"Redemption works in odd ways..." He said in a low and gravely voice, and I could feel the smile in his tone. "...For him it will not work at all. Don't you agree?"
I held the urge to spit at him in fear of what he would do so I bit my lip instead, my head still bowed. My sword speared the ground in front of me, splitting the hard wood like it was butter. My hand gripped the black leather hilt so tightly I could feel the sharp points of the true sword biting into my fingers. I held back the twitch in my wings and the urge to swat my hair out of my face, stand up and say something foul to him, and run screaming from the room.
The last thought brought a smile to my face. He was still infecting me with his humor...
"Look at me!" My eyes snapped up to him immediately, all mirth – everything - falling out of them. I stilled myself and stared into his handsomely pale face and unseeing sky blue eyes. A sickly curve of a smile was on his face, his white hair falling straight around his eyes to box his face. It looped over his shoulders and cascaded onto the floor around his white robes. His face was still so young.
"Don't you agree?" he said again, his blind eyes sizing me up. Even though I knew he really couldn't see me, I knew in his mind he was studying me. He always is.
"I can't say," I mentioned lowly, and he scowled immediately. He was on his feet within a second and standing before my sword with confidence radiating off of him.
""You cant say'? You can't say?!" He grabbed hold of my chin quickly and raised my head up, blind eyes gazing into mine. "Don't you dare say that you have not passed judgment on that thing..."
A sickly smile came over his face, and I fought the urge to struggle away from him. Instead I knelled at his feet, deathly still, and let his perfectly groomed fingernails create crescent shaped cuts on my face. I felt the blood fall off my face and I heard it hit the floor, but I didn't move to stop him.
"Oh...I keep forgetting" He tilted his head and leaned closer to me, close enough that I felt his cold breath on my face. "You're the reason he's not rotting in hell for eternity, you traitor. Didn't I tell you to remind me every day that you were a traitor to your family and your-"
"I am a traitor you - my God - and my family. I am to be punished accordingly," I cut him off, venom a low undertone in my voice. His face contorted, and he quickly brought his other hand up to hit me. I didn't prepare myself in the least - staring at his furious cloudy eyes. The moment before he brought his hand down he blinked, then his cruel smile enveloped his entire face. Forcefully, he shoved my face away, and I let the shove throw me backwards. He was standing over me now, and with a grunt of effort he pulled my sword out of the ground and pointed at me. I didn't move.
"Tell me..." he said calmly, the hand pointing the sword at me shaking. I kept my eyes on my sword. "Tell me that you hated him. That you hate everything he is, and that you wish he was never born into this family, and that he would die this very instant."
I stared up at his unseeing eyes that were gazing at the wall behind me blindly and kept my mouth shut. Slowly fury captured his face, and he brought the sword down inches away from my neck. My eyes had followed the sword, so when the next moment he was grabbing my face again surprised me a little. He was hanging over me, his pure white robes draping around my entire self - captivating me in the cold his body constantly gave off. Fury beat off him in waves that were almost visible, and still I kept my mouth shut.
"Yukari..." His voice was thin, his nails in my skin again. His face was so close to mine I could see the pupils of his eyes glimmer under their cloudy covers. "Tell me right now that you hate him with all your being for what he did...tell me now, Yukari."
"....You can't" he growled and threw my head away from him, sending me into the wall feet away. "You ungrateful bastard! You're still loyal to him after what he did to everyone, to you-"
"It doesn't matter what he did to me!" I shot back, pushing myself off the wall and pulling myself to my feet, standing over him. That anger in my voice made him stop and stay on his knees, his always unseeing eyes looking through me and making me hate him more that I did at that moment. "I don't care about what he did to me! Wake up to that fact, Hisoka, and stop living in the past and start living in the now. Things are changing as we speak, and sooner or later we are going to have to accept the fact that he is one of us!"
He stared up at me, that calmness on his face unnerving. My breath was coming in little pants, but my heartbeat was calm and unafraid. I was still resisting the urge to spit on him and run, but the run part was looking very good at the moment-
"He may one day live in the Land of the Stars, Yukari, but understand this..." his voice was hissed, and he stood with the grace of a cat himself - like he was pulled up on strings held by an invisible puppeteer. He was as tall as I was, meaning his cloudy eyes were exactly the same height as mine. The cold that breathed off of him made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. "He will never...ever...be one of us. Now get the hell out of my sight."
