"Ah," Nero pulled back for air, leaving Shikon to lay limply in his arms, "after all these years, your blood still tastes the sweetest," he mocked. Shikon lolled his head limply and tried to come up with a witty comeback, but he was too weak. Just as Nero was about to latch onto his neck again, he was thrown roughly to the side, letting Shikon fall to the ground. Everyone gasped and turned to see Daisuke holding a huge tree branch in his arms, panting as if he had just exerted a huge amount of force.
"Get the HELL away from my best friend," Daisuke looked furious. It was obvious that his emotions were much stronger than the power Nero and Vivi held over him. Nero picked himself up and dusted himself off. He walked toward the glaring Daisuke and slapped him across the face, sending the boy sprawling sideways.
"Pathetic human," Nero snarled over Daisuke's body. Megumi quickly ran over to her brother and threw herself over him. Nero just laughed. "I have no need to kill him now, I shall finish what I set out to do and get back to you later."
Nero walked over to Shikon and picked him up off the ground. Just then Nero hissed. Steam was coming off of his arm. Shikon hissed soon after, the same steam appearing on his shoulder. Nero looked up and saw that clouds had formed over the school. Suddenly, the serene blue sky looked ominous. More and more droplets fell from the sky and landed on the vampires in front of the school. Nero was steaming, but he still wouldn't let go of Shikon.
"That's enough," Scuro yelled through the now heavy downpour. Nero turned to his father and glared. "This is ridiculous, Nero," Scuro looked into his son's silvery eyes. "Let's just take you back home and be done with it."
"What about defeating the Vitae Clan?" Nero whined, sounding like a child. "I thought that was all you cared about?" Scuro sighed heavily.
"We can talk about it later, just get into the school!" Nerezza screeched and Nero dropped Shikon and followed his parents into Takasaki High School. Claudio and Bella ran forward to help Sumomo carry Shikon inside. His Aunt Jun was at his side at once and making sure he wasn't hurt too badly.
All twelve members and witnesses of the 'Clan Battle' were huddled in the main hallway of the school. Daisuke was rubbing his jaw where Nero had hit him. Megumi was tending to her older brother. Aunt Jun was still making sure that Shikon was okay. Shikon was cursing up a storm about the 'damn rain.' Sumomo was hugging and kissing Shikon every chance she got. Claudio and Bella were leaning coolly against a row of lockers. Mitsuko was talking with Nerezza as if they were still on good terms. Scuro was trying to explain his change of heart to his son. Vivi was sulking in the corner.
"I was reminiscing," Scuro explained to his son. Nero rolled his eyes. "I was trying to remember why we started this battle in the first place," he paused, "The Mortis and Vitae Clans have been fighting since long before I was changed."
"Yes, yes, and now that you have the leader of the clan, you can kill her and take it over, right?" Nero looked at his father hopefully. Scuro sighed again and looked over at his wife who was currently talking to her older sister as if they were the best of friends.
"Well, like I said, I did some thinking and I know why I kept this constant fighting going for so long," Scuro put a hand on his son's shoulder. "And I think it's time I made it right." Nero was still confused and watched, mouth agape, as his father, the leader of Clan Mortis, the strongest clan in the world, walked over and embraced the Vitae Clan leader.
"Apology accepted," Mitsuko smiled at Scuro. "You always were so stubborn, but what made you finally realize we didn't want to take your land?" Scuro chuckled.
"I was just remembering the old days," Scuro smiled and hugged Mitsuko again. Nerezza burst into tears and embraced her older, yet younger-looking, sister.
"Okay, okay, can someone explain why we're having yet another soap opera moment?" It was Shikon, sarcastic as always.
"I guess he'll be fine," Jun giggled through her tears. Sumomo smiled and nodded.
"Oh, perhaps we should explain," Nerezza stepped forward. (AN: Or perhaps you should have read the bonus story at the end of the last chapter, hmm?) Her long black hair swept the floor as she moved toward the humans and members of Clan Vitae. "Many, many, many-"
"We get it," Shikon interrupted and Sumomo playfully smacked him.
