends... sort of... whatever.~ Getting to his feet, he found the others gone. 'Uh, we have a problem,' he sighed, knowing full well what a hard place this was to find your way around. If Genki or anyone else got lost, they may never leave the labyrinth. And being mortal, they didn't have hundreds of years to spend searching every tunnel.
'Tiger, wake up,' he knelt down and touched the fur. ~It's soft. Baka, don't think about that right now!~ 'Tiger, please wake up,' he leaned down, trying to wake the creature. The wolf monster's eyes popped open and he bolted upright, nearly brushing against the hare guardian's cheek. 'Uh... the others are gone. We've got to find them. This place is a labyrinth,' Hare whispered, trying to calm his beating heart. Tiger just stared at him for a moment, before getting to his feet. 'Then, lets go,' he spoke calmly, leading the way. Hare blinked, and then followed, thankful that Tiger had such a good nose. ~Maybe we'll be able to win this battle after all.~
Author's Note: Everyone's lost in a maze, how mean of me. Love the reviews everyone. Upcoming yaoi in the following chapters! Finally! Tiger's starting to realize things he never noticed before!