Vampire Hearts: Birth By Bite 5

(Fair warning, readers: I'm think I'm bullshitting EVERYTHING that has to do with the Heartless and most of Kingdom Hearts in this story AND ESPECIALLY THIS chapter… I haven't played in a long time, and I don't own any of the games. Sorry.)

~*~*~*~*~*~Sora's Morning~*~*~*~*~*~

Sora sat in his own living room, mind in a state of distress. He hadn't drunk alcohol since he and Kairi broke up - god, how long ago was that? He still stuck to his resolve, to his abstinence from liquor. But he had no method to relieve the pain of being alone. He'd asked some girls, but they all still took him for the drunkard he used to be. And then there was Kairi and Selphie… taken or overly judgmental.

At his feet lay the Keyblade, Ultima Weapon form. It had broken into seven pieces, each break representing the six girls who had refused him and broken his heart.

And, to top it all off, tomorrow was St. Valentine's day.

He closed his eyes and forced the Ultima Weapon to dematerialize. A deep sigh, then he forced his weapon to reappear. It was still broken.

"Fuck…" he mumbled, then made the weapon disappear again. There was a knock at the door.

"Mail!" called out what sounded like a girl his age. Sora slowly rose from his furniture and approached the door. When he opened it he saw that it was, indeed, a girl his age. She was dressed in a red miniskirt with a red button-up shirt without sleeves. Her long brown hair had grown down just below her knees and was pulled back into a braided ponytail. To Sora, it seemed like her amber eyes were glowing. She was crouching, picking up a bunch of mail she'd apparently dropped.

"Sorry, I'll have all this up in a second," she said quickly.

"No, no, let me help…" he replied, stooping down and picking up mail. When it was all said and done, he'd picked up three-fourths of the mail. "Here," he said, handing it to the girl.

"Thanks." She took it and put it inside a denim bag that hung at her side. Then she looked up at him and blushed. "Wow. You're cute."

"…Thanks…" he replied cautiously as he took in an eyeful of her. "You're pretty easy on the eyes, yourself."

She blushed and looked down shyly. "Thanks…"

Then there was a silence.

"What's your name?"

She looked back up at him. "Valentine Isadora."

Sora held out his hand. "My name's Sora." He grinned. "Sorry I don't have a last name."

She clasped his hand with hers, and their fingers unintentionally locked. "What, don't you have a family?"

The grin faded. He cast his eyes in another direction. "No…"

"Oh… I'm sorry."

"No, it… it's fine."

There was a depressing quietude. A wind blew, pushing Valentine's hair around a little. Sora began thinking. 'Hey… she hasn't let go of my hand, and… she doesn't seem like she wants to… and I'm not complaining…'

"If you don't mind me asking, do you have plans for tomorrow, Valentine?" he asked slowly.

The girl looked up sharply, eyes wild. "Huh? What's tomorrow?"

He laughed. "Seriously? It's St. Valentine's Day."

She let go of his hand and looked down. "Oh…" She sounded pretty sad and empty as she spoke. "No… I don't have any plans or a date or anything… why?"

"Well…" Sora cleared his throat and turned his head to the left, watching the tree leaves blow in the wind. "I, myself, don't have any plans for tomorrow…"

Valentine turned 180 degrees and started to slowly walk away. Sora almost thought she was rejecting him. He started to turn until she walked back up to him.

"Tell you what, Sora…" She smirked. "Walk with me. Finish my route with me. Then, I'll decide if I want you."

Sora smiled back. "Sounds good to me. Let me change my clothes. It'll take just a second."

She nodded. "Can I come in while I wait?"

He shrugged. "Sure… Couldn't hurt anything, right?"

Sora let her in and walked off into his room to change. Valentine sat on the couch, twiddling her thumbs as she waited. He came out in his dorky brown shoes and a pair of red swimming shorts, no shirt or anything else.

No, that's a lie. He had a black with white stripes wristband on his left wrist.

"Alright, let's go." He smiled at her. She stood up and smiled back.

"Yes. Let's."

~*~*~*~*~*~Riku's Pre-Noon Prelude~*~*~*~*~*~

The silver-haired boy sat in the shade of a palm tree, tossing a coconut up a foot into the air and letting it fall back into his hand. It'd almost fallen on his head around a half-an-hour ago. He'd managed to catch it by coincidence - he was stretching his arm out and it just fell into his hand.

Riku watched the tide roll in, working out his plans for the day to come… This whole thing was fairly new to him. How long had he been stuck in Cross Academy, secretly enrolled as a student? All that time, hidden from the world and everybody's heart but his own. His worst pains, his biggest fears, they all haunted him for so long.

And there was nobody around who could help him.

That was all in the past. This was now, a time when all that was nothing and untrue. He summoned Road to Dawn and left the sharp side of the blade pointing up. The coconut fell on the blade and was cut clean in half. The two pieces fell in opposite directions; the blood splattered on the ground. He watched it sink into the sand for a moment before he closed his eyes and summoned the Dark Aura armor.

You see, while Riku was at Cross Academy he learned how to commune with the earth via Heartless energy. He was still a novice when it came to this trick, so he couldn't perform it in his normal state. He needed to be in his Dark Aura state.

