Welcome back to all my readers. Here's the next installment of Post-Mortem. If you have the time, please read and review, as I do enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas on my little pet project so very much.
Disclaimer; Don't own Rosario Vampire, but I do own my own made up shit. Don't sue me.
He reached down and patted away the mop of hair that covered her face, and looked down upon his would-be attacker from mere hours prior. Granted, while he did wish for her to be knocked down a peg or two and learn some humbleness, he'd never intended for it to get this bad, or wished it upon her for that matter. No, this had been someone else, an isolated circumstance that had nothing to do with him.
He took a quick glance at his surroundings, noticing as much as possible before he deemed that there was no other creature in the near distance to present a threat to Tsukune. With that thought in mind, he adjusted Kurumu until she was laying bridal position in his arms, turned around and immediately began sprinting towards the dorm buildings paying no heed to his surroundings, as he was simply moving too fast to be caught by anything other than himself. However, he did pay heed to the footsteps he'd traced earlier, switching back to IR readings to see where they lead to. But, as fortune would have it, those same steps lead straight to the male dorms of all places, and then got lost upon dorm entry. 'Well, at least this can narrow down my target group.' He thought to himself, wondering irately as to who would have the gall to attack a freshman girl on the first day of school.
Sprinting up the stairs, he reached his dorm in record time, easing the door shut as he casually observed the progress that Luca had made upon the healing brew. Noting that it was looking to be in its final stages of production, he looked down at Kurumu laying in his arms without his goggles on, and let out an audible gasp of shock.
She was bleeding, and badly. Looking further, Tuskune noted most of her body was left in relatively okay condition, only suffering minor contusions, cuts, and bruises. But what really concerned him was the very apparent absence of her wings and tail, which just so happened to coincide with where her continual blood loss was currently coming from. He looked at Luca, a very serious expression gracing his features. "How long until the brew is ready?"
Only about two minutes, then it'll be ready for direct application.
"Good. Can you hand me the cauterizing agent we have in stock?" He asked Luca, waiting for her reply. She immediately delved into the chest, pulling up a vile of off-white liquid that she quickly tossed in his direction, which he subsequently caught. Popping the top off of the vial, he very gently moved Kurumu so that she was lying on her back, and with great care let several drops of the solution fall directly onto the oozing wounds near Kurumu's shoulders, wherein the effect was near-immediate. As soon as the drops landed, they quickly stopped the blood flow out of the wounds, but did not close them. Tsukune then lifted the hem of Kurumu's dress, wondering which part of her body was violated, and subconsciously also wondered which one would be worse. He had to keep in mind that most monsters weren't above adding rape to their repertoire of violent acts. As the hem finally came above her hips he saw that although the blood had stained her legs, panties, and nether region, its source was clearly not from a broken womanhood, but from the removal of her tail. Noting this, he continued to pour the drops onto the base of her spine, causing the blood flow to stop, but again not closing the wound. He then leaned over and tried to feel her pulse from her neck. It was weak at best. She'd suffer anemic conditions for at least a month unless he could get her blood supply back to her within the night. He looked back over at Luca, nodding. Luca, cradling a ladle, a basting brush, and a bowl full of the healing brew, immediately began the short trek over to Tsukune, being overly careful not to spill a drop of the precious solution. Once within his grasp, Tsukune traded her brew for the cauterizing agent and ever so gently dipped the basting brush into the solution, making sure that it was thickly coated before removing it from the bowl, and slowly lowered it to the wounds on her back. Using slow, languid strokes, he brushed the pasty solution directly onto the wound, causing it to cauterize over and seal up after a generous lathering was applied. He did this for all three wounds, and waited for them to cauterize over before removing the excess from her body as it wasn't necessary for healing purposes. Then, ever so gently, he turned her over so that her chest side was up, and knelt behind her so that he could take her head and upper torso onto his raised knees. Once that was accomplished, he carefully opened her mouth and slowly fed her the solution, making sure that she took even, full gulps of the viscous fluid without spilling any, constantly beckoning Luca back and forth between the cauldron and himself, until he had coerced Kurumu into drinking the brew in its entirety.
