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What is a King to His Men? (Godzilla one-shot, T)

Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
Long-time fan, but a kaiju fic was really a long time coming to the point I literally had no idea what to call this—I might actually change it later if something else pops up, I dunno. I fear that since it's kinda new territory for me that it's gone all over the place despite the idea I had gotten listening to a certain KOTM track on loop and reading some comments. It originally was going to be more narrative-like, almost like inner thoughts, but then the lack of dialogue looked wrong to me. So I just added stuff for the next few days, and this is what became of it. I don't think much in the narrative changed as it progressed, but my excuse is given this is Godzilla we're talking about, he's probably pretty stubborn in his outlook on things. Change is slow to him.

Legendary-verse, but I went with the Japanese/Titan names because it felt weird otherwise.

Enjoy!

*~*~*~*

What is a King to His Men?

Man is a fickle creature. But so are the gods.

*~*~*

"Lushalmat ibri."

That was the last sentence uttered to the King by the sole-surviving worshiper, who was a ruler among his people, before his passing. The generations beneath him, already wavering in their belief due to their upbringing during peace, promptly feared him, even forgetting his work he did for them. Being feared wasn't much different from being revered, but they chased him away with weapons that, although non-life-threatening, were irritating and disrespectful. He was their king, their god, and they denied him for their own personal interests.

He wanted to give them a piece of his mind and wipe them out for their insolence, but his comrades wouldn't have it, Mosura and Anguirus especially. They still saw some good in them and pointed out other humans across the world who might still see him for who he is and what he represents. There wasn't just the one temple solely dedicated to him, there were multiple, and most of them worshiped multiple Titans.

So Gojira gave the human race another chance, brushing off the one clan as a fluke. Just because he was more close to them didn't mean he wasn't well-known elsewhere. They'll all come to, eventually.

But the Titans were steadily falling into hibernation thanks to the change in the earth's climate, and the increase in human intelligence and will meant they wanted gods to be more human or to disappear entirely. Some weakened enough that even humans were beginning to cause them harm and drove them from their homes, their temples. As puny as the creatures were, they were ferocious. No Titan feared Man, but no Titan liked what had become of them.

Gojira was the only one with enough strength to rebel and bring havoc and fear to the coastal civilizations. Anguirus and Mosura were not pleased with his actions, and that rift in their opinions caused them to butt heads than ever before. The other Titans flip-flopped and would ally or go against Gojira depending on the year, or even their mood. It happened enough that it wasn't long before he felt everyone, even his own kind, was against him.

"You've gone mad!" they cried as they attempted to hold him back from land. The ocean, being his domain, was a difficult terrain for many Titans to go head-on with the King.

Gojira's rage was nearing its apex, and had brought down nearly all but a few to their knees. His bloodlust had yet to be quenched, all it would take was to stomp some humans flat, yet the spiked quadruped and delicate moth were who stood in his way. His equals hadn't yet gone through the rejection he had, only in due time would their people also turn their hearts away from them. Although they were close friends, they had unusual human qualities that made them his worst foes in his view.

Anguirus was worn down and bleeding profusely, but his eyes still shone in determination. One of Mosura's wings had a large tear in it to ground her and she was missing a limb, yet she stood tall on his armored back. Their stances told him they were fighting to the death for their livelihoods, to prove themselves worthy of their godlike statuses. Not that the other Titans didn't fight valiantly, but even as an army they were no match for the King. The two were true fools to think they stood a chance, and merely resorted to words than their strength to strike back.

"The False King fed you lies in your final battle!" Anguirus said, teeth bared at the thought of the three-headed demon. "How could you believe them?"

"I didn't until the people turned their backs on me as prophesied!" he snarled, his plates pulsing in time to his heartbeat. "I didn't want to believe they were right all along about the human race until then!"

"There have always been a few detractors," Mosura reminded him. Her body trembled in sadness and anger, overtaking her pain. "Humans are quick to forget and stray."

Gojira huffed hard enough for a spray of atomic particles to pass through his nose and even his gills. "And you are allowing this to go on?"

"A great ruler leads with patience and loving guidance," she continued. "They are living beings with desires like you and I. Ultimately, we cannot decide their fate."

"To hell with that!" he snapped, his tail slapping the water's surface hard enough to trigger tidal waves that washed away some of the bodies. "They are disrupting the natural order's balance! This cannot be allowed to continue!"

"That is the earth's will," the horned dinosaur asserted, positioning himself to charge. "They need to prove themselves worthy to be rulers themselves. We are teaching them to take our place for when we're gone."

He had been accused of letting power get to his head, but he couldn't deny he liked the gratification he had over a large crowd of humans submitting themselves to him. He was their protector, and he had no qualms with it as long as it meant showing off his strength. Taking the time out to get to their level as somewhat-equals didn't appeal to him, though he had allowed some human leaders to converse with him in song and dance, or just to talk. They were... interesting creatures of lower abilities, although they were quickly growing.

