Rapunzel, chapter 2
By: Johnnyjosh aka Zoicyte Maxwell
Fandom: Saint Seiya.
Pairings: Ikki/?, ?/Shun
Warnings: Yaoi, lemon, lime, language.
Notes: Parody, fusion, AU, OOC, TWT, PWP, general weirdness. Again, another of JJ’s fabulously fractured fairy tales. *chuckles* Just when you thought it was safe to start reading fanfiction again.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Saint Seiya, or the tale of Rapunzel.
Archived: Aff.net, MM.org, geocities.com/johnnyjosh/index.html. All others, ask first, and no MST’ing.
Summary: I’m sure you’re all familiar with the tale by now, aren’t you? Rapunzel, locked away in the tower by the wicked witch? Who will save our dear Rapunzel?
~~oOo~~ Change of scene or POV.
Over the next several days, Shun took advantage of every opportunity he could to slip out from under his parents’ watchful eyes to sneak up to the high fences surrounding Saori’s lands, the emerald-haired teen bound and determined to find his way inside and learn the fate of his brother. He quickly found out how difficult it was to make his way past those fences without being detected. It seemed that every time the boy managed to slip through one of the small openings, one of Saori’s servants or warriors arrived on the scene and began searching for the intruder. He quickly realized how right his parents had been, that it was going to be exceedingly difficult to rescue Ikki without help.
But Shun refused to give up just yet. He didn’t even know where his brother was at the moment, so even if help were available, planning a rescue of any sort would prove useless, should Saori have in fact already sent Ikki away for training. He began to grow a little more bold in his attempts, managing to slip past Tatsumi and some of Saori’s other servants long enough to sneak around for short periods of time. Though he didn’t dare go near the castle itself, he did sneak around the outskirts of the grounds. On one of his forays, he came across the ruined bench his father had talked about, where Ikki used to sit by himself. The boy sat down on one of the boards and closed his eyes, sighing softly as he tried to imagine the other boy sitting here, what might have been going through his head.
Teal eyes opened in surprise at the odd sound that came from his right. Shun looked over to discover a large raven sitting on a nearby tree stump. He stared at the large bird for a moment, feeling a little uneasy as the bird merely tilted its head and stared right back, before taking a couple of hopping steps closer. The boy was about to speak to the bird, when heavy footsteps drew near, alerting him to the presence of one of Saori’s guards. “Oh no, I’d better hide...” He leapt off the board he’d been using as a seat and ducked behind a thick clump of bushes, not noticing as his small, gold locket was caught on one of the twigs. Shun hunched down as the guard looked over to the bench, taking a moment to shout a curse and wave his hands at the large raven before the man moved on, muttering under his breath. “That was too close for comfort,” murmured Shun, as he rose to his feet.
The emerald-haired teen gasped as he felt a tug on his neck, and with a soft sound, the locket fell to the ground, its delicate chain snapped by the twig. He bent down to pick it up, but before his fingers closed around it, a black blur swept across the ground, and before Shun realized quite what had happened, the raven was airborne, the locket clutched in its beak.
“Oh, no, come back!” The boy darted out from behind the bushes, intent on giving chase, and it took him a moment to remember that he had to be quiet, and not attract the attention of Saori’s guards. He watched the bird fly away with his necklace, before he darted into the trees, trying to keep the raven in sight and keep himself out of sight of the sorceress’ guards and servants.
As he watched, the bird flew up to the castle, soaring around behind it, before it disappeared into the tallest tower. “Oh no, I’ll never get it back now...” Shun sighed softly. He turned away, shoulders slumping, before a flash of light in the distance caught his eye. The boy looked back, a puzzled frown on his face as he realized two things. The first was that the flash came from the tall tower the raven had landed in, more specifically, from a window in that tower. The second thing he noticed was that although that tower was built close to the castle, it was actually not a part of the main structure. It looked like the types of towers Shun’s uncle had told him about, where nobility sometimes locked up undesirable members of their families.