Once that was complete, he finally set her back down on the floor, taking great care to not move too quickly. He then stripped himself bare of his armored garb, hanging each individual piece in its place within the armoire, and closed the doors. He motioned for Luca to help clean up the remains of the potion-making, and dispose of any unused remains that couldn't be salvaged. After that task was finished, he slowly raised Kurumu up to the bed, paying keen attention to the way he held her and not making any sudden movements. Realizing that she couldn't sleep well in her blood soaked clothing, he braced himself and went directly into his own dresser. First, he reasoned that he himself ought to be covered in her presence, and pulled on a black t-shirt and a pair of gray sweatpants. He looked back at Kurumu's prone form, wondering just what had happened to her to cause such severe damage to her body. 'I won't say that I'm notorious for being territorial, but I'll be damned if she leaves my sight anytime soon.' Tsukune thought to himself, realizing that he actually meant it, and wondered why that was. However, he soon relinquished himself from that train of thought as the sight of Kurumu once again reminded him of what his original mission was; getting her dressed out. Tearing his eyes off of her, he resumed his search within his drawers to find something suitable for her to wear until she became capable enough to take care of herself once again. Finally deciding on an oversized sleep shirt and a pair of boxers that were always just a little too large for him, he went to work. Before beginning, he removed the corsage that had accentuated her ponytail, letting her hair float down to cover her choulders. 'Hmmm,' he noted, 'she looks drastically different with her hair down. Perhaps she should wear it like this more often.' Shaking his head, Tsukune wondered where the random thought had come from for a moment, then dismissed it as a casual observation. He returned to his task. First, he removed the dress, which revealed that under it she wasn't wearing a bra. 'She really should get a reduction, these things cannot be healthy for her in the long run…' Tsukune thought to himself. He then slipped the sleep shirt around her frame and pulled it down until it was well below her waist. 'Alright, now time for the real fun…' Tsukune thought to himself sarcastically, making quick work of removing her panties and donning his boxers on her without looking directly at her nether region. The task now complete, he straightened his frame, taking a deep breath and slowly blowing it out to relax himself. 'No need to get any more stressed about the situation,' he rationalized, 'the brew is already well into working its magic within her, and soon it'll have helped her heal enough to resume normal activity; just without the flying and the tail…' Taking his eyes off of Kurumu for a second, he looked down at Luca with an apologetic expression, who shrugged her shoulders in return. I get it. She's the one that needs the bed, and more important, she needs your protection as well. You're not gonna hear me complain about it. She replied, an accepting tone in her voice. Tsukune watched her as she slowly meandered her way across the floor, towards what had, up until very recently been her makeshift bed for years past. Still feeling bad for her, Tsukune placed a hand on her shoulder blade, causing her to pause for a second as he moved her makeshift bed, which resembled an overstuffed and oversized pillow, to the sill at the head of the bed, where there was just enough room for her to be situated comfortably. Squatting down momentarily, he extended his arm as he allowed Luca to climb on and wait until he could redirect his arm towards the new location of the bed. You didn't have to do this, you know…
'But I do. It's my own way of saying thank you for your immeasurable help tonight. It was greatly appreciated.' Tsukune thought in reply, his eyes shifting towards the girl who now lay in his bed.
Oh go on, she's not gonna bite. Luca replied, giving Tsukune an exasperated look. Besides, she needs you, regardless of whether she knows it or not.
Tsukune nodded his head in agreement. "Yeah, but the real question is, how much?" He replied as he quickly walked over to his door, double-locked the deadbolt, then shut the shades, thankful for the fact that the school's first day was on a Friday of all days…
He climbed into bed, still giving Kurumu a wide berth, not entirely sure how to broach the idea of 'protecting' Kurumu, and all that it entailed.
Of course, as if on cue, Luca chimed in from her comfortable perch above him, saying; hey, you don't have to be a prude on my account; by all means get close and personal. Who knows, it could be fun…
'I swear to god Luca, sometimes…' Tsukune thought in reply, finally giving in. He wound his arms around the now noticeably small figure that was Kurumu Kurono, drawing her close to him, and nestling her head into the nook between his head and his shoulder. 'I hope nothing bad happens because of this…'
Even if it were, Sir Thane, it's the weekend. We have the entire spanse of the next two days to figure things out.
"Yeah, you're right." Tsukune replied, drawing his body closer to Kurumu's as she involuntarily pressed herself ever so slightly in towards him, instinctively molding herself to fit in his embrace. As he felt himself drifting off towards sleep, he could hear and feel her heartbeat finally begin to calm down and take on a steady thrumming, making his slumber ever the easier to fall into.
Saturday, around 9:30 in the morning….
She slowly began to become aware of her surroundings. First off, she could tell that she was experiencing a slight deliriousness, but it was currently being staved off by whatever it was that was making her extremely comfortable. Deciding not to question the nature of her comfort, she instead focused on gaining a better bearing on her surrounding using her other senses. The first thing she noticed was the gentle sound of trickling water, accompanied by the distant noise of chirping birds. Nature's doing a great job of waking me up today… Kurumu thought, now not entirely sure that she was in her dorm room after all. Testing the rest of her senses, she soon reasoned that she was, in fact not in her room at all. She smelled the slightly spiced scent of a northern spruce tree, along with the damp scent that would normally accompany the shoreline of a meandering stream. But interlaced within those scents was a much more subtle one, one which immediately garnered the greatest amount of her intention. That scent was the unmistakable musk of a clean, well groomed male, and in close proximity to her position, wherever she was. That was when she finally pieced together the comfortable feeling she was having into something tangible. The slight weight resting lightly on her hips and the feel of a hand gently cupping the back of her head lay merit to the delightful sensation. She felt that she was currently being embraced tightly by another being, but not in an uncomfortable fashion. As far as she could tell from what her skin's nervous receptors were telling her, she was bound in the embrace of someone with a rather powerful and toned build. However, it seemed that this other person had molded themselves to allow for her maximum comfort, and for that she was grateful. And that's when she finally opened her eyes. And almost shrieked from sheer surprise. Laying down directly in front of her, fully encompassing her frame was none other than Tsukune himself, eyes still closed, breathing steadily, one of his arms fully encompassing the small of her back, keeping her as close to him as possible, while the other was gently cradling the back of her head into the nook between his head and shoulder. All in all, her positioning was a lot more comfortable than she would have given it credit for outside her current situation. Not entirely sure what to make of this new development, she took a quick look at her surroundings, and her jaw slacked slightly.