Being small, it was only natural for them to multiply and progress as a species. Much like the Titans, his kind reproduced much slower, yet as few in numbers as they were, they were fierce predators. Born leaders, he was predestined to take up his sire's torch and continue the legacy. And he thought he was doing a swell job as their king.

"...Traitors, the lot of you."

The eavesdropping surviving Titans flinched at Gojira's low growl, and Mosura's antennae perked in shock. Anguirus' solemn expression didn't falter as he watched the King's spines light up, silently cursing the three-headed dragon for poisoning his friend in their final attempt to posthumously claim victory. He closed his eyes with a deep breath, accepting his fate as he charged forward. The moth's forelegs dug into his neck in a futile effort to brace herself for impact, and he couldn't help smiling a little at her gift of rebirth. As long as she lives on, Gojira, his old friend, would always have a chance at redemption.

Blind with fury to notice the multiple witnesses, the King burned down his life and scattered the ashes.

*~*~*

The world managed to keep turning as if to spite Gojira. Humans continued to advance as a race, scattering throughout the globe and refurbishing the face of the earth as they saw fit. As their civilizations prospered, their weapons improved, but they were still nothing more than a nuisance to the Titans.

However, the earth made it clear she was tired of the in-fighting, and punished both sides. She'd give the humans a hard time, even wiping out some clans, and they still persevered. The old-guard Titans that were left felt the change get to them, and either went into hibernation away from prying eyes or perished for being unable to adapt. Gojira was a fighter, for although he was the last to succumb to sleep, his will made sure it was temporary. Dreams of his past were violent enough that he'd stir himself awake every few centuries or so to patrol what became of his world and continue his mission.

Humans, being such fickle creatures, changed so rapidly that the King was no longer a king to them, but a monster to be destroyed or chased off. They had forgotten what made him akin to a god, and developed bigger, stronger weapons to be used against him after being used against each other. Gojira's hate boiled over, and he, too, forgot why the earth begat humans to begin with. Their activities, however, were slowly waking the other Titans from their slumbers, but many still avoided the humans, or found isolated clans who still remembered the gods of old.

Mosura had chosen to remain on her island after her rebirth, grieving for the loss of Anguirus and being scared for Gojira's future. She wouldn't see him for many centuries and went through the cycle many more times, but in her sleep, she had heard whispers from the earth herself about his antics. Her fear would gradually turn to fury that he incited the war, but she was not willing to expose her people's existence to the outside world. It took a frequent number of explorers disturbing the peace to force her to reveal herself to the world that had forgotten her, and the reunion with Gojira was nothing more than a nightmare.

She almost couldn't recognize him, he had aged and was scarred so much from his grudge and forcing himself to fight off hibernation. Her heart went out to him, but old wounds reopened, and Gojira lashed out at her for interfering. She tried for years to get through to him without success. They fought numerous battles each to exhaustion, and sometimes she would perish. Humans who hadn't known of her started seeing her as their savior for saving lives, and at the very least, her presence would slow down his rampages. Progress, she thought.

A night after a rough battle that had decimated a mountain range, Mosura couldn't sleep and had recovered enough to go out for a flight to calm her nerves. When she left her territory, there came a sudden prompt to track him down, and she searched the area where he had retreated to find shelter. She was successful in coming across him in a deep canyon licking his wounds, and he went on the defense upon spotting her.

"Didn't you take the hint? Your damn naiveté will be the death of you," he snarled in warning.

The wind dissipated upon her landing in the river. His face scrunched as he looked her over, hating that her beauty and grace hadn't changed in eons while his appearance did. He had lost track of the number of times she had reincarnated from mortal wounds or old age, a unique trait for a Titan, but rarely did she ever look different. Titans for the most part never experience death until Nature herself declares it, yet her cycle meant she was close to being a human while still remaining a goddess. Her open secret was her egg, but she was either lucky, or her enemies were too stupid or stupidly honorable to go after her weakness to kill her for good. For him, it was the latter, but more because he provoked her wrath enough times to not tempt making her even more scorned and potentially kill him for stepping foot on her island. And losing his life to her didn't sound appealing in the slightest.

However, he never would admit it out loud that ever since he started brawling with Mosura, he found her to be a surprisingly formidable opponent. She held her own rather well against the False King, but he measured power better when he was receiving blows than by observation. Her fragile physique led to creative combos to take him down while still remaining on the defensive side, and it wasn't just because of her advantage of flight.

She overlooked his lack of manners to study the damage she had dealt to him, now that she got a better look. She hated the act of shedding blood, but she was secretly proud of her work for giving him new scars. "You're unable to kill another Titan," she softly said.

