Blood Hound (parts 1 - 3)
"You're always saying how I can't be human. Would it surprise you to know that you're right?"
Heero opened the door silently and slid into the room. Duo lay sprawled on his bed, sheets down to his waist and head to the side. The long braid that was his pride and joy was flung across the pillows, leaving his neck bare. Heero licked his lips. It was yet another secret that he'd kept from the other pilots. A side effect of some of the training and treatments that he'd been put through. This laughing boy called to him unlike anything else. He'd been able to suppress it and deal with it in other ways for so long, but being snowbound had eliminated his options. Usually, he could go out and find another to slake his hunger on, denying himself the one he wanted so. But now they were snowbound and he couldn't fight it anymore. His best friend lay there, glowing with life in a way so few did. He joked that he was the god of death and Heero allowed himself to believe it sometimes. How else could the boy have cheated death so often? Perhaps the reason that he glowed with such life was that he gained the lives of those he'd slain. Heero shook his head.
No, this was Duo. He glowed with such life because he lived it for them all. He took joy enough in life for all of them. For a moment Heero felt resentful, but this passed. In its wake, however, his purpose for coming here tonight reasserted itself. The Perfect Soldier soundlessly crossed the room to Duo's side, breathing in his scent and life. He gazed at his best friend for a long moment before taking action. Heero lowered his mouth to Duo's neck... ...And sank in his fangs.
Duo woke up feeling groggy. This wasn't abnormal, but the craving for steak first thing in the morning was. He yawned and got dressed, stumbling down the stairs. He always seemed to be the last one up when he wasn't leaving for a mission. Oh well, no problem with that.
"G'mornin', everyone." Quatre looked up at him and smiled. Trowa nodded and Heero glanced in his direction. Wufei was downstairs practicing his katas. All in all, a usual morning.
"What's for breakfast?"
"Umm... I think you're stuck with cereal."
"Do we have any Fruit Loops?"
"Yeah. You begged for them on our last shopping trip, remember?"
"Yeah, that's why I wanted to make sure!"
Quatre just shook his head, smiling. Duo grabbed a bowl, spoon, and the cereal, unceremoniously dumping all three onto the table where the milk still sat. "Any coffee left?"
"Yeah-" Before Quatre could finish the sentence, Duo was at the coffee machine, cup already filled. He cradled the cup of steaming liquid in his hands like it was a holy relic. "Caffeine!"
The others were used to this behavior, but Quatre still winced when he saw the amount of sugar the American put into the cup.
"Umm... Duo? Don't you think that you're overdoing it a bit with the sugar?"
"Uh... never mind." Quatre decided not to think about what Duo was going to be like on a sugar high from the coffee and the Fruit Loops put together. What was worse was that he knew that the braided boy would be eating at least three bowls of the stuff and likely have as many cups of coffee. He also suddenly remembered that he hadn't warned Duo that Trowa had made espresso that morning instead of regular. He almost whimpered as his imagination offered him pictures of what a caffeine and sugar high Duo would be like and the damage he could inflict. He finally did whimper slightly when he remembered that they were snowbound and Duo would be stuck indoors with the other four boys.
"What's wrong, Quatre?"
The ever cheerful boy shrugged and dug into his fourth bowl of cereal. Quatre's face took on a pained look. He continued to grow worried as Duo consumed his /sixth/ bowl of the sugary cereal. He had lost count of how many cups of espresso the boy had had. Quatre was getting panicked. "Um, Duo? Don't you think that that's enough for now?"
"But I'm /hungry/!"
"We've got some ground beef. I could make you some hamburgers-"
Duo's bowl and mug were in the sink before the Arabian boy could more than blink. Duo gazed at him with hopefully shining eyes and an eager expression. "Burgers? Now?"
Quatre sighed and went to cook hamburgers. With any of the other boys (excepting Trowa, that is), he would have left them to cook on their own. But he'd have to be suicidal to let Duo cook his own food. The twit would probably blow up the kitchen! By accident, of course, but still! Duo just couldn't cook /anything/ without totally messing up the kitchen. And Quatre didn't feel like cleaning up after him, which was usually easier and less time consuming than trying to get Duo to clean up his own messes. So he cooked Duo hamburgers. "
Thanks, Quatre!" Quatre's eyes widened as Duo scarfed down the entire batch of burgers. 10...11...12...!? He sent Trowa a confused look, but the other just shrugged. Wufei had returned to the kitchen and was watching Duo with slightly panicked eyes. The blonde looked towards Heero, but he just gave him a look of 'how the hell should /I/ know?'
