It happened so many times. Kurogane was relentlessly on to him. Fai had to wipe the ninja's memory in practically every world they came to. Why wouldn't he just give up?

This new world they'd arrived in was bleak and tragic. It was called Tokyo. So many things had happened, Fai didn't know where to begin thinking through them. His uneasy thoughts were interrupted by the person he least wanted to see at the moment. Fai glared at Kurogane through his remaining eye and rolled over on his bed to face the wall.

"Stop moping because you're alive," Kurogane ordered. Fai couldn't handle the surge of rage that swept through his body, and he flipped over and crashed Kurogane into the wall. His eye was glowing golden with a vertical slit for its pupil. Kurogane actually looked frightened. Fai smirked.

"You're endangering the children by letting me live, you know," Fai said.

"I know that!" Kurogane shouted. Fai could sense that there wasn't a living soul within hearing distance of them.

"I'm far more dangerous than you could imagine," Fai said lowly. "And I'm even more dangerous now that I'm a vampire." He leaned in and let his lips brush Kurogane's ear as he whispered in it. "I'm practically lethal." He felt Kurogane's body shudder beneath his fingers, and was hit by a sudden sensation he had never felt in his life.

It scared him and he shoved himself away from the ninja, back to his bed, where he lowered himself slowly to sit. Beads of sweat began trickling down his neck and his throat was very dry. Kurogane figured out what was going on when Fai's stomach gave a rather loud and obnoxious growl. It would have seemed comical to anyone else. Kurogane stayed against the wall as Fai hunched over and rested his forehead on his knees with a groan. He was so hungry.

"You need to eat," Kurogane said.

"I won't," Fai said determinedly. "It's disgusting."

"Really?" Kurogane asked sarcastically and came to sit next to Fai. "I'd have thought it would be rather mouthwatering to you now." Fai's whole body tensed when he smelled Kurogane's blood. The bastard had bit his own hand to make it bleed. It wasn't a lot, but it put the scent in the air.

"That's not what's disgusting," Fai said, slowly brining his glowing eye to meet Kurogane's red ones. "It's like I'm finally getting what I deserve. Now I really am a monster, in every sense of the word." He quickly turned around and scooted his body so he was right up against the wall, knees brought up to his chin.

"You think you're a monster?" Kurogane demanded to know.

"You don't understand what all I've done," Fai whispered. "Because I made you forget every time I've told you… which has been a lot."

"You erased my memory?" Kurogane asked, outraged, grabbing Fai's wrist. Fai smiled sadly.

"You reacted this way the last time you found out, too," Fai said. "And I don't think I can tell you again…" Tears began to fall down his cheeks. It was odd, that the empty eye socket could still cry, but then again, the tear ducts are further back in the skull. Fai pulled off the eye patch so he could wipe at those tears too.

"Can you take it back?"

"Hm?" Fai looked up at Kurogane.

"Can you give me those memories back? With your magic, can you lift the memory charm?"

Fai's eye widened in shock, then relaxed as he considered it.

"It might be painful," he said. "Not just physically."

"Then you won't have to suffer alone," Kurogane said determinedly. "I want to know!"

Fai sighed and turned around to face him.

"Close your eyes and try to relax," he instructed. "You should probably lie down too. You'll be unconscious for a minute or two afterwards while the memories replay." Kurogane did as instructed and laid on his back with his eyes closed. He felt Fai place two fingers on his forehead and mutter a small, foreign word under his breath.

Fai hadn't expected himself to pass out as well, but he woke up a minute after performing the spell and found himself lying completely on top of Kurogane. His nose was buried between the ninja's jaw and collar bone. He breathed in deeply, and felt himself stiffen again. He sat up rather painfully as his stomach growled again. He decided to watch Kurogane's face as he relived his memories.

The ninja's eyebrow would twitch occasionally. Fai felt something like a fist in his gut when he saw something wet fall down Kurogane's temple. He bit his knee lightly to stop himself from crying, knowing what all was going through the ninja's mind.

Finally, Kurogane slowly opened his eyes. He blinked a few times, clearing the tears before sitting up to face the blonde. They locked eyes for a whole minute, neither saying a word. Kurogane hesitantly reached a hand up to Fai's face and ran his fingers lightly over Fai's closed eyelid; he still hadn't put his eye patch back on. Kurogane breathed out roughly and pulled the mage into his arms.

