Title: the prize we sought is won
Fandom: Animorphs/“Supernatural” crossover
Disclaimer: not my characters; just for fun. Title from Whitman.
Warnings: AU for Animorphs—the final battle happened and Rachel died, but all the aliens remained hidden.
Point of view: third
Dedication:claraine, who requested this crossover.
It was six years after Rachel’s death when Tobias had the first dream. He was in a cave, half-human and half-hawk, and a shadow-man with yellow eyes manifested before him.
“Welcome,” the shadow said. “I’ve been waiting for you.” It circled him; Tobias spun to keep it in sight. “You are my special one,” it purred. “My favorite.”
“Who are you?” Tobias demanded. “What do you want?”
It laughed. “Call me Father.”
Tobias reared back and glared. “I have a father.”
“No,” it corrected. “You had a father. He died, didn’t he? Before you ever knew him.”
“I knew him,” Tobias insisted, forcibly lowering his wing-arms. “He was good.”
“Yes,” the shadow mused. “A warrior. The best his people have ever borne. But he still died, m’boy. He still left. You must be so angry at him for that.”
Tobias threw himself back, away from those glowing yellow eyes and the understanding voice, and nearly fell out of his tree. He flared his wings, catching himself, and hurried toward dawn.
Three nights later, the shadow-man returned. It stood in the corner as Tobias watched Rachel fight again.
“Oh, poor boy,” it said sadly. “Everyone always leaving. If only you knew your power, you could make them stay.”
Rachel fell to the floor, bleeding and broken. Tears poured from Tobias’ human eyes and Rachel died.
He woke leaping from his tree, morphing human. But even as he cried, huddled close to the dirt, he wanted to run, for the earth to pound beneath his hooves.
Tobias went from human to horse in less than a heartbeat and didn’t stop to think about the ease or speed or impossibility of the change until dawn broke and he’d been a horse for half the night.
No, he moaned. I’m nothlit again.
He already mourned his wings, and as he thought of them he felt them sprouting to the sky and wondered, What the fuck is going on?
That night, it was the Ellimist in his old man guise that crashed Tobias’ dream of hunting a polar bear.
“Hello, Tobias,” he said. “The years have been kind to you.”
<Why are you here?> Tobias demanded, dropping to the ground and morphing human. “What do you want?”
“Surely you’ve noticed some changes, Tobias. You no longer need to be in hawk form to morph—you can go from animal to animal with speed and beauty—you, dear boy, are something entirely new.”
Tobias snorted. “Well, bully for me.” He turned, leaping up and becoming a hawk, swiftly flying away.
The Ellimist kept pace with him. “You can become anything you want, Tobias. You can mix and match; if you but imagine it, it is yours.”
Tobias flew faster and his eyes opened.
He swiftly morphed human and yelled into the night, “Just leave me the fuck alone!”
For almost a month he got his wish. But then he dreamed of the Ellimist fighting a yellow-eyed shadow, both screaming for his soul. Tobias watched, at a loss. He didn’t know what to do or how to wake.
“He has been mine from the moment of his mother’s birth!” the shadow howled.
“But his father wasn’t one of yours,” the Ellimist countered calmly. “The father was mine. I chose the boy first, demon. I have prior claim.”
The shadow-man(demon?) jeered. “You think that matters to me? You are not of this world or this time.”
“Tobias,” the Ellimist pronounced, wings hovering at his back, “son of Loren and Elfangor is mine.”
The shadow peered long at Tobias; it took great restraint to keep from shrinking back.
“For now, Elder,” the shadow said softly. “But mine always prove themselves in the end.” It chuckled. “Killers, all. Remorseless. You’ll see.”
Tobias woke, dread in his throat.
After that, he began practicing. The Ellimist was right: he envisioned the shape in his mind and he became it. Any shape, from any age—except alien, he found. He couldn’t morph Andalite or Taxxon or Hork-Bajir. But he could become dinosaurs and saber-toothed cats and mammoths. He could even create mythological beasts, like sirens and centaurs. His morphs were always male, though.
The war was over, had been ended quietly with the Yeerks retreating. And now, when it was no use, he had such ability—Tobias cursed the shadow and Ellimist both.
A year to the night of his first dream, on the eve of his twenty-third birthday, the shadow came back. Tobias was awake this time.
It spoke to him through a young woman with long blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Tobias knew she wasn’t Rachel, but the superficial similarities hurt him anyway.
“I can return her to you, m’boy,” it said with the woman’s stolen mouth. “The meddler is constrained by his rules, but my hands are unfettered.”
Tobias morphed a viper of monstrous size and gave himself large bat wings. <And what would I have to do for you?> he asked.
“There is a war, Tobias, far greater than the alien war you’ve already fought. It’s not about lives—it’s about souls. I want you for my side.”
Tobias took to the air. <You’ll give me back Rachel? Like she was?>
It nodded the bright blonde head.
<Alright,> Tobias answered. <You keep up your end and I’m your soldier.>
Two years passed before anything happened. Rachel didn’t magically appear anywhere and Tobias kept living like he always had. He kept his new abilities from the surviving Animorphs with ease—he hadn’t spoken to any of them, even Ax, since Rachel died.
And then, the day after Tobias turned twenty-five, he woke up to a young blonde woman lying in his meadow, and he knew before he saw her face that she was his Rachel.
As he helped her up and explained what all had happened in the near-ten years since she died, Tobias thought to the yellow-eyed shadow, Whatever you want, I’m yours.