“I wonder...” Shun mused, eyes narrowing slightly as he slowly, carefully began making his way around the outskirts of the grounds, trying to get closer to the tower so he could see the person that must have been in that window, making those flashes of light. He knew that whoever was in that tower now had his locket, and the boy also felt a small spark of hope inside him, hope that his parents were wrong, that Ikki hadn’t been sent away, but was instead being held prisoner in this very tower.
Ikki smiled faintly and murmured a quiet thanks as the raven landed lightly on his shoulder, something small and shiny clutched in its beak. “What’s this? Seems you’ve found a nice little trinket for me, hm?” The teen held out his hand, and his blue eyes widened slightly as the bird deposited a gold locket in his palm. The dark-haired boy was struck by a strong sense of deja vu as he gazed at the necklace, and he picked it up gently, feeling a little wave of apprehension as he debated opening the locket. “I’ve...seen this before,” he said quietly, fingertips trembling a bit, fumbling with the small, round locket before he finally managed to open it.
Ikki gasped as he stared at the picture and inscription inside, for the picture was the same as the one he’d seen inside that silver locket that had been left for him years ago. There, once again, was the man, the woman, and the young boy, and even the inscription was the same, it read;
//Shun, we will bring you and your brother home again.//
“Hm, Shun, huh? So that’s your name,” Ikki murmured, rubbing the tip of one finger gently over the inscription. “Seems I’ve really got a brother out there somewhere. But...” He looked over at the raven, a troubled expression on his face. “Why is the locket here? How did you get it? Unless... Oh no,” Ikki scowled, moving to the window, sharp eyes scanning the grounds below. His first, and biggest fear was that Saori had somehow managed to get her hands on his little brother. Was she trying to lie and manipulate him the way she’d done to Ikki before? Or would she capture Shun, then try to control Ikki himself by threatening the other boy?
His fears were proven to be groundless, however, when he caught a flash of movement in the trees, emerald-green hair standing out in sharp contrast to some of the brown, withered brush as the boy approached the base of the tower.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Ikki murmured, leaning forward a bit to have a better look as the other boy managed to sneak up almost to the spot Tatsumi stood on when he called for Ikki to let down his hair.
Shun shielded his eyes from the glare of the sun, gazing up at the high tower. He gasped as he saw a boy looking down at him, a boy that had his own father’s features, and his mother’s dark hair. *It...It’s him!*
“Ikki!” He cried, waving both arms, a wide smile on his face. He’d completely forgotten about being quiet for a moment, in his happiness at finding his long-lost brother. “I... My name is Shun, and you’re my brother!”
“You little fool...” Ikki growled, snatching up a piece of paper and scribbling out a note, before he threw it down at the other boy.
Shun put a hand over his eyes to block out the bright sunlight again as he gazed up, then yelped in surprise when he noticed a scroll hurtling down toward him. The boy cowered, arms over his head, flinching as the rolled-up parchment bounced off his forearm and landed at his feet. “Huh?” The emerald-haired boy reached down and picked it up, unrolling it and glancing around furtively before starting to read it.
//What are you doing, are you trying to get caught? // The note read. //Keep your voice down. I know who you are, I was given a locket like yours with the same picture years ago. The witch holding me captive here destroyed it, but not before I got a look at the picture, and the inscription.// Shun jumped as something gold flashed before his eyes, looking down at his locket, which Ikki had thrown down to him as well. //Go home, Shun. There’s nothing you can do here. Saori is too strong, there’s no way to escape from this tower, so leave me be. Staying will only result in you being captured and enslaved by her, or worse.//
“No, I’m not going,” Shun said stubbornly, then searched through his pockets, wanting something to write back with, before he bent down and picked up his locket.
