Title: SD Gundam Force - Escape the Dark Magic

Author: LJ

Summery: Bakunetsumaru, Captain and Shute return to Neotopia from the final battle with Tallgeese without Zero or Fenn. Although everyone else believes Zero to be dead, Bakunetsumaru is determined to prove them wrong and bring the Knight of Lacroa back.

Rating: R

Pairings: Zero/Baku, Tallgeese/Zero (one sided), Mercurius/Vayeate

Warnings: Slash

Author's note: Whitetail had started this story several years ago, and I was given permission to finish this wonderful story. I hope to do the best I can to make her vision a reality. Anything that's in italics is a flashback.

Disclaimer: SD Gundam Force and all it's characters are owned by BANDAI and is used for non-profit use without permission. The original idea for this story is owned by Whitetail used with permission.

Author's Note Pt 2: This chapter gets a little uh...Hot to say the least. It's the third italicize section. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! no complaints!

Chapter Two: Friendly Visitors

Bakunetsumaru growled and tried to block out the noise of his alarm. He could have sworn he had turned it off or thrown it out the window. He glared and turned around to slam the annoying black box into dust only to find that the black box was silent. The musha blinked and looked out the window, finding the true source of the noise. At least thirty small finches were on the tree that was outside of the ground base of the SDG right outside of his window. The chorus continued on, fluttering their wings and causing droplets of rain water to fall off the leaves. Bakunetsumaru glared and threw his pillow at his window, causing a soft 'frump' before falling to the ground. The vicious pillow attack did nothing to stop the birds from their joyful chorus. Frustration, anger and lack of sleep having build up over the past four days, Baku could no longer stand it. Standing up from his tatami mattress he stormed over to the window and opened the storm window.

"SHUT THE FUCK UP!" he cried, the words echoing for well over a mile. The finches twittered as they flew away in shock. Just as he was about to slam his window shut several drops of rain water fell onto his helmet-less head. Glaring he whipped the drops off his forehead and slammed the window shut, causing it to rattle in it's frame. The felt another drop roll down his cheek and cleaned it frowning at the smell and taste of salt. His shoulders drooped and he looked out the window. The storm that had been down pouring over Neotopia had finally passed and the sun shone once again on the peaceful city. It seemed that even the atmosphere had finally stopped mourning the loss of Zero. As he went to turn back to his bed and more sleep, a soft, almost shy knocking came to his door.

"Uh...Baku? You awake?" It was Shute. Bakunetsumaru was rather shocked that the young boy even dared to knock on his bedroom door, especially after the murderous scream he unleashed upon the world only moments before. He glanced around his room and picked several things up before sighing.

"Come in," he said softly, before sitting down on his bed with a hand running over his face. He glanced up just as Shute and Captain entered his room. The young boy was carrying a full backpack that made his shoulders sag at the weight. Captain was in his battle mode but his mask was off and his eyes portrayed his concern for the samurai.

"Are...are you...okay, Bakunetsumaru?" Shute asked his green eyes just as worried as his companions. Baku frowned a bit and huffed.

"Of course I'm fine!" he barked and looked away, his temper getting the best of him once again. The exhaustion caused by nights of little to no sleep proceeding the hours of heart wrenching sobbing into his pillows, and lack of any substantial social interaction or food caused the blazing samurai's temper to be as hot as his blades were sharp.

"Bakunetsumaru, you have locked yourself within your quarters for nearly four and a half days, now. This is not like you, nor is it healthy," Captain stated frankly but not without the hint of concern. Shute glanced at his friend as if moments away from verbally smacking the Gundam upside the head for stating the obvious. Bakunetsumaru was silently grateful that Shute didn't say anything to the white and blue Gundam. The tension in the air was far to thick for any sort of comedy, and the samurai's emotions were running far to high for anything else.