"Ahhh...! That was good! Thanks, Quatre!"
And with that, Duo bounced - yes, /bounced/ - over to Quatre and gave him a bear hug. "So...what are we doing today?"
As Quatre was trying to determine if any ribs were cracked and if he would even be able to breathe, Trowa answered. "We wait. We're snowbound here, so we do whatever activities can be done inside with what he have available."
"You didn't answer my question!"
"Duo! I can't breathe!"
"Oh! Sorry, Quatre!" Quatre sagged into Trowa's arms, which immediately appeared once Duo let go of him. He smiled up at his lover and rested against him.
"We've /got/ to find something for Duo to do!" he muttered. Trowa looked thoughtful. "Send him to investigate the attic."
Quatre smiled. "Good idea! Duo, Trowa thought of something for you to do!"
Duo looked up from his place on the rug where he'd apparently landed after teasing Heero. Well, to be more precise, after receiving Heero's reaction/response to his teasing.
"What?" Duo demanded, his eyes bright with sugar, caffeine, and curiosity. "Whatwhatwhat?!"
Everybody sweatdropped as Duo practically bounced in his seat.
"You could go and explore the attic! I'm sure that there's lots of neat stuff up there." Everyone sighed in relief as Duo thundered up the stairs.
The green-eyed pilot looked at him and Quatre gave him a pleading look. "No more espresso..."
[A few hours later...]
*thump! boingy! thump! boingy! thump! boingy!*
"Trowa, is there any more aspirin left?"
"No, we used the whole bottle already."
"Is he ever going to stop?"
"It was /your/ idea to send him to the attic!"
"How was Trowa supposed to know that there was a pogo stick up there? Much less that he'd /use/ it!" "But /3 hours/!?!?!"
There was a sudden softer *thud* and the bouncing of the pogo stick stopped. After a few minutes of reveling in the silence, the four gundam boys went up to the attic to see if Duo was alright. He was. He was just out cold.
"Looks like the sugar crash finally hit him," Trowa noted.
"Like a freight train," added Wufei. Heero noticed that Duo's collar was undone; there was little chance that the others could see the marks from where they were standing, but he could. He went over and picked up the slightly snoring pilot.
"I'll take him to his room."
Quatre just smiled, Trowa nodded, and Wufei looked to be puzzling over something. Heero headed down the stairs and into Duo's room. Duo had once remarked that he didn't need an obstacle course to practice on, he had his room. It was very true. By the time that Heero got the boy on the bed, he was sweating slightly and very glad that /he/ had been practicing on the obstacle course. As he lay Duo down, the boy's head fell back against the pillows, exposing the long graceful curve of his neck. Heero couldn't resist. He bit Duo gently, taking only enough to quiet his craving.
The American's blood was sweet with a slight tangy edge, much like the boy himself. Heero could taste the sugar running through his system and realized that it was enough to send /him/ into a sugar high. He pulled away reluctantly and licked the puncture wounds of any last drops that slipped out. Duo sighed in his sleep and said something unintelligible.
Heero snorted. Just as he'd thought, the boy never stopped talking, not even when he was sleeping. As Heero left the room, he could feel the sugar and caffeine that he'd received along with Duo's blood taking action in his system. For a brief moment, he wondered where the pogo stick was...but then dismissed that idea as ridiculous. He must try to keep up normal appearances. The others mustn't have any suspicion of his true nature. They mustn't find out he was kyuuketsuki... a vampire.
Wufei was puzzled. First, Duo's behavior that morning. It was explained by the amount of sugar and caffeine that the boy had taken in, but he'd never seen Duo eat that much...for breakfast, anyway. Then there were those marks on Duo's neck, almost bite marks. And Heero's strange behavior... First, carrying Duo to his room (seeming to want to hide those marks from the others) and then coming back down to the living room and acting almost like /he/ was on a sugar high! Heero had been shifting from one thing to another with the attention span of a 5 year old. On the laptop for 15 minutes, then down to the garage to work on his gundam, then reading for half an hour before repeating the series. It was truly odd... But Heero hadn't had any coffee or sugar cereal. So what could have...? He settled down in the library chair to think on this.
Heero was pacing. He shouldn't still want the boy's blood! He'd fed off him twice in the last 24 hours, but his craving wasn't satisfied - in fact, it had grown.
