Author note: I don't own Godchild. Nor do I own Maryweather or Cassandra.
I understand if any of you readers started freaking out the moment you saw the title that Maryweather and Cassandra's names were right beside the title. Calm down...it's not like I'm pairing them together, even I think that would be a bit much (besides, the two never even met in the manga).
Warning: This is AU, so that obviously means things will be different, especially for the DELILAH part of the cast for this fic. Also, there is some implied Jizabel/Cassandra/Cassian in terms of pairings. In addition, there are mentions of violence (hence, why this fic has a T rating).
Constructive criticism will be appreciated. I hope you enjoy.
She was bored. Maryweather Hargreaves, age ten, was completely, unfortunately, bored.
Hence, her sneaking out of the house.
She knew her older brother wasn't going to be happy about it, but she didn't care. She needed a break from all of the lessons slammed unto her one after another. And besides...she wanted to explore. She wanted to get out more. There was a forest just outside the Hargreaves mansion, and she was going to explore that place, no matter how dirty her clothes got or how mad her big brother was going to be. She just wanted to look around...
The forest was thick, full of dark-leaved trees. She wondered if there was a sparkling lake, or a gleaming river...
In the fairytales she had read involving forests, they either had one of three things...
One: A gingerbread house in which a wicked witch would lure children in and try to eat them. She didn't want to encounter that.
Two: A cottage with strange creatures like bears or dwarfs in it. She wasn't sure if she wanted to encounter that, either.
Finally, Three: A hidden fairy kingdom in which there were all sorts of fairies, from wood fairies to water fairies to ones that flew in the air. She hoped she found that.
A fairy kingdom...that would be exciting to see. But it wasn't like gingerbread houses, dwarfs or fairies really existed...did they? She knew the reality between reality and fairytales so easily...the thought of it brought her down.
The sound of rushing water suddenly caught her attention. A river? She ran towards the sound, closer and closer...
She found herself at a large clearing, at what appeared to be a wide stream of glistening water lapping over the small rocks and continuing its natural course as always. But there was someone, something, a sight that she did not expect.
A tall figure stood, amber eyes gazing into the distance as the warm afternoon sun shone down upon him. His clothes were ragged, a pale smoky grey. Noticeable bruises were about his wrists, and his bare feet were slightly soiled from standing in the damp dirt. His dark brown hair, almost shoulder length, seemed to sparkle just slightly, but what made Mary pay attention the most were the wings. Two large, translucent wings extended from his back, radiant as the starry skies of the night.
"Hello?" she let out her word as a whisper. The figure turned, stepping backwards in fear. "Wait, I'm not going to hurt you, I promise! Don't leave!"
The two didn't say anything. The two didn't move, either. And then finally, the silence of the breeze blowing about was broken as Mary spoke, out of curiosity.
"Are you a fairy?" She walked over to him, to see his wings.
The figure shook his head, getting down on a knee to look at her closely. "I'm not sure whether I'm fairy or human or a hybrid..." he trailed off. "I simply don't know what I am anymore. Not since I got...these," he gestured to the wings with one hand, pointing at them.
"How did you get them? They're pretty..." she touched one of the wings with one hand. It's as soft and smooth as the finest silk dresses one can buy in London.
The man cringed, his wings flapping slightly. "It's...painful...I'm...not sure if you'd want to know how I got them."
"I've heard of women getting their eyes gouged out after consuming parasites that they thought were beauty potions. It can't be that bad compared to that."
"Alright, I'll tell you...but don't blame me if you get nightmares."
"Wait, hold on." Maryweather paused for a moment. "We haven't introduced ourselves. My name is Maryweather. Your name is...?"
The man paused, smiling. It didn't look like an overjoyed smile, it looked like it was painful, full of a deep sadness. "Cassandra. That's all I have left of my name now."
They forced him to undergo a painful operation to obtain those wings. The organization he belonged to despised him, and he was beaten and shamed often. He didn't even want those wings in the first place.
