Title: Fear

Disclaimer: I don't own KH or its characters.

Warning: Extreme violence and some sexual content. Some of that sexual content includes BDSM, rape, and sadism. Some of that is maleXmale. If you don't like those things do not read.

A/N : YES IT IS I, THE PERSON WHO HAS BEEN GONE FOR...what? 6 months?

I AM SOOOOO SORRRY to any of my readers who still look forward to reading my stuff.

I have only 1 excuse: College hunting sucks. But I HAVE been accepted to the one I want to go to :)

Oh, and I guess I do have another, I am working on an original novel.

In any even I am back. For now. And all stories are on hiatus.

I'm so sorry.

Please enjoy if you even want to bother reading me anymore.

xX-oOo-Xx

Ever wondered what it would be like to die?

I mean, you hold your life close to you, it's the most important thing you have, the ability to live. Your Xbox, your family, your dog, your schoolwork, none of these mean more to you than the pulsing blood in your veins, the life-force that keeps you moving, keeps you walking, keeps you here. You think because you are alive, you act because you are alive. You live a boring existence, going here, going there, following these rules, playing those games.

What you live in is not living. I'd rather see your blood on the ground than to go back to that life. Because, you don't matter to me. The only thing that matters to me is what keeps me alive. You are expendable. The emotions you feel aren't real, just ghosts of what they really are. Start living, like me, and you'll know what I mean.

My name is Cloud. I am eighteen years old, and I have killed over thirty people.

That last part is important, because it means that I am of the third rank on a tier of five. If you haven't killed at least twenty people, you are a noob. Noobs die. Welcome to level one.

The first thing you should know is that fear is your enemy and your friend. Without it, you're sure to die, you won't react in time, you won't know where you stand, and you'll fall into traps far too easily. With it, your heart rate will exceed the limit, and you'll die. The point is to stay alive and to reach tier five. If you don't, you die. Simple. Easy. Clean.

So I go back to where I started. Have you ever wondered. What it would be like. To Die.

Fear

Lvl1

Zack closed his eyes and and felt against the cool steel wall behind him. His gun lay discarded on the ground, clip empty, useless now except as a club. His heart rate was sky-high, each beat like the ticking of a bomb to his pounding ears. Swallowing saliva that wasn't there into a throat that was too dry, Zack pulled his hands from the wall reluctantly and placed them over his heart, deliberately slowing his breathing. Within minutes his heart-rate had dropped to a safe level, leaving nothing but drops of freezing sweat on his forehead. Zack coughed, his sandpaper tongue licking cracked lips, and stood up, leaving his hand-gun abandoned on the ground.

The old observatory was practically demolished, and was a major war zone for level one. Large steel walls lined the map, sticking out at sometimes absurd angles, but they provided good cover for gunfire. Bullets don't pound through steel easily, but even so some of the walls sported holes where more high-powered weapons than guns had demolished them. Years of abuse had left the observatory nothing but a pile of rubble. Anything useful had been scavenged, and all that remained were the steel walls and a single closed off area. The office. That was Zack's goal.

With his heart-rate back down to a safe level Zack edged his way along the steel wall, maneuvering the rifle strapped to his back into his arms. The familiar weapon was heavy but felt right in his hands, and Zack found himself stroking the barrel almost affectionately.

There were no noises coming from the other side of the wall, but Zack knew they were there. He'd camped the observatory for a month now, and he knew the locations of every one of the cubs on the level. Truthfully he should have advanced to level two weeks ago, but he worked slowly, getting to know his opponents weaknesses and strategies while at the same time keeping everyone from advancing to the next level. He owned this map, and he was going to advance alone if he advanced at all.

A scuffle to the right broke the silence. Zack's finger immediately went to the trigger, wrapped around it like a lover. His heart-rate rose a notch and leveled off. His breathing was normal. The scuffling stopped completely, and Zack strained to hear more. If he were right, there were two cubs to the North East, just above him. If he came around the corner he'd be shot, but there was another wall a few feet to his right with a hole in it from some high powered weapon in the past. It would give him the perfect position on his targets.

If he could reach it.

Thirty seconds passed without any movement or noise short of Zack's own breathing, which he was regulating carefully to keep from giving his position away. Concentration was essential, he only needed to dodge those few feet, and not get shot in the process.

Toeing forward, Zack peeked around the corner of the steel wall and quickly drew back again. Nothing happened.

He did it again, this time stretching out a little farther before pulling back. Again, not a shot was fired.

Confidence rose like the sun. Zack took a step out from behind the wall, gun held so tight that his fingers were aching. His heart rate rose another notch. Sweat poured off him in waves. The coast was clear. Another step.

