Title| Running from Silence
Fandom| Vampire Knight
From her seat at the window the Lady Pureblood watched the downy rain clouds start to gather over the house, casting darkness over the land and swallowing up the moon. For a moment, she thought she was back in Japan, in the house she grew up in.
So many memories filled her mind.
And none of them were too pleasant.
Juuri set her pen down on her desk and her back became erect, searching for any signs of her old life that always seemed to find their way back to her. Anything could trigger these memories to her mind, but there was always that one thing that took her back and made her feel like she was reliving it all over again.
A scent, a sound, a word.
Juuri gaze fell on the picture that hung on the wall above her desk. Gazing back at her was the pretty face of a little girl with unruly brown hair and a soft white dress that resembled the one she was now wearing.
Just the fact that things changed always use to alarm her, but now all she wanted for the entire world to turn around and see the error of their ways. Looking back at the picture Juuri noticed the finer details. The girl was surrounded by her family. Two young parents and two older brothers...
And they looked like a family right out of a catalog: fake.
Although it was unlikely, the little girl in the picture haunted her, terrified her and made her wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, screaming. She reminded her so much, too much, of the perfect Kuran daughter that never did anything she wanted, because she was just so good.
Her parent's love, she found as she grew older, was conditional.
As long as they got what they wanted, they were happy and everyone liked them happy.
Father with his stubborn out-looks on life, so high and mighty and always playing favorites. Mother with her need to perfect every flaw in the family except her marriage, which was ruined long before Juuri was born. Rido with his schemes; making Juuri cry with his never ending teasing and chastising about how she was going to be his wife someday and she'd better grow up. Haruka with his calm exterior; trying to see the good things in eternal life, but was always downgraded by his family because he was even born and if he slipped up once, he'd die a slow and painful death—as promised by father.
Tears started to sting in her eyes at the thoughts of Haruka and Rido.
Whether she wanted to or not she remembered her childhood.
Five years old.
When everything was supposed to be so innocent. When she was supposed to learn and play and be a child.
Juuri and Haruka were in the backyard. It was late spring, as Juuri remembered, and the heat of summer was starting to set in. Moon flowers bloomed and the air was thick with the smells of the forest.
It was Haruka that Juuri always played with. He was the fun one and was only two years older, and Rido who was eleven.
Juuri could only smile, picking up her skirt as she kicked off her shoes and began to run through the gardens laughing. Haruka chased after her, her shoes in hand, also laughing.
Then Juuri tripped and landed in the dirt.
"Well, look at you now." Tipping her head up, she saw her elder brother looking down at her like she was no more than a servant.
Maids had it easier, Juuri had thought. Rido ignores them.
"You run around screaming like a banshee and you dive into the mud—so uncivilized." Rido tsked and helped his sister to her feet. Smoothing her hair and brushing dirt of her dress; trying, hopelessly, to perfect her.
"Oh, shut it Rido!" Haruka said, quickly defensive. "You tripped her! I saw it!" Rido's gaze shifted to his younger brother and Haruka froze.
"Do not accuse me." Rido said slowly, eyes dark. "And know your place, Har-ru-ka, or I shall have to teach it to you." Breaking down the syllables of Haruka's name sent a chill down Juuri's spine, but being as naive at the time, as she was, she turned her anger on her brother. Her cheeks flushed red and refusing the tears that welled in her eyes.
"You tripped me!? Why!?" Rido rolled his eyes and then glared down at his sister fiercely.
"You shouldn't be running around like that anyway. What if someone saw you?"
"I'm playing." Juuri defended.
"When you are a Pureblood, my dearest Juuri, no one cares if you are a child. You have to know who you are and what is expected of you. And you are expected to—" Rido was cut off by Haruka's pleading voice.
"Rido, stop, she's only five-years-old." Haruka's hand outstretched like he was going to touch him, but didn't. Rido ignored him and looked Juuri in the eye.
His were a cold mix of cobalt blue and bloody red.
"And you are expected to become my wife."
With that one haunting sentence everything in her universe shifted in the silence. Her parents: their lack of love and struggle to keep everything together flashed before her.
She didn't want that.
Tears started to well in her eyes.
Not here! Not here! Don't cry in front of him! With her options limited Juuri turned and ran as fast as her legs could carry her.
No one followed.
At the Midsummer's Ball that year, her engagement to Rido was announced to the world.
Her mother had caught her running to her room the day Rido told her and yanked her into her private room to knock some 'sense' into her. And at the party she would smile, wear her pretty pink kimono, and look at Rido with the adoration that she learned from watching her parents.
The ballroom was all in gold, the large chandelier that created the golden hue acted as the sun.
Juuri would learn that the sun was much warmer, much brighter because when she turned fifteen she started leaving the house in the middle of the day when everyone was sleeping. Enjoying the sunlight and dancing in the brightened fields close to their home.
