First off, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope that 2014 is a good year for everyone. I will reiterate that I am not abandoning any of my stories (I love them all and have every intention to finish them eventually). With that said, I am going on a planned six month Hiatus on all of my stories. The reason for this is very simple: I have a novel idea I want to work on and my fanfictions distract me from those when I try to work on them. Since I am really into it and in the mood to write I am going to put these on hold for six months while I write it. If after the six months I haven't finished yet I will come back to these and get another set of chapters out quickly so I don't leave you guys a year between updates again.

This is the only story I might write in before the six month hiatus is up, and then it would only be if I am so stuck on the novel that I need something else to get my mind off it for a while so I can come back and look at it again with a clear head. The reason for this is I only have four (five if the last chapter gets cut into two) chapters left with this story, and I really want to get one of my longer stories finished. I think it would give me a great boost of confidence.

The title for this chapter kind of sucks, but it was the best I could come up with to encompass the whole chapter.

I gift you with 4,287 words. Enjoy!

I do not own Kingdom Hearts :'(

Chapter 18: Shame

Sora could barely believe just how good everything smelled. He always thought his mother's cook was the best, but his new senses could catch every fragrance and aroma in ways they never could as a human. Every spice could be distinguished from the others, yet they blended so perfectly into one scent at the same time. His eyesight had improved exponentially as well, with every color and texture more vivid and bright than ever before, and he was finding it hard to believe there could be so many shades of one color. The sounds, though… "Ow," he whined quietly as his father dropped his fork onto his plate a little too harshly. How does Riku deal with this so easily? he mentally questioned, rubbing one ear in an attempt to ease the quiet ringing.

"Sora? Is something wrong, dear?" his mother asked, noticing her son's obvious discomfort.

"Oh, nothing," he replied quickly, flashing her a toothless smile. Considering that his smiles usually took up half his face she noticed the oddity in his behavior. "Just some water in my ear or something. Itches." He was still slightly worried that his fangs would appear out of nowhere, even though he understood that his parents would most likely see red eyes first, so he did his best to not show his teeth around them at all. Yes, Riku's parents had surprisingly taken his boyfriend's turning in stride, but that didn't stop him from worrying that his wouldn't.

Noticing his brother's anxiety and hoping to distract his parents from it, Roxas started, "The turkey is amazing, Mom! Did you do anything different with it this time?"

Never one to pass up a compliment on her cooking, she quickly went off on just what she had done differently this time. Honestly, Roxas didn't enough know half the spices she rattled off, but it made her happy and eased his brother's worry, so it didn't matter.

"Thank you," the fledgling mouthed as their mother went on to explain the change in both temperature and time of cooking the bird. In reply, the blonde flashed him a small smile.

By the end of her spiel the woman had either forgotten her other son's earlier discomfort or decided to drop the matter for another time. Based on the look she gave him as he started up the stairs, Sora guessed on the latter. He knew this conversation would have to come up at some time, but he really wasn't ready right yet. For one, he wanted to get through to Riku first. His silver-haired boyfriend had barely spoken over two dozen words to him over the last week, and they had all been apologies, or partial apologies since Sora had made a habit of cutting him off every time he tried. The silverette had cursed him to an eternal life of drinking blood when he was still trying to deal with that weight himself.

And speaking of drinking blood, he was thirsty. The drive for blood was a terrifying thing, and no amount of description could have prepared him for the full magnitude of the feeling. He was still getting used to the changes, but he did not regret becoming a vampire. What he needed was a way to show that to his lover. "I need blood," he panted quietly, a hint of red coloring the edge of his irises. "Maybe if I bring Riku with me I can show him I'm okay with… this."

Several sets of eyes stared in the direction of the one person missing from the table. "Is he not coming in again?" the woman asked worriedly.

"How many meals will this make now?" her husband asked, equally concerned.

Turning to face him, she replied, "Thirteen. Cloud, please tell me you know what's bothering him. By now he has to be…"

Exchanging apprehensive expressions with the brunette to his side—Leon was almost spending more nights at Riku's house than Sora's now—he slowly turned to face his host. "I'm afraid if he hasn't told you then it isn't my place to inform you." This is something he has to come to terms with himself.

