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Opening her eyes, Karin feels her body ache and she softly groans. She hasn’t been feeling like this horrible in a long time. Not after that one time she been playing outside and gotten lost as a small girl only to get sick afterwards since it rain later on that day. She finds trouble breathing through her nose. It feels stuffy and congested. She sneezes only for it to echo loudly in the empty house. She forgets that fact freezing in place before relaxing a tad bit.

Her hand darts to her nightstands where some tissues she has from the night before and blows her nose, Karin grumbles “I hate getting sick. I hope I feel better by the time my date with Kenta later on.”

Her head hurts more causing the purple hair teen to moan in pain softly. She sighs thinking where each of her family is currently located and doing. ‘Onni-chan must be with one of his current lovers while Anju is most likely at the park with Boogie-kun. Kaa-san and Otou-san isn’t even in town since they left to a council a few days ago.’ A voice much similar to her own said in her mind. She rather not bother her family with something trivial as her being sick.

The sound of her cell phone rings cause Karin to sit up with a grimace forgetting a moment of her headache now feeling dizzy and lightheaded. She grabs her phone finding on the caller id it’s her boyfriend’s name flashing. Her heart flutters in her chest wondering what time Kenta will be coming over to pick her up for their date.  She heaves out a softest of sighs to clear her mind before answering the call.

“Moshi Moshi,” She said automatically into her phone.

On the other side of the line she could hear the excessive breathing sending warning signals in her fuzzy state of mind. Usually when Kenta does this is when something is wrong but she didn’t think much of it. She didn’t even notice one of Anju’s bats watching her from her window with a look of concern in its ruby eyes.

“Maaka….Karin there is something you should know….Kaa-san gotten the job I mention to you the other day,” Kenta said starting off slowly despite his news is good but his heart feels heavy with pain.

Karin grins happy to know Fumio has gotten the job. The poor woman been having a hard time keeping or getting a job since men around her seems to fall under her spell of that sweet charm of her’s without her realizing it. She known Kenta been worried about his family’s financial situation they are in.

“Kenta, that’s wonderful news to hear. I’m happy to know she got the job,” Karin chirps excitedly for a moment her headache gone and a smile grace her lips only to fall at the soft sigh on the phone from her human boyfriend. “I’m guess there is more to this call…”

Kenta could feel his throat constrict as he tries to talk over the lump forming, “Yes there is…Karin. Because of Kaa-san’s new job we are going to have to move from here.”

Unable to believe what she’s hearing, Karin asks half-heartedly, “I could always visit you or something despite you moving to another town.”

Kenta sighs feeling his heart break with each second passing by. His dark eyes harden in determination to remain strong since he’s going to have to let go of the girl that made his life crazy from the first moment he meet her. He said softly, “Karin, I’m going to be moving to the states and won’t be in Japan. It…it may be best if we remain as friends instead of together. I promise to keep your secret about your family being vampires and all. I’m really glad to have met you.”

He hangs up the phone with tears at the corner of his eyes before Karin could reply not wanting to harm her any more than he just did. Karin calls out his name feeling her heart shatter as the dial tone buzzes loudly in her ear. Her breathing ragged and suddenly she finds it hard to breath with each second. The room closing in her as tears form in her amber eyes and rolls down her cheeks. She starts to wonder what have she done wrong to deserve this fate. She didn’t even notice the said bat flies off in search of Anju and Ren.


 

The small bat flies faster sensing its mistress nearby. It lets out an excited squeak alerting the girl of its presence. With a sad looking in its eyes as it lands on the small girl’s shoulder it squeaks everything is seen about Karin being sick and the phone call. Anju’s golden eyes narrows a bit as a hint of concern enters their depths. She listens closely to the bat as it goes into the phone conversation between Kenta and her Nee-chan.

“Onni-san, Karin is sick and didn’t tell any of us about it,” She begins treading carefully keeping an eye on her older brother’s reaction.

Ren stiffens having understood everything the bat said feeling his temper rise. His eyes briefly turns red as his voice soften above a whisper, “I thought that kid is supposed to meet her somewhere. Anju don’t you dare make up a story to distract me. I want the truth as of now.”

Anju narrows her eyes glaring in the distance wondering how much Ren understand her bat has said. She didn’t want to tell Ren about Kenta now moving away and by doing so he broken their sister’s heart. It surprises her more when her doll, Boogie-kun remains rather quiet instead of going off making insults towards the blood maker. She gazes into his button eyes to find remorse for the blood maker confirming the girl’s suspicions in his own way the doll cares for Karin. She notes his button eyes seems to hold remorse for her older sister.

“Onni-san…Ren please don’t be angry at Karin. This is my mistake of trusting that boy. I’ll take the blame. Besides it won’t help with you getting angry since nothing will change, but hopefully back to normal,” Anju comments talking more than she usually does.

