Well, I hate to do this but . . . this will be the last chapter of Rude Awakening.
Thankfully, Rude Awakening is just the first story in a series :)
For more information, please check the very bottom.
This chapter is from almost everyone's POV to wrap things up
Chapter 50: Everyone
Aidou clenched his fingers into a tight fist. Diva was wrong. She had to be. She didn't know what he'd done to didn't know that he'd drank from Saya forcefully. Saya must hate him. That was the only thing he could think of. It was the only thing that made sense to him.
His head felt heavy. It felt as if there were a dark mist clouding his mind.
Still, even with the pain in his chest, Aidou couldn't crush the thought that he'd see Saya again.
A pathetic smile adorned Aidou's face. Maybe it's just wishful thinking.
"I didn't ask you to come." Kai grumbled, unable to look at the silver-haired man who'd followed him.
"I wasn't about to let you take this bitch out by yourself." Zero snapped, the Bloody Rose clasped tightly in his hands and aimed at the ground.
Kai slip to a stop, kicking up dirt as he threw back his head to stare at the looming silver gates before him. "I guess they really aren't going to help." He muttered, referring to the vampires deep inside the belly of the Night Class Dormitory.
The orange-haired man narrowed his eyes. "I'll just blow the damn lock off." He lifted his gun, his finger going for the trigger.
Zero put out a single hand to stop Kai, casting the man a severe glance. "What if she's in there?"
"Let her know we're coming!" Kai shouted angrily, completely lost within in his rage.
Pale eyelids slid closed over Zero's luminous violet eyes and he huffed. "Did you even check if it was open?"
Kai thrust a hand towards the gate, clearly offended by Zero's question. "There's a freaking chain and lock on it."
Zero reached out, cupping the heavy lock in his palm gently. He stared at it momentarily before giving it a light tug. Cold air blasted against his face, ripping back his hair and clothes violently. He released the lock, throwing up his hands to protect his watering eyes.
Peering through narrowed eyes, Zero caught sight of movement beyond the gate. Rejuvenated by the sight, he rushed at the gate, curling his fingers tightly around the cold bars. The figure turned, her brown hair swaying gently despite the raging wind. Reddish-brown eyes met his
"Yuuki." He whispered.
Recognition lit in her face and she clasped her eyes tightly, balling her hands into tiny fists. "Zero, I'm scared."
He choked on unbidden happiness, shoving a hand between the bars. "Yuuki!"
She threw out a hand, aiming to clasp his outstretched hand but stopped abruptly just as a thin line of red swiped across her throat. The light drained from her eyes and her expression turned cold. As she slipped to the Earth, ghostly pale hands looped around her waist, holding her upright.
A woman came into view behind the dead girl, her ebony hair framing a delicate face. Icy blue eyes found his and the woman's grip on Yuuki tightened. Her throaty chuckle sent boiling rage down Zero's spine. His mouth shot open as he let out a savage, animalistic howl.
A hand clamped down on his shoulder and the vision smashed to pieces. Zero shuddered, realizing that his jaw was clenched and his fingers were wound tightly around the lock. He painstakingly pried his fingers from the metal and it slipped to the ground, carrying the chain with it.
"How the hell did you do that?" Kai asked, oblivious to Zero's unease.
Zero mustered a grim expression, setting his lips into a firm line, before smashing his foot against the gate's opening. It came open with a loud screech, parting to allow them entrance.
"I told you, it wasn't locked." Zero hissed, charging inside without waiting for his companion.
Kai shoved a hand through his wild locks. "Damn it." He hissed, pure frustration emanating from the young man. "We're never going to find her like this."
"Are you suggesting we split up?" Zero asked.
Kai gave him a look that said that's exactly what he meant.
Someone else might have decided that splitting up was a bad idea, but Zero was different. "Alright. You go-"
Something sounded behind Kai, who reacted on pure instinct. He swung his gun around, shoving the barrel right up against the assailants forehead. Aidou's eyes flashed with mirth as he gently batted the weapon away. "Hello to you, too."
"I could have killed you." Kai groaned, lowering his gun as his shoulders sagged.
Aidou didn't answer although his eyes were clearly doubtful.
"What are you doing, Hanabusa." Zero growled, not so quick to lower his weapon.
"I didn't know we were on a first name basis." Aidou's eyes flashed as annoyance swept across his pale face.
The Bloody Rose clicked as Zero fired a shot that whizzed past Aidou's face, making his blond curls sway.
"Rude." Aidou chided, reaching out to push a hand through his hair.
"Are you here to help?" Kai asked, glancing over his shoulder anxiously.
Aidou shrugged. "Not particularly."
Kai cast the vampire a severe glance. "If you aren't here to help than why are you here?"
