Barney and Ted had always had this… thing. It was kind of hard to explain. Ted never really liked Barney all that much, not really. But at the same time, the moment that Barney had come into his life he couldn't shake him. He tried to get rid of Barney a few times, a huge fight over Robin came to mind, but Barney was always there in the end. And when Barney was away, say on a business trip, Ted noticed. It was quiet, and peaceful, and calm in the bar. In his life. And for some reason, that didn't feel right. As much as he'd love to be rid of Barney, when Barney wasn't there, his life felt incomplete.

Not to say Barney wasn't annoying as all hell.

Barney on the other had seemed to not be able to live without Ted. Work became hard to concentrate on, he couldn't eat, he couldn't sleep, his whole world revolved around this one man. When he saw him that night in the men's room, something clicked and Barney knew he NEEDED this man. Though how he needed him, or why, he didn't know.

But when he saw Ted, dying on that bed, he had to do something to fix that. He could not lose this man, his friend, to some stupid woman that Barney himself hooked him up with. So Barney did the only option that popped into his head. When he was a child, his mother was rarely in the house at night. So his brother did his best to give the kid what other children his age got. Bedtime stories, spooky Halloween nights, Christmas mornings full of wonder. He didn't do a very good job, but most ten year olds wouldn't have been able to anyway. For all the short comings of his young life, Barney had one thing that he latched onto.

Myths. Unicorns, werewolves, how ghosts came to be and how they could be removed: and the ones that always enticed him. Vampires. Who they were, why they were, how they were created. Dracula was a book never far from Barney as he grew up. Ann Rice was something that if his school didn't have it in the library he bought with whatever money he could scrounge and donated her books. He always dreamed of being a vampire hunter one day. When life hit him with a cold wet mackerel of a lie, he dropped his dreams and hopes of the myths of life, and became a "business man."

But there he was, draped on the bed, dying. The child that never really fell asleep woke up completely, and Barney kept his best friend alive. Or, as alive as a vampire could be. Ted could no longer see the sun. He wasn't this "sparkepire" bullshit that Twilight drilled into preteen's heads. Ted moved out of the apartment that he shared with Robin, and into Barney's. Because it was dark, and cold, and no one ever EVER went into it without Barney's permission. Ted would be safe. Ted had no idea. The first two days were a blur of hunger and fear and pain. But Barney took care of Ted, leading him through the streets and up the stairs and giving him permission to cross his door and locked him into the one bedroom.

Barney didn't like killing. He had to, now and then. It was part of his job but please, who really knew what he did for a living? But killing someone that threatened, that's one thing. Killing someone to feed another? Barney did it once, just once. Ted needed to eat. Ted had fallen into The Sleep. When he awoke, he'd need to eat, or there'd be hell to pay. After half dragging half carrying Ted through the streets and taxi's to his apartment, after locking the new vampire in his bedroom, Barney had to make his hands dirty.

She had been a nobody. He had made sure of that. She was seventeen, a runaway from an abusive home. She showed all the signs. A bruised eye, a cut lip. Her arms were shredded to ribbons from years of cutting. She had a school I.D. from two years ago saying she went to a high school, her name was Sarah Mauys. Her purse was full of condoms and lipstick, and there was one freshly negative pregnancy test. A whore, at seventeen. Two nights before, he would have picked her up and fucked her brains out. Many years ago, she could have been his mother.

Barney offered her a twenty, nodding to an alley. It had been quick, but it had not been clean. He had covered her mouth with tape, grabbed her wrists behind her back, bent her over a bowl on her knees and slit her throat. He found a dumpster, tossed her in, lit a fire, and waited. He sat for ten minutes waiting for the thick sickly black smoke to fade away before dumping the five trash cans next to it into the dumpster, covering the charred remains, closing the lid, and taking the bowl back to his place.

Pouring the red liquid (he didn't want to think of the word) into an old milk jug, Barney cut up the bowl with a kitchen knife and pushed the pieces of the bowl into the food grinder in his sink, along with the gloves he had been wearing. Then off came his suit, washed in the bathtub to see if he could save it. If not, he'd torch it too. Murder was hard to get away with, but there was always a way. After all, he took his twenty back. The only thing that would tie him to the girl was someone seeing him take her into the back. But that was easily dealt with. He found out how old she was, called it off, took his money back; here see the twenty? Should have her fingerprints on it. He left down the back and around the corner, up his apartment stairs. See, he's on his security camera at the door right on time. He didn't take the elevator, so it took about twenty minutes. There were no other cameras in the building, so it was just his.

Sure officer, feel free to look around the apartment. No blood, no hair, nothing to tie him to her again. They'd leave, tack it up to some whore being killed, forget it, and let it die. After all, how could they figure out who she was when there was no ID card. It had been destroyed in the fire with her. They had finger prints, but she had no record, no match…

The jug went into the refrigerator in his closet, and Barney sat in the chair waiting for Ted to wake up. He called in sick when the day came, closing he curtains to keep the room dark. And waited. When Ted awoke, he was hungry, confused, violent. All he could remember was a woman bighting him and the feel of his body dying. Dying…

His addled brain kicked him. Barney had been dying once. Barney had been hit by a bus; he had been lying on the street dying. And Ted had been angry at him. Barney. He was there, he came into the room while Ted was dying. Barney had done something. And Barney was there now. He was in the corner; hand pressed to his neck, stemming the flow of blood as he fought with the handle of a small refrigerator. Seconds later Ted was next to him, eyes on the blood that seeped through long bony fingers, wanting it more than he'd ever wanted something in his life. Barney punched him. Ted didn't feel it. But it made him pause long enough to allow Barney to tug open the door and thrust the blood filled jug into his arms. Without thinking, Ted sunk new fangs into the plastic and emptied the jug in the blink of an eye.

And then he passed out once more.

Panting, clutching his neck, Barney watched as Ted drained the blood he had collected. Barney watched as his friend slumped over, drunk on life that wasn't his. Barney watched as Ted's face filled with color once more. Then he pushed himself onto shaky legs, locked the door, stumbled to the bathroom, and vomited into the toilet. Thank GOD for spring-loaded toilet seats.

The cut hadn't been bad, it just looked bad. Ted's fingers had sliced a spot on his neck that bleed quickly, but lightly. It looked bad, much like a head wound, but really wasn't terrible. A bit of washing, a quick band aid, and life was normalish again. Ted was fed, he's survive from now on. Only thing left to figure out was how to keep him sane, and how to get him food later.