Ikki grumbled and shook his head as he watched the younger teen, wanting him to leave, but having a feeling the other wouldn’t without at least having a few words with him first. So he relented and gave one of his pencils to the raven, pointing to the boy below. The bird hopped from Ikki’s shoulder to the window sill, then leaned forward and spread its wings, soaring down and landing on Shun’s shoulder, extending its neck so the boy could take the pencil.
“Er...thanks.” Shun smiled awkwardly, then wrote a note back, rolling the paper up and putting the pencil inside it. “Now, how to get it back up there...” he murmured, then blinked as the bird flapped its wings and grabbed the paper with its feet, flying up to the window again. “You know...that has possibilities,” the teen said, watching the bird intently, realizing he might have more good news for his parents than just the news that Ikki was alive and well, and still nearby.
Ikki held out his hand, and the raven dropped the rolled-up paper into it, before settling on his shoulder with a loud squawk. “Since when did you learn to mimic a carrier pigeon?” he muttered, opening the paper and reading what his brother had written:
//I know, Father told me of when he left you that locket. He and mother have been worried about you for so long, because Father didn’t see you anymore when he snuck onto the castle grounds to check on you.// Ikki’s eyes widened as he read this. *He’s been coming here to try and check on me? Where...is he? How close are my parents? * he wondered silently, before continuing to read. //Father has never given up hope of rescuing you from Saori, and neither will I. I’m going home to tell our parents the good news, and when I return, I’ll bring a letter from them, I know they’ll both have much to say, and be eager to hear from you finally.//
Ikki sighed heavily, blinking rapidly and growling as tears sprang to his eyes. He held up the quill, intending to write back when he noticed something swinging from it. “Shun’s locket,” the dark-haired teen murmured, pulling it free from the quill and holding it in his palm. “Wait!” he called as the boy turned and started to sneak away. “The locket!”
“Keep it, I’ll be back!” Shun cried, before hearing voices and footsteps approaching. He darted into the trees, sneaking away as Tatsumi and Jabu came around the side of the tower, both of them looking around, then up to the window.
“Hey, Ikki, who are you talking to?” Tatsumi asked, as Jabu looked around suspiciously.
“Not talking to you, that’s for sure,” Ikki sneered, as his raven flew out the window, the teen calling out after it, acting as if he’d been talking to the bird all along.
“Hn, never mind,” Jabu snorted, shaking his head. “He’s probably just trying to train that stupid bird to do something again. Should just shoot it down,” he growled.
“Saori said we weren’t to do anything other than deliver his food and water, we weren’t to antagonize or torment him,” Tatsumi said, looking at the younger man uneasily.
“Yes, yes, I know,” Jabu grumbled, waving a hand dismissively. “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t disobey her orders, I just don’t get why she allows him to keep that thieving pest around, it steals everything it can and takes it back to him.” He ran a hand through his light brown hair and scowled. “It’s taken everything from food, to jewelry, to letters.”
“I know,” the older man sighed and lifted one shoulder in a shrug. “But Saori allows it, there’s nothing we can do.” Secretly, Tatsumi wondered sometimes if Saori had a hand in the bird’s uncanny intelligence, and thought, if she was behind it, that the sorceress was either feeling sympathy for the boy, being locked away as he was, or she was using the bird to torment him with tiny glimpses of a world he could never be a part of. Though there was a part of him that might have hoped it was the former, he’d been serving Saori far too long to ever hold out any real hope of that, he knew all-too-well how cruel she could be. “Come, time to deliver the boy’s food and water, and if I’m not mistaken, it’s your turn to climb up that damn hair of his again.”
“What?!” Jabu bellowed, glaring at Tatsumi, as the two of them went to gather the food and a jug of water.
“That was close,” murmured Ikki, turning away from the window and leaning back against the wall, eyes closed as he took a deep breath, then released it in a sigh. “Far too close. I have to find a way to stop him from coming back here.” He glanced over at the raven, eyes narrowing as he shifted his gaze to the quill and parchment the bird had been carrying back and forth between them. “Hm...”
