Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, ain't making any money...so there.
Chapter 1 - The Fight for a Country
The woman looked in on the four children. They were sleeping peacefully...for once. The dark haired boy, the oldest, was curled up in a ball. The covers were pulled over his head as if a shell against the night. He was a still sleeper as if he didn't want to be noticed.
The white haired boy was sleeping with an easy grace. He was stretched out on his stomach, leaning his head on his arm. His snow white hair fell in his face making him the picture of beauty. The woman knew, that at one sound, he would be awake and alert. Ready for anything that would come at him.
The blue haired boy was lying on his side. His whole body was tense and his fingers curled into claws. His eyes darted behind closed lids and his fingers scrabbled against the bed. He snapped his teeth as if catching something. Then paused, growled and rolled over.
She looked to the redhead with a fond smile. He was the youngest and always so bright and happy. His covers were pulled up over his head as well. The woman frowned. That wasn't like him at all. She floated over to his bed and pulled back the covers. Nothing was there but his pillows. A breeze brushed her face and her head snapped up. The window was open. She growled to herself. That boy....
" Suzaku! Get back in here!" she screamed.
Suzakuseikun paused and looked back at the palace. He didn't want to go back. He knew he should be in bed...but he was too busy looking at his stars. They weren't really his stars yet; he would choose them tomorrow. They were so pretty. Maybe he could just ignore Taiitsukun-sama's command. He hadn't heard it, that was it. The eleven year old god spread his wings and continued to ride the air currents. It was so peaceful out here, so silent. He wished he could sleep on the clouds, but Taiitsukun-sama forbid it. She always said she couldn't keep an eye on him that way. He wished she wouldn't. He liked being down with the mortals. They were so fun.
" Suzakuseikun! Byakko help me if you don't get back in here..."
" No I won't!" Byakko called cheerily.
" Go back to sleep!"
" Hai Taiitsukun-sama," Byakko said and giggled.
" If I have to come after you." Suzaku winced. That was not something he wanted. He changed out of his boy form, flicked his tail and circled back to the palace. Then he peered in the window and saw Taiitsukun-sama's icy black eyes glaring at him. She was pretty for a creator. Her skin was smooth and her hair was like spun gold. Even if she was short. Instead of going in the window however he bounced off the wall.
" I CALL THE SOUTH!" he screamed. Then folded his wings and dove through the clouds.
" SUZAKU!" Taiitsukun-sama screamed.
Seriyuu's eyes flicked open. What? No! The south was his! He would have to claim it before that birdbrain of a brother did. In order to do that however, he'd have to get outside...and...past Taiitsukun-sama. There had to be a way.
" Taiitsukun-sama!" he cried, " Genbu is eating his covers again!"
" What?" The woman turned from the window and began to float toward the oldest god. Seriyuu raced toward the window.
" SERIYUU!" Taiitsukun-sama snapped. The blue haired boy ignored her and jumped out. He fell, his human arms spinning wildly through the air. He closed his eyes and concentrated. He felt the blue symbol growwarm on his forehead and a blue light bathed him as he changed into his dragon form.
He fell through the crowds, scanning for his youngest brother. He saw a flash of red and inhaled. Then he released a blast of blue fire.
" AAAH!" Suzaku screamed as the fire caught his tail, " TAIITSUKUN-SAMA! SERIYUU'S ROASTING ME AGAIN!"
" She won't do anything unless you go back!" Seriyuu spat at him, " and if you were smart you would! The south is going to be mine!"
" NEVER!" The twelve year old god aimed another blast toward his brother’s rear. This time the phoenix avoided. He wheeled into a cloud bank and was lost from sight. Seriyuu wasn't going to bother following him. Suzaku was to good a flyer but he was much faster.
That wasn't fair! Not at all! Why should his brothers get first pick? He should get first pick. Sure he wasn't oldest, or the most powerful, but he was the prettiest. He flicked his tail irritably and quietly padded toward the window. His golden slitted eyes watching Taiitsukun-sama's every move. He tapped her on her shoulder. She turned and when she did he slipped through the narrow space between her and the window. Her head whipped around and she caught him. He grinned, waved goodbye and effortlessly dove backwards out the window.
" BYAKKO!" He felt the air slip past him as he fell. He would hit ground soon, but it was ground to the far north. He wanted the south. Mostly to show his younger brothers that he could while they could not. He twisted so he was falling feet first and changed to his tiger form. Actually it was more like a cub form at the moment. That was fine for now he was still much more better then his brothers. He bounded gracefully down the clouds; he caught sight of Suzaku flying parallel to him. Seriyuu dropped to his other side. They both stared at him curiously.
