The Mirror and the Mask

Chapter 11: The Grace

Two walkouts in one class period. That alone took Mr. Chancy a good five minuets of ordering students to stop whispering but that only forced them to hone their whispering skills to silent letters and text messages. Even though the classroom was covered with a false mask of silence, underneath the room was a sea of constant conversations and gossip.

Unlike Mr. Chancy, Shiki was well aware of those worthless whispers, those shallow conversations of gossip. It made him sick. Conversation as a whole was one thing that allowed the brunette to hate organized civilization. Because of idle gossip, Ichijou's reputation would be tainted as a nut case along with Kiryuu. Because of idle gossip, Shiki's mother was cast out of the noble's society. Because of idle gossip, Ichijou was afraid to love him fully.

He hated all forms of communication.

He hated this world full of constant white noise.

"Shiki," Shiki snapped his neck to face Rima. His abruptness startled her as well as his cold expression. "He's been gone for a while now."

She didn't say any more. She didn't need to say any more. He knew. Under that simple sentence was a full monologue, pleading him to go back and rescue Ichijou from himself, to mend their ways if not for Ichijou's sake than for his because unless this problem is resolved Shiki would no more than bury his own grave in the dissolute ground of self loathing and hopelessness. All that within one simplistic sentence.

Yet Shiki paid no attention. He turned back, facing the lonely chalk board and leaned against his hand as he watched Mr. Chancy continue with his lecture.

"So I ask again class, are songs considered poetry?"

Shiki looked down at the handout, a printed page of a lyrical song called "The Grace".

Why should I save him? He's weak. Ichijou has always been weak; a pathetic spoiled brat who relies on others to save him. He always had either his Grandfather or Kaname to help him out of things and now he wants me to go and run after him.

Fucking prick.

For the first time ever, Shiki finally looked at the classroom door; trying to envision what Ichijou was doing behind it. He assumed that he would see a pouting blonde throwing a tantrum but to his own surprise Shiki envisioned something else. A skinny beautiful boy with blonde hair all curled up alone in the corner of a vacant bathroom where his stifling sobs echoed the lonely walls. Just the thought of it, since it was only a thought, drove Shiki's heart to crumple up and cry as well.

Though, he never was a strong boy. Even though he has nothing to be sad about he still finds reasons to cry when he lies in my arms. But not once have I resisted his tears. Call me a monster, but I kinda like it when he cries. It only gives us a chance to just hold each other and pour our hearts out in heated breaths. Ichijou may smile the most, read mangas and act as hyper as a human boy, but he never once hesitated to show me what was behind his mask. For that I…

"I love him." Rima thought she heard something come from Shiki. Casually, she shifted her eyes to her friend but once they rested on him she found him standing up, causing a rift in the tranquil classroom.


"Professor Chancy." Shiki interrupted boldly. "May I be excused?"

"For what reason?" Mr. Chancy was getting pissed off from all these outbursts of teenage hormones. God! And he thought girls were emotional!

"To see if Ichijou is alright." Before Mr. Chancy waved for him 'alright' Shiki already pushed his chair back and walked out of the room with determined strides.

Ichijou sat quietly out by the fountain within the vacant courtyard located in the middle of the school. As he sat on the cold brick which surrounded the grand fountain, he could hear the rippling of the water as it continuously rained in its beautiful shape. With a heavy sigh, he leaned his head against the hard stone of the fountain's wall.

What can I say to you, Shiki? After everything I've said to you during our private nights together you pushed me away so quickly before I can even explain. Were our hushed whispers that meaningless to you? Is sex all you value in our relationship?

As his thoughts raced, building layers upon layers of sentences and words in which he could say to him now, Ichijou's vision blurred. Once his lip began to uncontrollably tremble, he bit it to keep from whimper.

But even if that is true, it still won't keep me from crying over you.

It seemed the night itself cried with Ichijou. All was still. The clouds hung ominously in the still night and not a breeze dared move the trees. It was as if the world itself was too afraid to move for it feared the slightest breath of wind would set the vampire boy into flooding it with his tears.

Yet within that stillness, Ichijou heard a flutter; something that might have came from a bird. But it wasn't. He didn't know what that subtle noise was until it fell quietly in his lap.

What is this?

Ichijou looked down and found it was a piece of paper. It wasn't even a full page, just a piece; all tattered and ripped away from its whole. Only two lines were printed on the paper.

