The store was dead silent when they walked inside. At first, Saya feared that something had happened, but then she saw Kai, sitting on a stool, slumped onto the bar, snoring rather loudly. Everything was clean, save the pile of broken glass and china, swept neatly into a pile. Saya smiled slightly. She tapped him on the shoulder, making him wake with a start.

"I didn't want the cabbage!" He shouted, looking around wildly.

"Oh, well, that's a shame - I got them just for you," Saya snickered. Kai blinked, then blinked again, then looked at her with bleary eyes.

"Are you okay?" He asked, voice thick with exhaustion.

"I'm fine," She replied.

"Did you get them?"

"Yeah." Her head was starting to hurt. "I'm sorry you had to clean all this up by yourself. I was going to help when I got back."

"Don't worry about it," He sighed, waving a hand at her. "I'm used to cleaning up after you."

"Go to bed, Kai," Saya said, shaking her head. "Thank you."

"For what?" He laughed sleepily, sliding off the stool.

"For everything." She gave him a wide smile when he looked at her with confused eyes. "Go to bed." She gave him a little shove and he stumbled forward, towards the stairs, grumbling incoherently.

Saya listened as his footsteps finally faded and then went silent, the satisfying creak of his bed reassuring her that he was now where he needed to be. Even if he did clean up after her, she still felt slightly motherly towards him. She sat down on the stool he'd previously been on and rested her head in her hands, rubbing at her eyes.

"Saya," Came a voice in her ear. A cold hand gripped her shoulder, massaging the tense muscle there. And then a sensation started crawling, slithering, nipping up her spine. Warmth spilled from her stomach, spreading heat through her limbs, making her feel drowsy. But even more noticeable than that, she was so incredibly aware of his hand, it was driving her nuts. She knew he was standing directly behind her, like always; she could feel his breath, just barely tickling the back of her neck.

In her lifetime, she had never really encountered sexual desire or anything of the like…until now.

Saya didn't exactly know what she was doing; these emotions were foreign and almost frightening. But the fire in the pit of her stomach was raging and her breath quickened as she swiveled the stool around to face Hagi. His dark, now glittering eyes met hers - one look told her that his feelings were mirroring hers.

"Hagi," She whispered, her voice uncertain.

"It's okay," He reassured her, his voice just barely audible. His cold hand and his bandaged one caged her face gently, like he sometimes did when she was sad. This time was different though. Electricity flowed through the contact and Saya shivered, her eyes falling shut for a moment, then opening once more.

"I…I-" She tried to somehow explain her feelings, but Hagi shook his head.

"I know," He breathed.

And then he leaned closer to her, tilting his head to the side, eyes still locked with hers. For a few seconds, they stayed like that, mouths slightly open, breath exchanging wildly. Then, there was contact, sensation, the velvety texture of lips and skin. They had only kissed once before and it had been short-lived due to the circumstances. Now, it was just them, alone, no consequences, no hard reality to shorten their moment. The kiss made them both dizzy, adrenaline rushing so fast and hearts pumping so furiously, it was chaos for a few moments. But then it was controlled, still as wild, but it was identifiable.

Honestly, Saya had no idea where these unsteady emotions were coming from. She had known since the moment she awoke, alone, bone-thin, frightened, that she loved Hagi. What she hadn't counted on was how powerful it was; she thought she was going to explode or float away…or both.

Back to reality, Hagi's human hand now caressed her face gently, his Chiropteran hand settling on her waist, pulling her closer so that he stood between her legs. Wanting him endlessly closer, she laced her legs into his, pulling him by his jacket. Feeling that deformed hand on her waist, she suddenly felt as those the bandages remaining on it was an absurd idea - they knew each other like the backs of their hands. Why must that part of him stay covered when she had seen it so many times?

She felt blindly down her waist until she encountered the large, strangely shaped hand. In her mouth, she felt his breath quicken at this, even more so when she started it unwind the wrapping.

"Saya-" Hagi sort of choked out, lips still against hers.

"I want nothing between us," She said softly, leaning back to get a better look of his eyes; they were practically glowing, wild with lust, but tamed by something Saya could better recognize…

As she pulled off the last bandage, now feeling the fingers of that hand spread across the dip of her waist, she brought her lips to his neck, kissing slowly at the skin there.

"Saya…please," He whispered, so quietly, she had to strain to hear it.

"If you're sure," She sighed, breath tickling skin. As much as she hated, hated, hated taking his blood, he had asked for it. He wanted it. She opened her mouth, let her sharp fangs slip into cold skin, and felt him shudder as she drank.

It could be called sick, masochistic, and twisted from anyone else's standpoint, but to Saya, this was one way to please Hagi that she was familiar with. The rest was nothing short of a mystery to her. When she finished, licking away all signs of blood, she pulled back to find Hagi's eyes closed.

"I know you hate that," He said softly, "but thank you. I needed that."

"Anytime," She smiled, leaning in to kiss him again.

This time, a human hand and a monstrous hand caught her face and went into her hair, deepening the kiss more than Saya had expected. It was pure, raw fire in her mouth. Burning. Then she felt her hands doing something she had not ordered them to do, as if they were going on a instinctual path, running by themselves. They started undoing the buttons of his shirt, so quickly, it surprised her. Before she could even question it, before she could get a handle on where this was going, she felt hands pulling at her shirt. More fire swept through her body, the primal part of her understanding exactly what was happening, shoving her consciousness out of the way so it could do its work.