"I wish to speak with you." An oddly serious expression formed on the blond's face.
Stunned, Kai stared, open-mouthed. He hadn't held an actual conversation with Aidou since he'd arrived. Why did Aidou want to speak to him?
"I don't have time for this." Zero snapped, gripping his gun tightly and barring his teeth savagely. The silver-haired man moved to take off down the hallway, but paused to send Kai a warning. "If he does anything suspicious, shoot him."
The severity in Zero's eyes sent a chill down Kai's spine, making him feel like a child, but he nodded to signal his obedience.
With that, the man disappeared around a corner, his footsteps fading as he drifted further away. Kai turned to Aidou, who stuffed his hands deep in his white pockets. "We can walk and talk. I have to find Yvonne."
Aidou dipped his head- the only sign of agreement the vampire gave. Rolling his eyes, Kai stormed down the hallway, his pent up anxiety taking a toll on him. While Aidou stepped casually down the hallway, Kai cringed at every little sound; the orange-haired man was a tight ball of jumbled nerves. Even with all of his anger and hatred towards Yvonne, her power still managed to frighten him.
"What?" Kai asked, his voice unintentionally gruff.
Aidou's gaze dropped momentarily. "Do I remind you of anyone?"
Kai lifted an eyebrow. "Excuse me?"
Their footsteps bounced off of the narrow walls softly, melding together to form an eerie chant.
The blond sighed heavily, tilting his face downward. "Diva mentioned that I reminded Saya of someone she knew before. Someone she doesn't want to remember."
Kai did know. The man's face instantly flashed into Kai's vision, but he shoved it aside, deciding to dig for answers first. "I don't know. Why do you care?"
"I need to know." The corner of Aidou's lips dropped into a deep frown. "I need to know why she didn't say goodbye."
"She probably just forgot. Saya is like that." Kai offered as he peered around a corner. The room was dark and devoid of life.
"It can't be that." Aidou seemed as if he were speaking to himself- lost in his thoughts. "It can't be as simple as that."
"It could be." Kai replied, his brotherly anger trickling into his words.
Aidou's shoulders hunched as if he wished to disappear entirely.
Kai groaned, hating the feelings of sympathy and guilt that crept into his chest. "His name was Solomon." He felt uncomfortable telling Solomon's story; he'd hardly known the Chevalier. Truth be told, none of them even knew if Solomon was still alive or not. "He loved my sister."
Aidou stopped mid-stride and lifted his head, eyes wide with disbelief. "Why do I remind you of him?"
Kai shrugged, running a finger down the length of his gun absently. "You look a little like him. Actually, you look a lot like him."
Aidou's fingertips brushed against the end of one of his curls as if shocked by his own appearance. "I look like this Solomon man?"
"He wasn't a man." Kai grumbled under his breath, the chill of the dorms seeping into his bones.
"What?" Aidou asked a little too loudly.
Kai groaned. "Solomon was a Chevalier. Diva's Chevalier to be exact."
"Diva's Chevalier loved Saya." Aidou repeated, drinking the information in slowly and carefully.
Kai felt his cheeks heat up. Why was he always so involved in his sister's love life? He cleared his throat to fill the unnerving silence, despair growing in his chest as he realized the inevitable. "Yvonne isn't here, is she?"
Aidou didn't answer, he simply looked anywhere but at Kai.
Angry, disappointed, and frustrated, Kai dumped his gun to the floor in order to seize Aidou by his shirt front. "You knew." The orange-haired man hissed, hating the way his throat clenched.
Aidou placed a hand gently over top of Kai's. "It was nice to talk to you, Kai, but I think it's time for you to leave."
"I won't go!" Kai shouted, hearing a door slam down the hall.
"Get Zero and leave. The others won't let you go if they find you." Aidou warned, listening intently to the approaching footsteps.
"You son of a-"
"Go." The vampire snapped, shoving Kai back.
Moonlight spilled into her room freely as she pushed back the curtain. Her expressionless eyes gazed out over the forest. Her room was dead silent and she couldn't bring herself to look at her sister's empty bed.
She hated being alone; she hadn't been alone since her seclusion in the tower. This uncomfortable reminder of her past made her cringe. She moved away from the window, still leaving the curtain pushed back to allow the moon's light into her room, and sat down carefully on the edge of her bed.
The springs squeaked meekly, the only sound in the deafening silence. Diva ran her hands through her hair, knocking the bracelet on her wrist against her ear and making it jingle charmingly.
The stoic girl stared down at the silver trinket, her last gift from Saya, with a mixture of remorse, curiosity, and anger. She hadn't imagined the tingling on her wrist with Zero in the forest. She hadn't imagined the bracelet's call.
