A/N: Please don't lynch me.
Such a simple sentence, so many consequences. "I know what Moka and Tsukune were really doing..", that was the fuse that lit a sea of emotions. Moka and Tsukune were rooted to the spot, with growing senses of terror clearly visible on their faces. Yukari's eyes lit up as she began to contemplate possibilities. Kurumu might as well have been slapped across the face. Only Mizore remained calm after her little revelation.
Kurumu tries to recover first. "W.. what do you mean?! What have they been doing?!", she demands angrily.
"They have been meeting in secret every chance they get, for a few days now. It's not just mornings when they rush to meet up. Even that day when we all returned from our summer vacation, they ran to meet up while we unpacked.", explains Mizore.
Kurumu can't believe what she's hearing. Her mouth is hanging open, and she doesn't know what to say. Her problem is that her anger is fighting a fierce battle with her fear. Surely it can't possibly mean that.. No. No way. The thought is killed brutally and efficiently, before it can crystallize in her consciousness. Maybe the damn stalker is wrong. Or lying. Or something.
Mizore finishes her exposition, "Look at Moka's face. She was radiant in class; is that the look of someone who was supposedly ill? She's the picture of health.." She's slightly annoyed that she has to explain so much, but it can't be helped, the boob woman was a bit dense, and she would need her help.
Tsukune felt the floor falling from under him. He had been so careful. What about his training, he had been sure to always scan the area for any presence. Except for that one time, there had never been anyone within range. He doesn't even notice that his mouth moves of it's own accord, exhaling the question burning in his mind, "..how.."
Mizore manages to hear him, and decides to add casually, "And it was not easy. Tsukune has learned to sense Youki. Even masking it, he can tell there is someone nearby. I'm pretty sure he caught me the first time. After that I could only watch them from afar to avoid being caught."
"But then how could you tell what they were doing?", asks Yukari with great curiosity.
"I couldn't.", replies Mizore calmly. "That is why I had to wait so long to confront them. But with the recent evidence, it now seems clear."
Moka and Tsukune gulped nearly on cue. They had guilt written all over their faces. Moka hung her head in shame, blushing wildly, while Tsukune was trying very hard to avoid looking at anyone, and looked pale as a ghost. He was fighting his instinct to just make a run for it, pulling Moka behind him.
"So what the hell where they doing!", demands Kurumu finally loosing what composure she still had, raising her voice to the point where everyone in the cafeteria stops talking and just looks over at their table in wonder. "And why the hell are you so calm!"
"Unlike you, I have had time to think about this. Every time it is the same. They meet up, she leaves happy, sometimes even skipping for joy, and he looks sad. He still smiles, but you can see the sadness if you look for it. Very disturbing really. I would approach as soon as they parted to look for hints. I correctly assumed they would drop their guard the moment they turned to leave. When you consider her earlier attempt at a confession, and that she saw it as a deep secret, the solution is obvious, isn't it.", replied Mizore as calm as ever.
Yukari's eyes grow wide with understanding. "You mean she really IS addicted to his blood, like for real, and is drinking from him every time she can!"
Since Mizore continued talking in a calm manner, Kurumu had sat back down in her own attempt to look cool. Everyone else made an effort to keep their voice within reason, so the cafeteria slowly returned to it's normal droning.
"I asked Ruby to do some research on human blood donations. I don't fully understand the terms involved, but essentially he would be long dead if he didn't have fast healing. And even with that, we don't really know what his new limit is."
Yukari looks scared and concerned. Mizore is now staring at Moka, allowing her contempt to show. Kurumu is boiling with barely suppressed anger, with the other stray thoughts firmly forgotten. Moka can't believe they had reached this conclusion, but her earlier embarrassment and shame was still too fresh to suddenly brush away, so she continues to stare at the floor while blushing, hanging her head down.
Tsukune takes a deep breath to start to say something to protect Moka, but then realizes he doesn't have anything useful to say. 'Ah, don't worry girls, she was only kissing me, and only drank blood half those times?' Yeah, that would go over well, he chastises himself.
As Mizore sees Tsukune getting ready to say something, she interjects in her matter of fact voice, "Save it Tsukune. We all know you are too nice to say no, and will protect her no matter what." Turning to Kurumu who is about to explode she adds, "Try to remain calm Kurumu, remember where we are, we don't need a scene. Besides, he will probably release the seal if you try to harm Moka."
