Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis
A/N: So. I have not updated my vampire story, Solitaire Beasts for a very, very long time, but it is by no means abandoned. This story is linked to that one. This tells the tale of what happened to Yuuta after Fuji disappeared from his life and how Yuuta handled being turned into a vampire by his brother.
This can be read as a standalone, but it would be easier to understand if you have read Solitaire Beasts. The characters may seem OOC if you do not take into account the AU world I have created for them in my ongoing vampire story.
For this story all you really need to know is that Yuuta was very ill, dying, and Fuji in his attempt to find a cure for his beloved, but terminally ill brother got himself turned into a vampire and then turned Yuuta.
Unfortunately Yuuta was not very grateful.
Warnings: Vampiric behaviour and hints of both het and slash.
I spent the beginning of my vampiric existence chained to a wall in the basement of my family's house.
It was a secret that I had not died, that it had been an empty casket over which my sister had wept, and that the grave my family still visited was not my final resting place. That I lived on the blood of the animals that my sister brought me, that I looked at her and did not see my sister, but a woman who tempted me with the scent of her skin and hair, with the taste of her blood that I imagined in my mouth, fantasized of her moaning in my arms, dying for my pleasure.
A terrible, horrible secret I was, and as such I should have remained.
From the very beginning, after I had died and found myself inhabiting a body free of disease, a body that could heal any cut or wound inflicted on it, I felt nothing but dread. The coldness of my skin, the stillness of my heart, they were no substitute for the things I had lost. The fact that I now was a monster, something that wanted to kill everything with a heartbeat, to drink, to feast upon their blood, to bathe in it, sickened me. These desires, cravings, the hunger, it was enough to drive anyone insane. I loathed it. Loathed myself.
So I did not fight when Yumiko suggested the basement. And it was me that told her to get the chains.
I did not trust myself, and I was wise to do so.
When he came, it was just another night among others. I no longer knew how to count them, separate one from the other.
As I think of it now, I almost wish there had been a way for me to do that, to mark that day as special. But as I think of it again, I realize there need be nothing else, because what happened marked the day as special. Still, it would be nice to know the day of the week, at least, if not the date.
But he's never bothered with dates, and he finds it amusing that I do. Calls me human, when I know there is nothing human left in me. Only a monster that is possessed with avenging the fate of a boy that once lived, loved his family, and was killed by a monster.
He tells me he'll help, he'll do anything if it means I can have what I want.
I think he loves me.
"A little bird that's been caged in with a cat," he spoke with a voice that was filled with amusement, a smile I could hear. I had always imagined my brother the only one who could speak with a facial expression in his voice. I had been wrong about that, like I had been wrong about many things. "I could so very easily break your neck, have you as my prey, make a meal out of you. But I think your bones might choke me, and I would much rather teach you how to be a bigger cat than I."
He spoke strange things, in metaphors that hardly made sense to me in my starved state, and might not have meant anything even if I had not been crazed by hunger and lust. He was a strange creature I found fascinating even when I could not see him, and when he brought light – a candle that's flame was so bright it burnt my eyes that had grown accustomed to the darkness – his beauty took my breath away.
He made me think of a fairytale I had heard when I was a child. The mother who wished for a daughter that had skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood and hair as black as ebony. He had a smile that was devious, enticing and a mind filled with wicked thoughts, cruel games and blood soaked pleasures.
"Do you enjoy it?" he asked me, looking genuinely curious, with his dark eyes wide and innocent, kneeling before me in his tailored red suit and white lace. "Do you like it, being this pathetic thing that survives on the mercy of those who should be your prey?"
He leaned closer, placed his finger against my upper lip and lifted it so he could see the sharp teeth in my mouth. "I thought, perhaps, that they had imprisoned you against your will when I first learnt of you, thought that they had pulled out your fangs and made something lame and weak of you." He licked my dry lips with a moist and cold tongue, and I could smell blood in his mouth.
"She was a young girl that wanted so much to please the beautiful gentleman that smiled at her," he told me. "She was the love of my life for a brief moment. I still love her, as anyone would love those that give them life." I knew the girl he spoke of was the one whose blood I smelled in his breath, knew he was telling this to me to see how I would react, if I would ask her blood from him, ask him to bring me a victim.
I didn't ask, and even today I do not know what he would have done if I had.
"You are a strange one to make yourself this weak thing," he said and stood up. "But I sense an anger in you, passion that still burns brightly." He looked at me with a strange, eager glint in his dark eyes. "I want to throw oil into those flames, want to see them rise up to the heavens, see them consume everything in their path. It would be a glorious thing to see, I am sure."
His revenues hunger frightened and fascinated me at the same time, and made me curious of him. I wanted to know him, know all the whys and how's of him, his past and present. And even though I did not dare admit it to myself then, I yearned to be a part of his future.
I always suspected that he knew. He could keep secrets from me, even my own secrets that I never told anyone, not even myself, and he would keep them from me, for me.
He never came when my sister did. Always before, or after.