"I come here to this place to think a lot." He told her, the two sitting beside each other as their bare feet dangled in the water. "I never thought anyone like you was here, either..."
"I snuck out of the house." Maryweather responded, twirling a lock of her hair with a finger. "My older brother keeps me in the mansion most of the time while he gets to go to all the parties and stuff. And then I have lessons, from piano lessons to etiquette lessons slammed onto me...one after the other! It sucks!"
"He's probably just concerned for your well-being..." Cassandra trailed off. "He wants to protect you. But from what it sounds like, I think he's taking it a little overboard...but remember, he's only trying to keep you safe from what terrible things are out there, like...the women with their gouged out eyes and the 'mad doctor.' He's only trying to keep you safe."
"I guess so..." Maryweather paused for a moment. "Anyway," she started, changing the subject, "Can you fly?"
"Fly?" Cassandra asked.
"You have wings for a reason, right?"
"Well..." he paused for a moment. "I've never tried before...not really."
"Oh, never mind then...I was going to ask if you could demonstrate for me."
"Look," Cassandra started, "Maybe I'll practice. And then I'll fly for you, if I really can. Okay?" The ten-year-old nodded in response silently. "Shouldn't you be having dinner by now, by the way?"
"Huh-oh!" Mary gasped. "It must be getting late..."
"Do you know your way back?"
She nodded. "I'm sure I do. It was nice talking with you, Cassandra!"
"Yes...same goes for me." Cassandra smiled a little, the two getting up. Maryweather put her shoes on quickly, starting to leave. "Wait, hold on!"
Mary paused, looking back. "What is it?"
"Maybe we can meet again...maybe tomorrow? Afternoon?"
Mary smiled. "Yes...thank you."
Cassandra smiled a little bit more. "See you tomorrow, Mary. Have a good evening."
When Mary got back to the mansion, it was only then that she realized she never asked Cassandra how long he had those wings, and how long he was shamed and beaten for...
His smile faded as he entered the place that was to be his 'home.'
The cruel master, the cruel servants of the master smiled maliciously, laughing, taunting the 35-year-old. Beating him into tiny shambles, they laughed and laughed.
The smile turned into a small frown...before opening up into a howl as lashes from the whip formed new scars on his back, new bruises dotting his body...
Two figures watched him through the silence, picking up the poor man and tending to him only after everyone else had gone.
"Mary...what is this place?" Leroy asked, looking at Mary with an expression of awe. "It's...incredible..." The ash-blond boy stared around, looking at the thicket around them before settling his eyes on the clear-coloured stream.
Maryweather nodded, smiling. "Cassandra said that he would meet me here...so I thought I would introduce you to him." She responded. "He's really nice, Leroy. He's not scary like...like...the mean people you read about in newspapers. He's really, really nice."
The two looked around. Where was their companion?
A sob caught their attention. There, sitting on the ground with his bare feet dangling in the water, was a saddened figure, the translucent wings ever so silently quivering as he held his head in his hands.
The two children ran over to Cassandra. "What happened?" Maryweather asked.
Cassandra looked up, amber eyes streaked with tears. "They...they...beat me again and again...I wanted them to stop, and...And..." She handed him a small, white handkerchief, and he grasped it, sobbing into it for a moment, attempting to wipe away his tears several times, as he continued to sob.
Leroy didn't know what to do. He didn't have a handkerchief on hand (it wasn't like he could afford one right now), and he felt guilty just standing there and letting a grown adult cry...
He also felt that he had met this person before, but he wasn't sure when...
The ten-year-old boy stared at the translucent wings. Unable to resist himself, he stroked the wing closest to him silently. Cassandra looked up at him silently, wiping away the last of his tears. Leroy pulled his arm back apologetically.
"It's okay...I don't think I mind it." The thirty-five year old finally spoke. "Thank you." He paused for a moment, before speaking again. "My name is Cassandra...what's your name?"
The boy smiled a little, reaching his arm out to stroke the soft, silky wing again. "Leroy."
