Title: Hunger

Author: Lily Kalanoa

Archive: Um, I donít think so?

Warnings: Definate angst. I hadnít realised it until I finished, but it is a death fic

Rating: PG, maybe PG-13

Disclaimer: *begins shuffling through binders* Couldíve sworn I had it here somewhere. Yes! Aha! Here it is! The deed saying that I own Gundam Wing! No, wait, hang on. Never mind, this just says that I own 1000 shares in Oztec international. Geez, talk about worthless.

Notes: Well, this was a lot of fun to write. I have not one, but two devils! Of course, youíre not supposed to know that, not that it ruins anything . . . Anyway, it might seem a little choppy or slightly confusing. Sorry, I tried to work that out. Oh, also it is a switching POV, hope no one minds too much.


~Quatre~

The mission itself was simple, even for me. Especially for me. Reconnaissance. I go in, gather the information, and leave. It was the getting away part that I was having trouble with. The dolls and actual manned suits seemed to pop up everywhere and each time I cut one of them down, three more appeared in its stead. I hadnít known that the mission would be mine. It was my own fault I was in this mess, not thinking ahead. But such is life.

Finally, the numbers stopped multiplying. It was just a matter of time before I widdled down the enemy forces until, at last, the last few stood before me. It was a half dozen or so dolls and two manned Leos. Dolls first, they are always the biggest threat. I cleared the mechanical foes and moved onto the living ones. They had gotten the idea that they were going to lose and started to run. But I was faster. I always am. The first went down in a blaze of glory and I readied myself to cut the final opponent in two.

"Wait, please. I surrender! Please!"

I froze, mid motion as his voice crackled over the intercom. I switched the device on to reply. "Land your mobile suit and come out peacefully," I ordered. The soldier obeyed and I opened the hatch to come out myself. I stepped into the harsh morning air and saw the soldier standing with his hands in the air, waiting for me. Flashbacks of my first meeting with Trowa raced through my mind. The scene had been so much like this one. Although, this time there was no chance of this other man being anything but an enemy.

We both vaulted to the ground and he stood, waiting to be bound, or knocked out, or whatever exactly he expected. I knew, I was most certainly not what he expected. I could see his surprise at how young I was, but that was nothing. It had been a long time since my last meal, and I could hear my stomach growling as I approached him. Iíve never watched myself transform, but I can feel everything that happens and the look on my victimsís faces tell me just how terrifying it is. My limbs grow longer and I become overall thinner. Looking at that soldier, I could feel my fingers stretch to nearly double their Ďnormalí length. I grew thin to the point of emaciation, my bones barely contained behind pale flesh.

The soldier was terrified, to scared even to run. I reached out, cradling his jaw with those horrendously long fingers that were now mine. For the briefest moment, I saw myself reflected in his eyes and thought it strange that my blonde hair was still perfect atop my sunken face. I drew the manís face close to mine, nearly touching are lips in order to feed.

People have the wrong idea about vampires. Well, that is to say, they only know about European vampires. Even then they have almost all the facts wrong. But an Oriental creature of the night, such as myself, feeds off a victimís life energy, not their blood. Weíve been hiding out for so long, removed from easy meals. I savored it as I drank the man to death. Of course, I can feed without killing, if my hunger isnít too great. But a well-read scholar would be able to figure out what I was. WuFei is just a little too clever for me to risk snacking on my teammates. But a soldier in the field, thatís a different story.

I let the body fall from my grip and climbed back into my Gundam, feeling my usual features fall back into place as I did so. Mission complete, no survivors or surrenders. The others would be pleased.

***

~Duo~

Heero and I were already well into the fight by the time the others entered the hanger. It started as all fights between us did; in silence. He had been watching me so closely while I cleaned Shinigami that I knew something had to be up. So, as I am always the one to break the silence of our fights, I asked him if he was admiring my beautiful ass. I expected the fight to be over something trivial like it usually was. You know, me being a slob, not filing my mission report right away, hacking into his computer, the usual complaints.

