Author's Notes:

As requested by Serena-loves-Angst, I have written a FaiSyao fic in which Syaoran takes responsibility for the events of Tokyo and becomes Fai's "game." I've decided to tell this mini-story through a series of short vignettes, which is why you will see so many line breaks throughout this story.

Initially, this was intended to be a oneshot. And then it turned into a 7000-word behemoth. So I've sliced it into three parts, making it a three-shot.

Warnings: This fic contains smut, darkness, adult content, and shameless use of the present tense. However, the smut doesn't come in until part three, so even if you don't care for smut, you can read up to that point without encountering it(I don't see why you'd bother, as the purpose of this story is to reach the smut in the most plausible manner possible, but if you don't mind missing the entire point, you can just stick to the first two chapters).

Love Bites

Part I

Fai is dying.

They all know it, though no one says it. Syaoran stands at the edge of the room, watching the nightmare unfold and knowing he's responsible for it. Yuuko regards their group from the circle of light Mokona's projected onto the wall. Her wine-red eyes fall on the ninja. "Kurogane. It is your wish to keep Fai from dying. Fai does not want you to make that wish."

Kurogane flinches.

Yuuko continues. "Therefore, you will have to take on the burden of responsibility for his life."

Responsibility? Syaoran thinks, head snapping up. No one takes notice of his sudden movement. He is not important enough to be noticed. No. That's wrong. Nothing that's happened today is his fault. He opens his mouth, lifting one hand. "Wait."

The others ignore him. Kurogane glares at the witch. "What am I supposed to do?" he demands, his voice cold, determined.

"You must become 'game' for him."

Syaoran's blood turns to ice. The word reverberates in his ears, a dissonant chorus. Game. Unlike his homicidal clone, he knows the term. Game. Synonymous with prey, food, bait. An image of Fai ripping into the ninja's throat flickers through his mind. He doesn't deserve that. None of them deserve to be turned into prey. This is wrong. He lurches forward, not thinking, only reacting. "Wait," he gasps, pain shooting up his leg. Blood leaks from the wound on his thigh. His clone cut him deeply in the fight, in more ways than one. But I'm not the only one who's hurt, he thinks. And of all of us, I deserve to be hurt most.

Finally, Kurogane looks at him. His eyes burn red, like dying embers. Syaoran pauses, almost backing down before he squares his shoulders. "I'll do it."

Shouts. Chaos. Expressions of horror. Kurogane grabs his arm. "No."

"I have to. It's my fault."


"I didn't make it in time. I should've been able to stop it." And that's not the real problem, though he feels guilty for it. Rather, his wish is the problem—the wish he made so long ago, trying to save someone he loved. And while this isn't the same situation, Syaoran does not abandon people he cares about.

This time, Kurogane pauses. His tanned fingers unfurl. Syaoran holds his chin high, refusing to waver even as fear coils in his gut. When it's clear there are no more objections, he turns to Yuuko. "I will pay the price."

It's later, much later, when Fai stirs again. He remembers pain—hideous pain, as if someone had set him afire—but that is gone now, and so too is half his magic, though it takes him a few seconds to remember why. Dazed, he opens his remaining eye. The other remains covered beneath a patch of bandages and cloth.

The first face he sees is the last face he ever wanted to see, and he recoils in fear, instinct overriding reason as he flails atop the mattress. The boy—not the boy who betrayed him, though he doesn't realize that yet—comes to his bedside, mumbling false reassurances. When the boy's fingers wrap around his, Fai jerks his hand away. A sudden pain dances across his fingertips as he lashes out, and even half-blind and disoriented, he has time to wonder how his fingernails grew so long so fast before they slice into Syaoran's face.

The boy cries out, and something inside Fai shrivels, like a child recoiling from the cruel fist of a tormentor. His mind returns to him, bringing clarity with it. He recognizes the boy now, though his face is obscured by several trails of blood(and his blood smells so sweet that all Fai can think about is ripping into his exposed, pulsing throat and drinking until his stomach ruptures). This is not the Syaoran who ripped his eye out, but the one who intervened just a few minutes too late.

