Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, no matter how much I want Gaara and Neji as my personal entourage.
The Minister's Son
Late night stragglers walked through the cobblestone street outside, yet none ever entered. The high class gentlemen felt no more need to enter the ancient structure than the street pimps that sold their human merchandise to them. The young boys whose pranks caused their current flight through the ancient road would never dream of seeking repentance inside. They run past the old cathedral as hundreds do every day. Never looking, never entering, and never acknowledging the presence of the once illustrious structure.
The ancient place of worship weeps in sorrow remembering a time when its walls sheltered many, echoing the sounds of life, a stark difference to the bleak silence that now encompasses it.
Inside the old edifice, a lone candle illuminates the altar, while its brothers throw their meager light into the darkness revealing a solitary figure. A young man clothed in white robes delicately sits on the cold pew near the altar. The candles bathe him in soft light, highlighting his alabaster skin as he sits in contemplative silence. Long strands of hair slip forward as he bends his head in prayer. Minutes pass and the boy remains the same, until at last he lifts his head—ending his prayer. Finished for the night, the young man walks to the altar and picks up a silver candle snuffer with two fingers. He brings the metal cap down on top of the burning candle and extinguishes the flame.
Watching the entire episode from the shadows, another figure smirks knowingly, anticipating what's to come. It's the same every night.
Bathed in darkness, the young man slowly turns around and peers into the dark shadows of the cathedral. His pale eyes search every corner, every dark crevice for signs of the other. He knows he is not alone.
Ever since he was a small child he had been coming to the cathedral late at night; slipping from his warm bed and traveling through the dark and dangerous streets in order to pray for his soul. His father had no idea of his nightly journey, and no one ever visited the cathedral at night. Naively, he had believed his nightly journey would remain a secret, but that all changed about a year ago when a crimson haired stranger had stepped out of the shadows just as he had finished up his prayer, and revealed himself to him.
"Where are you?" the young man asked, breaking the silence for the first time. He gazed at the shadows beyond, but found nothing out of the ordinary. He couldn't see anything in the darkness, but he knew someone was out there. He had always been there, even if he hadn't known it.
"Gaara?" he whispered as his heart began to race.
Near the back of the cathedral, a dark figure soundlessly stepped away from the shadows and entered the light of the candles. His crimson locks fell around his eyes casting his face in shadow. He leaned on a marble column watching as the other tried to locate him.
"Are you done with your pathetic rituals?" he asked with a hint of annoyance in his tone. Teal eyes watched in satisfaction as the Hyuuga's shoulders stiffened at his words before those pale eyes found him.
"They are more than simple rituals to me, so I ask you again not to mock my faith," the young man told him without a hint of malice in his voice, though his displeasure was clearly evident.
Now that he had located him, Neji stared at the stranger defiantly, which only made the crimson haired male quirk his lips in predatory delight. Without making a sound, Gaara pushed himself away from the marble column and glided over to the Hyuuga's side, invading his personal space. He was mere inches away, but the brunette made no move to back down and still stared at him in defiance.
"For years I've watched you enter this church, for years you've disturbed my sanctuary—"
"This is not your sanctuary," Neji immediately responded, a little heat entering his voice. "It belongs to everyone."
Gaara watched in amusement as those usually cold eyes flashed with righteous passion, but as soon as the heat entered them it left just as quickly.
"Ah, but you're wrong. This is my sanctuary," Gaara continued watching as the Hyuuga battled with himself to remain calm. "If you don't believe me, then why don't you ask your father. He should know its history; after all he is the minister of this cathedral."
Neji said nothing, but made a mental note to ask his father about the cathedral's history. He was sure Gaara was lying, but it never hurt to make sure.
Gaara stared into those lavender orbs, but unlike before, Neji looked away. Gaara smirked. He only dared to stare at him in defiance when his gaze was far away, but up close, he could not look into his eyes. "Tell me, why do enter my sanctuary every night?" Gaara asked; cupping Neji's chin with two fingers.
As expected Neji immediately pulled away and took a few steps back so that the other was no longer invading his personal space.
"Do not touch me," he hissed, throwing away all masks. From the day that Gaara had first revealed himself to him, the red-head had steadily begun to chip away at his cold mask which had taken him years to perfect. Every encounter he had with the red-head left an irreparable crack in his armor. He knew he was no match for the potent creature before him. Soon enough Gaara would break him, he knew this, yet he came anyways. At first he came out of pure defiance. He refused to let a total stranger intimidate him, but soon enough, he realized that he did not continue to make his nightly journey to the church solely for prayer or even out of defiance—he came for Gaara. For the thrill that he felt every time the crimson haired male appeared.
