Yohji and I really didn't want to do this mission and we probably would have stayed home if Manx hadn't insisted that this was a job for the four of us. Damn her. Her glare was almost as cold as Aya's and it effortlessly put a stop to all our complaints. Instead, Yohji and I just grumbled to ourselves.
If anything, I thought Omi would protest but he happily agreed, darting off to do research on his computer. Well, I suppose it shouldn't have surprised me. The kid was surprisingly rational and had a head for logic. Aya, of course, voiced no objection. I don't think that anything could scare that guy.
So that's the scenario. Yohji and I scared shitless and trying desperately to hide it, Aya and Omi cool as ever and scoffing at us. We knew that they knew we were scared and they knew that we knew that they knew. Confusing right? Well I wasn't going to admit for the world that I was scared and neither was Yohji. A man's gotta keep his pride after all.
Yohji covered his fear up by lamenting loudly about the hot date he was missing. I peppered the cold night up with rants of how many bad guys I was gonna kill and how justice would be served. It pretty much fit my image since I was, as Aya had once put it, 'a hot-tempered, impulsive idiot.' Well excuse me, icicle of the Arctic tundra. As if he was such a paragon of human virtue.
I mean just 'cause a guy is attractive, all pale and cool and mysterious, doesn't mean he can treat the rest of us, we who are not pale and cool and mysterious, like a sack of shit. Friggin' arrogant bastard.
I glared at the back of his head and then at Omi's too. If both of them were so damn fearless, why didn't they just do the stupid mission by themselves? It wasn't fair!
Suddenly, Aya and Omi stopped.
"This is the place," Aya said blandly.
We were standing before a huge, iron gate, the words 'BLACKWAKE MANOR' scribbled out in sprawling letters. The iron name was rusted, giving the words a bloody appearance. Behind the gate lay an enormous mansion, all black and dark. It was sort of spooky house that every third-rate horror film portrayed. About three stories high with thick tendrils of ivy clinging to the rotting walls, windows dirty and broken.
A gust of wind chose that moment to shriek and the gate flew open, it's creaky hinges wailing. Misty gray clouds parted to reveal a full moon and in the distance some sort of nocturnal animal howled.
I was running back towards the car in a nanosecond, Yohji hot on my heels, our yelps of terror drowning out the wind and the rusty gate and the crying animals.
Omi hurled himself on Yohji, the lanky blond falling flat on his face, with the kid straddling him.
"GET OFFA ME YOU DAMN BRAT!!!"
Aya grabbed me by the shoulders.
"Stop screaming!" Omi yelled. "You two are acting like babies!"
I struggled furiously. "I'm telling you, I'm not going in there!"
"Me either!" Yohji spit up dirt. "My face is getting muddy! Get off me now Omi!"
I didn't mean to hurt Aya. Really I didn't. Sure the guy can be a moody dork at times but I do like him. Kinda. Well that's to say, I couldn't hurt him on purpose. But in all the thrashing I was doing, frantically trying to get him to let go of me, I forgot I was wearing my claw. I accidentally scratched his face a good one.
By far, that was the loudest cry of the night.
"Aya kun!" Omi rushed to his side. "Are you okay?"
He was holding his cheek with one hand, blood dripping out from between his fingers. "You clumsy ass!" Violet eyes glared daggers at me.
I flinched as I sheathed my claws. "It was an accident." I felt sorry, really I did, but at least he wasn't trying to restrain me anymore. What was that saying about every grey cloud having a silver lining?
Yohji slid up to me. "You injured him, good one! Now let's make our getaway!"
I looked over at the other two members of Weiss. Omi was standing on his tiptoes, pressing a hankie to Aya's face. Guilt washed over me. "We can't just leave them here! I scratched Aya!"
Yohji snorted and gestured to the house. It stood there in all its sinister glory, waiting to devour our innocent flesh like the evil demon it was. Sometimes a vivid picture was more than enough to overcome the guilty dispositions of the mind.
"I'm with ya, Yotan."
We made a break for it.
Two minutes, one jumping and five bruises later, Yohji and I slogged back towards the gate with Omi leading the way. Aya was behind us, katana drawn.
