Aria of Sorrow: The second wave of tears
Written By: Lady Lunar Phoenix
The sound of the door opening and then shutting was heard.
Yoko seemed to want his attention. But she never had anything useful to say when she used that type of voice.
A rolled up ball of socks bounced off his head and hit the keyboard. His eyes focused on the image of his own face as he casually used a flame arrow on her, hearing the regular ice spell that stopped his arrow.
“Come on Al. It’s breakfast and if you’re skipping out on lunch with me and this LeCarde person at least have breakfast.” She said as she finished toweling her hair dry.
“That name reminds me of someone. A person who I helped destroy a demonic force with…” Alucard noted from his seat. “See if you can find out if he’s of that bloodline.” He offered.
“Would you like me to pick up some orange juice as well while I’m out?” she asked in a teasing voice as she went digging around for some clothes.
“He had already been aware of these kidnappings. Further more apparently he decided to snoop around on his own.” Alucard answered as though he never heard her speak.
“Really? But isn’t that dangerous? I mean, sure he has souls, but… well…” She walked over and started reading over his shoulder.
“I would like to say it is very dangerous, but there is information that he has that we wouldn’t have access to.” He continued typing.
“But how?” She asked.
“Creating elementals to spy or some such if he’s got the skill already.”
“Do you think he has?” She asked as the first entry was being loaded onto the screen.
“Yes, to a point.” He answered.
“Anything else you want me to ask him?” Yoko asked as she took a bite out of her bacon.
“Has the shipping records around the area been checked. It was something the spell showed me that Soma wanted us to know about.” He replied looking over his shoulder.
“That’s pretty broad a topic Alucard…” she looked thoughtful for a moment. “He was thinking of shipping records? But in what context?”
“Sending and receiving. He was caught up in the idea that the bodies were being shipped out and back again somehow without notice.”
“But considering how advance the technology is around those areas…” She began when he cut her off.
“Jones industries are one of the leading companies in security and defense. They have contracts around the world with all the first and second world nations to greater or lesser degrees.” He reminded her. No need to remind her of who the heir apparent of that powerhouse was, till the fool went to the castle that is.
“Right, I’ll bring it up with him.” She said as she found her pantyhose. “But it may be a bit before he believes us on that. Since we never could peg anything on Graham.”
She began eating her breakfast more thoroughly while he worked on his own meal. Normally he didn’t want to eat, but he wasn’t going to leave the laptop before the final entry was read.
“Alucard?” She asked as she poked at her eggs. She didn’t wait for an affirmative sound from the man as he rarely gave one. “Was it quick? They didn’t really have to torture Soma before they took him right?” She looked up at him through the veil of her bangs but then shook her head. “Nevermind I’ve seen the reports and pictures. It would have been better if he has suffered then and not later as he probably is.” She shivered as she sat there. “All those boys…”
“If not for Soma we wouldn’t know this was going on anyways.” He pointed out as he cut a slice out of his eggs.
He didn’t even look at her and she sighed, he only saw the big picture, the smaller one meant nothing to him really.
Or perhaps it was just the way he chose to see the world for his own sanity. She could see where taking each cause as his own would be a terrible choice. His father was much like that; he held the actions of a few as justification of his hate of the masses after all.
“Do you think we need Julius for this?” She asked before taking a sip of her coffee.
“No, his place is only to fight Dracula. Leave him to his family unless things get out of hand. Besides the man has spent years with no memories he is useless to us for now.” Alucard replied.
“Maybe better to call him when we find Soma then? The man *does* know how to handle kids after all.” She acknowledged with a nod of the head.
“The boy will be fine, he handled the castle, something as trivial as torture should be fine.”
“Alucard!” This time she kicked his shin. “He’s a boy! He’s only 19 at most! How can you think he would handle this well?”
“He handled the castle and the truth of his own soul.” He pointed out.
“He’s going to have to handle the fact that over 30 teens his own age have been killed in this country alone, while fanatics look for him! Not to mention all the rest of the hell they will put him through.” She reminded him as she walked over and commandeered his laptop. “I have to check my mail before I go and you can wait till I’m done so don’t start hissing at me.”