Why did he-?!
/How/ did he-?!
Heero sighed, rubbing his eyes tiredly. Every time that he drank from that crazy, long-haired, loudmouthed, beautiful, chatterbox of a nutcase, he found himself wanting even more. And not just blood now, either. He wanted Duo, plain and simple. But it /wasn't/ plain and simple!!! Duo was human and Heero...wasn't. Never mind the fact that Heero had no idea if Duo felt like this towards him.
Sure the boy went out of his way to get Heero's attention time after time again... So the twit was always teasing him. And yeah, Duo was always trying to bring him into a conversation... And then there was how he always seemed to worry and fuss over Heero when he was going out on missions or coming back from them... But how much of that was just camaraderie or goofiness or the desire not to be ignored?  He'd never wondered about it much before, but now he hoped. Heero blinked as he realized that while his mind had been occupied, his body had taken him to Duo's door.
The Japanese pilot sighed in defeat and slipped into the room. Duo lay sprawled much the same way as the night before. Heero sighed again, for quite a different reason. It wasn't his memory playing with him, Duo really was beautiful. He looked frail and helpless and in need of protection. Without his psychotic grin, Duo was no longer Shinigami, he was now just a beautiful boy asleep in the moonlight. 'And how beautiful he is...' Duo tossed in his sleep, kicking the covers down to his feet. Heero smirked slightly and padded over to the bed. Tonight, he'd let himself indulge a little. Heero ran his lips over the soft skin of Duo's cheek, placing gentle kisses on each of his eyelids. Duo stirred and he paused until his breathing evened out again, showing he was back into deep sleep.
The not-very-reluctant vampire then brushed his lips along Duo's jaw and down his neck. The other tilted his head back, still asleep. Heero smirked. Duo at least would make things easier for him. As Heero placed wet kisses along his neck and stroked the other side, Duo arched back and moaned in his sleep. Heero almost moaned himself and decided that his hunger couldn't wait any longer. He sank his fangs in tenderly, almost lovingly, and drank of the sweet hot liquid that was his life and his growing obsession.
"Heero," Duo whispered, still asleep. Heero smiled. So Duo could tell when he was near, eh? No wonder the braided boy could always find him. He finished his drink and gave Duo a last lingering kiss before heading back to his room. Now what to do about this growing need?
 if you don't believe a room can be /that/ messy, then you're in for a treat. Ask anyone who's ever /seen/ my room, much less tried to /walk/ anywhere in it!
 can you say oblivious? Mumzies thought up the pogo stick and it was Tom who suggested Heero getting on sugar high.
Duo woke up feeling groggy again, which was starting to get on his nerves. He never claimed to be a morning person and he knew he wasn't at his best first thing in the day, but feeling /this/ out of it was just plain unnerving and dangerous. Maybe he was coming down with something...just great, all he needed now was to be even more bored by being stuck in bed with the flu! He got dressed and stumbled down the stairs to join the others, just like he had yesterday. And he was just as hungry as yesterday...
He frowned at that. When you got sick, you had no appetite, right? Duo shrugged to himself as he ate his Fruit Loops and drank his coffee. Now where could he have picked up the flu? Hmm...he didn't feel sick. He felt his forehead, no fever. Perhaps he was finally going to get a growth spurt! Yeah, that was it!
It had to be! This /was/ the time when male hormones ran rampant and did all sorts of weird things, right? It would certainly explain that weird dream he had last night...
He'd had this weird dream where Heero was kissing him...not that he hadn't dreamed about that before now, but still... It had never been quite that intense! Duo could feel a blush rising to his cheeks and silently cursed his fair skin. Oh well... He frowned again as he went over the dream. After the kisses, Heero had...bitten him... It was really odd... And then he'd kissed Duo again, on the lips. It had tasted almost like blood, but what was the weirdest part was that Heero's lips had felt like they were smiling!
Duo shook his head, that's how he'd known it was a dream. If he ever saw Heero smile the way it had felt like he'd been smiling in the dream, Duo knew that it would then be time to go and pray because the end of the world would be near. He blinked as he felt the sugar rush hit him, he hadn't noticed how many bowls of cereal he'd had or how much coffee. He'd been too busy thinking. Oh well, he'd go back to the attic and bounce on the pogo stick some more. That was fun! Or maybe he'd try to bounce down the stairs...