He recoiled at her statement, but kept his composure. "Who said it would be I to deal the final blow?"

"You need to move on while you still can."

"But if it wasn't for the damn humans rejecting us—!"

"That didn't mean you had to turn your back on them," she sternly interrupted, wings fluttering irritably. "Anguirus didn't want you to take the path of no return."

Gojira rose to his feet with a deadly glare, eyes pulsing with blue light. "How dare you say his name to me," he hissed. His dorsal plates flickered in warning, a hum steadily growing. "Don't you dare drag his memory into this."

Mosura didn't back down, though her antennae began making short, sharp twitches from the waves of radiation rolling off of him. "You've changed ever since imprisoning the False King," she continued, her voice remaining firm but gentle. "Everyone could see it that you haven't been quite the same, and that's why humans feared you so."

"They no longer remember that day."

"Which is why your ridiculous war has to stop. This is an innocent generation that has had nothing to do with that battle."

Gojira harshly laughed, puffs of atomic fumes expelling from his mouth. "You have been stuck on your island for too long, Mosura! Humans have always been bloodthirsty, they hate each other just as much as they hate us!"

"So how does that make you any different from them that you must persecute them?"

"Are you accusing me of being as hateful as those parasites?!" The surge increased, small blue flames licking his teeth as his lips curled over his gums.

"Your hatred will be your destruction, the both of you!" Mosura declared, puffing out her thorax and stomping the ground with her forelegs. "You cannot die by your own hand, so you're trying to invoke Nature's wrath against her wishes by going after your people!"

The lights climbed up his back, and with a deep inhale, Gojira released his atomic breath, yet the moth remained rooted as it arched directly over to blast a crater into the canyon's walls, the heat singeing the tips of her hairs and antennae. Seismic waves made her, the water, and the trees sway as the cliffs collapsed, but her azure eyes remained locked onto his leer. The beam fizzled out with a huff, his nostrils flaring.

"That is your only warning, Mosura," he growled, steam rising past his fangs. "Your head is next."

Through the dust cover, bioluminescence raced through her wings as it flickered between blue and red. Usually a calm Titan, she struggled to get her emotions under wraps after watching the hurt cross her old friend's face. With a hitch in her breath, she stepped forward for the mountainous reptile. Annoyed by her persistence, adrenaline pumped through Gojira's veins and his temples throbbed hard enough for him to scrunch his eyes shut. Heat started to replenish itself again for his recharge, teeth gritting so hard he thought he heard a molar crack.

Mosura always knew how to get under his scales, her silver tongue being her most powerful weapon, and it was what had typically kept them all in line, even her king. With her adopted title as Queen, it was something he used to get teased about much to his chagrin, though just about every Titan had their tails verbally handed to them by her. Yet he was known to have a short temper compared to even the hot-headed Rodan, and so to help him get his act together, that's what she took the most advantage of to make up for her cutesy, non-intimidating appearance. He recalled Anguirus always liked that about her on top of her undying love for the human race, which was why they got along so well, and it balanced out their friendship as a trio.

He had almost forgotten his death by his own hands hit her just as hard. She just must've coped differently.

Gojira almost stumbled over his feet flinching from a pair of legs wrapping around his waist, her furry head buried into his abdomen. Dropping the charge, he peered at the glowing wings, taking in the snaking paths of light and texture of the colorful patterns. He noticed the edges were tattered from their brawl earlier, which he thought her healing abilities would've mended by now.

Snorting, he hung his head to stare down at the moth. He still wanted her to leave, whether by herself or by him blasting her over the horizon, but he could feel himself calming down and his power waning. Her drooping antennae and some fur were thin enough to skim between his smooth scales, which left a prickle with each gentle stroke from his breathing. The warmth was a little alien to him, he hadn't experienced touch (that weren't claws and teeth) in many centuries.

"Come back with me to the island, my King," she whispered like the breeze. His insides flipped at her utterance of his title more than her strange request. "My people still know of you through my songs."

Mosura's signature sincereness cooled him down, though he made an easy attempt to get around it. "They're just going to run screaming when they see me. They all do."

"Not while I'm around, they won't. It will be just like old times."

A slight smirk quirked on his mouth as his eyes glazed over in reminiscence. "I've become infamous as a threat. Your island will become a war zone, but I will not be the one to start it."

She went quiet, but didn't pull away. Her wings slowly rose and fell, small patches of shimmering dust sprinkling the ground and the water's surface.

"You're not ignorant of the human condition, Mosura," he then pointed out, "so don't even think about endangering your island to that curse. Besides, I have made my mark on this earth, and I will be sticking with it to my deathbed. And settling down on a small island with my size will just sink it into the ocean given my growth spurts. Wouldn't be the first time."

