A/N- Okay, my loves, this is the last chapter of Part 3, but please remember to look for Part 4- coming soon! I know a lot of people are concerned that I have been on this fic for a long time and they think I will stop soon. No one needs to worry about that, I love my story too much to abandon it. You guys have all been wonderful- adding it to your favorites and following it. I am also honored that many of you have decided to follow me as an author! Sending you all my love and without further ado- chapter 15!
When they arrived, they found that the hospital staff assigned to them were all members of the Red Shield and the doctor performing the surgery was a once an assistant of Collins and a fellow classmate of Julia. Hagi was barely conscious as the nurse began to prep him for surgery. The doctor was going to remove as many of the crystals as he could and hope that the remaining ones would not start to disintegrate before Julia arrived. After the crystals were removed, they would have to drain all the blood from his body and then give him fresh blood. Hopefully it would hold the thorn off for a few more hours.
Marva and Ellen nervously waited in the lobby through the long surgery. They had arrived at 11pm and Hagi was in surgery by 12. By 4am, Doctor Nelson came into the lobby and pulled the women into a room where no one would hear the conversation. The operation was successful, but it only slowed the progression of the thorn. He wasn't sure how long they had, but he was certain that what he had done would not cure the chevalier. He led them to the room where Hagi was still unconscious and the monitors kept track of his steady heart rate as an IV fed blood into his arm at a steady drip. His breathing was even and not as labored as it had been.
Marva held his hand as Ellen pulled up a chair near the bed. Marva laid her head down on the bed, next to her son as Claudia had done nearly 10 years ago. Ellen stretched out on the nearby couch and waited for Clay and Jim to arrive. The rest of the staff at the ranch stayed behind to keep things running, but they nervously awaited any and every update on Hagi's condition.
Saya was sleeping when the jet landed in Houston. Kai looked out the window and could see the city skyline shrouded in shimmering haze. "Unbelievable! It's already hot out there and the sun has only just risen!"
The group exited the plane and walked across the tarmac to the airport in the sweltering humidity. "Holy crap!" Kai groaned as he wiped the sweat from his forehead. "It must be at least 30 out here!"
David responded, "They don't use metric here that much, Kai, but it's about 85 now. It should get to over 100, if the forcast was accurate."
They were relieved to get into the crisp air conditioned airport and go through the stringent security posts. It was 7:30am when they came to front of the airport and found their waiting ride. A man held the door of a long white van open for the ladies as the men loaded suitcases. Julia asked the driver, "How long will it take to get to the Medical Center?"
The driver scoffed with his southern drawl, "Are you kidding? This time of day, you'll be lucky to move in the traffic."
Julia flashed her cooler to the driver and said, "I must get the contents of this cooler to the hospital immediately. Is there another way?"
"Nah, you could try a cab, some of the drivers know some side roads and can get you around the traffic, but it may still take at least an hour," he answered.
Julia groaned as David hailed a cab and began to load the cooler and her purse. She told Kaori and Kai to take her and David's luggage to their rooms and they would unpack after the patient was stable. The way Julia referred to "the patient" made Saya feel uneasy, like they were hiding something from her. She watched as the twins climbed into the van with Michael and then Kaori helped in the now 3-year-old George. Kai followed along with Lewis and last was Saya.
Okamura and Mao had decided to fly to Paris and accompany Joel to Houston since he was still learning to walk again after his spinal cord had been repaired. The new organs had finally passed the stringent battery of tests and could now be produced around the world. Joel had requested to be one of the test subjects.
Hagi opened his eyes to the sunlight coming in through the shade on the window. He felt the warm hand of Marva holding his bare claw and could tell from and her slow deep breaths, she was asleep. His chest and back were bandaged and healing and an IV was feeding his left arm fresh blood. His blue eyes scanned the room for his clothes and any weapon he could use, should the need arise. He heard the door open and his senses went to high alert immediately. He could smell the Red Shield doctor's expensive perfume and the soldier husband's aftershave.
They brought in a cooler as Marva awakened saw the strong expression on Hagi's face. She felt really bad that she had to betray him like this. She stood to greet the pair that entered the room. Julia set to work right away changing out the IV bag for the one filled with Saya's blood as Hagi's calculating steel blue eyes followed her every movement. She placed her hand on his claw, which he pulled away immediately. She smiled anyway and asked, "How are you feeling, Hagi?"
He did not answer, but his eyes stayed on hers and expression did not change.
Marva came to his side and spoke softly to him, "Hagi, I know you don't trust them, but you have to let her know how you're feeling."
He shot a look of anger at Marva. She had betrayed him and basically ratted him out to the people he was trying to protect Saya from.
She forced her feelings of regret down and mustered all her courage to face down the one person she wanted to cling to right now. Her expression became hard and she said, "You are like a son to me. I will protect you and love you just as I do Claudia and it doesn't matter what you say or do- you are my son. If this is what I have to do to save your life- so be it! I want you to tell this doctor how you feel."
He could see the tears trying to come to her eyes, but he knew they would not come until she willed them to. Out of love for her and his sister, he took a breath and spoke, "I can feel the thorn is spreading inside my chest again."
