Written in late 2003, but never posted here. Whoops?


under blood moon
(i can tell you why the end will never come)

"Do it. Please, Sho . . ." Kei is speaking softly, dark eyes turned to watch Sho's empty face.

Sho hasn't moved for days, hasn't spoken, hasn't . . . eaten. Kei's hand moves upwards to close over Sho's. He cringes inwardly, feeling the tremble -- little earthquakes, bone-deep.

There is no pulse beneath his skin.

There is no blood beneath his skin.

It has been too long. Kei has spent his nights by Sho's side since he changed him, leaving only to care for Hana , and already the hunger eats at him, vertigo and the sharp twist in the pit of his stomach and he can still barely touch on what he knows Sho is going through. He can sympathize, though; he had done the same thing, in the beginning.

Kei knows what will happen, though -- and that is why he cannot give up.

"Sho." He closes his eyes and brings Sho's hand to his face, pressing his cheek against Sho's cold palm -- too cold, too cold, he'd been so desperate then to save Sho's warmth, the last warmth he knew, and he'd been selfish but he couldn't let go, not yet.

Forgive me for this.

Sho starts, his eyes flicker towards Kei for a moment and the raw pain in the other vampire's face brings him back to himself, just barely. He is burning inside from the pain and the hunger but his mind flinches still from what giving in means. This is a craving like no other, a far cry from the want of a cigarette, closer, so much closer to the desperate obsession of deep lust.

The last barriers are breaking -- only his raw stubbornness is keeping him from plunging out the window in search of new blood.

And he remembers a time, not too long ago, when it had been Kei in the chair and he trying desperately to keep his closest alive.

He understands now.

His fingers twitch, a ghost touch against Kei's face. The other stirs, and for a moment their eyes meet, green against blue, deep sea against clear bright sky that they mayn't have anymore. They both belong to the dark, now, and Kei briefly wonders exactly how much Sho will hate him the moment he realizes how much it burns to have the sun against his skin again. Kei has wondered for a long time about all the things Sho will hate him for.

He wonders if he'll be able to handle it, when the time comes.

Sho's attention threatens to turn back to the yellowed, smoke-stained wall that has held his gaze for the last few days, so Kei reacts -- swiftly, he pushes up to his knees, drawn face hovering near Sho's, begging with so much more than his voice.

"Sho . . . please. Come with me."

There are a few seconds in which Kei thinks perhaps Sho hasn't heard him. But Sho moves so slowly Kei can almost hear the creaking of Sho's bones beneath his skin. A thought flickers across his mind, here and gone, a memory -- Sho's body, frail and human, the red-heat of Sho's pulse fluttering weakly against his tongue and teeth. Desperation.

Sho Shold never feel this old. Kei . . . Kei wanted to keep him forever. Forever Sho, forever the child in his heart that he's loved so long. This . . . this isn't Sho. Not his Sho.

He closes his eyes.

"Kei." Sho's voice is soft, like it hasn't been used in years, like cobwebs and moonlight and dark dusty places best forgotten. "I can't do this."

"You have to do this." Kei murmurs. Sho's hand feels like paper against his face.

"I can't. I keep seeing . . ." He didn't need to finish. Kei understood.

I keep seeing you.

Kei drew back from him and stood, turning away. "I'm sorry, Sho . . . I'm so sorry. I wish it could have been different. I'm sorry, but I-"

I couldn't let you die. I couldn't let you leave me. Not now, not after I just got you back.

Sho doesn't say anything, but Kei can hear the static rustle of Sho's shirt shifting, the hushed whisper of white noise against the silent room. Part of him wonders what Sho is thinking. The other part of him knows. They've been too close for too long not to, now more than ever. Was he expecting everything could be as it once was? Had he truly believed that Sho's bond with him was strong enough to overcome this sin?

He straightens, and turns back to face what he has created. Before him, Sho's nails rake against his own skin, scraping against bloodless flesh and cold meat. "Sho," he says softly, "please, stop. This . . . this you can't control. It will get worse -- so much worse -- and then the blood lust will take you, and you will tear apart the first human you see." He pauses, briefly. "And you will probably regret it, like I do. I held back as long as I could, Sho, and when I finally broke a little girl died for it." A look of revulsion captures Kei's expression as he speaks, twisting his pale face into something momentarily hideous -- Sho can't help but stare at Kei.

Kei holds out a trembling hand to Sho, dark eyes troubled. "Please."

An image flickers across Sho's mind -- Hana, lifeless, her small white throat torn open. He imagines her blood would taste like -

With a strangled cry, he reaches out.

---

It did not take long.

Kei had misjudged Sho's control -- it had taken a great deal of strength to hold Sho back from tackling every person they walked past. He'd stumbled deleriously down the sidewalks, Sho baring his teeth at those who passed, Kei apologizing for his 'drunk' friend, his own instincts reacting dangerously at the thought of so much blood so close, pulses hammering just beneath their fragile skins. But Kei knew how the game was played: he knew all the tricks to their cat-and-mouse game with the humans, how to wait in the alleyway for some skulking passerby to come across their shadow. Kei had always thanked whatever might possibly be watching over his kind for the blessed darkness and protection Mallepa's endless alleyways offered, and this time was no different. They were huddled, Kei bent over Sho's back, arms crossed over the other's chest behind a dumpster, the endless sounds of the streets nearby not quite penetrating their ink-dark corner of the alley.

When an older Japanese man had turned their way, Kei's grip on Sho had tightened just a little -- half warning, half alert. It would not do to let his prey find them, not yet.

He came closer, passing only feet from where they crouched.

Then Kei let go.

---

He remembered Sho as a child, and the sincere smile his pale dirty face always seemed to carry.

He remembered the way Sho had always seemed to get his way, whether it was when he was forcing Kei to live or deciding on which hideous chair would suit the living room best.

He remembered Sho's life, lost among the streets and the gangs.

He remembered Sho's death, lost among the warehouse rubble.

He tried not to listen to the sound of tearing flesh as Sho cast away the last piece of his humanity like broken wings.