The cursed be no more, the end of the kindred come

iannetine: Well, that took ages. I feel so sorry for myself for not being able to update. But, I hope you enjoy this one! Thank you so much for those who read and reviewed last time! You're all the best!

I do not own Prince of Tennis

"Thank you Yuki. I couldn't have done it without you."

"Hn?"

"Nothing Kunimitsu." Fuji chuckled as he lowered his head to smell the gardenias Tezuka raised. "These are the prettiest flowers."

"Not as pretty as you." Tezuka glanced at him.

Fuji laughed. At last, it was him and not the flowers. "Ouch!" Bringing his hand to his face, Fuji found a cactus' thorn embedded on his finger.

"You're pretty too Yuki." Tezuka said as he examined Fuji's bleeding finger. Fuji blushed terribly as Tezuka put the bleeding finger in his mouth. "Don't be so jealous."

Destiny #3: Prince of Vampires

The cursed be no more, the end of the kindred come

When sun naught burn, the last have risen

Alone the mortal's fate shall be

One hath no love given

"Whoops!" the young Kawamura slipped and fell down. He kicked the ball too hard and it went over the gates of the old mansion. "I'm sorry."

"I'll get it for you." The young Fuji said as he squeezed himself on the space between the iron bars of the gate.

"Fujiko!" the young Eiji cried. "Come back nya!"

The ball kept on bouncing and Fuji chased after it. "Wait!" Fuji cried out to the ball as it rolled nearer and nearer to the house.

"Gotcha!" Fuji knelt down to fetch it. But he stopped almost instantly when he saw a pair of hazel eyes glimmer from below. Taking a second look, he sat on the grass and smiled.

"Hello."

The little boy looked up from the window in fear. "Aren't you…" he came closer to show his face "…scared of me?"

The young Fuji shook his head. He titled his head in question. "Are you scared of me?"

"N-no."

Fuji laughed a little, sensing the untruthfulness in his answer. "Then play with us." Fuji held out his hand and smiled his brightest. "Come with me."

The boy smiled at him. But two seconds later, the smile had turn into a frown.

"N-no."

"You don't have to be afraid of me." Fuji said. "We're friends ne?"

"I'm not afraid! I c-can't come with you." The boy replied. "Not now."

"Why not?" Fuji asked, searching for the handle that would open the iron windows.

"I can't. I'm a-" the boy paused in hesitation.

There was a loud scream. It seemed to belong to his brother Yuuta. It was followed by another set of wails from Eiji. It looked like they were crying about Fuji who apparently, was eaten by monsters.

"It's getting dark." Fuji looked up to the purple sky. "I have to bring Yuuta home." He said to himself. He hugged his ball and ran to the gate. A moment later, the wailing stopped and silence consumed the night once again.

"I'm a vampire."

-oOo-

"He's here." the young Tezuka closed the curtains excitedly. He had been waiting for him all week.

"Why are you in a hurry Kunimitsu?" Ayana asked as Tezuka ran in the hall and down the stairs.

"I'm going to play with him before it gets dark." Tezuka stopped to answer. He ran again before his mother could say anything.

"Your grandfather is in his study." Ayana shouted with a smile. She had never seen her son this enthusiastic before.

"I'm going outside!"

Ayana instantly looked out the window. The sun had not set.

"Kunimitsu! Don't!" Ayana ran after him. Landing at the foot of the stairs, she could only gasp at the blazing sunlight from the open door. "NO!" she cried out loud as she knelt down the floor, crying over the loss of her son.

"Mother?"

"Mother?" Tezuka asked in a mumble.

"Wake up Kunimitsu. Time for school." He heard her say through the door.

"Yes mother." Tezuka put on his glasses and got dressed. Even if he did leave the curtains open, the sun could not wake him up. It took him years to adjust to this daytime schedule but it seemed his body has been refusing it lately.

"Don't you feel...different…today?" his mother asked when he got out of his room. "No itchy feeling or anything?"

"No, mother. I'm fine." Tezuka accompanied her mother to her room. "Sleep well." He bade her a good day's rest before leaving the house.