Julia gave Marva a grateful smile and then responded to Hagi, "I have just hooked up a bag of Saya's blood, you should feel better as soon as it is drained."
He nodded and then looked at the ceiling, not wanting to speak to anyone right now. To everyone's surprise, he spoke again, "Have you awakened Saya?"
Julia did not want to upset him further so she lied, "No. Saya still sleeps."
He nodded and wondered why he kept feeling her presence so strongly, and so near.
Saya unpacked her things as Lulu unzipped the garment bag and separated the items out, including Hagi's suit before she went to unpack Saya's toiletries in the bathroom. Saya placed the folded shirts and shorts in a drawer. She came back for the skirts and undergarments when she found a stack of old letters. She pulled them out and placed them on the bed. Not in the mood for any reading, she grabbed her bathing suit and asked if the twins and Michael wanted to join her for a swim in the hotel pool.
After she grabbed a large lunch with the kids at the restaurant in the hotel where they met the newly arrived Joel, Mao and Okamura; she went back to her room and showered off the chlorine and wrapped a towel around herself. She searched through the hanging clothes to find her favorite pink blouse and frilly tan skirt. She would leave the jacket since it was just too hot to wear it. While searching though the hanging clothes, she noticed Hagi's suit hanging there and wondered why on earth Lulu brought it. She noticed the hanging garment bag and realized she had meant to use the bag and not bring the suit. She shrugged, "Oh well." She dressed herself as a familiar scent came to her. All her clothes were now saturated with his scent. She felt a rush of memories that jumbled on top of each other fill her head. His arms wrapped around her, black wings sprouting from his back, defending her against Amshel, Diva laughing at her, the sad song.
She shook her head trying to clear her thoughts as she pulled on her skirt, and then fell on the bed to read through the letters she had found earlier. The first group that was tied with a string were love notes between Kaori and Kai. She giggled at the way Kai fumbled with words- even when writing. The two folded letters that were at the bottom seemed, somehow, very familiar. The first was a very short one- it was from Hagi. He was still alive and had to see her one last time before she fell asleep. Color rose to her cheeks as the memory of their heated kisses filled her mind and excited her body. He loved her? Is that why everyone is acting so weird?
She picked up the second letter and unfolded it. It was the same handwriting but in English- she couldn't read English, but Kai could. She felt an eerie sense of déjà vu and looked at the page again. It was in the format of a song, she pictured the dark haired man playing the cello with that same old expression on his face, but she could see his blue eyes sliding to the side to catch a glimpse of her- Every single day, I find it hard to say I could be yours to hold.
She saw the same man looking into her eyes and pressing a kiss to her forehead and then pressing his cheek to hers. She breathed, "I want to live!" before she pressed her lips to his. You will see someday, that all along the way I was yours to hold.
"The song!" she cried out as she nearly came off the bed. Lulu came into the room, but Saya's eyes were glued to the paper, reciting the lyrics word for word remembering in reverse.
Tears falling down his cheeks as he tried to hold off her long sleep, long passionate kisses, loving embrace, party at Omoro, the most wonderful dream that wasn't a dream, his hair cut short, laying together in her bed, he's alive! Tearful plane trip home, the horrible last week in New York, wretchedly mourning his loss, bombs! No, not HAGIIIII! The balcony falling over the Hagi pinned to Amshel's crystallizing body telling her, "I will always love you!" His smile! His smile! His smile! He took the sword from her, the attack, Amshel coming through the roof and Hagi loses his other arm. The first real kiss, "Live for today. Live for tomorrow. I have always loved you." Kai punches him, Kai convinces Saya to let Diva's babies live. She kills Diva.
"I remember!" she cried as tears fell onto the paper and continued to spill down her eyes. "Hagi, I love you! I remember, I love you!" Lulu comforted her as she asked, "Where is he, Lulu?"
Lulu said, "Saya, they were just worried about you. They wanted you to remember on your own."
Saya's eyes burned red and she repeated, "Where is Hagi?"
Red lines had appeared again on his collar bone and were spreading more quickly than before. Julia was unsure of what had gone wrong.
"Why isn't he healing?" a tearful Marva asked.
"Julia," David suggested as he put a hand on her shoulder, "what if the thorn in this case is just like killing the chiropterans- the blood has to be directly from the source in order to kill, but in his case- to heal."
"You're right," she said as she looked to the stoic man, who was regrettably, still conscious. She whispered to David, hoping that Hagi wouldn't hear and then David went into the hall with his cell phone.
Marva followed him, not feeling particularly fond of all this secrecy. She overheard the conversation of the blond haired man that had his back to her.
"Kai, we need you to get Saya here as soon as possible, he may not make it." His eyes opened wide with surprise as he turned and almost ran into the smaller, but very tough woman. Her grey hair was pulled back into a braid and her face held wrinkles from being in the sun and living the hard life of a rancher, but that same face held smile lines. She was a tough woman that led a life that made her happy. It made him wonder if the steel wall that he had previously thought was Hagi's personality was completely impenetrable. He could tell that, despite her size, this was not the kind of woman you wanted to cross. It was obvious she overheard his conversation by the look in her hazel-green eyes.
