It had been awhile since Gao had used future force, and he had forgotten how much strain it puts on his body. Stopping Yamigedo from body-slamming the Earth was difficult, more so than Gao had anticipated. But there was absolutely no way he was going to let Tasuku take care of everything by himself.
So after they had stopped what was essentially a second moon from crashing into the Earth, Gao shouldn't have been surprised it wasn't over. He also shouldn't have been surprised when his vision swam and black creeped around the edges of his sight. Gao focused on breathing, determined not to pass out. Tasuku seemed tired as well and they both had to stay strong to fight the released Yamigedo. His attempt seemed successful when Gao's vision returned to normal. Gao would be lying however, if he didn't say he was relieved when Ikazuchi showed up and was able to more or less contain the situation at hand. Taking back Yamigedo and starting a Buddyfight, he seemed so full of energy and ready to fight. A stark contrast to the worn-out Buddypolice Youth.
Gao felt a wave of dizziness again and his concentration was split between not passing out and surveying the situation. He glanced around at all of his friends. Breathe. Everyone seemed okay that was good. Breathe. Gao looked up at Ikazuchi and he gotten Yamigedo to return to card form and was doing quite well in his Buddyfight, it was close to the end of the game. When had that happened? In his surprise Gao's breath hitched for a second, his vision swam again. Breathe. Breathe. It took a second before Gao was on balance again. At some point he had gone back to leaning on Tasuku again. Though Tasuku didn't seem to mind too much, he kept sneaking glances at Gao while trying to watch the fight as well. Sudden pain flared up in Gao's chest.
"Tasuku…?" Gao began, clutching his chest in pain. Tasuku turned his attention towards Gao to be greeted by a disturbingly pale face. The world began to spin for Gao and he felt extremely hot as his sense of hearing faded to ringing. Gao could feel Tasuku's eyes on him but he couldn't do anything anymore. A gurgle passed Gao's lips and the taste of iron permeated his tongue. Blood? The only emotions getting past Gao's numbed senses was confusion and panic. Gao felt himself being lowered to the ground. He couldn't move his limbs freely anymore. A muffled cry intruded on the steady ringing in Gao's ears. Was someone calling him? Pain flared again. Gao tried to begin the steady mantra telling himself when to take breaths. Breathe! In. Out. BREATHE! It felt like he was choking on some liquid. Don't go unconscious, Gao told himself. More pain. Okay maybe being unconscious wasn't such a bad idea right now. Whether or not he wanted it to, Gao's world quickly faded to black.
'How pathetic.' Gao heard a voice coo. 'Absolutely useless.' The voice was louder this time and Gao shot up into a sitting position. He was surrounded by darkness. Where was he? And who was talking?
"What?" Gao called out to the void.
'I said you're pathetic.' The voice resonated.
"Okay, but why?"
'Why did I say it? Because it's true. If you're asking why you are pathetic, that sounds like a personal question you should ask yourself, but how about the fact you passed out in the middle of an important battle for starters?'
"So I guess I did end up passing out then."
'Well aren't you detective of the year.' The voice responded, dripping with sarcasm.
"Well what's going on then? Who are you?"
'You see those questions have MUCH more interesting answers.' The voice that previously resonated around the empty space was suddenly coming from a single source. Gao turned his head in the direction of the voice to be greeted by a person whose face looked near identical to his.
"Yo!" The mysterious boy called. "Shocking enough for ya?" Gao closed his eyes and rubbed them with his hands before tentatively opening them again, only to see what looked sort of like his twin still sat across from him giving him the slyest smirk. Well he had some kind of mark that ran down his face and their clothes were different but still…it was kind of freaky.
"Um…yea. Plenty shocking. Who are you?" Gao continued, thoroughly confused. At that the twin let out a contemplative hum.
"Well, don't really have a proper name. How about you call me Kuro? I like that. Basically I'm you, but not."
"What?" Gao looked at him dumbfounded. Kuro's smirk only grew in size.