Opening the front door, he was greeted with the morning sun in the horizon. The sunlight that was supposed to turn him to ashes just glowed on his skin. He was a vampire. A rare vampire. A daywalker.

Ever since the discovery, he'd been living the life of a normal human being. He was given permission to attend school and was allowed to meet other people. There was only one condition that he must follow or else everything would be taken away. No one must know that he is a-

"VAMPIRE!"

Tezuka stood frozen at the door as all the eyes in the room sharply turned to his direction. Had they found out?

"Are you coming with us Tezuka?" Inui broke the stiffened silence. "We're sleeping over at Fuji's tonight."

"Nee-san bought a lot of horror movies." Fuji explained. "You're coming ne?"

"Ah." Tezuka agreed at once. He gave a sigh of relief. It appeared that everyone was talking about a really frightening vampire movie before he came in. He was about to ask Fuji about it but the teacher entered the room.

Tezuka sat on the farthest chair out back, just behind Fuji's. The class was busy copying notes when Fuji turned his head to look back at him.

"I'm really glad that you could come." Fuji whispered. "It really made my day." He smiled sweetly.

He often refused invitations for activities like these; there was just too much risk of being found out. But since he agreed out of blue, there was no turning back. He gave a nod to Fuji. "This would be the first time we'd spend the night together, isn't it? I'm looking forward to it."

Fuji chuckled in glee. "Me too."

When he looked away, Tezuka's eyes unconsciously traveled Fuji's neck. With his senses heightening, Tezuka noticed how fast Fuji's blood rushed to his cheeks…

And Fuji's heartbeat…that became loud and fast with each second…raising Fuji's body temperature to a visible heat…

And his throat …his milky, unblemished skin...pulsing into a mesmerizing rhythm…and the sensation of his teeth sinking into Fuji's-

"Tezuka…are you feeling okay?" Fuji's forehead wrinkled in concern. "You look pale; you want me to take you to the school clinic?"

"N-no, I'm fine." Tezuka violently shook his head to get the images out of his mind. What was I thinking?

"Are you sure?" Fuji extended his hand to touch Tezuka's forehead.

Tezuka closed his eyes as their skin came in contact. Fuji's hand was warm and Tezuka tried hard to resist taking Fuji's throbbing wrist in his mouth.

"I'm just-" Tezuka said, bringing a hand to his face. "Hungry…" Tezuka breathed deep. His teeth are itching to sink in Fuji's skin. "Thirsty…" Tezuka couldn't take his eyes off of the corner of Fuji's neck and shoulder.

"Okay." Fuji smiled sweetly again. "It's lunch anyways." Fuji turned to look at the blackboard again to take notes. Tezuka couldn't help but stare at Fuji's pen that grazed the side of his neck as he listened. The itching in his teeth grew worse.

Tezuka couldn't control himself anymore. He was about to grab Fuji's shoulders from behind when the lunch bell rang, awaking him from his trance.

"Tezuka?" Fuji asked when he turned around to find Tezuka's face so close to him.

"Ahem." Tezuka stepped back, putting his hands inside his pockets. "It's lunch."

"'Kay." Fuji managed to say before Kawamura stepped in and offered some sushi.

-oOo-

"Hoi hoi Fujiko," Eiji stopped bouncing all of a sudden. "Why do you think Tezuka likes to be alone so much?"

"Um?" Fuji followed Eiji's eyes and saw Tezuka sitting on a table all alone. He laughed to himself, as student after student excused themselves from the table when they saw that Tezuka was already there. "I don't think so. Everyone just keeps avoiding him, that's all."

"That's because Tezuka's scary nya!" Eiji shuddered.

Fuji's blue eyes fixated on Tezuka. True; Tezuka's eyes were frightening, especially today. His face looked more angry and troubled more than usual, as though he would shout at anyone who comes near him.

"He's just…lonely." Fuji's voice was sad. "Don't wait for me."

"Nya?" Eiji blinked stupidly. "Fuji? Fuji?" He turned around and saw Fuji already approaching Tezuka's table.

