Cursed Constellations

Well, it came out a little later than I expected. I'm taking the week off before Spring Break so all my homework got pushed back into one was a little stressful. It's shorter than the last chapter, but I really like this one. I'll be leaving for two weeks going to Florida so there's a pretty good chance you won't get an update from me until I come back, but hopefully I'll have plenty of time to work on writing while I'm sitting on a balcony breathing in the ocean air (: Can't wait!

To Kill the King

Rock couldn't believe it when he first heard the news. He felt like a deer in the headlights. He couldn't believe it. At last…he'd finally found her. She was in his reach. Would she even want to see him? Kaikou did terrible things to her, that he was sure of. Why else would she leave?

Many times, he had gone over in his head what it would be like to see her again. What he would even say…all he could really do was apologize. Apologize for falling in love with her and having Kaikou know that. He was so foolish. Why did he even confess to Kaikou in the first place? Why didn't he foresee the tragedy that would follow? Rock has talked about this with many people, his mother being one of the more frequent ones. 'Because you were in love,' she would say. She'd tell him one doesn't necessarily think everything through when they're in love. There's no question of what would happen if they did this, or if he said that. There is only the truth. He was a man very much in love.

His mother always said that Kaoru was a lucky woman, and that he, a lucky man. That they were meant to be together. Rock wasn't so sure anymore. Look at what his love has done…and now he has to face her, again.

Maia didn't say much, only the room number she was in. He cared not that Kaikou was in the hospital, though that came up. If Kaikou dropped dead, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. All he cared about was his angel…

He was outside the door, not knowing what would be in store for him on the other side…but he had to find out.

As he opened the door, he saw something he didn't expect. On the bed lay Kaoru…his beloved…and sitting next to her…was someone equally special to him. How did she know about this?

"Mother?" He was shocked.

"Hello, Iwato." There were only two people in the world that called him Iwato. Loosely translated, it means Rock, and he preferred that over his birth given name. However, Kaoru and his mother tended to take a liking for it. Rock didn't care for it much but, when they said it…it didn't sound so bad. "Maia told me you would be coming."

"You sound as if you wished I hadn't," he said, slightly confused.

His mother sighed. "I didn't want you to see her…not like this."

"How did you know she was here?" he said, almost accusingly. The idea that his mother had been here for Kaoru and not him this whole time made him slightly agitated.

"When they found her, they found my name under her emergency contact information in her files."

"She put you down as an emergency contact?"

"As if she'd put her own mother's?" she almost scoffed.

Rock didn't respond. It was true. Kaoru treated Hina as her own mother, since her family had abandoned her. Hina had always loved Rock, in fact, a little too much. She used to be one of those parents who tied their kid to a leash to make sure she knew where he was at all times. Being a member of the curse, Rock could see how it probably made her feel a little more at ease, only Rock's mother was extremely protective. It's one of the reasons he moved into Eizo's house. He loved his mother…but she drove him crazy.

Although, he had it much better than Kaoru did. Her mother very nearly denied her existence and her parents were constantly fighting. It was Kaoru's fault, so they say, that they were so unhappy. That she ruined their lives. Out of punishment, her father used to purposefully hug her, making her go through the pain of her transformation.

Rock hated her father.

Making her way towards her bed, he knelt beside her. Her eyes were closed and she was connected to many devices, none of which Rock knew about. His mother would. She was a nurse at this very hospital, actually, but currently, she was dressed casually which meant she was visiting Kaoru on her day off.

On the table next to her were violets and Rock sighed very silently. "You remember her favourite flower?" His mother only nodded. Rock brushed some hair away from her face and kissed her forehead, squeezing her hand, slightly, hoping that she'd wake up. He didn't really want to know what it was…but he figured he would find out before he left.

"Kaoru…kay-kay, baby…are you awake?" A tear fell down his face as he grabbed her hand with both of his, turning it into a fist, and kissed it. "I've been looking everywhere for you…please wake up."

Hina was silent, staring at the pair of them.

