My rabbit king
By Princess Thil Galel
I DO NOT OWN
Tales of my fears
Danica spun on the ball of her foot and sank low into a bow, as the crowd roared and the music ended she walked off the mat to the kitchen. With a sigh she lifted her long hair off her sweating neck and tossed it over her shoulder, she grabbed a glass on the drying rack and poured herself some grape juice as she leaned back against the counter "I tell you Naomi," she said to the blue cat as she filled and passed out trays to the waitresses "It gets so hot down here, I'm surprised we haven't all fried in this heat." The cat purred with a chuckle "I know what you mean, its been unusually hot inside lately." she said "I wonder if Death Slinger is going-"
Both women turned to see the speaker, it was Yorihiko's pack brother Katsuhiko, a green mixed breed dog with one eye, because of an injury he received in a fight long ago his upper lip was stuck in a permanent snarl that could scare even the bravest of souls. Danica jumped slightly when he glared at her like a piece of meat on the table "Y-yes?" she stammered "Can I help you with something, sir?"
"Death Slinger wants you to serve him and his associate in a meeting this afternoon." he growled, leaning closer he grabbed Danica's vest and jerked her forward "And if you're late, even by a minute, I'll tear you apart-I don't care who's woman you are, the little bunny isn't going to save your hide from me sweetheart." Danica couldn't move, fear paralyzed her as she gazed at the dog's single eye, the pupil's dilation and the sour smell of his breath on her face spoke of the drug he'd most likely been using only minutes ago. He shook her "Well, do you understand me?" he snarled, when she tried to pull away Katsuhiko's hand came up and backhanded her across the face.
She cried out in pain and gasped when he slung her down to her knees to grab a fist full of her hair, Danica grabbed at his hand but couldn't get a grip as he jerked her head back "I said 'did you hear me'?" he yelled "Answer me when I'm talking to you, you stupid broad!"
"Get your hands off my Mom!"
Danica's eyes widened with surprise and horror when Kazuma came out of nowhere and leaped onto the dog's back, his arm immediately formed a choke hold around Katsuhiko's neck, the big dog gagged as he released her hair to grab the boy's arm and attempt to pry him loose. But Kazuma wouldn't relent, years of fighting for his life on the unforgiving streets taught him how to fight someone bigger than yourself and how to hold on like your life depended on it, and in this case it did. The life of his mother had been threatened, this man was his enemy and he wasn't about to let go until either the dog passed out from lack of oxygen or he tore Kazuma's arm off.
Katsuhiko's eye buldged as his lulling tongue started to turn blue, when he gasped but no air came he panicked, he slammed his back against the wall to knock Kazuma off, he gasped at the pain of having his still healing back banged against a stone wall but didn't let go, instead he tightened his grip and leaned back to shift the dog off balance. Katsuhiko stumbled, wheezing as he pulled frantically at Kazuma's arm, when he managed to loosen him slightly he bit down on the boy's arm, Kazuma screamed in agony. The dog snatched him over his shoulder, he raised his fist to strike and slammed him in the stomach, "Kazuma!" Danica felt nothing, she was numb with rage as she pulled a dagger free from it's hiding place in her top and lunged at the dog with a screech of motherly fury.
She crashed into him, knocking the dazed, oxygen deprived dog to the floor, she smashed his face against the ground and drove the blade down. The gleaming tip hung over his remaining eye "You may slap me, you may hit, you may kick me when I'm down," she hissed "But you DO NOT EVER TOUCH MY SON! If you ever come near him again I'll kill you, and as for Fritz," she smirked cruelly down at the green dog "Wait till he see's the bite mark on his son's arm, you'll see just how soft my 'bunny' is when he wipes the floor with your hide."
She stood and pulled Kazuma to his feet, with an arm wrapped around him Danica lead him out of the kitchen and down the hall to their room, the moment the door closed she rounded on him "What were you thinking, he was going to kill you!" she yelled, then sank to her knees as she crushed him firmly against her "Don't you ever, ever, do that again." she sobbed "I couldn't bear it if something happened to you honey, you're my little boy, your not allowed to get hurt. You hear me?" Kazuma wrapped his good arm around his mother as she cried quietly on his shoulder "I'm not that little." was all he managed to say, then something else occurred to him "Hey Mom, why do you always call me 'honey'?"
