Hey, everyone. This new one-shot is sort of a back-story from my story "Missing in Fiction 3: Final Fiction Fantasy". For those of you who haven't read the story yet, this may serve as a spoiler for chapter 23.
As an additional note, the character in this story, Twiggy, belongs to Scoobycool9.
So read and enjoy.
Disclaimer: I only own Brielle and Keith, Tracker78 owns Vincent, and Fangface the Second owns Marlow.
I was thirteen.
It had been a week since Vincent and I had left the Veni-Con-Yei camp. He said we were on an 'assignment' to track someone down. I had turned 14 a month ago, and Vincent had spoken with Marlow about taking me out on a field test. Normally, girls my age weren't allowed to go until we were 18, but Vincent had persuaded Marlow, saying I showed more maturity than any girl my age.
…Though, I believe the main reason was that he didn't want any of the other men trying to get at me again, but that's a story I don't want to share.
Our assignment was to look for a family by the name of 'Thorn', Marlow stating that they were a threat to the rest of the group. I had learned that, when someone is a threat to us, we were to deal with them personally… namely killing them.
"Why do we have to kill them?" I asked Vincent as we drove down the street in a neighborhood in Massachusetts. "What have they ever done to us?"
"It's what they may do, Brielle." Vincent replied. "These people are va… very hostile. They have an ability to kill others in a way others can't, and we have to make sure they don't try to kill anyone."
I only nodded… but another question nagged at my mind. If these people were so dangerous, why hadn't the police been after them? And Vincent had brought up what they 'may' do… so how did we even know they were even a threat? And how did the Veni Con Yei find out about them in the first place?
Before I could ask any of my questions, Vincent pulled over. "This is their block," he said, reaching in the back and taking out a set of binoculars, and a revolver. He handed me a pair of knives. "You take a walk around the other side, and I'll scout around,"
This seems really wrong… I thought, and began walking around the corner, watching as Vincent snuck through someone's yard. It's almost like we're hired assassins.
I had reached the other side of the block when I ran into a boy. He appeared to be my age… except he was tall like other 13 year olds should be (I was a couple feet under-height), and he had blonde hair and blue eyes. "Oh, hi. Are you new around here?" he asked me.
"Uh, not quite." I replied. "My… dad and I came here to visit a relative. I'm just out for a walk while they're talking."
"Ah, having one of those boring adult conversations, huh? I know how you feel. My parents are always talking about something boring, and it's like torture listening to them go on and on about it. That's why I'm outside now… I think they're talking about how the milkman is always two minutes late."
I chuckled a bit.
"Hey, how about if I show you around the neighborhood?"
I rubbed the back of my neck, thinking about Vincent. "I can't. I'm not supposed to leave the block, and my dad would be pretty steamed if I went off with someone I don't know."
"Oh, right. I forgot to introduce myself. You can call me 'Twiggy'."
"Twiggy? How did you get that name?"
"I used to be a Turtwig… it's a long story. What's your name?"
"Cool. So tell me, Brielle, how come your dad won't let you leave the block? You look old enough to explore on your own."
He's asking a lot of questions, but if I don't answer he'll only get suspicious… and if I tell him the truth, he'll be even MORE suspicious. I thought, thinking up an alibi. I looked around to make sure no one was spying on us. "Well… my uncle, the one we're visiting, he said there was some sort of killer on the loose."
"Really? …What kind?"
"He's not for sure. He just said they were planning on coming after someone in this town next, and we had to be careful."
"I didn't hear anything about a killer. Your uncle must have some good resources. …How about if we walk around the block together? A killer won't be coming after anyone if they have a friend at their side."
We began to walk, and I was keeping an eye out for Vincent. I noticed him at the corner on the other side, having taken off his cape and hat and wearing regular clothes. "Brielle, there you are," he said casually. "I was just looking for you. Who's this young lad?"
"His name is Twiggy, I met him on the other side of the block." I told him, then turned to Twiggy. "Twiggy, this is my dad, Vincent."
"Nice to meet you," Twiggy said, shaking Vincent's hand.
"Matthew! Where are you?" A woman was calling.
"That's my mom. I'd better get going." he took off, waving back. "Bye, Brielle, hope to see you again on your next visit! Watch out for that killer!"
"Matthew Thorn, where have you gone?"
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" He disappeared around the corner.
I paused. "…T-Thorn?" I gasped.
