A long time passed since Zero had encountered that girl. Now it is the middle of the autumn and her very existence was still craving it his mind. He wondered where the girl was. If she was alright and if she was alone. What made him fear the most is that she might have been attacked by the damned creatures that had a predatory walk.
Zero shook my head at those thoughts. 'Why am I thinking so much about her?' He thought while walking home. He had just finished his training with Toga Yagari. Usually he would go with Ichiru, but that day his little twin brother had a high fever.
On his way home, Zero took a shortcut. That way lead to the playground where Ichiru and him have always played. The deciduous of the leaves had already begun. Their colors started to change into various shades. From golden yellow, to copper red. Some of them already withered and fell on the ground, giving the old playground some color.
Then, Zero heard soft sobs. He looked at the direction which it came from and his eyes came across a little girl who was sitting against an old tree. Her knees were brought closely to her chest and were cradled by her arms. She wore a brown coat and black jeans, which were tucked into her rain boots, from what he saw at medium range. He knew his neighbourhood very well so he knew that the girl was from a foreign place. However she had some characteristics which reminded him of that girl, like her rare fiery red hair.
He decided to approach her. Walking through the withered leaves made his walk full of rustles. The girl heard them and snapped her head towards Zero's direction. When he saw her full appearance, he was left stunned. The mysterious girl from that summer was the last person he thought that he would come across.
Her pine green eyes held nothing but fear. She did not run, but did crawl into the corner of the tree. The reason why she was scared Zero couldn't answer. When he was close to her, he squatted in front of the afraid girl. After few minutes, Zero slowly brought his hand towards her. The girl didn't know what Zero was up to. She just squirmed and huddled. Despite of that, Zero didn't stop and patted her head.
"It's alright. I'm not going to hurt you."
The little girl didn't expect that sort of action and peaked to see Zero giving her a small smile. She did that feel that sort of affection for a while now and she enjoyed it. She decided to trust her instincts and stopped seeing that boy as a threat. After finally calming down she started wiping her tears.
"What are you doing out here alone?" Zero asked.
"So much noise. So many weird creatures." The girl said pointing at the road full of cars. Her voice sounded like a calming melody.
Zero felt confused. He did not know what she meant. "Are you referring to cars, the objects with wheels?"
The girl nodded. Zero couldn't help but chuckle. "Not a city girl, are you? You don't need to worry, those are just machines."
"Ma-achi-ne-es?" She asked, pronouncing the world in syllables.
"Those are objects that are made by people. They aren't creatures don't worry."
"They aren't going to eat me?"
Zero chuckled once again. "No they aren't." He then got up and offered her his hand.
She didn't hesitate and took it, at which Zero pulled her up. She thanked him and let his hand go.
"What's your name?"
"Ayame." The girl said quietly.
"My name is Zero."
"Zero." She repeated his name. Then she did it again, rolling it her tongue as if she was tasting it. Then for the first time she. "Arigato, Zero-chan."
Zero couldn't match her appearance and aura. Deadly and friendly never went together in his mind.
She then took his hand and lead him where the swings were. "Zero-chan, push me." She ordered pouting as she sat on the swing.
Zero couldn't help but smile again and pushed her as she swung on the swing. 'Maybe she is one of those creatures mother told me about. What if her aura is just a mask to scare off the living? Being in tune with nature and surrounded by deadly plants and animals, it could have been used as a repellent.' Zero thought, hoping that he was right.
They continued playing on the playground all day long as if it were a regular thing for them. They didn't talk much however. To Zero, Ayame seemed as a lonely girl. She used their play time to the fullest, as if she craved for someone's company for years.
"Ayame, why were you alone out here?" He finally asked her when they ran around the trees.
She stopped then turned towards him, frowning. "I'm always alone."
"Always? Don't you have a family that takes care of you?"
Ayame shook her head. "I have been on my own for a while now."
'On her own?! She doesn't even seem to be older then 10!' Zero thought and stood in shock.
