Title: Clean from my Hand
Author: Emcee Frodis
Rating: T
Warnings: Massive angst (this is Kei we're talking about) and self-abuse
Disclaimer: Moon Child doesn't belong to me. This is non-profit fanfic.
Summary: Following the feed, Kei attempts to wash away his sins
Author's Notes: This story was inspired by a line from larkir's "Don't Forget Your Jacket": He had taken if off when he had returned, and he had made it to the shower in an attempt to clean the ever-present scent of blood off of his body.. Thanks for the inspiration!

"Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?"
-Macbeth, Act II, Scene 2

Another night, another heist. Kei and Sho had been successful in raiding the hideout and filling the tin Sho had carried since the day Kei had first met him. They had also succeeded in filling Kei's belly. Sometimes Kei wondered if Sho's eagerness for crime had more to do with Kei's unnatural diet than it did the acquisition of wealth.

Sho was a far more intelligent boy- man, Kei reminded himself painfully- than he let on. If he wanted to gather his own gang, he was more than capable. Yet he was content with just himself, Kei and Toshi. A larger gang would mean easier pickings, more money, less bloodshed.

Bloodshed. That was the operative word. Their ragtag team created carnage. Carnage the beast lurking inside Kei thrived on.

Returned once again to their shared apartment, Kei excused himself to the bathroom with a few murmured words. He rarely spoke much following the feed, not that he was terribly chatty at the best of times. But once blood slipped over his tongue- tasting like ambrosia of the damned- it took him hours to suppress the beast once again.

Sho was- as always- reluctantly understanding. Kei was certain the human had a lot to say- he always did. But Sho knew Kei did not feel like talking. He would be content Kei had fed himself and was no longer wasting away in their living room.

In the bathroom, Kei slipped out of jacket, shirt and pants. He folded them neatly on the counter next to the pile of clothes belonging to Sho. He managed a small smile at the sight. The clothes were only piled because Kei himself had done so. If not for his intervention, it would have looked like a tsunami had gone through the room. That Sho was still so haphazard with his laundry was oddly reassuring to Kei. It told him Sho still needed him. Their eventual parting was delayed one more day.

His body slightly warmed from the feed, Kei was able to feel the chill in the room against his naked flesh. He stepped into the shower and turned on the water, letting out a hiss as burning water rained down on him.

Sho had once asked him why the air was so steamy following Kei's shower. Kei had shrugged, shaken some of the dampness from his dark blond hair and went in search of a cigarette. Sho answered his own question, figuring Kei was just more tolerant of heat than a normal human.

Vampires felt the heat as well as any human, felt the pain. Kei placed his hands against the wall of the shower and bared that heat with a grimace. He needed it, needed the burn. He needed to burn the sin from his body. He raised his wincing face to the showerhead. He opened his mouth to let the water scorch the taste of blood from his tongue. He both loved and loathed the taste. The beast thrilled in it, wanted to gorge on the flavour of death. But the human in him...

Oh yes, as much as he called himself a monster, the human still remained. It was the human in him that made him starve himself. It was the human in him that denied himself the blood of Sho. It was the human in him that made Kei stand beneath the near boiling shower spray, wishing the water would turn to sunlight and properly burn him away.

In some ways, he hated the human as much as he did the beast. How much easier it would be if he no longer cared? He couldn't even give into his desire to end his existence, as he was loathed to bring Sho hurt with his demise.

Even as the water pounded down on him, the scent of blood still hung in the air- both repellent and enticing to his twisted soul. He needed to be free of the odour, to release himself from the contradictions of his being.

Grabbing a tattered washcloth, he began to scrub his damp skin with vigour. His flesh- more alive with the blood he'd consumed- turned red under the harsh treatment. Careless fingernails left scratches on his skin that instantaneously healed. While his friend might have envied his superhuman abilities, it just served as a reminder of his inhumanity.

He wanted to wash it all away. Let the death and destruction that stalked him disappear down the drain. But he knew that was not to be. The sin was not on his skin. It was deep in him, pumping through his veins like the stolen blood he'd taken from so many evil men.

His ritual served more than a cleansing of his body and his shattered psyche. The shower was the one place he could safely escape from Sho. He loved the boy dearly, but he doggedly followed Kei. Following a harrowing robbery, such companionship was dangerous. With adrenaline coursing through him, Sho's heart beat a tantalizing tattoo, thundering in Kei's ears, seducing the beast and making his fangs ache to devour what he'd promised never to touch. A hundred gallons of criminal blood could bathe his tongue and it would not wash away the desire he held deep inside: To become a glutton on his most precious friend.

There was a knock on the door. "Kei!" Sho of course. As respectful as he was of Kei's post-feeding ritual, the human's wants always took precedence. "I got dirty too! Don't use up all the hot water! You have to be clean enough by now."

But Kei knew he would never be clean. All the water of the world wasn't enough to cleanse him of the atrocities he'd committed... Or the one he was terrified was still to come.