Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in this fanfic. I'm merely torturing them for my own personal enjoyment.
War of the Worlds
The barrier that has surrounded Youkai Academy and the monsters within its walls drops suddenly one day, without warning, without a sound. Kurumu is only dimly aware of the drop; she feels a subtle shift in the air, like a surge of static electricity, but it's like a faint pulse and she easily ignores it.
Then she hears the shouts, the shock, the surprise; she hears the running feet and the screams of humans. She looks out the window, and her jaw drops.
The barrier is gone.
And the humans can see them.
This is how the Great War (that is what later generations call it, and it makes Kurumu laugh with a bitter taste in her mouth; Moka dryly comments that there was nothing great about it whenever it's mentioned in her presence.) begins.
With a whimper, not a bang.
Later on—much, much later on—Kurumu learns that the Demon Lords were killed.
("Huh. So that's what happened. Guess they weren't so strong after all.")
Kurumu considers it a miracle that no one ever figured out Moka's lover was a human during the Great War.
She isn't sure when that line between Moka and Tsukune vanished and they actually became "lovers"; it's just something she picks up on, some age-old instinct, and she accepts defeat wordlessly and with a swift pang in the chest. In her competition with Moka, deep down, she knew she wasn't going to win.
While Kurumu considers it a miracle that no one ever found out an all powerful vampire had taken a human lover, she considers it an even greater miracle that no one ever figured out Tsukune was human to begin with. Even during the Great War his secret was safe.
His family was not.
His parents are the first to die in the Great War; they've never known the monster that killed them. By the time they realized what was happening, the beast had already done the deed, leaving bloodstained walls and floors in its wake.
But that's not all.
Kokoa is there.
She's dead, too.
Surveying the wreckage, it becomes obvious that she was trying to protect Tsukune's parents; Yukari speculates, through tears, that she reached the house only minutes before the attack started. Deep wounds rip along her chest and sides. Her clothes are caked in blood, her hair cut free and tangled. Her fangs are bared in one last snarl of defiance, her eyes glaring ahead into nothing. Ko-chan, her beloved companion and weapon, is totally ripped to pieces.
Mizore, Gin, Yukari, Ruby, and Nekonome-sensei stand vigil with Tsukune as he lights a candle for his parents, tears streaming down his cheeks.
Moka isn't there.
She's in the other room, still in her true form—long silver hair, eyes the color of blood. She sits quietly over Kokoa's body, guarding her sister's spirit for the night. She requested solitude, and solitude is what she's given. Her body is rigid, her hands clenched into fists as she gazes quietly at her sister's face, animated even in death. Her back is to the door; no one can see her face.
Creeping quietly through the hallway after retrieving another candle, Kurumu pauses as she hears a low, anguished sob tear itself from the tall, silver form bathed in moonlight. "Stupid, stupid girl," Moka whispers raggedly. "You were never strong enough… why didn't you learn your place like I told you to?"
The vampire—known for being the most powerful monster in existence, cold and ruthless in battle, with a taste for blood—weeps brokenly as if her world has started to fall apart.
Kurumu hesitates only a moment; her hand tightens around the candle, and she walks away, leaving Moka in her vigil.
During the early hours of morning, it is reported that countless numbers of humans and monsters were slaughtered in a matter of minutes. Moka is notably absent from Kokoa's side during this time.
Kurumu has her suspicions, but she keeps them to herself.
She also suspects that Moka got knocked up with Tsukune's child after returning from her gruesome quest, but she keeps that to herself, too.
The Great War escalates.
Gin is dead; he returned to the ruins of Youkai Academy in the hopes that he could rescue some of the younger students left to die when the barrier first dropped. They never find his body for themselves, but one of the humans Nekonome-sensei kills in battle carries the scent of werewolf blood on him; more specifically, Gin's scent.
They all know what it means.
Mizore isn't dead, but they don't know if she's still alive, either. She vanished on her way home; she was worried about her mother, as her homeland had lost all contact with the outside world, and she never comes back. No human that is killed carries the scent of her blood.
Tsukune remains hopefully.
Personally, Kurumu thinks Mizore is never coming back. But that's just her opinion.
