AN: Well, well...here I am, finally branching out into the Blood+ fandom. This is my first attempt to write for this series, but I'm pretty happy with my characterizations. However, I do apologize if the characters do seem a bit AU, and if the first chapter seems a bit slow. Anywho, I hope you all enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Blood+ or the characters mentioned in this story, nor am I profiting from them in any way.
Chapter 1: The Return
Sometimes Kai was amazed that he was able to keep the Omoro open for so long. His father, George, made it look so easy when Kai was a teenager. George worked much harder than his laid-back attitude implied. Yet even amongst all the cleaning and late nights, Kai loved the life that he and his family had. Kai kept his promise with Saya, one that he made thirty years earlier; he took his father's place at the Omoro so that, when Saya woke up from her long sleep, she would have a place to return to.
"I probably should start making trips to the family grave," Kai thought to himself as he polished the countertop where customers sat at, "Saya should be waking up soon." He finished wiping down the counter and turned around to clean the stove. A little while later, while Kai was still working on the stove, he heard the main door open. Without even looking over his shoulder to see who was in the door, he automatically responded: "Sorry, we're closed for the afternoon. Come back later tonight."
"Kai," the quiet and familiar male voice echoed through the tiny café.
Clearly shocked, Kai violently turned himself around, wide eyed, gripping the counter for support. There was Haji standing in the doorway, carrying an unconscious Saya, who was draped in Haji's jacket and the same outfit she wore thirty years earlier.
"Haji….Saya…" Kai's voice gradually got louder. "What happened to Saya? Is she all right?" Almost in a panic, he rushed around the bar towards the two.
"Everything's fine. Saya woke up and took in some of my blood," the Chevalier replied calmly, "After that, she fell back asleep. She should wake up in a few hours." Kai sighed in relief, running a hand mindlessly through his messy hair.
"C'mon," Kai started to move towards the stairs, "Saya can rest in her old—"
"Kai," Mao appeared at the top of the stairs, "What's with all the ruckus….Hey! Is that Otonashi?"
"Yeah, it is," Kai nudged his wife out of the way, "Mao, go grab her some clothes to change into? We'll be in her old room." Mao ran off in the other direction to get a set of clothes, while Kai and Haji went in the opposite direction. Almost as soon as Haji set Saya on her futon to rest, Mao kicked both of the men out of the room, stating that "it was improper" for them to be in the room while Saya was having her clothes changed, and shut the door. The only time she willingly opened the door was to return Haji's jacket.
"Mao," Kai started, rather loud, "once you're done, call David and tell him to get everyone over here. Oh, and also call Kaori." He then turned to Haji, "Let's go downstairs to talk."
The two men went downstairs, not speaking. Haji took a seat at the counter, resting his cello case against his chair, and Kai walked around the other side.
"Can I get you something to drink?" Haji just stared at Kai. "Oh….right….the whole Chevalier thing." Kai grabbed a glass and filled it with water. Looking back at Haji, he started to speak again: "You know, we were wondering when we might see you back around the area."
"You knew I was alive?"
"Yeah…" Kai scratched the back of his head, with a sheepish grin plastered on his face, "I would take the girls, uh, Diva and Riku's daughters up to the family grave a few times a year, and one time we saw the rose with your hair ribbon tied around it."
"I see." Haji paused for a while, "I'm sorry for not making it back before Saya entered her sleep."
Kai shrugged, "It's okay. I just wish there was some way that I could have told her. Saya was still upset when we got back to Okinawa. I kept on telling her that you'd show up one day, but she never really believed me. I'm pretty sure she cried herself to sleep for the first few nights that we were back."
"Oh…." Haji said with a hint of sadness.
"But," Kai continued, "all that really matters is that you're back now. Saya will be so happy to see you. I just know it." He threw on another dopey grin on before taking a second to really look at Haji. "I still can't believe it. It's been thirty years, but you and Saya have hardly changed since then. Seeing you two makes me feel like we just defeated Diva yesterday." Kai suddenly noticed that only one of Haji's hands was bandaged, just like when they first met. "Your arm! It grew back normally," he half blurted out, and half asked.
