Second Chance

Chapter 1

© 2007 by Plantress

This page was last modified: 2007/03/24


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Aiolos had expected to die. He thought he had and yet...and yet...nowhere in the descriptions of Hades did anyone say anything about something beeping. And beeping and beeping and beeping...slowly the Sagittarius Saint became aware that he was lying on something soft, not the hard stone that he had been lying on. Although he had expected to feel pain in the afterlife, but not like this. Not an ache that, compared to some of the pain he had undergone in training, was nothing. And nothing in the myths had ever mentioned softness and warmth...or the smell of disinfectant mixed with something that he couldn't name. He opened his eyes.

He was lying in bed, in stark white cube of a room. Tubes where attached to his arms and lead up to something standing by his bed. He was hooked up to some strange machines that were making that annoying beep. There was a small screen that had a green line that went up and down with each beep. He idly watched the display on it go up and down, up and down, up and down....he was having trouble focusing on anything at the moment. For some reason his head felt slightly cloudy.

It was only when the door opened that he tore his eye away from the display. A man in a white coat entered followed by a woman. The man stopped short when he saw Aiolos.

"So your awake." He said shortly as he walked over to him. Aiolos realized had never seen him before.

"Who are, where am I?" The Sagittarius rasped. His throat felt dry. He saw the woman frown and disappear from view. The man walked forward.

"I'm Dr. Andrew. And you are in a hospital in Athens." A hospital... That explained why it seemed so unfamiliar. Outside of a few excursions to shops in Athens's, he had never been outside Sanctuary The doctor leaned down and checked something on one of the machines. It was then that something clicked in his mind.

"Athena, where is she!?" His mind was becoming clearer and suddenly he realized he had no idea what had happened to the baby goddess. He remember giving her to someone...but then he had blacked out.

"Athena?" The doctor frowned at him, then realization seemed to dawn on him. "Ah! You mean the baby that was brought in with you? She's being taken care of, don't worry. Aside from being cold she was fine when the brought her in." A sense of relief stole over him. Athena was alive...but for how long? Sanctuary would come for her\ because Saga would finish what he had started. The though of his former friend sent a whirlwind of emotions through him. Anger, hurt, sadness and disbelief warred within him. If he hadn't seen Saga with his own eyes...he would never have believed him capable of what he had done. Saga had even issued an order to have him killed...an order it would seem that even Shura had been unable to carry out.

"How am I still alive?" He asked looking at his hands in wonder. One of his arms was in a cast strapped to his chest. He could barely feel it and the hand he could hold up shook with the effort of even doing that much.

"I was going to ask you that question." Dr. Andrew said dryly. "By all rights you should be dead. The only thing I can think of is that you are so stubborn that you refused to die." The doctor finished checking him.

"In any case, Mr. Kido has ordered us to call him when you awoke."

"Kido?" He asked as the doctor turned to exit.

"The man who found you." Dr. Andrew answered as he left the room.

A nurse came in then left a little after, but not before showing him how to operate the controls on his bed. A bed that could move seemed a little strange to the Sagittarius saint, but he soon realized that he needed it. For some reason he was frighteningly weak. Even after a hard training session he had never had this much trouble sitting up. For a while he just sat there, mind whirling through questions and emotions until his eyelids began to grow heavy. He closed his eyes.

The next time the fourteen year old opened his eyes, there was an old man in the room with him. For a second Aiolos was startled wondered why he hadn't sensed the old man's approach. Then his find finally caught up and realized that he had fallen asleep and that the old man was the same one who he had given Athena to.

"So you are live young Aiolos." The old man - Kido if he remembered correctly-said.

"Somehow." He answered. Kido chuckled.

"Forgive for not introducing my self, you would refer to me as Mitsumasa Kido in this country."

"Why did you help me?" The question was one that Aiolos had been wondering since he had been told that someone had saved him. He had asked the old man to take Athena because he hadn't been from Sanctuary. It was an act of desperation, and truthfully he had been afraid that the man would simply have given her to the police or other authorities.

"Do I need to answer that?" Kido asked. "Did you expect me to ignore someone who dies right at my feet? Particularly someone who has a baby with them and claims someone wants it dead?"

