Tainted But Beautiful
Part 1: The Hunters
Pairings: Zemyx, AkuZeku, AkuRoku, AxDem (yeah, weird last one, but it just popped up...)
Warnings: Vampires, vampires, vampires...uh, yaoi, AU-ish-ness, abuse (if it has AkuZeku, it has abuse in it, okay?), noncon, graphic scenes, overall weirdness.
Summary: Axel is a powerful vampire slayer who's captured Zexion, a vampire, as his pet. What Axel doesn't bargain on is Demyx, his former student, developing a strong attraction to Zexion...
Notes: Yeah, here's the vampire story I promised in my profile. It was a weird idea that started germinating in my head and I had to write it and...well, it's very odd. I think I wrote this all as a subtle dig towards Twlight, since I really...don't like those books. Anyway, yeah. Quite a few things just ended up "happening" during my writing of this story, not the least being the appearance of a strong...AxDem...vibe. Weird because I'd never even considered that as a pairing before but suddenly it's all over the place in this story, at least in the earlier chapters.
Hopefully you enjoy it, though.
Rain everywhere drowning him a thick haze heavy drops choking him he dashes runs tries to scream but can't gather the breath--
Behind him; a monster. Snarling ugly panting blood dripping from its fangs claws extend--he runs he runs trying to escape but there is no escape because he's cornered at the roof...he stops and teeters, the ground spins sickeningly below him he can't move further and now it's a choice: He can either get killed by the monster behind him, or he can fall to his death.
Only a second to decide. Only a second before the monster is on him--and he makes his choice. He tenses his legs his muscles burning adrenaline coursing through his veins but he already knows--just before he dies he struggles for the last remnants of his youthful prayers in those early days those days when he had a mother and they knelt quietly before the Virgin every night--the days before everything went to shit--but nothing comes to mind. Only numbness, singing empty and blank in his head.
He bends his knees. Prepares to jump. But then--
A flash of red. A report from a pistol. And the monster falls, tumbles with a sickening crack on to the hard roof, into a puddle of slick black rain. He can only stare, his heart pounding a staccato, but then the red-haired youth--boy, really, barely older than he is--sheaths his pistol and strides across the roof in his direction, his steps ringing loud and confident.
"Hi," says the red-haired boy and a smile is flashing in his brilliant green eyes. "That was a close call, wasn't it? Hey--why don't you come with me?"
He doesn't even have a chance to protest--and why would he want to? He simply jerks his head in a slow nod, and hesitantly accepts the other's hand. Accepts the new life he's being offered.
Years after that nightmarish experience, in a dark and rainy evening much like that first night, Demyx trudged home through the puddles in the back alleys of the city. He didn't mind, though--the softly drizzling rain would clean the blood off his coat, although he could do without the way it plastered his hair to his forehead. As it was the dead of the night no one else was out, save a mangy stray cat that darted instantly out of his way when he splashed through a puddle approaching it.
Demyx had always liked rain. To him, there was nothing more peaceful and serene than walking through a gentle drizzle, as he was now, the rain tinkling on the ground with a gentle rhythm. All was silent save the sound of the rain and Demyx's own labored breathing, labored from his long fight earlier today.
Usually, Demyx could count on a long walk through the rain to calm him down on a bad day, to drive out any miserable, lingering thoughts. But today even the eternal soft rhythm of the falling rain, the drops of cool wetness that brushed against his cheek, could do nothing to assuage his jumbled and uncertain thoughts. In particular, he kept flashing back to that fight, the battle between two lower-leveled vampires that had left him injured, bleeding from the shoulder, and taken almost all of his effort to finally defeat them. He couldn't shake off his memories of the fight, no more than he could shake off the steadily building pain in his shoulder, and like so many of his other fights he ran it through his head, remembering everything that he had done wrong, every small misstep...
More than anything Demyx couldn't dispel that nagging voice in his head that said, He would have done it so much better.
And this voice in Demyx's head was entirely correct. To him those two vampires would have been nothing more than a minor inconvenience. He would have easily disposed of them with his usual casual grin and impleccable aplomb, not even breaking into a sweat as he effortlessly killed them. A darker part of Demyx sullenly thought that he might have even been able to dispose of the vampires with a flick of his wrist, but that was pure nonsense. Even he wasn't that good...yet.
