I had a hard time writing that nightmare, but I finally got it all written out and I adored writing the end. Enjoy!
Sho shifted in his sleep, clutching his sheets against his chest as his once peaceful dream took a turn for the worse. He could see himself leaning against a wall in the makeshift home he shared with Toshi and Shinji. The older boys counted out the money they'd stolen from the businessman, and Sho was happy for their success, but felt like something was missing. Sho wasn't sure of what it was, and he settled down against the wall as he watched his brother and friend looking through the money.
"We're rich! Can we get a house?" Toshi asked eagerly.
"Of course," Shinji replied, grinning as he counted the money, throwing it up into the air in joy. Sho watched them, smiling as well. Their lives would be so much better now that they had all this money. They'd be able to get a better place to live and good food!
Sho froze as the briefcase's owner stepped into their hideout. "Give me my money," he growled, advancing on the children. Sho watched, biting his lip as he wondered how he could help his friends. He flinched in sympathy as the man smacked Shinji's head when he refused to give back the money, wincing again as Toshi threw a rock at the man. That'd only make him angrier. Toshi sprinted away, and Shinji tried to follow.
The youngest child took a step forward to protect his brother, eyes widening in horror as the Chinese man pulled out his gun and shot Shinji in the leg. Shinji went down with a cry of pain, turning pale as he clutched his bleeding leg. Sho's heart skipped a beat as the man aimed his gun higher, obviously intending to finish Shinji off.
"NII-CHAN!" Sho screamed, throwing himself forward and knocking the Chinese man off his feet. The gun fired up into the ceiling, and Sho tried to knock the weapon out of the man's hand, but he wasn't strong enough.
Growling, the man flipped him over and punched him in the face before getting up and aiming his gun at Shinji again. "You," he snarled at Sho, who clutched his face in pain as he slowly sat up. "Get the other brat or I'll kill this one."
Scared, Sho nodded and fled in search of Toshi. He found the other boy cowering in the ruins of another building, shaking in fear. "Toshi, we have to get back and save Nii-chan," Sho said, grabbing Toshi's hand and tugging him away.
"No, Sho! He's going to kill us!"
"We can sneak up on him and save Nii-chan," Sho said firmly. He wouldn't abandon his older brother.
"But what if he gets us first?" Toshi said, looking worried.
"We'll distract him! Here, let's get some rocks so we can throw them at him. We'll have to try to get his gun away from him," Sho said, grabbing a few rocks and hiding them in his pockets. He didn't know how well it would work, but he had to try something. He couldn't lose his only family.
Trembling, Toshi picked up some rocks too and started back the way they'd come. Sho followed, heart hammering in his chest. They might only have one chance to save Shinji, and they couldn't lose it. They had to get the gun from the Chinese man, and if they could find a way to knock him out they could still escape with the money…
Sho stepped back into his home, hiding one of the rocks behind his back. The stone fell from his hands and his eyes widened in shock at the sight of his brother's limp form on the ground, blood streaming from the bullet holes in his chest. "N-Nii-chan," he whimpered, tears welling up in his eyes as he stared at his dead brother.
The Chinese man smirked as he leveled the gun at Toshi. "You brats took too long. I got bored waiting, and he tried to take my gun. So who's going to be next? The runt, or the thief who tricked me," he growled, aiming the gun at each of them.
Desperately, Sho flung his stone at the Chinese man before leaping behind a pillar, taking another rock out of his pocket in preparation for another strike.
"SHO!" The child jerked away from the pillar, watching with horrified eyes as Toshi flung his stones at the Chinese man, screaming in pain as the man dodged and fired two shots into his chest. Toshi stumbled back, covering the wound over his heart before taking his hand away, staring at the blood as if in shock that so much liquid could flow from his own body.
"Toshi!" Sho cried, dropping his stones and running over to his fallen friend. No more older brother, no more best friend… he was truly alone now.
Sho flinched as the Chinese man smacked him over the head with the gun, knocking him off his feet before seizing the front of his t-shirt and pulling him up to his feet. He struck Sho with the weapon once more before pinning him against a wall, leveling the gun so that the barrel was pressed in the center of Sho's forehead. Tears flowed down his face as he stood there, trembling.
"You'll learn your lesson about stealing from adults when you're in hell, brat," the man growled, pulling the trigger. Agony flooded through Sho, and he felt his world fading into a haze of crimson as he lost his grip on life…
Gasping, Sho flew up in bed. He was drenched in a cold sweat and shaking so violently it was like he had the chills. With trembling hands, he reached up to touch his forehead. His hands met smooth, unbroken skin. No trace of a gunshot, no nothing. The dream still felt so realistic though, and Sho couldn't stay in his room any longer. He had to get out; had to see that Shinji and Toshi were alive.
He got out of bed and ran over to his bedroom door, still shaking. Now that he was awake he knew what had been missing in his dream. There had been no Kei, no fearsome angel to save him. Kei had been too late to save Shinji's leg, but he'd saved their lives. Without Kei, all of them would be dead just like in the dream. There was no way three children could have protected themselves from a man armed with a gun.
Sho stumbled into his brother's room, breathing a sigh of relief as he heard Shinji's even breathing. He ran into Toshi's room next. The older boy was asleep, mumbling about pizza. Sho would have chuckled if he weren't so traumatized by the dream. It'd been so vivid; it was hard to believe that it was just a dream and not reality.