Let it not be said that Yohji and I didn't fight for what we believed in. I mean, is it our fault if Aya's katana is stronger than our will?
The gate was still swinging wildly, the bottom of it scraping loudly against the asphalt. Omi marched up to it and shoved it open, holding it back for us. "Come on."
Yohji looked at me. "You first," he graciously invited.
"Oh no, I wouldn't dream of it," I quickly replied. "You first."
"No, no, little ones first."
"Don't be absurd. You first. I insist."
"No you first. I insist!"
"Dammit I said that I insist!"
"Well I said that I insist too!"
The sharp point of Aya's katana nudged my back. "You go first Ken," the redhead growled.
I cursed him in my mind. He hated me, I knew it. Just because I punched him in the face that one time...
"Come on Ken kun," Omi coaxed, hanging off the gate. "We've faced much more dangerous things then this silly old house."
"But it's a haunted house!"
That's right. If you hadn't already figured it out, our mission was to go poking through this old English mansion. People had been complaining about it and so Persia had shoved the task to us. Stupid Persia. Why the hell didn't he do this mission himself? Where was the justice in making us do it? I'll bet the guy was at home, reclining in his easy chair with Manx fawning all over him. It's at times like this that I realize life stinks.
"GO!" Aya's voice was ice-laden, punctuated by a sharp jab of his katana.
I hurried forward, my knees shaking.
The driveway was made of cobblestone that was broken and crumbling. It snaked up to the house, edged with trees and shrubbery lining either side. The lawn that lay on either side of the driveway was an absolute mess, overrun with knee high weeds and grass. In the middle of the right side, I could see a fractured fountain of a lady holding a vase, grass springing out from the numerous cracks. The left lawn was covered with eerie looking trees and a mushy, overgrown pond.
I stumbled over a bit of uneven pavement. It was a sign. A sign of the doom that was to come. Oh Lord, I was really getting freaked now!
Behind us, the gate smashed shut with a loud groan.
"We're stuck in here!" I howled, jumping a mile.
"I'm too young to die!" Yohji moaned, joining in. "There are still too many beautiful girls who want to date me!"
Omi looked annoyed. He hated when Yohji talked about girls and dating, mostly because he had a crush on the older blond. My keen sense of in-depth personality evaluation had led me to deduce that ages ago. Well that and the fact that I'd accidentally found an old delivery receipt with Omi + Yohji scribbled all over it. It rather cute actually.
"The faster we search through this house, the faster we can go home," Aya put in.
Well that was exactly the sort of logic I appreciated. Yohji too, for as I darted forward, he was right beside me.
"A quick look around and then we can blow this dump," he muttered to me.
I nodded. "We're Weiss. Of course we can handle a dumb mission like this."
And that's when the unthinkable happened. A slimy, bony hand reached out and grabbed me!
"Aahhhhhhhh!!!! Help!!! A monster's got me!!!!!"
"Oh God no!!! Save Ken!!!!!!!"
"That's a tree branch moron," Aya informed me calmly, unhooking the said branch from my jacket.
Omi started to laugh. "You guys are so lame!"
Aya threw me a disgusted look, not condescending to say anything. He merely strode off, Omi following close behind, still laughing.
"It was an easy mistake to make," Yohji assured me supportively.
"It was a false alarm this time but it won't be next time." I shivered, pulling my jacket tighter around me.
As quietly as we could, we tiptoed after Aya and Omi, keeping our eyes open for any unwanted visitors from the supernatural realm. With the moon as our only light source, it was hard to be on top of things. Especially since we were surrounded by so many skeletal trees and droopy bushes that cast shadows on everything.
We slinked forward, inch after deteriorating asphalt inch, and when a sudden rustling noise in a nearby bush cleaved through the night air, we grabbed at each other.
A rat scurried out, narrowing missing our feet and disappeared into the grass.
I looked at Yohji. He looked at me. Simultaneously, we broke into a full run, speeding down the remainder of the ruined driveway and up the broken stairs where Aya and Omi were casually lounging.
The top of the stairs were flanked by two imposing, ugly gargoyle statues. Two more gargoyles peered down at us from their position atop the door.
"We didn't think you were going to make it," Omi remarked, barely containing his laughter.