The boy stood up and pressed his palms together as if he was praying. He bowed his head, letting his hair fall into his face, and closed his eyes to ignore the world and focus his energies. A dark-purple aura surged, outlining his body as if he were performing the move Dark Aura. His hair floated and fell as the aura disappeared. He summoned his sword and thrust it into the ground, blade sinking to the guard. He was surrounded by a larger aura this time, one that was like a giant bonfire. Now his hair whipped around wildly, flying straight up and to the sides spastically. Then he looked up, eyes glowing with the influence of Dark Aura. It wasn't the earthly plane he was seeing; in fact, he didn't see or hear or feel anything. The only part of Riku left here was his unresponsive body. His heart was traveling through the Heartless energy of Destiny Island, reading the way the darkness ebbed and flowed. Finally he came to the very core of all of Destiny Island's energy.

'Island, please, show me your future!' he called. For a moment there was absolute tranquility. Everything ceased to move, to hum, almost as if life itself had stopped. Then the energy began roaring, flaring ferociously.

'Mortal, you are brash and cocky, but you are not cravenly.' The Island's spirit spoke to him with a deep, baritone voice that almost demanded you respect the speaker or you would be stuck down by some kind of all-mighty, overly-powerful god. 'I will reward your courage with my knowledge.'

Riku listened intently and was forced out of the Island's spiritual plane. Back on the earthen plane, his body trembled. His legs grew weak and he fell on one knee. The aura vanished and he reverted to his normal form. Riku's body was in pain, his breathing labored, his vision dim and blurry.

"Oh, god…" he whispered, face scrunching together in pain. "I shouldn't do that for so long a time all at once… Tonight will be hell on me, now…"

~*~*~*~*~*~Kairi's Afternoon~*~*~*~*~*~

The brunette walked along the coastline, feet occasionally touching the water. Her top was a strapless bra-like thing with a light-blue and white-dotted pattern. The bottom of her attire consisted of an equally light-blue bottom with a very thin and transparent veil-like skirt that reached down to exactly in between the middle of her waist and knees. Occasionally the wind tugged at the bottom of her skirt, pulling it this way and that. Kaname would have been with her but he had to go to work earlier than usual. Kairi felt so lonely without her beloved vampire.

There was almost nobody on the beach. None of her friends or anybody. It was probably too cold for most normal people. But Kairi, after her many exchanges of blood with a vampire, was starting to like things normal people wouldn't, like being almost naked in the midst of winter

She looked around and saw Sora walking hand-in-hand with some long brown-haired girl. Kairi sighed in relief.

"That's good. At least he won't be alone tomorrow." She stopped walking and stood, just staring into the sun and missing her vampire. "Kaname…"

She sat down in the sand and watched the waves crash into the beach. She was calm, even though she was alone. After all, Kaname promised her that tomorrow would be the best St. Valentine's Day she'd had so far in her life. She was so eager to see what he'd planned.

~*~*~*~*~*~Kaname's Evening~*~*~*~*~*~

The vampire sat behind the counter of the Items shop, waiting for customers. So far the only people who'd come by was an old man and a young girl who worked for the post office. Bored out of his mind, Kaname was reading a magazine sold by the shop.

"Well, well, it's Kaname…" a boy growled light-heartedly. Kaname looked up and greeted Riku with a light grin.

"If it isn't Destiny Island's OTHER resident vampire," he replied.

"What are you doing here in the middle of the day? Shouldn't you be off with Kairi?"

"Well…" The vampire stood up and put the magazine back. "Today's my pay-day, and I need as much money for tomorrow as I can."

Riku nodded in agreement. "Right. Valentine's Day… heh. You know, this is the first time I've ever celebrated it at all."

"You weren't a favorite at the academy?" Kaname asked. "After all, you stick out like a sore thumb. The girls should've been all over you."

Riku shook his head. "Did you forget? I was a secret student."

Kaname smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand. "Oh, yeah! Sorry, I guess I did forget… not on purpose, though. I promise."

The other vampire waved it off. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, forgiven." He scratched the back of his neck and looked off. "So, you sell any Elixirs?"

Kaname looked under the counter. "We have five… they're harder to make than we all thought. You're the only person who goes out and brings us materials to synthesize items."

Riku nodded. "Fair enough…"

"There's a limit of two per customer, but… if you keep this secret, I'll give you a third for free. I hate uneven numbers like that."

Riku nodded again. "Fair enough."

"If you don't mind me asking, what are they for?"

The silver-haired boy looked around in every direction. "If you, too, can keep a secret… I've been reading the Island's darkness and I think tonight is going to be really rough." He put his hands on the counter and leaned in, lowering his voice. "There's going to be a rampage of Heartless tonight, and I want to be prepared because there are only two people here who CAN fight."

"Mind if I come, too?" Kaname asked, setting the Elixirs on the counter. Riku leaned back coolly and fished his wallet from his pocket.

"Alright, there are THREE people who can fight… but will Kairi be okay with it?"

"Yeah." He took Riku's money. The silver-haired boy swiped the Elixirs.

"Alright then. I'll see you later." Riku waved and walked away. Kaname sat down and began leafing through the magazine again. His manager approached from behind, catching him off-guard.

"Your shift is over, Kaname. You can run along, now."

Kaname nodded, bade farewell, and left. He went to his home and changed into a white T-shirt and a pair of blue swimming shorts. Just above the knees was a kind of white tribal-flower print. "Now then… I'll go find Kairi. She's probably all alone without me."

