Title: Super Nova 1/?
Rating: PG - Gen - h/c But this is all Rowan and Seiji.
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Summary: They all have their elements, only some are more used to them than others. (Thanks Jo for the ideaz!)
Seiji for once was looking forward to be being completely alone in the house.
"Water my plants," Sai told him packing the trunk with Kento's help. "And mind the fish."
Being on his own.
The thought of being left behind brought a small smile to his face. Alone was easy enough Seiji supposed. Too easy to become a ghost in the forests that surrounded the mountains whenever he wanted. The rush off to the cliffs winter cold, the frigid water falls plummeting hundreds of feet down the time worn boulders. That and utter silence that was His. If it were only that easy. Because being truely alone, as none of them never said, wasn't in their future. Seiji sighed sometimes, knowing he never would be again. Not ever again. It surprised him that just for once he simply wanted be quiet in the simplicity of the dull domestic of the old house instead of somewhere remote.
He took a seat in the kitchen while the water boiled for tea.
Ryo banged the back door wide open, having got in a few days of 'remote' practice before they left on their trip.
A complete muddy mess. Bloody slash across the cheek, skinned knuckles. The usual. "You ready for this vacation, or what?" Ryo tossed down his blades, letting them clang loudly onto to the floor. It made Seiji cringe in actual pain with the disrespectful treatment of weapons. Ryo flinched too, exhaustion making him careless and bringing that shame look on his face. Recca squeezed his eyes hard, his hands going through his sweaty hair. "Tired," he mumbled in apology.
Seiji sighed and had the decency to look sideways. "I won't be going." He informed him.
Ryo considered that for a moment and then slowly nodded, coughing a little from pushing too hard out there with his power already drained. He pulled a kitchen seat backward closer to Seiji and painfully straddled it. Seiji noted the limp on the right side. Ryo tended to favor his left, but when did he ever listen to good advice. Ryo yanked his chair closer, it looked like he was going to say something but decided it against it. His black hair somehow looked darker, sweat making it cling to his neck in wisps, his forehead and one side of his cheek.
Seiji, against all decorum and regardless of everyone wandering around in plain sight, took Ryo under the chin and kissed his mouth to taste the sweat on his upper lip.
"Where the fuck are all the flashlights?" Kento was digging in the backseat.
"We don't need flashlights," Sai said shortly. "We tend to glow."
Seiji," Ryo lingered at the driver's side door. "You... sure you don't wanna go? We might see those sky things. The Aurororor Boring Alice whatever."
Rowan was standing at the front door bereft of a backpack. "Think I'm gonna skip out, too."
They all turned in surprise, the tall archer standing in his boots, faded jeans and an oversized dark red sweater. Seiji only felt a moment of disappointment. But if anyone of them were going to stay, at least Rowan face down in a book about Crop Circles was as barely noticeable and about as annoying as a ceiling fan.
"Plants, Rowan. Fish?" Sai reminded him in case Seiji decided to ignore all the post-it notes.
"Water the fish," Rowan winked. "Feed the plants. Gotcha."
Still, it was a bit strange though...
Rowan was usually the first to pack his various cherished bows from various Netherworlds, a longbow reject from a LoTR con find from a dumpster, to a modern sleek compound bow and camping gear with a smile before he vanished out the door. Second to Seiji, he liked a good escape, but Halo excepted Rowan's need not to go into the Ether outside of a week or a few days. It wasn't for leisure. Rowan respected the time it took to really disappear and not come back with a jeep load of empty beer cans and gutted fish on ice. Sometimes. But for most of the time Strata liked to get lost just for the sake of getting lost and usually came back with a lot more than some stories. Peace. And that came all at home if you looked for it.
The small caravan of their friends was doing its best to get going.
Watching them fumble with duffel bags and camping gear Seiji was silently urging they would soon get the hell gone. All he could think about was no blare of the TV, no sofa skirmishes, no fight about the last of the ramen, last coke or hot water in the shower. Just pure quiet. All he wanted was the expanse of the large miles of woods all to himself and the confines of his room. The distant drone, hitch, and spit of gravel under the old tires made Seiji lay down on his bed and take a deep breath.
When they'd gone, their essences entwined with his own faded in the distance, he heard the bedroom far down off the hall softly close.
That would be the one of his friends not tripping the light fantastic and crawling space and time trying to leave. Seiji smiled a little maybe, maybe. Despite the lure of cities with bars, stadiums, and civilization in general, Rowan had decided to stay out here to get off in his own way.
