A/N: "I am back with yet another chapter. Woohoo! Now that I have my computer back I am moving right along!" Elizabeth glares at me. "Hey I could always put you back in your chains!" She shook her head vigorously. "That's what I thought. I even took a walk with you in the woods. That was fun wasn't it. We can do that again after the next chapter." I bribed. Yes, I am not above taking or giving bribes!
She squeals. "What are we waiting for?! Lets get to the next chapter! On with it! On with it!"
'After two weeks with no change of scenery she sure has changed her tune.' I grinned evilly at the thought.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Labyrinth nor its characters! Now let us continue the story.
Chapter Eighteen: The Child
Canum growled while his eyes flashed with rage. Things were not going like he had planned. He looked down at the seen below. The orcs, enchanted fae, and the ogres were all that were left to fight. Yomi the black dragon he found sleeping deep with in Fuji mountain was held at bay from the ice fae. His eyes narrowed at the twin flashes of light down below. Diamond armor... 'There is only supposed to be one left in existence. The armor of Theallus.' He thought as he glared at the twin sparks before his eyes continued their quest.
"Where are you brother..."
The dragons watched as the woman collapsed to the ground. "Do you think she will succeed? She has much within her to accept and remember." Junia posed the question that was on all the dragon's minds. Tome was the one to speak.
"I believe in her. She has already faced part of her past. The Kanian flower will remove the seal within her. It is up to her to face and accept her past in full. Then she must face that which she has sealed and hidden from the light for so long, which will not be pleasant for her. Then she must face the present and become aware of her entire being. Her soul, her heart, and her little two surprises." He chuckled as the others did the same.
"I was never going to kill her. I could smell it in her scent. I had planned to wait until her energy was gone before I quite my attack. We dragons maybe many things but we would never harm an innocent. The flower will not kill her so our brother will still have a part of her." The other dragons nodded and murmured their agreement.
"I know, our heart almost stopped when she put her hands down. She is well matched with her mate. should she awaken she will be the second one that we have passed our strength to." Lailah replied. Her sky colored eyes a mix between concern and amusement. Her brother chuckled. "I know our brother will certainly be surprised when..."
Junia and the others waited for him to continue. Sorin's eyes bore deep with concentration. He spoke slowly. "Our brother... He would be here... I have not felt his death... He would not let her out of sight in her condition..." The others murmured in surprised agreement. " I had not thought of that brother. Just what is going o" Lailah was cut off with by shout.
A wolf raced toward them changing back into a fae as he ran. The dragons watched as the fae knelt before Maya and gently laid her in his arms. He looked around. " What have you done?!" Fean growled with fury lacing his words.
"Who are you werewolf?" Tome asked noticing the protective stance that the wolf had taken.
"I am beta to Alpha-Lord Darious and Alpha-Lady Maya, king and queen of Shendlam, also leaders of the werewolf clans! I will repeat, what have you done!" He growled again while holding his alpha closer.
"She is in a trancing sleep. She challenge us for our strength. She has already passed two of the three test for it. Should she awaken, she will not only have our strength like her mate but our hard scales, claws, sight, and hearing as well. We will also bestow on her the same armor that her mate was bestowed with when he took our challe.."
"IDIOTS! The lot of you are nothing but a bunch of morons! She wanted you strength for war. NOT for herself!" He growled cutting Sorin off while he ignored the snarls at his insults.
"I suggest wolf that you remember with whom you are speaking to. Pack mate or no, one more insult and I will personally eat you! Now start talking before I change my mind and just eat you now!" Junia hissed threatingly as she rose to her full height. Fean growled back at her.
"War has come to Avalon. The high king, queen, and the princes including my alpha have disappeared! Lady Maya fears that there will be dragons on the enemy's side due to the legends of dragons in the Aboveground. She found out that there were dragons banished there. She feared the worst and came to you to ask you all to lend us your strength NOT to take a challenge that all in the Underground know is suicide!" He laid his mistress back gently to the ground and stood.
