Lost and Found|
Once the trial had started the soldier sat back down and everyone turned their attention on the boy sitting with the generals. The boy, in turn, was staring at Zapper who continued to keep his focus on the ground. Then the boy turned to Sazabi and his third eye gleamed.
For a moment Sazabi just stared at the child before he stood up. “Zapper! I suggest you get talking. General Zeong says you will be executed weather you're guilty or not if you don't.” The commander shouted sternly, glaring at the colonel. Zapper, however, just sighed and closed his eyes. He had no intention of trying to clear his name.
“So you're just gonna die?” Zapper's head shot up and his red eyes met the dark blue ones of someone with bright white hair. The colonel gasped and pulled back in surprise, but the chains held him in place. The other man grabbed the sides of Zapper's face roughly, turning it so he could examine the colonel's wounds. “Damn. I can hardly tell where the injuries are with all this blood.”
“Nice of you to come Madnug, but where's Gerbera?” asked a short, red haired boy who looked like a zako.
The man turned and cocked his head, staring at the generals. Everyone else had long since been shocked into silence because the man was flying, but Madnug acted as if flying was something everyone could do. “Gerbera decided to let me come in his place.” Madnug responded before he smiled. “Hi Sazabi!” he called, waving happily.
The commander sunk down in his chair, hoping he could disappear. Madnug frowned at Sazabi's action, but smiled again. “Don't worry Sazabi, I'll swing by your office later okay?” the commander slid down further, almost falling to the floor. The red haired boy chuckled and Sazabi shot him a death glare before snatching him into a headlock. “You gonna keep laughing at me Red Zako? Cause if you are I'm sure I could give you something to really laugh at.” The commander growled.
Red Zako squirmed in Sazabi's arms and Zeong shook his head. “And people call me a child.” echoed the general's voice in everyone's mind. The child had to speak with telepathy because, not only could he not speak through his face plate, he didn't communicate in the same language as his army.
“But you did you bring the potion right?” Zeong asked, staring out at the other man. Madnug blinked before smirking and nodding his head. “Then give it to Zapper and get over here. I'm growing tired of being here.”
“Alright then.” Madnug responded slyly turning back on the colonel. He still had a good grip on Zapper's face and turned it roughly so the two were looking into each other's eyes. Then, with no warning what so ever, Madnug leaned forward and kissed the colonel, catching Zapper with his mouth open. The colonel's surprised cry was muffled by the other man's lips and he couldn't pull away.
In the audience soldiers gasped, but one in particular was hit the hardest by the sudden action. Grappler stood up, but was quickly pulled back down by Destroyer. “Easy there Grappler.” He muttered his voice laced with anger. Tank was giving the two a questioning look and Grappler was soon mirroring it. “Why are you getting so worked up about that guy kissing Zapper?” Tank asked.
Grappler blinked, confused at first, but when the question sunk in his eyes widened. “I-I'm not! I mean…well….”
“What Grappler is trying to say,” Destroyer interrupted, “Is that they shouldn't be humiliating our comrade like this. It's unnecessary.” Grappler looked up at Destroyer before turning back towards his sister and nodding. Tank cocked her head, but Grappler and Destroyer looked away, turning their attention back on Zapper.
Madnug still had his lips against the colonel's and Zapper was obviously not enjoying the kiss. He moaned and closed his eyes, still trying to pull away. Madnug was holding Zapper's head still though, and they remained that way for a few more seconds before he finally pulled way. His breathing was somewhat quick, but Zapper was choking and coughing, leaning heavily on his hands.
Madnug wiped his mouth as he watched Zapper's reaction. The colonel cried out and dropped his head, hiding his face from everyone. Sweat dripped off his forehead and he started coughing again. Then the colonel fell silent, keeping his head down. Madnug cocked his head in confusion, leaning down to see if Zapper was okay.
“Madnug no!” Sazabi yelled, jumping up. The warning came too late, however. Zapper's hand shot up and his fingers wrapped around the other man's neck. Madnug gasped and clawed at the colonel's hand, trying to pull it off. “Zapper no! Stop!!!” Sazabi shouted, jumping out towards the two. Like Madnug, the commander was able to fly, but he could tell he'd never make it before the colonel broke Madnug's neck.
