Wolf's Rain Fan Fiction ❯ Lullaby for a Stormy Night ❯ Chapter 4- Cut the ties and head for Paradise ( Chapter 4 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

4- Cut the ties and Head for Paradise
“What's wrong? I don't look that bad do I? why are you crying like that Cole?” Zali attempted a sad joke.
“It's Shura….”
That grabbed everyone's attention, “What happened?! Did she go in labor?” Akira asked in a rush.
“No …. She's …. She's dead.”
A stake knife seemed to burry itself deeper into Akira's already wounded heart, “Wha-what?”
“What the hell happened to her!” Heart demanded.
“I went to check on her and I passed the restruant on my way to her. Those men who brought the cages found her and followed her back to the den, then shot her 4 times till she died.” Cole broke down crying now.
“why …. Why would they take her life?” Akira whimpered.
“I don't know, but they're probably going to take another if we don't hurry and help Hige.” Kiba said.
Zali stood up, “I can still run. I'll help you get him back. Cole, take Akira back to the graveyard and wait for us there. You too Heart.”
“I'm coming with.” Heart insisted, “I want a small form of payback in return of what they've done to Shura!”
“Heart!” Akira yelped as the 5 wolves sprinted away.
“Come on Akira, it's okay.” Cole hushed gentle as she tucked the girl to her while they slowly made their way to the graveyard. She knew Zali would take them down the path of paradise.
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“I want to go to her,” Akira tried once more to head for the den just outside of the graveyard, “She needs me!”
Cole held her back, “If you go to her, you'll only cause your self more pain.”
“If I don't go to her, I'll ALWAYS feel this pain!” Akira wretched her way from Cole's grasp and ran off across the graveyard.
Cole wanted to go after her, but deep down she new the young wolf had to learn that sometimes, things are better left unseen. She knew Akira needed to see for herself.
Akira slowed down her run to a stop at the door of the den and paused for a moment, taking in the damage that she already saw.
Bullet holes. They lined the wall around the door as if the men tried to shoot her from afar. Shura must have threatened them from coming too close at first. There were struggle marks in the dirt just inside the door and blood trails littered the insides every where. Shura's blood dominated the air around the old den and Akira's eyes started to water from its strength. It burned at her nostrils and refused to be ignored by her delicate senses.
She heard a weak whimper and her eyes darted over to behind the old pillar where Shura's nest was. There lay the female wolf, her once beautiful chocolate and cream colored fur was marred in her own blood and deep gash wounds proved that she was beaten before those bastards left her do die.
“A …. Akira?” the weak voice rasped.
Akira nearly died. Shura was still alive!
“I'm here! Don't die on me! You can make it! I know, Toboe knows where some healing herbs are! I'll go find him and,” Shura shook her head slowly to stop Akira's rambling.
“No, Akira …..” she took in a steady breath of air as Akira knelt down next to her head, “We both know my time has come. I'll leave this world and return to …… to Sasuke. I had been having dreams lately of paradise….. and how your father, Sasuke was waiting for me at the gates …. Smiling at me as he welcomed me home,”
“Don't talk like that, you'll be okay.” Akira's tears started to fall as she gently lifted the older wolfs head in her lap and started to stroke it much like Shura used to do when Akira herself was sick as a child, “You can pull through this, I know you can! Please don't leave me! Papa cant have you yet! We both have to make it to paradise!” Akira closed her eyes as she started to sob. Shura was leaving her….. just like everyone else.
Akira stiffened in surprise when a very human hand cupped her cheek. She looked down to see Shura's human form looking up at her with those gentle violet eyes. She had waist length brunett hair with silver streaks in it to show for her aging years. Her face looked like that of a slightly aged older woman. She wore a purple sweater with a women's trench coat and a dark purple scarf around her neck. She wore a thick winter long brown skirt and stocking boots. When she had Akira's attention, she smiled weakly.
“Why are you crying? I will never leave you, and your father never has left you. He's here still. Watching you all this time like he always has. He says he's sorry for what pain he's caused you….. and he wants you to forgive him if you can.” She said.
“You…. You can see him?” Akira blinked as her tears slowed.
“I always have.” Shura nodded as she slowly sat up eye level with Akira, not bothering to heed Akira's pleas for her to lay still.
“I don't see why you all have to leave me.” Akira's tears started up again, “I don't want you to leave me! I'll stay right here and die with you!” Akira was spouting nonsense now and the older wolf knew that.
“Akira, it wont do any one any good if you were to die. There are still people out there who need you like Cheza…. Heart… and the those boys.”
“It wont matter so long as I don't have to let you go! Mother left me to fend for myself and you took me in even after you found out I was a hybrid! I can never let you go! I wont let you go and I wont leave you Momma!” with that, the emotionally distrest wolf buried her self in her step mother's lap as she clung to the older ones waist like a life line as she broke down and cried.
Shura winced, but she would bear the pain that would take her away in just a short time. She didn't move a moment, letting Akira cry to herself a moment before she hugged her step daughter in return and gently stroke her long red mane.
“Do you remember the lullybye I used to sing to you when you were little and sad just like this?” Shura asked.