"But that doesn't matter 'cause I have you now." Ayame said brightly. "We will be best friends forever and I won't be alone ever again, right Zero- chan? You promise, right?"
Zero was caught in that sudden question. He didn't know anything about her so that he could easily accept her friendship. However, after thinking about it, he didn't saw that it could bring any harm so he accepted it. "I promise. "
From happiness and joy, Ayame jumped on Zero which made them fell on the leaves.
"We have a pact then. I'll meet you here tomorrow again." The lively 3rd haired girl said kissing him on the cheek before running off into an unknown directing. It made Zero sigh.
"What a strange girl." He then headed home, but playing out all day made him arrive late at night. When Zero tired to sneak pass his parents, he heard his name being called. Zero cursed under his breath and went into the living room.
"Where were you young man? You are late 5 hours." Zero's father asked him as Zero took a seat across his parents.
"I was at the playground."
"At the playground? Well, it seems like our son has a secret girlfriend. When can we meet the soon to be blushing bride?" Zero's mother teased his son at which Zero blushed.
"This is not the time to be joking Hana." Sora said criticizing hits wife. "He could have been kidnapped or killed. There are also a lot of vampires running around freely and a little boy would look like a great meal to them. "
"I could have then defended myself!" Zero said at his defense.
"The boy is right, you don't need to get so bumped."
"What if a bunch of those blood sucking demons got a hold of him? Even if he is strong, he's still a child."
Zero lowered his head in shame and Hana didn't say another word. Sora had a point and was right. " I want a real reason why you were out Zero."
"I was out... With a friend."
"A friend? And who might he be?" Zero's father asked.
"Its not a he..." The little silver haired boy said looking down. At his answer both of the Kiryu's were surprised.
"So onii-chan got himself a girlfriend?"
Zero looked at the door and saw his twin smiling and rubbing his eyes.
"She is not my girlfriend!" Zero defended himself, having his eyes narrowed and blushed.
"Well this is surprising, and moreover I was right." Hana said rather curious. "What is her name?"
"Ayame. She is the girl I saw this summer."
"YOU SAW THAT PRETTY GIRL AGAIN? INTRODUCE ME TO HER ONII-CHAN!" Ichiru said with sparkles in his eyes, like it was the most amazing thing that he had ever heard.
"You saw that girl you told us about?" His parents held shocked expressions. "You are going to stay away from her. We don't know if she is even human."
"No! She is human and there is nothing wrong with her!" Zero raised his voice for the first time at his parents at which they were shocked.
"Nii-chan is in love. Zero and Ayame sitting in the tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-" Zero threw a couch pillow with his younger twin.
"Well... But we have to meet her as well. We are going to see for ourselves if she is really human or not. Where does she live?" Sora asked.
"I don't know."
"You don't know? You said that she is your friend."
"She doesn't have a family so I doubt that she really has a home." The parents looked as if they felt sorry for the little girl.
"Can the pretty girls then stay with us?" Ichiru asked with excitement and jumped on the couch where Zero was sitting.
"That is not a really bad idea. We can observe her and see for what she really is. This can prove me being double right. " Hana said in a thought.
" Are you nuts? You want that creature living where you feel the safest and comfortable? You want her to live where your family lives? Under the same roof -"
" I get it! But to have her for a short period of time won't kill us. We can be on guard and seeing for what she is will only last a couple of days. If she is dangerous then we will let the Council deal with her."
Sora sighed and gave up. "I hope we don't regret this. "
Zero's eyes widened. "You are going to let her stay here?" A smile came across his face.
"Yes, but if she opposes any threat then we are going to give her to the council."
'But she is human. So nothing is going to happen to her. I wont let it!'"Ok. I'm going to tell her that tomorrow then." Then Zero made his way to his and Ichiru's bedroom, then dressed himself and laid on his bed.
"So I am going to meet the pretty girl then, right?" Ichiru asked as he snuck into Zero's bed.
"You are." He said giving his sweetest smile to his little brother. With that, the boys fell asleep.