-.(II).-

The two hours of the contest went by quickly. That was one thing I liked about this school; they get things done when they are supposed to be: A to B and not taking any detours to C beforehand.

The last thirty minutes of the contest was for the original work entries for a themed competition. This was Cal's section, but I didn't see where he went off to. There was an intermission of about ten or fifteen minutes and I hadn't seen him since. I wondered where he went and whether or not he'd get back before the winner is announced.

This was the school and I wasn't mega worried for him. Thee were a few people I knew who'd help me watch out for him, and neither Stephens nor Meanding were around today so I didn't have to worry about them making a move on Cal. But that didn't make me feel any better when the last section started and Cal was still nowhere to be seen.

"This last part of the competition was a themed challenge to the young and inspiring artists of Professor Stephens' art studio. However, only five entries were submitted by Professor Stephens and the judges all said it was a difficult choice for the three top winners."

I only caught part of what the announcer said. Of course, he was one of the students here in a higher grade, but that really didn't mean anything. I was just too busy to care since Cal still didn't show up.

"The theme chosen for this section was a 'dark and devastating love', based off of a poem from the English department by Miss Akira Josef."

There was a slight applauding when my name was called. I'm not a bashful person, but hearing my last name called made me stiff. I hated that name. But meh… what am I going to do about it? I was born into it… not much, that's for sure. At least they pronounced my name correctly for once.

"Third place and a money prize of five hundred dollars go to Miss. Rika Hasunara for her work 'A Cold Day in the Rain'."

Applaud was sounded as the little second year Japanese girl walked down the aisle towards the stage where they had her work displayed and a video enlargement of her work so all could see. I took a quick look but continued to search for Cal. He still wasn't around.

"Second place and a prize of six hundred dollars go to Jordan Harding for his work 'Swimming in Red'."

Jordan walked up the aisle and claimed his prize and took his place next to his displayed art work. There were only three people left in the submission and only one place left to fill. Two were accounted for and Cal was still MIA.

"And first place, with a prize of one thousand dollars and a scholarship into any art institute in the country goes to…

"…Calden L'entri for his work 'Picture Perfect'!"

The applause was so loud I couldn't hear myself think. My eyes continued to scan the room for his head of dark messy hair to find nothing of the familiar person. I was very worried now.

I calmed down and looked down at the stage where Cal's art was displayed. The picture was done in red and black, not hues or tints; just solid red and solid black. It was heart wrenching and creepy and sent chills down my spine.

There was a split down the middle of the canvas. On one side was a girl on her knees, her forehead against a door of some kind with her hands scratching at the wood to get to the other side. She was crying and her mouth was open, seeming like she was pleading to get to the other side.

The opposite was a figure of a boy with his back against the door, blocking the girl from getting inside. His arms were outstretched before him, blood trickling down his skin and sinking into his pants. Also, there was a small pool of blood leaking under the door to where the girl was kneeling.

His head was leaned back against the door with a half-hearted smile on his face, but he looked so defeated. There was a group of girls next to me who were starting to cry, and I noticed they were talking about what was in the top left hand and right hand corners.

The girl's was black on red and said 'I wanted to love you more' and the boy's was red on black and said 'At least I kissed you before I lost the chance'.

"Would Calden L'entri please come up?"

I looked at the picture again and noticed that the two looked almost like me and Cal. My eyes went wide and my heart started to pound when I realized the meaning behind the art. My gut told me something I didn't want to know. But I learned that, with Cal, I needed to trust whatever it was.

"Someone call 911!" I screamed. I must have sounded and looked like an idiot when I ran out of the auditorium and ran out of the building to the main school and through the doors. I raced up the stair to the third floor two at a time and went at a full sprint down the secondary hall to the art studio.

The door was closed and I tried to open it. It was locked. My heart raced faster as I pounded on the glass and pushed at the door.

"CAL!" I screamed. "Cal, are you in there? Let me in, Cal. Cal! Let me in!"

