For the sake of clarification, at the time this story was started, I was unaware of the official names of Saya's nieces per the Light novels. This fanfiction is based entirely on the anime. Furthermore, I take no credit for any of the original Blood+ characters. Thank you, and enjoy the story!
He popped the cap of the marker back on and couldn't help but become a little excited. Kai had just marked off another day on the calendar he kept in his room just for this countdown. It would be thirty years in exactly nine days. Glancing over in a mirror, he almost had to laugh. His hair, although still mostly red, had a few grey hairs here and there. He refused to dye them, convinced he'd earned any grey that he may have. He'd managed to keep most of the weight off, but he certainly wasn't as lean as he once was. However, he'd needed to stay spry enough to keep up with Hoshi and Tsukiko. Although thirty, both still very much resembled fifteen year olds. Unlike Saya, they'd both grown up knowing they were not human and accepting their differences the best that they could. Tsukiko had even decided to pick up the fight where their aunt left off, traveling with him whenever Red Shield discovered a local chiroptera. Hoshi choose to embrace her human qualities, usually letting her supernatural abilities lay dormant.
Soon, they would be meeting their aunt…the woman who made them orphans. That particular bit of information he had not told them. He would leave that to Saya, to disclose as she saw fit.
He glanced at the calendar again.
"Soon, Saya. We'll all be together again soon…"
She knew she was still asleep, but she could feel him there. It made her smile as her body slowly and steadily returned to consciousness. No matter where she traveled or how long it took, they would always be together. It helped this time around that Haji knew where she was.
The wind brushed against her face and she knew that he'd entered her hibernation chamber. Finally, she felt awake enough to open her eyes. Because of how low she was to the ground, the first thing she saw was his knees. She could tell that he was still in his traditional suit. In the ever-changing world that she was a part of, it was nice to know that he would always be constant. She saw him kneel down before her, the cello case on his back hitting the ground with a sharp thud.
It relieved her that her memory was still hers this time. Perhaps her amnesia the last time was just a result of being forced to awaken. She reached out to Haji, who took her hand and helped her to her feet, steadying her gently as she stood for the first time in thirty years.
"You awoke a little early," he said nonchalantly.
"That's fine with me," she told him, brushing her hair from her face. The thirty years of sleep had once again lengthened her hair into a black waterfall that caressed the back of her knees.
She looked down at her clothing. The school outfit that she'd wore the day she fell asleep was all but dust now and clung delicately to her body. Haji held out a simple black cotton dress for her and turned his back as she shed her clothing and put on his gift.
It hit her as an after-thought: she'd been asleep for thirty years. How would everyone look? Was Jahana-san still traveling the world? Did Julia-san have her child? What about her nieces…?
He turned around and the memory of the last time she'd seen him filled her mind. This was a man that loved her. Somehow…no, she'd always known. It was in his actions, in his quiet respect for her every wish. Nothing had ever come of her knowledge though, since she had not allowed herself the simple pleasure of deciding to fall in love. The promise she'd made almost two centuries ago had kept her from considering a love with love. And now? And now…
"Saya, is everything okay?"
She'd been standing there in a daze, her hand still in his. A blush filled her checks and she pulled her hand from his.
"I was…uh…" She struggled to remember what it was that she'd meant to ask him.
"Ah, that's right. Have you been keeping an eye on my nieces for me?"
"They are well," he told her. "Kai has been raising them in much the same way as Joel raised you."
"I hope they aren't as spoiled as I am," she replied. "I was such a brat back then…"
"I do not know," he interrupted, neither confirming nor negating her comment. "I have not been in contact with them. I've just been watching, hoping that neither of them turned out like their mother."
The word sat heavy in her mouth, weighing down her tongue and turning her stomach. How close had she been to her own death the day that she killed her sister? In a weird kind of way, she had Riku to thank for her still being alive. If not for his sacrifice…. He saved her, even if it had cost him his life. However, none of them could have ever known it at the time.
She shook her head, losing her balance as she tried to clear her mind of her twin sister. Haji caught her, pulling her close. He was so warm…
"I…I have missed you, Saya."
The small confession overwhelmed her. She clung to him, only slowly becoming aware of the beating blood in the neck that was so close to her own. Knowing her moods all too well after over a hundred years of companionship, Haji simply pulled his shirt away from his neck.
"Drink, Saya. You need your strength, and Julia-san will take some time to get a hold of."
Saya stared at the vein in his neck, feeling the urge rise as each moment passed. Part of her wanted to resist, to cling to her humanity. However, in such an inhuman place, with only her and her Chevalier…
Haji only held her closer as she fed from him, drinking his blood as the guilty pleasure that she considered it. She did not take much, stopping after she felt the energy running through her limbs.
"Arigatou, Haji," she told him as she finished, wiping her lips clean.
He stared at her for a moment, not saying anything. Just as she was about to ask what he was looking at, he broke eye contact, rising to his feet. It had always been so hard to read
Haji before…for some reason, she felt as though that barrier was starting to crumble. In his eyes, she could see the love he felt for her, even if he didn't voice it at the time.
"What do you wish to do now?" he finally asked her.
"Let's go see my family," she replied, standing.
Haji picked up his case, taking his place just behind Saya, at her side. As she started to leave the enclosure, she caught glimpse of herself in a dusty mirror. Her hair was down entirely too long. Kai would definitely have to cut it again.