The boy touched his forehead again, still struggling to convince himself that he wasn't injured. Maybe he'd feel better if he got something to eat. Now that he thought about food, he was really thirsty. Sho made his way into the kitchen, taking a glass out of the cupboard and turning on the faucet. His hand shook as he held the glass under the water, and he shut off the faucet before sipping his drink. Sho drained the contents quickly and set the glass down before wrapping his arms around himself. If anything he felt even worse. Sho couldn't stop trembling, and he could feel tears gathering in his eyes as he remembered how all of them had died in his nightmare.
The child squeaked in surprise and spun around. Kei stood in the shadows, head tilted slightly in curiosity. "Why are you awake?"
"D-Dream," Sho whispered, sniffing as he brushed the tears away.
"A nightmare?" Kei asked.
Sho nodded, running forward and throwing his arms around Kei's waist. All he wanted right now was to be held and comforted. Kei stiffened in shock, and Sho clutched him tighter out of fear that the vampire would push him away.
"It's just a dream, Sho. You're fine now." Hesitantly, Kei returned the embrace as Sho buried his face in his shoulder, small body shaking as he huddled closer to Kei. Absently, Sho realized that he'd never hugged the vampire before. Kei had only walked into his life a few months ago, and even though he was here to stay he'd always had a distant air about him, like he didn't want someone getting too close to him. Sho wasn't afraid of Kei, but he'd been hesitant about hugging him before since he'd been afraid he'd just get shoved away.
"B-But it was so real," Sho whimpered, clutching Kei even tighter.
"What did you dream about?" The vampire asked.
Sho shuddered and hid his face in Kei's chest. "The morning I found you… but in my dream you weren't there! That man shot Nii-chan and he killed him while I was getting Toshi," Sho sobbed. "Then he shot Toshi… a-and he killed me! He held a gun to my forehead and pulled the trigger. I died, Kei! It was so scary."
Kei gently rubbed Sho's back as he cried into the vampire's neck. "Shh, calm down. It was all just a dream. None of it is real; all of us are alive. Toshi and Shinji are safe in their beds, and there's no bullet hole in your forehead."
Sho nodded mutely, staying in Kei's embrace until he'd calmed down. He drew back from the vampire's hold and wiped his eyes on his sleeve, feeling better. "What time is it?" he asked softly.
"Around three in the morning. You should go back to bed, Sho. It's too early for you to be awake."
Sho shuddered at the thought of going back to his bedroom and shook his head. "I can't go back there! If I do, I'll end up dreaming about everyone being dead again," he whimpered, throwing himself into Kei's arms again and holding him close.
"All right, you don't have to go back there. You should still get some more sleep though."
Sho nodded, wondering if he'd be able to sleep without dreaming again. He definitely didn't want to go back to his bedroom, but if he had Kei to stay with he'd probably be able to sleep peacefully.
Shyly, Sho drew back from Kei's embrace and looked up at him. "Kei, c-can I stay with you for the rest of the night?" he asked, hoping the vampire wouldn't say no even though Sho expected him to refuse.
Kei looked shocked at the request. "I guess. It'll be cramped though," he warned.
"I don't mind."
"All right. Let's go to bed then… the sun will be up soon anyway." Kei turned away. Sho followed the vampire into his bedroom, letting Kei settle down on his futon first. The boy hesitated a moment before climbing into bed with Kei. He had to get super close to Kei to keep both of them from falling off the futon, and it was a little awkward but Sho didn't care.
The boy moved a little closer to Kei, frowning as he realized that Kei was really cold. He hadn't noticed when he'd hugged him earlier since he'd been so focused on being held and comforted, but now that he'd recovered from the dream he was surprised he hadn't noticed before. "Kei, why are you so cold?"
"Hm? Oh, I'm just thirsty. A vampire's body temperature is naturally a few degrees lower than a human's anyway, and it'll keep dropping the longer I go without blood."
"I'll keep you warm then," Sho said, pressing a little closer and wrapping his arms around Kei again. Hopefully, he'd be able to raise Kei's body temperate so he'd be more comfortable. The vampire pulled a blanket over them, and Sho leaned his head against Kei's shoulder. He closed his eyes, smiling softly as he felt Kei drape his arm over his shoulders.
"Good night, Sho."
"Night, Kei," the boy replied, yawning as he closed his eyes. He lay awake for a few minutes longer until he eventually drifted off again, this time having pleasant dreams instead of graphic nightmares.
Kei stared up at the ceiling as he listened to Sho's gentle breathing, trying to adjust to the sensation of being held. He glanced down at the little boy attached to his right side like a leech. A tiny smile found its way onto his face as Sho snuggled closer to him. He really was a cute kid… and he was so warm too. Kei couldn't remember the last time he'd felt this warm. When was the last time he'd been so close to a human without feeding on them? It'd been years.
The vampire froze as Sho turned over in his sleep, leaning his head against Kei's chest and clutching his tank top, making a contented noise. Kei's little smile grew wider as he studied the sleeping child. Sho really was a cute kid. His parents must have been fools to give him up. They'd definitely missed out on a wonderful child. Not even the hardship of living as a street child in Mallepa had ruined him. He'd managed to maintain his innocence, and he'd even accepted a monster like Kei.
Feeling drowsy from Sho's warmth, Kei's eyes fluttered shut as he pressed the boy closer. Maybe Sho's presence would help chase away his own bad dreams. With that thought in mind, Kei drew the sheets more securely around them before letting sleep claim him.