A/N: you guys. You're literally the greatest fans ever. If you didn't read the update from yesterday, basically I haven't updated because my life got progressively suckier every day for the past year, but I'm back and ready for action. I'd advise re-reading all of the chapters in case you forgot what happened.
"What?!" Matthew squeaked, frantically turning around to look at the black SUV tailing them.
Gilbert glanced into the rear view mirror and sighed. "I didn't tell you because I didn't want to worry you," he explained. The only thing betraying his actual reaction was his white knuckles as his hands tightened around the leather steering wheel. He winced as the car swung to the right, dangerously close to the edge of the road.
Matthew didn't reply. His eyes darted around nervously before settling on Gilbert's face. He gasped as the car accelerated quickly, pushing them against the backs of their chairs. His mind could not stop racing, imaging the car crashing and being caught by whoever drove that horrible black machinery that was hot on their trails… or worse. What if something were to happen to Gilbert? He seemed to notice Matthew's anxiety without even looking at him, and gave him one of his classic smirks. Somehow this reassured him, seeing Gilbert act like his normal self.
The car veered to the right suddenly and Matthew felt a hand press against his arm with almost bruising force, keeping him from shifting too far to the left. But at that exact moment, the earsplitting sound of metal being torn and glass being shattered all at once attacked his ears.
A large bullet surrounded itself in cracked glass in the windshield, passing through the exact spot where Matthew's head would have been had Gilbert not kept him from shifting just an inch more.
Matthew was paralyzed with utter shock for a moment, unsure how to react. He didn't even dare look at Gilbert for fear even he would not know what to do. After a moment of silence, Gilbert asked, "Are you alright?"
He just nodded in reply, feeling sick at the dizzying speed of the trees rushing past the window. 'H-How did you...?"
Gilbert didn't move his crimson eyes from their focus on the road. "I heard them pull out the gun." This stunned him even more, if that was even remotely possible. Matthew wrapped his hands around the stiff seatbelt in a death grip as if that would keep him from going insane.
The albino sighed at the damage he had caused to Matthew's life as he rounded a corner wildly, nearly clearing about five trees in the process. "We'll be fine, okay?"
The blonde nodded, releasing a breath he hadn't even realized he'd been holding. Just loud enough for him to hear, he whispered, "I trust you."
A wide grin stretched across Gilbert's face, and he turned to glance at Matthew to display his beaming face to him. Matthew stifled a particularly loud laugh by almost stuffing his fist into his mouth.
Matthew glanced at Gilbert with eyes so filled with emotion that he could spent forever deciphering them. And that was exactly what he intended to do if they escaped this mess. Suddenly, he heard a 'click' from behind them. At that same moment he violently twisted the steering wheel, turning the SUV at the exact moment the gun would have penetrated it.
But by that time, it was too late to get back onto the road, and the car plowed through the bushes lining the road and into the forest. Gilbert just looked around, momentarily stunned. His ear twitched at the sound of the other car behind them. They weren't getting anywhere near Matthew, no way.
Gilbert wrapped his arm around Matthew's waist and gripped the steering wheel, turning it suddenly and flipping the car onto its side. Claws penetrated from his finger tips and he punched through the windshield, shattering the glass. The thick chords of muscle in his leg contracted as he pushed himself out the broken window, pulling Matthew with him. He landed squarely on his feet outside the vehicle, the sun striking them blindingly in contrast to the car's tinted windows. Matthew let out a little squeak and wrapped his arms around Gilbert's body tightly.
He wanted to kiss him so hard he saw stars that very second, but that would have to wait until later on. "Wait here," he instructed him, swinging his legs up to carry the blonde bridal style before placing him safely behind the car wreckage. He was just so damn cute with those big violet eyes and unruly hair that he couldn't resist. The albino pressed a kiss to his forehead and whispered a simple, "Stay hidden... and be safe."
With that, he closed his eyes and channeled the dark energy that swirled through his bloodstream. His wings violently ripped out of his back, ripping his shirt so that it was hanging off him. His tail shot out, the sun accentuating the veins running down it and the deadly spike protruding from its tip. He opened eyes, the red irises flashing menacingly and his teeth sharpened as he smiled wickedly. He looked to Matthew who could not seem to take his eyes off him.