Quatre was in shock. Duo hadn't said /one word/ all morning! Nothing! Not even a ‘good morning'! This was odd, he felt like he was in one of those ‘Twilight Zone' shows... Trowa and Wufei had looked just as confused as he was and Heero had looked...like Heero. Duo had had breakfast and Quatre's mind screamed when he saw the braided boy head up the stairs into the attic. Not again! Quatre hadn't realized that he'd whimpered until Trowa looked at him worriedly.
"Are you alright?"
"Duo went to the attic!"
"Well, perhaps he will find something else to occupy himself with."
*thump! boingy! thump! boingy! thump! boingy!* Quatre shot Trowa an ‘oh really?' look. Trowa shrugged. Then the sound changed, coming closer...and closer...and - oh my god! What the hell does he think he's doing!? - Duo was at the stairs...on the pogo stick!
So they watched, spellbound, as their psychotic companion bounced down the stairs on the pogo stick. Well, /halfway/ down the stairs. He came down at the wrong angle somewhere in the middle and ended up literally bouncing off the walls, landing at the foot of the stairs with a *thud.* Quatre hurried over to see if Duo was alright. He was, he was just out cold.
"Is anyone else noticing a pattern here?" Wufei remarked as they lifted the unconscious boy to the couch. Quatre bit his lip.
"We need to find some way to keep him so that he doesn't hurt himself on the sugar high and since we don't have any straight-jackets..."
"Due to an unfortunate oversight..." muttered the Chinese boy, remembering yesterday's headache.
"...any ideas?" Quatre finished.
"There's a hammock." Trowa offered.
"We could tie him in..." Wufei wiped the eager look from his face after a glare from...Heero?! He blinked, Heero never gave him that Look! That was the Look he had given Duo when the boy had playfully suggested painting Wing neon pink! The Look that meant ‘don't even think about it or I'll kill you in such painful ways that just the /thought/ of them will keep you up at night and I'll not only do /that/ but I'll also paint your gundam neon pink with neon green polka dots and neon orange stripes using permanent paint that cannot be removed even with pure acid.'
"For his own safety, of course!" he nervously added, releasing his breath in a rush as Heero nodded. Quatre blinked.
"Alright, that should work. Once he's over the sugar high, we'll untie him. This way he won't be able to hurt himself by attempting to do crazy things. Someone get some rope."
Within a few minutes, Duo was in the hammock and trapped in a cloth cocoon secured with rope. The four boys looked at each other and then sat down to wait until Duo woke up. It should be interesting...
[20 minutes later...]
The four gundam pilots looked over to see that Duo had woken up. Not that they needed to look to tell.
"GAH!!! What the hell did you guys /do/ to me!? I'm stuck!"
"And for good reason."
"We tied you up in the hammock so that you couldn't hurt yourself."
"You almost broke your neck coming down the stairs!"
"What possessed you to try such a damn-fool stunt!?!"
Everyone turned, sweatdropping, to stare incredulously at Heero. He glared back.
"Well?!" he addressed Duo. Duo flushed, looking slightly ashamed.
"Um....I was bored?" he offered tentatively.
Heero glared at him. Quatre could have sworn he saw smoke rising from the hammock cloth before Heero finally turned away with a muttered ‘baka!' and stalked down to the garage. All blinked.
"What's up with him?" Duo asked, confused, voicing the question that was on all their minds.
Quatre shrugged and settled back against his green-eyed lover. Trowa put his arms around him and they went back to reading their books. Wufei went back to repairing the shirt he had out. Duo coughed. No one turned. He tried again.
Quatre looked up from his book. "Yes, Duo?"
Duo grinned. "Can you untie me now?"
"Is the sugar high gone yet?"
"No, what does that have to do with anything?"
"Then no, we can't untie you yet." Duo blinked. "But I'm goin' crazy here!"
"Not very far to go..." Wufei mumbled.
Duo glared at him and blew him a raspberry before turning back to the blonde. "Please?"
"Pretty please? With a cherry and whipped cream and hot fudge on top?"
"Aw, c'mon! You can't mean to keep me like this for the rest of day!"
"No, just until the sugar high is gone."
"But...! Aw man!" He sulked for a moment then brightened, a mischievous smile blooming.
"Pretty please with a cherry and whipped cream and hot fudge on Trowa?" Quatre's eyes widened and he sputtered, blushing furiously.
Trowa came very close to snickering even as he blushed brightly. Duo was just too much sometimes... Duo grinned at their reactions.
"Aw, Quatre! Bet ya can't say as you've never thought about it..."
