A/N: Gomen, it has been a while, ne? I am not too proud of this chapter actually. *sigh* I haven't written anything for a long time so I'm a bit rusty. But still, I want to write something without over-thinking things too much.
Disclaimer: Too many. I'm guilty. Don't sue.
Un-beta-ed, darlings. *cringe*
The Twincestic Twins Follies: (Night) Class Trip Part 3
Ichiru is all aware that Zero is giving him the cold treatment. Nothing unusual about that because Zero, being Zero; is naturally distant and not much of a talker.
Maybe he should have not conspired with Kuran Kaname and Ichijo Takuma in riling up Zero. He was not sure why he liked to tease his twin do much, as far as to ending up kissing him; that was wrong but he knew he would anyways. Alright, that was the night before and now; Ichiru is getting bored staying at the resort. Like Zero, he is getting tired of babysitting vampires too.
That reminds him of the present; the teenage vampires voted for the ultimate cliché affair; the must-have 'test of courage' over a karaoke competition- they wanted fresh air, they say. Ichijou Takuma stepped up to organize the event, instructing the vampire boys and girls to pair up for a walk in the woods in a quest to retrieve five tokens placed in different secluded spots. It is the perfect chance for teens to get to know each other and perhaps open a window to romance. Ichiru and Zero watched the whole pairing-up process in silence. The girls were given the chance to 'propose' to their intended partners- how unoriginal. They are vampires; even ghosts should be scared of them.
However, as the princesses approaches their knights, prancing, pouting, wooing juvenile males; Ichiru did not miss the way Zero's eyes hardened witnessing Kuran Yuuki blush pink as Kuran Kaname kissed her hand in acceptance to be her partner. That was to be expected but still, Zero's reaction is inevitable. The younger twin tried to console his brother by expressing how hard it will be for them to not to break out in a murderous rampage, having to bear the company of one of those hormonal female vampires who are staring at them unabashed with their puppy-dog eyes, mustering courage to approach them. Fortunately, as the unspoken rule goes, the Kiryu twins, being school prefects, hunters to be precise; partaking in the Night Class's activity is not compulsory- they were there to observe.
Gradually, couples were formed; Souen Ruka stomped off moodily because Yuuki zoned in to Kaname before she did, the ginger-haired Kain trailed wordlessly after her, Aidou Hanabusa decided not to let any of his admirers down and ended up with a dozen females competing for his company, the unperturbed Touya Rima and Senri Shiki checked their pocky supplies before they quietly leave to accomplish their missions.
Ichiru glanced at the remainder of the Night Class, Ichijou Takuma the coordinator of the event, a few unwanted boys and not surprisingly, the no-nonsense Seiren who stared indifferently at them before adverting her gaze elsewhere. Ichiru sneered, asking Zero if they should give Takuma who was psyching the disappointed, leftovers to channel their dissatisfaction by acting as the scare-rs. Ichiru suggested to Zero that they could also give a hand in by playing the role of a two-headed monster, use it as an opportunity to assassinate Kuran Kaname and imprison Kuran Yuuki in a tower for eternity. Zero pretended to be impressed before he sarcastically praised Ichiru for his cunningness.
Zero let out a tired sigh, citing that they should leave matters to Takuma and unwind by going on a walk- just the two of them. Ichiru teased Zero, faking a surprised gasp, saying with that invitation; Zero has agreed to be the girl.
"I would; if I could," Zero mouthed incredulously, squinting his eyes.
"I knew it," Ichiru smiled, knowing there was no truth in Zero's acerbic response; he reached out encircle his arm around Zero's.
"Pervert," Zero hissed, swatted his hand away as punishment and Ichiru quietly suffered. He loves his brother, in his own way, whatever it is- he smiled.
Zero was obviously still angry at him for humiliating him the night before. It is definitely better than double-crossing Zero again, right? Kissing a sibling is no different than the usual display of affection. Being twins just means they can do a little bit more.
Zero never resisted his brotherly display of affection so far.
Should he take it to a deeper level?
It should be easy. They shared enough blood, a lineage, an inseparable bond, being born a pair to physically dominate him if he wanted to. That would forever tie Zero to him- irrevocably. That kind of bond was not his preferred option, but he would keep the possibility open in case Zero runs out of reasons to go on. And again Ichiru smiled at the decision that should have been alarming.
