In the Shadow of the Vampire
By: Psychotic Tanuki
Chapter Nine: Real Emotion
"They weren't that stupid in building the clinic you know. Those windows are bullet proof; a rock's not going to break the god damn window."
"Foxy lady, I would appreciate it if you would shut the hell up."
Sanosuke grit his teeth. Megumi was pretty, but she was also a headache he hadn't expected. What was with independent women? The entire time, in which he'd kidnapped her, she'd done nothing but glare at him and put up blatant roadblocks to all of his advances. Sanosuke decided he hated women's rights. What had happened to the submissive, man-fearing women from the good old days of feudal Japan?
Megumi was infuriated. Her aching scalp did not easily forgive Sanosuke's strong grip and in general, Megumi did not forgive smelly rooster shitheads for anything; Especially when said shitheads tied up an innocent woman and slung that innocent woman over his shoulder like a piece of meat.
"The last time I tried that, you kicked me where no woman should kick a man."
Megumi grit her teeth. The nerve of this retard was unbelievable. He held no shame in trying to seduce a woman he had kidnapped, and then expect to return his ardor. Yes, she had kicked his crotch but other than a momentary grimace, he had just slung her over his shoulder and continued his advances.
It wasn't normal for a man to be able to do that. Megumi practiced medicine; she knew how many sensory nerves were down there. Although by no means was Megumi a champion kick boxer, she had kicked pretty hard—he should have been incapacitated enabling her to run/hop away.
"That window is bullet proof—you're not going to be able to break it with a rock. NO man could possibly break it with a rock." Megumi reiterated her statement, doubt creeping into her voice which she quickly covered with haughtiness.
Sanosuke grinned softly and set her down none too gently onto the grass lawn. She glared up at him defiantly, which slightly unnerved him; however, he smiled roguishly and with a mischievous twinkle in his eye gave her an answer.
"I ain't an ordinary man foxy lady."
He hurled the rock at the window.
Yahiko had always been a forgetful boy. In the last few days, he had almost forgotten about Tsubame, and the strange spider-haired policeman's letter. He fingered the envelope gently. He had already opened it, and he had already read its contents.
The letter had told him to specifically be careful of Himura Kenshin. More importantly, it had told him to beware of Himura Kenshin because of his alter ego, Hitokiri Battousai. Yahiko bit his lip. He had been hoping to ask Shinta to help him find Tsubame but…
Surely the fact that Himura Kenshin and Himura Shinta had the same last name and the same physical description (as expressed by the letter) was no coincidence. Peering out his bedroom door, Yahiko watched Shinta wash the dishes. Surely a killer wouldn't wash dishes; a killer would use the butcher to kill all the inhabitants of a house. Yahiko shook his head.
Maybe Himura Shinta was just Himura Kenshin's twin; however Yahiko quickly dismissed that thought. Who would be old enough to be Battousai's twin? Quietly, he looked down at the letter in his hands. Scrawled in scratchy handwriting, the words Come to the 148 Precinct blared out at him like a sore thumb. All sense and logic told Yahiko that the spider haired policeman was a crack addict, who probably snorted heroine on the side.
Crumpling the letter into a small, wrinkled ball, Yahiko decided that he was tired, and lay down upon his bed. The eggshell white color of the Clinic's ceiling offered no solace; nor did it offer reprieve from the strange occurrences around him. For the first time in a very long time, Yahiko wished his mother was still alive. At that particular moment, he would have given anything to be four again waiting patiently to be tucked in by his mother.
Unable to come to a decision about what to do about Tsubame, he crept under the thin coverlets of 'his' bed, snuggling deep into the sheets. He wondered if Tsubame was still sleeping in the creaky old bunk beds of the Akabeko, and if she felt lonely without him in the top bunk. So deep within his own thoughts, Myoujin Yahiko was not aware that he had already slipped into a disconcerted but quiet slumber, or of the slight crack of the door through which two azure eyes watched him carefully, wishing for the same type of quiet slumber in his own sleep.
"Do you watch everyone sleep or are you just a pedophile?" Kenshin eyed Kaoru lazily from the corner of his eye with not a trace of a smile on his face. Kenshin was worried, and to see Kaoru, dressed only in oversized pajamas which only made her seem more fragile and vulnerable than she actually was.
"Is it so wrong to make sure that everyone in the household is safe?" Kenshin's voice was quiet, no louder than a gentle lilt above the hum of the lights above them.
"Is there any reason to worry that we might not be…'safe'?" Kenshin lips twitched into a slight smile, which quickly faded as he noticed that Kaoru's suspicious glare did not cease, but seemed to intensify.
"Perhaps--the crime rate has gone up lately." Kenshin closed Yahiko's door gently before turning to face Kaoru. At the precise moment, Kenshin didn't feel anything towards Kaoru besides a fondness that one might have for a younger sibling—but inevitably he knew that wasn't going to last very long.