If it was before, he tempted me with thoughts of a fresh kill, of a human heart hammering in my ears, of frail shoulders and arms under my strong, unnatural fingers, of soft skin, so easily torn apart by my sharp teeth. And when Yumiko came I saw her not as my sister, someone who cared for me at the expense of her own life and safety, but as prey. And I frightened her, I know I did, and I warned her not to come close, to not touch me.
"She will not endure forever," he always spoke of her with demeaning words, but there was no hatred or contempt in his voice. He spoke as if you could not expect anything else from a woman, from a human, as if it were in her nature to some day forget and abandon me. He spoke in a manner you would speak of a dog, or of a horse. He thought nothing more of humans, and did not really consider himself to be any better, either. "I will not endure forever. Who would? Why would we waste time to see a skeleton in the basement when we can be up among the living, among those who choose life above mere existence?"
Yet he continued to come, as did Yumiko. He was wrong, I wanted to say, wanted to argue with him, but I was always so weak, so very weak. And her blood, and his blood, they both tempted me and I wanted them both so, so much that the yearning was like an ache, a physical pain.
"Of course it is a physical pain. You are starving. You have been starving from the day you were created," he told me one night, and I stared at him strangely, knowing I had not spoken of my pain, of my suffering. "You can exist on the blood of animals, but you hunger for a life that is stronger, for a prey that will fight for its right to exist. You want her."
I could have hated him for that, for speaking the truth. Yet I didn't. He was devious, he was cruel and petty. He was all I had always despised, and now I just wanted him to teach me how to forget I had ever been something other than a monster.
"You will break," he whispered into my ear and drew a line with his finger from my forehead to my throat, and it burned, burned like fire, like a block of ice against my skin. "Won't you?" He made a question of it, and it was needy, like he needed me to break. "Ask me, and I will free you of your shackles, show you the sky and everything you crave for, the things your fevered mind screams at me, make this an existence worth having, give you all you want."
I didn't answer him, and he smiled at me in the saddest of ways, and when he left that night, I though I would never see him again.
But he came back the next night, and he looked broken. "You won't break, you will not break, never bend or compromise." He said with determination, suffering, like the words hurt him. "But you will break me, because I can't stop coming to you, to seek your company every night, to wallow in your misery. I talk and you never answer, not with words, you won't let me hear your voice."
It seemed such an important thing to him, that I finally forced my mouth and tongue to move, and with a raspy voice spoke, "There isn't a need. You always answer for me."
His smile was so bright and delighted that in comparison, his solemn face was common and bleak. And even though speaking hurt my throat, made me squint from the pain, I was happy.
Yumiko had changed. There was something in her eyes, on her face. Her lips twitched, like she wanted to smile, yet did not dare to show how happy she was in my presence.
Finally I spoke of it. I had to. "Something is different."
She glanced at me from under her lashes, perhaps not realising just how seductive that one look was, how it made her neck curve and exposed the curve of her breasts in a more enticing manner, how lovely the play of the candles light was on her milky skin.
"Sister," I said, tasting the word in my mouth, trying to remind myself that it was what she was to me. And yet I knew she no longer was nothing more than food, a container of delicious, tempting nectar that could give me strength enough to escape my bonds, to break free, to seek him.
"There is a man," she said, and her smile spoke of things she did not give voice to. Tender caresses, secret meetings under the moonlight, joint hands and shy kisses on a meadow filled with flowers. "I am to marry. He wishes to have me, even though I am far past my maiden years and have almost no dowry to speak of."
I wanted to ask if she would speak of me to this man, what would come of me were she to leave our home. Mother did not wish to see me, she knew her son was dead and Father believed I was of the devil and should be burned.
Had I still been her brother I would have been happy for her. "If I dared, I would embrace you, sister." I forced a small, pathetic smile on my face, looked at her with weary eyes, made her pity me.
"Oh Yuuta," she gasped and flew her arms around me. Her skin on mine, the beat of her heart in my ears, her scent thick in the air… I could not escape it, did not care anymore, nothing mattered but the blood. "I'm so glad you approve, I was afraid…"
I buried my fingers in her hair, pulled it free from its restraints and it fell down her back like a brown waterfall, was like silk on my cool skin, and the fabric of her dress was not enough to mask the warmth of her body, her perfume not powerful enough to drown out the scent of her skin. "Of course I am happy for you," I whispered against her neck, closed my eyes at the glorious feel of my lips brushing against her smooth skin, like velvet, so soft and creamy, human.
"I did not think any man would still have me, when I am so old," she told me, her happiness bright and powerful.
I tried to wrap my other arm around her waist, but the chain was too short and its rattle woke her from her daze. She pulled back, gasped when she found her hair freed from its bonds and looked up at my face. And she finally saw what I had always wished to hide from her. She saw the monster hiding behind my eyes, the hunger for her blood, the beast in me that growled at her, almost panting from the lust she awoke in me.
"Oh Yuuta!" she cried, covering her delicate mouth with her graceful hand, her nimble fingers shivering like small twigs in the wind. Grief and horror mixed in a whirlpool in her eyes, the tears travelling down her cheeks glistening like pearls against her skin.
"You shouldn't come so close to me," I told her, looking away from her, hoping she would leave. And when she did, I hoped she would not return, that she would leave me here to starve to death.
