Bring Me to Life

By Gingivere the Shadowreaver

~*~*~*~

Author's Note: ARG... this chapter took me forever and a day. Inexcusible, really... but tough love, no? Got school, catastrophes... you name it, I got it... well, except maybe some kind of disease... but whatever is normal for a growing senior in highschool... yep. Ne ways... AHAHAHHAAAAAAAA....

~*~*~*~

It almost made Cao Cao sick to be even watching this, but he was curious to see how his men had successfully subdued a man under Bloodwrath. Yes, he did know of Sima Yi's plan, and he was rather enlightened when it was successful, but still, a slight twinge of fear sparked up, as he saw Lu Xun laying on the ground, his head gently resting in Zhang He's lap.

Lu Xun had to resist the urge to yawn. He felt somewhat like a contented cat, perfectly happy to remain just where he was. His warm blood pulsed soothingly through his veins, and his tense muscles seemed to relax for the first time in ages. Still, as much as he tried to stay alert, to answer Zhang He's mumbling, but he could not. His words made no sense to him... nothing made sense... but for once, the pain... was gone!

Nice to escape from reality, from pain... although he wasn't QUITE sure about letting his guard down around the Wei officer. Then he laughed at himself. There was nothing to worry about here...

Well, for a little while. Two long pig tails of dark brown hair slipped from the girl's ears, and her smile was that of which even the moon could not counter. He whispered her name, feeling a sharp, stabbing pain in his heart as those words left his lips. "Da Qiao..."

But he didn't WANT this pain! This was supposed to be his escape!

Then, the she-devil... she dared speak to him, after what she had done. What nerves! "Lu Xun, what are you doing on the ground? Are you lazing around again?"

He shook his head, "How can you speak to me now?! Haven't you harmed me enough?!"

Then, Da Qiao blinked, as if confused, "What do you mean? I haven't laid a single finger on you!"

Lu Xun laughed bitterly, reaching out and pulling her close, "No, my skin bears no marks, but my heart is scarred by you forever. I gave you everything, all the love I had, and you threw it in my face." He stroked the silken skin of her throat, and then clutched it tight, his voice dropping, "But you will not hurt me anymore..."

"Lu Xun, what are you doing?!" Her voice rose with fear, and horror lit her face, as she now began to struggle. "You're hurting me!!! Stop it, Lu Xun! Please!"

He snarled, clutching her throat all the tighter. He did not want to hear her cries; he would force them to stop, "Die you little bitch... just die..."

Of course, Da Qiao put up a fight, grabbing Lu Xun's wrists and trying to pry them off, tearing streaming down her face and she cried out. As the struggle continued, she began to kick, and Lu Xun found himself in an all out battle, but not once did his hands move, squeezing tighter and tighter, ignoring the blood and foam that rose from her lips.

Finally her struggles lessened, and her eyes glazed over, and Lu Xun knew she was dead. Then he began to sob, releasing her body to fall to the ground, "I loved you... why did you betray me?!"

She could not answer, but another voice did, and Lu Xun turned to Sun Ce, seeing his look of horror when he caught sight of the dead body of his love. "Da Qiao! Lu Xun, why? How could you?!"

"I could ask you the same. You, my leader, my friend, you KNEW I loved her!" The boy cried. "You took her from me anyway..."

Sun Ce gave him such a look, a look that only enemies would give one another. Something was edging Lu Xun on, and he had struck first, not even waiting for Sun Ce to raise his tonfas. He did not deserve to live, not for stealing the woman of her heart! He had to die!

His twin blades seemed to suddenly appear in his hands, but he did not notice, only slashing with a speed and fury matched only by a few warriors. The blood that began to cover Sun Ce only fueled him on; he was determined to make a drop fall for every tear he had cried...

'Yes... yes! Leave no spot without blood!'

When he finally ceased, there was nothing left of his former leader than shredded flesh and bone, and he felt warm, slick. He knew why; he was covered in Sun Ce's blood. And he did not care... "Blood... good, refreshing blood..."

So this was Bloodwrath? He looked at the blood, licking the blade of his blood-damped sword with a sickening grin. No wonder his father loved this so much... so much pleasure to ease the pin, the pain that only continued to throb.

Why had he fought this feeling for so long? Why had he spent his childhood fearing that he would attain it? This was wonderful, pure bliss...