He's still good enough to capture a pureblood, though, thought that same dark and sullen voice. Not like me, anyways.
The rain had intensified by the time Demyx reached his apartment, a nondescript old brown-brick building, crumbling walls tagged with bright and angry streaks of graffiti. It was the best he could afford, however. Not like him, who could easily afford a fancy villa in the nice part of town where he entertained others of the same high-society class. As befitted the scion of a powerful vampire slaying family.
Not like Demyx. Demyx, the child from the tenements, who could barely even remember his own family. This was the difference in their destinies, though it made Demyx sour to think the reason he wasn't as good as him was just because of class differences.
These thoughts were starting to depress him, and it was getting progressively colder, the rain coming down faster and more insistent. Demyx fumbled in his coat pockets for his house key, trying to ignore the stabbing pain in his shoulder, and finally found it and turned the lock of his door. It swung open with a squealed protest from its hinges.
The inside of the house was a mess, but that was because Demyx couldn't afford a housekeeper and he didn't have time to clean it, anyways. He spent his days sleeping and his nights out prowling the streets, hunting for vampires. In a way, his lifestyle as a vampire slayer was similar to that of a vampire. Sleep during the day, hunt during the night, the only difference being what he was hunting for.
He was tired and dawn was coming soon, so he really should be getting to sleep. Still, there was the matter of the injury to attend to. Demyx threw his coat off with a single motion and flung it across the back of a rickety chair pushed in front of an equally rickety table that seemed ready to collapse any moment soon. Because of this reaosn Demyx didn't use the table much--he found the kitchen counter a more convenient place to put stuff and he never cooked at home anyways: he always ate fast food (an unhealthy habit that he did not much approve of, but who cared what he thought). So it came as a surprise when Demyx saw something lying on the dark, stained surface of the table--a small, pale-blue square of paper.
Curious, Demyx extended his good arm and picked up the paper. It seemed to be an envelope, of the kind that was actually a letter folded in an envelope shape. There was writing on it a script-like computer font but Demyx couldn't read it in the dark, so he had to walk across the room to pull on a string that created a small circle of thin, wavering, orange-ish light around him. The writing on the front appeared to be an address, of little interest to Demyx, so he opened it and began to read. The letter inside, betraying its fancy script-like font, was rather casual to the point of rudeness.
What's up? I would have sent you your invite earlier but I forgot where you lived and didn't find out until today. So sorry about the short notice!
Anyway, tomorrow night I'm hosting a party at my place. Address on the front of the letter. Got it memorized? I'm inviting the usual--you know, Xigbar, Marly, et cetera ad nauseum. But I thought you might want to come too, because for one thing it's been ages since I've last seen you and another thing...I'll be showing my pet to my guests. I'm sure it's an opportunity you don't want to miss out on...
See you there, if you decide to come. Or maybe you'll be too busy. If that's the case I understand. You do need to slay as many vampires as possible to rise in the ranks, don't you?
"That son of a bitch," grumbled Demyx, shaking his head as he scanned through the letter the third time. "I see you're as condescending as always, Axel..."
But still, it did sound rather interesting. Demyx already knew--hell, every vampire hunter in the city already knew--that Axel had captured a pureblood vampire and made it his slave. And Demyx would be lying if he said he wasn't interested in seeing this new slave (or "pet"...) of Axel's. He had never, after all, been able to see a pureblood vampire before; they were a secretive lot who kept largely to themselves, and only the higher-level slayers like Axel ever got to hunt them.
And there was that injury, too...the injury he felt even now as a sharp and stabbing pain in his shoulder. There was no way he could go back to hunting the next night with an injury like that.
So it appeared he had no choice. Besides, more than seeing Axel's vampire pet, Demyx wanted to see Axel above all.
The party was a whirlwind of elegant flowing silk dresses and dinner jackets, of exotic scents and the clink of glasses and the low murmured hubbub of conversation. The women were beautiful and young, jewelry flashing at their throats; the men, handsome and square-jawed and impeccably clad in bow ties. It was all very nauseating to Demyx, who remained huddled in a corner, watching it all with an overwhelming feeling of disorientation.