"Part of me wants to explain your predicament, part of me wants to see you grasp at straws as you try to figure it out." Kuro drawled out.
"Well, which part is winning?" Gao asked. There was a pause, then Kuro let out a laugh. A chill went down Gao's spine.
"You know what, you're a riot. I'm your reverse counterpart. Kind of like those Inverse Omni-lords you just witnessed. I was born from energy siphoned from you during your battle inside Yamigedo."
Gao let the thought process and his eyes widened with a realization. "Does that mean Tasuku and everyone else has reverse copies of themselves in their head now?" There was a note of horror in his voice, he was concerned for his friends.
Kuro made a face Gao couldn't quite read. "No, you're a bit of a special case. Only those who have tapped into future force can have the siphoned power converted to a chaos copy."
"Tasuku?" Gao asked desperately.
"You didn't let me finish." Kuro said with a tone of annoyance. "Not only that, there had to be a strong positive connection with an Omni-lord since that was what was supposed to be replicated in the first place, you could almost argue I'm an accident. Even with the requirements met it was unlikely for this to occur. The only reason it did is probably because there was already an Inverse copy of the Fifth Omni-Lord, any energy siphoned from The Dragon Lord, Drum, to create a copy was therefore unnecessary and able to transfer to you and poof, here I am. No physical form though. That's a bit of a downer, it could change though." Gao thought it all over as he let out a soft 'oh,' followed by a relieved sigh.
"What about Rouga?" Gao asked.
"What ABOUT Aragami?" Kuro questioned back.
"Does he have a…." Gao hesitated as Kuro stared him down.
"Reverse personality? No. Disaster force already uses chaos energy. Nothing to really siphon off to convert. It would be redundant for chaos energy to be used to fuel chaos energy."
"Good to know they're all okay." Gao said.
"Well, define okay. Both Ryuenji and Aragami have mental issues if you ask me. Can feel it emanating from them, feels…au fait…familiar, in common terms. But if you mean they specifically don't have a chaos clone created from battling Yamigedo in them, then yeah they're just peachy from my best estimates. Pretty sure I'd sense otherwise."
"Now that THAT is out of the way, we're gonna be roommates for a while. The pleasure is all mine." Kuro said extending his hand.
Gao shook the outreached hand then pulled himself off the ground with Kuro's assistance. "You're not what I would expect from a reversed me, but nice to meet you either way."
"Oh be careful what you wish for Sunshine. You don't know me too well just yet." Kuro said as he laced his fingers around Gao's neck. Kuro unlaced his fingers and lifted his arms in a surrender pose before backing up slightly. "Besides it just might mean you're more twisted than you thought."
"It'll all work out." Gao beamed, stating it like a slogan he had repeated a thousand times.
"You're overly optimistic." Kuro intoned.
"Nah I just like to think positive."
"Those are pretty much the same."
"Really? To me one means that you expected everything to fall into place for you, and the other is trusting yourself and friends to be able to work everything out in the end."
Kuro sighed and allowed his feet to touch the ground. Gao hadn't noticed he'd been levitating until then, he stared at Kuro with fascination.
"You can fly Kuro?" Gao asked.
"Well, levitate, but yes." Kuro responded distractedly.
Gao started on a rant, which Kuro dutifully ignored as he concentrated on something else. There was a pause from Gao and Kuro turned towards him, detecting that he had something to ask.
"What happened after I passed out?" Gao asked.
"I don't know any more than you do. Currently our senses are connected. When you blacked out I lost any connection I had to the outside world. I can, however, replay what you experienced directly before passing out. Just because your mind stopped processing senses properly didn't mean they stopped occurring so. It might make the situation clearer compared to your near hallucination state close to blacking out. Way to mess everything up by the way. I should be able to access your current senses now that your consciousness is active but there seems to be an issue."
