A/N: Be aware of the teen rating.

Chapter Two

Bond of Queens and Chevaliers

"Can't break me down,

Bury me! Bury me!

I am finished with you,

Look at my eyes,

You're killing me, killing me,

All I wanted was you…

What if I wanted to break?"

They were mirror faces of pain, reflections of surprise, and both a portrait of finality. This was the moment that they all had waited for. Saya and Hagi had fought for several lifetimes to see this day come to pass, just as David had fought the entirety of his feeble existence to make his world a safer place. Kai had fought for the revenge of their father and brother. And Saya had battled as a way of atonement for releasing the horrible scourge that was her sister. But after centuries of battles and wars and blood, Saya discovered that Diva only wanted what Saya had; a family, people who loved her.

But the knowledge had not stopped their blades, each dripping with the poison of their blood, from plunging deep into the other. This was the moment of truth.

In the silence of the theater, the crude sounds of the cracking of flesh filled the hum of the air as the toxic blood took effect. Saya was afraid to look down at her own abdomen, knowing full well that she too must be crystallizing just as Diva was before her.

'Good,' she thought with an odd sense of contentment filling her. 'Now I can follow through with the Promise. My kind…the abominations will never again walk the earth.'

But a feeling of wrongness filled her when she watched the stony veil of death pass over her sister's sharp face. Why hadn't she crystallized yet? With a cry of effort she yanked Diva's blade from her stomach and removed her own precious sword from the remains of the enemy Queen. Saya didn't dare to look into the faces of her audience, not wanting to hear their exhaled breaths of relief. She was thankful that blood covered her face for it hid the tears. Slowly, unsurely, her hands roamed over her wound, feeling as the skin stitch itself back together.

Why did she live?

The wailing chorus of Chiropterans filled the background.

"I never believed you would go this far, Solomon; betraying the one who gave you life."

"I told you of my decision to serve Saya, big brother. I am not so easily swayed."

Amshel caught Solomon's feinting blade with his hand even as he stopped the other transformed weapon from piercing his belly with his left.

"Are you so sure?" Amshel sneered. "Diva was your mother, blood of your blood, if you will, and you betrayed that precious bond. You're feeble connection with Saya will be easily broken."

The elder Chevalier's knee slammed into Solomon's gut and he was forced into the stage scaffolding where it crumbled all around him and atop of him. His big brother had the gumption to laugh.

"See, little brother? You've been reduced to a weak replacement, one who can't even fill the shoes of the former properly!"

The rubble shifted at the blond's return to his feet. With eyes glowing brightly, Amshel was certain he had struck the right cord with his former blood-brother. Solomon was loosing his precious mask of indifference and his anger was beginning to show. He could never fight as good when he was angry, no one ever did. Fury and anger may have given him power, but it clouded his judgment.

"I am here," Saya's Chevalier said lowly, roughly, "to serve Saya. My love for her has overcome my devotion to Diva. I will stay with her, protect her, die for her as she so wishes. I will kill you."

Amshel smiled and readied himself, but a scant second later the chorus of mourning, guttural howls sounded and his eyes widened and his defense was weakened by the diversion. Amshel hesitated but Solomon did not.

"No, Diva…" was the last thing he uttered before Solomon's shifted hands crossed each other, Amshel's head aligned in its center.

He didn't even flinch with he heard the sickening crack of his big brother's spin as his blade cut through it. Amshel's head rolled several feet away.

He had once considered attempting the method on Hagi, back when Saya was his enemy, but he had never dreamt he'd be doing it to his own blood. But his loyalty was to Saya, now, and there was no other way to affirm his death.

Walking over to Amshel's listless body, he forced his blade—his very hand into his brother's chest and began to carve out his heart.

"Saya, you're talking nonsense and you know it!"

Weary, for the first time in many years, Solomon walked forward at the reprimand of Saya's human brother. His crystal eyes shifted to Saya, bloodied and haggard, her sword positioned between here knees as she held onto it for support. The blade was just inches away from Diva's twins at Saya's feet.

"It must be done, Kai." She said quietly, but behind a mask of vehemence. "Shortly after I resolved to kill Diva, I asked Hagi to take my own life as well. We're not human, Kai. We're not supposed to be here."

Kai looked down at his sister, shocked at her words and affronted by her secrecy. He became angry.