"Hello."

Tezuka woke up from his stupor. He froze the moment he saw Fuji's smiling face. Fuji was the last person he wanted to see…as it was the thing he desired the most.

"Yes?" Tezuka managed to ask, his head twitching at the sight of Fuji's neck.

"Can I sit with you?" Fuji sat on the chair across him. "I'll accompany you while you eat."

Tezuka only nodded. He continued to eat his lunch while listening to Fuji chatter about something. What it was he didn't know. He was engrossed with Fuji's accelerating heartbeat ringing in his ears. Food was useless after all. Nothing could ever fill the hunger he had, except perhaps Fuji's sweet, warm blood…

Tezuka closed his fists more tightly. He didn't know why Fuji was the only one who triggered his thirst. He would have fed on anyone if it wasn't him. He didn't want to hurt Fuji of all people.

Fuji was always there for him ever since. Fuji wasn't scared of him. Even if he didn't open himself to the human world that much, Fuji accepts him just the same. Fuji is his most valuable friend.

But he couldn't restrain himself anymore.

"Tezuka…" Fuji coughed and looked away. His cheeks turned pink. "Please stop looking at me like that…"

All Tezuka noticed was Fuji's face going hot. Tezuka's hand stealthily grabbed Fuji's wrist. Pulling Fuji from across the table, he lifted himself in his chair, ready to launch at Fuji's neck.

To Tezuka's dismay and relief, Fuji was quick to turn away. Breathing heavily, the shocked Fuji stood up from his chair and went dashing out of the canteen.

What happened? Tezuka thought as he regained self-control. Remembering Fuji's surprised face, he hurriedly went and chased after him. What did I do?

Spotting Fuji idly walking in the corridors, Tezuka slowed down and readied to speak.

"Fuji." Tezuka called out.

"T-Tezuka!" Fuji almost yelled when he turned around. "I'm sorry, I h-had to go to the bathroom." He avoided his eyes and continued biting a nail in anxiety.

Feeling Fuji's temperature rising again, Tezuka shook his head. Concentrate

"There's something you should know." Tezuka started.

"What?" Fuji yelled in surprise. He breathed hard, covering his mouth with a hand.

"I never wanted to break your trust, but…I can't keep hiding it from you any longer."

Tezuka adjusted his glasses, pausing in contemplation. Should he break his promise with his mother and tell Fuji that he's a vampire? Moreover, would Fuji be willing enough to give his own blood when he asks? He was bound to feed on Fuji anyways so why not give him the heads up? Who knows, Fuji might just cooperate if he'd ask.

"Fuji, I'm- "

"Don't say it!" Fuji yelled at him as he stepped in close. "Tezuka…" he looked down his shoes. "I don't think I'm ready…"

What? Tezuka racked his head for some sort of illumination. Tezuka stared at Fuji. Does Fuji know my secret already?

"Whatever you want to say," Fuji stepped back this time, "Say it tonight okay?"

Fuji's blue eyes stared at him so intently that all the nerves in his body had gone numb. For the lack of a more well-thought answer, Tezuka only said "Alright." To his surprise Fuji nodded and smiled in response.

"I need to find Eiji now so…" Fuji turned around, "see you at class."

He was left standing there, the confession he rehearsed that morning simply running off his mind.

Fuji isn't ready for what?

-oOo-

"Whoa!" Inui almost fell from where he sat. "He really came!"

"Maybe I shouldn't have come after all." Tezuka said, putting on the shoes that he just took off. In truth, this was the last place that he wanted to be. Then again, here was where he always wanted to be. Tezuka couldn't sort out which he preferred.

Should he keep his secret from Fuji? Or not?

If he should tell him, there's a chance Fuji would get scared of him...and a chance that he'll still accept him just the same…

If he should keep the secret, it would all depend on his strength to keep his fangs off of Fuji. And right now, that strength is ebbing away. If he couldn't control himself, Fuji would get hurt either way. Which brings us back to the unavoidable:

Fuji who doesn't know, or Fuji who does. Which to prefer?

