Disclaimer: I don't own the Night World
A/N: That's right, I have indeed decided to write a sequel to my other Night World story, Nameless Faces. BUT, WAIT! There's a catch that I'll tell you about at the end of this chapter.
I'm not going to say you have to go read my other story, because I'll try not to confuse you too much about what's going on but if I manage to confuse you anyway, reading it wouldn't be a bad idea.
Title of this chapter loosely based off of "Scream" from HSM3.
Hope you enjoy!
"It was once said that love is giving someone the ability to destroy you, but trusting them not to." Unknown
Things might have been different if the end of the world wasn't looming. Things might have been different if she had just been an average girl. Things might have been different if the world wasn't so damn screwed up.
It sure didn't seem like the end of the world, though, in New York. They were strong-willed, independent people with an attitude. Not only that, but they were resilient. If anything happened here, they'd bounce back from it… that is if the Night People didn't enslave them. Even then, though, it wasn't like they were going to be turned into slaves without a fight.
But none of that mattered now. None of it mattered to this dark-haired girl as she walked down the usual busy streets of Manhattan. Her head was down, her long hair just on the edge of being curly but not quite there shadowing her face; her shoulders slumped forward, her walk sluggish and tired.
So much had gone on in the last few… weeks. Had it only been a few weeks? Maybe a month or two? Still, it was such a short amount of time for everything that had happened to happen.
This girl… she didn't even think she fully comprehended all that had happened. It was all a blur of pain and emotions, a torrent, a whirlwind, a hurricane, a tornado. Lifting her up off the ground and spinning her around until she was sick, disoriented and all around lost. It was like she'd been kidnapped, her kidnappers having totally and completely wiped her memory, who she was, what she was here for, her friends, her family, anything that was near and dear to her heart, anything that made her, her had been wiped from her memory. Afterward, being dumped in the middle of a now foreign city.
Nothing seemed to make sense anymore, nothing seemed to hold meaning anymore.
Well, maybe everything except for… him.
The girl froze, her head snapping up, her half-open eyes widening, her mouth dropping open slightly in a silent scream.
A sharp pain hit the girl's chest—like a rusty dagger being plunged directly into her heart—whenever she thought of him. The pain was so overwhelming her knees almost buckled, she almost collapsed right there in the middle of the sidewalk, but… but his smile, the way it lit up his eyes; and his laugh, the way it sounded like a symphony of angels; and the way he looked at her, like she was the most wonderful, important person on the entire planet to him; and the way he held her at night, his presence keeping the nightmares away; and when they kissed, the sweetest, most wonderful thing she'd ever experienced, how gentle he always was with her.
She gained control of these rushing emotions, a mix of pain, hurt, anguish, love, joy, and happiness, and continued her slow, sluggish walk, taking deep, gasping, ragged breaths. No one would take note of her state, however, because it was winter, and the small arctic breeze that'd pick up now and again blew snow flurries into the faces of the people bundled up on the sidewalk. It probably didn't help that she wasn't bundled up like everyone else, either. No wonder her breath was like that, no wonder her shoulders were hunched, she was freezing without a jacket.
You just had to take the good with the bad, as they say, and that's what she did, she'd take that cocktail of bittersweet emotions any day to think of all the good times she'd had with him. The laughter they shared. The love they shared.
She missed him terribly, even more so now that she wasn't able to talk to him. He had to know that she was now stuck in her very own Hell on Earth.
Thankfully, though, this wasn't going to last for very long.
Stopping, she looked up at the house, tall and thin, like most houses here in the middle of Manhattan; five or six steps leading up to the bright red front door. A small snort escaped her lips, thinking of the people who lived here. Thinking about how ironic that was.
Slowly, carefully, she made her way up to the door and knocked three times. It was a moment before the man answered, his eyes widening, his mouth dropping in shock when he did. This show of emotion lasted only a minute, though, because he wasn't the kind who liked to show emotions. Still, he seemed so dumbfounded that this girl was standing on his doorstep, that he seemed at a loss for words.
This lasted for such a long time that the woman living with him peered out from another room down the hall.
"Who is it Jonathan?" she called.
This man, Jonathan, blinked, broken out of his haze and turned slightly to call back to the woman, "You'll want to come see for yourself, Nehalenia." before turning back toward the girl, his daughter, standing in front of him.
"Emerald," he greeted slowly, trying to take control of his emotions.
She smiled, emerald green eyes showed immense, intense pain, in contrast. "Father." she replied sarcastically.
By now Nehalenia had walked down the hall and was now standing behind Jonathan, looking at Emerald with her odd silvery-yellow cat-like eyes. She didn't seem as dumbfounded as Jonathan, though.
