The Kurosakis -
A family whose motto was "to protect". Back then, they were a part of a wider organization. Their ancestors were witnesses to the wars of domination between the demons who wanted a place in this world and the men who did not allow them to. Back then, their ancestors harbored a vampire heir. Now, they still do. The boy have become a great part of their lives. But because of the sins they have committed towards him, their family separated from the Alliance. But now it seemed, the calling was strong. The need to fight was inevitable.
It's only a matter of time... Isshin thought grimly while staring blankly at the dishes he was washing.
It was only when Karin suddenly shouted behind him that he went back to his senses. "Jeez old man! Pay attention to what you're doing will ya?"
"Oh Karin-chan! It was supposed to be Ichigo's turn to wash the dishes you know. Why does daddy have to do all the chores?" He faked the cry.
"Because Ichi-nii is not here!" Karin answered.
Yuzu asked from the stairs. "Karin-chan, have you seen my red jacket?"
Karin was sitting on the chair watching television. They were supposed to go to the hospital to visit Rukia. They've heard the news and everyone was worried about her condition. But because of her slowpoke of a father and Yuzu missing things, she almost dozed off to sleep at the sofa. "I think I saw it hung at the cabinet," she yelled.
And then they heard a thud upstairs. They knew their brother was back home.
"Why doesn't he use the door?" asked Karin to no one in particular.
"You better check on him, Karin," responded Isshin as he continued to wash the last of the dirty dishes.
Karin went upstairs to his room. She knocked twice. "Ichi-nii?"
There was no answer. She tried to open the knob but the door was locked. "Dad, it's locked!"
"Ichigooooo!" yelled Isshin from downstairs. "Is something wrong? Weren't you with Rukia-chan?"
"She's fine," he answered faintly. Though he wasn't sure of that. But she should be, right?
Karin tried to open the door again, this time though it was already unlocked. Ichigo was on his bed laying sideways and facing the wall as if trying to hide himself. "Ichi-nii?" she approached him though he was wary of her presence. He was afraid she'd be afraid of him when she saw the side of him he couldn't quite contain. Nevertheless, the whole family accepted him. It took a few explanations on his and his father's side to the sisters but they accepted him the way he is. And he was very thankful for that.
Karin peeked at him when she reached the side of his bed. "Ichi-nii's hungry!" She immediately discerned.
"What?" yelled Isshin from below.
"Oni-chan hasn't been eating properly..." Yuzu suddenly popped into the room.
"Dammit... you guys are so loud. The neighbors will hear us!" complained Ichigo.
Isshin's voice became louder than ever. "So what would you like son? A rat? A rabbit? A cat? Or... would you rather have my blood?" he teased.
"DAD! WHAT THE HELL?" he bursted.
"Oni-chan can have my blood too," said Yuzu which just made Ichigo bury his head on his hands.
Never in his life will he ever drink his family's blood. He couldn't even think of hurting them. He will be broken if ever that happens. His family is everything to him. He appreciates all their effort for him but no. Not them. Never.
"I'm sorry son. I always seem to forget you're not an ordinary boy," said Isshin lowly, cleaning his hands with a towel. "Now get up! We're going to visit Rukia-chan. And also get you the blood packs from Unohana." He said, knowing Ichigo could hear him even if he whispered it.
The Lifeblood Doctrine
Rukia was already wide awake when she came to the hospital. Astonishingly, she was healing fast. Even Unohana commended on how fast she was healing. Her wounds had almost closed. But still, the massive blood loss made her feel weak and dizzy. She was face-down on the bed, the upper part of her back exposed for the doctor to treat and clean.
There was a basin on the table with lukewarm water. But it had almost colored to red. The doctor then threw the water and replaced it with clean one, which she proceeded to use with a new towel as well and damped it on the remaining blood stains on her back.
"You should rest," she said once she noticed she was already awake.
"Mhm..." Rukia closed her eyes but all she could see was red. A glowing pair of red eyes in the darkness. His eyes. She opened her eyes again just to get rid of that imagery. She wouldn't deny, she somehow feels traumatized.
Unohana noticed the slight shook of her body. "You've been through such an ordeal... You are safe now..." she said reassuringly. By then she have already counted the total times she was bitten. The bites were deep but weren't fatal. There was no artery damage either. Her body was recovering fine. She had a few bruises. On her cheek was a purplish spot - the result of Hichigo slapping her when she stabbed his throat, and on her ankle was etched the man's painful grab. On her back were a few cuts and bites she was already tending to. Her physical state was okay now but she worried about her psychological state. How traumatized could she be?