"Yes. I do not know how, but it did." There was a silence between Haji and Kai. "You mentioned the children," Haji inquired, "are they well?"
Kai knew what Haji was getting at, were the girls at all like Diva and Saya? "Well, they're part of Diva and Saya's lineage, that's for sure. The girls stopped ageing around sixteen or seventeen. Luckily, though, they're on good terms with each other. I made sure that they both grew up happy…not like what happened 300 years ago. Neither of them have their own Chevaliers yet, but that may change soon. You'll get to meet them tonight. They're currently staying with Joel learning about Red Shield and Saya, so he'll bring them here."
"Mao and David are calling everyone in the area that helped Saya fight against Diva, and telling them to come over tonight. It'll be a celebration! Even Lulu, remember that Sif who became very close to us, will be here!"
"I see," Haji replied stoically.
"We all decided, after Saya fell asleep, that we'd do things different when she woke up. That this time, we'd be straightforward with her about her past and who she was. Of course, that was on the assumption that we wouldn't see you before Saya woke up, so we don't have to worry about that now." Kai laughed a little before continuing, "So how long have you been around the area? I know you mentioned while we were in Paris that you traveled a lot during Saya's sleeping periods."
Haji nodded, "I've been here for a little over a month. I stopped in Okinawa every couple of years to check on Saya."
"And we never managed to cross your path ever? During any of those times? Okinawa is a big place, but not that big," Kai interrupted.
Haji just looked at Kai, thinking that it wasn't that shocking. "I was just in France before I came to Okinawa. I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to visit The Zoo before I came back here. I wanted to get something for Saya." After that Haji stood up from the counter and slung his cello case over his shoulder. He started to head for the stairs, when Kai stopped him.
"Hey Haji." He stopped at the bottom of the stairs and turned to look at Kai. "Listen, I just wanted to, uh, how to say this." Kai started scratching the back of his head again, "I want to apologize for how I acted back when we were fighting Diva. Over those three years I said some horrible things to you, and didn't treat you like family, as Saya and Riku did. Thirty years of hindsight made me realize that I was really just being a stubborn, bullheaded teenager most of the time, and that I was a bit jealous. Back then I didn't know about your….promise…with Saya, and what I did know about you came from Joel's Diary. For that, I'm sorry." Kai paused, brought a sincere smile to his face, and extended his right hand, "I'm really glad you're back. Hopefully we can become good friends." Haji hesitated, and Kai suddenly looked from his own right hand to Haji's. "Oh…right, sorry!" Kai started to retract his hand, when Haji took the bandages from his hand. Before Kai knew it, he and Haji were shaking hands.
"I would greatly enjoy that." If Kai didn't know any better, he thought he saw the trace of a smile form across Haji's face.
The two men, now on better terms, both kneeled by Saya's bed and watched her rest peacefully. They could hear Mao's faint voice echo down the hall while she continued to call friends and notify them of Saya's awakening. Haji stayed closest to Saya, and Kai sat just right of him. Haji moved his Chiopteran hand so that it hovered over the side of Saya's face, and used his long fingers to gently brushing loose strands of black hair from her shut eyes.
"Her hair sure has grown," Kai commented in a low whisper.
Haji replied in a soft, reminiscing voice, "It's just about the length that it was while we were growing up in France." Kai looked at Haji, and saw him focusing solely on Saya's face. Suddenly, Haji pulled his hand back from resting over Saya's face, and turned to Kai. "I think that it will be better if Saya sees you first when she regains consciousness."
Mildly confused, Kai turned around as Haji found a spot along the wall to rest against. "What do you mean? Wouldn't it be better for her to see you? She's known you much longer than she's known me." Before Haji could respond, Mao entered the room with David and Julia, their son, and Lulu. Kai greeted the group from the floor, moving into the spot that Haji previously occupied. Haji acknowledged them from the wall behind Kai. A layer of silence covered the room as they all looked towards Saya. Over an hour passed, and the number of people in the room grew, all watching and waiting to see when their dear Chiopteran queen would fully awaken.
Next Time: The Reunion - Saya regains consciousness. How will she react to seeing all her friends, 30 years older? More importantly, how will she react to seeing Haji?