She can hear the faint heartbeat of the child growing inside Moka—her child and Tsukune's—and she listens to it when she wants to sleep. Moka is only seven weeks along, she isn't even showing yet, but Kurumu can tell there is life inside her.
Moka hasn't told Tsukune. She's afraid of his reaction.
Kurumu thinks it's stupid.
(Inner Moka agrees, but she can't tell Kurumu that.)
Their group has shrunk down drastically, but Tsukune is still alive.
As long as he is alive, they can still remain hopeful for the future.
A few weeks later, Nekonome-sensei is killed in battle, holding humans at bay so younger, less experienced youkai can escape. There's some comfort from her death, though; she took down the human who wounded her and his whole army by herself. She was strong, in the end. Kurumu remembers how she had no hatred for humans, and she wonders if she lived her last moments agonizing over her role in the war.
Kurumu knew it would happen. It was only a matter of time. This day has been coming; she's known all along.
It still hurts.
She isn't there for the battle; she's somewhere else, holding back the humans with her illusions and trying to fly with a broken, bloody wing. Sheer willpower keeps her in the air when all else fails, and she flies to Tsukune and Moka; she has to warn them, her illusions won't last, she's not strong enough, she's never strong enough…
And then she lands.
And the world falls out from under her.
The rosario is broken; snapped neatly in half, lying forgotten in bloodstained grass, gleaming weakly in the mottled sunlight peeking through the dark branches. Moka kneels quietly in the clearing, her hands stained dark red with blood, drops falling from her fingers and streaking her cheeks as she stares dully at nothing, her rage spent long before Kurumu arrived.
Tsukune lies behind her.
Even as Kurumu lets out an anguished cry and flies to him, even as she lands by his side and touches his cheek—"Tsukune! Tsukune, wake up, what's wrong?!"—she knows it's too late. His neck is twisted at an odd angle, his lower body nearly cut from his upper body. She can see the bite marks on his neck and nearly weeps. The blood beneath him is dry and dark brown.
The sound of human footsteps and the shouts alerts her to another danger. Wiping her tears away, aching, she glides to Moka's side and kneels next to the vampire, gently gripping her shoulders. "Moka, come on."
She doesn't move. She doesn't even acknowledge Kurumu's presence. Swallowing, the succubus gives her a light shake. "Moka," she repeats. "We have to go. We'll come back for Tsukune when it's safe." Still, no reaction.
The humans are coming closer. Something gleams to life in Moka's eyes, and Kurumu feels a horrible flash of fear. She grimaces, grits her teeth as her claws lengthen. "Forgive me," she whispers, and drives them home, through Moka's stomach. For a vampire, the wound is only painful, not fatal, and it has its desired outcome; Moka yelps in pain and blinks, and before she can regain her senses Kurumu sweeps her up and soars into the air with a mighty flap, closing her eyes as pain rips through her back.
Moka stirs, whimpers quietly; her eyes clear, and she stares numbly over Kurumu's shoulder. "Tsukune!" She begins to struggle, pushing against Kurumu, and the other girl curses; her strength is nothing compared to that of a vampire, especially in Moka's state of mind. "Put me down, Kurumu!"
"Sorry." Kurumu narrows her eyes against the wind, feels the prick of tears. "I can't do that."
"Learn your place! I said put me down!"
"And I said I can't do that!"
Gritting her teeth, Kurumu tightens her hold on the struggling Moka even as her aching body screams in protest. "You think I'm stupid?" she growls out, her breath hot against the vampire's ear. "You think I don't know what you'll do?
Moka goes still. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Like hell you do!" Kurumu laughs, and it's a hollow, humorless, bitter sound. "You have no intention of fighting them, Moka! Don't even lie!"
The strength drains out of Moka; she rests her forehead against Kurumu's shoulder as her fingers dig into her arms, her breathing ragged and unsteady. "I failed him."
Kurumu closes her eyes. "… I know."
"I promised I'd protect him."
"… I… I want to be with him." Moka's voice is weak, anguished, a shadow of her former self. "Kurumu, please. Put me down."
Kurumu feels her tears fall and shakes her head helplessly.
