"What does he want?"
While Kuromori sunbathed, he kept one eye slightly lighted so the little wretch wouldn't do anything funny. Every day for the past month, a small boy had been watching him from one of the doorways that led down to his small, circular field. The boy seemed to have no sense, as he didn't watch Kuromori from one of the windows in the higher- safer- levels of coliseum. The Gecko inspected him. Everyday the little boy would lean on the doorway, occasionally knocking pebbles with his foot down the small staircase.
Finally, Kuromori cracked. Fully lighting his eyes, the Gecko turned towards the boy and growled.
"Go away! You are disturbing my peace!"
The boy cocked his head slightly and asked, "Why?"
Kuromori grimaced. "So you can talk! Well, child, I'll tell you why. The reason you disturb my peace is because you stare at me! Every day, in fact! So go away before I blast you out!"
The boy had a strange look in his eye. "You're not going to do that."
The Gecko blinked, surprised. "Of course I- I… you're right, I won't… I'm above harming children. But really, boy! Leave!"
Kuromori noticed that the boy suddenly looked terrified.
"They'll kill me! They'll kill me if I leave!"
The Gecko sighed. If he was going to get rid of the wretch, he figured that helping him would solve the problem.
The child gulped. "All of the big boys! They play this game where they see who can catch me first. I'm a fast runner, but they ride horses to catch up! And when they get me, they beat me up! They said if I told my parents, they would run me through with sharp sticks! A month ago, I couldn't take it any more, so I told my parents! They didn't believe me, and they told the big boys' parents! Ever since then, I've hidden here in your Arena. They're scared of you, so they don't come here. But I'm not scared of you. I know that you're really nice deep down."
Kuromori blinked again. "Um… what's your name, boy?"
The boy grinned. "Mori."
The Gecko chuckled slightly. "Well, Mori, let's go find those bullies of yours."
Mori let go of the doorway and beamed at Kuromori before turning back and sprinting up the numerous staircases to the Arena entrance.
The Gecko sighed and started to climb out of the coliseum.
A half-hour later…
Kuromori watched from where he hung onto the cliff-face, hidden by shadow. Mori had said that the bullies would be playing mock-polo on the green, stony flat that gave way to sea in the south-east. He had been correct, and had boldly walked towards the hollering, laughing teens. When the boys finally noticed him, they had laughed harder and one by one dismounted their horses. The lead boy sneered.
"So! Little Mori has decided to join the fun. Where have you been Little Mori?"
The boy tried to puff himself up. "With a friend."
All the boys laughed, and the lead boy snickered, "You? With a friend? That one's hard to believe."
Mori stayed confident, and sneered up at the teen. "Well, it's not as if these fools are your friends, Karappo. They only hang out with you because they're afraid!"
Karappo grimaced. "If that's how you want it to be, than fine."
The teen signaled to his friends and they stepped forward. As Karappo jumped back on his horse, the others forced a shouting Mori onto another horse. One of the boys jumped onto that horse and followed Karappo towards the edge of the cliff. Kuromori became alarmed as the boys began to drag Mori off the horse and towards the edge. Deciding that the confrontation had gone far enough, the Gecko made a rumbling growl that echoed off the surrounding cliff faces. All the boys stopped what they were doing and paled as Kuromori ran towards them. When the Gecko came to a stop in front of him, Karappo stuttered.
"Uh-um… wh-what brings you here, K-Kuromori…?"
The Gecko's eyes flared red. "Drop the boy."
Immediately the teen who held Mori let go of him, and the boy ran behind one of Kuromori's front legs and latched onto it. The Gecko glared at Karappo.
"So this is what you do for fun? Pick on defenseless children?"
Mori spoke up. "Hey! I'm not defenseless! And I am not a child!"
Kuromori ignored him. "I don't care what your answer is, but let me tell you this; if you touch a single hair on another child's head, I will personally blast you into the ocean. Understood?"
The teens nodded vigorously.
"Now shoo! Out of my presence!"
The boys quickly mounted their horses and galloped off, shouting to each other about who was at fault.
Kuromori looked down at Mori.
