Disclaimer: Nope, don't own Soul Calibur.

Author's Note: Well, this oneshot was just a random idea I thought up of ;) First time writing for any of the characters involved here, and, well… I'm really pleased with how the whole story came out, especially Raphael X] Anyway… enjoy!


Satisfy your obstinate thirst for milk, your unyielding hunger for meat. Pounce at the bowl sitting idly on the floor. Sink your claws into your unknowing prey; make them yours, and only yours. Lap it up. Tear them apart, soften up the meat until you can chew it and swallow it whole. Drink until you are no longer parched. Feast until you are full.

You, with your shining blue eyes, so full of life and curiosity. Your mannerisms, your beliefs, they all remind me of a cat. The way you tilt your head up at me in wonder; the way you smooth out your own blonde hair with your thin, firm fingers; the way you grin, your white teeth gleaming below whatever sunlight manages to arrive in my empty home.

You bring joy to this blackened heart. You give life when I have been starved of it. You shower these cavernous halls with booming laughter, and not only of yours and mine, but of the youthful female who frolics about, blood red hair bouncing along with her every move, styled in childish curls. She wishes to be just like you. Free.

Oh, how little does Amy truly know? She has stood countless times at the entrance to our lonely home, watching you walk away, a sad face painted on her porcelain features. Her tiny hand would move, waving good bye, as though it is forever that you will leave here. As though you shall never return, and die in the heat of battle, or stay in safety with your family far, far away. Like your presence will never again grace this house.

Strays always return to where they are fed. And like the cat you truly are, you continue to revisit for more nourishment. And every time, I give you what you seek. I offer you a place in my home, food from my table, my own fair share of smiles and my own tales of battle. A curious little thing you are, are you not? You turn your back and leave once you have your knowledge, and return when you require more. You run back and forth, journeying in place of your sister, or just travelling… And you always detour to the one place that offers you undying comforts.

I often wonder what you run from.

A gentle tapping at the entrance has my little one's face light up with delight. She jumps up and looks at me, a knowing smile on her pale white face. She points to the double doors that we are not so far away from, before moving off to open the door. I remain seated in my large chair, the book I had been previously reading still in my right hand. Yet as I stare at the string of words, I cannot make sense of them, for my mind remains voyaging elsewhere.

I often wonder what lies within these walls that you continuously seek.

Amy's melodious voice seeps towards me, despite the distance, "Cassandra!"

My cat has come.

You purr a light greeting to my little one, your very voice bringing light to us. You stroke her hair with that familiar grin on your face. You enter, your footsteps light, and look straight up towards me. My red eyes are no longer focusing on the tangled blur that is printed on paper, but rather at the stray who yet again returns for reasons I am yet to know and understand. Your supplies, including your beloved sword and shield, remain on your back.

"Hello Raphael."

I smirk warmly and bow my head slightly, "Greetings."

You continue to walk towards me, "How are you?"

"I am well thank you. And how are you? Why have you come this time?"

It is the same. Every time, I place this question on the table, and every time you evade it with skill and precision, that it is indeed true to the feline analogy I give you. Today's excuse is that Sophitia and her husband Rothion have sent you away on a trip to wherever you please, as thanks for looking after their children in their absence. Though, you did not go much into detail, and it is here that I briefly see the cat's ears droop, so to say.

Perhaps something of a disturbing manner has happened back home.

I do not press any further for the day or the evening.

It is difficult to think on why you come and goes whilst you are here. Your laughter is too infectious, almost like what runs through my and Amy's veins. It bursts through our despair, lighting our souls. My curiosity both rises and dies in your presence. Rises, as to why you come and go. Dies, for in the heat of these moments, it does not matter. It never did. Why be curious about something that I may never find the answer to? Why ask the same questions in my mind, only to be met with nothing?

A week and a half passes slowly, and you still remain. Unlike your feline qualities, you are oblivious to me standing at the door, watching you curiously. You stand in the garden, looking around in an almost bored fashion, as though this was merely to occupy time, or in a vain attempt to distract you from your thoughts. The moon is high in the sky, lighting the otherwise black night. The stars, so tiny and fragile, are scattered across it, like dying leaves on grassy ground.

Smooth flower petals are touched by delicate hands. You observe it, twisting it by the stem a little, still in a distracting fashion. You stare into it, both blankly and wondrously, as though the solution to your problem is in the nectar-filled centre. I'm sorry my dear but you will not find your clarification there, no matter how hard you look.

"Is it not a little late for you to be outside?" I inquire.

"I'm a grown woman, I can do what I want," You reply waspishly.

A smirk appears on my face, "We do not want you to be sick when you return home."

"I'm not going home," You say through gritted teeth. You are angry.

"And why is that, Cassandra? Why do you constantly abandon your flesh and blood for a refuge so far away?"

I have clearly hit a nerve, "It's none of your business!"

"Do not hiss at me like the cat you are," I growl in frustration, descending the small stairs, approaching you. You turn away from the flower that was in your hand, facing me as I move closer and closer. Your eyes are narrowed, and through the tiny lines do I see the sky blue shining through, "You cultivate petty excuses in the hopes of deterring me from your true intention. I accept them in hopes of later understanding why. I do not like to admit it, but being cast aside is painful, woman. Surrender and give the information I seek."