Zapper's grip tightened and he glared up at Madnug. The other man gasped, or made a sound close it, when he saw the colonel's eyes; murderous and glowing with hate. “Let him go!” the commander shouted. Much to his surprise Zapper did as Sazabi commanded and Madnug quickly pushed away, gasping for air.
“Are you alright?” Sazabi asked, gripping Madnug's shoulders. The soldier continued to breathe heavily, but nodded, still staring at Zapper. The colonel was examining the cuffs around his wrists, shaking his head. Then he pulled the bindings up, breaking them like they were paper before standing to his full height. Everyone gawked at the colonel, but Zapper was looking around at them with a bored expression. “So you want to know what happened. Out on the field where you found me, I mean.”
Sazabi hesitated before answering. “Yes.” He shouted. “Some of us don't think you'd commit such crimes, but there's no way to prove your innocence until you tell us what happened from your point of view.” Zapper shrugged, closing his demon eyes. And this point he didn't really care if he was sentenced or not, but figured he might as well tell them what happened.
“I suggest you take him,” the colonel pointed at Madnug. “And go sit down.” Sazabi nodded before dragging Madnug back to their craft, sitting him down next to Zeong before reclaiming his own seat. Then, before Zapper began, he looked around the room again, taking in every face. He paused when he saw Tank, Grappler and Destroyer, but then he looked away.
“The whole thing started when I'd gone to the infirmary with Tank and Destroyer.” The colonel started. From there he explained in detail everything that happened, from him hijacking the dimensional gate, up to Sazabi showing up and knocking him out. Everyone's eyes widened as they listened and the generals all looked at each other when Zapper had finished.
“His story does make sense.” Red Zako whispered. Sazabi nodded in agreement, but the rest of them weren't so sure.
“We have to remember that he's a merciless killer though and along with that he's a great story teller. I still think he's lying.” Madnug growled, glaring out at the colonel.
“You're just sore because he caught you off guard.” Sazabi hissed.
“No I'm not! I'm just taking into account his past record. You remember what he did to all those people.”
“Silence.” Zeong commanded, scaring everyone half to death. The child stood up and looked around at the other generals. “Honestly, you all act like children. And since you can't seem to come to an agreement I'll decide Colonel Zapper Zaku's fate.” The general looked up at Zapper, his third eye shinning brighter then before. “Well Colonel? What shall it be then? Do you want to live or do you really think you deserve to die for everything that happened.”
The colonel's eyes widened and he glanced over at Grappler. “I…I…”
“What happened was beyond your control. You were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“But sir I still killed them!” Zapper shouted, his eyes losing their murderous glow. Sazabi gasped and looked at Madnug. “I thought you said the drug would last longer!” he growled.
“It's supposed to, but his emotions must be overpowering it.”
“Well why didn't you fix it so that couldn't happen?” Sazabi hissed.
“I didn't know he was going to be so touchy about this!”
“Excuse me, is there any possibility you two can argue about this another time?” Zeong asked, glaring at Sazabi and Madnug.
“Yeah, get a room.” Red Zako said teasingly. Sazabi turned and glared at Red Zako before snatching him into another headlock. The boy cried out and struggled to free himself from the commander's grasp. “Ow! Commander stop!”
“You can talk, but not take the punishment can you you little brat.”
“Ow!” Zeong shook his head and turned his back on the two, knowing it was pointless separate them again.
Zapper, meanwhile, was staring at Grappler, thinking over Zeong's words. “Not my fault? But I killed them.” The colonel whispered. Grappler was returning Zapper's look and so was Tank. Destroyer was giving the two concerned looks before finally asking, “What's wrong you two?”
Tank blinked, turning her attention on Destroyer before shaking her head. “Nothing.” The girl muttered as she left. Grappler then fell back into his seat, covering his face. “I can't believe it.” The lieutenant colonel sobbed. “He killed my brother.”
Destroyer gave Grappler a sorrowful look before pulling the lieutenant colonel into his arms, trying to comfort him. Grappler pulled away from him, however, and looked back out at the colonel. Zapper had seen the lieutenant colonel's reaction and the light in his eyes became dimmer.
Then Zapper looked over at Zeong, sighing. “General.” The child kept his gaze fixed on the colonel, still waiting for an answer. Zapper clenched his fists and Grappler knew what the colonel was going to do. “Zapper wait!” he shouted, jumping to the railing.
