Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts or any of its characters.
AJ: Into vampires now, are you?
Tenoko: Not really.
AJ: Then why the fic?
Tenoko: A whim? I watched a vampire bat documentary today at school, so… yeah.
Not all vampires become so by choice or because they were another vampire's meal. No, some are made so as a punishment, an eternal curse. This was Riku's curse. When he'd been… human, he'd betrayed his village, a betrayal that ended in the lives of every person being lost. If there is one thing that vampires are, it's that they are loyal towards their own kind, you stuck together whether you liked each other or not, it was an unspoken understanding, a law. But for a human to have such disregard for the lives of those around him, the living… it was unspeakable; so his fate had been decided. It was an eternal life to reflect on his selfishness, his lack of loyalty and compassion, and to search for the person that would complete him. He was to search for the one that he would be willing to die for, to die protecting from any force, even if that threat was himself.
Riku snorted at the thought. Was there really anyone out there worth dying for? Sure, he'd met people he would risk protecting over the centuries, but he wouldn't get himself killed for them. A friend of his had told him it was a matter of love, true love, and that when you found that love, they consumed your life. Riku snorted again; that sounded like something out of a romance novel or some girlish fantasy.
Pushing his sunglasses onto the bridge of his nose, he ducked his head and stepped out into the fading sunlight. He hated the sunlight. It hurt his eyes. He made his way silently down the sidewalk, brushing past people, sidestepping people who walked so slow it had to be deliberate. He was headed for the park; it was getting dark and the park wasn't well lit, so it was the ideal place to go when you wanted to be alone.
Sora's chest burned as his feet continued to beat against the pavement, taking him further and further away from where he never should have been. He chanced a glance over his shoulder, noting that neither Yuffie nor Kairi had fallen behind.
"Geez, Yuffie! You always know how to start a commotion, don't you?" He demanded.
The cop that had been chasing after was fairly athletic; Sora would give him that. The guy had kept up with them for about a mile so far. And that was after jumping fences, knocking over trashcans, and putting every obstacle between them that they could think of. Luckily, he seemed to be wearing down, having fallen back some. Sora grinned in triumph, there wasn't a cop on the force who could keep up with them.
"It's not my fault!" Yuffie exclaimed.
"Yes it is!" Kairi argued, "You had to swipe that guy's wallet. I told you he was a bad target!"
"Less talking, more running!" Ordered Sora.
"I'll take him back his wallet." Yuffie promised, "I always do. They just don't have any more money in it anymore." She giggled, causing all of them to laugh, too.
Though they were 'juvenile delinquents' according to the cops, they weren't bad kids. Yeah, they swiped a few wallets, but they only kept the money, and then they took the wallet back to the person's address, leaving it in their mailbox or something. Being pickpockets was about the worst of their crimes, other than that all they did was steal from fruit stands and sidewalk sales. Orphans have to make a living too, ya know? And none of them wanted to go back to the orphanage.
"C'mon. We'll loose him in the park." Insisted Sora, causing Kairi to almost come to a dead halt.
"But, there's murderers in the park at night! We'll get killed!"
"Do you want to go to juvy?" He demanded, and she sped back up, following after them.
Kairi was afraid of the dark, the only one among them who wasn't actually an orphan. She'd been taken away from her parent's after they were charged with child abuse, child neglect and endangerment. They locked her in a closet like a dog, feeding her scraps left over from they're own meals. So she was afraid of the dark with good reason.
Sora smiled at her again,
"Don't worry, Kairi. I'll protect you."
She nodded, biting her bottom lip between her teeth as they darted across the grassy clearing in the park, heading for the trees. They ducked down in the bushes in the grove of trees, watching through the brush as the man in uniform slowed to a stop, heaving and gasping for air. If they were lucky, he'd give up and go back. They weren't lucky. The man straightened and started jogging in their direction.
"Kairi, you and Yuffie head back, I'll distract him and meet up with you later, okay?"
Yuffie nodded, but the red head hesitated,
"What if you get caught?"
Yuffie almost laughed,
"Kairi, when has Sora ever even come close to getting caught?"