He set out to the beach and began walking along the coastline. Eventually he came across a young girl who was asleep on a towel, dressed in a bikini and a veil-skirt-thing. He smirked and crawled up to her from behind. She sighed and placed her hands on top of his.

"About time you got here…" she murmured.

"Sorry I'm late… I had a little extra work." He grinned and nuzzled her neck.

"It's fine. You're here now. Love me." She let out a great sigh of pleasure at the feel of his body against hers.

~*~*~*~*~*~Selphie's Night~*~*~*~*~*~

Riku and Selphie sat on the couch, wrapped in the fur blanket he'd gone to the closet in his room for. The moon had risen on Destiny Island long ago, thus casting the night's freezing shadow on the tiny inhabitants of the tiny island. It was all dark in the silver-haired vampire's little home but for the neon bluish-white glow the TV cast on anything in front of it-which happened to be the couch and the two existences seated on it. The TV was turned down load and set to some music-video channel.

"Riku… do you love me?" Selphie asked.

He sighed in exasperation. "Yes, yes! It's been three weeks, and you still won't believe me?"

"I just want to hear you sat it," she replied, fingers trailing across his chest.

"You know, I haven't heard you say it to me…" he retorted.

"So? You know I do."

"I want to hear it," he replied, smiling and trying to imitate her voice.

"Fine. Tell me first, then I'll tell you."

"No way. I'm not gonna fall for that."

"Fine, then!" She paused, trying to calm down. "Then how about this: we tell each other at the same time."

"Okay. But I'll do the countdown," Riku replied. Selphie smiled and nodded once. "One… two… three."

"I love you."

Riku smiled mischievously. "Thank you."

Selphie smacked his chest. "You cheated! Now you have to say it!"


"Please?" she pouted. He kissed her lips.

"Hehe… I love you, too."

She smiled, snuggled him tighter, and sighed.

~*~*~*~*~*~Sora's Hour Before Midnight~*~*~*~*~*~

The brunette sat on top of his perfectly-made-up bed, dressed in his KH2 outfit. He was nervous… a bit scared, yeah. How long had it been since he fought the Heartless with Riku and Donald and Goofy and The King? Far too long. Hell, he was rusty and he could do nothing more than admit it. A conversation he had with Valentine kept running through his head.

'I have to… do something really difficult tonight. Wish me luck?'

'Of course.' She kissed his cheek. 'I believe in you, Sora.'

The brunette stood up straight, tall, firm. He held out his right hand and willed the Ultima Weapon to appear.

It did. And it wasn't broken.

Instead, each link was connected by several metal chains. They somewhat resembled staples, holding pieces of paper together. He looked at the weapon and smirked as he made it disappear.

"Looks like it's go-time…" he murmured, heading out to the cliff where Riku had returned, where there was a tree with a large part of its bark carved out.

~*~*~*~*~*~Riku's Hour Before Midnight~*~*~*~*~*~

Riku tossed and turn on his side of the bed, trying to get some kind of sleep in before he had to fight. Selphie snored away on the other side, completely undisturbed by her lover's restlessness. He gave up and sat up, then turned so his legs hung off the edge.

NOW Selphie rolled over and placed a hand upon his back. "What's wrong, lover?"

He looked over his shoulder, only visible from the bridge of his nose and higher. "I… just can't sleep…"

"I'm sorry, baby… was I not good tonight?" she asked, rubbing his back. He laughed in response.

"No, you were terrific. I'm just… I'm gonna go for a walk. 'K?"

She sat up slowly. "Okay. I'll come with you."

"No!" he replied quickly. She looked at him funnily. "I mean, uh… no. Please don't. I'll be fine, you don't have to come with me."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine. Stay here and please go back to sleep. I'll be back shortly."

She yawned and laid back down. "Okay. I trust you."

He smiled and stood up, then walked over to her side of the bed. He leaned down and kissed her cheek. "I love you."

She nodded and began snoring after a few seconds. He smiled and left, standing outside in front of his front door in the nude. Of course, nobody else was outside, so it wouldn't matter if he was clothed or not. But nonetheless, he activated his Dark Aura, and, consequently, his battle suit. His eyes glowed golden, the only thing that anyone could see in the darkness of night without some kind of luminous aide.

The vampire slowly made his way to the place where all three agreed to meet. As he expected, he was the first there. So he began a little "exercise" to loosen his body… In other words, he began pretending that sole tree was a Heartless. The earlier look into Destiny Island's energy still made his body ache in some places.

~*~*~*~*~*~Kaname's Hour Before Midnight~*~*~*~*~*~

He woke on the shore, a beach towel wrapped around him and him wrapped around Kairi. She was deeply asleep, and made no sound in her dormancy. He stood up and gathered her in his arms, then slung the towel over his right shoulder. She grumbled something about cake as he began walking away.

He carried her to her house and kicked open the front door. She didn't wake. He softly set her down on the bed. She still didn't wake up. He kissed her forehead and turned, beginning to dress himself.

"And WHERE are you going?" she asked, sitting up and completely awake. He smiled and turned to face her, slipping on a white button-up shirt but not bothering to button it up.

"I'm going to a dinner party, where else?" he joked. She narrowed her eyes at him. "I'm… going for a walk?" She crossed her arms. "I, uh…"

She stared at him for a moment, then softened her expression. "Kaname, if you want some time alone for a change, that's fine. I just want to know where you'll be if something happens."