She was the reincarnation of the Maid of Lorraine, and he was the reincarnation of the white demon. She was born a child of God, and he was the son of Satan and a fallen angel. Granted, Kaoru did not know that. That, and the last time he and Kaoru had met, which was over 500 years ago, he had been a whole person. Their fates were intertwined—and even though the Maid of Lorraine had partially resurfaced in many women in the last 500 years, standing right before him, she was wholly there.
He could not deny that he had felt an attraction to her—Battousai had felt it, although Battousai's primal urges had suppressed until it expressed itself in forms of harsh verbal abuse (not unlike many prepubescent boys), and now he felt it. Then again, it could have just been the way her eyes seemed to stare right through him.
"You're hiding something. I can tell." Kaoru's lips drew back into a firmly compressed line, dark blue eyes glittering with concern. Her jagged cut hair hung loosely around her shoulders, almost a reflection of herself.
"You're hiding something as well, are you not?" Kaoru flinched slightly at the slight accusation as a heavy guilt settled at the bottom of her stomach. Kaoru was actually quite disturbed. A sense of familiarity and longing pulsed throughout her being for reasons unknown and it was because of those unknown reasons that she broke eye contact. This man made her act strangely—infuriated and angry one moment, gentle and kind the next, suspicious and wary after that.
"Perhaps, we are both guilty then."
"Perhaps we are." The minutes seemed to stretch into an awkwardly comfortable lull as both Kenshin and Kaoru got used to each other's presence. Neither was quite sure what it was that he or she felt, nor did either seem to care. All that was important was that it was a real emotion—something neither had felt in a long time.
The silence was shattered by the shriek of broken glass.
He could feel it. The pain that was coursing through his veins, as well as the numbness that spread like molasses over his body after the pain, drove him insane. The fucking retard had shot him. Saitou coughed violently and placed a tentative hand to the wound. Bringing his hand into the moonlight, he could smell the metallic stench of blood and see how it stained his weathered hands red.
Fortunately enough for Saitou, the retard, Enishi, did not know how to fucking aim. Not that it hurt any less mind you, but Saitou preferred a bullet in the shoulder than through the head. To think that he had brought his katana in lieu of his gun! He had wanted to give that retarded brother of Tomoe's an honorable death, and the bastard had shot him!
Saitou chuckled. What did he expect? The Wolf had come to execute the runt, and like the stupid idiot he was, Enishi was not grateful. Saitou was sorely tempted to fish out his Ingram Machine gun and pump the pipsqueak full of lead, but restrained the urge. Wolves did not indulge in folly.
Leaning against the walls of the alleyway where he had confronted Enishi not ten minutes ago, he pulled out his cigarettes with his bloody hand, and with his other hand pulled out a lighter. Cigarette lit; Saitou took a deep whiff of the rat poisoned nicotine and exhaled slowly. He didn't care if he got lung cancer twenty years from now, for that one moment; all he needed was a smoke and the relaxation it gave him.
Hoisting himself up off of the wall, Saitou began walking down the street towards a convenience store he frequented often. He just hoped Tokio would still put up with his shit. The wolf of Mibu did not get injured or angered easily, but when he did there was only one woman who could ever put up with him.
Perhaps, Saitou thought, if he were to live long enough to retire from the Vampire killing business, he would ask Tokio to marry him. Saitou snorted. It was too little, too late and with that, he threw his cigarette into the street.
Kenshin snapped his head towards the sound of glass breaking and quickly, his quiet, serene demeanor was clipped short. The pit of dread pulled at the bottom of his heart, and the butterflies in his stomach churned violently. It was as he had predicted; the first of many had come to seek him out—to test his strength as a "mortal" and whether to free him from 'misery' or to plunge themselves into misery behind him.
"Wake up Yahiko and then hide in the storage room downstairs." Wordlessly, Kaoru walked into Yahiko's bedroom and Kenshin could hear the sounds of blankets ruffling and the protests of a sleepy little boy. By the time Kaoru and Yahiko reemerged from the room, a distinct change had taken over the red-haired man.
He was no longer the gentle young man with a multitude of comic expressions, nor was he the frightening madman who exuded cold ruthlessness. He was calm, yet nobly so and Kaoru concluded despairingly that it would be impossible to know whether he was a friend or a foe.
At the moment, he reminded Kaoru of a seasoned samurai warrior, not unlike her father. He even held a hand to his waist, as if the saya of his sword would be waiting in the belt loops of his washed out jeans. He was very handsome, yet intimidating; Kaoru was rooted in her spot and was hardly able to form coherent words when his dark blue eyes questioned her prolonged stay at the entrance to Yahiko's room.
"Certainly, you don't expect me to leave you to fight off a burglar without a weapon."
"A lady should not be present during what may or may not become a brutal fight."
"You mean slaughter." Yahiko watched the exchange carefully and wisely silent. He felt Kaoru's small hand on the small of his back, and the hairs of his neck stood up. Looking over to Kaoru's line of sight, he could see her eyeing the broom that Kenshin had laid against the door to the bathroom, which was on the wall adjacent to Yahiko's room.