"Then why are you taking care of her?" Aiolos asked. "I'm grateful but I doubt many people would be willing to take in an unknown child."

"Sadly that is true." Kido agreed. "But this child is special, as you said, and as I saw."

"Saw?" There was something in the way that the old man said it... "What do you mean?"

"Did you notice?" Kido inquired. "When I went to take the baby from you, she glowed for a brief second. A white light then jumped from her to you. I assume that's the reason you managed to survive injuries that should have killed you, and would still have killed a weaker man."

"A white light?" Cosmo? But goddess or not, she's still only a baby... Aiolos shivered slightly. It was one thing to be told about the powers of the gods. It was another thing entirely.

"Yes. Although I would be lying if I said that was the only thing reason." Kido meet his eyes. "I have long been interested in the Greek mythology Aiolos, that was why I came to Greece in the first place. Yet I never expected figure of myth to come alive!" Kido stood and walked over to the window. "And your words...they intrigued me." Kido turned around and their eyes locked. "What is Sanctuary Aiolos? Why were they trying to kill the a goddess?"

"Sanctuary is the birthplace of Saints." Aiolos sighed and looked. "And it wasn't the whole Sanctuary. Only one a traitor named Saga." He turned back to the old man. "When they find out they are I'm alive, they will come after me. They others have been poisoned by Saga's lies. They believed that I am the traitor and will kill me."

"Then come with me." Kido said suddenly. Aiolos looked up startled. "I plan on leaving this country and taking the baby with me. I doubt your enemies will look for you in Japan."

"I have to go back to Sanctuary!" Aiolos protested. "I'm the only one who knows that evil lies in the heart of Sanctuary! I have to warn them! If I can just get one person to listen to me..."

"Will anyone even listen to a traitor!?" Kido snapped. "You said yourself that you would be killed on sight!"

"I have to try!" The Sagittarius Saint protested.

"You can barely stand!" The old man said, then he sighed. "Look, stay with me until you are fully recovered. I won't stop you after that. Please, at least for your goddess."

My goddess... He was the only Saint that knew the truth wasn't he? The only one that Saga hadn't corrupted. The only Saint left to protect her.

"I'll do it." Aiolos said at last. "But only until I'm healed."

"Very well." Kido smiled.

* * *

Aiolos stared out the window into the garden of the mansion. It had been years since he had moved to this strange country. Truthfully, although he had been living here for so long and could speak and understand Japanese now, he still wasn't used to the language or the customs. They were so different from Greece. Athena, no Saori now, had been raised here. She didn't see why he was so uncomfortable.

He would have like to have returned to Sanctuary once he had recovered and he was sure Athena was safe. That was what he had planned to do...but he hadn't been able to. Although his physical wounds had healed, he hadn't ever really recovered from Shura's attack. He had never regained full feeling in his left arm. He could move it but it wasn't as strong or responsive as it used to be. With just that handicap he might have returned to Sanctuary, even though he knew that with such a weakness he wouldn't have been able to against Shura or Saga for long, but perhaps he would have gotten the answers he wanted from his former friend, answers to why he had wanted Athena dead. But he didn't dare go, not as he was now. It wasn't only his arm that had trouble recovering from the battle, his strength had never full returned either.

Most of the time he didn't notice the difference in himself. It was only when he tried to train or do something that required physical strength that it became apparently that something wrong. He tired so much faster than he used that it scared him. His punches and kicks didn't have the same physical force or speed as before. Cosmo wasn't based solely on physical strength, thank Athena, or else he doubted he wouldn't have been able to use it. Although he could still crush rocks and fire off his Atomic Thunder Bolt, he doubted he would last against another Saint. He would tire long before they did and then... It hurt sometimes to think that he might have once been able to fight Saga to a stand still, but now would probably loose to a Silver Saint.

If he dared got back to Sanctuary as he was now. He was till known as a traitor and Saga knew him. He would be able to tell how weak he had gotten and probably wouldn't even bother to come himself. He would just send and assassin in his stead. No, going to Sanctuary would be idiotic right now. He had something that need protecting right here and he had a duty to the new generations of Saints.

It had been Kido's idea. He would gather a batch of young boy and send them to the different training camps around the world. Aiolos was skeptical. He had been a Gold Saint and even he wasn't sure where all the various training camps where.