"It appears you met the child of one of our 'killers'," Vincent said, gripping my shoulder. "It's a good thing I was here, he might have lead you into a trap. A lot of psychotic people teach their kids to do that, sometimes having them pretend to be injured. …Speaking of 'killer', why did he bring it up?"
I sighed. "He wanted to show me around, but I told him I couldn't leave the block because there was a killer loose. I didn't want to make him too suspicious,"
"I believe that alibi did the trick… Was he anywhere near his own house?"
I thought about it. "I saw him sitting in a yard near a blue house with white trimmings,"
"That must be where they live. I'll scout around it tonight… You, in the meantime, can stay at the hotel with Sonja and Keith, just in case you run into him again."
Sonja was a 25-year-old huntress, who's husband had recently been killed during an assignment a month ago. She had been teaching Keith how to fight ever since, though she was to stay behind and keep watch at our hotel, in case someone were tracking us.
"He seemed really nice, though." I told Keith, after telling him about Twiggy. "I didn't think he'd be a killer."
"That's what all murderers want you to think," Keith replied. He was a year older than me, old enough for field-assignments (Boys were allowed to exit the camp at age 13 rather than girls... How unfair). "They trick you into thinking they're your friend, then once they've got your trust- BAM! You're singing with a choir of angels before you can even blink."
I shifted uncomfortably. "You think Vincent is alright?"
"Ah, Vinny's fine. Marlow said he's the strongest hunter out of the rest of them,"
I cocked my head. "You've seen Marlow?"
"Only a couple times. He's a little preoccupied, trying to find the trail of some guy named Lamone Vandeguarde. He thought he was dead a long time ago, but it turns out he's still alive. Last time I heard, Marlow was going clear to Romania, where Lamone originally lived, thinking he might find a trace there."
Lamone Vandeguarde… A face appeared in the back of my mind, of a man with black hair and in black clothing, with a bit of muscle… but the image faded.
I noticed Keith was opening a window, beginning to climb out. "Where are you going?" I asked him.
"I'm going to go help Vincent. Wanna come?"
"He told us to stay here!"
"Hey, I've been going out on field-assignments for a year now, I think I'm old enough to help out. …I figured, since you were so 'mature', you would be willing to help too. Vincent could be in danger, and no one's there to back him out."
"You just said that-"
"Hey, I only heard what I heard… Do you want to make sure he's safe or not?"
I sighed. It was irresponsible, immature, and dangerous… but I had to make sure Vincent was alright. I followed Keith out the window.
When we reached Twiggy's house, we hid in the bushes. The lights were on, and we heard a bunch of commotion coming from inside. I peeked through a window, seeing Vincent backing up across the room, wearing his fedora hat and cape, aiming at something. I heard a snarl, and suddenly the lights went out. "Vincent's being attacked!" I gasped.
"You keep watch, I'll go help him." Keith said, climbing through the window, holding a pair of knives like mine.
"Brielle?" came a voice, and I turned around, seeing Twiggy! "What are you doing here?"
"What's going on in there?"
Twiggy looked through the window. "Well, you know that killer you were talking about? It turns out he broke into our house! My dad is handling him now,"
"Yeah. I can't see the creep, but my dad heard him coming, and my mom told me to step outside and-"
*BANG! BANG! BANG!*
"Oh, no! Dad!"
"Matthew!" A woman whispered, appearing behind us. "There you are… Who is this?"
"This is Brielle Shereba. She's-"
"Oh, no matter. You two kids get out of here, quick!"
"But what about Dad?"
"He'll be fine. Now, go!"
Twiggy nodded, then took off. I followed… then remembered what Vincent had told me. What if this were a trap? But… the way he was sobbing when we stopped around the corner, I had doubts.
My mind was in a tangle. Vincent had said this family was dangerous, that they were killers… but he was the one who had broke in with a gun in hand. I couldn't believe any of it, and my head was starting to hurt so much I began to wince. "This doesn't make any sense…" I whispered.
"What?" Twiggy asked. "What doesn't make sense?" he gripped me by the shirt. "What do you know?"
"I… I know who broke into your home,"
"He's not really my dad! That was just a cover-up. He said we had an assignment to come here and kill someone who was dangerous… but your family isn't dangerous, is it?"
"No… They'd never hurt anyone! Who told you guys we were?"