They are still for several seconds. Eventually, this new Syaoran removes his blood-streaked hand from his face. Fai stares at the blood, a pit opening up in his stomach, as if he's never eaten before. Or as if he'll never eat again. His body riots, and before he can regain control of it, his mouth fastens over Syaoran's bloodied hand, and a primal satisfaction crashes over him.

Fai wants him dead.

Oddly, it's not the first time Syaoran has thought that, though Fai has been a vampire for less than six hours. Fai's awakening, along the impulsive attack, had stunned him, left him cowering as the vampire sipped blood from his palm. But though Fai is now in control of his instincts, Syaoran has never been more afraid.

"Why did you send Sakura-chan alone to pay the price?" Fai strides over to him, and he draws back, unnerved by the man's predatory grace. Kurogane starts to move between them, then hesitates, glancing back as if realizing once more that the boy behind him is not the one he's grown used to protecting.

Syaoran waits, bracing himself for the blow. He won't flinch away this time, though the scabs on his face still sting. Fai pauses less than a foot away. Though he hides it well, Syaoran sees hatred in his remaining eye.

The hatred wanes with the next few worlds, though wisps of it linger like poison in the air. Their physical wounds heal, apart from those that scar over, refusing to disappear. Syaoran doesn't have to look in a mirror to know that the scabs on his face have turned to angry pink scars. And he doesn't have to look at the magician to know that those scars mean nothing compared to the blond man's empty eye socket.

Sometimes, Syaoran feels as if something is tugging on his heart.

At first, he's not sure what it is. Perhaps he's been trapped in a tube too long and can't remember how his body is supposed to feel. But part of him doubts. Syaoran considers, analyzes, hypothesizes. Eventually, he realizes the source of his discomfort: his blood-bond with Fai has produced an interesting sort of symbiosis. Though bloodletting ought to cause harm, after a few days without being fed upon, Syaoran feels like the pressure inside his body is building. As if too much blood flows through his veins.

The solution to this, naturally, requires Fai to drag his dagger-sharp nail across Syaoran's wrist and drink until Syaoran can't walk straight.

"You should've let me pay the price," Kurogane says one night, as he pours himself another shot, this one from a green bottle with elegant script curling across the label.

Syaoran shakes his head. Feeding Fai weakens him, true, but since he takes care not to give blood right before a chess match, he doesn't consider it a problem. There's little else to do in Infinity apart from sleeping, reading, and fighting. Besides, he considers his payment a duty, not just a burden.

He figures that he has hurt them all so much that it's only fair that he pays with what little he can offer.

Fai smells it. The blood. Sweet, rich, alluring, with a spice that makes it irresistible. And he must resist, especially now, when thousands of watchers cheer them on from the stands, when the blood is dripping down the forbidden curve of Syaoran's lips. They descend into their prep room, where they can remove their collars and deposit their rented equipment.

The second Sakura and Kurogane slip into their separate changing rooms, Fai snatches Syaoran by the collar and slams him against the wall. The boy huffs, all the air rushing out of his lungs at the impact. His eyes glaze over with shock, perhaps pain. And Fai doesn't care about anything except the blood, but he knows he can't just lap it up like he would if it had been anywhere but Syaoran's lips, so instead, he wraps a clawed hand around Syaoran's chin, tilting it up and holding his head in place. Fangs explode from his gums and pierce the soft, yielding flesh of the boy's throat.

Syaoran hides the puncture wounds beneath the collar of his shirt. After a few hours, the marks disappear.

Sixteen days. That's how long Fai holds out before he gives in to his thirst again.

"Please," Syaoran whispers. The others left an hour ago, Sakura out shopping, Kurogane guarding her. There is no one here to see, no one here to judge except for himself and the boy begging him to drink.

"I can't," Fai says. "I won't."

"Please," Syaoran whispers again, clutching the sheets. His skin burns with a fever, and his eyes resemble glass marbles. His fingers cling to Fai's shirt, heartbeat pulsing in his fingertips, a constant reminder of Fai's self-imposed starvation. "Please . . . I feel like I'm going to explode."

Fai shakes his head. "You're just congested. You've had a fever for two days now." Two days too long, since none of them have ever fallen ill on this journey. Perhaps their exemplary health is a product of Mokona's magic, or perhaps the sicknesses of other worlds are just too foreign to affect them. The fact that Syaoran has fallen sick worries Fai, and he finds he cannot distance himself as he ought to. He rests a hand on the boy's forehead. "Just rest."