Because some times, there were Super Novas.
In space, Rowan had had explained, stars died in dramatic ways. And in space, Rowan liked to remind them all, no one could hear you scream. So who exactly would get overexcited about a star that blew up and before that first observant dinosaur looked up to the heaven's and said at a comet, "I wonder what that is?"
Looking for more tea, Seiji had to step over various pieces of unidentifiable instruments laid out very carefully across the living room floor.
Apparently there was a lot of equipment involved to observe the past.
"Seiji?" Rowan asked wryly. "What the hell are you doin'?"
Seiji, to his utter embarrassment, was a total failure with one of the 18th century telescopes. And after six or so hours in the dark of their back yard, all he really wanted to do was hurl it and the even older naval sextant Rowan cherished directly into the lake. But one had to begrudgingly appreciate how traditional Rowan was about a few things. That sort of sentimentality Seiji could appreciate on some level but he still hadn't been adequately schooled by Strata about gazing the figurative high seas. He was getting even more impatient when there were all always computers he KNEW Rowan KNEW how to use pretty well and fine--
"Wait, I've almost..." Seiji repositioned the awkward metal apparatus, squinting into 100 year old hand made glass. "Yes, the measured angle between the celestial object and the horizon is directly related to the distance between the subpoint and the observer, and this measurement is used to define a circle on the surface of the Earth called a celestial line of position--"
"We got the British fleet nailed," Rowan agreed. "They're on the run fer sure."
"I think I got it," a small thrill of success as Seiji met the mark. "I think it's-"
Rowan interrupted him by laughing in a low breathless way that made Seiji growl behind his teeth.
"Try another 6 degrees down dude."
Fine. But he was trying wasn't he? Rowan's laugh turned into a strained cough. But that stopped too, into something that sounded like neither. Glancing over at him in the dim star light, Seiji thought Rowan looked.... off. For someone who had waited how many years/months/days for the off chance to see a small shiny blot through a telescope that used to be a sun before chlorophyll existed-
"Uh-" Rowan's trembling hands dropped his own precious brass telescope clattering onto the gravel. "Aw man..." His dark (and frequently annoyingly amused) eyes didn't look right.
With a sigh, Seiji squinted back into the eye piece. "Sake and precision don't mix very well do they?"
"Wasn't- I was wasn't drinkin' any-" Rowan coughed again. "Shit."
"Go sit down and uh, don't 'not drink' anymore sake," Seiji suggested. "Are you sure this has been has been calibrated correctly?"
Rowan stumbled backwards from him, pressing a hand to his face.
Lowering the instrument, he considered Rowan more closely. "What's wrong with you?" Seiji demanded softly.
With a small sound, Rowan collapsed to his knees hard with a louder gasp, one hand groping to his heaving chest and the other to the kanji now glowing bright on his forehead. Pained eyes flickered up to Seiji's in... panic.
Rowan didn't panic. And Rowan did not do panic. He never panicked unless he thought someone deleted his weird HBO DVRs about people having games on thrones.
Seiji had never seen that look of fear in Rowan's eyes... well... never.
Reaching for the hand Rowan had clasped against his kanji, Rowan desperately shoved Seiji away. It was cold. No, not cold. Beyond ice, way below ice and plummeting steadily down. Hissing, Seiji fell back on one knee clutching his frozen to rock hand and let his own armor equalize. Rowan's chest was hitching, his gaze locked at nothing and the very wrong color. The entirety of his eyes were seeping dark blue leaving no whites at all.
What the hell was happening?
Rowan's hands rose weakly, fumbling like he was blind. Strata pulsed blue, his lessor armor blazed across and formed on his skin like a lattice of knife sharp ice. Clutching his frozen hand, Seiji felt a deep dread fill and sink down into every cell in his body.
Ryo was The Fire
Sai was The Ocean.
Kento held the Movement of the Earth.
Rowan had... The Sky.
Seiji blinked again.
Rowan had the damn Universe.
For some reason the meaning of that never really made complete sense until now. All of them were subject to nuisances of their elements in one way or the other on a daily basis. But not Rowan. The sub armor of Halo came and formed before he could even think, protecting Seiji before he could think to protect himself.
Another soundless boom.
"ahhhhhhggghhhh- Rowan breathed it.
