In the Shadow


Well-Known Member
I've been thinking about this for a while. Aside from a few snippets this will be my first real attempt at writing a story, so be warned.

Let me first say that I'm well aware that this won't be for everybody. For one thing, it's very heavily AU, branching out from the idea that Mamoru was born 10 years before he would be in anime canon. So for those of you who don't know that would make him 30 at the start of the SM series. Also I'm trying to give Tokyo a more noir-ish tint, as such there will be times when I trade accuracy for story.

Without further ado, allow me to present the introduction to my tale, my own personal take on the "car accident" that killed Mamoru's parents.


In the Shadow of the Moon

The family of three exited the movie theater, the taller of the menÆs sleeve being tugged along by the young boy.

ôCome on, the carÆs this way!ö the kid exclaimed.

ôCalm down, son. The movieÆs barely over and youÆre already hurrying us out. ThereÆs no need,ö his father replied.

ôBut dad, you know my show always comes on at 10. We might miss the start!ö

ôDonÆt you worry, weÆll be right on time,ö the only woman in the group reassured her son. ôOf course, it would have been easier if we had Hayate drive us in the first place,ö she said softly as an aside to her husband.

ôYou know me dear, there are times I like the feel of being behind the wheel myself,ö he responded.

ôJust donÆt drive too fast. I can see the headlines now, æWealthy Industrialist Caught on Wild Joyride.Æö

Tarou Chiba, owner and CEO of Chiba Industries, chuckled. ôAh, you know me so well. But you know IÆd never do that. At least not with you and Mamoru in the car,ö he added with a grin.

His wife, Hanako, hid her own smile. ôSpeaking of Mamoru, weÆd better hurry along or heÆll leave us behind,ö she said while nodding at the form of their son, who had in a fit of impatient-ness released TarouÆs arm and raced off towards the parking lot.

ôOh, I donÆt think we have to worry too much. I doubt he can reach the pedals yet, after all.ö


The old import car cruised down the street which, contrary to the norm, seemed to be vacant of other vehicles.

ôStrange, at this time of night you should never see empty streets,ö Tarou muttered to himself, bad old memories resurfacing.

ôWhat was that dear?ö his wife asked.

ôOh, nothing. Just an observation. ItÆs not important,ö he reassured Hanako.

A head popped up between the front seats. ôCanÆt you go any faster, dad? TimeÆs almost up,ö Mamoru pleaded.

ôNow son, IÆm going as fast as I can, you know that. Besides, IÆm sure Hayate will tape it for you of it looks like weÆre going to be late. Now sit back, and keep your set belt fastened this time,Æ instructed Tarou.

After checking Mamoru, he turned his attention back to driving. Tarou was slightly relieved to see a car pull out from a side road. However, when a second and third identical vehicle followed those feelings were quickly replaced by dread and determination.

ôHanako,ö he said in a hard voice, ôKeep your head down.ö Tarou risked a glance in the rear view mirror; the cars had fanned out, one in his lane and one to either side. Not wanting to let on anything yet, he resisted the impulse to accelerate.

His wife, having a good idea of what was going on, complied. Though her first thought was for Mamoru, she realized that he was still small enough not to be seen clearly from outside, and climbing in the back to protect him would only make them both a larger target.

ôWhatÆs going on dad?ö asked a confused Mamoru.

ôNothing to worry about, Mamoru. Just stay calm and try not to move.ö At times he might not act like it, but Mamoru was remarkably mature for his age. He knew when his father was being serious. This was such a time, so despite the contradictory nature of TarouÆs statement Mamoru tried to relax his mind, even though he knew something wasnÆt right.

A crossroad. Tarou gritted his teeth. NowÆs as good a time as any. ôHold on.ö He simultaneously floored the pedal and yanked the wheel. The Bentley made a near 90 degree turn and sped down the intersecting street. The screech of brakes behind him and the chatter of machine guns opening up let Tarou know the game was on.

A scream. Tarou didnÆt notice it however; he was completely focused on one thing: Survival.

Damn it, itÆs been nearly 20 years. Why would they pick now? TarouÆs thoughts raced. He veered right as a bullet shattered the driverÆs side mirror. The car started to swerve, and Tarou fought to keep control as more bullets flew by. Luck was with him, and he straightened out without losing too much ground.

Sweat was beading down TarouÆs face as he tried to avoid as much gunfire as possible. He frowned momentarily as he noticed another faint noise. Ears straining, Tarou tried to identify it over the sound of automatic weapons. A grin broke out on his face as realization dawned. Sirens! If I can only hold out a bit longerà The bullets abruptly stopped.

Again, TarouÆs eyes flitted to the mirror. Two of the cars had left the chase, but the remaining was steadily gaining on him. Damn it, too slow, too slow!