The silence was that accompanied his words was broke as all of the dragons started to talk at once. "SILENCE!" Sorin roared over the noise. When it was quiet again he turned to meet the wolf's glaring gaze. "We misunderstood Lady Maya's request and for that mistake we will stand beside you and Avalon and fight. However, my sister Lailah and I will stay behind with Lady Maya. What is done can not be changed. She will stay this way until she awakes from her trance, if she does."
We," He gestured to all the leaders of the dragon clans with his head. " All of us believe in Lady Maya. She is as strong as her mate and there is no doubt among we dragons that she will awaken. Junia will take you to the goblin city. The other clans will disperse to the other portals and defend them. When Lady Maya awakens we will fly her to the goblin city."
The other dragons nodded and with a great show of strength heaved themselves high into the air. Junia lowered herself as low as she could and Fean ran toward her. With ease he leap on to almost fall off as she heaved herself and him up into the sky. He tightened his legs at the last second to righted his balance.
The dragon leaders let out a thundering roar that was echoed acrossed their land. He winced as he was deafened temporarily being so close to the sounds. Suddenly Fean saw dragons everywhere. He smirked. His mistress was going to be very please when she awoke and some how he just knew that she would. His alpha WAS strong after all!
"WE GO TO WAR!" The dragon leaders cried to their clans as they raced each toward a different portal.
"We fly fast. Do not fall for I will not catch you wolf." Junia said with a smirk in her voice. That was all the warning Fean got before Junia took off. He cursed as he barely caught his seat. 'Damn sadistic dragons'
Maya looked around the field of flowers confused. The place seemed familiar but she didn't know where from. Suddenly she caught movement in the corner of her eye. Turning her head she saw a little girl running out into the field from the forest that surrounded it. The little girl had long ebony locks that glistened blue in the noon's light.
Maya started toward the child, stopping when the child looked up in her direction with a look of pure joy on her face. She blinked and suddenly a of terror echoed in Maya's ears as the nice scenery melted away and in its place was a room with four dungeon like walls speckled with what looks like blood. There were no windows or a door, just walls with a light illuminating sphere hovering near the middle of the ceiling.
Maya looked over to one of the corners as the sound of a child's cry could be heard from it. It was the girl she saw before but her appearance had changed. Her hair was matted, her skin showed cuts and bruises over her face, arms, and legs while her clothes were torn, nothing but rags. The child looked up and cried out in terror, pinning herself as close to the corner as she could when a voice sounded in the room.
"Come here Maya." Maya whirled around at the sound of the voice and saw a man with silver hair appear in the room. It was the same man that she had seen while she was unconscious on top of the dragon's mountain, but it was all wrong. His eyes were different from before. They were hard, cold and cruel not at all like his earlier gaze. Before they were warm and full of love.
"please papa, no more. please..." Maya turned around to face the child once more while shaking her head in denial. It wasn't true. This wasn't happening. That child couldn't possibly be her.
"Maya come here now!" The man ordered. The child bit back a sob and slowly inched her way toward the man. "Stop!" Maya cried out and made a grab for the child but her hand went right through. She could do nothing but watch as the man angry at the girl slow pace grabbed the girl by her hair and dragged her close and to her knees.
The child cried out and Maya reached for her again. She closed her eyes and she knew what was about to happen. Even with her eyes close images flashed in her mind as the door to her memory swung open. She dropped to her knees as her head spun the images making bile rise to her throat gagging her. Her own father!
Suddenly the world spun and she opened her eyes again and looked around. The child was now asleep and obviously in the throws of a nightmare. She walked over to look down at herself. She knew that it was her but why. How could such a loving man turn so cruel. A sound alerted her to another's presence. Turning she growled and glared at the sight of her father. The bastard was back.
She let out a snarl of rage before stopping and tilting her head in confusion. The man had dropped to his knees as he looked a the sleeping child that was herself and with a show of fury slammed his fist down on the hard cold floor shattering the stone with the force of his anger. He looked up and over to the still sleeping child. Maya gasped as she gazed into his eyes. There was so much sorrow there. Her heart leapt into her throat at the sight of tears falling like a gentle stream from her father's eyes.