She told no one about this.
But for now, the six-year-old only faked her smile and danced with her fiancé.
The silence that gathered up before the announcement was still buzzing in her ears, but she was trying her best to keep up with the tempo of the music, lips trembling as she pasted on her smile. Trying not to embarrass Rido in front of this large crowd, for he would promise another 'accident' later if she did.
The year Juuri turned seventeen she met who she knew to be the man of her dreams.
He was tall, strong with long blonde hair, and a distinct jaw line, and soft brown eyes—swoon worthy and boarding, she loved him the moment they met. He needed to learn to laugh more and she needed to learn her guard. She snuck out of her house and he skipped class and they met in the town between the two kingdoms miles from each other and spent their days together.
Kaien was everything she ever wanted, and he was a vampire hunter.
Silence in the moment he told her what he was and that he knew what she was had been unbearable. The sunlight was dying over his shoulder, painting the sky a macabre shade of red like the blood she could see running through his thin, thin veins. His face was a mask and he wore it like an armor that protected him—protected him from her. His laughter that she hung there were null. Her kisses that she planted on his mouth were gone.
Will he kill me? Will he not? She felt a shivery thrill of patience overtake her; her eyes filling with tears and her blood singing in anticipation for a fight. She would hurt him if she attacked, she knew she would.
She didn't want to hurt him.
Kaien dropped the gun and pulled her to him and kissed her—bloody lips and all.
Juuri was eighteen when the law that enforced her betrothal to Rido started to pin her down.
She snuck past the guards and went to see Kaien often, but she never felt like she spent enough time with him. He graduated and got an apartment in the town where they met and she started leaving the house earlier and staying with him well into the day, sleeping in his bed with him, staying for the long weekends when he didn't have work or missions. They talked idly once about running away somewhere, just the two of them, but that conversation was driven by the dizziness of alcohol at a Christmas party for two.
And Juuri feared he'd never bring it up again, but often wished they never had that conversation at all. It was too tempting; it would be too easy for her to leave—but not hard for her ghosts to catch up.
Things were bad at home.
Her mother was dead.
Haruka was as distant as his name told.
Rido was planning something.
Her father stormed into her room a few days later. Juuri looked up from her homework. She was about to yell at him for entering her room without knocking, but something about the way he looked at her scared her. She got to her feet on instinct and he lunged at her.
"Ouji-san—" He grabbed her by the arms, shaking her.
"Where were you this morning?!" He roared.
"I was in my—"
"Liar!" He howled and Juuri cringed and his grip tightened on her arm. "You're just like your mother! Nothing satisfies you! You were out with that human, weren't you!? Weren't you!?"
Stop yelling at me. Just stop.
Her father's eyes turn red, angered by her silence—Juuri's world changed again—and the back of his hand made contact with her face with enough force to break her jaw.
What happened next would shake her for the rest of her life.
Rido's hand stabbed through their father's chest and ripped his still beating heart out. Blood sprayed across the carpet, the wall, her face, and her dress. The smell of her father's powerful blood filled the air and, a guilty hunger spiked in her stomach. Her eyes flickered red as the blood rolled from her cheeks and into her mouth, mingling with her tears.
Haruka's arms wrapped around her as his attempts to calm her were wasted.
"This was necessary." Rido said, his eyes darted to Haruka. "Get her out of here. Now."
Once they were out of that room and in the foyer, Juuri was wailing like a newborn, sitting in the dirty corner of the room covering her red face and taking great heaving breaths.
She'd never been allowed to cry like this. There was a great harrowing effect of watching someone shove their hand through another's chest. The look in Rido's eyes, his ease in the kill—"I'm going to be sick." She covered her mouth.
"Juuri…" Haruka was kneeling beside her, cooing and his hands pressing into her face and hair, and trying to get her attention. "What were you two arguing about?"
Arguing. That took two people.
Juuri hadn't said anything.
Attacked. That takes one person.
Wrenching herself free from her brother's grip and she ran out of the house and didn't come back until Haruka arrived on Kaien's doorstep and refused to leave until she came with him. All for the better, she learned that she had been out of the house so long. Rido had taken the fall for their father's murder and after a few disgruntled days, decided to lay low in Europe for a few years.
Twenty-year-old Juuri faced the crowd of vampires as a hush swept over them like someone had stolen their voices. She imagined greedy hands with long fingers reaching into their mouths and taking them. The hands looked familiar because they were always stained with blood when they took something from her, like her father.
Silence was the thing that terrified her the most like the moments in her life when things changed, were always laced with silence.
The more noise the less change. She assumed one day.
She wanted no more change then.
Change petrified her.
But when things scared Juuri, she tended to run.