The gunshot was near silent, and came not from the side, but behind. Zack crashed to the ground, precious rifle still clutched to him in a death grip. Behind him, a tall handsome blonde with short spiked hair calmly walked up, pulled the potato from the barrel of his gun and took a bite out of the end of it.

"Not smart..." the newcomer chided through a mouthful of potato. He swallowed and kicked the body to make sure it wasn't going to move. "You left your whole back open and you breathing was just fucking loud." The blonde shook his head and leaned down, shoving the potato he had used as a silencer into Zack's mouth. "Fucking noob."

Movement from the left. The blonde's hand shot up so fast the intruder didn't have time to move before he had a bullet in his head and was on his way to kissing the ground. The blonde sighed and shook his head. "Are all of the noobs this useless?" he asked the air.

Standing up, he kicked Zack's motionless body again. "Get up. I know I didn't kill you, I'm not that reckless. I'm sick of you keeping all the competition at level one. It's time to move on."

There was no response from the body. The blonde scratched his head and kicked Zack again. "Look kid, you're not fooling anyone. I can hear your heart beating. Stand the fuck up or I'll carry you to level two."

A small movement from Zack. The barrel of the rifle shifted an inch, and the muscles in his arm flexed.

Zack worked to spit the potato out. "Who..." his head turned to the side, so he could see his attacker. He shivered when his cool brown eyes met dark red, almost maroon in color. "Who are you?" he rasped.

The blonde rolled his eyes and grabbed Zack's collar, easily hauling him to his feet. "My name's Cloud." he replied simply. "But you're gonna call me master from now on."

Zack winced in pain as he was moved. He could feel the bullet in his back pressing against his muscles. It burned like hell. "Master?..." he mumbled.

"Good boy." Cloud replied. "Congratulations, you're the first one to advance to level two from this last batch of noobs. Rule number one. Respect the veterans."

Zack's head lolled as his fingers slipped on his rifle. It dangled from the edge of his fingertips, dangerously close to hitting the ground. "Master...?" he asked again. His vision swam, and the last thing he saw was a pair of maroon eyes examining him curiously before he passed out.

Xx--oOo--xX

Cloud shifted Zack's dead weight to his shoulder and easily carried him toward the office. The rifle Zack was still trying to hold onto, even in a state of unconsciousness, slipped from his grasp and clattered to the ground. Cloud paused and looked back at it, then at his own small handgun. The hesitation was no longer than a moment, before he stuck his own gun in his pocket, hooked his shoe into the strap on the rifle, and pulled it up to where he could grab it. Hefting it with his left hand, he balanced it in the air till he was sure he had the weight right, and carried it one-handed as he walked across the open battlefield.

A click came from the right. Cloud turned and fired once, catching a rather fat kid with glasses in the stomach. The kid paled, and dropped the gun he was using to grab at his gut. He looked terrified. One more shot and Cloud took him out with a bullet to the head.

"Rule number two." he said to the body. "Always load and cock your weapon before the enemy gets near you." he sighed. "The kids these days, barely know how to handle their weapons." Shifting Zack's weight on his shoulder to a more comfortable position, he headed over to the office and leaned against the wall. This was the one area that had no cover at all. Anyone watching for another person to go in would be dead before they could push in their code on the panel.

Cloud used the wall to help hold Zack's body up while he set the barrel end of the gun on the ground and held it with his legs. Using his free hand, Cloud punched in a code for the door and waited for it to open. Ten, fifteen seconds went by and nothing happened.

"Son of a bitch..." Cloud sighed. "The damn door's jammed again." Whacking his open palm against the keyboard only produced an electronic blip, but the door remained shut.

Cloud looked up at the sound of shoes on gravel, and raised an eyebrow. The kid who appeared in front of him had taken a scrapped piece of steel and fashioned it into a type of shield. He had a handgun pointed at Cloud, and was barely looking over the top of his steel plate.

"Step away from the door," the kid commanded, waving the gun in a "move away" motion. Cloud just stood where he was.

"Rule number three..." he sighed. "If you have a chance," he kicked the rifle into his hand and shot the boy, blowing a whole in the top of his hand and knocking the gun away. The kid screamed and made a grab at his injured hand, bending over in the process. "Take it." Cloud finished. He dropped the rifle and pulled out his handgun, aiming square for the top of the boy's head. Before he could pull off the shot though, the boy fell to the ground, chest heaving, eyes closed tight. He was making small gasping noises as he desperately tried to breathe. His heart rate had reached critical.