"What happened, mom? What's wrong with her?" He looked towards his mother who seemed fairly reluctant to give the answer. "What happened to her, mother!?"

With a reluctant sigh, she closed her eyes, painfully. "She's in a coma."

Rock pursed his lips together, turning towards Kaoru again. "For how long?"

"A while." He was silent. "The doctors say she will be fine…she just needs a bit of time."

"He did this to her, didn't he?" Rock said, angrily. He near about groaned in anger at himself. "I should never have left. I should've known. I should've stayed with her, I should've taken her with me! God dam nit, why am I such an idiot…"

"Don't blame yourself, Iwato. He would've done it to her by any means necessary. She will be fine, and I'm sure she does not blame you."

"I'm gonna kill him," he said, gritting his teeth.

"Calm down—"

"I won't!" More tears began to shed as he stared at his love and gritted his together, so very frustrated. "He'll pay for what he did to you, Kaoru…I promise." With that, Rock stormed his way out of the room.

On his way out, he nearly knocked over a girl with long, black hair who was about to head into the room. He gave her a hard glance and made his leave, leaving the girl wide-eyed and slightly terrified.

"Was that him?" she asked Hina, who only nodded.

There was a blonde man sitting on a stool at a bar. The bar was dirty and everyone seemed to know each other by name. A local bar in which the same people came to quite frequently. There was one person, however, who just entered the building that no one seemed to know. When he entered, nearly everyone looked at him as the customer scanned the room, finding what he was looking for.

The male made his way towards the blonde man at the counter holding a cigarette. The blonde didn't turn or make any inclination that he knew who had just sat down. He simply puffed the smoke out of his mouth, asking the bartender for another beer, and smiled.

"Now, I figure you got a story to tell, if you came all the way down here," he said. The blonde looked in his mid-twenties and looked only slightly Japanese. His blonde hair stood out from all the dark brunettes in the room, but no one ever tried to tell him that.

"I found Kaoru." The blonde looked at him in the corner of his eye and began to drink his beer that had just been placed before him. The man seemed slightly shocked, though still maintaining his nonchalant attitude. He said not a word, giving a silent look at Rock, gesturing him to continue.

"Kaikou was hospitalized—"

"I'm sure Maia and Eizo made their way up there, lickety-split like good little slaves, didn't they?"

Rock rolled his eyes, ordering a soda. "Give 'em a break, Zane. You know their story well enough, don't you?"

"I do," he said. "That don't mean they're not his royal boot lickers."

Rock ignored him. "Well…Kaoru was at that same hospital." Zane looked at him, slightly interested. "She's in a coma."

Zane smirked. "No surprises there." Rock said not a word as he drank a sip from his soda staring at the counter. "And what of my idea?"

Rock's face was emotionless and the both of them were silent as they processed these words. There was an idea that had come up a while ago, these were Zane's dark times, before Rock had fallen, really. He was reluctant back then. So much was at stake. Kaoru. His mother. It's not as if that's changed, really, but things were certainly different. He might actually be up to it this time.

The door to the bar opened but neither of them looked back to see who it was. There was some chatter amongst the men as a beautiful girl with long, black hair made their way to the counter and sat down two seats away from Zane, ordering a beer. She seemed to fit right in as far as being the rebellious-type. Rock only glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, thinking she was familiar for some reason, but brushed the thought aside. Zane didn't even notice her.

"Don't waste my time, Rock, I know why you've come here." Rock was silent and Zane only shook his head, chuckling slightly. "You're still a little pansy shit, aren't you? You can't even do this for the woman you love? For christ's sake, it's not like you're Maia or Eizo. What reason do you have to plunder by his feet?"

"Ryuu hasn't accepted your offer, either, Zane! It's near lunacy!"

"Ryuu would never betray Maia, Rock. You know that's why. But at least Ryuu has the notion to. He'd die to do this. Hell, he's jealous!"

"I came here to tell you I can do it, Zane," he interjected, furiously. "It's never been a question, can't you see that? You're my best friend…we came up with this together—"

"Yeah, until you chickened out—"

"She disappeared, Zane! I wasn't about to do anything drastic before I at least knew she was safe."

