Title: Sweet Sting
Author: Jordanna Morgan
Archive Rights: Please request the author's consent.
Rating/Warnings: PG for vampirism.
Characters: Mikaela and Krul.
Setting: Pre-canon, during Mika's education by Krul.
Summary: Mika grows curious about some of his changes as a vampire.
Disclaimer: They belong to Takaya Kagami. I'm just playing with them.
Notes: This is a Fandom Stocking gift for EvilMuffins. It was inspired by the small canon detail that biting is supposedly an "immoral pleasure" for vampires.
When Mikaela drank from Krul's veins, she would make a little humming sound. It reminded him of his faded childhood memory of cats purring, back in the human world of old.
She hadn't always done that. When she would offer him her wrist in the beginning, she met the sharp prick of his fangs with silence, and he felt a slight tension in her where he clutched her arm. Yet as time passed, she increasingly appeared to relax during his feedings. Her body became more languid instead of tightening up, and she started to let that oddly contented sound escape her. Even her gentle murmurs and stroking of his hair—a gesture once reserved for occasions when he was being rewarded—became a regular part of his mere necessary meals as well.
After a while, Mika learned that other vampires didn't bite each other… or at least, they didn't admit to doing so. He learned that it was publicly viewed as something improper, although he could not quite discern why. At first, pondering the question from a young human perspective he had not yet unlearned, he supposed it was simply considered wrong to inflict the pain of a bite on a fellow vampire.
However, as Krul gradually ceased to disguise her true reactions, Mika began to understand. Certainly, she did feel a brief moment of pain; he recognized that from her tiny flinch and intake of breath, each time his fangs penetrated her flesh. But after that part, as he drank her blood—as she purred and petted him—then it was no longer hurt she was expressing.
It was some form of pleasure instead.
That was why she began to respond with caresses and praises, the same as when he did well at his history lessons or his sword training. What she felt from his bites delighted her just as much. It was clearly a somewhat different kind of pleasure, though… and when he put that together with the perceived impropriety of biting, the realization made Mika blush.
Still, he couldn't stop. He needed Krul's blood. Whatever his bite did for her, it was his only way to survive without taking human life.
By the time Krul began prompting him to drink from her neck instead of her wrist, he was immune to the embarrassment. He supposed he should be glad she got some kind of enjoyment out of nourishing him. Maybe it would make her less inclined to cut him off, to force him to seek human blood, instead of depending on her.
Over time, a small thread of curiosity couldn't help but weave itself into Mika's self-loathing. The longer he existed as a semi-vampire, and the more inured he became to its unpleasant aspects, the less reluctant he was to explore his new nature. He had long since been forced to admit to himself that certain things about it, such as heightened strength and rapid healing, had their uses. If there were other, more subtle advantages he had yet to discover, perhaps it would help make the truly terrible parts a little easier to endure.
He finally broached the subject one morning in Krul's boudoir, as he stood brushing out her long pink hair.
It had been some time since the Queen first invited, or really rather commanded Mika to do that—merely giving him something to do when he'd looked a little too bored while waiting on her. In a way it seemed like an especially subservient task, but he was surprised to find he didn't mind it, and so she continued to hand him her hairbrush each day when she sat at her dressing table.
By this point, Mika could admit that some part of him looked forward to it. There was a strange kind of closeness in the simple contact of gliding the brush through Krul's tresses. It wasn't as if touching her was unfamiliar; when he fed, he inevitably clutched her wrists or her shoulders (sometimes more tightly and roughly than he intended), and the combat training she put him through involved plenty of hand-to-hand lessons. Yet brushing her hair was a much more gentle means of connection, having nothing to do with either blood or fighting.
The human part of Mika, he supposed, was the source of this desire for physical contact with another person. He wasn't sure he liked having that lingering mortal trait. When he lived among creatures he wanted his heart to remain hardened to, it was a weakness to find any enjoyment in touching or being touched.
Still, it did please Krul—and keeping her happy was the only way to make progress toward his own goals.