"Alright, try not to get into any bigger trouble."
"You're only in trouble if you get caught. Now go!"
They disappeared into the shadows, ducking down behind brush and the trees. Sora glanced around at his options, if he climbed a tree he'd be stuck if the cop found him, since none of the trees were close enough to jump branches. He'd simply have to run for it. He darted to the left, catching the man's attention as he took off after him. Sora would head past the brook to the destroyed house and hide in the old courtyard. The entire property was said to have been haunted since the people that had owned it had died so tragically. Most people wouldn't even walk on the sidewalk that passed in front of the house. The people there were fairly superstitious, Sora and the others often used it to their advantage.
Unfortunately, Sora forgot to watch where he was going as he watched the cop that was tailing him, so it was to be expected that he would run into something. Both he and the said something tumbled to the ground with an 'oof'. Sora blinked, looking down at the person he'd rammed into. Ocean colored eyes stared back at him in slight annoyance.
"Do you mind?" The male asked, and Sora scrambled to his feet, mumbling a profuse apology as he glanced over his shoulder once again.
"Hey! Grab him! Don't let him get away!" The officer ordered.
The man with silver hair and liquid colored eyes grabbed the back of Sora's collar as Sora attempted to make a run for it again.
"Not so fast, kid."
Sora pulled and tried to get out of his shirt, but the man refused to let him go, showing little effort in his attempt to restrain him, while Sora was pulling with all his strength. The man's grip was unearthly.
The taller male turned to the police officer as he came up, gasping and weezing for air.
"I'll take it from here, officer. This one is under my care."
"He's… a pickpocket… I've-"
"He's of no concern to you. He got away. Now go back to the station."
Sora frowned at his captor; did he really think the cop was just going to walk away?
The cop nodded,
"Yes. He was too fast, and I couldn't catch him. No point in hanging around here."
Sora's jaw nearly hit the ground. What, was this dude paying off the police department or something? After the cop left, the taller male released Sora, and he stared at him in uncertainty.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Riku." He informed him, brushing his hair back away from his face. Sora looked him over; it was no wonder he hadn't seen him before they'd collided, Riku was dressed mostly in black. Black pants, black boots, a white shirt underneath a black trench coat. He wore a silver necklace with the picture of some form of lion or something growling.
Riku waved his hand,
"You stole someone's wallet, huh?"
"No. My friend did."
"Oh?" He glanced around, "Where is your friend now?"
"I was the distraction, since I'm the fastest, and they headed back home."
"I see." He stated thoughtfully with a delicate frown, "Well next time try not to get caught, okay?"
"That's it? You're going to let me go?"
Riku raised an eyebrow,
"Why should I care about a pickpocket when much worse crime is taking place in the city?"
"I hope you're behaving yourself, Riku." A female cooed, causing the male to roll his eyes with a sigh of annoyance. He turned to face the three females leaning against a statue of an angel.
"As you can see, ladies, he is completely unharmed. I have no intention of inflicting pain on anyone tonight."
Sora's eyebrow's shot up.
Tonight? What about the other nights in the week? And what kind of pain were they talking about? Was he the serial killer that had been rumored to be in the area?
"Um, you know, I should probably go…" He began slowly.
"No." Riku told him, "Stay. I'll take you home. You don't want anymore trouble from that cop, do you?"
He had a point. If Sora ran into that cop again and he wasn't with Riku, he just might end up in juvy.
"You leave him alone, Riku." The brunette with cropped locks stated, taking a step forward, "If he needs an escort home, we can take care of it."
"I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Yuna. You see, I promised one of the loyal policemen of this area that I would see to his care. I'm responsible for him until he's safely home."
The darkest of the three women snorted, shooting him a look of disdain,
"Somehow, I don't think this boy's well being is at the top of your priority list."
Riku smirked at her,
"Paine, you should know me better then that. When have I ever actually killed a human?"