Ah, it also sounded like a hell lot of headaches since Zero could easily dominate him too. This time he cringed.
"Hmph, snap out of your little reverie, Ichiru. Are you coming?" Zero's voice shook his pout of his thoughts.
"Are we participating in the game?"
"No, but you can throw away any tokens that we come across,"
"And sabotage the Night Class couples' chances of winning?" Ichiru grinned. "I'm in."
"You would do anything for mischief, huh?"
"Can you blame me? I need amusement from time to time," said Ichiru.
They walked in silence. For the past fifteen minutes, Zero had chosen to go on a rocky path; obviously out of the way from the Night Class students- Ichiru realised belatedly.
Although it was dark, it is exhilarating to escape mundane duties for a few days to walk on cliff tops above thundering waves-Zero said he heard about the trail from the staffs at the ryokan. Wild and rough, with a feel like no other – trudging on weathered limestone cliffs, watching the dark, monstrous waves crash onto encrusted reef.
That was what he had thought half an hour ago. Presently, the labour of ascending the slopes, fixing his feet firmly as he climbed higher and higher up the rocky contours was getting the better of him, making him perplexed by the random thoughts of how he should go on if he wants to keep up with his brother. Where are they heading off to? The direction they are taking does not seem to lead them anywhere? Zero is quiet by nature but not this quiet. The solemnity of his brother and the uncertainty of their destination worry him. The resoluteness in Zero's step leading him is almost like they are not going to turn back ever again.
"Hey, Zero... Is this your idea of a walk? You are still mad at me are you?"
Zero stopped in his tracks to regard him, his silvery hair whipped around wildly in the cold wind. The look on Zero's face is unreadable; equally cold like the wind, pale in the glowing moonlight. "I am," said Zero.
"Is this your idea of punishment then?" Ichiru kept his voice low but Zero heard him because the elder twin smirked.
"Feel free to turn back, Ichiru. You don't need to accompany me," said Zero as he resumed his trek.
Ichiru was about to head to the ryokan but his instincts made him change his mind. Zero's tone was neutral but Ichiru's mind strayed since he knew Zero was still upset with him. What if something happen? What if Zero encounters danger? What if he never gets to see Zero again? Those are wild miserable thoughts; which he never had dwelled on ever since he had come to terms that Shizuka had truly left him.
Is he prepared if Zero leaves him too?
Ichiru stared momentarily at the drifting clouds, displaced by the twisting airstream, at the star mottled night sky above, as if they were singing a dull, ugly tune- mocking him for his renewed attachment to his twin brother.
Is he prepared if Zero world-weariness consumes him?
What if he loses Zero?
What if Zero dies?
Ichiru cocked his head to one side, folding his arms in contemplation. Not if it is by his own hands, it finally dawned upon him. As much as he cherishes Zero, it is inevitable that he hates him too. The realization of that particular thought made other circumstances of existence fade like a dream; and that thought only had to Ichiru the cruel reality of life. If he could not inspire love, he will cause pain. He should work at their destruction, not stopping until the two of them are thoroughly ruined; until they both curse even the hour of their birth- a fiendish rage animated him.
Ichiru let his gaze trail after Zero's lonely back; contemplating his next move. He watched his brother get further and further away, escaping the line of his sight when Zero disappeared behind a couple of boulders- he followed.
His feet brought Ichiru to a stop at the edge of a dramatic cliff. Below, giant swells explode across the bay, blanketed by ominous salt spray.
The view was breathtakingly magnificent.
Brushing his silvery hair aside, he closed his eyes and sighed. Something in him was urging him to go to his brother, immediately, as if things are bound to get out of hand of he does not.
Well, judging from the way Zero half-hearted effort to oversee the Night Class students back at the ryokan, throw in the potentially dangerous location his feet has brought him; Zero's sudden decision to ditch duties for a walk to unwind, worries him.
Is it due to fatigue? Is it boredom?
Zero is not the type to neglect his responsibilities.
Again, he looked down; one risks breaking bones on the jagged rocks.
How does it feel to soar off that precipice?
Liberated; most eventually.
Freed by the thundering waves slapping cliffs, murdering rocks waiting beneath.
However, who in right mind would want to jump off a thirty foot cliff into a sea of surging waves?
Oh, yes he might. That was the exact kind of gamble he feels Zero might take- if one day he breaks.
