Disclaimer and Notes: Kid Icarus: Uprising and its characters belong to Nintendo and Mr. Sakurai. No profit is sought from this fan fiction story.
This tale is based upon a lengthy and involved chat-roleplay between Shadsie and 23Blenders. The concepts belong to both of us while Shadsie is responsible for the novelization. This is a rather dark and dramatic plotline and there will be some grisly details. If you like darkfic, hang on tight. If you don't, there's a back button that is imminently click-able.
ONE BLACK FEATHER
A Kid Icarus: Uprising Fan Fiction by Shadsie and 23Blenders
Chapter 1: Lucky Wings
It happened every year after his summer-molt. When the fresh feathers of fall started to come in on the tops of his wings, Pit always grew, inexplicably, one black feather. It was never predicable - the way it came in. Sometimes it was on the right wing, sometimes on the left. Occasionally, it came out prominent, glaring back from a pristine wall of white and at other times it was hidden under and among the white feathers and would start growing big and growing out before Palutena found it when grooming Pit's wings. It never molted out on its own. Palutena would always pluck it ("Ouch, Lady Palutena!") to keep Pit's wings "clean."
Pit took to calling it his "lucky feather" after the goddess told him a story about black cats that was passed around among the mortals. Many humans thought of black felines as bad luck, but also as magical creatures. Pit had a hard time imagining this. He liked kitties and didn't think any of them could ever be bad luck. According to the tale, every unlucky black cat had on its body one pure white hair and in this hair was concentrated powerful magic and good luck. Any human that was able to find and take a black cat's white hair was to expect to be quite blessed. Pit asked Palutena if this was true ("You would know, you're a goddess, right?"). She made the excuse that cat hair wasn't in her domain. Her all-smelling nose was allergic!
Angel feathers, on the other hand – were well within her jurisdiction. She wanted Pit's wings to be well-kept, ready to take on her Power of Flight at any time his services were needed and she wanted them to reflect her pure white light. That meant no keeping "lucky feathers." After all, if his feathers were white, the black one had to be bad luck – so she told him.
When Pit saw his reflection in the Mirror of Truth down in the Underworld, he saw both of his wings covered in black feathers. He immediately thought the reflection was a bad omen. Then, of course, the reflection kicked him and it hurt – so it was. Everything just got more complicated from there. Dark Pit was as independent as a black cat. He skirted the edges of Pit's world like a shadow in an alley looking for scraps, hissing and spitting for a fight whenever he was near, but Pit knew early on that he wasn't exactly "bad."
If Dark Pit had been a "pure" copy, he would have held an allegiance to the Underworld as strong as Pit's allegiance was to Palutena and the world of Light. As it was, the two spent a lot of time alternately dodging and running into one another. After a bit of fighting, Pit just had more pressing things to do than to go out of his way to track down his shadow. The shadow, for his part seemed less like he wanted to destroy the original for destruction's sake and only like he was trying to figure out what he was and like he needed to prove himself through battle and a slew of insults.
After that, the two angels learned that they were two halves of a whole. The cast-shadow could not live without the light, but the Goddess Palutena suspected that their connection wasn't complete. While the dark half complained of having been unconscious during the time when Pit's spirit had been sleeping in the Ring of Chaos, Dark Pit had suffered no pain or illness while Pit was clinging to life with ruined wings. They'd saved each other and that was all that they or any of the Pantheon needed to know. Whether they physically needed each other to exist or not seemed irrelevant in the days after Hades was beaten back in the last great cosmic war. The relationship between the Pits was distant and vaguely antagonistic for a while, yet they ended up not as enemies or rivals so much as brothers who fought as brothers do.