I grabbed my sword off the floor and backed away from him, opening the door with a thought and shutting it with another. The last sight of him burned itself into my eyes. Fury was written on his face, and he was stepping forward with the uneasiness of a blind man. I instantly knew he didn't believe that I would really leave his side. The fool...
I stood facing his door for a full minute before I slid the crafted piece of metal into its cage. I took a deep breath and let it out through my nose.
"Redemption is coming, Yukari." I turned toward Kazuo's voice, instinctively drawing my sword and pointing it at the base of his throat. The ageless metal drew a drop of blood from the skin on his neck and the liquid slid down the groove in the blade. Moments later the blood soaked into the sword, and I felt it warm in my hands.
I didn't watch the blood, I watch Kazuo's eyes. The bright blue of his eyes offset his naturally lime green hair so much that at times it would make me smile when I though about it. His eyes healed no fear of my blade in them at all, no fear of me, not hatred of any kind. Then again, Kazuo was the only person I could say didn't truly fear anything. His eyes were remorseful, full of heart wrenching sorrow.
"You heard that?"
"I heard everything," he said simply, "and redemption is coming."
"I know," I said bitterly, lowering my blade. Kazuo still stood up straight, head held high, eyes empty. "What else do you want?"
"It's starting." He dropped his eyes to the ground and I finally noticed what he was holding. A golden hourglass sat comfortably in his hands, the silver sand constantly falling. Three fourths of the sand was now sitting at the bottom, and my face went grim.
"Very well. I wish you luck..." And with that I walked away from one of my better friends, knowing fully well that I was the key in my best friend's redemption and wishing so much that I wasn't the cause of it.
There was a thing I have started to learn. Wishes tend to not come true.
Part Fifteen: The Second Warning
"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple..."
"If I'm just bad news, then you're a liar..."
Prom was in a three and a half months. June 1st was the set date. I didn't feel anything when I thought about it - just a ringing numbness that reminds me I'm growing up. I'm an adult. I am 18 years old. I can take care of myself and legally I can go live on my own somewhere. In many countries I can vote now. I can get a car and drive anywhere I want.
The only thing that thoughts like that brought in was cold. Cold realization, cold bitterness, just.... cold. I don't want any of these things. I don't care if I don't have a car, I don't care if I don't vote, I don't care if I go off to collage.
All I really want is-
I blinked and looked up, rice falling from my chopsticks. Everyone at the table was staring at me, but Tohru had been the only person to lean toward me and say my name. I blinked at her.
"What?" I asked, and Shigure let his glasses slide down his nose. His cloudy chocolate eyes peered over the silver rims.
"You were glaring at the rice like it was attempting to choke you," the writer mentioned, picking up a piece of rice himself and eating it. "I didn't know you hated rice that much."
I stared at him, blinking. Shigure stared back, raising an eyebrow.
"What were you thinking about?" Tohru asked, eating a piece of strawberry - it was one of the first plants to recover from the winter's cold. They were the best strawberries I had ever grown in my life, and they were months ahead of schedule. Tohru and I had gone to look at the base, and they had already started to grow. It was such an oddity that I didn't even question it.
"My strawberries," I lied. No one else needed to know that I doubted my future away from Shigure's house. "They'ne sprouted early."
Tohru smile at me and sat back. I saw that knowledge sink into her eyes, and I'm pretty sure she came to the same conclusions I did. There was a reason for Tohru's strawberries sprouting so early, and that reason was the only one sitting with us this morning who had orange hair. I stared at her for a second with a smile on, and she smiled back.
"I think we missed something." Shigure said quietly, but loud enough to break my eye contact with Tohru and look. The older writer was leaning toward the side of the table across from him - more importantly to the person sitting there. Kyo gave his automatic response and shrugged, staring toward the paper doors.
"Does it look like I care?" He sounded distant, and when he turned to face us his eyes were darker then normal. A quick blink later he seamed to shake himself out of whatever daze he was in and sat up straight. Suddenly he was more solid, and the glowing light that seamed to animate his soul came back to his eyes. The ghost blinked a few more times, staring dumfounded at us. I'm not sure about the others, but I stared back with equal question in my eyes.