"Many years ago, Scuro, Tiziana and I were best friends," Nerezza smiled at Mitsuko, "that was before she changed her name to 'fit in.'"
"And after years of being apart after something that seems so stupid now," Scuro stepped forward, "I suppose the fighting escalated." He turned toward Mitsuko. "I didn't mean it when I said I hated you."
"I know," Mitsuko smiled. "And I'm glad that you and Nerezza are happy." She stepped toward her nephew and Nero backed away a bit. "Welcome to the family," Mitsuko embraced a very uncomfortable Nero. Vivi sighed and walked toward Nerezza.
"I suppose you'll be my mother-in-law," she smiled. Nerezza quirked her head to the side and Vivi explained. "Nero and I have been together for quite awhile now, so I suppose it was about time I met the parents." Nerezza pulled Vivi forward and held her.
"Yes, I suppose we should welcome you as well," Nerezza smiled as she let the girl go. "You do not smell of Mortis, nor do you smell of Vitae, to what clan do you belong?"
"Ah, well," Vivi, who was glad to finally be getting a chance to talk about herself, told Nerezza of how she grew up in France and her stepfather turned out to be a vampire from Russia. It really wasn't too interesting and it was extremely long-winded so, for these reasons, the readers shall be spared.
"How are you feeling?" Sumomo had Shikon's head in her lap.
"So much better now," he purred as he snuggled into her thigh. Sumomo giggled and then cleared to throat when she noticed that his Aunt Jun was still there.
"Ah, to be young and in love," Jun smiled. "So nice to meet you, Sumomo-san," Jun offered her hand and she took it. "We didn't really get a chance to meet before."
"Yes, what with the battling and such," Sumomo released Jun's hand. "You must be so surprised to find out that Shikon, um, Jin," she corrected herself, "has been a vampire with no memories."
"You'd like to think so," Jun shook her head, "but I've always had this feeling, what with the strange way he was found and how he disappeared," she paused, "but I'm glad he's still alive, well, as alive as he can be."
"As much as I love hearing people talk about me," Shikon interrupted, but before he could finish, Nero approached them. Sumomo hovered over Shikon, but Nero put his hands up in surrender.
"I suppose," He looked like he was trying to say something, but couldn't quite get the words to come out, "I suppose," he tried again, "that I owe you an apology."
"You're damn right," came Megumi's voice from behind them. Nero turned toward her and raised an eyebrow. Megumi turned up her nose and looked away. Daisuke looked at his sister and shrugged. Nero turned back to Shikon.
"I am truly sorry," Shikon raised a cynical eyebrow and Nero gave in, "okay, I'm not really sorry, but now that the clan war seems to be over, I suppose we should try to be friends." Nero offered his hand and Shikon grasped it firmly. "Friends?"
"We'll say 'acquaintances'," Shikon smirked and let go of Nero's hand. Nero returned the smirk and grabbed a hold of Vivi's hand.
"Well, Vivi, darling, shall we head out?" Nero smiled and kissed her cheek. Vivi hesitated and then looked at Shikon and Sumomo.
"Shikon, I'm glad you didn't die," she said coolly as if she were congratulating a rival on beating her fairly in a sport. "Sumomo, you take good care of him," that was the last thing she said, although one may have heard an "Au revior," as the two blondes walked out of the school. The sudden storm was completely gone now. It was perfectly timed and one could wonder if it really was just a coincidence.
Nerezza and Mitsuko were still saying goodbye as Scuro walked them to the door.
"Please, come and visit whenever you want," Nerezza was still sobbing and so was Mitsuko. Scuro couldn't help, but smile. It was just like the old days. Two crazy sisters and the boy who had to put up with them.
"I might take you up on that offer now," Mitsuko smiled. "Let's get out of here, there's so much I want to talk to you about." So, with a quick kiss on her 'son's' cheek and a hug to her 'sister,' Mitsuko was out the door with her real sister and brother-in-law.