Her warm hands found a cold chest and the being currently plastered to her shivered, more in pleasure than anything else. Her hands ran down his chest, leaving the skin in its wake flaming - her breaths were now nearly gasps and she felt like she was running a marathon. Fingers explored ridges of skin, mapping out every aspect of his chest with obsessive attention to detail. At some point, she had to pause so Hagi could get her shirt off and he could take off his - blood rushed faster as she felt the cold surface of the bar on her back.

His mouth left hers' and slowly began to trail down her neck, to her collarbone, allowing her to gasp for air, her fingers pulling out the tie in his hair. The black strands cascaded onto her and down his back. She ran her fingers through his hair as his mouth got lower and lower…and lower.

It was a good thing Kai was asleep.

Morning came incredibly quick, seeing as their nighttime activities had continued even into the wee hours of the morning. It was nearly ten when Saya finally opened her eyes, cold yet warm at the same time. The window was right in her line of sight and she saw the sky was dark with storm clouds. She smiled.

She loved thunderstorms.

Cold, strong arms were still wrapped around her waist and breath was hitting the back of her neck in a steady rhythm. Then the memories of the previous night hit her and a satisfying soreness ached through her back in an almost pleasurable way. Beneath them, she heard the sounds of trucks and heavy footsteps, the clunk of heavy boxes. It then occurred to her that Kai probably had to order new dishes and stuff for the restaurant.

Thunder cracked and boomed outside as she rolled over to face Hagi, surprised to find his eyes closed. She kissed him softly and they slid open, softer than she had ever seen them.

"Good morning," He said quietly. She smiled.

"Thank you for everything," Saya said softly.

He shook his head. "I didn't do anything."

She nodded. "Oh yes you did."

"Then tell me what I did," He dared her.

She sat up, legs folded beneath her, looking down at her Chevalier. "You made it easier to answer you."

"Answer me?" He asked, confused.

"Back in that theater, when I defeated Diva…do you remember what you said? The last thing you said?"

He stared down at the mat they were laying on, either thinking about what he said, or thinking about what she was getting at. "Yes."

"Ever since you said that, I have been struggling with what you really meant. I thought maybe you just said that because you thought you were about to die. And then when I realized there wasn't much left to fight, I started getting scared that you would leave me before I got a chance to tell you," She explained, not looking at him anymore, but out the window where a dark storm brewed.

"Tell me what?" Hagi asked, sitting up and settling in front of her.

"That I love you too," She smiled.

"You idiot," He said suddenly, causing shock to cross Saya's face. He had never said anything like that to her, ever. Then a real grin, just like from the days at the Zoo when he was human and young, submerged. "I told you I loved you because I did. I wasn't going to let myself be killed - I knew I was going to make it. It's hard to kill a Chevalier. I only told you that then, so you'd have something to keep you going until I came back to you."

And then the tears started, completely uncalled for, totally unexpected. She wasn't sad - she was far from sad - but she finally understood and could now put her faith in the idea that he loved her and wasn't going to leave. She could be selfish and demand to have him forever. Though their lives were endless and far from anything slightly normal, she could still keep him, even if the entire world was rid of Chiropterans and the earth was nothing but a peaceful utopia.

Without even asking what was wrong, Hagi wiped away the tears with his Chiropteran hand, strangely soft now. And when he pulled it away, she realized that it was turning back into a human hand. It was shorter now and strips of flesh were growing along his fingers. In a week or so, judging by the rate of it's growth, it might be complete flesh and bone, devoid of Chiropteran features.

"Your hand…" Saya breathed, taking into her hands.

"It started last night," He said.

"Why?" She asked, completely in awe.

"I don't have a clue," Hagi chuckled.

She glanced up at him, surprised to have heard him laugh. It had been a long time since she had heard the sound come from him. That, combined with the laugh made her smile even wider - he was happy. Happy like he was when they first met at the Zoo, back when things were simple and easy. Though things were now far from simple and easy, things still felt the same. Though they had to worry about Diva's insane spawn now and the damage they would probably inflict on the world, things would be okay. They weren't as hopeless as they had seemed before. They were brighter, more optimistic.

"Saya! Get down here and help me!" Kai shouted from downstairs.

"Just a second!" She called, starting to laugh at her "brother's" impeccable timing. "I love you," She whispered, as though it were a secret.

He chuckled again. "I love you too."

She kissed him like a teenager does before she sneaks back into the house at midnight, pulled on some clothes and bounced down the stairs, leaving Hagi to decide whether to follow her or not.

And wouldn't you know it, he followed.

Just like always.


Wow. Sorry I've been so fucking slow with the updates, dearies. I started this in the summer of '08 and now I finish it in the spring of '09. Jesus, I'm so slow! Well, anyway, hope you enjoyed this. I know I did. I have to thank the Bach cello suites for this one. And the encouragement of Toby towards the end, there. Thank you, Tobers.

So I'm totally a sap, as you can well tell, but hopefully you're a sap too and you will give me nice happy reviews with smiley faces like this: =] Because those faces are the coolest ones ever.

Thanks for reading, my good friends.