A/N: Waah! I'm back with another story! I really shouldn't do this...it's going to cost me even more time...Anyway, I came up with the storyline while listening to 'The Phantom of The Opera" OST - the song Christine was singing in the graveyard, especially...

I have to stop rambling, or I'm going to give away the story!

Mei: Yeah! You will!

Me: Shut up...


Prologue: One Last Chance

Midnight. The moon hung silently in the night sky, accompanied only by a few stray stars here and there. Like a sinister cloak, several dark clouds also lingered, some passing over the moon and blotting out its bright circle before passing on and taking up a new post in the heavens.

A sixteen-year old girl tossed and turned in her bed, bathed in gentle moonlight. Her hair, auburn and so neatly arranged in daytime, now was rather disheveled because of her constant motion.

Quietly, the door to her chambers swung open, and a shadow, cast by the soft hallway light, fell upon the powder blue carpet. Slowly, the person moved into the room and closed the door, doing so quietly; he didn't want the girl, Tachibana Hiromi, to wake all because of his carelessness.

He made his way quickly over to the girl's bedside. He sat down on the mattress, causing Hiromi to turn once more, towards him. He stiffened, holding his breath. Fortunately, she continued to sleep.

A small smile graced the teenaged boy's lips, but it was a sad one, for he somehow knew that this was to be his last night on earth. He leaned forward to brush the delicate dark brown bangs from the other's face. After doing so, he sat back once more. He was content just to watch her sleep. Unconsciously, he fingered the simple gold band he wore around his ring finger, and was glad for the gloves he wore in the daytime. A similar band, bathed silver in the warm moonlight, glittered on the girl's left hand.

Suddenly, unconsciously, Hiromi uttered one word. It was uttered so softly that others could scarcely hear it; yet the tender sound somehow reached the one person for whom it was meant: "Kai…"

Hiwatari Kai started, jerking involuntarily. His actions in turn caused the mattress to jerk under his sudden shift of weight, alerting the occupant to another presence in the room.

"What?" she asked, her voice confused and her face still weary. She sat up slowly – she was still rather sleepy. And then she realized just who was sitting on her bed. The realization caused her to become alert at once.

"K-kai?"

She was shocked. What was the stoic, slate-haired blader doing in her room?

"Hiromi…" The teen's voice was soft, gentle – so unlike the voice she'd grown accustomed to, which was hard and cold and could startle anyone into silence.

"Yes?" She looked into his eyes, soft amethyst pools of such intense emotion that she couldn't bear to gaze into them for long.

Kai sighed, and then got up and walked over to the window. Quietly, he drew the drapes shut, darkening the moonlight that just moments ago streamed in, uninhibited.

"Kai, what's wrong?" Hiromi was getting nervous. "What are you doing here, anyway?"

Kai sat down once more on the bed, closing his eyes as he did so. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as neither teen moved, afraid of scaring the other away. Questions and seeming answers chased each other around in the auburn-haired teen's mind; not one of them seemed a likely explanation for Kai's sudden impulse to visit her in her room.

Suddenly, Kai reached over and enfolded the ruby-eyed girl in an embrace. However, it wasn't just any embrace; it was strong, yet somehow weak at the same time. She felt as though Kai, for some strange reason, was clinging to her, almost like a child would cling to a parent. The intensity of the gesture conveyed so much passion and longing that Hiromi was startled, and at the same time touched by it.

She reached up to touch his shoulder. "Kai…nanda chigau'n desu yo?" she asked, concerned this time. "Onegaiwatashi o iimasu ka…"1

Kai let go abruptly, staring deep into her eyes. "Boku wa…boku wa kowai ga…"2 The last part he whispered; and why wouldn't he, when he'd just admitted to being afraid of something – which was nearly unheard of.

"What…do you mean?" Hiromi was confused. Hiwatari Kai…afraid? "Why?"

"I… can feel it, Hiromi." Kai said, grasping her slim, pale hand in his. "Somehow, I know that I don't have much time left…"

"Kai, don't say that!" Hiromi gently clapped a hand over the other's mouth, cutting him off. "Don't be so negative. Besides, how can you be sure of this?"

"Because of Dranzer." Kai reached into his pocket and brought out his blade, which shimmered slightly in the dim light, and showed it to the auburn-haired girl.

Hiromi gasped. The majestic phoenix that before had glittered so awesomely in the center of the blade, now seemed to be…

"Fading?" Hiromi gasped quietly. "But why?" she asked once more.

"I've no idea," Kai said slowly and evenly, now effectively hiding all emotion. "But I know it means something…and it isn't good. Especially since I plan to face Brooklyn tomorrow."

Hiromi was at a loss for words.

Dranzer…is disappearing? She thought wildly. But that can't be! Phoenixes don't just disappear! They can't! But if Dranzer is disappearing, then…

A horrible thought crossed her mind. She then shook her head, as thought to clear it out of her head.

"No…Kai, you're just imagining things…aren't you?"

"You know I don't let my imagination run away with me, Hiromi." Kai said sadly as he stood up. "I'm sorry if I disturbed you. I'll leave now." He made his way towards the door. "Good night."

He opened the door.

Hiromi sat dumbly on her bed for a moment, and then, suddenly, she was behind him, hugging him around the waist.

"Kai, please…don't go…" she pleaded, silent tears trickling down her cheeks. She tightened the embrace, begging him mentally to listen to her.

Kai was silent, as though he hadn't heard her. Then, surprisingly, he let go of the doorknob, and the door swung shut.


A/N: Try to guess what happens...XD

Okay, I'm off! I'll try to update next week!