The cat flushed at the attention he got by being caught in an awkward situation. I felt myself smile slightly, and he flushed more and glared harder.
"Your...Ya gonna be late!" The neko stretched his arms out and pointed to the clock that said - indeed - we would be late if I aggravated him anymore this morning. Tohru made a squeak of surprise and I turned to see her stand up with a surprised look at the clock on her face.
"I'll clean up." Shigure offered, still eating his own white rice. Tohru blinked at him and shook her head.
"No, I couldn't let you-"
"-You'll be late! Now go, before you're both late. " The writer said it in a sing-song voice, waving his chopsticks goodheartedly at her. I had sudden flashback of another conversation almost exactly like this a while ago.
After a second thought, the writer added. "Anyway, Kyon will help me clean!"
"Like hell I will." The cat stood up and walked through the table and past Tohru, through the wall. My equilibrium was thrown off for a second then, then I righted myself by remembering. I stood up as well and dropped my chopsticks on the table and followed the cat out of the room through the door. I hear Tohru than Shigure and follow me out.
I needed my notes for Student Council. It would be the last meeting before the end of the year's tests, the prom, and finally graduation.
I was graduating high school and moving to Tokyo to study. For some reason the thought made my stomach churn and a cold feeling stick in my chest. I stepped through the door and into the hallway, reminded myself not to think about it, and that the trip to here from Tokyo U is only 30 minuets.
The cat was sitting on the stairs and he looked up when I started towards him. He grinned and pushed off the stairs and hovered in mid air, floating up a little more. I heard Tohru follow me out of the kitchen as I started for the stairs.
I needed to change my shirt to, just to be neat. This one was wrinkled, and the third button on a cuff had popped off the shirt a while ago. I reminded myself that I needed my tie today and not to forget it again.
"Don't forget your tie," Kyo said mockingly as I skipped the first step and advanced up the stairs. I ran the back of my hand along the wall Kyo's fingers hand marked unconsciously.
I glared up at the cat. "Shut up," I shot at him, and there was a creak as Tohru took to the first step. Kyo was standing at the top of the stairs, his back against his bedroom door. It was open, just a crack. I had made it up to three steps before the second floor landing when it happened.
Truthfully, I felt it before anything. It felt like a cold weight suddenly fell upon me, and made goose bumps gather on my arms. My sense of smell was instantly better, and my eyes shifted from the door to Kyo in seconds. Fear suddenly welled in my chest and my heartbeat kicked into high gear. I was suddenly choking on fear.
I saw Kyo's pupils slit as purple exploded in his irises, red veins extending from the center. His eyes widened and it looked almost as if his hair stood on its end.
I cannot truly explain what happened next. I'm not sure if fear was clogging my brain, or it was to hard for my brain to process.
I've said that Kyo looked as solid as anyone else before - and if I only implied that, I'm saying it now. Kyo looked alive and well, like Shigure or Tohru or I. But it was as if he was drained of all his life. His body suddenly looked dead and pale, everything about his presence died. His eyes stayed alight - furious and scared purple.
A hand - more solid then I'm comfortable thinking about - shot out of his chest and I only had a moment to realize the color and shape of it before I reacted. Instinctively I shifted back, and everything I have ever listened to in me said to run. But there wasn't just a hand. A elbow followed quickly - and entire arm and head and shoulders and torso reaching out from him. Pitiless deep lavender eyes stared dead at me through sunken sockets, the skin of the entire animal a sickly dark green. The hand wasn't so much a hand any more, but a claw. Muscles that shouldn't exist were stretched down the eerily long arm as it reached for me.
It seemed as if time totally stopped. Everything seemed to stop - the earth stopped moving, things stopped living - everything but me. And it. I moved through the still world quicker then I thought I could have. I took a step back, and I started to fall through still time. I had only a second to think this isn't possible.
That hand wrapped around my arm and pulled me back towards it - towards the top of the stairs. I was forced to follow - unable to move and think as fast as I should have, as I needed to. As the thing pulled me, the world seemed to change again. I knew I was now on the top floor of Shigure house, but everything was faded to gray. Fear was choking me as I was pulled forward - I couldn't understand but I understood perfectly at the same time.
