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IV.
Opportunity

-Lost excerpts from Demyx's journal, undated-

Imagine thirst. Imagine how it feels for all of your cells to cry out for moisture, how dry your throat gets, like salt and sand have coated it. Imagine pain, your esophagus burning, begging for just a drop. Imagine thirst so intense that it steals your breath away and makes it hurt, and slowly drains your body of strength.

Then imagine not being able to drink. Water is considered illegal. Unethical. You'll die without it, but there's not much you can do, since society has ruled out drinking.

What would you do to quench that need? Kill, maybe? Go insane? Just try to ignore your thirst until the end?

Vampires had suffered for years until the blood tablet was created. The number of purebloods dropped. New vampires starved off altogether. They drank from each other, in the dark of night, but all it did was add fuel to the inferno.

Sometimes, the pill doesn't work.

Sometimes, the old habit can't be ignored.

There's not much that can be done to help a vampire who the pills don't work on. They will waste. Wither. Turn into a gray husk.

Sometimes, I can't ignore it anymore. The pills, they disappear like candies, make me feel still emptier.

I am thirsty. I am so thirsty.

Someone help me.


Moonlight poked wearily through the curtains, signifying that the night was supposed to begin. Demyx whined and buried his face under the pillows. His day couldn't be long enough. He could never escape the feeling of exhaustion.

He dressed in the semidarkness, tried to eat something, kicked Axel awake, and went to find Roxas.

In the three weeks since the younger boy arrived, a sort of routine had been established. He was actually able to speak now, and mostly well, so Xemnas allowed him to join Demyx on patrol.

Patrol consisted of roving the school at any spare second, trying to catch any serious rule breaking on campus (i.e. blood drinking, fights, etc.), and mainly trying to keep the humans away from the vampires. The biggest problem had been fights, thank god, and even those were dealt with easily.

Demyx stretched and yawned. He couldn't help but think that something was going to happen soon.

He walked down to Xemnas's for news, as he did every night. He felt unnecessarily groggy. Why did he even bother? It wasn't like things ever changed. He only really needed to grab Roxas.

Demyx had to admit patrol was much easier with two people. Roxas wasn't in classes yet, and he only spent three or four hours a day getting tutored. Demyx and Xemnas had been hesitant to let him go off on his own, but the boy showed that even though he couldn't remember much about his past, he had been trained extensively in combat, especially with the small weapons he was permitted to carry- two vaguely key-shaped blades.

"His parents must have trained him for his own protection," Xemnas guessed. "It does save us extra time."

Roxas was waiting for him at the Headmaster's door. "Hi, Demyx!" He said cheerfully. "Did you sleep well?"

Roxas loved talking, now that he had gained the ability. Still, it was obvious he didn't know as many words as he would have liked. "About as well as I can for three and a half hours."

"Oh. Me too." Roxas, being younger, was permitted to sleep longer; however, he had longer shifts, so it all worked out. "Come on, I made breakfast for you and me."

Roxas's ideal breakfast- in fact, the only thing he could really cook- consisted of slightly soggy eggs and toast. Demyx smiled tiredly. "I'm not sure if I have time this morning." After all, he had to study for that grammar quiz, review problems for Trig…

"Come on. It'll just take a minute. Please?"

Demyx sighed. "Fine."

Roxas beamed and took him inside, beyond the office into Xemnas's living area. So cute, Demyx thought. He even set the table. In some ways, Roxas really is like a puppy, just trying to please.

He sat down, and the Headmaster came into the room.

"I set a place for you, too, Headmaster!" Roxas chirped. "There's enough for everyone!"

Xemnas smiled. Roxas seemed to really make him happy, Demyx observed. It was his own fault, but Demyx didn't really do more than irritate Xemnas these days. Roxas was cuter, after all, more childish. He was still ignorant of his own heritage, unlike Demyx, to whom it had been drilled.

You're differentdifferentdifferent, people had told him all his life. You're not one of us, you're not one of them. He'd been pretty much forced to chose a side, and vampires had prevailed considering human hunters killed his parents.

Demyx didn't much remember his parent's death. He wasn't particularly sad about it- it had to do with the vampire social worker that visited him when he was young; her power was getting rid of emotional pain.