In better days I've been known to listen

I go to waste all my time is missing

Just after Ichijou read that small slip of paper another fluttered down to his lap.

"What's going on?" He said to himself.

I'm mapping out my ending,
it's never gonna happen now
These things are condescending,
with everybody backing down.

At first Ichijou didn't even know what all of this meant. But soon the words began to hint to a former memory. They're quotes from our previous poem in class! Just as Ichijou realized the origin of these words another piece of paper danced down into his lap.

Angels say they can make you suffer.
They give and take like a vicious lover.

These words are pieces of a poem, but why? What are they trying to tell me? Whose doing— As if on cue, Ichijou reached up to grasp the floating piece of paper but to his surprise, paper wasn't the only thing he touched. What?!

The blonde looked up and found that what he held in his hand was another's, both hands holding the last piece of paper.

"…Shiki!" Ichijou gasped. Above him, standing on the edge of the fountain, was Shiki; grinning at him as he held his hand in his. Slowly, the brunette stepped down from the fountain and walked around to knell before Ichijou. All the while, not once did their hands part. Ichijou followed Shiki's eyes as they peered down at their hands, his hand was finally released so that he could read the last set of lines.

Where I'm not alone.

Ichijou looked up with a confused face.

"What does this all mean?" He asked.

"You're the English scholar." Shiki answered. "Can't you decipher the author's meaning?"

"The poet's meaning is easy enough. But your meaning…it'll take a hundred years to discover." Ichijou's smile was a wing to Shiki's heart. The sight of it made him feel weightless and dazed. He could see his boyfriend's once torn heart melt together as one as Shiki reached out and wiped a stray tear from the corner of his oceanic eyes.

"Am I really that much of a mysterious creature to you?" He asked. Shiki watched as Ichijou took his hand and lightly kissed it as one would see gentleman do.

"…Please know that I'll never betray you." After those words Ichijou's tears soon began to overpower his own amused face. The sight made Shiki's mouth gape a little. Immediately he crawled closer to Ichijou, his face reaching closer to side beside Ichijou's.

With his lips beside his crying love's ear, Shiki whispered his promise.

"Please know that I'll never hurt you again."

The path to the moon dorms was a good ten minutes but in order to get there faster, Zero cut through the wooden thicket separating between the dormitories and the school itself. Despite his attempt to race the clock, Zero found himself out of breath after trying to push himself through a difficult terrain.

The wiry branches reached out to catch him as if striving to slow him down from his purpose. But Zero expelled their efforts through his focused mind. Keep running. He thought. Don't stop. It was his determination and his fear for Kaname that kept him to pursue the sight of the Moon Dorms.

Never did the sight of the Moon Dorms looked so beautiful and filled him with such relief than now. He took note that all of the windows were pitch dark except the few which were placed in Kaname's rooms. All of them were heavily draped. This specific detail spurred Zero to run faster and fling himself through the double oak doors.

He entered very clumsily and his chest heaved with the rhythm of his breathing. Zero took a hesitant deep breath.


"Master Kiryuu!" Miss Mindy pattered quickly over to the youth. "Why aren't you in school! And for heaven's sake—it seems like your sick!"

"I must see Kaname." He heaved.

"Master Kuran is still upstairs." He shoved past her, galloping up the stairs with his strong legs, skipping a step with each long stride. "Wait! Master Ki—Zero!" But Miss Mindy's small voice was lost to Zero's ears. After running so hard for such a length Zero mustered even more endurance to make him race through the halls. During his run, it was now—after being mere feet away from his goal—that he picked up his speed to run his hardest.

The double doors were coming closer quickly to Zero and when he finally threw them open, he did it in such a flash that Zero barely grasped the knob stay in his palm long enough to even feel it.

After such a feet, it was now that his heart stopped. Instead of the great feat in which he had to endure, it was the mere sight of Kaname that brought his heart to a sudden halt. Kaname, who was staring outside of his window, turned to find Zero.


REVIEW! Sorry that I haven't updated in such a long time. My summer job has been taking up much of my time and I rarely have time to really sit down and write. I even had to cut this chapter short because of the amount of reviewers demanding that I update soon!

Next chapter will lead to something along the lines of intense yaoi. So be warned and be patient while I finish up next week's chapter! Again Review!