A static charge bolted across the sky, flinging Rowan backwards. He was pinned several feet in the air, purple to blue energy rocking through his body until it released him and he fell heavily to the ground. Seiji slid to his side, wary to make contact but unwilling to wait for his own sub armor to recharge enough to be enough to protect him. He crawled forward. The body under Seiji's stiffened, hissing, his friends back arched off the ground. Rowan's body stuttered, pulsing a deeper blue, violet as a night sky, his under armor crackling with ice. He wasn't breathing anymore. Seiji's eyes narrowed and he clenched his teeth hard... that super nova. An explosion of a massive supergiant countless millennia dead and gone. It shone with the brightness of countless lessor stars and exploded the same way. And Rowan been focused and concentrating on the damn thing for days. Weeks? Months? The idiot was saturated, filled, and channeling it. Seiji squeezed his eyes shut, his hands going from numb to searing pain as the energy seeped unbidden through Rowan's armor and right into his. Despite the bone crackling freeze as flat cold as the long dead star above, Seiji hauled Rowan up, his hand under his back and his other under Rowan's limp head. "Rowan," he shook him. "You have to... have to... let go of it." Seiji shook him again harder, banging his head on the ground," You hear me?!"
Rowan's strange dark eyes flew open, hands reaching for nothing. "C-Can't-- He weakly was trying to hold up a hand to Seiji's face. Shove Seiji away. "I-I-Can't control.. I..-"
There was another strange quiet boom, it shook the earth and sent a wind thrashing through the trees for miles around. For an interminable amount of time Rowan's tense body stilled in his arms, then very slowly relaxed. Then with one final twitch, every strained muscle in his body began to give way to nothing. His body shook with a final ragged exhale that was even worse than no sound at all. Seiji let out a small stifled breath of disbelief in the back of his throat, Rowan was draped in his arms like he would never drawn another breath again. In some childish gesture he gently shook Rowan with none of the violence he had before, and then shook him again.
Rowan's head rolled to the side, his hand fell off limply of Seiji's arm.
Seiji was aware his own armor could heal but... he had never felt this before.
There was nothing but brilliant green light, blazing tendrils of it like smoke reaching up through him and around him. It swirled up over his body and around Rowan. Seiji blinked back away from it, not letting his crushing grip on Rowan loosen. And it hurt. Oh it hurt so bad. Like your insides being crushed and turned inside out and poured back in again like molten lead. The give and take of power in their element. Sometimes give more than take. His will firmed around it, channeled it, guided it, commanded it.
Rowan started in his arms, made a stuttering gasp.
Seiji fell backwards, holding him up to his chest. Rowan's kanji seared like a branding iron into Seiji's shoulder. The night blue sub armor of Strata was pulsing harsh and wrong, his friend's hands trying to digging into the earth, his legs and feet pushing as if the planet were falling away from under him. Strata's armor soundlessly exploded in light. Throwing out his arms against a blast of frigid cold, Seiji flew back, his armor telling him to leap back as he was hurled away by the crackling energy. He landed and rebounded. Growling, Seiji steeled himself forward and surged forward right back, forming his arms in a cross of protection. Rowan might have had the Universe but Seiji had its Pulse. The barrier of Halo's forearms took the worst of it, the brunt forcing him back blazing across his face and armor with another explosion searing his skin like liquid nitrogen, the protective sear of Halo's emerald light engulfed him as he felt himself thrown through the air and struck something hard.
It took about a minute before he could breath again.
"Uhg-," he gasped and with a groan, stumbled forward. His legs didn't make it. He fell down on his hands and knees panting into the dirt. He tried again. Seiji collapsed one more time, one shaking hand stopping him from getting another mouth full of dirt. "R-Rowan?"
He didn't hear it as much as feel it. Another dull tremor, rocking the ground, a sick black light, void as the dark side of the moon. Dragging a hand across his bloody mouth, he painfully righted himself, whipping aside a layer of hard ice from his face. Slowly, he dully realized he was more than one half a mile away and had been mostly embedded in a parked semi truck that had been blasted and mangled into the trees. Rowan cried out again in the distance, a dull blue flare blossoming and towering into a growing dome, swallowing the road and everything else around in its spreading glow. Seiji's eyes narrowed, his armored hands digging into the frozen earth and his knee coming forward as he ripped another thick sheen of frost away from his eyes.
He was wrong.
Volcano. Ocean. Earth. Darkness.
None of their sources ever did this no matter how raw.
Someone else did this to Rowan. Someone was fucking with him.
And no one got to fuck with Rowan.
Unless it was HIM.