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Vampire Week

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Not in his room, not in the kitchen, or the living room.


Not in the basement, either, which was odd.

She bit her lip worriedly.

After shouldering on her coat, she opened the door, wincing at the sudden onslaught of cold air. It was dark, mostly, but barely beginning to grey as dawn approached.

He wasn't sitting on the beach, which didn't surprise her at all.

Somewhere out in the waves she thought she could barely see Anso, catching "all the fishes".

"Cyrus, are you on the roof?" she called.

The silence was oppressive, in a way that made her assume an affirmative answer. She turned and headed for the shed. She flung the door open loudly, not bothering to hide her irritation. For all that she was constantly lectured about running away, hiding on the roof was exactly that. She banged around in the shed, wrestling the ladder out with no care for how much noise she was making.

"Go back to bed," a monotone voice cut through the chill air.

She dropped the ladder, halfway out of the shed, with a resounding crash, and stomped over to the side of the house to glare up at the eaves. "Only if you come inside."

There was a heavy sigh. "Must I." The question was flat, not a question at all. He was well-aware she would insist.

She decided not to answer, instead crossing her arms and scowling harder. He leapt clear off the roof and landed in a crouch on the sand several feet from her. She suppressed a flinch at the sudden movement only by sheer force of will to remain impassive. She had seen him jump off the roof before, but only into the ocean, not to actually land on the ground. "Vampire" flashed unwillingly through her mind before she pushed the thought away with some annoyance. He straightened up, and the two of them stood motionless on the beach. "How picturesque," she thought sarcastically.

"You look pale," he said finally."

"So do you," she shot back, immediately combative. She was in no mood for this, for more of the world going absolutely insane.

"You should go back to bed."

"I can't sleep. Not that that's any different than usual, but now I've even more to worry about than usual."

"Only if you insist on it."

"And how am I supposed to help it, when you're skulking around on the roof pretending nothing is wrong?"

A sigh. "I will go to the basement, then, if you go back to bed. You have class tomorrow."

"Only if you promise you're not going to lock yourself in again."

He paused, weighing the worth of continuing to argue with her. "Alright."

She relaxed, shoulders falling. "Fine. Let's go inside."

"After you."

There was a moment of hesitation, involuntary on her part, an brief internal fear of turning her back on him. Well, that was new, and entirely unwelcome. She shivered, blaming it on the cold, and not fear, and headed for the door. She glanced over her shoulder to make sure he was following.

"Hikari," he sighed from just more than an arm's length away.

She accepted the admonition silently. At the bottom of the stairs, she stopped and turned. "Good night, Cyrus."

"Good night."


In the morning, she bolted out of bed, late. After hopping down the stairs, pulling on her coat and gloves, she snatched her bag from the table in the front hall, and raced out the door. She made it to class on time, but paid no attention as her professor droned his way through the lecture. She had two more classes on Tuesday, which she sat through just as impatiently, unable to stop her foot tapping against the chair leg. It was a strain on Lucius to travel between continents so frequently, but she was determined to get back to Sunyshore.

She couldn't explain it. Cyrus was perfectly capable of taking care of himself, but she couldn't shake off this foreboding, this nagging worry. Hikari was a worrier, so she was used to it, but there was something about the tug of /this/ worry that made it impossible to ignore. The sense of urgency was very strange. It disallowed her compartmentalizing it. It insisted on her focus.

If Cyrus really was a vampire... The thought had somehow become less impossible in the fog of sleep deprivation. Of course, Cyrus was not the only one acting strangely, but he was the one on whom her attention was fixed. Because she had gone to Sunyshore last night. Because it was the place she now considered home. Because Cyrus was part of that.

Cyrus was most of that.