The young vampire had already overturned pretty much everything he possibly could. His bed was the only thing still on its intended legs, and he was currently sitting in the middle with one hand at his burning throat. His instincts were telling him to go out on the hunt, but his mind refused to obey the command. Every time he wandered to the thought of blood he remembered in the vivid detail of vampiric vision watching his lover share in his curse. The brunette's red eyes haunted him in his sleep, and just looking at the boy brought up the sight of blood staining his chin. For that reason he had been avoiding the person he loved for the last seven days, but with his attention so divided he didn't even notice his window opening.

"Riku?" the source of his torment asked quietly, a little nervous. He had never seen his boyfriend in such a desperate state, and a small part of him was afraid the older fledgling was angry at him for the accident and that was why he was avoiding him. After all, had he not come up with that stupid plan then none of the following events would have happened.

Startled by the new voice, the silverette jumped and turned his crimson eyes on the new occupant of his room. "S-Sora, what are you doing here?" he stuttered out in question, unable to look away from the ruby hue of the brunette's orbs. As much as he wanted to look away he couldn't, some primal instinct rising up from his core and growling with satisfaction in his mind. This horrified him, the boy who was barely a man unable to digest the fact that some part of him was thrilled at the fact that he had turned Sora.

"It's just that…" he trailed off, not entirely sure how to convey his intent without opening up scabbing wounds. "Well, it's been a week now. And I'm thirsty again." He saw his lover flinch and cringed. "I know you don't want to see me right now, and you probably blame yourself for what happened, but I want you to come with me."

"But Sora, I did this to you," Riku finally managed to say, swinging his legs over the side of his bed. "I turned you into a vampire."

A soft smile on his face, Sora replied, "I've already told you, I don't blame you. At all. This will… take some getting used to, of course, but to be honest I was going to ask you to turn me, once you were ready." Closing the small gap between them, the spiky-haired brunette rested his forehead on the other vampire's shoulder. "I'm still… a bit scared. I'm trying to figure out all of these changes, but I'm doing it alone. I wish you were there with me."

Realization dawned on the eighteen-year-old's face. Cloud had been trying to convince him for the last seven days to stay beside the man he loved, but in his shame he couldn't bring himself to do so. And by doing so he managed to do the exact same thing his sire had done to him; left him all alone in a new, confusing world. Tentatively wrapping his arms around Sora's waist, he choked out, "I'm so sorry, Sora."

Embracing him in return, Sora cooed lovingly, "It's alright. I don't mind." Placing his hands on either side of his sire's head, he knelt down so they were eye to eye. "We'll figure this out together, I promise." Several seconds passed between them, then the boy touched on the delicate subject. "But right now, shouldn't we go get something to drink?"

Gaze dropping to the carpet, it took several another short moment for him to reluctantly nod his head.

Worried about his charge, Cloud slowly opened the thin sheet of wood separating him from the room's interior. "Riku?" he asked cautiously, peering inside. Stunned, his slammed the door open loud enough to make Leon jump in the room down the hall and rush to his side. The usually quite tidy room looked akin to the wreckage left behind after a tornado or tsunami. To add to his anxiety, said room's owner was nowhere to be seen.

Understanding just how fragile the silverette's mind had become over the last week, Leon instantly jumped to the worst conclusion possible. Spinning on his heels, he made it half a step before a strong hand gripped his shoulder. "Don't worry," he stated simply.

"Don't worry!" the hunter shot back instantly. "Don't worry? We have no clue what state his mind is in! He could be a danger to himself or someone else!"

The blonde was slightly taken aback, although not by his lover's yelling. More so, he was surprised and proud of the fact that Leon's first concern was for the fledgling and not the people he would potentially feed on. "Sora's with him," he replied evenly, literally feeling the tension start to ease out of the hunter's shoulder. "He needs to feed again, too, and they will draw strength from each other."

The two figures crouched in the alleyway. Two men playfully pushed each other at the other end, the shorter one spewing some unintelligible complaint when his companion made him spill some of the liquid from the can in his hand, most likely beer by the way they were acting. Just a second later they were both laughing hysterically and kanpai-ing their drinks together and spilling more alcohol down the sides of their cans. This time, though, neither seemed to care—or even take notice—of the waste.

