Well, Everyone, I am back again with the next chapter finally. Sorry for the wait. I just got engaged, and I've had a crazy last couple of months with the holidays and starting college back. Anyway, I hope you all continue to enjoy the story. As I've said before: I will NEVER abandon this story. There's still quite a bit to go, so be sure to stay tuned. :D
Warnings: Suggestive themes and minor language.
Tensions and a Vampire
Kurumu gave a dejected sigh as she lightly sipped on her mug of tea. How could she have let this happen? How could she have lost to the vampiress? The succubus frowned. That's what really astounded her. She had lost to Inner Moka even. Since when was the cold, silver-haired vampiress more appealing than her?
The succubus shook her head. She wasn't an idiot. She had known all along that Tsukune was in love with Moka. A choked sob bubbled up in her throat. However, she had been so certain that she could win his affections if only she tried hard enough. Things would never be the same between them. She knew that now. Tsukune had made his decision and there was no going back. It was then that a frightening thought occurred to her. How was she going to give her mother the news? The thought caused her to suppress a shudder. Her mother wasn't exactly the best at taking negative news, especially when it had to do with matters of love life.
Another thing that had actually begun to worry her was Mizore. In all actuality, she hadn't heard much of a peep out of the snow-woman since the encounter with Inner Moka and Tsukune on the school roof. Kurumu wasn't stupid. She knew that the snow-woman must be just as crushed as she was, if not more. The succubus bit her bottom lip. Though she would still say that she was the one that loved Tsukune the most, there was simply no denying that Mizore was particularly fond of him. She had certainly stalked him enough.
A stray tear made its way down the succubus's pale cheek. How she wished things could just go back to the way they were. There was no denying that a small part of her wondered how different things would've turned out if he had met her first instead of Moka, or even if he and Moka had never met at all. Would he have chosen her then?
Kurumu shook her head. Who was she trying to fool? She of all people was well aware that fate works the way it does for a reason. Fate could be changed or altered, but never stopped. It was clear now that she had been wrong. Moka was Tsukune's destined one, not her. Even if Tsukune and Moka hadn't met at Yokai Academy, fate would've simply found another way to bring them together. Giving a soft sigh, she slowly placed her now empty tea cup back down onto her table. In a way, she couldn't blame Tsukune. Having had been human previously, it was painfully obvious now that he'd had no experience dealing with the rituals and dealings surrounding courtship between monsters. The poor guy! He had been so lost. Perhaps the problem was that she had simply come on too strong?
The succubus stifled a giggle. He had been afraid of his own shadow when they had first met. Glancing up at the clock, she frowned to find that it would soon be time for classes to start. Begrudgingly, she quietly stood up with a small yawn. Oh, well. She would have to show her face sooner or later. She would try to respect Tsukune's decision, for his sake.
The morning sun bathed the dorm room in an almost golden glow as two vampires slowly stirred awake. Tsukune couldn't help but smile as he gazed contentedly at the vampiress lying peacefully in his arms. A delicate pout pulled at her pale lips as she desperately resisted the pull of wakefulness. Resisting the urge to chuckle, he carefully threaded his fingers through the soft, cotton-candy pink hair that had draped over her pale shoulder. He instantly knew by the soft smile that tugged at her lips in response that she was awake.
"Good morning, Moka," he murmured softly, resting his chin against the top of her head.
The vampiress giggled slightly, giving a deep, contented sigh.
Tsukune smiled again at the chirpy voice he knew almost all too well. After all, she had been in this form when he had initially fell in love with her. He was beginning to understand why Moka had two aspects to her personality. She was simply too complex of a person. It seemed that the more he got to know her the more there was to love about her.
The pair laid in silence for a moment, content to simply enjoy one another's presence for a moment. It seemed that all too soon a distained sigh left the vampiress's lips, as well as the words he dreaded to hear.
"W-well, we should probably get ready for class…"
Tsukune quickly did his best to swallow the dissatisfied snort that desperately wanted to escape him. Go to class? How was he possibly supposed focus on the classroom when he had so many thoughts and emotions swirling around inside him? With a rueful frown, he slowly nodded in agreement.
"I guess you're right," he finally replied.
Catching the hesitation in his tone, the vampiress gave a reassuring smile.
"Don't worry, Tsukune, it's gonna be just fine. I promise."
Tsukune gave a sigh, regretfully disentangling himself from his lover's embrace as he sat up.
"I sure hope you're right, Moka. I hated seeing them like that yesterday. Like I said before; I never meant to hurt any of you. I see now that I did hurt all of you though by being so indecisive."
Moka gave a sympathetic smile. Poor guy. They had certainly put him in a tight spot. Once again, she couldn't help but ponder that, perhaps, he was simply too sweet for his own good at times.
"Well, to be honest, I was jealous, but I understand now just why you did what you did. You were just trying to save all of our feelings," she mused as she sat up, leaning her head on his shoulder as she sat beside him.
"But in the end, I didn't save anyone's feelings. I only ended up worsening things. Heh! I guess I'm pretty famous for that, huh?" Tsukune replied, offering his mate a wry grin.
A silence fell over the pair, almost as if this were their normal routine. It was funny how they just seemed to fit together without any effort. Moka couldn't help but be awed by it. Never had she thought that she would find such a relationship.
"You just have a big heart is all, Tsukune. It's one of the reasons I fell in love with you," the vampiress finally answered with a shy smile.
Tsukune felt the corners of his mouth twitch upward into a small smile as he turned to her.
"Moka…," he whispered, slowly wrapping his arms around her in a tender embrace.
