Author: Mel
- see prologue for warnings and disclaimers -

Life Blood... Chapter eight

I heard there was a secret card
That David played and it pleased
The Lord.
But you don't care for music do you?
It goes like this: the fourth, the fifth,
The mighty fall, the major lift,
The baffled king composed Hallelujah.
Hallelujah.


Quatre decided he could handle the boringness that was biology with the three other boys by his side. The seemed to make everything so much more fun, brightening his day incredibly. Even the other students seemed to be having fun, Duo's voice echoed around the room, causing ripples of laughter in the student population.

It didn't take Quatre long to realise, that though the boys were quite obviously in love with one another, the teachers and other students didn't seem to mind.

"That's Relena's doing." Duo said when Quatre mentioned it out loud. "The little Princess likes us, so the rest of the school puts up with us."

"Relena's that popular?" Quatre had known the little blond had been popular, but that much influence in one girl's- one Vampires hand. It was sort of frightening.

Trowa noted Quatre's look. "I wouldn't worry about it Kat," he said softly, his hand squeezing the Arab's knee. "We'd still be together even if the rest of the school despised us." Quatre didn't let on how doubtful he thought that was, and smiled. It was a cute thought.

Class finished quickly, their teacher pausing the class a moment to hand out the latest assignment. It almost brought Quatre's euphoria to a screeching halt. Homework. It hadn't occurred to Quatre at all that the only thing in his life that had changed was one small, but incredibly significant, outlook. The rest of the world still went on, passed him by. And he still had homework to do to pass his course. He wondered if it was worth it, but only for a moment.

As, quite suddenly, on the way out of the classroom, Duo attacked him from behind. He wrapped his long arms around the blond's neck. He tried not to think too much about the dynamics as Duo somehow managed to twist his arms and ruffle Quatre's hair as well as hug him at the same time. "Thank God for Friday!" He yelled, bouncing off Quatre and catching Wufei, whom had only just joined them, by the arms and led him in an importune dance. Trowa chuckled lightly, caching the unbalanced Quatre as Duo let go of him. Heero rolled his eyes, smirking ever so slightly.

"HEERO!"

The five boys all cringed at the sound of Relena's overpowering voice. She threw her arms around Heero's neck, which Heero quickly detached. Today she wore the shortest, low cut scarlet dress that Quatre had possibly ever seen. Her black knee high boots encased her shapely legs and she wore black gloves over her hands and a chocker around her neck.

"Is it just me or does that outfit scream `slut' to you too?" Duo whispered in Quatre's ear, enticing a giggle from the blond and earning a quick glare from Relena, who's hearing picked it up perfectly fine. She then turned just as quickly back to Heero, her smile bright. Duo made a gagging sound, causing another snicker from Quatre.

Then Relena's nostrils flared and her noes screwed up in distaste. "Yuk," she grumped, "you smell like Wufei."

"Good," Wufei muttered icily. "Did you have something to tell us or are you just going to stand there and be annoying?"

Relena pouted, which Duo then mimicked, pulling it off quite well and causing even Trowa to laugh softly. She glared at Duo for a moment then sighed. Slipping her hand into the top of her dress she pulled out a card. "The boy at this address is feeding off the children at the local primary school. There have been two deaths already and I thought you might like to know."

Still pouting like Relena, Duo reached out and plucked the card out of her hand, stashing it actually within the folds of his braid before anyone could say anything. "I've got this one." He murmured, pouting and then grinning at Relena, who rolled her eyes.

Quatre was a little surprised but didn't say anything. He didn't have to, Trowa could already feel his surprise and leant slightly down t whisper in his ear. "Duo takes the child cases very seriously. We all do, but more so Duo."

"Why?" Quatre whispered in return but Trowa shook his head. Relena was already walking away, blowing a kiss in Heero's direction, which Heero blatantly ignored.

"That Onna is just annoying on prepose." Wufei sneered.

