So just so whoever's still reading knows, I just finished finals. Yes, it took that long because our bitch Cinematography professor screwed us all over and jeopardized final projects for the other classes as well, which necessitated more cramming and bullshit in two 5-page papers than this entire story combined.
On the bright side, I'm done now! On with the show!
That’s the head maid!
What the hell is the head maid doing here?!
“I was informed that our dear gatekeeper has been found unconcious,” says Sakuya Izayoi, as she twirled a small knife in her fingers, leaning against the wall and with a worn-out feather duster in her hand. “Imagine my reaction when I find the same wall I’d barely finished cleaning and refurbishing from Marisa’s latest break-in had been… Demolished.”
She’s throwing the knife up now, spinning it and catching it by the blade as it fell. A drop of cold sweat slides down your brow.
“Now imagine what manner of thought must have gone through my head upon learning that your companion has a rather… Unpleasant history with milady.”
She catches the knife.
Fuck it, you’re—
...not going anywhere because now she’s slammed the door shut and is leaning against it. SO much for evasion.
“Have you anything you’d like to say?” you hear a clock tick by and for the first time in a long time you feel fear.
Fear because for all your pent-up fury, all the magic your Dullahan blood gives you, you’ve very aware of the fact that in an instant, you’ll be nothing more than the head maid’s newest pincushion.
Thusly pressured, you say the first thing that comes to mind.
Ah, no, wait. A knife just clipped a strand of your hair.
“Let me make myself clear,” Sakuya says, suddenly behind you!
“My mistress ordered you and your friend, him in particular, to be disposed of.”
You whirl around, but she’s gone.
“This is an order I would gladly see to; it wouldn’t be the first time,” she says from beside you.
“However, the young lady has asked me to spare him, for whatever reason.”
The young lady? The crazy little sister?!
“Where is he,” you growl, but the effect is diminished by your panicked expression as you try to get a bead on the elusive maid.
“Calm yourself,” she says. You tense as a hand is laid on your shoulder at the same time. “I can take you to him, but for both of your sakes you cannot draw any more attention to yourselves.”
And just like that, everything is dark.
“What the fu—mmph!”
“Language,” Sakuya says as you spit out the soap that’s been shoved into your mouth. “The young lady may not be innocent, but I won’t have her picking up any more bad habits.
You turn to glare at her, mouth shut because you’d rather not get knifed before you can even do anything about it. Hell, the maid’s act is still highly-suspicious to you. You’ve never really seen the residents of the mansion outside of the occasional party at the Hakurei Shrine you’d attend. You’ve heard the rumors, though. Sometimes seen the evidence when you and Kagerou would pass by to visit Hime.
“Lady Flandre?” Sakuya says as she gently opens the wooden doors before her. Nobody replies, but you’re beckoned to approach. You do so warily, sending a copy of your head, Curiosity, to her. It’s only after Curiosity nods and disappears back into you that you approach, Sakuya raising a brow at the action.
As seen through your other pair of eyes, the younger vampire lies asleep on the bed. It’s a strangely cute scene, actually. She’s sleeping peacefully, surrounded by stuffed toys that have been patched up several times.
Oh, and she’s cuddling Wash’s hand.
“Shhh,” he says, not quite facing you but your general direction. He looks, different, you note. Every since you could remember, he’s always had that same troubled look on his face, but here and now with the younger Scarlet holding his hand, his expression is that of calmness. Not the happy kind, but the kind of calm where you don’t need to smile to express it, it would just ruin the atmosphere anyway.
You hold back the urge to rush over there and check on him as Sakuya approaches. Wash turns slightly to face the footsteps approaching him, not doing anything as Sakuya gently pries his hand from Flandre and replaces it with a stuffed bear from the other side of the bed.
“My mistress has ordered me to dispose of you,” she says to your irritation and his surprising calm, “and has left the manner of which to my discretion.”
Next thing you know, either of you, you’re somewhere bright. The air’s no longer dusty and you recognize the wrought iron gates of the mansion. The gatekeeper is nowhere in sight, to which you feel the slightest pangs of pride at your victory (some would call it a cheap one, but fuck them).
“What on earth?” Wash says, confused about the sudden change in environment.
