I'm not much of a romantic, but there are pairings present. Kiefer/Sion/Ryner/Ferris is the main pairing. Some might be more subtle than others.

Also, a really important note. The characters in this chapter have a powerful relationship to the canon characters. Their names should be huge hints, and their personalities even bigger ones. ;)

The Past – Centuries Ago

He was called a monster ever since he was born.

Monster, monster. The word sang in his mind every minute of every day, taunting him, cursing him.

It was like a drug to him, needing it yet feeling the pain it inflicted on him every time he used it.

It wasn't his choice to be this way. He didn't choose this life.

And yet here was he, living it out as if nothing else matters.

He's a monster. A cold-blooded monster.

You can say he sort of accepted that now, after years of running away from it.

Present – August 23th, 2010 - 12:10a.m.

In all honesty, he was in complete bliss. He wasn't dreaming, but that didn't bother him, since all his dreams borderlined between just weird and disturbing.

So when he suddenly felt a book thump on his head from above, you could guess he was beyond pissed.


His name uttered with a hint of annoyance by someone, Ryan moaned, moving his head a bit, ignoring whoever was calling. He kinda hoped the voice would go away and let him sleep, but another drop from a textbook made him aware that this voice, nor the book, would go away easily.


Now the voice was raising in tone, obviously getting more annoyed. Ryan thought with a hint of a smile, Sorry, no one's at home. Please leave a message after the bleep. Bleep.

Too bad there were no voice messages you could leave for a sleeping person, but even if such a thing existed, Ryan had no doubt in his mind, if this person was who he thought, that voice messages would not be an option.

He heard a sigh, and once more Ryan thought that the pestering was over. Far be it for him to prevent his good friend from missing lecture in class. Ryan personally didn't give a damn over what era what king conquered what land in what battle over what land against what foe. History was such a bore, yet his friend Leon was such a sap for those things. Honestly, the guy needed a serious hobby that didn't involve books—

Speaking of which, guess what landed on his head?




Next thing he knew, Ryan found himself on the ground, looking up the ceiling lazily, the back of his head throbbing, with Leon smirking so arrogantly at him from his seat.

Of course, once Ryan made eye-contact with him, Leon's smile just got more mocking. "Welcome back to the living, Ryan. For a second there, I thought you joined King Sion in the afterlife."

Ryan merely rolled his eyes, muttering, "Haha, very funny. It is to laugh." He then prompted himself up with his elbows, noticing the lack of noise in the atmosphere. "Hey, where did everybody go?"

Leon turned back to his desk, continuing to gather his things. "Class was over fifteen minutes ago."

"Really?" Ryan blinked in surprise. "So you're telling me I slept through an entire class period without once getting interrupted?"

"Pretty much."

Relaxing, Ryan leaned back a little. "Huh. And why don't I get this feeling of accomplishment?"

"Because Trevor got a chance to shot spitballs at your head, the professor ended up giving a five minute lecture over lazy students and their effect on the environment, and Erin is probably waiting at the bus stop, ready to smash your head through a wall."

"Ah!" Jumping up, Ryan snatched his things, which had fallen all over the place since his fall. "Why didn't you wake me up soon?"

Amused, Leon rested his chin on his hand, smirking. "Because you're so cute when you sleep. I was honestly torn whether to wake you or not."

Ryan snorted ruefully. "Yeah right! You just can't wait to see my face imprinted on a wall."

Leon chuckled. "Well, there's that, too."

Ryan threw up his hands. "Ugh! Idiot! At least you can help!"

Leon slipped out of his chair and picked up the book he had so kindly dropped on Ryan's head. "There, I helped."

"That's not helping!" Ryan's movements were becoming more frantic, shoving random things into random spots, crumbling papers and perhaps even tearing book pages.

"You know, panicking is not really something you should do if you're late."

"Not. Helping!"

"I'm just saying—" Leon's words were cut off by Ryan standing up, backpack on, baseball cap secured over his black hair, glaring daggers with his brown eyes. "Seriously, Leon. Help me out here!"

