A/N::AHHHHHHHH!

I'm kinda scared to even write this because...well I've kind of neglected you guys and I feel REALLY bad. I don't think it'll suffice to say that I was REALLY busy right? Err well um (pulls sleeves and bites nail*) it's here now...heh heh. I'll make it a goal to update sooner! But the college life is so, so cruel so no promises. The definite promise however is that this story will NOT die so it's alright if you give up on me now (BUT DON'T) just remember to come back in a few years and see how AWESOME it will become MUAHAHAHHAHAHA! Enjoys guys. And please don't forget to review. Maybe you're ideas will appear in ze story! I read all my reviews :)

Thank you to the few that left me reviews on my long hiatus. \(O 0 O)/!

And thank you to my beta: BKToe


oOo


Edward was thankful that he didn't have to be in direct contact with Dino's admonition, but as he was urged off Grusha to join Dino's test his smile died. He'd only fought trainees...low ranked trainees, but Dino seemed like he had had his share of wars and was ready for more.

As Edward made his way to the center of the moonlit field, he took in the horizontal lines that were now missing people in four or five spots. Some commons had held their ground under the onslaught of Dino's one on one skill test. Others had been strongly damaged and a few had been knocked out on the first few blows.

Edward positioned himself on the spot at the end of the first row, right next to the boy that had seemed sick at the very beginning. He was an inch or so shorter than Edward and from his weak spoken introduction earlier, Edward knew that his name was Tubal and one of the youngest; twelve, like him. Unfortunately for Tubal, Dino was now standing in front of him. Despite Dino's short stature, he resembled Goliath as his energy seemed to tower over the shaking boy.

"You ready pipsqeak?" Dino pressed quietly in warning. Before Tubal could shake his head to signal a no, no, I am definitely not ready, Dino had already struck out with his fist and Tubal was knocked back onto the ground in a little heap. And that makes seven thought Edward regretfully.

However, as Dino got ready to move to Edward, a ginger streak wooshed past and tackled the instructor. Edward's eyes could not keep up with the movements, but the intense speculative air surrounding them showed that everyone else could. Although Edward couldn't believe it, he knew it was Tubal making a comeback. Still, if it was, how could it be?

"Eleazar, is he gifted?" said Marcus, to the man next to him who was focusing hard on the fight.

"I...I don't think so, no." replied Eleazar hesitantly.

"You don't sound so sure." Marcus speculated. After a while, his answer was re-uttered with more assurance.

"No, he is not gifted."

"I will take your word for it." Marcus replied.

In the clearing, Tubal's moves were slowing. Just as the boy turned around to block another punch directed at his chest, he slowed and fell like a broken doll to the floor.

"Pass" said Dino, his voice laced with the barest hint of confusion. He had held back his last punch still very much in control of the situation, but Edward could see his chest heaving slightly; he had fought very seriously. Then, he was on him.

Unprepared, Edward was pushed back, his heels digging up dirt as he tried to block the direct hit. The older commons quickly moved out of the way. Dino smirked as he fell to one knee. "Always be prepared, there won't always be people to protect you." The accusation snuck behind Edward's reasoning and struck his heart. Spitting out the blood that had pooled in his mouth, Edward pushed himself off the ground.

The soldiers were spreading out to block the commons from causing too much trouble at the presence of fresh human blood. The soldiers themselves were all unaffected on some level due to their control training. Edward tried as hard as he could, using all that he had learned, but still it was not enough. He couldn't land one blow on his opponent and the punches that were frequently puncturing his defenses were making his body ache. He could feel his body failing him and his blocks weakening when he realized something. Dino was still holding back. The frustration built in him as one question repeated itself in his mind. Why are you holding back? Why are you holding back?! It was a question that he knew the answer to; he was human. The rapid thumping of his heart, the loud pulsing of blood in his ear were all signs that he was nothing more than human.

"I am not weak!" Edward yelled, letting the frustration fuel his movements. He was seeing red. Side stepping a jab aimed at his head, Edward turned and rammed Dino's back with his knee. Any normal human would have keeled over, but Dino spun and took the force of the kick using it to grab and spin Edward around, slamming the surprised boy into the grass floor. He struggled to get out of Dino's steel like grip and only stilled win he heard a solid "Pass" coming from on top of him. Then the weight was gone. With his face in the ground Edward fought hard to keep his tears at bay as he slammed one fist into the cool grass. He felt humiliated, beaten. Dino was already walking away.

As Dino walked by Marcus he said softly to the figure on the horse.

"He did well."

"I know." Was the general's quiet reply. In the field, Edward picked himself up, his eyes dry.

oOo


"Where are you brother?" Came Caius' voice down the long corridor. "I've just returned from America, don't you want to hear of my discoveries?" As the leader of the Volturi during a time of peace, Aro had a plentiful amount of free time. He didn't waste time.