" What are you doing here?" Suzaku asked, " I thought you said you didn't care what you wanted."
" I don't," the thirteen year old said, " I just want the south now that's all."
" Well the south is mine!" Seriyuu growled.
" Not if I get there first," the tiger said coolly.
" You wont!" Seriyuu let loose a blast of fire. Byakko jumped over it, fell through the air, and landed perfectly on the branch of a tree. He heard Suzaku's pained screech as the fire hit him and smiled to himself. His brother would never learn to just get out of the way.
Genbu slowly opened his eyes. What...what was going on? The others had left. Probably to claim the south! He scowled and kicked the covers off him. He was the oldest! He should have first claim. He slowly stood up and plodded to the window. He refused to rush however. He knew a shorter way of getting there. A way that didn't require all that incessant running. Taiitsukun-sama was by the window, rubbing her temples. She did that a lot lately. Maybe he could sneak past her. He slowly climbed on the windowsill. When he looked back she was looking straight at him. Black eyes flashing.
" Umm. Hi Taiitsukun-sama. I was just..." he was cut off when she booted him out the window. He flew through the air, uncontrolled, arms and legs flailing for balance. He changed into his turtle form, pulled his head, arms and legs inside, and continued to fall. He had the slightest feeling that Taiitsukun-sama was mad. Why should she be? They were only staking out their territory. Of course it was the middle of the night and she had promised they could do it fairly tomorrow. But that couldn't be the reason she was mad...could it?
He continued to fall through the air. It was so dark inside his shell. So warm. So...his thoughts were cut off as he fell asleep.
The south was coming up. Suzaku pumped his wings, desperately trying to keep ahead of his brothers. Seriyuu was so fast and Byakko had the advantage of being on the ground. He was the youngest. Whatever he wanted he had to work for. It was difficult though. They were so much more powerful then him. He saw the borderline of the south whiz by under his talons. The people were sleeping peacefully in their huts, unaware of what was passing over them. That was as it should be. Even though they had reached the south and Suzaku was behind. The race wasn't over yet. In order to claim this country they had to go to the capital and announce the claim in front of mortals.
" Do you know the palace's south window?" Byakko asked.
" Whoever gets in there first wins. That's where the throne room is!" He had to go faster! Faster! He put his heart in it and pulled forward with all he had.
The city came into view, and with it, the palace. He was ahead! Just a little more! The window was open, candle light streaming out, inviting him in. He stretched his neck out, pulled up his feet as far as they would go and narrowed his eyes. The south was as good as his.
The emperor shivered. Something was giving him the chills. He wasn't sure what. It could either be the wind or a premonition. The emperor was a very sensible minded man and it was that time of year for cold snaps anyway. He gestured to a servant. The servant nodded and closed the south window. There were three sequential thuds and the palace vibrated. The emperor jumped to his feet, wide eyed.
" What was that?"
" An earthquake!" The empress cried. He sat back down, tried to appear calm and patted his wife’s hand gently.
" It's probably just the wind."
" Ow," Suzaku moaned. He hurt. His was plastered against the closed widow. Seriyuu was plastered to him. In fact the only one almost unscathed was Byakko.
" Seriyuu," the tiger gasped, " you're scales feel like rocks!"
" Get you're claws out of my back!" Seriyuu yelled.
" Get offa me!" Suzaku whined. There was a whistling sound and all three looked up. A huge black object was hurtling down toward them at incredible speed.
" AAHHH! GENBU! CHANGE COURSE! CHANGE COURSE!" Byakko screamed. Genbu stuck his head out of his shell.
" Nani? Oh!" He stuck his head back in, removed his arms and legs and started paddling frantically. It was too late.
The three gods got to their feet and stared with concern at their youngest brother. He was lying flat on his back, wings spread, legs sticking up in the air and head thrown back. Byakko reached out and tentatively poked the phoenix with his paw.
" Do you think he's still alive?" Genbu asked. The tiger rolled his eyes.
" Of course he's still alive dummy!" Seriyuu said, " he's immortal!"
" We'd better get him back to Taiitsukun-sama," Byakko said. He changed into boy form and reached to pick his brother up. Suzaku suddenly bounded to his feet, jumped on Byakko's shoulders, pushed off and headed straight for the window.
" Hey!" Byakko cried.
" Cheater!" Seriyuu yelled.
