Let's play my game
Close your eyes
You count to ten

Look my way
And watch me hide
Search for me then

Inside these walls
Beneath this tree
Behind that stone

See me sob
Hear me scream
Inside myself alone

Can you ease this pain
This needle in my soul
Can you win my game

And forgive me all along

The dark sky stretched its black silken sheets across her world once again, the kingdom silent for another night, save for the beings inside and out, finishing up duties, or beginning rounds. The princess lay inside her room, curled beneath her blankets cozily. The kyawl that had been dubbed as her pet lay beside her, his breathing soft. Ishitar had been lying awake, her eyes closed though, for awhile; waiting for the right time. She'd nearly fallen asleep countless times listening to nothing but Duzell's breathing. Even Darres' pacing had eventually ceased.

Sitting up, the blankets she had wrapped so carefully around herself fell into a small mound at her waist. Again, she listened for any worrisome sounds. Silently, she laughed. She slid her legs from the bed, standing carefully. She grabbed a bit of simple clothing, slipping it on, as well as swinging a cloak around her shoulders. She walked to her window, giving a quick glance back to the sleeping kyawl.

"Sorry Duzie! Tonight you stay here." Ishitar whispered apologetically, opening the window as quietly as possible; then began to climb out; as so many times before. "He he! Come play Darres!"

As was requested of him, night after night, Darres stood faithfully by Princess Ishitar's bedroom door; protecting the future queen. Having stopped pacing not long ago, he began to muse, tossing a few strands of hair from his face. Tonight was an unusually quiet one, considering Ishitar's usual tossing and turning wasn't to be heard, nor her laughs, whispers, or anything he had become accustomed to lately. It was awkward now not to hear the familiar commotion in her room. It was almost unnerving as his mind turned to the number of attempts on her life. He could just check on her quickly, then leave her be. Simply that.

He turned, placing one hand upon the knob of the door, the other resting on his faithful sword. Darres turned the handle, hearing the muted click of it opening. Calmly he pushed the door aside, just enough to see where Ishitar's sleeping form lay; usually.

"The princess!" His breath caught in his throat as he frantically looked about her room. There had been no sign of a struggle; her kyawl hadn't even been woken from its slumber. Just the window opened, curtains fluttering wildly as the wind blew past. He shut the door with a small thud, running down the hall to inform the guards of her disappearance.

Within moments the castle grounds were being searched, inside and out, by the royal guards. Orders could be heard being shouted to one another, rustling of leaves, and heavy footsteps echoing around the castle. Darres searched everywhere inside the castle that Ishitar had hidden in times before. She hadn't been in any one. Outside there was no sign either. Darres went to inform Sir Keld of his suspicions to where she might have gone beyond the castle, then with permission set off, listening to the fading yells of the fellow guardsmen.

Many times when she was a child, Ishitar had run off to a tree near the outskirts of one of Pheliosta's villages. She seemed to love trying to climb it, with how many times she had tried. Darres even helped her once. The squeals of delight from the child still rang inside his memory from time to time. Even with the way she had acted towards him at other times, he could always forgive her when she'd smile like that. He reached the tree not too long after, wiping the old memory from his mind as he scanned the branches.

The tree's trunk was gnarled, knots in the wood. The branches stuck out at awkward and uneven positions, tough for climbing. 'Even though she was insistent on making it to the top…' His mind reminded him as he watched the twisting leaves, hoping for her to jump out yelling something incoherent happily. His hair whipped in front of his face, despite being tied back, and he sighed; defeated this time. He gazed upwards, tempted to wish upon the shimmering stars above him, but considered another of her favored childhood hiding places. There of course were a couple that came to mind, but only one that seemed to suit her tastes. In his mind at least. He gave the tree one last lingering look, and then rushed to the next place.

In the dark, winding path to his next destination Darres stumbled a few times, always regaining his balance, refusing to let himself trip. That's just what he didn't need, Ishitar poking fun at him for his lack of grace, though it was difficult for him to be graceful with his human eyes at night. Stones littered the ground he ran atop, teasing him as he lost balance once again, and catching it on yet another rock. He let a sign of exasperation escape from his lips as he managed to find smooth ground. Judging his steps, and counting them off, he reached a hill. Atop it rest a boulder, not great in size, but still a boulder nonetheless. His eyes pried at the darkness in front of him, attempting to see the hill better as he started up. It wasn't steep, or tall, but at night, uneven patches were undistinguishable from the tall grasses.

Once at the top, he leaned himself against the boulder, peering across the land. From that point, you could see a fair amount of the village nearby. A few lights remained flickering, but by this time, most was black. Darres could feel a pang of guilt and worry as he realized Ishitar wasn't there either. Not like before. Again, memories sprang up in his mind. Ishitar had tugged at his cloak until he had reluctantly come with her to this spot. Still a child, she clambered onto the boulder and pointed out. It was just dark, and the city was glowing, buzzing with dying excitement. It was quite a sight. She had been thrilled when Darres had told her what a wonderful scene she had found. Again, he could already see himself forgiving the teenaged girl once he found her. A foolish smile tugged at his lips while worry again replaced the happy memory. Standing tall again, he tried to remember anywhere else in Pheliosta that she may have hidden herself. After all, she wouldn't dare travel to Ci Xeneth or La Naan this late, would she?