The thing was standing where Kyo was moments ago, legs that seemed to once be human were long and built like a cat's- but elongated with giant toes and sickly green skin. Its chest was massive and built differently then any other organism I have ever seen in my life. The thing's head was huge compared to mine, and its ears were extended as far back as they could go. Its face was very cat-like, its nose pulled forward and its mouth framed differently somehow - like all the parts of the face didn't fit together normally. Its entire hand was wrapped around my arm and hand - from my elbow up, and it held me up in the air so I was face to face with it. Its eyes indented its head and looked too human to be on the thing's face.
Everything happened in seconds, even within the suddenly stilled time - and suddenly I was in its face. Pride and death clouded around the animal, and it held its head up high and undefeated. I knew what it was the moment I saw its hand.
I was face to face with the true and pure Cat of the zodiac. This was the thing that lived inside Kyo. This was the monster that hated the rat with such passion that it cursed its entire family for eternity. And suddenly, years from when all this truly happened, it held the Rat of the Zodiac - me- carefully in it's hand without a thought.
I didn't even have time to scream.
"I should kill you now..." It purred in a voice that wasn't truly a single voice, but many. They all cried out in pain and agony. And somehow I knew that it was the cry of his family members - something in my brain that I couldn't deny said that it killed his family members - and it also said that this thing was a he. This had been a person.
"You cannot kill me." It wasn't me speaking, but the voice came from me. I was truly far away from this action, watching this take place somehow -yet I was there, experiencing it at the same time. The monster snarled and squeezed my arm, dragging its face close to mine.
"This..." the screams said as I stared it in the eye. There was nothing human left in those eyes for me to think of it as a he. "...Is the Second Warning."
And suddenly I was in the air, falling backwards. The monster had thrown me - staring coldly with dead eyes - and this time something came out of it. It broke through the mass of death that the true Cat was and reached for me in turn.
I saw wild violet eyes were beneath wild orange hair, and his hand was grabbing for mine. The difference between the two Cats was striking in my strangely calm mind - the cat of now was trying to save me, while the cat of before was standing there just watching. Before all this...ghost nonsense happened, I know Kyo would have stood at the top of the stairs and watched me fall as well...
But something had happened. Something I didn't truly understand. Just as I knew that he would have stood there and watched before, I knew that he would have reached for me now. I guess you could call it friendship, but this was more loyalty then anything else.
His hand grabbed my arm in the same place as the monster had, and with a momentum that I hadn't expected I was tossed in the other direction. Time was relevant again, and colors of the world passed me by at incredible speeds. I crashed into Kyo's door and faintly heard it snap, but nothing truly registered. I watched the redhead fly down the stairs at catastrophic speeds - unable to move - unable to think - unable to speak - and I suddenly remember who had been climbing the stairs behind me.
Then suddenly, everything went black.
3rd Point of View
The book fell out of his hands, and slowly he turned his head towards the sky. Cold clutched his heart and a spasm wracked his body. A scream broke free from his throat and echoed for miles around. He fell with a rattle of chains around his neck and hit the ground with a thud on the deck of his cousin's quarters, his white and black hair spilling around him. Blood dribbled out of his ears as if his eardrums had popped. His suddenly still gray eyes were deep and dark, and it seemed for a moment that he stopped breathing...
The scream from her was harsh and insane. She was on her knees, both hands pressed to the side of her face. Her brown hair was flat and normally, but her gray-brown eyes were wide and crying tears of crimson. Their wild brown depths seamed to stretch on forever into her head, and she was oblivious as others rushed into the room to see what had happened...
It was a bone chilling feeling first, then pain like acid shot of his arm and ate at his eye. His scream of pain was choused as he fell to his knees, his doctor's coat fluttering to the ground behind him. His eyes were forest green being eaten by darkness, his pulps dilating. His body shook and he coughed and that forced flecks of blood from his convulsing body. No nurse or doctor in that office would be able to help him in this moment...
Far away from everyone else - in the mountains, he stared up at the sky and plainly fainted. The sadness that swamped him pulled a cry from his thin chest, and his body spasmed before he lay still on the ground in front of the bathhouse. The brown-orange hair that fanned out around him was tangled now, his traditional white kimono dirty and in disarray. Blood dripped from his nose in a constant line and fell on his hair beside him...