Hoshi looked up from the book she was reading for class. Kai had let her enroll in some online college courses. He'd rather she didn't take off for a major city and go to school, and the truth of the matter is she really didn't want to leave. Although she and her sister had both been raised as humans, the fact remained that they weren't. It would've been too awkward to leave home and be a new face amongst so many people without her sister or Kai…
Tsukiko shoved open the door, glaring at her sister. Neither of them knew who was technically the oldest, so it was always a source of jokes with them. Hoshi closed her book, looking up into her sister's red-brown eyes.
"You don't feel that?" Tsukiko asked, exasperation filling her voice. "You know, you might as well be human. You can't even feel the presence of another chiropteran."
Hoshi immediately became more aware of the buzzing that had begun a few moments ago. She had just thought she'd been reading too much and needed a break. It happened sometime.
"Is it dangerous?" she asked. Although she didn't help physically fight, she did provide samples of her blood to Julia and her son, Mikael, so that they could do more research on both weapons and for the sake of science.
"No, this one feels different," Tsukiko told her, sitting on her desk. "The wild ones feel more like a throbbing since they're unnatural. This one is just…"
"A gentle buzzing."
Tsukiko got up and went to the window, looking out at the sunset.
"I think it's Saya Oba-san."
They had both grown up hearing stories about their aunt and how she'd saved the world from a chiropteran threat the same time they were born. Kai had shown them pictures and they usually tagged along whenever he went to deliver flowers at her sleeping place each birthday. Hoshi and Tsukiko both liked to daydream about what kind of person Haji, Saya Oba-san's Chevalier, was.
"She's awake?" Hoshi asked. "Thirty years won't be up for another week…"
"Let's go see!"
Rather than a request, it was a command, Tsukiko grabbing her sister's arm as she rushed down the stairs.
"But Nee-san…don't you think we should tell Kai?"
"Kai is busy with the dinner rush," Tsukiko told her. "Besides, think of how fun it would be to see the look on his face when we bring her inside."
By now they were at the back door, sneaking into the alley next to the restaurant where they lived.
"Anyway…I want to meet her on our own. I want to see what kind of person Saya-sama is. If she's really as wonderful as Kai makes her out to be."
Hoshi wanted the same thing. However, she would always keep her desires inside while Tsukiko would sing them to the heavens. They were two different halves of the same whole. Their names were more than merely a cute play on their being twins…
"Well, what are we waiting for?" Hoshi finally said. "I may be more human than not, but I've still got some spring in my step…"
She leapt to the top of a light post, then to the top of the nearest building. Her blue eyes twinkled in the night, reflecting the stars in the sky. Tsukiko laughed, following her sister, and the two sped towards the place where Saya slept.
Saya felt them coming, heard their laughter in her mind minutes before she saw either of them. A slight feeling of panic raced through her. The laughter was so much like Diva's…No. She couldn't, she refused to look at them through their mother. Those two girls were their own beings, just like she was different from her sister. Still, she found herself becoming a little tense. Would they like her? Would she like them? Kai was obviously not with them, or they wouldn't be playing among the rooftops. If he was still the Kai he remembered, he would've scolded them.
"They are here," Haji announced.
Two figures landed a few yards away from her. Almost simultaneously, they raised their eyes to look at her. The one on the right had her eyes…brown that would become red should she activate her true strength. Her hair was medium length and would probably brush her shoulders if it wasn't in a ponytail. She was certainly a tomboy, clothed in shorts, a simple t-shirt and sneakers. At her side was the one who had gained Diva's blue eyes. She resembled Diva, embracing her femininity with long locks that stopped at her waist and a simple white blouse to go with her jeans.
They stood there for a moment, Saya and Haji facing her nieces. Finally, the one on the right took a few steps forward.
"Are you….no, you have to be Saya Oba-san," she said, looking her straight in the eyes.
Saya found herself smiling.
"Oba-san, huh?" she said. "That's going to take a while to get used to…"
"We can call you Saya-sama instead, if you like," the blue-eyed twin said, coming forward as well.
"I don't care what you call me," she told them. "But it would help if I knew what to call you."
"I'm Hoshi," the one on the left said.
"Tsukiko," the other chimed in.
"Well," Saya said, extending her arms, "come here and give me a hug. I haven't seen you since you were babies…"
They looked at each other, and laughter filled the air as the three women embraced. Saya held them close, remembering with guilt when she'd thought she could kill them. She shook her head, realizing that it would take some time to get over the past. What was done was done, and she had an eternity to get to know her nieces. She couldn't help but notice that they smelled like Kai and the honeysuckle shampoo she used to use. They smelled like home. Tears started to come to her eyes and when a sob shook her chest, the two girls let her go and looked up at her.
"Don't cry, Saya Oba-san," Hoshi told her.
"Is that Haji?" Tsukiko asked.
Saya glanced over her shoulder at him, watching him bow formally.
"Yes, that is Haji. You've probably felt him at one point or another," Saya told them.
"He does kinda feel familiar," Tsukiko said.
"What are we waiting for?" Hoshi asked. "We need to take you home to Kai. Besides, you're probably starving after fasting for thirty years, huh?"
"No, I'm just fine…"
As always, her stomach revealed the truth of the matter and another eruption of laughter filled the evening air as the four chiropterans headed back to civilization.
He sat at the top of the building, watching his somewhat distant relatives stroll down the streets of Okinawa. One of them would prove to be the one he needed, the one he had been destined for. One of them would receive his seed and produce the family he'd always wanted.
Looking down at the shackles that still clung to his ankles, he swore that he would know happiness. No matter what it would take.