Zephyr gently let go of Hiruma's hand and let it fall. The group kept running through the corridors and halls, when Zephyr stopped. A chill ran down her spine and she looked at Kai. "Hey Idiot. I sense someone coming. I think it's Toru."
Kai skidded to a stop. "From which way!? Dang it, I knew this was too easy! That freak probably just didn't want to get his hands dirty!"
Zephyr shook her head nervously. She opened her mouth to say something but she froze when she felt a cold blade against her throat.
"Here you are again " Hissed Toru, voice doubling with a feral echo of itself. She grinned and leaned the blade enou
Kai helped her up gently and whispered in her ear. "It was stupid to just run in here, pipsqueak!" He stood her on her feet. "Our best chance would be to distract Raizhoa long enough to grab Hiruma and run for it. Do you think you can last that long?" When she nodded he pushed her one way and ran in the opposite direction.
"Distraction, huh?" She said to herself. Dashing back to Raizhoa, she yelled out, "Hey, Raise-hoe!" He turned to look at her, face devoid of emotion. Zephyr threw out a powerful kick, but wasn't blocked this time.
Zephyr heard Hiruma and the man emanating the tremendous force. Her hand shook with fear as she reached for the handle. Grasping it, she took in a huge breath, and pushed the door open. She walked in and quickly surveyed the dimly lit room, seeing Hiruma on the ground, beat up. A man towered over him, grinning.
"No Zephyr Zeph I told you not to " Hiruma's voice dissolved into wretched sobs. Raizhoa smiled wickedly.
"Step forward, girl, so I can get a good look at you."
Zephyr didn't move. Her eyes darted to Hiruma sobbing, and then quickly back up to Raizhoa. She clenched her fists tightly, glaring darkly at him.
Hiruma sucked in a breath as he crashed to the floor, blood seeping into his eyes. "L-listen " He choked out. "I don't know what you want! I'm sorry! I don't remember " His voice cracked, and he put his face to the floor, shoulders shaking.
"Really, Zenjutsuma. If any of your memory wasn't subconscious I'd be even more annoyed." The voice was smooth with a layer of frustration around the edges. "You really have such a tendency to be in the way."
Hiruma felt his muscles tense involuntarily.
"I will get it out of you. You'll find that I'm a very patient person." The honeyed voice filled the air like a con
Zephyr slowly pulled herself off the ground, wiping the blood from her mouth. Subconsciously she started muttering unfamiliar words. Light gathered around the tip of her hands, and she pointed it towards Toru. It flew from her fingertips and hit Toru solidly in the shoulder, stunning her.
Toru slammed into the far wall. Hiruma looked at Zephyr in shock. "What ?" He began to say, but was silenced as Toru's blade slashed his hip. He rolled out of the way and skidded to a stop, sweat dripping down his face. He looked at Zephyr with solemn eyes and wiped blood from his lips, nodding. "Get her first, worry later. Let's do it." He
Sebastian nodded and turned to lead the way. W hen he and Kai were just out of sight, Zephyr turned and hugged Hiruma tight. "I'm so glad you're back " She whispered to him.
Hiruma's heart thudded in his chest. His fingers traced Zephyr's jaw, then lifted her chin. Heat seemed to rush into his chest and face as he put his forehead to hers, leaned in
And with agony in his eyes, turned away, trembling. One number was pounding in his head.
20, 20, 20, 20, 20
"Come on." His voice cracked. "Let's catch up to the others." He pulled away from her warmth and walked ahead, feeling crushed.
Zephyr stood in silence, froz
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" Zephyr yelled. She ran ahead into the clearing and examined it carefully. Thick green trees towered above them, blotting out the sky. Zephyr fell onto the ground and sighed loudly. "It feels so good to lay down..."
Hiruma flopped down beside her and sighed. "Tell me about it."
Sebastian curled up on the ground with Kai clutched in his arms. He was already sleeping. "Stop manhandling me, you freak!" hissed Kai, trying to claw his way out if the embrace. He had to give up, and contented himself with putting grass on Sebastian's head.
Hiruma laughed quietly and looked up at the stars.
Zephyr stars up at the st
"A monocle or a mustache...bleh!" Zephyr said, gagging. She continued running and began imagining Hiruma first in a monocle, then in a mustache. Clapping a hand over her mouth, she tried not to laugh unsuccessfully.
Hiruma paused around a corner, gasping. "Man, that was close." He was suddenly keenly aware of how close he was to her.