"I'm sorry," she whispers. "I truly am. But it's wrong. You know it. Tsukune wouldn't want you to do that. He'd…" She swallows. "… He'd want you to live. For him. And for the baby."
Choked sobs are her only response; Moka weeps into her shoulder, shameless in her feelings now. Any pride she had, any nobility, died with Kokoa.
"I'm sorry," Kurumu repeats raggedly, and knows it's useless.
For a week after Tsukune's death, Moka follows Kurumu around like a lost puppy. It would be cute and almost funny, in another time or place; but it isn't.
The rosario is destroyed, and with it, so is Moka's Outer self. All that remains now is her true form, her true nature, but she's so broken, so lost, that Kurumu barely recognizes the proud, slightly arrogant vampire who once defeated her with a simple tug of her tail. What countless battles and monsters couldn't do, the death of a single human has.
For a week, Moka doesn't speak a word. She eats and drinks only when forced, and when she isn't doing that she trails Kurumu silently like a silver shadow, gripping the other girl's sleeve in fingers that feel much more fragile than she remembers. In the beginning, there was only Moka, Tsukune, and Kurumu. Now Tsukune is gone, and Kurumu is the only one left who has been with Moka from the very beginning.
Kurumu figures it's better than Moka retreating into solitude. Ruby seems to understand this, too, in her own quiet way, and she finds ways to keep Yukari busy and occupied so the young witch isn't hurt by Moka's ignorance of her.
Gradually, after the first week, Moka begins to speak in short sentences and "Yes" and "No" answers for questions. She doesn't hold on to Kurumu's sleeve and she doesn't follow her anymore; instead she walks quietly by her side. It's not much, but it's an improvement.
She still insists on sleeping with Kurumu, despite gentle urges from her friends to return to her own bed. Kurumu figures she's soothed by the warmth of another, by that feeling of life.
Moka cries at night.
Kurumu pretends not to hear, because she's crying, too. But she's quieter about it. She knows that Moka would blame herself if she heard her.
Some nights Moka doesn't cry, some nights she just lies there quietly, a hand on her stomach and her eyes closed, as if she's trying to feel the small life growing inside her. As if to assure herself that the baby is still there.
During those times, Kurumu has her back turned to her. She doesn't turn back to face her until Moka gently but insistently tugs on her shirt.
Two weeks after Tsukune's death, Kurumu is given another mission; defending a group of youkai as they sneak into a human settlement. She agrees to take it; she has no choice, really.
Before she leaves, Moka quietly squeezes her hand as she brushes by.
Kurumu makes it back that night.
She is the only survivor.
It's been a few months, and Moka is starting to show.
She's one of those lucky few where it isn't blatantly obvious; there's only a slight curve peeking out from under her shirt, barely noticeable unless you know her well enough to look for it. Because of this she is still sent out to fight, despite the obvious danger to herself and her baby. But she never protests, so Kurumu figures it's all fair.
Kurumu, of course, insists on accompanying her. Moka never thinks of defending herself, and one of these days the succubus worries she'll actually get killed.
Unfortunately, Kurumu worries for Moka so much nowadays that she doesn't think of her own health.
The day it happens, the day that goes down as the Vampire's Rampage, Kurumu and Moka complete a simple, easy task of beating off a few green humans. There are no deaths, no causalities on either side. In good spirits, Kurumu turns happily to Moka, and opens her mouth to speak.
And freezes, staring in a kind of dazed wonder as the bullet drives through her back and bursts through her chest. She makes no sound as she falls.
And suddenly it's happening, Moka sees Tsukune falling, she sees Tsukune in a pool of his blood but now it's Kurumu, and the two images blur together until she can't tell them apart, she can't tell if she sees Tsukune or Kurumu or both, and all she knows is that someone is trying to steal away her last precious person.
The bullet misses Kurumu's heart by inches, but for a few minutes she's still disconnected from the world; her strength returns slowly, and coughing a little she struggles up, grimacing.
And stares, numb with horror, at the bloodstained field.
The humans sent reinforcements; but against Moka's rage, they're as useful as plastic dolls. A blur of silver, the vampire rips soundlessly through their ranks, draining one human completely dry, twisting the neck of another until she hears a snap; her eyes glow a dangerous red, she advances on the last standing human, and from the scent Kurumu can tell he's lost control of his bladder.