Ichiru's admiration of the sea shattered at that thought. He did feel kind of… lonely without Zero being around, even for that short time he had disappeared on him. Since he had spent a few years being apart from the older twin and quite liking it, this was disturbing.
"Zero, Zero… Where are you?" he hummed.
He finally saw him, standing, a pale silhouette with pale skin and silver hair, clad in his usual dark blue blazer and slacks looking off an edge, oblivious as Ichiru made his approach, icy wind clawing at his face.
The sound of stones crunching beneath his shoes alerted Zero. He turned around.
"So?" he said, giving Ichiru a faint resemblance of a wry smile.
"I rather be with you," Answered Ichiru truthfully. "So I ask you again, what are we doing out here?"
"Nothing," Zero faced the ocean once more, motioning Ichiru to step beside him.
Ichiru did, that was when he saw the black, crashing force below, impacting the jagged rocks. There must be some natural caves and grottos carved along the coastline. He wondered if Zero is up to explore those with him- in case he asks. Of course he would.
"Up to no good are you?" Ichiru jested, making sure he was standing shoulder to shoulder with his twin. "Nothing can be anything."
"What do you think I am thinking?" Zero turned to him, narrowing his wind lashed eyes.
"That you are tired, angry, weary and you are mad. At me especially," Ichiru expressed his words carefully. "And that you find this precarious ledge tempting."
Zero did not answer immediately. Instead he regarded Ichiru quietly before uttering a response Ichiru dreaded, "How right you are."
"Of course, I know you. So I am here as your eternal company," for a moment, Ichiru dared not to trust himself to question, his own words was intermixed with an ominous, foreboding of evil- it made him sick in the stomach. He was offering to make a pact he may not want to have any part in, unless Zero wants him to.
To his surprise, Zero laughed; if a low, monotonous, rumbling sound he made could be considered as a laugh- Zero never laughed.
"Death does not suit you, Ichiru."
"But it suits you?" Ichiru remained still, gazing on the sea; he felt the coldness of that large body of water. "Do you believe I would let you jump off this unfamiliar precipice into the void of the unknown, by yourself?"
"Then I would not stop you," Zero chuckled sardonically.
Images of them pummeling down, smashed by the unforgiving rocks became more distinct, a darkness pressed around him. "Do you really want us dead?" the thought suddenly angered Ichiru.
"Wanting is the least of my concern. I am, by now is hoping to quit this miserly existence," Zero's solemn tone did not reflect his despair, only his eyes were downcast, as in hoping for Ichiru to release him. "There is not even an ounce of comfort left for me to receive from this world. Not even from you because even you betray me."
Ichiru secretly enjoyed the scene, of Zero's defeat; and yet his enjoyment was tainted by slivers of the past, and the crushed anticipation of their future. Zero, with his words, has single handedly reminded him of his own insecurities.
He connected his fist with Zero's face. That sent his brother crumpling down the hard ground.
"You deserve that!" Ichiru snarled, descending onto Zero, grabbing a fistful of silver hair to yank his head back. "How dare you threaten me? You do not have the capacity to leave me, admit it!"
Blood dribbled from a cut on Zero's lips down to his chin- the metallic scent aggravated him.
"Do you think I am joking? That I have no courage to pass my life right here?" a smile slowly crept to Zero's face. He used his fingers to wipe at his small wound, studied the red for a second before smearing it on Ichiru's left cheek.
Their eyes reddened instantly.
Zero let out a mirthless chuckle as Ichiru shoved him back onto the ground, collapsing his body right next to Zero's. Ichiru could not help but echo Zero's emptiness.
"God, not this…" Ichiru fought his sudden thirst, feeling his eyes burn.
"Hah, God? Do not call out to that fraudulent entity," scoffed Zero, making no effort or whatsoever to restrain himself. With eyes also burning like embers, he licked the blood stain off his fingers.
"I wanted to call out to a certain pureblood you and I know but given your temper; that would not be such a good idea," said Ichiru, covering his eyes with an arm.
"Shizuka? Sing her names if it pleases you- I no longer care," mocked Zero.
Ichiru replied acidly, "And I am supposed to believe you?"
"Only if it pleases you,"
"Stop it, Zero."
"I am furious!" he spat. "You and your selfishness; you always find ways to unsettle me. Why do you play all those tricks on me? Why did you conspire with those vampires?"