Once again he found himself pondering just what on Earth he had done to deserve the beautiful vampiress. All coherent thought ceased, however, when she leaned forward and captured his lips in a gentle kiss. Caught off guard by the rather bold gesture, all Tsukune could do was follow the vampiress's lead. It wasn't long before he found himself on his back again, his head resting against his pillow as Moka gently nipped his exposed neck. He knew what she wanted, and he also knew that he didn't have it in him to deny her anything. As he felt her fangs pierce the soft skin of his neck, he couldn't resist the shiver that ran through him. His toes tingled in pleasure, and he only hoped that they wouldn't end up being late for class.
Moka, for her part, was also thrown off guard by her own actions. Never had she been so bold. Then again, it wasn't all that hard to understand the difference in her behavior. After all, her reasons for being afraid had been taken away. There was simply nothing to fear any longer. There was absolutely nothing preventing her from expressing her feelings to her heart's content. A small smile tugged at the vampiress's lips as she slowly drew back. And express them she would.
Mizore sat with her knees drawn up to her chin, looking out over the vast, blood-red ocean just off of Yokai Academy grounds. This was her favorite spot to come when she needed to think. After all, it was here that Tsukune had saved her life. The snow-woman grimaced. That wasn't entirely true. Yes, Tsukune had kept her from falling, but it had been Moka that had truly saved her life. It had been Moka's words that had finally gotten through to her. Biting her lip, Mizore buried her head in her knees. It just wasn't fair! Why did it have to be Moka?
The violet-haired teen drew in a deep breath to settle her nerves, her tears feeling like tiny needles on her knees as they began to soak through her knee-socks. In all honesty, she knew from the very start that her chances of winning Tsukune's heart were slim with Moka around. From the moment she had met them, she could tell that Moka would turn out to be her greatest rival in love. In fact, she was for all of them. Had all her efforts really been that pointless? Was she just a nuisance? Would Tsukune even treat her the same now?
The snow-woman grabbed her head in her hands in an attempt to halt the chaotic thoughts now swirling in her head. This definitely wasn't the way things were supposed to go. Tsukune was supposed to be in her arms, not Moka's. She understood him. She was so certain that she understood him the best of all. Apparently she had been wrong in that assumption.
Mizore shook her head slightly. She just didn't get it. Every time she was with him it felt as though they were meant to be. All the times she'd spent watching him from afar were all for not? Had she ever once drank his blood? Had she ever tried to suffocate him with her breasts? NO! So why wasn't she the one in his arms? Why had he chosen Moka? The snow-woman winced as her brain was suddenly assaulted by the millions of questions of why. Even though grief-stricken, she couldn't help the ire that began to pool in her gut, and the violet-haired teen clung to the feeling as if her life depended on it: frustration. If she could feel frustration, then she was sure she could force herself to feel anger. After all, things would be so much simpler if she could only hate the vampiress. No. She wasn't fooling anyone. She could never hate Moka, because Tsukune claimed to love her. If Tsukune loved Moka, then Mizore could never hate her; for Tsukune's sake. If there was one thing she was certain of it was her ability to prove that she loved Tsukune the most. She would endure anything for Tsukune.
Raising her head up, the snow-woman allowed a small smile to grace her lips. It would be okay. It had to be.
"So let me get this straight. You were the one that attacked Tsukune before summer break and caused Moka to have to turn him into a vampire?" the ebony-haired witch demanded as she scrutinized the young man standing across from her in the headmaster's office. At his slight, sheepish nod, she semi glared. "And now you want him to help you?!"
"Calm down, Ruby," a calm, ghostly voice soothed, you man's glowing eyes narrowing slightly in an ever calculating manner. "If we are going to prevent these changes at this school, then we will need the assistance of every student we can get. I think it's a marvelous idea to inform Miss Akashiya of what's about to occur. After all, as the academy's strongest student, she is the perfect asset to our cause."
Ruby sighed. There was no going against the headmaster of Yokai Academy, however, she couldn't jeopardize the safety of her dear friends.
"Y-yes, Headmaster, but what about Tsukune? Surely you know the danger this would put him in."
The cloaked man merely chuckled briefly before finally answering with a cheeky grin.
"I doubt we will have to worry much about Mr. Aono. I believe he has proven himself quite well, don't you?"
Ruby appeared as though she would protest for a moment before hanging her head.
"Um, excuse me, but how on Earth do you know my name?" Ruka finally questioned, making her presence known. She was beginning to grow tired of being ignored, and the headmaster was positively giving her the creeps!
Once again, the man robed in white smiled mischievously. His glowing eyes glinted in the dark room, sending an uneasy shiver down the mummy's spine.
"I know the names of every student here in Yokai. In fact, I know just about everything there is to know about each and every one of my students."
Ruka fell silent then, choosing to remain out of the center of attention as the headmaster and Ruby began to make their plans. Something told her that this would be their most difficult semester yet, and it had nothing to do with the homework.
"Are you sure about this, Moka? You're really okay with this?" Tsukune questioned as he reached for the silver cross around the vampiress's neck.
The pink-haired teen smiled slightly. In the past she would have felt an overwhelming sense of jealousy at the notion of Tsukune spending so much time with her inner self. However, with all they had been through in the past weeks, it seemed almost silly. After all, who gets jealous of themselves?
"Of course I am, Tsukune. After all, no matter what happens now, I'm always with you."
Tsukune bit his lip against the tears that suddenly welled up at the vampiress's heartfelt, understanding words.
"And I'm always with you," he whispered as he pulled the silver charm from its place on her collar.