Yohji glared at him while raking a shaky hand through his hair. "Shut up brat!"
I turned to Aya with the newfound knowledge that I loathed gargoyles. "Please, please, pleeeeese can we go home?" I implored desperately. At this point, I was not above begging.
Aya stared at me. "What happened to all the bad guys you were going to kill and all the evil you were going to dispel?" he asked in a flat tone.
What a jerk he was, bringing that up at a time like this! "Bad guys are a whole different story from supernatural forces of evil!" I retorted. Some smart leader Aya was. Anyone knew that!
Suddenly Yohji seized hold of my hand. "That gargoyle just blinked at me!"
"Oh jeeze," Omi moaned, rubbing at his forehead. "Gimme a break."
I clung to Yohji, wishing he was fatter. The more mass he had, the more I could cling to. There was safety in blubber, wasn't there? I tried vainly not to look at any of the gargoyle statues. I didn't want to see those vile creature of the night blink at me.
"Oh come on!" Aya snapped, impatiently. "Let's get inside!"
I looked at the door. It was utterly gigantic, made of solid wood and carved with intricately freaky designs like skulls and ugly monster heads and flames. It did nothing to reassure me. There was no doorbell, which naturally I'd expected. Instead, there was a heavy metal knocker.
"Guess we'll have to knock," Omi said as he reached out to grab the knocker.
His assistance wasn't required because the door opened BY ITSELF!!!!
Now let me tell you that when you're in the safety of your home, sitting on the sofa, eating popcorn and watching a movie where a door to a haunted house opens by itself, it's easy to say,'Oh that was dumb' or 'How unoriginal' or'That's lame'. In reality however, it's as scary as fuck! Even Aya and Omi looked surprised.
Both Yohji and I yelped and held onto each other for dear life. I was taking no chances!!!
"It was obviously the wind," Omi explained, casting us a pitying look.
"How the frig does the wind blow open a heavy oak door?" Yohji demanded, hugging me tightly.
"Who the hell cares about that!!!" Aya snarled furiously. "Come on!" He scowled at us and entered the house with Omi.
Yohji and I meekly followed, still clinging to each other.
The smell of mold and rotting wood and evil and death greeted us. Omi pulled out a flashlight and shone it around. Sprawled out before us was a huge staircase, covered with thick, red carpet. Portraits of sinister looking people lined the walls on either side of the staircase. At the top of the stairs was a small landing, before the stairs turned to go up. Above the landing was a large, broken window, a suit of armor standing before it.
To the left and to the right of us were sizeable rooms, white sheets covering the furniture. Dust blanketed all uncovered furniture and cobwebs liberally decorated corners and doors and various other surfaces.
"It's not too late to go!" I whispered, anxiously looking around for signs of the devil. "This place reeks of pure evil!"
"Stop being so melodramatic," Aya ordered, annoyed. "We're not leaving and that's final!"
"Hey, what's that noise?" Omi suddenly asked.
Yohji and I froze. "What noise?" we gasped in unison.
Aya rolled his eyes. "It's their teeth chattering."
Omi giggled. "Are you guys really so scared of this stupid, old house?"
I clenched my teeth together and didn't bother to dignify that absurd question with an answer. I wondered who I wanted to strangle more, Aya or Omi. No, Persia. I definitely wanted to kill Persia first. This was all his fault, that lazy arse! I could be at home watching a soccer game right now. It was Italy vs. Argentina, dammit!
Suddenly the heavy door behind us banged shut. There was a tense moment of silence.
"We're doomed!" Yohji hollered, his voice echoing off the filthy chandeliers above us, around the many once-elegant tables and mirrors and off the grimy marble floor.
"That was definitely the wind," Omi muttered to no one in particular.
Yohji and I shared a look. It most certainly was not!!!
"We're wasting time standing around," Aya barked, gracing us all with a steamy glare.
Omi nodded in agreement. "This place will take a while to search out. Why don't we split up and look around?"
Now anyone with any brains who's ever watched a horror film knows never to split up. Someone always gets killed that way!!!
"No way!" Yohji and I cried together, again.
Another glare, this one hotter than the last. "We're splitting up and that's final!"
