Chapter 2

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Claimed

·         Final Draft: CHAPTER TWO

                        o   Author’s Note: Took a couple of thought process days before starting this chapter (That’s a lie). I didn’t want to mess up what had been planned in my head for so long (Not a lie). It starts in a third person “who could it be” sort of way, even though we know who it is (or I do anyway …). As I said before, this story is pretty fragile at the moment so please treat it as kindly as possible. In other news, it might have been blatantly obvious that I haven’t gotten very far in the anime. I’m just starting the 3rd season (ep. 42 and beyond). I’ve heard word that it’s like … 16 seasons. One of those FML moments … Oh, and I’m learning Bleach terms so … bear with me.

            The Halfling was glad to have finally found him. His Claim, his being that he was born to protect. Stealthily, he wandered in the shadows, casting aside all other meaning but to keep this singular person safe. The spirit energy being emitted was strong; stronger than the Halfling had expected. Like his father had, this Halfling had been expecting a defenseless Human in need of immediate protection. Instead he received a Quincy; something so rare that his breath was momentarily taken away.

            He himself was the last of his kind. With his father murdered by Soul Reapers just a few years ago and his mother years before even that, it wasn’t strange to live alone.

            To find someone else, a male no less, who was also the last of his kind just made this Claiming that much more special now. His father, before his passing, had taught the boy the Claiming process, knowing his son would need it to continue the Halfling line. At just fifteen he’d memorized the detailed listing of a millennium old tradition. It was only now, two years later, that he’d have to attempt it.

            The Halfling continued to follow his classmate through the town. They had left school, the other not knowing of his stalker. Next to Ishida Uryu though, was another new student, much like himself. She had black hair and from what Zayn had collected, was named Jae Kim. Her arm was flinging in over exaggerated conversation that Ishida probably wasn’t an actual part of.

            His fingers would momentarily clench as she wandered too close for comfort and his spirit energy would flare to a point that Ishida would glance back. Zayn was careful, though, to snare the energy before it became too out of control and caused him to murder the female Human on the spot. It was only a matter of time though, with all the unneeded touching and grabbing that she was showing.

            Finally, finally, she branched off to her own apartment. It was average and simple, even for a Human. After her excessive goodbyes and a nearly, almost, could-have-been hug, Jae left Ishida. Zayn could have cheered when the entrance door finally slammed shut. Even from across the street and in the darkness, Zayn could hear her grumbles and whines of how Ishi-kun had been ignoring her. How a female could get so attached in such a short time, the Halfling couldn’t quite understand. Humans were not able to fall into the sort of love that Halflings did. Their love was absolute. Human love was petty.

            But that was all beside the point, because Ishida had finally reached his apartment. The blonde Halfling’s heart seemed to jump up and proceed to plunge itself deep into his stomach. It was nearly the same as Jae Kim’s flat, but Zayn chose to ignore such a fact for now. Radiating from the building was a strong field of spirit energy. Ishida’s energy. From the walls and the ground surrounding, it was all pressuring on top of Zayn. For a single second alone, Zayn let himself delve into his need. Letting his dark green reiryoku stretch out, he combed it through his Claim’s light blue one, loving the emotions that emitted out of it. Instantly Ishida snapped a look over his shoulder, letting his bag slide down on his arm a bit. Zayn shuddered at the unexpected eye contact. Though Ishida couldn’t see him, he could very well see Ishida. Those dark blue eyes pierced straight into his own green ones.

            Reluctantly, the blond Halfling slipped deeper into the shadows, finding a prowling spot for the night. He snuffed out his spirit energy carefully and slowly, not wanting any unneeded attention from Hollows or whatever else lurked through the night. When Ishida deemed the area clear of Hollows or danger, he turned back around, finding his keys in his drooped bag.  Zayn only breathed easy when the door closed silently behind the raven, and when the light on the second story flicked on, all was well.

            Dropping his own bag to the pavement, Zayn settled into his hiding place. It was only now that he relaxed. It was time for the easy part: waiting.

[Wondrous, glorious, naked page-break. Bask in its awesomeness]

            Zayn got to work as soon as midnight struck true. His watch only had the chance to beep twice before it was shut up. When the entire city seemingly slept, his task began. He had relaxed for hours on end, doing mindless but important homework and storing his reiryoku carefully. It would take a lot out of him to do this.

            As soon as he stood up, the average noises of his bones snapping and muscles stretching was heard. He quickly brushed his clothes off. Cracking his neck once, he placed his stance hard. The change from Halfling to Hollow always hurt a tad. The intense wave of whiteness always scared the blonde a bit. What if he couldn’t change back? What if he murdered someone? What if? But now was not a time for what if’s. It was a time to start the next step in Claiming. Step Two.

            When his mask set in place, Zayn knew precisely what he would look like to others. Two beading silver-on-black cat-like eyes stared out through a traditional Hollow mask. It was grayish, signifying the incomplete Hollow state, with three purple slashes marking above the left eye. Below the right were three nearly identical lines.  It formed around the forehead in a diamond of sorts, stretching out near the mouth, three slits formed for breathing. Zayn’s hair on the other hand, lengthened and tipped itself in a bloody substance. It was no long yellow, but Human gory red. His clothes were matched with a familiar shihakusho, or a black kimono basic for Soul Reapers. His spirit energy pulsed loudly in the dark night, but not enough to attract his Quincy’s attention. The last thing he wanted was to be caught securing the house. Especially by a Quincy would surely kill him on the spot.

            Upon reaching the entrance doorway, Zayn repressed all the unfamiliar and weak reiryoku and found Ishida’s. It glowed light blue in the darkened skyline. Spreading his own spirit energy towards all the sensible energy, he overlapped the area. Placing his hands palm down on the wood, he stressed and pushed his own green laced reiryoku into the building. It pulsed and pounded, not knowing what its master wanted. But Zayn kept up the pace, securing this building from Hollows and Soul Reapers alike. No one could enter. No one but him and Ishida.

            His Claim would always be safe.

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