It's special. Diva stated, not completely sure of the reason Saya had given it to her or why the jewelry had reacted to Zero's freak out. Whatever the reason, Diva was deeply attached to the bracelet now. She cradled her wrist to her chest, closing her eyes and heart against the loneliness she was feeling. Clouds covered the round moon, hiding its light behind a haze of gray and casting Diva in darkness.
Zero moved on, the soft rap of his shoes on the tiled floors the only sound that filled the eerily quiet room. His eyes scanned every nook and cranny, searching for a head to blow off. A wave of nausea struck him without warning, momentarily draining him of energy.
He touched a hand to his forehead, grinding his teeth together as his other hand searched for the gun at his hip. As his finger's grazed the Bloody Rose, a sense of calm swept over him and Zero squared his shoulders.
He paused in the long hallway to scan the corridor ahead and to his right. Deciding to turn right, Zero began his trek again.
The silver-haired man stumbled, catching himself on the wall as pain stabbed through his temple with ferocious speed. He snapped one eye closed against the agony and grunted softly as he pushed himself from the wall.
A chuckle filled the hallway, making Zero's heart stop mid-beat. He lifted his head slowly, afraid of what he would see. Sure enough, before him stood a man- a duplicate of himself. The only difference between them was the splash of blood across the pale doopleganger's face that ran down his chin and reached onto his clothes and neck.
The vision's lips parted and Zero held his breath. Make that two differences, Zero noted as two fangs peaked out above the bloody man's upper lip.
The duplicate laughed again- a deep, rumbling sound that oozed with cold hatred and malice. The creature's violet eyes danced with a haunting light that sent chills down Zero's spine.
"...so different." The vision's voice wavered as if we were underwater.
"W-what?" Zero choked out, his throat suddenly bone dry.
"We aren't so different." The being repeated, clearer this time.
Zero jerked back, startled by the confident declaration. As if led by another, Zero lifted his hand and pressed his fingers along his top row of teeth. The shadow on the doppleganger's face darkened as his malicious grin grew- as if he knew what Zero would find.
The soft pads of Zero's fingers stroked each of his teeth cautiously, feeling for any abnormalities. They didn't come until he reached his elongated incisors. Zero's hand paused on the strangely sharp teeth as the panic settled in.
"I'm not like you." Zero whispered.
He yanked his hand from his mouth and stormed up to the duplicate, who seemed slightly surprised, but ultimately amused by Zero's outburst.
Zero seized the creature by his shoulders, shoving his face closer to the grinning man. "I'm not like you!" He repeated.
The vision made no move to stop him; he simply smiled as Zero shook the snot out of him. The panic-filled man snarled, clearly annoyed that his display of anger wasn't rattling his opponent.
"Am I supposed to be afraid?" The doppleganger teased, begging Zero to smash his fist into his arrogant face.
Zero's fingers twitched, wishing to do just that. Instead, Zero released the copycat and pushed him aside. "Out of my way."
As Zero's palm touched the creature's chest, a pulsating bolt of energy sweapt up his arm. Zero yanked back his hand, clenching his fist as he glared at the vision.
"What'd you do?" Zero growled.
The bloody man's expression was that of mock innocence. "Nothing."
Annoyed with the infuriating creature, Zero stormed down the hallway, ignoring the cold sweat that had suddenly drenched his body.
"I wouldn't go down there." The vision called, his strange voice quivering with pent up laughter.
Zero lifted his hand dismissively before stuffing it deep in his pocket. I don't have time to deal with hallucinations.
This greatly amused the creature, who busted into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Zero refused to look back. He simply hunched his shoulders and pressed on. He ran his tongue over his teeth meekly, afraid to feel the sharp points of his incisors again.
The teeth were normal again.
Zero let out the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding and carried himself more confidently. Until, that is, he reached the end of the hallway. A door blocked his path. Zero pushed against it but it remained firmly shut.
"Let me help."
Zero opened his mouth to tell the doppleganger to shove off, but as the pale creature's hand touched the door, it gave way and allowed them entrance.
"I warned you not to go in there." The vision murmured as Zero pressed on into the shadowed room. "Don't blame me if you find something you don't like."
"Flower here." The woman ordered in broken English, pointing a bony finger into the soft Earth.
Saya dropped the seeds where the woman desired and earned a crooked smile. The young girl smiled brightly, happy to have pleased the woman who had so graciously taken them in.
A crow cried loudly, making Saya lift her head from her work. She brushed the sweat from her forehead with her forearm as she gazed down the hill. The sun was a magnificent shade of red and half-hidden below the horizon, its dying golden rays giving a final goodbye to the world before it snuck off to bed.
