Last Chapter you guys! *cries*
Two months went by both fast and slowly.
Sansa felt like a ballet dancer spinning, both gracefully and out of control, falling apart from her body and twirling in a world of blurry madness; at least that's how it felt for the first few weeks. It began as a routine, intense but soon to become familiar. Waking up at the sudden fall of dusk, a burn in her throat so intense it made her cry out. Aido would allow her to feed, but it just wasn't enough at first. He tasted wonderful, but she just couldn't be satisfied unless she let herself go and kill him completely. He assured her that it would pass, that she would be able to control herself and be weaned onto blood tablets. She wasn't so sure. And if she wasn't hungry, she was distracted, like a baby trying to take in all the dazzling colours in bright lights. She felt trapped, even with Aido's reassurance and guidance. For a few weeks, she thought she was going to go mad.
Then things began to slow down. And with that slowness, things began to take shape, the world became lighter, and the spinning took on a grace that she could dance to. She'd wake up without the dry cry for blood, and she would feel weightless. The heaviness of her still heart went away over time, and sometimes she didn't feel for its beat, or listen for it. Aido taught her to try and breathe, despite her lack of need for it. At first it hurt, her lungs seeming too tight to take the extra pressure, but like everything else she eased into it. She didn't breathe when she didn't have to, but when in the company of humans, she knew she would have to in order to seem... normal.
Since the day of her... revival, Aido remained sharing the same bed as her. He never touched her romantically, only held her in a protective iron grip, his breath warm on her neck. In the beginning, it was the only thing that kept her grounded, the only thing real against the insanity of what she had become. She'd sleep in lands of darkness, no dreams touching her, and it was oddly safe.
Sansa found that she no longer dreamt anymore, not even a little. Instead she remained aware of the conscious world. It was like being stuck in a dark hole yet hearing, smelling and sometimes feeling everything that lay beyond; the distant chirps of snoozing birds, the rustle of branches, the warmth of Aido's arms around her, the smell of him. She found that, though she missed dreaming, it was far more reassuring.
This morning, though, she woke alone. The mattress felt cold and uncomfortable, the sheets not offering comfort to her skin. She rolled, hoping to seek Aido beside her, but he was nowhere to be seen. Rubbing her eyes and ignoring the irritable smoulder in her throat, she blinked against the dimming light in the room. Even dusk was too intense for her at times, the brightness that used to soothe her now burning her eyes for several minutes. She sat patiently, rubbing her eyes, and once she could finally open them, a knock came against the door.
Ruka walked in, a small smile on her face. "Good evening." she said, gently closing the door behind her. She stood still for a moment, regarding Sansa silently, her expression odd. Sansa, now with her both Forsaken and vampire sight, could appreciate her beauty a lot more. She could see that her tender brown eyes were often sad, a strange longing lodged deep in their depths. Sansa could see the glass delicateness of her skin, like her own, and the red of her lips contrasted greatly. She looked like a very sad angel.
"Is something wrong?" Sansa asked at last. Ruka smiled, looking down at her feet.
"It's strange," she said. "Since you came back, you glow much more now. You look healthy." She let out a breathy laugh, her eyes roaming the room. "Listen to me, talking nonsense. I'm here for a reason." Her tone took on a serious edge, and Sansa found herself going rigid. "Your father is here to see you. I came to check if you were fit to see him."
Sansa, despite herself, caught her breath. She hadn't heard nor seen Kaien since she died, having been locked up in the Moon Dorm for her own good. She'd wondered what he would think of her as a vampire, wondered if he still loved her. And what of Zero and Yuki? Did they still believe she was dead? Did they know what she was, and hate her for it? Did they still consider her family?
Sansa blinked and stood. "I-I think I am fit to see him." she said a little distantly. Ruka drifted towards her, and before Sansa knew it, Ruka stood behind her, her fingers within the long strands of her hair. Sansa stood still, unsure of what to do, while Ruka brushed out her hair with her fingers, eventually pulling it back into a ponytail.