The three continued to meet.
No matter how sad Cassandra got, his day brightened up whenever he hung out with the two children. They would converse about all sorts of things, from family squabbles to the latest rumors to telling each other stories. Cassandra was exceptionally good at telling tales, and he would weave fantasies of crystal butterflies floating through magical lands, fairies all living happily in their eternal kingdom, and spirits would dance through the forest, singing their hauntingly beautiful songs.
Today, though, was different. Cassandra had been practicing. He was going to show them what he thought he couldn't do.
Leaping up in the air, flipping about in the sky, the rays of the sunlight gleamed off his transparent wings as he finally landed on both feet.
"Wow! That's amazing!" Leroy gasped.
"I knew you could do it, Cassandra!" Maryweather beamed.
Cassandra smiled. "Thanks..."
One day, all of that changed.
Cain Hargreaves had been getting rather concerned about Maryweather, lately. He had overheard her several times murmuring something about a Cassandra and fairies and stories, and she had been going into the woods behind the mansion quite frequently, now. It seemed that almost every afternoon she could, she and Leroy would run into the forest, chattering with delight, occasionally carrying a few snacks with them.
He had figured that she just wanted to explore, and he supposed it made sense since he didn't allow her outside the estate much for her safety, but this was getting a bit much.
One afternoon, he and his manservant Riff followed the two, carefully, treading the children's tracks and finding themselves at a clearing, where a crystal-clear stream flowed through. And not too far from them were Maryweather and Leroy-and a man with translucent wings.
The three stared back at them, not knowing what to say. The winged man started to back away, and that's when Cain raised his gun...
"Don't shoot, brother!" Maryweather screamed, standing in front of Cassandra and holding her arms up. "Cassandra doesn't mean any harm! Please brother, don't shoot him!"
"Mary's right!" Leroy shouted. "I swear if you shoot Cassandra, I won't forgive you!"
Cassandra gently pushed the two children aside, taking a few paces towards Cain, who still held up his gun. Cassandra stopped, the two staring at each other for a moment. "Well...if it isn't you...the one the master raves about day and night...the black angel with the golden eyes. Cain Hargreaves." Cassandra spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. "I never thought I would meet you in a situation like this."
"So you're..." Cain paused for a moment, lowering the gun. "So you're the person my half-brother Jizabel mentioned to me several times...the translucent-winged wretch. Cassandra Gladstone, am I correct?"
"He's not a wretch!" Leroy shouted at Cain. "He's our friend, Cain!"
"Huh?" Maryweather looked at the two. "Do you guys...know each other or something!"
It didn't take too long for both to explain.
Cain had been battling against an evil organization by the name of DELILAH, led by his father, Alexis Hargreaves. His half-brother Jizabel was in that organization, and the two often encountered each other. Apparently Jizabel had mentioned to Cain about Cassandra (except for mentioning Cassandra's name) during one of their encounters.
Cassandra had overheard from conversations with Alexis and the rest of the organization about Cain, which they dubbed him as 'The black angel with the golden eyes.' Alexis had ranted about 'how much of a threat he would be to their plans' and 'how much he loved Cain to the point he wanted to kill him.'
The two had actually encountered each other not long ago, in which Cassandra had caused a massacre of thousands of people. He even captured Leroy before and used him as his slave, forcing him to dress as a woman and have his vocal chords compressed by a metal collar. Cassandra was supposed to have been arrested and locked up. However...DELILAH captured Gladstone, stripped him of his rank, and beat him into shambles and using him in their twisted experiments. Hence the wings. Hence all of the beatings he had received. Hence his tears.
It was one night, just Cassandra and Maryweather and Leroy, sitting with their bare feet in the stream.
Cassandra didn't look happy at all. He looked worried, afraid.
"What's wrong, Cassandra? You can tell us..."
He hesitated before asking,
"Are you going to leave me...because of all the things I've done? I mean," Cassandra continued, "I've killed thousands of people...nearly killed Riff in the process as well. I used you, Leroy...as a puppet in those plans...can you..." he paused before blurting out, "Can you seriously forgive me for that!"
