Disclaimer: I do not own Monster Rancher. This is a yaoi fic for Tiger x Hare fans. It's also an alternate universe fic, so no other characters except the hares and tigers from the show will be in it, not even Moo. Sorry all GreyWolf fans, but he's the bad guy in this one.
Reflections, part 1
Screams. My ears still burn from the sounds of destruction. Three days ago, my village was alive with rejoicing. Three days ago it was beautiful, peaceful. But, I didn't know that it was all about to change.
It was the autumn festival, everyone was happy. Children raced through the streets without fear, neighbors smiled as they passed. In my village, everyone knew you and you knew everyone. Nothing was secret here, it was an open and wonderous time. We thought we were safe, seeing as how the village itself was built in the middle of a deep forest. Not many monsters can find their way through the thick foliage maze, it was a protector for us. Until that day, no one knew the true meaning of the word 'Afraid.' Not until... they came.
We were gathered in the center of the village for the festival. Except for me. What can I say? I'm always late. Anyway, so there I was, racing down the street as fast as my feet could carry me. I slept in, as always. I am just not a morning monster. One minute sounds of laughter could be heard from the square, the next... it happened. The first thing I heard was screaming. At that moment, I felt fear for the very first time in my life.
The village was in a state of panic. I remember glancing around to see that the houses in front of me were aflame. Burning arrows scorched their straw roofs, leaving nothing but ashes. I wanted to turn away, to race into the forest to escape the fire. But, I had to see what was happening. If I had know what would have happened next, I would never have raced into the square. But, I did.
Bodies littered the ground, so many that I felt icy waves of panic surge up inside of me. Some of my people were fighting against them. But, it was futile. How could one village of hares ever stand up against an army of tigers?
I managed to hide, peaking around the wall to stare at the battle. No, it was more of a massacre. Tigers are skilled in battle. Sometimes, I think they were born with the strength and desire to enslave and rule over every other race. The hares were being slaughtered one by one. I tried not to scream, my eyes unable to move from the bloody scene. A small terrified cry drew my attention. A group of hares were huddled near one of the buildings, all too scared to move. Three tigers, one pink, the others green, were advancing upon them. The grins on their faces showed that they were obviously enjoying the fear of their prey.
One of the adults, Tetsu, stepped forward. He's the oldest and wisest school teacher in the village. His name means 'Peace.' And yet, peace was no longer in our village. I was terrified myself, as I stood there. My body seemed frozen even as I watched him get slashed down. The adults fought to give the children time to run. But, they were easily cut down by the three tigers.
I was snapped from my daze when the children ran towards my hiding place, being pursued by the tigers. I could see the glints in their eyes, automatically knowing that this was a game to them. They enjoyed causing fear and pain, even to children who could never hope to fight back. It pissed me off. I let the children pass before I leapt between them and the tigers. I must have startled them, because they stopped dead in their tracks, just staring at me. I could see several of the kids running away over my shoulder, but I focused completely on my targets. Now they were stepping closer, those smug grins stretching their muzzles. Pure hatred burned in my veins, blocking all the fear from me.
What did I do? I beat them up, of course. Hares are boxer champions, we are trained from the moment we can walk. I surprised them when I knocked the pink one into the dirt. They don't call me Kain for nothing. Yep, I've been the 'Cause of Trouble' since the moment I was born. The other two jumped at me, leaving me barely enough time to dodge out of the way. Must have been my luck, cause they smacked right into each other and knocked themselves out. Man, tigers sure are stupid. At least, that's what I thought at the time. Brawns for war, but no brains at all. Boy, was I wrong. Not that I like admitting it.
Next thing I knew, someone grabbed me and yanked me away from the square. Glancing up, even as we ran down the street, I had to smile. My older brother, Tori, was racing alongside of me, towards the forest. 'Quickly, before they see us!' we leapt into the bushes, still kicking away at the dirt. The children must have run this way as well, likely heading for the river. Personally, I hate water. Always have. I nearly drowned in the river once, but dad pulled me out just in time. Scared the crap out of me, enough that I never ever went swimming again. Sounds kinda strange since hares love swimming. In fact, it's a favorite pastime when we aren't boxing.
Back to the story. Tori and I reached the river, just in time too. The snarls and shouts behind us sounded angry. The tigers probably saw us escape and were coming after us. 'Lets jump,' Tori suggested, yanking me towards my doom. When I said I hate water, I meant IT! Especially when said water is like miles below us and we just happened to be standing on the edge of a waterfall. Just my luck, the one path of many that lead to the river, and we pick the one that doesn't go downhill.
'Are you nuts?' I knew my brother must have been crazy at that moment or something. Heck, just because his name means 'Bird' doesn't mean he can fly, though he often forgets that little fact. Tori's climbed more trees in his lifetime then I care to remember. Broke his arm once too, couldn't box for a month until it was healed.
I'm getting off topic again. So, there we were on the edge of a cliff, with tigers spilling out of the forest behind us like ants from an anthill. Ok, so there was only a small group, but when they're all snarling and snapping their jaws at you, you'd be scared too. Next thing I know, Tori shoved me off the cliff and I was falling. You ever had your life flash before your eyes? I have, and damn it was short! Well, what do you expect from a teen raised in a sheltered village all his life. It's not like I was training for war or anything, since we all thought we would never be attacked in the village. 0 to 1, tigers are winning. Too bad for us.
My body twisted in midair and I found myself staring up at the clifftop. The first thing I noticed were his eyes. Gold, yet strangely cold, locked with my own. For an instant, I felt... I can't explain it. My fear was shoved aside for one moment, until he looked away. Then, I noticed my brother's body laying there, one arm dangling over the cliff edge. Everything was in slow motion. The tiger, who I later found out had been Tiger of the Wind, older brother of the army's leader, GreyWolf, had turned away. HEY! Attention on me, please! I was the one falling to my doom here!
Just me, hitting the water, no need to rush to my aid. Not like a tiger would care if a hare died, after all, they were the ones doing the killing. No, not Mr. Tiger of the Wind, Mr. High and Mighty himself. I could go on for days, but I won't.
I could feel the icy waves closing over my head, soaking through my fur. It isn't a nice feeling, let me tell you. My breath was trapped in my lungs. Not to mention that the impact nearly drove me unconcious. Well, actually, it did. Everything went black.
Author's Note: Yep, this is part of a flashback. Sorry, but it really is going to be long so I've split it into two chapters. If you like Tiger x Hare pairings, and haven't read 'Hare's Secret' then go read it! It's finished now!