"I wanted to apologize." Ruka said at last. "For my behaviour towards you before. It's just that you... frightened me. You're so different, so unique, you just scared me. But then I saw what you did, saving Aido and dying for it, and I wondered why I was so frightened of you. I regret it, you know. I hope you can forgive me."
Sansa was quiet for a moment, and slowly turned to face Ruka. "I was scared of myself." she told her. "So I know how you felt. I don't think there's anything to forgive."
Ruka smiled, and picked out an outfit for Sansa to wear.
Ruka apparently thought that a black skater dress would suit her nicely, simple but pretty. Not having the energy to argue, Sansa wore it, and it indeed fitted her nicely, even showing off a little bit of curves. Nervous, the heaviness in her chest indicating a ghost of a fluttering heartbeat, Sansa descended the stairs. Not unexpectedly, two of the Night Class students accompanied her on either side, Ishio on the left and Senri on the right. At first she thought it would be unnecessary, but then she smelt him, and regretted her earlier doubts.
Kaien Cross smelt sweet and sour both at the same time. It was like a sugar ball coated in sour powder, something in his blood not quite right. She thought about it in order to distract herself, and when she remembered he used to be a Vampire Hunter, she assumed that that must have been it. She swallowed down her thirst, straightened her shoulders, and went to face her someone dreading moment.
He looked the same. Brighter, more vivid, but the same nonetheless. His hair in its usual ponytail, his glasses still pushed up the bridge of his nose, his eyes still warm and welcoming. He was even wearing his friendly smile, but his nervousness didn't go amiss in his scent. Sansa nearly laughed; his general scent was of strawberries.
"Sansa," he said, and Sansa heard the little jump in his voice that not even a normal vampire could hear. "you look well."
Sansa didn't reply. She reached the last step, and in a split second, she flitted to her father before a blink could even take place. Someone behind her made a sound of protest, but it was too late. Sansa tightly wrapped her arms around Kaien's middle, hugging him while she wept tearlessly into his chest. Almost immediately he folded his arms around her and squeezed, burying his face in her hair as he held her. He was as familiar to her as he was different, warm and solid and loving, but she heard and smelled more of him that she could hold dear; the sound of his steady heart, the flow of luscious blood, the smell of strawberries and something else entirely, a mix of dirt and rust. He was everything she had always had, and everything she never thought she would have again.
"I missed you." she whimpered.
"And I you, silly girl." he said, and his voice trembled a little. "You're still my little girl." He released her and crouched, gathering her face in his hands. He stared intently at her, searching her face as if looking for flaws. For a while his expression gave nothing away, but the smell of relief was intense around her.
"I'm sorry." Sansa said before she could stop herself.
"Sorry? Sansa, you've done nothing wrong!"
"I should have been stronger." she mumbled, fiddling with the hem of her dress. "When I fought the Darkling. I should have never listened to it." She had told Kaname everything she remembered, and not without reluctance. She could only assume that he had passed on the story to Kaien, and judging by the look on his face, she was correct.
"That creature was cruel and manipulative. Its only goal was to destroy you. I can't blame you for not killing it faster than you did; it was strong, stronger than you. And no one can take away the fact that you have a caring heart, which only makes you human."
"But I'm not human," she said sadly. "Not anymore."
"That doesn't take away the fact that you are my daughter, even if blood doesn't tie us."
For a moment they were quiet, Sansa's eyes closed as she absorbed his words. She smelled the other two vampires, and seeming to share the same thought, Kaien spoke out to them.
"You may go to your class, I believe Sansa is stable enough." he told them kindly. Sansa didn't have to open her eyes to know that they left without much hesitation. It was strange, really. Everyone here appeared to have a lot of faith in her, and were much kinder to her now that she was a vampire. Perhaps she had gained their respect, perhaps she was just merely another member of their kind. Either way, she appreciated their kindness and often generous faith in her. It made her indeed feel more stable.