He turned back away, pulling on some pants. "Come on, baby, don't fear the reaper." The vampire joked. She sighed exasperatedly and lowered her head.

"I'm serious!"

Kaname, now with black leather pants and boots on along with the shirt, walked over and knelt by the bed, facing her. He took her hand in his and smiled warmly. "I'll be okay, Kairi. I promise." Then he leant inward, kissed her cheek, and left without another word. She hugged her knees to her chest tightly as she curled into the fetal position under a few blankets.

The vampire arrived at the location about five minutes before midnight. Sora and Riku were both already there, fighting each other to loosen their muscles.

"Well, maybe you two are the Heartless your prophecy spoke of, Riku," Kaname joked, eyes glowing in the darkness. Riku parried Sora's attack by warping about three steps to the side, grabbed the brunette, and flung him at the vampire. Kaname jumped high, evading the boy. Riku, however, suddenly appeared from a rip in existence right before the airborne vampire, slashing wildly with Road to Dawn. Kaname barely managed to dodge before summoning his scythe and blocking an attack head-on with another attack, the two colliding forces knocking Riku a great distance back to the ground and propelling Kaname higher. For a moment the vampire hovered, watching Riku land. Then he began falling quickly, way too quickly to land safely.

Riku looked up and saw a big fireball falling towards the earth a few feet away from him and began cursing in his head. 'No rift is gonna be able to stop that…' he thought. He began to use Dark Aura, but every rip he came from was only barely too far from the falling vampire, who had curled into a tight ball. Riku's warps led him back to the ground and he plunged his sword deeply into the ground in fury. Just as the flames began to emit from the earth's surface around him, a shadow ran by and jumped directly onto one, springing it high. Riku looked up and saw Sora in his Master Form with two Keyblades, a mended Ultima Weapon and Oathkeeper. He directed his flight towards Kaname and performed two Zantetsukens: the first, directly under Kaname's body, created two small cushions of air going in both directions that would help soften the impact and, hopefully, slow his descent. The second, faster and more furious, cut through the vacuum created by the first, making a larger and denser air bubble that greatly slowed Kaname's descent. The vampire landed softly on his feet, Sora landed on the tip of his blade and spun on it like an acrobat before landing on his feet and brandishing the sword at Kaname in one swift move. There was an equilateral triangle formed, with Riku, Sora, and Kaname as the points. The brunette vampire brandished his weapon at the silver-haired vampire, who brandished at Sora.

"Where's this horde of monsters, Riku?" Kaname asked, a slight labor in his breath. Riku pushed the hair back out of his face with his left hand.

"Honestly, I don't know." He looked to Sora. "What time is it?"

Sora raised up his left hand and looked at the watch on his wrist. "Only a few minutes to midnight…"

"Then why are we already fighting like mad?" the scythe-wielder asked. Riku and Sora smiled darkly.

"This is what we've always done before fights like this," replied the silver-haired one. Sora nodded in silent reply. The act seemed almost to summon the drizzle that began coating them in water. Kaname lowered his weapon and looked up into the sky.

"It'll start raining harder soon…" he mumbled. Off in the mainland, a bell tolled 12 strikes loudly, slowly. Immediately, he regained his guard. "I sense something-"

"That's the Heartless swarm I told you about. Get ready!"

Suddenly they were greatly outnumbered. There was no way for either of them to express, in words, by how much the army of monsters exceeded the three. The first wave consisted entirely of Shadows, which were no problem for any of them, but it felt to them like there was no end to the accursed things. After that, there was a much smaller wave of Neo-Shadows. Still no problem. Then Wyverns. Then a few Defenders.

Kaname, Sora, and Riku cut through Heartless like these without any trouble at any time. Unfortunately, things got harder as the rain got heavier - which happened almost immediately. The drizzle became a torrential hurricane. There was a sudden calm in the Heartless attacks.

"What's going on?" Sora wondered aloud, twirling Ultima Weapon on his left index finger by the hilt.

"I agree. It's too…" Kaname set his scythe with the end not equipped with a blade in the ground standing straight up and leaned against it.

"Quiet…" Riku whispered, crouching. "Something must be coming. Something… big…"

"In that case…" Kaname's eyes began glowing red, "I'll release my vampiric evil for this thing."

Riku's eyes changed likewise, but his armor also changed from unholy-purple to innocence-white.

Sora had no further power-up to go to. He only stared out at the sea and cast Curaga on all of them. The moment all their transformations and magic had finished, a massive hole opened up beneath them, sucking them in and closing like a mouth.

Kaname woke some time later, unsure of where he was and whether he should be afraid or not. His scythe was gone, but it was no worry to him as he summoned it from the darkness around him. He shouted out Riku's and Sora's names, and only got a reply what felt like an eternity later.

