WARNING: Some portions of the following work of fiction contain explicit sex. 
If you are under 18 (or whatever age is appropriate for your location), HIT 
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don't offend yourself by reading further.

The full disclaimer for this work of Vampire Hunter D fanfiction is 
at the beginning of Chapter 1.

Feathers on the wind
Chapter 2 Realizations

She hadn't meant to fall asleep.  He was sure of that.  Not in mid sentence 
anyway.  He hadn't really been listening either, and for that he was ashamed.  
He draped his cloak across her and retreated to the lav to bathe.  He 
preferred showers, but this place wasn't equipped with them.  So he sat in 
the six-foot long; three-foot wide troth lathering himself as best he could.  
"You know," said the sym.  As though the statement were hindsight.  "She 
won't put up much of a fuss if you gave her a little nip.  Or better yet, you 
could stick that thing in her and see if she'll..."  D slammed his hand into 
the water, then after a moment took it out.

"Keep it up and I'll drown you!"

The symbiot coughed, "I was only trying to..."

"DON'T!  She's not for any of that.  Once she learns the ways of this world, 
I'll go my own way." He rinsed himself off and squeezed the water from his 
long hair.  The thunder had started.  The storm was getting worse.  He rapped 
a towel around his waist and secured it.  Then grabbing another, he started 
drying his hair.  He left the lav and went to the window to gage the clouds, 
just as a loud crack of thunder broke her dreams and she sat up startled.

D froze.  She still had her glasses on.  Which meant she could see him 
clearly, and she was looking right at him.  With modesty he lowered the 
second towel to cover his chest making sure his left hand was covered.  "You 
all right?" he asked quietly.

She caught her breath from her fright, and tried to calm her pounding heart.  
She then turned her head from him, giving him the respect he'd more than 
given her these past two months.  "I'm fine," she blushed, as another clap of 
thunder sounded.  She looked at the ceiling as the sound faded away.

"Are you afraid of thunder?"

"No, its just when..." the lightning flashed brightly outside the window as 
another crash of thunder boomed overhead.  "The storm's right on top of us!"

"Easy," he said, nearing the bed.  "These storms don't last."  She clutched 
his cloak to her, covering her eyes with its broad collar.  More as to not 
look at his magnificent nakedness, than to not let him see her cry.  "Easy.  
I'm going to get dressed.  I'll just be a minute."

She closed her eyes tight, trying to block out his image.  Chiseled muscles 
across a broad chest, strong shoulders, slender sculpted arms, large strong 
but gentle hands, long muscled legs, washboard abs.  'God, I don't need 
this,' she begged.  She heard the lav door close and latch.

"Now that shocked her," laughed the symbiot.

"Hush!" he said quickly throwing on his clothes.

"Did you see the look on her face when she saw you!  I bet she thought you 
were gona jump right in..."

"Enough!" he snapped quietly.  "Or I'll drown you for sure."

"All right, all right.  But just think about it.  You two would be almost the 
same age, so it wouldn't be like robbing the cradle you know."

D closed his eyes.  The sym was right about that at least.  There wasn't 
anyone alive out side vampire circles that he could talk to about his earlier 
years.  And yet now here she was.  10,000 years removed from all she knew and 
loved.  But how could he tell her that he understood.  He picked up a 
hairbrush and left the lav.  He couldn't see anything in the room's pathetic 
mirror anyway.

As he opened the door, he heard something.  It was Kale, singing, soft, low, 
and sadly.  She said she sang to cheer herself up, how could this be if the 
song she sang was so sad.  He stayed back and listened.
"...and the lightning flashes in her eyes and he knows that she knows, and 
the thunder rolls, and the thunder rolls, the thunder rolls, and the 
lightning strikes, another love grows cold, on a sleepless night, as the 
storm blows on out of control, deep in her heart the thunder rolls..." she 
then started tapping the device, who's wire led to her earphones.  "Don't do 
this.  Not now!"

"That was nice," D said, returning from the lav brushing his hair.

She looked a little sheepish.  I don't usually sing in front of people,"  she 
said, sliding the ear peaces off her head.

"What's wrong?"

"The batteries are dead.  I didn't want to start on the new ones till I found 
something else to put in when they're gone."  She put her music box back in 
her bag and watched D as he brushed his long hair.  She could tell it was 
awkward for him, so she slid to the middle of the bed and turned to face him.  
"Come here before you hurt yourself," she said.

"No, I'm fine."