He didn't blame him, his ripped body and devil appendages were pretty damn awesome. Still grinning, he took off running toward his attackers. The black SUV sped toward him, and he picked up speed, using his extraordinary agility to leap into the air and land on top of the car, denting the metal with a screech and cracking the windshield.
One of the men in the car opened the door and rolled out, pointing a gun at Gilbert from a safe distance of about ten feet. Another did the same, and he was followed by a third and a fourth. They were all dressed in black suits and shades. How cliché, he thought with a soft menacing chuckle.
One of them spoke, "We don't need to hurt you. Come with us and no harm will come to you." Yeah, he'd believe that the same day his brother Ludwig would wear a pink frilly dress: never.
"Nice try monkey suit," he mocked their attire. With that one of them behind him fired a shot aimed for his shoulder. Gilbert turned and pinched the airborne bullet between his fingers, stopping it from piercing his skin. Their mouths dropped open, completely stupefied. They fired more shots, of which all he stopped in the same fashion.
As if they thought they could kill him that easily. The albino leapt to the ground, landing in a crouched position to wait for his attackers. They immediately threw themselves at him, trying to tackle him to the ground. But Gilbert would have none of that. His killer instinct immediately took over.
He threw off one of the heavier men, propelling him so far that he collided with a tree with a sickening thud. The men grew aggravated, trying to land punches and missing. One flew at him, fist closed tight and aimed at his face. The Prussian smirked and blocked the punch with one hand, and tightened his grip, surely breaking some bones in the man's hand.
He cried out in pain, and fell to the ground. Gilbert let out a feral growl, eyes glinting as if to say, Come at me.
Matthew watched from his hiding spot behind their stolen car as Gilbert fought off the men, seemingly always one step ahead of them.
It was terrible, but he couldn't bring himself to look away. The albino did a roundhouse kick, effectively knocking him out. Another came at him, and Gilbert bit his fleshy neck in such a graceful manner that it looked like dancing. He grinned as the man seemed to become paralyzed. Matthew watched in horror as the man fell to the ground, seemed to infuriate one of them who snuck away toward the car, and reached into the backseat to grab something. What was he doing? He couldn't see what he was holding.
As the man walked closer toward Gilbert, Matthew squinted, making out a syringe. He had to cover his mouth to keep himself from calling out to the albino to warn him. He knew if he did that he would be neglecting the Prussian's wish: be safe.
Gilbert continued to fight off the others, effectively paralyzing them as well. Soon he stood alone among the men who lay still on the ground from the venom in his teeth. However he quickly realized he was not alone. Gilbert spun on his heel, facing his attacker.
The man took this opportunity and aimed and plunged the syringe into Gilbert's chest. Immediately he fell to the ground, unconscious. His attackers made guttural noises of content and proceeded to tie him up and toss his Gilbert into the trunk of their car.
As they drove away, tears streamed down Matthew's face, horrified at what he had just witnessed, and even more horrified that he could have done nothing to help except get himself hurt. Sobbing, he crawled toward the spot where he had last seen his albino demon standing and collapsed there. He hugged his legs to his chest and curled into a ball as if to keep himself from falling apart. He gasped as the sobs seemed to rip him in two. Slowly blackness crept into his vision, and sleep took him.
Gilbert moaned as he opened his eyes slowly, blinking to clear his blurred vision. He tried to sit up, but pain shot up his spine. He moaned in pain and lay back down, unable to move.
He took a long, deep breath and sighed audibly. He closed his eyes in pain, but all he saw was a beautiful set of violet eyes that he loved dearly.
"Ve~ he looks kind of cute though!" a high, tenor voice exclaimed.
"We can't take him with us, Feli," a more stern voice said, laced with a strong German accent. He seemed to reprimand the other.
Matthew groggily opened his eyes to reveal a small male with brown hair with an odd curl jutting out of it. He seemed to ring a bell in the Canadian's hazy mind. Oh, he was the one who worked at the hotel he stayed in. He was accompanied by a taller, well built male with slicked back blonde hair and pristine clothes, impeccably ironed.
"Wha…" was all he could mumble. He tried to sit up quickly but was scolded with a fiercely pounding headache.