The dark, self-depreciating humor lightened the mood a little thanks to her stifling a giggle. Mosura lifted her forehead from his body, but took a few moments to regain her composure before meeting his gaze. "Then I'll stay."

He blinked, not liking where she was going with her proposal. "Forsaking your people is not your forte like it is mine."

She shook her head. "I'm not. Even though they've been discovered by outsiders, there's no harm to them. But they're slowly changing."

Gojira frowned. He hadn't heard about its geography in ages, but he was so sure her island was quite far away from any main continents. Humans traveled over water quite often, but its distance and isolation made it virtually impossible for worldly influences to touchdown on its shores. "How so?"

Her demeanor wilted as her grip loosened. "I'll soon be unable to live in harmony with my people."

The vagueness didn't strike a chord in him since all Titans for the most part were no longer in harmony with humans. "So what was with the invitation?"

She flustered a bit and pulled away to tap her hooked limbs together. "If your presence were to slow it down, perhaps it can still accommodate for the both of us..."

He snorted. "Naïve as always. I already refused, you can't change my mind."

"It still won't change my mind about your loneliness."

"I am not lonely, don't change the subject."

Mosura's eyes flickered gray with emotion for a split second. "Ever since you isolated yourself from us, the earth has wept in your stead. She's just as upset with the humans for forgetting us as you are, but she's been really upset with you."

Because the moth was the most in-tune with the life-force of the earth, she was deemed by the Titans as a mouthpiece for the spirit of Gaia. Gojira used to sense Nature in a similar fashion, but he had lost that ability ever since he rampaged. He was always at her mercy, yet Mosura's words were the opposite of what he expected. "Then why hasn't Nature offed me, yet?" he grumbled, not really meaning for it to be ominous.

"Because you haven't wiped out the human race."

He shot her a look of disbelief. "Seriously?"

"You've been trying her patience with this death wish of yours, anyway."

The accusation was too close for comfort. He thought he had bottled up his disposition and desires ages ago so he wouldn't dwell on them. He tried to brush it off to poke some more holes in her offer, "So is that why you're trying to get me to live with you? Nature sent you to give me a talk?"

Mosura's wings flushed pink for a second, which was an unusual sight. "Maybe?"

Rolling his eyes to the heavens, Gojira shook his head. "That is not going to happen, so drop it."

"I'm still serious about staying with you, though," she muttered a little too hastily, her mandibles clicking.

"Why, to keep me in line?"

She sighed and made eye-contact, suddenly shuddering to fluff up her fur and fan some dust in the air. "I want to help you reverse what the False King did to you. They were hoping to use you to do the work for them in their absence, so they said those horrible, nasty lies to you. We were trying to help... but I fear we were too late."

Mosura's eyes started pooling over, which astonished Gojira. Titans never cried, least not around each other if they did. Even the females, who were a bit more sentimental and nurturing, never shed a tear. But as he thought about it and her words about the earth, the changes may have done some irreversible damage that was worth mourning over, and so perhaps she learned to cry over time. And if so, that was why Anguirus' memory affected her so much—a better alternative than laying waste to civilizations to numb the pain.

"I'm just tried of you fighting the humans for something they haven't even done," she hiccuped, rubbing her cheek with a leg. "Please, let go of this stupid grudge. Leave them alone, and let them work things out. If they get out of hand, then you can give them a scare, or something. But you're disrupting them, and they're letting their fears and anger get to them. They're hurting the earth just so they could try to hurt you."

Gojira shouldn't have been so surprised that she knew all of that when they hadn't seen each other in centuries. As her voice faded, her works sank in, making him wonder—no, realize that everyone had to have been aware of his actions. They had to have known who it was stirring them from their slumbers, had to have followed every sound of his footsteps and explosions.

No wonder Nature was pissed off at him. Literally the entire planet could hear him.

Silence hung in the air long enough for Mosura to timidly, yet bluntly ask, "What did they tell you so many years ago?"

It took him a moment to comprehend that by "they", she was referring to them, the One Who is Many. Their searing three pairs of eyes were permanently burned into his skull, evilly grinning at his anger and anguish. Even before his vendetta against the human race, the three-headed demon was the most hated being he ever had the displeasure of meeting. Putting an end to their tyranny was the happiest day (well, night) of his life, he had never slept like that before or since.

But their venomous words seeped into his dreams and thoughts before he knew it. Mosura and Anguirus may have been there, but somehow the False King's presence didn't leave much of an effect on them. They went out of their way to try to slaughter his comrades, and there was great damage that nearly crippled his friend and put the goddess back into her cycle. However, none of them mentioned anything about nightmares, and they didn't hide secrets from each other back then.

