Disclaimer: Standard disclaimers apply.


The flaxen-haired vampire eyed Shiki warily, his nails rapping an exasperated staccato on the armrest of his chair. "You can't possibly have run out of tablets."

A mere shrug, a languid lick of the lips. "My palate is too delicate for such synthetic concoctions."

Preferring muteness to offering vocal concurrence, Ichijou silently followed the dark-haired vampire's fingers with his eyes…and when they stopped to rest on the vicinity of his own collar bone, involuntarily, they narrowed slightly in bemusement.

As he looked into Shiki's smoky blue eyes, Ichijou wondered if he was fit enough for this tonight. The intense look of want, and the way the long, fine fingers at his throat delicately curled around the collar of his jacket… "Shiki-"

"May I?"

Ichijou had always liked that about Shiki; always avoiding the temptation to forego formalities-

Feigning defeat, Ichijou raised his face and tilted his head a few degrees sideways in a discreet sign of consent.

Shiki's fingers worked effortlessly to loosen the silk ascot from around Ichijou's neck.

Shiki was very much like a child, one who had been denied almost nothing since the day he was born - what irony it was that the very thing he lusted for, the very thing that defined the existence of his kind, was so out of reach that he had to resort to this.

And nowadays it was always and only Ichijou he turned to when the desire and hunger grew too great to bear.

And nowadays it was always Ichijou who gave in.

"Be careful not to spill, Shiki," he chided gently. "Not a drop."

Shiki only stared at him with the most perplexed expression, almost indignant in the wake of its frown. "You are the one thing I would never waste, Ichijou-san."

Taken aback by the pseudoconfession, the taller vampire soon recovered his composure, his smile benign and loving as he patted the auburn hair apologetically. "Of course."

"Are you…very hungry tonight, Shiki?"

"It's just-we're expecting the council auditors tomorrow, Kaname needs me in top form, you see…" he murmured as Shiki nuzzled in close, nestling his head against a particularly sensitive patch of skin below the crook of his jaw.

"I passed Dorm President Kuran on the stairs. He didn't say anything." Shiki sounded close to pouting.

Ichijou gave him a knowing look. For all Shiki knew, Kaname was merely assenting to their late night rendezvous under the pretense of communal peace…but Ichijou knew their blue-blooded leader better. However all his reservations were instantly forgotten when Shiki's face loomed over him once more, his sharp fangs bared in a snarl. He was ready, that much Ichijou could tell.

Ichijou's eyes fluttered to a close and with a resigned smile, he let out a small sigh. "Remember, I trust you."

"Uhm." Shiki was gentle, yet forceful in the ease with which he introduced his fangs past the tough barrier of his skin, and as so many times before, Ichijou found himself drifting away as his heart began to pick up pace, pumping harder and faster. He wondered if the blood leaving his circulation with each heartbeat was strong enough to provoke the other vampires in their wake; he was losing it as quickly as he could give it-

"Shiki…" Ichijou breathed out shakily.

Shiki almost moaned. It tasted so right, it felt so right…Ichijou Takuma in his arms, hearing him say his name…hot, delicious blood sliding down his throat and warming him from within, blood so impossibly smooth and sweet, Shiki could not help but hungrily draw even more undiluted honey into his mouth.

Ichijou balled his fists around the front of Shiki's dress shirt, only to let go to grasp frantically at the lapel of Shiki's coat in the attempt to hang on, but he could not seem to catch his breath. When black dots began to fill his vision, he realised he should have trusted his instincts; he was in no shape to assuage his own, let alone Shiki's thirst tonight.

The book he was holding loosely in his lap slipped out of his grasp as all sensation and strength left his fingers, hitting the marble floor with an unceremonious thump. Shiki only gave it a fleeting glance, dimly aware of the soft rustling of precious pages slipping past their leather binding.

Ichijou opened his eyes. "…Shiki?"

He had stopped drinking.

"You're pale." Shiki's hand traveled upward to cup Ichijou's cheek. He had not drunk half his usual amount. Something was not right. "You haven't fed enough."

Ichijou chuckled weakly. "Shiki, you're imagining things. I had a drink right before you showed up, in fact."

Perhaps his vice-president was the only vampire he knew who could say the truth and tell a lie at the same time without realizing it. It was not lost on Shiki that Ichijou would pop an extra blood tablet, as distasteful as those things were, whenever he was expecting Shiki…and ever since the introduction of the tablets, he expected Shiki often too many times.

Over and over Shiki would demand of him what he may not have wanted to give to begin with.

As Shiki's hand fell away from his cheek, Ichijou's head lolled listlessly against the neckrest of the grand chair, an exorbitantly expensive French fauteuil in rich burgundy velvet – quite a useful colour too, for the blood trickling slowly from the rapidly healing puncture wounds seeped through the upholstery, and into nothingness.