"Ah! He's awake, what do we do?!" Feliciano asked his partner while waving his hands around franticly.
"He's awake, he can hear you," the other man said tiredly, as if this were a thing he dealt with everyday. It probably was. "Hello, my name is Ludwig, and this is Feliciano," he introduced himself politely, offering Matthew a hand to help him up.
"I-I'm Matthew," he said, wincing at his throbbing headache.
"Ve~ I know who you are," The Italian said, his eyes lighting up in recognition. "What are you doing all alone?"
"I-" The Canadian considered explaining to him what happened, but that would lead to a lot of unnecessary questions that he couldn't answer without giving away Gilbert's secret and identity. Sighing, he replied simply, "I don't know."
"Can he please come with us?" Feliciano whined, turning toward Ludwig and whimpering softly in a way that was heart-shattering. There was no way the German would say no, he thought. Not with that sad, beaten puppy look he was sporting. He was suddenly filled with a rush of empathy for the poor blonde.
Sure enough, the seemingly emotionless man gave in. "If he would like to, I suppose so."
"I-I would," Matthew replied immediately, not wanting to be left out here all alone. He almost burst out laughing, thinking about how that ended up last time.
"Ve~ shall we go then?" Matthew nodded. He was going to do the only thing he could right now to help Gilbert; keep himself safe.
The three of them trekked through the forest all day, to where Matthew was uncertain but he wasn't exactly in a position to question their judgment. It was a long journey, especially because the Feliciano and Ludwig walked close together, leading the way. They would whisper fervently to one another for a long while, and then would gradually break off into silence, only to find some other secret to share. The Canadian should have found this to be slightly peculiar, but the only thing he could think about was Gilbert.
Where was his demon? Was he hurt? Not knowing was slowly beginning to eat at his brain, and he didn't know how much more he could handle. He needed to find Gilbert before anything happened to him, assuming nothing had. He shuddered at the thought.
The sun began to slip behind the shade of the trees, casting a beautiful yet somehow eerie light over the trio. Suddenly Ludwig and Feliciano turned to the left, staring at something that was invisible to Matthew. The German turned toward him and said, "We'll be stopping over there." The Canadian nodded, following the two toward what looked like a small cave.
"We'll get there tomorrow," Feli told him as he passed him a blanket. Matthew looked at the thin woolen blanket distastefully when the others weren't looking; it wouldn't provide him much comfort from the hard rock ground of the cave. The most he could do is try to clear his mind and sleep.
Easier said than done. As soon as he laid down on the hard cave floor, pain shot up his back. Nevertheless the blonde closed his eyes and tried to make the best of the situation. This of course, resulted in him laying awake for what seemed like forever. Just as he was about to give up and go for a walk or do something, Feli and Ludwig started talking in hushed tones.
"Ve… do you think he had a run in with Gilbert?" the Italian asked worriedly.
"It seems likely…" Ludwig agreed. Matthew's ears perked up. They knew Gilbert? Did they know where he was taken? He almost gasped aloud at another thought. Did they hurt Gilbert? "There have been quite a few murders in this area recently. It has to be him."
"We'll find him," Feli assured the blonde man. "I'm sure we will."
"But I smelled blood, Feli. And it wasn't just human," he said. "What if something happened to him?" Matthew's eyebrows furrowed. Who were these people and how much did they know?
"We'll sort it out with the council tomorrow. "
"Ja. I'll make sure they let us carry out our plan."
"They will," Feliciano assured him. "Even if those people didn't take Gilbert, they took a lot of people too."
"I know, you are right." Ludwig said finally before a creating a few rustling sounds. Before Matthew knew it, he could hear 'sounds' that shouldn't have been heard by anyone but the two of them. He winced, waiting for the two to cease their heated makeout session. Even with the grotesque sounds of their love, his mind continued to race, filled with thoughts of the albino who had changed his entire life in only two days. He waited anxiously for them to finish, which finally they did.
"Ti amo," he heard a soft voice say.
"Ich liebe dich," a deep voice replied. Matthew's heart could only ache for his love.
Gilbert woke up once again to the world in a blurry haze. Was someone drugging him? Where was he? He needed to find Matthew. It was too dark, he couldn't see anything.
