Disclaimer: All characters belong to the great Watsuki except for any OC that might creep in.


Tsubame woke slowly. Her first thought was that her sheets felt funny. They were slick and smooth, instead of the soft much-washed cotton she was used to. Her fingers slid across the fitted sheet beneath her. It was silk.

Her eyes cracked open. She saw that the sheets were cream, not white. They weren't her sheets at all. The next thing she realized is that she was naked.

Sitting up abruptly, she felt her head reeling, and clutched the flat sheet to her chest. She winced as pain shot through her head, and other areas of her body. Where was she? How had she got here? Squinting, she found herself in a wood paneled bedroom, on a low bed with cream sheets and a sage green duvet. The light was diffused, foggy. Turning to look over her shoulder, she saw that the four panes of the window at her back had been painted white, like a shoji screen, so no direct sunlight came through, only a muted glow.

Thinking back desperately, all she could come up with were disjointed memories of work friends dragging her to a club called the Nightshade on the Friday of her birthday weekend to 'loosen her up'. She'd been surprised; she'd thought they didn't like her much. She'd never been clubbing with her co-workers before. She kept to herself in the accounting department and was scrupulously honest, which made her unpopular since she refused to cover expenses that weren't business expenses.

At the club, Meg had gone to the bar and bought them all drinks, and Tsubame had drunk it to be polite, trusting that Meg and Sara would watch out for her and see her home. She didn't know it was possible to get drunk on one drink, but how else explain how they'd dragged her onto the dance floor and how she'd ended up dancing with a gorgeous stranger?

It started to get really hazy after that. She remembered a slow dance, the stranger's hands on her back, staring up into the most handsome face she'd ever seen before. She remembered wondering how she'd ended up in the arms of someone as gorgeous as him.

Suddenly Tsubame realized she wasn't alone in the bed. She swung her head slowly to the right, and saw the man she'd been dancing with. He had shoulder length dark hair, and a smooth planed face relaxed with sleep. The other end of the sheet mercifully covered him from his lower chest to his ankles.

More memory fragments come back, bits and pieces of last night, touches, sensations, sounds, smells, soreness. None of the memories were complete, or even in the right order, but it was all too clear what had happened.

Tsubame felt her eyes filling with tears, and crossed her arms over her chest, hunching over in horror. As she cradled herself, her fingertips touched crusted blood on her neck. Another memory comes back – fangs, real ones, extra long white teeth terminating in a sharp point, and pinpoints of pain at her neck, a sucking feeling. Her neck felt bruised where he'd bit her. It felt like the time she'd been bitten by a rattlesnake and rushed to the hospital on a camping trip, only the puncture wounds were further apart.

Her breath caught in her throat. She stumbled out of bed, tripping on the sheets, but managed to catch herself before she fell. Where were her clothes?

She saw pink cotton on the floor by her feet and snatched up her panties, pulling them on with shaking fingers. Her bra was nowhere to be found, but her slip was lying across the corner of the bed, so she pulled that on as well.

Aware that she'd been sobbing out loud as she dressed, she stole a glance at the figure on the bed, but the man (vampire?) slept on.

She opened the bedroom door and found herself in a sort of hall area between a kitchen on the left and a living area on the right. A man's shirt and other clothing lay scattered between the hallway and living area. Her purse lay on the floor by the backside of a sofa. Grabbing it, she took out her powder compact and opened it. Clearly reflected in the mirror were the telltale fang marks on her neck, two red holes scabbed over with crusted blood.

So that memory was true. Tsubame let the knowledge sink in as she slowly closed the compact. She had to think logically.

She'd been bitten by a vampire; a creature she hadn't believed existed outside of movie theaters. Since she could see herself in the mirror, she obviously hadn't changed into one yet, but she probably would soon since the vampire didn't drain all her blood outright and kill her. Vague memories of books and films reminded her that the victim had to die first then wake up as a vampire. But was that true?

She dropped the compact on the floor and walked numbly over to a small round kitchen table, situated directly to the left of the bedroom. Sinking into a lattice backed wooden chair that wobbled slightly, she put her head in her hands and forced herself to come up with a plan.

Katsu woke to find his bedroom door open and the pain of burning in his little toe. Starting up with a snarl, he bared his fangs. He wondered how sunlight got into his room since he bought the place because the long hallway from the front door to the bedroom ensured that even if the front door was left open in the late afternoon, the sun couldn't reach that far. He'd painted over the windowpanes of the two small windows of his bedroom to be doubly sure no direct sunlight could enter his room.

Squinting, he saw a female figure through the doorway of his room, standing in the sunlight from the open front door. In one hand was a stick or a bar held at her side. In the other was a light, no, a mirror – and that's what she'd used to direct the sunlight onto his toe. Because the afternoon sun was strong, all she was to him was a black figure haloed with light. Immediately his hand patted the bed next to him to see if the girl he brought home last night was safe. She wasn't there.

The figure spoke. "So I was right. You are a vampire." It said dully.