"You don't understand!" Syaoran shouts. Fai draws back, startled by the outburst. This Syaoran seldom leaves his room, never speaks above a murmur, and withdraws from their presence as soon as it is prudent to do so. The shouting does not match the way Fai has come to see him. "I'm not congested, I'm dying."

Fai can only stare as he absorbs that.

"Fai-san, p-please . . ." The boy's voice drops again to a whisper, and this time, the plea is so pathetic that Fai softens a little. "It's not just the fever. It's been sixteen days since you last fed. It hurts."

Finally, Fai relents. He doesn't bother drawing blood from the wrist this time. Instead, he lifts Syaoran into a sitting position and bites down on his neck. Blood sprays between his teeth, flowing much faster than last time. For a moment, Fai fears he's ruptured some important artery, fears he will kill the boy instead of relieve his pain. But hunger, stored up and ignored over sixteen agonizing days, overwhelms him, and he sucks greedily, his mouth pressed against Syaoran's neck. Hot, sticky blood overflows from the corners of his lips even as he gulps down the quantities spraying into his mouth. For the first time since Tokyo, instinct rules his actions more than logic. He can't stop drinking. He doesn't want to stop.

The whole time, Syaoran whimpers, occasionally murmuring coherent phrases or words. "Please . . . yes . . . Ah, that feels good. Suck harder."

The words stir something inside Fai. He pushes the feeling away, dismissing it as ridiculous. Obviously, the fever has made the boy delirious—he wouldn't say such things if he had any idea how suggestive they sounded.

When Syaoran's blood pressure drops, Fai's instincts recede enough for him to let go. Hunger remains inside him, lurking in his stomach like a beast pacing in its cage, but taking more blood will only endanger the boy's life. Hastily, he wipes the boy's already-healing throat clean of blood and heads to the living room to give him some peace.

Syaoran's fever breaks within the hour.

Fai struggles to sleep that night. Syaoran's innocent innuendos keep flitting through his mind, and Fai cannot connect anything with the boy's quick recovery except the blood bond they share. It worries him that the boy is just as dependent on being fed on as Fai is on the blood, yet there is a strange comfort in being needed. It reminds him that while he could take the elevator to the rooftop and fling himself off the edge of the building, doing so would harm someone he has unwillingly come to care for.

When the glowing red numbers on the nightstand declare it is five in the morning, Fai crawls out of bed. He gets into the shower and turns the water to the coldest possible temperature.

Some lines shouldn't be crossed.

Fai knows he's crossing one of those lines when he draws his fingertip across a cut on Syaoran's cheek and sticks the bloodied finger into his mouth. He knows he's crossing another when he leans forward and runs his tongue across the slice, tasting the blood there.

Fai just isn't sure he cares.

It's not that Syaoran likes having someone rip into his flesh and drink his blood. It's just that he feels compelled to do so. He doesn't think about it much, except when the pulsing under his skin grows uncomfortable. In fact, the first time he really considers what he's been doing is when Fai apologizes to him for what happened after last night's chess match.

"Honestly, it's not a big deal," Syaoran says. The fact that he's blushing lends little credibility to his assurance.

"It is a big deal," Fai insists. "I crossed a line. That was too . . ." He trails off.

On impulse, Syaoran finishes the sentence for him. "Intimate."

"Yes." Fai looks away.

Another impulse pushes Syaoran to take the magician's hand. "It wasn't so bad."

Fai stares at him for a moment. Then, without a word, he walks out, leaving Syaoran alone.

Three days go by, and no one knows where Fai has gone, only that he left a note one the counter saying not to worry about him.

Fai stands alone atop the roof, staring down at the lines of traffic below. Headlights and streetlamps glow, some of them flickering because of poor electrical wiring. Sidewalks stretch along these streams of light, pedestrians hurrying through the illuminated circles beneath the street lamps.

Every night for three nights, Fai has considered stepping off of the rooftop. These trips are only the latest in a lifelong string of suicidal impulses, but he has never felt so compelled to go through with it. But while he sometimes pretends to be a coward—as acting cowardly extricates him from many troubling situations—Fai knows that he is not.

If he was truly a coward, he would have killed himself when his brother had died.