[I'm very bad at introductions, and I'm a litle tired from typing up nearly 3,000 words in one sitting, so please excuse the uber-lame intro...]
This story is based off of my OnexOne Role Play with Kyrie Kaimei. It is called "Jaden Alone", and describes the childhood of both of our characters as well as Jaden's story while he was seperated from Ginger. Keep in mind, this story takes place BEFORE the setting of the actual RP!! I will be putting it out in chapters, and what I have here is just the work in progress, but feel free to comment, suggest, post concerns, requests or hate mail, because I love and accept all feedback!~
Now Stop reading this stupid intro and get to the story already!!!!
PART ONE: Childhood
The playground echoed with the shouts and squeals of the schoolchildren as they enjoyed their recess to the fullest. Some where out playing on the jungle gym, dominating the Four Square court, or playing hopscotch. Sitting apart from the other students, in the shade of the trees, two children were kicking a soccer ball to each other, significantly separated from the rest. One had raven back hair and eyes just as dark, glinting as he ran after the ball. The boy skillfully stopped it before it bounced past him and scooped it up into the air with his foot, watching it as it started to drop from high in the air. As it started to descend, he whipped his body around and smacked the ball midair with his foot, executing a perfect roundhouse kick. His playmate’s deep orange eyes widened in surprise, and then narrowed, smiling mischievously, and bumping the ball with her knee to stop it and continued to juggle the ball from her kneecaps. After a couple of small bounces, girl hit so that it went a little higher before backing up, leaning to the side to a near-right angle. Her sidekick connected with the ball will a loud, slapping sound and the black and white blur sailed over the waiting boy’s head.
“Jaden, Jaden, I did it! I finally got that side kick down!” she exclaimed, running in the direction of her friend. The boy, Jaden watched the ball finally land and bounce before rolling away. He turned to her with a quiet smile, his dark eyes proud, and opened his arms just in time for the running girl’s hug, making an “Umph” sound at the impact. “You did great, Ginge! I am sure Master Shun will be glad to hear about it when he returns. Now go get the ball, ‘cause I’m not going all the way to the parking lot,” he commented. Ginger made a face, pushing back her mane of orange hair before running off. Already, the teachers were calling the children inside for the second half of the day. “You better hurry up! I’m going in!” he called to the girl before making his way to the school.
Later that same day, the two eleven-year-old kids walked together down West Deadwood Street. At the very end of that road was a shabby-looking office building that had a dojo built in the inside. But this dojo was not used to teach king-fu or karate, it was different. The masters at this particular dojo taught the underground art of Vampire Hunting. As the gloomy structure came into view, Jaden walked a little faster, so eager to get there and see if Master Shun had returned from his ‘trip’ yet. While he was out, Cara and Yuan Shun, the highest ranked students, took over his classes. Yuan was the Master’s own son, and was to inherit the dojo after his father. Ginger ran ahead a little bit and grabbed Jaden’s arm. “Jay, why hasn’t Yuan opened up the dojo?” she asked, feeling uneasy. The dojo was always open. Always. To her friend’s questioning look, she replied, “Look, the lights aren’t on in the building. And there are no cars in the parking lot. Where is everyone?”
“Hmm, you’re right. I wonder what’s going on,” Jaden replied. And just as he said it, three figures emerged from behind the building and waved when they noticed the kids coming. Yuan, Cara and her boyfriend Alan. “What’s happened?” Jaden asked. The two older boys looked away as Cara raised her head to face them, her eyes rimmed red from crying. “Our Master… Master Shun is dead.”
Jaden’s world seemed to go dark for a second as he tried to process what his deputy teacher had just said. Surely it can’t have been what he thought? His heartbeat was ringing in his ears and his breathing shook. It was his sister’s death all over again. Jaden’s hands, now free of Ginger’s, were shaking, and it seemed he couldn’t get enough air into his lungs. The boy opened his mouth to ask for a clarification, for Cara to tell him he was mistaken, but before he could get his voice out, she continued to speak, confirming his worst fears with her first tear-choked words. “Master Shun had been tracking the three monsters that killed Ginger’s parents for five years now. He found a fresh trail and no one could stop him from trying to go out and slay them. We just received news from the Council of Hunters that he died yesterday. Yuan is the new Master Shun.” When Cara had finished speaking, she turned away again, her bottom lip trembling. She did a couple of breathing exercises to dispel the tears that were trying to overflow.