"We're part of this group called the Veni Con Yei, they told us." Tears began gushing out of my eyes, and I couldn't restrain them. "I swear to God, I didn't want this to happen…"
Police sirens could be heard in the distance, followed by Keith's voice. "Brielle! Where are you?" he was shouting.
"Who's that?" Twiggy asked.
"Keith. He's part of the group, too…" I gripped his hand. "You'd better run. He snuck over to try to help kill you guys."
Twiggy stood up, clenching his fists. "I'll show him…"
"No! Go, please. I'll lead him off… I don't want to cause you any more harm."
He sighed. "I'm going to go back and make sure my parents are alright… If they aren't, Vincent and Keith are going to regret it."
I nodded. "I understand how you feel…"
"How? How could you understand a situation like this?"
I shut my eyes, the memory clear in my mind to this day. "My family was killed. Aunts, uncles, mother, father, sister… everyone. Vincent took me in. If you lose your family, you won't be alone."
He stared at me a moment.
"BRIELLE? WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU?" Keith shouted again, sounding near.
"Go," I told Twiggy again. "Make sure your parents are alright…"
He turned around and left without another word. By the time he disappeared, Keith had found me. "There you are! I told you to keep a lookout, nimrod!" he snapped at me. "Why'd you run off?"
"The cops were coming and I panicked," I said, wiping my eyes.
"Geez, have you been crying? I thought you were mature… You're nothing but a coward."
I scowled. "I'd rather be a coward than a killer!" With that, I ran off. Keith called for me, but I ignored him, taking short-cuts through yards until I reached an alley to catch my breath.
That's when I heard Vincent's voice.
"You heartless bastard!" he was snarling, and I saw another man standing in front of him, but their face was hidden in the shadows. "You sent me to kill an innocent family!"
"That 'innocent family' is made up of monsters." A chilling voice answered. "I suggest you go back and finish the job once the police are out of sight-"
"No. I refuse to have innocent blood on my hands. You told me they were a threat, but they've done nothing wrong!"
"How do you know? Didn't you see what they were?"
"I know a killer when I see one, and they were not killers, and I won't commit murder over an assumption of yours!"
"All those beasts are killers! Do you not remember what happened to your wife and child? Kill them, Vincent… Think about Brielle. Do you want her to stay alive?"
Vincent's face was contorted with anger. "Don't you dare…"
"You know about her family… about their connections. And you know we had never taken chances…"
"Leave her out of this! You loathsome heathen… You're nothing but a killer yourself. You choose to take lives just to protect yours! I will not assist in your operations any longer!"
Whoever he was speaking to drew out a gun, aiming it at him. "No one leaves the Veni Con Yei, Fondane… Death is the only way out. And if you choose to quit…"
"No!" I cried, running to Vincent and knocking him over, just as the other man shot.
"Well, well, well, if it's not your little accomplice. Looks like you both will be leaving together-" he took aim at me next…
A trashcan was slammed over his head, and I saw Twiggy there. "Run!" he shouted.
I helped Vincent to his feet and we took off, Twiggy following us. "Twiggy, where did you come from?"
"After checking on my parents- they're fine, by the way- they told me all that happened, that it was all a misunderstanding. I came looking for you to make sure you were alright, next… that's when I saw that creep in the alley aim a gun at you. It's a good thing I arrived, huh?"
"In the knick of time," Vincent answered. "Can you take us to the nearest airport?"
"We're leaving for Japan. Tonight."
"What?" I gasped.
"I'll explain everything later. Now, keep running."
Twiggy lead us to an airport, and Vincent bought us tickets. "Goodbye, Brielle." Twiggy said to me, shaking my hand. "Hope you're still alive next time I hear from you,"
"Yeah… same to you." I said. "I'm really sorry… about all that's happened…"
"It's okay. Be safe, okay?"
I nodded, and got on the plane with Vincent, the only one I could trust now…
A year later…
I thought I could trust Vincent, but it turns out I was wrong.
We had returned from Japan, after I had learned karate from my senpai, Mitsukuni. Vincent kept having me train with him all year, all the while working odd jobs to help with our rent. Once he believed I learned enough, it was time to go back.
Having been distracted with my practices, learning Japanese, and keeping up with my homework at my new school, Ouran Academy, I never had time to ask Vincent what I wanted to ask him. Once we touched down in America and found a hotel, I finally decided to confront him. "Vincent, last year that man you encountered in an alley told you that family was made up of monsters, and brought up some 'beasts'… What was he talking about?" I demanded. "Because I doubt he was talking about your average serial-killer."
