The Blood+ bug has bit me again. Go figure.
This story came as another whim—yes, I am full of 'em—that formed a weak-ass plot somewhere along the line. The lesser said about it, the better. I've reached the conclusion that this show makes me want to be wordy. I am usually not wordy at all. But something about this series makes me want to describe everything, particularly emotion or color. Maybe because the two themes are played with so much throughout the series.
Anyhow. This is probably an overdone genre, with Saya and co. coming awake to fight Yet Another Enemy, yahta yahta, so I took some liberties by setting it in the distant (real distant) future, when Saya and Haji are an actual couple. Instead of documenting them as tentatively entering the realm of couplehood, I figured, "Hell, why not just make nostalgia this thing's main theme? If I was an immortal, I'd be nostalgic of everything."
Also, I decided to avoid using Japanese pair names for Diva's daughters, since, 1) Me no good at Japanese, and 2) Me love Greek myth.
I've also flexed the Queens' hibernation theory a bit, since I'm unsure when exactly Chiropteran queens go into their long sleep (Saya was living in Joel's mansion for decades, and she sure as hell didn't hibernate there.) Let's just exercise 'artistic' license and assume the twins are at the age where they haven't hit the Big Sleep era yet, and that Haji and Saya have been together for a comfortably longass time. Spoilers for practically the whole series.
Please review and let me know what you think.
I do not own Blood Plus and make no profit out of writing this story.
I just do it to kill time.
It is the crest of nightfall, and the streets are damp with rain. Streetlights glisten off wet tarmac, and a murky fog wreathes the air. Occasionally a car roars across the streets, wheels churning splatter, headlights dashing dark shadows across the walls.
A young woman stands leaning by the wall, wreathed in murky shadow. Dark long hair spilling to a narrow waist frames a heart-shaped ivory face, a set of dark, assessing eyes. Pale pink lips are pressed tight, half in impatience, half in contemplation. A dark coat, collar pulled to her cheeks, shields her pensive features.
The way she eyes her surroundings suggests that she is new to the neighborhood, and reluctant to advertise the fact.
Either that, or that she has visited the neighborhood a long time ago, longer still than her unlined young face would intimate.
As if she has set out looking for home, only to find it inexplicably gone.
Where are you?
Saya's eyes flick across the empty street. Despite the coat covering her, the cloak of the darkness around her, she feels as naked and exposed as a raw nerve to air. Ever since coming awake in the old tomb, blinking dregs of her thirty-year sleep from her eyes, she has been unable to shake the sensation.
The dispiriting solitude, the sense of abandonment and confusion.
Because, this time, he has not been there to greet her.
Where are you?
Strangers had been there to tend to her at the tomb. A throwback of Red Shield, existing for the sole purpose of ensuring her safety, and Haji's, and that of her nieces. Kai's too, when he had been alive, although that was a very long time ago. Close to a century has passed since Saya's battle with Diva, but Red Shield still plays a practical role in her life, in keeping her settled, secure.
However, upon her questions, none of the Red Shield members are aware where Haji might be.
In the ensuing days, she has clawed at one explanation after another. That he is held up somewhere. That he has been delayed with unforeseen circumstances. That he is occupied with something pressing.
But each explanation has left her more dissatisfied than the last.
He is a creature of habit. She knows him as intimately as she knows her own pulse, her own breath. For each and every Awakening, he has been present, the first beloved face her hazy eyes behold, the first steady hand her brittle fingers grasp for. Her life, the life of a wandering immortal, a Chiropteran Queen without a kingdom, has undergone relocations, displacements, each time she has awakened from sleep to greet a new world.
A shuffled deck of cards, that is what she likens it to. A new place each time, even when it is still the same country, even when she has visited it thirty years before. But, juxtaposed with the present, it stirs new emotions, new sensations, as though she is experiencing everything afresh.
Despite how long she has lived, the colors around her have never dulled, and scent or sound has never diminished.