But treason? He didnít say it right away; started asking questions about what Iíd been doing last night, what Iíd heard about Quatreís mission, the works. And, of course, since my alibi for that night was working on my gundam, and Shini was the only witness, he assumed I was the traitor that had tipped OZ off to the mission. Weíd been circling that point for the last hour, each of us shouting why it had to be me or why it couldnít be me respectively, both of us screaming the same sentences over and over again.

The other pilots came in pretty much at the beginning of one of these circles. Thank Heaven for small miracles; they wouldnít be totally confused at least.

"The transmission came from your Gundam, Duo!"

"Iím not the only one with access to this hanger you know. It could have been one of the others or any of the Maguenachs!"

"You really think the Maguenachs would betray us?"

"Do you really think I would?"

"You and I both know you wouldnít let anyone but you touch Shinigami."

"Like someone would need my permission? I seem to recall a certain perfect soldier once dismantling Shini for parts to fix his own Gundam while I was asleep!"

"And you and I both know that because of that, you boosted security on it. Youíre the only one that can work your Gundam, so youíre the main suspect."

"I didnít betray us! Quatre is certainly the last of us that I would toss to the bad guys. Anyone with even moderate hacking skills could crack my lousy security codes. If anyone in this group was going to snap, my moneyís on you, Mr. My-gundanium-wedgie-makes-me-the-biggest-jerk-off-in-the-galaxy Perfect Soldier."

"Wrong, baka. Because of my training, Iím the least likely to betray us. Itís because of my training that I even found out about the transmission!"

There must be a God watching over us somewhere, because after the seventh time arguing the same facts back and forth, Quatre mercifully decided to help. There must also be a devil because it took him seven circles to do it. "Heero, calm down. You donít actually have any proof that it was Duo, do you?"

"It was his Gundam, Quatre. Thatís all the proof I need. Itís always the loudest that the enemy is going to hear screaming."

WuFei clucked his tongue softly. "Actually, I hear itís the quiet ones you have to watch out for." He was looking at Quatre while he said it and the little blonde seemed to get very flustered under his gaze.

Trowa pinned WuFei with a glare that would make molten lead freeze on contact. "Iíd thank you not to imply such things about the most innocent of this group. And Iíll have you know, I take offense to that as well."

WuFeiís scowl doubled and he turned away from the glare that was, apparently, eating a hole through his entire being. "The point, Yuy, is that any of us could have tipped off OZ. Hell, Maxwellís right and it could have been one of the Maguenachs or anyone else! Instead of laying blame, what do you propose we do about it?"

Heero thought about that for a moment and my ears rang with the silence, such a change from the last hour. "Iíve already reported it to J. and our new orders are to lay low for a few days. We have a safe house ready in the mountains for us."

I couldnít help but brighten at that. "Mountains? What mountains? Will there be snow? Or maybe a lake! Where is it?"

"Iím not telling any of you. Iíll lead you there, but to guard against a possible security breech, Iím not disclosing the location to anyone. Get packed and be ready in one hour."

I bit back the groan that was snaking from my throat at that comment. The last thing I needed right now was to start another fight with Heero. I watched the others file out of the hanger and followed at the end of the parade. My eyes lingered on Quatre as we walked. He was frowning, lost in his thoughts somewhere. "Q-chan?"

He jumped at my voice, turning his wide turquoise eyes on me. "Duo? Sorry, I was just thinking about something. Is there something I can help you with?"

"Naw, Iím good. Are you all right though? Tough mission, right?"

He didnít seem to focus on me as he replied, heading towards his room to pack. "Iím fine. Nothing more than a little snack bugging me."

***

~Quatre~

Snow. Duo was thrilled as soon as he found out that our mountains were covered in snow and was already making plans of converting the bathroom mirror into a sled. I, on the other hand, was silently suffering for my own stupidity. Iíd been getting more and more hungry as I hid out with my teammates and Iíve already been over the fact that I couldnít snack on them for fear of being discovered. So when we got the mission, and I assumed Heero would take it, I had betrayed us all. After all, with Heero gone, I could relocate to a more heavily populated area and still fight alongside the others.