“I will only say this once,” Sakuya says. “Leave.”
You eye her warily, not quite sure if she’s being serious. Wash takes the decision out of your hands, however, and grabs one.
“Let’s just go,” he says.
You sigh, and allows him to tug you away against your better judgement since this means you take your eyes off the maid for the barest moments, but after not immediately getting knifed in the back, you pick up your pace and pull ahead to start leading Wash home.
As you walk, his grip tightens and you can hear the faintest whisper from somewhere, but just like that it relaxes again and nobody's there when you look back.
The first thing you do when you get back home is send your body to collapse on the bed, leaving you with Wash. The walk back was… Well, to be blunt it was very awkward since none of you talked. The sort of awkward silence that you’d try to avoid by inserting conversation. That’s what happened.
But now? Now you’re home. You’re safe. He’s safe.
And you’ve got booze, so if things get worse then there’s that.
“I saved them, apparently,” he says just as you open your mouth to ask him something.
“Saved them,” you say. “You. Save the Scarlet sisters. Who are both capable of causing large-scale incidents.”
“Ah, dunno much about the incidents, I admit,” he says as he seats himself at the table. You follow his lead and lower yourself to rest in front of him. “It was a long time ago, I think. Memory’s still hazy, but that’s what I gather.”
“Then why does Remilia hate you?” She had ordered him to be “disposed of”, after all.
He shrugs, and the room falls into silence again.
“It was nice,” he eventually mumbles.
“Confusing, it was confusing at first, seeing everything like that, like a stage play about my life except everything was so detailed! The memory, I mean. The one they drew out of me.”
So she had Patchouli take a peek into his brain. That’s not ominous, not at all.
“And then things got bad. Really bad,” he admits, thinking about the events of the memory. “But she was there, at the end. The younger sister?”
“And it felt… Not good, not necessarily, but for the first time as far as I can remember I felt content.”
You raise a brow in confusion. Wash being Wash, he probably picked up on this. “Sorry, that’s the best I can describe it. That feeling you get, the pleasant one when someone thanks you for taking the time to help them, but a little more.”
Huh. Well how about that. That’s probably one of the most genuine smiles you’ve seen on him.
You’d be lying if you said you didn’t feel disappointed that it didn’t come up from your time with him and instead from the younger vampire loli.
“You seem happier now, like a weight’s gone,” you settle on. “It shows.”
The smile fades, however. It’s still there, but less happy now. He’s been getting better at pinpointing people from their voice, because he’s almost looking right at you when he zeroes in on you and gets his hand on your head on the first try.
You groan in protest, but don’t shake it off.
“I suppose I am now.” The smile turns sad. “Sorry for being like this, Seki.”
Sorry for being a burden, he means to say.
“Bullshit,” you say, levitating up and closer to his face. “I don’t bother with people I don’t like, but you’re here anyway. Means you’re doing something right, I guess.”
Wash lets out a low chuckle as you float back down to your resting place.
“God,” he says, “I need to apologize.”
“I already said—”
“No, no! To Kurumi, I mean!”
Ah, right. He tried to cut her open the other night.
And how long was his staff actually a fucking sword?!
“I thought you have bad memories with vampires,” you carefully say.
Wash doesn’t reply immediately. “I did,” he eventually says, “But I have bad memories of a lot of things, it seems. Something was missing, and that was the only thing I had to go on then.”
“...so you’re saying that before, that was the only thing you remembered, so it looked really bad. Now that other things came up you realize it only looked bad since the others weren’t there to be worse?”
“No, I’m saying that I remembered something wrong. Not all the pieces were there.”
Huh. And here you were thinking that Satori would’ve been helpful for him to remember things.
“Well, the mind’s a fickle thing,” he muses. “All she does is help me draw it out, knows the words to say to get my mind to react. Not a lot of choice about what comes out or how I initially interpret it.”
“You’re getting way too good at reading me when I’m not speaking,” you jest. “Stop it, that’s supposed to be my thing!”
Again, he laughs. “I suppose that says something, then.”
You let out a small chuckle of your own.
“Yeah, I guess it does.”
...can Wash tell that you’re smiling?
 This carpet feels surprisingly nice
 These sunflower seeds taste good