She opened her eyes, and Kaien smiled down at her. Taking her elbow, he led her to the bottom step and sat, pulling her down with him. Again they were quiet, and Sansa found that she couldn't keep the names from falling free any longer.
"Yuki and Zero?" she asked. "Do they―"
"They know." he said simply, staring ahead.
"Well, at first they didn't want to believe it. Yuki cried for days, and Zero locked himself in the stables with that damn stallion of his. The idea of you being a vampire seemed worse than they idea of you dying. I suppose it hit them hard because they knew how much you didn't want this life."
"I still don't." Sansa said. "But I don't want to die yet, either."
"You never will die, now. You're immortal. You'll be eighteen for the rest of eternity... unless you end your life firsthand." he sounded so sad when he said it, and Sansa didn't want to even think about that yet. Eternity was a long time, and she wasn't ready to comprehend that anymore than the next girl.
"You said 'at first'. How are they now? Do they... hate me?" she said slowly, not knowing if she truly wanted the answer. Kaien took an intake of breath, lifting his face to the ceiling as if asking the heavens for guidance.
"I have been keeping them informed of your condition. What they fear more is the risk of you turning into a Level E, but truthfully, I don't think that will happen. Kaname tells me that you are already beginning to consume blood tablets, and have even begun to appear as human as you were six months ago. He says your... healthy." He smiled then, finally meeting her eyes. "Yuki wants to see you, and Zero hasn't exactly sent you ill wishes. So to answer your question, then no, I don't think they hate you. I don't think they ever will."
She thought for a moment, and finally settled for, "I'm glad." What else was there to say? She was happy that they didn't hate her like they should, but it was also disheartening to know that they will never see her in the same light again. It had taken just hours to split their worlds and stretch them miles apart, from dusk until dawn. That was something that maybe even time could never heal.
"I hear rumour that Hanabusa Aido is... somewhat involved with you." Kaien said after a while, and if Sansa could blush, she would have. She looked at him, horrified, but her father merely laughed at her. "Relax, I am rather pleased for you. That boy has always had a soft spot for you."
"Nothing is actually official between us yet." she said quietly, trapping her hands between her knees. "Everything has just been so hectic that we haven't had chance to... talk."
"Perhaps no words need to be spoken." Kaien offered warmly. "Aido thinks the world of you. Just the mention of your name seems to make him brighten. Whatever it is between the two of you, its strong. You didn't see him when you... passed on. I thought he was just minutes away from having a meltdown in front of everyone."
"He's a drama queen." she said with a smile, and he laughed.
"Anyway, you have my blessing." he finished, and gently squeezed her shoulder. Suddenly he rose to his feet and strode to one of the sofas, where a square box sat that she hadn't noticed before. He collected it and returned to her, handing her the pain white box.
"Class begins for you in a couple of days," he said. "so I thought it was time you had a uniform." Sansa opened the box, and inside was indeed the entirety of the Night Class uniform, white and black with a single red ribbon. Reality crashed down on her in a heavy heap, and amazingly she was able to smile her thanks.
"Thank you... daddy." she whispered, and he gently kissed her temple.
At around five in the morning, her eyes terribly heavy after another evening of boredom, Aido and the rest of the Night Class returned from class. He greeted her with a smile, the others diverting the pair and returning to their rooms respectfully. After just a few minutes it was just the two of them, alone in the entrance hall, Sansa on the bottom step of the staircase while Aido remained on the floor. Still he was taller than her, and for once she wasn't annoyed by it.
He leaned towards her and pecked her on the lips, a somewhat natural thing for them both to do now. She wanted him to kiss her more meaningfully, but sometimes the little things were so much better. She smiled, looking at him through dreary eyes, resisting the somewhat unnatural urge to yawn.
"Hi." he said against her mouth, warm and welcome. She made an inaudible sound in response, to which he chuckled. "Bed?"