"That's entirely beside the point!"
"Not necessarily..." Duo winked suggestively
"DUO!!!!!!" Quatre nearly shrieked.
"C'mon! I'm sure you'd both have a great time..."
"/DUO/!!!!!" Trowa had lost the battle against laughter and was chuckling quietly.
"And I bet that- MMPH!!!!!!!!"
Wufei wiped his hands and went back to his repairs. Duo gave him a murderous glare.
"MUMFAYUUROMMAMI!!!!!!!!" (translation: Wufei, you are gonna die!) Duo was /not/ happy about being gagged. Quatre shot Wufei a grateful look and gave Trowa a quelling one. His lover was still chuckling. He looked over when he heard a creaking, wondering what Duo was doing. When he saw, he blinked and stared incredulously. The now gagged and cocooned pilot was swinging the hammock back and forth, putting more and more energy into each swing until... ...He flipped over...and over...and over...until he was going in a complete rotation fast enough to make Quatre's eyes cross slightly. He looked away so as to avoid the vertigo, wondering what Duo was trying to do with this little bit of extensive insanity. He found out a moment later. Wufei, who was sick of seeing Maxwell's spinning out of the corner of his eye, walked over, took out a knife, and cut the ropes. Duo hit the floor with a rather loud *thump,* eyes spiraling dizzily, hands fumbling with the gag.
"Somebody stop the room, I wanna get off!" he moaned.
Just at that moment, Heero returned from the garage. He looked at Duo, looked at Quatre and Trowa, then glared at Wufei before picking Duo up and carrying him up the stairs.
"My hero, Heero!"
Quatre giggled and snuggled up closer in Trowa's arms, happily returning to his book.
Heero carried Duo upstairs, knowing the boy couldn't walk at the moment but would still want to sleep in his own room. He carefully - and bravely - navigated the disaster area that was Duo's floor and lay the American pilot on the unmade bed.
"I'm dizzy," Duo complained.
"Serves you right. What were you thinking, pogoing down the stairs!?!?!"
Duo blinked. "You...you were...concerned for me?"
Heero scowled but nodded slightly.
"Really?" Duo asked, almost wistfully, looking up at Heero from under his eyelashes. It took almost all of Heero's vaunted self-control not to pounce on him then and there. Duo yawned and stretched.
"I think I'll take a nap now..."
Heero was trembling with the need to have Duo /now/, but he couldn't, not yet... He needed to be patient...but that didn't mean he couldn't have a little snack... Within a few moments, Duo was in his usual comatose sleeping state. Heero placed a gentle kiss on hi slips before moving to his neck. He drank the blood, prepared for the effect of the sugar and caffeine, but /not/ prepared for the rush of sexual and sensual pleasure he derived from Duo's taste. Heero realized now that he could never live without this taste ever again...he was addicted. No, he was worse than addicted...he was obsessed. Obsessed almost to the point of madness. He would do just about anything to ensure that Duo would be his and his alone for eternity. The Japanese boy pulled away reluctantly, not wanting to harm the violet-eyed beauty. He sighed and headed downstairs again, to the garage to work on his gundam. Well, at least Duo hadn't been drinking espresso...
Wufei was even more puzzled. Duo had been at it again and so had Heero. Frankly, Wufei was more shocked at Heero's behavior! He was acting almost...solicitous - and definitely protective - of Duo. And Duo was being...carnivorous. They'd had steaks and Duo had /insisted/ that his be rare instead of well done. What was even stranger was Duo having a large helping of spinach, which he hated. He'd said that it looked good today, even as he'd made a face. The American was even looking /paler/ than normal. And Heero had been watching him...constantly. Wufei snorted. Heero hadn't taken his eyes off of Duo for more than a second or two and then just to put food on his plate. Duo had been cheerful and talkative, but rather vague, as if his mind was somewhere else. Or what passed itself off as his mind... Here the Chinese boy stopped himself. Duo was a lot more intelligent than anybody really gave him credit for...he just didn't choose to prove this very often... But about the way Heero had been watching him...possessively, obsessively, hungrily? Wufei blinked, startled at that word. But as he thought about it, he realized that it was true. And now that he was thinking about it, he remembered that Heero's gaze had often been trained on Duo's neck. Wufei snickered a little as his mind offered up an irrational explanation. Heero? Kyuuketsuki? Never! Vampires were supposed to be sexy and sensual and all that. Heero was none of those. In fact, the thought of Heero being seductive was enough to get him laughing. But then he remembered the older tales, the ones where vampires were cold creatures with no hearts, no feelings, no remorse. Cold-blooded killers for food. Heero certainly fit /that/ profile... And all vampires were attracted to people who lived life to the fullest...people who radiated energy...people who gave everything they had when it was needed...people like Duo Maxwell... But...Heero? Kyuuketsuki? Masaka! Though it would explain things... No! Not possible...! Wufei settled in his bed, bracing himself for a sleepless night with his disturbing thoughts.