She was most definitely not in her dorm, but most likely within Tsukune's realm, and boy did he have it decked out. Adorning the far wall was both the small spruce sapling that she'd smelled earlier, as well as an electric water fountain, spanning the entire length of the wall it was pushed up against, which would explain the trickling sound she'd identified earlier. But her attention didn't remain on the water feature for very long as her gaze was attracted almost against her will to the wall directly opposite her. Adorning it was a vast array of pieces of tactical origin, ranging from what she could obviously tell were swords down to what looked like metal arm protectors and chest armor that had a jade tinge to it that she'd never seen before. And looking further, there were tools that looked like axes, but were too short, and too thin to be called that. Along with the handle that seemed as if it was made out of some cross-layed hardened substance holding the thin but wicked blade on one side, and an equally wicked looking spike adorning the other side. And further down were things that she'd never seen before in her life that looked just as capable of ripping apart foes with ease. Pulling her eyes away from the wall of death instruments, she once again focused her attention on the boy in front of her, who was still holding her rather close given their conflict not too far off in the past. As her eyes settled upon his face once more, she realized that his were now wide open, and devoid of any remnants of sleep, his keen focus attuned to her. She froze up, unsure of what to do. All she could do is watch as his eyes silently roamed over her, a clinical look in his expression, as if he were assessing her for some illness.
He looked at her, slowly, making sure to regard every inch of her skin that wasn't covered by his own clothing. As he took it all in, he had to give her credit for her kind's natural adeptness at being resilient. It seemed that most of the small cuts and bruises had all but healed over completely, and her skin had just about taken the same color and tone he'd seen them as when he'd interacted with her the previous afternoon. Soon, his gaze returned to hers, which held insecurity and apprehension within its depths. 'She's probably confused as hell as to why I have her in my room, in an embrace that is best associated with intimate lovers…' he thought, cursing his temporary lack of foresight on the matter, mentally berating himself for being so impulsive the previous night. He saw the beginning of her struggles to get out of his embrace, and he immediately tried to rectify the situation.
"Please don't move, Kurumu." He told her, maintaining direct eye contact with her the entire time. However, he could see the first fingers of fear begin to creep into her as she was no doubt remembering their confrontation yesterday, and apprehensive about his intentions. He chose to continue at this; "I know you're most likely apprehensive at being here, what with all that transpired between us yesterday afternoon, but know this: I mean you no ill will right now, so please stop squirming before you hurt yourself further than you already are." With that said, she ceased her attempts at removing herself from his grasp, but still wore an apprehensive expression that utterly broadcasted her unease at her current position.
Mentally, Kurumu was severely unstable. On the one hand, she was most definitely in a position that she'd originally intended to be in with Tsukune even before she attempted to charm him, and to have it happen so soon was better than her grandest expectations. But at the same time, she couldn't become comfortable with her surroundings due to the confrontation that she had initiated between herself and Tsukune, against his will. Oh god, what do I do now? She thought to herself, wondering how she'd even gotten into this in the first place. She knew that after he'd left her yesterday, she'd sat all by her lonesome and taken time to actually contemplate what the young man had told her, and then well after the sun had gone down, she'd finally pulled herself out of her reverie and headed off back towards the dorms. But after that, she couldn't tell exactly what had happened, or if she'd even made it back to the dorms the previous night. Granted, her being in Tsukune's room laid credit to her actually getting there, but she couldn't for the life of her remember how it'd come to be. And why was he worried that she'd injure herself further? Did something happen last night that would cause me to be injured? She wondered, not sure why there was such a gaping hole in her memory. Perhaps he can help me figure it out…
Tsukune watched as she opened her mouth and tentatively began to speak. "Tsukune, not that I mind, but why are you and I together in your room like this?" She asked, a lack of confidence clearly evident in her tone. However, instead of answering her, Tsukune immediately deadpanned, causing Kurumu to wonder why his countenance had changed so suddenly.
"Are you serious right now?" Tsukune asked, disbelieving what was happening right in front of him. 'There's no way she's that forgetful, is she?' he thought, bewildered at the apparent lack of memory Kurumu was showcasing. But as the seconds ticked on and Tsukune waited for some sort of joke to make its presence known, all he saw was Kurumu still quite confused, and the beginnings of discomfort as she began to shrink away from him, replying; "Yes," with a tentative voice, continuing; "Am I supposed to already know how and why I'm in your room?" Tsukune, still unsure, replied; "Do you honestly not remember?"