Rukia wasn't in any mood to talk as she tried to recall everything that have happened. The bar. The phone. The slap. The library. The elevator. The dream. The glowing light. The shard. She was suddenly alarmed, "Where is the shard?" she suddenly got up and asked, which took Unohana by surprise.
Rukia remembered holding it in her hand. It was the only reminder that everything that happened was not a dream. She opened her right hand which she had not noticed had always been closed, and found the white shard.
"What is it?" asked the doctor in confusion. What was so important with it that even as she lost consciousness she wouldn't let it go?
"It's... ahh..." she immediately felt dizzy and layed back on the bed to rest.
"Do you want water?" Unohana asked.
"No. I'm not thirsty."
Unohana proceeded to clean her back. There were patches of dried blood that were really hard to wipe clean. "Your brother..." she said lowly. "Your brother never wanted this for you."
At the mention of her brother, Rukia listened intently. It has been days since he was presumed dead - killed at an aircrash. She still silently mourns him. She can see that Unohana also do.
"He sent you far away to protect you. He had always cared for you," she continued, smiling tenderly. She was one of the very few trusted friends of Byakuya. She knew a lot of his well kept secrets. "He did that only with best intentions at heart. Even there, he made sure you were safe."
"I shouldn't have come back..." she whispered in regret. Maybe... things would have been better.
"Do not for once regret what has happened," Unohana smiled, "I believe, these things happen for a reason. He will eventually come back from his business trip, and the criminals would still have found a way to pursue him."
"Pursue him?" She noticed. The reports only said that it was an air crash. But Unohana said it like Byakuya was the target. "Do you think the crash was planned to kill Nii-sama?"
Unohana nodded. "There are a lot of people who set their eyes on your family, Kuchiki." She looked away from her and only focused on cleaning her back with a cotton.
"Is it because...?" Rukia thought maybe because of the Alliance. Of the relics and antiques, of the stoned vampires hidden in the secret room.
"Wealth and power." And something more. "Business competitors, criminals..." And more...
"Isn't my brother part of the Alliance?"
"Then... I want to assume his position," she told her seriously which took Unohana by surprise. They were waiting for her to be ready, but it seemed she have already made her decision. Nevertheless, there were a few things she needed to reconsider, before she must become a part of the Alliance.
"There are some things I cannot tell you... some things you should know before you make the decision... I nor anyone here is not in any position to tell you. I know you are on our side and will always be, but Byakuya tried his best to keep you away from this."
What is this secret they cannot say...? Rukia wondered but Unohana already made it clear that she cannot speak of it. It only meant she had to find it out herself. But could it be something related to...
"Lucia..." she asked, "Would you know anything about someone called Lucia?"
"Hmm..." Unohana crossed her arms and thought deeply. "I never knew anyone with the name Lucia."
Rukia sighed. I probably hallucinated.
"But... I know one... from the legends."
"Do you know the story of how it all began? The Demon? And the Woman?"
"Yes... I've read from a book."
"That woman's name is Lucia. I remember when my grandmother told me that story." Unohana looked serene, remembering the old days with her grandmother. "She was blessed with power from the Heavens, a warrior sent to save and destroy the evil demon that have plagued and conquered the land. My grandma said she wields a white sword, and only it could slay that demon. But she suffered a tragic fate through his hands."
Rukia didn't want to hear about that tragic fate. From what she have read from the book, well, it was a torture. She instead inquired, "A white sword...?"
"Sode no Shirayuki if I remember correctly."
"That girl... Lucia... Does she have family ties? Descendants?" she wondered what was her connection to her. The white sword Sode No Shirayuki, was it the sword she held just a few hours ago? How does she see her memories and thoughts in her dreams? She was still in disbelief though if the vampires were real, the stories about their origin might have some truth in it as well.
"I think so," Unohana answered. "I think I am looking at one right now."
Rukia was suddenly alarmed. "U-nohana-dono?"
Unohana laughed. "Ah... I spilled." She did it on purpose. It was true she said she have no right to say some things, but she could at least give some hints. Uncovering those things would lead to some things that Byakuya kept secret from her. Some things she have every right to know.