‘Could /that/ be it...?'
Heero found himself in Duo's room again. He'd given up on fighting the compulsion and frankly didn't want to anyway. He looked on his victim and beloved, eyeing the expanse of pale skin and waves of chestnut hair. His Duo. His moonlit sleeping beauty. He smiled gently and walked over to his adorable sleeping psychotic, kneeling down next to the bed and feeling very much like Prince Charming in a fairy tale as he tenderly kissed the dreaming boy. Duo's eyelids fluttered and slowly opened. ‘And so, with the kiss of True Love, Sleeping Beauty awoke.'
Heero's eyes widened. K'so! He tried to think of how he could make Duo forget about this...and then the idea hit him. If he acted as much unlike his usual behavior as possible, then Duo would be certain to think it was a dream. And as that was what he most wished to do anyway...
"Duo...my beloved, my own..." he whispered, placing tender kisses over the violet-eyed boy's face and gently caressing his sides.
"H...Heero...?! You're... Oh, if this is a dream, I hope I never wake!"
"I wish this moment would never end, but we know it will."
"I...Heero! Don't say that! I don't want it to end..."
"Neither do I, but it will."
Duo was silenced as Heero kissed him fiercely. Gazing into depthless indigo pools, he whispered,
"So we may as well make every moment count."
Duo nodded, pulling the Japanese pilot to lie next to him on the bed. Heero smiled at him, a seductive gleam in his eyes. The other boy's jaw dropped and he took ample advantage of the open mouth. Duo wasn't about to complain... Nor was Heero. Duo was not only here in his arms, pliable to his desires, but he was also willing. /Very/ willing as both their wandering hands proved. Heero smiled again as Duo whimpered against him. That was a sound he could listen to forever... He straddled the slim thighs and ground his hips against Duo's. Those beautiful eyes were glazed over as whimpers hitched in his chest. Heero smiled ferally and thrust harder until he felt Duo's release, his own soon following. He rested his head long the elegant neck, his tongue darting out to taste the sweaty skin.
"Hmm....relax, love. Let me do something..."
Duo nodded and Heero sank his fangs into the now familiar indentations left before. The braided boy cried out, but was too tired to be able to protest effectively. Heero smiled as he drank, letting the emotions flow over him in a wave of heat. Duo was his, would always be his, and no one could ever change that or take him away from Heero. Ever. Duo was slipping back into sleep by the time Heero was finished. He smiled and gazed lovingly over his precious maniac. Tomorrow night would be the time, he'd tell him then. He had to...he wanted Duo with him for eternity and there was only one way to ensure that... But what if Duo didn't want it? What would happen then? Heero shook his head, he'd think on that later. Now was the time to sleep...and dream.
Duo woke up groggy...again. But this time, he was also sticky. He blushed.
‘God...that was an intense dream...!'
He yawned, stretched, and got up to take a shower. After toweling his hair off, Duo realized that the only clean clothes he had were a pair of boxers and one of his oldest T-shirts. He shrugged and put them on while gathering his laundry together. The resulting pile was high enough that he couldn't see over it. This made going sown the stairs...interesting.
Surprisingly enough, Duo made it all the way to the washing machines without incident except for the few stray socks that always, no matter where you put them in the pile, fall on the ground. He then headed up the stairs and to breakfast. He was starving!
"Good morn-" Quatre broke off and stared at him.
Duo blinked as Quatre nudged Trowa and the Heavyarms pilot's eyes widened.
"What? Have I grown another head or something?"
"Ano... Duo, did you know that you have a rather...vivid mark on your neck?"
Duo blinked again as Quatre stammered to a halt.
Trowa's quiet voice continued the train of thought. "Rather like a bite..."
Duo's eyes widened as he thought about the last couple of nights. He'd slept like one dead, couldn't remember any dreams except for the really vivid ones of Heero, woke up starving, and craving rare meat and dark greens. He'd been dreaming about being bitten and now Quatre and Trowa were saying that he had a bite mark on his neck. There was only one way to be sure.