The teen winced as the familiar, blinding light quickly flooded the room, and he almost had to smile at the swift change in her aura. It was almost ironic how this would have almost terrified him two years ago. It was safe to say that he was definitely getting used to Yokai, and her. There was simply no reason for him to hold any fear of her whatsoever. In fact, he was actually quite surprised at just how much he had learned from and about her just by simply giving her a real chance. Opening his eyes, he gave the now silver-haired vampiress a small smile. He could only imagine that this is how most of their days together would start from now on. He held in a chuckle. Not that he minded that in the slightest.
"Good morning, Moka."
Kokoa gave a small yawn as she glared fiercely at the boys' dorm building. That idiot never showed up back to his room the whole night. She had planned on confronting him when he got home and make him take his beating like he was supposed to, but the pervert had never shown up. That could only mean one thing: he had spent the night with either her sister or one of the other girls. The red-haired vampiress shook her head. No. There was no way that her sister would have let him spend the night with her. Right?
The teen sighed. Her sister had been acting so strange the last time she had seen her, and it wasn't exactly a comforting thought. After all, if she let that idiot get too close to her, she would only end up softening even further that she already was. That notion caused a growl to bubble up in the younger vampiress's throat. No! That couldn't happen. There was no way she would let her sister forget. They were vampires, and vampires were the strongest of the strong. They couldn't afford to let petty things like love get in the way. The thought caused Kokoa to scowl. Love? Her sister? No way. If that happened, then her dreams of Moka moving back into their home would be all but shattered. All she had to do was make her sister see what was happening to her.
Another sigh left the red-head's lips. That wouldn't exactly be the easiest of tasks. It didn't take half a brain to see that, unfortunately, her sister seemed to hold feelings for the human. Obvious by the fact that he had drank her blood and lived to tell the tale. Once again she felt an overwhelming jealousy consume her. Just what the hell made him so special?! Moka gave him absolutely everything his heart desired, most times without him even asking for it. Just why was that? The thought of her sister actually being in love with him caused another low growl to escape her. That would NOT happen. She wouldn't allow it. She wouldn't allow her sister to waste her time with some unworthy worm. The teen winced. It wouldn't be easy, and her true big sister would probably kick her into next year, but it would be worth it just to have her back to her senses. If there was one thing she could definitely do it was prove that she was persistent and stubborn. She only hoped she could be more stubborn than her true sister. Either way, Tsukune would pay!
"Listen, if you're absolutely certain about this, then you'll need to let me do the talking. Tsukune isn't exactly the type to hold grudges, but he does remember who's tried to kill him," Ruby quipped to her pair of companions as they exited the Academy's head office. Not many of the students knew just where this particular office was located…for obvious reasons.
Ruka sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose in frustration as she desperately resisted the urge to glare at her mate. If he hadn't jumped the gun and attacked Tsukune without warning, things probably wouldn't be quite so difficult now.
"I was kinda afraid of that," she muttered.
Togura gave an angry huff.
"Look, I said I was sorry, okay?! How many times do I have to say it?!"
Ruby merely ignored him. There was a sickening feeling in her gut that was telling her that the worst had yet to come. She wasn't exactly used to having assignments quite like this from the headmaster. Although, she knew she really had no right to complain. After all, she had once tried to kill Tsukune as well. The witch closed her eyes briefly in shame. No! She couldn't dwell on that. She was a different person now. She couldn't afford to lost track now.
"Listen," she finally spoke, tuning her attention back to the young couple, "For now, leave everything to me. Just go to your classes as normal. The headmaster has everything under control. He knows what he's doing."
Togura and Ruka exchanged glances before hesitantly nodding to the witch in understanding as they took their leave. Though the three were hardly friends, they seemed to be thinking the same thought.
I sure hope so…
Tsukune gave a content sigh as the warm, herbal water soaked into his stiff muscles. A small, shy smile tugged at his lips as he glanced at the silver-haired head resting against his shoulder. In an effort to keep them on track for the day, Moka had suggested that they get ready for school before they got too caught up in the moment as they had been so prone to doing as of late. However, the young vampiress couldn't seem bring herself to part with him for even a short period of time and had reluctantly allowed herself to join him in a morning bath.
"You know, if you were to tell me two years ago that I would be doing something like this, I would've called you a liar and a fool," her soft voice murmured, interrupting Tsukune's rather amorous thoughts.
The teen gave a slight chuckle.
"Two years ago, I didn't have the nerve to even kiss you, let alone take a bath with you."
An amused smile tugged at the vampiress's lips for a moment before a slight frown darkened her features.
"Moka?" Tsukune questioned, sensing the change in her mood. Though he couldn't see her face, he could clearly sense that something was wrong.
The vampiress remained silent for a moment longer.
"I didn't really help much with that, did I?" she finally replied, lifting her head from his shoulder to face him.
Tsukune swallowed at the intensity of her gaze. The look she was giving him was deep and imploring, demanding truth.
"W-well," he finally began, not daring to look away for fear that she would mistake his words for lies. "*Sigh* I'm not gonna lie, Moka, I was scared of you…at first."
"And what about now?" Moka replied after a moment, her deep, crimson eyes never leaving his as she held her breath. Part of her almost feared the answer, not that she would ever admit such a thing. The last person in the world that she wanted to fear her was Tsukune. Her heart skipped a beat at his soft reply.
His tender, yet firm, reply had a profound effect on the vampiress, and before she knew it, she had pulled him into a deep kiss. The electric tingles followed immediately after, and the vampiress sighed in bliss. She had never felt so free in her whole life. It was becoming so clear to her now. Tsukune had always allowed her to freely express herself. If she was angry, then she could be angry.