Disgusted by the elation rising in his chest, Riku forced himself to look away. Anxious and ashamed, he nervously bit his lower lip, accidentally puncturing it with one of his fangs. The scent of blood alerted Sora, and the brunette's red eyes turned to focus on him. He understood his lover was struggling, and it hurt him that there was so little he could do about it. "Riku," he whispered, one hand rubbing soothing circles on the vampire's back. Smiling when his silverette looked up at him, he lightly pecked the teen's bleeding mouth before lapping at the blood. The wound was already on the mend so he didn't get more than a few drops, but it was enough to get his instincts excited. "I'm right here beside you."

Gathering up what courage he could find, the other male replied, "Alright. Let's do this…"

Even Sora's mother, who was known for being unusually dense at times, had started picking up on her son's relationship problems. She wasn't sure what was going on, but for the last month they just hadn't been acting the same around each other. For the first week, even, it seemed like Riku was avoiding his boyfriend. Now they were always together like before, but there was a palpable tension in the air and the older of the two never seemed able to make eye contact with any of them.

Roxas did his best to not bring up the subject around either of the two, but he discussed it with Axel often enough. His twin was getting exhausted more frequently and the stress was creating worry lines in his brow. If Riku didn't give soon, he was certain his brother would simply break from the pressure.

"Isn't there anything we can do?" Leon asked as he sat up on his elbows, gazing over at the blonde that had somehow managed to get him in bed again.

"This situation will have to settled between them," Cloud replied evenly. The brunette knew, though, he could sense it in the slight fluctuations of his voice and the variations in his aura—something Leon had become increasingly aware of.

"If something doesn't give soon they are going to snap," he retorted, not as able to hold back his emotions as his lover.

"Maybe that explosion is just what they need," the vampire remarked, earning him a raised eyebrow from his bedmate. "Change usually comes after destruction, and they are deadlocked in such a stalemate that if something doesn't break they won't go anywhere."

Warm liquid flooded his mouth, soothing his burning throat. The fight in the body in his arms lessened with every drag of his mouth, the lack of blood creating light-headedness until his victim finally just passed out. He continued to draw the life out of her for the next ten seconds until his thirst fully abated, and then the young brunette carefully laid her down against the wall. She looked so peaceful, as if she had just gone done for a short nap, but Sora knew looks could be very deceiving. Had he taken too much? Was she really going to wake up, a little woozy, but alright? This was a person's life he had just gambled with and he was still learning everything about his new body. Logically he knew he hadn't taken enough to cause any serious or permanent damage, but his morality wouldn't let the question drop without some sort of confirmation. And when he turned to his companion…

Riku had finished his meal before the brunette and the young male he had drank from was resting in a couple closed bags of trash. Making the mistake of looking at his lover, the fledgling became fixated on the sight before him. Sora's red eyes were intoxication and there was something arousing about the fluid motion of his throat as he devoured his victim's blood. He wanted nothing more than to stalk up behind the boy and trap him in his arms, use one hand to dislodge him from the person he was drinking from and force his tongue into that mouth, tasting both the sweet flavor he knew belonged to his lover and the coppery tang of human blood.

He nearly threw up at the vivid image in his head. Had his body allowed it he would have, but his instincts would not let him expel the lifeblood he needed.

Tears started to form in Sora's eyes. When he looked to his lover, his sire, for confirmation that the woman would be okay the older male fell to his knees and was doing his best to prevent himself from becoming sick. Just from looking at him. The emotional blow knocked him to the ground, sitting on his knees and trying his hardest to simply disappear into a little ball that could hide from the messed up reality he was suddenly thrust into. He had become like the man he loved more than life itself—literally, since he was now technically undead—but rather then bring them closer it just drove them farther apart. He was losing the one thing he did not want to lose.