But now I was paying for those misassumptions. Heero basically had all of us locked down. Breathing was allowed freely, but that was about it. Every time one of us went anywhere Ė bed, bathroom, kitchen, it didnít matter Ė Heeroís eyes were glued on our backs, documenting everything we did in that memory of his. I couldnít feed at all. I couldnít even think about it, but I couldnít stop myself. Let a starving man have even a crumb, and he shall be all the more hungry once it is gone. I had had my crumb.

Duo bounced out of the kitchen to plop on the couch next to me. I peered over the book I wasnít actually reading at him as he flicked on the television. "Man, at least this place has cable. With Heero keeping us locked in here like prisoners, Iíd go crazy without TV."

"I feel I must point out that you are watching the teletubies. Youíre already crazy."

"Aw, Q-chan, thatís just me and my child-like energy! Besides, we all know the teletubies are the agents of the devil." He grinned at me from around the cherry Popsicle he was attempting to swallow whole.

I couldnít help but stare, knowing that he must be able to see the hunger on my face. Finally I looked around, stretching my senses outward until I located the others; all three were upstairs. "Duo?" I asked with all the innocence I could muster. "Your cross, is it blessed?"

He looked at me and shrugged. "Thatís a funny question. I think it is, but Iím not sure."

One strike against me. "Do you believe in it? With your life?" He immediately started laughing and I smacked his arm. "Iím serious, Duo, do you or do you not believe in that cross and what it represents?"

He made a visible effort to stifle his hysteria at my odd inquiry. "Well, yeah. Iím a pretty religious fellow, I guess. But do I believe in this little piece of rusting metal? Iím not sure. How can any object hold all that power that people always say they do. Why?"

Great, it may or may not have been blessed and he may or may not have believed in it. Only one-way to find out, I suppose. If it was blessed, I was going to have one nasty burn scar later. I leaned over, placing one hand on each of his shoulders. Looking deep into his eyes, I willed him to be calm. His eyes widened as if he knew what was happening, almost as if he recognized it. But just like the night I Ďborrowedí Shinigami, he fell into the hypnosis, sitting there like a statue. A statue with an abundance of energy and chi. I stared into his eyes as I changed. They didnít reflect me like the soldierís had, they were just eyes. I leaned close, breathing in his chi.

I felt him jerk beneath me as I drew out just enough life force for a snack. I pulled away, concerned. Sure enough, for some reason, the hypnosis had broken and Duo was staring into my eyes. I grasped his jaw, kissing him as my body changed back to the Quatre he knew. He pushed me away gently and I could feel the blush creeping up my once more human cheeks. I had no idea how to get out of this except to tell him I loved him, or lusted for him, or whatever. If he had seen my transformation, even that wouldnít be enough.

Duo stood and paced to the other side of the room. "Quatre, what was that?" What was what? Was he talking about the kiss or had he seen me change? I opened my mouth to explain, but found no words on my tongue. Duo strode back to me and sat again. "Do, I mean, I didnít think you did, but just now . . . Q-chan, do like me? I mean, like that?"

Oh, thank any and every deity in existence! He didnít know! My cheeks were burning now. "I . . . Iím not sure. I . . ." I looked into his indigo eyes and stopped. I had kissed him. Granted it was to distract him, but I had kissed him, and I didnít have to. I didnít like him that way, but that didnít make it any less embarasing. Or confusing for that matter. I stood abruptly and went to the stairs. "I have work to do, Duo."

***

~WuFei~

Duo had been acting differently all day. He hadnít been glaring at Heero at all, which was one of his new favorite past times ever since Heero nixed his home made sled idea. And early this afternoon he had gone to take a nap. I was sitting at the kitchen table when Duo came down again for some food. I looked up at his pale face and frowned. "You missed supper."

"I was pretty tired. Guess I just slept through."

I could feel my lips tug down in a frown. "Duo, are feeling all right?"