Claudio turned to Bella and kissed her hand. "Shall we head out as well?" Bella just giggled and followed Claudio to the darkened hallway and down into their dungeon-like base.
"Okay, okay," Shikon sat up, fell back down and then pushed himself up using the wall. "So, we're to believe that everyone just gives up on the whole war thing?"
"I guess so," Sumomo smiled. "I mean, Scuro is the leader of the Mortis Clan, he can cancel the war if he wants to, besides," she paused, "he really does care of Mitsuko, couldn't you see it in his eyes?"
"She's a keeper," Jun quietly whispered to Shikon and he blushed. "So, Jin, or is it Shikon now?" Jun smiled at her nephew. "It's been great seeing you."
"You say that like you'll never see him again," Sumomo knit her eyebrows together. Jun chuckled.
"Well, you two are always welcome in my home," she put a hand on Shikon's shoulder, "but I know you can't stay there, I'm just glad I got to see you," she made to turn away, but Shikon grabbed her arm and spun her around, pulling her into a hug.
"Aunt Jun," he held her tight, "now that I remember you, remember everything, I'm not going to let it go," he released her. "Sumomo is part of my life and so are you." Jun smiled a few stray tears escaping her eyes.
"Right," Jun wiped her tears away, "you always were a good boy." Shikon kissed her forehead and walked over to Daisuke and Megumi. Megumi took the look on Daisuke's face as a cue and walked over to Sumomo and Jun. Shikon sat down next to his best friend.
"Hey, man," Shikon's green eyes couldn't meet Daisuke's. "Sorry about forgetting you and everything," he took a deep breath, "if you hate me-" but Shikon was cut off when Daisuke engulfed him in a hug. Tears were falling unchecked from the brunette's eyes.
"I could never hate you," Daisuke sobbed, "I'm so glad you're still around," he smiled through his tears. "I knew you could never forget this handsome face," he smirked, but it wasn't as intimidating with the tears streaming down his cheeks.
"Yeah, yeah, pretty boy," Shikon ruffled Daisuke's hair and smiled.
Megumi beamed. Everything had worked out for the best. Mitsuko, Nerezza and Scuro had finally made up after hundreds of years of fighting. Vivi and Nero were probably off having the time of their lives, or ruining someone else's. Claudio and Bella seemed to be hitting it off. Shikon had gotten all of his memories back and was best friends with her brother again. His Aunt Jun seemed extremely happy to have her nephew back. Sumomo had found her prince charming. But what about Megumi?
Just then, Hino Kentaro walked into the school. He was short. Taller than Megumi, but much shorter than Shikon. He had about fifteen posters under his arm. He stared at the group in the hallway.
"What are you guys doing here?" he questioned. "It's a Sunday, for one and I'm pretty sure you aren't on student council." Megumi stared at him. She gave Sumomo and secret smile and then walked up to her long-time crush.
"Ken-san," Megumi smiled sweetly as she led him toward the student council meeting. "Did I ever tell you the story of the vampire battle that was cancelled on account of rain?"
Okay, I'm not sure how much I like this ending. It's sort of…anti-climactic in my opinion. But I wanted everyone to be happy. I couldn't very well kill the 'bad guys.' Besides, everyone has some good in them, right? Of course! Okay, now it's time to write the epilogue. Enjoy!
It was a beautiful spring day. The birds were singing. The sky was bright blue. And everyone in the overly packed church knew nothing of this. The air conditioner had broken earlier in the week and no one had made it out to fix it. It didn't matter to Megumi, though, today she could deal with a little heat.
"You look beautiful," Sumomo smiled at her best friend. Megumi blushed as she looked in the mirror, her white gown fit her perfectly.
"Ah, do mine eyes deceive me, is that my sister dressed like a girl?" Daisuke's voice came mocking from the doorway. Megumi almost threw her shoe at him, but he smiled. "You look beautiful, Megu," he pushed some of her brown hair back. "Kentaro is a lucky man."