Kurumu looks as if she had been slapped, again, and just as she was about to launch into a yelling tirade. Instead she hisses angrily, "Fine! I can't believe you Moka! And don't even try to deny it! And you Tsukune, can't you see she only wants you for your blood? Stand up for yourself! You're not her food!"
Turning to Moka, Kurumu raises the tone of her hiss, "And we're going to now keep a sharp eye on you. This is it, no more blood from Tsukune for you!"
Moka recoils at this verbal assault and threat, but she doesn't dare to say anything. Her eyes begin to moisten as she struggles to not have tears form.
At this Tsukune finds his voice and firmly replies, struggling to keep his own voice down, "It's not like that! She doesn't just like me for my blood! Did you even know that last year she went without blood so long she was became ill, just because she didn't want to hurt me?!" Taking a more indignant tone he affirms, "I will not allow this! I will not risk her health just over this! It is I how made her promise she would tell me whenever she wanted blood."
"Fine!" replies a still very annoyed succubus. "We won't allow her to get sick, but we will monitor her drinking to make sure she only takes what she needs to stay healthy!" She got firm nods from the other two girls at this newest idea.
'What mess did your carelessness now get us into? And why do these girls presume to have any saying over my property? Get Tsukune to remove the Rosario.', an annoyed Ura interjects.
"It's fine. I can live without so much blood for a few days, and I was careless like you say. The alternative is worse, and explaining why his blood is yours won't be any better.", whispers Omote back.
'Explain? Who said anything about explaining..', says inner Moka in a tone that elicits a cold shiver from Omote. 'But if this is what you wish, I suppose learning to accept consequences for your lack of control has it's own merits.', and with that, Ura went silent.
"Tsukune, nobody wants to see her hurt, but this might even be good for her, and even if you're upset right now, it will be good for you too. Give your body time to fully recover. It may even help you avoid injuries in training, if you're not so drained all the time.", adds Mizore in a conciliatory tone.
Tsukune looks defeated, and although he shakes his head, he knows he can't find good arguments. He briefly considered pulling the Rosario. Ura is very intelligent, he was certain she could come up with a solution. Then he realized one of the likeliest solutions Ura would consider, and decided it was best to not pull the Rosario after all.
Due to a strange coincidence, both Moka and Tsukune had that Ura-induced cold shiver run down their spines at exactly the same time.
After classes, Tsukune hurried out and ran up to the roof to get some air. Once out there, he sighed. They really had been careless, and were now paying the price. At least a full-blown scandal in the middle of the cafeteria had been avoided, he thought without joy.
Moka suddenly comes through the doors to the roof, and they both stare at each other, realizing they both chose the same spot to escape to. After quickly recovering from their surprise, they run towards each other and embrace.
"I'm sorry about what happened, Moka-san.", starts Tsukune.
"Tsukune! I don't like you for your blood.", exclaims Moka at the same time.
They blush at having talked at the same time, but Tsukune chuckles, "I know that much.", before smiling warmly.
He gently caresses her face and out of habit leans her head against his shoulder. She allows her head to be lead there and his arms hold her close, a huge wave of emotion envelops her.
"Stop!", commands a familiar voice in anger, but they can't see anyone at first.
"I will not allow you to keep drinking his blood, stay away from him Moka, or else!" When the mysterious speaker sees their clueless search for her, she yells, "Up here! And I said, move apart!"
As they let go of each other, Kurumu lands gracefully on the roof and with a flourish, she bows, mocking an introduction to the stunned pair, "To protect Tsukune's precious blood, enter Chief Captain of the Vampire Air Patrol, Kurono Kurumu!"
The pair manage to look at each other's blank stares before turning back to face the succubus. They just look at her in disbelief, mouths agape. She even took the time to change into something that looks like an official uniform.
At this time Yukari arrives on the rooftop panting, and having heard the succubus' declaration, she mocks loudly, "Captain, and only member."
"Hey! I bet we can recruit Ruby too, and she flies!", argues Kurumu with annoyance.
"She would be your senior then. Maybe we can then make you the official mascot of the Air Patrol, the flying boob!", retorts Yukari with a wide grin.
