Subaru slammed the door behind him, his breathing fevered as he propped his bare back against the grainy wood.

He'd fled into the bathe as soon as the hunter had ripped his cover away, and had only managed to escape by sheer will: the hunter had had him by the ankle only seconds before, but in desperation Subaru had kicked him in the arm, and then when the hunter had made a second grab for him he struck him in the chest and scrambled for safety. Nevermind he'd shown his nakedness to the human. There was no time for Subaru to be mortified, for he was too busy with the prospect of living.

But as for how he would go about living he had no feasible plan. The obvious tactic would be to retreat since he stood little chance against the hunter by himself, but even that small mercy had been ripped away from him by assassin's hand, for he had fled into the bathe in distress. Logic had no hand in guiding him here. The gray stone that surrounded him on all sides spoke of his foolishness with harsh ringing words. Without any windows or openings he was trapped, trapped like an animal, and the hunter, with smiling adeptness, had led him into that trap.

Subaru took a slow rasping breath in attempt to calm down. He had to think. There had to be some way for him to defend himself. Subaru threw himself at the opposite wall, clinging to it as his eyes darted madly about the small enclosed space. The only other thing beside himself in this room was a large porcelain tub against the outer wall that he and his sibling used for washing.

Subaru put his face in his hands. All his talismans were in the other room, in the large chest next to his bed, buried under books and ink-stones in a feeble attempt to hide them from prying eyes.

With them he could at least hold the hunter off until Kamui arrived from his meeting. Subaru's hands fell away from his eyes. Until Kamui arrived…? What was he thinking? Did he want to burden his twin with his problems again? Stupid. He should handle this by himself. Bringing his brother into it would only endanger his life as well. And Subaru could not have that.

Sliding down the wall, Subaru clasped his hands together and began to pray. If he had resolved himself to the hunter's doom, then he had no other choice but to see it through…even if he had to die trying.

Kamui choked as the large beast reeled over him, the flap of its mighty wings sending dust and rubble everywhere. The fresh air that Kamui breathed in every time he escaped the castle's stuffy halls had become dirty, and the rose garden below the bridge, where he would sometimes lull off to sleep, had been destroyed, falling rubble crushing the roses beneath.

Kamui could no longer recognize this place as home. He could only see the destruction that that despised human had brought down with him in one fell swoop. Only the destruction…

"Subaru…" Kamui cried feebly, and looked desperately towards the tower.

"Oujisama, please don't despair. I don't know you that well, but already it hurts me to see you like this."

"Fall back!" Kamui shouted to the knights around him, ignoring human boy's strange consolations. "Fall back everyone. We'll take care of this."

"I'm glad you're not also dispensing of my help. Taking everything on your shoulders isn't always the best solution."

"Can you help me or not?" Kamui said sternly, the despair in his eyes had, if only for a moment, been replaced by a steely determination to see his brother again. Fuuma could see that Kamui was hanging on by a bare thread, and it simply amazed him—the enormity of the love he carried around for his brother in his chest. Fuuma wondered what that was like.

"I'll help you with everything I have."

Kamui nodded, then as if that old despair was trying to crawl back to the surface, trying with all its might to undermine his resolution, Kamui's eyes trembled and glistened. He turned to face Fuuma, but now there was only fire where there had been streams. "I'll warn you now. If my brother dies up in that tower, I'll go to war with your kind. I'll wipe them from the face of this earth. Food source or not, I'll revenge him."

"Then I guess I'm doing humanity a favor." Fuuma, leaving him behind in the rubble's shadows, ran to the edge of the bridge, then leapt off. Black whips suddenly burst out from his cloak, tearing it to pieces, and Kamui had to keep his eyes open or blink and miss the impressive display of agility and strength as those black vines latched onto the hawk at various points, neck and wing-span especially, and Fuuma grabbed one of the vines and dragged the bird from its perch, the creature cawing and screaming the entire way until it toppled over like a top-heavy statue and plummeted to the garden below, unable to lift its wings to escape. Kamui, extending his claws, had jumped off the bridge after them. Fuuma had practically given him the monster tied up in a bow and he would not let this opportunity go to waste.