"never again." Her father whispered. 'He will never touch her again." Her father's honey brown eyes darken with hatred. He stood and walk quietly as he could toward the sleeping girl. Maya was surprised and very confused as he gently and gingerly picked her up. Obviously being mindful of her wounds.
"Goddesses and gods above, hear my plea, send her to a place where she can be safe and free." She watched as her father gently kissed her forehead as shimmering lights suddenly surrounded her and she disappeared from the man's arms with a flash of golden light.
Her heart went out to her father as she shook her head in confusion. She had just seen her father do something unforgivable and yet here he was, his back slumped to the wall as his body slide down it's side. He bowed his head and ran his bloody hand through his gleaming silver hair staining it red.
She had never seen a man cry unless she was in the process breaking his bones, she, herself, had stopped crying a long time ago. Long before she ran away. However, before her now was a man crying heartbrokenly. Suddenly he let loose a scream of pained rage and ice started to spread out from where he sat freezing everything in gleaming cold.
When he finally stood and looked up her heart broke for him. His eyes were empty. As if he was dead inside. "Annabeth forgive me." He whispered as he winked out of sight. Maya watched as the world swirled and melted into yet another scene as another room took the dungeon's place.
Looking around it was a child's room. There was a curtained bed made for a princess and live thick vines climbed the walls as white flowers bloomed, glowing and shimmering softly in the darkening light. There was a beautiful doll on the bed that caught her sight.
"Naniah" She whispered with shock. She looked around the room again with awe. This was her room. Images once again flew through her mind. Now familiar with the sensation she just let them come. She winced knowing what was about to happen, she closed her eyes as she prepared herself for the last time she would see her mother.
She opened them just as the door to her room flew open. Her mother rushed in carrying her in her arms. Her child self was whimpering as her mother snapped her wrist out toward the door and ice flew from her finger tips as she sealed it shut. Maya knew that it was not going to hold.
Her mother set her down and in a rush she pushed little Maya toward the bed. "Quick my love! Under the bed! Stay there till they are gone!"
Little Maya grabbed her arm to stop her mother. "Why is papa doing this mama! What did we do wrong!" She cried, tears streaming from her eyes as Maya glared toward the door. She still didn't get it herself. She watched as her mother hugged her tight, her long thick blue-black braid sliding gracefully acrossed her shoulder.
Her mother pulled back to look into her eyes. "Things are not always what they seem. No matter what don't come out until it is safe! Promise me!" She shoved Maya under the bed before the child had a chance to speak and the girl moved back to pin herself close to the back wall. Pounding sounded at the door. Maya watched on as her mother stood up. "Maya no matter what stay silent." The child Maya nodded though her mother could not see it.
Maya watched as the ice glowed red and melted from the door. It flew open and her mother got into a fighting stance. "Where is he! Where is my mate!" She growled as her father walked though the door flames licking the walls around it. Maya tilted her head in confusion because it was her father that stood before her mother.
Her father chuckled at her question while he ignored. "You know what I see now Annabeth? I see a little kitten hissing and mewing with her tiny little claws out trying to defend herself against the big bad wolf. What are you going to do little kitten? You and I both know that you are no match for me, my Annabeth."
"I am not your anything nor am I a kitten. I am more than a match for the likes you. You think that face is enough to fool me. Your eyes give you away, Kendan. Where is my mate?!" He snorted flicking his wrist toward the floor. Fire flew from his fingertips out like an arrow toward her mother. Maya watched as her mother's hand flew out with a wave diverted the flame to the wall, her ice blocking it.
"WATCH OUT MAMA!" Maya cried out moving to intercept the next attack as the man created a black sphere and sent it flying fast toward her mother. The sphere went right through her. Her mother cried out as the sphere hit her in the chest. Maya blinked as her mother disappeared with in the orb. The man chuckled picking it up as Maya's eyes widened the reality of the situation hit her. The differences made sense now. She narrowed her eyes and glared with hatred as Kendan sent his fire underneath the bed.