"Please.  You've done so much for me, at least let me help you with your 
hair."  Why not.  It was only his hair.  He sat down on the edge of the bed, 
his back to her.  She had to sit up on her knees to reach the top of his 
head.  "God you are tall."

"Almost seven feet," he said, as she began parting his hair.  "How long will 
this take?"

"Till your hair is dry," she said, beginning the strokes down his auburn 
mane.  He tried to turn and take the brush, but she pushed his hands away and 
continued.  "Look.  I don't have a hair dryer, and I had to do this till my 
hair was dry, otherwise I'd have curls that make me look like Shirley 

"Who?"  He had to admit, he didn't recognize that name.

"Child actress with really curly hair long time ago.  Now turn around and sit 
still.  The sooner I start the sooner I finish."  He did.  It wasn't all that 
bad.  She gently worked out tangles and offered to look for a hair 
conditioner for him.  He didn't comment.  It was soothing, the rhythmic 
stroking of his hair, the brush bristles gently massaging his scalp.  He 
could feel his hair becoming lighter as it dried.  Unfortunately his shirt 
had become damp as the water shed from his locks.  Then, suddenly, it 
stopped.  He turned as she came and sat next to him, handing the brush to him 
as she settled.  "All done."

"Thank you." He returned the brush to the lav and retrieved his cloak from 
the bed.  He secured it around his shoulders and drew the curtains across the 
window.  "It's getting late.  You better get some sleep.  We'll head out 
tomorrow to the shops.   We'll sell those things and get you some warmer 

"I don't feel tired," she said, lying.  "I've slept enough anyway.  Do you 
have a deck of cards?"

"Yes, why?" he answered, going through his other saddlebag.

"Solitaire.  It's a single person card game.  It's a little addictive, its 
quiet and easy to play.  You go ahead and sleep."  She took the cards from 
him and proceeded to the table.

"Kale, I..."

"Go ahead.  I'm gona play cards."

"It's not what you think.  Kale, you're tired.  You're still very week. You 
should rest."

"I've slept enough.  I don't even know for how long, for God's sake!"

D pondered that for a moment. "What is the last date you remember?" Should he 
tell her?

"May 25th, 2001." She searched his eyes.  He knew how long, he had to.

"Will it make a difference?" he asked.

"To me," she said, her tone telling him to say it.

He drew a settling breath, more for her than for himself.  This is gona hit 
hard.  "10,099 years." She stood there.  Shock etched across her face.  She 
looked at the cards in her hands.  They were a relatively new deck.  The box 
was still on them, their corners worn from being packed in saddlebags for 
long periods of time.  He could see the tears forming in her eyes.  He 
stepped closer to her, cautiously.  If she tried to kick him as before with 
her newfound strength and balance, she might actually get lucky and graze 
him, if he wasn't careful.  She suddenly turned and threw the deck of cards 
against the far wall, screaming as she hurled them.

He took hold of her, holding her to him. Realization of her long slumber 
shattering her resolve.  "My home! My life! My Family!!!" He let her collapse 
to the floor, still holding her he followed. "...My Father!!!" she screamed, 
trying to break his grasp of her.  She succumbed to fits of tears, no longer 
fighting him. For some reason he began to rock her back and forth.

"Let it go," he whispered, moving her hair back.  "Let it go."

After a time, he found she'd cried herself to sleep.  He carefully picked her 
up and lay her on the bed, folding the covers over her and drying her tears.  
He turned down the oil lamps and laid out on the floor, taking one of the 
pillows from the bed.  He'd spent all nights like this.  Not wanting her to 
be afraid, waking, to find a strange man next to her.  "She'll pull through," 
the sym said quietly.

"I know.  She's go too much fight in her to just give up now."  He closed his 
eyes and relaxed.  He didn't really sleep.  More over he dozed lightly.  What 
deeper sleep he needed, he'd get elsewhere. A safer place than this.

She opened her eyes and looked around.  He wasn't there.  She couldn't see 
him anywhere, and the lav door was open, so he wasn't in there.  She threw 
the covers off and strode to the lav.  She didn't need to use it, she just 
needed the mirror.  Soaking one of the rag cloths, she wiped the dirt away as 
best she could and looked at her reflection.  "What have you gotten yourself 
into now?" she asked the face staring back at her.  "No answers?  That 
figures." She wiped her hands with the cloth.  "You never did have a clue, 
did you?"
D opened his eyes.  She was talking to herself.  Why?  He listened.  "You 
always were stubborn, weren't you.  Too stubborn to admit you needed help, 
stubborn to keep your own ways."  She looked at her bare ring finger on her 
left hand.  "and too stubborn to marry him when you had the chance."  She 
tossed the rag into the sink and went to the main room window. Peering 
through the curtains, she saw the sun rise.  "Now what do I do?"

