Disclaimer: MR does not belong to me. Tiger x Hare YAOI
Up to the Top
Genki stared around, the darkness was so deep that he couldn't see anyone. 'Hello? Guys?' his voice echoed the chamber.
'Here.' ~ Holly
'I'm over this way.' ~ Suezo
'Here' ~ Golem
'Growl, here.' ~ Tiger
'Hare?' Genki turned around, but he just couldn't see anything. Near the now closed entrance, one creature smirked and waved his hand. The group gasped as torches suddenly lit up the pathway, creating glowing yellow beacons. 'Shall we get going?' Hare stepped forwards, making his way down the passage.
~Hare... why does it feel like you know something we don't?~ Genki followed behind, his troubled thoughts puzzling him. Surely, Tiger couldn't have been right. Hare wasn't a traitor. But, it just seemed so weird with the entrance appearing, then the lights, and Hare's ease in this place that made the others uneasy. ~Hare.~
'We've been traveling for hours,' Suezo flopped down onto the side of the path, refusing to move any further. 'I'm tired too,' Holly rested next to Golem. Only Hare remained standing, leaning against the wall and staring down the pathway. As his friends talked, he touched his bandana, wondering.
~Are they still up there? Still alive? Is Tiger... could he be alive?~ Hare wasn't sure why that question was so important. The tiger guardian and him had never really gotten along well. It's not like they had been friends, or had a bond... Hare felt his ears droop unconciously. ~Not that he'd ever think about that. Not with me. I was just a baka guardian to him.~
'Go away, Hare. You're annoying,' the Tiger boy growled, trying to focus on his training. 'Why are you always trying to become more powerful? It's not like there's anyone here who'd fight you. Well, except me,' the Hare youth grinned down at his friend. 'I don't need you or anyone else. Leave me be,' the halfling hissed, closing his blue eyes to concentrate on his meditating. 'Fine,' Hare stormed off, leaving the other sitting by himself on the grass.
~Why is he always so mean to me? I just want to get to know him.~
'Hare?' Genki approached his friend cautiously, aware that the monster was lost in his own thoughts. The hare actually jumped, before settling down again and glancing down at him. 'Is something wrong?' the boy questioned. Black eyes stared back at him, sad and slightly dark with many emotions. 'No, nothing's wrong. Why do you ask?' the grin was back, as fake as ever. That was when Genki realized it, that Hare really was different. He wasn't the monster they had all believed him to be. 'You don't have to hide anything from us. We're your friends, and we'll always be by your side,' Genki whispered, watching the eyes widen in surprise.
'Thank you, Genki,' the words were true. The boy smiled and turned to everyone else. 'Let's go guys, we've got to get to the top!'
~He's doing this for me?~ Hare stared down in amazement. Maybe he could trust them with his secrets.
'This is going to be so cool. We'll be the first monsters... and humans, to ever meet the guardians,' Suezo chuckled to himself. 'What do you mean?' Genki glanced at his one eyed friend. 'Genki, no one has ever been able to climb this mountain before, it's just too steep,' Holly answered, walking alongside her bouncing yellow friend. 'Isn't it a little weird that you seem to know a lot about this mountain?' Tiger turned his attention to the Hare leading the way. 'What do you mean by that?' Hare spoke cautiously, not giving away his nervousness.
'Hn, the mountain didn't have an entrance, and it just appeared out of nowhere. You knew about this cave and led us straight to it. I'd say, that's enough of a reason,' Tiger grinned. 'Yeah well, I heard somewhere about a cave, and it's not like I made the entrance appear,' Hare spun round and continued walking. 'You've got a lot of secrets for a hotheaded thief,' Tiger responded, pacing along beside Genki.
~What did Tiger mean by that?~ Holly noticed Hare's back tense at the words, as well as the strange way he shifted his ears. Hare always seemed so happy, just a harmless trickster, but now... it almost seemed like he really was on the quest for a reason.
'So, tell me why again that the guardians choose to stay up here? Don't they ever come down?' Genki asked, as they trekked on. 'Well, there have been a few sightings, that's how we know what they look like,' Holly smiled gently. 'The guardians come down when they are needed,' Hare's voice drew their attention. 'Yeah, I remember now. In the legends, the guardians were only seen when their help was most needed. The Suezo guardian was once seen by a village when they were being attacked. He gifted the hero with a strange power that helped them defend themselves against the invasion,' Suezo whispered, awed by the story. 'Gave them power? Who was the hero?' Genki asked, receiving stares from the rest of the group. Even Hare turned to watch him.