He sat in his chair sipping the last of his coffee glaring daggers at the woman while she loaded up her email program. But he noted the sudden change in her expression as she began reading her mail. The annoyance left her face, replaced by a look of growing pain.
“Thirty eight in Brazil, forty two in Portugal, eighty seven in Mexico…” She recited from memory as she suddenly rubbed her eyes as though she had been staring at the screen for hours. He didn’t have to say anything; she explained it after she opened her eyes. “The church has been checking up other countries, in all those countries teenage males have been disappearing.”
“All of them with Spanish as the first language.” He noted calmly. “When we returned to the shrine after the castle, he called out in Spanish for the Belmont to stay well.”
“Pale young man with a Spanish accent.” She nodded at his assessment.
“Surprising they figured out he was a boy and not a girl when they decided to chase after all these boys.” Alucard noted looking at the wall in front of him. “As it’s been pointed out most people *do* have a hard time figuring out Soma’s gender on their own.”
“Or Soma was too far away for them to tell what he looks like naturally, and didn’t think Dracula would come back as a teenage girl.” She nodded. “Did you notice that his voice seemed to suddenly change? When I first met him in the castle I actually had to take a stab at him being a guy, but after the Master’s chamber his voice dropped a few octaves lower?”
Alucard sat there and had to think about it. From the gates, yes Yoko was right his voice *was* a bit higher then someone his age and gender should have been. Yet he had written off the change of voice from the resurgence of power from the castle. No, his voice never changed back it held the deeper, more masculine tones then it had when he first arrived. Granted one would have to listen to Soma talk a bit before they would figure out his gender but not half as long as before.
Though the boy had the skill to annoy Alucard to a greater degree then Yoko. Sadly he had come to realize his temper around the boy was what triggered more then half of Yoko’s, indeed anyone who saw the pairs, assessment of their relationship.
When it had started, Soma did everything in his power to aggravate Alucard into a reaction on a day-to-day mission. The boy would transform into one of his monster forms and sit in a room waiting for Alucard’s reaction when the man entered. He had found where Alucard kept a coffin he liked to go to avoid the teasing the child gave him. Only to proceed to nail it shut… with Alucard still INSIDE it! He had escaped the coffin in his mist form and after that wouldn’t let Soma get out of his line of sight for any second of the day that the boy was in his domain.
“What exactly is your problem? You glare at Soma like he’s going to hit you with a paint ball.” Julius had walked into the office part of Alucards’ home with an amused expression on his face. “Or has he already done that and I’m just entering after you took off the ruined suit?”
“I’m grateful that you find this amusing Belmont.” Alucard had sarcastically replied.
Julius was about to speak when he saw something on the edge of his vision, lost in shadows save a spot of white. “Soma?” he asked as he walked over and to his surprise he found it *was* Soma. Tied, gagged and bound but able to hop around apparently as he proceeded to hop out of the shadow into Julius’s line of sight. Julius hung his head in his hands for a moment trying very, very, hard not to burst out laughing at the sight. The sound of hopping made him look up to see Soma coming over in such an embarrassing way. “Hold still.” He told the youth as he worked on the ropes. The idea of the boy hoping all through the place trying to get loose made his lips twitch as he finished the ropes around Soma’s legs and worked on the one holding the boy’s hands back.
“I doubt the two of you will just shake hands and be done with this so I’ll be brief. Out.” He told Soma guiding the boy, no the overly energized young man, out the room.
The teen left the room as ordered rubbing his wrists as he did so while Julius walked over and sat down. Out of his whole family, Julius was the only member in history who would be able to say that he had actual conversations with the dhampire. “Quite the relationship you two share…” he noted leaning back in his chair. “Reminds me of my sons. The younger one, Richard, he drove his older brother mad half the time with all his stunts trying to get attention.”
“So you find his erratic behavior appropriate?” Alucard demanded sounding almost sullen.
“I think you’ve been an only child for far too long.” Julius said with a slight smile. “You don’t know what it’s like to share with others or how to realize Soma’s behavior.”