"What is that? Actual human compassion from the Wu-chan?" He clasped his cheeks in mock surprise and pretended to nearly faint, wobbling on his feet.

He put his hands down and wobbled again and I realized he wasnít pretending. I half stood to catch him if he did fall, but he smiled at me and sat before I could complete the gesture. "Duo, you donít look well. Whatís wrong?"

"Iím fine, just tired. I probably picked up a bug or something lugging all the stuff through the snow." I stared hard at him, not believing him in the slightest. He avoided my gaze and I could see his cheeks color slightly. "If you must know, Quatre . . . he Ė"

"Yes?" Duo started blushing harder and turned far enough in his chair that I was staring at his back.

"Well . . . he . . . he kissed me."

For a moment I wasnít sure Iíd heard correctly. "Are you sure?"

"What sort of question is that? Yes Iím sure! I was there for it, you know."

"Iím sorry, itís just . . . Quatre? He doesnít seem the type. Do you know what this could mean?" Duo nodded solemnly and I bit my lip. Duo stood, fingering his cross. "So what are we going to do?" I asked him.

"Iím not sure. I need to eat something though, and get some more sleep." He yawned deeply, "Iím still tired."

I nodded. "Iím going to spend some time in the library, all right?"

***

~Quatre~

Duo was sitting on the couch when I came downstairs the next morning. He was curled into the corner, small against the cushions. The television was on, but I could tell he wasnít watching it. He stared at the wall in front of him like a statue, not really seeing anything except whatever images were dancing around his mind. I began to walk to the kitchen, thinking he wouldnít notice me. His sharp voice made me stop. "I didnít betray us to OZ, Quatre."

I blinked at the suddenness of the statement, but answered without hesitation. "I believe you, Duo."

"You know, you and I are thinking a lot alike." I stared at him, knowing I was missing something important, but not able to figure out what it was. He smiled, seeming to sense my shock. "Yesterday you asked about my cross, out of the blue without any warning or reason behind it."

I laughed slightly, nervously. "So, is this your revenge?"

He didnít even pause at my question, as if he didnít hear it at all. "Another similarity is what each of us meant. Obviously, we meant what was said, but there is something else as well. Something darker, hidden. A meaning that we want to scream to the other person, but know that we must keep hidden."

He hadnít moved and was still staring at the wall in front of him. It was starting to unnerve me, both the lack of eye contact and the truth that rang in his words. "Well, what is your hidden meaning then?"

Finally he stood and crossed over to me. "You have no idea." He reached out, clasping my jaw in his course hands. I had the sudden urge to pull away, run upstairs and climb back under the covers. He leaned close to me, almost touching our lips together, but not quite. I felt his soft breath wash against my lips and it was all I could do not to whimper as a sudden hunger overcame me. "We must both be very careful," he whispered, eyes locked on mine. "I have a feeling our secrets could explode and take us with them if we give them the chance."

He stepped away suddenly and I nearly toppled to the ground without his hands steadying me. I blinked, catching my breath again. "Best not to give them the chance then," I said.

I hurried up the stairs and approached Heeroís room. My hunger was getting out of control again, and Duo hadnít helped that in the least. I wanted to talk to Heero about leaving, or maybe do something a little more drastic. I was attempting to be silent, but I knew he could hear me. To a perfect soldier, I was the noisiest creature on Earth. He didnít look up when he acknowledged me. "What do you want, Quatre?"

I blinked for a moment, stunned. I knew heíd hear me approach, I didnít know he could tell who had approached though. I let the surprise pass and put on my most innocent face, pouring that innocence into my voice and willing Heero to feel pity for me. "I was just wondering if weíd gotten any new orders. Can we leave the mountains any time soon?"

"No." I should have known I couldnít manipulate the emotions of a creature that had none. "Weíll be here four days. Then, if Iíve determined the threat to be nonrecurrent, we can move out again."

I swallowed my pulse and looked at him with everything I had. "And if the threat is recurrent?"

"I deal with it." He still hadnít looked at me and I was getting tired of people ignoring me while speaking. "Duo will be taken care of. If it truly is him."