"Stop it, Moka!!"
Kurumu tackles her, hugging her tightly from behind; Moka freezes and blinks several times, and her eyes clear. Kurumu holds on regardless, not trusting her yet. "Stop it," she whispers hoarsely. "I'm alright, see? I'm alright. So please. Stop it." She swallows. "Stop it, Moka."
Slowly, gradually, Moka relaxes. The human is long gone, having fled, but Moka pays him no mind as she slides bonelessly to her knees. And then, in one fluid motion, she turns and yanks Kurumu into a tight, almost bone-crushing embrace. Kurumu yelps. "M-Moka?"
The silver-haired woman doesn't reply, just buries her face into Kurumu's hair, her whole body trembling. "Thank goodness," she whispers raggedly. "Thank goodness!!"
Kurumu closes her eyes.
"… Sorry I made you worry."
After that day, Kurumu convinces the other youkai not to send Moka out on a mission.
She and Moka argue horribly about it, so badly that Yukari cowers in the corner behind Ruby's skirt, but it's done and Kurumu doesn't regret it.
Three new Demon Lords are appointed. The barrier is re-established; the Great War, having lasted only eight months, slowly but surely draws to an end. The humans have short memories and are eager to return to peaceful life; even the youkai are tired of the bloodshed.
Yukari's parents are dead; they were killed near the end, only a few weeks before the new Demon Lords came into power. She and Ruby decide to start over fresh in America.
Kurumu decides to stay in Japan. Moka decides to stay with Kurumu.
In the end, they don't know how many are dead and how many are alive. Kurumu hasn't seen her mother since the beginning of the war, when she tried to beg her to return home. Moka expresses no interest in finding her older sisters or her parents. Now, her only wish is to remain with her last precious person.
They buy a small apartment, and Kurumu gets a job at a local newspaper. She's still a little young, but help is short and no one argues with her. She's good at her job, and ever since she came in they've attracted more customers; never mind they're all male. Moka teases her about it sometimes, on her better days.
Moka still insists on sleeping with Kurumu. The succubus gave up on talking her out of it long ago.
Between Kurumu's illusions and Moka's own magic, they create a new human form for her; long dark brown hair, sharp light gray eyes. She wears the illusion whenever she leaves the apartment; when she is safely home, she strides through the halls as a vampire. With her pregnancy her thirst for blood has increased drastically; she bites Kurumu at least three times a day now.
Kurumu can understand what Tsukune must have endured on a regular basis.
Ruby and Yukari write on a daily basis, almost as if they never left at all. They're settling in well, Ruby writes, though Yukari still has nightmares from time to time ("That's not true! At least… they're not as bad as they used to be!"). The people in America are surprisingly accepting of witches and witchcraft these days, so the pair is still capable of performing some magic without attracting attention. Moka and Kurumu write back always; at first Kurumu replied with her own letter and Moka did the same, but in time they simply combine their thoughts and send out one sheet the way Ruby and Yukari do.
It's almost peaceful.
Kurumu sleeps in on a holiday and wakes to find Moka is already awake and prowling around the kitchen like a restless tiger. It's almost funny, the sight of a proud, silver-haired, red-eyed vampire stalking through a small kitchen, obviously seeking something she can't find. Kurumu yawns and rubs her eyes tiredly. "What's wrong?" she asks, making her way over to the cabinet.
Moka doesn't even hesitate. "I'm hungry."
"Well, okay, I just got some groceries yesterday coming home so you're not about to starve…"
"No. I'm hungry."
After so long, Moka still isn't good at articulating her need for blood. It's the one thing Outer always had over her; Outer always just went for the bite. This Moka has some kind of honor code; normally she feeds on Kurumu not long after they wake, but she must have restrained her urges to let her sleep. Checking the clock, Kurumu realizes that Moka has been keeping her thirst at bay for nearly three hours past her usual feeding time.
"Well, come on, then."