Ren stares at his youngest sister for a few minutes seeing in his mind how Karin use to be when she was young and before things change. He takes a deep breath letting his eyes change back to their golden color pushing his anger to aside. Feeling his blood pumping in his veins and the feelings of protecting that annoying sister goes through him. He blinks feeling the rush of protectiveness going through him. He hasn’t had this feeling for Karin in years it seems. The last time it happen towards Karin when she gotten lost after leaving the house when it been raining. He remembers it been before Anju turn two years old. Soon the memory plays in his mind.

*** Flashback***

A pair of big amber orbs stares into golden ones with a hopeful expression. The soft purple locks delicately frames the little face as a shy smile appears on her mouth. The boy stares at her for a few minutes wondering what she wants now since he’s busy reading the book on their ancestors that their father wants to test him on later. He didn’t want to be disturb since its important he studies and will play later.

“What do you want, Karin,” He ask a little bit harsher than he intends as he tries to memorize the information he’s reading.

He feels a little guilty seeing the flinch from his younger sister before she stares at her feet bashfully. He heaves a soft sigh counting to ten to cool down and ready to ask again.

Her soft voice softly which he strains to hear, “Nii-chan, I was wondering if you can play with me once you finish studying?”

Ren shakes his head seeing the look of disappointment in her eyes while holding the book a little higher so she can see it deals with their family before giving a lighthearted smile, “Sorry Karin but I have to finish studying this. Maybe in a while after I’m done with studying and the test than we can play if there is enough time before bed.”

His gold orbs moves across the room to find their parents talking in hush whispers on the couch nearby obviously listening for a sound from the baby upstairs. He knows Anju is most likely fast asleep and no one would dare to disturb her. He shrugs a shoulder musing thoughtfully, ‘I wonder what they are talking about.’ He gotten over the fact he has another sister instead of a brother even though would have been nice in his opinion.

He returns his attention back to the book not noticing when Karin slips out of the room to find something to do with dejected shoulders slumping down. He continues his thought, ‘At least once Anju is old enough she will have Karin to play with.’ He could feel the guilt getting bigger in the pit of his stomach wondering if he did the right thing. He could always study later even though he probably will get into trouble later on. He can still see the hurt and disappointment in his little sister’s eyes as he tries to read a paragraph making him bit his lip subconsciously.  

Soon a silence lapse over the house as everything seems mildly normal while little Karin play with her shoes before figuring it’s nice to play in the front yard for a bit. It seems like a nice sunny day and she wouldn’t want to disturb he baby sister’s sleep or fear the wrath of her mother’s temper if she does.


Soon Anju’s cries break the silence over the house. Calera frowns as she rises from the couch sensing out for her children only feeling Anju and Ren but not Karin. She could feel the worry bubble in her veins as she walks up the stairs hoping her senses are wrong and that Karin is checking on her youngest. Reaching the crying little one’s room, the woman’s frown deepens seeing Anju is there crying large tears but no one else. Which Calera finds odd since Karin has a habit of checking on Anju to make sure she’s fine especially if she starts crying reacting faster before anyone in the house. She goes to the crib picking up her little girl rocking her a bit.

“Henry,” she calls out knowing her husband can hear her from downstairs. “Come here.”

Downstairs Henry tilts his head before getting up. He gives a look towards Ren who looks at him curious what’s going on but quickly goes back to studying. He comes to a conclusion something isn’t quite right but couldn’t put his finger on it.

He takes the stairs two steps at a time. He walks to his youngest bedroom finding the scene inside taking his breath away, Anju curl up in her mother’s arms gazing at the door with soulful sad golden orbs while her mother rubs her back and murmuring soft words of comfort. He makes sure to save it into memories as rare moments he sees his wife so motherly towards the children which he cherishes. He walks in quietly and waits until she notices his presence. He has a strong feeling something about to be ask will be important.

“Henry have you seen Karin?”

Henry frowns thoughtfully knowing he would have to answer carefully or fear of getting hit with whatever the closest item near his beloved. He last seen Karin heading in the main hall playing with her shoes guessing she might have step out in the front yard. Though now he thinks on it has been a little while ago. From the corner of his eye, he spies the familiar shape of the slipper ready to whack him. He bites back a gulp spotting little Anju now fast asleep unknown to her parents’ conversation.

“I last seen her by the door playing a bit though that must have been close to two or three hours ago. Other than I think it may be time for her to go to bed so why don’t I go get her,” he said trying to take a step back seeing the slipper being raise  and silently moans at being whack.

Calera gives a peeve look worried for Karin’s safety, “Let’s go you idiot! Find our daughter.”