"Why are you so set on it being him? Why arenít the others under suspicion?"

He looked at me then and his eyes said more than words ever could. There was the threat of a slow painful death for any traitor that he caught as he said, "You are."

A shiver went down my spine against my will. Nothing was quite as scary as an angry Heero, especially one that had determined you to be a threat. I couldnít seem to move from beneath his gaze and it must have shown on my face, because he turned back to his computer. "At the time the transmission was made, Duo was in the hanger. Everyone agrees on that. WuFei was in the study and Trowa says he was with you." He looked at me again with what could almost have been a smile Ė for him. "I didnít ask what you were doing. But Duo is really the only one it could have been. Donít trust him Quatre. Not with anything."

I kept my face blank as I left the room. Something serious was going on, and I couldnít figure out what it was. Trowa had said I was with him? I was well aware that the others thought we were an item, but I didnít know he was lying for me. Perhaps it was time to pay my silent friend a visit.

***

~Duo~

I donít know what happened upstairs. All I knew was that I could hear talking, then yelling, then something hard hit the ground. I decided I should go upstairs and see what the ruckus was about. I was surprised to see Heero still sitting in his room. "You canít tell me you didnít hear that."

"I heard it."

"And youíre just going to sit there?"

"Itís better to let it play out."

It hit me with the weight of a truck. "Youíre letting them fight to try and gather information!"

He didnít agree with me. But he didnít deny it either. "Quatreís innocence is slipping." I turned away from Heero and hurried down the hall to Trowaís room. There were only three rooms on the top floor; it was easy to tell where the fight had come from.

I entered the room and froze. Whatever I had been expecting, this wasnít it. Trowa was on the floor, apparently unconscious. Quatre lay a short distance away, cradling his face and rolling slightly in pain. On the other side of it all, WuFei was leaning against the small desk, staring at them. "Fei? What the hell happened?"

WuFei looked at me, nothing given away in his cool gaze. "Things got out of hand."

"Yeah, I can see that! Mind going into a little more detail?" I moved to Trowa, checking his vitals and making sure he was all right. He looked very asleep, but not in any way hurt. Then I turned my eyes to Fei again. "First things first, what happened to Trowa?"

"Quatre happened to him. I donít know what he did, but when I came in, Trowa was on the floor."

A loud groan came from the carpet near my feet. "I didnít do anything to him. We were talking and he looked a little ill. Then he feignted."

"Thatís a load and you know it!" I turned back to Fei and just stared until he sighed. "I was only trying to serve justice."

I moved to Quatre next, helping him sit up. "Q-chan, you all right?"

His eyes looked haunted. Like someone had just told him Santa Clause wasnít real. "Iím fine. Just a little shaken, Fei hits pretty hard." He got to his feet and headed towards the door. "Iím going for a walk, maybe put some snow on my jaw."

I watched him go before turning my attention to Fei one last time. "Duo, you know I wouldnít do anything if I didnít think it was necessary. He Ė"

"Wu-chan. Chill out, you donít need to explain. Take care of the Tro-man." WuFei stared as I left the room. I knew he would take care of our fellow pilot. I also knew that I had the harder job. I had to deal with Quatre.

***

~Quatre~

I returned to the house a little more tired and a lot more cold than when I had left. But it was my own fault. This is why I never fed on my teammates. WuFei didnít catch me in the act, but the punch was more than enough to let me know he suspected. What he suspected of me, I didnít know, but that wasnít the point. The point was, I was in trouble.

I went straight to the hanger, intent on making Sand Rock ready for my departure. I couldnít stay here any more. Another day or two, and my cover would be completely blown. If WuFei didnít beat me to death for being some sort of monster, Heero would shoot me for being a traitor. I hated to leave, but I had no other choice.

"Where ya headed, Q-chan?" I turned, looking down at Duo on the ground. "Not going to answer me?"

"Iím just working on Sand Rock, working off some nervous energy." I cursed myself as soon as I said it. ĎNervousí was not a word I wanted associated with me right now.