"Survive." D said softly, putting the pillow on the bed.  "You've lived for a 
reason.  You'll find out why."

"Did you sleep on the floor all night?" He nodded as though it were nothing, 
which is what it was.  Nothing.  "You didn't have to, but I understand why.  
Thank you."  She turned back to the sunrise.  "What did survive?"

"Some of the inner cities still stood.  Though without any kind of 
government, things didn't progress for a long time.  Then when they did, it 
was all based on surviving a world gone mad."

"English language lives.  That's good."

"Its spoken all over the world. Though the writing has changed.  Judging by 
the books I saw in the store room."

"Great.  English has finally concurred the world.  Too bad they had to 
destroy it to do it."

"Things are different now.  Kale, listen.  You mustn't mention that you're an 
Arker.  People believe that Arker's were horrible people bent on bringing war 
and destruction back with them.  The only blessing is that no one else has 
ever survived an Ark.  They'll kill you if they find out about you."

"I won't tell them." She stood across the bed from him as she continued.  "I 
don't even want to know what I am."

"You'll make it."

"You sound so sure."

"I am.  You have a strength in you that wont fail.  Its what made you keep 
trying to grab my sword when I found you.  It's there.  You'll find it 

They descended the stairs, their belongings slung across their backs.  D 
stepped up to the barkeeper and handed him some odd paper bills.  "This 
should cover my bill." D remarked coldly, and walked away.  The man glared at 
the girl as she passed.

The gruff looking bald man had a huge bruise covering his right eye, causing 
the eyelid to swell.  "D, what happened to his eye?" she asked.

"Nothing you need to concern yourself with."  She got a bad feeling and 
lagged behind, suddenly doubting everything she believed about him.  He could 
tell she wasn't following him anymore and stopped.  "Yes, I gave him the 
black eye." He turned and stepped up to her shoulder.  "It was the only way 
he'd shut down the room.  He insinuated that we enjoyed the noise."  He put a 
gentle hand on her elbow.  "Let's go.  I hope you know how to ride horses." 
His touch reassured her of his gentleman's nature, and she brightened at the 
thought of ridding a horse once again.

"Horses survived?" she whispered joyously.

"Not the way you remember, but yes." He led her to a stable next to the inn 
and led a blue metal horse from a stall.  It was definitely a horse at one 
time he explained.  "To better have the horses survive the new hardships, 
scientists cyberized them.  There are still real horses, but they can't run 
wild.  They'd be wiped out."

She put her hand to the middle of the cyborg's head between its eyes.  The 
animal/machine lowered its head slightly and exhaled.  "A horse is still a 
horse I guess," she said.

"Get on, I'll sit behind you." She mounted the saddle, rather awkwardly, but, 
nonetheless, with an air of the experienced rider she once was.  She hoped D 
would credit her movements to muscles that hadn't been used in over 10,000 
years, rather than her hiatus from ridding before that.

D slid up behind her, after she slid her bag around to lay across her lap.  
He towered above her in the saddle.  Her head barely reached his shoulders.  
She tensed as his chest pressed against her back, his legs sliding just below 
hers on either side; his arms came around her and gripped the reins.  
"Relax," he said, walking the horse from the stable.  "You'll only make 
yourself sore if you stiffen up like that."

"Sorry.  I've never ridden double before."

"We'll get you a horse of your own on the other side." He guided the horse 
down the road, crowded with dozens of people, other riders, carriages, 
wagons, and cyborg horses of all colors and sizes.  She did try to relax, but 
found it difficult.  D was against her, their bodies moving to the rhythm of 
the horse's movement.

She couldn't take it.  "D, can I ride behind you?  Please?"

"When we mount up again if you wish.  Is something wrong?"

She blushed.  What could she tell him?  She was glad he couldn't see her 
face.  "I think I'd be more comfortable," she said, swallowing her 
embarrassment.  D nodded, even though she couldn't see.

He'd gone down the street as far as the street would allow them to go, being 
too heavily crowded with other people, their horses, and wagons, and turned 
right, about three streets before the dock area.  They continued on, passing 
a dozen streets until D stopped in front of a building that looked a bit like 
a small inn.  The window had symbols and letters all mixed together.  D 
noticed her looking and translated the words for her.  "QUIBB'S BUY & SELL," 
he said, as he dismounted.  "He's a fair buyer, he'll give us the best 

"Maybe you should go in.  I can wait here."