"Is something bothering you, Mika?" Krul asked absently at length, when, without realizing it, he had stroked the brush over the same spot for a bit too long.
Blinking himself out of his reverie, he met her red eyes in the dressing-table mirror. He lowered the brush in his hand, and took a breath.
"No. Not really." A frown bent his lips. "It's just… I've been wondering what it feels like to you, when I bite you."
Something guarded flashed through Krul's eyes, but she covered it quickly behind a veneer of teasing lightness.
"Ah, but you know very well what being bitten feels like, don't you? After all, you had Ferid's fangs in your neck often enough."
"But that's when I was… not the way I am now," Mika protested awkwardly—wondering why he suddenly found it difficult to say when I was human. "I know it's different for vampires. I've seen… the way you are, when I drink from you."
Another dark glimmer in Krul's scarlet orbs. She turned sharply as if somehow offended. Her hand drew back, causing Mika to tense… but then it simply dropped to her side, and she heaved out a long breath.
"Caring for you puts me in a complicated position, Mika. There are consequences to my letting you go on for so long without drinking human blood… politically and personally." She shifted back toward the dressing table, her hands fiddling restlessly with the pieces of jewelry that lay scattered across its surface. "But it may be better for us both if you remain innocent of such things."
Mika turned his face away, closing his eyes.
"I stopped being innocent the day you first made me swallow your blood," he whispered bitterly.
The response was swift, and not at all what he might have expected.
He heard Krul's faint intake of breath, the rustle of her silk robe, and suddenly her slight weight crashed against him. There was a sharp pull at the collar of his uniform shirt. His eyes fluttered open wide as the fabric tore, and then…
In the first moment, it was the same way it had been with Ferid: a quick, bright shock of pain as fangs penetrated, the moist pressure of a mouth sucking firmly at the punctures. But a second later, when his blood began to flow—
The young vampire's knees buckled. Staggering backward until he bumped into Krul's bed, he collapsed onto it—only half-aware that he was dragging her with him. That his fingers were tangled in her hair, clutching her head, holding her in place at his neck.
He had not the remotest human frame of reference for how it felt to be drunk from now, as a vampire himself. He couldn't even begin to explain why it was so different. Why the way it made his head swim was nothing like the sick dizziness of blood loss before, or why every nerve in his body tingled like fire.
All he knew was that it was absolutely amazing.
If this was what it felt like for Krul, every single time he drank from her…
No wonder she had talked about consequences. Mika couldn't imagine experiencing this regularly, and not becoming addicted to it.
That must also have explained why vampires publicly frowned upon biting one another. If they didn't maintain some kind of taboo to keep them from getting distracted by this ecstasy—maybe even to discourage most of them from ever trying it in the first place—then they would surely never get much done at all.
When Krul's lips released the bite wound on Mika's neck, he let out an involuntary groan of disappointment. His hands trembled as he forced them to lower from the back of Krul's head, freeing her to sit up. She leaned over him then where he sprawled across her bed, a thin trail of his blood trickling from the corner of her mouth.
"Are you satisfied now?" she asked with a smirk.
Because Mika found he could only make an incoherent noise in reply, he reached out instead. His fingers stroked down the length of the soft hair he had been brushing a few minutes earlier. He wasn't even sure what he was trying to say with that, except maybe to imitate the way Krul petted him when she was pleased.
The smirk softened. Unexpectedly, Krul sank down against Mika's side, to throw one arm over his ribs and rest her chin on his chest.
"…I can see now why you were such a favorite of Ferid's, you know," she murmured wryly. "You do have the sweetest blood."
Mika made an unamused, protesting sound. Krul giggled like a little girl.
"Well, now that I've taught you that lesson—maybe there are a few things about human behavior that I'll have you teach me someday soon."
Not without some effort, Mika swallowed and managed to find his voice. "What… kind of things?"
Krul's ruby eyes danced. She leaned in closer, and he tasted the faint tang of his own blood as her lips touched his.
The part of Mika that reacted then was definitely human. It wasn't like what he had felt when she drank his blood… but it was close enough.
2017 Jordanna Morgan