Author: Blue ^__^
Category: AU, 1x2x1
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Yaoi, lemon, language, blood, supernatural.
Spoilers: *snicker* Yeah, right.
Note: The boys aren't mine, to my continuing disappointment. If they're yours, you lucky shit, can I be your friend? *grin* For Stacy, 'cuz she likes this kinda thing. *smirks at Stace* Hope it perks you up, even a little. Also, beta'd while suzu was heavily medicated. Just . . . er . . . keep that in mind. Any remaining mistakes are probably mine, though. *sigh*

Blurry Moon + Part One

The days, like the nights, were hot. The air was heavy with moisture, pressing down upon the inhabitants of the city. Tempers rose, patience lessened. People fled the heat of the day, retreating into air- conditioned buildings. The city was tense with anticipation, waiting for the sky to crack and let the rain pour down, cooling heated skin and fevered minds.

Still, the night was alive. It pulsed with a heartbeat of its own, breathing with the energy only the cover of darkness could give. The oppressive heat could never hope to drive away the people who lived for the night. Lights blazed, music pounded and people moved.

I stood on the edge of this throbbing, animate thing. The press of bodies and the sharp tang of sweat and smoke weren't a part of my night. My world was safer, cleaner. Structured.

I needed sleep; I had work in the morning.

I turned my back on the night beyond the doorway and into the comfort of my apartment building. The cool air struck me in the face as I passed through the sliding glass doors and they closed behind me with a small sound of displaced air. Goosebumps rose along my arms from the difference in temperature. I nodded at the security guard as I passed by - I'd never bothered to get his name, even after two years of living in the same building.

I suppose I was that way about most things, people, and places. I've been called a wide range of things from antisocial to indifferent. Indifference suited me fine, it kept the majority of the population from bothering me. There were a few people who tried very hard to 'drag me out of my shell'. I can admire their persistence, but that's about it. It does more to annoy me than encourage me to actively seek out their company.

The lobby was deathly quiet after the pulse of the night. Subdued, waiting for the somewhat questionable safety of morning's light. I pressed the call button beside the elevator, slipped a hand into my pocket and waited. Seconds later, the doors opened and I stepped into the softly lit interior. My night was over, while outside it had just begun.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Morning dawned a painful, blinding white. The sun never rose quietly in this city, it stormed over the buildings and people, unmercifully beating down upon the earth. It made the metal gleam through the haze.

Although the morning had waned, the dazzling light remained. The low hum of conversation and the quiet sound of running computers filled the air behind me. I stood at a window in the hall, staring out at the brightness. Beside me, a co-worker chattered endlessly. This would be an example of a relentless person trying to break that shell that's supposedly surrounding me.

"Honestly, Heero, it won't kill you. You're what, twenty four?" He paused, waiting for confirmation.

I bit back a sigh and turned to him. "Yes."

He'd been trying to convince me for the last ten minutes or so to accompany him and his friends to some of the bars and other entertainments that were available, if you knew where to go. The hint that there was a woman in it for me was painfully obvious. I just wasn't interested.

"It's one time. And we're not planning on dragging you to the seedy underbelly of the city." He absently blew a strand of light blond hair from his eyes. "I don't feel the least bit inclined to go there."

"I can't, not tonight." Not ever, I added silently.

"You mean you won't."

Fine. I nodded. "I mean I won't."

"Alright," he said, turning away from me. We walked together until the hallway split and went our separate ways. "There's more to this place than stifling heat, Heero. You never know what you'll find, you might even like it," he said, pausing just around the corner.

I shrugged. "Maybe, but whatever I might find, I won't find it tonight."

"Right. See you later," he said with a smile and left me alone in the hall.

Truthfully, I was slightly intrigued by the night. It was like an entirely different world, as if shadows had the power to change everything. Maybe I was afraid that the night would swallow me whole. Maybe I avoided it because it seemed to want to pull me in, wrap a blanket of darkness and decadence around me and never let go. Then again, like almost everything else, maybe I just didn't want to bother.

- - - - - - - - - - -

By the time I left the office, the sun had almost set. The last trace of it was slowly fading behind the horizon, hanging on by a thin red thread. The sun never died quickly, it always faded slowly like it was unwilling to let the night take over. I could feel the world breathing easier without having to contend with the blinding light in addition to the sweltering heat. The weather hadn't yet broken and the air seemed heavier. Impossible, but it did. Breathing was like trying to swallow thick liquid; it coated your mouth and throat.