The boy grinned and nodded.
The Gecko huffed. "Good. Now, go home. I've had enough of you."
Instead of looking sad or disappointed, Mori just smiled.
"Nah. You haven't."
Kuromori grimaced. "How do you know?"
The boy shrugged. "I can just feel it."
The Gecko groaned. "Oh great. There's a psychic on the loose. Just do me a favor, and stay away from the Arena?"
Three months later…
"So, Colossi can't feel love?"
"That's not what I said! Uhg. Let me explain."
Despite what had Mori said about not coming back, he had. And despite what Kuromori had said about having enough of the boy, he hadn't. For the past three months, in fact, Mori had come to the Gecko everyday with a new question. Kuromori was able to answer most of them without many problems, but this was not one of those questions.
"Colossi are incapable of feeling romantic love. The kind of love that you humans usually use to define the word 'love'."
Mori nodded in understanding. "Ah, I see now. But can you guys feel any love at all?"
Kuromori snorted. "Of course we can! Our friendship sort of love is probably the strongest in the world. And some of us have a strong sense of familial love as well."
The boy raised his eyebrow. "But a month ago you said none of the Colossi were related."
The Gecko nodded. "True. None of us are physically related. But some of us are related by soul."
Mori looked confused. "Related by soul? How is that possible?"
Kuromori sighed. "That is a simple question with a complex answer. Ask it some other day when I actually know the answer."
Mori huffed. "Alright. Hmm… Which of the Colossi are 'related'?"
The Gecko chuckled. "Now that I can answer. Well, Celobia and Celosia have a pretty close spiritual connection, so they consider themselves brother and sister. Meanwhile; Hydrus, Dirge, and Phalanx also have a spiritual connection. Since it's not as close as Celobia and Celosia's, they merely consider themselves cousins. I feel as though I might faintly be related to the three, since I can easily sense their presence."
The boy once again looked confused. "So if they're only related by soul, how come they look similar?"
Kuromori appeared thoughtful. "Hmm… good question. I think their physical appearances are affected by their souls."
Mori was about to ask something else, when a voice rang out from the top of the Arena.
"Mori…! Where are you…?"
The boy called up. "Down here, Mom!"
There was a pause before the sound of quick footsteps ran down the stairs. A woman with a petite form and smooth black hair similar to her son's appeared at one of the doorways into the field. Upon seeing her son, who was sitting cross-legged next to a sunbathing Kuromori's head, she paled. Making cautious movements with her hands, the mother whispered loudly,
"Mori! Come here! Be careful so he doesn't hurt you!"
But Mori didn't come. Instead, he raised his eyebrow and said in a normal voice, "Mom, I'm fine. Why are you so worried?"
The mother blinked. Getting a determined look on her face, she took a wooden spoon from a pocket in her dress and walked slowly down the steps onto the field. She cautiously stepped over towards Mori and grabbed him by the arm. She continued whispering.
"Young man, you are coming with me whether you like it or not!"
Kuromori lighted his eyes and looked over at the mother.
"Hey, don't I get a say in this?"
Immediately the woman jumped up and dragged her son behind her back. She held up her spoon as a pathetic form of defense.
"Don't hurt him! If you do, I'll tell Malus! I swear I will!"
Kuromori sighed. "Look, lady, I wasn't planning to hurt your son. In fact, I've been making nice conversation with him for a while now. So if you wouldn't mind, could you leave us be?"
Mori spoke up. "Yeah! Really!"
The mother looked at them both and seemed to come to a conclusion. Silently, she stepped out of the way of Mori. She watched as he ran forward and hugged one of Kuromori's front legs. And she smiled when the Gecko looked down at her son with his eyes a rare, happy blue.
"You two are bonded, aren't you?"
Kuromori looked up at her, his eyes still blue, and chuckled.
"Huh. I suppose we are."
Kuromori lay behind the rock, lost in his memories.
Since Dirge was being wild and dangerous in his sorrow, the Gecko had resigned himself to waiting it out on one of the tower-like rocks in the cave. Kuromori sighed. "That boy needed so much help…. But I guess…
He kind of helped me too."