Demyx didn't consider himself a wallflower--au contraire, he had a tendency for thinking of himself as the life of the party. But the parties he was used to were raucous affairs with girls and booze and karaoke and more often than not plenty of fighting and crime. He was at a complete loss for what to do here, amongst all of these rich perfumed upper-class people. All he could do was plaster himself to the wall, feeling very self-conscious in his rented tuxedo that was obviously somewhat shabbier than the rest of the men's elegant suits.
"Hey, you there!" Demyx looked up from where he'd been examining a spot--just the slightest stain--on the otherwise impeccable carpet. A girl had broken apart from the main group of chatting rich folks and was walking up to him. She wore a pastel blue dress and her hair was blonde and short and, oddly enough, had two protrusions that stuck out like antenna. Demyx had to resist the sudden bizarre urge to pull on her "antenna".
"Yeah?" said Demyx, frowning at her and wondering why she of all people was bothering to greet him.
"Who are you?" she said, regarding him for a moment, hands on her hips, head tilted. She was smiling, a sweet, vivacious smile that nonetheless somehow had a nasty, almost condescending feel to it. Demyx, having known Axel for quite some time, was no novice at discerning condescension, and it annoyed him to see that all-to-familiar look in this girl. "I've never seen you around before..."
"No, you haven't," agreed Demyx hastily. "I--I've never been to one of these parties before."
"Oh?" said the girl, still smiling at him in that sweet but condescending manner. "Hey, are you that one vampire slayer Axel was talking about...he said you were his student..."
"Yeah," said Demyx. "I was his student. My name's Demyx."
"A ha ha, I see!" said the girl with a little laugh and triumphant clap of her hands. "Well, isn't that marvelous. Don't worry, there are plenty of vampire slayers here tonight, so you're not alone." She made a wide sweeping gesture around the room with her arms.
Demyx peered at her intently. "Are you a vampire slayer?" he asked.
"Of course not!" said the girl with an impatient laugh. "Sorry, but I personally don't see the appeal of running around in the middle of the night killing violent bloodsuckers. Best leave that to suicidal people, you know!"
"I'm not suicidal," said Demyx, feeling somewhat annoyed at this girl, although he told himself his annoyance had no basis. Most non-slayers didn't understand, after all, what compelled vampire slayers to do their business. Demyx himself felt he didn't understand at times.
"Oh, pooh, of course you aren't," said the girl, still smiling, moving in to pat him on the shoulder. Demyx drew back, surprised by the sudden contact, which only prompted another laugh from her. He wondered why she was so easily amused.
"So you're shy?" she said, sounding infinitely amused. "Hey, hey, can I call you 'Demmykins'?"
"Huh? What?" said Demyx, caught off guard. "What? No--you can't! I mean, I don't even know your name."
"A ha ha ha ha!" The girl threw her head back and laughed again--a decidedly unladylike gesture from her. Demyx stared at her, his head swimming. "Ha ha ha. I'm Larxene. I'm a friend of Axel's."
There was something about the way she emphasized the word "friend" that disquieted Demyx greatly. However, he pushed the feeling down within him, reasoning that it was completely idiotic. Obviously, this Larxene was merely a high-society groupie of Axel's who admired him but that was it. Nothing more.
"I see," said Demyx since he couldn't think of anything better to say. Larxene laughed and then clapped him on the shoulder again, startling Demyx again. This merely prompted another laugh from Larxene. He vaguely wondered if she was drunk.
"So-o, Demmykins--" she had obviously elected not to follow his suggestion "--have you heard about that new...treasure...Axel's collected?"
"Yeah," said Demyx, straightening up a little, aware of the sudden note of seriousness that had entered the conversation. "Have you...I mean, you haven't seen it yet, have you?"
"Heavens, no," said Larxene with a little shake of her head. "From what I've heard Axel's been keeping it in the dungeons under the house--"
Trust Axel of all people to put a dungeon under a million dollar villa.
"--and prohibiting anyone from coming near it except him. He's gonna use this party to show it off to the entire world. At least that's what I've heard," said Larxene. And then, a little more pensively, "I wonder what it'll be like."
"You nervous?" said Demyx. Larxene shot him a foul look.
"No way!" she said, sounding scandalized. "I was just wondering, you know. I mean, I've never seen a pureblood vampire before. They're different from regular vampires, aren't they? They're prettier, right?"
