AN: First off, I wanted to thank everyone for the reviews! I didn't think as many people would like the story as much as they did! As someone kindly point out, the first chapter was a bit rough and lacked fluidity. So, after a nice battle with the sulfuric acid and hydrofluoric acid, I think I've gotten all the rust off of my creative writing (I'm an engineering major, cant you tell?) so hopefully this chapter will flow a bit better! I really enjoyed writing this chapter and put a lot of time into it. The idea for the ending scene has been in my mind for over a month, so I wanted it to be almost perfect on paper...or as perfect as my skills could make it. So, I hope you all enjoy this chapter! Oh, and just for reference, the G8 stands for the "Group of Eight" and the summit is where leaders from the 8 major nations: the US, UK, France, Italy, Russia, German, and Japan along with leaders from select world organizations (such as the World Bank and NATO) meet and discuss world issues. In short, its a BIG political event.
Disclaimer: I do not own Blood+ or the characters used in this story.
Chapter 2: The Reunion
"Nothing about this is right," Saya silently thought to herself. No matter how many times Saya told herself that this, whatever it was, couldn't be possible, she did not deny the fact that she was greatly enjoying it.
Saya was sitting atop the grassy cliff that overlooked most of The Zoo in France. She and Haji both sat in a comfortable silence, waiting for dawn's first rays to gently caress the nighttime sky. Saya did not notice that Haji had placed his human hand over hers until he wrapped his long fingers around her palm and gave it a gentle squeeze. She looked up at him, and saw Haji looking at her with eyes full of concern.
"You're quite. Is there something troubling you?"
Saya shook her head, "It's nothing, I'm just thinking." How could she explain to Haji that something felt odd, without making it sound that he was the cause? As Saya shifted her gaze back towards the brighter horizon, a light morning breeze glided past the two, and caused shivers to run across her body.
"You're cold." Before Saya could protest, Haji slipped his human arm around her shoulders and had her to rest against his side. At first, Saya's body stiffened when Haji pulled her towards his body; but, as she began to feel his heat warm her cooled skin, Saya relaxed and let her head come to rest on Haji's chest.
"Is this better?" Haji's voice was softer, almost a whisper. Eyes closed, and with a faint blush on her cheeks, Saya whispered 'yes'. She lost track of time while her eyes were shut, greatly enjoying the small bit of affection Haji was showing her. But, the moment did not last. A familiar voice echoed around the cliff, startling Saya so that her eyes shot open instantly.
Hey, hey everyone!
Saya pulled herself slightly away from Haji, looking around the cliff side for the source of the voice. It sounded like….Lulu?
Look! Look! Saya's starting to wake up!!
Hearing the voice a second time, Saya looked towards the now pale blue sky, realizing that Lulu's voice was coming from above her. Quickly, Saya turned back to look at Haji. She saw a flicker of sadness flash across his usually unreadable eyes. An almost unbearable weight settled over Saya's heart as she realized that she was dreaming. Saya looked towards the ground, not sure of what to do or say. Slowly, she felt Haji place his human hand back over hers, and cup her cheek with his bandaged hand. He tilted her face so that she had to look at him.
"Saya, you need to wake up." Haji's voice was still soft. He looked at her gently with a sad smile.
"No…." Saya felt the weight over her heart begin to climb up her throat, making it hard to speak.
"Saya, you have to wake up." Haji's voice was a little sharper this time, more urgent.
"No," she was almost pleading, "I can't wake up because you'll…you'll disappear." Saya could feel her tears begin to swell.
"Saya, wake up." Saya couldn't stop the tears from forming, and shut her eyes tightly, so that Haji might not see them fall. Her attempt was too late, as she felt a lone tear slide down her cheek. Saya began to re-open her eyes, wanting to look at her dream-version of Haji one last time and say goodbye.
However, her eyes now felt very heavy, almost as if she were groggy. Saya finally willed herself to fully open her eyes, but, instead of seeing her dream Haji, it was Kai. Shock ran through Saya's body, still expecting to be in her dream.
"Hey sleepy-head," he said, chuckling a bit, "Is my old face really that depressing to wake up to?" Saya's eyebrows knit together, expressing her temporary confusion. She timidly raised a hand to touch the side of her eye. Bringing her hand in front of her face, Saya rubbed the tips of her fingers together, feeling moisture between them. She had been crying in her sleep.
Saya looked to Kai again, "Kai?" She paused for a second, surprised by how rough and scratchy her voice sounded, "Where…where am I?" Saya started to sit up, her eyes quickly darting around the room, slightly recognizing many of the smiling faces.
"Hey, hey, easy now, let me help you," Kai straightened the pillow her head had been resting on, and helped her sit up so that she could see everyone around her futon. "You're back in the Omoro, in your old room, Saya. You've been asleep for thirty years."