"Damn..." Cloud stated, watching the boy squirm on the ground as the serum was released into his bloodstream. His cruel demonic eyes never left the boy's as he squirmed on the ground. The shield-boy lifted his head and opened his mouth in a silent cry of agony. The hand that had been shot was rapidly repairing itself, healing over the wound and just cutting off the fingers that were gone into stubs. The steel plate he had been using as a shield cracked as the boy's chest expanded outwards. His clothes ripped, revealing ribs stretching and in some spots tearing through his skin. The body kicked and spasmed as it bloated up, then stopped almost suddenly, small whimpers coming from the boy's mouth. By all rights, he should have been dead, but the serum was flowing through his bloodstream, keeping him alive and in horrid, horrid pain.

"H-helllpah" the boy choked. His tongue too had swollen, and filled most of his mouth. Cloud couldn't find it in himself to look away, so he simply watched, for once, not sure what to do. Most people knew not to let their hearts go critical. Now, with his body fully expanded, there would be enough room for the creature inside him to feed on his heart and grow. If he was lucky, he'd die within the hour and his wraith would die with him. If he wasn't lucky, his body would deflate back to the way it had been before, and the wraith would take over, not human, and not beast, dead, yet not, and the kid would watch helplessly as the wraith did whatever the hell it liked, disguised as him. If he did live through this, he'd keep the scars from his transformation. Even with the amazingly fast healing the serum provided, they always had scars.

"Help...me" the kid cried. Tears were flowing down his face in streams, and his blood was starting to leak out onto the ground. Chances were this one wouldn't live.

Cloud didn't say a thing. Leaving the rifle on the ground, he punched his code into the security box again. This time the door opened, and he stepped into the light of the next room, leaving the boy behind him on the ground. If one of the other noobs were merciful, he'd kill the boy and put him out of his misery. If they weren't, well, that would be sad.

The door closed behind him with the emotionless whir of machinery, and Cloud was cut off from level one, alone other than the unconscious boy on his shoulder.

This new room was completely white. Light came from above, but from no visible source. There was nothing, just completely white open space. Looking back behind him showed only a single door, apparently not attached to anything at all. Cloud couldn't even tell the walls from the ceiling in this place. It was all made up to look like nothing. If any of the noobs made it past level one. They usually died here.

Cloud dropped Zack unceremoniously on the ground. The boy was still completely out of it, he didn't move or roll over at all. Sighing, Cloud kneeled next to him and grabbed a handful of his shirt. He pulled, and the shirt completely ripped off, as if it hadn't really been a full piece of cloth. The body below him was built fairly well, probably from the endurance he had needed to survive in level one. Yes, this kid, he was very,very smart. His total kill count had already racked up to ten, and in such a small amount of time.

Flipping Zack over onto his back, Cloud straddled him and examined the bullet he had sunk into the boy's flesh. The wound was small, pinpoint, and the bullet was still lodged deep into his skin. Cloud frowned a moment, examining the wound, before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a knife.

"Well this is gonna hurt..." he smirked, before slipping the tip of the blade into the wound. Zack spasmed and suddenly came to, panicking when he felt a heavy weight on him and noticed he couldn't move.

He groaned at the pain that laced up his back and tried to sit up. Cloud removed his blade from the other boy's back and shoved him back down, pinning him to the ground. "Stay down." he ordered. Below him, Zack shivered.

"What...what's going on.." he mumbled, obediently staying down. Cloud re-inserted the tip of the knife into the wound and cut it larger. Zack whimpered below him and closed his eyes. "What are you doing?!"

"I said stay down. And shut up while you're at it, you're being annoying." Cloud frowned when blood bubbled up under the tip of the knife, making it hard to see where the bullet was. He leaned down and dipped his tongue into the wound, a shiver running down his spine at the salty metallic taste of blood.

Zack's eyes popped open again and he scratched at the ground, half from pain an half from fear. "What are you doing?" he demanded. "Holy shit are you licking me?!"

Cloud didn't reply. Instead, he used a free hand to shove Zack's head down into the ground and hold it there while he continued to lick and lap at the blood. Beneath him, Zack shivered and whined. The poor kid was completely freaked out, and Cloud just hoped he had enough sense to control his heart rate during this.

The taste of another person's blood was amazing, like tasting their life as it leaked from their body. Cloud lingered over it a moment more than as necessary, but then he pulled back. The blood was coming in slower, and the shiny butt end of the bullet was completely visible. Cloud slipped the tip of his knife back into the wound and hooked it into a groove of the bullet. When he pulled on it, it shifted up in the flesh, producing more blood, but loosening it's grip. A few seconds of work and the bullet was free from Zack's back. Cloud threw it on the ground and stared at the body beneath him, trembling from fear and pain. Something in him stirred.

He leaned over the body he was on, keeping Zack's head pressed to the ground. "What's wrong?" he whispered into the boy's ear. "Are you scared?"

"Yes." Zack whined. He had his brown eyes closed and was breathing irregularly. Cloud laughed and pushed harder on his skull, earning another whimper from the other boy.

"Good."