When there was no answer, I looked around for a way inside. Whatever was taking 911 to get here, it was pissing me off. I found a hose for emergencies, and this was one. I grabbed it and used the metal nozzle to smash in the glass. It shattered and I stuck my head inside and looked down.

"Cal," I said when I saw him sitting there. "Thank god, you're okay."

"You really think so?" he asked me dully. "I've never been okay when I sit around and watch you give your love to someone else."

I watched in horror as he picked up a shard of glass and run the sharp edge over the flesh of both his wrists twice. He dropped the glass shard and outstretched his arms to show me what he did. I watched his blood drip to the floor through blurry eyes.

"You see this?" he asked me. "I bleed for thee to show thy love, thy everlasting heart is yours. While thou stand and weep, thy own self falls into everlasting sleep…"

He slowly went quiet as I hung through the window of the door. I was determined to get in there, to stop the picture he drew from becoming true. I didn't want to lose him. I couldn't live with myself if I did, and I cursed myself over and over for writing that poem.

As I was about to jump inside, I lost my footing and landed down on a glass shard that was still stuck in the frame. My world slowed down and the searing white pain in my abdomen made me cry out. The sound shocked Cal and he looked up at me with glassy eyes. Though he was almost out of it, he seemed to know what was happening to be. But I was still determined to get inside that room.

I ignored the pain and struggled with all I had to get inside. When I finally got into the right position, I kicked off the side of the lockers and flipped head first into the room. I landed on my feet and fell down to my knees. I didn't realize it, but I already lost a lot of blood and my head started to hurt.

After a few seconds, I couldn't stay up and I fell backwards onto my back. I tried to move, but there was a stabbing pain in my abdomen that forced me back down. I lifted my hand to the wound and forced my thumb and index finder into the large cut and around the large piece of glass. I held my breath and yanked the shard out before collapsing back onto the floor.

"Aki…" I opened my eyes when I felt a cold hand on my cheek. Cal looked down on me with weak eyes and a sick complexion. "This wasn't supposed to happen… I was supposed to bleed, not you…"

"I'm sorry for ruining your picture perfect suicide," I said sarcastically. "You should have known I was going to try and stop it… one way or the other."

Talking suddenly got harder to do so I rested my voice and my eyes. I sharp shaking from Cal woke me up and his eyes looked down into mine.

"I was supposed to die for you," he said. "I knew you didn't want me here to butt into your life with Xander…"

"Shut… the fuck up, you idiot…" I choked out. "Xander… only proved that I loved you more than him…

"Idiot… he wanted you to die. Not me…"

My head was really spinning then and I had so much trouble just keeping Cal in focus. He moved to lie down next to me and I did what I could to keep him in my line of sight. What surprised me were his lips on mine in one of the weirdest times I could think of. But the kiss was so gentle and caring it made me melt and it sort of released me. I kissed him back with whatever energy I had before I finally passed out.

-.(x).-

I don't know how long I was out, but when I woke up I found myself in a hospital bed. For a few moments, everything was doubled up and I got dizzy. I blinked my eyes a few times and looked around. I was connected to those machines to measure my vitals and I had an IV stuck in my left hand.

I turned my head to the right and saw that there was a person half laying on the bed, my hand in theirs. It took me a few seconds to think about who it was, but then I lost the name. I moved my hand to prove to myself I was still in control and the person woke up.

Xander's face looked into mine with tear streaked cheeks and a sloppy appearance. He basically looked like shit.

"Thank god, you're awake!" he said, hugging me and kissing me on my forehead. I couldn't help but twitch with unease when he did that. For some reason, I didn't like Xander holding me or touching me anymore. I decided that I only wanted Cal's touch now and no one else's.

There was some tapping in the hall and in walked a tall male doctor with blonde hair. He looked really kind and gentle, but at the same time he didn't seem like the one to sugar coat things. For me, this was a good and bad thing.

"Ah," he said. "You're awake, Miss Josef. This is good."

"H-how long was I out?" I asked, surprised by my voice.