Vincent sighed, looking out the window. "I figured you'd ask about it sooner or later." he said. "You see, the Veni Con Yei was a specific group, sent to kill not people, but beasts. A long time ago, I had a wife and child, who were killed by such beasts, and I vowed to rid the world of them in order to avenge my family's death. Truth is…" he turned to me. "I'm a werewolf hunter."
I only stared.
"Um… what?" I asked, confused.
"I know it sounds ridiculous, but it's true." Vincent said, seriously. "Werewolves do exist… and they're more evil than any creature on this earth. That family we were sent to attack supposedly had a connection to them, but once I found out that they weren't werewolves themselves, I refused to kill them. I never kill another human, unless they give me reason to."
I felt dizzy. "You have to be kidding… You mean, those people… those psychos back at that camp all think werewolves exist, and they kill hundreds of people because of their superstition? And… you're one of them?"
"No! Brielle, listen-"
I shook my head. "No… I don't want to hear any more." I ran for the door.
"Brielle, don't you dare leave! I'm warning you-"
But I was out the door, racing out of the hotel, hearing Vincent shouting my name.
I had little money on me, but enough to buy a train ticket, and I raced to the nearest station and bought a ticket for the one place I wanted to go, the only home that ever felt like home to me.
"Shereba?" The banker asked, astonished. "But… I thought they were all killed years ago!"
"All except me." I told him. "The police should still have records about a little girl being the last living family member."
The banker looked over some forms. "Well, it appears that there is an account for you, holding up to… a surplus of millions, my! Your family was one of the wealthiest families in America!"
"That, I remember."
"Unfortunately, according to this, you're not allowed to inherit the fortune until you're 18. …How old are you?"
"I turned 18 eight months ago." I lied.
The banker looked at what appeared to be a copy of my birth certificate. "Nice try, but your real date of birth happens to be 1980. Still too young, I'm afraid…" he then developed a glazed look in his eye. "Then again, since you're the only surviving member of your family and have nowhere else to go, an exception can be made."
I beamed. "Really?"
"Yes, just fill out these papers, and you will receive an account in your name."
I filled out all the forms, and soon received a bank card, a credit card, and a check-book. "Thank you," I told the banker, walking out the door.
I glanced over, seeing a figure just a few inches taller than me, with black hair, wearing a black cloak, but couldn't see their face. A person passed my line of view, and in that split second he was gone. Strange… My eyes must be playing tricks on me. I thought, walking out.
I went to my family's cemetery.
Each year, on the day they died, I'd visit my mother, father, and sister's graves. Vincent would always take me, and it was the only time I could leave the camp. I sighed, wishing that somehow they could give me some guidance on what to do…
I turned around, walking back downhill, when I saw someone coming up. It was a tall boy with blonde hair, blue eyes, and very muscular… and quite hansom. "Huh? Hey, who are you?" I asked.
"Hm?" He looked up, and his face was very familiar. "Wha…? Brielle? Is that you?"
I paused. His tone was different, but I could still recognize his voice. "Twiggy?" I ran up and hugged him. "Oh my gosh, I thought I'd never see you again! How do you still remember me?"
He smiled, patting my back. "I never forget a face… plus, you didn't seem to grow too much."
I chuckled. "I wish I could say the same for you. What are you doing here?"
He sighed. "It's a long story. You see, I'm running away from home… I'm having issues with my parents."
I nodded. "I know how you feel. I split from Vincent a few days ago… turns out he wasn't exactly the man I thought he was."
Twiggy put an arm around my shoulders. "I guess we both are lone-wolves, huh?"
I winced. "Please don't bring up wolves…"
I sighed. "It's a long story…"
"Hey, I got time."
I shrugged, then told him about how the Veni Con Yei hunted werewolves, and even went after people they thought had connections to the make-believe monsters. I then told him about how Vincent also believed in them, even claiming they killed his family, and how shocked I was about it. Twiggy only listened, giving a nod once in a while. Once I was finished, he was rubbing his chin.
"So… that's why he was sent after my parents, huh?"
"Yeah… I'm glad you're still okay."
"I'm glad you're okay too, especially coming all this way on your own. …Hey, I managed to bring some money with me. Why don't we snag a couple cheeseburgers and see a movie?"