Gaara paid no heed to his words and stalked forward like a predator after its prey. Neji's eyes widened when he realized what the other was doing and slowly took a step back, his eyes trained on the other, though avoiding his eyes. Gaara looked at him from underneath his lashes and noticed as the Hyuuga's eyes flicked to the door. He was going to make a run for it. Soon enough, Gaara's prediction came true, as Neji dashed into the open aisle and sprinted toward the door.
Gaara remained where he was, cruelly waiting until the brunette reached the wooden doors before vanishing from his spot only to re-appear in back of the Hyuuga. Before Neji could register what had happened, Gaara slammed him against the door and pinned him there with his body.
Neji's mind was racing. This had never happened before. Gaara never chased after him. Once Neji was done with his prayers Gaara would appear and the two would exchange a few words before Neji left. No matter how defiant he was toward the other, Gaara always let him leave. He hadn't expected Gaara to stop him, let alone pin him to the door. He couldn't move. His hands were above his head, captured by Gaara's strong grip, while his body was pined by the other's hard body.
Neji's eyes were tightly closed, he refused to open them. He knew it was over. He would die here in this cathedral that he loved, and all for his own stupidity. Why did he return time after time? Why didn't he stay away? Gaara had never tried to hide what he was from him, yet Neji still came late at night and entered the quiet cathedral knowing what kind of creature dwelled within. Every night he returned, he knocked on death's door, and tonight, death had finally answered back.
"Kill me," Neji whispered. "I don't want to be turned into—" his voice hitched unable to say the last word.
"Open your eyes."
Neji tried to turn his face away, closing his eyes more tightly, but Gaara would have none of it. He captured Neji's face with his free hand and spoke again.
"Open your eyes," he repeated, adding a painful squeeze to the two hands in his grip making him hiss in pain as his wrists were literally crushed by the hand that held them.
Very slowly Neji's eyes fluttered opened.
Satisfied, Gaara released the painful grip on his wrists, but still kept a loose hold on them.
"Why do you want me to kill you?"
Expecting to hear a pleading and weak voice, Gaara was surprised when a strong voice answered his question.
"I refuse to become what you are, I rather die," Neji retorted.
"And what is that?"
"Nosferatu," he spat, eyes blazing in defiance once more.
Gaara laughed; a hearty laugh that spilled from his pink lips as he regarded Neji with amusement.
"Do you actually think I, or any other of my species, have the power to turn a human into one of us?"
Neji said nothing, but kept his burning gaze on the creature before him.
"You never answered my question," Gaara said, taking him by surprise.
"His question? What question," Neji thought.
Seeing his confusion, Gaara asked him again.
"Why do you enter my sanctuary every night knowing that a creature such as I dwells within? I'm the very demon that that faith of yours warns you so vehemently about. You should have run away, never to enter these stone walls again from the moment you learned what I was, yet you return. Night after night you return. Why?"
Neji gulped. What could he say? He had no real answer, instead he stared at those pink lips. Catching himself, he immediately returned his eyes back to those teal orbs.
Gaara grinned noticing the interest. "Or is it that you return out of desire?"
Neji was quick to answer. "I would never desire you," he spat, eyes blazing with anger.
"I never said you desired me," Gaara smirked as he watched the anger dissipate from those pale orbs as they lit up in alarm. He had practically dug his own grave.
Neji soon recovered from his momentary distress. "Let me go," he hissed.
"Not before you answer my question?"
Neji growled and struggled from his imprisonment, which only made the vampire more determined.
"Such a temper," Gaara tsked, ", and here I though a minister's son was supposed to be rid of any animosity towards others and exhibit patience toward all beings. How else are you going to try save my damned soul?" Gaara whispered near Neji's lips before capturing them in a heated kiss.
He moved his lips over Neji's softer ones, using his fangs to nip at the sides of his mouth before sucking gently, asking for entrance. He was a bit disappointed when he was refused entry, but shrugged it off as he attacked the soft lips whose owner neither participated nor pushed him away. Reluctantly, Gaara finally pulled away, noting the look of disappointment that flashed in Neji's eyes for the briefest moment before he hid them behind righteous anger.
"How dare you treat me in such a manner! I am not some whore you can use for your, your indecent urges!"
Gaara smiled. "Of course you're not. A whore implies that anyone can have you for the right price." Gaara narrowed his eyes, and for a moment Neji thought he saw the depths of Hell in those eyes. "No one will ever have you except me. You are mine."
