Disclaimer- I don't own Vampire Knight
(Not a new chapter.. I'm just a dork and meant to delete Chapter 33 which was just a little note about Tainted... Sorry for the confusion...)
Well this is it. The last chapter of Many Faces of Innocence, I hope you all enjoy it.
There is a sequel, Tainted, that is now up and complete.
Since I don't want to write anything at the end of this I'd like to thank everyone who has reviewed, alerted, fave'd, and etc. I've gotten some very good and helpful feedback from many of you and I really appreciate that. I hope to hear from everyone when the sequel is posted in a few days. Thank you!
And pretty please review this chapter, I'd like to know what everyone thinks of the ending. Even if it's to yell and throw things. I don't mind.
Also, I've created a Facebook page under the name of Rukia Twenty-Three. I'll be posting there a few times a week with updates on story progress and answering any questions if there are any. So "like" it, if you'd like anyway. :)
"Do we have to?" Reina whined.S he was sitting on the bench by her window, still in her nightgown and holding a cup of hot tea in her hands as she looked at Takuma who was already dressed and leaning into the wall next to her.
"Well, you don't, but I should just so that there are no problems like the last time that my grandfather decided to show up at the Academy," Takuma answered.
Letting out a whiney groan, Reina hung her head. "I don't want to, but I should since he asked that you bring me along. He probably wants to know about the wedding arrangements."
"Probably. How are those coming along anyway?" Takuma asked, smiling charmingly when she gave him a small glare.
"Fine, we're going to be getting married here since you don't seem to have any input or suggestions and I'm doing all the planning on my own. My birthday is the 31st, which just so happens to be a Sunday this year so we're getting married then. It'll give you less dates to have to remember and me more time to plan."
"It's probably best you do all the planning anyway, I wouldn't know where to begin," he replied sheepishly.
"We'll have the ceremony in the gardens out front at dusk and the party in the ballroom after. The color theme is simple, most of the decorations will be black and white, maybe some dark blue and silver too to give it more color. The flower arrangements have all been picked out. Your suit is in the process of being made. The dinner menu is just about done. The guest list needs some revising. And I have yet to decide on a dress. Aside from that, everything is coming along splendidly," she said with mock enthusiasm and a wide smile.
"I love you," Takuma grinned.
"I love you too. So when are we expected at your grandfather's?"
"He'd like us to come by for dinner tonight before returning to the Academy. You should probably pack a bag, chances are we'll be staying the night."
"Oh joy," she grumbled.
"It's just for one night, everything will be fine.. Hopefully," he sighed.
"Ready?" Takuma asked, coming up behind Reina to put a hand on her lower back.
"Yes," she answered, turning back to Aido. "I have to go, Hana. Behave yourself and don't worry about me, I'll be fine. Pureblood remember?"
Aido didn't look all that convinced and gave Takuma a cold glare that clearly told the other vampire he'd have his head if anything happened to Reina. "Alright, but if anything happens-"
"Nothing is going to happen, Aido. I'll make sure of it, but we really need to be going," Takuma assured the blond. "We'll see you tomorrow, ok?"
"Fine," Aido huffed, stomping to the waiting car to sit with his fiery haired cousin.
"May I have a quick word with Reina before you two leave?" Kaname asked evenly.
"Go ahead and wait in the car, I'll be right there," Reina told Takuma with a smile that fell the second his back was turned and she met Kaname's crimson eyes. "There's nothing to worry about, Kaname, they wouldn't dare to do anything to me. Even if they did, he's not in his true form so he can't do anything to me, he's not a pureblood at the moment."
"I'm aware of that, but I still want you to be careful. I don't trust Ichio," Kaname replied.
"Neither do I."
The drive to the Ichijo mansion didn't take nearly as long as she had expected or maybe that was because she spent most of her time staring out the window and thinking about the fight that she knew was coming. When she noticed the large iron gates that they were passing through, she snapped out of her daze to look at the large, three story mansion that loomed ahead of them.
"Reina?" Takuma asked worriedly.
She had gasped at the sight of the compound in front of them, her eyes growing large and her body tensing, all the color draining from her face.
"Reina, what's wrong?" Takuma inquired again, taking her hand in his and squeezing it to get her attention.
When she looked at him her sapphire eyes looked cloudy, as if she had just awoken from a deep sleep. She blinked several times and all color returned to her face and her eyes cleared. "The dream, the one I couldn't remember...I've remembered it," she said quietly, her voice distant, confused and most of all frightened. "I remember thinking that you and Kaname were trying to stop me from going somewhere safe, but...you weren't... you were trying to stop me from going somewhere where I would be in danger. You were stopping from coming here, Takuma, from coming to your home."
Takuma's eyes widened, the fear in her voice and the words she had spoken setting off something inside of him. His body filled with unease and dread as the car slowed in front of the mansion. He shook it off as best he could, smiling reassuringly at her. "Everything will be fine, I won't let anything happen to you."