The car switched lanes as it continued to accelerate. TheyÆre trying to pull alongside! Tarou thought in growing horror. No! Not this time. He immediately followed suit, and the two cars began a grim game of reverse follow the leader, where the only prize the winner would receive was his life. Where the hell are those cops?!

A mistake. TarouÆs attention had wavered for a moment and he didnÆt shift lanes in time. It didnÆt matter, though. It was too late for that. Tarou turned the wheel.

A loud screech of metal against metal echoed as his tail attempted to nudge him out of control. Fortunately Tarou had anticipated this and had turned along with the nudge.

Somewhere in the back of his mind Tarou noticed Hanako slumped forward and unmoving, and Mamoru crying in the back while holding one of his arms. He couldnÆt pay attention to that now however, so his mind brutally repressed it.

More bad luck. The brush up had slowed the Bentley down enough that the two cars were now almost neck to neck. Tarou quickly glanced out the side. The other carÆs window was down and a tattooed, pistol filled hand reached out. Without a second thought Tarou jerked the wheel. Sparks flew as the two high-speed vehicles collided, the unfortunate hand caught in the middle. The pistol fell unnoticed to the ground as its owner yanked his bleeding appendage back inside.

Far ahead in the distance, Tarou noticed flashing lights. ThatÆs it! Nearly there! TarouÆs mood dimmed when he realized that even with the police in sight it still might not be enough. Narrowed eyes took in the road around him, looking for anything he could possibly use to buy more time.

The cars continued to scrape against each other. No more attempts to use a firearm though. Which I suppose is one bit of good luck. Wait a secondà there! The billionaireÆs eyes widened as he saw his chance for survival.

It was a seemingly innocuous thing. Just one of those large dumpsters that sit in almost every inner city neighborhood. I canÆt let them notice yet, or itÆs all gone. Tarou pulled away a bit then gave the other car a small nudge, more to keep the driverÆs attention away from the obstruction than anything else.

Tarou licked his lips as the dumpster grew ever closer. He would have to time this just right.

Another nudge, which the car returned.

Tarou pulled the Bentley in tight against the other vehicle, though not enough to cause his steering to falter. Not yet, not yet, wait a bit moreà Now!

Using all his strength, Tarou threw the wheel left. As heÆd hoped, it was enough to influence the direction of his would-be assassins. Both cars veered directly towards the dumpster. TarouÆs eyes flew back and forth between the dumpster, the car next to him, and the road, his mind rapidly approximating the times and trajectories heÆd need. Once he judged enough time had passed he quickly swung the wheel in the opposite direction. His opponents, who werenÆt as lucky, struck the large object at high velocity. The explosives they were carrying set off a blast which resulted in a fireball that utterly consumed the car.

ôShit!ö Tarou swore aloud as his car spun out from the shockwave. He fought the turn, eventually coming out without any problems. He slowed the car to a stop. Now that the risk was over he could afford to wait for the cops, of which he could now make out the shape of the police cars speeding down the hill in front of him.

Tarou sagged back in his seat as the adrenaline left his system. ôThank God we made it.ö

He turned to check on Mamoru, only to find him pointing a shaking finger towards the windshield. Tarou spun around, ready to floor the gas. A surprised look crossed his face. ôNo, not aft-ö

Tarou ChibaÆs last words were cut off as one of the cars that had pulled away earlier slammed straight into the front of the Bentley. The impact shattered the windshield causing glass shards to fly through TarouÆs neck, piercing the carotid artery and killing him instantly. Hanako, who was still unconscious, didnÆt fare any better as her head smashed into the dashboard. Her neck was broken and she joined her husband in the afterlife. Mamoru, who was provided slightly more protection, crashed into the backseat hard enough to knock him out.

The offending car sped off as the police pulled up. Two men got out and raced towards the Chibas, one of them waving the other car after the criminals.

ôMy God, I havenÆt seen anything like this in years. Not since the Yak wars,ö one of the cops remarked, stunned.

His partner, who had managed to pry open one of the BentleyÆs back doors, yelled ôQuick Ryo, give me a hand! One of themÆs still alive.ö

They were able to remove Mamoru without too much trouble. They set him down on the road away from the wreck. ôHe doesnÆt look too bad, just a broken arm. HeÆll probably have a concussion too. Did you call the ambulance Ryo?ö

ôIÆm on it now LT,ö Ryo replied, heading for the carÆs radio.

Upon seeing that the front doors were in too bad a shape to be opened, the lieutenant crawled up on the hood and knocked what remained of the windshield out of the way. His eyes widened as he recognized the deceased couple.

ôDear God, I donÆt believe it!ö he exclaimed.

