Dedication: This is dedicated to x615Butterflyx. Her birthday has passed a LONG time ago, but I just HAD to make a fic for her.


The Fourth Night

Chapter 1: Eyes on Fire

By Curiosity Killed Kristy

Eyes on fire

Your spine is ablaze

Felling any foe with my gaze

And just in time

In the right place

Steadily emerging with grace

XXXX

The girl squeezed her eyes shut, so tight that tears began to bead at the corners before I could even poke her. "Breathe in… then hold it," I muttered beneath my breath. She did as she was told; sat as stiff as a rock. I pointed the needle at the marking I made, pushing it in before she could even blink. "Let it out…" I instructed her.

Her friend squealed at her victory. Getting her ear pierced. The busty teenager opened an eye, a tear sliding down her cheek. A smile broke on her lips, when she came to realize that she had done it: she got her ear pierced. I rolled my eyes mentally. I replaced the needle with the earring itself, and she was well on her way. "Clean it with a saltine solution at least two to three times a day; don't pick at it unless you're cleaning it with washed hands. I advice against alcohol," I recited to her, all the words committed to memory.

She bowed, giving me her utmost gratitude. The two girls squeaked together again, and this time, I did roll my eyes. Very visibly. I found myself thinking I was fucking glad that I wasn't in their generation. If that was what I had to go through in my high school years, I had no fucking idea how I'd be standing here today: in my tattoo shop.

Tattoo designs hung on almost every wall, leaving no room for the black paint to cover. A few examples of what types of piercings you could get here and there. Usually, people tended to get something for their ears. It was rare to get a person wanting something done to their face. Even more so if someone wanted a tattoo. Business was so slow that my helpers quit, and left me to bust my ass alone. Guess nowadays, people were more afraid than anything.

Especially with those bloodsuckers littering the streets.

I packed the needles away; threw away the items I used on that girl. Flipped the sign on the door from open to closed, with "Friends" by Bands of Skulls playing in the background like I was in a soft-rock café. I stared beyond the window, seeing the city fill up with lights from within buildings and apartments, as well as people lounging around.

If you just happened to glance, everyone looked the same. Different skin tones, different facial features, but they were all still human. At least on the surface. What you don't see are the fangs hidden behind those lips. When it was announced by the Emperor of Japan that vampires truly existed, followed by the Prime Minister's conviction on the matter, everyone thought the government drunk a dose of Everclear before walking up. No one believed shit.

Not until proof, that was. The news had a man onstage come up right behind the Prime Minister, and even he was shaken by this man's presence. Aizen Sousoke. The first vampire to ever make contact with humans internationally. Again, everyone thought the government was full of shit. There were believers and non-believers. I was a non-believer. A non-believer till one of my old mates died from an attack. He was sucked dry of all he was worth. The teeth marks didn't help the situation.

Months dragged by until they found his killer: a vampire. Most of my family and friends had thought it to be a fraud; that someone was pranking us, making us think that this was a vampire's doing. Policemen took him to court, and when he was proven guilty, that was when we saw it all before our own eyes. His fangs. He bared it for all of us to see. Even killed his own lawyer.

For me, the vampires didn't change how I viewed religion. I knew that a god didn't truly exist. Religion was made to control people; nothing more. It was meant to scare people; meant to make them feel guilty if they did wrong in front of their so-called gods. It only changed how I viewed humanity. That we weren't at the top of the food-chain anymore. That there was a stronger predator lurking out there.

No one was ever safe anymore, yet people craved to meet their species like it was their only goal in life. To be friends with one. To marry one. To fuck one. Those leeches weren't capable of loving or even befriending. They were all just savages. Beasts living in human corpses. They came from folklores and legends; something from a fucking fairytale. Were people really expecting something romantic or platonic?

The bell above the door chimed. I sighed. "Shop is closed, come back tomorrow," I spoke in a monotone.