Our gracious leader had spoken. If that was final than that was final. I let go of Yohji and leeched onto Aya's arm. "I'm going with Aya!"
Yohji grabbed the redhead's other arm. "No I am!"
Apparently both of us had the same idea. I mean if you had a choice between the moody guy with the sword or the genki kid with the darts, who would you choose?
"LET GO OF ME!!!!!!"
We let go of him in a flash.
Omi hastily jumped between us and a decidedly pissed off Aya. They were right, redheads really do have the worst tempers. "Come on Yohji kun, I'll protect you," Omi wheedled in a sweet voice.
"Fine, Ken comes with me then!" Aya grate out, his temper on the verge of breaking.
YES!!! I was gonna live!
I hid behind Aya and gloated.
"We'll meet back here in an hour," Aya stated, snapping into'commanding leader' mode.
"Unless we're dead," Yohji muttered.
"No one is gonna die!" Omi burst out, exasperated. "Stop being so pessimistic!"
"Ken and I will take the top two floors," Aya continued, ignoring the byplay between Omi and Yohji. "You two search this floor and the basement."
"Why do we have to do the basement?" Yohji cried in horror. "Everyone knows that the labs where mad scientists concoct foul concoctions and resurrect evil demons are hidden in the basement!"
Omi sighed deeply. "Let's just get this over with, okay?" He snatched Yohji's wrist and dragged him away, the older blond protesting loudly all the while.
Aya turned and stalked up the stairs, his boots making prints in the thick dust.
I scrambled after him, struggling not to look around. I did not want to look into the face of pure evil.
Aya took the steps two at a time, confidence marking his stance, his trench coat swishing coolly around him, katana firmly clasped in one hand. No one would dare mess with him, that's for sure.
I, on the other hand, was an obvious choice for evildoers to wreak havoc upon. I trudged warily up the stairs, clinging to the banister, struggling not to trip over the stairs in fear. Against my will, because let's face it, innocents are always made to do things against their will in spooky, haunted houses, I found myself looking at the portraits that hung on the wall.
A row of pale, gaunt faces glared down at me. All the people were all dressed in somber colors like blacks and grays, sitting stiffly upon what appeared to be a throne. The kind of throne that a devil would sit upon while ordering the slaughter of innocents. I came to the conclusion that they were all wicked.
One painting in particular caught my eye and I froze. It was of a man, with black hair that fell roguishly over his forehead. He was younger than the rest, perhaps in his early twenties. It was his eyes that really got to me, they were a pale yellow color and shone in the dark, almost as if they were glowing.
I swallowed thickly and they moved. Honest to fucking goodness, those yellow eyes moved. They turned and looked at me, smoldering ominously.
Well I wasn't going to hang around and see if the rest of the guy moved too. I bounded up the remaining steps and hurled myself onto Aya, who was standing on the landing beside the suit of armor, waiting for me.
"What now?" he snarled, trying to pull my arms off his neck.
I was shaking violently. "That guy in the painting moved! He fucking looked at me Aya!!!!" I buried my face into Aya's shoulder and whimpered.
"It's all in your imagination," he barked, vexed. "Now get off me!"
I was unprepared for the force of his shove. Afterall, Aya is a pretty thin guy. He looks anorexic to me most of the time. Who knew he could push so hard?
And of course, since the Gods of Fate have conspired to make me the ultimate clumsy killers, I promptly careened into the suit of armor that graced the landing. I crashed to the gritty carpet in a heap of Knight clothing, my legs entangled in the heavy lance, my left arm stuffed into the helmet and one thigh piece stuck to my head. It was a true Hidaka Ken moment.
I didn't stop screeching, even when Aya fished me out from the metal parts and blasted his glare of doom at me. I didn't care. I had just seen a painting look at me and now my ass hurt! This sucked shit!
"Why can't you be more careful?" Aya demanded, yanking me to my feet.
"Well maybe you shouldn't have pushed me!" I retorted, angrily.
"Well maybe you shouldn't have hurled yourself on me!"
"Well maybe that painting shouldn't have rolled his eyes around and looked at me!"
Aya scowled as he turned and headed up the next flight of stairs. "You're being foolish."