He raised his hand, surprised that it was trembling, to his neck, his fingers instinctively going straight to where he remembered being bitten in the dream. His digits brushed against a set of small puncture wounds. He could hardly believe it. Masaka! It just couldn't be possible!
He hardly recognized his own voice as he whispered in shock, "It...was...real..."
And then the welcome darkness came, enveloping him in its dark folds as he fell to the ground in a faint.
To Quatre's surprise, Duo didn't hit the floor. He landed in Heero's arms. The Arabian had to blink again as he hadn't seen or heard Heero enter the room and there was no way that he would have missed it or that Heero could move that fast in the first place. It just wasn't humanly possible!
At that thought, another intruded upon his consciousness. It was the only thing his mind could come up with that made sense. Duo's odd behavior, the bite marks, Heero's subsequent behavior... Masaka! It just wasn't possible!
Quatre's musings were interrupted suddenly by the realization that he was the unlucky recipient of one of Heero's glares ‘o' doom ...
"What the hell happened here?"
Quatre gulped. "Um...well...he just sort of passed out..."
"Well, Heero..." Quatre gnawed his lip for a moment before deciding to broach the subject. "Have you noticed those bite marks on his neck?"
Heero's eyes widened slightly and then narrowed. "Yes, what about them?"
"Well, Trowa and I noticed them only this morning and asked him about them. He looked shocked, felt them, muttered something about ‘it was real,' and then fainted."
Heero looked to Trowa for confirmation and the green-eyed boy nodded slightly.
Both pilots shook their heads ‘no.'
"Hn." Heero stood, still holding Duo in his arms. "Fine then."
With that, he headed towards the stairs, nearly bumping into a very wide-eyed and shocked looking Wufei. The Chinese boy got out of his way quickly, eyeing the Japanese pilot warily. Heero shrugged and carried his precious burden up the stairs.
Let them think what they willed. It mattered naught to him. All that mattered at the moment was the beautiful boy sleeping in his arms. Heero smiled tenderly, lovingly even, at Duo's prone form. It was the kind of smile that would have sent his teammates into shock had they seen it, but as it was, no one did.
He lay Duo on his bed again, feathering a kiss across his lips.
"My love...my darling...my precious Duo...you are mine...forevermore..."
"Shh...rest now, love. I shall awaken thee at nightfall...thou shalt need thy strength..."
Heero chuckled quietly as his love's sleeping face creased with a slight smile. Duo was his and his alone. Heero would claim him for good tonight. And after that, there was no force in any hell that could part them. They would be bound by blood...forevermore.
Heero frowned as a crash was heard from downstairs... He gave his adorable baka one last lingering glance, loathe to leave his side for some reason that he could not name.
"I'm being foolish..." he muttered before leaving the room and heading down the stairs to figure out what had made such a racket.
When he arrived in the living room, his eyes were met by a scene of ludicrous chaos.
Wufei had his katana out and was in a defensive posture in front of a collapsed bookcase, Quatre was hiding under the couch pillows, and Trowa was standing guard over him. When Heero cleared his throat, he had to dodge a vase, a pillow, and a charge. As Wufei rushed towards him, he caught his wrists in a lock and disarmed the Chinese boy. All three stared at him.
"What is going on here?"
"The bookshelf just...collapsed!" Wufei sputtered while struggling to free his wrists.
"And my uchuu no kokoro..." Quatre shivered and Trowa put an arm around him.
"I have never felt such darkness...or such cold..." He shivered again and Heero frowned.
"And I saw a flash of shadow just before the bookshelf fell," Trowa stated calmly, trying to hold Quatre as tightly as possible.
Heero blinked as a chill ran down his spine. Never had he felt such an imminent premonition of dread. Or such a surety that something was wrong. His eyes suddenly widened as he placed what felt missing.
Duo was floating in a nowhere that was dark and cold. He could feel the loss of Heero's presence as an almost physical ache. He knew, even in his unaware state, that something was dreadfully wrong with his world. His attempt to open his eyes was doomed to fail and soon after, he felt a dark shadow surround his mind.
"At last, my sweet one... At last you are mine..."
A dark chuckle that made him shiver. "I must remember to thank your little soldier for preparing you for me..."
"What the fuck are you talking about!?!"