D bent and fastened a set of short-chained cuffs around the horse's front 
legs.  "Not likely," he said, and pulled her out of the saddle.  "In this 
town, you stay with me."

"Kay, no need to get rough."

"Sorry.  But those men over there are watching.  Don't look.  They'll move 

"What do they want?"

"You," he said, leading her to the buyer's door.

"Why?" D merely paused.  She knew then.  "Oh."

"Just stay with me, and stay close." He opened the door and stepped inside, 
Kale close at hand.

The man behind the counter looked up from examining a necklace of precious 
stones.  He had glasses that made his eyes appear three times their size, 
when someone looked at him.  His hair was gray and thin, but at least it 
covered his head.  "I'll be right with you," he said, sliding the jewels back 
under the counter.  He then waddled, rather than walked, down the counter 
space to where the pair stood.  He flipped up an outer layer of lenses and 
looked upon the tallest figure.  "Ah, you again.  I see you chose to deal 
with me rather than those cheats down the street.  We'll lets have a look."  
He pulled out a sheet of velvet and laid it over the glass.  D reached into 
his saddlebag and removed another sheet of velvet of nearly the same color.  
He unrolled it to show all the chains, rings, earrings, and bracelets pinned 
and held neat to keep them from tangling.  The man then flipped the extra 
lenses back down and began scrutinizing each peace.

They stood silently watching him as he placed the items he examined into two 
piles.  It took nearly an hour for him to finish.  In all that time, D never 
moved. He didn't even look up as Kale wandered around the small shop looking 
into cases, and the ornaments on various shelves.  The man finally flipped up 
his lenses and scratched his ear as he spoke.  "The work is exquisite, are 
you sure you want to part with it all?"

"Yes," said Kale, stepping next to D.

"Where'd you get all of this?" The two were silent.  "If I find out its been 

"It hasn't been," said Kale solemly.  "You could say it's my inheritance."

"Even still.  Someone comes looking, and I'll put them onto your asses, 
faster than a hungry beast to his first meal."

"I understand," said Kale, "but no one will come."  D still didn't move.

"All right.   This stuff here is fake, I can't give you much for that.  But 
the whole package...I'll give you 2000."

Kale looked to D.  He nodded.  Kale then turned to the man and nodded.  He 
disappeared into the back room.  "2000 dollars?" she said quietly.

"Not exactly.  Currency has also changed.  The world now uses peaces and 
bits.  Bits being the smallest.  He's giving you 2000 peaces.  Which is 
higher than even I expected."

Just then the man returned with the money and a peace of paper.  "Sign here 
please." D snatched the pen and scrawled his title and name to the sheet.  If 
he'd seen Kale's writing there'd be trouble.

"My friend can't read or write," he said.

"Pity," said Quibb.  "You'll keep tabs on her, I hope."

"Where I am she will be." D took the money from the shopkeeper and secured a 
portion of it in several different pockets of his cloak and belts.  He then 
turned and stuffed a small amount into Kale's bag, and the rest in her jean 
pockets as well.  "We thank you."

"Good doing business with you."

They stepped out of the shop and D unlocked the horse's legs.  As promised he 
mounted first, adjusted his cloak, then reached for Kale's hand.   Her foot 
in the stirrup she swung herself up behind him and put her arms around his 
waist.  Yes, this was much better.  "Not so tight," he said, as he guided his 
horse back down the street they came up.  She realized he'd clenched her arms 
around him tight enough to cut off the circulation of blood to his lower 
extremities, if she didn't let go.

"Sorry," she said, and gathered handfuls of his cloak instead.

"It's alright." He said.  "We won't have to ride like this for long." She 
blushed.  He knew she was nervous about holding on to him, or him holding 
her, as they rode.  She really didn't need this kind of aggravation.
He stopped the horse again in front of another shop and slid down, bringing 
his right leg over the pommel of the saddle.  The shop was obvious.  Women's 
clothing, with dresses displayed in the window.  Kale slid down, as D had 
done, as he finished securing his horse.  "We can get some proper clothes 
here for you."  He led her inside and centered his attention on the lady 
clerk.  "Cloaks and coats?" She pointed to the back wall, a sweet smile 
across her lips, and wide starry eyes.

