A Huge thank you to everyone who has been waiting so long… I have no excuse. Thus is life; writing is my pleasure but sometimes it loses its allure when faced with the business of reality. I've still been getting reviews every now and again, and it makes me happy to know that people still want to read more, and I myself want to see this story completed! So here we go, I still have ideas and I've been promising many that this has not been abandoned, so let's see if I can really finish this!

Alaya had been blindfolded on the ride with her kidnappers to their destination, so she wasn't sure where she was, but she had been there for days, in a small, non-descript room with a bathroom attached. No window was to be found so that she might have been able to see outside and get a bearing on her location, she assumed she might be in the basement of some obscure building. Iyc made appearances daily to bring her food and water, although it was obviously with some reluctance. The female virus always glared daggers at her, and never spoke. As Thrax had predicted, no one would have ever suspected the wicked dagger hidden smoothly under her dress. She supposed a virus like HIV felt little threat from a red blood cell, and he nor Iyc had ever bothered to check her for any kind of weapon. More than once she thought about using her knife as Iyc turned her back and was leaving, wondering if that were her only hope. The bringing of the food, however, was an indication that they needed her to remain alive for some purpose, so she kept her only defense concealed for a time when she might really need it.

It was difficult to rest while being held captive. The space had clearly been a bedroom at some point, which made sense with the tiny bathroom attached, and there was a bare mattress left on a small bed, but her nerves kept her awake for the most part. Because it was hard to sleep, it was hard for her to tell how many days had gone by before the moment when she heard a familiar voice outside the door...

"You haven't infected her?"

Alaya was on her feet immediately. Thrax. An uncomfortable lump began to rise in her throat.

"No, not yet." It was Van speaking next. "You thought you could rob me of what I sought to do in this city, so I stole something precious from you… however, you didn't ruin my plans, so I haven't ruined your pretty little friend yet. An eye for an eye, yes?" He sounded repulsively pleased with himself.

Thax's voice grew quiet, Alaya had to press herself to the door to hear. "You wanted me to come for her or you wouldn't have let word drop around town that a virus had kidnapped a cell… you say an eye for an eye, but what you really want is a life for a life. Well here I am. You get exactly what you want. Me, for her."

It made Alaya positively sick to hear the smile in Van's voice as he replied. "Well, my man, if that's what you really want…"

"Enough with the games Van," Thrax's voice rose in a snarl. "You know damn well what I want. You've got me; I give. Let her go."

There was bitter silence and then the lock on the door clicked, slowly opening to reveal Thrax in the entrance with Van standing behind him, a truly evil smirk on his face. Thrax was tight jawed and tense. Tears were starting to well up in Alaya's eyes.

"Thrax…" she could barely speak. "Don't do this. Frank needs you." It was true. Without Thrax the immunity would lose whatever slim hope they had of taking Van down before he began to wreak havoc on their body.

"Don't worry baby, It will be alright," he told her softly.

A short laugh behind them cut their reunion short and Thrax winced suddenly, snarling in anger as Van twisted his arms up behind him. Their struggle knocked the door wider and Alaya could see Iyc approaching them in the background. "What did you do?" Thrax hissed. A used needled dropped to the floor from Van's hand. Iyc slid around them and took hold of Alayas wrists.

"NO!" Thax roared, but he couldn't pull himself free from Van's grasp. The stocky virus was incredibly strong and whatever he had drugged him with was swiftly taking affect. "You were supposed to let her go. WHAT DID YOU DO?" He demanded, but he could already feel his body weakening, his vision blurring.

"Oh I won't infect her. I am nothing if not a man of my word, Thrax. She can go… as soon as I'm finished with you." One of his hands slid around Thrax's throat suggestively. "I want her to watch while I infect you," he hissed.

Alaya jerked her elbow back into Iyc's ribs, but it wasn't enough to free her. It earned her one free hand and a curse from Iyc before she was subdued again. "Does he really mean that much to you darling?" she cooed in her ear. Alaya ignored her. She wouldn't give her the satisfaction of seeing her break down into complete panic. Instead she kept her eyes on Thrax, trying to keep his gaze as she watched him slowly fade into unconsciousness. For just a few moments he managed to keep his eyes on hers, fighting the blackness that was creeping in from the edges of his vision, slowly starting to slump forward, until finally he could fight it no longer. His eyes fluttered shut, and his body crumpled to the floor with Van standing over him.