"Problem with our illustrious Princess, Wu-bear?" Duo grinned, the earlier sober attitude gone.

"Understatement of the year Maxwell. And don't call me `Wu-bear'."

Duo just laughed, he didn't need to work hard to bait when he was in this state. "So what's on the agenda for tonight?"

"Homework," Wufei hefted a large and ever so frightening book.

"But it's a Friday!" Duo whined loudly, suddenly throwing his arms around Wufei. "We have to go out and party!"

"As we have over the last three nights Maxwell, some of us are not as lucky as you and have a photographic memory." Wufei disengaged himself from Duo's hold.

Duo pouted his own pout. "Fine." He grumped, looking most put out.

"We could go somewhere for a few hours then come home?" Quatre suggested, earning a glance from all the boys.

"Well I'll be!" Duo exclaimed in delight, "our little Kat has come up with a `wonderful' compromise."

"Would you `stop' calling me that," Quatre scowled at Duo, who smirked and ruffled the short blonde's hair. Quatre batted the hand away, but there wasn't much effort behind it. The name was actually growing on him, and Heero was right, he could be called `little Prince' here as well.

"I've just got to go to my locker and get some books for tonight." Quatre moved away from the others.

"Right, we'll meet you up at the room and we'll work out what to do tonight that won' t take all our time." Duo grinned, shoving Wufei in the direction of the room. Heero followed along behind them, shaking his head. Trowa waved at Quatre, giving a small smile while his free hand sort and held Heero's.

Quatre watched them go before rolling his eyes. "And they think I'm strange."

+

Heero could feel the presence as he and the others reached the room. It sent shivers down his spine, causing him to pause in the doorway. For a moment he seemed torn between joining the presence and entering the room. But only for a moment. Straightening his shoulders he refrained from glancing into the shadows and moved into the room, pulling the door closed behind them.

Something in the hallway laughed...

+

It didn't take long for Quatre to get to his locker. The Arab practically skipped down the hall, his blue eyes bright. Students that passed his way glanced at him, rolled their eyes, and continued walking. His actions drew a few smiles out of a few people who could tell when they looked at him that he was head over heels and falling fast.

He hummed lightly to himself as he turned the dial on the front of his locker, hopping from one foot to the next in his child like glee. It was rather cute actually. Opening the door to the locker he peered inside, wondering why they made lockers so high up for someone so short. Rifling through the mess that were his books and school supplies, he didn't hear the other person approach.

"My, my, aren't you cute!"

Quatre yelped, jumping back and slamming into the other lockers. Pain shot up his body as his blue eyes blinked up at Miliardo. The long haired blonde rested against the doors of the other lockers, his waist length white blonde hair fanning around him. His jeans were black and figure hugging, his shirt open and black, proudly showing his chiselled muscles beneath his crossed arms. Quatre was reminded of a parading peacock, showing off his feathers to all who were foolish enough to pay attention.

"And finally, Quatre Winner, we are all alone."

Quatre swallowed, this was `not' good! "What do you want Miliardo?" He asked softly, looking away from him.

Miliardo grinned wolfishly, causing Quatre to shudder. "Just a small taste little boy," the older Peacecraft pushed himself off the lockers, advancing on Quatre, who backed away, looking around. Just when you needed help the hallways always seemed to be empty. Where were they? Where was Duo, Trowa, Wufei or even Heero when you need them?

Miliardo took another step forward and Quatre another back. Again Quatre could feel the power in Miliardo, the vampire power, building slowly, reaching out for him. Quatre couldn't move any further as he found himself backed up against a wall. His mind screamed out though he couldn't seem to open his mouth, to make the sound fly out into the air. It was like someone had squeezed his vocal cords, stopped up his throat. He couldn't even breath.

Miliardo was still smiling predatorily. His eyes flashed a hunter's silver as his tongue dashed out, licking his lips. Quatre could see the fangs behind those lips as Miliardo's head dipped, his lips getting closer to his own. "Just one," the power reached out for Quatre, "little," Miliardo descend on his frozen prey, his lips bare millimetres from Quatre's, "taste."