Jizabel held the ex-Head Priest in embracing arms silently, rubbing circles into Cassandra's back. The 35-year-old sobbed into Jizabel's shoulder quietly. Cassian stood near them, silently watching with concern.
Both children didn't know what to say at first. They thought.
"We can't let them win over us like this..."
"I know, Cassian..."
"Cassandra...we're not going to let them win, right?"
"We have to get out of here, doctor..."
"I know, Cassian. Shh, Cassandra..."
"Of course." Maryweather finally spoke.
Cassandra looked at the two in slight disbelief. "How?"
"What do you mean, how?" Leroy responded. "We're best friends, you, me, Maryweather, we're always best friends. Right?"
"Cassandra?" Jizabel spoke in response.
"Is there anything wrong?" Cassian asked.
"I love...I love..." he paused. "I love you...both of you..." paused again. "Do you...love...me?"
Cassandra couldn't help but smile silently. "Thank you..."
Both the doctor and his assistant thought silently before answering.
"This way, this way!"
Three figures run through the forest. They're trying to escape DELILAH, trying to escape Alexis, trying to escape the evil that could gobble them up any second if they stayed there any longer.
"They're catching up!"
Maryweather couldn't sleep. She had a feeling, a feeling that something was wrong, and dashed into the forest. Leroy, Cain and Riff, watching from the shadows, ran after her.
"You won't get away."
"Prove it, Alexis!"
Maryweather stared. Alexis stood not too far from her, a gun raised. Cassandra, Jizabel and Cassian stood not far from them, either.
"So...this is the girl I heard you talk about often, Cassandra." Alexis chuckles, points his gun at Maryweather. "I'll be sure to bring you misery for her death..." He grabs Maryweather by the throat, starts to choke her.
Cassandra can't stand this. He's not going to stand aside anymore and take any abuse.
"DON'T YOU LAY A FINGER ON HER YOU FIEND!"
A roar resounds through the forest, followed by a three gunshots.
Maryweather is safe.
Alexis is dead, shot in the head.
And Cassandra is lying on the ground, bleeding.
"No!" Maryweather and Leroy scream, run to the fallen fairy's side.
"I don't think I'll live." Cassandra hoarsely whispers quietly. He's scared. Death is close, ready to take him away. "Don't you two forget...we're...best...friends..."
"Don't die, Cassandra!"
"Hold on, please!"
Jizabel starts to cry, and even Cassian is trembling with grief.
You two better not forget...
Cassandra's vision is spinning, everything in his sight turning to a dim light before fading to blackness.
You two better not forget...we're...best friends. And you're the greatest friends I've had...
We won't forget each other. One day we'll sit by the stream and talk together again like this. We will. I promise. You promise. We promise that...one day.
Cassandra's body is buried in the forest, near the stream.
Maryweather, Jizabel, Cassian and Leroy barely go into the forest, though. They don't want to remember that day.
For one year, there are no sights of flying, no tales told to one another.
For one year, there is silence by the stream.
And then that day comes again.
The four silently treaded their way towards the grave, ready to put down a bouquet of flowers for him, in pure respect for their fallen companion.
And, a sight bewilders them.
A figure with brown hair that almost went to his shoulders stood a few steps by the grave, looking off into the distance. His dark amber eyes gaze about quietly, as if expecting someone to come. And then he sees them.
They see the sunlight luminously scintillating off his translucent wings.
"Who are you?" that's all Maryweather can bring herself to say.
The man smiles, answering quietly. "I'm not sure whether I'm fairy or human or a hybrid..." He walked over to them quietly, taking her hands in his. "But I know I'm free from the evil that once restrained me."
Author note: So...how did you like it? Good? Bad? Needs more description? Something missing? Tell me what you think in the reviews. Like I said before, constructive criticism is appreciated, and the more of it, the better. I hope you review, and thank you so much.