I had told my brother I would not touch my family, that I would spare them because I loved them. Now I knew that because I loved them, I would kill them. Nothing mattered more now than to have Yumiko's warm body in my embrace again, to breathe deeply in her scent, to bury my fangs in her delicate neck, to finally have the blood I sometimes tasted in the air when she came and brought me my weak prey.
I do not know how long was the time I spent alone in that basement, with nothing to feed upon. I had no way of counting the days or measuring the time, but it seemed like an endless amount of time in my mind, years even, when in reality it must not have been no longer than a week.
I began to fear the solitude and seclusion I had insisted be enforced upon me. I began to hate the chain that I myself had demanded for. It was not long enough to permit me to hunt the rats of the basement, and the vermin were wise enough to keep their distance from me. I became so hungry I began to gnaw at my own lips, and tear wounds to my flesh so I could drink my own blood.
The hunger and starvation eventually made me delirious, and I had visions of the sun coming to greet me in my dark corner, caressing me gently with its warmth, followed by the moon that's silver light turned to liquid that I poured down my throat from the skulls of rats. But when the liquid silver light touched my lips, it turned to ash, and where it touched my skin, it turned it into rotting, green flesh.
I saw my brother standing over me, and I yelled and screamed at him, told him how much I hated him, how much I wished to tear out his throat for making me suffer this. And all he ever did was stare at me with his bottomless eyes I had never learned to read, and sometimes smile his gentle, mocking smile.
My parents, my sister, the villagers, they all came to me in my visions, some with a mocking laughter, others wailing and mourning for my faith, and some hateful, flinging spiteful words at me.
The only one I did not see in my visions was my nameless visitor, and it was him that I most longed to see. To hear his silken voice would have been like balm spread on the stinging wounds of my soul, and to see that strange and enchanting mix of ruthless desire to own, and that endless amount of tenderness in his eyes would have no doubt driven away my desperation.
When my sister finally returned, I was first convinced she was nothing more than another vision that had come to torment me.
But her scent was too strong, and the fear in her eyes too real for me to mistake it as yet another image I had conjured. Because she would have not come so close, if she were a dream. I would not feel her touch, were she were a dream. I would not have her tears on my face were she a dream, because in my dreams she knew what I was, knew well enough to keep safe, to mock and torment me for my desire.
In my dreams she never willingly made herself so foolishly vulnerable.
"Yuuta," she whispered, in pain. She looked at me and still saw her brother. What a foolish woman, what stupid creatures were humans. "I can't… Can't let you just rot away. Please…"
What she pleaded, I did not know. Did not care.
She was here, her breath warm against my mouth.
And then pain. She had brought a dagger with her, and she had plunged it to my chest. She cried, apologized, begged for my forgiveness. "Forgive me brother, forgive me, I should have done this sooner, I should have…" She closed her eyes and bowed her head and her hair slid aside and revealed her neck. "I'm sorry, I cannot let you, my brother… is gone…"
The foolish woman had missed my heart, and was offering herself as a meal for me, a starved monster crazed by her scent, of the vein beating beneath my mouth. Such temptation, no one could resist.
"A… ah," she gasped, almost like a sound of pleasure, were the sounds of her death, and I… I was filled with light, pleasure, bliss, the nectar of my dreams, thick, fulfilling, rich and salty, sweet and sugary, life in my mouth.
She was mine, finally.
And then she was gone. No longer radiating heat and warmth, her body still and cold in my arms. I took my mouth from her neck and laid her gently on the stone floor. I looked at her, and suddenly wanted to weep, but found I could not regret the deed, not when her taste still lingered on my tongue, and her life warmed me.
I looked down at my sister, and around her neck I saw a golden chain that's end was hidden by the bosom of her dress. Slowly I pulled it to view, and found the key to my chains. Idly I wondered how such a delicate key could free me from the iron shackles that pressed so heavily on my skin.
I pulled on the frail golden chain, and lifted the key so it dangled before my eyes, and felt myself smiling. I opened my shackles, and when their weight was taken from me I felt dread at the sudden freedom I now possessed. My gaze was once again drawn to the woman I had once called sister and loved dearly. I no longer I felt any shame in desiring her, and knew that by taking her life I would embrace the darkness I now harboured in my soul.
Suddenly the arms of my visitor were around me, and I allowed myself to be lost on his scent, in the firmness of his being, to be intoxicated by his closeness. "I have so longed for this moment," he ran his hands along my shoulders, and down my arms, entwined his fingers with my own, and smiled up at me as if dazzled by the sight I made. "You are glorious," he gasped. "My caged beast, finally freed from his restrains."
I looked at him, and returned his smile. I felt the thirst, the hunger still within me, and felt the lives of my past family above me, in the house. But they could wait, everything could wait, for I now held my dark tempter, the beautiful beast I had longed for in my arms. The world could wait a little longer to feel our hunger.
A/N: Critique, comments, opinions, everything is welcomed and appreciated. Heck, I'll even take flames.
I hope I have kindled some interest for my ongoing vampire story for new and 'old' readers, who, hopefully, have not forgotten it.
And I sincerely wish Mizuki was recognizable. If not, helpful critique is very much wished for.