"Leave it to me." Kido had said. "Perhaps someone like you wouldn't understand, but money will loosen tongues enough for me to find them."

While Kido worked on that Aiolos, with Tatsumi to help, was given the task of starting the training of the boys that Kido had brought in. Hopefully the physical conditioning they were given here would give them a leg up on the other Saint candidates, most of whom would have been pulled from homes and would have no training what so ever. This would give them a greater chance to earn the cloths and then return with them here. If they did manage to gain the cloths then Aiolos would tell them whole story. He hoped they would believe. When Saga found out that Athena was still alive, she would need all the protection she could get.

"Akira Nii-chan!" Almost as if his thoughts had summoned her, Athena's voice echoed around the corridor. Like the earlier plan, new names for both of them had been Kido's idea. He had said it would be easier to hide in Japan if they had a legitimate reason for being there. Thus the myth that Athena, now called Saori, was Kido's long lost Granddaughter had been born. Aiolos had become Akira, Saori's older brother. Their parent's had died in a accident and he had barely managed to pull his baby sister to safety, getting badly hurt as he did so.

"No one will be look for Akira. It's a common enough name and no one will question you if you choose not to talk about the past. Aiolos will attract attention jus because it's foreign. In all likely hood, no one from this Sanctuary of yours will even set foot I Japan but it's better to be safe than sorry. I doubt anyone will see Sagittarius Aiolos in Kido Akira." The old man had said as they flew toward Japan.

"Akira Nii-chan, look!!" Athena, no Saori's voice dragged him out thoughts. He went down on won knee. It brought him down to Saori's level and allowed him to kneel before his goddess. No one besides Kido knew of the latter reason, although old man seemed to find it amusing.

"What is it?" He asked. The child before him grinned and held up a wreath of flowers for his inspection.

"See? Isn't pretty? I made it myself!" The last was prideful and Aiolos couldn't help but grin.

"It is very beautiful Saori." He assured her. The Athena grinned then reached forward and placed the flower wreath around his head.

"I made it for you Nii-chan!" She grinned and then leaned over and planted a kiss on his cheek. "Now you look pretty Akira Nii-chan!"

"Thank you." He managed. Athena beamed, but before she could say anything else one of the servants called for her. Athena sighed then reached over and hugged him around the neck before turning and running down the hall. Aiolos stood after she was gone, and shook his head bemusedly as he slipped off the flower coronet. Some times it was hard for him to believe that Saori was Athena. She hadn't show any signs of the goddess's power since she had healed him that day. He supposed that she would show her powers once she was older, more mature and her body was better able to handle it.

Aiolos frowned and shook his head. It wasn't his place to doubt Athena, nor was it his place to worry about anything but protecting her. He turned and started off in the opposite direction his goddess had taken. It was time for him to check on the progress of the boys that would one day become Athena's Saints.

* * *

Seiya was one of the first to see Akira enter the room. He had been sparing against Jabu and although the other boy manage to get in a punch while he was distracted, Seiya saw Akira looking over their way and managed to retaliate with a kick that knocked Jabu to the ground. As he straighten up, Akira gave him an approving nod. Seiya couldn't help but smile happily. Akira didn't give praise unless you had earned it.

All the boys looked up to Akira and looked forward to the times when he was the one training them. It wasn't that he worked them less, if anything he was harder on them then even Tatsumi, but he wasn't as well...what was that word Shiryu had used earlier...? Oh yeah, cruel about it as Tatsumi was. He wanted them to succeed and he seemed to enjoy teaching them. He was also nice to all of them, even that crybaby Shun. He was also strong, very, very strong. Seiya knew because he was because Akira had shown them how strong he was.

It was a few weeks after they had arrived at the mansion. They knew vaguely why they were here but it was a far off concept of the future. What was reality was a hellish, painful training that everyone hated. Seiya especially, although he hadn't been reduced to tears but it like that one kid Shun had.

Everyday Tatsumi showed up and forced them train until they were exhausted and aching. Several of the orphans, Seiya included, had tried to run away the other day. Tatsumi had caught and beat all of them, then dragged them in front of the rest of the group and told all to them that they would be punished the next day because of his group. The rest had glared at the few in front of them before they were ushered into their rooms.