Gao nodded asking Kuro to replay his memories before blacking out and Kuro made some kind of signal as the memories began to replay in the dark space, though they seemed less…hazy than before. Gao felt a dull thrum of pain in his body that was nowhere near as bad as he remembered it feeling.
"It's…different from when I experienced it." Gao stated.
"Well yea, I'm trying to be selective of what senses we experience. We're connected remember? I have no desire to relive pain any more than you do. As funny as it would be to watch you squirm again." Kuro stated.
Gao ignored the last comment and turned his full attention to the memories. His sight was directed from his friends to the Buddyfight repeatedly. The sight swayed slightly back and forth and was directed at Tasuku as the boy pulled Gao's arm around his shoulder to support the boy.
"I got you." He heard Tasuku mumble. Did he say that last time? Did Gao just not catch it in his abrupt dizziness?
"Tasuku…?" The dull thrum of pain intensified slightly in Gao's chest as he tried to observe the scene more closely from this point on. There was a gurgle and the taste of iron returned to Gao's mouth, and he had an urge to attempt to spit the flavor out. Gao saw Tasuku's eyes widen with fear.
"Gao! What's wrong Gao?" Tasuku exclaimed. Gao could feel the blood sliding down his chin and the smell was rancid. Panic was evident in Tasuku's eyes when he didn't get a response. Tasuku quickly placed Gao on the ground and attempted to check his vitals. Tasuku tried to wipe some of Gao's blood off his face before checking Gao's breathing and as Tasuku pulled his hand back Gao could see the crimson liquid that coated his glove.
"GAO!" Tasuku screamed, and some of Gao's friends wandered into his vision with looks of extreme concern. Tasuku's eyes began to glisten before a few tears streaked down his face. Another gurgle and more blood made its way into his mouth, this time it felt as if he was choking on it because laying on the ground had pit gravity against him. Tasuku seemed to realize and quickly and shakily reached to turn Gao on his side. Just as Tasuku began to lift Gao, everything cut to black.
"Well that's everything I believe." Kuro stated. "Shock may be what's kept your senses out of commission, your body will probably do its own form of a reboot soon. Don't want to risk forcing it at this point. Just got this host body and all, and you already almost died."
Gao ignored Kuro to the best of his ability and tried to sort through the memories while disregarding his unease. He didn't really get too much from them, other than the fact that it seemed like he had coughed up quite a bit of blood. And boy did he owe Tasuku an apology when he woke up.
"Why did my body have such a severe reaction in the first place?" Gao questioned more to himself than anything, but Kuro piped up to answer him.
"Well that's probably because of me." Gao gave him an inquisitive stare.
"You see I was still forming and all. All sorts of energy was bouncing around you trying to sort itself out to solidify my form, then you up and use the largest amount of Future Force energy known to man, with blue boy wonder there, which is basically the opposite of me. Way to be reckless by the way. Long story short, matter and anti-matter don't mix together well. Shouldn't be as much of a problem now, I'd still be careful though. I am, after all, still inhabiting your body."
Gao wasn't quite sure what to think of that.
Suddenly Kuro straightened and turned towards Gao. "You're waking up. Well, we are. Your senses are mine as well and all that jazz. Anyway, not sure what'll happen, but guess we'll see, and I'll decide what to do from there."
The words seemed ominous to Gao but he chose to ignore them in favor of listing to the noises he presumed were coming from the 'outside world' as Kuro put it. There was a steady beep and some sporadic breathing. Not too much Gao could gather from that. Ever so slowly Gao's eyes obeyed the command to open. It was night out, and the dark skylight contrasted the brightly lit room. Gao didn't have much time to process his surroundings before he was pulled into a crushing hug.
"Geez you really know how to scare someone don't you?" Tasuku said exasperatedly. His voice was slightly shaky and hoarse and Gao immediately felt guilty.
"I'm sorry." Gao whispered. Tasuku shook his head.