Recalling how they cackled in his ear during the battle, Gojira flexed his claws in discomfort. The moth watched patiently as he finally was able to string together what he was willing to say, "They claimed I was protecting monsters who would be the death of us. They said humans would come to outsmart us, think of us as nothing more than dumb animals, and then destroy the world. I didn't believe them at first because the worshiping was stronger than ever at that point."

Mosura frowned deeply, her wings giving away her unhappiness with how the demon played him. "But... we should celebrate their intelligence—"

"Until they build a weapon to kill us," he suddenly snapped. "Maybe you're right about the earth being angry with me. This has to be her way of getting back at me for my actions."

She shook her head and hopped onto the canyon's walls to be at eye-level with him. "Gojira, did you forget that you weren't the only one whose people disowned them? They were all sad with the change, but instead of being vengeful, they respected their people's wishes. Anguirus was right when he said we're just guardians showing them the way to prosperity."

His gaze averted at the mention of their old friend, which was the stinging reaction she expected. She raised her eyes to the stars above, humming a little as she reviewed the memory archives of distrusting humans. "Perhaps... when they stopped looking up to us for protection, it meant they were ready to live on their own. Like when offspring leave the nest."

Gojira glanced back over with a stern look. She stared back in wonder until a thought pricked her mind: Says the Titan who coddles her people.

Mosura bristled in embarrassment, surprise, and displeasure, the fur puffing up on her face the most. "My people are a good people! They can take care of themselves!"

He growled out a chuckle. "Was just making sure our connection still works."

"Oh, you!" She jabbed his temple repeatedly with a foreleg in a playful manner, unable to help a smile.

The tapping was close to driving him mad, so he stepped back out of her reach and opened his mouth to speak—but words failed him. She curiously tilted her head, which he wish she'd stop looking at him like that. Mentally checking over his vitals, he was calmer than earlier, except his chest felt too heavy for some odd reason. He shifted his weight to see if he needed to stretch, but nothing helped.

"Are you alright, my King?" Mosura asked worriedly, and he somehow didn't like being called by his title at that moment.

With a snort, Gojira started lumbering off for the canyon's exit. "I need to be alone," he said starkly, sweeping aside the mess he had made.

"Where to?" she inquired, hopping into the air to soar above him.

He swatted her away as gently as possible. "Someplace private, so don't follow. Give me a week or so to sleep on it; I'll have your answer then."

She let him go without another word, but stayed behind on the cliffs to watch him enter the ocean and dive into its depths. He swam leisurely even when entering a tunnel deep down in a trench, following its winding path through instinct. In some turns, he could sense a passing presence of unseen Titans, either traveling or in their nearby dens, but ignored them just as quickly. He didn't need more confrontations in his state of mind.

The spike in radiation was his cue that he was nearing his destination. He passed by intricate statues and pillars when he exited the tunnels, barely stealing a glance at the carved murals as he squeezed through an opening. He slowed when he neared a bleached skeleton resting by his lair's entrance, gazing directly into its empty eye sockets. It could've just been his imagination, but every time he'd return, Gojira was certain he could hear him say, clear as day:

"Welcome back, brother."

Anguirus would only drop the formalities whenever they were alone, since it was such a lifelong habit that he could never bring himself to see him as anything more than a blood brother. If Mosura had ever caught wind of it, she probably would've thought it was a beautiful bond. And since the King had long given up on beating it into his head, he had to silently agree with that sentiment. (But he'd still swear her into secrecy, and she might counter that it was obvious and everyone knew about it. Damn, he knew her way too well.)

He had lost track of the number of years that had passed, but that day still haunted him. The aftermath didn't hit him until days later when enough of his rage had depleted and he wondered what was taking Anguirus so long to recover. The Titans were about to cremate the body when he came across them surrounding the pit, and they attempted to chase him off thinking he was coming back for seconds. In his grief, he caused more destruction before he was able to take Anguirus with him to his abandoned temple where the radiation could preserve him for a bit longer or maybe revive him—or so he thought.

His body decomposed so cleanly while under the sea even though no normal lifeforms could survive in close proximity. Flesh had to have been boiled away as the heat from the radiation rivaled the magma pools and hydrothermal vents. It was quiet and peaceful down in these depths, the risk of damage was limited only to the occasional seaquakes and himself if he wasn't careful. It wasn't that he didn't trust the earth to care for his ashes or the remains if buried, he didn't feel he could atone if anyone else handled the burial, and in a place that had potential of being disturbed by human activity. The Titans had meant well, they all respected him and were scared of what he was going to do.

With a slow sigh in the form of air bubbles, he pondered to himself, trying to figure out what Anguirus would say if he could talk again. What exactly did you and Mosura see in those humans? What did you see throughout your travels and your reign? Did you ever worry about them chasing you out? Would you have allowed it, or fought back like I did?