Akira snivled and nodded into her mothers lap.
“I wish to sing it to you once again. It may sound silly but this is one last request I give you. When I pass on, I want you to follow the others to paradise. They need you more than you know.”
Akira shot up, “But I,”
“Please Akira, promise me you'll stay with them and go to paradise. Sasuke and I will be waiting when I pass on.”
Akira didn't say anything, but slowly layed back on the older wolfs lap, “Will you…. Will you sing to me one last time?”
Shura smiled and complied with her gentle soft alto voice as it whispered in the darkness of the den,
“Little child be not afraid,
the rain pounds hard against the glass
like an unwanted stranger,
there is no danger
I am here tonight
Little child be not afraid
The thunder explodes and lightning flash
Your tear stained face
And I am here tonight
Someday you'll know
That nature is so
The same rain that draws in the ending
Falls in rivers of land
And forests of sound
Makes the beautiful world that you see
In the morning
Little child, be not afraid
The storm clouds mask our beloved moon
And its candle light beams
Still keep pleasant dreams
I am here tonight.
Little child be not afraid
The wind makes creatures of our trees
And the branches to hands
Things that we'll understand
And I am here tonight
So Someday you'll know
That nature is so
The same rain that draws in the ending
Falls in rivers of land
And forests of sound
Makes the beautiful world that you see
In the morning
You know,
Once even I was a
Little child
And I was afraid
But a gentle someone always came. To dry all my tears
To sweet sleep the fears
And to give a kiss good night
Well now I am grown
And these years have shown
The rain's apart of how life goes
But it's dark and its late
So I'll hold you and wait
Till your frightened eyes do close
And I'll hope that you'll know
That nature is so
The same rain that draws in the ending
Falls in rivers of land
And forests to sound
Makes the beautiful world that you see
In the morning
Everythings fine in the morning
The rain'll be gone in the morning
But we'll still be here in the morning…….”
Akira felt Shura's hand still on her mane and looked up intime to see the dieing wolf fall to her side as she slowly left this world.
“SHURA!!” Akira cried out.
“My love, never for get that song and how much it meant to us all. Never forget what your heart is telling you and follow it. After all, “the Wolfs eyes were starting to glaze over as death started to consume her, “Your heart will never lie to you….,” those where her last words before she took her final breath.
Akira proded her as her body became a wolf once more. Akira became her own red wolf form again and nudged the motionless form infornt of her with a whimper.
“Momma? Get up. Come on,” she nosed it again and flinched away when some of the blood Shura's wounds coated her nose.
She was gone….
“Momma!” she sobbed.
“Akira!” Hearts voice called from outside, “Akira where are you! We have to go!”
Akira looked back at the wolf that now lay dead at her paws as the red wolf stood up. She was torn. Shura wants her to leave with the others, but she didn't feel up to leaving her mother just yet.
“Akira!” this time it was Toboe, “Akira where are you!”
“Hey!” Hige called.
Whipping her nose off of the blood, Akira slowly turned and walked out the den, “I'm over here!” she called back now in her human form. The others were towards the middle of the graveyard now and they seemed relived that they'd found her, “Come on! We have to get these guys out of here before those humans track us this far!” Zali called as he led them down the pipe line to paradise that he'd tried those many years ago and failed.
“I didn't think you'd go back there after you found out what happened….,” Heart said cautiously as the red wolf walked behind her in the single file line they formed to walk down the pipe. Toboe was close behind Akira with Tsume bringing up the rear. Hige was infront of Heart and Kiba followed behind Zali who lead them on.
“She was alive still when I found her, and she wanted to tell me her last words before she died…..,” Akira said softly. The others knew she cried. They could smell it on her: the salt of tears clung to her cheeks and the blood of Shura lingered on her as it mixed with her embedded scent of the Lunar Flower. It created an alarming new scent of Wolf blood and the Lunar Flower.
“How'd it go?” Zali asked after a long silence in the cramped, dark tunnel.
“She didn't want me to mourn her death. And she sang to me before she died.” Akira smiled sadly.
“I thought I heard her sad song” Heart remarked fondly we barely heard it carried in the wind when we walked in the Cemetery looking for you.”
“That was Shura?” Toboe asked, “It was so …. Beautiful, but it was also so sad too. It made me want to cry…, but it also sounded calming.”
“She used to sing to me like that when I was a pup and I got sick or couldn't sleep at night. She wanted to sing it to me one last time….,” Akira softly said once again.
“Well I for one am still creeped out we decided to walk down this dark thing! Are you sure it's safe? I don't like tight spots like this!” Hige whined.
“Its better than being thrown in the incinerator.” Tsume snorted.
“Relax, it's not much further.” Zali said.
They soon came to a large under ground tunnel that lead down into another dark way, but it looked promising enough.
“This is where I leave you. I go no futher than this.” Zali said.
“You're not coming with us?” Kiba asked.
“No. I had my chance at paradise …. And well, I guess it's not for me. I still got a pack to whoop into shape again before thinking about Paradise again.” Zali smiled back at them.
“You know, your not much of a wolf,” Tsume sighed.
“Tsume!” Kiba and Heart snapped at him.