"Subaru-kun, I don't mean to be rude but you've been in there for an awful long time. May I be let in?" A polite knock followed the hunter's cajoling voice, but Subaru ignored it in order to concentrate on the task at hand.

"It's not nice to leave your suitor out here. The roses I gave you are turning brown—" The door suddenly trembled, and the wood creaked loudly as if it were about to be torn apart by a terrible, unseen force. Subaru shut his eyes harder against the anxiety building in his chest. His power source was being tainted by the fear in his heart.

"I won't ask again, Subaru-kun." The hunter's voice was now completely without humor. The door, as if reflecting his serious intent, shook all the more harder. Then without warning the hunter's glowing hand shattered through the wood. "This is becoming ridiculous," the hunter stated, and the door practically fell apart on itself, leaving no more obstacles between him and his prey. "I hate dragging things out when there's no need to prolong them, especially when my prey is so scared of me."

The hunter stepped over the destroyed threshold, his hand still glowing menacingly. "It really is best to kill you now, when our relationship is still chaste. That way you can go to your god with peace of mind and I can send you there without feeling like I wronged you in the end."

"Stop it," Subaru whispered. "If only evil words come out of your mouth, then how can you truly judge what is right and what is wrong."

"Because I'm stronger," the hunter said simply. "If I'm stronger than a just person and able to kill them, then what reason is there to care about their righteousness when they're dead." The hunter chuckled. "You really are naïve, Subaru-kun. I definitely won't miss that part about you."

"You're wrong," Subaru whispered. "You're wrong!" he cried, and doves burst out of his hands as they parted. The hunter ripped one of the flocking doves from midair and crushed it in his hand before tossing it at the vampire's feet. Through the flutter of white feathers he could see that the crushed bird had turned into a dagger; the pearl inlaid sheath and handle as beautiful as the dove he had crushed only moments before.

"You can even borrow power. I don't know how that dagger will fare against me when I'm the source of its creation, but I've always been interested in fighting myself."

Subaru unsheathed the dagger, the silver blade underneath glowing an eerie white, and from his kneel on the floor he suddenly threw himself forward, swiping the dagger at the hunter's midsection and missing by a mere inch. The hunter leapt back into his bedroom and Subaru followed him out, swiping the blade again at his stomach, but from the other side. He grabbed the sheet off his bed and threw it at the hunter, using that moment to scramble over his bed and kick his private chest open. The momentum he carried with him over the bed sent the chest sliding to the opposite wall, behind the hunter, and Subaru darted after it. But the hunter grabbed his arm, wrenching him backwards, and Subaru was flipped onto the bed. When the hunter tried to get on top of him, Subaru swiped a clawed hand out, ripping his white cloak open at the stomach. He then tried to plunge the dagger into his side, but the hunter grabbed it before it could connect, holding it back with his glowing hand and struggling to fight against the same white glowing power emanating from the blade.

"Your ability makes me feel conflicted over what I should do with you, Subaru-kun. As a fellow magician it's not a good idea to have someone so proficient in Necromancy walking around, but at the same time I feel hard-pressed to destroy you." The hunter's grip tightened around the silver blade, and finally overpowering the dagger—the glow from his hand growing in luminance as the blade grew dimmer--he threw the useless weapon against the wall. When it hit the wall it had turned back into the dead body of the white dove, and returning to the elements from which it had been forged, the dove dissolved into the air in a fine white mist.

Subaru gave a frustrated cry when the hunter shoved him back down on the bed.

"You see the predicament I'm faced with in contemplating your existence," he said as he held down his wrists. "I'm going to kill you, but it's all a question of when. I think you have too much potential to be put down so soon, but if you start to bore me then I'll surely become impatient. What do you think I should do? Hmm, Subaru-kun?"

"Please get… get off me." Subaru's struggling grew more frantic as he tried to free his captured wrists.

"Are you worried that I might try something unbecoming of a gentleman," the hunter said, and squeezed his wrists even tighter.

Subaru turned his head against the sheets, feeling tears sting the corner of his eyes as he laid there helpless and open to the hunter's perusal. He tried to pull his legs closed, to at least shade some of his nakedness, but the hunter brought a knee down, pinning one of his legs to the bed.