The reply, however, wasn't quite what he was looking for. It was a loud, dark, evil, dangerous-sounding roar, a scream of sheer anguish. Suddenly the blinding darkness around him was cleared and he saw that he wasn't on Destiny Island anymore… and if it was, he'd never have guessed it. It seemed like he was trapped in some kind of odd half-sphere, the walls (if they even were walls) and floor glowing and fluctuating with rainbow-like swirls all around. Then he saw Riku and Sora fighting a large humanoid Heartless with hair like Medusa, one glowing yellow eye, and a giant heart-shaped hole in its chest. It kept smacking them away like a cat with a ball of yarn, and summoned a great number of little Heartless each time it did so. Kaname jumped straight into the battle, wiping out the minions effortlessly. The larger monster hadn't noticed him yet, so he got behind it and jumped up to its head using his vampiric powers. Then he snarled as he buried the scythe blade deep into the flesh and began slowly sliding down to the Heartless's waist, creating what he thought would've been a huge gash, or at least caused a lot of damage.

He reached the waist, tore his scythe out, and fell the considerable height to the ground, rolling head-over-heels in midair only to land on his feet without any loss of balance. He looked up and was caught off-guard when he saw a massive black fist plunging directly towards him. Kaname barely rolled out of the way but still wasn't in the clear. The Heartless sank its hand into the ground and created a pool of darkness around its wrist that summoned a new wave of little Heartless. Riku and Sora moved over and began helping the vampire defeat them. The three retreated a good distance to try and come up with some kind of plan.

"What the hell is that thing?" Kaname asked.

"That's a Darkside. It attacked Destiny Island once before… when I tried to leave…" Riku replied, mind suddenly a million miles away. "It's pretty much the manifestation of someone's darkness…"

"I wonder whose it is," Sora said. Kaname dropped down onto one knee and wiped the blood from a cut he'd gotten on his cheek while in the madness on Destiny Island.

"Then how do we beat this thing? It looks like I didn't even scratch it with my scythe."

"My Zantetsuken isn't effective on it, either."

Riku sneered. "And my Dark Aura doesn't even make it flinch… Its weak spot is its giant yellow eye. But only Kaname and I can jump that high…"

Sora nodded. "You want me to be a decoy."

The silver-haired boy nodded, smirked, and then pushed his hair back out of his face. It just fell to the sides of his head, making him look a little like a One-Winged Angel. "You do have that knack for staying alive…"

Sora just shook his head. "I'll do it…"

Kaname turned to face Riku. "So we'll just wait until that thing's too preoccupied with Sora, and then we'll attack?"

"That's the plan." Riku cracked his neck. "No questions? Then let's go!"

Simultaneously they sprang into action. Sora began hacking away at Darkside's feet, trying to distract it. This tactic worked perfectly; the giant already turned its focus to the boy. A fist came plunging down, but did not sink into the ground. For a moment, Darkside was paralyzed.

"Now!" shouted Riku, who was already running up the overly-huge arm, Road to Dawn's blade gleaming. Kaname chose instead to leap high into the air, but both reached the target at the same time. The brunette vampire performed a graceful pirouette-like move and sunk the scythe's blade into the yellow orb. Riku lunged and thrust his sword deep into Darkside's eye. Sora waited a moment, fearful and hesitant, but threw Oblivion like it were a boomerang. It clashed into both scythe and sword, and both shot through and out the back of Darkside's head. Riku and Kaname leapt behind Darkside and landed faster than their weapons, which each caught with only one hand as it fell back down. Oblivion came back to Sora, who noticed their positions.

"Riku! Trinity Limit Break!" he called. Riku nodded, grinned, and looked over at a puzzled Kaname.

"What's a Trinity Limit Break?"

Riku smiled even larger, fang-tips glistening. "It's like a Limit Break, but three people in a triangular formation fuse their own Limit Break into a Trinity Limit Break."

Kaname just stared at him, even more confused. "So…"

Riku sighed, not amused. The grin faded. "Combine your Limit Break energy with ours. I'll handle it from there."

Kaname nodded. Riku nodded to Sora. The brunette, non-vampire held the Keyblade out in front of him, summoning his strength. A white, circular aura formed around him, his loose hair and clothes blowing around mildly in the resulting winds.

Riku thrust his sword shallowly into the ground and clasped his hands together in front of his face, eyes closed, chanting to summon his strength. Around him formed an aura like Sora's, only purple. Riku's skirt-like tasset and silver hair whipped around ferociously in the breezes the surging energy created. Underneath his eyelids, both eyes completely glowed red.

Kaname whipped the scythe around, holding it at an angle behind him with his left hand and holding his right hand at eye-level, as if he were holding a fist-sized orb and with the palm turned toward himself. Another circle of aura around him, but this one acted like fire and was colored to match. Suddenly the rainbow world around them changed to a flowing, changing-liquid tie-dye pattern of white, red, and purple. Each fighter created a glowing triangular point that created a giant triangle on the ground, and in the middle of these connected triangles was Darkside, completely paralyzed. There'd be no way for it to escape.

As each member poured more energy into the attack, their respective corner glowed more. It wasn't too long before the Limit had been reached. Each boy rose into the air as they initiated their Limit Breaks. Kaname's move, Trine, were three flaming triangles coming together with Darkside at the center. They crushed him and created an explosion three times the size of the Heartless.

"Is that all you got, Kaname?" Riku mocked. "Lemme show you how it's done!" He held his hands out in front of him and began moving them around. Several tears in the fabric of reality appeared above Darkside, and from them rained several Road to Dawns that stabbed and stuck in the flesh. Darkside roared in pain, but Riku's Limit Break wasn't over. His hands rose above his head as he summoned an enormous Dark Aura from underneath that completely engulfed the Heartless. The flames combined with the explosion from Kaname's Trine that had almost completely faded..