Neither adults notice Ren’s fear stricken expression as he stands near the door before turning on his heels. He runs down the hall as fast his small legs can carry him before reaching the stairs debating which the fastest way to get down. He climbs on the rail sliding down as a thought cross his mind, ‘Karin where are you/” The image of the sad gold eyes appears causing a bit of tears of frustration and worry to beat in the boy’s heart. As he slides down faster a little bit of excitement and joy forms despite the situation before he squishes it down.

Once on his feet on the floor, Ren starts thinking where his sister might have gone. He couldn’t help but have a feeling she needs him. Almost instantly an image of a tree appears in his mind while outside the house the clouds darken and rumble before letting the moisture out.

A voice similar to Karin’s cries out in his mind, “Onni-chan! I’m scared. I want to go home. Onni-chan help me, please help me. I’m scared. Find me, Ren!”’’

“Karin,” He whispers softly not understanding how he could have heard his sister’s cries.

Than a piece of information comes to mind that it’s possible to hear other family members or mate’s thoughts within a clan for protection reason. His heart races in his chest as the urge to go outside roars in his mind. He slips his shoes on and dashes out slamming it shut behind him alerting his parents he ran out of the house to search for his sister.

His footsteps echoes in the woods while golden orbs searches around him as fear and concern shine within their depths. Raindrops drips from his green hair, but it didn’t phase him. He could only hear Karin crying that seems to pound in his ears. He couldn’t distinguish which direction makes him bite his lip. He pulls his jacket tighter around him to keep warm wondering if Karin has her own on. Then it hit him. She doesn’t since he remembers seeing the jacket on the chair back inside their house.

“Karin! Where are you?” He shouts loudly hoping despite the heavy downpour she might be able to hear him over the harsh wind and rain.

Soon his mind comes up with more images in his mind. Karin huddling against a tree with tears in her amber eyes wondering if anyone notice if she’s gone. If anyone is going to come find her and bring her home. He runs faster finding it a little harder to breath but his main concern is Karin. He fights a shiver feeling the wind become more icy.

He soon hears a soft, scared voice speaking in his mind begging and pleading that tugs at his heart. “Onni-chan…Kaa-san….Tou-san…somebody…anybody! I just want to go home please!”

She appears once more with the tree that he seen earlier but wasn’t sure where or why its familiar. He recognizes it as the one they play around when they can. He turns direction heading towards Karin making a promise to always protect Karin even if it means one day to turn her away from him. Little did he known than how right he may be with that promise like vow or how far it would go.

“Imouto, can you hear me?” He shouts feeling scared and just wants to have Karin with him so they can go home and be out of this rain.

“Onni-chan is that you/’ A scared little voice croaks out.

Ren chokes out a laugh and smiles happily spotting his sister before anger bubbles making him snap while worry appears in his gold eyes, “Why did you run from the house Karin? Ka and Otou-san are worried sick about you!”

Karin pulls her knees tighter against her as her eyes fills up with more tears. She sits there a few more minutes before getting to her feet running into her brother’s waiting arms crying hard. She could feel his arms hugging her tightly.

She sobs, “I’m sorry Onni-chan!”

Ren sighs nuzzling the top of her head returning the hug. He looks at the tree seeing the hole where they could wait out the rain. He gently pushes her towards the tree not wanting to break the comfortable silence overlapping them. Once inside, Karin shivers obviously cold. He tugs off his jacket holding it to aside before sitting down as Karin just curls up beside him.. He covers her with it keeping an eye on her while she closes her eyes. He could see a tiny smile forming as she listens to his heartbeat.

She murmurs sleepily making him smile, “Onni-chan…me love you.”

“Love you to brat,” he answers letting a yawn of himself feeling sore from running. “Go ahead and sleep Imouto. I’ll wake you up once Kaa and Otou-san finds us.”

He didn’t notice his parents are at the entrance spotting them when they gone into the tree to keep warm. The two adults give relieve looks finding their children before the sun rise. They didn’t stir as they get pick up by their parents. Calera holds Karin tightly in her arms looking at Ren knowing he will do anything for his siblings.

***Flashback ends***

Ren shakes his head getting rid of the memories before he gets to lost in them and having Anju question about his action. He doesn’t want to acknowledge there is a rift between Karin and him. He wish to hit something instead of his sister who decide to be an idiot. In reality he knows it’s not all her fault and he still cares about her despite his act he put up to protect her. He starts walking in the direction of the house keeping several steps ahead of Anju not paying much attention to the doll in her arms.

“Ren-san still cares about his Imouto, but not willing to admit it to anyone even more to himself. He hides it really well, eh Anju?” Boogie-kun comments looking with awe.