"Purity is a rather overrated concept when one thinks about it, especially when you consider how easily it can be lost in comparison to how hard it is to protect." The Hunter slackened his hold on Suburu's wrists, and Subaru's claws immediately extended, the speed to which they came out making it so he had clipped the hunter in one of his wrists. Blood began to drip down his arm, and Subaru went completely still as the smell of it tinged the air. "Purity is something you've devoted your entire life to, yet how can you acquire true purity when you're a vampire."

"Stop," Subaru said, not wishing to hear these words.

"You feed on the blood of others. It's a noble endeavor—your seeking purity--but it's impractical to your nature. Why fight your nature? You surely didn't fight it in the forest when you held me down and—"

"Stop!" Subaru shouted. He tried to sit up, but the hunter grabbed both his wrists with one hand and slammed them down to the mattress, the bleeding arm he held over Subaru. "Please stop," Subaru begged, turning his head away from the sight.

"Killers should not fight their nature. As much as you wish to avenge your brother's attack and as much as you find my existence to be an immoral one, I also think you wish to destroy me because of this." A few drops of blood from the hunter's arm fell onto Subaru's cheek, trickling down his chin and then collecting at the base of his neck. Subaru closed his eyes and made another attempt to close his legs.

"If you admit you want it then that makes things very simple between us." A few more drops dripped onto Subaru's skin, one of those drops by chance rolling the other way towards the corner of Subaru's mouth. Seeing Subaru's lips tremble with the urge to open, the hunter smiled, pleased with himself.

"Yes, let's keep things simple, Subaru-kun."

The irises of Subaru's eyes suddenly turned into golden slits, and the hunter did not even have the time to blink, so quickly Subaru had broken away from his hold and grabbed onto the bleeding appendage. He sunk his fangs into his wrist eagerly, those emerald eyes fluttering close in pleasure—and a moan, a moan deep in his throat that would have undone the control of any creature witnessing his surrender.

The hunter yanked his arm away, replacing it instead with an avid mouth and tongue. Kissing Subaru deeply, deep enough to sink his head into the soft mattress, the hunter suddenly drew back, but not to stop as he licked Subaru's cheek, collecting the drops of blood there and immediately shoving his tongue back in.

Through the haze of desire, Subaru could feel something pressing against his leg, and he nearly yelped out loud when he was suddenly flipped onto his stomach. The wrist he'd bitten into fitted itself back against his mouth, and Subaru didn't wait for permission, biting down hard.

Behind him the hunter had began to kiss his neck, and his free hand snaked around his body between his legs.

Subaru's eyes flew open as he felt that first searching touch. He twisted, tried to get away without really trying, and then sunk down into the mattress, a keening moan his answer to the hunter's sudden gentle ministrations.

Unfortunately a noise behind them made the hunter stop cold, the tension in his frame palpable as he was pressed up against Subaru, and the vampire was about to make another attempt at freeing himself, when the hunter slipped his hand free, the one Subaru had been feeding on, and gently rested it over his eyes.


Subaru's eyes suddenly felt very heavy. He blinked to keep them open, but many times they fluttered close, until finally his head dropped forward and he fell asleep.

"You have very bad timing. You're big brother is busy—go away."

"Niisan, I don't think you should be doing that. Kamui-san will certainly castrate you if he sees what you've done with his twin. By the way, he's almost to the top of the tower so I would stop what you're doing if I were you." Fuuma, standing out on the balcony of the twins' bedroom, looked over the ledge at where the hunter supposed Kamui was scaling the tower.

"You were supposed to be distracting him, not leading him to me," the hunter said in a thoroughly annoyed voice. He rose up from the bed and tossed a sheet over a sleeping Subaru.

"And you were supposed to be more discreet with your rendezvous," Fuuma retorted. "Discreet is not summoning a large hawk shikigami and attacking the tower in plain sight. You're not really making this easy for me, niisan." Fuuma moved away from the balcony and stepped into the bedroom to face his brother. "You always did like to show-off too much."


Kamui suddenly saw Fuuma fly through the stone balcony above, the boy destroying it in the process, and the hunter jumping down after him.