Reina frowned at him, but nodded half heartedly. "It's not me I'm worried about," she whispered under her breath when the car door was opened and Takuma stepped out.
She managed to push the feeling of fear aside and replace it with a cold and arrogant facade while they removed their coats and Takuma took her arm to lead her to his grandfather's study which was where they had been told Ichio was waiting for them.
"So you came to visit your dear old grandfather, did you?" Ichio said as Takuma and Reina walked into the man's study. "And you brought your lovely fiance too, I'm honored."
"Nice to see you again, Ichio. I hope you're well?" Reina returned smoothly, her eyes glinting icily.
"I'm excellent, Reina-sama, thank you for asking. I trust my darling grandson has been treating you properly."
"Of course, Takuma is a perfect gentlemen, unlike some people," she replied with a lifeless smile.
Takuma chuckled nervously, the atmosphere was growing a little too cold for his tastes. "I should show Reina around before dinner, don't want her getting-"
"Actually there is something I'd like to show you, both of you," Ichio cut in.
"O-of course," Takuma stuttered, smiling despite the way Reina's hand had tightened painfully on his as she struggled to keep her composure. Her reaction had puzzled him. He had no idea what his grandfather wanted to show them, but her words in the car made him feel less than comfortable as they followed the tall, imposing man from the room.
Not a word passed through her lips as she walked in step with Takuma through the modestly decorated halls of his family's home and into the basement level that all homes belonging to vampires seemed to have. A floor with no windows that would allow the outside world to see what was going behind the thick stone walls of the homes of some of the people they believed to be harmless and human. From outside the scent of blood would be almost unnoticeable, it would mix with the wind and the scent of the flowers and plants that thrived on the grounds. Inside was another story. The scent of blood was thick in this hall, but it seemed to be only Reina that noticed, her senses being sharper than Takuma's. She could also sense something familiar, but it was tainted and darker than she remembered, making it difficult to actually place.
The hall they were walking down had been made to look like a traditional Japanese home. The walls were painted a plain white with dark wood trim and the sliding doors where all paneled with thick white paper. It was a set of such doors that two women in matching green and pink kimono stood waiting, bowing respectfully as they slid open the doors and stepped out of the way.
Ichio was the first to enter, his body obstructing Reina's view as she turned into the doors with Takuma. He didn't however block her view of the lifeless female that was dropped carelessly to the wooden floor at the feet of whoever occupied the chair in the center of the room.
"How was it?" Ichio asked, kneeling down and putting a hand to his chest. "Master?"
Reina's sapphire eyes widened in realization as they met the mismatched blue and crimson eyes of the man in the chair that was leering at her as Ichio knelt. Takuma gasped in surprise, jolting when Reina released his arm with a low hiss, her eyes narrowed and her lips pulled into a snarl. Her hand rose through the air gracefully, her fingers fanning out as her wrist snapped in the direction of the man that fluidly moved out of the way as the wooden chair he had occupied erupted into a shower of sharp splinters.
There was a growl from her as her body seemed to melt into a reddish black liquid that moved with such speed Takuma lost sight of her until he snapped his head to the left as Shiki was slammed into a wall.
"Stop her," Ichio rumbled.
In that moment Takuma remembered that he could move and flew toward Shiki as Reina's body began reforming in front of the boy who was held by the throat and pressed into the wall. Her free hand was coming back together and was poised just above his chest, where his heart would be. She pulled her arm back slightly, but before she could thrust it forward she was startled by a frantic call.
"Reina, please stop," Takuma yelled. "What are you doing? It's only Shiki," he said quickly, running in front of her to grab her arm and look at her worriedly.
"Move," she hissed.
"I didn't even do anything. How mean, Reina-sama."
Reina's eyes widened as Shiki's face peered at her from behind Takuma. "The eyes," she hissed, releasing her hold on his neck and stepping back. "It was the eyes."
"What are you..." Takuma was confused by her meaning, he looked over his shoulder and was even more confused to see that she was right. Shiki's eyes were wrong. "Where's Shiki?"
"Shiki? Ah, the one you know as Shiki is sleeping inside. No, wait, I mean my son is cute," 'Shiki' replied with a smile while pointing to himself.
Her fists clenched at her sides, her nails digging into her palms and her teeth grinding together as her eyes flashed a dangerous shade of red. "Bastard," she growled. "Using your own son to keep your sorry existence. You don't deserve the blood in your veins."
"I...I don't understand," Takuma stammered, turning around to face 'Shiki' and backing up towards Reina.
"Do you know who Shiki's father is, Takuma?" Reina asked roughly, her eyes staring at Shiki who was smirking at her from behind the blond.
"You mean he's-"
"Rido Kuran, the true head of the Kuran family," Ichio finished.