He didn't hate humans- this was just the way things turned out. He could have very well been raised by Headmaster Ansem and ended up being friends with Sora, the human dorm president.

Demyx picked at the food Roxas made him. He was hungry, and it didn't taste badly, but he didn't feel like eating.

"There's something I'd like to discuss with you later, Demyx," Xemnas said, eating his breakfast out of politeness. It was a known fact he hated eggs. "After class, just drop on by. There's an opportunity that's come up."

Demyx inwardly groaned. None of these opportunities turned out well. "Okay. I guess I've got to get to class, then."

"Was my cooking good?" Roxas asked, staring at him eagerly.

"It was great," Demyx said absently. "Thank you."

He beamed. "I'll see you for trade-off later."


Demyx was quite nearly to his first class. What did Xemnas mean by 'opportunity' this time? More often then not, boring government officials would drop by to see whether he was getting more dangerous as he got older, or was showing signs of rebellion. Which side would I join if I did rebel? Demyx wondered with an internal laugh. I'm like a captive animal to them. Why would I rebel, too? I'm happy. Things are fine.

"Are you? Are you really?"

Demyx gasped aloud and turned.

It was Vanitas. He smiled. "I didn't mean to scare you," he said, trying to sound kind. It fell flat. "I just couldn't help but sense your thoughts. That's my power, you know. I sense emotions, and if they are strong enough, I can hear your thoughts."

"That's a neat power," Demyx commented. He knew Vanitas hadn't said that just to be nice. Maybe it had been a threat?

"It's come in handy, I suppose. Do you have a power?"

He had to think carefully. Demyx didn't know why he felt so paranoid, but he knew if he told Vanitas what he could do, the boy would find his weakness. Maybe he can sense what I'm thinking right now, he thought in a panic.

"Relax. I'm not listening in now." He smiled. "I was just simply curious. I'm sorry; I obviously must have frightened you. Is something on your mind?"

"No," Demyx lied. "Just a little tired, is all."

"Right. You're constantly on patrol." Vanitas took a step forward, and Demyx had to fight the instinct to step back. "I understand that you probably want to keep your power private, especially since I just told you what mine does. Unfair advantage, though I could never see us in a fight. Anyway, I've just come to offer you an opportunity."

Again with that word. Demyx's pulse nearly jumped. Is this what Xemnas was talking about?

"I'm going to be visiting my grandfather this weekend, in the capitol. He expressed an interest in meeting you, especially after I told him that I was in the same class as the legendary half-vampire." He smiled, again without warmth. Demyx wondered if others felt charmed by Vanitas's smooth-talk- that's obviously what it was. Demyx himself just felt a little dizzy. "Would you like to go?"

Demyx blinked. "I'll have to ask the Headmaster. He doesn't usually allow me to leave the campus often. Security, you know."

Vanitas smiled again. "That's why it would be fun. My grandfather's really a nice man, great sense of humor."

Demyx forced himself to grin back. "I'll see."

"Great! Now let's go, before we're late."


"He wants to bring you to the capitol?" Axel gaped.

Demyx nodded wearily and took another long drink water. A tablet was still dissolving in it. "I still don't like the way he acts. He's a… charmer. There's something wrong with him."

"Regardless, I'd go if I were you," Zexion told him. "You've never been there before, right? It would be good for you to meet the Minister."

Demyx wondered, resignedly, why he had never met him before. He had met dozens of other officials of high ranking. Maybe it just hadn't been on the Minister's mind. He had to be a busy man, overseeing peace, after all. "I'd still have to ask Xemnas." And I hope he says no, Demyx added, but he knew that was unlikely. He didn't like the idea of spending a day with Vanitas. "I don't know. It just seems that ever since he's been around, things have been getting weird. For example, Xion Kisaragi was bitten, and there have been more fights… more attempts at human lives, even though they all seem half-hearted and the fights were easy to break up."

"But even before we knew he was coming, things were getting that way," Zexion rationalized. "It goes in cycles, you know that, Demyx."

He picked at his doria. "Whatever, guys."