She shook her head. "The last thing I remember is leaving the forest edge after thinking over what you'd said earlier. After that, it's fuzzy… The information's there, I think. It's just, it feels like there's something preventing me from remembering…" she dropped her gaze. 'Wait…' Tsukune thought to himself, not entirely sure how she could manage to forget the previous night almost in its entirety. 'Is it possible that the trauma she incurred during her incident caused subsequent memory loss?' Tsukune thought to himself, considering how best to approach the subject at hand, given Kurumu's apparent lack of memory. He decided that the best route to take at the moment was the direct one, and see where he should go from there.
"Well, Kurumu," He started, making sure to watch her intently to see just how she'd react, "Let's see if any of what I say jogs anything in that mind of yours. Last night, at some point after our confrontation, you were still out on the grounds, and seemingly were attacked, if the injuries you sustained are any indication of what occurred." He watched as Kurumu absorbed the information he told her, and wasn't surprised when she made a move to relieve herself from his embrace. He quickly relinquished his hold on her, straightening up to a sitting position as he watched her give herself a quick once-over, checking to make sure that she wasn't missing anything important. 'I wonder how she's going to take it when she realizes that she's been parted with the things that truly make her one of her own species.' Tsukune thought. Then realizing the implication of his thoughts, he immediately reached forward and gently grasped Kurumu's shoulder just as her gaze began to return to him with a worried expression.
"Kurumu, listen to me. You cannot attempt to revert to your monster form at all." He figured that if she hadn't already, she would soon sense that she was missing something elemental to her, and would grow into an uncontrolled panic and potentially re-open her scarred wounds without realizing it if he didn't calm her down first. "Look, I can't let you hurt yourself so soon after sustaining such a serious injury. If that happens, we can't count on you making a full recovery." He tried to emphasize his words' importance through the sheer intensity of the look he was giving her, but he wasn't sure if it would be enough to still her for the time being.
Kurumu was growing increasingly more on edge, knowing that something was terribly wrong, but not knowing anything more than that. "Tsukune," she asked, apprehension showing through her question; "What's going on? Why don't you want me to change into my monster form? It's not as if you don't already know what it is, and as far as I know, no one else will know if I change within your room, will they?" she asked, not entirely sure she wanted to hear the answer, but her curiosity got the better of her.
Tsukune's expression darkened as he took on a somber mood. 'I can only hope that she doesn't act out when I tell her the news… I am not looking forward to using tranquilizer on a friend of mine…' "Well, Kurumu, the injuries that you incurred last night were rather drastic." He broke eye contact with her, not knowing the best route for explanation. Kurumu picked up on this, and leaned her head over in an attempt to meet his eyes once again.
"How drastic?" She asked, wondering why her injuries had the young man so shaken up. She'd seen him quite literally put her in her place without breaking composure even once, much less bat an eye. If that was any indication of his capacity to deal with adversity, then whatever he was about to say had to be serious. But she had to know what exactly was going on. "Please Tsukune; I need to know what happened to me last night."
He returned his gaze to her, speaking urgently. "I will tell you on a condition, which may be subject to change further down the line. Are you willing to comply?" He asked, dead serious. She nodded, slowly. "I suppose. What's the condition?"
He replied; "You must remain calm, regardless of what I may tell you, and under no circumstance are you to return to your monster form until I deem it safe to do so…" He turned slightly away from her before uttering under his breath; "...you wouldn't want to end up being your own undoing…"
She paused for a second, considering what he asked of her. Granted, while it would help her with maintaining within the school's policy of keeping in human form, it also would leave her incredibly vulnerable if she were to get attacked as she had supposedly been the previously night. She wasn't very privy to intentionally leaving herself vulnerable for others to toy with at their leisure.
"Tsukune, you know that if I do that, I'll be leaving myself open for attack once again, and I'll become helpless," she said, wondering why he seemed to want her to sign off her own death ticket. Then he surprised her.
"You just let me worry about your well-being for now. Do we have a deal?" He was still trying to coerce her to concede to him, trying to portray the gravity of the situation with only his words and expression. If she were to attempt to change before her body was ready… 'It would become an ugly, bloody, and drawn out suffering episode for her that would last for an hour as she slowly bled out from the tears in her skin…'
Kurumu, still on edge, was having a severe emotional crisis. On the one hand, he was basically putting her neck out on the chopping block to be devoured, but on the other hand, it seemed that in the same way, he was the one holding the gun to the executioner's forehead preventing that from occurring. In this situation, he was asking to be both her savior and her personal harbinger of death. Although her gut feeling was telling her that it was clearly the latter that was the case, she decided for once to go against said feeling and allow him to say his piece. "Alright Tsukune, you have my word. I will do my best to remain as I am. Now can you please tell me what's going on?" She asked, fervor evident in her posture and the way she spoke.
