Author: Mel
- see prologue for warnings and disclaimers -

Life Blood... Chapter five

you come out at night
that's when the energy comes
and the dark side's light
and the vampires roam

---Sarah McLachlan

Beautiful.

It was a thought that shouldn't enter you're mind when a demon hovered over you. But this creature wasn't a demon. Quatre's mind iced over in something that he could only describe as vertigo, as if he was going to take that all important step into a new world, and he was going to fall head long into this reality. But this form of vertigo allowed his mind to open, and for the first time in his life, he was able see things incredibly sharp and clear. Like through clear cut crystal.

The creature now looked more human then it had at first and fearful glance. It was wearing an old pair of jeans with ratty tears just above the knees. The shirt had probably been black once and was now faded and brown. The gold word `Metallica' was printed in demonic writing and faded skulls were etched beneath it. Male, the smell of musk was a dead give away that seemed to be much more potent when it was about to attack.

The fierce animal eyes only served to make him more beautiful as did the wild black hair that now fell around them and the elongated teeth. This was obviously not the reaction this creature was after as it now looked startled. It was almost as if it could feel the awe radiating off Quatre. Quatre reached forward, his fingers brushing through the creature's fine hair.

Absolutely beautiful.

That thought seemed to spur the creature back into action and it snarled again, slamming Quatre harder into the wall. With the base of his skull connecting with the bricks Quatre saw stars, blind panic once again taking over the small boy's mind. All thoughts of beauty were lost as the creature smiled at him.

Allah, I'm going to die.

The thought filled Quatre's head and something reared in him, something that made the creature pause in its downward movement. Something just as fierce, just as powerful, it pushed at his senses, exploding up through his body, filling him, flashing through his eyes.

And it died almost as soon as it began to grow as the creature was thrown from him, landing in a graceless heap on the cold night grass.

"Never," Duo's voice was absolutely furious as he stepped in front of Quatre, measured steps making their way towards the creature. He was dressed all in black, his hair falling in its heavy braid to his knees, swaying gracefully with his hips. "Touch," whatever the surge had been, imaginative or not, it was gone now and it left Quatre drained, the blonde sagging against the wall, his hair damp with sweat. "Him," Duo now knelt before the fallen creature and it seemed to shrink away from the braided American's fury. "Again!"

Even as the last word was hissed out from beneath his lips, Duo reached forward, his hands cupping its cheeks. Flicking his wrists he silenced the creature's low, frightened noises, snapping its neck. Duo let the head fall to the ground with a hollow thud, and now, the face that had become something akin to human, sunk in on itself, dissolving from the inside out. What ever it had been it was now decomposing at a rate the Quatre's tired eyes couldn't phantom. Soon a dust pile, covered with the clothes, remained.

The soft breeze scattered the dust and Duo stood.

Quatre was watching him, his breathing shallow. Duo's lips were moving and Quatre could hear the silent prayer catching in the heavy air. The boy crossed himself. By the Father, the son and the holy ghost. It seemed forced, almost jerked, as if Duo was having trouble pulling off the familiar gesture, as if he would rather be doing anything else other then crossing the departed spirit.

And it was only now that Duo turned to him.

For a moment Quatre saw stars. It was like there was something that wouldn't allow him to look at Duo now. Not while he shimmered that way. Not while his fury still burned within him. Quatre closed his eyes against him, against the primeval power that burned through creatures of the night. He groaned softly the back of his head burning in pain.

"Quatre?" came Duo's worried voice, the fury was gone and the worry in his voice was sincere. "Man, are you all right?"

Quatre let an eye open slightly, looking at Duo. There was no shimmering boy, no angry eyes, just Duo. Quatre sighed in relief. He allowed his eyes to open all the way, fear dying in them for the moment. "What was he Duo?"

"That," came a deep and enraged voice from the shadows. Quatre turned to the voice, and watched as Heero emerged. Heero was in a skin tight pair of jeans with his favourite leather jacket zipped up at the front, protecting him from the bitter cold night. Unlike Duo, Heero hadn't had the chance to work his anger out on the creature, the fury flashing in his cobalt eyes. "Was a Vampire."

