Castalle Relimion:

Shadow in the Night

Part IV- Bitter Reminiscence

Castalle rolled out of the way and onto the floor, deciding it better to dodge than be beheaded. Vress'lve hit the wall that used to be where her head was with a loud clank. The half-drow went to the bed, needing the weapon, as she didn't exactly have any other weapons with her at the moment.

Awake…

She pulled the hilt once, twice, three times before she was able to get it unstuck from the wall. She heard hissing behind her. Angry, evil sneer-like hissing that was coming ever closer even as she prepared herself for the shadow's attack.

Castalle wasn't able to turn on time before she felt claws digging into the right of her spine. Her head flew back in pain, exposing her neck, her throat. Her head leaned back until the tip of her head was leaning on the shade's shoulder. She let a sound like a gurgled scream, not even realizing that she had dropped her sword and the shade's other hand was on her throat. Castalle heard a strop of blood hit the floor, could feel it draining from her back when the shade decided to take its nails out.

Awake…

Castalle' knees buckled under her, willing her to fall to the ground. But she couldn't, the hand on her throat stayed her. Castalle put her good hand to the shade's wrist, digging her own claws into its wrist. She seriously regretted it though; green ooze slipped out of the cuts that Castalle made. It made a sizzling sound, a burning smell upon hers and the shade's flesh, and gray smoke rise from the flesh as the acid ate it up.

The shade made an unearthly-pitched scream. It let go of Castalle's throat, allowing her to drop to the ground, coughing and gagging and wrapping her throat with one of her hands at the spot the other pressed in on. Once she had her breath back, she took her sword.

Rise from your sleep Castalle, you cannot fight him alone…

Castalle felt something, a force maybe, pulling her backwards. The shade had just regained his composure. It no longer felt the burning flesh anymore and it limped towards her disappearing body, great spurts of green acidic blood hitting the floor, hitting its legs, dripping down its hand.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING, it screamed at her, YOU ARE MINE!! The shade leaped at her .She brought her sword up on time this time. She grasped the hilt, bringing it up over her head so that the fiery silver blade was between them vertically, blade facing left and right. She put the palm on her blade, sucking in its power and to make sure that the force of the shade's claws wouldn't be able to easily knock the blade off its center.

Castalle hissed out a word before she awoke, in the same position with the tip of her blade facing down. The Gold inbred had his broadsword out and blocking her attack.

"Die…!"

Nice to know you're not dead yet, Reiku commented. He sounded relieved. Everyone did as the sighed, actually.

Castalle blew out a breath of relief before she felt a wave of weariness take over her. Her eyes rolled back, and she dropped Vress'lve from its position in her hand. Phâyne dropped his staff as Castalle swerved backwards and caught her as she fell.

Reran sheathed his own sword and quickly turned to Draco, who stood watching, pale faced, and shaking. The half-gold opened his mouth to say something but Phâyne beat him to it, holding Castalle's limp form like a man would a bride. He had his staff tucked away and her sword sheathed at his hip. "Out of the way!"

Castalle was warm and numb and tired and comfortable when she awoke. Her broken wrist hand felt numb, and the other that was exposed to the acidic blood from the shadow was hurting like hell, but that wound will heal. She was curled up in a fetal position under the covers, both arms making an "X" shape across her chest to ward off whatever might get her cold. She groaned, putting her nose to the pillow and nuzzled it roughly, sighing.

In the midst of her comfort Castalle tensed. She felt somebody was watching her, felt the instinctual distrust of whoever was watching her spread throughout her body.

"Are you well, Castalle," someone asked.

The covers flew off of her. And in an instant, Castalle was sitting up, once again lying on her bed. Great.

She was really starting to hate it here…

Especially this godsforsaken room!

She heard shuffling beside her, probably the one that took her out of her contented state and into the awareness that she was in now. A second later, Castalle felt a claw-like hand touch her should and she knocked it off, grabbing with her burnt hand the intruder's. She twisted, and the one who touched gave a gasp, cried out, and grunted when she managed to flip him over her shoulder and land heavily on her knees.