Those were the few out of many questions he had that stuck out to him, knowing now his people have long since forgotten him. Whether they knew what happened to him or not, or if they grieved or craved for his presence again, it was no different from what happened with his people after the young generations took over. Perhaps instead of haughtiness, they forgot out of surrender or necessity. They just gave up waiting for his return, thought he didn't have need for them anymore or just abandoned them to the mercies of the world. If that was the case, they would've been more angry or frightened at the King's visit instead of just studying him. Perhaps his showing up concerned them, and that's why the clan split afterwards.

After enough silence between him and the skeleton passed, Gojira entered his chamber for a nap. The lava falls made for soothing white noise, and sometimes the radiation hissed, which reminded him of how voices and footsteps used to echo through the halls. It kept him sane during his long slumbers, and it was an excellent way to remind him he was still drawing breath.

GOJIRA! Answer me!

He jerked where he lay at Mosura's chirp in his head, perturbed at her interruption, and he heard a sigh of relief. Why're you in my head? How are you in my head?

She was just as baffled as he, which he was ashamed to realize he must've made her think he had forgotten about their connection. Um... we're able to communicate? Anyway, I thought I heard you were in distress, but I couldn't reach you. Or, maybe the proper word is I couldn't find you.

Which was the point, he thought the reception couldn't penetrate through all that mantle. Apparently that explained why she screamed to be able to be heard wherever she was at. What makes you think that?

He preferred the silence that followed so he could get to sleep, but he could sense her working out her next sentence. Well... you were talking to Anguirus.

Gojira deeply frowned as he reviewed over his thoughts. Was he really that loud? Are you saying that makes me crazy? he directed at her.

She fumbled on her words; he could just see her shaking her head and waving her forelegs about. No, I get that. But it sounded like you were... actually talking to him.

He decided to be straightforward about it. I'm at his grave site.

Oh. It was such a quiet sound, it was a wonder it reached him so deep.

Do not bother to ask for directions, it is very deep underwater.

A pause. It was a pleasant pause, and he took that time to flip over to get comfortable again.

So that's what happened to your temple?

He sneered to himself—he thought he was being vague about his whereabouts. Perhaps the earth snitched to her or something. It happened when I was away. The entire city just fell into the ocean with the coast.

I'm sorry.

Whatever, it's been years, and it's still intact. I just had to dig myself a tunnel to get to it.

Oh, that's fascinating, but wonderful.

"Can you leave me in peace now?" he growled out loud, getting a headache.

Mosura's giggle pealed like bells in his head, and then the connection broke.

He leered at a corner of the temple for a while before he would sleep it off, wondering how much she had heard and why she even cared so much. It wasn't as if his dreams were hurting him, they were nothing but past memories that had already landed a blow.

In the midst of such a memory, while the False King droned on for the hundredth time about the evils of Man, he happened to look down at the spectators foolish enough to stay in the area. They were in awe at the sight of a war between gods, yet there was hope and determination present on their faces. Although powerless in strength against them, they had other ways that would bring aid to their ally.

For Man was more cunning than both Nature and Chaos had even planned.

*~*~*

The morning sun and breeze tickled her wings as Mosura scanned the ocean waves, watching as a pod of whales congregated near the horizon. They had been doing that since sunrise, it was odd behavior being close to land, suggesting something was on its way over. She used that as a visual cue to get herself ready, not wanting to make it look like she was waiting around. A sly smirk in her eyes, she flitted over to munch on the greenery (except when she checked for nests), trying to keep herself looking "distracted" while peeking past her wings every few minutes.

The whales suddenly scattered with surprised clicks and howls, and she nearly choked on a trunk at the sound of water breaking over a certain someone's back. She still smiled to herself while cleaning off the leaves and bark from her fur, her antennae fluttering as a shadow fell over her. Crooning in thought, she leaned her head back to meet Gojira in the eye.

The King and Queen stared each other down with little movement. He was not all that happy to see her, but he was looking better, and he even felt a little better. She briefly cocked her head to the side, and nodded to silently as if to say, "Go on?"

Working his jaw, he picked at his blood-coated teeth with a claw and turned away. Standing on all fours, Mosura curled her forelegs close in worry, unable to feel his thoughts running through her head. He didn't walk too far from the cliffside when he let out a rumbling sigh, his tail swaying above the waves. "If I'm to see your point," he started, cricking his neck, "I'll have to observe them from afar."

She nodded, stretching her wings. "That's right. That's the safest way for them to not see you as a threat."

He snorted when he looked back at her. "This isn't just about the humans' safety. It's also for my sanity to not get them worked up and strike."

Mosura soared on the wind to reach his shoulder. "You'll see they're not so bad. They never were."

"If they keep multiplying like that, they will be," he grunted, storming back into the open sea. "Soon you won't be able to see the ground they're walking on."

"Gojira," she whispered in a warning tone.

"And must you say my name out in the open?" he rebuked with a huff.