Hearing the word spoken aloud, and thinking it were two completely different things. Quatre had, somewhere in his mind, had thought that the creature must have been a Vampire, but he had repressed it. Vampires weren't real, they were creatures made up to scare children and keep teenagers interested in reading, weren't they? But now, now it changed. They were real, and one had almost killed him. A Vampire had almost sunk his teeth into his flesh. Quatre felt sick.

And then he realised Heero was staring at him. Not staring, glaring, furiously. He was so angry it fell off him in waves. Quatre wasn't too sure if he would rather be with Vampire right now instead of with Heero.

"What possessed you to walk around. In the dark. Alone?" Heero hissed, his coming out softly, furiously. Quatre's eyes widened fractionally and he pressed his back further into the bitting bricks. Duo also seemed surprised at Heero's reaction, it was rare that he ever showed any form of emotion to him or the other boys, let alone anything as overpowering as anger.

Heero, still angry, managed to reign in the anger, holding it carefully in check as he growled, low in his throat, and did the only thing he could. He turned away from Quatre, walking past the blond, barely containing himself.

At these points in time, the individuals involved can do one of two things. The right, or the wrong. Sadly, Quatre did the wrong.

"Hee-chan."

He knew it was a mistake even as the name was breathed passed his lips, even as he took a tentative step closer to the other boy. He felt Heero pause, the anger and fury that could have been spared was now directed solely at him. Duo was again taken by surprise. He hadn't known that Quatre had known any Japanese, especially not such a term of endearment. Now where had the little Arabian Prince found time to learn that, he mused, but not for long.

Quatre didn't get more then that hesitant step towards Heero before Heero slammed the smaller boy up against the wall again. His forearm was pressed against Quatre's neck, forcing his chin up and his eyes to stare straight into his. He took a deep, shuddering breath as he began to speak, not in English, but in Arabic.

"Don't you EVER call me that again. You lost the right a long time ago." Heero's cobalt eyes burned into Quatre's and they ignored the confused Duo.

Quatre didn't speak, but nodded, his wide eyes sinking closed. Duo took a step forward, not understanding what Heero had said, but hearing the fury behind it. Heero released Quatre and left and this time Quatre did not try to stop him.

+

"Oh, that went well."

Heero did not stop to talk to the figure this time but kept walking.

And the figure kept up with him without little effort. "You really did a good job at convincing him to stay away from Vampires. Really, marvellous job-"

"Was it you?" The figure stopped as Heero did. "Was he one of your lackeys?"

"Please," disgust evident. "Like I'd give you a reason to kill me. You think I'm stupid, trust me, I'm not."

"Then go away. Leave us alone." Heero hissed and continued stalking away.

The figure smiled, "no."

+

"I tell you, its not right."

"Are you sure you weren't imagining things Maxwell?" Wufei asked softly, placing his books in his locker. His onyx eyes glanced at his braided companion as the rest of the student body surged around them. Wufei, at the very least, was the most awake of the group, he started early on a Thursday morning and had been up for a while. He wore a white button up shirt and simple black slacks, his hair pulled up and out of his eyes. Duo hadn't said anything, but he hated it when his Chinese partner wore his hair up instead of down. Trowa stood beside him, also watching Duo with interest, closing his own locker after retrieving his books. Trowa was in a green turtleneck and jeans, and looked like he could use a coffee. Between the three boys they had spent half the night calming down a rather distort Quatre.

"Quatre and Heero have said nothing about it," Wufei continued, his voice muffled slightly as his head disappeared into his locker. "Could it be that your caffeine-riddened mind was playing tricks on you?"

Duo bristled at the other teen's tone. "Look, I might be a little hypoactive at times, but I'm not blind or stupid. I swear on Sister Helen's grave that Heero threw Quatre up against the wall and started speaking in this language I've never heard before. I couldn't understand it, but it sounded like he was threatening Kat."