She pursed her lips, one eyebrow raised. "How interesting." she commented.
"What are you doing here, Emerald?" Jonathan asked carefully.
Emerald leaned against the railing, sticking her hands in her pockets, smiling up at the two. "Oh, I think you know exactly why I'm here." she said her voice light compared to how heavy her heart felt. "May I come in?" She straightened up again.
Jonathan started to slowly get over his awe. "By all means," Jonathan stepped back, and waved Emerald in.
Emerald walked inside, stopping in the foyer and looking around, kind of baffled at how modern and mundane the house looked. Well, she would've felt baffled if she could feel anything anymore.
Jonathan closed the door and walked up to stand next to Emerald. "Well… this is totally unexpected. We're not exactly ready for you." he told her.
Emerald shrugged still looking around before looking over at her eighteen-year-old vampire father (same age as her, though she looked older, like maybe early twenties) who'd been trying to get this super special power that would decide if the humans or Night People came out on top at the end of the world since she had been fourteen, at least.
"I can wait." she told him. "Is there anywhere I can sit down?"
"Uh… the living room." Jonathan answered, not hiding his bewilderment anymore. He'd never encountered such a calm Emerald before. Whenever they met, his daughter always treated him like he was some kind of disease; they'd have a joust of insults; they'd fight. She was always battling against him, whether that be metaphorically or physically. He wasn't used to this new Emerald, so quiet, so… mellow. "Nehalenia, maybe you could start…" he trailed off, nodding, a silent message being sent over to her.
She nodded in return and headed past them down the hall, turning to her left.
Even with this weird, new Emerald that almost—admittedly—scared him, this wasn't going to waver his decision to get what he wanted from Emerald. This was going to determine the fate of the human race, and Jonathan always thought the human race should be serving them. He was tired of hiding and cowering in the shadows to such an inferior race. It was time that the Night World become the dominant world.
That was always him, determined… in a ruthless, sadistic way. Perhaps, not totally ruthless, Emerald considered, because he could be… civil when he wanted to. But that probably came with being a psychopath.
Jonathan led her into the living room that was right next to the kitchen, an open floor plan. She sat down on the sour apple green-colored couch taking a deep breath and closing her eyes, gently resting her head back. She had to remind herself that it would all be over soon. She would be able to sink into numbness forever and never again have to feel the pain she was feeling now.
Jonathan sat next to her, leaving a foot or two between them, and studied her. Something was terribly off.
"So… what really brings you here, Emerald?" Jonathan asked, crossing his arm.
Emerald, keeping her eyes closed and her head resting on the top of the cushion sighed heavily, pausing for a moment before finally answering, "Long story. I'd… rather not get into it." Her voice became saturated with pain that was hard to ignore. She lifted her head and opened her eyes, looking over at him. "Besides, you're my father, why don't you tell me." she challenged.
He'd always been that way. Though never claiming to stalk or spy on her, he knew things that he really shouldn't have. Like that time when… he and Emearld broke up. Whenever she asked he always said it was because he was her father and knew things like that. Like they had some psychic connection or link or whatever between them, but Emerald surely thought she'd know if they did.
Jonathan appraised her (there was a deeper meaning to what she'd said, but Jonathan hadn't quite figured out what it was yet), like he was trying to figure out what happened, though Emerald had a feeling he knew exactly what had happened. He was just surprised she'd managed to find him because it was usually the other way around with him. She was always trying to stay one step ahead of him when in reality he was three steps ahead of her.
This time was a little different.
It was fairly easy to figure out where he was hiding out when she wasn't so caught up in all her other emotions. Sure, it felt like she was drowning in woe, but it was like the answers came easier when she no longer cared about their outcome. How they would affect herself or others.
Maybe that's how Jonathan did it. He was emotionally detached to all that he encountered therefore it was easier to rationalize things.
"All right," Jonathan finally spoke. "Then why come to me? Especially because you seem to think I did it."
"Well, you did, didn't you?" She looked at him.
"No, I can assure you that I wasn't even there at the time."
"But you live pretty close, now that I think about it. And besides, what better way to get me to help you take over the world? You have the means and the motive. I just don't see anyone else doing this."
"I hope you realize you have millions of enemies that you've created out there that might also have a vendetta against you."
"Yes, but you're the most likely because of the changing the tides of how the end of the world will turn out thing. And I doubt any of my enemies were smart enough to figure that out."