“Enlighten me.” Alucard replied with biting sarcasm.
“He’s trying to enter your world, trying to understand who you are and be a part of your life. Like a little boy he doesn’t know how to do that so he’s using a direct approach.” Julius sat back watching Alucard’s guarded expression.
“By inciting my wrath?” Alucard asked in a cold disbelieving voice.
“It gets your attention doesn’t it? You’re always so cold and distant from people; Soma may assume that the best way to get your attention is by inciting the only emotion you ever seem to show. Anger.” Julius pointed out calmly.
“Ridiculous.” Alucard snorted.
“Has he repeated anything he knows will get you to lash out, once he’s done it?” Julius asked. Which caused Alucard to stop and think for a moment. For each time he had thrashed the child for his immature behavior the boy had grown a type of docile state. Hands open and arms spread as though saying he knew he lost the battle. Head down and depending on the anger on one knee, the child had never done a repeat performance when it came to angering Alucard. “Well has he?” The question broke into Alucard’s thoughts.
“No. He stops when he knows I’m angry, tolerates my wraith. But doesn’t try the same stunt twice.”
“Does he bring up verbal questions about your past? Does he even know what your real name is?” Julius asked.
“You, don’t even know my real name.” Alucard countered.
“I know that your *name* of sorts is Alucard. Does he still call you Arikado?”
Alucard nodded his eyes going to the floor.
“Just a thought. Don’t hold it in. Knowing you, you don’t let on that you’re angry with him till you explode. So don’t hold in that anger. When you start feeling annoyed let your powers, or what ever it is you’re both using tell him. Let him know how you feel.” Julius had paused then his face growing thoughtful. “Though in a case such as yours it may prove hard. Letting down barriers that you have kept up for so long.”
Suddenly a flash in the room caused both occupants to look over where Soma’s sword laid resting. For one brief moment it flashed as though disappearing to the other realm. Only to return solid once more earning a shuddered breathe from Yoko.
“Father who art thou in Heaven grace Soma with your strength for what lies ahead.”
Read me first
The line read on one of the documents so obediently Alucard read that first.
I’ve marked everything you need to read that deals with Graham with an *.
Alucard looked over the words thoughtfully. True he could just simply do that, but… But he was a touch curious about Soma. Curious about the boy who seemed dead set determined to force Alucard into his life. And if the boy learned of his peeking… Well the boy was too trusting for his own good anyways.
~There’s this line in a song. I’ve never heard it before but it plays in my mind. I used to have that happen, lyrics to songs I never heard playing in my head. Only now I think they are faint traces of Dracula’s memory filtering up. Funny to think that he listened to anything before being sealed in the eclipse.~
:The sound system suddenly blurred to life:
~I woke up to a dream today.
This whole song goes with my day, took me some time to find a copy of With You and I’ve set it as the back ground music of this piece. My life as of late, it all feels surreal. I thought I had left the castle behind me, gone on with my life as Soma Cruz and not having to worry about being Dracula.
I can forget when Arikado is around. Funny as it sounds, stiffer then a corpse as he may be I can relax around him. I can be a little more myself. Maybe because he’s got dark powers, or maybe because he’s so in control I figure he can handle any problem I have with my powers. Or maybe because I don’t feel so ashamed around him when I think of the whole situation. If people fully understood the situation I guess they would think that I had it all. The power to rule is a temping power to some. Even if what I’m ruling is a mound of dead or warped flesh. I hate looking in the mirror at myself. I really do. I’ve always felt ashamed when I did. I know I’m a guy. But it gets depressing when you hear all the time ‘Ms.’ and realize that people are trying to address you. I can tell that my dad is ashamed of me. I’ve heard about how badly they wanted a child, only to get screwed over by having a child that is so in the middle in appearance. Note that my dad never says it to my face but I can tell. It’s not like we ever do any father and son things. I could never tell him any of my problems when it came to my appearance. Like when those stupid jocks tried to find out if I really *was* a boy or a girl.
I guess the shame is that I feel fine with the way I look. I like it personally, but I don’t like how it hurts my dad.