Axel stretched. "Can we talk about something more interesting now?"


When classes were over, Demyx obediently went to Xemnas's office to trade off shifts with Roxas and to discuss the events that had just sprung up.

He'd run into Xion on the way. As a new vampire, she was doing very well. The Change was now obvious in her- there was a new kind of solidness in her, a new type of confidence. She no longer seemed as wispy or airy as she had when he'd last spoken to her. She nearly looked like a different person- her facial features had changed almost significantly, taking on that vampire beauty. Her hair had started to grow out as well, thicker and closer to blue-black than what she had before.

The conversation had tired him. She'd talked for nearly fifteen minutes. Apparently, the Change had given once-introverted Xion many social skills. But that was all part of the instinct for vampires to attract prey, he guessed.

He opened the door and walk in. "Headmaster, I'm here!" He called. He'd learnt that it was always best to give Xemnas warning, especially since the headmaster needed time to hide the romance novels he was reading.

Roxas, instead, peeped his head inside. "Nope, it's just me," he said cheerily. "Headmaster had to go discuss something with Ansem the Wise."

That was a nickname that had been given to the human headmaster a while ago. Demyx furrowed his eyebrows. "What about?"

Roxas shrugged. "I don't know. Would you like a snack? I was just getting one."

Demyx smiled. "Every time I see you, you're eating," he commented.

"That's because you arrive at my breakfast and snack times." He beamed. He offered Demyx a cookie. "Deputy Headmaster made them. They're good."

Demyx hesitated. Saïx loved baking; that was a fact. While the two tolerated each other, and nothing more, Demyx knew the Deputy would never harm Roxas, so he wouldn't poison the cookies. He chuckled at his own paranoia and took a big bite.

It was good. Demyx took a few more.

"Sorry I'm so late," Xemnas said, his voice noticeably exhausted.

The boys looked up simultaneously; Roxas had crumbs all over his face. Demyx hurried brushed them off.

"What's wrong, Headmaster?"

"There's been more of them in the area," he told them, thumping his briefcase down and sprawling over a chair. "More of the… Untouchables, I mean."

Demyx blinked. "Like, more of them being made, or more of them coming in?"

"Coming in."

"I wonder why?"

"That's what we were trying to figure out. I'm going to need to send someone out there to fix it."

"I hope you're not thinking us."

Xemnas hesitated. "There's no way I would send you boys out there. You're too inexperienced when it comes to combat with a real, ruthless, monster like an Untouchable. But this does have to do with something I wanted to talk to you about."

Demyx looked confused. "What do you mean?"

"This school has hunters at its disposal, Demyx, so naturally we'll be sending one of them to deal with it, maybe a few. I was thinking… now that you're seventeen…"

Roxas scooted from Demyx's hand, which was frozen next to his face with a napkin in it. He stuck his tongue out.

"What about my age?" A conclusion was on the horizon.

"I was thinking… maybe it would be best if you were to go with them."

The shock was obvious. "No. Oh, no. You just said you weren't going to send us!"

"This is something you need to see," Xemnas told him slowly. "And I don't mean him. You can more than handle yourself, and they'll protect you. Purebloods must not be allowed to bite humans, Demyx. They become monsters, if they're not handled right. See, vampires… we're not just misunderstood. There used to be a point when there were so many Untouchables that there was absolute bloodshed- they killed humans without mercy. And so the myths arose."

Demyx swallowed. "I know vampires aren't all good. Hello, I do this every day."

"There's a strong difference between a bunch of restless aristocrats and a true inhuman vampire."

He sighed, and leaned back. Roxas was watching this all with interest.

"I guess this is the wrong time to tell you that Vanitas asked me to accompany him to the capitol, then?"


Note: Doria is a type of Japanese casserole.

Sorry for the long delay. I haven't been much inspired when it comes to this story lately. But I needed something to do today- so I decided to sit down and write it. I hope you like it, even though it was very wordy. XD

I'm not going to promise to update, but hopefully it won't be another quarter of a year. Stay cool, have a good summer! Also, please check out my poll! ^-^

Thank you luckless-is-me, Demon Redeemed, and Anna for reviewing last chapter.