Haji has often told her, in tender moments, that it is not so much that the world remains ever-fresh, but that her own nature compels her to seek delight in everything she sees. The open curiosity of a goddess, sent to be reacquainted with the world each time, relishing every aspect her surroundings can offer.
In reply, she has always reminded him that her delight and relish comes only from his unbroken presence at her side.
In each and every strange new country, each unfamiliar year, he has been there to guide her way, bright and steady as her ever-burning Polaris.
But this time…
Where are you, Haji? What's happened?
Saya feels tears scald her eyes. She brusquely wipes them away. Their presence is both unwanted and unfamiliar to her. Indeed, as the years have gone by, her life has become a positive stranger to tears, or to grief in general. She has never imagined, after the trials she has suffered, the blood she has spilled, that her existence could ever go on to be so profoundly rich, so brimming with laughter and satisfaction.
Perhaps that is why this calamity has befallen her now? To remind her never to be too complacent, to never take anything for granted.
Especially not him.
But I never took any of it for granted, she thinks fiercely. How could I, after everything the two of us suffered? We knew how blessed we were. We reminded each other every day. I was so happy.
I was so…
She hears the smooth purr of an engine. The cars around her have changed during her lengthy sleep, their shapes sleeker, more angular, more compact. But cars are what they continue to be, and the one that idles to a halt beside her is no exception.
Saya tenses for a fraction of a second. Her face is pale as it reflects in the black window. Then the window rolls down, and the face that emerges from behind it fills her with equal parts relief and joy.
A young woman, to all appearances barely within a year of age from Saya. Calm, intense blue eyes. Sharp bangs cut in an angular halo, falling around an attractive porcelain face.
Saya beams. "Alecto!"
Saya's niece, the elder daughter of Diva, greets her with a warm smile. "Aunt Saya. You look well."
"We're so glad you're all right!" erupts the girl seated beside Alecto. A flurry of wispy black curls tumbling around her shoulders, her face a breathtaking doppelganger of Alecto's, but with warm mahogany eyes of a bright depth. Alecto's younger twin, Megaera. "We got here as fast as we could!"
"I'm so relieved to see someone I know," Saya said. "Please, tell me. What's going on? Where is Haji?"
"You'd better get inside, aunt Saya," Alecto advises. Systematic, in-control as always. Since she has been a girl, Saya has seen flashes of Riku in her quiet maturity, in her reserved manner. And, as she has grown older, glimmers of the intelligence, the command Diva herself might have possessed, had not her tragic history unspooled her sanity.
Megaera on the other hand, is a variation of Saya. Passionate, temperamental, impulsive, but fiercely loyal to her friends and family. Her strengths are different from her sister's, but no less potent. There are certain aspects of her that Saya has even be tempted to connect with Kai, particularly her blustering temper.
"Come on, aunt Saya," Meg presses, extending a hand. "Get in quick. You look cold. Besides, the streets here aren't safe anymore. Even for us."
"What do you mean?" Saya asks. But she does as she is told, sidling into the crisp back seat of the car. The interior is warm and dry, and Saya feels instantly protected, although that probably owes more to the presence of her nieces than any superficial elements.
Alecto starts the car and pulls out of the street. "Saya, there's been trouble brewing during your sleep."
"That's right. Of the Chiropteran kind."
Saya stiffens. "Chiropteran?"
Meg turns in her seat to regard Saya. "It seems that someone's been trying to rejuvenate the old Chiropteran experiments, from back when our mother was alive."
"We wish. The trouble started barely five months before you were supposed to awaken. Sudden reports of chiropteran attacks, eye-witness sightings of monsters, just like in the early days of the war."
Saya's blood feels like ice. "And… Haji?"
Megaera hesitates, then glances back at Alecto. The older twin exhales, and says, without taking her eyes off the road. "Let's get you back to our apartment, Saya. There's a lot we have to talk about."