"I can think of some examples." The blonde interjected,
Sighing, Riku shrugged,
"Okay, if you want to get technical, Rikku, there were a few times, less than five, I can assure you, but you recall those were all life or death situations. Either they died or I did. Besides, it's not as though they're completely dead-"
"Yes they are." Yuna told him, causing him to frown.
Sora cleared his throat,
"You know, obviously, this is something between ya'll, so I'm just going to go. I'll be fine on my own-"
"No you won't." They all stated in unison, causing Sora further aggravation and confusion,
"Okay, what is it with ya'll? You won't let me go by myself, but you won't let me go with either of you. What is the deal?"
Rikku her head to the side, pointing to the other Riku,
"You don't know who he is, do you?"
Sora shook his head, and Riku heaved,
"We don't really have to tell him that now do we? I told you I wasn't going to harm him. Have I ever lied to you ladies?"
"That's not the point!" Paine snapped.
"I dunno." Rikku drawled, "Vampires are known for keeping their word, they have a strict code they follow."
Sora's eyes widened,
"Did you just say 'vampire'?"
They each nodded, and Yuna pointed to Riku,
"And he happens to be one of the most powerful vampires still alive."
"We've been hunting him for years." Paine added
"But he always slips away." Continued Rikku.
"Call it the devil's luck." Offered Riku casually.
"That isn't funny." The brunette female stated dryly, only to have Riku shrug in response.
"Are you guys serious?" Demanded Sora, "Vampires? That's just crap from the movies."
Riku turned partially to face him, smirking,
"No. It's the movies that are crap, but vampires are real."
Sora took a step back preparing to flee,
"Right. Well, I'll be seeing you then." He promised, turning on his heel, but Riku was directly in front of him, a hair's breath away, causing Sora to gasp in surprise.
"Where are you going?" Riku asked softly, lips curling back in a dangerous smile, revealing sharp fangs, "I promised I'd take you home."
Swallowing the lump in his throat, Sora tried to form a logical sentence, but his gaze was locked with the man's in front of him.
Gunshot rang out and Riku twisted violently, gripping his shoulder, before snarling at Yuna.
"Do you have any idea how much I hate it when you do that?"
"Then you're really going to be mad when we plant a stake in your heart." Paine promised.
Riku pushed Sora behind him,
The vampire lunged at the three, growling in anger. He kicked Yuna soundly in the chest, hurling her back.
"Yunie!" Cried Rikku, rushing towards her cousin, but Riku intercepted her, kicking at her legs, only to have the blonde flip out of the way of the assault, delivering a swift kick to the middle of his back. "Nobody touches my family!"
Riku rolled out of the way as Paine made a stab at him with a stake, striking earth instead of the intended target.
"Rikku," Yuna called, pointing at Sora, "go for the boy!"
"Right!" She called, running towards the utterly confused brunette who was watching it all with wide eyes. She grabbed his hand, "Come on! We've got to get you out of here."
"I don't think so." Riku drawled, suddenly appearing at Sora's side, one hand grasping the blonde's wrist. "Normally, I'd have let him go on his way, but since you ladies insist on interfering I'll simply have to take him home myself." He twisted and tossed Rikku a few yards away, before Paine tackled him to the ground, and Yuna made another attempt to grab Sora and flee. Riku had his hands full. It became a cycle, one would try to attack Riku while another would prepare to run him through with the stake, and the other would be trying to get to Sora and drag him to safety. Not that he was in any danger. Riku had no intention of hurting the boy, but of course, in the slayers eyes, all vampires were dangerous and all humans were their targets. Some people could be so closed-minded.
Riku dodged all of their attacks with relative ease while intercepting them as they tried to run with Sora. It certainly had to be frustrating for the females in question, as he almost appeared to be toying with them, batting their attacks and weapons to the side, knocking them to the ground or tossing them away. This was a routine they had all gotten use to; YuRiPa had been hunting him for well over the past century. Being a slayer, much like being a vampire, was not always a choice either. Some became so by choice, some through destiny, and those decided on by destiny were given the gift of life over death, having life spans seemingly immeasurable.