"You're very nonchalant about this whole thing." Jonathan observed, though he could see the suffering she was going through in her eyes and sometimes when she spoke, it'd leak through, but that was beside the point. Her body was totally relaxed and she didn't seem disturbed at what was going to happen at all. Just their conversation was odd, talking about it like it was theoretically and not reality.
Emerald shrugged. "I guess I didn't inherit just your hair and eye color, hm?"
"Still, I didn't expect you to come to me. Even if I had done what you're accusing me of—which I still deny, mind you—I'd think you'd be on a murderous rampage, not sitting civilly here in my living room awaiting a horrible fate."
"'Horrible fate,' huh?" she asked looking around the room before turning her head back to look at him with a raised pencil-thin eyebrow. "Dramatic much?"
Jonathan merely looked at her waiting for an answer.
She became serious again, pressing her lips together for a moment. "What is killing you, or anyone else for that matter, going to do? It's not like it's going to—" She broke off and took a deep, shaky breath. "It's not going to…" her voice faded as she said these next words, "change anything." That pain and suffering flooded into her voice as she said these last two words and she exhaled sharply, squeezing her eyes shut tight.
Jonathan paused and Emerald used this brief moment to rein in her misery to an internal level only.
"You didn't answer my first question: Why me? Why not go to those Daybreakers? They have safe havens don't they?" Jonathan finally asked.
Emerald snorted and rolled her eyes. "I don't have the best history with Lord Thierry. And neither do you." she reminded him. "Besides, they're getting creamed. Haven't you been watching the news? San Francisco, Paris, Tokyo? If one of his safe havens is here, we're toast."
"So… you want our side to win, then? The, for the lack of a better word, evil side?" Jonathan question. "What happened to righteousness? Sacrifice? Good always conquering over evil?"
"This isn't some kind of fairytale. Besides, I don't really care who wins." Emerald rested her head back and closed her eyes again. "I won't be alive to see it anyway." She looked at him. "I won't, right?"
"Why are you bent on dying?" Jonathan asked.
"I thought we went over this already." Emerald sidestepped his question.
Jonathan opened his mouth to say something but Nehalenia's voice interrupted him. "We're ready."
"Great," Jonathan stood and held out his hand for his daughter. "Shall we?"
Emerald took his hand and stood up before he linked his arm in hers like he was escorting her to the ball or down the aisle and not like he was taking her to, as he would put it, her ultimate doom.
Her father led her through the kitchen and into a room that looked similar to one he'd built in the middle of the desert in Las Vegas. You see, he'd done this once before, but it hadn't worked the first time and before he could try again, Emerald had been rescued.
Just like the room in the Las Vegas it was about three inches lower than the house, and had a circle full of symbols and designs decorating the whole floor. In the middle of the circle stood a stone dais that was approximately three feet in height.
Emerald stepped down into the room that Nehalenia was already in, setting some other things up on a small wooden table off to the side, detaching her arm from Jonathan's, before carefully lifting herself up onto the dais and lying down. Now that she thought about it, this experience was kind of nerve-racking. The memory of the pain wasn't pleasant and almost scared her off the dais and out of that house
But that pain was nothing compared to what she was feeling now.
Her own emotional turmoil was much worse than any physical pain anyone could put on her.
She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, tuning her father's voice out as he spoke to Nehalenia, and sinking into her grief and letting that ache in her chest hit her full force, letting herself drown in her desolation, despair, sorrow.
She thought about her soulmate.
Her other half.
Just his name alone sent a surge, a tsunami of pain through her whole body. She clenched her teeth not letting the scream that bubbled up to the surface break out, make noise.
It would be over soon.
So she could think of him as much as she wanted. How he was the only person that mattered most to her, how he was the only person that got her through this past year, how he was the only person that she could open up to and be herself with….
It was a peculiar thing, the end of the world and the fact that she held the key to turning the tables.
Why was she doing this? You may ask. It made no sense. She'd been fighting against her father for five years (five because, though she may be eighteen, she'd been a vampire for a year, so in theory she should really be nineteen now) and now she was giving in all of a sudden, no fight whatsoever. No battles. No struggles. It seemed almost counter-productive and possibly cowardly in some people's eyes, but it didn't matter.
She didn't care.
Nothing mattered anymore. Not the end of the world. Not who won the war.
Why should she care anymore?
Storm was dead.
So, the catch: I don't know when exactly Chapter 2 will be coming (and my updates in general might be spastic). This idea is still coming together and I do need a break from writing about Storm and Emerald, but I thought you deserved a "sneak peak" of what's to come in the next story because of your awesome reviews.
I can tell you, however, that this will most definitely not be as long as my first story.
~ See you at the Millennium!