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Chapter 8 - Finale

As suddenly as a gale rips through the stillness of a wintery day, Stephano's eyes opened. For a fraction of a second, he was lost in a void of darkness. Blinded and in a slight panic from being woken so suddenly, the statue reached to touch the maternal figure he felt was beside him. His fingers fell through empty air, as his vision adjusted to the moonlight to discover he was alone in the bed. Underneath the dusty covers in the disheveled room he'd entered just hours earlier, the golden man realized his dream had ended. Reality, once again, had him back in its grasp.

Stephano sat up to survey his surroundings, and to assure himself that he was where he thought he was. He felt the initial panic of waking ebb, and the aftershocks of adrenaline begin to chill his body. As his muscles trembled, Stephano brushed his fingertips over an odd sensation under his eyes. Dampness clung to his skin. Quietly, he covered his face with his hands.

He'd torn himself away from the memory; he'd forced himself to wake up. He couldn't relive the sequence of events that had happened after that final night. Although he was awake, the echoes of those events rang in the back of his mind. Fending them off was a futile effort. He could still remember the distress and confusion he'd felt when he awoke the morning after. He could still remember his attempts to wake her. He could still remember how he'd stayed next to her for hours afterward, not knowing what to do until he found enough courage to venture outside.

Stephano lowered his hands and stared blankly at the patches of moonlight on the floor. No one he knew could ever be aware of his past. If many of the ones he watched over (especially Pewdie) knew his actions were out of a promise made to his mother…he feared he'd lose some of their respect. He didn't want to be seen as sentimental; not when he was the guardian of so many of the castle's residents and visitors.

Yet, despite the pain it caused, the re-opening of such an old scar brought him a sense of peace. Reliving what had happened assured him that he was doing the right thing. Even with the hardships it brought him, a life alone and on the run was a better option than the life of a slave. Isis had made the ultimate sacrifice to save him from that life, and he refused to let it go in vain.

Stephano tossed the blankets aside and swung his feet over the side of the bed, slipping them into his shoes as they touched the ground. He took up his hijab and neatly tucked his hair into it. Finally, he grabbed his scabbard and secured it into place as he stood. It was the middle of the night, yet he felt a compulsion to go somewhere. He didn't know why, he'd been there a few times since…but it was still a place he didn't go to very often.

_____________________________________________________________________________


The Back Hall didn't seem as safe and welcoming in the dark of night as it did in the light of day. Yet, even then, a kind of tranquility hung in the inky air. Stephano nudged open the door of the downstairs entry, the same one he and his brother had snuck out from all those years ago. He shut it quietly behind himself, not wanting to wake anything that might've been nearby.

The moonlight was brighter here than in many parts of Brennenburg, the large windows letting in as much of it as possible. In the dim, white glow, Stephano admired the sweep of the familiar staircase arching over his head. At one time, the golden replica of an Egyptian goddess had adorned its top. Now, only a bare stone terrace lay before the main entry doors above.

Stephano's gaze followed the curve of the stairway downward, until its edge was barely visible next to the black shadow beneath it. Amplified by the nocturnal light, the shadowy space below the stairs was like a dark wall concealing anything inside its boarders. That's what had made it such a safe sleeping place.

Stephano skirted along the perimeter of the shadowy space, nearing the spot where (if memory served him correctly) he had spent many a night as a boy. Just as he felt he was in the right place, he heard something shuffle in the shadows.

In an action that had almost become a reflex, Stephano drew his sword in defense. Taking a few cautious steps forward, weapon at the ready, he said in a hushed, yet firm tone:

"I know you're there. Show yourself."

There was stillness. Then, like a specter appearing from the mist, a distressingly familiar entity slowly stepped forward from the dark. The moonlight reflected off his silver complexion, and his hand rested nervously over an equally silver hilt. Stephano's brow furrowed, both in confusion and in anger.

"What are you doing in here?" He practically spit the words at the unwelcome figure standing before him.

Gonzales stared emotionlessly at his brother. His silver eyes were the only part of him that didn't have sheen to them; they didn't even reflect the moonlight. It made him look even more like the unfeeling puppet his brother already saw him as. "I have the right to ask you the same thing, Brother." He said flatly.

Stephano kept his weapon drawn, wary with the recollection of his previous meeting with his sibling. He eyed Gonzales's hand suspiciously in its position on the hilt of his brother's weapon. Gonzales noticed his brother's mistrustful glare. Without any sudden movements, he removed his hand from the hilt.

"Honestly, Stephano, don't you have any trust in me at all?" The beginnings of a smirk curved the corners of the silver warrior's lips.