"What have you done, Lu Xun?" Zhou Yu's voice now entered his mind, as he looked at his fellow strategist. He was unarmed, standing over the body of his dead friend. He was crying, but Lu Xun did not care. "What kind of monster have you become?"

"The kind of monster... you fashioned me to be..."

As the look of surprise lit his face, Lu Xun struck, giving a pain-filled howl, trying to release this stabbing pain in his heart. Yes, they turned him into this! It was their faults! Zhou Yu did not come to save him, though he had several opportunities... he cried out again. "You left me! YOU LEFT ME WITH THEM!"

He began to cry again, his tears streaking down his blood stained face, "And you gave me false hope... hopes that were shattered... you created the monster before your eyes. What is wrong, Zhou Yu? Don't you like what you see?"

He opened one weary eye, before going lifeless as his friends. "Demon... how can... any...one... like such a demon!?"

Lu Xun suddenly froze, and the pain in his heart rose once more. Zhou Yu was right; who could like him now? Who would want to associate with him? Whispering, he fell to his knees, grabbing his head, "I am alone... all alone..."

His father abandoned him! His love, his ruler, his friends! They left him, left him to live like this! The pain, throbbing throughout his entire body, only grew and grew with his silent sobs. Perhaps he was always alone... yes! Born alone, raised alone, lived alone, and now, shall die alone.

Looking down at his weapons again, he laughed, though it was more of a sob, "Only one more life to take now..."

Yes, end it all now, he figured. What was the point? No one wanted him... not even the Lord Himself!

He brought one of the blood-stained blades to his own throat, closing his eyes. At least Death would not abandon him...

"Take me... or leave me... just as everyone else!" Lu Xun gave a cry, shouting to Death, and the Lord. "I wish for nothing more! TAKE ME AS I AM!!!!"

Choking, he began to press the blade to his throat, "Or leave me... what does it matter now?"

But, alas, there was one more voice, one that would not allow him to do such a thing. "Lu Xun... dear Lu Xun... why to you draw your own blade upon yourself?"

His hand froze, trembling slightly, and he kept his eyes closed, "I have nothing to live for now... there is no one who wants me..."

He felt his warm, tender hands touch his shoulders, and he trembled violently under that hold, wishing he was never touched, not by him! It made him calm, but he did not want to be calm. Zhang He's voice whispered in his ears, so serene, so kind. "Where have you friends gone? What of your family and love? Don't they care for you?"

"No... none of them cared... all of them betrayed me; all of them abandoned me. I have killed them now... killed them..."

There was silence, then the words, soft and gentle to coax his soul. "I care... Lu Xun, look into my eyes, and you'll know what I am saying is true..."

Almost unwillingly Lu Xun felt his eyes flutter open, and he gazed into the deep blue pools that lay before him. He could feel himself trembling harder, and heard the dagger fall to the ground, "Why? Why do you care... when no one else can?"

"Because... I can see more than a child sitting in front of me, in fear, in pain..." Brushing a finger along his filthy, bloody face, Zhang He only drew closer, embracing him gently. To feel his arms was pure bliss almost, though still there was a nagging feeling, easily conquered by his own pain and self pity. "I see little Lu Xun, a young man, with potential, and emotions... they used you, only for their needs... but not I..."

Lu Xun felt his pulse and breathing quicken, and his trembling was beginning to fade as he rested his head against the other man's bare chest. His face flushed slightly as he moaned softly, "This feels... so nice..."

"Join me, Lu Xun... when all others have abandoned you, I was there... and I still am... I will forever protect you from pain, from suffering, from sorrow, but only if you allow me too..." One hand rose reaching towards the smaller man. He only wanted to free him from his pain, or so Lu Xun thought.

He made no move to resist, but his voice shook ever so slightly, "You... will protect me?"

Smiling, Zhang He's voice was soft, almost unable to be heard. "Yes... I will be your shield and wings, if you allow me to."

The gentle hands stroking his hair sent shivers of pleasure through out Lu Xun's body, and he spoke just as softly, "But... what can I possibly offer you in return?"

"You've already given me something, dear child... stick with me, Lu Xun, because I am always here for you..."

Snuggling deeper into those blissfully soft arms, Lu Xun murmured, "Then protect me. Be my shield and my wings. Please..."

And it was done... Zhang He only whispered to him, sending a look of pure confidence to the watching Cao Cao. "Then I shall be your phoenix..."