"Gomen… I truly am sorry," Ichiru finally realized. "I should have considered your feeling."
They stayed there, lying quietly on the ground, ignoring sharp rocks prickling against their backs.
"Are you alright?" asked Zero, tired of the silence.
"No, I'm not. My eyes are still red and so are yours."
"Do you need blood?"
"That is an unfair question when you absolutely ban me for consuming nothing but those nasty blood-tablets," Ichiru groused, "you, on the other hand had experience consuming some fresh necks, including mine."
"Hell, yes I am," said Ichiru a bit too childishly.
"Need you ask?"
"Fine," sighed Zero as he sat up, reaching for his top shirt button.
Seeing that, Ichiru blinked, "What are you doing?"
"The pleasant night air, the perfect atmosphere; they make me want to settle things now," Zero murmured in a lowered voice, unbuttoning the top three in practiced ease, "and since, I do not have any plans to walk off here, why not let you have a fresh neck?"
Ichiru gulped, "You are talking crazy. I thought killing yourself has been ruled out of the equation."
"Why… On the contrary, I am letting you have me. An offer to savor to the very last drop," the expression on Zero's face was serious, "I did exactly that to you before didn't I?"
"Yes, but…" despite of his reluctance, Ichiru's thirst intensified.
"After that, either to live on or to follow suit, it all up to you," said Zero, pushing his collar aside, baring his neck.
"How can you do this to me?" he can only whisper. However, the dark, vampiric being in him was already screaming for carnage.
Zero smiled to his brother, bringing up his hands to caress Ichiru's cold cheeks, he cocked his head to one side. "You owe me Ichiru, for the pain you have caused by degrading and turning your back on me. I would have followed you that night if you have asked me to."
" Alright, I lied; I would still declare an everlasting war against that mad vampire-woman. Then again, perhaps I would have endured because I love you," the smile on Zero's face could not be more heart wrenching.
Ichiru was lost, "I am sorry, Zero. I have no idea where to begin, to ask you to forgive me. Don't do this."
"Come on, this will be my final gift, a luxury of sensation that I could only give to you. Leave no room for sadness," coaxed Zero, embracing him.
"Zero, you are not yourself," Ichiru pleaded. "Why are you doing this? You are talking weird and you are scaring me. Can't you just use your gun?" Ichiru felt a lump in his throat, he was starting to tremble.
He heard Zero chuckle.
"You are being unfair," Ichiru made sure his voice reflected his anguish.
The next thing he knew, he was on his back. Zero loomed over him, his exact replica, seeing his own eyes, his mouth, and his very own visage staring down at him. He wanted to curse at his older brother, he did not need his determination- at least not of this sort. Screaming some sense into Zero will be useless, since Zero had delivered his ultimatum; all Ichiru has to do next is decide. He doubted his ability to stay sane after he loses his brother, no doubt.
"Why must you be this cruel?" asked Ichiru just before Zero's head swoop down. He saw a flash of fang, and he froze. But he only kissed his forehead, gently. It reminded him that Zero really does treasures him.
"I want you to remember me. Say goodbye, Ichiru." his brother's voice was soft, like he had never heard it before.
He felt Zero's weight comfortable; it reminded him that his brother will be gone, that he will never feel it again.
He wanted to cry when Zero interlaced their fingers, pinning his hands high above his head.
Soon he felt lips on his eyes, he closed them. Zero left sensations on his cheeks, down his throat, his shirt buttons being ripped apart as Zero kissed and nipped to draw blood. The sensations were killing him, he was melting.
Ichiru sighed when Zero touched their lips together. His brother was kissing him, chastely.
Then he heard footsteps approaching.
His hands were released before he felt Zero roll off him.
"Ugh, stiff acting," piped an unfamiliar voice.
"He bought it though," said Zero, flatly- his usual stoic demeanour slowly creeping back
Ichiru snapped his eyes open to zero in to the source. He saw her; the vampire-girl who did not take part in the earlier event.
Zero noticed, "I was killing time. What took you so long?"
"I like twincest," she remarked nonchalantly making Zero smirk.
Ichiru blinked because he swore he saw her blush.
"Killing time...? Incredible, that.. baka!" he muttered under his breath.
"Who doesn't, tch.. Did you get all the tokens?" asked Zero.
Seiren held out her right palm displaying five multi-coloured marbles- the test of courage tokens.