Looking over her shoulder she saw the cause of silence: Rido With his dangerous reputation and the rumors cloaking his steps, every vampire here feared him. And Rido wanted everyone to fear him, he wanted to take over the world and crown himself king. He wanted to prove to every person worthy enough that he was powerful and everything in life was his for the taking.
"Onii-sama," she greeted him cordially, but her expression illustrated none of the warmth.
She had not seen him since her father's murder, but she remembers his promise to marry her when he came back. With a smile that could make a nun sin and all the grander of a king, he presented her a large ruby worth more than the house she grew up in.
She accepted, she kissed him, she danced, she drank. She excused herself for a moment and taking a few deep breaths, she calmed herself enough to unlock the latch on the restroom window.
Dark clouds shook the grassy field and Juuri cursed up at the sky daring the lightening to strike her down.
She wanted to be gone. To be released from all this…blood!
Of course, the lightening hit the ground miles away from where she lay.
And she yelled louder.
The world just hated her.
Breathing heavily from the tantrum, the Kuran princess fell back on the hillside as the rain poured down on her.
She welcomed the cold it brought.
Her brown hair tangled with twigs and leaves.
Her dress muddy and ripped.
Nothing new to her though.
A bright, brilliant light that could be mistaken for sunlight, to most vampires, lights up the entire sky and a loud BOOM echoes with it.
Juuri closes her eyes and enjoys the sounds around her.
"What the hell goes on in that house of yours?" Looking up she saw her dear lover, standing in the rain not five feet away; soaked to the bone with is long hair stuck to the nape of his neck and his trench coat clinging to his legs.
"Kaien," Juuri sat up and was about to stand, but Kaien was faster. Dropping to both of his knees and wrapped his arms around her, getting muddy himself but again not even seeming to care.
He loved her.
He told her that many times, but it was with actions like these that proved his powerful words.
To love a vampire is to live in sin.
She kissed him.
She noticed how the hunter became stiff at the sound of his name. He had met Rido once, at an Association meeting. Rido had heard someone call his name and had been watching him all day. Somehow, and Juuri suspected that he always knew, Rido knew that she had been seeing a man named Kaien.
When he finally got close enough to him, he commented on how he was the infamous Kaien and if he weren't in the hunter's building, he'd be dead where he stood. Or worse, his servant.
"What did he do?" Kaien asked.
There was a moment of silence and Juuri feared for what he'd say next.
Please don't change! Don't leave me!
"Kaien," her hands cupped his face and the rain seemed to beat harder. "I love you, more than anything."
"But," Kaien interrupted and Juuri froze. "We'll have to leave."
The old conversation they had years ago came back to her and Juuri smiled.
Kaien and her caught a train and disappear into the night, never to be seen again by their family or friends.
The years that followed were filled with love and laughter.
And slowly, Juuri started to see the good things in silence.
The moments before they woke up in the morning and he'd be watching her so quietly; the moment before he proposed to her and the tense silence when he pulled the box from his pocket; the moment she told him she was pregnant and the silence before he shouted, excited.
Haruka showed up in the market one day while they were shopping.
"Everyone thinks you're dead." His eyes wandered to Kaien, whom she was standing in front of. Understanding flashes in Haruka's eyes and he looked so hurt, but there was something dormant in his eyes. Darkness, like Rido's but not nearly as strong. Juuri took a step in front of her husband, six months pregnant and teeth snarling.
"Onii-san, I don't want to, but I will kill you if I have too."
Haruka seemed to snap from his revere and his eyes settled on Juuri, on her full belly, and they grew sadder. His lips pulled into a deeper frown, as he reached for her and she drew away.
"Forgive me," He murmured. "I was just upset . . . I never got my chance." He bowed to her, to both of them then, in the full market place. His eyes never once met hers. "Take care."
Juuri rubbed her hands over her arms, trying to create warmth that wouldn't come.
Memories were such troublesome things.
The slightest of details of her everyday life could trigger them.
"Mama?" A small voice called and Juuri turned in her chair to see her young daughter half-asleep in her father's arms.
The half-Pureblood was rubbing her sleepy red eyes and clinging to her old stuffed bear for dear life. Her blonde-brown hair was tousled and sticking to the sides of her face with her chilly tears.
"Ha, Yuuki had another nightmare. I gave her some warm milk and she's ready for bed, but she wanted to say goodnight to you again." Her husband laughed a little and Yuuki smacked him with her bear. He gapped at her, aghast at how hard she hit, and her perfect aim. "Hey! Yuuki we don't hit."
"Papa's being mean…" She said groggily.
"Kaien." Juuri scolded softly, standing from her chair and gliding over to scoop up her child.
A small conversation between mother and daughter picked up and Kaien looked over his wife's shoulder to see the black-and-white picture of Yuuki and her two brothers was cracked.
not my best, but fun, eh?
For some reason I wanted to play on Juuri's character and how she met Kaien and silence and jeez, what was I trying to do?