Shun breathed a barely audible sigh of relief as he slipped out through the high fence, glad to have made it off the sorceress’ grounds without incident. He turned and began quickly making his way toward his parents’ cottage, a wide grin on his face at the prospect of sharing all his good news with them. As he drew up to the front door, he gasped and jumped back when something tumbled down from the rooftop. “Wha...?” He blinked, then reached down, scooping up the rolled up parchment he and Ikki had been using earlier. There was another note written on the back of it now:
//If and when this is returned, I’ll know we have a way to communicate, without you having to take the risk of sneaking onto the castle grounds and being captured by Saori. Return it, and tell Mother and Father I’ll send a letter in the morning, and that I look forward to one from them, as well. I’ll send the bird back tomorrow, it’s best not to do this more than once per day, so the bird’s flight isn’t noticed by Saori’s men.//
Shun nodded to himself, taking the pencil that had once again been wrapped in the parchment to write a quick note back, telling Ikki that there would be a letter waiting for him from all three of them the next morning. Then he rolled the parchment up again, the pencil secured inside it, and held it aloft, flinching a bit as the large raven swooped down from the roof and snatched the paper out of his hand, then flew back toward the castle. Then the emerald-haired teen pushed open the door to the cottage, raced inside and called for his parents.
The woodcutter and his wife had been sitting at the table in the small alcove in the kitchen, growing more worried every moment their son failed to return home. They’d already pieced together the facts, his ever-more-frequent absences for longer periods of time, times that they couldn’t seem to find him anywhere, all of which pointed to his sneaking into the sorceress’ territory to look for his brother. They both rose to their feet as Shun started calling for them, coming out into the family room. “What is it, Shun?” The woodcutter asked, reaching out and setting a hand on his son’s narrow shoulder.
“Father, I found Ikki! He wasn’t sent away, he’s locked in the south tower of the castle. Saori locked him there a long time ago. He’s safe and sound, she’s providing for him at least, but there’s no way for him to escape on his own. We have to help him escape from that awful tower!” Shun looked up at his father pleadingly, and both men gave a start as the woodcutter’s wife burst into tears, running up and grasping Shun by the shoulders, giving him a slight shake.
“You foolish boy! You went skulking around on her territory, just like your father did, didn’t you?” She cried out, tears streaming down her face. “After she took Ikki from us we thought our days as parents were over. Even when we found out we’d been given a second chance, we couldn’t keep you for our own because we feared she’d try to steal you away. Now, even after hearing all that’s happened to our family because of that...that witch, you still insist on disobeying us, and incurring her wrath?” The woman broke down into sobs, her son and husband supporting her, as she seemed to swoon. “Please, Shun, I can’t bear for her to take you from us too...” she covered her face, as she was helped onto a nearby chair. “It was harrowing enough when your father insisted on sneaking over there to check up on Ikki, I was terrified each time that he’d never come home again...”
“Mother, please, listen to me,” the teen pleaded, kneeling down in front of the sobbing woman. He relayed to them the story of how he’d snuck through the high fence, his mother’s face growing pale as Shun didn’t leave out a single detail, including the times he’d nearly been caught. He told them about the raven stealing his locket, and leading him to his brother, and the ensuing communication between them. By the time he ended his story, telling his parents about the raven and Ikki’s last note, about them being able to communicate without anyone having to sneak onto Saori’s lands, his mother’s tears had ceased, and his father was smiling faintly.
*I never realized how resourceful, strong and brave both my boys would become,* he thought, reaching out and ruffling Shun’s long hair gently. “Well then, we’d best get started I suppose. We’ve got some writing to do, and I imagine we’ve all got a fair bit to say to Ikki, don’t we?” Shun and his mother nodded, and the three of them stood and made their way to the kitchen table, taking out quills and a long piece of parchment, everyone talking at once as they tried to decide what to say after so long.
To Be Continued...