"You should be a mascot, you pet-sized flat-board witch!", calls Kurumu out in anger, while heading towards the witch. She grabs Yukari by her waist and rubs her flat chest for emphasis. "See? We can even use all this empty flat space here to put a nice logo!"
Yukari manages to wave her wand and a fast flying pan lands on Kurumu's head, temporarily dazing her. Looking around, she sees that Moka and Tsukune aren't around anymore. 'Ugh, it's that damn Kurumu's fault!' she thinks with annoyance.
Tsukune used the confusion to pick Moka up in his arms and run as fast as he possibly could, briefly transforming as he did.
"This will only buy us a few minutes.", he says in between pants, once stopping.
She gazes down sadly, "I know, I'm sorry, if only I hadn't -"
Tsukune cuts her off, "It isn't just your fault, I have also been careless, and underestimated Mizore."
"Anyway, before they do catch up, I just thought maybe you wanted.. one last time before they don't leave us alone..", he says with a smile.
"Tsukune..", she turns her sad gaze into a smile of her own.
"Moka-san..", he looks at her warmly.
"Yes, you did..", is the voice that comes behind some trees, scaring the living daylights out of them.
"Mizore!", they both exclaim at the same time.
"I knew the succubus would be unreliable, and this was the likeliest place you would escape to, if you tried to run away. Things are dire if you can't help yourselves a few hours after getting caught.", admonishes Mizore in a quiet voice.
Both just hung their heads down in resignation and slowly walked away from each other, dragging their feet, each step feeling like one too many that separated them. They lift their gazes to share one last sad look before they were too far apart.
From then on, every time one of the two was alone, suddenly one of their friends would pop by and walk with them. Sometimes, most often in fact, they would be trailing Tsukune, but when he managed to give them the slip, they would have a contingency plan in place and be already surrounding outer Moka.
"Tsukune, would you want to go watch the sun set? With all of us, apparently..?"
"Ah, Moka, good thing I caught you. You must be feeling lonely, I'll keep you company."
"Ah Tsukune, can you please help me, I can't find my wand, and I'm completely helpless without it."
"Moka, just who I was looking for! Want to paint each other's toe nails?"
"Tsukune, just who I was looking for! Want to paint each other's toe nails? Err wait no, wrong list, err, can you help me math homework, I don't want to trouble Moka, and Yukari is refusing.."
That is pretty much how the entire afternoon went by, with occasional added interruptions by Fong-Fong, who again insisted Tsukune joined the mafia. He even toyed with the idea of agreeing in exchange for an invisibility gadget for two, but he doubted such a thing existed, even in this world. But he was getting frustrated, and knew Moka couldn't be doing much better. It was with some relief that he welcomed the time to start training.
"Greetings Tsukune, seems you got yourselves into a mess there. They are even beginning to annoy me, and I even found it amusing at the beginning.", greets him inner Moka when he enters the training area known as 'paradise.'
Tsukune cheers up significantly, since at least now he can spend some time with Moka alone, even if most of the time will be spent dodging trips to the infirmary. "Hello Moka-san, it's very good to see you again.", he smiles warmly.
Inner Moka is also happy to see him, but she's troubled. She wants to suggest just telling the girls what he had decided, but then she realized she really wasn't ready to make declarations of love, remembering Kurumu's mocking with annoyance. She shakes her head, perhaps a good intense training session would bring the insight she needs.
Their thoughts are interrupted by three new presences, which inner Moka senses the second they step through the portal. She exclaims angrily, "What in the name of The Three Dark Lords are you all doing here?!"
"We came in case you hadn't gotten the whip yet..", started Yukari before getting violently silenced by Kurumu, just as inner Moka was about to round off on them.
"Don't mind the child, we came to see how well Tsukune is doing, it is quite impressive to watch both of you fight.", replies Mizore calmly.
"Yeah, maybe we can learn something too!", adds Kurumu.
Inner Moka is irritated. She can't decide what's more insulting, the fact they think she wouldn't see through their pathetic lies, or that they expect her to just swallow them. Hounding Omote was one thing, but now interfering with her training crosses the line. One they would regret crossing. Multiple times.