Duo began to climb with amazing speed, reaching the cockpit faster than I would have thought possible. I gulped as I was suddenly looking right into his indigo eyes. "Quatre, what did you do to Trowa?"

"I already told you, I didnít Ė"

"Quatre, please. Donít lie to me. You fed on him, didnít you?"

I gaped, taken aback by the truth. It sounded almost ridiculous when I heard it from someone else. "WuFei figured it out," I muttered, pained by what I had already known was going to happen. Duo nodded, never taking his eyes off of me. I felt my lips curl in a growl I couldnít stop. "Damn him."

"Quatre, why Trowa?"

I blinked, reminded of the original path of this conversation. "I was mad at him. When I asked why he lied for me, he refused to say. Just said that I would owe him. I hate owing anybody, and he was going to use it against me."

Duo smiled and let out a soft giggle. "Thatís not what he said. He said you would owe the person who covered you. I know, heíd told me what he was going to say."

I frowned harder at him. "And he was the one who covered for me."

Duo laughed harder. "No, Quatre. I told him to lie for you. I suspected you were the one to betray us, but youíre also my friend. At least, thatís what I thought."

I smiled. Friend. It was a word I used a lot in conversation, but I didnít really consider any of them my friends. Just teammates. And, in times like this with the nearest town miles away, a quick source of food, no matter how dangerous. "Iím sorry, Duo. I suppose I have to leave now. I was still hoping to avoid it." I reached out my hands, gently cradling his jaw. "But I canít let Heero find out about me until after Iíve gone, heís the only one that could do something about it. So, youíll understand if I give you a little nap until Iím gone, right? I promise it wonít hurt."

Duo was lost for a moment in my eyes. Then, carefully, he lifted his hands, wrapping one around each of my wrists. "Sorry, Q-chan. Not today."

I stared, face lax with surprise. No one had ever broken my hypnosis, let alone twice in as many days. Duoís eyes flashed, reflecting a fire that wasnít there. His aura changed, if not his body, and suddenly, I knew. I tried to pull my arms from his grasp, even though I knew it was no use. "It canít be."

"Weíre from different sides of the ocean, Q-chan, but weíre really just the same. One Eastern vampire, one Western. I wasnít lying earlier when I said we were thinking alike lately. Iím going just as crazy with no ready food source as you are. And for the record, I know my cross isnít blessed. Be pretty painful if it was, ne?"

I stared into his eyes, knowing the danger, yet I couldnít stop myself. There must have been some mistake. "You canít . . . The sun . . ."

"Come, come, Q-chan. You donít honestly believe all that about the sun being our mortal enemy. Daylight only burns vampiric flesh, and just like you, I have two forms." He smiled very wide and I got a clear view of fangs. I jerked away out of reflex, but his hands still held me tight. "When I found out that Wu-chan was a scholar, I went right up to him and told him the truth. You should have done that, Q. He didnít trust me right away, but we worked things out."

"How could you get him to trust you at all?"

He laughed again. "That was actually very easy! You see, he trusted that I wouldnít lie to him, since Iíd told him about me. And there is one major difference between you and me, my friend. I would sooner starve then feed off of another pilot, weakening an important warrior. I would sooner die than go to the extremes youíve gone to. That is the only difference between us. That, and what it is that sustains us. I was actually surprised to learn you could feed off of me. Though, I shouldnít have been. After all, you have blood, why shouldnít I have chi?"

I realized then what he was hinting at. I began my struggles anew, trying desperately to break the hold he had on my wrists. All I could see was a sea of indigo, pulling at me. Too late, I tried to look away. I was lost. Lost forever in that ocean of blue.

***

~Duo~

I waited until I was certain Quatre was under my hypnosis. He was still a friend and I couldnít do anything that would cause him pain. Finally, I felt his body relax and I carefully released his wrists. I reached up, smoothing his hair back in an almost motherly gesture. I tilted his neck aside, taking my fill as carefully as I could. When I was sated, I gently laid Quatre into his cockpit. He looked asleep; his eyes had closed sometime while I fed. I cleaned the small wound on his neck and straightened his clothes and hair before climbing back down to the floor of the hanger.