Sora held his arms apart, body symmetrical. Two orbs of energy the size of coconuts glowed in his down-turned palms. For a moment they grew slightly larger, apparently charging power. Then the brunette brought his hands together, combining the two energy orbs. Down below, a bright light was cast upwards from the triangle, immediately blinding and critically damaging Darkside. But Sora wasn't done yet - he rose his left hand above his head, his right hand as far down as his arm would allow. This act stretched the ball of energy between his palms, and created apocalyptic lightning for Darkside to suffer. The brunette began flailing his arms about purposefully, actually altering the fabric of time and space around and on Darkside. He finished this routine by clasping his hands together completely and making the little ball disappear. For five seconds exactly, there was a neutral, quiet peace. Then Darkside exploded, flesh flying off in every conceivable direction like grenade shrapnel. The three returned to the ground, the Trinity Limit fading away. When their feet were on the ground everything flashed white, and they were back on Destiny Island where the Heartless swarm appeared.

"Well, that was fun…" Riku said, panting. "I'm a little tired…"

Sora stretched out his body. "C'mon, Riku. Looks like you're getting soft!" He made his Keyblades disappear. Riku returned to his normal, un-armored form and laughed along with him. Kaname's scythe vanished in a puff of black flame as he, too, began laughing, but… his laughter quickly turned into a choked, gargling noise. Riku and Sora turned sharply and both were horrified at the sight:

Kaname, eyes bulging and mouth gaping, had been impaled through both the heart and the throat by a Samurai they'd somehow missed. The Nobody pulled its blades out of the vampire, who fell limply to the ground. Riku, the only one who still had a weapon out, leapt over and sliced the Samurai in half. The two pieces evaporated into darkness as Riku rolled the brunette vampire over, checking for a pulse, for breath, any sign of life. Kaname's heart had stopped long ago; his eyes were white and lifeless.

Riku shook his head, body trembling. "Sora… Sora, what are we gonna do?"

The brunette pulled his flip phone out of his pocket and dialed the emergency number. "Yeah. Yeah, I'd like to report a death… No, not a murder… No, not a suicide. My name is Sora. I'm at the north end of the island. There's a tree and a cliff overlooking a strip of the beach. Yeah, it's only me and my two friends… Thank you." He hung up and closed the phone. "They'll be here in five minutes, Riku…"

The silver-haired boy nodded. Road to Dawn vanished in a beam of light. "How can we break it to Kairi?"

Sora shook his head. "I don't know…"

"Well, uh… I guess you'll be able to go out with her, huh?"

"No, I'm with someone. Valentine Isadora… she's new to the island. And you're with Selphie…"

Riku scratched his head. "Damn… it'll be one shitty St. Valentine's Day for her…"

Sora walked over and put his hand on Riku's shoulder. "Yeah. For all of us."

The sound of sirens quickly pierced the silence, red and blue flashing around and ruining the darkness of night. After some questions, the medics took Kaname's body and placed it in an ambulance, then left. Riku and Sora sat down, staring out at the ocean or the moon, or the reflection it cast on the water.

"How did we miss that Nobody?" Riku asked, voice quiet but raspy.

"I don't know… I wonder why Kaname didn't stop it? How could he not feel its presence? How couldn't we?"

The silence came back, louder and more painful than before. Riku couldn't stand to go home - if he went back like this, and if Selphie asked what was wrong, he'd start crying. If Sora went home, he'd just be alone. And he, too, would cry. He might even cut.

Soon, however, all three women came by. First was Valentine, who was walking by out of sheer coincidence.

"Sora? What are you doing out here?"

He continued to stare out. "Valentine… sit down, and I'll tell you the basics…" He did so, citing the massive fight and then Kaname's death at the end, but omitting the Darkside battle. Valentine cuddled up to him, her head on his left shoulder.

"I'm sorry…" she whispered, right hand trailing up and down his forearm.

Next was Selphie. She snuck up and hugged Riku around his neck from behind, hoping to freak him out. She was disappointed when he didn't react at all.

"Riku, you ok?"

"Selphie…" he mumbled. She sat down on his right and was almost knocked over when he turned his face into her shoulder.

"What happened?" she asked Sora, rubbing the vampire's back and holding him. Sora explained again, voice breaking this time when he spoke of Kaname.

Finally, Kairi came by. She already knew something was wrong. "Where's Kaname?" she asked the group aloud. "Why's everyone so quiet… or crying?"

Sora stood up and walked over to Kairi, then whispered something into her ear. Her eyes widened, her mouth dropped. "No…" she mumbled. Sora nodded. "No…" Another nod. "No! NO! NO!" She dropped to her knees, weeping bitterly. "Not Kaname… Not MY Kaname, my beloved Kaname…"

Sora stepped back as she jumped up suddenly. "Then I'll do away with MY life to be with him!" She began running full-speed towards the edge, wanting to jump off and crash with an impact that destroyed her, or to smash into something and be little more than a smear on the face of the planet, or to get immediately buried and crushed by sand, some way to die and be with her beloved. There was no way she could be without him. Not in this life. Maybe not ever.

Just as she began the plunge over the side she was jerked back and thrown to the ground by Riku. "You'd really throw your whole life away… just for him?"