"Here." Came Aro's lifeless voice. Turning into the doorway, Caius took in the sight of Aro working carefully over a perfect set of children's vampire teeth. Slips of red had fallen out his loose ponytail. "They are decaying too quickly. Without this" Aro reached for a bottle of dark red liquid.

"There will always be more, and some will be available very soon." said Caius with a smile as he reached down to grab the teeth, swinging it around in the air. He put it back quickly mindful of not pushing Aro too far, "I have something else that I know you will enjoy. I left it in the dungeon." Aro didn't reply and Caius left.

With care Aro deposited the teeth into an airtight container, one of many technologies he had fashioned that would not be developed till much later in the future. If only they knew of my latest discovery regarding our body's need for blood. I'm so close to the answer. Then finally ...

oOo


The darkness that came through the window slowly nudged Edward out of his dream filled conscious. Although the dream was already fading, a strong sense of dread still clung to his chest. He blinked his eyes at the bunk above him, willing them to adjust. He would be sleeping with the other trainees from now on. Having changed his sleep schedule to fit the vampyres' a few years ago, the darkness was not unusual. What was unusual was that he found himself constantly the first one awake. Vampyres didn't so much sleep as hibernate. They didn't wake because water was poured on them or noise was made. They woke when the time was up. So as the first awake Edward felt slightly alienated but also quite accomplished.

He got ready as he did each night, pulling on his shirt and belting his pants. No need to go to the washroom. He didn't wash his face till after training. Then he would make his way to the training grounds. Compared to the mansion that he had lived in when he was a child, the walls had more weight to them; he didn't know how to explain. The empty hallway felt full as if people were still walking the halls.

His father had always taught him to stay calm, but he had never grown comfortable and the cold morning gloom still gave him a reason to stay quiet and walk quickly. Somehow he hadn't been able to control himself yesterday. Just recalling the feeling brought a burning sensation to his chest. He'd never met another human. Mother often told him that his race covered the earth, but having never stepped off the castle grounds, he felt as if it was a useless fact. He was alone.

Edwards mood improved as he walked through the damp twilight grass. The sun had just dropped below the horizon, but the moon had not come yet. Nature calmed him as the gentle breeze brushed his cheek. He lay down on the hill leading to the training grounds. This always cleared his mind. With a slight kick of his feet, he was off. The world spun and his heart sped up as he laughed loudly into open air. The world made no sense in its revolving cycle and his happiness at the rush drowned the stress. Suddenly his body impacted with something solid and a little "eep!" was heard as the air was knocked out of him. Leaves scratched his face as he tried to get up. There were two bushes on the hill and he had managed to hit one of them along with something else. As he brushed himself off, he looked up and there standing behind a tree was Tubal.

"I see you." Said Edward still clutching his side. With a little jump of surprise, Tubal turned to run. "No wait, I know you. Remember me? I was the one to be tested after you." Hesitantly, Tubal turned around. "You were very good yesterday, exceedingly good." Edward took the chance in between breaths to sit down besides the tree. It hurt somewhere and he wasn't sure standing was the best idea.

"It wasn't me." Said Tubal quietly

"What do you mean it wasn't you?" Edward said looking at the now risen moon. "Would you like to sit down? I can't move much right now anyway." Slowly Tubal walked toward him and gingerly sat himself down, automatically bringing his legs to his chest and wrapping his arms around them. His small frame became even smaller from the action. Only his orange hair marked him as a person. The silence dragged on for a few seconds and Edward was ready to go when Tubal finally spoke.

"I think I have a gift." Came the small voice. Despite his disbelief, Edward stayed silent. Suddenly Tubal was up, angry. "You don't believe me either do you? No one ever does!" His feet kicked repeatedly against the tree he had been sitting against. "I can do things that I don't know how to do, but I don't know how I do it!" His hands were balled up in his pockets. Inwardly, Edward was wondering why Eleazar hadn't noticed and he must have said something out loud because Tubal muttered sadly, his kicking having stopped, "no one ever see's me." Having decided finally that the best way to proceed was to be encouraging, Edward jumped up abruptly and grabbed Tubal's shoulders to spin him toward himself. Looking into Tubal's eyes he said

"Well that can't be true because I see you just fine. And I believe you. There's no other explanation for what you did yesterday so I'll believe you." Some measure of goodness in Edwards green eyes made the words gold to Tubal and slowing a smile spread across his face.

" Really?"

"Yup." Thinking for a brief moment, Edward raised his hand and said with a smile "Let's start from the beginning. I'm Edward, what's your name?" Caught of guard it took Tubal a moment to take the offered hand and with a grin he replied.

"Tubal." Together they went off to the training grounds ready to take on their first day as official trainees.

oOo

"Tubal? Tubal get up!" Edward said frantically as he knelt beside his new but unconscious friend.


Thanks for reading! Please leave me a REVIEW! It's not air, food and shelter...but it's still what I need for fanfiction survival. Just a short, itsy-bitsy one is fine.

-LianeZql