Letting out a sigh of relief, Tsukune relented. "Well, now that I have your word, I can tell you. However, remember that you must not panic or lose sight of yourself. Am I perfectly clear?" He asked, his tone brooking no argument. "Yes, Tsukune." Kurumu replied demurely.
He rose up and got off the bed, walking over to his wall adorned with weapons before continuing. "To be completely honest Kurumu, I myself am not entirely sure what exactly happened to you last night. All that I can really contribute is the aftermath I found once I heard your scream." He paused slightly, his head lilting to one side as he slowly ran his index finger along the edge of one of the swords. "As soon as I heard the scream, I jumped from the bed you're currently on, and dressed out in preparation for whatever opposition I might come across."
"You mean you brought all these weapons with you?" Kurumu asked, amazed that he would go so far to defend a fellow student, who for all she knew he didn't know when he set out. "What if instead of me the victim had been someone else?" She asked, wondering what his response might be. She didn't have to wait long.
"That little detail wouldn't have changed a damn thing..." Well there goes my 'knight in shining armor' image of him… Kurumu thought, miffed that he hadn't done it just because it was her. However, she contemplated, there was no real way that he would have known it was me until he saw me… "The difference between one person and the next loses its importance when someone requires dire assistance; much like the assistance you required last night." Well, when he puts it that way… "Under those sets of circumstances, it doesn't matter who they are, I will make sure I am at the top of my game so that I can do my best to help that person, no matter who it might be. But we're getting away from the real point of discussion." He replied, moving towards the window, opening the shades and casting his gaze on the outer grounds visible outside his window. "After I dressed out, I notified Luca to prepare a healing agent in my absence so that I could immediately swing into damage control as soon as I returned. Once I was assured that she would do so, I departed the room in the direction I heard the scream from. A few minutes later, after searching the grounds, I came upon your form, which had been strung up among the trees, your hands tied together, holding you above the ground. Not knowing who you were at that point, I jumped so that I could gain better access to the rope and cut you down. Once both your form and mine had returned to the ground, I turned you over so that I could figure out who you were. That's when I saw that it was you." He broke off; his eyes closing for a long moment, making Kurumu wonder just what he had seen. "To say that you were a mess wouldn't be doing it justice. You were bruised everywhere and there were cuts all over the parts of your body that I could see at the time. It was an ugly image. And on top of that, you were bleeding profusely from somewhere that at the time I couldn't locate. Knowing that I didn't have much time before you would bleed yourself dry, I rushed back to the room as quickly as possible. Once I got you in here, I set you down and helped Luca finish up the healing agent that she'd prepared in my absence." He turned once again to look at her before continuing. "Then I took a good look at you." Immediately after uttering those words, he noticed that Kurumu began sporting both a slight blush and a steadily growing indignant expression. "Before you ask, no. I don't enjoy partaking in perverted bullshit unlike many of my brethren who dwell within these halls." Kurumu was quick to retort.
"Oh really? Is that so? Then would you mind explaining why you had me trapped in a bear hug in your room with the door locked shut?" she asked, pestering him, wondering how that wasn't perverse at all. Oooohh, She's got you there… Luca piped in, awoken from the bickering between her master and the hot start who'd taken her bed spot the previous night. 'I wouldn't worry Luca,' Tsukune thought back, 'I can easily dance logic circles around her words and argument. All it will take is a little time, that's all…' Tsukune replied. Luca shot a skeptical look his way before saying; Oh really? Should I get some popcorn ready in the meantime? The look that Tsukune briefly shot her way was more than enough to confirm her thoughts and quiet her for the moment, content with simply watching the proceeding in front of her. Tsukune's next reply then quickly shut down Kurumu's retort entirely with just a few words. "Well, I couldn't have you just sit in your room ill-protected just asking for seconds, now could I? Besides, it'd be troublesome for me to sit there and stand watch over you all night long, not to mention uncomfortable as all hell. Personally, I like to sleep in a place that is meant for that kind of activity, not a cold, unsupportive floor." He replied, garnishing a self-satisfied expression.
But Kurumu wasn't done just yet. "That still doesn't explain why you had to cuddle with me the entire night, let alone hold me so very close to yourself…" She shot back.
"That can be explained by delving further into my explanation of last night's preceedings. Now would you please hold off the game of twenty questions until I've finished?" He asked, slightly peeved.
In reply, Kurumu crossed her arms upon her chest, puffed for a moment, and then very reluctantly replied; "Fine. But it better be damn good."
"Oh trust me, it will be." Tsukune said as he walked over to his desk. Taking a seat in the chair that was previously tucked underneath, he turned once again to face Kurumu, legs crossed and his arms interlaced within his lap. He continued; "As I was saying earlier, I confirmed with Luca the status of the healing agent I'd left her with upon setting out, and immediately began work upon locating the source of your bleeding. Suffice to say that it took me a rather long moment to actually find the source, or should I say sources, considering how much was already smeared along your entire frame. But, soon enough, after a slight bit of cleaning you up I found them." He paused, already knowing that Kurumu was likely to interrupt at this point, and what she was going to ask.
