I must suck for not updating... Especially when I'm not even writing a new chapter :P And screw school. It does not only get in my way, but also takes away my dear beta-reader's time D:

And did you notice? FANFICTION JUST DISABLED READERS TO COPY ANYTHING! So yeah, I need to re-type Dew of Time bit by bit and then re-correct. = =" My beatiful time...

And if anyone hadn't noticed, the warmth was mentioned in chapter 1. (Because I didn't notice earlier too XD I'm such an idiot)


Ch.3 - Unmoving Time

'This warmth…' I thought as I stared into the darkness. My heartbeat clogged my eardrums. I felt my grip on whatever I was grasping on tightened as I tried to recall this warmth.

This warmth

I recognized this warmth…

"…!" I gasped as my eyes snapped open.

I stared at the swirl of colors before me in a daze. After a while, my vision began to adjust and I made out the patterns of the ceiling. I blinked, lying for another couple of seconds before noticing the heat-emitting object, which I was practically clawing at, was replaced by a blanket. I blinked for another few seconds before using my elbows to push myself up from the futon.

"Wha…?" I looked at the familiar surroundings, finding myself back into the room which Hibari lent me. However, I couldn't find myself to concentrate on that.

"That warmth's…" I muttered to myself in disbelief as I stared at my hand in a daze.

There's no mistake…

But…was something like that even possible?

As I found myself lost in the train of thoughts, I failed to notice the shoji to the room sliding open. It wasn't until I heard a voice calling my name, did I jumped and looked up to see Kusakabe-san. I stared at him with widened eyes. I parted my lips to speak, but no voice came out. At my dumbfounded expression, Kusakabe came closer and knelt down beside the futon I was sitting on.

"What's wrong, Suzume-san? Are you still hurt somewhere?" Not knowing if I could trust my voice, I slowly shook my head. I tried my best to erase the shock from my face, but I couldn't. Instead, my face must have turned into a weirder expression seeing how the concern on Kusakabe-san's face grew.

"Suzume-san?"

"A-Ah…!" I gasped, quickly snapping out of my thought and waved my hands before me. "S-Sorry…" I accidentally let out a shudder when I spoke. Recalling my recent memory of troubling Kusakabe-san, a wave of guilt overwhelmed me. I turned my head to Kusakabe-san and gave him an apologetic look. "A-About before…wandering away…I'm really sorry."

"It's fine," Kusakabe-san smiled softly. "What matters is that you're well. You were out for a day. We were quite worried."

'A day?' I thought in surprise. It was the first time I had ever fainted for so long that I was a little baffled. "I-…I see…sorry for troubling you…"

"No, it's not something you should apologize for," Kusakabe-san told me with his gentle smile still attatched. "You must be hungry. I'll bring you some food–"

'Wait' my mind called out as I tried to reach for Kusakabe-san. Before I could call out to him, my eyes caught sight of the man standing silently outside the room. My voice got stuck in my throat, I could feel my blood turning cold at the sight of the indifferent man.

"Kyo-san," Kusakabe-san greeted as Hibari-san gave me a stare before entering the room. He whispered something into Kusakabe-san's ear. Responding with a soft nod, Kusakabe-san quickly dismissed himself, leaving only the two of us here.

"H–Hibari-san…" I said with a small voice as I stared at the older man's face as he walked over to the futon I was resting on. I clutched onto the blanket which covered me out of nervousness. He said nothing but let his actions to pass his message to me instead.

He reached into his kimono's sleeve to pull out a familiar package wrapped in brown paper. He casually tossed it, letting the package hit my laps.

"Take them regularly," was all he said before he turned and headed for the doors. I didn't know what came over me just then. But by the time I reacted, I was kneeling forward with a hand stretched out, clutching onto the older man's sleeve. Hibari-san stopped and shifted those metallic eyes down at me.

"Hibari-san…" I whispered softly before swallowing a lump that was in my throat. "A-Are you…Hibari-san?" I asked hesitantly. Realizing how confusing I made the question to be, I quickly rephrased my words. "From the Disciplinary Committee...In Namimori Middle–...are you…?" My voice trailed off. In a way, I was positive of my guess. But when I tried to ask, it sounded even weirder (if possible)…even for myself.

I knew it was impossible…

Silently in my head, I was beginning to think if I was insane to even think of such thing…

It was almost laughable for Hibari-san, someone who was around my age, to suddenly become a man in his mid-twenties.

But that warmth I felt…

I didn't know why, but I felt the suffocating need to confirm it…

When my weak gaze slid down to the older man's sleeve, my eyes caught sight of the hand hidden beneath the shadow. From this distance, I could see it. That large, pale hand filled with cuts and small trails of dried blood. It almost looked as though his hand was scratched up by a cat – but I knew that wasn't it.

"That hand…" I whispered as I remembered the warmth that I unconsciously reached out for. My heart immediately sank as I widened my eyes in realization. "Did…did I–ah!" I tumbled forward when Hibari-san's sleeve was forcefully torn away from me. Without a word, Hibari-san walked away and closed the shoji behind him as he left. I stared as his shadow disappeared behind the wall.

Almost instantly, I sank back down into the sheets.

"What am I doing…?" I murmured to myself with a deep sigh.

It was so embarrassing.

Hibari-san must be mad that I had bothered him with such a silly question. Either that or he might think that my disease had caused some sort of damage to my brain…and it might very well did.

I stared down to the package Hibari-san gave me.

I slowly ran my fingers beneath the tape. Once I peeled away the brown wrapping, I found my medicines inside.

"Take them regularly."

