With the help of their Ouranos - their Zodiac partners - twelve mortals of Earth unite to save not only their world, but the entire cosmos, from destruction foretold in ancient Greek mythologies.
“Look at the big kitties,” Sarah cooed. She pressed herself against the glass. “Here, kitty, kitty.”
Elric sighed. “He’s not going to come to you.” To his surprise, however, the massive lion strode over to the window. He pressed his face, rubbing against it.
Sarah squealed. “Elric! He likes me!”
“He wants to eat you,” Elric said, unamused.
“He’s just a sweet little kitty, isn’t he?”
“He’s a lion.”
Elric looked around them, but the zoo patrons appeared to be minding their own business, entranced by the various animals displayed behind glass.
Sarah stepped back from the window and sighed heavily. “Why do you have to take the fun out of everything?”
Elric walked away from the lion exhibit and Sarah fell in behind him. She nearly had to jog to keep up with his quick pace.
“I’m not,” he said. He stopped walking after a moment, noticing then that she had stopped following him. They stood in the shaded alleyway between exhibits, and for a moment, they were alone. She stared at him, frowning.
Elric sighed. “I’m sorry,” he said.
Sarah turned her gaze to her feet. “You always do this,” she said. “Whenever we do something I want to do. You always complain or say something to ruin everything for me.”
Elric hesitated. “I just… think it’s stupid to talk to a lion like it’s a fucking cat.”
“What do you want me to do? Stare at it and say nothing?” She huffed in exaggeration. “This is supposed to be fun!”
“I’m sorry if I don’t find the zoo fun,” he said, a slight snap in his voice.
“No,” Sarah started softly. “This… us… this isn’t fun anymore.”
Elric hesitated. “What? Do you want to break up?”
Sarah met his gaze. “Yes.” She pulled her gaze away and fumbled with her phone. “I’m just going to call my sister to pick me up,” she said.
“Fine,” he muttered. He couldn’t wait to get out of that place. Without another word, he turned away from her and followed the path back out into the warm, spring sunshine. He had his hands in his pocket, his head low as he walked through the crowds. They stepped aside, leering at him as he pushed his way through, but he paid them no mind.
He looked up, paused, then looked around. People were going about their day, chatting and laughing as they made their way to the next exhibit. After a moment, his gaze landed on an older looking man. Like Elric, he stood still in the middle of the bustling crowd, and he stared at Elric, his gaze hard.
Elric shuttered. He pulled his gaze away and hurried on, pushing through the crowd once more. He just wanted to get out of that damn zoo and go home. But as he searched for the exit, the world darkened suddenly. He looked up as a dark cloud crept in, covering the sun quickly. It seemed to build and grow, and thunder rumbled in the distance. A few drops fell from the sky, and people started to move more quickly, hurrying to seek shelter from the approaching storm.
Elric looked around and he found the old man again, his gaze fierce as he watched Elric. Elric hesitated, stepping back and bumping into a woman. He turned to apologize, and when he looked back, the man was gone.
Elric stood dumbly as the rain began to fall more steadily. He looked up at the sky, then back around before hurrying forward once more. He spotted a dark, sheltered alleyway between buildings. The rain fell heavily, and he made a mad dash for it. By the time he had reached the cover of the alley, he was already drenched. Thunder crashed loudly, and when he looked up, the old man was standing just inches away from him, and he jumped back with a slight yelp of surprise.
“Bloody hell,” he gasped. “What the -”
But the man pushed him forcefully against the wall of the building. Elric tried to push him off, but he was far stronger, even for his age.
“The fuck do ya want from me?”
“Listen!” the man hissed.
Elric stared wide-eyed at him. His voice was so familiar. He had heard it before. Earlier. Throughout the day. Calling to him.
“You.” Elric hesitated. “What?! Who are you?”
The man loosened his grip on Elric, then dropped his arms. “I am Leo. And I need your help.”
“I don’t know who you are,” Elric started. “And that is not how you ask for help, mate!” He let out a breath. “Shit. What do you want from me?”
“The world is in grave danger,” Leo said. His brows furrowed fiercely. “Only The Twelve can stop the coming war. You are one of The Twelve, Elric. You must come together -”
Elric laughed loudly. “What? Have you lost your mind? What is this, X-Men or something?”
“I assure you this is not X-Men,” Leo said in an annoyed tone. “However, you are the embodiment of Zeus, and therefore, you carry his power with you. That power -”
Elric stepped around him, but Leo grabbed his arm tightly. When Elric tried to pull out of his grip, Leo’s grip tightened.
“Get off me,” Elric hissed. “Leave me alone, you freak.”