Suddenly all eyes were on Grappler, but the lieutenant colonel didn't care. “It's not your fault!” Zapper closed his eyes; the potion Madnug had given him had almost completely worn off and when it did he'd fall unconscious. “I don't blame you for Gan's death. You don't have to die for that!” Grappler shouted, still gripping the railing tightly. “And I don't want you to die.” The lieutenant colonel whispered so only Destroyer heard him.
Zapper opened his eyes again and stared at the lieutenant colonel. Grappler took a deep breath, trying to calm his emotions, but it did no good. “Gan was a really overprotective guy. I know he'd do anything to protect me and Tank; he'd even betray the Dark Axis. But he's also an idiot. He was so worried about our safety that he convinced himself we were going to lose this war. That's why he sided with the knights. He was desperate to ensure our safety. Therefore it's his fault he's dead, not yours.”
“Well said Grappler. Your brother was a respectable man, but highly overprotective. I'd known this since the day you and your sister arrived, but I never thought it'd be this big of a problem. It's because of my poor judgment that all of this has happened and for that I am sorry.” General Zeong bowed his head.
“So you see Zapper? You don't have to throw your life away because of other people's mistakes.”
“But he was your brother.” The colonel interrupted. “I thought you'd be furious at me for killing him and want me dead.” Grappler was taken back by this and blinked in confusion. In normal circumstances Zapper would be right and Grappler would've killed the colonel himself, but right now the only thing the lieutenant colonel could think about was keeping Zapper alive.
“Why would you want him alive though?” asked the nagging voice in the back of Grappler's mind. The lieutenant colonel mentally growled. “Not now! I don't need this right now.”
“But you've got to accept it sooner or later. And now's the perfect example.”
“Not until you accept it; not until you accept the fact that you're in love with Zapper Zaku!”
“Shut up!” Grappler shouted before he could stop himself. The lieutenant colonel gasped and covered his mouth, his eyes widening. Everyone was giving him worried or confused looks, but Zeong eventually called the room's attention back. “Uh, anyway…, Zapper. What do you say? It seems Grappler is willing to forgive you for killing Gan, but are you?”
Zapper's energy was slowly beginning to disappear and he fell to his knees. Grappler had shrunk back to his chair, keeping his mouth covered. “Zapper?” The colonel looked up at Zeong who returning the stare with his curious eyes. “General I….I don't want to die.” Then Zapper's eyes darkened and he fell forward, losing consciousness. His arms both hung over the side of the platform he was chained to, but he wasn't close enough to fall off. Everyone had still watched fearfully as he'd fallen before turning their attention back on their general.
Zeong closed his eyes, sighing in relief. “Well, you all heard him. He doesn't want to die. And frankly I think this whole thing was a waste of time.” The general glared at the other generals when he said this and they all laughed nervously, sweat dropping. “I declare Zapper Zaku innocent and I declare this trial officially over. All soldiers are to report back to your duties immediately.” There was a pause and Zeong caught Grappler and Destroyer's eye. “Except you two. I wish to speak with you.”
The two lieutenant colonels glanced nervously at each other before reclaiming their seats. Sazabi then sighed and dragged Madnug out with him to where Zapper still lay. The two quickly unlocked the chains and the commander took Zapper into his arms. Madnug looked apologetically at the colonel before brushing his hair aside and kissing his forehead. “I'm so sorry.” He muttered as Sazabi glared.
“Can't you keep your mouth to yourself?”
“Oh sorry. I didn't know you wanted one too.” Madnug said cutely. Sazabi instantly tried to move away, but Madnug caught him and pulled him into a passionate kiss. Luckily the embrace couldn't last because Sazabi still had Zapper in his arms and Madnug had to let go of the commander. “We'll just continue this after you drop Zapper off.” And with that Madnug headed for one of the many exits, waving happily at Sazabi. “I'll be waiting.”
Sazabi groaned and Madnug smirked before leaving. Zeong watched the two and pitied the commander. “You know you're going to have to submit to him in order to get Gerbera back in control right?” Sazabi whirled on Zeong, his eyes wide in shock.
“You heard me. Zapper needs medical attention and Gerbera is the only one with enough experience to properly treat him. Those new apprentices can only do so much.” Zeong stated as he jumped from the hover craft and floated to Grappler and Destroyer's. The two were watching as Sazabi growled in frustration before leaving the same way Madnug had, tightening his grip on Zapper's unconscious form.
