Disclaimer: I don't own Blood+. I'm just a harmless fan who's obsessed with the show.
Hey, everybody! Thanks in advance for reading my fic. I appreciate it even more if you would be so kind as to drop a line or two of comments or suggestions about this story. This is obviously my first fic about one of the best animes I've laid my eyes on, so I really do hope that you enjoy reading this chapter just as much as my writing it.
It's warm. My body curls into a ball like a cat seeking warmth from its own body. My mind feels blank, but I have a feeling of something lost. I try to cry but I can't feel them running down my cheeks. They blend well with the aquatic cocoon around me. I try to open my eyes but I'm not yet ready to face something. I don't know what it is, really. I can't think, but I can only feel. I feel… lonely. I'm longing for something; I just don't know what it is.
Within me, it is also warm. Is this how a baby feels inside a womb? While you're sleeping inside your mother's body, sometimes you sleep soundly and sometimes you struggle to get out. I also feel the same way. Only problem is, I don't know what I'm after exactly. It's hot inside me; the burn for something is writhing in me. The sensation of knowing what I want is at the tip of my tongue, but it's only at the tip. It hasn't rolled down the clearing where you see the clouds lift, where everything is no longer a blur. I'm confused. What is it am I looking for?
I remember a feeling of joy, of fulfillment, of love. Love. I remember vaguely hands caressing me. His strong hands always protecting, always getting me out of harm's way. They are not exactly flawless; they remind me of what I am. Those hands that hug me: they bring me closer to his face, his voice. He calls my name, those lips lovingly reaching out to me. I try to say his name, but I forget. In my mind, I see his deep-set, dark eyes searching for me. I try to reach out but my hand is stuck beneath my breast. I can't get it to move.
Nankuranaisa. He said those words too. He hardly says anything to me but fight, fight, fight. What am I fighting for? I dunno. Everything is a blur, but I hear voices of people screaming, hideous monsters ripping flesh, bullets ricocheting around me. I close my eyes, hard and tight. I force those sounds and images out of my mind. It works… for the moment.
Nankuranaisa. Live for tomorrow. A faint feeling of happiness rushes through my body, like when you come out of the water and meet the sun… the gradual feel of the sun bathing your skin with tingling heat. I feel lost in my own rapture. Who said those words, I can't remember. All I feel is a quickening thud in my heart. It hurts. Why do I feel sad all of a sudden?
I love you. I miss you. I hear those words in my head, but I can't see the face that said it. Why is my mind such a blank? I feel angry with myself. I can only feel, not think. I hate myself. I don't know anything. I want to know why I'm stuck in endless slumber, why I'm always dreaming for something but don't know what it is. I want to know who said those words of love, of family, of living in a world that hates me. Why would the world hate me though? I don't know, it suddenly popped into my head. Why do I feel helpless? My hands wrap around my legs tighter. I look like a fetus, I might be even one. I feel alone, that's all I know. I want those hands nuzzling my neck. I want those arms to hug me tightly, afraid to let go. I want his lips to kiss me again. I want him to be by my side forever. He did promise me that, but…
Another sharp pang surges through my vulnerable body. I miss him so much. I want to see him, and when I see him, I want to return his feelings because I feel that way too. But why do I have this feeling that is also fear? He's never coming back, is he? This time, as tears flow freely, I could feel them, taste them as they slid into my mouth. Salty. Bitter.
I squint my eyes open. Pink water surrounds me. Another thought emerges into my head. A rose. A pink rose. I used to dislike the color. But he gave me that, and I've grown to love it. Over the years, I forgot how roses smelt under my nose, how surprisingly sharp their thorns are. Those pink roses… they remind me of him. My eyes blink several times. Bubbles float around me. Past the pink tube, all I see is darkness. Pitch black, menacing… I'm scared. And lonely.
I need him. I've always needed him. Even when Kai, Dad, and Riku were there to comfort me, he was there, keeping watch over me. And how did I replace his care, his love? I kept rambling on about a family I've always wanted, always signaling him out. He'd always wanted happiness for me, never for himself. He'd only wanted to be with me, that was all. And what did I do? I ignored him. I accidentally bite my lip. A wisp of blood swirls in my cocoon.
I'm isolated in here. I'm alone. I open my mouth to say something, but more bubbles come out of my mouth. Where is everybody? Where's Kai? David-san? Lewis? Why aren't they coming to get me? Everything… suddenly, I remember all of it. It hurts to see my father and Riku's death play right before my eyes. Many have died because of what I am. Including him.
I killed him. Me. He's not coming back, because I…. I…
As the bubble breaks, as water flood the floor, I fall, my hair covering my line of sight. I soon cry.
Haji… don't leave me. Please…
I look up and see his face. "Haji." I can't see a thing. Tears blur my vision. He's alive. He's kept his promise, always has. I want to see his face but the tears won't let me. Suddenly, I feel cold. Light chased away the darkness in the room. Still, the wind from outside manages to get in, sends chills all over my body. I repeat his name and he embraces me, wipes my tears away with his 'normal' hand. He wraps a towel over me.
"Saya," he says. I look up, but instead of finding happiness or relief in his face, he looks worried. "Are you all right?"
I nod. I feel fine. But still quite tired. I rub my eyes and yawn. I ask him, "What's wrong, Haji?" Aren't you happy to see me?