"You," Reina hissed, her attention moving to Ichio who was regarding her with arrogance as if he thought she couldn't harm him. "I can't kill him, but I can kill you," she snapped, her hair beginning to float around her and the temperature in the room dropping. A biting wind stirred through the room, but before she could focus on sending it Ichio's way her attention was diverted and she instead sent it to encircle Takuma. The wind didn't hurt him, it served only to knock away the numerous black blades that had flown at him, each one disappearing in a puff of smoke as it collided with the wind churning around him.
"Why don't you just calm down, Reina?" a smooth, deep voice soothed. "We wouldn't want anything to happen to your precious Ichijo, now would we?"
Her head snapped to the doorway to see two men, both purebloods. They both had gray eyes and brown hair, the younger of the two had his hair long pulled into a ponytail at the nape of his neck, the older wore his hair short and slicked back.
"Daiki Takamora, why am I not surprised?" Reina stated icily, her eyes on the older male.
"Ah, yes. We've met, but I don't believe you've met my youngest son, my only son, now that you've killed his brother," Daiki replied darkly. "Ken, meet the woman who murdered your brother, Reina Tsukina. She's a beauty, isn't she?"
"Yes, father," Ken answered obediently, his face set in a well practiced mask of unmoving and undisturbed stone. "She's quite beautiful.. for a murderess."
"I didn't kill Michael," Reina said, her voice shaking with the effort it was taking her to remain calm. "I was half dead when Kaname stepped in. If Michael had just been smart and backed off instead of trying to thrust a hand into my chest, maybe the fool would have lived longer."
Her retort was ignored as Daiki turned his attention to his son. "Why don't you escort Ms Tsukina out of here and to some place safe where she can't meddle. I'll deal with her myself later."
"I'm not going anywhere with you bastards," Reina shouted, a ball of energy flying at Daiki that the elder pure blood dodged.
"Michael was right, you are weak," Daiki taunted.
An angry cry erupted from her lips as she flew at him, she didn't get far before she was thrown backwards, her back slamming painfully into the wall. She landed in a crouch and launched herself at Daiki again, surrounding herself with a shield of wind and forcing the man to leap aside and out of the way of the blasts that tore the flooring and wall behind him to shreds. Changing course, she let her body liquefy to avoid the black blades that flew at her, thunking into the wall she had moments ago slammed into. She felt the sting of pain when she wasn't able to avoid all of the blades. The wounds weren't deep and she was already healing as she let her body reform behind Daiki, her hand in the shape of a double edged knife.
She would have struck out at the man if it hadn't been for Ken.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you, Ms Tsukina," he clucked from behind her. "You have your dear fiance to think about after all."
She snapped around to lock eyes with Takuma, there was a deep red mist swirling around his body. "Leave him out of this," she growled, her hand returning to normal.
"All you have to do is behave yourself and come with me," Ken told her sweetly, taking a few steps so that he was standing in front of her and holding a hand out to her.
Her fingers clenched and unclenched as she glanced back at Takuma sadly.
"No, Reina," he cried, trying to step towards her only to hiss as his hand was slashed by the mist around him.
"You won't hurt him?"
"We won't hurt him," Ken replied quietly, something in his voice confused her and she looked up to meet his gray eyes quizzically.
She was taken aback to see that there was nothing but truth in his eyes, his blank face had been replaced with a genuine smile and there was a glow to his eyes that took her breath away. "Alright," she said, raising a hand and placing it into his.
"Reina!" Takuma shouted when she gasped as she was pulled into Ken's grasp and the man raised a hand above her head.
"I love you, Takuma. I'm sorry."
There was a flash of light and Reina's body went slack in the man's grasp. Ken picked her up easily, cradling her small body into his chest, her head lulling back over his arm. The black rose hair comb she had tucked into her hair that afternoon fell from its place and clattered to the floor.
"Don't worry, Takuma, she's not dead. Yet, anyways," Ichio told his horrified grandson that couldn't take his eyes from the lifeless body of his fiance.
"Grandfather, what's the meaning of all of this?!"
"I thought you understood your place, Takuma," the man replied coolly. "That woman is a hindrance to our plans. Didn't I tell you before that your job was to win her trust?"
Takuma's eyes widened. He realized now why there had been no objections to him marrying Reina. It was because they wanted her out of the way. By using him and her love for him, they had ensured that she wouldn't be able to stop them from doing what they wanted and put Rido on the throne as their king. His grandfather probably didn't care whether he really loved Reina or not, but since he did and it was obvious, it only made it that much easier to control him. He would have no choice but to obey his grandfather and the Takamora's and hope that Reina would be alright in the end.
"Yes, you did," Takuma answered blankly, his eyes turned to the ground.
"I have raised you with certain expectations in mind, are you going to disappoint me?"