"He awakes," an all too familiar voice said. His fogged brain raced to place a name on the source of it, but thinking was hurting him right now.
"Wh… Where am I?" he asked slowly, blackness starting to swarm in the corners of his eyes. He tried to lift his arms to find that he was cruelly chained to the ground.
"As far as you're concerned, nowhere," the voice said, amused. "All you need to do is sleep until I have need for you."
"No!" he exclaimed with his last burst of energy. He forcefully tried to tug the chains from the stone ground, only to collapse back to the floor, drained. "Let… me go…"
"Soon," the voice promised, laughing. Gilbert began to breathe raggedly, fighting to stay awake. Finally, it became too much, and he gave in to the far too tempting blackness, which welcomed him happily.
"Matthew~" a friendly voice called.
"Huh?!" he woke up, startled. He shot up to a sitting position only to find himself inches away from Feliciano's grinning face.
"Good morning!" he greeted him, before standing up straight and walking over to his blankets and began folding them.
"M-morning," Matthew mumbled in response. He looked around to find Ludwig tapping his foot impatiently; bedding all folded up and tucked into their pack. They must be in a rush to go somewhere.
Suddenly, he remembered. Wherever they were going, it was to get Gilbert back. Not that they even knew Matthew had heard them talking, but that was okay. He hurried to get up and fold his think blanket, eager to do whatever they had to do, as long as it meant they were going to find his Prussian.
He handed the blanket to the German, who quickly pushed it into the backpack he was wearing. He took Feliciano's hand and started to walk in the same direction they were going yesterday.
The Canadian hurried to keep up, his ankle smarting in the process, but he paid no mind to it. The three walked in complete silence, an air of determination settling over them. Finally, they came into a clearing. Ludwig and Feliciano stopped so suddenly that Matthew almost walked into them. Why had they just stopped?
Confused, he glanced around them to see many other people standing at the edge of the circular clearing, heads bowed. No one spoke a word as they all instantly took one step forward, mumbling some sort of incantation in time with one another. A serene mist settled over them, weaving through their feet and wrapping around their bodies, intertwined with their fingers.
Matthew just stared wide-eyed at the scenario, frozen. Feliciano grabbed Matthew's hand, tugging him forward. All of the sudden the world blurred and refocused to another place completely surreal. All of the people around him had glowing colored auras twisting and wrapping around them excitedly. Suddenly the murmuring stopped and one voice became clear.
"Ludwig, whom do you and my grandson bring forth to the circle, and why, pray tell?" Matthew couldn't seem to find where the voice was coming from.
` "He was in immediate danger," he heard Ludwig's voice, but his thin lips weren't moving. Were they using telepathy? He watched wide eyed as Ludwig's gaze was lead toward a strong figure at the head of their now oblong-shaped formation. "Romulus, sir, Feliciano and I would like to propose an idea."
The German nodded to Feli, who eagerly began to 'speak'. "We think Matthew," his eyes trailed over to the shaken blonde, "may be able to help us find Gilbert! Isn't that great?"
Immediately the circle was filled with loud conversation, people talking louder and louder, an angry tone laced in their voices. "Quiet!" Romulus' voice echoed throughout the forest, silencing everyone.
"Feliciano," he said, smiling sadly at him as though he were just an ignorant child. "Gilbert has betrayed us all. But even more than that, he is dead. He could not help us if we found his dead body."
"He's not dead!" Matthew yelled, feeling as though the words were strong and sharp, breaking through an invisible barrier. He gasped audibly the second they were released. At once, the group turned to look at him, shock frozen on their faces. It was only then that Matthew realized he had just spoken like the members of the circle; not with his voice but with his mind. He inwardly smiled, finding a bit of pride in that moment.
Completely disregarding the content of Matthew's outburst, Romulus asked simply, "Matthew, how did you do that?"
"I-I don't know… sir!" he hastily added at the end, still marveling at his newfound ability even as he continued to use it.
"Curious," the elder stated simply. He seemed to ponder this for a moment as he idly looked off into space. Not breaking his eye contact with some focal point unseen by everyone else, he stated, "Gilbert is dead. There is no possible way he could have survived."