Ryo hurried over, having finished the call. ôWhat? Who is it?ö

ôDonÆt tell me you donÆt recognize them,ö the lieutenant replied incredulously. ôThatÆs Tarou Chiba and his wife!ö

Ryo made the connection. ôWasnÆt he the one whoàö


ôGod Damn. At least that explains tonight.ö


Mamoru floated on the edge of consciousness. At one point he thought he could hear voices.

ôThatÆs Tarou Chiba and his wife!ö

ôWasnÆt he the one whoàö


ôGod Damn. At least that explains tonight. Yaks were dying to get their hands on him after what he pulled. Only thing I donÆt get is why they waited this long to do it.ö

ôWho knows. WeÆll have to catch them to find out.ö

Another sound Mamoru recognized, through slightly different than earlier made itÆs way to his ears.

ôAmbulance is coming,ö the second voice announced. ôIÆm gonna check on the kid.ö

Mamoru heard footsteps approach. His body wasnÆt responding yet, but he managed to get his eyes open.

ôHolyà LT, the kidÆs awake!ö

More footsteps as the other man ran over. Mamoru could barely make out a figure crouching down next to him.

ôDonÆt try to move yet, son,ö the man cautioned. ôYou took quite a shot there.ö He reached an arm out to steady Mamoru. ôMy nameÆs Hajime Tenou. IÆm with the police. Just try to relax.ö

ôP-p-parentsàö Mamoru stuttered.

TenouÆs face fell. ôIÆm sorry.ö

Mamoru turned away, tears threatening to fall. He wouldnÆt allow it though. HeÆd have to be strong now. Mamoru didnÆt even notice as he was lifted onto a stretcher, being occupied with trying not to pass out again. It was a losing battle though, and the last thing that crossed his closing eyes was a small barely definable shape fluttering through the air above him on dark wings.


Well, I hope that wasn't too bad. Any help/corrections are welcome, of course. As a side note, I found writing a car chase to be quite difficult. It's such a visual thing that I'm not sure I translated it to print well enough.

Oh, and I guess now that you've read the intro I can admit the story is a fusion.

Prince Charon

Well-Known Member
Very Batman-esque.

EDIT: Hang on, does that make Usagi, Robin?


Well-Known Member
Prince Charon said:
Very Batman-esque.
Thanks, that's what I was going for. I wasn't sure about how the chase turned out though.

EDIT: Hang on, does that make Usagi, Robin?
I'll just nip this in the bud before it goes any farther: No. For one thing, she doesn't meet the familial requirements. For another, I don't anticipate Robin appearing at all in this fic.


Well-Known Member
So the release of a certain game got me interested in this again. Have some more.

For reference, Ra's is pronounced "Raysh."

Also, if this was a dubbed anime Mamoru would be voiced by Kevin Conroy and Yachigusa would be voiced by Liam Neeson.

Also^2, there are multiple shout outs to a certain other anime here, but that's all they are.

* * *

Chinese wilderness - years later

A man moved through forms, one flowing smoothly into the next. Sweat poured off his body, in evidence of the long hours heÆd already been at it. The old woman who stood to the side observing him lifted one hand off her staff and made a cutting motion through the air.

ôStop,ö she stated.

The man obliged immediately, turning to her and tilting his head. ôSifu? I still need to practiceàö he said, out of breath.

ôMamoru. Why do you do this?ö the woman asked.

Mamoru Chiba narrowed his eyes a small amount. ôYouÆve never asked that before. You said the desire to learn was enough. Why change your mind all of the sudden?ö

ôYouÆve been learning under me for nearly five years now, long hours everyday. IÆve a feeling you will be leaving soon; I canÆt teach you much more unless you join our tribe, which we both know will not happen. Just consider it indulging an old womanÆs curiosity,ö his martial arts instructor finished whimsically.

Mamoru pursed his lips, his mind flashing back to when he was a kid. ôàThere are wrongs that need righting,ö he finally responded.

The woman nodded slowly. ôVery well, IÆll accept that. Now come, letÆs go back to the village. They should have dinner ready by now.ö


A few weeks later

The campfire crackled, illuminating MamoruÆs hooded face. He sat huddled around the blaze, the falling snow chilling him even through the warm coat he wore. He shivered and tightened the coat around him.

ôIs this what you have come to, scion of the Chiba family?ö a strong voice announced from the surrounding darkness. The speaker stepped into MamoruÆs campsite, the flickering firelight illuminating his long, oddly-colored hair. ôI have observed you brooding at this fire for the past three days.

ôPeace, Mr. Chiba,ö the man raised his hands in surrender as Mamoru leapt to his feet. ôIÆm not your enemy.ö

ôWho are you then, and why have you supposedly been watching me?ö Chiba responded warily.

ôMy name is Yachigusa Kino. I represent the interests of one RaÆs al Ghul, who leads a group of, shall we say concerned citizens, who dislike the rampant waves of crime that seem to plague every city and town throughout the world.ö

ôThatÆs great and all, but that doesnÆt explain what you want from me,ö Mamoru said flatly.