As if reading my mind, he hugs me fiercely. I try my best to return it, to wrap my arms around him. But I feel weak somehow. I yawn once more.
"Do you need blood?" he asks.
Hearing that, I feel my body prickling, my thirst growing, my throat parched. Even when I'm too excited to answer him, he instantly pulls out his dagger, slashes it across his palm. Blood flows freely and I quickly grab his outstretched hand and drink from his wound. Warm and sweet, it's delicious. I can sense him watching me intently.
Finished, I wrap the towel tighter around me. "Haji… Gomen."
Haji looks puzzled at my apology, brushes my soaked hair aside. "What do you have to say sorry for?"
I shake my head. "For everything. All this time, I've only thought about myself. I barely gave a thought about you. Even when we first met, I made you make a promise to me… to be with me forever. I never gave you a chance to think of what you'd rather do in life. I only thought about my need for companionship, of… love. Besides that… I'm really sorry, Haji."
My heart beats fast. I rest a hand on my chest. He stares at me once again, this time his eyes lighting up. I could see him smiling, faintly. He really does look handsome when he smiles. I can't believe I just noticed it now.
"I'm always happy when you are happy." I was about to interrupt but he shook his head. "When you made me promise you, I was ecstatic beyond belief. And until now, I've always served you because I wanted to." He inches closer to me, touches my cheek. "If I didn't want to serve you then, I would have said so."
I was surprised. "Haji, don't lie." If he tried to weed his way out of this through winning words of love and loyal servitude, he was dead wrong. "You were always quiet. You rarely objected to what I wanted you to do for me."
Haji frowns at me. I laugh inwardly. The last time he frowned at me that way was when I lost a bet to him. The bet took place when life was still 'normal' for me, when I was still able to laugh out loud, when I still saw Joel as my father. Haji had made fun of my cello playing. I then challenged him, telling him that I could play Bach better than him in a week. He accepted the challenge, of course. Joel was our audience. I was itching to bribe Joel with more lilies but he was a fair judge. Darn it. Anyways, he listened to our performance. In the end, I lost. My penalty was to cook for Joel and Haji. Joe had always conspired with Haji to make me cook. But I always saw the kitchen as a hellish place, camouflaged beneath aromatic smells of good food and friendly chefs. In my annoyance, I did make them something. Pig's intestines casserole. Joel forced it down his throat. Haji, on the other hand, frowned at me and ridiculed my cooking. I almost stabbed him with my sword but Joel fell ill in a second and we had to postpone our little war for next time.
It's hard to imagine Haji's face possessing expressions. Ever since that tragic evening, he'd hardly smile, frown, or cry. Since then, he'd become a machine. A handsome, pokerfaced butler seems more like it. But he is more than that. I laugh out loud this time, and I see him smile.
As soon as I stop giggling, I'm shivering. Haji rushes to me, wraps another towel over me. I shake my head though. I don't want the towel. I want him. I want Haji to touch me again. Maybe this was what I've yearned for all this time. His warmth melting into me, his face pressed against my hair, his breath tickling my ear, his love making my heart trip.
"Haji, hug me."
His eyes soften and he hugs me. He soon plants kisses on my forehead, on my cheeks. "Saya, I've missed you."
I love you, too.
When my chills have died down a bit, I open my mouth to ask him a question. I'm hesitant, afraid that after thirty years of sleep I wouldn't be able to see everyone anymore. This is my curse in exchange for eternal life. I hate it. I have to live on with it. But Haji is no exception, and I can't ignore that anymore.
I ask him. He blinks, hesitates. I give him a suspicious look. He ponders for a while, then answers my curiosity.
"Actually, it's only been six years. You're shy of twenty-some years. I only came here because I could sense you calling for me. I'm surprised myself to find you awake right now."
I am speechless. I can't believe it. Six years. That means… that means… everyone is…
"Haji," I struggle to get up. Haji helps me as always. "I want to see everyone."
He nods and carries me into his arms, and drops me in a corner of the dark chamber. I give him a puzzled look but he calmly walks to the middle of the room, picks up his cello case, and sets it in front of me. He takes out a dress, underwear, and some scissors.
"We don't need to rush things. I passed by the shop and everyone's there, having a reunion. If you're making a grand entrance, might as well look like it."
I smile. As I reach out to get my panties, I think better of it. I suddenly kiss him, deep. His eyes widen, but soon enough, he returns it, his tongue meeting mine. The towels slide off, and my arms coil around his neck, my small breasts making contact with his hard chest. When we let go of each other for breath, I whisper in his ear, "I love you."
For the first time, Haji blushes. He looks away and I giggle. "Oh Haji, you're such a girl." I used to tease him about his gender, because he blushes more than I do.
He chuckles. "You're a boy hopelessly trapped in a girl's body." Haji said that every time to annoy me. Instead of chasing after him until I'd tire myself out, I think about it. "You might be right about that."
Again, Haji frowns. "Well, I won't allow it. I used to say it to annoy you. It's nothing more but a joke." Haji busies himself with the scissors. He snips at the air to avoid my eyes.
I laugh again. "I've missed you, Haji." I don't only mean his presence, but also his old self. The old Haji I'd met, I'd cared for, I'd loved. Slowly, he is coming back to me.
He simply nods and helps me with my dress. It's almost time to meet everybody.
To be continued…
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