"Kaoru, please take Yahiko into the storage room and stay with him there."
"For god's sake Shinta, at least use a god damned broomstick." Blushing furiously, she grabbed the broomstick from its resting place and thrust it into Shinta's surprised grasp. Without a second glance back, she hauled a bewildered Yahiko towards the storage room feeling ultimately flustered and confused.
Smiling to himself lightly, he acknowledged the presence of his formerly loyal second hand man, broomstick clutched in his hands.
"Really Kenshin, you're not going to fight me with that, are you?" Kenshin turned to face the taller Sanosuke, his dark blue eyes devoid of any former amusement. Raising the broom stick as his sword, Sanosuke smirked.
The adrenaline pumped through Sanosuke's veins and his dark brown eyes glittered with excitement. Either way, Sanosuke already knew what the outcome would be. He had always known what the outcome would be—and yet he still needed to fight a real fight.
For once, Sanosuke didn't mind feeling alive.
Curled up in pain, Makimachi Misao lay face down on the tracks of an abandoned subway station. Not far from where the tiny girl lay, Seta Soujiro stared at his hands in disgust. The tiny trickles of power that made him the Tenken were fading slowly. His eyes slowly moved from his hands towards a pained Misao.
"She won't forgive you."
"You should leave her here then."
"That's what I was planning on doing." Soujiro gave one last pitiful look to Misao and followed his mother's apparition's voice towards the tracks leading to Kyoto. No longer the Tenken, he could feel all of his real emotions welling up inside of him.
He hated it.
AN: Wow everybody…I took a huge hiatus due to the fact that I've been having a lot of shit in my life lately.
I'm not into giving excuses and everything but just so you get an Idea of what's been bugging me since September:
A) My parents have been fighting a lot more often: at one point throwing random objects at each other and me flying into the globe/bookcase area of my living room.
B) Around Thanksgiving all the way through New Year's I started having health issues where I was having these really sharp chest pains. Turns out I have a skeletal problem (My rib cage is way too small) that goes along with stress, exhaustion, cold weather and high cholesterol—so I've been trying to lower my cholesterol.
C) Sophomore year at Stuyvesant High School is brutal. I spend about six hours a night doing homework/reports/studying and I'm only doing so-so. For a while I was failing chemistry and struggling with AP European History Homework. I've gotten better at chemistry, but anyone offering to tutor? :)
D) I get no sleep. Literally, for the last five months I've been averaging 2-5 hours of sleep per night including weekends. I'm swamped with work and I've just been exhausted. Around a month or so ago, I collapsed from overwork and I've been getting better.
So my life has been a mess for the last few months and its slowly getting back on track. I apologize for taking so long with this chapter but hopefully, it'll make me a better writer as well.
JML- yes well…now Enishi's shot Saitou. I can't really expect Enishi to live much longer…hehe…
The Girl who Cried Oro- ^^;;
Teddygrahms- I hate chemistry too. It's evil. ___; Ksp, equilibrium expressions….I wish it would all just go away… *Cries* in New York we have to take the chemistry regents too. TT_TT
Ashcandy- the heavenly decree isn't really based off of a religion—more or less it was inspired by the movie DOGMA. :)
KouUsa- Eh, I never liked Buffy after the second or third season.... However, yes, Dogma somewhat inspired this story but just the Heavenly Decree Part. What they do with the Heavenly decree is different.
Omochi- My view on Tomoe in this story is that of a catalyst—and yes…she did do good. Maybe I'll do another flashback to the past chapter, thought I'm not really too sure.
M. Kasshoku- :D well, close but no cigar. Yes Kenshin and Sano are becoming mortal, but as to whether Saitou will hunt them all down…I think he's busy hunting Enishi.
Chiruken- Kenshin's hands are so full that they'll fall off eventually from the weight of all the things he's carrying. XD. You can be two halves of one whole, but if there isn't something that defines you as a mix of both good and evil, you can never really be one whole.
lessa4- ^^;; happy happy joy joy reminds me of ren and stimpy…
BakaRyu- I'm glad you like, its about to get a tad bit more confusing as I am confused myself :D
Kimiko- I'm very very flattered and glad you like this story :D
Himura Kamiya Kaoru: O_______O; Your reviews amuse me :D
Sess9- oh Enishi is on his way to being snuffed.
Neko Oni-chan- :D Your review made me uber happy. I hope that this chapter was as good as the last and in the next chapter, the loophole is explained. I hope its not too abstract -___-;
Geminidragon- I'm sorry!!!! I updated!!!
Angels-giving89/Irene- ^^: I updated! And no I haven't forgotten!!! :D
Velda- I loved writing the Aoshi-Misao-Soujiro triangle, and it will most definitely get more complicated as Misao and Soujiro are losing vampyness quite quickly.
Paisita- I hate it when that happens…you read a story and then..pshhh no chapters left…well hopefully I'll be writing more often so that won't have to happen.