The mirror dropped on the floor. Katsu shaded his eyes with his hands – even his supernaturally enhanced eyesight had trouble staring into sunlight. With a grimace he made a conscious effort to retract his fangs. He recognized that voice. It was the girl, but what did she mean? He'd explained everything to her last night. Then it came back to him, the slight chemical tang to her blood. It tasted different than the blood of someone who'd been drinking alcohol. Someone had spiked her drink with a chemical compound. He didn't know it until he'd tasted her blood; he'd just thought her a bit tipsy. It explained though the smugly triumphant looks on the two girls' faces she'd come in with when he escorted her out of the club. At the time, he thought they'd been happy for her.

Katsu had no false modesty. He knew his face and form attracted women. He'd thought those two liked the fact that their slightly mousy looking little friend ended up with someone like him. For all her lack of inhibitions and giggly enthusiasm, she'd been strangely innocent up to the point where he realized it was her first time. By this point his fangs were already in her neck and it was too late to stop either the drinking or the physical seduction that went along with it. Her friends must have spiked her drink and sent her with him. They weren't her friends at all. If they used one of the common date rape drugs, it explained why she didn't remember him explaining what he wanted of her.

"Well, you're not going to make one out of me." The figure turned around and walked into the light.

What did she mean? He hadn't given her any of his blood, only taken hers. Katsu bunched the sheet around his waist and was at the doorway of his room in an instant. Three steps into the hall and he was stopped by the edge of the sunlight spilling down the hallway from his open front door. The throbbing pain of his burned toe was a vivid reminder of what would happen if he took another step into that rectangular column of light.

Squinting, he watched the girl cross the threshold and walk half way down the walk. The concrete walkway bisected a dying front lawn bordered on all sides by a high tile topped plaster wall. The solid wooden gate at the end of the walkway guaranteed privacy. She never made it that far. Instead, she turned around to face him, took the wooden stick and pointed it at an angle against her upper torso, just under her breasts.

"No!" he shouted, as she tensed her arms and plunged the sharpened edge into her flesh.

She gave a strangled cry and fell forward onto the pale concrete, her harsh landing pushing the stake even farther into her body. A red pool of blood began to fan out from underneath her. She grimaced in pain as she stared into his eyes, with the harsh sun beating down on her.

"Why?" she whispered in agony. "Why did you do that to me?" Then her face clenched and her forehead touched the cement, hiding her expression from him.

Katsu didn't think anything left in the world could shock him anymore, but shocked he was, into dangerous immobility.

Shaking himself out of it, he moved, throwing himself to the right, and into the living room area, bathed in a dull glow from the rattan shades he always kept drawn. His long black trench coat, which he'd carelessly tossed across the sofa back while divesting himself and the girl of their clothing last night, was where he'd left it. He dropped the sheet and threw the trench coat's heavy welcoming folds over his head, took a deep breath, and plunged outside.

His feet burned.

His arms, when he reached out to grab the girl's body, blistered immediately on contact with the sunlight.

He let out one strangled sob and dragged her quickly inside, kicking the door shut behind him. Laying her body on the granite worktable in the middle of his tiny, disused kitchen, he grabbed the ornamental dishtowels off their holders and tried to staunch the wound.

One of the kitchen chairs was on the floor in pieces, with a carving knife. As he wrenched the stake from her body, he saw why. The stake was a chair leg, its dowelled ridges matching perfectly with the other three legs still attached to the chair seat lying on the floor. She'd sharpened it to a point with the knife. The chips of shaved wood were scattered all over the kitchen floor.

Tossing it aside, he pressed the sodden dishtowels on the wound, the scent of blood about to drive him wild. He could hear her heartbeat fluttering erratically. He was losing her. She was already in shock, eyes slitted half closed. There was nothing else to do to save her but…

He bent down and licked some of the blood off her belly, moving the towels aside for access. For this to work, the blood had to be pure, untainted with alcohol or drugs. He hoped it was enough. Then he lifted his wrist to his mouth and tore open an inch long incision. Holding it over her mouth, and lifting the back of her neck with his other hand, he caused her mouth to fall open so the blood would drip inside.

Her heartbeat slowed, slowed, then stopped. But was it the result of his vampire blood, or was he too late? Had she died before he could change her? You couldn't turn someone already dead.

There it was, faint – oh so very faint – and slower than the slowest vampire heartbeat he'd ever heard, but it was beating again. The blood it pumped was no longer the bright red of a living person, but was rapidly becoming the black of vampiric blood. He'd saved her, but at what cost?

A/N I must be out of my mind to write an AU vampire fic featuring Tsubame. I cheerfully blame Jane Drew and Vathara for exemplifying how a vampire fic can be done well. This poor effort can't even come close to those two, but if you like dark, angsty sorts of stories, enjoy. Please review, if only to tell me that you agree with me that I'm nuts to even attempt this. Unfortunately, what happened to Tsubame happens in real life all too often. (the date rape, not being bitten by a vampire) Never put yourself in a position where you're vulnerable, or expect that someone else will look out for you.