She flinched as she heard herself cry out as little Maya rolled out from under the bed and away from the flames. Maya knew what was going to happen next. She looked away and walked past them toward the door. She looked around. Everything was in flames. She turned around as her small form was crying and trying to attack the man holding her under his arm. The man, Kendan, looked around the flaming room. "Now I have your heart big brother. Lets see how long it takes you to break, as you witness what I do to her Canum." He chuckled as he disappeared from sight.
The world melted away to yet another familiar scene. She watched as her younger self wandered through the streets of downtown. Maya snarled as a hobo approached her younger self. Little Maya screamed and ran out into the street to get away from him. Maya winced at the sound of skidding tires and the screeching of cars before she looked away from her younger self. "Well that explains a lot." She murmured.
She finally sat down and watched the world pass her by. She watched herself being abused for her ice abilities. She had already come to terms with her past thanks to Junia. She watched herself run away, find her pack, make a place for herself. She smiled as she watched herself fight her mate.
The world melted away after that and it made Maya blink. She was surrounded by black. There before her were the two twin boys from earlier grinning with happiness as they shimmered silver. She smiled in delight not realizing that she was glowing a light silver herself.
"Hello, you two. Thank you for the beautiful crown you made for me earlier." She watched as they just grinned and nodded. She took notice of the delighted mischief in both of the little boy's blue eyes. Suddenly they rushed forward and each took a hand while pulling her up and as she stood she was suddenly back in the pixie's glen with the twins holding tightly to her hands. She watched as the pixie's cried out that there was a child with in a child in her eyes.
Maya's piercing dark blue eyes widened as she listened with new awareness as the pixie's sung. She looked down at the boys and they looked up and into her eyes while nodding to her. As quick as the glen had come the world turned back to black and children moved to stand in front of her. They joined hands with each other and began to sing.
"Mama we love you,
Mama we care,
Mama we love you,
Mama we're here."
After they finished singing the same song that the pixies had sung to her earlier, they both waved good-bye as they started to fade from her sight.
"Wait!" She cried out. 'See you soon mama.'
Maya was frozen where she stood She now realized that the pixies were singing what the to boys were trying to say. The words echoing with in her head. Children... Twins no less! "I'm pregnant!" She whispered in awe and delight. Her hands moving down to her stomach. She reveled in wonder. She was going to be a mother! She was going to have a family! She laughed with happiness. Her mate had given her two of the most precious of gifts. Her mate... She frowned. What was she doing? There was a reason she was here seeing this. Damn... What had she been doing.
She sat down and crossed her legs. A child with in a child. The pixie's cry echoed in her mind. They had obviously known that she had been pregnant. She thought about what she had seen so far. Her father was not her father. Or was he... Canum... Kandan... Twins! She smacked her forehead. Her father was her father! She had a uncle and her father had one hell of an evil twin! Her eyes flashed with fury at what he had done to her. She was going to make him pay for ever single thing he had done to her and everyone else. She started to think of every torture she was going to inflict on him when she got a hold of him.
It was his fault that she had been put through hell. It was NOT her fault! Suddenly she heard crying. She looked around from her seat. Slowly she got up. A door appeared in front of her. She heard the crying again. It was soft and coming from behind the door. She studied the door for a minute. It appeared to be solid steel. She didn't know how strong it was. There was only a handle on it. It was unadorned with anything, in fact didn't look like anything special.
She tried to pull on the handle. She jerked back with a hiss of pain as the handle burnt her hand. She heard the crying louder now. It was a sound of deep pain and sadness. She gritted her teeth and grabbed the handle again this time with both hands. She cried out in pain as the handle seared her hands but she kept her hold and pulled with all her might.