"…So where was it?" She asked, minor trepidation lacing her vocal chords as she spoke.
"Although that is an interruption, I suppose it is only natural that you'd want to know, so you are forgiven for the time being. The origins that I found were located on your back, near the junction of your shoulders, and at the small of your back." He watched Kurumu as he saw the predictable change in appearance present itself, already knowing her line of thought as she was thinking it. He continued; "It seems that the root source of your bleeding was due to the rather vicious removal of both your wings and your tail whilst still in your monster form. Once I knew where it was coming from I- Kurumu? Kurumu, are you still listening to me? KURUMU!" Tsukune yelled slightly, noticing the now vacant look that had her eyes glassed over, the shock of his revelation something that she apparently couldn't quite handle at the moment. Tsukune rose abruptly from his chair and rushed towards Kurumu, whose face, while still glassed, was now showcasing heavy amounts of unshed tears pooling in her eyes.
He gently took hold of her shoulders and made sure to get up near her face so that he could snap her out of her self-induced funk. "KURUMU! You have to snap out of this! There's nothing you can do about what's already transpired, so it's pointless to grieve whatever loss you've gone through. All that's going to do is make your life miserable if you make that your life's focal point." At least now Kurumu's eyes had gotten their life back in them, but her expression still remained defeated, with the tears threatening to spill over onto her cheeks. "But, but Tsukune," She replied, her voice choking on her involuntarily, "My wings and tail… they're what makes me a succubus. Without them…" she dropped her gaze, letting her hair cast over her eyes. "…Without them, I'm no better than human trash, and just as weak as they are." Her shoulders drooped, her whole body broadcasting abject defeat and sadness. "Now I can't complete the mission I came here to do…" Tsukune heard her start to sniffle and watched from beneath her bangs as the tears started to trail their way down her cheeks in large quantities. Tsukune bent down so he could look up and see Kurumu's face. She was most certainly already crying; if the constant stream of tears was any indication. At this point, all that was required was for her to voice her despair as well. Knowing the feelings she was putting herself through right now, Tsukune decided that for once, tact might be the better part of valor as he continued to look on at Kurumu. He then began to speak, slowly.
"Kurumu, do you want to cry right now?" He said in a gentle voice that would normally betray his rather ruthless and dry disposition that he portrayed so often. But none of that mattered right now, as someone who'd somehow become important to him was hurting hard. 'My whole mission here was not only to assist in the final step towards integration, but to also make at least a few good, worthy friends to call my companions and share this portion of my life with. If I can't comfort a friend when their time of need comes, then what the hell am I doing?' Tsukune thought to himself, already knowing what he needed to do. He continued to look at Kurumu, waiting for her eventual reply. But, before she could, he decided to coerce her slightly to get the ball rolling. "Kurumu, it's alright if you want to cry. It's not a sign of weakness and can be therapeutic. Besides, if that's what you want to do, I'll make sure to be here as long as you need to come to terms with this. So how about it Kurumu? Is that what you want right now?" He asked, staring intently into Kurumu's tear-laden gaze, waiting for the reply that came almost instantly. Instead of a verbal reply, it seemed all she could do was nod, her jaw twitching slightly from her efforts to keep her emotions inside. "Alright then…" Tsukune said, twisting himself so that he was sitting at the head of the bed, his back against the headboard, lifting his arms in an inviting gesture, beckoning her to find whatever comfort she so very needed at the moment within his embrace, just as she had not less than twenty minutes prior.
Kurumu looked at him for a second, still slightly apprehensive, the memory of the previous night still clear in her mind. Tsukune noticed this and immediately said, "Kurumu, disregard whatever happened last night. Right now, you and I are just two people who need to be comforted, and I'm sure as hell not going anywhere." He didn't have to wait long.
Seeming to finally get through to Kurumu, she quickly sprung into his embrace, holding onto him for all she was worth, using him as an anchor while she finally let loose her frustration, despair, and sadness all in one choked wail that she screamed into his chest.
'I forgot how nice this feels…' Tsukune thought to himself as he felt his arms naturally close around Kurumu as they had the previous evening, once again giving solace to the troubled youth who was pouring out her soul into him at the moment, and crying at her loss. He moved his hand so that he was once again cupping the back of her head, slowly massaging the back in a gesture of giving comfort to her, saying; "That's right, Kurumu. Just let it out. Let it all out. There's no one here to judge you, or make you feel like you're less than what you are." He continued to rub the back of her head as she cried, trying to make her feel better in the way he knew best.
Kurumu cried harder than she could remember doing so for a very long time. But, her crying wasn't entirely based upon the loss of her appendages. No, a part of it was the fact that she was mad at herself for not noticing this side of Tsukune, and being too full of herself to even try to befriend him normally. No, now she'd had to pay the price of her loss in order to see him like this, and she now knew that it wasn't worth the cost. How had she been so blind to this? This is exactly what she'd been looking for in a potential mate; someone who stood by their convictions, someone who wasn't afraid to stick up for what they believed in, someone who was capable of seeing past her façade and see her for what she truly was, and accept her. Someone she could look up to so she could make herself a better person, and make her want to be better all on her own. The fact that Tsukune was much more powerful than her was at this point just a technicality, something that she'd have to look into further once she was able to fully understand just what Tsukune was. But until then, she resigned herself to crying in his arms.