As D examined the cloaks, Kale looked through the riding pants he'd pointed 
out.  She chose three dark colored pairs and draped them over her arm.  She 
then noticed a bin of socks and gloves and vigorously sifted through them.

After a time, she had three pairs of plain brown gloves and seven pairs of 
socks, all brown.  D pulled a dark Green cloak around her to check its fit.  
It fit well around her neck and shoulders and went clear down to her ankles.  
"How do you like it?" he asked, more a statement really.

She flipped up the hood and put it down again.  "I like it." She said.  D 
nodded and pointed to a bin behind them.

"Get what you need from over there.  Then come to the counter."  He took the 
cloak and other things and proceeded ahead of her.

She looked into the bin he'd pointed to, and understood his reluctance to go 
with her.  Women's underclothes.  She sifted through the mass and picked out 
a dozen cotton underpants, some with floral pattern some without.  She could 
only find five bras though that would fit her.  She then noticed a shelf with 
women's sanitary packages on it and took six boxes.  She never knew if she'd 
find this type again, so better grab them while she could.

D had already showed the woman the clothes that Kale didn't need, and she had 
agreed to lower the price of their purchase to accommodate the purchase of 
the unneeded garments.  Joining D at the counter she noticed the clerk trying 
to talk to D, her tone soft and sultry, and her sweetest 'come to me' smile 
across her lips.  "He's with me," she snapped, thrusting the last of the 
items onto the counter.  

She sighed.  "More is the pity," she said, and looked over the other items.  
She placed the smaller things into Kale's duffle bag she'd offered, as Kale 
secured her new cloak back around her shoulders.  "That's 187 peaces," she 
said, gazing up to the tall man.  D extended his hand and dropped the money 
on the counter.  The woman made his change and pouted as she watched them 

Again outside, D unlocked the horse and mounted up.  Kale then climbed up 
behind him and let her cloak drape over the horse's hindquarters.  He then 
guided the cyborg down the street and continued on to the docks.

There were three ships that had arrived in the night all berthed bow to stern 
along the waterfront.  One was unloading cargo, another fish products, and 
the third was loading farm animals into its hold.  It was to this ship that D 
had gone first.  "<I seek the captain of this vessel>," he said, in the 
seaman's speech.

A tall gruff man stepped forward, a cigar clenched in his teeth.  "<I'm the 
captain>," he said.

"<I wish to book passage to the Far Shore.  Are you westward bound>?"

"<We are.  How many>?"

"<Myself, my woman, and this horse>."

"<No women>!" the man snapped, turning away.

"<I'll pay cash, up front>!" D insisted.

"<I don't care if you pay in gold>," he said, removing his cigar from his 
lips.  "<I don't allow women on my boat>!"

Just then another man rushed down the loading ramp, his tunic reflecting the 
rank of first officer.  "<Sir!  I just checked the kitchen.  The cook is 

"<What!  How did he...>?"

"<I think out the kitchen port hole>."

"What's going on D?  What's he saying?" asked Kale.

"Just a minute."

The captain regarded the girl.  "<Can she cook>?" he asked gruffly.

"He wants to know if you can cook."


"He wont let you on the ship. If you can cook, he may let you on.  Their cook 
jumped ship."

"Well yha I can cook but..."

"<Yes, she can>."

"<Her fare for half, if she cooks for the crew to the other side>."

D told her what he said.  She nodded in agreement.  "<Load up.  We leave on 
the evening tide and we're behind as it is.  Your berths are in the hold, and 
you are responsible for the girl>!"

"<Done>.  Hang on Kale."  D spurred his horse up the steep loading ramp, 
its hooves clamoring as it ran.  He handed the ship's accountant the money 
for their passage, then followed the guidance of other crewmembers to the 
hold access.  He rode his horse down its ramp and chose a stall on the right 
side.  After dismounting and securing the horse to the stall floor for the 
journey, he powered down the cyborg, tucking the rest of their money into the 
security compartments in the neck.

He then flipped up the cots on the wall.  "Top or bottom?" he asked.

"Top," she said, and he tossed her bag to one end of the upper bunk, his own 
saddlebags to the opposite end of the bottom one.

"The valuables are safe.  There's a rule on these ships, no one goes through 
the bags of their crewmates.  It is strictly enforced, but if you want to add 
anything to Nightmare's compartments, do it now."

She pulled her jewelry satchel from her bag and handed it to D.  After 
storing it in the horse he put his hat on his bunk.  "Let's find the kitchen.  
You'll need to get familiar with it.  I'll help you all I can, but I am not 
that good a cook."


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