I walked serenely towards the door, sighing as I sensed Heeroís presence waiting for me. I crossed the threshold, turning to look at him as I did so. I found myself staring down the barrel of his gun Ė a position Iíve been in many times before, but will never become used to. "Meet my eyes, and weíll see if a bullet to the brain will kill you."

I gulped, knowing that this time, it was no bluff. I stood as still as I was able and stared resolutely at his chin. "I assume youíve been watching the entire thing?"

"And what exactly have I just seen?"

I sighed, unable to contain the frustration I get every time I must explain myself to someone. "I believe I went over all of that with him. Are you really going to make me repeat myself?"

"Do the doctors know? Or the others?"

"G. does, Iím not sure about the others. And I havenít told Trowa, though heíll probably be told after what he was just put through."

"I thought I heard you say you would never hurt a fellow pilot."

I sighed again, annoyance growing. "Oh, come on. You were coming here to do exactly the same thing. I know you suspected him of being the traitor from the start. And Iíd like to point out Iím very upset about you using me to try and lure him out!"

Heero let a smirk pass across his face. Anyone else would have missed it, but Iíve been studying Heero long enough to notice the slightest change in his iron clad face. "It worked, didnít it? Is he dead?"

"I-Iím honestly not sure. I took a lot of blood; up here with no food source, this is the first meal Iíve had in several days. I didnít out and out kill him though. I really donít know how much blood he needs to survive, or just how much is left in his system. He was wrong about you being the only one that could stop him." I smirked, a small laugh escaping my lips. "Iím more dangerous than he is, you see. A human body can live longer with less chi than blood. Builds it back faster, too."

I turned from him and began to walk away. If he was going to shoot me there wasnít much I could do about it, and I was getting tired of staring at his set lips. "How do you kill a vampire?"

The question was so abrupt and blunt Ė rather like Heero himself Ė that it made me pause. I turned back on him, anger making me careless. My outraged eyes locked with his, just for a moment. He waved the gun into my field of vision and I hastily lowered my gaze, staring angrily at his chest instead. "You canít honestly expect me to tell you that while youíve got a gun pointed at my head!" I could hear him click back the hammer. I knew it wasnít necessary, itís a waste of time for a trained soldier to have to cock his gun for every shot. Still, it was a very effective scare tactic. He was playing on my fear to try and get information from me. Bastard. "If you want to know so badly, you should ask Fei, heís been researching it ever since I told him about me."

"Iím asking you."

I had the incredible urge to punch him, or laugh, or simply walk away. But that would almost certainly get me real dead, real fast. "Look, we arenít immortal or anything. Just about any wound that would kill you, or that would kill a normal person, at least, will kill me. But most vampires do have advanced healing powers; I can heal broken bones and cuts faster than even you, Mr. Perfect Soldier. Iíve even heard of some vampires that can bounce bullets off their hands like Darth Vader!"

"So how do you make sure one of you is dead?"

I gulped, feeling Heeroís gun inch towards my head. "The only really sure way is to take out the head and heart. Not much can live without a heart, and I havenít met anything yet that can function without a brain. Fire works well, too."

I waited for a bullet to crash into my skull. I even risked a glimpse at Heeroís face to see if he was going to do it. He nodded once and turned away from me. I let out a breath of relief and hurried from the hanger as fast as I could without running. Life was sure going to be different from now on. The entire team knew about me now, there was no telling when one of them would decide to take out Ďthe monster in their midstí. But I would fight beside them until that day came. I would help them in every way I could, even if it was harder than giving up. I considered that a promise, and I may run and hide, but I never lie. Itís not my fault no one ever asked if I was a vampire.

From behind me I heard a gunshot ring off the walls. I was tempted to look back, but decided I didnít really want to see. Another shot followed and I knew for certain I wouldnít be seeing my Arab friend any time soon. Yes, life was indeed going to be very different.