"Not yet." she murmured, and wrapped her arms around his neck. They fit together as perfectly as jigsaw pieces, and stood so close that the majority of their fronts were touching. She could feel his heartbeat against her own still chest. Almost idly he locked his arms around her waist and nuzzled her neck, his fangs gently grazing her throat pleasurably enough that she made a pleased sound.
"Then what would you like to do, sleepy?" he asked her lowly.
"I'd tell you if I could think straight." she said a little distractedly, relishing in the feel of him. He grinned against her skin and pulled back, kissing her slowly on the mouth before resting his forehead against hers. At last he gazed at her with tired but curious eyes.
"Go ahead, m'lady."
She cleared her throat and looked away, suddenly afraid. "I wanted to talk about... us. I mean, are we official? Are we... together?"
Aido made a small sound that sounded like a laugh. "Sansa, I would certainly like to think so. Why, have you been seeing other guys behind my back?"
"What? No!" she looked at him in horror and he laughed again, kissing her forehead.
"I'm joking." he assured her. "But honestly, I would like to think we are. You're all I have ever wanted, and I don't like sharing."
She smiled. "Okay, I just... thought it would be good to get it out there." She tentatively pressed her lips to his collarbone, for his shirt had been tugged loose due to the end of class. He moaned when she began to trail kisses along his throat, up to his jaw and eventually against his lips, to which he responded almost hungrily.
Vampire kisses were much more intense. Every feel, ever taste, every sound, was something intimate to them. Sansa fed off his pleasure, and he did the same to her, while their mouths moved together as if it was the last thing they would ever do. He kissed her long and hard, groaning when she nibbled at his lower lip, and eventually he gasped. Lifting her so that her legs wrapped tightly around his waist, he mumbled something that sounded very much like 'bed' into her mouth, and she could only make a sound of agreement as he carried her up the stairs.
She didn't remember entering the spare room she had been residing in for the last eight weeks. She barely felt Aido lower her to the mattress, nor settle himself above her as he kissed her longingly. She just knew that her entire world consisted of nothing but him, and that she had no desire to let him go, not now, not ever. She met him kiss for kiss, touch for touch, breath for breath. His hands roamed possessively over her body, not exactly gentle which was just fine with her. She'd gone so long without him touching her in the past, so this was more than satisfactory. She didn't even care that this was further than either of them had ever gone. She just relished in the feel on his mouth on hers, on her neck, on her chest. Her body hummed with bliss wherever he touched her, whether it was bear flesh or not.
They didn't go any further than kissing, though. Eventually they grew tired, and tangled in the bed sheets and their limbs tightly intertwined, Aido eventually rested his head against her chest, his body cushioned against hers and keeping her snug to the mattress. She stroked his hair idly, growing more and more sleepy, but she was awake enough to hear the following words fall from his lips.
"I love you, Sansa." he whispered in the growing light. She smiled, kissing his hair. "I've loved you for a while now. I know it's selfish, but... I'm glad you're still here with me, human or not."
"I love you too, Aido." she breathed, her breath tousling a lock of golden hair. "The only reason I'm still sane is because of you. I wouldn't be able to live this life if not for you."
Just when she thought she might drift off to sleep, Aido moved. She moaned in protest, suddenly feeling cold, as Aido climbed from the bed and moved away entirely. She leaned up on her elbows, frowning as she blinked through the rapidly brightening room. He shot her a smirk as he crouched at the end of the bed, retrieving his uniform jacket―when had he taken it off? She would have blushed when she realised it had been her who shrugged it off―and then began to forage through the inside pockets. He made a happy noise when he found what he'd been looking for, and carrying a small item, he returned to the bed.
Sansa sat expectantly, waiting for what he had to show her. He grinned at her as he handed her the box, wrapped delicately in a green ribbon, the box itself black like her hair. Tentatively she opened it, her pale fingers working the ribbon as if too harsh a tug would damage its innocence. Aido played with a lock of her hair, watching her open the gift, his eyes dancing with a look of hope.