She turns to them, exposing her growing smile as she begins planning exactly what she's going to do to them, and with fangs clearly showing she warns them, "Do as you wish. But this is not a playground."
With that, she turns away from them and walks up to an astonished Tsukune who is just staring at the new arrivals and their exchange with inner Moka. They seem shaken, but still resolute enough in their decision to stay that they sit down.
Once she's close enough that he can whisper without being overheard, he asks with incredulity, "You're going to let them stay?"
"They are of no concern. Listen up Tsukune, I was planning on taking things up a bit more seriously today, but then they showed up, so I want you to concentrate. This will get dangerous.", warns inner Moka in a quiet tone.
Tsukune gulps. It was always dangerous. Very dangerous in fact. If she was now claiming it was going to get dangerous, he was worried. He asks her timidly, "Y..you're not going to hurt them, are you?"
"I thought about it. But no, they may hurt themselves by staying here however. And you best not waste one single thought on them during our fight, or your life will be in danger.", warns Ura.
Tsukune now looks very very concerned. Her words did nothing to help him feel any better, quite the opposite in fact.
"Do you recall my little fight with Kalua?" She waited for his nod before she continued, "I am going to attack you with the same strength." Pausing to see his reaction, she could see the growing sense of terror. "I will not use the same speed, so you should be able to dodge if you make no mistakes. So, DON'T MAKE MISTAKES.", she admonishes harshly.
Taking a deep breath, and at Omote's constant urging, which varied between a panicky 'What? Noooo!' to begging 'At least give him confidence! He's terrified!', she finally adds, "You can do this Tsukune. Just think of me as if I were one of those thugs who kidnapped Omote. Don't hesitate, attack with everything you have, as if you were trying to save me. I have faith in you."
He looked a little more sure of himself, taking a deep breath of his own and forced himself to calm down, before he nodded to her.
In a commanding voice, making sure she could be clearly heard by the three girls, she yelled, "This is not a game Tsukune! Don't let their presence distract you, or your life will be over. Are you ready!?"
Tsukune's Youki suddenly flares, as his eyes turn red and his hair begins to turn silver. He knows he has to put it all on the line. He begins trying to remember how he had felt when Omote had been kidnapped, and tries to picture one of the goons in front of him, the one with the gun, pointing it at her. His Youki flares wildly, intensifying as his hands ball into fists and he can feel his anger pounding against his chest, demanding blood, and flowing towards those same fists. He bares his fangs on instinct, and he nods towards Moka.
The girls were taken aback when they saw that. Their precious Tsukune looked like a ferocious vampire about to strike, in fact he looked similar to how inner Moka had looked to them the first time they had seen her, and they suddenly felt cold, even Mizore. This was a strange cold for the snow girl, not a comforting one like she was used to, but the cold sense of fear, made more disturbing by emanating from him.
They had been already scared at how strong he was when they had seen him in action during Moka's rescue. But this was beyond that. These were not humans he was fighting, he was not concerning himself with possibly killing someone. In fact, quite the opposite, he was trying to feel the urge to kill his target, and succeeding. Once awakened, the instincts of his vampire blood demanded blood.
Their terror intensified when they suddenly felt inner Moka let loose her own Youki. This was not the usual overwhelming aura that she normally had around her, oh no. This was not the kind of energy that she used to give a lazy kick to one silly orc oh so long ago, smashing him against a cliff side, not even the energy used to kick a boisterous phoenix unconscious, no this was the kind of energy she had used to shatter the internal organs of another incredibly powerful vampire in one kick.
All three were terrified, they had been only half-conscious the last time she had done this, but now they were fully aware. Still, like moths to the flame, they just couldn't look away, they couldn't obey every instinct in their body that was screaming at them to just get out, run as far as they could for as long as they could and never come back.
Suddenly, it happened. She nodded to Tsukune, she got acknowledgement in his eyes, then there was a blur, and all hell broke loose.
Tsukune was barely able to see her move, 'I thought she said she was going to slow down, I'll never dodge this, ack!', was all he manages to think before he has to spin around and put a double block to cushion the impact of the kick. He expected to hear the sound of his arms breaking and the pain associated with it, but to his surprise the kick had been lighter than usual. Of course, this still meant it had sent him 20 feet painfully flying through the air with serious bruises on his arms, at considerable speed, and in the direction of the three stupefied girls, who barely managed to scramble out of the way.