'What did I say?' Genki blinked around in confusion. 'The guardians are known only to gift their powers to the species they protect,' Tiger of the Wind spoke gruffly. 'That's the way things go,' Hare shrugged, and spun back round to take the lead. Nearly to the top. 'Why? Do the humans have a guardian?' the boy wanted to know. 'No,' Hare replied, seeming positive about his answer. 'I've never actually heard of one,' Holly explained. 'That's not fair!' Genki cried, throwing his hands behind his head.
'Monsters were created at the beginning of time to be companions for humans, so they didn't need a special guardian,' Hare's voice broke the silence. 'Well, well... so the baka has some history lessons,' Tiger grunted. 'I'm not an idiot, Tiger. I know a lot more than you think!'
'Guys, guys... lets just keep walking,' Holly tried to stop the obvious fight. 'That's because you're probably a traitor,' Tiger snarled back, fangs gleaming in the pale light. Hare's ears twitched in anger, his eyes narrowing. 'I'm.. not..a..traitor,' he hissed between his teeth. 'Prove it,' Tiger of the Wind gloated, smirking. 'And, how shall I do that, my dear Tiger?' Hare replied sarcastically.
'Take off your scarf.'
'Not again with the scarf thing,' Genki sighed, leaning against one of the walls. Hare closed his eyes, silently counting down in his head to calm his anger. 'Not here,' he simply stated, walking up the path. Tiger's eyes widened, then narrowed at the challenge. And they followed the bunny again.
'Ladies and Gentlemen, and annoying tigers.' That received a growl. 'We have reached the top!' Hare flung out a hand as they walked through a beam of light at the end of the tunnel.
Genki gasped, staring around at the beautiful forest surrounding them. Emerald leafed trees created a pathway of silver stones all the way to what looked to be a strangely ancient city on the top of a hill. 'So, this is the home of the guardians,' Suezo exclaimed, bouncing forward onto the path. Everyone followed, staring around them at the beauty and serenity of it all.
~Emerald Forest, just the way it was years ago.~ Hare smiled to himself as they walked along. Not the grin of the trickster, but a peaceful smile of one whose soul was finally at rest. As they walked, Genki noticed the trees widening, so they were nearing a meadow. That was when he saw it, the edge of the mountaintop. He slipped through the larger spaces between the trees, not noticing how some of them were cracked and broken, as if a huge monster had split them in two. The gang followed, but only one seemed affected by the damage.
Hare frowned, they were heading for the place he had fallen. Maybe... he sped up, wanting to see it again. ~Tiger...~
'Be careful, Genki! Don't get too close to the edge!' Holly called, staying further back. The boy was perched very close, staring down in wonder. 'It's amazing, you guys have got to see it!' he spun, waving at them. Hare stepped forwards, walking the path of his memories. His eyes transfixed on the spot he had fallen from. The wind whistled through his fur, hounding him.
'You stupid hare.'
'Tiger, a cliff!'
'...to get the Phoenix to help us...'
'Shut up and think of a way out of this mess,'
~I never did, did I? I caused so much trouble for you all and couldn't even save you in the end... and now where are you? Tiger.~
'What is it?' a snarl jerked Hare from his thoughts. 'Huh?' he turned to find Tiger glaring at him. 'You called my name, what the hell do you want?' the wolf monster snarled in annoyance. 'I... nothing,' Hare realized he'd been thinking aloud and turned back to the edge. But, his eyes caught on the crystal city, realizing for the first time that they... were in ruins.
'No,' he whispered, taking a step in that direction, unable to stop himself. It was horrible. He began to run.
'Hare?!' Genki turned when he saw his friend race off. 'Baka, where the hell is he going?' Tiger took off as well, wanting to know exactly what was going on. 'Come on, you guys!' Genki prepared to skate after them.
'You're not going anywhere,' a voice boomed from the woods. Holly gasped as a group of baddies smashed through the trees. Genki skated over to his friends, ready to protect them. 'Well, this is just great!' Suezo commented, seeing as how Tiger and Hare had run off on them. ~Now, I may have to fight.~
Author's Note: Find out what happens to them in the next chapter! Reviews please!