Disclaimer: I own nothing. Quite sincerely. Or else I would seriously have made the series several volumes longer. sigh

AN: So this is how I perceive the series would have ended. Please forgive any OOCness. It was completely unintentional.

I remember the last time you kissed me.

It was snowing outside, you were halfway possessed, and I was in bed with a fever. Strange, isn't it? How the most surreal circumstances can still be beautiful? I remember being shocked, almost scared, and yet… not. Because you wanted me—not just for that moment, or that night, but forever. And I could feel it through your kiss, and even through the brush of your fangs against my throat. I could feel—though it was obscured by phantoms and bloodlust—that you loved me.

Nothing could have made me happier. Not what happened before or after that precious moment, not the fever, not even the darkness that's closing in on me now. I still think back to that kiss and I can't help but smile.

I know I shouldn't, though. It made you sad—I remember the way you looked back at me, in apology for what you thought was unforgivable, and the tone of your voice, so painful it made me want to cry, as you asked Satsuki to kill you. I know you can't stand the loneliness of immortality, just like I can't stand the solitude of death. I know you didn't want that for me. But if you'd asked, if I'd gotten a chance to say, I would have told you: that I forgave you the same moment you thought you wronged me, that I'd accept ten thousand years without shedding a tear if it could be with you. That I'm not afraid of your fangs.

My chest is aching, my head is spinning, and somehow I know that this one isn't like the others. The blackness is too slow, too dark. This is the last one. And even though I'm not afraid of you, I'm still afraid to die.

You're kissing me again. It's rougher than before, almost as desperate as I am, and I kiss you right back even though Kei's in the room and Satsuki is making half-hearted faces. The blackness is deepening, blotting out my vision until they disappear completely. The ache in my chest has sharpened so I can't breathe anymore, and I'm clinging to you with all the strength I have left. Yami-maru went out to get help, I think I remember. But there's no time left.

I can feel your breath in my hair, your tears on my cheek, and I'm scared. This shouldn't be the way it ends. It shouldn't be—but it is. I've always known that. And I'm sorry for making you sad and I'm sorry for letting Kei down and waves of numb and pain are washing over me until I don't think I can take it anymore—

And suddenly there's a new pain. Sharp, piercing, at once hot and icy, deep against my throat. I can feel your lips against my neck, the prayer you whisper even now. And I'm grateful. Because even now, even now, I know you still love me. I know you're still willing to try. And that's enough for me.

I'm smiling as the blackness consumes me.

I didn't expect heaven to be wet. But here I am, and I could swear I'm tight in someone's arms, and they're stroking my hair and whispering my name, and there's water—a little bit salty and clammy—running across my forehead, down my cheeks and dripping into my ear. But I feel safe and warm, and the only blackness comes from my closed eyes, and that's all that really matters right now… except that I left them behind. And that thought brings with it a wave of remorse, and I'm sorry—to Kei, and Yami-maru, and Satsuki, to Touya, and the angel who's holding me close, even though I'm too upset to be grateful to him. But the angel doesn't seem to mind, and he bends down and presses his lips to my forehead.

And I'd remember that kiss anywhere.

My eyes flutter open, and I can see him—Touya, holding me tight, and behind him Satsuki, and Kei, and Yami-maru. And when he looks down at me, he's a little happy, and a little sad, but not at all hungry anymore.

And I realize very quickly that this isn't heaven—but it's close. And that's all I ever wanted.