"No, I don't." Stephano pointed his curved blade directly at Gonzales, the sharpened tip of it barely touching the middle of his brother's throat. "Why would you be anywhere above the dungeon unless your 'Masters' gave you a reason?"

Gonzales didn't flinch. Calmly, he pushed the blade away with a single fingertip. "Now, now," He said. "I didn't draw my weapon. There's no reason for you to have yours."

Stephano refused; he kept his sword aimed exactly where it was. "Prove it."

Gonzales, with a slight shrug, slipped off his scabbard. The shimmering hilt and the weapon attached to it clattered to the ground; along with any justified reason Stephano had to hold the blade to his neck.

Stephano's eyes widened at the unexpected display of respite. Although reluctant to do so, he lowered his weapon. It wasn't honorable to attack an unarmed adversary without due reason; truthfully, Stephano was surprised that his brother knew that. Eloi must have trained him well. Everything Stephano knew about sword fighting, honestly, he'd figured out for himself.

As he returned his sword to its scabbard, he saw Gonzales kick his weapon away. Stephano paused and gave the silver man a doubtful look. This was clearly some strange offer of a truce; but why would Gonzales, of all people, want a truce? This didn't sit well with him.

"Well," Gonzales asked, crossing his arms over his chest. "Aren't you going to do the same?"

What else could Stephano have done? Gonzales's weapon was far out of reach, and he was openly inviting Stephano to a ceasefire. Looking around for any signs of an ambush, and after finding none, Stephano hesitantly slipped his scabbard from his waist. He half-heartedly kicked it aside, not liking to be without his weapon.

The siblings stood in silence, staring unpleasantly at one another for what seemed like a long time. At last, Stephano broke the silence:

"Why in the hell are you making me do this?" He asked with a frustrated sigh.

Gonzales shrugged. "I'm too tired to want to fight tonight." He sat down cross-legged on the floor. "It's nice to have a moment without any conflict, isn't it, Stephano?"

"I still don't trust this." Stephano gave his twin a sideways glance as he continued to scour the room for any spying eyes behind sunglasses.

"You must, or you wouldn't have agreed to do it."

Stephano glared at Gonzales. "I don't trust someone like you lurking around the castle in the middle of the night."

"Oh, but weren't you doing the same thing, Brother?" Gonzales had on a genuine look of amusement as he looked up at his brother.

Stephano rolled his eyes and shook his head, not wanting the conversation to devolve into childishness. "It's stranger for you to be in here than it's for me to be in here."

"Actually, it's much stranger for you than me." Gonzales stated matter-of-factly. He reclined his position and looked up at the stone stairway above them. "I come here quite often at night, at least when I'm not needed elsewhere." He looked at Stephano. "This is the first I've seen you here."

Stephano blinked, taken completely aback by what his sibling had said. The whole atmosphere around them had changed with just those few sentences. Gonzales returned his gaze to the ceiling and took a deep breath:

"I just like to remember the way it was sometimes, you know?"

With one string of words, Gonzales's entire demeanor changed. Stephano watched as the trained assassin's cold and cruel exterior vanished before his eyes, allowing the suppressed side of his personality to surface. Stephano recognized his brother…for the first time in years…he recognized his brother.

Stephano felt his chest tighten. Gonzales remembered; despite it all, he remembered. Emotion threatened to overtake him in that instant, but he shut his eyes and forced it all back down. After a considerable pause spent contemplating what needed to be said, Stephano gulped to clear his throat and asked: "You know she's dead, right?"

Gonzales shut his eyes, a few lines of distress showing on his face as he inhaled deeply. After letting out his breath, the silver statue responded.

"I thought so." He said, not sounding very surprised with the long-overdue news. "Whenever I wasn't training with Father, I used to sneak out of the dungeon and look for her." There was a brief pause. "I never found her."

Stephano had to shut his eyes again. "You didn't need to find her." He said, his voice narrowing. "I already did that for the both of us. She didn't survive the night."

In that instant, the two were reunited again as family. Underneath that staircase, all that mattered was the fact that they both spoke in the French dialect of their father, and had at one time slept beside each other under the wing of their mother. They couldn't stay under that staircase forever, and they knew it. Come daybreak their truce would end, and they would once again become enemies. Their loyalties couldn't be broken from where they lay, and that couldn't be changed.

Stephano opened his eyelids just in time to see Gonzales hide his face in his knees. His shoulders slumped and jolted; it was obvious he was crying. Long ago, Stephano had teased his twin for crying so often. Now he stood there like a mute; unable to say anything as he watched Gonzales let out as many mournful tears as he could in the short time he was allotted. Stephano had already cried his tears, and he wasn't about to mock his own brother for doing the same.