The pair reluctantly parted after a moment, both equally regretting that they had class today. Once again, the feeling of being the only two individuals on Earth surfaced. Tsukune found himself pondering just how he had gone this long without telling her his feelings sooner. Sharing one last gentle caress and a loving kiss, the young couple finished their bath and set out of Moka's dorm room. Upon reaching the front gate of the academy, Tsukune blinked as he recognized a faint ominous aura. Moka must have sensed it at the same time, or at least Tsukune assumed she had by the soft growl she uttered. As if walking in unison, both vampires froze when their eyes fell upon the source of their unease.
Kokoa… "Um, good morning, Kokoa. What's up?" Tsukune nervously greeted.
The red-head said nothing for a moment, but it was definitely clear to anyone who could pick up on auras that she was in a royally bad mood. Finally, the red-haired vampiress sent a scathing glare in the former human's direction.
"What's up? I think you know damn well what's up! Boy, do you have some explaining to do, and for your sake, I hope it's a good story."
"For starters, Kokoa, I would suggest you watch your tone. And we really don't have time for your little fits today, so if I were you, I would get out of the way," Moka quipped, matching her younger sister's sharp tone.
The red-head blinked, seemingly in shock, for a moment before allowing the sour scowl to return to her features. Normally, she would be all over her real big sister at every opportunity she had, however, this was a time for drastic measures. One way or another, she was going to get to the bottom of things.
"But he drank your blood!" she protested, sending yet another glare in Tsukune's direction.
"And how would you even know that? Spying on me again, were you?" Moka returned, letting go of Tsukune's hand to cross her arms. "Look, who I choose to share my blood with is my decision and no one else's."
"But, Sis, he-"
"But nothing, Kokoa. Stop acting like a spoiled child," Moka cut her off.
Kokoa's eyes widened. Moka had never called her a child before. What was going on? It was then that the young vampiress caught sight caught sight of the mark on her sister's neck barely peeking out from the top of her shirt collar. No. That couldn't be possible. Her unattainable sister taking a mate? And a weakling at that?
"Sis, you didn't," she murmured, her tone barely above a whisper. Inside, she felt like she was drowning. So it was over? Her dream of Moka returning home with her was NEVER going to come true? Was all hope in that lost? No! It couldn't be! She couldn't give up. Perhaps she could still talk sense into her.
The red-head bit her lip. Who was she trying to fool? She wasn't stupid. She knew the significance of a mate-mark. There was no going back.
As if reading her younger sister's thoughts, Moka sighed. Turning to Tsukune, she managed a small smile.
"Go on ahead, Tsukune, let me handle Kokoa."
For a moment, Tsukune thought of protesting, then thought better of the notion. After all, a talk between Inner Moka and Kokoa was long overdue. From what Tsukune understood, the siblings hadn't properly been together in years. Returning her slightly awkward smile with one of his own, he hesitantly made his way into the school building, leaving the sisters alone.
Upon entering the building, Tsukune froze in his tracks once again as his heart instantly filled with dread.
"G-good morning, Kurumu," he nervously greeted the succubus.
Looking at her now; it was almost painful to watch. Her normally beautiful violet eyes were downcast and cloudy. Tsukune could only imagine that it was due to a lack of proper sleep. Once again the overwhelming sense of guilt gripped him like a vice, and the former human quickly looked away.
"Good morning, Tsukune."
Her voice was barely above a whisper, but he still heard her. Tsukune blinked once, twice, then three times. He felt himself release a breath he hadn't even realized he'd been holding as the relief washed over his heart.
"So, um, listen, I wanted to talk to you about yesterday."
Kurumu instantly resisted the urge to wince. What was there to possibly say now?
"W-what about it?" she forced herself to murmur, instantly regretting it afterward. I don't want to sound like a selfish child, and I don't want to cry in front of him anymore. If he's happy, then I'll just have to force myself to be happy too.
"I really-," Tsukune trailed off, sensing the eyes of another upon them. Turning around, he sweat-dropped when he noticed Mizore peering at them from behind a nearby corner. "Uh, anyway," he finally continued, shaking his head. "I just wanted to say that I meant every word. I never meant to hurt you guys. You're all my friends, and you guys are each so special to me in your own ways."
Both girls looked away. It was true. Tsukune had always treated them all equally for the most part. Kurumu bit her lip. She could do this. She could be strong.
"It's okay, Tsukune. Really, it is. You have nothing to feel sorry for," the succubus finally managed to reply around the sudden lump in her throat.
"Yeah. You're just so nice to us all the time that I guess we kinda forget sometimes," Mizore added, moving to join them in conversation.
Tsukune smiled in relief. Maybe they would all be able to remain friends, after all.
"Thank you, guys, for understanding."
"So this is really it, huh? You're sure she's the one?" Kurumu asked after a moment.
Tsukune gave a small smile.
"Yeah. It feels good to finally be honest with my feelings."
Mizore and Kurumu exchanged looks. There was no more room for protest, and they both knew it. How could they deny him what was obviously his true happiness? They could only hope he was prepared for any consequences
"Listen, Kokoa, this can't go on. You're gonna have to learn your place, because I'm not always going to be here to put you in it," Moka murmured as she led her sister away from the main school entrance. Hearing the morning bell ring for classes to begin, the vampiress sighed before turning to face her sibling.
The red-head made no reply. This was so strange. Her one opportunity to talk to her 'real' big sister, and she couldn't seem to utter so much as a single sound. Finally, she managed to get her voice to work long enough to ask the one question that had been haunting her as of late.
"Why? Why'd you do it?"