Was it what she said? Or subtly implied? She was a descendant of Lucia? But how? Didn't the woman and the demon conceive a vampire? She was human. She couldn't be a descendant unless there was some sort of magic that made her human. And there was no such magic that ever existed. "How is it...?" she asked, boggled, puzzled, unsure of a lot of things. Then what about the whole Kuchiki clan? Was it a part of her bloodline?
Feeling guilty after seeing such confusion on her face, Unohana quickly said, "Lucia's family, they did not perish. They still fought for her." It was enough explanation then that it could have been Lucia's family bloodlines. So the Kuchiki clan was an extension of their bloodlines? Still... everything was a blur.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door and it opened with Shunsui and Ukitake peeking inside.
Unohana had frowned, "Oh my... Did I not tell you to wait?"
"Eh... we were just wondering what's taking so long," Shunsui answered.
"Hey Kuchiki! Hope you're feeling fine now," waved Ukitake.
Rukia weakly smiled at them. Unohana then said to her, "You should rest now. I will just talk to them for awhile..." She took basins with blood stained cottons and towels and left the room.
"What are the things you didn't tell me, Nii-sama...?" She said to the memory of her brother in her mind. There were so many questions he left unanswered. She blankly stared into the ground, all the while burying her face on the white pillow by her head as she grunted at the puzzles in her head.
Outside Rukia's ward, the remaining members of the Alliance have waited.
Unohana had a discussion with Ukitake and Shunsui about what they talked about. "She was asking questions... Besides, Byakuya cannot keep it secret forever."
"She said she wants to assume Byakuya's position."
"Is that so?"
"Then, she should definitely know..." Ukitake said.
"Aren't we going to wait for Byakuya?" Shunsui asked.
"He went M.I.A. (Missing In Action). How sure are we that he will be coming back?"
Ukitake then said, "We have contacted Urahara the last time and he was investigating the crash. He was so sure Byakuya was not in there."
"I'm very sure he won't be killed that easily too," said Shunsui to which the other two agreed with a nod. "But... we cannot tell that to Rukia yet... at least without proof..."
"Okay," the other two agreed. It was better that way. They have no confirmation of Byakuya's whereabouts as of now. He could have escaped, could have lived, could have been captured or could have died elsewhere. It was better to not give hope if they were unsure they would crush it in the end.
"Alright, let's do it. As the private investigator, I'm going to prepare the papers." Shunsui sighed. If Byakuya comes back, he might kill him.
Unohana frowned. So much for keeping the truth and their mouth shut. Well, at least, let the papers speak for themselves.
By then, Ichigo had already quenched his thirst. He was at the blood bank with Isshin. His sisters were outside the room and not allowed to come in. They were too young to see blood afterall. Isshin had already hoarded some blood packs put in an icebox container and of course, preserved by the ice. He then left Ichigo on his own to feed. He wouldn't feed when someone's watching. It would be embarrassing.
The blood on the pack, it was nowhere as delicious nor as satisfying as hers. Perhaps because it was preserved? Nah... Nevertheless, it was enough to sate his hunger. He finished one pack and left the room.
On his way to the ward though, he bumped into a tall man with maroon colored spikey hair.
"Watch it!" He said, scowling and moody. He continued to walk further, not meeting with the person he bumped into.
Ashido followed him with a glare. Yes, he have heard that Rukia was hospitalized and was there to visit her but never had he thought he'd meet him here. "Assei..." In angry tone, he muttered the name he had not spoken of for so long.
When Ichigo arrived at the room, Isshin was already away - talking privately with Unohana, Shunsui and Ukitake. Renji was outside, so was Ishida sitting by the benches.
"Your sisters are already inside," Renji told him.
"How is she?"
"Go see for yourself." Renji was surprisingly understanding and calm today.
Ichigo opened the door and gently closed it after seeing his sisters who have fallen asleep by the couch. Yuzu was resting on Karin's shoulder. And still, Karin wore her baseball cap. Rukia, on the bed, was already wearing the hospital's temporary clothes and was lying facing the opposite side.
He sat at the chair at her bed's side. "Rukia, are you awake?"
"No I'm not," she answered.
He only chuckled at how stupid the question was and the answer that followed. "Are you scared...?" He asked out of the blue.
With the question, Rukia turned from her bed, sat and faced him. "Of what?" She questioned but she could already guess his concern. He was afraid that whenever she would see him, she would be reminded of his awful brother. Because they both looked alike. Funny that, before he was trying to scare the shit out of her, now, he was getting scared of her getting scared of him.