"Just a little bit." Said Zephyr catching her breath. Laughing again she asked, "Do you think Kykyo will dress up Sebastian too?"
"I'd rather him than me, that's for sure!"
"Bleh, yeah! I'm just glad I'm not stuck in that dress...I'm much happier cross-dressing..." She said, sticking out her tongue.
As Hiruma's lips met Zephyr's, her mind went blank. Everything seemed to disappear except for a feeling of happiness. When he broke away from her, Zephyr just stared and felt her heart beating wildly in her chest, her cheeks reddening.
"I always loved you, and I always will." He rested his forehead against hers. "...Till the day I die." He could still feel the soft pressure of her lips, his heart memorizing it and tucking it away where he could treasure it forever. "In a way, I owe Raizhoa my undying thanks. Without him, I wouldn't have met you." He shuddered at the very thought, and, as if to forget it ever existed, he embraced Zephyr
Zephyr teetered left and right, grabbing the chair next to her for support. It felt as if the room were spinning. "Man...I feel weird...I'm pretty sure that wasn't water." She said, laughing a little.
"Water? I thought it was juice..." He stood up and reeled, a second hiccup escaping his lips. "Juice, juice, juice, juice! Hey--" He paused and turned to Zephyr. "Have you seen my sword? I need my sword...I want a pineapple." His face was flushed and hot. He put a hand to his forehead and brought it back hazily. "Something about this seems fishy..." He suddenly burst
"H-Hiruma!!" Zephyr exclaimed, catching Hiruma just before he hit the floor. She stared at him with wide eyes, trying to make sense of his panicked message. What was happening?
Trying to hold back the tears, she pressed her fingers to his neck. His pulse felt slower than average, and his breathing too. After a moment, she gently laid him on the floor and sprinted our to the halls. "Se-Sebastian! Sebastian!!" She cried out.
Suddenly Zephyr's chest seized up. It felt as if her heart and lungs were being squeezed tight. She collapsed to the ground, gasping desperately for air. Her veins started to feel as if they were burning like he
When Hiruma woke up, everything was muted and dark. 'How long was I asleep...?' His eyes fluttered open, stinging a little. He slowly turned his head to see Zephyr lying beside him. They were still in the dining room. A cold hand gripped his heart as he noticed how pale she seemed. In a trembling voice, he whispered, "Zeph? ...Z-Zephyr?" His voice cracked and tears filled his eyes. "P-please tell me you made it, Zephyr..." A tear slipped from the corner of his eye as he painfully reached his hand out till it touched her cheek. "W-wake up...Please wake up..."
"Nngh..." Zephyr groggily rubbed her eyes. After blinking a couple of time
Zephyr watched as Xavier left. She moved to Hiruma and cradled his head in her lap. "Is Hiruma going to be okay? And it wasn't Xavier who poisoned us, was it?" She asked, glancing up at Sebastian.
"He'll be fine, if he doesn't keep tiring himself out. And no, I don't believe Xavier poisoned you." He paused. "Zephyr...do you know how long you slept?"
Zephyr shook her head. "I don't know, one night?"
He was silent for a long time before shaking his head. "...No. Not exactly. ...Zephyr...it's been seven days."
Zephyr stared wide-eyed at Sebastian. "No way...! There's no way I could have slept that long!" She stammere
Zephyr's eyes widened in horror as she stared at Hiruma, then Sebastian, then back to Hiruma. "W-w-wha...H-Hiru...?" She choked out hot tears beginning to stream down her face. "N-no...No...NOOOOO!!!" She screamed in anguish. Leaping off the ground, she charged Sebastian, red anger and tears blurring her vision. "Why? Why?? WHY!?!?" She demanded.
Sebastian grinned widely, sharp teeth glinting. "It was amusing to see you all struggle... all hopelessly. Remember this in the future--money buys everything. Friends included." He paced smuggly. "Of course, I was only a back up, in case the Shikai failed. It would have been preferable to
"....Hiruma..?" Zephyr asked timidly, heart racing with hope.
Hand trembling, he touched the cold metal of his sword. With a cry of pain, he gripped the handle and pulled it out. The blade flared with blue light that enveloped them all for a moment. As it faded, Hiruma found himself on his feet, the wound in his chest gone.
"I...don't quite understand..." He looked at Truth numbly. "Why am I alive...?"
"Well, that's easy." The sword flickered, and Hiruma saw the black-haired version of himself standing before him. It looked at him pointedly. "Um... do you mind?" Hiruma looked down. He was holding the guy's hand.