"I believe you," Trowa said softly, his cool green eyes hooded. "There's something going on between those two-"

"I'm sorry," came Quatre's voice from behind them. The small Arabian boy looked a little flustered, an arm load of books balancing precariously. He too had been up rather early that morning, but not for classes. "I couldn't get away any sooner-"

Quatre found himself staring into a smouldering pair of onyx eyes as hands snaked themselves around his waist and tugged him towards the eyes. "You're late," Wufei breathed softly, causing Quatre to lick his lips, nodding uncertainly. "That is bad. Quatre is a bad boy."

Quatre was about to open his mouth with a retort to the obviously playful words before Wufei's lips were on top of his, pressing against his urgently. Quatre smiled around the kiss, allowing Wufei to pull him closer. It was a few more moments before Wufei let him go, pulling back. "You left early this morning, where did you disappear to?"

Duo gave him a soft kiss on the cheek, coaxing a smile out of the blond. "I had to go into the library. I-" He stopped, watching silently as Heero joined the group.

The quite Japanese boy hadn't returned to the room the night before, after Quatre's attack. It had happened before, but it still had thrown the other boys off guard, it was rare that Heero retreated into his shell like this. Even now his movements were that of someone running on auto-pilot, someone not willing to let them in. Still he greeted them in his customary fashion.

"Hn."

Wufei and Trowa exchanged a glance even as Quatre stiffened in Wufei's arms. Duo also noticed it, but was a lot less subtle.

"Hey Heero, where were you last night, you had us all worried?" There was no answer as Heero opened his locker, taking off the leather jacket he wore, and had obviously slept in, and threw it in. "I would have thought that after what happened last night you would have helped me bring Kat home, he was a little shook up you know."

Heero looked down at Duo, his face loosing its hard edge for a moment. He then looked at Quatre, aquarium eyes meeting prussian blue. He hesitated a moment, and then opened his mouth-

"HEEEERRROOOOOO!"

Duo groaned even as a flying ball of dark blond hair flung itself into Heero's back. Heero closed his mouth, his lips falling into a grim line, a glare marring what had been almost apologetic features. Looking down as a pair of slim arms wound around his waist he growled.

"Let go Relena."

Quatre looked at the small young woman who clung to Heero. It was no secret to anyone at the college that the younger of the two Peacecraft's, Relena, had been after Heero for quite some time. The possessive girl had made it her mission to drag Heero away from the other boys, with little success. Quatre didn't understand why she hadn't given up.

Because Relena was not only popular, but stunningly beautiful. She was short, with dark blond hair that fell to mid back. Two small braids flared out from her temples and met at the back of her head. She had a set of big baby blue eyes that could get her just about anything she was after, with the exception of Heero. Her body was to die for, and she new it, showing it off with short skirts, low cut tops and figure hugging jeans. At the moment she wore a black mini-skirt, a white sleeveless top with two black hand prints that covered her breasts as if someone had groped her with paint on their hands. She wore black ankle boots, no socks, and a silver anklet that made noises when she walked.

All in all the effect drew the attention of everyone, men and women alike. She loved it too. But at the moment all her charm and effort was focused on Heero. "Heero, I' ve been looking for you!" She whispered huskily. Wufei rolled his eyes and Quatre tried not to giggle.

"I won't ask you again." Heero growled and Relena, who was not exactly the brightest spark, ignored him.

She was just about to open her mouth again, when a soft giggle stopped her. If anything, Relena hated to be laughed at. Turning her head slightly she glanced at the giggler, frowning angrily when she saw who it was.

"Relena Peacecraft, will you never learn?" Came the soft German voice of Hilde Schbeicker. The two women were as different as night and day, and quite fierce rivals. As a result Hilde was alienated by the majority of the school just as Relena was loved by them. Deep opaque blue eyes were filled with barely contained laughter. Her dark midnight sapphire hair was kept under control by a navy blue baseball cap, and her jeans were well worn and loved. She wore the a soft blue jacket that her hands were stuck in the pockets of, to keep her hands warm. Her skin was paler then Relena's golden sheen, and she was taller with confidence in her stride.