Gonzales sat up with a start when he felt Stephano sit down beside him. The moonlight by now had started to wane, but there was just enough of it left to dazzle off the streaks of salty water on Gonzales's cheeks as he looked to his sibling. In the dim lighting, Stephano saw the tearstained face of the little, silver boy he' known since birth.

Without a word, Gonzales wrapped an arm around Stephano's back and rested his head on his shoulder as he continued to weep. Stephano didn't protest. After all, this was the only moment the pair would ever have to truly be brothers again. Why ruin it with reminders that they had been forced to become enemies? He outstretched an arm and draped it over his brother's back.

Tonight, they would be under each other's wings.

~END~
Under His Mother's Wing - PewDiepie Fanfic Ch. 8
:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz: :iconccwelcomedplz1::iconccwelcomedplz2: :iconcommentplz:


Summary: Every great hero has their origin, even if it's something they never relive except in their own dreams. Stephano revisits the long-forgotten memory of his childhood, and many old scars are opened.

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AN: Thank you to everyone who continued following this! I know I went a very long time between updates; but from the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for your patience! It's always so fulfilling when I finish a story, and I hope you all enjoyed! I'd love to hear some final thoughts about this story from you guys. :) Feedback and criticism is always welcome.

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Previous Chapter:
pagesofangels.deviantart.com/a…

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First Chapter:

pagesofangels.deviantart.com/a…

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Cover Art By: :iconmrludwigbeilschmidt:  mrludwigbeilschmidt.deviantart…
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Chapter 7:

The hard, metallic feathers of Isis's wings scraped the floor with a dull screech as she stumbled down a dark hallway. She had no more energy to lift them; she barely had enough left to stand upright. With one arm she supported herself on whatever wall or object she could feel out in the dark. With the other, she held her tiny, golden child close to her thudding chest.

The golden statue of the Egyptian goddess hadn't the slightest clue where she was going. Dazed and disoriented, she didn't care where she ended up. She just needed a place to hide; a place away from that damned Back Hall that had suddenly turned from a sanctuary into a tomb.

Stephano remained silent as his mother carried him along. He clung to her neck and buried his face in her shoulder to avoid looking at the crimson liquid that seemed to cover every inch of her clothing. He heard unsteady breaths rattle in her throat, but was still too stunned from the day's earlier events to question much of what he was seeing or hearing. All he could consciously think to do was hold on tightly to his mother and wait to see where she was taking him without his brother.

A floating feeling of lightheadedness suddenly made Isis weak on her feet. She reached for something to catch herself on, but wasn't fast enough. She gasped as, for an instant, she felt as though she were falling through a shadowy, endless void. Her shoulder hit the wall with a thud, knocking her completely off-balance. With Stephano in her arms, she sank to the ground with a groan of discomfort. The contortion of her body caused a searing pain from the horrendous open wound in her torso. With a hiss, Isis tried covering the wound with her hand to stop the fresh leakage of blood she felt coming from it.

The golden goddess had been extremely lucky. Eloi had failed to land a perfect hit on her. She'd been running away from him in that instant, and the sword thrust had been rushed. The blade had entered the lower right of her back, just missing her spine, and exited the upper right of her stomach below her ribcage. The weapon had missed any major arteries and barely came sort of puncturing a lung. Honestly, Isis was surprised she was still alive. However, her injuries were irreparable, and she knew it. The adrenaline that had kept her moving until now was beginning to wear off, and she had begun to feel tired. As she watched still more of her warm lifeblood drain out, she began to feel afraid.

"Mommy?" Stephano asked, startled by his mother's sudden topple. "Are you okay?"

Isis turned her tearful and sweat-streaked face towards her son. The concern and confusion on his young face was enough to boost her will to live, even a little. She knew she couldn't fall asleep yet; if she did, she knew she might never wake up again. She needed to get her child to a safe place, hidden enough away that he would have a chance of escaping his father and his Masters. She had to get back on her feet.

Isis planted a soft kiss on her son's forehead, not knowing how to answer his question. Finding a large crate nearby to grip on to, she clumsily stood to her feet and continued on, running her hand over the wall in search of the end of the hallway. She rounded a few more maze-like corridors and ducked through one or two broken wall panels, going as deep into the upper residential wing as she could manage. Finally, feeling satisfied where she was – and rapidly running out of willpower to go any further – Isis turned the first unlocked handle she came across and quietly slipped inside.

_____________________________________________________________________


The room beyond, like most rooms in this wing of Brennenburg, was a dusty bedroom. This one was in fairly usable condition; a lit candle flickered on the nightstand, and the bed and closets were still standing. The only sign of disturbance the chamber held was a few open drawers in the nightstand. Other than that, it looked like the perfect place to stop.