"Sure is," Sumomo grinned. "Now, let's see about putting this tiara on," she positioned it on Megumi's head and then clapped her hands together, "ah, perfect!" Megumi turned toward the mirror and smiled at her reflection.
"Well, I've got to go to my spot, see you in a few," Daisuke kissed his sister on the cheek and ran out of the room.
"I can't believe my little Megumi is getting married!" Mrs. Hisui was in tears as she hugged her daughter. "I thought this day would never come!!"
"Thanks, mom," Megumi rolled her eyes as her mother walked out of the room and toward the rest of the congregation. Megumi took a deep breath. "Okay," she smiled at Sumomo, "I'm ready."
The music started and everyone stood up and turned toward the main doors of the church. Slowly, Sumomo began to walk down the aisle. Her pink bridesmaid dress sparkling under the church's lights. She looked at the guests as she made her way to the alter. She spotted Mitsuko, who wasn't hard to miss when she was waving with her arms over her head. Then she saw Claudio and Bella sitting next to her 'grandmother.' They were snuggled against each other and Sumomo guessed that she would be attending another wedding soon.
"I still don't see why we had to come," Sumomo heard a harsh whisper and looked to the pew in front of her 'family' and saw Nero and Vivi. Vivi looked pissed that she had to be there, but then again, so did Nero. Nerezza and Scuro offered a wave and Sumomo waved back.
When Sumomo finally made it to the front of the church, she saw Kentaro, who looked like he was ready to faint, but still, he seemed overjoyed. Then she looked to the groomsmen. Daisuke gave her a smile and a wink and Shikon grinned at her. She smiled back and took her place just in time to see Megumi being led to the alter by her father.
When Megumi finally made it, Kentaro looked like his heart was ready to leap from his chest. So much had happened in the last four years. Sumomo and Shikon had gotten married right out of high school. Daisuke opened up his own bar and began working for himself. Vivi and Nero moved in with his parents and were expecting another 'little miracle' which must run in that family. Aunt Jun had met a rich veterinarian when her cat, Sobakasu, got sick last year and was currently in America, in Las Vegas. And Megumi, of course, had gotten to know Kentaro a lot better.
Sumomo was lost in thought and finally returned when she heard the priest say "man and wife." Her best friend was married. Megumi kissed Kentaro with all she was worth and the two ran down the aisle and to an awaiting limo outside. Shikon held out his arm and Sumomo took it. The two of them slowly walked out of the church and into the sun.
"Well, that was boring," Shikon grinned and Sumomo stuck her tongue out at him.
"Well, well, not everyone's wedding can be as exciting as ours, love," Sumomo giggled and Shikon grabbed her hand. The two of them ran down the street and into the nearby forest where they used to hunt. Sumomo raised her eyebrow in question and Shikon just smirked.
"Now, for the best part of any wedding," he pulled her closer, "making it with the maid of honor," he waggled his eyebrows and Sumomo smacking him on the head.
"You pervert," she whispered and then kissed him.
So, all in all, one could say that everyone got their happy ending. Though one may wonder if Nero and Vivi's 'little miracle' was a gift or a curse. That is, if it's anything like it's father.
If you liked Vampires of Takasaki High, don't read anything else Darby's ever written or you'll just be disappointed. Ha ha, just kidding.
But seriously, thank you for reading! It's been a great ride. I'm not sure how much I like this ending, but if you guys like, that's enough for me.
I'm glad everyone got to live happily ever after. I'm thinking about writing a sequel. Something about Megumi and Kentaro's child and Nero and Vivi's. Not sure yet though. It just feels really good to be finished. I can't believe it.
Well, thank you all for reading!
Velvet-chan (for that long ago 'kick to the butt')
Yamu (cuz he believes in me even if he doesn't read 'this kind stuff')
And everyone who has ever read part or all of this story!