"If she's in a coma, she's still not safe, you know that."

"It doesn't matter…he's going to pay for what he did to her."

This made Zane smile and he drank another sip of his beer, grinning as he did so. "Now, that's what I like to hear."

"You're insane, you know that?" Rock chuckled.

"Don't I," Zane smirked, darkly. "I've been told that nearly every time I see one of you people."

Rock only shook his head. Zane had left the estate a long time ago, due to a disagreement with the God. Well, it wasn't so much of a disagreement as it was a personal attack. Kaikou was relentless when it came to his anger…but Zane was, really, the only one he ever feared. The only reason Kaikou lets him live so far away, and keep his distance so frequently, is because he's secretly terrified of him.

"Once he's gone, we'll get our lives back, Rock," he said, getting excited. "We'll be free to be who we wanna be…love who we wanna love. No rules. No more hiding."

A frown showed up on Rock's face and Zane knew what he was going to say. He didn't want to hear it. "She won't remember you, Zane."

"You don't think I know that?!" he near about screamed, accidentally pushing his beer onto the ground, glass spilling everywhere. Zane put his elbows on the table and buried his face into his hands. "I just can't go through that again…not again."

Rock was silent as he watched Zane torture himself. All of the zodiac had been through hell, quite frankly, except for a small few. However, Zane's life was personally threatened by Kaikou. Kaikou made it very clear in showing Zane who was in charge. Who held control over his life. It wasn't Zane, that was for sure. Kaikou may be terrified of Zane…but he sure loves controlling him. It's a different control than Maia. Zane won't do everything Kaikou says, but he is manipulated in every other way. Of all the people in the Zodiac, Zane had committed the worst crime in Kaikou's eyes, and for that…he must be punished.

"He's going to pay for what he's done, Rock…to all of us. I'm not saying I give a shit about anyone in this family…but he's destroying all of our lives. Look at Jin and Yuka. Ryuu and Maia…I heard what he did to Chiyo…"

Rock bit his lip, avoiding eye contact. For a while, Maia and Chiyo stayed with Zane. He got pretty attached to that little girl…was devastated when he found out what Kaikou had done. "You should've visited her."

Zane only laughed. "Kaikou wouldn't have let me within fifty feet of that place. Doesn't trust me."

"Can you blame him?" Rock asked.

"No," he said honestly. "Whatever he's thinking I would have done…I probably would'a done it. Can't believe he put her in that place…a little girl. There's a reason they're not putting Gei in it until he's of age. A cage like that…he'll go mad."

"Have you heard from him lately?" Rock asked. Zane shook his head. He was about to ask another question when they were interrupted.

The girl that had been sitting two seats away from Zane stood and up and walked towards the both of them. They hadn't noticed her, until she addressed them directly.

"Are you Eto Rock?" she asked.

Both Zane and Rock turned to look towards her, in alarm. Who was she and how the hell did she know his name?

"What's it to you?" Zane interjected, answering for him.

The girl only smirked, shaking her head a bit.

"We have a mutual interest," she said. "My name is Sohma Isuzu…and I want my God dead, too."

AH! A lot of exciting stuff. You learn a little more about Kaoru as well as a new character is introduced! Zane! He's my second favorite. Also, I don't know if you caught it, but the name to the serpent of the Zodiac was mentioned, as well. And RIN IS HERE! WOOHOO!

Thanks, again, to my reviewers for the previous chapter: BlackWolfe and The Almighty Pyro. I really appreciate how long you two have stuck with this story! And Wolfe, they don't actually transform when kissing. Ryuu got too close and hugged her. By the by, it probably won't be revealed who she chooses till the end, and I do tend to be unpredictable :P

19 more reviews till I reach my 100! And still 4 more favs until 50. So close!

In the next chapter, Momiji will make a significant appearance and I'll also be continuing the Zane/Rock/Rin conversation. More on their plot! This plot to 'kill the Gods' will continue almost through the rest of the story so, I hope you like it!

Until next time!