“A wolf protects its own. It's unnatural for it to look after another pack.” Tsume preceded.
Zali glanced back at him then chuckled nonchalantly, “I guess I am pretty far gone on that, now huh?”
He turned to Heart and Akira, “Akira….you don't have to stay here. If there's any doubt in your mind, then go. You too Heart.”
Heart shrugged, but glanced at Akira to see what she'd do.
Akira looked up at him warmly then looked over at Kiba, “Kiba, if you'll let me, I'd like to go to paradise with you. I want to see Shura again, and Papa too. And I want to see Cheza again as well… is it ok?”
Kiba looked her over and smiled gently, “I would have asked if you didn't.” he said.
“Hey! I'd love it if you came with us!” Toboe smiled.
“and you Hige?” Akira turned her head to the right to look directly at the large wolf who smirked, “I'd be stupid not to want you to come.” He winked.
“How about it Tsume?” she seemed a little worried about him. Though Tsume didn't ever let on that he hated her, he never let on that he liked her either.
Before Tsume could get his reply in, Heart steped forward and wrapped an arm around Akira's neck, “Hey, if he's got anything to say bad about you joining, I'll be right there to kick his ass in the right direction.” She winked.
“Heart?” Akira blinked.
“You're going too?” Zali asked.
“I'd be really missing out something if I didn't.” Heart smirked, “So how about it, Big Bad Wolf?” she teased Tsume.
Tsume growled lowly in annoyance, “I could careless if you or she came or stayed. But I'd like to see the day you ever actual carry out that threat.”
“You just might in the near future if you keep coughing that attitude, Mr. I'm-the-big-bad-wolf-so-fear-me.”
The others ignored the small quarling going on between Heart and Tsume in the back ground.
“This road should help you on your way to paradise. Just follow it and don't turn off from it if you come to a cross section.” Zali told Kiba, then glanced down at Akira who now stood next to Kiba, “Take care of her.” He told Kiba with a serious face, but caring tone.
“I will,” Kiba said as he glanced down at Akira when the red wolf stepped forward and embraced Zali.
“Take care of Cole” she said, “And don't forget us,” she said.
Zali took a minute to register that the young wolf was embracing him and really saying good bye before returning her embrace, “We'll see eachother again.” He let her go as she backed away, “Just promise me you'll get there, and I wont have to bust your ass when I find out you didn't.” he smirked.
“There's no problem with getting there. There's no doubt in my mind we will, even if your pack failed.” Tsume rolled his eyes then turned to Kiba, “are we gonna just sit here and talk all night or are we gonna get this show on the road?”
Kiba was shocked that Tsume actually said something like that regaurding their quest for paradise. Usually Tusme was crass about the whole thing, even the idea made the gray wolf turn up his nose saying it was all a fantasy. Yet here he was boasting about it to one who had already fallen too far to pursue it any longer. Unable to do much else, the white wolf nodded to the older gray and watched as Tsume took off into the darkness.
Heart soon followed after him with Hige at her heels. Toboe curiously looked back at Kiba and Akira before scrambling off to catch up.
Kiba waited for Akira to make her final good byes patiently at her side.
Akira hugged her arms around her waist as the tears slowly started to well up in her eyes, “Take care of Shura for me. Make sure she doesn't stay in a puddle of her own blood. Burry her somewhere the moon light will always touch it,” she said to the older wolf in front of her.
Zali's warm golden eyes didn't leave her as he nodded in compliance, “We'll give her a proper burial under the moonlight tonight.” Then he shooed her off, “Now off with ya! The others are way ahead by now. Both of you better get going before you get left behind.”
Akira nodded and bowed her head respectfully to him before she let her red wolf form take over and followed the much larger white wolf as they both dashed off to catch up. Zali watched them until he couldn't see their shapes anymore.
“Take care of her, Kiba.” He whispered as he started back up the tunnel.
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“Took ya long enough!” Tsume grumbled as the white and red wolf caught up with the others.
Heart growled half heartedly at Tsume's side, “Lay off will you!”
“Yeah, why do you gotta be so mean to Akira all the time! What'd she ever do to you?” Toboe defended.
Tsume didn't answer that, out loud at least, `They cant seriously have forgotten that she's a hybrid…it explains the coat and her small stature though,' he thought as he eyed the young fox-wolf that worked harder to stay caught up with the rest. Her legs weren't as long as everyone else's she was only slightly smaller than Toboe, but unlike the pup, she was full grown. Toboe still had a few more inches left in him at least.
“How long does this thing go anyways?” Akira asked to no one in particular.
“Does it look like any of us have been here?” Hige smarted off, but quickly backed off at Hearts glare. Usually he could just ignore her autumn glares, but along with hers this time, Kiba's golden glare caught him in a warning.
What's his problem?
Toboe's triangular ears perked forward excitedly as he pulled himself to run in front of the rest. Acting every bit the eager pup he really was for now, “HEY! I think I see something up a head!”
“I can smell water this way!” Akira confirmed.
“We're almost out then!” Heart exclamation made everyone's spirits heighten and pushed them to run faster in excitement.
They were blinded with moonlight before their eyes adjusted from darkness the bright light.