"Geez, Ichigo. Just because you're not getting your daily screwin' doesn't mean you gotta be so sensitive." I swiftly turned towards the voice, knowing full well who I'd see.

"Renji, what the hell are ya doing here?" I sighed.

"Do I gotta have a reason to come here?" He raised an inquiring eyebrow, tattoos stretching from his eyebrows all the way to his forehead, and beneath his shirt all designed by me. I didn't give the bastard a single discount on any of his tattoos.

"When it comes to you, yes, you have a reason." Renji bristled at my accusation.

"Stop acting like a heartbroken bitch! That Ulquiorra bastard was nothing, anyways…" I glared at him.

"The hell? You said that you would fuck him if you could!" Renji just crossed his arms like the petulant child he was.

"Well… opinions can change!" he belted out.

I ticked an orange eyebrow to that. "Sure, sure, whatever you say." I waved away nonchalantly. He cracked his knuckles at that point.

"Boys, boys. Try acting civilized, for once," a sultry voice spoke behind his big frame. Renji shuffled out of the way, and there behind him was Shinji and Shuheii. Guessed the gang was here. He stuck out his tongue, a piercing dangling from it; a piercing he was always proud to show.

"What the hell? If you fight this much, you might as well fuck each other," Shuheii suggested. I shuddered from the idea.

"No way in hell, man," I vetoed completely. He shrugged, scratching at his 69 tattoo. Courtesy of me as well.

Shinji merely sighed. "Now can we get this lover's spat over with, already? We got a club to go to."

"A club?" I inquired.

"Yeah, it's the one by Hueco Mundo. It's called Soul Society," Shinji answered.

"And I heard it was swarming with vampire babes!" Shuheii rejoiced. I narrowed my eyes at his careless comment.

"Let me guess. All three of you want to go on a certain chance that you might get laid by a bloodsucker?" It was a guess.

"Come on, Ichigo," Renji wrapped his arm around my shoulders. "We all know you're moping 'round because that Ulqui guy left. This could be a chance to meet someone new."

I shoved him away. "And fucking a vampire will gimme that chance?" I growled out.

Shinji sighed, waving his jaw-length, blonde hair side-to-side. "I hate to admit it, but Renji's right, Ichigo. You need to get out there and get over that guy."

"He was an emo piece of shit, anyway," the red-head commented.

I sighed. "Guys, I appreciate the offer. Thanks, but no thanks." As I made a beeline to the door, I felt myself tugged by my shirt's collar, lifted off the floor by no other than that fire-engine-haired moron. "Let me the fuck down, Renji!"

"You're coming with us whether you like it or not."

"Shit… Just let me get my fucking phone!" I tried to wiggle out of his clutches, but the fucking bastard wasn't so easy to get rid of. I reached out for my phone on the counter, but it was already distances away. The bell jingled above us, Shuheii locking the shop up with the key he stole from my pocket not moments ago. With that, I was dragged into the luxurious seat of Renji's black, home-engineered car, lights flashing into my eyes as we passed buildings and people alike.

XXXX

Bass boomed inside the club like dynamite, "I Want It All" by Queen featuring Armageddon blasting from the speakers. A bouncer stood in front of the entrance, a ridiculously long line formed in front of us. "Shit, you guys. That's why I said I didn't want to come." Shinji merely shushed me, as the line progressed forward.

I leaned against the spray-painted, brick wall, pieces of paper cluttered around my feet. Now that I stood here, I noticed that the people in line were wearing rambunctious attire, all with bright, neon colors. One was bald, with orange streaks beneath his waterline. Another had feathers glued around his eye. A girl with sea-green hair, her boobs nearly sagging out of her clothes, craned her neck to see what was up ahead. A dark man with surgically implanted spikes in his bald head glowered at anyone who dared glance at him. The weirdest was a man with a painted face of black and white, wearing this strange, blue wig.