She nodded, tears streaming like rivers from her eyes. "Of course! He was all I had!"

Riku shook his head. "No. You have us. You have a life. This was just life's poor way of telling you he wasn't the right one; Life's poor way of showing him he could never love or be loved. You have to move on."

"Then why couldn't I die, too? Why couldn't I die long ago, when Sora - when I left Sora!"

Sora flinched.

"Kairi, get a hold of yourse-"

"I WON'T! Here you are, parading about with all of your love, and here I am with nothing, and you're telling me to move on and not devote myself to the one person I loved! Well, let me tell all of YOU something-"

At around this time, Valentine back-handed Kairi hard enough to throw the redhead-brunette to the ground. "Listen well, girl," she hissed. "Before I came to this island, every boyfriend I had died in a terrible accident or by suicide. I stopped believing in love, and hope, and everything else you're going on about. But Sora… he makes me want to believe. Riku and Selphie show me that I should hope. You and Kaname made me pray for it." She grabbed Kairi by the arm and pulled her up. "Look at all of them. Look. See how they, too, suffer?"

"You can't suffer the same way I will!" she cried, pulling free.

"No, they'll suffer more. You could have him all the time; anytime you wanted him he would be there. It wasn't that way for us: we hung out with him when we could, but we didn't snap our fingers and demand he come hang out with us. We'll miss him more because we saw him less. Don't think you're the only one who's going to suffer… okay?"

Kairi turned away, apparently less extreme and more focused. She drew in a long breath. "You're right…" she said. "Not you, Riku. I can't believe that. But… thank all of you. I'm sorry."

She left. Nobody tried to stop her, they all went their separate ways - or rather, each couple went its separate way hoping the next day wouldn't be too hard.

However, it was exactly as they wished it wouldn't be. That morning, it was announced that Kaname's funeral would be that afternoon, at 12. Kairi didn't emerge from her home until a quarter 'til, and that was to go to the funeral. Riku and Selphie, and Sora and Valentine, went through similar schedules.

Riku noticed something about Kaname's corpse at the funeral. The neck… He pulled Sora aside after the ceremony. "Sora, did something seem… I don't know, a little weird, about Kaname's body?"

"Other than it being dead?" the brunette replied. Riku almost hit him. "Well… the neck…"

"You saw it too?"

"Yeah. He was stabbed through the neck. And there… they didn't cover his neck."

"Why didn't they?"

"There was no wound…"


Sora looked at him cautiously and could see the twinkle in the vampire's eye. "What's this have to do with anything?"

"Sora, I don't think Kaname is dead. He's a pretty good actor, though, I'll admit that." Riku pointed to Sora's jugular. "See, if your neck was cut open, they'd have to wrap a scarf around you. If the same was done to ME, I might bleed everything I have out onto the floor and I might appear dead, but the wound recovers and I regain my vitality… But calling the rate it would heal at as "gradual" would be a grave understatement."

"Ugh, always with the jokes… But he was also stabbed through the heart. What do you have to say about that?"

Riku held up a finger. "Gimme a second." He walked calmly over to the coffin and hugged Kairi. "I'm gonna have to do something very quickly, Kairi. I hope you don't mind."

"I guess not…"

He walked over to the other side of the coffin and pulled back the blazer and shirt the funeral home had dressed the body, revealing a bare chest.

A bare chest, without the wound.

"Guess they're getting good with those cosmetics, huh?" Kairi asked. Riku smiled.

"Yeah… I guess they are." He could feel Kaname's heartbeat - a pitiful, one-beat-every-two-minutes-or-so kind of beat, but a beat nonetheless. He walked back to Sora.

"Oh yeah, he's alive. But don't tell anyone, okay? Tell Valentine, but nobody else. Make her sweat to never tell. This might be Kaname's idea of a Valentine…"

Sora nodded. "I won't tell Valentine until tomorrow morning. Still, this is a pretty messed-up gift, if that's what he's doing…"

Riku laughed gently. "Well, see ya' later." He walked off, took Selphie by the hand, and they walked away together. She questioned his sudden good mood, but he only winked and said he'd explain later. Sora took Valentine and they left, Sora giving her the same reply when she asked the same of him.

After they buried the coffin some time around 2, Kairi knelt beside his grave and set a bouquet of red and white roses in front of her knees, parallel to the grave. For a while she only stared silently at the name engraved on the stone, a breeze rushing through her hair occasionally.

"Kaname…" she whispered. "I love you… unfortunately, like this, I'll never know if we could work out… I'll never know if you stopped loving me, and I may never be able to forget you… I may never be able to forget how much I believed we could have been together forever, how much I wish we could have been together…" She sighed heavily and wiped the small trail of tears that had run from her eyes during her soliloquy. She ended up accidentally smearing some of her eyeliner in the process. She thought she could feel the ground below getting a tiny bit… warmer… and maybe kind of like there was a heartbeat below.

"I drank your blood… I loved you… I just wish it hadn't ended like this…" She stood up, gave one long gaze at the tombstone, and started to walk away. She was fifteen steps away when she heard a noise come from the grave, first like a kind of hiss-whisper-growl, then like something clawing through dirt. She turned, staring at the place and watching the dirt move… it rose and sank as though something were about to burst out.