"Do you honestly want to die, Saya? Do you really believe it for one second Hagi would willingly have taken your life if you so commanded him? You were his friend, the one he—" He broke off with a glance at Solomon. "Hagi wanted you to live. I heard his words at the fair but I didn't understand them until now."

Saya's person remained still, her breathing so shallow that both males feared she'd collapse.

"I want to live, Kai, but you've seen what I am—what I can do." He strained to hear her muffled voice. "I wasn't meant for this world. It was always my deepest wish that I could live with you, dad, Riku, Hagi, and all in Okinawa, but it's a dream…"

"No it's not! Can't you see, Saya? You are not your sister. You are free to govern your own actions and to make your own choices. You remember all the things dad taught us, how can you even think about going wrong?" A soft smile formed his hardened features. "And if we raise the twins like dad raised us then how can we fail?"

His new Queen still held stubbornly to her sword but her demeanor had finally split and her shoulders shook with the silent sobs of defeat.

This image saddened Solomon greatly and he did not understand it. Sadness, like love, was slowly awakening the longer he remained in Saya's presence and the Chevalier felt the next warm breeze of the man he once was blow against him. Like all things, he must accept the bad that must come with the good of becoming Solomon Goldsmith once more. He had not felt sadness or remorse in a very long time. Saya's humanness was awakening the man in him, and he discovered in that moment that it was her intricate ability to feel all and to make him feel that made him love her so.

"Saya," Solomon spoke for the first time, interrupting the family interlude. "While I did not care for Hagi, we were alike in many ways," he said, kneeling before her. "The most significant one being our love for you. It is because of this I am able to say with utter certainty that he would have wanted you to live. I want you to live." He watched through a hooded gaze as her hand drew near the chain at her throat.

Still silent, the two males watched Saya's eyes widen impeccably then fill with tears; an inner epiphany, they assumed, that no one else could have comprehended in that critical moment of her agony. She then surprised Solomon, a feat rarely accomplished, when she placed her hand on the side of his face and gave him a sad smile.

"Thank you, Solomon."

Time stood still for him. Never before had Saya been the one to initiate contact, and her hand upon his cheek was so warm.

"And thank you, Kai." She turned from him too soon and the warmth left his face as quickly as it had come. Disappointment flooded him.

From the overhanging balcony above, David's strung voice yelled to them below. "There planning to bomb the building! We need to get out of here now!"

It had been nearly two weeks since the near impossible feat had been accomplished, and Saya ran through her days in a sort of numbed haze. She had slipped back into the habitual school days without the least bit of notice, save from Kaori, but Saya couldn't quell the feeling of emptiness.

She was alive… the concept seemed so surreal.

Shortly after they had returned home from the Met, Solomon left with the words that he had some loose ends to tie up. He would not elaborate so she did not press him. He left with a kiss to her hand and the promise that he would return. Though she was not consciously looking for his returning, her thoughts frequently wandered to his reasons for leaving, but Saya relished the alone time. She needed to find herself again.

"Are you alright, Saya?"

Her eyes shifted from the window overlooking the busy street of Okinawa to her brother who dried the glasses with her Dad's old dishtowel in practiced speed.

"I'm okay."

Kai set down the glass to lean over the counter. "I can tell when you're lying to me, Saya."

"Kai, I'm fine!" She plastered a smile on her face.


"Just thinking, is all. My thoughts aren't as light as they once were."

Kai froze at her words. Saya had never mentioned her past so casually in a conversation with him, then again there was nothing casual about it. A single memory of Saya's was the equivalent of a human lifetime. So instead he looked down, the question he had been plaguing him ever since the night at the Met on the tip of his tongue. He wanted to ask her but feared her reaction. His hand clenched.

"Saya…" he began again, "that night at the Met why did you agree with Solomon so quickly? I mean, why did you agree to live when he spoke to you?"

Her eyes crinkled with an old anguish. "Kai…"


She hesitated. "It wasn't Solomon's words that decided my decision. He said he knew what Hagi felt… and that he knew he wouldn't have wanted me to die. It felt almost as if someone was pulling my hand up to the chain you and David gave me and when I touched it I was able to hear him as if he stood by me, holding me."

"And what did he say?" his voice was thick.

Saya gave a small smile. "'Nankurunaisa, Saya. I want you to live, and… I love you."

It was as if a silent intuitive struck and both Saya and Kai glanced at the window. Solomon, ever dressed in prim attire, came strolling down the busy street of Okinawa, a serene smile upon his face and the sun at his back.

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