Suzaku grinned to himself. He wasn't a cheater he was just very determined. He loved this kingdom...and love conquered all. He straightened himself out like an arrow and smashed through the window. The humans stood and stared at him. He landed on the floor, sweeping his wings behind him and looked at them. He was only as tall as a man...but he knew he proved an impressive sight. He looked every human in the eye. He knew them, he had watched them from the clouds many times. They were his people.
One by one they dropped to their knees.
I AM SUZAKUSEIKUN. He said in his best god voice. The emperor and empress bowed at that. I CLAIM THE SOUTH AS MINE. " SO BITE ME SERIYUU!" he finished in a voice only his brothers would hear.
Byakko calmly walked away from the palace. Oh well his brother had won. It was no big thing. He trotted away through the city. He jumped onto the river and slid across the water, jumping over late night fishing boats that were on it. The fishermen didn't see him. They couldn't if he didn't want to. He needed a good country. He didn't care which it was. Just a good one. He walked on in a straight line. Jumping over things that were in his way. He crossed a large desert. He didn't like the desert too much.
He came to a grassy place in the west. It was perfect for him. The palace wasn't too large and it wasn't too small. Instead of using the nonsense with the window he simply trotted up to the double doors. His power was far greater then Suzaku's and they opened for him. He smiled. He was just so...good. They should feel honored to have a god like him. He made himself visible. He watched out of the corner of his eyes as guards either fell to their knees before him or ran. Of course his awesome presence probably stunned them stupid.
The tiger came to the throne room and draped himself before the throne. Then he errantly began licking a minuscule speck of dirt off his paw.
" What...what to you want? Why are you here?" the emperor stammered.
I AM BYAKKOSEIKUN. THIS IS MY LAND. WHY SHOULDN'T I BE HERE? he answered simply. The emperor bowed and Byakko smiled. He was just so...good.
Genbu plodded through the mountains, yawning every so often. He was so tired. He just wanted to find a country and go back to sleep.
It was so hot here and the sand felt good under his feet. He sort of liked it. It was like a big blanket. This was probably the north. Seriyuu had said something about the north being his second choice.
Genbu shrugged off the thought. Oh well. He plodded into the high palace, yawning as he went. He watched as the people stared at him, awed and afraid. They were his people he supposed. At least they were now. A man darted out in front of him waving a pin threateningly...or was that a sword?
ARE YOU THE EMPEROR? Genbu asked.
" Y...yes," the man stammered. He looked like he was about to wet his robes.
GOOD. I AM GENBUSEIKUN. THIS IS MY LAND. GOOD NIGHT. Then he pulled himself inside his shell and fell asleep.
His brothers had left him, but Seriyuu couldn’t move. Suzaku…the weak one…had gotten the south kingdom! He’d just have to do something about it.
" IT'S NOT FAIR TAIITSUKUN-SAMA! THIS WAS MY KINGDOM! I CLAIMED IT! HE CHEATED!" Seriyuu roared to the heavens. Taiitsukun-sama didn't answer. For once the creator was silent.
" Hey lizard breath!" Suzaku yelled, poking his head out the damaged window, " You're disturbing the peace. How can I put this nicely? Hmm. GET LOST!"
" TAIITSUKUN-SAMA! I KNOW YOU SEE IT’S NOT FAIR! SHOW ME WHO’S RIGHT!" A small cloud covered the moon and a bolt of lightning jotted down from it and struck Seriyuu in the rear.
Suzaku nearly fell over from laughing so hard. Seriyuu glared at his brother then stalked away. He stomped above the country; knocking birds every which way with his switching tail. As soon as he stepped over the north’s boundary he realized it was already taken. He roared in frustration and stalked to the east; the only place that was left.
The east was the biggest and richest, but he didn’t want that. Well he was sort of stuck with it now. He stalked up to the palace and commanded the doors open for him. They didn’t and he walked into them.
Growling in pain and anger he smashed the doors down with his claws.
He took a step inside, slipped on the waxed floor and knocked out one of the walls. The dragon picked himself up. Today was not his day. He found the throne room with little effort and smashed open those doors as well.
I AM SERIYUUSEIKUN!! Seriyuu growled fiercely. The people stared at him with wide eyes in pale faces. Seriyuu snorted, stupid humans. He dug his talons into the floor and scraped them across it. The shrieking sound made the humans cower and cover their ears. He snarled at them. He had wanted the south! Not this puny place. He would make them work hard to get what he wanted. They were just mortals after all.
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