Suddenly Miliardo was in the air, an irate Wufei throwing Miliardo as far away from Quatre as possible. Still the vampire landed easily, looking little more then slightly ruffled. Wufei caught Quatre as his legs gave out and the wall wasn't much support. Quatre, in return, clung to Wufei gratefully, the Chinese boy's strength a grand relief. For not the first time Quatre was reminded of his on inadequacy to handle a Vampire's attack.

"How `Dare' you-" Wufei hissed in barely contained rage, onyx eyes smouldering.

Quatre could feel power surge around them, but different power. Like a vampire's, but only slightly. This power burned with red hot fury, Quatre could feel it mass upon itself and directed solely at Miliardo.

Quatre may have been feeling a little light headed, but he also knew that a release of such power could be dangerous. He tugged at Wufei's clothes, but received no attention, the raven haired boy- no, that wasn't quite right, warrior, had his attention focused directly on Miliardo. Quatre remembered the first day he had woken in Wufei's arms, the power beneath the fierce gaze that lulled him softly into a frozen state. And now, in anger, forced Miliardo to comply to his command.

Lifting his seemingly dead weight took quite some doing, but none the less, Quatre pulled himself into some semblance of a standing position, and wrapped his frail arms about Wufei's neck. "Fei," the soft whimper breathed from his lips. Wufei continued to ignore him, his eyes narrowing on their prey and he lifted his hand slowly, pointing those slender fingers at their enemy.

"Chang Wufei!" His name rang through the air like two shots from a gun. Quatre was quite unsure where the power that fuelled such a commanding voice came, nor was he certain if it even was his own voice. It roared like a church bell from between his lips, falling and ringing through the silent hallways.

Whatever it was, it caught Wufei's attention, dragged it from Miliardo's lone figure, and back to himself. The exhaustion was gone from Quatre's body, but he still clung to Wufei, his hands slipping through Wufei's now loose locks, the elastic band that had been keeping it in a ponytail now wrapped around Quatre's wrist. "It's not worth it," he whispered softly, blue eyes open imploringly and staring into Wufei's eyes.

Wufei let out a shuddering sigh, letting his arm fall and encircle Quatre's waist. Quatre smiled gratefully as the power that had shimmered around them stopped and dispersed.

"Well, the shinning Knight, Dragon slayer Wufei saves Prince Quatre once again. How touching!" Miliardo laughed, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

Wufei glared at him, "get out of here, and I don't `ever' want to see you near him again."

"Yeah whatever," Miliardo grinned, standing straight. He wiggled his fingers at them in farewell, "Toodles my little prince and his knight in shinning armour." And than he was gone.

Quatre didn't care at the moment, continually running his fingers through his hair, letting his fingers trail down Wufei's cheek, brushing across his full lips. "How did you know?" He whispered, letting his finger stay where it was. Quatre's head rest on his shoulder, feeling the boy calm down at his touch.

"I heard your scream," he talked softly, his lips brushing Quatre's finger with each word.

"My scream?"

"Yes," Wufei whispered, "you screamed out in your mind, you wanted our help. And I heard you."

"How?"

"It's a little trick that our vampire buddies have," Duo answered as he joined them, his voice just as soft as theirs, "and a little trick that Wufei has had from birth." Heero and Trowa followed, the ever-silent pair.

"You can read my mind?"

Wufei paused before continuing, "I could, but I choose not to. For the longest time, when I was young, I could not control which thoughts I heard or read, but after sometime, I've learnt too only listen to certain thoughts. Like your cry for help, or a murderous vampire."

"Watch this," Duo said suddenly, "what am I thinking Wufei?"

Wufei sighed and rolled his eyes. "I'm going to regret this." Quatre felt Wufei's body relax completely and watched as the Chinese boy kept his eyes open. While they were focused on Duo's face they shifted back and forth, as if searching for something. The blissful look on Duo's actually left little to the imagination as it was.