Grappler seemed to be trying to burn a hold through the commander's head with his glare as he left and when he saw Sazabi pull Zapper closer he growled. “A little possessive there Grappler?” Zeong asked, causing the lieutenant colonel's cheeks to burn.
“What do you mean?!”
“I mean those evil thoughts of how you're going to hurt Sazabi later for-”
“I get it I get it!!!” Grappler shouted hastily, knowing Destroyer could hear Zeong too. “And would you stay out of my mind! It's not fair when you read my thoughts and I have no way of defending myself.”
Zeong sighed and looked up at Destroyer. “You already know how he feels right?”
“I've known since the first time I saw them in battle.” Destroyer responded, smiling. He then leaned over and hugged Grappler tightly. “It's so cute. A tough guy like you in love. And with Zapper Zaku.”
“I think you two make such an adorable couple.” Zeong teased, his eyes showing a smile. Grappler's face was bright red and he was shaking with anger. He pushed Destroyer's arms away and glared at the two. “Since when have my feelings become a laughing matter? And I never actually liked the guy until today!”
“I beg to differ. You've been in love with Zapper since after he was nearly killed during one of his first battles…and, if I recall right, it was your fault he was hurt too.” Zeong said, cocking his head and turning his curious eyes on Grappler. The lieutenant colonel's eyes widened and the memories of the battle were unearthed. He turned his eyes away from the two in shame.
“Aw come on man. We're just teasing you.”
“Yes. Try to lighten up a little. I asked you to stay behind to discuss what you did.” Grappler looked up at Zeong, but gasped and jumped back. “It's okay.” The general assured, his mechanical hands hovering closer to the lieutenant colonel. “I'm not going to hurt you. I just wanted to congratulate you. Any other person in this army, with the exception of a few, would have allowed Zapper to die; nobody would've accepted the same feelings you have.” Zeong's hands pulled Grappler closer to the general, making the lieutenant colonel cringe. “And I also wanted to tell you both that I'm happy for you and good luck with your relationships.”
The general pulled his face plate down and kissed Grappler before quickly moving to Destroyer. “You're both dismissed. Bye.” And with that Zeong replaced his face plate and ran, or rather, flew from the coliseum, leaving two completely confused soldiers.
Then Grappler looked over at Destroyer. “Did he say he's happy for both of us or did I just imagine that?” But Destroyer turned his head away, obviously blushing. The lieutenant colonel was confused at first, but then his eyes widened. “Don't tell me!”
Destroyer smiled sheepishly, still blushing slightly. “Well, at least you know you're attractive. But I like Zapper too so-What are you doing?” Grappler had been staring wide eyed at Destroyer before he looked away and walked to the railing. Destroyer didn't know what his comrade was planning, but suddenly sprang forward, wrapping his arms around the other man's waist. Grappler had tried to jump out of the craft, falling into the pit of lava below. “Let me go!”
“Not a chance Grappler.” Destroyer shouted pulling the lieutenant colonel back. The two fell to the floor and Destroyer yelped. Grappler was dazed, but when he got his bearings back he realized he was in Destroyer's lap. The lieutenant colonel tried to push away, but Destroyer kept his arms wrapped around his comrade's waist.
“What do you think you're doing?!” Grappler shouted, struggling even more. Destroyer just smiled, pulling Grappler closer. The lieutenant colonel growled and tried to hit Destroyer, but he still wouldn't let go. “What's wrong with you?!”
“Nothing.” Destroyer answered. “You're just so hard to catch that I want to take every opportunity I can.” Grappler was beginning to get uncomfortable and he didn't feel like dealing with Destroyer.
“Then let go and I'll pay you back later.” The lieutenant colonel growled, knowing he'd regret his words. Destroyer remained silent for a few more seconds before releasing his grip and jumping up. “You mean it?” he asked, his eyes shining. Grappler sweat dropped and moved towards the exit.
“Yeah. After I've slept with Zapper, that is.”
Destroyer began to pout. “But you'll never get him in bed. He's so stubborn.”
“You underestimate me. Besides he's not that strong. I could easily take him down.”
“But do you really think he'd just let you? He'll continue to struggle to the end.” Destroyer stated as he followed Grappler. The lieutenant colonel looked back at his comrade, cocking an eyebrow. “How do you know he'd do that?” Then Grappler glared. “You haven't slept with him have you?!”