By the time Thrax awoke hours later, his trench coat and sweater had been removed and the two of them had each been tied to chairs, facing each other across the space of the small room. When the grogginess finally left Thrax, Van was standing behind him, and Iyc was standing beside Alaya, who was watching him with wide, frightened eyes.

"You're about to find out what a real virus is made of. Aren't you thrilled?" Van chuckled, forcing Thrax's head back with his hand in his hair. Thrax snarled as Van peeled back his pale lips over long, sharp canines and slowly lowered his head to the membrane between Thrax's neck and shoulder. At the initial bite Thrax's face contorted in pain, but he didn't cry out.

By now Alaya was trembling, she wanted to scream, wanted to tell Van to stop, wanted to curse him, spit at him. But she knew better. Any begging or struggling on her part would only make things worse. This virus was truly a monster. She could see it in his eyes as he sank his fangs into Thrax. He positively enjoyed the pain he caused, he lived and breathed for it. She had all but forgotten that Thrax was once the same.

To be entirely honest with himself, Thrax was afraid too. He would never give Van or Iyc the satisfaction of knowing it, but he had seldom felt fear like this, and none at all since he had fallen into the beaker of alcohol after his failed attempt to kill Frank. He had killed many a cell at his own clawed hand, and taken down several bodies in which countless cells burned to their death. This must be what it was like… to be penetrated and infected by a virus.

However, he did not begin to break down like an ordinary cell would have. Instead, he felt a familiar and long-missed heat welling up inside him. His chest heaved with every breath. The heat… scorching, rising up, fighting away Van's infection. The feeling was slowly spreading, becoming more powerful. His own body was rejecting Van's infectious power with its own.

Alaya had no way of knowing what was going on within Thrax's body, but she saw his eyes light up. Van stepped back for a few moments, watching expectantly. When nothing happened he became more and more irritated. With a truly feral expression he bit Thrax's neck and shoulder repeatedly, soon blood was streaming down his shoulder and over his chest. Through it all Thrax would wince and grunt, but he did not give in.

"What's going on?" Iyc hissed at Alaya's side. "Why isn't anything happening?"

Having thoroughly bloodied his prey without any infectious result, Van finally gave up. In one final act of anger and frustration he drew back his clawed hands and struck Thrax across the face, turning his head sideways, but Thrax still did not respond. His head dropped and he panted, struggling to remain conscious after losing so much blood.

"It doesn't matter. Let him bleed to death," he sneered as he stepped away. Iyc turned cold eyes on Alaya. "Leave her,' Van spat. "I said I was a man of my word. We're out of here, I'm done with the games. It's time to bring this body to its knees!" With one arm snaked around Iyc's thin waist he turned and pulled her out of the room with him. After angry footfalls and the sounds of a few things being gathered from the other room, the sound of another door slamming shut made Alaya wince and she finally turned her attention back to Thrax.

"Thrax…" her voice broke and she swallowed hard. "A-are you alright?" It was a dumb question, she knew. But she just wanted a response from him; something, anything. "Thrax please, look at me. Stay with me, you're going to be alright." There was no response, he didn't lift his head. Tears finally leaked from the corners of her eyes, her voice trembling. The long silence that followed was deafening.

Slowly, another noise drew her attention. It started as a soft hiss, like a hot stove getting ready to boil. Alaya jerked, startled when a hot sizzling sound reached its height and the chains that bound Thrax' s arms snapped like they were nothing. He staggered to his feet, staring at his now sinisterly glowing claw.

After a moment of disbelief, an eerie smile split is grim visage. His head tilted back, and he began to laugh, a cold, menacing sound, not the chuckle she had become accustomed to. He laughed. And he laughed, and laughed… and laughed. He sounded deranged. With her hands still tied behind her around the posts of the chair, Alaya stared at him, and for the first time in a long time was afraid of him… of a fully functioning and contagious Thrax. His laughter slowed and with a final sigh of pleasure he leveled a burning yellow gaze on her. "I'm BACK, Baby."

Gasp! For all of you who said you missed the old Thrax… he's baaaaaack. Bwahaha XD I wrote this rather quickly, once I started again it all just came spilling out in about two days, so please let me know of any mistakes you see. I really hope you enjoy, and thanks again so much to everyone who has been long-awaiting an update! ^_^