At that, Moka sighed and leaned her back against the tree. How was she supposed to explain this? It had all happened so fast that she barely even knew. The silver-haired vampiress shook her head. No, that wasn't exactly correct. She had been in love with Tsukune from the beginning. But how would one explain love? Moka almost laughed. Love was far too complex of an emotion to merely 'explain'. Even as wise beyond her years as she seemed, she had only begun to understand the mass of emotions Tsukune had awakened inside her.
"As I've said before, who I chose to share my blood with is my own business, Kokoa, as well as who I chose for a life mate."
Kokoa's brow furrowed. When had her sister gotten so sentimental?
"But what about your pride and dignity as a vampire? You do realize that father will never approve of this, right?"
Moka rolled her crimson eyes, folding her arms defiantly.
"I couldn't care less what father 'approves' of at this point. My decision for a mate is mine alone, and it is final. Tsukune is the one I've chosen, end of story. I don't' expect you to understand my reasons or motives, Kokoa."
"But, Sis!" Kokoa began to protest, only to be cut off.
"Look, Kokoa, one day you're going to meet someone. Someone that you would give your own life for. Someone that will mean more to you than the pride that comes with your blood."
The red-head made a face, her temper beginning to get the better of her.
"No way! There's no way that'll EVER happen! And there's no way I'll accept some weakling for a brother!"
Moka's eyes narrowed, her aura slipping in her sudden ire, causing Kokoa to flinch slightly.
"Whether you approve or not, Tsukune IS your brother now, and you will treat him as such, am I clear? Mark my words, Kokoa, if you so much as raise a finger to him, you'll have me to deal with."
Kokoa frowned at the deadly tone. There was no room for debate. She meant every word.
"This isn't fair. I thought that you would eventually return home: where you belong."
"Kokoa, you know that I can never return to that house," Moka murmured in reply.
Clearly sensing her younger sister's distress, the vampiress gave a soft sigh. She wasn't all surprised by the wave of guilt that followed afterward. After all, she hadn't gotten to be the older sister she had wanted to for most of their lives. Well, there was no reason that couldn't change, right? Crossing the short distance between them, she surprised even herself as she pulled Kokoa into the first true hug they'd shared in years.
Kokoa instantly stiffened in shock. Just what had gotten into her sister? For as long as she'd known her, Moka had always been sort of awkward when it came to physical displays of affection. Of course, that was to be expected when affection wasn't exactly the priority of their race. Then again, maybe it was simply because Moka was raised slightly different than her.
"I'm sorry, Kokoa. I wasn't there for you as much as I wanted to be growing up, but believe me when I say that leaving wasn't exactly my choice," Moka muttered, snapping her younger sister from her thoughts. She wasn't really the greatest at this sort of stuff yet, but she was getting there. Perhaps she had learned more from Omote than she thought?
Before Kokoa even realized, she was returning the embrace with all she was worth, years of hidden loneliness and bitterness flowing down her cheeks in the form of tears. As much as she wanted, she couldn't seem to stop the silent sobs that suddenly overwhelmed her. Much to her surprise, and chagrin, Moka neither pushed her away, nor did she even chide her. For what seemed like an eternity, she simply held her without so much as a single word.
Ruby sighed as she made her way down the long hall, making her way to the school courtyard. It was now lunchtime, and she knew Tsukune it would be the best time to talk to Moka and Tsukune. The witch grimaced. If only she knew how she was going to begin this particular conversation, she would be in business.
I don't even know where I'm gonna start.
Orders were orders, so failure was not an option. Besides, if what the headmaster said was true, Moka may very well be their last hope for the academy remaining the way it was now. She just hoped that they wouldn't run out of time.
Tsukune nervously glanced around between his friends. Things were definitely awkward between them. No one had really said a word so far, and he was beginning to become tense. He was never more grateful when Moka seemed to pick up on his distress and silently placed her hand into his in reassurance. Flashing her a brief, grateful smile, the teen turned back to his friends. He was happy to see Yukari was at least ATTEMPTING to maintain eye-contact. However, Kurumu and Mizore remained somewhat quiet and distant.
Tsukune sighed. He supposed that was to be expected. He was a bit disappointed that none of them had really congratulated them yet.
Then again, I suppose that's to be expected too, he thought idly. "So, uh, how did your talk with Kokoa go, Moka? You didn't mention it after you came to class," the teen questioned, attempting to get any kind of conversation going.
His mate immediately flinched, not exactly thrilled with suddenly becoming the center of attention.
"I would guess that she most likely wants to kick Tsukune's butt at the very least," Yukari interjected sourly.
When the young witch had finally caught up with them earlier, she wasn't really thrilled to find that her fears had been realized. There was no mistaking the marks on their necks, and she knew all too well that there was now no going back.
"She never has seemed to like Tsukune very much," Kurumu admitted, nodding her head in agreement.
"I think it would be best to ignore her. She's a loudmouth, but I doubt she's really that much of a threat," Mizore commented.
"I seriously doubt she'll pose much of a problem. She knows her place," Moka assured off-handedly as she finished her rice.
"Hi, guys," a chirpy voice greeted, interrupting the conversation.
"Oh, hi, Ruby," Tsukune greeted in kind, offering the witch a smile.
Ruby returned the smile briefly.
"We haven't seen you in a while. Keeping busy?" Kurumu asked with a small smile of her own. On the rare occasions that they did get to see Ruby, it was nice to get to catch up. However, even then she seemed to be distracted with her work.
"As always. Listen, I wish this visit was on brighter terms, but I'm afraid I have some bad news. It seems that a group called Fairy Tale is trying its best to influence the curriculum here at Yokai."