Pit was happy whenever he saw Dark Pit – "unlucky feathers" and all. They saw little of each other for a long time. "Pittoo" was off and about in the world, trying to find his place in it. Palutena cautioned Pit that he needed to let his twin take his time to find himself. After many months, Pit learned his twin was working for Viridi. Neither Pittoo nor Viridi gave any particular reason for this arrangement, only that it was "in their mutual interest." Pit guessed that it had something to do with flight. Viridi was allowing Dark Pit her version of the Power of Flight in exchange for odd jobs. Pit could definitely see Pittoo being her "hitman" of sorts, at least until he found something to defeat that was powerful enough for him to get his independent flight back. So long as they did not assault the humans or get into any of Lady Palutena's other affairs, what they did was none of Skyworld's concern.
Pit couldn't help but think that in the time since Pittoo was born, he had not grown his annual black feather. It seemed like Pittoo had taken every bit of that from him – all things dark, sleek, shiny and swarthy. This probably meant that Dark Pit never grew any white feathers. If he did, he probably plucked them – himself, and not by a goddess' hand.
The white angel was away when the dark one made a random visit. Dark Pit had arrived on Skyworld after using his limited flight for the day to the main island of Skyworld instead of to the place that Viridi had ordered him to go. He smirked to himself, knowing that he could get away with this. It was just one of his little ways of letting her know that while he was in the nature-goddess' employ, it was entirely on his terms, not hers. He knew that one day's "slacking off" wouldn't be enough for her to terminate their contact, nor, would she, at this point be able to draw him back and force him to work until at least the next day. Dark Pit had spent his flight and his wings would burn if she brought him back to her temple, so Viridi would just have to whine and grouse. Much like a cat, Dark Pit didn't care for scolding, yet he also did not respond to it.
"Oh, Pittoo!" Palutena said as he entered her palace.
"Don't call me that!" Dark Pit growled. "I came to see Pit. Where is he?"
"Oh, he's on a mission," the Goddess of Light said. She turned her attention to her viewing-pool and concentrated. Dark Pit thought it was pretty interesting to see the working of the Power of Flight from this perspective. She really did look like she was playing one of Pit's video games. Palutena moved her wrist with grace, brandishing her staff almost like it was a conductor's baton.
Dark Pit stared for a while.
"Oh, he'll be back before long," the goddess assured. "Oh! Pit! Watch out for those trees! Yeah, you heard someone else… Dark Pit is here. Hey! I told you to watch out!" She straightened the flight-path and turned to her guest. "We just needed to take care of some stray Reapers outside of their jurisdiction. Make yourself comfortable. I insist."
"Thanks," Dark Pit said blandly. He wandered off across the island. He felt a bit sweaty after the flight up here and thought he might go ahead and go to the main island's hot spring if Pit didn't return promptly. He'd never liked the nickname they'd given him – "Pittoo." It sounded like spit. It bespoke exactly what the goddess thought of him, at least at first – that he was something to be cast-off, a waste… bodily waste. Pit thought it was cute, though – he'd said as much once, how the name came off the tongue, how perky it sounded. The white angel really seemed to think of it as having more of a meaning like "Pit – 2," a "Pit – 2.0." Dark Pit knew that Pit was well-aware of the disgusting meaning of the nickname, but he seemed to choose a more positive connotation to it.
Besides, there wasn't much that Dark Pit could be named. No one had come up with anything he'd liked, especially when he felt in his heart like he was "Pit." That was the problem with being a mirror-image. He had no life or no memories of his own except for those things he'd been building recently. He had rather liked a name that an elderly human couple he'd met in his travels had given him, but he chose not to share it with anyone else. "Ravenwings" was their name. He felt that mortals had the right to keep something apart from divine meddling, even if it was just a name for a random strange creature such as himself.
"Pittoo" smiled as he thought about it all. Of course he'd complain about being called "Pittoo" when Pit inevitably greeted him with it, but the truth was that he didn't mind him using it. Someone burning up his wings for him earned that one the right to call him by whatever name he wanted. This was why he didn't try to kick Pit in the face every time he said it.