Fai gasped, not having known the feel of a hug for at least a century. He'd forgotten how warm they were. He slowly let his arms wrap around Kurogane's waist and rested his forehead on the ninja's shoulder, letting the sobs take over.

"Don't do that again," Kurogane said softly, but angrily. "You can't keep all of this on yourself." Fai's grip tightened and he sniffled.

"I know that now," he said. "I don't think I could bring myself to do that to you again. Or to myself, for that matter." His breath hitched when he took in a deep breath and he could smell Kurogane's blood pulsing beneath the skin of his neck and he couldn't help but salivate. His grip tightened on the ninja's shirt and he began to shake rather violently.

Kurogane didn't quite know what was going on, so he gripped Fai's arms, trying to steady him. Fai's breathing became ragged and raspy. He didn't want to. He would not become this monster. He knew Kurogane had said he wasn't a monster, but he was still so scared. He didn't know what was happening or if it was even normal. When his breaths began to sound like growls, Kurogane got the idea.

"Just do it," he said firmly, tilting his head a little, exposing more of his neck to the magician. Fai stared at it, literally seeing the vein pulsing in Kurogane's neck. He didn't know when, but his canines had grown and were throbbing painfully, longing to pierce flesh. He was on his last string of self-control.

Then Kurogane swallowed, trying to brace himself, and Fai lost it. He shoved Kurogane onto his back and buried his nose against the ninja's neck, following some instinctual ritual, smelling the blood through the skin before sticking out his tongue and running it sensually along his prey's throat, tasting the saltiness of it.

Finally, Fai let his fangs break through skin and the feel of his canines penetrating his prey's flesh drove him into a frenzy. Kurogane had the sense to know how much was too much for him and grabbed Fai's hair, pulling him back before he passed out from the blood loss. The sudden jolt of pain brought Fai back to his senses and he felt his fangs recede and his eye return to blue. Kurogane put a hand up to his neck and inspected the blood that was still flowing from the wound.

"Shit," he muttered, holding his hand there with pressure. Fai nearly panicked, fearing he'd taken too much blood.

"I'm sorry," he whispered frantically. "I—"

"Lick it."

Fai and Kurogane turned their heads to the doorway to see Kamui standing there.

"Your saliva is now laced with an enzyme that will heal his wounds almost immediately," the vampire told them and turned away, leaving them alone.

Kurogane had closed his eyes, his vision going blurry.

"Kurogane?" Fai whispered, putting a hand on the ninja's face. When Kurogane didn't respond, Fai began panicking again. He grabbed Kurogane's wrist and pulled his hand from the bleeding wounds in his neck. He licked the holes he'd made almost doubtful that it would work. After a few seconds, he felt the holes become smaller. He gasped and continued licking until he was certain the wounds were closed. Seeing that Kurogane was asleep now, Fai proceeded to lick the spilled blood from Kurogane's neck and collar bone before it dried.

He rested his head on Kurogane's shoulder and began to cry. He'd only been a vampire for a few hours and already he'd screwed up. He'd nearly killed the person he needed to survive.

He was scared. He hadn't been able to control it once he'd started. He guessed it was a good thing Kurogane hadn't resisted, otherwise Fai probably would have gone on the offensive and attacked him. He was already causing him enough pain and he didn't want to be hurting the ninja when he couldn't stop himself.

"It will get easier as time goes on."

Fai turned his head to the door again, finding the other vampire twin, Subaru.

"You will learn control," he said and walked next to the bed to look down on Fai and Kurogane with kindness. "It also helps if you don't try to fight it." Fai hung his head. "When you start to feel thirsty, you should drink as soon as possible. It keeps your head clear. You have the ability to go days without it, but you're more prone to lash out that way. It's easiest to drink a good amount every day or a little bit a few times a day." Fai wiped at the tears on his face.

"It's like a prescription for a disease," Fai said bitterly. Subaru was thankful Kamui wasn't the one talking to them. He would have been offended. Subaru carefully placed a hand on Fai's shoulder. A blue eye met his dark ones.

"I know you don't like the idea of being a vampire," he said. "But there's only one way for you to go without drinking blood."