Wiping her eyes on the back over her hand with a sniff she smiled at him "Because, your sweet and you've got a heart of gold." she said "And what is honey?" he blinked "Uh...sweet and gold?" She tapped his nose gently "Exactly." she replied "Let's go have a look at that arm of your's, okay?"
As he followed her to the bathroom he asked "Can we not use the alcohol?"
Kazma was released from his guard duties for the afternoon, when he had asked why Wabisuke's only reply was 'I have guest coming.' the rabbit shook his head, there was just no understanding a crazy person. As he passed one of the tables occupied by the dog pack they were laughing at the one-eyed dog with green fur, the oldest in the group, a dalmatian, cackled "I still can't believe you got beaten up by a child and then scolded at knife-point by his mother!" he laughed till he could barely breathe "That's the most embarrassing thing I've ever heard!"
He slowed his pace as he passed to listen, the green dog, who was clearly nursing a headache, growled "Shut up!" he snapped. Yorihiko snorted "That's what you get for using drugs, they're bad for your health, and in cases like your's, your pride." he glanced up and saw Kazma. He nodded a greeting then nudged the dog next to him, every head turned to stare at him with worried eyes, the only one who didn't was the green dog.
Kazma stepped up to the table and leaned on his hand beside the dog, another dog tapped him with an elbow to get his attention "What?" he snapped, then nearly chocked when he realized who he was speaking to "Oh, I uh...M-my apologies, sir, I didn't know-"
"Save it," Kazma cut in "I'm not here for your babbling." He leaned closer to the dog's ugly, scarred mug "Now tell if these ears of mine somehow misheard you boys over here, but did someone just happen to mention you messing with a kid and their mother?" his nose was barely an inch from the dog's now as he spoke in a low, threatening voice that made each canine shudder with natural fright "You better hope to God that I heard wrong, because the only kid in this place is mine, and if I find so much as a scratch on him or my wife, I'll rip you limb from limb!" He straightened with a friendly smile "I hope we understand each other, Katsuhiko right?" he said, with a wave over his shoulder Kazma continued on his way "That goes for all of you boys. Nice talking with ya'."
The room was dark when Kazma entered, the only sourse of light came from the computer sitting on Kazuma's lap and only the sound of his fingertips tapping rapidly at the keys could be heard, his eyes never left the screen as Kazma stood beside him. The rabbit spotted the bandage around his right forearm "You okay kid?" he asked, when the boy replied he seemed to only be half aware someone was even there "I'm fine," he said "Stop talking to me, I'm trying to concentrate."
Kazma blinked at the rude statement but let it slide, knowing the boy didn't mean for it to offend him "Well where's your mother?"
"Bathroom." he clipped out.
Kazma glanced at the bathroom door then flick on the bed side lamp "Don't sit in the dark with that thing," he said before heading into the bathroom to search for his wife.
He found her soaking silently in the tub, pearly bubbles hid her from the neck down as he sat down beside her, his fingers trailed along an arm resting on the rim of the tub and smiled as she turned to him. He cupped her cheek gently "Darling," he said "Are you alright? Were you hurt?" when she shook her head he sighed in relief, but paused when he saw something in her eyes that gripped at his heart like icy claws. What he saw, was fear.
"What troubles you, my darling?" he asked "What's happened?"
"Wabisuke, he wants me to serve him and one of his friends this evening, alone."
Kazma grit his teeth "I don't like the way that devil look's at you." he growled.
"Nor do I." she replied, turning onto her side Danica rested her chin on her forearm on the edge of the tub "But it will be over soon. Soon there'll be no Death Slingers or Wabisukes to bother us again, it'll be just us. You, me, Kazuma, your mother and grandfather, and even your baby sister soon enough." Something strange filled her voice as she continued to speak "Everything will be fine," her murmured "We'll be safe again, everything will be like before." Kazma softly kissed her forehead "Darling, please don't." he said, but she didn't seem to hear him.