"He's just joking Tezuka." Kawamura told him while opening a bag of chips. "Right, Fuji?"

Tezuka's eyes automatically fell on Fuji who was sitting on his bed. He didn't look directly at his eyes at first, but then Fuji smiled to him and said "Yeah, we're really glad you came."

Tezuka couldn't blame them for being surprised. Especially Fuji, who most probably thought he wouldn't come because of the incident that morning. Even Tezuka wondered why he came. This night was bound to be a disaster, but in the end, his desire for Fuji's blood won.

Selecting the farthest possible place from Fuji, Tezuka sat down next to Eiji. It was a good location, as Eiji's questions and violent reactions kept him busy and distracted. Everyone was new to the vampires of the westerners. They were dark creatures, unearthly and atrocious.

What would everyone think if he said he is one?

"AH! Why is she letting him come to his house nya?" Eiji asked once again. "Doesn't she know he's a vampire?"

"She doesn't Eiji." Inui answered, pushing his glasses up his nose. "It seems she doesn't know how to read the signs."

"But it's so obvious!" Kawamura interjected. "Now she's gonna get bitten like the last girl…"

"Can we open the lights? Just for this part?" Eiji hid behind a pillow. "I don't want to see…"

On the screen, the vampire had already bitten the young lady. It was strange however, that she had a smile on her face. In the next scene, the young lady who supposedly died has come to life again.

"She let herself get bitten?!" Eiji scratched his head. "Why? Why? Why?"

"Maybe because they love each other?" Kawamura answered, unsure of himself.

Tezuka almost jumped at his seat when the lights suddenly opened.

Inui was browsing his notebook frantically. He did a little research on vampires from Europe and it seems he has another answer to the question. "Aha! The kiss!"

"A kiss?" Fuji asked, getting up from his lying position.

"Weren't you watching Inui?" Eiji threw a pillow at him. "That wasn't a kiss!"

"A vampire's kiss…" Tezuka repeated.

"That's right. A vampire's kiss is given to transform the victim into a vampire."

Correct, Tezuka thought. His mother told him about it. He couldn't recall much though, but she said that he couldn't perform a kiss because he was prophesized to be the last of their kind. There was a curse that he can't be loved by anyone because the last vampire couldn't possibly have vampire children. Or something like that.

"WHAA? She's not dead?!" Eiji's eyes opened wide when the young lady opened her eyes all of a sudden.

"So she wanted to be vampire?" Kawamura asked, finally understanding the plot of the story. "Because she didn't want him to spend eternity all alone?"

"He turned her into a vampire so she could stay with him forever." Tezuka told them. Remembering the prophecy, maybe he wasn't meant to live amongst humans after all. He shouldn't have friends in the first place.

That was the answer. It wasn't inevitable for Fuji to get bitten. If he would stay away, lock himself in the dark corners of their house, then Fuji wouldn't get hurt.

"I don't understand." Fuji suddenly spoke. "If they had wanted to be together, wouldn't it be much better if the vampire turned into a human instead?"

Me? Tezuka looked at Fuji in disbelief. He had never looked at it from that point of view before. A human?

"Then they'd be able to spend mornings in the park and eat real food." Fuji added.

Tezuka watched as they all laughed. He turned to the screen, to the two vampires that shared a coffin when day-break came. Odd, he thought what vampires would do for love.

"It's so creepy…" Eiji shivered as he prepared his bed. "Do you have any of those stakes, nya Fujiko?"

"Sorry Eiji, but no." Fuji said, getting up from his bed and turning off the lights. "We have garlic though."

"But it's just a movie Eiji." Fuji said as if trying to convince himself. "Vampires aren't real."

"You're looking at one." Tezuka whispered to himself. "But there won't be any soon."

The last of the topic being said, they had the change of subject. They talked about movies, food and school. Tezuka regretted missing times with friends like these, now that he had sworn to never show his face to them again after tonight.

"You Tezuka," Fuji called his attention when everyone was asleep.

"Hn?" Tezuka was still awake. He was having trouble getting to sleep at night lately.