I smiled, holding up my debit card. "Allow me to treat us." I then told him about how I inherited a fortune from my late-family, and how the banker gave me my own account. He laughed a bit.
Twiggy and I spent the rest of the week together, taking buses to different parts of the town, buying new clothes, and staying at different hotels. The more we hung out, the more I started to really like him… I had been around a few guys in the past, dating some of them for as long as a month, but the spark would die out and we just remained friends. With Twiggy, it felt as if the spark ignited…
One evening, we were sitting on a bench in the park, looking out at the sunset, when curiosity then grasped a hold on my brain. "Hey, Twiggy… how come you were in that cemetery when we met?" I asked.
He was silent for a bit, letting out a heavy sigh before he answered. "It relates to why I ran away. You see, as I got older, I noticed that I was a little different than the other members of my family. They had darker hair, darker eyes, and were v… very different in other ways. One day, I asked my parents why I was so different, and they told me I was adopted."
"Yeah… But they didn't get me from an orphanage. I had been kidnapped, they said, and the kidnappers were going to kill me by throwing me into a river. My parents stopped them and saved my life… but my REAL family thought I was dead and moved away when they tried to return me a week later, after finding out who I belonged to. They decided to take me in as their own, never even attempting to try to contact my real family and tell them I was really alive."
No… don't tell me, he… I thought, my eyes wide. "And the name of your family was…?" I asked, hoping for a different answer than…
"Shereba. …Uh, Brie? Are you alright? You look pale. What's wrong?"
I gulped. "Matt… My last name is Shereba."
He gave me a look. "If this is some sort of sick joke-"
"No! That's why I was at the cemetery! I always go there each year to visit my family's graves… they were killed when I was five," I winced. "I still remember it to this day…"
He looked into my eyes, stunned. "That's… that's why I was at the cemetery, too. My dad had a friend named Tiger, who was a detective from New York, who helped me find out where they last moved… but he told me about the 'Great Shereba Slaughter', and I didn't want to believe him. I went to the graveyard for proof… and I guess it's true."
We sat in stunned silence for a few minutes. "You're my brother." I finally said. "I never knew I had one…"
He gave me a weak smile. "I never knew I had a sister. When were you born?"
"October 13th, 1980."
His eyes widened. "That's what it said on my birth records! We're twins! …Though, there's not too much of a resemblance… save the blonde hair and blue eyes."
We sat in silence a little longer. "So… our parents are dead."
"Yeah, our older sister, too. We also had a bodyguard, but I don't know what happened to him."
We walked back to our hotel in silence.
The rest of the week was a little awkward for us, and finally I decided to use our inheritance to travel the world, maybe even visit my old senpai in Japan.
Twiggy, however, didn't. "I should get back to my foster-parents," he said quietly. "You can come if you want,"
I thought about it… but the idea just didn't seem to enthrall me. Vincent had been like a father to me, yet he ended up turning out to be a whack-job… and I had a feeling that I hadn't seen the last of him. If everyone at the VCY camp was right about his tracking skills, Vincent would find me in a heartbeat… and I didn't want Twiggy and his family in the line of fire.
"I think I should go at it alone for a while," I told him, rubbing my arm. "It's just… so much has happened, and… I want to be on my own for a while. I really want to come with you, but…"
Twiggy put his hands on my shoulders. "It's okay. I understand." He then began to walk away, pausing a bit. "Brielle… just for your safety, pretend we never met. Before you ask questions, it's because my parents aren't exactly who you'd expect. It's best if you didn't try to contact me."
I nodded. "I know how you feel." I began to walk away in the other direction. "Just keep in mind… you still have family."
I paused, waiting for a response, but only heard silence.
I continued to walk.
Arms wrapped around me then, and Twiggy rested his chin on my head. "So do you." he whispered, and then he left.
A tear ran down my eye, and I smiled a bit.
I was on my own… but in a way, I wasn't really alone.
A/N: And that's the story behind Brielle and Twiggy.
Trivia: At first, Scoobycool9 thought about making Twiggy Brielle's 7th ex-boyfriend (having asked for my permission first). When he described his character, I noticed that Twiggy sounded so much like Brielle that he could be her brother… and that's how we got the idea for the long-lost twin brother story.
Thank you Scoobycool9 for the inspiration.
Please review… but one flame and you'll have a weed-hacker up your nostrils.