Tsukune on the other hand was being rather quiet, both vocally and mentally. For the past few minutes, he'd been sitting rather comfortably, comforting Kurumu's trembling form, keeping his attention mostly on her, and the other portion trained hard on the door, making sure that no one was loitering just outside the door, waiting to jump in and attack them in their vulnerable position. Fortunately, it seemed that no one had any clue that anything out of the ordinary was occurring in his room, partially thanks in part to the silencing spell he'd placed on his room, allowing sound to only flow in through the walls, but not out.
After a few minutes, Kurumu's crying began to taper off as her cries dropped in intensity to sniffles and the occasional hiccup, but still holding onto him rather tightly. He dropped his gaze to look at Kurumu. She wasn't shedding any more tears, but her face was still pink and puffy. She had turned her eyes off to the side, staring at the fountain continuously, but not really looking at it. 'Hmmmm… wait. She didn't let me finish. She might be in for a slight surprise…' "Kurumu, I don't think you let me finish…" She turned her head towards him, exasperated.
"Wait, there's more?" She replied, not sure just how much worse her day was going to get with the bomb he'd already dropped on her today.
"Yes, of course there is. I still haven't explained how you ended up in my boxers, after all…" He said, a small smirk creeping its way up one side of his lips.
"Uhhh…" Was Kurumu's response as she turned her head south, looking at her legs for a moment, noticing that she was, in fact, wearing boxers. "Huh. How about that?" She said, returning to Tsukune, an eyebrow raised in question. He still wore the half-smirk in response.
"Shall we continue then? The story does get more interesting." Tsukune replied.
"Does it have me feeling worse than I already am?" Kurumu replied, apprehensive of what she may hear.
Tsukune shook his head. "No, I'm afraid that the worst I could tell you has already been said. All I have left is the events leading up to this morning." Kurumu eyes narrowed slightly, evaluating what he'd just told her. Well, she reasoned, since I've already heard what he believes is the worst, there couldn't be any harm in hearing the rest, could there? "Alright. I guess I'm all ears then." Kurumu replied, an expectant expression on her face.
Tsukune's smile turned from a smirk into a genuine one as he realized his trick had just worked. She'd completely stopped crying, and was now looking at him expectantly much like a child would when waiting for their bedtime story. "Well, after I'd figured out where your blood was coming from, I knew that I had to get the bleeding stopped pronto. I had Luca go into my equipment and pull out a cauterizing agent to seal off the bleeding so that I wouldn't have to worry about you bleeding out on me before I could help you heal. Once I had it, I applied it to where it was necessary and stopped the bleeding in time to make sure that you had enough blood in your system to keep you alive. This is where the healing agent came into effect. See, it works multiple ways. It can be used to quickly heal over scarring by direct application, or fix internal injuries by consumption. I had to use both methods on you, seeing as how I had to not only seal up your wounds, but give your body extra help in regenerating the massive amounts of blood you lost." He was about to continue until Kurumu interrupted.
"Tsukune, just how much did I lose?" Kurumu asked, being gifted with the one grain of knowledge about blood loss and its effects on someone. She knew that massive amounts lost would equate to her being so lethargic that she'd barely be able to move under her own power. But if that's the case, then why do I feel fine? Kurumu wondered, not sure how she was able to move as she currently was.
Tsukune grew into a distant expression, replying; "Although I'm not entirely sure, if I had to guess, I'd say you lost between fifty and seventy percent. Suffice to say it was enough that your life was in impending danger of being lost within minutes if I hadn't done what I did. Anyways, after applying the agent to your wounds, I made sure that you ingested the entirety of the rest that was left over, which was quite a large sum. More than likely it did its job and replenished most of your blood supply overnight. However, since it had to replace so much, that doesn't leave a great amount to help heal the wounds from your lost appendages. However…" Tsukune said, beginning to lift the back of Kurumu's shirt, about to look down it. Kurumu froze.
"Tsukune, what are you doing? I thought you weren't a pervert." She said accusatorily.
Tsukune chuckled slightly upon hearing this, shaking his head in disagreement. "Kurumu, you should know by now that, just as you said, I'm not perverse. I'm simply checking to see how far the agent has taken effect on your wounds, nothing more."
Kurumu looked away, slightly downcast. "Oh. Okay. Then by all means, continue." She replied.
Tsukune's arm, which had ceased its movement just outside the collar, now continued its trek down into the depths of the cloth, feeling its way towards the area he remembered that was the location of her scarring. As he felt further towards their location, he began to notice the breathless expression that was stealing its way upon Kurumu, her eyes becoming heavy without her apparent notice.