"Do you have a girl you like?" Fuji asked, concealing a part of his face with his blanket. "I didn't catch what you said when Eiji asked you…" he added instantly.

"No, I don't." Tezuka told him the truth.

"Really? Do you like…anyone…though?" Fuji asked again. Tezuka couldn't see Fuji's face, but he felt Fuji's temperature was rising again. His heartbeat was getting fast too.

"Why do you ask?" Tezuka said in reply.

"What were you trying to tell me this morning?" Fuji answered. "You can tell me now."

It was good that he stopped him that morning. Thanks to Fuji, he could disappear in peace. "Nothing. Forget about it."

"Oh…" Fuji said. Tezuka couldn't help but notice the disappointment in his voice.

"Just know that I'm ready okay?" Fuji told him. He greeted him a good night's sleep and fell silent.

Ready?

All of a sudden, Tezuka felt the thirst again. His mouth had gotten dry and fangs were starting to show. What is happening to me? That's when he realized- He needed…blood. He needed…Fuji…

He looked out the window. A vampire bat.

"Mother?"

-oOo-

Fuji sat up at the sound of a door opening. He was surprised to see Tezuka was getting out of the room.

"Where are you going Tez-" he stopped in realization. "Oh.."

He laughed. He laughed at himself for getting depressed so easily. Of course Tezuka wouldn't say it when everyone was around.

Getting up, he followed him out of the room. "The bathroom?" Fuji shook his head. It was so much like Tezuka to choose an odd place for a confession.

"I don't understand the prophesy…I want Fuji…no else will do…"

Fuji was about to enter but he stopped. Tezuka appeared to be speaking to someone else.

"I want to… feel him…taste him…in my mouth…"

Fuji covered his own mouth. Tezuka wanted what in his mouth?

"I want to drink it all…Every…last…drop…"

Fuji knees suddenly got weak. He can't believe what he was hearing. I didn't know you were capable of thinking of such things…

Fuji was about to return to his room when the bathroom door suddenly burst open.

"Tezuka!" Fuji backed away from him. "I needed to go the bathroom…" he told him as an excuse for being there.

"I was talking to my mother…" Tezuka said, he was choosing his words carefully, as it would be his parting words for Fuji. "She said I had to go home right n-"

"I heard," Fuji cut him, "what you said."

"You heard?" Tezuka's brows furrowed. It was then that Tezuka realized it. Deep inside, he wanted Fuji to know. Just as how the girl in the movie presented herself to the vampire, he was also wishing for Fuji to do the same. To quench his thirst…

And Fuji was making it easier to throw his resolve away…showing no resistance whatsoever…

"Yes…and I'm happy." Fuji said bashfully, "I never thought you felt for me so strongly…"

Fuji was surprised of Tezuka's reaction. He had to step backwards because Tezuka kept walking straight towards him. Fuji was beginning to get worried. The look on Tezuka's face says he wants it real bad. Really, really bad.

"But I think we should just take it slow…I don't know if I can give you want you want exactly…" Fuji finally reached the wall. "But I could try…I really do feel the same way about you…"

Fuji finally ran out of room. Tezuka took his shoulders and lowered his head. Fuji was about to push him away when Tezuka suddenly stepped back.

"What did you say?" Tezuka asked, extremely alarmed.

"Huh?" Fuji asked, still awestruck at what Tezuka was about to do. "I…like you too."

"You," Tezuka's forehead creased. "-like me?"

"Is it that hard to believe?" Fuji said, followed by nervous laughter. But then… "Wait, don't…you?"

"I don't Fuji."

Fuji's felt like he was the biggest fool.He must be crazy to imagine that Tezuka likes him.

"I'm so sorry…I'm so embarrassed of myself." Fuji hid his face in his palms. He quickly walked away. "Of course you don't…I'm so stupid…just forget everything I said…"

"Fuji, wait!" Tezuka called him back.

"I can't believe I told you those…what was I thinking…" Fuji opened the door to his room. "I was only imagining things…I'm so embarrassed…"

Feeling angry at himself, Fuji could only feel lower knowing that Tezuka doesn't really like him.