"But it won't be like is was, nothing will. I'm afraid in the one place I'd always felt safe, I can't stop seeing that dog's face in our room-he still haunts me!" she cried "It isn't that I doubt you, or Kazuma, or even myself. But my fears, my terrors, my horrors-no matter how deep the shadows are that I place them in, they keep coming back in my nightmares!"
"What nightmares?" he asked "Please don't hide from me."
She drew a trembling breath "I see him again, Riichi, in our room. But as I look down at his feet, it's not me laying dead on the floor, it's you!" she said "When I look back at him I no longer see him, I see myself holding the knife. The other me raises her the blade to her throat and as she starts slicing her own neck she yells at me, saying that it's all my fault that you're dead. That if I had been brave enough to jump, brave enough to cut myself, brave enough to hold my head under long after I was out of breath, you would still be alive.
"When I wake up in a cold sweat and see you beside me I fear it's all come true, I look to see if your throat is still whole, I rest my head on your chest just to feel you breathe, and hold my breath between each beat of your heart because I'm afraid that the next one won't come." She looked at him with pleading eyes "Kazma, my love, I'm scared." The words, so simple and almost child-like, made his chest ache "My darling," he began "There's no reason to fear-"
"Yes there is!" she said loudly, she'd turned to face him fully, glaring at him with tears that refused to fall "Every night I fear will be our last, how can you tell me not to be afraid?" The tears slipped free at last "It's like it's happening all over again Kazma, I'm losing everything I love because I'm not strong enough to protect you." she cried softly, Kazma fisted a hand in her hair as he pulled tightly into his embrace "Do you think you are the only one who has seen such nightmares?" he asked, his voice barely a whisper "Every night, for days now, I have that dream about the day we first met. But it's different, and it scares me, each time I have it it seems more real and I wake in a cold sweat."
He slowly recounted the terror stalking his dreams "It stars after the MMA tournament, I don't see how it ends but I know it's over. I look up at the sky, the clouds are gathering as they begin turning dark with rain, I decide to take a different trail back home-even though I'd never been down the path or know just exactly where it leads and knowing I won't make it back before the storm hits. I take it anyway. As the rain comes in sheets I pull up my hood, I can see the fork in the road that'll take me straight home, but again I go the other way-almost as if something is leading me, quite literally, down the path of Fate. That's when I come to the cliff, I don't look up at first, instead I stare at the sight of white feathers littering the puddles on the ground and when I finally look up, my heart seems to stop. I see you standing on the edge, ready to jump like before, but something's different in the dream. You're looking up instead of down, arms reaching out to a light hidden in the clouds, screaming something I can't understand. Then I see them, your family, waiting in the clouds behind a gate of pearls, calling you to come home. You had wings in my dreams, but they're horribly broken, twisted and limp even as you try to lift them to fly.
"Down below, where the river should be, are these ugly, terrifying creatures screaming at you to jump, to come with them and let them take the pain away. That's when you start to move towards the edge, I scream at you to stop, telling you you'll never make it to the gate with those wings. But you're desperate, when you won't listen to me I somehow put myself between you at the cliff and fall to my knees begging. Begging you not to go, pleading I can't live without you, without my angel. But you push me aside like I was only a wisp of smoke, and as you try again to jump I grab you and pull you back. Then I threaten to jump after you, saying I'd rather die with you than let you throw your live away. You starting cry, saying you can't live alone anymore, that it's just too painful. So, I pull you into my arms, holding on for dear life itself, and I say 'Then I'll be your wings, I'll carry you home when the time is right.' then, I wake up."
He pulled back just enough to see her eyes "I'm never sure when I come back from that dream that I managed to keep you here, I'm afraid I failed you-that I will fail you." he said "That is what I fear, not being there for you when you need me." Danica wiped her eyes, blinking away the remaining tears "You'll never fail me Fritz," she said "I know you won't." He smiled softly and kissed her forehead before straightening "Guess I'll let you finish," he said "Just be careful tonight, okay?"
She gave him a pleasant smile that made butterflies spring to life in his stomach "I'm always careful." she said.