Saya's eyes roamed the stunning countryside until she found the two figures she'd been looking for. Riku was fast asleep, slumped against the thick trunk of a knotted tree, a book in his lap and his head resting on the broad shoulder of the man beside him. Riku's soft chestnut hair swayed with the gentle breeze that rolled by, dragging out a sisterly smile from the Chiropteran Queen.
The moment her eyes turned to the man, however, Saya's heartbeat quickened. Haji's midnight black hair was free and the curly locks framed his pale face beautifully. He sat with his knees bent, wrists resting on his knees casually. His steely blue gaze was distant as he stared at the sun, unaware of his Queen's eyes on him.
She mentally traced Haji's firm jaw line, high cheekbones, and straight nose, committing them all to memory. She could feel his arms encircling her, giving her every ounce of comfort she could ever ask for; she could feel the intensity behind his eyes every time he looked at her; she could feel the velvety texture of his hair and shuddered violently.
"Gya!" The woman cried, startling Saya out of her trance.
Saya turned to the frantic woman, who was rapidly throwing her hands around in anger. Saya glanced where the woman was gesturing to find that she had placed an entire handful of flower seeds in the same spot.
Quick to amend her mistake, Saya immediately began plucking the extra seeds from the ground, a hot flush on her cheeks.
"This place is annoyingly loud." The Queen complained, touching a delicate hand to her temple.
"Yes, but it is the fastest way." Alphonse told her as he shifted in his seat. "You look beautiful in the coat I bought you."
He shyly glanced at her, as if it were forbidden. She returned his lover's glance with complete disregard and turned her head to the window. Humans milled about below, hurrying to prepare the plane for take off. "I don't like this."
"Are you frightened? I assure you, it's safe." Alphonse replied quickly, his tone oozing with concern.
"There's nothing to be frightened over." She returned dryly, lazily gazing out of her tiny window.
She had a new coat and there had been numerous admirers in the airport from all types of men and, yet, her chest still felt empty and her happiness was lacking. She lightly pressed her fingertips to the glass pane, her voice dripping with longing, "My only regret is that I didn't get to see my nieces' blood pooled at my feet."
"In due time, my love." Alphonse reassured. "We will kill the false Queens."
His words elicited the first smile of the day out of Yvonne.
Zero crashed down to his knees, eyes wide and chest heaving erratically as he gasped frantically for air. The cold floor unmercifully poured its chill into his bones even as hot tears spilt down his face, a cry caught in his throat.
His mind pieced together each and every thing he'd forgotten, shoving them painfully into place. With every piece that snapped together, a sharp stab of pain raked through Zero's body.
The fear and anger swirling deep inside of him pushed the sound from his throat as yet another jolt of agony ripped through him. He let out a terrible, gutteral sob that echoed in the disturbingly empty room. He flung his arms arround his body, gripping his jacket tightly as he belted out another inhuman cry that revealed his hidden nature.
He cried harder, choking on his own sobs, only able to force out one word- a question: "Why?"
David paced nervously and Kaien chuckled, mildly amused by the man's behavior. "You're going to wear out my carpet, Daivd. Sit."
"I can't." David placed his large hands on the back of the chair Kaien offered. "Maybe Kai was right. Maybe we should have charged in."
Kaien shrugged, offering no opinion on the statement, as he poured David a cup of tea. He held it out to the man and David took it reluctantly. Kaien carefully knit his fingers together, placing his elbows firmly on his desk as he waited for his friend to speak.
David fiddled with the cup awkwardly, unable to look at the Headmaster. "I'm sorry."
Kaien smiled brightly. "For what?"
"With all that has happened- no, I shouldn't use that as an excuse." David forced himself to meet Kaien's gaze. "I never offered my condolences."
David's words pierced straight through the strange man's chest, but he gave away nothing physically, keeping up his outward appearance flawlessly. "Thank you."
"Kai acts as if he's the only one who wanted to charge in there and chop that bitch's head off." David grumbled, glad to have the awkwardness pass. "I'm sorry for his brashness."
Kaien's smile vanished as he felt a wave of intensity wash over him. "I can't deny that I wanted to do the same as he, but us old men should leave that business to the younger generation."
David chuckled gruffly just before the door burst open, ringing and vibrating as it struck the wall. Kaien bolted out of his chair, his instincts flaring. Kai stood in the doorway, his chest heaving and sweat beading down his face. Kaien's eyes, however, turned to the boy Kai was using all of his strength to support.
His eyes widened as he whispered breathlessly, "What happened to my son?"
I'm hoping to make this into a 3 "book" series.
The chapters in the second installment will be longer and possibly started next year (that's only 2 months away, guys!)
I hope to explore the characters more in the next one.
I saw this as just the "beginning", I guess you could say.
Well, see you all next time (hopefully!) -Anii