You mumble under your breath, like a little growl of your own, though I do not hear it, even as you swiftly move past me.

Without turning to follow you or watch you, I continue to stare straight ahead and speak, "Repeat yourself."

"I'm curious about you."

The inability to speak swallows me, and the area. I have no words to send back before you walk inside my home. A cool rush of wind sweeps through, making my skin prickle beneath my clothing. Four words, four soft words still bounce back and forth in my mind in a tiny voice, as though the person speaking was afraid to admit it. No, you were, you are afraid to admit it.

You return to this place time and again, desert your family and go through great perils just to see me? You return to this place for the 'sustenance' of seeing me? I am of value to you? I do not understand how I could possibly be. Me, cursed and damned by the Evil Seed. Me, exiled and torn away from my own family. Me, alone with my Amy in this place, fighting an internal battle day in and day out.

Why do you reach out to me? Why do you reach out to us?

Do you want to make yourself ill, Cassandra?

You avoid me for the next few days. All the times I attempt to approach you and speak, you turn away, going down another long corridor, and well out of my sight. You stalk solitude, curiously following its every step, wherever it may lead you. It may be in eternal circles, it may be down a perilously straight line, but you still follow, foot for foot… paw for paw, reaching out, batting away, clawing closer.

Amy would often look my way through questioning, youthful eyes. They alone spoke for her.

'Why is she not speaking with you?'

Perhaps she is embarrassed.

'Why are you following her?'

I must speak with her.

'What will happen then?'

I cannot tell you, little one, because you will not like it.

This is not a story tale ending.

My red eyes jump back to the book in my hand. They aimlessly scan the words with precision, soaking in all the information with ease. Stories are lovely to pass the time, though sometimes they do not do a good enough job of distracting one from a problem, as I have been finding out lately. A shame. Authors pour so much effort into their novels in hopes of transporting their reader away. Well, this author fails to transport me.

"I'm going."

Both my little one and I look towards you, the foreign woman standing at the door. Your bags are packed again, and your sword and shield are happily nestled on your back once more. Little Amy sprints towards you, worried and afraid. The stray has taken everything it can for now, and plans to leave again. You aim to cast yourself away.

"Please take care of yourself, wherever you go," Amy remarks, embracing you to the best of her efforts.

"I will."

You are not looking at the youth below you, but rather at me. I am resting my cheek on my left fist, and the book in my right hand has almost fallen out. My crimson red eyes, though narrowed, are locked with your sky blue ones, sending a thousand unrestricted thoughts to you, sparing the two that are bitterly battling in my mind at the moment.

Uncrossing the leg that was propped up on the other, I sit up abruptly, placing the book on the small table beside me. I approach you stealthily, my eyes never leaving yours. Curious, you say? As to what? What it would be like to live here with me and my little one? Or just to be with me? Do you think you can save me? Save me from what? In this place, in my sanctuary… I am not in need of redemption. You are in need of contamination.

You want to make yourself ill, Cassandra.

Well… we can't have that, can we?

I… do not want to make you sick.

Amy moves out of the way, taking several steps back and to her left so I can stand directly before you. You move to lightly embrace me, as you always do when you go to depart. You expect me to remain perfectly frozen, completely motionless, like a statue; but I surprise both you and myself as I raise my hand to harshly cup your jaw.

I hear your breathing stop for a few moments. What do you expect me to do?

I know what I want to do, and I assume you want the same.

Though, with a fierce jerk, I turn your head to your right. I am not going to do what both of us want me to do. I am doing what I must… for you, Cassandra. You are lost in a fantasy. Not all fantasies turn out the way that you want them to, and you must know what is real and what is not. And this, my dear, as much as you and I would like it to be… this is not real. This is a fantasy you indulge yourself in, whenever you please. If you keep doing this, you will make yourself quite sick indeed, woman.

My grip is almost strong enough to bruise. With a small, short-lived smirk, I move closer towards you. The proximity between us is rather comforting. I can feel the warmth of her flesh radiating out. I can feel my breath collide with her ear and bounce back towards me steadily, as I whisper lowly, "Curiosity killed the cat."

A few seconds later, you push yourself away from me. I feel my bare, calloused fingers slide away from your soft skin. Painfully, I look at your face, seeing how your sky blue eyes, though still shining, are not as bright as they look into mine. They appear glassy, as though a waterfall is going to erupt and cascade at any given moment.

I would rather that than your demise, I realise, as you stare harder, finally understanding my message.

Never return. Save yourself.

You breathe in and out firmly before turning away, leaving us for what I hope will be the final time. There is nothing here for you anymore, dear warrior. You cannot fight a battle that cannot be won. Fight them elsewhere, where you will succeed. Cast your life into those who have hope. Bless smiles upon the faces of those who are worthy. Fill their home with your rich laughter.

Don't choke out your light in our dark abyss.

Shine on. For us.