She gasped. Inside was a glittering necklace, diamonds shimmering at her in the morning sunlight. The locket, half the side of her already tiny palm, dazzled a perfect emerald, the exact same shade of her eyes in the shape of a heart. She gawped at Aido, speechless, and he simply grinned before retrieving the gift and pursuing to fasten it around her neck. He freed her hair from its hold, brushing back from her shoulders before stroking her face.
"I was going to give it to you for your birthday. I know it's two months late, but now seems a better time than any." He smiled sheepishly, and started a little when Sansa attacked him with a kiss.
"You've been carrying it around with you? All this time?" she asked in amazement, touching the heart now resting in the spot between her collarbones. He too touched it, smiling.
"I didn't want the right opportunity to arise and not have it on me. It seemed adequate to keep it with me." Gently he pushed against her shoulders so that she was lying down again, and he returned to his position with his head on her chest, arms around her tightly, legs intertwined. Feeling suddenly very light, Sansa sighed and nestled herself into him, hugging him tight as she willed sleep to take her once more.
"I love you." he whispered again, seeming closer to sleep now than before.
"And I you." she murmured, and at least, the heart at her throat cold and reassuring, sleep carried her away.
Two days later, an hour before dusk, Sansa found herself in a room that she now shared with another Night Class member, since she was now officially a part of the Night Class. Her name was Cho Kita, and Sansa would soon learn that she was the girlfriend of Ishio. She seemed pleasant enough, though she looked a little odd. Hair as red as fire and eyes a deep violet, more so than Zero's, and she was just ever so slightly shorter than Sansa. But she was sweet, and welcomed her as her new roommate. Sansa decided that she liked her, too.
Cho came in now as Sansa inspected herself in the full length mirror, dressed in her new uniform minus the jacket. It was exactly the same but negative, blue replaced by white. It was strange, for it oddly suited her, even complimented her. Her dark hair made her face even paler, her eyes all the more vivid, and she somehow found herself liking it. Cho smiled at her, appearing to have the same thought, before handing her a flask of red liquid.
"It's from Lord Kaname." she informed her in her sweet voice. "He thought he'd have you drink from a flask to begin with; it would be uncomfortable for you to drink from him, would it not?"
Ah, Sansa thought. The blood of a pureblood. She took the flask from her, her throat stinging a little with expectation. She had yet to drink from Kaname, even put it off, because not only did she hate the idea, but so did Aido. There was only one person she was willing to drink from, and even that made her feel like a wreck of guilt in the aftermath. Aido was sometimes just too kind to her. She swallowed against the burn as she opened the flask, not wanting to enjoy the smell despite her nature. She tipped her head back and swallowed the contents, resisting the urge to sigh happily. It tasted wonderful, pure, but it lacked the sweetness of Aido's blood. She saw flashes of something, of images, but they lasted no more than a millisecond. Aido had warned her of this; drinking the blood of a pureblood gave access to their minds. Sansa wasn't surprised that, no matter how quickly they went by, she saw Yuki's face among them.
"Better?" Cho asked kindly.
"Much, thank you." Sansa replied, and placed the flask down on a dressing table. Cho smiled and helped her into her jacket, smoothing the fabric on her arms before grinning at her in the reflection.
"It suits you much better than the Day Class uniform." she told her, and then skipped from the room, preparing for the evening class. With one last glance, Sansa followed, touching the heart at her throat from Aido in the hopes to calm her nerves. It did.
Aido met her in the hall and escorted her down the stairs, his hand in hers. He was about to speak when a scent caught her, heavily laced with a dark aroma, like a frosty night time. Aido caught it, too, and frowned, but Sansa was already leaving the building, following the scent. He made to follow her, but she heard a call from his cousin Akatsuki, and for whatever reason, remained behind.
Out in the gardens, the smell grew stronger, now holding the added scent of rot, like that of a Level E. But she didn't panic. She knew now who it was, and she stopped when at last she spotted her. Standing in a small circle of trees was Koemi, dressed all in black, a backpack over her shoulder and her belt heavily armed with weapons. Her eyes were large and sad, that same strange mix of blue and gold. Her blonde hair was pushed up in a high ponytail, and for once, her expression lacked its mocking mask.