ôWant from you? Nothing. It is you yourself that we want. We saw what you did the day after leaving that village. After discovering your identity and background, RaÆs al Ghul has come to believe you could find yourself a purpose if you join us.ö Yachigusa took a seat next to the fire and motioned Mamoru to sit as well.

ôYouÆre now at a crossroads, Mr. Chiba. You can continue on as you are, sitting here staring at this fire for a few more days before getting up and continuing on with your life, such at it is, or you can follow me, and become something more. You may think that since you have the blessings of your Sifu your training is over, but I can promise you it has only just begun. Join us, Mamoru, and see how much more there is to learn,ö Kino urged.

ôJoin you. Become something more. What does that mean, æsomething more?Æö

ôAn idea, Mr. Chiba. A legend.ö Yachigusa stood up. ôIÆll take my leave of you now. If you decide to accept my offer, there are a group of pools to the south.ö He pulled out an intricate flask and set it on the ground. ôFill this with water from one of them and climb to the top of Mount Kensei.ö Yachigusa bowed slightly and backed out of the light.

Slowly Mamoru reached to the side, picked up the flask, and held it up between himself and the fire. He spent the rest of the night staring at it, contemplating the opportunity that had presented itself.


The manor stood in isolation as Mamoru stumbled up to the door. A servant answered and took the offered flask. Mamoru slumped into the door frame as the servant disappeared down the hall. Eyes closed in rest, Mamoru started as he felt a hand on his shoulder. He opened his eyes and stared into the face of Yachigusa Kino.

ôWelcome my young friend, to the true start of your journey.ö


ôYou must first conquer your own fear, Mr. Chiba, if you are to be successful in turning it against others.ö


ôEven the most hardened of criminals feels fear. What you must determine is, what form does that fear take? And how can you use it?"


One year later

Mamoru knelt in front of Yachigusa Kino and RaÆs al Ghul, the latter dressed in white robes and a red headdress. He sat calmly on a throne, adorned in a gold chest plate highlighted by a red jewel in the center. Large candles burned to either side of him, their dancing flames shadowed on the curtains.

As always, Kino spoke for RaÆs. ôYou have come a long way in just a year, Mr. Chiba. However there is one thing left to do before you take your place in our League.ö

RaÆs motioned to the side and a door opened. A man was led in by two servants; his hands were tied behind his back and a blindfold covered his eyes.

ôThis man is a murderer. He attempted to steal a cow from a fellow villager and was discovered. A scuffle ensued and he ended up killing the other man. There is only one way justice can now be served,ö Yachigusa said, drawing a katana from his side and presenting it to Mamoru.

Chiba took the blade, but hesitated. ôThis isnÆt right. If I kill this man IÆll be no better than he is.ö

YachigusaÆs face grew stony. ôMamoru, what have you been learning all this timeàö

ôI wonÆt be like him, Sensei.ö

ôDonÆt do this, Mr. Chiba,ö Yachigusa tried one last time.

Mamoru straightened his back. ôI refuse.ö

RaÆs al Ghul snapped his fingers and Kino shot forward, a second sword flashing in an arc towards MamoruÆs stomach. Mamoru parried and sent a kick to YachigusaÆs leg. Yachigusa buckled, but recovered quickly and swept his blade up. Mamoru leapt back to avoid, but was left open to a palm thrust that tossed him into one of the candle stands. The candle fell and rolled into one of the curtains, instantly setting it ablaze and spreading quickly.

RaÆs jumped down from his seat to join the attack, but the fire flared in front of him, sending him reeling backwards. In his flailing he tripped over the fallen candle stand and fell head first into one of his throneÆs armrests, cracking his skull and killing him instantly.

Mamoru took advantage of the momentary pause in the fight and dove out the nearest window. He hit the ground and rolled to his feet, sweeping pieces of glass out of his hair. Chiba turned and glanced behind him. The flames had reached the windowsill now and obscured most of the room, but he could still make out the silhouette of Yachigusa sheathing his sword and walking away.

A frown split MamoruÆs face before fading away. The stableÆs not too far, he thought, if I can make it there it will be easier getting awayà


The small village at the bottom of the mountain was in a near state of panic as Mamoru rode in. A glance over his shoulder told him the reason why. The League ran the town, and with the clearly visible manor consumed by flames the people didnÆt know what to do.

Mamoru ignored it though, and got off the horse to enter the only building with a phone. The number he dialed hadnÆt been used in a long time, but it was still fresh in MamoruÆs mind.


ô. . .ö

ôYes, itÆs me.ö

ôI know, and IÆm sorry. ItÆs good to hear your voice as well. Listen. I need a planeàö