Another unpleasant laugh. "I have been searching for someone like you for a long time - centuries, in fact - and now I've 'found you... I would never have been able to take you unless you had already been initiated...and I would never have found you if he hadn't fallen... How lucky I am..."
"I'm warning you...DON'T fuck with my mind! Now just what the hell are you talking about!?!?!?!"
"Ah...little Shinigami...don't you recognize me? What a pity... Can't you feel how much I'm like your friend? Can you not tell that I am his kin?"
Duo shook his head. "I don't even know who you're talking about!"
"Why...your soldier friend. One of my youngest kin. Heero Yuy."
"Yes, little one. My kin... He is kyuuketsuki, just as I am..."
Heero rushed up the stairs, his heart pounding, hoping to all the Powers that he was wrong...that Duo would still be there in his bed, sleeping soundly...but knowing that he wouldn't be...that Duo was gone.
He slammed the door open and looked around the room with panicked eyes, lungs heaving for breath. The bed was rumpled and Duo was gone.
And the room reeked of tainted shadow.
Heero cursed. He should have realized it sooner! His growing obsession with the braided loud-mouthed baka had caught the attention of any other vampire within a 10 mile radius. And that was assuming that the vampire that had stolen Duo hadn't already been watching him, waiting for the moment that he could strike. Some of the older vampires had special conditions under which they were allowed their playthings...and one of the most powerful was that another vampire had to initiate the victim first...
Just as Heero had done.
And the power signature was that of a very old and powerful vampire. One of the oldest. One of the very few that Heero had actually been warned about.
One of Vlad Dracul's contemporaries...it was said his best and closest ally. It was well known that he actively searched for the perfect toy...and his conditions would be met easily by Duo.
As the reality of what was likely to be his beloved's fate should he remain in Taklos' hands set in, Heero felt a red haze settle over his vision. Taklos would die...painfully...if he set one hand - one finger! - on Duo! Heero didn't know how or where he would find Duo, but he could NOT let him stay with Taklos!
Duo was HIS! And there was no way in ANY hell that Heero would let even Taklos stand between him and his beloved braided baka! No matter what it took...he would get Duo back...
And Taklos would pay DEARLY should any harm befall him until then!
"WHAT!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!? NO WAY!!!! Heero! Kyuuketsuki!! NEVER!!!!!"
The shadowy presence seemed quite amused at his denial, for it laughed again.
"You really have no idea... How...charming..." Another evil chuckle. "I shall thoroughly enjoy this, o feisty one."
Duo felt a stab of terror. "Enjoy...what?"
"Claiming you as mine, of course. Just as Heero so naïvely planned to do."
Duo gulped. Had he been able to open his eyes, they would have been wide as saucers. "Claim me?" he squeaked.
The dark shadow seemed to radiate smug. "Yes, it would give him a great deal of power. Every vampire dreams of owning such as you...you glow with life... It is a truly...delicious prospect... Add to that the fact that you are as beautiful and desirable in flesh as you are in your life force, and you have a no-fail bait for a vampire. I will take great delight in claiming you as mine..."
"HELL, no! Keep your slimy shadowy paws OFF! NO ONE claims me unless I damned well FEEL like being claimed! And YOU, Mr. Mysterious Ominous Shadow Vampire Dude, are sure as all the hells NOT gonna claim me if I have any say in it!"
There was a sudden silence. Then the next sentence fairly brought a whimper out of him.
"My dear child...who says you do?"
‘Heero...where are you!?! HELP ME!'
Then there was darkness...
As Quatre entered the room, the first thing he noticed was the overpowering rage that was thrumming in the air.
The second was that Heero was glowing.
"He's gonna pay... That bastard is gonna PAY!"
Quatre gulped at the words, barely above a growl. Heero's hair was moving in an unseen wind and his entire body was glowing a bright blue...shot with the red of pure rage. His eyes were even more eerie, echoing the same coloring and almost swirling. Heero's teeth were bared and, for the first time, the blonde noticed the extra-sharp, extra-long canines.
"Duo is MINE! And no High Vampire Lord is gonna keep me from him!"
And with a howl of fury, Heero flickered out in a shadow, nothing to show of his passing except a broken window, the shattered glass on the floor, and the blizzard wind howling through the room.
"Well..." Wufei's voice sounded nervously from the doorway. "I guess that answers my question..."
Quatre giggled slightly hysterically at that and folded gratefully into Trowa's arms.
"What do we do now?" he asked, his voice tiny and quiet.
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