"Don't apologize, just…what happened?" Gao stared at him. How the heck was he supposed to explain what happened. Just go, 'hey, so I have this evil clone in my subconscious and his energy kind of clashed with mine and there was something about matter and anti-matter…and yea.' 'That would go over SO well.'
'Maybe you should hand the reigns to me for a bit. Your inner monologue clearly states you don't quite have a grasp of what's going on.' Gao nearly jumped out of his skin when Kuro unexpectedly entered his thoughts.
'Also, I resent that evil clone comment.' Kuro chimed in.
"You've got to be kidding me!" Gao cried out. Tasuku stared at Gao, bewildered by his sudden outburst.
'Careful there. Boy wonder may just think you're crazy.' Kuro teased.
"Well what am I supposed to do?" Gao questioned. Tasuku seemed slightly unnerved by Gao's behavior.
'Like I said, let me take over for a bit.' Kuro repeated.
"How about no." Gao said. 'Why would he let someone who outright told him he was the embodiment of chaos just take over his body with no qualms?' Gao could hear Kuro laugh and a chill ran down Gao's spine again.
'Not quite my words, but I like it. 'Embodiment of Chaos, Kuro.' Oh in case you haven't noticed we kind of can share thoughts. Not like a constant thing, but be careful not to let stuff slip if you don't want me to hear them.'
'How very helpful of you Kuro.' Gao responded in thought.
'It's what I'm here for.' Kuro replied sarcastically.
Gao turned his attention to Tasuku. "I have some explaining to do." Tasuku stared into Gao's eyes, his own pleading for some form of answers. Gao took a deep breath and entered his tale of what had happened after he passed out and explained everything to the best of his ability. When his was done Tasuku had a contemplative look on.
"You sure this is a permanent thing?" Tasuku asked. Gao shrugged, paying no mind to Kuro's outburst of 'I'm not a THING.'
"Honestly I have no idea." Tasuku launched into his own condensed version of what happened while Gao was out. It had only been a few hours and Tasuku had taken Gao to the medical ward in one of the bunkers. The rest of the Buddypolice had stayed behind to deal with the aftermath. A while later Tasuku was contacted that Ikazuchi had been possessed by Yamigedo and was on the run. At that Gao tried to sit up but Tasuku pushed him back down.
"Look I know you want to get back out there, and you will be as soon as possible, but we have to get you checked up first." Tasuku let out a sigh. "We'll talk to Count Dawn about your…situation afterwards."
Gao wanted to protest but Tasuku made good point and Gao conceded, allowing himself to be pushed back on the bed. Tasuku just looked so…tired, he couldn't fight that. Tasuku sat in a chair by Gao's bed, waiting for the doctor to return, he couldn't leave Gao alone, and there was no call button in the bunker. But he came back every twenty minutes or so. The silence wasn't awkward, but for Gao it was by no means comfortable, he needed something to fill the quietness.
Gao reached out and grabbed Tasuku's hand and Tasuku glanced at Gao in mild surprise and curiosity.
"You know I realized something." Gao said.
"What's that?" Tasuku asked.
"Your hands are really warm. It feels…nice. All of my memories were kind of cold. Not quite the way to describe it, but it's as close as I can get. But whenever I was in contact with you the memories got a little…warmer, I guess. It's hard to explain." Tasuku looked away and flushed a bit.
"Thanks? I suppose." Tasuku replied.
"Yeah, no problem." Gao replied, while fiddling with Tasuku's fingers, lost in thought. It really was kind of warm.
'Wow, you're oblivious.' Kuro chimed in.
'Geez!' Gao cried. 'Is this going to be a regular thing?'
'Yup. Better get used to it Sunshine.' Kuro stated.
Gao broke off conversation when he heard Tasuku began to talk.
"You know, your hands are warm too Gao." Tasuku mumbled.
"Thanks man." Gao said smiling.
A.N: Hope you enjoyed. Leave a review if you feel I deserved one. It'll probably stay a one-shot, but for now I'm leaving it as in progress in case I decide I want to make chapters.