As fast as he had travelled the distance, he knew he needed even more distance to reestablish his balance, so as he was landing in the middle of scampering girls, he pushes with his hands and turns the movement into a back-flip. He had barely moved when a blur of a vampire reaches his previously occupied space delivering a powerful strike with all her power against the ground where he would have first landed. The Youki-fuelled shock wave sends all the girls who were barely getting out of the way, painfully flying.
As Tsukune landed he establishes a ready stance and prepares an attack. As the fierce vampire jumps at him he begins with a powerful front kick which Ura easily dodges, but which had really only been a feint. He dodges her knee strike with a sliding step, barely, while attempting to connect with an elbow strike.
He's succeeding in picturing a dangerous blur that must be defeated to protect Moka instead of seeing Ura, but he is still hesitating ever so slightly: Each time he attacks he has to concentrate on thinking it's not inner Moka, and even a quarter of a second hesitation is entirely too much when fighting an opponent with that kind of speed.
She dodges under the blow and jumps in the air delivering a powerful roundhouse kick. The moment he missed he expected the gruesome counter, so he pushes himself backwards while rotating with the direction of her next kick. On instinct he delivers a brutal backhand swing as he's flung back by the remaining force of her kick. He crashes against Kurumu, hard, with more than enough force to send them both crashing into Mizore. Only the little witch tumbled out of the way.
"What the hell are you doing?", exclaims Ura with marked irritation as she approaches the smouldering pile of bodies. She grabs Tsukune and pulls him to his feet and turns to glare angrily at the girls. "You're in the way. If you keep distracting him, he's going to die. And he will not be the only one." With this Ura turns to a shaky Tsukune and firmly commands, "Take a few minutes to rest, those fools got you injured. We begin again in 15." Without any further words, she marches away and goes sit down a distance from everyone.
Tsukune nods, but seems a bit puzzled. He looks around and sees his friends trying to dislodge bits of shrapnel that impaled them from the first attack, while holding their sides from the impact of him crashing against them. He winces at the state his friends are in, and is about to go and assist them, when he begins to register his own injuries. He knows he only has a few minutes, so continuing to wince, he goes to sit on a still surviving rock nearby and begins to massage his neck, which had received that savage last kick. "If I hadn't taken most of the energy from that kick by turning with it and jumping back.." he shudders to finish the thought.
The girls in the meantime look around and see the injured Tsukune trying to massage his neck. They turn to each other and see their own state. Wordlessly they reach the same conclusion at the same time. In painful unison they call, "T.. thanks for the demonstration. We'll be going now. Good night!" before making a hasty retreat for the exit. Or as hasty as they can hobble at any rate. On their way out they began to argue about whose stupid idea it had been to come in here with Ura in the first place.
Ura smirks with satisfaction as they leave, stands up, and goes to attend to Tsukune.
"I'm sorry Moka-san, I was really.."
"Shh.. you did well enough.", says Ura as she moves behind him. She places her hands on his neck and begins to gently probe it, to see if there's any real injury. Seeing only bruises, she begins to gently massage the neck.
"Not bad Tsukune. You still have issues hesitating but for moments at a time, you did fight like you were supposed to. That is why I'm here helping a stiff neck, and we're not headed for the emergency room.", mentions Ura in an uncaring tone that belied her tender touch.
He leans back into the massage sighing contently. "You did it on purpose, didn't you. To scare them off."
She replies by firmly squeezing with her hands eliciting a painful groan from him. "You would prefer I take a more direct approach?"
"No, that's not..", is the hesitant reply.
"Besides, this was more fun, and it even helped our training.", she adds while continuing to rub his neck and up his spine.
She slides her hands from his neck down to his back and leans forward, resting on his elbows. He groans with pleasure this time as her hands knead the bruised muscles.
"Thank you. Not just for this, but for training, and for taking it easier on them, and for..", says Tsukune sincerely, before getting cut off as Ura places a hand on his cheek.
She moves to sit opposite him and they just gaze at each other. He finally notices she has a small bruise on her cheek where his own blow landed. He wants to lean forward to take a better look, maybe caress the spot, but his body has other plans and sends a wave of pain through him. She notices where he's starting and smiles faintly.