Shiki was shamed by much more than his voracious appetite. He had let himself be blinded by hunger and look what his selfishness had cost his Ichijou-san.

One of Shiki's long legs bent at the knee and fell forward to ensconce itself snugly in between the armrest and Ichijou's thigh, while the other knee straddled the exhausted vampire's flank on the other side; Shiki watched as a solitary bead of sweat dewed along the length of Ichijou's right eyebrow.

Shiki leaned forward and snaked both arms around the obtunded vampire's shoulders, feeling Ichijou's clammy forehead with his own. He was not used to feeling such overwhelming guilt.

The warmth of Shiki's breath against his face seemed to bring Ichijou around slowly.

"Shiki…"

Shiki tightened his embrace. He could not help it.

"I worried you." A hand reached up to stroke Shiki's auburn hair tenderly. "I'm sorry."

Shiki shifted reluctantly in Ichijou's lap, pulling back until Ichijou's upturned face was at the level of Shiki's heart.

Never had Ichijou looked more beautiful to him, for there was a gentleness in his apologetic smile, and a tender sweet solicitude that left Shiki reeling inside with regret and adoration-

He longed to bask in this radiance forever and to never part.

"You have a beautiful soul, Ichijou-san."

A fine wrinkle appeared between Ichijou's slightly glassy green eyes. "What?"

It was time Shiki paid him back.

"Will you drink from me?"

A rich, soft laughter trilled above the murmur of his answer- "Shiki, I'm-flattered. But I can't."

"Yes, you can." Shiki freed his collar with such determined haste it was almost frantic. He collapsed forward against Ichijou again, making sure to give him a full view of, and with it access, to his bare neck.

"Shiki-" Ichijou struggled to form words, almost gasping with the searing pain of hunger. Feeding Shiki always made him ravenous but he could usually manage. He bit the inside of his lower lip as he fought against the raging fire in his belly; his fangs were slowly yet surely elongating against his will-

"I really don't think this is appropriate…" The waveform of Shiki's jugular vein at the side of his neck beckoned to him and he could not, for the love of all that was holy, tear his eyes away.

"Shhh…" Shiki hushed him with a soft dry kiss. "Don't think. Just do it."

A painful breath whistled past Ichijou's parched lips. The face, the voice, the weight pressing against him, they were all very familiar…and yet… "Who are you?"

"I am whoever you will me to be." The fine hair on his skin bristled as Shiki's hot breath drew a long, lingering sigh along the length of his neck, and upwards to kiss the coldness of his cheek, leaving barely a whisper of his name-

"Ichijou-san."

As if in slow motion, he watched his own two hands grab the sides of Shiki's face of their own volition, and as the auburn-haired vampire obligingly extended his cervical spine to expose the smooth, pale expanse of his neck, something inside Ichijou snapped.

As his fangs pierced Shiki's skin, the first taste of pure nectar was nearly enough to make him cry in rapture; it was not possible that he could have missed it this much…but he did. Human Shiki may be not, but it was heaven all the same.

He drank and drank; he could not care less if Kaname or the others could smell it from miles away, all that mattered now was he was so unbearably hungry that he would rather brave the peril of death than to be denied the luxury of this – Shiki pressed his neck harder against his mouth, urging him to drink more – in fact, Ichijou could not care less if he died right now. He stifled a moan but the delicious, rich blood kept coming, filling the back of his throat, forcing him to swallow, only to make room for more.

Enough, Ichijou berated himself and attempted to pull away; what little good that did him for Shiki was quick to grab the back of his head and hold him in place. Ichijou could only take in so much with each mouthful and to his dread some of it was spilling, overflowing past his lips and down his chin – and that was when he knew he had to stop.

"Enough," he gurgled through a mouthful of blood and swallowed hard. He released his precarious hold on Shiki's neck and lay back into the soft padding of his chair, his breaths laborious and rapid, his lustrous blond hair a tousled golden tangle.

"Ichijou-san," Shiki breathed against the fragrance of Ichijou's neck, marveling at how moist and warm it was now that he had fed. On his blood, Shiki realised with a thrill, and held Ichijou tighter when in his stupor, the blond vampire shuddered with an involuntary chill. His eyes heavy, he now knew how Ichijou-san felt each time he took his feed.

"You're mine now." Shiki could not help but gloat, though he knew he had captured the object of his lust long before he sought to capture his heart, but at least he could say it now.

"As I've always been," his beloved murmured in response. A soft kiss grazed his cheek. "Thank you, Shiki."

And in the balmy darkness of the rising sun, Shiki Senri smiled in his sleep and looked forward to tomorrow.

THE END

AN: Sorry for the cheese. Books were driving me nuts. ;