“You need to stop running,” Leo said. “I know Zeus has come to you already and told you of your mission. It is your duty to save the world from the Gigante. No one else can.”
“Zeus?” He stopped struggling and his gaze narrowed on the man. “That was a dream. How do you -”
“When Zeus appointed me as your Ouranos, I became bonded to you. I know everything about you, Elric. I know where you are at all times. With me, you will have access to Zeus’ gift, a great power that will aid you in your mission.”
“Ouranos?” Elric rolled his eyes. “Bloody hell, couldn’t you just pull up in a white van and offer me candy instead?”
Leo peered at him. “Would that work?”
Elric yanked his arm out of the man’s grip. “No!”
“That woman you were with,” Leo started. “She is important to you. Her life will be in danger if you do nothing. As long as you share a connection with the Olympians, the Gigantes will be drawn to you.”
“Well, then, how do I disconnect?”
“You cannot,” Leo said. “Only they can sever the bond.”
“There’s always a catch, isn’t there?”
“They are… often caught up in themselves.”
Elric scoffed. “Yeah, like that’s news.” He shook his head. “Look. I’m just gonna go and I hope your family finds your crazy ass, yeah?”
“What can I do to convince you?”
Elric pushed past the man. The rain still fell heavily, but he needed to get out of that damn zoo. “I dunno, mate,” he muttered. “It’d have to be something incredible.”
“Aiko!” Hina called over her shoulder. “Your boyfriend is here!”
“Urusai!” Aiko hissed. She turned to see Hina with two other girls, giggling as a young, American looking man stood in the doorway. His lips pulled into a crooked smile when Hina called loudly for Aiko, and he stepped to the counter where Hina waited with a sly grin.
“Yahhō, Akua,” Hina said. “When are you going to ask Aiko out?”
His cheeks turned pink and Hina laughed.
“Hina!” Aiko scolded once more. She pushed her friend aside as she approached the counter and offered the young man an apologetic smile. The three girls teased Aiko in Japanese briefly before leaving her alone at the counter.
“What are you doing here, Akua?” Aiko asked. She met his gaze sheepishly and smiled.
“I don’t know how I feel about that nickname,” he said.
Aiko’s smile grew and she rolled her eyes. “Well, Aquarius is a little weird.”
“Besides the fact that I’m not even human?”
“If you don’t stop walking me home, I’ll have no choice but to tell them you’re my boyfriend.”
He smiled. “Would that be so bad?”
But Aiko’s smile faded and she turned away. “Let me get my things,” she said quickly, then disappeared around the corner.
Aquarius leaned on the counter, listening as the women spoke quickly to one another. When Aiko returned, she had her bag in hand and was waving over her shoulder, bidding her friends goodbye. She smiled up at him as she came around the counter, and together, they stepped outside into the cool Tokyo night air.
Aquarius glanced at her as they walked. “I made contact with Libra. Her Ouranos, Sonia, was attacked by a Gigantes.”
Aiko frowned. “Is she okay?”
Aquarius nodded. “She is. But it seems she has no interest in helping.”
Aiko smiled. “I didn’t know that was an option.”
“It is,” Aquarius said.
“Well, I’m still here,” she said softly. Aiko pulled her gaze away. She looked ahead, her brows furrowed. “I guess I was still hoping you were messing with me.” She sighed. “But you’ve been hanging around for two months, now, so I guess you’re not the American on vacation you said you were.”
“Would you have preferred it if I kept lying to you?”
“Yes.” She sighed. “I guess it helps to know I’m not the only one.”
“I told you you weren’t.”
“Right, because I would believe you.” She met his gaze and winked playfully.
“Thanks for believing me.”
“I guess I should have called the police.” She smiled.
“Yes, well, thanks for not doing that. Not that it would have mattered.”
“Because you can just turn into space dust and go home?”
He laughed lightly. “Yeah, something like that.”
“I would have missed you,” Aiko said with a smile. “The weird American boy that comes to visit me at work every day.”
Aquarius smiled. “I would have missed you, too.”
She met his gaze briefly, then blushed and pulled her gaze away. “So, the Gigantes are out there. It doesn’t sound like we have much time to waste.”
“Are you prepared for that?”
She sucked in a breath. “As prepared as one can possibly be for something like this.”
“I’ll be with you,” Aquarius assured her. “I will not let any harm come to you.”
Aiko frowned. “Will it be that dangerous?”
“I don’t know what will happen,” he admitted. “But I intend to keep my promise to you.”
She nodded quietly.
“I’ve been in touch with Virgo as well,” Aquarius said. “There are others nearby. I will coordinate with them. But I’ll come back and get you when they’re ready.”
“Promise?” she smiled.