“No! I haven't been here long enough to even get anyone in my room man. Not even to visit.”
“Gee I wonder why.” Grappler said sarcastically, altering his course so he would end up at the infirmary. If Gerbera got back before him then Grappler knew he'd be in for a long, painful night. The professor would stop giving him pain-killers and that's not even the worst he could do.
As the two reached the hall, however, they stopped and listened. “I hear Sazabi.” Destroyer whispeared a hint of fear in his voice.
“I know, I hear him too. I just hope he's not with Madnug in the room I was staying in.” Grappler muttered before making his way down the hallway. The two lieutenant colonels could hear both Sazabi and Madnug now and they both looked at each other fearfully. “You go in first.” Grappler whispered as he pushed Destroyer closer to the door.
“No way! I'm not even supposed to still be here man. And if I walk in on them they'll kill me.” Destroyer responded back, jumping behind Grappler.
“Well what do you think they'll do to me?!” Grappler snapped angrily.
“You're injured. They won't do anything too bad.”
“Oh that's really reassuring.” The lieutenant colonel hissed, glaring at Destroyer. But Grappler knew the argument was pointless; Sazabi and Madnug might not even be in the room. “They could just be close by.” Grappler reassured himself before opening the door and entering the dark room.
Much to his surprise the room was quiet and Grappler quickly went to his own bed. The meds Gerbera had given him were starting to wear off and the pain was quickly returning. “Can you get me some medication? Mine's starting to wear off.”
“Sure man.” Destroyer said, walking over to Gerbera's medicine cabinet. As he waited Grappler removed his shirt and checked the rest of his injuries. It was weird, but all of them had started healing really fast after about a half an hour after Tank and Destroyer had left earlier that day. It was a mystery to Gerbera, even. “You ready?” Destroyer asked, sitting down on the side of Grappler's bed as he filled a syringe.
The lieutenant colonel nodded and held out his arm. Destroyer was hesitant at first, but he pierced the needle through Grappler's skin and gave him the injection. Once the needle was out of his arm Grappler laid back down, watching Destroyer walk back over to the medicine cabinet. “Where do you think they put Zapper?” Grappler asked.
Destroyer walked back over to Grappler's bed and placed a hand gently on his forehead. “I don't know, but just as long as they don't have him in the same room they're in right now I'm sure he's fine.” Grappler sighed, reaching up and pulling Destroyer's hand from his forehead and pressing it to his cheek. “You have smooth hands.” The lieutenant colonel muttered.
Destroyer smiled warmly, but then sighed. “Your medication is already taking effect.”
“Hmm?” Destroyer kneeled down and stroked Grappler's face fondly. “If it weren't for those drugs I'd probably fuck you right now. Guess you should thank Gerbera for making his mixtures so strong.” Destroyer said, tracing over Grappler's scar with his thumb. “And you should also be thankful that I'm not allowed up here in the first place without someone else with me. So before Gerbera gets back I've gotta go.”
“Because you're high and, as much as I want to, I can't take advantage of that. You'll not only kill me later for doing it, but I'll probably get discharged.” Destroyer responded. He could tell Grappler was out of it and he was blinking furiously to stay awake. So, not being able to resist himself, Destroyer placed a gentle kiss on Grappler's lips before straightening up and heading for the door.
“Bye.” Grappler called quietly as the door closed, leaving him alone. Sazabi and Madnug had long since become silent and Grappler was still struggling to stay awake. Finally the lieutenant colonel's eyelids became too heavy for him to keep open and he was pulled into a deep sleep.
Not even when an exhausted Gerbera stumbled into the room did he awaken and the professor smiled. “Not a sound. You must be getting better if you can sleep that peacefully.” The professor said to no one in particular. Then he gently laid the still unconscious Zapper down on the bed next to Grappler's own before setting to work on tending to the colonel's still open wounds.
The process was slow, but he eventually managed to clean up all but the minor cuts. When he'd wandered over to record Zapper's condition in his medical report, however, Gerbera decided he was too tired and too weak to work. Sure he'd done all-nighters before, but not after having Madnug possess him and a session with Sazabi.
So the professor took off his glasses and laid his head down on his desk, allowing his consciousness to slip away.