Throughout her entire explanation, the dark-haired boy stood statue still, unable to speak, move, cry. It was only when she finished that he started to speak in a cold, steady voice. “When did the two of you plan on telling us that Master Shun was tracking those rogue monsters? Or were you selfish enough to want his last moments to yourself?” he asked glaring at both his old Master’s son and the girl who had just spoken. He continued to talk, now shouting and unable to stop, “And what do you mean when no one could stop him from going? The Council can stop him from going after those crazies! What chance did that guy have against three, ancient full-fledge vampires that have gone crazy? If you couldn’t stop him, then you should have gone with him! That way you would not have to bear the shame of sitting here like good, obedient little cowards while our Master goes on some impossible hunt!”
He was breathing hard when he finished, his hands shaking violently. Cara looked at the small eleven year old as if she was going to slap him, but burst into a violent bout of tears instead and her boyfriend wrapped his arms around her and drew the sobbing girl to him. “Go out and get yourself a girl kid. Hasn’t your mother told you never to make a girl cry?” he asked, glaring at the boy. It hurt the twenty-year-old’s pride to have a little kid half his age lecturing him. “At least when I get a girlfriend, she won’t be some weak, pathetic sob like that,” the boy replied, a loathing in his voice that was beyond his years. Jaden grabbed Ginger’s hand, a little rougher than he intended, turned and ran away. When his friend couldn’t keep up with him, he dropped her hand and pumped his legs faster and faster, not caring where he was going.
At last, Jaden tripped and fell over in the fields of the East Lunacrest Public Park. He knelt there, down on his trembling palms, catching his breath for a few moments as he finally realized he was never going to see the only person he ever cared for as a father ever again. His birthfather had died when he was only four. Whatever memories Jaden had of him had been lived through his elder sister’s stories, but she was also gone, having taken her own life five years ago. Mere weeks before three crazy vampires had torn apart Ginger’s house and slaughtered her parents before she could get away and run to Jaden’s house.
The flashbacks would not end. It was like living through the death of his sister all over again. He had only been six at the time, and kept asking his mother where she was, until finally, his drunk stepfather slapped him hard across the face, yelling, “She’s dead! Your sister is dead! She ain’t comin’ back, ya little dolt!” as his mother burst into tears. He remembered her funeral, where they had kept the casket closed because the body was too mutilated by the train, and Jaden couldn’t believe his bright and smiling sister was stuffed in that small wooden box surrounded by white flowers. He remembered—
“Aargh!” He cried, unable to take it anymore. He threw himself at the nearest thing to him, a tree, and punched it again and again and again, smashing his fists into it with dull thuds and crunches. The pain raced up his arms, taking away the plague of memories. Soon after he started to beat his knuckles into a bloody pulp, he felt something try to hold him back, grabbing the back of his shirt, his arm or his shoulder. The person finally succeeded in pulling him back, and he saw a blur of hair the color of fire just before something thudded into him. Ginger. She was getting to be almost taller than he was, Jaden noticed through his hazy mind. His friend was shaking as she clung to him, telling him to stop it. Jaden slowly opened his tense, clenched fingers and wrapped them around Ginger.
The next morning during recess time, Jaden and Ginger did not do anything. They sat in silence in their regular spot in the shade of the trees, apart from the rest of their fifth grade classmates, thinking their own thoughts. Jaden twirled an extralong blade of grass around his bandaged finger and watched the younger students playing “Cootie Tag”. One of the younger girls ran up to them and poked Jaden in the shoulder. She was probably in second or third grade. “Hey, I tagged you! You got the cooties!” she squealed, running away. When the younger girl realized Jaden wasn’t running after her, she came back and poked him again, repeating herself. “You know, that’s not how you get real cooties,” said Jaden, looking up at her with his expressionless, dark eyes, “Wanna know how you really get the cooties?” He stood up and grabbed the girl by the shoulders before leaning in and kissing her on the cheek. The girl looked at him in heartbroken shock, her eyes going wide and her lip trembling, before running away, tears streaming down her cheeks.
Ginger seemed to find this funny. “Georgie Porgie pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry,” she teased in a singsong voice. Although she was trying to lighten the mood, her true feelings showed through to Jaden in the blandness in her eyes, and the restlessness of her hands. She seemed to push back her melancholy thoughts and continued her rhyme, “Hmmm.. No, how about, Jayden Raven cooties and pie, kissed the girls TO make them cry. When the boys came out to play, Jaden Raven did not run away. He stayed and beat them all to a bloody pulp!”
“Excuse me, young lady! I will not tolerate that type of language here!” sad a stern voice. A teacher had come to lecture Jaden for making the girl cry, and had apparently heard the last part of Ginger’s rhyme. Jaden sighed. The same teacher had taken the both of them to see a councilor twice before now. And today she led them to see yet another children’s shrink. This one was young. She had light brown hair and large blue eyes that somehow always looked cheery.