"It's not normal for one of our team members to just up and disappear either is it not?" he hissed at the Gundam before looking away and crossing his arms over his chest. The way the words were said could only imply Zero, and the duo sighed glancing at each other for something to say. Shute then walked closer putting his bag down on the floor and tried to look at Baku's face.

"Baku, is there...anything, anything at all, you want to talk about?" he asked softly. Baku glanced back just enough to shoot the duo an icy glare before looking back at the wall.

"Baku, we all miss Zero, but we cannot allow his death to end our own lives. We all must move on, no matter how hard it may be." Captain frowned looking at Bakunetsumaru and then back at Shute. He knew that the young boy had cried himself to sleep several nights after the funeral but Shute had finally accepted the fate of Zero and through the love of his family moved on.

"That would be true if he was DEAD!" Baku cried his head whipping around at them, startling them both. His chocolate brown eyes were glazed over by tears again, and Baku's wall was threatening to break down and let his emotions run wild. "I know he's alive! I can feel it in my heart and my gunsoul! He's not dead!" Baku barked before turning back around, hiding his shaking hands and subtly clearing his eyes taking several shaking breaths.

Silence began to fill the room with an icy chill. Captain sighed softly and looked at Shute, ready to just leave the musha to himself. Shute blinked and suddenly brightened before kneeling down at his backpack, flipping it open.

"C'mon where is it?" Shute dug through his backpack bitting his bottom lip slightly before grinning and lifting up a large bento box. "Gotchya!" Bakunetsumaru glanced over his shoulder curiously at the boy as he opened the box. He chewed his lip a bit a familiar scent wafting under his nose. Within seconds Shute lifted up a large rice ball and Baku's eyes became wide before he quickly snatched it up form the boy.

"Thank God!" he quickly stuffed the rice ball into his awaiting mouth nearly melting into a puddle at food upon his pallet after four days. "Mmmm! So...good!" he said licking his fingers to get the lone rice grains off his fingers before looking at the young boy again. Shute blinked and smiled a bit, glad to see the other half of Bakunetsumaru's personality.

"I have more, but you have to do something to get them," he said closing the box. Baku eyed the box and licked his lips whimpering needly like a hungry dog.

"Okay...what?" he asked looking at the boy as he sat down on his bed. Baku quickly sat next to him while Captain sat across from them, forming a triangle so they could see and talk to everyone.

"You have to tell us what's wrong." Baku blinked and for a moment it seemed as though he wouldn't bite but the loud growl of the samurai's stomach proved to be enough for him to agree.

"Okay, please just one more then I'll tell you." Shute smiled and handed him another rice ball, which he ate much slowly savoring the flavor of the home made rice ball. He frowned a bit as a memory crossed his mind.

"These are all filled with such love! The big ugly ones especially! My wounds shall heal in no time. Thank you, everyone." Baku smiled and shoved another large rice ball into his mouth while looking at Mrs. Keiko, Sayla and Zero. His eyes wondered to Zero who seemed a bit upset, and the samurai realized he had inadvertently hurt his feelings. After the two humans had left Baku coughed and caught Zero's attention.

"Yes Baku?" the knight asked standing straight. Baku shifted and cleared his face before smiling.

"I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. They are the best rice balls I have ever had in my life," he said lifting up one of the larger ones and breaking it in half, offering it to him. Zero smiled and took it his blue eyes bright.

"I tried. Thank you Bakunetsumaru, please, get better soon." Zero smiled and munched on his half before turning to leave.

He finished his fourth rice ball and sighed looking at Shute who was waiting patiently for him to start speaking.

~It's now or never, and I can't back down. They're my friends, they deserve an explanation.~ Baku took a deep breath and looked at the two for a long moment before beginning to bear his soul at them, no matter what they thought of his love for Zero.

OOooOO

"NO!" Zero cried with death laced in his voice.

"Come now, Zero, what's wrong with a little fun?" Tallgeese purred hand dragging down Zero's finely shaped body under the heavy knightly armor, his eyes darkened in a disturbing manor as he drank in Zero's body. Zero's lip curled into a disgusted scowl as Tallgeese leaned upon him.