She leaned against his neck with a thoughtful croon. "Only if you'll let me keep you company more. Like old times."

Gojira bared his teeth for a moment, unsure if that was a good idea.

Like she knew his thoughts, she added still in a sing-song tone, "A king's going to need a healthy way to redirect his frustrations to avoid declaring war on his people out of boredom."

He raised a brow, unsure if he understood what she meant. "What're you implying? You're not threatening your king, are you?"

She trilled, shaking her body. "Call me your queen, and I'll respect your title."

Gojira snapped at her, but not in a serious manner when his snout bumped her side. She leaped off with a giggle and continued to hover around his head humming one of her little tunes. He shook his head, then had a thought that Anguirus, if he were still with them, would've thought it was about time they started acting like they were king and queen.

Watching his moth companion twirl around in circles, for a moment there, it felt like old times.

*~*~*

They kept their word: Gojira stayed his distance from the humans when out on his hunts. Mosura continued to watch the skies, but she was noted by her people for hovering around his cluster of spines when she was visited. Time was hardly a blip on their radars, but to stave off boredom when they were not in the same area, they'd communicate across distances their reports or thoughts, or just to see how the other was doing. The humans were rarely brought up, even though the King knew she always had them on her mind.

After some months pass by, he'd retreat to his sunken temple for sleep that'd last years. The ocean floor was not always a quiet place, however. There were occasions an underwater quake or eruption would disturb him prematurely, and he'd groggily make his way to the surface where Mosura would appear with a gleeful "Happy new year, sleepyhead!" Such a statement irked him a few times, feeling as if she was teasing him for his long absences, but she would tell him stories of the earth's accomplishments to catch him up while he patrolled. The planet was always busy, always changing, and Mosura was the historian.

During one of his naps, she went through her cycle, and showed off her wings to direct his gaze to the change in her appearance: the eye spots turned gold with a highlight. As she explained, it was her personal reminder of their promise for renewing their companionship. Gojira, not wanting to feel one-upped, clawed on his shoulder where she loved to perch three sets of four grooves to leave a permanent mark. After the shock of his self-maiming wore off, she laughed, yet adored the thought since it looked a lot like her people's symbol. It was a pain for him since he had to will his regeneration to not heal it, but it was worth it to see her freak out. Not so whenever a Titan would appear whether they were together or not, for they would take one look at their markings and then gambled losing their tongues when they smiled and teased, "Took the coronation long enough."

He had a suspicious feeling Mosura had spread the news about it.

The day eventually came when she told him her people were scattering, the last of the ancient clans to do so, but they did not vanish completely. Their history was important enough for families to pass it down to each generation, even if they no longer worshiped her. The twin priestesses, by genetics or by will, always had twins to prove their lineage, and maintained their psychic link to their goddess. She remained close-by to her birth island, but she was becoming more of a vagabond as the years went on, and she had to find a new place to lay her egg. All he knew about the new nest was it was someplace he was prohibited from entering.

So she got the better end of the deal out of all the Titans, Gojira had thought, and it was for the best. Their absence from the world meant the existence of Titans became nothing more than myth or nearly forgotten in worst cases, and although humans have risen to the top of the food chain, the earth had remained calm, and balance seemed to be in order. He'd still slink around in the ocean's trenches and look in on them, but he was getting bored and slept more often. He snorted to himself once upon thinking jokingly that the way to kill a god was by boredom, but by also stripping away every power they had, thereby effectively erasing them from existence. Perhaps that was the humans' plan from the start, but they'd deny it if approached about it, of course.

"Boredom" was his personal explanation for why Mosura was steadily extending her rebirth each time she passed on, for mostly it was from natural causes than from battle, which were scarce. He didn't like the thought of her dying from old age, but he never heard of Titans falling ill or of anything mortal like that. She'd return to her egg, but he wouldn't know how long she'd be in hibernation for. The last time the cycle took place, one of her last words she had said to him was "We'll be needed when Nature's balance is skewed", but the "when" part was never specified.

He never saw himself as a patient Titan, but if sleep made time move faster, he could handle boredom. His radiated den remained as the last sanctuary in the ever-changing world, and that's where he remained undisturbed when he wasn't out hunting. It was a bit of a lonely existence, but Anguirus' skeleton, all that remained of his memory, kept him from going mad in his solitude.

Then suddenly, mankind learned how nuclear fission and radiation worked, thousands of years after they forgot why it was they weren't meant to be in charge of harnessing its power.

The bombs had left some scarring from contact, but the radiation gave Gojira a boost of power he hadn't seen before in thousands, maybe millions of years. The surge meant they returned to fearing him, but curiously, some humans tailed him for observation purposes instead. He could just imagine Mosura thinking it was amusing.