Oh, Kurumu thought to herself, this feels heavenly. She was already sinking into his touch to the point that she wasn't aware of her very genuine reaction to his touch, nor the way she was clearly showing it on the surface. Tsukune chuckled inwardly, finding the whole situation rather funny, considering the day prior. 'Just goes to show you can never really call anything just because it seems to be over.'
You seem to be enjoying this a bit much, don't you think? Luca asked him, still watching over the interaction between the two, glad that her master was successfully forging his first deep relationship already. In her mind, that other girl, Moka was just an acquaintance that chance had thrown in as the first encounter, whereas this was the first real meeting that Tsukune had come upon by his own power.
'Am I not allowed to enjoy time with companions that I've made?' Tsukune replied, still laughing inwardly.
I suppose. Luca relented. But I'm just saying, from an outsider, it sure looks different than what you say.
'Oh, and what does it look like to an outsider, if I may?' Tsukune thought in reply, finally finding the spot on Kurumu's back and feeling it meticulously, making sure that it was at least in good repair. Of course, his actions were very capable of being misinterpreted for a gentle caress, of which Kurumu was currently basking in, enjoying the feeling very thoroughly.
How should I put this… Luca replied, still looking on as Tsukune's hand continued its roaming under the fabric, you appear as a young man, who is currently in the company of a fertile, attractive young female who's just poured her heart out to you, not to mention she has her rather ample chest very obviously pressed up against you, while you're comfortable caressing her in return. If I had to call it, you two look like a pair of well-versed lovers who're basking in the afterglow of a lovemaking session.
'I'll have to keep that in mind. That image does have quite the appeal to it, I can't deny that.' Tsukune replied, returning his attention to Kurumu. Finding the tissue under his digits satisfactory, he withdrew his hand, much to the disappointment of Kurumu, who up until then had been enjoying the feeling of his touch rather immensely.
"It seems that the agent is doing its job rather nicely. Don't worry too much Kurumu, you'll have your wings back soon enough." Tsukune said, smiling upon her.
Kurumu did a quick double take. Did I just hear him right? She thought, not entirely sure she was hearing him correctly. "What, Tsukune? What are you talking about?" She asked, a perplexed look in her eyes.
"Well, the healing agent wouldn't really be doing its job if it only healed a portion of you, now would it?" He replied, happy that Kurumu was catching on.
"What are you saying?" Asked Kurumu, hope starting to come to the surface, but she beat it down just in case he said something that wasn't what she was hoping it'd be.
"I'm saying that even as we speak, your wings and tail are being regenerated, just like your blood, all thanks to the agent I used to heal you. Sure, it's going to take some time for it to come to full effect, but they'll be around soon enough. But until then, you have to make sure to stay close to me, otherwise I can't ensure your safety whilst you recover," Tsukune finished, looking directly at her.
That was it. Kurumu's decision, whatever it may have been, had now been made for her. There was no more reason for her to be shy around Tsukune anymore, what with his help and support, regardless of their little scuffle. He was now going to become the center of her time here while a student at the academy as long as she had anything to do about it. With that thought in mind, she jumped at Tsukune, grappling him into a bear hug, squealing with excitement that not all was lost as it had seemed. "Tsukune, why didn't you tell me this before? I could've saved myself from crying my eyes out for a whole ten minutes otherwise."
Tsukune chuckled as he received Kurumu's brutal embrace, happy that her mood had been lifted. "Well, if I had told you that from the beginning, we wouldn't be such good friends, now would we?"
Kurumu shrugged, replying; "I suppose so." She now noticed the toll that her violent mood swings had taken upon her, and her eyes starte4d to flutter closed all on their own. "Tsukune?"
"Yes?" Tsukune replied, noting her rather tired expression. "What is it?"
"I'm kinda tired. I'm gonna go to sleep now." Kurumu's eyes shut for a few long moments before barely reopening.
"Well then fuck it. I'mma go back to sleep too. Today was already stressful enough as it is."
You brought that upon yourself, you know. Luca chimed in, causing Tsukune's smile to grow slightly wider. "Yeah, sure. Whatever. Good night, or morning, or… you know what, I don't fucking the care." With that, Tsukune slumped back down to a prone position, his head once again on his pillow, now covered not so much by the bed sheets as he was with Kurumu, but he thought nothing of it. All he knew was that he was comfortable and he'd done his good deed for the day.
He soon heard Kurumu mumble; "You're comfortable Tsukune." It seemed that she'd finally run herself into the ground and was fast approaching slumber. 'I guess I should pick up the pace and beat her there.' Tsukune thought, letting the tendrils of sleep finally overcome him as he drifted off to nothingness.
Luca looked on at the two, deciding that for now they had the right idea, and resumed her curled up position on the bed, reflecting on what she'd just seen as she too wandered off into the realm of dreams. You know Sir Thane, for all your age, experience and wisdom, you sure act just like a teen at times, you immature little prick.
'I heard that.'
Luca slammed her head in Tsukune's direction, panic arising in her system as she saw Tsukune's smile grow into a smirk even as he drifted off.