Rubbing her bruise, she tells him with a smile, "Yes, good job. Because of this, you have earned a reward. Come here, lean your head on my lap."
'How about the reward of enough is enough and you stop hurting him? Is this really necessary?', asks Omote as directly as she dares.
He does as he's bidden and gazes up at her, a bit stunned to know what to say. She begins to run her hands through his messy hair. He closes his eyes for a moment to savour the touch, and her fingers wander to his face and to slowly trace the contours of his features. They glide along the nose, across his cheeks, move on to his lips and back around the back of his head, to find his ear, before going back to his hair. He opens his eyes and just gazes at her lovingly, and is pleasantly surprised to see a warm gaze looking down on him.
As she runs his hands through his hair, she's thinking about what Omote said, and decides to simply ask him. "Tsukune, Omote thinks I should not put you through this anymore. So I'm going to ask you, what it is you want."
He furrows his brow into a mild frown, wondering what she means. But before he can ask, she continues.
"You said you wanted to be with me, with us, perhaps all you meant was that you as a boy wanted to just be with us for pleasure." She emphasizes her words by sliding her hands away down his neck, and under his shirt. Her touch is electrifying to him, and elicits a moan.
"If you only seek to be my lover, then perhaps you are strong enough. I don't expect you to protect me, nor do you have to fight at my side. I do like you. You were very attractive just now when we were fighting.", she purrs as she gives his sides a gentle squeeze. "Hm, it seems you like that idea..", she says with a soft voice, partially pleased with his response to her touch.
Tsukune's feels as if his body is both on fire, freezing, and flooded with electricity. Inner Moka thought he was attractive? Did she mention being her lover? And that touch.. was he dreaming again? He was having a hard time completely following what she was saying through all the stimulation. But as much as this was like a dream, it suddenly had a rude awakening.
"Of course, one day as a proper vampire, I will have to marry someone of my station. You will need to take a place as my servant and lover. In fact, if you ever meet father, that is how you will be introduced." She senses him tensing up, and continues to explain, "This will prevent him killing you on sight, since you will be of no consequence. Just someone to attend to me, and to spend time with me when my husband isn't around."
"It won't be as bad as it sounds, you would still have Omote when there is nobody around, no vampire would have interest in her because she's so weak. She will be very devoted to you. But when my husband is around, you will need to make yourself scarce, unless he commands you otherwise, which is a possibility. He may choose to have you watch a few times, to establish dominance. If you dare show any signs of jealousy, he will kill you."
She senses him tensing up, his body no longer reacting at all to her touch. Where before any slight movement elicited a delighted response, he was now frigid. "He likely won't be around much, and when we are together, I do promise to make it very memorable..", she offers, trying to improve the alternative.
He takes her hand in his and removes it from his chest, before sitting, and then standing up. He's staring at her as she also stands up, first in disbelief, and then in growing anger. "As if I would ever agree to something like that!", he finally exclaims angrily.
"What makes you think I would want to be even close to anyone who would look down on my beloved Moka-san, or that I would consider allowing another man.." he shakes his head angrily spitting out the words, trying to maintain his composure.
He walks up to her and firmly grabs her by the shoulders, before giving her a piercing gaze. "I would never allow that. I will definitely never agree to that.", he says in a firm but even voice. He knew he was challenging her, and he knew this would end up painfully for him, but concern for his safety seemed secondary right now. He expects her to attack him at any moment, or go into an angry rant, or likely both. He expects a lot of things, except this.
She begins to smile. Breaking his hold on her with ease she closes the distance between them, embracing him. "Good.", she whispers into his ear in a warm tone, as she hugs him. She was very happy with his response, and gave his ear a nibble to let him know. 'So there is some fire in there after all. Very good'. Ura thinks to herself.
He shivers as she bites his ear. He's still somewhat confused, but his anger completely dissipates just like that, replaced by a feeling of warmth in his chest. He slowly hugs her back, and they remain like that for a time, leaning into each other, before leaving for the night.
A/N: Yeah so, no big reveal this time.. sorry! Ack, err.. those are nice pitchforks you have there.. very fashionable.. oh look, there's Moka in a bathing suit!