"So Saya is awake?" she asked.
David held an even expression as he answered plainly, "We didn't want to upset Hagi any further."
"Oh, and you think hiding this from him will make him happy?" she asked with her eyes blazing.
"It will keep him calm."
She folded her arms over her chest and glared at him, "Well, I'm not playing your game. I'm going in that room to tell my son the truth." She moved toward the room when the monitors began sounding alarms and hospital staff began to run into the room. Marva cried as she saw the lines running up his neck and toward his face. His head fell back and his chest stopped moving. David ran to the entrance of the hospital to wait for Saya.
Saya found Kai on his cellphone and she grabbed it from him just as the call ended. "Why did you lie to me?" she growled, causing passers-by to scatter hurriedly away.
"Saya, we were concerned that you might not handle it well. It's a lot to take in," Kai tried to answer, but his sister's eyes were glowing red.
"Where is he? I know he's here- I feel his presence!" she pointed in the direction of the medical center as a cab pulled up and they climbed in. Kai called out the name of the hospital and they were off. She sat in silent anger as Kai tried his best to explain their reasons, but none of them seemed to be any good right now. She finally spoke again, "Is he sick?"
Kai looked down at his sneakers, "Yes."
Saya swallowed as she could feel his presence becoming weaker with every passing minute. "Is he dying?"
Kai breathed, "I don't know."
Suddenly the cab stopped and stayed still. Kai looked up and asked the driver, "What the hell did you stop for?"
The driver spoke in a heavy accent as he pointed to the massive pile up in front of them, "The street is blocked, I can go no further."
Saya jumped out of the car as Kai said to her, "I'm sorry I lied, Saya. Get there and save that damn cat's life so I can kill him later." She nodded and he added, "I'll meet you at the hospital- I know you can find him on your own."
She took off running along the sidewalk as she looked to the skyline and the buildings that reminded her of New York. She rushed as she could hear the music getting weaker and weaker. She took to the rooftops as she had seen him do so many times. She knew she had those same powers inside and all she needed was a good reason to bring them out. Déjà vu all over again- the memory of a dream came to her. She was jumping from rooftop to rooftop, in search of her chevalier, knowing that the humans below wouldn't be able to see her move at this speed. In her dream, she didn't get there in time- that wasn't going to happen today! She found the source of the song coming from the building in front of her.
David came out to the angry red-eyed girl and gave her directions to the room where her chevalier was dying. She thrust her hand out and demanded, "I need your pocket knife." David handed her the small blade and she disappeared in an instant, leaving behind a gust of wind, a few overturned carts, and confused people. "I think she remembers now," David reasoned quietly and thought to call Julia to warn her, but the thought better of it. By now, Saya was already in the room.
Saya had the blade open as she rushed down the hall to the room the now faint song was coming from. Two women, one tall blonde, was holding the hand of an older woman with a stern face and penetrating hazel eyes- both were crying. Saya heard the monitors issuing out a long, endless beep as she pushed past the women to get into the room. The sheet was pulled off of him as the nurses and doctors tried to shock his heart back into rhythm. His body was completely covered with the red crystal lines of the thorn.
In one fluid movement, she sliced her palm and bounded to the bed. In less than a second, she was straddling his waist and sucking the blood from her palm. She leaned over, pulling his chin down to open his mouth and covered his lips with her own, allowing her life force to flow down his throat as tears spilled down her cheeks and onto his face and neck. When her mouth was emptied she sat up and waited. He was impossibly still and she wished he would open those beautiful steel blue eyes. She commanded him, "Hagi, swallow!"
The group watched the scene in awe. The small young woman straddled the tall man's frame and fed him with a bloody kiss. Marva explained to Ellen as she leaned into her, "That is Saya."
Ellen nodded in response, still in awe at the scene and the blood red eyes that illuminated the sheets in front of her, as well as Hagi's face, in an eerie pink glow. They held their breath until the man's throat worked and the blood was swallowed. She cut her palm again and repeated the process.
The red cracks receded slowly, and his heart began to beat in a slow rhythm. Saya sighed with relief and then whispered, "Hagi, breathe." Obedient even at the point of death, he did as he was commanded and took in a breath as the lines receded further. She waited while the final cracks and red lines disappeared.
Julia watched the monitors with concern, his heart rate was slow and his breathing was as well. His brain in waves were not right. "It appears that Hagi is in a coma," she said as she looked at Saya.
Her eyes immediately faded to a dull brown and she cried out, "No! No, I didn't come all this way to hear that. He has to wake up!" She leaned down and kissed his lips. When he didn't kiss her back, she let out a sob. "Hagi, wake up!" she commanded. Tears filled and then spilled down her cheeks in rivers of glittery diamonds. "Hagi, open your eyes!"
Sorry to leave you hanging guys, but we will pick up here in Part 4 chapter 1. It will be up either today or tomorrow- PROMISE! *wink*