"What?" said Demyx, drawing back and feeling quite startled at this sentiment of Larxene's--though he soon guessed he shouldn't be, given the popular media's teatmnet of pureblood vampires. Of course most teenage girls would be swooning all over the tall, dark, and handsome media image. "Yeah, maybe they are a bit more human-looking than the run-of-the-mill variety, but that just makes them more dangerous. They're equally as bloodthirsty--if not worse--than regular vampires. And they're sneakier than regular vampires by far--only the top slayers even get to see them. Some of the stronger ones can even withstand direct sunlight."
Demyx found himself enjoying being the one with the information--maybe he knew nothing about high society, but at the least he knew more about vampires than Larxene. She was watching him wide-eyed, drinking in every word he said. Obviously, despite her..."friendship"...with him, Axel had never told her the least bit about vampires. This realization made Demyx feel smug in the strangest way.
"Wow, that's amazing," said Larxene in a tone of unmistakable awe. "Hey, have you ever killed a pureblood vampire before?"
Larxene's innocent question pierced straight through Demyx's heart like an arrow, and he felt a curious combination of hot and cold sensations well up inside him--a cold sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach coupled with a rising heat in his face. He shook his head to clear it, and answer Larxene's query as well. "N...no. No."
I haven't even seen one.
"Ah, well," said Larxene airily. "I heard you weren't very good, anyway..."
Demyx's stomach sank and his intestines writhed even more, and the heat in his face intensfied. "W-well it takes an really strong slayer--above and beyond, you know--to kill a pureblood. And even more to capture one..."
"Oh?" said Larxene disinterestedly. "I thought it was just about sex."
"What?" To his shame, his voice came out a squeak. Well, that was a technical way to put it, he thought grimly, but...
"At least that's what Axel said," continued Larxene with a shrug. "But is it true? Is that how you master a pureblood? You fuck it?"
"W...well basically," said Demyx, caught off guard by Larxene's very foul language. "But it's more than sexual, though. It's psychological...psychological domination." He was amazed he could even remember those big words from his school days. "That's how you master a pureblood. You dominate it completely. Physically, psychologically..."
"And in bed," cut in Larxene with a mad cackle.
"Yeah, that too," conceded Demyx. This Larxene girl seemed rather vulgar to him--he had thought, apparently mistakenly, that all rich people were graceful and elegant and certainly did not swear and talk about sex with the mad delight that this girl was doing. Well, Axel was vulgar to, but trying to imagine an un-vulgar Axel was like trying to imagine a forest without trees. It simply couldn't happen or the universe would implode in on itself.
Or something along those lines.
"I bet that's why you probably haven't been able to do it," continued Larxene with an almost fiendish delight. "I mean, no offense, but the thought of you dominating anything...it's just impossible, y'know? I certainly can't imagine you fucking a vampire."
"Neither can I," said Demyx, trying to ignore Larxene's slight--her insinuation that he was, well, weak and pathetic. And besides...he knew it was true. He had always been a weak slayer, average at best. Larxene was right--he would never be able to dominate a pureblood, much less fight against one evenly. He who had struggled so hard against two measly lower-ranked vampires? Unconsciously, he moved his hand over to his injured shoulder, which, despite the bandaging and painkillers, was starting to hurt again.
"Larxene!" A waft of a strong floral scent caught Demyx's attention, and he looked up to see a man approach himself and Larxene--and couldn't help but suppress the joy that leapt up in his stomach. A very small and snarky part of him thought, I'm saved!
"Marluxia!" he called.
"Oh--Demyx!" The man turned to face Demyx, surprise causing his blue eyes to widen, but then his face broke out in a smile. He was several years older than Demyx, and like every other man at the party, was clad in an elegant tuxedo--although his had a pink waistcoat and bright magenta bow tie. His hair, too, was pink and long and flowy. But Demyx didn't let the man's ridiculous appearance fool him. He knew that this was Marluxia--one of the world's stronger vampire slayers and a friendly rival of Axel's.
"Axel said you'd be here," said Demyx, approaching Marluxia and forgetting Larxene entirely. "Enjoying yourself?"
"I'm surprised to see you here," said Marluxia pleasantly. "Seeing as you've skipped out the last...ten or so parties. What brings you here today?"
"Hey, he never invited me the other times," said Demyx, feeling faintly miffed. He even folded his arms, though he knew how petulant the gesture would appear. He didn't much care, though; around Marluxia, even more than with Axel, he could be himself. "And besides..."