Neji shivered at the intensity of those words. At that moment, he could literally feel the malevolence that radiated out of every pore of Gaara's body promising death to any who tried to take what he considered his. Neji gulped audibly, trying to remain as still as possible lest the beast lurking inside the crimson haired male find any reason to hurt him.
Without warning, Gaara leaned down and placed a soft kiss on Neji's cheek, dispelling any malignant intentions that only moments ago had poured out of his body. Neji wisely kept his mouth shut this time, and said nothing about the kiss as he tried to stop his body from trembling in terror.
Gaara frowned. "You don't have to be frightened of me Neji. I would never hurt you," he told him, feeling his trembling form. Slowly, he let go of the hands he had kept imprisoned above the other's head and quickly scooped Neji in his arms carrying him to the nearest pew before sitting down. He kept Neji in his arms and held him gently, waiting for the brunette to calm down. It didn't take long, but Gaara wanted to reassure him that he had nothing to fear. He didn't want Neji terrified of him. Pulling Neji closer, Gaara shifted him into a more comfortable position so that his head rested on his shoulder. For a few minutes, Gaara simple let the brunette settle down before speaking.
"Do you remember the first time you came here at night?" Gaara asked him. Neji nodded, but refused to look at him. "You were about four years old. You didn't know it then, but I watched you the entire time. I was surprised anyone would enter this church at night, let alone a child. I kept to the shadows and watched as you lit the altar candle and sat back down on the pew. I crept closer, curious of you. I watched as you prayed in silence and when you were done you blew out the candle and left the cathedral." Gaara stopped for a moment, trying to find a way to say the next words. "I had been occupying this cathedral for ten years and in that time, not once had anyone entered it at night. You pricked my curiosity so after you left, I followed. I watched your progress through the streets until you finally reached your home. I didn't stay long after that. I thought I would never see you again, but to my surprise you returned the next night, and the night after that and the night after that. I was more than surprised when you kept returning to the church. Every night, I would watched over you as you left your home and made sure you returned to it safely." Gaara cupped Neji's chin and slowly brought his head up so that he stared into those pale eyes. "Have you ever wondered why, after so many years of wandering the streets at night, you've never run into any trouble?"
Neji looked at him as comprehension lit his eyes. He had never thought about it. Of course he would occasionally hear about a poor woman being raped and killed while she hurried home through the darkness, or of a man being robbed and beaten sometimes even killed as he walked through the streets late at night. He had heard the stories but he had never believed that could happen to him since he was always careful to avoid anyone on the streets late at night. He had been naïve. For years he had walked through dangerous streets at a time when the worst scum of the city lurked in search of prey. How many times had he been in danger?
"You protected me?" Neji asked, awe in his voice.
Gaara nodded, but did not elaborate. He didn't want to frighten him again. He had saved him from danger more times than he cared to think about, and more than once, the would-be assailant had every intention of taking his body before he killed him. The terrified screams of those men as he killed them were especially satisfying.
"Thank you." Neji murmured deeply grateful.
Gaara planted a soft kiss on his forehead before setting Neji on the floor. "You should leave. Its already past 3 o'clock," Gaara told him. Neji nodded not knowing what to say.
"Are you going to follow me?" he asked.
Gaara nodded. "I will look over you."
"You don't have to stay in the shadows. You can walk with me," he offered.
Gaara stared at him for a moment before accepting the offer.
The two left the church and stepped into the night. Gaara walked beside the young man but didn't invade his personal space. He kept in step with Neji who remained quiet throughout the entire trip only speaking up once when a masked robber tried to attack them. Gaara easily took care of the man, but didn't kill him at Neji's insistence. They soon reached Neji's home and before walking in Neji thanked him again. Gaara waved him off and watched as he safely went inside.
Gaara soon reached the cathedral without any incident. He walked inside and headed toward an alcove tucked away from view. The small niche had a statue of an angel. The red-head reached behind the statue and pushed inward at the base of the angel's back where his wings protruded from its back. He heard a soft click and the statue was pushed aside by a well oiled mechanism revealing the passage beyond. Gaara stepped through the passage, and 5 seconds later; he heard as the statue locked back into place.
He could see perfectly well in the darkness, and easily walked through the maze of passages littered underneath the old cathedral. He soon ended up in front of a door and opened it. Inside was his resting place. Knowing that morning was fast approaching Gaara settled down a smile on his face as he remembered the night's events. Very soon he would tell Neji everything, about his heritage, about his own cursed life and about the bond between them. After years of watching him, Gaara would finally have his mate.
As always, reviews are greatly appreciated. XD