The small wooden building creaked and moaned with the passing winds, calling out to the forest around. The trees replied with small snaps and soft rustles, and the streams quiet gurgling. Ishitar wrapped the cloak tighter around her shoulders, attempting to ward off the chills that had set in awhile ago. She shivered and frowned slightly. The little bit of hair she hadn't tucked under her cloak flew about her, but she continued to listen to the mellow song the forest had created, unfazed. The music she could hear was watery, and beautiful, but it was sad. It matched the sorrow that she had felt upon her arrival. The unshed tears that threatened to well up and drop down. She'd wanted to laugh because she'd escaped again. She'd fooled everyone again. She had laughed too. But it wasn't the loud laughter she had expected. It was half-hearted, forced.

Shivering again, she closed her eyes. She wished Darres would come and find her already and tell her it was time to go back. She wished Duzie had come along, if only to sit beside her while she thought.

She wasn't going to go back herself. That wasn't the way she had ever done it. She'd always ran off, waited for someone (Mainly Darres) to find her, get scolded and dragged home. So, she'd sit there until she was scolded like usual, then run back home.

Waving off the thoughts that began to run through her head, she looked out, trying to focus on something. The midnight bells had tolled long ago, and she knew it was getting much later. The darkness would probably only remain strewn across there for a few more hours. Giving up her search for something to watch, she closed her eyes tiredly, and snapped them open again; lest she fall asleep there. That wouldn't have resulted in good fortune. Even now, she jumped at noises within the forest, whether animal made, or by the wind.

Time seemed to pass her by slowly as she found herself counting the minutes until someone found her. Even in the dark, her cheeks had been tinted pink from the wind and cold. She wasn't worried about getting sick, even if it was cold. She wasn't worried about getting into trouble; it would all pass with the days. She wasn't worried about not being found; Darres always did. Always. And it would remain that way. She knew it would. She knew she could always turn to see his blue eyes, wary from her antics but attentive. His sword of steel would always rest by his side, the blade begging to protect.


The tears that had threatened to fall earlier now trailed down her cheeks, feeling icy against her cool skin. She didn't bother to wipe them away; in fact she hadn't even realized the tears. She shook from the bitter cold, but didn't feel that either. She'd lost herself inside the thoughts, memories, hopes, and dreams. She'd smile barely from time to time, but the tears never left. She could dream of him, hope for him, think of him, but that was only in the mind. In reality, he was going to be fuming when he found her. It wouldn't matter if she pleaded to him, smiled at him; he was going to be angry. But she would still get to see him. That was enough. Or she made herself think so.

She wasn't sure how long had passed when she was jolted from her thoughts. She had sworn she'd heard footsteps among the fallen branches. She shook her head and raised her hand up, wiping away the tears. Seconds later, more footsteps. Nervous, she risked a glance over. She nearly yelped and fell over, instead allowing a startled cry to be heard. Someone with a sword at their side had stepped into the tiny clearing where she was sitting.

"Princess!" She heard a familiar voice call out. She tried to make out the figure, but after a moment of consideration decided on who it was.

"Sir Darres? Is that you?" She asked curiously, a tone of innocence in her voice. Even with how well she hid it, a small wavering tone of fear shivered as she had spoken. Darres rushed forward, dropping down in front of her. He immediately gripped onto her hands.

"Ishitar! Are you alright? We've been searching all over for you!" He mildly scolded, using the other guards as an excuse for the worry that could be heard in his voice. She acted as usual when she replied this time.

"Of course I'm fine! Why would I not be?" A hint of an angry pout could be heard. She scowled slightly, half-heartedly pulling her hands from his, immediately regretting it. He simply nodded, standing. He held his hand to help her up, but she ignored it and stood up herself. He turned his eyes to the ground, lowering his hand. Silently he began to lead her back to the castle.

"I'm happy you're safe…Ishitar." Darres whispered back. Somehow, she wanted to cry again. He didn't really love her. He was just saying that because she was the princess. But she wished she could hear him say that more often. Tears again ran down her face, dampening her cheeks. She gave a silent sob, watching the man in front of her. His step had faltered, and then paused. Had he actually heard her?

"Ishitar…? Are you…crying?" He turned toward her, observing her face in the sliver of moonlight they had come upon. He hesitantly raised a hand to her cheek, gently wiping at the trail of tears with his thumb. Not letting himself think over his actions, knowing he would back out, he bent down slightly. His warm lips pressed softly against her skin, sending a shiver that wasn't from the cold. He kissed the tears from her cheek, the stood up straight. "I suggest we return before Sir Keld threatens anyone else." He stated, almost as if nothing had happened. But they both knew what had, and would never tell a word.



DARRES x ISHITAR FOREVER! XD Alrighty, with that outta my system… This will be my first attempt at Vampire Game fiction. I've read to the end of Vol. 10, so I'm hoping I did at least a little justice to the storyline. Sorry if the ending seems a little rushed or awkward…I tried to write it a little better. I'm quite pleased with the story myself, I'm happy that I was able to write anything this long, at least for a one-shot. The poem above in italics was written by yours truly. It came to my mind earlier an' seemed to fit the VG world quite nicely. nod I've been dying to write a new fanfic for awhile, an' VG has been very high on my want-to-write-about list, so this worked out well. R & R would be greatly appreciated, as always. Constructive criticism would be appreciated as well. Hope you enjoyed this fic.

Disclaimer: I do not own, nor claim to own Vampire Game.