“I give this one ten minutes,” Jaden whispered to Ginger as they entered the room. “Five,” said Ginger, a glint in her eye. Surprisingly, this woman’s approach to counseling was a little different. She introduced herself as Christie and asked the silent kids their names, receiving no reply. But Christie’s spirit was not dampened. She continued to speak, talking about staying happy, not starting fights, and smiling when feeling sad. These methods would improve a person’s outlook on life and keep him happy. After about ten minutes of the woman’s constant chatter, Jaden yawned rudely as she spoke, and Ginger stared out of the window, humming to herself. “You know, Ginger,” said the councilor, her voice unnaturally cheery, as she looked on a sheaf of papers to find the names of the kids before her, “You should try to smile a little more. Stop looking so mournful all the time, it’s like somebody died!” She laughed cheerfully. At this Ginger looked at her sharply, glaring. “And you, uh, Jaden. You should try to express yourself a little more. The world is a happy place, and we should celebrate it!”
Jaden looked at the woman in disbelief. “Express myself? You want me to express myself?” he asked, in disbelief. The woman nodded, happy to have finally gotten a reaction out of the stoic kids. “Tell me what’s on your mind. It’s not that hard!” she said, trying to look understanding. Ginger clucked her tongue and shook her head, feeling sorry for the woman as Jaden started to talk. He spoke in a pleasant manner, as if talking to a child, but his eyes were cold and hard, and his bandaged hands were balled into trembling fists. “Don’t you dare try to talk like some wiseass monk who knows all about the problems we little kids have,” he said, smiling in grim satisfaction as Christie drew back like she had been slapped, “You want to know something? Someone did in fact die, and we found out about it just yesterday. Not to mention how we were left in the dark about the most important details of what that man was doing that caused him to die. We were under the impression that he would return to us. He was like a father to me. He practically WAS Ginger’s father.
”You have no right to tell me how happy the whole freaking world is. I know for a fact that it is the exact opposite. You tell me how damn great reality is when your stepdad comes home dead drunk every night and drags your screaming, struggling, mother into the room right before bed so that he can beat her half to death! You tell me all about how we should celebrate after your sister jumps in front of a speeding train because she cannot handle her life anymore.
“What the hell were you telling Ginger? To smile more? You tell me how great you can smile when everyone you have ever cared about has died. Her parents were slaughtered right in front of her face! Why don’t you take a look outside your little bubble of happiness and butterflies and experience reality for a while before you start telling people how to deal with their problems!” Jaden smiled at the shocked woman pleasantly as he stood up. Her eyes were filling up fast with tears, and her hands were clenching the papers to her chest, crumpling them. “Now, you have a nice day, and be sure to celebrate it for the rest of us,” Jaden said, looking at Ginger and nodding toward the door. It was time to leave.
Jaden rolled his eyes as he walked down the hall. Why was he so good at making girls cry? His mother, his teachers, Cara, that little girl, and now this councelor woman... He hated weepy girls. Shaking his head, the boy turned to his friend as she walked beside him, humming to herself. “Ginger, remember how we promised each other we’d leave this place one day? To train with other masters and become the best Hunters ever?” he asked his friends as they walked out of the school’s doors.
“Yes. And then we’d come back when we are all grown up and help….” She broke off, taking a deep breath before continuing, “We’d come back and help Master Shun track those crazy monsters.”
“Well, I think we should leave tomorrow morning. We are done here.” Ginger looked at him, surprised. Jaden continued, “My stepdad couldn’t care less where I am. So I’ll go to him tonight while he’s watching TV and take away his checkbook. My mom’s finally got the backbone to kick that loser out, so I’m going to empty his account and we’ll split the money.”
Ginger grabbed his arm. “Jaden… It’ll be so scary! We’re only little kids! How are we supposed to travel by ourself?”
“Don’t worry, Gingadove. Public trains let you get on without a guardian, and if not, stay close to the nearest family, and you might get in for free. ”Don’t worry. We will definitely meet each other again when we are eighteen, and stronger and faster. I promise!”
“Okay Jaden. But tonight… can we camp out in the park like we always did? It’s our last day together. I want it to be special. And we’ll grab a copy of the registered Hunting Dojo’s List from Yuan’s house. One for each of us.” She hugged her best friend’s arm hard, as she used to when she was little, for the entire year and a half after her parents’ deaths, although, she was a little taller than he is now. “I promise to become super strong, Jaden, and you have to do that same. We’re going to kill shoes stupid monsters, with our bare hands. When we are eighteen…”