"If I get my eye back," Fai said. "It's not likely."

"Which is why you should try to live like this," Subaru said, looking down at Kurogane. "That way, if you do get your eye back, it will be all the more special and you won't be as miserable." Fai sniffed and wiped his nose on his sleeve.

"Is there anything else I should know?" Fai asked. "I don't think I can handle any more surprises." Subaru thought for a moment.

"Nothing that should overcomplicate things," Subaru said. "But yes, there is another aspect to being a vampire with exclusive game. Kurogane should be awake for this part too."

"I'm awake," Kurogane said groggily, finally opening his eyes. "What are we up against?"

"It's nothing bad, I can assure you," Subaru said. "The two of you are now connected by blood, but that bond runs much deeper now. It connects your very souls. The obvious demonstration of this is the fact that if Kurogane dies or is separated from you, you will starve. But there are subtle things that run through both of you. Essentially, you can't survive without each other. I once met a woman who had become someone's game and the vampire was later killed in a battle. She could tell the exact moment that the vampire had been hit with the fatal blow. She said she could feel the pain herself and that she still felt it days afterward. She was filled with nothing but emptiness and pain and eventually took her own life from the grief. I don't know if that's the case for every blood bond, but it makes sense.

"Just know that you two are connected as deeply as it is possible for two humans to be. It's closer than siblings, closer than a mother to her child, closer than lovers. And it can never be broken. Fai, if you retrieve your eye and lose the thirst for blood, you and Kurogane will still be connected and you will also retain your vampire abilities: the claws, fangs, heightened senses and reflexes, the speed…

"But just because you are connected doesn't mean that you won't annoy each other anymore or feel very different about each other as people. As I said, the bond is hardly detectable."

"Is that all?" Kurogane asked a little impatiently. Subaru gave him a slightly stern look.

"It is," he said and left the two alone, actually closing the door behind him.

Fai fell backwards on the bed, exhausted. Kurogane sat up and oriented himself, still slightly dizzy.

"Fai," he said, nudging the blonde's knee.

"You're regretting it, aren't you?" Fai whispered. "You didn't know we'd be so connected. I know you don't like me enough to w—"

"Idiot," Kurogane nearly snapped. Fai sat up quickly and looked Kurogane squarely in the eye. "I don't regret a thing." Fai's eye widened.

"But you hate people like me," Fai whispered.

"I hate people like you used to be," Kurogane corrected. "You've changed a whole lot since Outo…. And so have I." Fai hadn't noticed how close they were leaning until his forehead met Kurogane's. He closed his eye and frowned.

"I'm still not your favorite person in the world to be around," he said, trying to crush any hope in himself. Kurogane's eyes closed and he sighed, leaning into Fai a little more.

"Stop running," Kurogane whispered. "Please, just stop." [A/N: *fangirl squee*]

"It's all I know how to do," Fai whispered back with a small sob. He felt Kurogane's nose begin pressing into his cheek and could feel the ninja's breath.

"You don't have to run from me," Kurogane whispered against Fai's lips.

"But you're the scariest thing in my life," Fai said, getting goose bumps when his lips barely touched the other's in their movement. "Because I want you more than I've ever wanted anything in my life."

"You deserve at least this one happiness," Kurogane whispered, bringing a hand up to caress the side of Fai's face and tangle his fingers in the blonde locks behind his ear. "Stop thinking that you're worthless. You're everything to me." Fai sighed.

"I'm dreaming," he said. "I'm going insane, fantasizing—"

Kurogane cut him off by bringing his lips to Fai's. Fai moaned lightly, kneading his lips against Kurogane's and breathing in the scent of him. Kurogane pulled away, keeping Fai's lower lip between his teeth for a moment.

"I'd say that's as real as it's possible to be," Kurogane said.

"I love you so much," Fai whispered, tears rolling down his face.

"I know," Kurogane whispered back and kissed him again. He pushed his tongue between their lips and they both moaned when their tongues touched. Fai's mouth tasted salty. 'Must be from the blood,' Kurogane thought. 'My blood.'

When they pulled back again, Kurogane trailed feather-light kisses down Fai's cheek, up to his empty eye socket, down along his jaw and his neck to his collar bone before placing one more gentle kiss to his lips.

"I'm in love with you too."