Stephano felt himself being lowered to the ground. His mother's hand tapped his back, urging him in the direction of the bed. Quietly, he obeyed. The rays of mid-afternoon light coming through the moth-eaten curtains implied the mother and her child had been traversing the castle for quite a few hours.

The covers on the bed were tucked underneath the headboard, and the seven-year-old boy didn't feel like pulling them out. Lying on top of the dusty covers, the young boy knew his mother wanted him to sleep; but there were still too many questions rattling his mind for him to want sleep. He felt the bed shake as Isis practically collapsed onto the mattress beside him.

"Try to get some sleep, baby." He heard his mother say breathlessly, as her hand gently pulled off his hijab.

Stephano turned over to face where his mother sat on the edge of the mattress. He quickly looked away when he was reminded of the horrible state she was in. No child wants to see their mother like that, hunched over a gaping wound that's enough to turn their stomach; it was too much for him to take in. Regardless of that, he had a question to ask, and we wanted the answer.

"Mommy…" Stephano asked quietly. "Why did you leave Gonzo?"

Isis, already emotionally and physically traumatized, broke down instantly. She had no more reason to hold back or hide it, she had no more reason to be strong, and it all came out at once. She covered her face with her hands and sobbed uncontrollably, mourning everything that was wrong with the world; the loss of her child, now condemned forever to the lifestyle she fought so hard to spare him from. Now, soon her remaining son would be left alone to fend for himself. The castle was a cruel and unforgiving place to live, especially for children. She felt sick at the thought of her little boy being left to its mercy.

Stephano watched in distressed silence as his mother buried her tears in his hijab. He'd only seen his mother cry a few rare times in his short lifespan, but it never got any easier to watch. As his mother sank face-down on the mattress, the young, golden boy slowly crawled to her side.

"Mommy?" Stephano peeped, gently shaking his mother's shoulder. "Please stop crying, okay? Please?"

Isis heard her son's pleas, but was unable to stop herself. She kept her face hidden from view with the tiny headpiece in her hands. Her uncontrollable mourning continued, and just when she thought her heart couldn't take it anymore, her body heaved suddenly.

Isis unintentionally held her son's hijab around her mouth as she coughed. A metallic taste coated her teeth, and immediately the Egyptian goddess knew something was wrong. Quickly pulling the gold cloth away from her mouth, Isis saw a dark strand of clotted blood connecting her mouth to the headpiece. Isis's eyes doubled in size, and a quick glance at her son revealed her mirrored expression.

"M-Mommy?" Stephano squeaked as he saw his mother spit blood.

Isis quickly pressed the bloodstained cloth to the mattress, trying to hide it from Stephano. She let her face follow it into the covers, continuing to sob lightly, and visibly trembling in every muscle. Laying down had put pressure on her severed organs, squeezing what little blood she still had left out of her veins.

Isis felt all energy flee her body as she lay there, trembling from physical shock and fear. A small body laid down close to her hers; welcome warmth against golden skin that was starting to turn cold. Isis turned her head and opened her weary eyes to see Stephano's youthful face staring back at her.

"Mommy, why did you leave Gonzo?" He repeated his question. The boy's mother saw a glaze of tears adding luster to his golden eyes.

"Baby, you need to listen to Mommy." Isis struggled to form her words as she began to duck in and out of consciousness. Her body was shutting down, and already her limbs had lost their ability to move. "You need to stay away from Gonzales from now on, okay?"

"Why?"

"Because…" Isis completely lost consciousness for a few seconds, but forced herself back. "He's one of the bad people now." Her voice caught again as she said it aloud.

"No he's not!" Stephano protested loudly. "He's not bad, he's Gonzo!"

Isis let out a shaking sigh, the metallic taste coming back up her throat again. "Come here, Stephano." She tenderly raised a wing and laid it over her son, pulling him slightly closer to her.

Stephano obeyed his mother, snuggling up alongside her and noticing how cold she was. He was scared and confused more than any child ever deserves to be, but he took comfort in the feel of his mother's painted feathers draped over him like a security blanket. It was the old, familiar feeling he'd known since birth, and it was enough to take away most of his fear.

Isis watched her son's tense body relax under her motherly touch, and held back another sob. In a way, this was almost cruel; inviting her only remaining child to sleep next to her as she took her final breaths. She knew that when he woke, he would find her beside him, stiff and pale with the finality of death. Isis was making the first and only selfish decision as a mother she'd ever made, and she silently prayed Stephano would understand someday:

Isis, the statue modeled after the immortal Egyptian goddess, was indescribably terrified of her own impending death.