"Sora?" the silverette asked, hearing the quiet sobs. "S-Sore, please don't cry," he begged, crawling over to the younger fledgling and gently grasping his shoulders. "I—"

"I can't keep doing this, Riku!" the brunette shouted suddenly, startling the bartender. "I can barely hold myself up, how can I support you as well? Every time I look to you for guidance I find myself having to drag you out of some pit and I don't have the energy to keep doing this! I know you feel bad for turning me, but I can only help you so much before I finally…" He trailed off, unable to control his sobs anymore. The scent of his lover calmed them down a little, and burying his face in the silverette's shirt helped a bit, too, but Sora was completely and totally emotionally drained.

Riku couldn't say he had ever seen Sora cry. The teenager had always been so optimistic and cheerful that he realized a part of him had started to wonder if anything could bring the boy down. And that part had taken advantage of his best friend. Rather than face his problems he shoved them off and forced Sora to pick them up and carry them until he finally broke. I spent the entire time wallowing in self-pity… while Sora was desperately trying to pick up the pieces I left behind, he realized, tentatively wrapping his arms around the smaller boy in a strong hug. He let out a contented sigh between sniffles and grasped at the fabric covering Riku's back.

Taking a deep breath, he started, "Sora, I… How do I get passed… what I did to you?"

The brunette took a moment to calm himself. "What can you do about the past?" he asked once he felt he could keep his voice even. "The answer is nothing. What's passed is past, and it can't be changed. Rather than dwell on it you have to look at the present, to what is happening now, and ahead, at what needs to be done. I'm not dead. I'm still here and I still love you. And I don't want you to go." He lost control again with the last two sentences, his voice fluctuating as his emotions flooded over again. Tears once again moistened his eyes and his nose started to run so he rubbed it clean on Riku's shirt.

What is happening now, he repeated in his head, stroking a spiky clump of brunette hair. I have done nothing but lean on Sora. Even when I first turned I looked to him for support and he held me up. I have to help him this time. That is when Sora rubbed his nose on his shirt. Hoping to bring a smile back to the boy's face—which looked so much better there than tears—he indignantly jested, "Hey, this is my favorite shirt."

Not expecting humor from his more-so-than-usual stoic boyfriend, it managed to startle his tears away. Looking up into the vampire's face, he could tell the smile was a difficult one to hold but he was doing a marvelous job at it. But it slowly fell when he saw the worried expression on the brunette's face. "What's wrong?" he asked.

Gripping his shirt a little tighter, Sora started, "I know… I know that you are still unsure about all of this, but we have to tell them." Slightly tremors traveled through his arms, but enough to cause slight vibrations, as he spoke. "I can't keep my parents in the dark any longer."

Swallowing thickly, Riku averted his gaze to the ground and asked, "When were you planning—"

"Tonight," Sora interrupted. Also watching the cement walkway, he added in a stutter, "O-or tomorrow morning, maybe. Just… now, as in within the next few days."

"Tonight works," Riku replied, glancing sidelong back at his boyfriend. "Before I lose my nerve."

Giving him an apologetic smile, Sora leaned in quickly and gave him a peck on the lips before getting to his feet and offering the older vampire a hand. Accepting the offered hand, he stood as well and pulled his lover back into a hug. "Thank you, for standing by me on this," Sora whispered.

Rubbing his back to comfort him, Riku replied, "That's what a boyfriend is for." Hearing the male he had drink from start to stir, he broke their embrace and encased the brunette's hand in his own. Leading him down to the end, he waited just long enough to make sure the man was actually waking before heading off towards his lover's residence.

They were both thankful that no one else was home at the moment. Leon, they knew, was at Riku's with Cloud, most likely fighting off round two, but the other two they could only guess. Maybe making up for the movie and night out that got interrupted, Sora thought. The situation was going to be tense enough as it was, he didn't want his brother to listen in; or worse, join in. His mother hated having secrets kept from her, and if she learned immediately that they all knew then it would only make her more hostile. "Are you sure we should wake them?" the brunette asked.

Without responding, Riku knocked on their bedroom door. "This time, I'll hold you up," he cooed quietly, gripping Sora's hand a little tighter. Heavy footsteps approached the wooden portal, and when it finally opened the woman was rubbing sleep out of her eyes.

"Son, what it is?" she asked groggily, holding one hand over her mouth as she yawned.

"We need to talk to you," he stated slowly. "Both… of you."

The dread lacing his words partially woke her from her stupor, and she replied in a serious tone with, "And it couldn't wait until morning?"

