Happy new year! Well here's another chapter. Initially, i didn't want to continue, because i had already completed the story in my head. And it seemed like a sappy love story, but we all love sappy love stories. (the 'but' revived everything)

So here it is. Hope it makes people happier, healthier and wealthier, but that's just the author rambling.

Happy birthday Chris! (yes, you, ladyalmathea)

ps: hope there's no typos. it's past twelve here. and i ought to get to bed soon. early sleeper i am.

It was a dream wasn't it? This whole 'who-are-you' was just Noriko's plan to make him worry wasn't it? To make him shake and shiver as if ice flowed through his veins, to make him scoop her up suddenly and press kisses to her, wasn't it? A ploy to gain more attention.

He grew dizzy. The world seemed to be spinning and all he could focus on were those mavue eyes. Conflicting, stormy and confused. With only a simple question in it.

Then he fell. His knees ironically, hitting hard on the soft, carpeted floor. The doctor didn't exist, the bed didn't exist, all the expensive, exquisite furnishings all didn't exist. Only that vague inner pain. Spreading and spreading, like a plant. Vines crawling all over his dark empty heart; once full with love, but now just a void. Dark and hungry, and torturous.

Noriko watched as the man's eyes grew wide with disbelief, as he fell, one hand clutching his chest. For that split second while he was standing up, his back seemed rigid with control, his whole face, open, afraid maybe. Eyes so wide, so so wide that the contrast with his dark eye colour and that of bleached bone white, the entire picture of him, frightened her. As he painfully expelled and inhaled, producing an unnatural rattling sound. What had he lost that should produce such a reaction?

Noriko's knuckles clenched the royal blue covers tightly. She was too frail. Her hands rebounded with the force, loosening too easily, too weak. She slid off the bed, and fell. The kneeling man didn't seem to notice her. She knelt in front of him, his head was low on the ground, almost touching. Her hands slightly shivered, and they clasped, firmly, warmly, around his face.

He looked so vulnerable, and no one had ever been vulnerable in front of her. People were always so hard, so mean, so cold. But he was so weak, like a new born pup. And she held him to her, for a split second, wanting to protect this stranger she had never met.

Vlad was so so aware of her sudden presence, and it filled him with a sweet warmth. The pain slowed, it was a prank all along right? He wrapped his arms around her, suddenly relieved, yet unstable, if that was the word. Unstable like he was on rocky ground. Like she was a fake. Just, unstable.

She pushed him back, such that both of them were sitting back on the floor. "Who are you?" Walls had fallen, and she was now apprehensive, guarded. "Noriko!" She really doesn't remember me?

She had so many other questions, but only that one came out. He smiled, sheepishly, and he looked so... Acceptable. Be wary girl, don't be stupid. "Noriko, i'm yours. Wholly yours." He took her hand, and pressed his lips to it gently.

Vladislaus wasn't going to let this chance slip past. God had given him, her, them, another shot at love. And he could swear as the moon shone and the sun blazed, that he was going to make everything all right again. "And you are my lover, my girlfriend, whatever terms you please, but you are my lover."

He was smiling so happily at her, it made his eyes dance and shine, it made him look unbelievably handsome. She blushed inevitably at his words. It sounded impossible, how could she have gotten such a, well, perfect... lover? "We have always lived happily together, and you would always smile at me. We are very in love with each other."

"We have?" She asked, it seemed too amazing.

"We have, and we still are. Don't you remember me? I don't think you would..." After which, he gave her a breakdown on her condition, her selective annesia.

"No, i'm sorry, i don't..." She trailed off. "Then we shall treat this as a first meeting then." She decided. Her face still blushing, she stuck out her hand awkwardly. "Hi, my name is Noriko. Please guide me whenever possible!"

She was so cute, his dryad, so extremely adorable! The blushing, the headlong rushing that was typical of her. "I'm Vladislaus Dracula." He was chuckling inside, resisting the urge to say a hundred and one cliched things, but all were true. He leaned forwards and kissed her on her lips, then carried her and placed her on the bed. He turned to leave.

"Wait, Vladislaus!" Her voice carried a tone of urgency and anxiousness. "Come back soon." She murmured, too shy to say it out loud.

"I will, my love, I will. I only need to settle some small matter." He beamed at her again, then left.

Noriko's fingers flew to her lips, where he had kissed her, a golden coil turning and twisting in her stomach. Warm, and comforting. She slid beneath the dark blue blankets. Thinking, pondering, wondering, and perhaps dreaming. Then she fell asleep.

Vladislaus was leaning on the wall outside her door. Oh God, whatever happens, please let her be happy. Whatever time i have left, i will spend it on her, don't take her away from me. That i ask of you.

For Noriko, for her smile, for her to be happy.

"I will leave."

Thanks to all who are sticking to this story. Seriously, thank you all.

All hail readers!