Finally fragments were starting to connect and make sense in her mind. These people around her futon were her friends and family, just older. Saya realized that she knew almost everyone at her bedside; there was Kai, Lulu (who hadn't aged a day in thirty years), Mao, David, Julia, a man who she didn't know but assumed was David and Julia's son, Lewis, and her good friend Kaori.
"Are you feeling alright, Saya?" It was Julia. Her voice had a more motherly feeling to it, instead of the doctor-like tone that Saya was accustomed to hearing.
"I'm fine," Saya still looked around trying to remember who was missing. "Where's…." What she really wanted to say was, "Where's Haji!?," but she found no reason, already knowing the unwanted answer. "Where are Diva and Riku's children? Where's Mr. Okamura? Or Joel?"
"Well," Mao was the first to respond, "Okamura wanted to be here, but he's currently in Kyoto covering the G8 Summit. He's become quite the journalist over the past 30 years. It turns out that all the digging around we did for information on the Goldsmiths and Cinq Flèches really helped him later in his career."
Cutting in, Kai added, "And the girls are fine, Saya. They've been with Joel for the past few weeks learning about Joel's Diary and the history surrounding you and Diva. All three of them should be here in a little bit."
Saya stayed silent. "Jole's Diary," she thought to herself, her brow starting to show confusion again, "the book that contains my 'history'. That was how I learned about what happened in Vietnam, that I need…." Saya looked hurriedly to Kai.
"What is it?"
"How is it," Saya paused, not sure how to explain her confusion. Sighing, she started again, "Kai, how is it that I can remember you, and everyone else?"
He hesitated, "About that…" Before Kai could explain, Saya interrupted him.
"Did I do something as I was falling asleep? Did I take another," Saya stumbled over her words, not wanting to say them, let alone find out that they were true, "did I take another Chevalier? You and every other person in this room know that I need….Haji's blood to regain my memories after I awake. How can I remember you all, everything we went through, The Zoo, everything even though Haji…even though he's gone?" Saya chocked back a sob, now on the verge of tears. She did not hear Mao's sarcastic comment to Kai about making her cry, nor see all the looks directed towards the wall behind her brother.
"Saya…I don't know how to explain this to you…" Kai started to get up from the bed, pulling Lulu away also. Thinking, Saya began to panic, "What's going on? What do they know that I don't?" Finally, Kai and Lulu stopped moving. Kai motioned for Saya to look behind him and continued, "and even if I could, you'd still probably want to hear it from him."
Saya looked at Kai for a moment, not fully comprehending what he said, and slowly shifted her gaze towards the spot that he was pointing to. "Him? He couldn't mean—" Saya's thought abruptly stopped as she felt her heart plummet into her stomach.
"No…" Saya's hands immediately went to cover her mouth to keep any other sounds from escaping.
Haji stood directly in front of her, leaning against the wall with his cello case next to him, looking right at her with a smile fixed on his lips.
"Saya." Haji's voice was filled with happiness. The last walls that were keeping her emotions in check all vanished as she heard him speak. All the pain, love, and sorrow she had locked tightly in her heart suddenly overflowed without restraint. Before her mind fully processed seeing Haji, Saya's body moved of its own accord. Already out of her futon, she was half way to Haji, tears streaming down her face. Saya felt her legs give way, her muscles still weak; but, instead of falling to the floor, Haji caught her, just as he always had. Saya wrapped her arms around Haji, and, with what strength she had, held onto him as if she'd never let go.
Then, crying full-heartedly into his chest, Saya felt Haji reciprocate her embrace. Tighly pulling her to his body, Haji rested his human hand on the small of Saya's back, while his Chiropteran hand found her hair and held her head firmly to his chest. Completely overjoyed and overwhelmed by Haji's presence, and still sobbing, Saya didn't hear Kai talk to Lewis about making a feast for dinner, nor did she notice everyone leave the room a little while later.
After a while, Saya began to calm down. Her sobs became an occasional hiccup, her coughs became mere sniffles, but she still held onto Haji. Likewise, as Saya's crying subsided, Haji relaxed, but continued to rub Saya's back every so often.
"Saya," his voice was soft, just as it was in her dream. Saya looked up at Haji with eyes puffy and red from crying. He was still smiling, even though she had once again shown him her tears. The last time Haji had smiled like this was while he was confessing his love as The Met was falling on top of him. Haji brought his forehead to rest against hers, so that their noses and lips were mere centimeters away from one another, and so that his bangs tickled her cheeks. "I'm home."
Tears threatened to spill from Saya's eyes once again, but she held them back this time. Instead, she leaned up so that their noses touched, and let a bright smile radiate across her lips. "Welcome home, Haji."
Next Time: Family Bonds- Let the feast! Enter the twins, but not before Mao and Saya get to have a little bit of girl talk.