"I promised her I'd be her partner as long as she collects those herself. She hates losing to Yuuki as much as I hate to losing to Kuran," Zero explained innocuously.
"Ah, I can see that," Ichiru was boiling.
He watched Zero beckon Seiren to follow him back to the ryokan. She nodded.
An invisible flame consumed Ichiru, "Since when did you start associating with her?"
"Just a while ago," said Zero. "She asked me to be her partner and I said yes."
Ichiru got up to his feet and regarded Zero in mistrust. "No, she did not, she stared but she did not ask you anything," he accused.
"She did, I just know," Zero turned to Seiren and she nodded.
"It's chemistry, Ichiru."
"Jealousy is a hideous thing," remarked Seiren flatly.
"But sweet," Zero leered.
"Agggh… I don't care anymore. How dare you, Zero!" Ichiru seethed, lunged forward to grab the other two by the arms, "be prepared, you fools!" He added darkly as he dug his heels and charged.
Zero, seeming to understand Ichiru's intention, tried to free Seiren out of Ichiru's grip but failed.
Seiren, unable to stop the infuriated twin. Salty seawater stung her eyes as prayed silently for their safety.
It was a long way down after all.
Pbbbttt... right? Sudden drop. Here is a some of Part 4. Like? Review. Suggest something. You will read it soon if I manage not to drown myself in work (as usual). I'm running for the hills for the time being.
His body is sore all over and his can hear voices speaking in low whispers. Somebody has laid him a thick, heavy blanket for he found the weight pressing on him comfortable and reassuring. Moreover, the smell of clean cotton sheets tells him that he was no longer at that cliff- he lives.
It was like forever, that fall; the last thing he saw before he hit the water was Ichiru's angry face directed solely at him- Ichiru had always been the impulsive one. His only worry is whether his stupid brother survives or otherwise. Somehow, his instinct tells him that Ichiru is very much alive.
"Why are you here, Kiryu? Go back to you room!" he'd recognize Aidou Hanabusa's annoying voice anywhere.
"Please, Zero... I know you are worried about your brother but you must rest. You must not torture yourself like this," that was Yuuki, he registered.
"Listen to Yuuki-sama for once, you darn idiot. I'd drag your ass out of here if it wasn't for the fact you are stupidly taller than me!" Aidou's shrill voice is damaging his eardrums.
Then Aidou continued to rant about him being reckless, wandering off to the secluded cliffs with Seiren and Ichiru and how lucky he was to be found washed ashore with Seiren by the search party the morning after. Aidou's pitch was getting shriller and shriller by the second until he could not take it any longer.
Zero snapped; he opened his eyes, forced his muscles to sit upright and roared at Aidou's direction, "Aidou, would you please, shut up!" His voice sounded alien to him; must be the saltwater, he concluded.
Yuuki, who was sitting on his right, dropped a glass of water she was holding looking shell-shocked while Aidou stared at him in puzzlement. He was in a tatami-floored room and the rice-paper covered walls tell him that they must be back at the ryokan; rescued and safe.
He saw a familiar silhouette, a silver-haired boy sitting in perfect seiza stance at the edge of his futon.
"Ichiru?" he croaked. Again, his voice sounded strange.
"Seiren..." the amethyst eyes narrowed dangerously at him as if he was issuing a warning.
Why would Ichiru call him Seiren? He wondered. Immediately, his head throbbed so he raised both of his hands to massage his temples. Only then he realized how small his hands feel. Touching his face, he was shocked to find how smooth his skin was and that his mouth has gotten smaller. He ran his fingers through his hair and was surprised that it has grown longer.
Before he could mutter another word, Ichiru, had risen from his spot, kneeled beside him and pulled him into a rough embrace.
"Stay calm no matter what happens after this," the other boy whispered in his ear. "You ARE Kiryu Zero in there, are you?"
"What the hell are..." Zero's sentence was cut short because he felt a hand pressing against his chest.
He intended to beat the lights out of the indecent bastard if it was not for the strange squishy sensation he was experiencing and Yuuki's mortified scream ordering him to get away from Seiren. Aidou was also spazzing, calling him a pervert as he jerked them apart, immediately entrapping his brother behind a wall of ice.
As he watched his silver haired clone recompose himself, he saw his reflection in the ice. Zero felt up his own chest and wished he had never survived that fall.