"Just close your eyes and sleep, baby." Isis said softly to her child. "But first, can you tell Mommy that you'll stay away from the Barrels…and your brother?"

"I don't want to stay away from Gonzales." Stephano insisted.

"I know…" Isis let out another shallow breath. "But you do what Mommy says, okay? Tell me you'll stay away from him. He…He'll hurt people one day. I don't want him to hurt you."

Stephano gave his mother a look of dismay. "Gonzales will hurt people?!"

"Not just him…all the Barrels will." Isis closed her eyes, too weak to hold them open any longer. "They already have…they've hurt me…and you…and Gonzales."

Stephano rested his cheek against the covers, contemplating his mother's quiet words for a minute or two. Looking into his mother's face, he took note of how surprisingly peaceful it was; despite the blood, bruises, and steaks of black, watery paint on her cheeks.

"I'll stay away from them, Mommy." Stephano said. "In fact, I'll keep everyone away from them! I don't want anyone else getting hurt!"

Isis smiled, nothing more than a faint change on her mostly still face. "That would be wonderful, Stephano." She whispered. "That would make me very happy."

So it was there, nestled safely under his mother's wing, that Stephano made his solemn vow to protect every vulnerable person he could from the Barrels…and his brother. It was there, that it all started.

Satisfied with his mother's approval, Stephano drifted off into an oblivious doze and swiftly fell asleep. Isis, her breaths coming slower and fewer with each passing second, opened her eyes and took a long, loving look at her son's sleeping face. It was the last thing she ever saw.
Under His Mother's Wing - PewDiepie Fanfic Ch. 7
:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz: :iconccwelcomedplz1::iconccwelcomedplz2: :iconcommentplz:


Summary: Every great hero has their origin, even if it's something they never relive except in their own dreams. Stephano revisits the long-forgotten memory of his childhood, and many old scars are opened.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Previous Chapter:
pagesofangels.deviantart.com/a…

Next Chapter:

pagesofangels.deviantart.com/a…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cover Art By: :iconmrludwigbeilschmidt:  mrludwigbeilschmidt.deviantart…
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Inch by inch...word by word........novels are hard to write...and I need to stop procrastinating.
For those of you who are avid followers of mine, and those who genuinely follow me for my gallery, I have a question for you. :meow:

I know I haven't been very active on this account in recent months. Mostly, I've been very active on my adoptable-centered account :iconadopting-angels: . However, I don't want to look like I've forgotten you all here. :)

So, I'm asking you: What do you guys want to see me continue with? I know I've started/promised several fanfic projects, but haven't touched them in a while. So what would you guys like to see?

~~PagesofAngels

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PagesofAngels
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I am a writer by nature, but I appreciate the beauty and creativity of the visual medium. I mainly made this account to admire the artwork of others so if you want me to check out your art, contact me and I'll be sure to comment on it!
I doodle on occasion, so if I draw something that I think is good, I'll post it here. I know I'm not that good of an artist, so harsh comments will not affect me.

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:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for adding That one lie we all believe... to your favorites. I'm glad you like my writing :)
Reply
:iconpagesofangels:
PagesofAngels Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Of course! :hug: You always write such inspirational and helpful things.
Reply
:iconinoueflameheart:
inoueflameheart Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much for the watch! :iconlove: I must admit, I haven't been watching Pewds as much these days, not since he stopped doing Amnesia. I miss his characters: Stephano, Mr. Chair, Piggeh, Jennifer, even the barrels XD
Reply
:iconpagesofangels:
PagesofAngels Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, don't even get me started on that topic. XD In my personal opinion, Pewds has sadly become a sellout. It feels like he hasn't done anything out of passion or for the fans in forever! Instead, he holds "fanfic contests" funded by Mountain Dew. :/
Reply
:iconinoueflameheart:
inoueflameheart Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
He has, and it really is sad. But he's doing it for the fans all right - for his newer fans, while the rest of us sit and wonder what happened to the teleporting naked guys XD
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:iconpagesofangels:
PagesofAngels Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, at least the kids are enjoying him nowadays. They just...don't know what they're missing. :/

XD So, what are some other fandoms you're into?
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:iconstormyclo297:
Stormyclo297 Featured By Owner Edited Jul 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
 Hey sorry if I am bothering you but I appreciate your responses and advice that you comment on some of my fanfictions ^_^

 I was wondering if maybe you could give some feedback on the new PewDiePie fanfiction I posted recently? It would mean a lot :3

Fanfic: stormyclo297.deviantart.com/ar…
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:iconwacky06:
Wacky06 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for the watch :D
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