"What the…" she muttered. A hand came up out of the ground, a hand bloodied with the effort of clawing through a wooden coffin. She felt her eyes beginning to glow a dark red color and her heart was filled with a sudden comforting warmth…

"Is it… Are you…?" she murmured, voice crackling. Another hand came through, and they pushed on the ground to push out a pair of shoulders and the back of a torso dressed in a white shirt stained with blood and dirt. Then came a head, a face, brown hair and purplish-red eyes and a mad oral grasp for air.

"FUCK!" he gasped, breathing heavily. "It's been YEARS since I was buried alive! I don't remember it being this painful!" he continued as he pulled himself out of the grave. His fangs were longer, his nails like claws, and giant bat-like wings were coming out of his shoulder-blades. A continual black and white aura burned around him, as if he were trying to fight off the influences of both Haven and Hell. When he managed to actually pull himself entirely out of the dirt, he brushed himself off and breathed a sigh of relief.

"Now then…" Kaname began looking around, the aura pretty much completely gone. "What shall I-" He started, interrupted only by himself and only when he saw Kairi.

"You…" she stuttered, eyes wide and mouth gaping. Kairi stepped shakily towards him, eyes streaming again. "Kaname?"

He grinned, fangs flashing. Suddenly he was directly in front of her, staring slightly down to her. "Ah, Kairi… you're even more beautiful in your funeral dress… I wish you'd dress up like this more often, just for me…"

She looked up for a moment, hesitant to make any move. Then she tackled him in a hug-kiss combination, knocking him to the ground. The redhead-brunette slowly tore open his shirt, running her hands over his smooth, cold, milky flesh and feeling his warm heartbeat, affirming he was alive, making sure he was actually there, actually existing beneath her.

"Well!" he whispered, staring into her eyes. "That certainly is new… But ah, dear Kairi, it's been too long without a drop of your sweet crimson." He began leaning up to bite into her neck She gasped warmly, comforted by the very real pain.

"Kaname… let's go back to my place…" she whispered. He picked her up and carried her to her house, where they made love like there was no yesterday. As the evening sun gave way to night's blissful moon, Kaname and Kairi sat side-by-side on the couch, watching the sappy romance movie on the TV.

"So, uh… about that St. Valentine's Day you planned out and didn't get to show me because you kinda died? When can I cash in on that?" Kairi asked, resting her cheek on his shoulder.

Kaname grinned. "Any day you'd like."

Meanwhile, Riku and Selphie lay in bed together. "Riku, today was… amazing…"

The silver-haired vampire smiled. "I tried pretty hard… so I'm glad to hear that."

She kissed his neck. "Can I have a taste of your blood?"

"Hahahaha, no."

Valentine and Sora stood on the girl's doorstep, talking idly.

"Thanks for tonight, Sora. I had… a lot of fun today."

"Well… you're welcome." He smiled. For a moment they just stared at each other, smiling awkwardly. "Well, uh… Guess I'd better get going. Got some stuff I need to do at home, so…" He turned and began walking away, but she reached out and grabbed his arm.

"Wait, Sora. Are you sure you don't want to come inside?" she asked, grabbing his hand in both of hers.

"I thought you'd never ask." He replied, smiling.

Her little home seemed almost little more than a hut shaped like an igloo. Basically, the living room, bedroom, and kitchen were on the different cardinal points. At North was a refrigerator and a stove-top oven, at East was a bed and closet, at West a TV and two chairs sat. At South was a door that led to a bathroom with a shower and sink. They entered by a door at Northwest.

"Simple shack ya' got here…" Sora commented. She laughed.

"It's weirdly comfortable for me…" she replied after lightly swatting his face with the back of her hand.

"By the way, you looked pretty sexy tonight." He said, a coy smile contorting his lips.

It was true, she was very sexually appealing to him that night. She'd loosely curled her bangs and combed them to the sides, hair on the top and back of her head pulled into a loose, low ponytail. She wore a silk kimono, red outside and pink inside. On the outside was a white-print rose-pattern. A large ribbon that covered her entire abdomen served as a belt. On her feet she wore sandals and long, white, silk stockings.

Sora, on the other hand, was in his normal KH2 attire.

"Sora, you can sit down anywhere you'd like," Valentine said, walking over to the closet and digging around. She took out a long, thin, light-blue nightgown and began changing her clothes right in front of Sora. The boy wasn't very bothered by women getting almost naked right in front of him at his age but also because of… other things.

"You don't mind spending the night with me, do you?" she asked.

"Well, I'll have to go home and get some things…"

"Oh, nonsense." She took him by the hand and drug him gently to the bed, then pushed him down onto it and began stripping him down to his boxer shorts. She connected her lips to his just after taking off his shirt and continued to work on his other clothing. By the time it was all over and said, she was sitting in his lap, wearing only a bra and panties, and he in a pair of black boxers.

"Sora, you're so hard…" she whispered in his ear, grinding against him and then biting his ear. He started to unclip her bra, hand slithering shakily up her back, when she brought her hand up and stopped him.

"Don't…" she whispered. "Sorry I've got you all riled up…"

"It's fine…" he replied softly and kissed her forehead. She kissed his lips quickly and moved from his lap to the bed. She dug into the covers and curled up, laying on her right side. Sora followed suit, curling around behind her and wrapping his left arm around her waist. "Good night. I love you."

"I… I love you, too."

Vampire Hearts: Birth By Bite - END