He'd been about to say something about Axel's new acquisition, but at that instant Larxene chose to butt in, grabbing Marluxia by the arm and turning him to face her. "Heeey! Why're you ignoring me, Marly?"
Demyx's first thought was, I thought you were Axel's girlfriend!
"Oh--? Forgive me, Larxene. I wasn't trying to ignore you, it just happens that I haven't spoken to Demyx for such a long time," explained Marluxia hastily. He didn't seem to mind that Larxene was still dangling off his arm and clutching it so tightly Demyx was sure she was leaving bruises. Not that Marluxia was registering any pain--he was just smiling blithe as ever at her.
Marluxia, Axel. They were all so...calm. All the time, no matter what, through thick or thin, they were unflappable. Was that, Demyx wondered idly, what made them such good slayers? And would he ever attain that same peace of mind, that same tranquility?
He shook his head to banish these foolish thoughts, and in good time too, because Marluxia had started talking to him again.
"Or did you come here because of Axel's...little surprise?"
For a brief moment Demyx wondered just what the hell Marluxia was yammering about, but he suddenly removed and bobbed his head in a nod. "Yeah! I'm--I'm curious. I mean, I knew Axel was strong, but powerful enough to subdue a pureblood..."
"That's Axel for you!" said Larxene with a nefarious cackle. Demyx frowned at her, but the look Marluxia gave her was more amused--in a condescending way--than anything. And Demyx ought to know; years of hanging around Axel had taught him to recognize condescension anywhere.
"He is strong," said Marluxia, addressing Demyx. "And ruthless as well, and hails from a renowned family. I wouldn't put it past him."
Hails from a renowned family... Of course, Demyx thought dully. Nothing, in the end, mattered more than blood. Axel was the scion of a vampire-slaying family that had handed their skills down for generations; Demyx, just a vagrant whom Axel had decided to save on a whim. It made his blood boil to think of it this way, but it was true. Unconsciously, he clenched his hands into fists...funny, how he could usually depend so much on Marluxia to make him feel better when he was in a bad mood, but now Marluxia was the trigger of his bad mood.
Marluxia hadn't lost all of his perception, though, and he noticed Demyx's sudden rage. When he looked back at Demyx, his expression was concerned.
"Demyx, are you all right?" he said, tilting his head to examine Demyx further. "You seem to be...rather troubled."
"I'm fine, Marly," said Demyx with a heavy sigh. He decided he was--why trouble Marluxia with his own insecurities? If he sucked, that was his fault and his fault only. Not Marluxia's.
"Are you sure--" began Marluxia, but Larxene butted in rudely, yanking hard on Marluxia's arm to make him notice her.
"So this pureblood," she said, her voice loud and imperious. "You know anything about it, Marly? 'Course, I don't think you do, but--"
Marluxia opened his mouth to return Larxene's "favor" and interrupt her in turn, but was saved from committing this most ungracious act by the sound of the door opening. This wouldn't be surprising in of itself--guests had been coming to and from the room all day long--but the gradual hush that fell upon all of the chattering guests indicated that whoever had entered was not simply another guest. Slowly all conversation died down into a silence that Demyx practically felt, an oppressive heavy weight pressing down on everyone in the entire room. And he, along with Marluxia, and Larxene, and every other guest, turned their eyes to the door, to see--
Axel and his captured vampire.
Ha ha ha, leaving off on a cliffhanger...rather cruel, but what can you do? The next chapter, "Meeting", contains much Zemyx and AkuZeku goodness, so stick around. Here's a little teaser--
Why not? I promise you, fool, that if I make you my servant, you will be able to have as much of me as you damn well please. How does that sound to you, hmm?" He leaned forward, moved his mouth upward, nipping roughly at the tip of Demyx's ear. Demyx, to his shame, whimpered at this gesture, prompting a low chuckle from Zexion. "You know you will like it, Demyx. You who says that I am 'pretty'...." Another nip, harder this time. It was fitting that Demyx's answer was an even more pathetic whimper.
Ah haaaa. All the steamy yaoi stuff is happening right off the bat! Anyway, I'll always try to keep at least one chapter ahead in my writing than when I update, so updates will come very sporadically.
Review por favor~