"I. Said. NO!" Zero shoved the knight of the tempest off of him. The heavier armored knight scraped his arm grieves over Zero's shoulder pad, causing the already ill tempered winged knight to growl darkly.

It had been frustration from the very start. Tallgeese had been trying to hold Zero's hand or wrap his arm around his waist anything to be close to the knight. Unfortunately Zero's ugly temper reared it's ugly head. Always one of his more difficult flaws, Zero had worked hard to keep it in check over the years, along with his easily frustrated nature.

"Oh...now how about I kiss that all better, Zero." Tallgeese reached around and rubbed down his chest, his face inching closer to Zero's. Zero's eyes turned a dark color and his right hand gripped into a tight fist. Beads of his blood ran down through his fingers for a moment before said fist collided into Tallgeese's face. The knight of the Tempest went soring into the knights of the storm, Griffin dodging at the last moment.

"For the love of all that is Holy and Pure, get the hell away from me! Have you no shame for your actions?!" Zero barked seeming to act more like a certain musha than a knight of Lacroa. Tallgeese rubbed his sore face before smiling.

"Not around you," he whispered sensually.

"TALLGEESE!"
"Don't wear it out love, it looses meaning." Zero spun around at the knight of the tempest and growled low. "And you know, I know you're cute when you're puffed up like an angry cat, but really it takes away some of your charm after a while."

"Don't you have somewhere else to be? Someone else to annoy? Your followers, your griffin...a poisonous reptile of some sort..." Zero hissed taking several breathes glaring at the white and black knight.

~If I must spend another moment with him...I swear to God above...~ Zero thought darkly. Tallgeese chuckled slightly and rubbed his hand over his helmet his eyes shinning slightly.

"Seeing on how we are trapped within a seemingly endless realm of dark mana, I don't think there is anywhere I should, could or would go." Zero growled and gripped his fists so tightly he opened up some of the calluses upon his rigorously trained hands, as well as causing his already bleeding hand to become damaged further.

Just as Tallgeese made another motion to move closer he froze his eyes obviously shinning in just a bit of fear as Zero's aura was glowing and flickering like an untamed wildfire. Something about that fire seemed familiar but his head was still reeling from the punch earlier. The three dark knights and the two spirit beasts backed away giving the winged knight a large berth.

Satisfied that he wouldn't be annoyed by any unwanted visitors, Zero flew off and settled 'down' to repair the damage done to his armor. Removing the damaged shoulder pad he summoned some of the only gifts he received from his closest friends in Lacroa. A cloth embroidered with an exotic design given to him by Nataku, supposedly a symbol of prosperity from Nataku's homeland across the Minov sea; a very expensive wax polish given to him by Rock; a small kit of oils and cleaners given to strengthen the meal from Battle; and lastly an eyepiece to inspect for cracks in the armor unseen to the naked eye by Deed. Carefully putting the eyepiece onto his right eye he looked to see if any damage had gone through the armor.

"Not even Bakunetsumaru was this annoying..." he muttered silently before pausing and removing the eyepiece returning it to a hold within his ability of magic. "Mana...right one my ass..." he muttered before going to start cleaning the area carefully with his silk cloth before folding it and working the polish in. The repetitive motion of working the polish into his prized knightly armor allowed his mind to wonder to a memory before they had traveled to Lacroa.

"So tell me, Baku...what is Ark like?" Zero asked wanting to keep his mind busy from thinking of his own home. The samurai looked up from sharpening and cleaning his blades in a ritualistic manor and addressed the knight after a moment.

"That...is rather a difficult question. How to describe Ark? There is a lot of bamboo and in the summer and early fall when the sun rises it creates a red glow over the mist in the valleys. It's a beautiful sight. I...I hope one day you could see it." Zero looked down from staring at the clouds, trying to imagine the land that Baku described and met the samurai's warm eyes. There was a spark there, one that made Zero's heart pause and time slowed. At that moment Zero knew, or thought he knew, that his life would one day be one in the same with Baku.