"He's not!" Matthew yelled. Ludwig turned his head quickly and gave the shorter blonde a sharp glared as if to reprimand him. But Matthew was having none of that. Gilbert wasn't dead! He couldn't be.
A girly voice that quite obviously did not belong to a girl began to speak, "Gilbert died like, two hundred years ago! Why would he just like show up now all of the sudden?"
A more passive voice spoke from next to the exuberant blonde who had been talking before him. His soft brown hair seemed to match his voice. "He could not have stayed hidden for this long."
Ludwig finally joined the heated discussion. "Mein bruder is not dead. He cannot be." Brother? Matthew stared at the straight-laced German with disbelief. He could see it now, a resemblance that would otherwise not be apparent. It probably had something to do with the Prussian's bright red eyes and striking white hair. Just thinking about him made the Canadian's eyes cloud faintly with budding tears.
"Gilbert suffered a burden so great that he could not have managed to survive. I simply cannot believe that he is alive," Romulus declared, seeming to direct his statement at the awkward trio of Matthew, Feliciano, and Ludwig.
A lovely Spanish voice resonated throughout the group. "He was one of my dearest friends, I'm sure among many others," a beautiful Latino man said, his emerald eyes glinting against his even toned olive skin. A few nodded in agreement, a man with longish blonde hair swept back from his face gracefully, a woman with long brown hair and what looked like a flower jutting out from her soft curls, and many others. "We can't give up on mi amigo, not after all he has done for us."
"Nonno, we can't," Feliciano pleaded with the elder. The powerful Italian man was sweet little Feli's grandfather? How interrelated was this odd collection of people? It was intriguing to Matthew; the curiosity was like a faint itch that he didn't quite know where to scratch.
"If others catch drift of our searching for him, there's no telling who will find him first… if he's even alive," Romulus remarked. Ecstatic grins spread across the faces of the members of the circle; they could search for Gilbert. Matthew was suddenly filled with hope. With this many people helping, there was no way they wouldn't find his albino "not-vampire".
Suddenly a veil seemed to be lifted and the sounds of nature returned, crinkling leaves beneath their feet, the whoosh of trees bending with the wind, and birds singing merrily in their branches.
People began to speak with their voices again, and Matthew mumbled something unintelligible just to make sure he could speak again. They hurriedly started to discuss the search for Gilbert.
"How did you know to bring me here?" he asked Feli, who was sporting one of his trademark grins.
"I saw you walk past the hotel a few times with an albino guy, and who else would it be besides Gilbert, silly!~" he giggled. Matthew flushed; of course he had seen him with Gilbert. The two of them had probably caused the greatest uproar that town had seen in twenty years just by walking around together.
Two pairs of people approached them. Matthew immediately recognized two of them. "You two?" he asked incredulously. How had he not seen the two of them in the circle? It was Arthur and Alfred, the two werewolves from the other day.
Alfred grinned sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. "Sorry man, I didn't know it was Gilbert we were fighting." Arthur didn't look too apologetic, but he didn't say anything, which Matthew decided to take as a good sign.
The other two was comprised of the absurdly good-looking Spaniard and an equally attractive counterpart who looked suspiciously like Feli.
"Fratello!" Feliciano yelped, hugging the grumpy look alike excitedly. Brothers, he laughed to himself. He should have guessed.
"Hola, my name is Antonio and this is Lovino," he announced to the group. Matthew noted the fondness in his eyes when he said the Italian's name, wistfully wondering if Gilbert ever looked like that around him. "That was incredible," he told Matthew, "with you being able to speak using your mind! No human has ever been able to do that. You are truly talented~"
"Thank you," the blonde mumbled, flushing at the excessive compliments. "A-Are we all searching for Gilbert together?" he asked, eager to start looking.
"Si!~" Antonio replied for everyone else.
Arthur looked at Matthew with an expression he couldn't quite read. "Matthew, have you ever been exposed to witchcraft?"
The Canadian was completely taken aback by this statement. Alfred began to explain his partner's words immediately, as if he already knew what Matthew's reaction would be before he even had time to process Arthur's words. "See, when some of us get changed," he said, alluding to his werewolf attributes, "we develop senses that reflect our personalities. Arthur can do magic voodoo shit basically."