It also stirred some old Titans out of hiding—the real nasty ones, too—and in the current earth's state, it meant disaster. He had to shake off sleep and work out some kinks to go after them, and he hadn't wanted to admit he was out of practice. He ached everywhere, felt too slow for his liking, and he used up much of his energy to defeat them each time, but at least balance was being restored. And the humans, who were as irritating and impulsive as ever, for a moment had remembered their King.

But so did the monster sealed in ice.

Gojira couldn't return to his slumber after he went after the parasitic Titans because Nature bugged him about it. Yes, balance was returning, but it was never to be thanks to the land-destructive incident where humans got involved. He had an unshakable feeling there was more to come, and he started to sense them coming into contact with human activity. He thought they were dead and forgotten, but humans are nosy troublemakers, and the False King rose again.

They hadn't aged a day from the looks of it, and as old as he was, he couldn't slack off on his defense or else the world was going to die thanks to the humans making a mess. Again. His years of indifference beginning to heat up with anger was what cost him the fight, although he would've won had the humans not intervened with a brand new weapon.

What was it, exactly? A bomb that sucked and dissolved oxygen in water with the power of a nuclear fission?

...Well, he had to give them props for creativity. Even gods couldn't breathe without oxygen.

While he had managed to drag himself into his den, Gojira wondered if his time had finally come. The False King had usurped and started wrecking havoc on the world, and his body was practically deprived of oxygen. Even if he could recover, there would be nothing left for him to salvage. Taking in the architecture, the reptilian Titan replayed ancient memories of a crowd waiting outside of the temple with offerings, and prayers of gratitude and guidance in a language no human alive knows how to speak. Mosura's song echoed in the room as the throng smiled and sang along. He found himself crooning to the tune as well, the King and Queen having themselves a duet that promised a lifetime of loyalty and devotion to their followers and each other.

It's funny how he never appreciated those times before now...

So real was his memory that a light touch to his snout manifested itself, and he slowly opened his eyes while his ears still echoed.

A human had made his way inside the den, a solemn, reverent look in his dark eyes. Gojira didn't know his name, didn't know of his life outside of the temple up in the surface, and yet there was a connection between the two. Some form of understanding that he swore was lost to time. And when the human spoke, it wasn't of the old tongue, but it was still universal, and it carried with it rejuvenating strength:

"Saraba, tomo yo."

*~*~*

Gojira's figure popped with aches when he stretched out from his curled state. His mouth felt dry, his stomach empty, and he wondered how long he was asleep for. A shame, too, he was just thinking back to the best part when he burned that yellow bastard to a crisp.

A couple of light jabs poked the back of his neck, and he snorted in amusement. He didn't mean to disrupt Mosura's sleep, but she had to insist on laying on top of him. Her reason for it was that it would be easier for her to get up and avoid being squished when he was not the one known for tossing and turning. Getting tangled up in his plates apparently was appealing to her.

"My King, you're awake again," she mumbled, which was very uncharacteristic of her, but she had exhausted herself laying her egg, thereby postponing their reunion. "Need something?"

He smirked to himself. "A back rub."

Another jab. "Your back popped back into place last month."

"Okay, then just the shoulders this time."

He felt her rolling over, and for a moment he thought she was going to do it. Then she drowsily leaned her head in sight before flopping back down. "Was it another nightmare, my King?"

A low rumble in his throat, Gojira just shook his head and lay back down. "I just got to thinking, is all."

"Hm?"

The faces of humans he had brief interactions with flashed through his mental eye, noticing something they had in common. They were in awe that he even so much as gave them the time of day, but they were sympathetic to his fight. Although he had of yet to see signs of gratitude with them, compared to days of old where they just were tired of looking at him, they were like younglings looking up to their guardian.

Noticing her antennae drooping in her need for sleep, Gojira mused out loud, "Humans and Titans are polar opposites, yet both have a balancing act that keeps this world from spinning out of control."

Mosura's head lightly bumped against his cheekbone. "Like how Nature intended?"

Carefully so as to not poke out an eye or knock her off, he turned to face her, making sure she noticed his gaze before saying, "Were we in the wrong to hide away when we did?"

Her wings feebly lifted like a shrug, biting back a yawn. "Maybe we were asleep a little too long. But... they needed their space—oh. A shooting star."

Gojira lifted his eyes to the night sky, scanning the twinkling pinpoints of light for the fallen star, but saw nothing out of the ordinary.

"Too slow," she whispered, chuckling under her breath.

Dirt blew yards away when he dropped his head back to the ground. "I still think they were in the wrong to chase us off," he muttered, although he didn't sound like he really meant it.

"And they survived just fine. Don't worry about it." She nibbled his skin in a comforting manner. "Relax, my King. You need your beauty sleep, for once."

He briefly rolled his eyes, but was more than happy to take her up on that offer.
 
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