It’s a disgusting society we live in; a part of me can sympathize with Dracula’s loathing of it. Through out my childhood the girls wanted to play girl games with me thinking I *was* a girl. Boys wanted nothing to do with the strange pale girlish looking kid. When I got older when some of the girls started watching Japanese anime I suddenly became one of those desirable bishy boys. It’s disgusting really. I had girls hanging off of me for being a three dimensional version of a two-dimensional character style. They didn’t give a damn about me as a person they just wanted me for my looks. I guess being alone for so long made me too bitter about it to jump into it. But then having so many females chasing my looks and me simply made me a fag to the other guys. Hell I had a gay guy feeling me up the other day against my wishes just because I *looked like I needed a pick me up*.
I guess that’s what makes being around Arikado so easy. I don’t have my looks as any type of handicap around him. I love him… It’s like having a father that I can finally talk to about things. A father I don’t have to fear will be hurt by what I have to say, or not really listen because he doesn’t want to accept me because of what I look like. I…~
Suddenly Alucard shut the file. This was more personal then he had thought he would find. There was a part of him that had always kept the notion of seeing Soma as an object. He had likened Soma to a plant actually. He had assumed that after the castle the boy wouldn’t want to stay around anything or anyone that reminded him of the castle. So it was a mild surprise to find the boy *wanted* to spend time with him. At first those *attempts* to gain Alucard’s attention had given the man, fluent in four different languages, a very large list of words he could use to describe the child. Stupid, annoying, bratty, clumsy, foolish, the list could go on for a week. Putting a small bowl for bats in one room with the name *Squeakers* for Alucard one day, to flea collars and chew toys the next made transformation attempts at getting away from Soma an annoyance. That said a great deal about Soma’s lack of maturity. He at times had to wonder if the castle itself didn’t make him act more his age then his powers. Then there was that time when he left his offices, sorely annoyed when Soma forced himself to join the trip.
Yet through out the whole outing, the boy didn’t make a peep. If not for his dark powers flowing around, Alucard would have assumed the boy had wandered off and got lost. Instead the boy stayed so completely to himself by human awareness that he might as well not even have been there at all. The mischief and light he was used to seeing in Soma’s eyes after the castle had disappeared. Replaced by a cold, distant, expression that hinted instant dislike. It was a stark contrast from what he was used to dealing with in his own domain.
A slight gesture of the hand coupled with a slight nudge of his powers, and Soma knew to stay behind while Alucard went to deal with matters of the day in his life. Now with Soma safe and aware Alucard could start to afford slowly severing ties among people, so that he could go back to his eternal slumber. He returned to the foyer of the building, finding Soma sitting in a chair with a magazine in his lap reading. All the while every person, female and male, made every attempt at gaining his attention. They didn’t go so far as to grab him and demand a conversation. But they walked across his path several times, some asking if he was waiting for him or if he had the time. Alucard could tell from where he stood, watching as Soma would answer without looking up, or casting annoyed glances at his watch.
So different, Soma acted completely different from how he normally did when they were together. Or at the very least he was friendlier when Yoko or Julius was around. Their powers connected, and with that Alucard told Soma it was time to leave, the youth responding by getting up and leaving the building immediately.
He had found the youth outside resting against a lamppost waiting for him calmly. It was an act, one way or another he was acting. Either Soma was acting when they were in Alucard’s private domain or he was acting when he was outside in the real world. Yet the real shocks came half a week later when he took the boy out for some physical study.
“I still trust you though.” Soma had said his voice growing soft and slurred. “You could kill me right now and I’d trust your judgment. Ever since the chamber…” Soma nodded off at that point, unable to see the mild surprise on Alucard’s face at that admittance.
Those words had ringed through Alucard’s head after that sparing match. It was something that no one had ever said before to him, though there were people who relied on him no one had ever said they had such a deep trust in him. Therefore the bitter part of his soul, the part that constantly reminded him that he would be alone forever wanted to test this out.
In retrospect it was a harsh and cruel way to test it out. But at the time, it was the best idea that Alucard had.