"That name…sounds familiar to me," Moka murmured
"It's beginning to be quite a well-known group. It's essentially a purebred only elite group that disapproves of Yokai's message of peace toward humans. They've been trying to gain influence on Yokai for a little while, but so far the headmaster has been able to deny their requests. However, they've been gaining power and influence here lately, and they've managed to get some new rules in place."
"What the hell? So just because they're, like, some rich snobs, they think they can just come in and tell everyone what to do?" Kurumu snapped.
"It would appear so," Ruby replied hesitantly.
"So what does that mean for us?" Tsukune inquired, tightening his hold on his mate's hand slightly. Somehow, he got the feeling that things were getting ready to get MUCH worse.
Ruby sighed. Honestly! Why did it always seem like she was the one to give all the bad news?
"Well, there will be an extreme decrease in the amount of mixed blood students admitted into Yokai. We're not sure what additional changes will occur yet, but the headmaster really needs your help specifically, Moka."
Moka's eyes widened. Her help the headmaster?!
"What? What would the headmaster possibly need my help for?
Ruby gave a slightly awkward smile.
"Well, it's not exactly a secret that you're Yokai Academy's strongest student. If we had you on our side, our odds would be much greater."
Moka rolled her scarlet eyes. Typical.
"I don't fight senseless squabbles."
Tsukune frowned. Something was definitely wrong. If the headmaster himself was asking for assistance.
"I don't know. It doesn't really sound good, if he's asking for help, Moka." I just hope we're not dealing with anything too dangerous here.
"Please, Moka. You're a purebred of the highest social standing. If came to the defense of the current ways of Yokai, they would probably listen to you," Ruby implored. In all honesty, she didn't wholly blame Moka for not wanting to be involved. After all, hadn't she been used for her power enough?
The silver-haired vampiress sighed.
"And what makes you think anyone would listen to me, when they obviously don't care what the headmaster has to say?"
"Because of your father," Ruby countered.
Moka looked away. The witch did have a point. For as long as she could remember, her father had been a man of substantial influence. It was official, she had gone soft. She couldn't say no to those she called friends.
"Fine, but I won't make any guarantees."
There was a collective sigh of relief amongst the group.
"Thank you, Moka. We have some students here that came forward with some insider info that would like to speak with you soon. The headmaster would like you to stay close to them and listen to what they have to say."
"Who are they, Ruby?" Tsukune questioned, injecting himself into the conversation. He wasn't really sure he liked the sound of this anymore. It was beginning to sound a bit too complicated for his liking.
Ruby frowned. This was honestly the part she dreaded.
"Ruka Santori and Togura Ishimoto."
Tsukune's eyes widened.
"Ishimoto? Isn't he psycho that attacked me before summer break?"
Moka didn't even bother resisting the growl that left her throat as the others immediately began to protest.
"I have to agree with Moka on that one. Did you forget that he tried to kill Tsukune?" Kurumu interjected. Something's really wrong here. Why do I get the feeling that Ruby knows something she's not telling us?
"Yeah, who's to say his so called information is even legit?" Mizore added.
"True. He could be lying," Yukari agreed.
"Look, above all else, I think it should be Tsukune's decision," Moka replied. "What do you say, Tsukune?"
Tsukune scratched the back of his head for a moment.
I really hate being put on the spot like this. On one hand, he tried to kill me, and it would make sense not to have anything else to do with him. On the other hand, though, it really seems like the headmaster is in a tight spot and needs cooperation. "I…I honestly don't know, Ruby. I'd really have to think about it," the teen finally replied in a hesitant tone. Ugh! Here I go again with my indecisiveness!
Sensing his distress, Moka gave his hand a slight squeeze in comfort.
Ruby nodded once again, giving a small smile.
"It's okay, Tsukune. I understand."
Tsukune forced a smile. It seemed that his peaceful time was about to be cut short. He could only hope it was being blown out of proportion.
The next few days seemed to pass by in a blur. The stress of homework and deciding whether or not to cooperate with the former enemy would be enough to do just about anyone in. However, it was Moka that was really beginning to worry him. Anymore, she suffered from severe headaches, nausea, and took little to no blood from him. When questioned, she would always reassure him that she was fine and he didn't need to be concerned. Assuming that her seal was possibly the cause of her aliment, Moka convinced him to seal her away once more. However, Outer Moka quickly began to exhibit the same symptoms. It wasn't until Friday that things took a turn for the worse…
Moka gave a slight yawn as she stood in her spot on the volleyball court. She hadn't really gotten so much as a wink of sleep. The vampiress brushed a strand of her silver hair from her eyes. Anymore, she was unsealed virtually every day. What was beginning to concern her was the fact that whenever it was time to seal her away again, the rosary was very sluggish to take effect. Wincing the teen briefly brushed a hand to her forehead. She hadn't told Tsukune about her fever this morning. And from the way she felt now, it was getting worse. At least she had a reason for moving so slowly today. Normally, she would dominate P.E. class. However, she was simply content to move at her own pace today. Perhaps it was simply the stress trying to get to her? After all, she had yet to inform her father of her mateship.
The vampiress spared a glance at her mate and gave a soft smile. He was so cute sitting there all spaced out as he waited for his team's turn to bat. She just hoped he was absorbed in good thoughts and not stressing out too much. Moka was brought out of her thoughts as a member on the opposite team spiked the volleyball at an angle. Reacting on instinct, she quickly moved to dive for it. The vampiress had barely had time to blink as her vision suddenly blurred. She didn't make so much as a sound as her head began to swim. The teen barely registered the shouts of her name as she suddenly fell, her world fading to black…
"Moka!" Tsukune shouted again as he sprinted to her side where a very worried Kurumu, Mizore, and Yukari were already gathered.