"Hrrr..." Zero was shaken from his thoughts as Fenn nuzzled his massive head under his arm his large eyes begging for just a little love. Dismissing his cloth and replacing his armor he stroked the dragon's head lovingly.

"So many good things have come out of my coming to Neotopia...even though I miss my friends dearly both in Lacroa and in Neotopia," he muttered softly. Fenn nodded slightly and cuddled closer tilting his head slightly when he scratched right behind his jawline.

Although Lacroa had issues and more than once he argued with his friends, Zero owed his life to Nataku, Deed, Rock and Battle. They showed him that even a lowly orphan could rise up to be a strong knight. Deed had been his closest friend and Nataku had taken on the role of a teacher outside of normal knighthood training, teaching him to read and write. Rock and Battle were always the pranksters and pushed Zero to the fullest in spars to make him grow. In a way he loved them dearly, as one would a brother, but the love he felt for Bakunetsumaru was far stronger than anything else. It was so different, so much stronger.

~Like a fire, burning in my soul...~ he mused silently while letting out a cat-like yawn. He rubbed at his eyes slightly, before laying close to Fenn. Although warning klaxon's were going off in his head under the 'do not do around Tallgeese' category, Zero's exhaustion from frustration and being annoyed to his breaking point by said knight made him careless and he slowly drifted off into a restful slumber.

OOooOO

"Ah...!" a voice moaned as hands groped needly at sub armor. Heat was building at every point of contact between the blue highlighted armor and the red and gold.

"Please...don't stop..." he whispered as callused hands traced the links on his chest opening them eagerly. The hands began teasing and slowed down becoming far to teasing for him to handle it. Growling he quickly reversed their standings, pinning his lover down into the sheets of a lush royal bed.

"Vicious...but mine..." the other whispered as he began to undo his chest armor, craving to join his gunsoul with that of his mate's.

"No...you are mine Baku..." he whispered back and fiercely crushed his lips to the samurai's. Zero gasped suddenly feeling his gunsoul lurch forward as he opened Baku's chest. Bakunetsumaru groaned and grabbed Zero's ass squeezing needly.

"Do it...Nnnn! Do it Zero I can't wait any longer!" Baku cried his back arching towards the knight's. Zero pressed himself into the samurai gasping and screaming out his lover's name to the heavens.

"Baku! Ahh! Bakunetsumaru!"

OOooOO

"Ai...Nnnn..." Zero moaned in his sleep writhing away from Fenn, his hand straying toward his chest as it arched higher into his dream lover. "Bakunetsumaru!"

"What the hell?!" Zero startled awake shooting upright and coughing suddenly. Removing his mask he found that a fair pool of life fluid was bleeding from his left nostril. Quickly grabbing the bridge of his nose and leaning forward he could feel the questioning looks of both Fenn and Tallgeese.

"Shit..." he hissed under his breath as his nosebleed came under control. A vague memory began to creep into Zero's brain from the recesses of his mind.

He had been searching for Shute just after he had come to the SDG base to set up a room for himself and Fenn, and stumbled upon the room of Guneagle. The SDG flyer was out on a training mission and Zero was going to be polite and leave. That is until his eyes caught a magazine half hidden by training manuals. Bitting his lip he decided to let his mischievous nature out and rummaged in to grab the magazine.

"Oh...my..." Zero said looking over "Hentai Paradise"s cover. There was several images including one of two men fawning over each other and another of both men and women with whip cream cherries and sprinkles covering their indecency a random 'chibi' having a nose bleed.

"Woaaahh...Zero's looking at that stuff?" Shute said staring. Zero yelped and hid the magazine from the pre-teen's prying eyes.

"I was simply curious as ti what it was..and...why this person is having a nose bleed over such...er...debauchery."