Hilde handled her alienation from the rest of the school well, and it helped that Duo was he best friend.

"You'd think by now you'd have realised that Heero is just not interested." Hilde said as she moved closer to them. Quatre smiled at her, he had always liked the honest Germen girl. Hilde saw the smile and returned it in force, her smile was much nicer then Relena's sugar coated one.

Relena sniffed in distaste, "no body asked you Hilde."

Hilde rolled her eyes, "Whatever," she muttered before rounding on Duo. "Now don't forget that you owe me breakfast tomorrow Duo Maxwell, and if you forget I will be waking you up-"

"I won't forget," Duo said quickly, smiling.

Hilde looked as if she didn't believe him but nodded anyway. Trowa smiled at her as she walked passed, and she reached out and ruffled Quatre's hair, as if she'd known him forever. Wufei almost laughed at Quatre's puzzled _expression.

"Hilde has known of our obsession of you for quite some time." Wufei explained softly, before letting go of him. Heero was still trying to disengage himself from Relena, who hung on somewhat stubbornly.

"Obsession being the right word."

Relena now let go of Heero at the sound of the new voice, standing straight on her high heels, and looking behind her. "Brother, dear, I thought you had class."

Miliardo Peacecraft, the older of the two, walked up to his sister, putting what could almost be called a restraining hand on her shoulder. Miliardo was a lot different from his sister. He was a senior, doing his last term with the college and almost twice as tall as his little sister. His hair was platinum blond and fine, falling unbound to his hips. His eyes a cold blue took in all five of the boys with little interest. Miliardo always wore expensive and `stuck up' clothes as Duo had once put it and today was no different, with dress pants, shirt and vest. He was also the love of the majority of the college's female population. Duo teased him mercilessly about it, and Miliardo didn't seem to care, ignoring the braided boy's teasing for the most part.

He now smiled wolfishly at the five boys, the majority of which glared at him. Students had now returned to their classes and the halls were pretty much empty. It wasn't that they didn't like him, it was that they despised him. His eyes fell on Quatre and his arm full of books. Stepping forward he picked the first on up.

"'Dracula' well well, that's some interesting reading you have there. But why don't you learn what you want to know from the real thing." He smiled again and Quatre, eyes wide, realised something.

Beautiful.

Absolutely beautiful.

Beautiful like the rain, like winter nights. Like the creature who attacked him. Miliardo `felt' like that creature had. And as the tall man advanced on him, he noted the subtle differences that fell over him. Like the animal eyes, and the teeth. The teeth that grew around his smile, indenting into his lower lip. He was one of them, a vampire.

But there was one difference. It wasn't blood that he was taking, it was life, energy. Quatre could feel it being drawn out of his body. He could see Miliardo draw the very essence that was himself being taken into Miliardo. But he wasn't scared, though he felt he should have been. Instead it was like he was getting a true glimpse into the creatures mind, as if he could touch the essence that was Miliardo. And he wondered what would happen if he did touch it.

The connection was severed suddenly as Miliardo was slammed up against the lockers by a very angry Heero.

"Now," came Duo's icy voice through the fog as Quatre tried to collect himself. "I knew there was a reason why I didn't like you. Now get your rich arse out of here before we get rid of it ourselves."

Miliardo smiled, his teeth having retracted, and was looking down at Heero. "My, aren't we protective today. Pity you weren't last night."

Heero growled furiously, but Relena was tugging at Heero's shirt. "Heero, leave him alone." She whispered softly and Heero relaxed his grip on her brother. "We'll see you tonight, don't forget, you promised me a dance."

Heero had done no such thing but he didn't deny it, watching Miliardo. Miliardo smiled again and blew them a kiss as his sister pushed him off down the hall.

"You guys better tell me what's going on." Quatre said, his aquarium eyes looking from one to the other.

Wufei nodded, "it's time you knew what you have gotten yourself into Quatre Winner."

[chap. 4] [chap. 6] [back to Mel's fic]