"Moka?! Moka, can you hear us?!" Kurumu exclaimed, gently shaking the vampiress's shoulder in an attempt to awaken her, but to no avail.
Mizore had a look of total shock on her face and tried several times in vain to speak.
Yukari was nearly hysterical by the time Tsukune knelt down at Moka's side and gathered her into his arms.
"What happened?!" he demanded. Honestly, he knew snapping at them wouldn't do any good. But, God, when he saw her fall like that… The teen rapidly shook his head, tightening his hold on his mate as he stood up.
"I don't know. She went to hit the ball, and then…nothing," Kurumu replied frantically.
"Tsukune, what's wrong with her?" Yukari inquired, equally as frantic.
A small crowd began to gather, and Tsukune winced at all the frantic tones of their classmates and all the questions fired in his direction at once.
"I-I don't know, but I'm taking her to the nurse," he replied as he turned and quickly made his way across the school yard and into the building. God, she's burning up! the teen thought frantically as he raced down the halls to the infirmary.
"Whoa! Whoa! What's going on?" a young woman inquired as Tsukune rushed into the clinic and gently placed the unconscious Moka on the nearest bed.
The young vampire turned and glanced at the young woman for a moment. He had never seen the new nurse before. Since the altercation with the previous one last year, the academy had hired a new one, though she was rarely seen. Shaking his head to collect his thoughts, the teen quickly began to explain.
"This is Moka Akashiya. She's been having headaches and dizzy spells the past few days, and she just collapsed!"
The curly-haired nurse did her best to give a reassuring smile.
"Okay, okay, calm down, okay?"
"Calm down?!" Tsukune retorted. This was his mate! How was he supposed to 'calm down' when she was in obvious trouble?
"Listen, she's obviously a vampire," the nurse began as she walked over to examine the ill teen. "She does have a rather high fever, so I want to run some tests," she murmured as she brushed a hand against the girl's forehead. "Has she been taking in a normal blood supply to sustain her powers?"
Tsukune frowned, shaking his head.
"I-I don't really think so. I mean, she says she's fine, but she's hardly drank any blood in the past couple of days."
The nurse smiled, pulling out a thermometer and syringe out of a nearby drawer.
"Well, see? There's her problem right there. I'd say it's her anemia, but, just to be sure, I'm gonna keep her overnight and run some tests."
I don't know if Moka's rosary acting up would cause this or not. I've never really seen Moka sick before, so I don't know what to do, Tsukune thought worriedly.
Picking up on his worry, the nurse gave him a reassuring smile.
"She's going to be just fine, alright. Why don't you let her rest and come back later on?"
Tsukune instantly recoiled. Leave his mate alone? He and Moka had never once separated since becoming mates. However, if she needed rest, then perhaps it really would be better if he returned later? Nodding his head in determination, the teen made his decision.
Whatever is best for Moka. "Alright, but I really would like to watch over her tonight."
The nurse eyed him wearily for a moment. Spend the night with her?
"I don't know if that's such a good idea, young man," she replied before gently rolling up Moka's sleeve and inserting the syringe into her arm.
Tsukune flinched at the sight. He honestly wasn't the best with needles.
"P-please, Miss. You see, um," Tsukune paused, blushing slightly. He could tell there was really no way he was going to get to spend the night if he didn't explain. "You see, we're, um, m-mates."
The nurse blinked in surprise for a moment before regaining her composure. Mates? At their age?
"O-oh, I see. Well, uh, I guess in that case I can make an exception this one time."
Tsukune breathed a sigh of relief.
"Thank you," he smiled.
The nurse merely offered a small smile as she removed the needle from Moka's arm and made her way into a back room.
"I'm afraid the tests will take some time to get the results in, so in the meantime, she's going to have to be extra careful. Make sure she gets plenty of blood. I'll get some transfusion bags in here in a little while," she called.
Tsukune nodded, though he knew she couldn't see him. Sparing one last glance at his sleeping mate, he left to give her some much needed rest. Making his way down the hall, the teen yawned. All this stress was definitely going to kill him one day, or at the very least give him grey hairs. The teen smiled. Wait, he already had silver hair!
Tsukune flinched slightly at the harsh tone and turned around in the direction of the voice. He was not exactly surprised to see Kokoa coming toward him.
This was bound to happen sooner or later. I just hope she doesn't kill me! "Oh, hey, Kokoa. What's up?"
The red-head glared slightly as she moved to stand directly in front of him in the hall, her arms folded sternly across her chest.
"Look, I've kept my distance the past couple of days out of respect for my big sister, but I'm only going to say this once: you break my sister's heart, and I kill you, got it?"
Same ol' Kokoa. "Sure thing," he giggled nervously. "But I have to say, Kokoa, you really have no reason to worry," the teen continued, "I love Moka with all my heart. I have for a long time now. I would never do anything intentionally to hurt her."
The young vampiress scowled.
"For your sake, I hope not. I just hope you're ready for what you've gotten yourself into," she muttered as she turned and walked away.
"Wait! What's that supposed to mean?!" Tsukune called after her, receiving no response. The teen sighed and continued down the hall. Somehow, he got the feeling that things were just beginning…
Moka winced as eyes slowly fluttered open. God, her whole body hurt! Sitting up, the vampiress grimaced as sore muscles immediately protested. Glancing around the room, she was somewhat alarmed to find herself in what she recognized as the school infirmary instead of her dorm.
Wh-what the hell happened?