Leon sighed, setting the book in his bag and tossing it over his shoulder. "Fine. I'll help. But you owe me, then."

Ryan waved dismissively. "Yeah, yeah. Whatever. I'll owe you later."

"How 'bout now?" Suddenly, Ryan felt a kiss on his cheek, and Leon was suddenly ahead of him, laughing, his long ponytail fluttering behind him. Turning a bright shade of red, Ryan shouted, "Ooooh! You're in big trouble, you little bastard! You hear me? BIG!"

Ryan knew he was in trouble the moment he caught sight of Erin.

Tabbing her foot impatiently, her long blond hair waving a bit with each movement, blues narrowed to slits, she truly looked like a cougar waiting to strike on its prey.

And Ryan knew he was on the menu.

Leon gave a low whistle, leaning over and whispering, "She looks pissed."

Ryan returned the whisper with, "Yeah, well, that's because she is."

Leon then asked him in a low tone, "Should we back out now? Before she sees us?"

"Well, well, looks who's late?" The voice that sounded behind them made both guys jump nearly out of their skins. Ryan, instantly recognizing the voice, sighed, "A little late for that," while Leon whirled around, desperately trying to look calm, holding his hands out. "Kate! How've you been?"

Turning his head a bit, Ryan caught the redhead roll her ruby eyes at Leon's attempt to shrug off any hostility. "Buttering me up will not get you out of this mess, Mr. Ashen. Do you have any idea what time it is?"

Leon's smile was weak, pathetic actually. "Umm . . . noon?"

Kate's foot stomped the ground. "Almost half past noon! You realize Erin and I have been waiting here for over twenty minutes for you guys, only to find you two stumbling around like a bunch of geese."

"Was I waddling?" Ryan asked stupidly. That, of course, got a smack on the head for him, added with Kate's angry growl, "You're just lucky I'm in such a good mood today. Otherwise, I would have roasted both your rears."

"Maybe not you, but I certainly will." Next thing Ryan knew, both he and Leon were being dragged by the short hairs by a certain Miss Erin Fern. After being hauled to the bus stop, Erin tossed both of them onto the chairs seated underneath the shelter. Both exchanged a look and gulp as both Erin and Kate situated themselves from the guys' freedom.

Leon leaned forward a bit, trying to act like the diplomatic man that he was. "Now, ladies, let's not get hasty. Ryan and I are late; that's true. But we still have plenty of time to reach the theatre before the movie starts. So please, if we could—" His words, however, were cut short by Erin stabbing her umbrella at the glass casing around them, narrowing missing Leon's silver head.

Leaning forward a bit, she stated in a low tone, "Leon, while I can respect that you are a man more of peace than action, I highly suggest you allow me and Kate to do whatever we please to you until we feel your debt has been paid."

"Our… debt?" Leon looked at Ryan, who looked equally confused.

Kate nodded, then turned to Erin. "So, Erin, how will we deal with these two trouble-makers?"

Erin hummed, putting her hand on her chin, thinking. "Well, Kate, I believe it's obvious that Ryan has corrupted Leon beyond repair."

Kate's hands flew to her face, her ruby eyes wide in mock terror. "No! Say it isn't so!"

Erin nodded grimly, closing her blue eyes with enough drama to hit Hollywood. "I know; it's hard to believe. Our little Leon has been tainted by the Wild Beast! He's hapless now!"

Leon larched forward in his seat, demanding, "Hey, who are you calling hapless?" Kate rushed over to him and cupped his face, crying out, "Oh no! It's true! My beautiful Leon, ruined by the Wild Beast!"

"Hey!" Ryan slammed his hand on the bench. "I already told you, I'm not a wild beast!" Erin's reply back was in the form of the slap of the head, knocking Ryan over.

Hovering over him, Erin then stated, "Wild beasts are not permitted to speak."

Kate then tapped Erin on the shoulder, musing, "I believe I have the perfect thing in mind."

Erin arched an eyebrow. "Oh?"

Neither Leon nor Ryan liked the looks.