"Riku, this is getting old for all of us." Stated Rikku as she stopped, placing a hand on her hip and brushing her bangs out of her face. Yuna and Paine also faltered, panting in exhaustion as the blonde girl continued, "I, personally, don't have a problem with you; you're the most admirable vampire I've ever met-"
"Rikku!" Exclaimed Paine, and Rikku waved her off,
"Let me finish!" She ran a hand through her hair, facing Riku once again, "It's true, you've killed very few humans and only because you were backed into a corner, and for a vampire, well, that's saying something. You've always been true to your word, and so if you'll swear to me that you won't hurt this boy, I'll walk away right now."
"Rikku!" Exclaimed her two companions.
She turned to face them, throwing up her hands,
"What! I'm tired of fighting him! We can't beat him! We know it, and he knows it! Why keep up the charade when there are bigger fish to fry?"
Riku nodded to her as she turned back around to face him,
"I swear to you that I will not harm him in anyway or allow for any harm to come to him."
"Why are you so adamant about escorting him home? What is your connection with the boy if he's not on your menu?"
Riku averted his gaze,
"That's a personal matter."
Paine walked past Riku to stand in front of Sora who scrambled frantically away from her, stumbling over his own feet in his haste and tumbling to the ground. She placed a hand on his shoulder, offering what could be considered a smile,
"Relax. You're safe. What's your name, boy?"
The brunette's eyes shifted nervously between slayers and vampire, obviously not sure who to trust and not ready to trust either.
Yuna came to stand beside her friend, smiling reassuringly at the frightened boy,
"Where do you live? We want to come check on you tomorrow to make sure Riku kept his word."
"When have I ever lied to you?" Demanded the taller male, but the brunette female ignored his question.
"Um, I live in…the old cathedral… Me and about three others…"
Riku stepped forward then, frowning slightly,
"So you're a runaway?"
Sora shook his head,
"Only from the orphanage. It's gawd awful there."
With a sigh, Riku shook his head,
"No wonder you were pickpocketing."
"We take it back!" Sora cried defensively, "We always take the wallet and everything back, we just keep the money."
"An honest thief, how cute!"
"The cops don't think so." He motioned to Riku, "He's the reason I'm not headed for juvy now; he convinced the cop to just leave."
Riku hooked his thumbs in his pockets, shrugging,
"It's like Rikku said, there are bigger fish to fry."
Yuna gave Sora one last smile, before she left,
"We'll see you tomorrow, Sora." She nodded to Riku before the three of them disappeared into the night, leaving the vampire and human to their own divices.
Riku turned to Sora, an eyebrow,
"Are you ready to go, or did you plan on working a few more pockets?"
"I'll go home…" His brows drew together, "Are you really a… you know?"
Riku smirked at him in amusement,
"Vampire? Yes." They began walking away from the park. "You can say it, you know, it isn't a dirty word."
The smaller boy cast him an uncertain glance,
"Perhaps not, but you're bound to get locked up in the loony bin if you went around saying vampires really existed."
"That's why you don't go around telling people." Stated the silver haired male, casting him a sideways glance, but Sora continued to frown in confusion,
"And why did you promise not to hurt me? And why did they just leave? Or say that you've rarely killed anyone? Vampires have to kill in order to survive, they suck all the blood from their victims so they can live, don't they?"
Riku gave a nod,
"I guess there is as good a place as any to start explaining some things. You're right, we drink the blood of humans to survive, or the blood of any living animal is we have to. But in order for a human to become a vampire, or die, the vampire must drink all the blood, if not the human is simply passed out for a day or two while their body replenishes the blood lost."
"So you don't drink all their blood? Just enough to keep you from dying and them alive?"
"I have to attack more people," He admitted with a shrug, "But they wake up thinking it was all a very strange dream, after all, who would believe they'd actually been bitten by a vampire?"
Sora turned to him,
"But wouldn't there be marks? Bite marks?"
Riku shook his head,
"Not if we cast a concealment spell that hides all traces on the encounter." He winked at the younger male, "We've gotten better at protecting ourselves over the centuries."
"But what about those girls? They were slayers; why did they just leave and let me go with you?"