The blonde just nodded, not sure how to handle all of this new information. Arthur continued Alfred's explanation, "What we were thinking, is that if you and Gilbert were close to one another, we could emotionally tether you to him."
"…tether?" Matthew repeated vaguely.
"It means that you might just be able feel how close he is to you if your bond to him is strong enough." Matthew didn't doubt he felt a strong connection to the albino, at least on his part of their relationship.
"Whatever we can do to find him, do it" he said in a commanding voice, even surprising himself. Arthur nodded, an understanding in his eyes that suddenly made Matthew trust him wholeheartedly.
The Englishman sunk gracefully to the forest floor, assuming a cross-legged position. "Matthew, if you could please," he gestured to the ground in front of him. Not half as gracefully, he also sat down, facing the other. Arthur did not waste time; he grabbed the Canadian's hands and took them in his own, mumbling some kind of incantation. All at once, the forest once again grew quiet, save for the short breaths of the other members of the search party. Wide eyed, Matthew watched as deep russet colored lines began to emanate from the connection of their hands, swirling and tracing tattoo-like lines along the both of their forearms. Arthur's chanting became louder, and as his volume increased, the lines grew bolder and thicker, coiling around their arms like powerful snakes. And then, just like that, it was over… almost. The copper colored lines grew smaller and faded, before finally settling on Matthew's wrist in a tangled, infinite knot shape. The mark resembled a Celtic knot, weaving in and out and never seeming to start or end. The mark shimmered as though a great source of light had passed over it.
Suddenly an uneasy burning sensation radiated from the marking and Matthew was filled with a sense of purpose. He knew where to go.
Gilbert awoke to a sharp pain in his wrist… along with a sharp pain everywhere else. Goddamn whoever was holding him captive! He tried to stretch his back, but found himself too drained of energy to move. Okay, shit was gonna get real in a second if he didn't find out what was going on. This was his third time waking up, and there was no way in hell he was falling back asleep at the drop of a hat.
He took a deep breath in, tightened his abdominal muscles and pulled himself into a tormenting sitting position. He laughed quietly to himself in victory. God, he sounded like a crazy person. Still grinning at his own little triumph, he neglected to realize that should anyone come, he would still be completely unable to defend himself.
Gilbert turned his head from left to right, scanning what he could see of the room. He was in one of many cages that lined the walls, and all were empty, save for his. A small window was crudely carved from the very top of the back wall, letting in meager amounts of sunlight that looked like they didn't want to be there either. Nevertheless, he was alone, and in this place, he had learned to take this as a good thing.
The grin from his face never left, for he was simply happy to just be alive. And if he was alive, there was a chance he'd see his brother and his lovely little Mattie again. Suddenly, through the 'window' came a small, yellow fluffy thing, tweeting madly at him. "Gilbird?!" he asked incredulously. Surely enough the little yellow bird came and flew through the bars and landed right on top of Gilbert's head, chirping triumphantly. "I knew you'd find me!" he exclaimed. With his little minion by his side, he knew he could never go wrong.
All at once, the sharp pain in his wrist intensified. His brow furrowed; he didn't recall anything happening to it. As his eyes focused on the joint, he noticed a few russet brown lines swirling around, just underneath his skin. What? His gaze intensified as the lines began to swirl even faster, almost chasing each other, before finally stopping in a complicated knot form. What kind of magic was this? An even better question, who would be performing magic based on him?
Suddenly the tattoo-like mark flashed like gleaming copper, and a sense of immense hope filled the albino. He didn't know where or why, but help was coming to him; he could feel it. And the only face that he could see in his mind's eye was that of a nervous, blonde boy with the most beautiful lavender eyes he had ever seen.
A/N: DID I TELL YOU IT WOULD BE UP TODAY OR DID I TELL YOU.
I TOLD YOU.
Im so proud of myself you guys, you don't even realize. Thank you so much, all of you for your support!
SO everyone, what 'burden' do you think Gilbert suffered? And why do they think he's been dead for 200 years? Also who saw it coming that Arthur has magical powers? Haha jk don't answer that we all did.
Please tell me what you think is gonna happen in the reviews, or you could just leave me super nice comments, I like those too.