The door swung open and she let go. Maya gasped and looked at her hands to find them fine. She looked at the open door and peered through into it. She saw nothing but darkness. Only the sound of a child's crying could be discerned. Nodding to herself walked though the door. She whirled around startled as the door swung shut. She tried to open it again pushing with all her might but it wouldn't budge.
"It won't open. I tried." Maya whirled around at the sound of a tiny voice whimpering from behind her. She wished there was light so she could see. Suddenly light flooded the room and she and the other voice cried out in pain from the suddenness of it. She waited a moment before opening her eyes again. Dots flashed and she blinked until her eyes could adjust to the brightness. She was now in a bright white room.
Maya looked around her eyes hurting from the whiteness of it and saw a small creature huddled in a corner to the left. Cautiously she walked toward it. "Stop! don't come closer! I'm ugly! Don't look at me!" The creature cried out her small voice echoing off the walls of the room as she tried to make herself even smaller.
"Why were you crying little one?" Maya asked gently as she inched closer to get a better look at what was obviously a child. From what she could see the child had her knees drawn tight against her chest and her head was down. Her hair was jagged like someone had sliced different parts of it off so it was very uneven. It fell over the little girl's arms and down her sides in places. Maya gasped at the what she could see of the child's arms and legs.
The child's limbs were almost completely covered in deep scars. Even her feet. She stopped short as the girl cried out again at her closeness. "Why were you crying little one?" She asked again.
The little girl sniffed. "No one wants me. She shut me in here and left me alone. I am ugly and nothing but trouble. No one wanted me because I am ugly and a freak." Maya let out a growl as her heart broke for the little girl and walked toward the child ignoring the little girl's protests and pleas. When she got to her, Maya knelt down and in a smooth movement picked the child up and set her on her lap. She rocked back in forth as the child cried even harder burrowing her face into Maya's neck.
Maya stayed silent for a moment before she began to hum softly still rocking the child back and forth. Her hand stroking the little girl's uneven hair. "Shush, come stop your crying little one, I have you. You're safe now. I will protect you. You're not alone anymore." Maya crooned to sooth as the girl cried even harder.
"She left me..." She hiccupped. "She didn't want me. No one did! She locked me in here and she didn't want me ever again! I am nothing but trouble. She didn't like that I cried when I was hurt. She hated me for being so weak."
"Who is she little one?" Maya growled in fury. The child cried still cuddling closer to her. Maya was furious at the treatment and neglect of the child. "She is me... She locked me in here because she was tired of feeling. Why did she do that? Why didn't she want me anymore?"
Maya stilled as she took a closer look at the child. She was very thin nothing but skin and limbs which were almost completely scared. She looked at the child's hair and felt something wet fall down her cheeks. She moved a hand to touch it. A tear... She was crying. Maya struggled to remember the last time she cried. Looking down at the child she remembered again what the pixies said.
"I see fear, fear and great sadness, mother. In your eyes stands a unwanted but well loved child within a child"
Maya choked as more tears fell. She was over whelmed with sadness as the reality of who the child was and what she had done hit her. "I am so sorry. I am so so sorry." She repeated over and over as she clung the child as close to her as she could. "I never meant to hurt you. I just wanted to protect you. I..I.." More tears over flooded Maya's eyes as the child looked up with a small smile. Her hair growing and started flowing down her back as the scars that covered her skin slowly disappeared smoothing out into healthy flesh.
The child wrapped her arms around Maya's neck and hummed softly as Maya could do nothing but cry. Maya tightened her hold. "It is okay to cry when we are hurting. I am so sorry for not seeing that sooner. I never meant to hurt us just protect us. We are not ugly nor unwanted. We are loved and we are beautiful." Maya whispered into the child's ear as tears streamed from her eyes. The child pulled back from the hug to look into Maya's eyes. The child's honey colored eyes beamed with happiness as she touched her forehead to Maya's.
Maya's eyes closed for the final time. The final test had been passed.
A/N: Next chapter gets better I promise. Any questions feel free to PM me. Catch you all next chapter! As always please leave a review at the door.