Compared to us, we were pretty average, and I was glad it stayed that way. "Hey, what the hell, man? Put me down!" A kid, looking about sixteen was lifted from the ground by the bouncer. The humongous bouncer sniffed at him, and with furrowed brows, threw him at the empty road. "What the fuck-"

"Too young. Get outta here," the bouncer ordered.

"I showed you my I.D.," the kid protested. The bouncer looked at him, and smirked. A fang protruded from behind his lower lip, and the kid stared wide-eyed at it.

"Get going before I do something I might regret, boy." The bouncer licked his lips in warning. The teenager scurried to his feet before running full throttle away from the club. I watched his figure run farther and farther away until he rounded a corner. "I.D." Shuheii elbowed me, the bouncer's hand palm-up for my card.

"Ah, yeah." He examined my card, looking back and forth, sniffing the air like an animal. I cringed.

"Enjoy the night." The bouncer grinned, his fangs out and about, lifting the bar into the club. I shuddered with intensity. The music was even louder than I had first thought. It was swarming with humans and vampires, smoke and neon lights spiraling without control. The place smelled of sex, sweat and alcohol. People bumped me from left to right.

It was a sad thing to admit, but clubs were never my thing.

It was filled with all kinds of people you didn't know. All kinds of hoes and perverts. It wasn't my usual turf. But here I was now. I caught glimpses of people leaving from the back door, people swapping tongues… people getting bitten like it was the best feeling in the world. I covered my mouth with my fingers, pushing the vomit down. It was despicable. Disgusting.

"Hey, Ichi, ya all right?" I nodded to Renji, who seemed slightly worried by my reactions.

"Yeah. I just need to go to the bathroom…"

"Sure." He blinked in surprise. I ignored his quizzical eyes. I needed to get some kind of air in this place. I charged to the stalls, but these bitches and bastards were deterring me from that. I pushed inside the bathroom, immediately going for the sink and turning it on; splashed my face with the lukewarm water. I rubbed at my eyes, at my mouth, and breathed heavily, my breaths fogging up the mirror. There was no way I was going to be able to walk out there again. Not with all those parasites hording around.

I sucked in tanks of air, knowing in the back of my mind that there was no way I could get out of this situation without taking a step outside. I looked at my reflection: an average 24-year-old with water dripping from his chin. My orange bangs hung low over my light-cinnamon eyes, slightly wetted and touching my eyelashes. I spotted my lip piercing, done specially by me, glinting from the dim lighting. I stared some more, until my curiosity got the best of me.

I opened my mouth, and expected my teeth. All seemed to be normal, no fangs, for sure. I sighed to myself. I couldn't fucking believe I just did that. I shook my head out of it; convinced myself that it was nothing. That it was normal to feel so abnormal in a place packed with vampires. But it didn't make me less irritated.

The bass pulsed from behind the door, seeping into the empty bathroom. I wiped my face with a paper towel I harshly tugged from a dispenser. Why the fuck should I be scared of mosquitoes like them? There was absolutely no reason I should be camping in this dingy bathroom. All they had were fangs; that was it. With my mind made up, I reached for the door, only to jump back to see a strange man staring at me from a corner.

I wrung my hand, cracking the knuckle by accident like I was burned. When the hell did he get in here? He stared at me with curious, concentrated, cerulean eyes, an eyebrow piercing vaguely raised for interrogation. He was leaning against the tile walls, paying no mind to his white shirt, sleeves ripped off purposely. He gave me a seductive smirk, before pulling himself to his full height, towering over me a few inches, and then striding out of the bathroom like it was his.

How long was he in here? My first impression on him probably wasn't the best, but his first impression wasn't winning the Nobel Peace Prize either. I merely shrugged it off before sucking an air of breath in, and taking the first step into the club. As per usual, the club was louder once I actually entered.

I spotted people grinding against each other, all sweat and muscle. People still swapped spit. People still drank from each other. The vomit nearly came back up. I located the bar in my peripheral, and immediately made it my goal to stop there first. If I was ever going to stay here, I'd have to be able to ignore… a few things. Luckily enough for me, the line wasn't as long as the one outside. The bartender leaned towards me, wiping a glass cup. "Ah, yeah, can I get uh-" The first item I saw, I ordered. "Swirling Pool."