"Only three days," he said. "You lost a lot of blood. The paramedics that picked you up were worried they'd lose you too, but they had help in keeping you alive."

My mind suddenly went to Cal.

"CAL!" I bolted up in bed only to scream when I felt some severe pain in my stomach. I was forced back down by the doctor and Xander. I was forcing tears of pain back and I tried to breathe, but it was hardly working.

"Easy there," the doctor said. "I don't want you ripping your wound open again."

"What happened to Cal?" I asked him, placing both of my hands on his arms and staring into his eyes. "What happened to him?"

"The idiot is dead," Xander's hard voice said, "and good riddance."

I looked over to Xander with hard eyes, tears streaming down my face. My heart beat quickened with anger at the man before me, and the doctor sort of knew what I had to be going through.

"I'm sorry sir," he said. "But I think it's time to go. She needs her rest and she'll be in here for at least another few days."

Xander looked at him and then at me. all the evil emotions I had towards him were emanating from my eyes, and I could see it reflected back at me. He then went over to the chair he was in and grabbed his coat and left without another word. The doctor sat down in that chair and looked at me.

"You want to hear what happened now, or later?" he asked.

"I want to know what happened to Cal," I said, feeling fresh tears build up. "I need to know."

"Okay. When the paramedics finally made it to the room where a student saw you run off to, they had to break down the door to get inside. Once they did, the sight was nothing like they've seen, and the rookie that was with them had the hardest first time of his paramedic career.

"They found you unconscious in a puddle of blood with, I'm guessing, Cal over you and applying pressure on your wound with his shirt. After they stabilized you, they rushed you both to the ER. You were taken and moved in here when everything was okay and I did my best to save the boy."

He sighed and looked around for a moment, making sure I had a little time to let it all sink in before he continued.

"He lost too much blood by the time he got here. We worked and worked, but in the end, there was nothing left we could do. Before we called him, he managed to say one last thing…"

I knew what he said, so I repeated it for him.

"Thy blood is drained, thy life has ended; Thou shall live on without thy hardest body, but with thy purest soul."

He looked at me quizzically and I sighed. "It was a poem I wrote for my English group. There was an art contest based on it and Cal won… he painted his suicide letter to me in black and red…"

After that, I told the doctor about the relationship Cal and I had. I told him about Xander's feelings and how Cal acted all this time and how I was the one who could stabilize him in his life. I told him everything up until the time I attempted to intervene on his suicide.

"You're boyfriend was worried about you," he said, pointing his thumb behind him to the door. I looked at him and set my expression.

"He's not my boyfriend," I said calmly. "Cal was. I just never realized it until it was too late. I never want to he that man again. Keep him away from me while I'm here."

The doctor nodded checked me out before leaving me alone in the room. I lay there with everything going through my mind, and yet I was thinking about nothing. I looked outside at the dusky sky that was colored in blues, purples and reds. There was the hint of speckles in the nighttime sky, but one was brighter than the rest.

I never believed in god, or in heaven or hell and I certainly didn't believe in fairy tales wither, though I wrote them for class. But I did believe in spirits and somehow I knew that brightest start had to be Cal. I just snickered.

You idiot, I thought. You got away with the suicide. But you saved me at the last minute. I guess I would have died with you if you didn't stop my bleeding. I reached my hand towards the star and shed one last set of tears for him.

Now this… was picture perfect.

-.(x).-

Fin


A/N: Well, I hoped you all liked this two part oneshot. Lemme know what you think, so please drop me a review before you go! Donka!

This was originally a oneshot, but when I looked at it, the document was way too long to put in one story thing. So I broke it in half and tweaked it a little and seperated it into two chapters for easy reading. So, for those of you who get this under and Author's Alert, don't be mad at me or anything. I know about updating it gradually and whatever, but it wasn't going to work for this thing.

And don't worry... Unknown Blood is almost finished, so I did not abandon it! I'm just waiting for a reply from someone before I send her the two versions of the last chapter for screneing before I post one of them... OMG! XD

-ShimoAneue