"Then I think it's time that I see my troublesome nephew again," Rido said, stepping around Takuma to pick up the black rose comb that had fallen from Reina's hair. He held it in his hand for a moment before smirking and putting it into the pocket of pants.
"What's going to happen to Reina?" Takuma asked.
"She's no longer your concern," Ichio replied harshly.
"That's a bit harsh, Ichio, she is the boy's fiance after all and it seems he really did care about the worthless little brat," Daiki chortled. "Don't worry. She's still useful. We won't be killing her, but let me tell you this, do as you're told or she'll be the one to pay for your mistakes."
Takuma's eyes hardened as he stared at the floor. "And what is it I'm supposed to do?"
"Good boy," Daiki quipped. "Ken, you may go. Keep our little pawn safe, but kill her if she decides to misbehave."
Ken nodded to his father, his face once again a blank mask. He kept Reina held firmly to his chest as he turned and left the room, leaving a serious looking Takuma frowning after them.
"So when do we leave for the Academy?" Rido asked.
"Soon, for now just get some rest and get used to your son's body," Ichio answered.
"Fine, I guess my little reunion with Kaname can wait," Rido sighed.
Later that night Takuma sat alone in his dark room, staring into a dark, star misted sky like he knew Reina would be doing if she could even see the sky. He was determined not to let anything happen to her, but it pained him to know that by doing so he would be betraying someone who meant a lot to the both of them. The only reassurance he had at the moment was in the form of her aura, he could still feel her close by, sense her somewhere in the maze of rooms that was his home. She was still alive and it was the only thing making him as relaxed about everything as he was as he prepared to become a traitor not only to a good friend, but himself.
It was while he sat there, admiring the unwavering beauty of the night sky that he felt a sharp pain in his chest. His breath was knocked out of him and he could only stare blankly into the sky that seemed to be darker and less inviting than it had a moment before as several stars seemed to blink out of existence and the moon was shrouded by a thick black cloud.
Zero was leaning against the trunk of a tree his eyes on the Academy building and the form of Kaname Kuran beneath one of the windows. He snorted to himself, shaking his head and glaring at the grass at his feet. A moment later, an unexplainable feeling caused his eyes to widen and his head to snap up as a single word fell from his lips.
He looked back to the window that Kaname had been standing by to see that the pureblood was gazing into the night, his eyes glowing a dangerous red. The pureblood turned around after his eyes briefly found Zero's.
Pushing away from the tree Zero turned his back to the Academy and shoved his hands in his pockets. When the sound of shattering glass reached his sensitive ears a moment later he wasn't surprised and just continued to walk.
Kaname was leaning against the wall beneath the large window that dominated one side of the room. He was absently flipping the pages of a book while Toga Yagari spoke to the class, he was acting as their Ethics teacher once again. None of the class paid the hunter much mind, they acted as they normally would and spent most of the class pretending to listen to him. It was unusually quiet in class without Reina or even Takuma there, Reina would always bicker with Yagari whenever he stepped in to act as their teacher which had been regularly before the Winter break. It was quite entertaining for everyone when the cheery dorm vice president would quietly try to get Reina to stop picking fights with the hunter only to wind up moping when she would threaten to destroy his manga if he didn't let her have some fun with the 'pretty cyclops'. It almost seemed like the hunter himself was missing Reina's presence, his eyes would constantly go to the desk she liked to perch herself on by the same window Kaname was looking out of, his eyes narrowed.
"Is there a reason why you're not paying attention to my lecture, Kaname Kuran?" Yagari called in annoyance.
"Sorry, teacher, I got distracted," Kaname replied smoothly with a small smile.
Yagari cut himself off, he had sensed the same thing that vampires had. Surprised gasps echoed throughout the room as a strange feeling washed over them. The only way to describe what they all felt was that they had just had a piece of themselves taken away, however small it may have been.
"Reina-sama!" Aido cried, standing abruptly from his chair and turning towards Kaname.
Kaname's eyes flashed blood red and the atmosphere grew so thick it felt as if they were all being strangled as the pureblood fought the emotions roiling through his body. His hands clenched around the book he held, ripping into the pages as he tried to take a deep breath. When we he looked up, his eyes meeting Aido's distraught gaze, the window behind him erupted into a rain of shimmering glass and splinters of the wood that had held it together that tinkled softly against the stone of the building as it fell.
"Reina," he said softly when a cool breeze that smelled of orchids and a slight trace of lavender filled the room.
"R-Reina-sama," Aido whispered, his blue eyes swimming with tears.
Yagari could only blink at the shocked and sad faces that were all staring at their pureblood king. It didn't take a fool to figure out what had just happened, the aura that belonged to the pureblooded Reina, that everyone had grown more attuned to as they grew closer to her, had just vanished from the world and that could only mean one thing...
Reina Tsukina was no longer among the living.
Many Faces of Innocence