"I'll take care of him. Find your brother," Fuuma shouted back, and at the same time blocked a strike for his heart, which should not have been so fast or precise, considering he and his brother were mock-fighting, but Fuuma had never come to expect mock-anything when it came to his brother and battle. It also probably didn't help that he had annoyed his brother with his inconvenient entrance.

Landing on the bridge below the tower, Fuuma smiled at his brother as he landed on the opposite side. Kamui, who was conflicted over whether he should go to his brother or help Fuuma, called out to him again in concern. "Don't worry about me. Help your brother," Fuuma replied.

Kamui turned to go, hesitated in the threshold of his bedroom, and then quickly disappeared into the tower, as if he felt extremely bad for leaving Fuuma to fight the assassin. Fortunately Kamui would be too pre-occupied with waking his twin to return for a while, which would give the two brothers time alone to talk and also work out their disagreements.

"I want to look good for Kamui-san, so do you mind if I killed you, niisan?" Fuuma suggested, still smiling.

"If you died while fighting his enemy then that would most likely leave a bigger impression on the Prince," the hunter suggested back, also smiling.

"I think you just want to kill me because I interrupted your alone time with Subaru-san."

"There's also the fact that we're half-brothers by a different mother and I don't think I would feel so bad about it if I happened to kill you."

"You always bring that up when I've done something to piss you off, niisan," Fuuma said with a disapproving tone. "Your little brother could grow up to become twisted if you keep filling his head with death threats."

"Then how can I apologize?" the hunter offered jokingly.

"I was about to suggest that you let me kill you and give your rotting corpse to Kamui-san as a part of his dowry price, but I suppose I'll have to settle with beating you to a near-death state and then telling Kamui-san about it."

"Ah, but then you have no evidence," the hunter said, tsking at his little brother. He supposed he would have to take over as teacher yet again and explain the rudiments of today's lesson on lying. "If you return to your Prince with no injuries, then he'll obviously become very suspicious."

"Then could I ask you to hit me a couple of times? Not any of those fatal strikes you're so fond of, but something that would leave me hurt enough to win over Kamui-san's sympathy. A cool scar or two would be nice."

"Of course. I'll gladly hit you," the hunter said and summoned a large sword to hit (kill) his brother with. "You're going through puberty, and I wouldn't be considered much of a big brother if I didn't help you out with the occasional romantic advice."

"Fuuma!" Kamui cried as he rushed to the human's side. He knelt beside his bed and gripped the boy's white shirt sleeve as he took in the sight of his battered body.

While he had been trying to wake Subaru, one of the knights had called at him from the bridge, informing him of what had happened to the ambassador's charge, and he rushed over to the guest wing of the Castle where the knights had carried Fuuma to recuperate. "I'm sorry," Kamui said, bowing his head in apology. "I shouldn't have left you to fight that hunter alone. He was too much for me and my brother together. How could I even think—"

"The health of your brother should naturally come first," Fuuma said, finally opening his eyes. He tried to sit up, but only managed to raise his head before it fell back to his pillow. "Plus I faintly recall reassuring you that I would be able to handle the hunter by myself."

"You're awake," Kamui said, breathing a sigh of relief. He quickly let go of Fuuma's shirt-sleeve and stood up, putting some distance between them. "I didn't know what to think after I heard, and now you're covered in so many cuts and bruises. What happened?"

"It's not important," Fuuma said dismissively, and then tried to sit up again. Kamui immediately came back to his side and put his hard around his back to help him up. "How is Subaru-san?"

"He's…he's fine. But until the knights have done a proper sweep of the castle grounds, I've told him to stay with a woman in town. She practically raised us from birth so I know he'll be safe with her."

"It's for the best," Fuuma replied, storing that information away for later use.

"It is," Kamui said, and clasped his hands together.

"What's the matter?" Fuuma asked, hearing the strain in Kamui's voice. "You don't sound so sure of yourself."

"I…" Kamui lowered his eyes back to his hands. "I don't think I feel certain of anything anymore." It did not escape Fuuma how remarkably different the Kamui of now was with the Kamui he had just met a few hours ago. That Kamui had been detached and confident. He had been everything Fuuma expected of a Prince. But this Kamui… he was fragile, emotionally dependent on his twin, and was falling apart right before his eyes because of it. As a human that felt little emotion towards others, Fuuma was somewhat envious of the vampire prince's capacity to love. He also pitied Kamui greatly.