~*~*~*~

Zhao Yun could hardly believe his eyes, rubbing his tired eyes just to make sure he saw what he thought he saw. And he did, as Lu Jun shouted to the guards, telling them to lower their weapons and get a cot. Rushing to greet him, the Little Dragon ran to Lu Jun's side, to aid him with carrying the unconscious warrior on his back.

The tired Lu Jun sneered jokingly, as his eyes were still blood red from the wrath. "It's about time... he's much heavier then he looks!"

"Is he alright?" Zhao Yun asked, grabbing Wei Yan and relieving Lu Jun from the weight as he laid his comrade down on the cold, night grass. He was caked with blood, and he feared he was injured until he could find no open wounds. "How far did you have to drag him?"

"Pretty far... a few cuts and bruises, but I am willing to bet that's not his blood." Lu Jun pointed out, finally losing his strength and falling to sit on his rear. He was gasping for air, but he, too, appeared physically unharmed. As soldiers came to assist, he wiped the blood from his hands. "Found him a few miles away; had to fight him a bit before having to knock him out. Damn, what do you call him?"

Zhao Yun wore a look, "We don't really have a name for him... except for maybe Huang Zhong, but he was always just known as Wei Yan to us."

"Shame on you, then! I'll call him... Super beast, or something like that. Crazy beast or crazy demon seems to fit him well!"

By this time, the soldiers and Zhao Yun had gotten Wei Yan onto the cot, and they were beginning to carrying him away when two figures walked from the tent. At first, Lu Jun could only recognize Pang Tong, but as they came closer, he could see Lu Meng's thick black hair was lose from its usual ponytail, and Lu Jun kept in his position, greeting them with a nod. "Good to see you two alive. How do you feel?"

"Sore..." Lu Meng seemed to be in a horrible mood, rubbing the back of his sore neck as he sighed. "And foolish to fall into an attack like that. I should have known better."

Pang Tong scratched his nose, trying to make the Wu general feel better. "And what's my excuse, then? I fell for it too, but after all, they seemed equally surprised to see us as we were to them."

"Nevertheless, it is good to see you are both feeling well enough to greet us outside the tent," Zhao Yun stated with a smile, and he turned to Lu Jun, giving a bow. "Thank you for aiding Wei Yan."

The lord shook it off, "Don't mention it."

That was when he noticed the rather sour look from Lu Meng, but before he could comment, the general had turned to leave. Pang Tong asked, "And where are you going, General Meng?"

"To the tent to rest... I'm still not feeling well."

Clueless, Zhao Yun asked, "A wound?"

Looking back at them, Lu Meng spotted Lu Jun's suspicious look and spat, "Stomach ache."

No one seemed to question him, until Pang Tong decided to take his leave as well, waving them off as he went to follow the Wu general. "Take care of those injuries, Lu Jun... I have a feeling that the showdown will be REAL soon."

"Right... tell what's his face to eat some of those pink-tipped leaves. That should help his stomach ache." Lu Jun suggested, and, though refusing help, he stood on his own, wiping away the blood from his armor and clothing. He noticed the way Zhao Yun looked at him, and he asked, "What now? Any word from Sun Ce and Zhou Yu?"

"None yet... but we'll keep our eyes open for them. They said they were going to be joining us tomorrow morning..." Zhao Yun informed, leaving out a few minor details from the report. He could still see the red tint in Lu Jun's eyes, and as the lord of Wujun tore off his cape, to lighten his shoulders, Zhao Yun asked. "What about you, sir? Do you have a name besides your own?"

Lu Jun looked at him, replying quickly, "At one time, when I was with my father and uncle, I was known as the Red-Eyed Beast, for my red tint when I fought in the Bloodwrath. I don't know if that title is still my own, though..."

Nodding, Zhao Yun turned to leave now, wishing to check on his comrade and release his concerns for his lord in privacy. Rather Lu Jun could see that or not, he didn't care. "Take care; soon we will have your son back."

"Without a doubt..." Lu Jun replied, and now he was alone, as he looked towards the star-filled sky. Something within his gut didn't feel right, not at all, but he did not dwell on it. Soon he would be in battle again, and this time, he was not going to return without his son.

Zhao Yun, on the other hand, got a tad bit sidetracked, as he heard Pang Tong's voice through the thin tent. "Don't get all worked up over it, General Meng. I'm sure he doesn't realize it himself."