Heat rushed to his brain and his heart, making him rock forward and slam into the table. His head connected with the table hard with a snap and a scream tore from his thought, joining the choir of pain. The glasses that sat on his nose shattered and fell around him. Blood flowed freely from the cut on his head and mingled with his dark black hair, and behind one of his tightly closed chocolate eyes a capillary burst, tinting red veins and bringing them to the surface. A moment after the scream he howled pitifully and rocked his head in his hands on the table, then forced himself up and through the kitchen....
Her scream was shrill and joined by another female scream. The raven haired girl had fallen to the floor and ducked her head into her knees, and continued to scream after the little one was finished. The small female had screamed and flung her arms out behind herself, then fell over in a tightly knotted ball, crying crystal tears. Her honey hair was stuck to her face where the tears had soaked her skin, and her deep brown eyes were flicked with pain and amber. She reached out for the other girl and cried out 'Rin'...
The white haired man then dropped to his knees, sadness consuming his entire being. His scream was chorused in as well, and it left him feeling cold and alone. His golden eyes were wide, and his pupils were slit and staring off toward a corner of his dress shop - not really staring where the ceiling met the walls, but beyond that, as if trying to comprehend...
He fell to his hands and knees and screamed in agony at the ground, clenching his hands into the soft soil of his front yard. His uniform was dirtied instantly, and his honey eyes were wild. His hay blond hair sagged around his head and framed his downcast face, tears falling from his eyes. The rip in his cheek was open and raw, bleeding into his salty tears. His whole body shook with cold and his mind reeled, then the ground rushed up to meat him...
He fell to his side, scream ending in a sob. Pain and guilt swamped him and made his thin body quiver. His large deep brown eyes were wide and his mouth was open in a silent scream. His head hand connected with the door as he fell, so a cut was ripped open over his temple and was soaking into the white rug underneath him and clotting in his short brown hair. Cold shocked him into numbness, but unconsciousness never came...
He watched, as his most trusted guard fell to his knees and screamed along with the rest of them, his soft brown eyes shaking in pain and shared anguish. His golden brown hair fell softly around the guardian, and all he did was laugh.
He laughed at the pain they were feeling. He laughed at the coldness, at the grief and guilt, as the true curse wrapped around his and made them remember what they were and whom they truly belonged to. There was no escaping his curse, even if everything happened when he was alive. In order to break the curse, he needed to die. No one would kill their God. No one.
He laugh because he was happy they were all finally feeling what he had been feeling his entire life.
And no one would escape the curse today, and that made him happier then he had been in a while.
And it was so nice.
I stumbled to my knees and screamed with the rest of my family. I screamed for their pain, for their suffering, for their horror - I screamed for the cause of it. I screamed for me, for my life, for what I need to do...
Crimson tears fell from my eyes. Monsters don't cry, they bleed.
I screamed for the comfort that I wished I had. I screamed for someone to please - if there is a real God - help me! I screamed because I could do nothing else to get the attention of the heavens. I screamed for my pity. I screamed for my anger. I screamed for my fury. I screamed for my loneliness.
I missed my family and my friends. I missed the touch of another person, even accidental. I missed the ability for conversations with groups of people I loved. I missed the sound of laugher. I missed the taste of freshly cooked cake. I missed my mother's smile. I missed the touch of velvet. I missed the feeling you had after a nice hot bath. I missed playing my violin. I missed playing tag with my younger brother.
I once took all these thing for grated. I took them all as something I would always have.
I was wrong.
I want to die.
I want to fade away. I want to disappear and stop existing.
For everyone who gets what they want, I have it taken away from me. I'm evil; I'm the opposite of luck.
And all my hopes rest in a boy who doesn't even have enough courage to tell the girl he loves that he does indeed love her. I'm trusting my existence to a teenager who technically can't drive by himself.
For him, I hope we succeed. For me, I hope we fail.
There is no hope within me at this moment. I see and feel no reason for it.
And for some reason, I think we'll both get what we want.