Ichigo saw a bruise on her right cheek. Instinctively, the back of his right hand found its way on her cheek, gently touching - as if caressing and magically trying to touch the pain away. "Does it hurt?" he asked, his face expressing seriousness and concern.
Rukia noticed this and his touch was warm and gentle - unlike the horrible person she encountered just a few hours ago. Hichigo's hands were calloused, rough, cold and reeks of the blood of the innocents he have killed. They were the total opposite of each other, like how magnets on opposite directions would repel each other. Their difference travels beyond the north and the south, the black and the white, the good and the bad - infinitely allowing her to differentiate them. Ichigo was like the sun, warm, kind and gentle. Hichigo was the very definition of dead cold. They may share the same skin, the same hair colour, the same height whatsoever but she will never see Ichigo like his brother. He will never be like him.
"Ichigo..." she caught his hand, more out of embarrassment because of the tingling sensation it caused. "Enough with the long face." When Ichigo was seriously concerned, he seemed to make silly faces and ask too many stupid questions.
Truth be told, Ichigo was showing a long face. He was guilty of his weakness that allowed Hichigo to escape. Guilty of being a failure. But what was more important was that she lived. And he swore Hichigo won't get his way again.
"The next time... I'll be ready too," declared Rukia. She will prepare. She won't allow Hichigo to play with her again. Now she have this power, she will use it and cleanse this world of someone like him.
Afternoon - 5:30 PM...
Rukia was discharged from the hospital. No, she was not discharged but rather, the others insisted that she not stay in such a public area. All of her wounds were cleaned and on the process of healing, she needed only to recover the loss of too much blood. She asked Ukitake to let her stay in his place. Ukitake actually owned a dojo where Kaien became a master of martial arts. Several children and teenagers signed up for lessons. Even Tatsuki was a student of that Dojo. But the Dojo and Ukitake's house was not linked so it was safe to crash at his place.
Although advised to rest, Rukia had gotten up and walked around the house. It was like any ordinary house - except it was bigger. It was an extension of the dojo. Well, if the students needed to rest, the living room of Ukitake's house was big enough to house a dozen - made of tatami and filled with soft cushions. He also made sure he could provide a place for those who want to stay overnight. He was indeed very accommodating. Being a teacher at Karakura High and owning a dojo, he was also wealthy although he didn't look like it. There was even a garden surrounding the vicinities.
On top of Ukitake's master list was Sentaro and Kiyone. They have been teaching at the dojo for years, although it was hard to imagine both of them working together without the competition. The two would have their students face off each other to see which of them was a better teacher. Though most of those times of course, Kaien was there to beat their crap.
Rukia walked around the place - there were a lot of people other than Kiyone, Sentaro and Ukitake himself. It was quite lively. He even have chefs and maids sleeping in his own house. She went to the living room where Sentaro and Kiyone were merrily playing cards with their other students.
Kiyone had laughed mockingly. "I won! Face it! You suck!" She dropped to show the cards to Sentaro and it just made his eyes twitch. Then, Sentaro as the loser, have to drink one cup of -
"What the hell is that?" Rukia asked suddenly in view of the yellowish liquid.
"Piss!" Kiyone giggled and tried to contain her laughter by covering her mouth.
Rukia's jaw dropped. Sentaro had drunk the liquid in one gulp before slamming the cup at the table and saying while hiccuping, "Yeah! *hic* You go piss my *hic* ass!" to Kiyone. He then looked at Rukia, "Kuchiki! Hi thar! *hic*"
From the effects and from his state, it seemed to be beer.
"Ah! Rukia! Aren't you supposed to be *hic* resting?" Kiyone asked, the effects of alcohol was slight on her though.
"I was looking for Ukitake-dono."
"Oh... OOOhhhh... Yukita who?" Sentaro laughed, hiccuped and suddenly passed out at the table.
Rukia had sweat dropped.
Kiyone then poked at Sentaro's head. And when he didn't react, she diverted her attention back to Rukia. "Ah, sorry! You know this is the usual here. If you are looking for Ukitake-sama, he is probably at his office. You know, even if he is sickly, he goes to his office to work on something!"
"Okay Kiyone. Thanks!"
Kiyone went back to harassing the knocked down Sentaro. Rukia left to Ukitake's office.