"Because I swore not only to not hurt you myself, but also to protect you from anything that might attempt to hurt you."
"And they believed you?"
Riku paused, causing Sora to stop and turn to him in puzzlement. He seemed to be contemplating how to put into words what he was thinking or feeling. He tongue darted out across his lips before he continued,
"You see, Sora, there is a code, a law, among vampires, and YuRiPa knew this-"
"Youreepah?" Asked Sora, with an expression of incredulity.
"Yuna, Rikku, and Paine. YuRiPa." He explained hastily. "As I was saying, there is a strict code of honor among vampire, and when we give our word, we stick to it, even to the death. I suppose we figure it's the least we can do to make up for being… well, monsters, for lack of a better word. We may not like each other, but we stick by each other, and we stick to our word; that's why they left you in my care, they knew you'd be safe. I'd sworn it."
They took up walking again and Sora shook his head,
"I'm still confused."
Riku nodded, smirking,
"So, do many people know about vampires?"
Riku shook his head,
"No. As I said, they generally pass it off as a bad dream, but for others, we sometimes have to… erase their memories. They aren't really erased, it's more of a hypnosis then anything, we make them forget and their brain automatically fills in the blank spaces to make up for the lost time."
"…Are you going to erase my memory?"
Riku was silent for a moment.
"I'm suppose to…"
They continued to walk in silence after that, Sora contemplating the pavement his feet were following, and Riku staring at the high steeps of the old cathedral as they approached it, some of it's windows broken and statues crumbled, but all in all it still continued to stand there as majestically as ever. It's gargoyles and angels worked together, clinging to the corners of the roof and to the sides of its stone walls, their watchful eyes searching for any signs of a threat, ready to pounce on whomever would dare stand against their home.
"You really live here?" Questioned Riku, breaking the awkward silence between them. Sora looked up, finally noticing their surroundings.
"Huh? Oh. Yes."
Riku frown at him,
"But how? How can you not freeze in the winter? There is no electricity. No running water. No hot water. There are probably rats and God only knows what else." He let his eyes travel over the younger boy, "You seem in fair keep, how is that?"
Stuffing his hands into his pockets, Sora shrugged,
"There are massive fire places in the church and cots. It's true there's no electricity, but there is water. We go to the Salvation Army to take baths or get hot meals when it's really cold. Other then that, everything we need we can buy with the money we steal."
Riku continued to frown,
"Surely the orphanage you're all from couldn't have been so bad that this is a better alternative."
Sora's expression dropped, and he averted his gaze,
"Trust me, it is." He finally looked back up, "Do you have to erase my memory?"
Riku repeated his earlier words,
"I'm suppose to."
Sora shook his head,
"I don't want to forget. Tonight was… too surreal. I'd be sad to know I'd forget it."
Riku stepped closer to the boy, observing him thoroughly, causing the brunette to gasp in surprise at his sudden nearness, instinctively taking a step away. Riku had to admit, Sora was pretty for a male, and though not completely feminine in feature he did have some resemblance. The wide wondering blue eyes, the full lips, and small nose. The way his bottom lip jutted out just slightly when he pouted or was thinking deeply. Riku smiled slightly, reaching out to cup the boy's jaw, running his thumb over his cheek,
"I don't want you to forget."
In part, Riku was simply tired of the only people who would ever remember him being slayers, normal people were always made to forget, it was a rule.
Sora gave him a pleading look, the beginning of trust pooling in those cerulean depths,
"Promise me, like you promised Rikku, promise me I won't ever forget."
Riku touched his forehead to his, a smile curving his lips,
AJ: Hold up! Is this a yaoi?
Tenoko: sighs Yeah, I guess it is…
AJ: You've never done a yaoi.
Tenoko: Yeah, but nobody reads or writes nonyaoies for KH. And I want reviews.
AJ: Start a new trend then!
Tenoko: I think of this as a challenge, you should too.
AJ: No, the only challenge right now is for me to remain patient and wait for KH2 to come out.
Tenoko: Yeah, that's been hard for me too.