Ranting: Well, this took forever. I've been writing The Collector and planning out chapter for that...I almost forgot about my SH! Hugs story I love this story. It's my first story that people actually like! I'll never forget again.
So school's kicking my ass. I have a English project due next Thursday, and I'm going to the Zoo with Bio (b/c our teacher thinks we're 4).We get to miss a whole day of classes! YAY!!
Nothing else is new or exciting, other then I'm up to chapter 6 in The Collector, and Chapter 16 out of 23...I'm almost there! I finished this chapter within hours that i started today!! Go me!
Favorite Line: "You were glaring at the rice like it was attempting to choke you." -By Shigure!! I heart Shigure. In SH, I'm infecting Shigure with my wittiness! Me, gracious? Always!
Favorite Character: Yuki. Why? Because I'm twisted. Kuto's to Setsu and Kyo as well...Oh, and I liked my monster!
Qustion(s) of the chapter: (a) Last chapter, how do you think Tohru held Kyo's hand?
(b) What do you think truly happened on the stairs?
Date finished: November 8th, 2004. 10: 18 p.m.
Date Edited: January 3rd, 2005. 10: 41 p.m.
poplollyblues: Yay. Glad you liked it. Hope you come back and review again for this chapter as well. You got teary eyes?! Oh, yay! (Not that that's really a good thing) That's exactly what I was trying for. Sweet sadness...Accepts the bow and Eats the cookie happily
YumeTakato: I am truly sorry this took so long. But as I said, school is kicking my ass. the more you tell me to write faster, the more I probably will. - thanxs, and review again
Spellcasterz: crys out in happiness! You think it was worth missing sleep!?!? Thank you so much! I cant believe it took that long to read this...wow. all day? Geez...I'm so sorry I haven't updated in months. please forgive me. I'm a stupid another, I know Hits self again I am sorry. I'll try to get chapters out faster if I can (School is such a bitch). You were terry eyes too?! The I guess I'm good at being sadly sweet...thank you again so much. My many thanks, and please review again,.
HanaTenchiHimeko: Yay! And that's a very good question. Express your idea's on why. I wanna feed off of what you guy's think. Sok, Sok Misaki-San. You're doing a great job as Editor. It's not mandatory you review...but it's nice! TTUL!
HeeroTomoe: You know what, your right. I admit to reading a fic and not leaving a review, but I do read every chapter . I'm not depressed about it really...it's just that...well, like anybody, I love positive criticism and questions. It makes me feel like people are truly interested in what I right. For some reason that feeling is something I strive for. I don't know if one would call it selfish to want people to read you stuff and tell you about it, but that stuff helps me right. I keep coming up with new ideas and influences form reviews, and I think any writer loves that. So if I am reading a fic and I realizes something a miss in the plot, I ask about it. It shows you not just reading words but your walking along side the character in their world. Or maybe that's just me. I know I enjoy not living in reality. Reality bites, and fantasy rules. Sometimes I love getting lost, and I love telling another that I have gotten lost in their world. Threes a sense of satisfaction to that for anyone who rights. Then again, maybe it's just me and my selfish need to have people tell me I'm okay at what I do. And thank you so much for giving me a true title in this genera. It's rare when I call people story weaver themselves. To be call one just...makes me smile at my computer screen as I write - and that something I normally don't do. My friends have told me that I look very blank or centered when I right, and to break out of that is a very good feeling. Thank you again, and if your feeling not to lazy one day, try to review once more. Every review is counted and loved for their content. Thanks again.
Cat: lolo! thank you so much for reading my stuff. I noticed you name reviewing for Collector. I can't say thanks enough.
Well...no bonus this time. I'm tapped out. I finished two chapters within day's of echoer. Oh! That reminds me! If everyone could, go visit The collector on my Bio. Truthfully, I like my writing in TC more just because I liked writing it more. Please, for me, go check it out. And review!! Please? Oh, and take a short gander at another new ficlet I wrote called Blackouts and Sake. A new years fic!!
By the way, I don't own FruBa. This plot and original characters are mine, but not Fruba itself. Any twisted, enhanced psychotic tendency, morbid reactions, deep and well deserved brooding and/or beating ones self up that happen to appear in the story are mine and I stake full claims with some help and idea's. Please review, and any flame will be laughed if not ignored.