Dark Pit passed some time by sneaking up on patrolling Centurions – the ones that were not aiding Pit in his latest mission. He used stealth and speed to affix "Kick Me" signs to the backs of two of the senior officers and watched the chaos ensue among the ranks. After laughing at that for a while, he headed to the bath house.
He stripped down just to his shorts – he really didn't trust this place enough to truly "breathe deep and remove his pants" – and slipped into the water. Just as he was letting his muscles relax, in stumbled a drenched and sneezing Pit – a little bit of greenery stuck in his golden laurels. Pit didn't seem to notice him from the far side of the room. The boy unceremoniously dumped his wet toga on the floor and quickly peeled off his under-clothing.
"Gah! No! Stop! Right now!" Dark Pit yelped, holding up his arms in a warding-gesture.
"Oh! Pittoo! You're here!" Pit exclaimed. "I didn't see you there! I'm sorry! I…Uh…"
As Dark Pit closed his eyes and turned his face away, he heard a loud splash and felt its spray. He cautiously looked to the other side of the spring to see a grinning Pit, his hair and tops of his wings dripping with fresh water, up to his shoulders in the murky divine-golden soup.
"It-it's okay now," he said, his face remaining a nice shade of cherry. "You can't see anything now… I hope."
"Eh, we've got the same stuff, anyway," Dark Pit said, "So, I would hope. It's just… your timing, Pit. I was having a very nice soak and in you come, just splashing in like you own the place…"
"I do own the place. This is my personal hot spring."
"So, what brings you here, Pittoo?"
"Do you have to use that name?" – Good natured, fake grousing – "I came to see you. I just wanted to, you know… hang out or something. Viridi's place gets boring. You know, dirt, dirt… more dirt…Trees…"
"Well, she is the Goddess of the Earth!"
"Tell me about it. Half of what I do is sort her recycling!"
"Aw, you sound lonely."
"Uh…no! I mean…" Dark Pit folded his arms in front of his chest and made it look like he was resting them on the surface of the water. "I mean… I've gotta keep tabs on you, right? If you go and do something dumb and get yourself killed…Remember, no you, no me."
"Aw, Pittoo! That's so sweet!" Pit cooed. Dark Pit winced. "But you know that might not be, right? I mean, you didn't keel over when my wings were burned up."
"I still have to make sure you don't do another fool thing again like get trapped in a ring! Trust me, that was awful!"
"I know first hand! Achoo!"
"Oh, wipe your nose, Pit! You've got snot dribbling right out of it!"
Pit sniffed and found a spare towel. "Yeah… I guess I got a little cold. Lady Palutena sent me on a shortcut through a swamp today. I kind of… ran into a cluster of trees…"
"… and fell right in?" Dark Pit said with a smirk.
"How'd you guess?"
"Take a look at your laurel-crown. You got a little something riding on it."
"Huh?" Pit looked to the side of the bath and picked up his crown to find slimy weeds on it. He pulled them off, stuck his tongue out and flung them away. "Oh, super-gross!"
Dark Pit chuckled softly. "Yeah. You must have taken a real header."
"Tell me about it! I think I swallowed swamp water."
The two angels bathed and preened their feathers in silence. Dark Pit noticed that Pit seemed to be sitting low in the water in a way that was more than just a relaxed pose. His eyelids were drooping and he appeared to be a little bit pale.
"You look tired," he said, "Maybe you should go to bed."
Pit sneezed again. "Aw, but you just got here."
"Well, you get into bed and we can play Super Smash Bros. in your room or something."
"Alright – as long as I get to be Mario!"
"Get dressed. I'll come in after you."
Dark Pit turned his face away and waited for Pit to summon a Centurion with fresh clothing. After this, he dried off and before following Pit, he checked up on that Centurion patrol unit he'd messed with.
Yep, they were still grunting, cursing and kicking each other. Pittoo smiled wickedly, happy that he'd decided to break his routine and "come home."
To be continued…