~Yeah nice one Zero...~ he thought to himself but really got no where with Shute as to the answer why. He had to embarrass himself and ask Guneagle. Ever since then he wasn't able to live it down if he happened to get a nose bleed, by accident or attraction. (To be honest it only happened once with the latter, and it involved walking in on a half armored Bakunetsumaru doing martial arts.)

~I...just had a sexual fantasy about myself and Baku, didn't I?~ Zero asked himself.

"Well, Zero? Are you going to answer me?" Zero looked up at Tallgeese, still clutching the bridge of his nose and gently testing to see if he would continue to bleed.

"Answer what question?" he asked testily, still angry and uneasy of the knight of the tempest.

"Who is this Bakunetsumaru person? The name tastes familiar. Is that the fool whom I nearly killed that one time?" Hearing the knight of the tempest say his love's name with such venom clearly angered Zero before he realized what the implications of that question was.

~I yelled his name out loud?!~ he cried in his head, a moment of panic rushing through his mind as it did when he was young and being chased by the very knights whom he wished to join. He gaped slightly like a fish trying to search for an answer that would save his dignity, whatever was left of it yet.

"AIEEE!" Vayeate cried as he and Mercurius ran from the Griffin who chased him out of boredom. The trio sweat dropped out of contact embarrassment.

"God above, there are times I wish I could just close my eyes for a moment and everything annoying would just disappear."

"You're telling me..." Zero hissed clearing the dried blood from his nose.

OOooOO

"So, you believe Zero is alive?" Shute asked eating another rice ball. Baku sighed and nodded for the fourth time.

"Yes, how long will it take you to believe me? I know he's alive! It's our fate to be linked together I know it!" Baku ate his twentieth rice ball slowly wishing that he had one of Zero's to help fill the pain in his chest from Zero missing.

"According to my calculations there is a 1.1325% chance that Zero could be alive. That cube could have opened a rift anywhere. It's probable but not likely that Zero could have even survived," Captain said in his usual calculating manor. Baku looked at him grabbing onto that percent that he could have survived and clinging to it like a lifeline.

"There is still that chance. I'm not going to give him up to death, or even to the unknown." Baku could feel his emotions beginning to run higher again and bit his cheek to keep from becoming too passionate as to not be able to think clearly.

"Bakunetsumaru, we know you love him, but the base isn't going to allow for a full scale search for someone they believe to be dead," Shute said carefully looking over at the samurai and offering him another rice ball. Baku went to grab it but found that his hunger had gone long ago. He shook his hand slightly, and sighed.

"We don't all have to go. We only need the three of us, and if we can get Dr. Bellwood to help..." Captain and Shute looked to each other frowning a bit noticing that once again he was turning down a rice ball when he wasn't even in the tripple digits.

"You have a plan then?" Captain asked frowning. The Arkian Samurai gave the SDG commander a dark look.

"You think that all I've been doing for four and a half days is moping and mourning Zero being gone?! I'm not stupid! I've got a plan, it'll take some work but I won't let him leave without him knowing how I feel!" Captain and Shute both shared the same pensive look.

Baku watched them nervously, his own doubts beginning to cloud over his confidence. What if he lost Shute or Captain because of his schemes? Or even got injured himself? What if the plan didn't work and they themselves got lost in a world beyond any contact? Worst of all, the dark shadow in the back of his mind whispered, what if Zero really was dead, and this was all for naught?

~No, even if he is gone I won't let his casket lie empty. He deserves a burial deserving of a true warrior. But he isn't dead! He's alive!~ Baku banished all dark thoughts from his head and mentally beat any that remained with a long metal pole.

"Zero was strong enough to risk his own life for our safety," Shute said after a long moment before looking at the samurai. "We're with you Bakunetsumaru, one hundred percent. We'll bring him home." Baku smiled and snagged Shute's rice ball before shoving it into his mouth, hope rising strongly with his hunger once again.

"Thank you can I have some soy sauce?"