Blood+ New Beginnings (Chapter 1)

In the beginning there was nothing. It comforted her with its familiarity, warming her body for the first time in decades.

Suddenly she became aware of the nothingness, of the darkness surrounding her body. Her fingers tore against the flesh of her cocoon, long strips of wrapping tangling themselves around her thin wrists. This action caused a conflicting sensation to rise up in her, she felt the pain she was inflicting upon her casing as if it were apart of her own body; inspiring within her a drive to escape, and her pace quickened.

She felt the light before she saw it, if you can even call what happened seeing. Pain flashed through her. Gasping, her bloodied hands pushed past the resistance in front of her. She was falling. She closed her eyes tighter, body tensing for the inevitable landing. Which…did not come.

Something had stopped her from falling. That same something was now turning her onto her back, and brushing the hair from her face.

"Saya" A whisper.

The sound of breaking flesh drew her attention instantly. Like a nursing baby she thrusted her head towards the sound, willing the object of her fixation closer. A moment later something touched her lips--lightly at first, then with more force as its shape changed. She felt something deliciously hot flow into her mouth; everything stopped.

Pushing her hand against a wooden gate, lying on the grass surrounded by her song, Haji's child form pressing against her dress, the taste of the medicine, her father's birthday, no...Diva. Years passing, fogged memories of a burning village and the feel of steel against her fingers, the joy she felt as they fell around her, the emptiness after. Her new father, her new brothers, her friends, and…Haji. The Red Shield. Diva.

The rest of her memories came flooding back with the taste of his blood. The things around her tightened as she came to realize they were her chevalier's arms--about the same time that she realized that against her lips were Haji's, and that though she had already swallowed the blood he had passed to her, he had not yet pulled away.

That's right. She thought. Haji told me...he wanted me to live. He... But her train of thought was interrupted by the memory of Amshel; her sword thrust through his crystallizing form with Haji, the building collapsing on top of them. She remembered screaming out his name, clutching the infant form of one of Diva and Riku's children.

She opened her eyes, ignoring the pain this caused her and pushed Haji away. They were both sitting upright now, him staring at her, a bandaged hand still partially supporting her naked form. Her hair fell wildly in tangles around her.

"Haji, you...you're alive..."

Glowing red eyes widened further as she confirmed this for herself. Haji looked just as she remembered him. He was dressed timelessly, in that he fit in no where and everywhere at the same time--white silk shirt unbuttoned until it met his long black coat that connected in a darkened stripe down his center. his hair fell in a messy, but not unattractive way around his face. His usual blue hair ribbon was conspicuously absent, an observation that was soon forgotten as her eyes met his for the first time in three decades.

I will not show Haji my tears. Never again. Never...

A single tear betrayed her resolve, tracing the subtle curve of her cheek before falling onto the grass below her. She turned away quickly and quietly, a flurry of emotions rushing through her.

"Saya, please don't cry..."

Haji brought his human hand up to wipe what remained of the tear from her cheek, letting his fingers linger after tucking a lock of her long black hair behind her ear.

She looked up at him as the unbelievable happened. Haji smiled.

It was not a big smile, for it would certainly go unnoticed by anyone less familiar with his manner. But Saya saw it clearly, and it struck her so deeply that her previously clouded mind was wiped blank, soundless words falling from her lips.

She let her actions speak for her instead, leaning forward to wrap her pale arms around the man across from her and hugging him with all of her strength.

"Saya..." Haji remained motionless for a moment, unsure of what was expected of him. But he had waited so long to embrace Saya like this, long enough that he had begun to doubt her feelings in the matter...he had confessed to her after near two centuries of silence. But she...had not said the same.

No. The situation did not allow for such things. And...

Stopping, he sighed internally as he realized his mind seemed to have the same issues as his speech when it came to expression. But he had broken the barrier on that night, for Saya.

For Saya. He thought. We kissed. Truly, and for no other reason then to be close to each other.

I trust Saya.

He pulled her closer now, returning the hug gently but passionately, being careful about the position of his chiropteran arm.

They stayed like that for hours, comfortable in each other's arms until Saya became aware of the chill of the evening wind against her bare skin.

"Ha-'

"Saya--"

They both stopped, having interrupted each other.

Reluctantly, Saya spoke.

"We should go."

Her voice was clear and strong, assuring them both that she would be more than able to walk on her own.

The situation then became how to get up....modestly. Blushing fiercely at the realization of her clothesless situation, Saya unwrapped her arms from Haji, pressing them to her chest.

"Ah. Ummm." Her blush deepened as she began looking anywhere and everywhere that wasn't Haji, causing her to miss the subtly amused expression that crossed his face. Having been aware of their situation for quite some time, and having prepared for it, Haji turned to his right to grab a maroon nightgown and a blanket from atop his cello case. Handing it to her casually, he then busied himself with some moss hidden amongst the grass--his back to Saya's dressing form.

A moment later he heard Saya rise and steady herself. Following her lead he too rose to his feet, gracefully lifting his case before turning to look at Saya.

"Welcome back, Saya." Haji said simply, the rustling of autumn leaves around them adding emphasis to his words.

Saya smiled genuinely as she looked out to the open fields of the country. Was her future also this full of opportunity?

Ah.

Her expression slipped. Wait.

"Haji, what happened to Diva's children? Are they still with Kai? Is Kai....Is everyone still alright? Julia? David?" She spoke with urgency now, her sentences blurring together. Haji responded by first resting a single human finger on her lips, meant to calm more than to quite.

Knowing his response would take more words than usual, he took a quiet breath.

"To your first and second question, yes. Your nieces remain with Kai." He paused, and Saya saw his face lighten slightly.

"Even if they do not always wish it." He paused again before continuing, "To the rest, you have no need to worry. Much has happened during your slumber, Saya, but I think it would be best, as always, if you were to see and learn for yourself."

Saya nodded once, then again as she turned towards the darkening eastern horizon.

"I want to meet my nieces."