The boy slept peacefully in his arms. His body exhausted and his mind far more vulnerable then Alucard normally would have liked. But in this case, it suited his needs. His powers awake and enriched by Soma’s own blood reacted as he weaved a subtle spell into Soma’s mind. He rested the boy flat on the ground and extinguished the flame with a thought. Then he wove himself into the dream. The scene was set already, a twist of the spell made Soma think that some time had passed. A turn created an illusion of Alucard’s present appearance while letting him slip into the appearance he bore when he first woke up in 1797. The old style clothes that he found more comfort in wearing, his hair once more alabaster and down to his shins in length. His eyes retained only a gold tone while a few touches altered his looks just enough that Soma wouldn’t recognize him. But he didn’t go for the old castle styles in the foundation of the dream. That would have been too much of a clue that this wasn’t real. No, Alucard opted for a high tech facility easier to believe that an incubus awoke to modern times, easier to believe that the incubus had taken over the place. And for the pure pleasure of killing an associate of Count Dracula was a justified reason for it all.
When he arrived in the dream he placed himself in the same room where *Arikado* was. Placing the illusion on a table and had his wrists and ankles impaled on sharp thick spikes. With suitable amounts of blood and a slight work on the hair and clothes, giving Soma a justified reason to believe that Arikado had not allowed this to be done willingly. If Soma acted in the same way towards Alucard as he did around Yoko or the girl he could make a safe bet about how the child would act about this whole setup. Not that Soma knew what an incubus was, unless he actually *could* make a correlation between the Succubus and the Incubus. It didn’t matter, as his fingers slid down to the throat of his illusion the door flew open and Soma stood there.
The boy took one glance at the illusion and freaked out.
“Arikado!” The boy panicked and locked on to the only other person in the room, namely Alucard. “What did you do to him!?” he demanded as he tried to rush forward. At the same time another spell wrapped around Soma sealing all the souls save the ones had had been using at that moment. Which left him with his Headhunter, Black Panther and lightning doll.
The sound of the door shutting finally alerted Alucard that Yoko had left the room all together. He looked at the door for a moment his thoughts lost on those memories.
Soma had tried everything he could. With his limited knowledge of fighting, his lack of access to his souls, and his mounting injuries. The boy tried to fight, switching out to the Dracula clothes that he had gotten from the castle. Not as strong as Deaths robes, but he needed the ability to move fast. Something that the robes could hamper and therefore he couldn’t afford.
For a moment their blades locked at the hilt, Alucard allowing this dream to let him let a little more of his aggravation of the child to get loose. Which was why he went a step further twisting the boy’s arm and bringing him to his knees sharply.
“Please…” The words were choked out in pain. “If it’s Dracula you want… Dracula you want to torture… then torture me… Kill me… Just leave Arikado alone. I… I beg… of you…”
Soma knew he was losing. Why else would he beg for a trade?
“A weak thing like yourself? Dracula?” He internally winced at the sound of his own voice. He was getting far more into this role then he would have liked. He got up and began to walk to the illusion. The only way to break the spell was by killing the illusion on the table. Sick and twisted maybe, maybe too twisted. Soma screamed in rage rushing Alucard from behind, the two fighting even more harshly then before. Rage fueled Soma’s attacks, making him stronger, faster and more able to do damage. But at the same time Soma also was receiving more injuries as he ignored the mounting wounds that Alucard inflicted. He shoved Soma hard enough that the boy went sliding against the floor. Blood smeared the floor as Soma finally looked up at Alucard.
His eyes told the story. Soma had lost, unable to fight unable to even stand up or get to his knees. Soma had tried to use his lightening doll soul, only the garnet crown that Alucard long had protected him from the attacks. The boy was a complete failure in direct combat he could fight against monsters, but they were stupid as it was. Undead creatures couldn’t strategize very well so it was easy to beat many of them. However anything with a working *brain* would have a field day with Soma Cruz. He reached the table and quietly killed the illusion without looking back at Soma.
Yet when he woke, he could smell the faint traces of salt water. Flickering to life a fire he couldn’t help but stare at the trail of tears running down Soma’s face as he slept.