"How can he not? He treats Wei Yan better than he treated his own son!"

That caught his ear, as Zhao Yun found himself eavesdropping on their conversation. Lu Meng sounded enraged, and Pang Tong was trying to calm him down with words, though it seemed to be failing. "Well, not a lot of people treat Wei Yan nicely, come to think about it, and it's good that someone can help him. However... I do agree that there shouldn't be anything against a father and his son."

Zhao Yun knew exactly what they were talking about, as he seemed to notice the very same. True, he was thankful that someone besides himself, Pang Tong, and Huang Zhong were kind and understanding to Wei Yan, however... "He makes me sick... I can't stand the sight of him! To treat your own blood like dirt... is inexcusable! Father? He is no such thing!"

"Hm... by the way you're acting, do you think YOU could have been a better father?"

This question left Lu Meng silent, and Zhao Yun never heard his response, as he left to go check on Wei Yan now. This was none of his business, despite what anyone else thought, and with a defeated sigh he retreated towards the white tents.

~*~*~*~

By the time Zhou Yu found Da Qiao, he could clearly see her tears, and he approached her cautiously, keeping his tone down as to not wake the soldiers that rested a few feet away. "Da Qiao, you're crying. Why are you crying?"

Thanks to the moon, he got to see her beautiful face, tear stained and fear-stricken, and he was going to ask again, until she spoke softly. "Zhou Yu... I'm so sorry. Could... could you tell Sun Ce that?"

And, without another word, the girl retreated, rushing past him before he could stop her. Confused, Zhou Yu turned back to the rose bushes where she came from, and, cautiously, he poked his head through, to see his friend sitting alone in the garden, head hung low and hands hardly propping it up. Something went wrong... and he was too late to prevent it.

"Sun Ce..."

His friend did not move, but instead, he sighed, "Hey buddy. How's everything back at the camp?"

His voice sounded so low, so sad, and Zhou Yu got closer as he gave his report, "Everything's fine... they're resting and we will set out the minute the sun rises."

"Good... at least that's going according to plan..."

Seeing Sun Ce liked this made Zhou Yu's concern grow, and the Little Conqueror, deprived from his usual prep, hardly greeted him as he patted the grass spot next to him. Of course, Zhou Yu joined him, sitting by his side without a word. That's when he noticed Sun Ce's face, and on his usually red cheeks were tears. He... was crying?

"Sun Ce... you proposed to her, didn't you?" Zhou Yu had the nerve to ask, seeing Sun Ce's eyes dance. He didn't need his answer; he knew he did. "Sun Ce... my friend... if you would have asked me, I could have-"

He was silenced, when Sun Ce choked, "I was hoping that you were wrong for once... but of course, you're never wrong. I've lost battles before, but... but why does this seem to be the worst defeat in my life?!"

Before Zhou Yu could say anything, Sun Ce exploded, driving his curled fist into the ground and tearing apart the beautiful grass as he shouted, "DAMMIT! Zhou Yu... why?! What does she see in that little brat!? What does he have that I don't, huh?! DAMMIT!"

And Zhou Yu could say nothing, seeing his friend's pain and feeling it as well. He fought his own tears, to see his friend's defeat, and he sighed, trying to form words now. "I cannot say for sure, but... her heart was reserved for Lu Xun, and that is where her heart belongs, Sun Ce."

"Still... it hurts..." Sun Ce cried, finally getting a hold of himself and turning his head away in shame, for losing his temper in front of his friend and to hide his obvious tears. "I loved her, Zhou Yu... ever since I met her, I loved her..."

"Sun Ce..."

Raising a hand to wipe away his tears, the young lord shook his head, "I'll... I'll get over it eventually... just, give me a little time, okay buddy?"

And what else could Zhou Yu do but grant his wish? He rose to leave, hoping that he wasn't needed here anymore. He didn't know how much longer he could hold back his own tears... He gave a bow, keeping his head low to avoid his glance. "Forgive me, Sun Ce... for not being able to help you right now."

"Don't worry about it..."

Before he left, though, Zhou Yu added in, "And, Sun Ce... please don't hold this against Lu Xun."

That was what he feared the most; he feared for Lu Xun, and, if Sun Ce held this 'defeat' against him, then how could they rescue him? He was so relieved when he heard his friend's reply, "No... if it would make Da Qiao smile, then I will try twice as hard to get him back to her."