"He's not going to stop," Kamui said, clasping his hands together even tighter. The vampire didn't seem like he had even realized he was talking out loud, so lost was the look in his eyes. "He's going to keep coming until he takes Subaru away from me."

Fuuma stared ahead at the wall, his expression unchanging, even when he knew he should try to comfort the vampire. From his heavy silence on the subject Kamui seemed to remember, ironically, that he was not alone. He glanced over at Fuuma, saying offhandedly: "I would be fine if he came after me. I could handle it. He should come after me, after all. His employers must have made it very clear that to undermine this kingdom, he must kill the Prince." Kamui dropped his face in his hands. "But he's not coming after me, and I don't know what to do."

Fuuma suddenly felt fingers take hold of his shirt sleeve. "I have no right to ask you this. You're a stranger in our kingdom and you have no ties to my family." Kamui grabbed his other arm. "But you're the only one who can help me. Please, I beg you," Kamui bowed his head, "I don't want anything to happen to my brother."

As Prince Kamui had never had to beg. He had never had to stoop below his station and beg for help. Worse, he had never had to beg for help from a human, which was possibly the biggest insult he'd ever had to endure as Prince.

To Fuuma, it showed how much he loved his brother that he would endure bowing his head before a mortal. It showed the failings of his pride, too, but also his inner strength. It was touching. It was beautiful.

It made Fuuma want him all the more.

"I'll give you anything you desire." Kamui undid the chains that held his cloak fast at the neck, and Fuuma went absolutely still as he watched the material fall open, exposing the white shirt underneath, Kamui reaching into the folds of his cloak and pulling out a slip of paper that he then held out to Fuuma.

The apprentice assassin stared at the paper blankly: he did not know what a piece of paper had to do with his desires.

"Subaru gave me the name for the family tomb where you can find your book."

Oh, that. "Thank you," he said politely, and disguised his disappointment with a thin smile. For some reason he'd thought Kamui would revert to the creature spoken of in the mythos spun in his own village, the one where the vampire Prince, beautiful and deadly, would lure him into the nearest bed—never mind that they were already in a bed, but a fancier one, he supposed—and proceed to devirginize him—nevermind that that was not a word.

Some part of him had actually been looking forward to that. It was possibly the part of him that was still very young and had no experience in "courting" as his big brother put it. He'd like to get some experience, but it was obvious that the vampire legends had been exaggerated a bit, especially those sexual myths.

He'd always sort of known that much, but Fuuma also wondered if there was not something about himself that put the vampire prince off. Maybe he was not innocent enough.

He was not adequate prey. And what had Kamui said, he was too young to feed on.

Hmm, it seemed youth had screwed him over. Fuuma could not wait to be grown up.

"We've become friends. There's no need for formalities between us. If you need help then I'll gladly come to your rescue."

Kamui gave him a strange look--coming to his rescue was not exactly what he meant by 'protect my brother.' He also looked unsure on how to take Fuuma's opinion that they were friends now. He appeared to be bothered by the whole package to tell the truth, but he ignored it all the same.

"I'll reward you handsomely. Your protection shouldn't come for free. Anything in my family vault you wish for, I'll give it to you." Kamui got up from the bed before Fuuma could say anything, then he walked over to the door and stopped.

"Thank you. I didn't…" he glanced back at him with eyes full of emotion, "I never thanked you for all your help. So thank you." With that he was out the door faster than Fuuma could blink, the edges of an embarrassed flush the last image of the vampire he was left with, and Fuuma had only a second to think he was in trouble before the door closed.

A/n: In the manga Fuuma fights Kamui with black whips and restrains him with it. I wish they would have shown that scene in the anime, because it's whips for god's sake. Whips…or strings, or some type of bondage material. Fuuma/Kamui is pretty much cannon, but when you bring in whips, you know its Clamps special brand of love—creepy. stalker. love. I'm amazed Kamui or Fuuma didn't lose an eye in the process.