Ukitake was sitting on a cushion at his office. Well, it was like his second bed room minus the bed itself. Still, like every other room, the floor was made of tatami. His interior design on the house was old Japanese style. There was a katana display panel just by the side and shelves full of books both ancient and new. His table was square and low, just enough to hide the feet under when he'd sit on the cushions.
On indian sitting position, he stared seriously at the man before him. There were hot teas served for them both and the aroma just filled the room.
Ashido have already said his concerns and was awaiting reply from the elderly.
Ukitake sighed. "You know, these matters, we can do nothing about it."
"I know. I am merely shocked when I saw him. They really look alike."
"The same as how Rukia looked like her, doesn't it?" Ukitake smirked.
Ashido then remembered the first time he saw Rukia. It was at the Kuchiki mansion. She was only twelve years old back then but the resemblance to Lucia was undeniable. He was actually there at the mansion because Byakuya had a favor to ask.
"Kano," said Byakuya's icy voice. "Rukia cannot stay here any longer."
"You are the head of the clan now, so why?"
"It is exactly the reason why she must leave. I have already signed the testament. She will be the next leader. I had no other option."
"Keep her away from here. As her brother, I ask you to protect her at the times I may not be at her side."
Ashido nodded. "Yeah."
Rukia believed their meeting at Paris was coincidence. An act of fate. But in truth, it was planned. Byakuya had no intention of dying before his 30 years tenure as the head of the clan was done. He thought he could still think in thirty years the actions he will have to take. Writing her name on the testament was a safety line for her just in case he was unable to escape death. And with that delicate position, she must be protected at all cost. Knowing Ashido's connection to her, he entrusted the task to him. No other people knew that the will has already been made that day.
"They may look alike, but I'm sure their fates will be different," Ukitake said with confidence.
Ashido smiled with uncertainty. "I'd hate to see that again."
"You won't." Ukitake reassured.
Ashido took a sip on the already long forgotten tea cup. "I will look for Byakuya myself. I have a rendezvous point with Urahara. That man is shady but highly reliable."
"Do say hi to him for me."
Ashido nodded. "I entrust Rukia to you."
"You know, Kuchiki doesn't need babysitting. And I'm sure deep inside, she already knows."
Ashido just smiled.
And then there was a knock on the door. It was Ashido who opened it.
"Ashido...?" Rukia asked. She had not expected him to be here. She actually didn't know that Ashido was also part of the Alliance. Well, the part that he also lived in Karakura long before was something he told. His relations however - his family and friends - he had never talked about.
"Rukia..." He gave her a warm smile. "Shouldn't you be resting?"
"I am feeling fine now."
"I'm sorry. If I had been there earlier, you shouldn't have been attacked."
"It's okay," she thought, If you had been there, you might have gotten hurt as well... Still boggled with the reason he was there, she asked, "What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to see if you are well. You said so yourself that you are fine. So I'm leaving." He started walking away waving his hands for goodbye.
"Hah...? You just came and now you're leaving?"
"I'll see you again, Rukia." He stopped, turned, smiled tenderly and said, "Take care."
"Wh-What kind of a visit was that!" she asked herself fuming, looking at the back of the retreating figure. Really? Was that it? No catch-up stories? No questions? Not even a day's reunion?
"Kuchiki," called Ukitake from the inside of his office. "You want to talk to me?"
Rukia entered the room and sat at the cushion Ashido just sat on a few minutes ago. "Yes."
"Do not be mad at Ashido. He doesn't ask because he already knows."
Rukia blinked. "You mean he's..."
"A part of us, yes."
"Ah... He never told me."
"Because you weren't supposed to know," he grinned. Well, she was already a part of it, so no point hiding Ashido's involvement. Still, he could see the confusion in her eyes - the hurt of not knowing some secrets. But she knew and understood the reasons. It was grilled down to her by Unohana.
"So, what brings you here?"
"I just... wanted to say thank you for letting me stay here. And... I have a request."
"No worries. You can stay as long as you like. And what would that request be?"
Rukia immediately got on her knees and bowed. "Please train me."
On the same day and somewhere down the darkened street...
The defeated vampire staggered as he moved almost limply to hide in the shadows. Where he landed though, was the front porch of a solitary house. The sun was almost setting... It was already four in the morning. Still too dark for people to actually see and scream at his bloody state. Why did he sit there? Well, he was resting and actually waiting for a foolish prey to come out of their abode. Not quite a plan but it did work for him.