Wufei took a step back quite suddenly. "Duo Maxwell! That was absolutely, positively disgusting!"

"What?"

Hilde joined them, a smirk on her face, "what has Duo been saying now?"

"Wufei, naked, dipped head to toe in chocolate and Peanut butter. You do the math." Duo sung, grinning in delight.

"A meal fit for a king!" Hilde was trying not to laugh, Wufei going a distinct shade of pink. "No honey?"

"I never even thought of honey! What would I do without you Hilde?"

"Probably have an incredibly boring sex life," Hilde answered. "But I'm not here to talk about that, though I must admit, watching Wufei go several different colours in a matter of second is fun." Wufei promptly went a shade darker. "Like I said that's not why I'm here. I'm skating tonight, I wanted to know if you guys were up to it?"

Duo gave a yelp of delight before throwing his arms around Hilde. "I knew I loved you for a reason!" He looked at the others. "Well?"

They nodded, Wufei's arms still wrapped around Quatre. "It does sound like a good idea, then Quatre and I can come back early and get some of this homework done."

"I can't skate."

Those words, even as Quatre spoke them, brought the group up short.

"Right, well I'm not going to be there till six, so that gives me three hours," Hilde said briskly, taking Quatre by the arm and pulling him out of Wufei's embrace.

"Trust her," Duo said with a grin, "she taught Wufei how to skate when all I could do was laugh."

+

Quatre watched with a little trepidation as Hilde laced her skates. Having never had anything on his feet with wheels on them and so was a little unsure of how he'd go moving around on them. Hilde, however, seemed to be having a ball, humming to herself as she tied a knot on her first skate, and started tightening the other one.

"How do you know Duo?"

"We've known each other since we were kids," Hilde said softly, "we were part of the same orphanage."

"Have you always been best friends?"

"Nope, Duo's best friend for the longest time was a little boy called Solo. Here, let me do those for you." Hilde knelt in front of Quatre, pulling the lacers tight. "Duo used to follow Solo everywhere, we all did, but Duo was his favourite. Up until we were six, we were a little `gang' of orphanage kids and Solo and Duo were our leaders."

"What happened?"

"It turns out Solo had a weak heart, he and Duo were checking out this attic in an old house for a club headquarters, so to speak, when Solo had a heart attack. I guess Duo panicked and didn't know what to do. Solo died in his arms and I found them up there an hour later."

Quatre put a hand to his mouth, "that's horrible!"

Hilde nodded. "It was, Duo didn't say a word for weeks, even when we went to the Maxwell orphanage."

"The Maxwell orphanage?" Quatre let the name roll off his tongue, "I know the name." He thought about it for a moment before it hit. "Wasn't that the orphanage that burnt down two years ago? I remember the news saying that all the kids' died-" Quatre realised quite suddenly what he was saying and the words stopped as his eyes widened.

"Except for two," Hilde nodded, "both Duo and I had to stay back at our high school to help set up for our senior prom."

Quatre was speechless. He hadn't realised, with Duo's happy demeanour and smiling face, that he could have such a dark past.

"He got a scholarship with Barton industries to do his phycology course in his last year of high school, just before we lost our home. Now, are you ready to try standing?" Hilde smiled up at him, her sombre mood gone.

Quarter nodded but let Hilde stand first, trusting the taller girl's stability. She was incredibly graceful on the wheels on her feet and held onto Quatre easily. Quatre grinned shakily, his legs in the same state. She took him confidently down the boardwalk, talking to him softly, keeping him calm.

In two hours Quatre didn't remember what she had said, but he raced her down the road that was clear of traffic, showing her his dancing techniques. Hilde could not stop smiling at the blond prince as his hair glowed in the rapidly dimming light. She wondered if he realised how much like royalty he actually looked, even when he was doing things another teenager would not hesitate to do...

[chap. 7] [chap. 9] [back to Mel's fic]