"Hello, Sansa." she said.
Sansa nodded in greeting. "Koemi."
"You look... well, like a vampire, I guess." She laughed, and Sansa swore she could hear the nervous vibrations that came with it. "But alive."
"Technically, I'm not." Sansa said with a small smile. "But I'm still here, yes."
"Indeed." Koemi nodded. "Well, I came to say my farewell. I have no place here anymore; you are under no threat of vampires, and the Darkling is gone, and you appear to show no signs of turning to Level E." She frowned then, looking Sansa up and down. "At least, not yet."
"I won't turn, Koemi, I can tell you that much." Sansa told her firmly, somehow not irritated, just forward.
"The threat is still there. You never know; perhaps one day we will meet again, in the final showdown of vampire and hunter." Koemi smirked, her deviousness returning, and Sansa found herself smiling in return.
"Goodbye, Koemi. I look forward to the day we meet again." Sansa said, and Koemi nodded, bowing her goodbye as she turned to leave. Sansa watched her go, listening to the steadiness of her heart vanquish from her ears entirely, only to be replaced by a slower, more recognizable beat.
"Come on." Aido said. "Time to go."
Soon Sansa found herself before the gates that led from the Moon Dorm, the screams of the Day Class on the other side loud and irritating. Among it Sansa listened for her siblings, who were indeed there, shouting and cursing at the ditzy teenage girls. Sansa suddenly felt nervous, and Aido squeezed her hand reassuringly. She looked around, and everyone was shooting her encouraging smiles, even Kaname. She took a deep, meaningless breath, and when it was released, the doors opened.
And silence. Everyone stared at her, murmuring to one another in question. Sansa tried to block it out, searching for the only faces she wanted to see. And she found them. Yuki came towards her, slowly, her arms outstretched. Sansa stopped while the others continued on, Aido reluctantly following his cousins. Sansa stared at Yuki as she approached, inhaling her scent, which was sweet and pure and delicious. She swallowed, distantly thinking that her scent smelled very much like Kaname's blood. It didn't matter. Yuki reached her, and after a brief pause, caught Sansa in a tight hug, seemingly forgetting their audience. Sansa hugged her back, sniffling, her eyes burning as they tried to gather the tears that would never come.
No words were spoken, not one. Yuki released her sister all too soon and stepped back, gesturing for her to continue with teary eyes. Not seeing any other choice, Sansa moved on, but not without catching Zero's eyes to her left. They stared at one another hard, and Sansa took another breath. He smelled like metal, rusty but strong, and there was something else to his scent that she was oddly familiar with. Pushing the thought aside, she tried to smile, and just when she thought he would not return it, he too smiled and bowed his head in greeting.
She let go of a painful breath.
Finally, she spotted a pair of familiar smoky grey eyes staring at her, accompanied by blood red hair. Kana had tears in her eyes, her frame lacking the confidence it once held, and Sansa saw nothing to do but to nod towards her biological sister. Kana, stiffening, nodded back and closed her eyes, and a moment later she drifted away into the crowd.
Sansa continued and rejoined with Aido, who was gazing at her expectantly.
"I'm okay." she assured him. He frowned but didn't push her. Instead he took her hand and led the way, and a moment later he smiled.
"Time for your next story to begin." he told her teasingly. She grinned but shook her head, looking over her shoulder towards her stepsiblings, who had returned to ordering the Day Class back to their dorms.
"No," she said. "My story's over. But I think someone else's is about to begin."
She smiled, and Aido returned the smile. The two drifted towards the main building, blending in to the rest of the Night Class while the moon rose above them, replacing the sun in a silver light, waiting patiently for the night to take over.
Sansa grinned as she entered the building, the doors closing behind her.
Thank you so much for all of your support, i've loved writing every chapter of this story because of you guys!
Much love, Hollie