My shirt clung to the small of my back, damp with sweat. I had rolled up the sleeves in a vain effort to cool myself off and my hair hung limp around my face, beaten down by the heat. Through that oppressive heat, I felt the city stir to life around me. Soon, I would be home and the night would pass me by. I was content; my apartment had climate control. As far as I knew, no one had figured out a way to air condition the world yet.

I felt the bite of restlessness this evening. Declining the option of public transport, I had opted to walk home. Probably not a very good decision given the humidity, but I hoped that the exertion would rid me of the agitation I felt. By the time I arrived at my building, I was no less edgy and a lot more irritated. I'm in fairly decent shape, but the heat had my blood pounding in my ears. I could feel my heart beat against my ribs, sounding unusually loud in the stillness of the lobby.

I pushed the call button for the elevator, shoved a hand through my damp hair and waited. And waited. I choked back an angry snarl and crossed the lobby, jabbing the call button for the alternate elevator. Neither set of doors opened. Resisting the urge to growl in frustration, I headed back to the main part of the lobby. As soon as I turned around, the bell chimed and the doors slid open.

A scowl firmly on my face, I stepped through the doors and into the small, dim space. I punched the button for the third floor and determinedly tried to burn a hole through the wall by staring at it. There was a screech of metal on metal and the elevator shuddered. The lights above me flickered and went out, flashing back on in seconds. The elevator had stopped between floors.

I stood in the middle of the suddenly too small space, one arm thrown out to grip the railing. I hated it when machines malfunctioned, though it explained why it had taken the elevator so long to arrive in the lobby. When the floor didn't try to jump out from under my feet, I released the rail and straightened. I was still trying to decide if I should spend a few minutes ranting and then call help, or call for help first and then rant when the elevator shuddered again. The numbers on the display began counting up. I didn't let go of the railing this time until the bell chimed and the doors slid open.

The corridor in front of me was dark. The window at the end let in some light, but it only seemed to make the blackness further down the hall that much deeper. Sparse emergency lights tried unsuccessfully to beat back the blackness and I paused, listening. There was no sound of thunder outside; the power failure must have been internal. Still, I was uneasy. I can deal with surprises, but that didn't mean I had to like them.

I turned away from the window - my apartment lay in the other direction - and found myself face to face with another person. I bit back a shout of surprise and took a quick, jerky step backwards. Fine, I was more than uneasy, but I hadn't heard anyone moving in the hall. I hadn't heard a thing.

I couldn't see very well in this light, but I could tell it was a man. He shifted and the shadows fell away from his face like a curtain parting. His skin was so pale that it seemed to glow against the blackness behind him. Full lips curved up at the edges in a tiny smile and eyes the color of the deepest ocean met mine. They had a strange cast to them, as if they were trying to be two colors at the same time; rich cobalt and dark indigo, my mind supplied. The colors were mesmerizing, almost swirling and melding with each other. It felt like I could drown in them. The man's smile changed and the eyes I was contemplating began to sparkle with dark humor.

I was staring.

"You surprised me," I said by way of explanation, cursing silently and wrenching myself out of my self-imposed daze. That had been one of the oddest - and disturbing - things that had ever happened to me. Then I realized that his hand was on my arm, and again, I hadn't heard or seen him move.

His hand was very stark where it rested lightly against my bare skin. Very stark and very cold since I was still overheated from my ill- conceived walk. Long, slender fingers were wrapped around me with short, neatly trimmed nails. He wore a black and sliver watch that glinted in the light. The time read quarter past seven.

He released me, soft skin lingering against mine and my arm tingled where his hand had been. I stared at the spot and resisted the urge to rub my arm, realizing belatedly that he had said something.

"What?" I asked, completely at a loss. My skin was still tingling, it was distracting me.

"I apologize," he repeated. His voice was low and flowing, brushing over my skin like raw silk. It felt like he could reach out and touch you with his voice alone. More goosebumps rose along my arms. I wasn't cold.

My face must have been blank because he continued, "For startling you."

"It's nothing," I said, looking back up at his face. His hair looked short and almost black where it disappeared into the shadows. Tiny locks fell against his face, shining a rich brown in the light. It looked as if it would shimmer with a life of its own in the light. Brown was too dull a word. Chestnut suited it better.