Placing a hand to her temple, she was relieved to find that her fever had dropped. She was still warm, but not feverish. The vampiress pushed herself out of the bed and frowned at the transfusion bags sitting on the table beside her. Those damned things again? There was no way she was going to drink them. The teen winced. Then again, that was what had probably got her into the fix she was in. She had to have some form of sustenance. If she refused to take Tsukune's blood, she really had no other options. Grimacing, she snatched one of them in her hand and slowly made her way to the window.
It was nearly pitch black outside, and Moka could only guess that it was late evening. Glancing down at the transfusion bag in her hand, she sighed. She really was pathetic. Her little experiment was a complete failure. She had so hoped that she would be able to function without the crutch of taking blood. She had been so certain that she could gradually wean herself off that she hadn't taken nearly the needed amount from Tsukune as she had been before. Even now, the very sight of the red liquid was enough to make her want to throw up! Was she honestly that weak? The teen was brought out of her negative thoughts when the door clicked open. Turning around, she was both relieved and mortified to see Tsukune walk in. He had taken off his school jacket and the first couple buttons on his white shirt were undone, giving Moka a most tantalizing view of the skin of his neck.
"Oh, good. You found the transfusion bags the nurse got for you," he murmured as he gave her a warm smile.
Moka instantly felt the desire at the sight of his exposed skin and looked away. No! She wouldn't.
"*Sigh* Moka, why didn't you tell me that you needed more of my blood? You know that I'll give you as much as you need. You're going to drink that transfusion bag, right?" Tsukune muttered as he crossed the room to stand directly in front of her.
Moka immediately gained a look of disgust, glaring daggers at the bag in her hand before throwing it to the floor.
"No, I'm not."
Tsukune frowned, somewhat confused by her behavior.
"Oh, well, I guess you'll be taking mine then?"
Moka felt her heart skip a beat and choked back a sob. Why did he do that? Why did he always offer that so freely? She was no better than an addict. Try as she might, she was powerless to stop the tears that were beginning to sting the corners of her beautiful crimson eyes. Turning to him, she gave a slight growl.
"No, I won't."
Tsukune blinked in confusion.
"But nothing, Tsukune!" the vampiress shouted, cutting him off. "I refuse to be a slave to my addiction any longer. Do you have any idea what it's like to completely and wholly despise what you are with every fiber of your being?! I may be a vampire, but I never said I enjoyed it!"
Tsukune's eyes widened in shock, then softened.
"Moka, what you are is beautiful. Please don't hate yourself like that. You can't help that you need blood."
"Exactly! I'm a monster, Tsukune. And to make matters worse, I took away your humanity, something I swore I'd never do!" Moka retorted, cutting him off once again.
She's feeling guilty about turning me into a vampire? "Moka, I don't mind that you turned me into a vampire. Sure, I was scared at first, but I have you, don't I?"
The vampiress scoffed.
"What a pathetic consolation."
At that, Tsukune crossed the remaining distance between them and pulled the distressed vampire into his arms.
"Don't you get it, Moka? You're my greatest treasure. I love you with all my heart. You know that. I don't care if you suck my blood or whatever. I told you that I'd love you forever and I will!"
Moka choked back a sob, taken aback by his heartfelt words. She was honestly beginning to wonder if she even deserved him.
"Tsu-Tsukune…" Her breath caught in her throat as he gently nudged her to his exposed neck. "Pl-please don't. I-I don't want to hurt you anymore," she breathed, immediately feeling the familiar pull of his scent. She began to tremble as her head instantly grew cloudy.
Tsukune felt the warm sensation through their link and smiled softly as he gently cupped the back of her head.
"Shh. It's okay, Moka. You need it," he murmured softly into her ear.
The effect was immediate. The vampiress shuddered as her whole body warmed. She drew in a deep breath of his warm scent and her toes almost curled in pleasure then and there. She completely lost control when he placed a soft kiss to the side of her neck. Pressing him into the nearby wall, she gave a soft whimper as she sank her fangs into his warm skin. God, it was like she had been dying of thirst and had finally been given a drink! She felt so warm… So entranced was she that she didn't even register the tears streaming down her pale cheeks as she began to shake with silent sobs.
"P-please don't cry, Moka. You mean the world to me. I-I don't mind when you take my blood. You're not hurting me at all," Tsukune assured as he gently combed his fingers through the silver-haired vampiress's hair.
Moka stiffened, choking back another sob as she slowly retracted her fangs and tenderly brushed her tongue against his neck. How? How could he forgive her for something like this? She was brought out of her thoughts when she was suddenly picked up bridal style.
"Wh-what are you doing?" she breathed, her heart pounding as Tsukune began carrying her back to her clinical bed.
Tsukune gave a shy, yet determined smile as he gazed lovingly down at her in his arms.
"I know my place, Moka. But I think you need reminded of yours."
The vampiress in his arms instantly blushed, nearly indignant sputtering falling from her lips, which he quickly silenced with a soft kiss. His heart skipped a beat at her hastily stifled whimper. Gently laying her down on the bed, he pulled back to look at her. He instantly felt the air leave his lungs. God, was she ever beautiful. As he timidly moved to unbutton her shirt, he was only sure of one thing: he loved her, and he would remind her of that…as many times as it took.
A/N: Well, there you have this chapter. Guys, I really am so sorry it took so long to get this out. I promise that I will try to get better. Please know that I'm in College right now, so my time is kinda limited. Also, I hope you all have seen my poll on my profile. I would really love your opinions. Anyway, until next time!
Next Chapter: New Beginnings and a Vampire
"Wh-what?" the vampiress breathed, placing a hand to her temple as her head began to spin.
Moka quickly scanned the sheet of paper again. There had to be some mistake. There was just no way.
The nurse regarded the vampiress with a half-amused expression. A powerful S-Class vampire nearly panicking?