When he had showed up the next day, the others had been gathered in a small group. They had all glared at him and his friends, and a couple of them had spat curses. That was as far as thing went before Tatsumi showed up. Everyone had shrunk back when they say the dark look on his face and had expected him to immediately start the promised punishment. Instead the bald man had simple spat at them to follow and stalked out one of the doors that lead outside. The orphans had looked at each other in surprise before Tatsumi had glared at them and they had rushed to catch up to his longer stride. Once outside he had led them around the garden until they came to a large lawn that held a large boulder in the center.

Standing next to that boulder had been Akira. Seiya hadn't known the Akira as well at the time. He helped with the training and stuff but he was the big brother of that brat Saori, and Seiya hadn't trusted him. Akira had smiled at all of them.

"Do any of you know why you are here?" He had asked. Everyone had shuffled a bit, not knowing how to answer. At last Shun had pipe up.

"Aren't we here to become Saints or something?" Aiolos had smiled at the boy.

"Yes. Now do any of you know what being a Saint really means? What they are expected to do?" The answer had been silence. Aiolos had sighed. "I thought as much." He had muttered before he began to speak "A Saint is a warrior and protector of the Goddess Athena. They are warriors who are expected to lay down their lives in service to their goddess. A Saint is a warrior of hope and someone who fights only justice. They are those who are stronger than anyone else, people with superhuman power.. Warriors who's fists can tear the sky and whose kicks can split the earth." Most of them had been listening in awe at that point, but someone, Seiya thought it might have been Ikki, had snorted in disbelief. Aiolos had smiled and turned to face the boulder behind him. A suddenly golden glow had sprung up around him. Suddenly he had shouted, there as a flash of light and a muffled explosion...and the rock had been gone. Well not exactly gone. There were pieces of it laying around a large crater in the ground. Seiya had gaped.

"That is the power of a Saint." Akira had continued. "The power of the cosmos. If you survive your training here then you will be sent off to training camps where they will teach you to use your cosmo. If you can master it then you will given a chance to try for a holy Cloth of Athena. There are only eighty-eight of these cloths in the world. In order to earn one you must prove that you are one of the eighty-eight strongest humans in the world." He had looked each of them in the eye as he spoke. "It won't be easy. The training you receive here will be seem like a walk in the park once you reach the true training camps. But if you do train hard here then you will have a better chance of earning your place among the Saints." Akira had turned and walked away after that, and Tatsumi had yelled at them to get back to training, but it was needless. They were all heading back already.

A little after that had happened Kido had told him that if he managed to gain a cloth, they would reunite him with his sister. He had vowed to get a Cloth no matter what.

Seiya watched Aiolos as he said something to Ichi and then showed the white haired boy something. Something had been bugging Seiya lately. Aiolos had said that cosmo was the power of a Saint. Since he had Cosmo, didn't that mean that he was a saint as well? And if that was true then why didn't anybody act like he was a Saint? Akira had told all of them that all Saints were protected by a guardian constellation, the one that their cloth represented. He had also said that after you became a Saint you used the name of your constellation before your personal name. Seiya had tried to find of what constellation he was but so far he had only heard the name Akira, the servants calling him Young Master and Saori calling him Nii-chan (although Seiya couldn't imagine how Akira could stand being that brat's brother). There was no mention of anything that sounded remotely star like.

It annoyed Seiya. He knew Akira had to be a Saint but no one treated him like a Saint? Suddenly he remembered Akira saying that you had to earn the cloth. Had he not been strong enough to earn a cloth? No, that couldn't be. Akira had to be a Saint. Because if Akira wasn't strong enough to earn a cloth, then how could any of them?

Then he realized that he had been standing in the ring doing nothing and Tatsumi was yelling at him. The irate man started to walk over toward Seiya and the boy glared at him. Then Seiya saw Akira giving him a look, and he decided to go jog around the track.

Seiya couldn't care less about Tatsumi or what the bald man thought about him. But Akira was different.

He wanted Akira to like him.

He wanted Akira to be proud of him.

The End of Chapter 1 -- Continued in Chapter 2


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