The man stepped to the side, clearing the way for me. I walked past him, his presence like a weight at my back. I glanced at him and couldn't think of a thing to say. He watched me with unreadable eyes and I turned away.

I had my keys in my hand and was standing in front of my door when I looked back. He was gone. My pulse was in my throat and I had no idea why.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Silk. I dreamed of silk and skin. Heated skin, heated hands and eyes with a darkness in them. I heard whispers in the night and scented rain on the air. Coolness washed over me in a breath of wind, replaced by heavy, moist air. Eyes flashed in the dark, lips brushed mine. I smelled rain and sex, heard my name whispered in a rich voice. I felt hands running over my body, touching, worshiping, claiming.

I awoke with a start, eyes wide and staring at nothing. I sat up and the light sheet pooled in my lap. My skin was damp with sweat and I could feel blood rushing through my veins as I shook off the last remnants of the dream. I rubbed my eyes with the heels of my hands and looked at the clock. It was barely past one in the morning. I swallowed hard, my throat dry. The air conditioning clicked and I jumped. To say I was edgy may have been an understatement.

I got out of bed slowly, walking over to my window. The city lights were blazing bright. The streets were still dry, so it hadn't rained yet. I pushed my hair back from my face with an irritated sigh. I was wide awake. It was a good thing tomorrow was Saturday. I didn't think I'd fall asleep again that night.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Amazingly, I did manage to get some sleep, but not the kind that leaves you rested and refreshed. When I finally stumbled out of bed my eyes felt gritty. I stayed inside most of the day and tried to do something constructive, but by mid-afternoon my skin was crawling. My mind kept replaying the encounter last night with the man in the hallway, over and over again. I kept seeing his hand on my arm and it was beginning to bother me. I needed something to distract me and nothing in my home was working, but I didn't want to go out in the heat. If I stayed indoors, though, I was fairly certain my mind would snap. It wasn't like me. I lasted another few hours and when the sun set that night, I found myself walking through the front doors of my building. I had no idea where I was going. I just had to go.

A few blocks away from my apartment, I was still wondering what had happened to my sanity, wandering around in this sweltering heat. Why did I have to escape my apartment, why did I have this undeniable compulsion to be outside? I looked up at the sky as I walked along, almost growling in frustration.

The stars were invisible, overtaken by the lights of the city. Only the moon shone clear and cold in the velvet blackness. I passed through a heat wave and the air around me shimmered, making the world waver as if disturbed by ripples in a pool. The air was heavy, almost tangible, like a dream that solidifies when you turn your back and dissipates as soon as you try to see it.

In the distance, I heard the wail of sirens. Black smoke billowed skyward and I could just see the tips of flames deep in the city. Absently, I walked towards it. I was standing a street away from a roaring fire before I consciously thought of what I was doing. My body seemed to be acting independently from my mind. I felt disconnected, distant, and I really didn 't like it.

Even here, the heat of the fire was oppressive. Gawkers, much like myself, had crowded close to the police barricade. There weren't many people near me, most either ran toward or away from the flames. I stared at the orange tongues and listened to the building burn.

"Spectacular, isn't it?" a voice I recognized said from right beside me, making me turn. "Horrifying."

I must have made a sound of surprise because he turned laughing eyes on me. I had to look up to meet his gaze. "Nervous?" he asked quietly.

The question, and his presence, made me frown. I flashed on the image of his hand on my arm again and deepened my _expression into a scowl. I had nothing to be nervous about. That didn't explain why I was, though. "No," I said, for lack of any better response.

He nodded as if he had expected me to say that, unconcerned with my reaction. "Walk with me." He turned and walked away from the fire without waiting for an answer.

I was still scowling, but I followed him out of curiosity if nothing else. I don't have a habit of giving in to random urges, even though I had basically run away from my apartment today. What I was doing was completely out of character and I wasn't sure I cared.

As I turned, I noticed that my first impression was wrong. His hair wasn't short at all, it trailed down his back and past his hips in a long braid that swished back and forth as he moved. It was like he didn't walk so much as he flowed over the ground. He moved in an easy glide that made things in my stomach tighten and my throat close. I don't think it was all nerves, though I would have felt better if it was.

[cont]