"Fuji, I'll tell you my secret."

"What?" Fuji closed the door to his room again. "Your secret?"

"I was supposed to tell you this morning." Tezuka told him, looking directly at his eyes. "Fuji…I'm a vampire. So I need to stay away from you from now on."

Fuji looked at Tezuka in utter disbelief. What a horror movie this has been.

"Ha ha." Fuji laughed. "Good one." Fuji wiped his tears. "But I wasn't joking when I said I liked you Tezuka."

-oOo-

"I don't Fuji."

The phrase repeatedly haunted Tezuka's memory. Because at that moment, he felt Fuji's heartbeat ceased. It was as though all the warmth in Fuji's body disappeared. He had gone empty and frozen. In the end, he still hurt Fuji.

Thinking about it, he did like him. He loves him even. He wanted to kiss him at that moment. Make Fuji his, eternally. He wanted Fuji to be with him forever. Ever since that day, the day when Fuji extended his hand to him, his warm smile like the blazing sun. A sun that was supposed to be his death, but gave him a different life instead.

But he was destined to be alone and unloved for all eternity. Tezuka finally understood what scares him the most, scared of loving someone because he knew it would last forever.

Locking himself at the dungeon. He could clearly see the rising sun from the iron windows; the only witness to his melancholy. He regretted not telling him what he really felt. The thirst was no longer there, but he wanted Fuji more than ever.

"Can you," a voice echoed in the small room. "Come with me now?"

Fuji was seated near his window again. He had his hand extended like before, beckoning him to come.

Tezuka hurriedly went to him. He ran much faster now, but still with the same eagerness from the day that he saw him.

"Fuji." He breathed slowly. "How did you know where I live?" And more importantly, "What are you doing here?"

"I want you to have it." Fuji unbuttoned his shirt and took the collar. Turning his head to the side, he gave Tezuka some space. "Every last drop." Fuji laughed and smiled.

Tezuka couldn't deny that he wanted Fuji's blood. But he couldn't take it when he hurt Fuji so much.

"I remembered." Fuji told him, his voice was raspy from crying so much. "I had my doubts at first, but when I saw Inui's notebook, I came running back here." He smiled. "It's so convenient, daywalkers can spend mornings in the park and eat real food."

"How did you know?" Tezuka asked, completely caught off guard.

"You were about to kiss me right?" Fuji asked. He laughed. "A vampire's kiss, of course." He smiled sweetly. "Well, go ahead."

Tezuka approached him slowly. "I have another secret."

"I already know that you're leaving." Fuji sniffled. "I heard you whispering in my room."

"Not that." Tezuka cut him off. He grabbed Fuji by the waist and lowered himself on his neck. "I love you."

"What?"

Fuji's hands automatically wrapped themselves around Tezuka as fangs pierced through his skin.

Licking his teeth, Tezuka lifted his head to see if Fuji got hurt. The wound healed itself at that instant, but it seems it was still painful for Fuji. He was staring blankly into space.

"Kunimitsu…" Fuji pointed.

"My son…" his mother appeared through the door. "You've fulfilled the prophesy." She walked outside to the sunlight. "We are…free."

"Your fangs…they're disappearing." Fuji looked at Tezuka's teeth more closely. "Do they only show at night?" Fuji paused. "How many have you kissed?! I want their names!"

Tezuka could almost laugh at Fuji's jealous face. "From now on," Fuji pouted. "You kiss only me, okay?"

"But I'm free…." Tezuka said, buttoning Fuji's shirt for him. Fuji was his sunshine all along. "I'm not a vampire anymore."

"Even so." Fuji smiled.

It wasn't a horror movie after all. Even if horror movies do have happy endings; love stories don't have endings at all.

A kiss from a human that loveth thine

Turn the once unloved to a love divine

The vampire rule shall cease at hence

Only love shall live till eternity ends

It doesn't end. It lasts forever.

--

iannetine: Well, was this a horror story so far? Tell me please…