In three easy strides Moka crosses the room, gently tugs down the collar of Kurumu's nightshirt, and bites. Kurumu flinches only slightly as the vampire's fangs pierce her skin and drive deep, gently rubbing the back of her neck as she drinks. Moka always seems tense when she feeds, as if she's fighting her own conscience over the act. Gradually she relaxes under Kurumu's gentle ministrations, and after a few minutes she pulls away, licking her lips. "Thank you," she says quietly. "That should be enough for now."
Amused, Kurumu nods before pulling her collar back up, taking care to hide the bite marks; she steps back to the cabinet and opens it, pulling out a box of cereal. From the sound of Moka's footsteps, she can tell the vampire is retrieving the milk. They have a routine, eating breakfast after Moka feeds. It's almost funny in a twisted kind of way. "We got a letter from Ruby and Yukari," Moka informs Kurumu, balancing the milk carefully as she gestures to the counter. "They sent pictures." Curious, Kurumu sets the cereal box on the table before scooping up the handful of photographs, flipping through them. She smiles slightly, her eyes softening, and she holds up a photo of Yukari and Ruby; the two are grinning at the camera, Ruby's hands on Yukari's shoulders and Yukari's arms full of squirming, wriggling puppy. "They got a dog?"
"A mutt. Yukari fell in love with him at the pound and refused to leave him behind."
"That's something she'd do."
"Ruby calls him T.D.D."
Kurumu raises a brow, looking at Moka blankly.
"That damn dog."
Snorting softly with laughter, Kurumu sets the pictures back down and heads back to the table as Moka swallows a mouthful of cereal. "She never liked dogs, for some reason," the blue-haired girl murmurs, setting down in her chair and snagging the milk so she can pour it into her bowl. On the counter, the letter from Ruby and Yukari isn't alone; there's also a short note from Tsukune's cousin Kyouko. She contacted them not long after the Great War ended, and her family has helped provide for the pair, especially for Moka. She only has a month left to her pregnancy.
Moka is eating with surprising vigor, but she's usually starving for human food after drinking blood; Kurumu doesn't totally understand it, and Moka simply says that it's an old instinct of her kind. She pauses suddenly for a moment and touches her stomach, and an odd look crosses her face; a kind of wonder, amazement really, and Kurumu glances at her. "Moka? What is it? Something wrong?"
Instead of replying, Moka pushes her chair back and stands, taking Kurumu's hand; and before the other girl can react in any way, Moka gently touches her palm to her stomach. Kurumu freezes and for a moment she can't think straight.
And then she feels it. Soft, feather-light, gentle; but she feels it.
The baby is kicking.
Her eyes widen, and she stares at Moka's stomach for the longest time as she feels life stir beneath her fingers. Wonder and awe well up inside her and she smiles, looking up at Moka to see the same expression mirrored on the vampire's face. She can't help but feel guilty; this isn't meant for her, it's meant for Tsukune, because the life inside Moka is half of her and half of him. But she can't fight the feeling of protectiveness, the possession, the realization that this little life is just as much hers as it is Moka's. She swallows as Moka settles back down. "How long… how long has that been happening?"
"A few times a week, usually." Moka looks at her quietly. "I wanted you to feel it."
Kurumu nods and leans back in her chair; a stupid smile curves her lips and she laughs, running a hand through her hair. "Man, we've got to think of names for this kid."
"Shirayuki." Moka's voice is soft, but sure. "If it's a girl, I want to name her Shirayuki."
Kurumu nods quietly, taking a sip of milk to wash away the sudden hot lump in her throat.
"Yeah. Shirayuki is a pretty name." She blinks, grimaces. "Crap, compared to my mother, what am I gonna be like with this baby?"
And for the first time in a long time, Moka laughs. Kurumu can't help but smile.
"We'll learn along the way, okay, Kurumu?"
"Yeah. Sounds like a plan."
Yeah, I don't know what this is supposed to be, either. It was supposed to be written mainly from Kurumu's POV, but it switches near the end. It was also supposed to focus a bit more on Inner Moka and how her mind works, but really I just ended up killing off a lot of the people she loves. In an alternate ending to this I actually killed off Kurumu...
The name Shirayuki is actually a gag on my part; when I first started reading R + V, when Mizore was introduced, I read her name wrong and thought her name was "Shirayuki Mizore" for the longest time. Thankfully I figured out this wasn't true.
Read and review, please!