Something suddenly clicked and the light on the porch illuminated his presence.
The door just a few feet away from him sprang open. "Hello mister... " the lady said, still not opening the door fully.
Hichigo kept himself together. If she was still inside that house, there would be nothing he could do. "I... need... help..." he acted.
"Are you okay...?" she was quite scared of his throat-deep voice.
"Oh my God, you're bleeding!" she saw his hands cut open and blood was gushing out of it but still, he wouldn't turn to show his face.
Thinking that the person was an innocent victim of a crime, she hurriedly took a first aid kit and some hand towel from their house. All of her family members were still probably asleep. She just got back from work too.
She hurriedly went outside of the house and dropped the things she brought beside him. He got his head bowed down, and his orange locks were covering his eyes.
"Please wait. I'm calling the police."
"No need." He swiftly said, snickered and suddenly appeared in front of her, blocking the entrance door.
What she saw had her almost screaming. This was no man. He was no victim. The way his eyes gleamed red, with sharp fangs and mouth stained by somebody else's blood. She gasped and could have almost screamed when he said, "Shut the fuck up."
With the command, she shut her mouth tightly. "Stupid human," he insulted. The lady was shaking in fear.
He took a step forward and sat at the edge of the stairs on the porch. He won't deny, he was tired. "Come."
The woman, so captivated by his eyes that she could only hear and obey his commands, came and knelt in front of him, ready to grant his wishes. At this state, she had no consciousness. She was only blinded by the eyes that ensnared her human will.
Hichigo's lack of blood was taking a toll on him. He needed to consume to heal and regain strength so that his body will recover from the wounds inflicted by that woman. The wounds made by her white sword only incapacitated his power to regenerate temporarily. Though that was some power most vampires will be fearful of. If they got hit and dessicated even before they could regenerate again, then it was something to reckon. Their vampire blood ultimately recovers their cells and tissues to a regenerating state. The loss of the numbness of his hands indicated his body was back to normal.
He commanded, "Come closer."
She came closer to him, eyes hazed and staring into the wall of her own house. With his bloody hands already functioning properly, he grabbed her shoulder and pulled her closer while his other hand grabbed the top of her hair to tilt her head sideways. He then said, "Enjoy this." And then he sunk his impatient fangs at her neck.
She was a stupid human. Stupid enough to come out of her safety zone to help a stranger. Still, he thought he'd spare her the pain for being that stupid. So he commanded her to enjoy.
Hungry and needing, he sucked her blood without mercy. With eyes closed, he could only turn back time. Light. Purple eyes. White. Soft lips. Sweet smile. His grip on the poor lady's back tightened, earning a moan from her. And he imagined it was her. Her voice. Her pale smooth skin. Her jet black hair. Her scent - so intoxicating. Her blood although it wasn't the least bit same. The beautiful sound of her moans and whimpers. He imagined it was her saying in soft sweet voice, seductive and alluring, "Don't stop... Please suck me dry..." when he stopped for a second, instinctively trying to separate reality from the dream.
Gladly. He responded in his mind, indulging himself into the thought of the sweetness of her addictive blood.
However, reality dawned into him when the woman dropped and laid lifeless on the ground. And he was disappointed. Why couldn't this girl be her? Why couldn't she succumb to his powers just like her? Why couldn't he dominate and control her?
"Worthless." He muttered to the body laying before him. She was weak that she easily died...
He gritted his teeth in anger. Why did it seem like he had a hangover over her blood? The others did not even seem to satisfy his taste buds now. With hands already healed, he gripped the wooden support of the stairs next to him and crushed it in an instant. She plagued his mind like a sickness while his body craved and longed. He believed he was bewitched.
And she will pay the price!
Now it's made me sick
And I'm not denying
That I get this way
When I try to get over you
I hate myself
Will I ever get over you
~ Sometimes It Hurts by Stabbing Westward
A/N: This is supposed to be longer! But I cut a chunk of it (probably 1/4 of the contents I originally intended for this chapter) to put on the next chap. 'Cuz it's already long as it is! *dies* And sorry, nothing much happening here. Just some explanations and revelations. :| The bigger revelation is actually at the chunk I cut. xD
If there are some things unclear, do tell. ;)
To Reviewers: Thanks for reviewing the previous chap! :D