She was in the silver's face, intimately close, but the look of anger on her face had dispatched any room for a romantic atmosphere. Castalle wouldn't show the hurt in her eyes, the silver's weight on her knees, no matter how lean he was, was not in the least bit light. Her clawed hand gripped him tighter, the pain was burning fiercely; the fact that the tunic on him was rubbing against her skin was definitely not helping her any.

"I don't believe you've spoken of yourself," she growled in his ear, "just who the hells are you? Since you already know so much about me…"

"Th-this is the thanks I -ah- get for saving you from the shade," he asked back. Castalle twisted her hand so that his skin also twisted ((Indian burn…ouch winces)) along with her.

Careful, Castalle, Reiku warned.

"Don't change the subject," she told him sternly. Ignoring Reiku's warning she brought her other hand up, drawing a claw out from within the bandages. She put it on his cheek and lightly tracing a line down to his chin. "Tell me what your name is…"

"Phâyne."

Castalle dislodged her hand from Phâyne and kicked him off, careful not to take a hit at his wings. "Do not touch me again, Phâyne." Her right wrist went under the covers while she cradled the left one towards her chest.

Phayne lay there for a bit on his back, dazed.

The door opened again. Castalle looked up as Phayne was getting up.

"Phayne, I came to see how you were doing with the half-red," the half-gold exclaimed loudly. Reran. Gods…

Castalle felt herself begin to withdraw into herself.

FLASHBACK

A younger Castalle, about the age and height of a ten-year-old girl, was playing outside. It was one of the few times Relimion would let her go out. She wore ragged clothing, wearing only a long-sleeve brown patched up, woolen dress. She was lonely, and wanted friends…

But the other girls wouldn't play with her, said that she was too ugly, so she went to the boys who were playing with a large black ball. She could hear them whispering, telling rumors, and she always knew that they lies were always about her.

But that didn't stop her from asking.

It didn't stop her from finding out what everyone really thought of her.

"I heard she's really one of those bat-girls that go into people's dreams…" one of two oldest boys.

"A succubus, right? I think that's what their called…" his twin and the other of the two elder boys explained.

"She goes into people's dreams and seduces them."

"Gross!"

"Didn't Old Man Relimion say something about her being half-dragon? She's supposed to have special powers."

"Who her?!"

"She can't even make a friend other than those crazy folks!"

"Shhhh!"

"She's gonna hear ya!"

"The half-red can't do an'thing to us, she'd be killed."

"why're you callin' 'er a half-red,"

"Because Half-red's aren't people,"

"Papa said that most dragons don't have feelings-"

"-Yeah and neither do drow"

"So she can't be anything."

"She's just there…"

"What a waste of flesh, a curse on her! Worthless pile of--"

END FLASHBACK

Don't lose yourself now, Castalle, Reiku advised, but he sounded a little worried. As her familiar and intact with her feelings, he can feel her strongest feelings going on at the time.

Castalle cast her eyes down. Apparently, Reran didn't realize that she was there to listen to him. This is was exactly why she didn't want any friends. That and…the half-dragon shook her head fiercely uncovering the lower half of her body.

Her feet just barely touched the ground when again the door opened and a large amount of children came running in. Castalle put her feet back up in surprise. Castalle looked on in amazement. They were all half-dragon, but different age ranges. The oldest was probably around fifteen and the youngest looked about four or five…no, they were four…not mature enough to be five, even if it was a little difference between the two, Castalle knew it well.

Again, Castalle put her eyes downcast. None of them were red, white, green, black or blue. None of them were like her. She felt alone…

You are not…Reiku reminded her, you have me. Please Castalle listen to me…

But it was too late, Castalle quickly stood up, running, putting the back of her hand over eyes to keep her eyes from tearing up…

"Castalle!" It was Reran. No.

That bastard, just no… Castalle thought vehemently.

From the back of her mind came the unmistakable sound of the shade's laughter. "Yes. Come to me…I knew you couldn't leave for long, Castalle. You belong with me now…"

No…Castalle, please…