I clambered after him, not wanting to fall victim to anymore paintings who wanted to do me in. "Persia was foolish to give us this dumb mission," I grumbled.
Aya halted at the top of the stairs. I seized his hand and looked around in all directions. "We're safe for the time being," I assured him.
He rolled his eyes but thankfully didn't pull his hand away. "Baka."
The hallway was long and dark and seemed to stretch out endlessly.
"Tell me you have a flashlight," I whispered nervously.
"I don't," he replied curtly.
"Oh great," I moaned. "After all this time of killing bad guys and surviving, we end up at death's door in this damn house. Isn't there some kind of irony in all this?"
"Just shut up!"
Aya started to move forward and I followed him, because afterall I had a death-grip on his hand. He may have been a jerk but I did feel safe with him. And he had excellent vision in the dark.
"Look, there's a candle on that table," he murmured, gesturing to a small table that stood beside the door to the first room on the left.
I squinted. A red candle sitting in a brass candleholder. "Aya no," I cried frantically. "We can't use their demonic implements!"
"Would you rather go gallivanting all around this house in the dark?"
I thought about it, for one second. Hell no!!! And besides, Aya was wearing gloves. That would offer some protection, right? Unless the candle was acid dipped...
He grabbed the candle before I could warn him. He dug out a book of matched from his pocket and lit the candle. A soft, eerie glow illuminated the corridor.
Absently I happened to glance into the mirror that hung on the wall behind the table that the candle had been resting upon.
"Oh what now?!!" Aya erupted, whirling around and glowering furiously at me.
With a shaky finger, I pointed at the mirror. "I have no reflection! I've been turned into a vampire!!!"
"You damned idiot!" He bit out scathingly. In one fluid movement, he strode up to the mirror and slid a slender, gloved-finger across the surface. "It's dust! You can't see your reflection because the mirror is dusty!!! You're not a damn vampire and there is no evil in this stupid house!!! Now shut the hell up before I kill you!!!!"
Jeeze. Temper, temper. I opened my mouth to tell him that he should watch his temper because it could lead to early heart troubles but after seeing the look on his face, I decided against it.
Well exCUse me Aya-fucking-stick-shoved-up-the-ass-Fujimiya. Was it my fault if this junky moth-hole set my nerves on edge?
I didn't care if he was upset or not, I still stuck to him like those rabid schoolgirls at the shop stuck to me as we entered the first room. It was some kind of child's playroom, filled with chests of toys. But not modern toys like Barbie dolls and Spiderman action figures but instead things like rocking horses and rag dolls and wooden soldiers. There was a table stacked with books, old, yellowed books with titles like 'Peter and Jane Go' and 'Mary Beth makes a cake' and 'Author's pet dog'. Real old stuff that no kid would learn from today.
Aya lifted the candle and it shone upon a painting of two little blond girls. They were both clad in white, lacy dresses, pink ribbons adorning their curls. Fear was painted on their faces, their saddened eyes captured for all eternity. Behind them loomed a threatening shadow.
"You can't tell me this isn't creepy," I muttered, tearing my eyes away from the picture.
I took another look around when something caught my eye. "Aya, over there," I managed to croak, my voice suddenly hoarse.
He led me to a rocking chair in the corner where two yellowed, lacy dresses sat. They were easily recognized as the frocks the little girls in the painting were wearing. Only these dresses were tarnished with huge, rust-colored stains that covered both bodices.
Aya took a step closer. "Stabbed," he whispered, softly. "See the little rents in the fabric? They were stabbed."
"And then someone laid their dresses out..." I covered my mouth, utterly horrified.
"Ken..." He looked at me and gently took my hand.
I shuddered. "How could...why would..."
"Don't think about it." He pulled me close to him.
"Now...now d-do you believe me?" I stammered, still staring at the bloody dresses. "There is something evil going on here!"
At that moment, as if to mark my words, music began to play. Aya and I both whirled around. There, on the table beside the stacks of withered books, sat a porcelin Merry-go-around. The hollow-sounding carnival music filled the room as the pink and blue and white horses bobbed up and down.
I felt a shiver run through Aya's body. Tight-lipped, he dragged me from the room.
Part 2 | Fanfiction