Shaking his head, Sora said, "Now, before I lose my nerve. We'll be in the living room."

The scene was very familiar to Riku, except the players in it had changed. He was sitting next to Sora on the couch while the brunette's parents sat across from them, just as it had been when Cloud had him reveal his condition to his own parents. "Okay, we're here," she said, by this point entirely awake. "What was so important—or terrible—that you had to tell us now."

Worrying his lower lip for a moment, and thankful to his mother for not interrupting while he gathered his courage, he finally decided to just get it out. Swallowing the lump in his throat, he stated matter-of-factly, "I'm a vampire."

Dumbstruck, they sat in silence for a minute before his mother regained her cognitive thinking. "Sora, have you been watching scary movies again? You know they give you nightmares," she sighed, rubbing her eyes and shaking her head. That was the only logical conclusion she could come up with.

"I haven't gotten nightmares in years, Mom," Sora shot back, insulted that she wasn't taking this seriously. The harshness of his tone made her look up at him in surprise. "I'm not playing around."

Slowly their eyes widened and their mouths dropped open. Their son's eyes had turned a bright crimson and the determined look in them diminished to something feeble and scared. They regained some of their vigor when his boyfriend placed and arm over his should and pulled him closer so he was leaning into him, but that spark of fear never fully left. Stunned for the third time in the last half a minute, the older woman could do nothing more than open and close her mouth like a fish out of water. She barely managed to get out, "H-how?"

"It was an accident," the fledgling started, mouth closed enough that his fangs weren't visible. "Riku lost control and turned me."

"Riku?" his father said harshly, finally joining in the conversation. Both adults turned accusatory eyes on him, making him flinch and press back into the couch.

"Dad, it's my fault, too," Sora defended, leaning as far in front of the silverette as possible without falling in his lap. "I was the one who planned everything, who set it up. I was the one who forgot to think about the last time Riku had drank."

Focusing back on her son, his mother inquired, "So you do have to drink blood? Does that mean you have fangs?" Nodding slowly, he opened his mouth wide to show her his elongated canines. She started to reach forward to touch one, but changed her mind halfway through the motion and pulled her hand back. "How long? For you and him?"

Shifting nervously, the teenager partially gave up his answer. He wouldn't be so uneasy about telling her if it had happened just a few days before. "One month," he finally said after a moment. He could see the disappointment rising in her face, and before she could explode at him he added, "And Riku's been a vampire since before we started dating, although I didn't know until several weeks afterwards."

"What happened that made him change you now, then?" his dad asked quickly to keep his wife from shouting at the two. As serious—and difficult—as the conversation was he knew that it wouldn't stop her from chewing her son out for keeping such a huge secret.

Color creeping into his face, Sora tried to quickly come up with some way to explain it without going into exact detail. "C-can I possibly not tell you exactly?" he stuttered. They both knew he was in a relationship with Riku, but it was a completely different matter to tell them he was sleeping with the other male. There was a huge difference, as well, between telling his mother that and telling his father.

Inhaling deeply to calm herself, the brunette's mother calmly asked, "You had sex, didn't you?" A slight nod. Two sets of irate eyes turned back to the silverette, who cowered away with guilt. They didn't need to say it, for he already knew; they had expected more responsibility from him.

Pushing passed his apprehension, he began, "There are things I need to tell you guys, things the vampire helping me told my parents when I was turned."

"You mean they have known about this all along?" Sora's mother interrupted.

"They learned not long after Sora did," he replied, holding his hands up defensively. "So they didn't know at first, and I was still coming to terms with it so they agreed to not tell anyone. But what I can tell you will help Sora out greatly, believe me on this."

Riku did not miss that it was with some reluctance that they agreed. They were still quite ashamed with him for what he had done.

I wanted to make someone not just accept that some characters get changed into vampires, and I felt that Sora's parents would get a lot more upset about important secrets being kept from them considering his is given so much freedom. Their relationship is based on so much trust that it would hurt deeply to be kept out of the loop so, and as parents I figured they wouldn't so easily forgive Riku for being the cause of it.

As usual, reviews are luffed and appreciated, but in no way required.