I couldn't help but sigh helplessly at Hibari-san's voice that repeated in my head. My gaze fell as I carefully wrapped the medicines back up. I had caused so much trouble for Hibari-san again… on top of that I even injured his hand. I wouldn't be surprised if he never wanted to see me again.

"Suzume-san."

The shoji slid open and I found Kusakabe-san walking over to me with a tray of tea. "Drink this," He said as he carefully set the tray down beside me.

"Thank you very much…" I said softly as I reached for the cup.

"After you take your medicine, there is a place I need to take you to."

I stared at the seriousness on Kusakabe-san's face and decided to do what I was told without any question. After I took the medicine, I followed Kusakabe-san right away, down the same direction of the hall where I went before. The traditional Japanese setting stopped midway and turned in to something more modern.

He stopped before a pair of doors. Sensing his presence, the steel automatic doors slid open. I blinked, my eyes became as round as dinner plates as I stared into the room. The chattering within the space ceased as the direction of a few pair of eyes shifted to me.

"Suzume?" Tsunayoshi-san gasped in surprise as I stared at Yamamoto-san and Gokudera-san who were wrapped in bandages. Tsunayoshi-san was there, whose face was fairly beaten up, with the baby Reborn by his side.

"Tsunayoshi-san…? Everyone…?" I murmured with a dumbstruck face as I tried to grasp the situation. Why were they there? Shouldn't they be in school? ...Not that I had any complaints since I was not in school either. But still...

"Hahi! Suzume-chan!" I quickly turned to that familiar voice and found myself staring into two other familiar faces.

"Haru-chan, Kyoko-chan?"

I turned to Kusakabe-san in confusion. However, the older man simply smiled down at me and guided me to a chair.

"Suzume, you were sent here too?" Tsunayoshi-san asked and I stared at him in question.

"Sent?" I muttered to myself with a doubting tone. That earned a strange look from everyone in the room.

"Looks like we'll have to do some explaining," Reborn said from Tsunayoshi-san's shoulder.

Like that, the hole created from confusion was soon filled by Tsunayoshi-san. Though his explanation was scattered in pieces, I was somehow able to put them together. He told me of the ten years bazooka, and how this was a world of nine years and ten months in the future. As he explained, I never once spoke.

Maybe I was too surprise to even speak, or maybe I was still struggling on absorbing the fact into my brain. Whatever was the reason, my lips were tightly sealed. After hearing the surreal reality, I wanted to laugh it off, but I couldn't.

The seriousness of their faces…didn't allow me any room to think of it as a joke.

As ridiculous as it may sound, I knew Tsunayoshi-san was telling the truth. That was the kind of person he was. I sat on the chair as everyone drowned themselves in silent after Tsunayoshi-san finished the story. All of their eyes were on me…as though waiting for my reaction.

"Th-This…" I stuttered, trying to say something…anything to lighten the mood. But I couldn't. I felt the air growing harder to breathe as I shifted under their intense gazes. "I'm really sorry…" I broke out a smile (I wonder if it looked too forced) as I quickly pulled myself from the chair. "Can I…um...please excuse me." I bowed. And with that, I quickly hurried through the doors and down the hall.

I didn't want to stay in that room.

That dreadful silence that filled the room, I felt the pressure of not knowing how I was supposed to react.

"Suzume-san!"

I turned to see Kusakabe-san hurrying over to me. Concern glazed his eyes. "I'm sorry…I thought I might clear my head…with a walk," I smiled and made a very faint gesture down the hall

As soon as my smile swept across my lips, it was gone the next second. Before I knew it, we were walking down the hall together, keeping a very steady pace. Kusakabe-san didn't speak. He probably knew that I needed some quiet time to clear my head. I was really grateful for his consideration.

After a long while of walk, I felt my body was beginning to lighten, even if it was just by a little bit.

At the very least I didn't feel as pressured as before.

"So Kusakabe-san's…" I finally spoke after a while. "Kusakabe-san is the Kusakabe-san from the Disciplinary Committee...?" I said, asking for Kusakabe-san's confirmation with my tone.

I glanced up and found Kusakabe-san smiling down at me. "That's correct, Suzume-san," I smiled back.

So I was right.

I wasn't hallucinating.

The Hibari-san here was the Hibari-san from Namimori Middle.

That would explain it.

The reason he knew about me…about my disease…it was because we had already met in the past.

"This…is real, isn't it?" I murmured to no one. I knew that was a rhetorical question, and Kusakabe-san knew as well so he kept silent. I sighed heavily, unable to walk anymore as I crouched down onto the floor.

"Suzume-san?"

I shook my hand at Kusakabe-san, indicating that I was fine as I rested my forehead against my knees. I closed my eyes to face the darkness.

It wasn't a dream…

I was in the future.

It was reality.

I deeply exhaled the breath I had been holding in. My muscles relaxed. With newfound energy, I stood up and met Kusakabe-san's gaze. He glanced down at me silently as though asking if I was alright. At first I dipped my head for a nod, but quickly stopped myself. Instead, I parted my lips and decided to use my voice.

"I'm fine," I smiled up to him, this time the smile was not forced but natural. "Let's go, Kusakabe-san."


HOWWASITHOWWASITHOWWASIT?!

Even if it's good though, the credit doesn't go to me = ="

Meh, whateves. So, after a month long hiatus from any fanfiction work (clicking open the Doc Manager and closing it immediately does not count), I've decided to come back with this! And I think I've gotten a bit rusty... But I'll work hard!

I still don't know if I have time in the near future though... Even though Uniform Test just ended, exam's coming T.T But it's Christmas... *sob in corner* Ah well. School. Those lil' mofos.

Bloodstained Fantasy