Anju blinks in surprise not understanding what the doll means. She squeezes him tightly almost in a warning manner. For a moment, joy flickers in her normally blank gold orbs. The doll yells out waving his arms careful not to cut her with his knife in hand.

“I’m only stating the truth!” He squeaks looking at the girl.

“Enough Boogie-kun,” She answers giving one last squeeze showing she’s being serious and she glances up seeing Ren’s taunt form ahead of her before quickly catching up to him.

Boogie sighs keeping his silence not wanting to anger her more. He already knows the stories of Ren and Karin’s childhood. He seen the evidence of old photos he found they use to be close the times he accidently left behind in the blood-maker’s room. During those times he seeing the other side of the girl that her family has no idea about under the clumsy, bubble-head act of hers. He didn’t understand why the rift never been fix or cause. ‘Humans are strange on their own same with Vampires, but Karin and Ren are a complete mystery of its own.’  The doll thought keeping an eye out for Karin to be some help but having a bad feeling something isn’t good.

Anju ponders her companion’s words. She takes another look at Ren as he moves closer to the house and she decides to wait outside going deeper into thought. She nearly jumps at the sudden shout from inside coming from the older vampire.

“Is that damn idiot trying to kill herself or something?”

He rushes back out, anger rolling off of him in waves and his gold eyes starting to glow red. He dashes to the woods in the direction of the tree he found her years ago the first time along with the many fond memories he has of her. A red haze laps over his vision while the scent of salty tears stings his nose. Wherever Karin is she’s crying. His heart wrenches in pain at the agony his kid sister is going through despite the barrier he created to keep her safe even from him.

He growls under his breath forgetting a fact that Anju and her doll Boogie is by his side able to hear his words and didn’t see Anju’s mouth drop or Boogie’s smug smirk, “I’m coming for you, Imouto.”

‘He really does care about Onee-chan after all these years,’ Anju muse keeping in step with her older brother before stopping as a gasp pulls from her throat at the sight of Karin hugging her knees to her chest. Tears rolling down her cheeks in an endless river while a glaze look in her eyes look at them.. The sight of Karin like this scares Anju that she couldn’t describe how she feels at that moment.

Karin’s eyes widen really taken in the fact her siblings are standing before her. She couldn’t help but wonder why they are back home instead of doing whatever it been before. Soon guilt consumers her as she wonders if it’s her fault they came back early.

She lets a fake smile take place and give a fake cheerful tone that breaks their hearts as she comments, “Ren, Anju what are you doing here?”

Ren still angry pushes all the concern he has for her to one side, barks, “Why didn’t you say anything about you being sick, Karin?”

She flinches at the harsh tone wondering for a moment if they will ever be close again. Everything starts to become too much for her. Waking up feeling horrible than receiving a call from her boyfriend that is both good and bad news which end up in a break up. Now having Ren scolding her didn’t help her conflicted mind and heart one bit. Her vision grows hazy and black spots form in front of her. Her body aches. She wants to be in her bed and able to sleep away her pain. The fever she has goes up a few degrees while she leans against the tree looking away from Ren’s cold eyes.

Anju bites her lip not sure which side she should take. She can see and understand both have a good reason and faults even though Karin didn’t say a word. She heard the concern in his voice despite the harsh tone. It proves more to her that Boogie said is true, he still does care despite the rift between them. She could only wish they show they need each other and heal it before it becomes too late.

Ren sighs walking over to Karin touching her forehead feeling its burning under his hand. He quickly picks her up in his arm as she nuzzles against him feeling the warmth and familiar scent sooth her feverish mind and body.

“I’m sorry that I’m a burden to you, Onni-kun,” Karin whispers falling fast asleep as Ren and Anju walk back to their house.

Ren shakes his head coming to terms he been pushing Karin away and it affect her more than he realize. She never said a word or complain but taken it in stride. He opens the door waving to Anju to go in before kicking the door behind him. He sits down holding Karin in his lap as she snores softly giving a tired sigh. He looks at Anju than the empty seat to his right making it clear for her to sit there.

“You aren’t a burden, idiot. You are my Imouto,” he answers the sick, sleeping girl on his lap.

With his other arm he tugs Anju against his side to have both girls next to him where he can keep an eye on them. Boogie keeps his mouth shut and keeps an eye out as the three Maaka siblings doze off in the living room not hearing the door open or when their parents come in.

Henry smiles at the sight while Calera goes check on them. He opens the closet to pull out a large blanket to cover the three before joining his wife’s side. The two adults could see Karin is sick but relax by having her siblings by her. They didn’t have a heart to wake up the tree. Henry turns to his wife pulling her in his arms.

“It’s about time Ren and Karin are close again,” Henry comments giving a loving smile towards his family.

Calera nods leaning against him adding, “Yes let’s hope it stays that way.”