The bartender nodded at me with a salacious wink. He poured and stirred like he'd been doing it all his life, and in no time at all, it was in front of me. Swirling Pool was apparently a red type of drink, and just staring at it left me apprehensive. I looked around me, and saw that other patrons were drinking a drink much similar to mine. My eyes mistakenly landed on a man sipping from a wine glass, a fang hanging off the side of his lip. I swirled the drink around; stared at it. Sniffed at it.

"It's all right. There's no blood in that." I jumped from the sudden voice, and turned towards the person. He smiled at me, and a relieved sigh fell from my lips when I saw no fang. I looked between his golden eyes and the drink, and just in case there was blood in it, I closed my eyes and gulped it down. He laughed, leaning back against the counter. "Wasn't that bad, right?"

I shook my head, water collecting at the corners of my eyes. That was fucking strong. I swallowed the remains of the drink down my throat, feeling it burn all the way until it reached my stomach.I released a breath I didn't know I had, and wiped the tears from my eyes. He laughed again. "In the future, drink it fast. I'm guessing you're a first-timer," he snickered.

"Yeah…" I wiped at my mouth, red traces of the drink landing upon my hand. I analyzed the shot glass in my hand. "What the fuck's in this thing?" He smiled.

"Some kind of alcohol they only sell from here. Drink at least three and you'll be on Cloud Nine." I raised an eyebrow at that.

"Ya shitting me?" I challenged.

"No shit," he assured. Without much thinking at all, I ordered two more. By the time I was on my fourth, my fingers felt numb, and I was breathing through my mouth because it was too difficult with the nose. My body felt like it was buzzing and it was the best feeling in the world. The lights flashed before my eyes, and it made me dizzy, but I had no exhibitions. I giggled at whatever this guy just said, though I was sure it wasn't even that funny to begin with.

I kept laughing and laughing for no reason, and I think at some point, the man took notice of it and just laughed along with me. Only one thing stopped my giggle-fest. I felt it. The first two screws drilling into my back, boring inside. I steered my eyes behind me, and it was that same man. His curious eyes were still on me, his head leaning against a fur-covered wall. He continued to stare even though I was staring back. He cocked his head to the side, and like before, that same smirk broke out on his lips.

"Come on." I tugged on the man next to me, dragging him into the middle of the dance floor where all the bodies seemed to be attracted to. Lights swirled above me, and the smoke made it harder to see. Some people hissed at me, some others pulled me in further into the huddle. The music threaded through my veins, intoxicating me even more. It was invigorating. Even while I felt a boner near my ass, I was ignorant of it. I continued to grind and dip my body, knowing full well that I was not dancing with the man I met at the bar.

His sweat mixed with mine, his lips nicking the side of my neck. I felt teeth gnaw at my skin, but I chose to ignore it. The "Dope Show" by Marilyn Manson rang in my ears, yet I couldn't hear it. The man in front of me disappeared in a heap of blurs, his saliva on my collarbone growing cold and nonexistent. And then I saw him.

He was staring at me again. With those severe, deep-blue eyes, digging into my skin. He was leaning against a different wall this time, those hidden pupils trained on me. The music began to die, and the shouts of the man I'd been grinding against shushed as I took the first step towards him.

Why the hell… does he keep staring at me?

The more I focused on his piercing eyes, the more I thought I could hear my breathing and the beating of my heart even clearer. He licked his lips, smiling that smirk I was starting to get accustomed to. Yet… no fangs. My legs felt wobbly, my arms dead by my sides. I reached out for him as much as I could, but I couldn't get any further than this. The bodies were crushing me in, restricting me from ever exiting. Then he began to stand onto the balls of his feet, and throwing me another smirk, he disappeared without a trace.