Author's notes (and other pointless ramblings that I think are important):

This is a vampire!fic. I am aware of the sheer volume of these out there, but I really, really wanted to try out writing one. It looked like fun.

Warnings for this fic include:

1. Apparently, in some parts of the world "hell" is considered a swear word. I only found this out recently, after offending many people. In this fic, there will be language that you wouldn't want your mum to know you're using.

2. Anne Rice's vampires are suave and worldly; they are an Americanised, romanticised version. Read Darren Shan; the vampires are tribal and wolfish. My vampires are my own (I hope).

3. I spell the way I was taught in primary school.

4. Five years ago, I learned Japanese, for all of ten months. I remember how to write my name and say "yes", "no", and "cat". There will be no random Japanese language insertions. Please, feel free to imagine that any dialogue in English is actually taking place in Japanese.

5. It's an AU, kids.

Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-oh!. I'm not cool enough.


Prologue

It should have been raining. Tonight was the worst night he'd had in a very long time: all narrative conventions said that it should have been raining.

Instead, it was balmy, with a light breeze. Yami growled.

He'd have felt better if it was raining; he liked the rain, and it would've distracted him from the fact that he hadn't eaten in weeks.

Just the thought of it made his stomach snarl ravenously. A glance at the street around him; he'd be unlikely to find any prey here. This street was quiet and clean, lined with well-kept houses: he usually hunted people in the poorer areas of the city. People with that hopeless veil covering their eyes, people with no one to miss them.

He shook his head violently in an attempt to clear his mind. Oh, but he was so hungry. When was the last it'd been this bad? It'd have to have been more than a hundred years, but he remembered the consequences as clearly as he would if it'd happened a few hours ago.

Lillith...

He clutched his forehead with one hand. The hunger was making his mind skip. He growled lowly; soon, he'd be completely erratic, if he wasn't already.

Yami came to a resolution: he'd break into the next quiet looking place he came across and drain the first person he met. Then he'd run like hell, out of the city. Preferably out of the country.

It was only much later, after his head had cleared, that he realised just how stupid that plan was.

In his current state of mind, though, it felt like a good idea, and so it was that a few moments later, he was crouched beneath the newly shattered window of a nearby building. Someone, attracted by the noise, was hurrying down the stairs. He grinned wolfishly.

Across the room, a doorway inched open, spilling buttery light across the floor. A pair of worried eyes peered around.

'Hello...?' a voice called softly. 'Who's there?'

Yami's muscles tensed, his pupils dilated in anticipation. A boy slid around the doorframe, eyes roving the dim room.

'Who's there?' he repeated, hands half raised defensively. Yami edged silently forward. Unaware of his presence, the boy took a step farther into the room. His eyes fell on the broken window, and he visibly relaxed.

'Vandals,' he muttered to himself. 'Not again --'

Yami struck.


By the time he'd finished licking the blood from his lips, Yami had realised the full impact of his carelessness. He stared at the little body sprawled beside him.

'Fuck,' he said blankly.

He tilted the boy's head back and examined the wound in his neck. A few drops of blood dribbled sluggishly toward the boy's collar. Yami wiped them away with his fingertips as he searched for the carotid pulse. He hardly expected to find it; the boy was undoubtedly dead-

Shock jolted through him. He jerked his hand away from the boy's throat, licked his fingers absently. So. He was alive.

'Fuck,' he repeated, sitting back on his heels and staring.

As far as Yami could tell, he had two options. He could get as far away from this city as possible, leaving the boy where he lay. Or, he could get as far away from this city as possible, and take the boy with him.

If he took the boy with him, he'd be slowed down considerably, and there'd be people searching for him, that much was certain. A missing child attracted attention, something he'd been hoping to avoid recently. With luck, the boy would eventually die.

...Or be killed.

If he left the boy behind... Lillith. That the gaping wound in his neck would kill him was too much to hope for.

Yami shook his head and began to gather the boy up in his arms.


An aching pain coming in waves. That was the first thing he was aware of. It was red pain, deep and rich, red, violent pain. He could smell blood, he knew it was blood; it was a sweet, bitter, decadent reek. And it was his blood, and that was sickening on some basic level, something in him reeled at the thought of his seeping blood, at the thought of the incredible hunger he felt. Pain and hunger: unpleasant, yes, very unpleasant, and so very irritating. A low growl reverberated from his chest.

He opened his eyes, but found himself blinded by pain. Horrible, lovely, beautiful red pain, but someone was so, so terribly confused.

Someone wanted to ask a question. Someone tried to form a question, but the words died in his throat, and the only sound to fall over his lips was a strange, guttural cry. For some reason, that irked him.

Above his head, something called out. A confused jumble of sounds, too loud, too rough. He didn't like it. He let loose another howl, wanting the noise to go away: he craved the dark and the quiet and the blood.

He thrashed. Something tried to hold him, tried to make vile soothing noises at him, so he bit down hard.

He licked his lips and tasted blood. Someone sobbed and he bit again.

And then his senses faded into merciful blankness.


An edited version of the prologue, because I just can't help myself.