Disclaimer: I do not own R+V.
The bump of the truck woke Tsukune Aono from his slumber. His aging rifle resting across his chest as he glanced over at the two other men travelling with him. Their war weary appearance dirtying what would've been fairly handsome faces for a couple of early 20s males. Dim brown eyes met Tsukune's bright rose red ones and a brief slew of questions were silently asked between them.
"You're that merc who's been fighting the ghouls, aren't ya?" one of the two asked. "You're the legendary hero who holds the same level of power and is immune to being converted? Am I right?"
A nervous smile spread across the 35-year-old's face. He hated answering this question, but knew that there was nothing he could do about it this time. Taking in a couple of breaths, he weighed his options for answering before deciding on one.
"Yeah, though I'm not nearly as great as the stories" he answered, playing the humble card and hoping it would at least keep the questions from digging deeper.
"Hehe, humble one aren't ya. That's quite cool" the other male spoke up, joining in on the conversation.
Tsukune felt himself relax slightly at that point. Despite how young these two were, he could tell that they'd resist digging too deeply into his past and the truth behind the stories at this point. He really hated having to lie to people, especially since most of those stories were fairly accurate.
The violent man who decimated hordes of ghouls and other youkai, the man who killed Gyokuro and Issa Shuzen, claiming their heads as prizes, the man who managed to lead two hundred thousand refugees to safety without a single casualty, that man existed and Tsukune was far from proud of it. He never wanted to be pushed that hard or that far, he actually felt like vomiting out of guilt whenever he reflected upon his exploits. They were nothing to be glorified or looked up to. Each and every one had been done as a form of justice or revenge. Realising that he was delving back into dangerous territory for himself, the man decided to strike up conversation with the other two soldiers in the truck.
"Where are you two from?" he asked, determining it was the safest conversation starter.
"We're from Vancouver" the first one answered him. "We lived there all our lives, at least until our family was taken by the vamps."
"So, you're brothers?" Tsukune questioned.
"Nah, we're cousins. Grew up together though, so being labelled as brothers isn't too far fetched" the second one answered, eliciting a smile from Tsukune.
"Well good for you. So what battle are you two returning from?"
"Currently none, we're on our way out to the French front in Paris. Though, we first need to reach the defense post in Hong Kong."
Tsukune nodded in understanding. The only remaining decent airports in the world were the ones found in Hong Kong, Moscow and, surprisingly, South Africa. Everywhere else ran the risk of being shot out of the sky or attacked before the plane could even take off.
"Well then, I wish you luck. Luck so that the two of you may return home wherever that now lies."
Smiles appeared on the other two occupants faces as conversation filled the back of the truck. Tsukune remained involved for a while, up until he saw that they had reached Shanghai. Sliding to the edge of his seat, he opened the back flap of the vehicle and prepared himself to jump out. His two travelling companions thought nothing of it as this had swiftly become standard fare when ghouls became more prone to attacking in the middle of the day. Luckily, the driver would at least slow down somewhat so that the person or persons jumping would not maim themselves before reaching the ground.
Shouldering his rifle, Tsukune took one last look at the inside of the truck before hopping from the edge. Landing gracefully on the cement ground, the male took in his surroundings before heading to find the nearest hotel. He needed desperately to find someplace to say tonight. He really didn't want to be caught out in the crisp winter air again.
Walking towards the busier area, he briefly caught sight of an almost forgotten set of dark brown hair. Twisting around, the male was dumbfounded to find a familiar female form moving through the crowds going in the opposite direction. Deciding that this was more important than finding shelter, Tsukune began to make chase.
Shoving aside any person that got in his way, he tried his hardest to catch up to the woman. Desperate to find out who she was, he continued his rough path. Catching sight of her turning off into a building, he followed suit. Bursting through the door, Tsukune found himself at the top of a stairwell. Unable to see all the way down, he let out a light growl.
This was how he ended up getting into many of the traps that he encountered and he couldn't believe that he was doing it again. Deciding that it was too late to turn back now, he took a few steps down the stairs before stopping. Sliding his hand into his jacket, he pulled out a long dagger and shifted it into a combat position. Even though he was walking into what was clearly a trap, there was no damn way that he was going to go in unprepared for it.
Silently progressing the rest of the way down, the dark haired man found himself at the start of a long hallway. Scowling at the inopportune placement, he allowed some of his youki to flow into his body. He was going to need a boost at this point. Stepping forwards quickly and silently, he made his way to the door at the end of the hall. Opening it a crack, he peered in as best he could. Scanning the room, he found nothing that would be evidently threatening. Acknowledging that this would be as good as he'd get, he pushed the door open further, dagger at the ready.
"Welcome Tsukune, we have much to discuss" the lilting feminine tone caught the man off guard.
"R...Ruby?" he questioned, taking in the nearly forgotten appearance of one of his closest friends.
"Yes" she smiled shyly at him, causing his muscles to relax and his arm to hang limply at his side, dagger dangling from his fingers.
"How...I saw you die" he gasped, tears starting in the corners of his eyes.
"Maybe you did, however I come here to request your assistance. I'm currently caught in a struggle with a being of unimaginable power, and I need your help."
Taking a calming breath, the male rubbed his eyes, clearing away the forming tears. Turning his attention to the young woman before him, his eyes met hers, his reds met her browns, and he spoke.
"Alright, I want to know what exactly you're talking about. It sounds like something that may just be right up my alley."
A smile appeared on Ruby's face as she heard that.
"Well, first I must explain to you the concept of other worlds, or dimensions if you will..."
End All Alone Well Almost
A/N: And here is the conclusion to All Alone Well Almost. This epilogue hopefully provided a hinting of what Ruby's up to as much as the previous chapter provided an insight into what the other characters will be doing. Also, I just had to introduce another Tsukune into this collection I'm starting. As I see it, I can write an almost infinite number of AU fics as different events in Tsukune's life (much of which I can come up with myself seeing as their is no real backstory for him aside from a few references to him and his cousin and their misadventures) can lead to different outcomes for him in the long run. Anyways, now that this story has officially reached its conclusion, I'm going to take a break from Tsukune x Kokoa fics for a bit to work on a few other things (most notably a Tsukune x Ruby...there needs to be more of that too, and a Mass Effect fic using my version of Commander Shepard as well as an original story for a school project...Suicide Circus, a dark supernatural mystery). So, until I post again,