Author's Notes:
This is a - ::Deep breath.:: - AU vampire sci-fi yaoi fic. It started out as an image of Sano in a Maxtrix-esque leather trench coat, and turned into something much, much more. A few years ago, I did a lot of (bad) original vampire stories, so this is sort of a return home for me. Theoretically, the old ideas were probably pretty good, or at least half-decent, but the execution of them was terrible. I don't know if I've improved any, but let's hope, for your sake, that I have.
So, like I said, this is yaoi. It's post-apocolyptic sci-fi (although I don't intend to get too detailed in the scientific bits - I'm more interested in the social, political, and supernatural parts of this story), and it's vampires. If it seems like I'm stealing some author's idea from this genre, I'm probably not, because I don't read this a lot of sci-fi. I love it, and I love vampire/horror stuff, and I love supernatural stuff, but I don't read a lot of it. I think the heaviest influences are:
The Gates to Women's Country, by Sheri S. Tepper (which I'm reading now), Anne Rice (although these vampires aren't exactly like Lestat and Louis), Talaco's sci-fi fic (which I still haven't read! Eek!), for reminding me that I wanted to do this, and Hunter by Clarus, for making me go, Ooooh, Kenshin as a vampire would be sexy!'
Also, I know there have been a lot of RK vampire fics recently, but... Well, I hope this one stands out, or at least holds it own.
So. That's all from me!
Please read and review, and enjoy!!!


To Clarus, the Smutbunny Queen, my fanfic mistress (I'm on my knees with my keyboard in my lap!), maker of Spaghetti-O's and French Toast, constantly supportive pal, and, perhaps most relevantly, the wonderful beta for this little fic that might. Love ya, babe!

Drinking Mercury

Chapter One

The rain pelted the glass roof of the elevator. It stunk of decay inside the glass and steel box, smelled like rotting carpet and dank dust. He looked up. Past the steel elevator cable, and the high-up cross-bar and pulley, he could see the pale, grey sky. Just that little square of foggy grey visible through the open top of the elevator shaft.

It had been raining all day, and it was really starting to grate on his nerves. He didn't really like the rain - too dank, and this city was already dank enough . . . God, what a death trap - this whole fucking city . . . A goddamn ruin, a pile of rubble.

The elevator dinged pleasantly and the glass doors opened to his floor. He stepped out of the elevator and onto the moldy, dirt-red carpet. He walked soundlessly to his apartment, and let himself in.

His apartment was dark - he never left lights on. He hung up his black trench coat, toed off his shoes, and drew one of his pistols from his shoulder holster, pointing it straight into the darkest shadows in the far corner of the room.

What the hell are you doing here? he ground out, clicking off the safety.

There was a soft laugh, and a figure coalesced from the shadows. A sweet-faced young man stepped out of the gloom, smiling slyly. His dark brown hair was tied in a ponytail high at the crown of his head, and he wore a white button-down shirt and black slacks. He did not appear to be armed, but it never hurt to be too distrustful.

I said, he repeated, his gun trained on the boy, what the hell are you doing here?

The young man laughed again, his hair swinging slightly as he shook his head. Thick bangs shadowed his already dark eyes. I'm afraid you don't understand, Mr. Sagara. I'm the one who's supposed to be asking you that . . .

And what the fuck is that supposed to mean? the taller man growled.

It means, this is not your registered place of residence . . . And you know how the administration feels about that . . . A threat to global security such as yourself just can't pick up and move, you know . . .

So the cops sent you? How will they feel if I send you back with a bullet in both your knees?

The young man actually had the audacity to giggle. Sagara placed the longhaired youth at twenty, tops - definitely younger than him. The boy - he was just barely a man, at all - toyed with the collar of his white shirt, which had a few buttons undone to reveal a mess of silver necklaces and chokers, which all shone dully in the poor light. He had a ring on each of his fingers, and his wrists were covered in silver bracelets, as well. I'm sure they wouldn't like that, he said lightly. He flashed a teasingly sympathetic look. But you won't be able to shoot me.

Why's that? Sagara bit out, not lowering his weapon.

You couldn't hit me if your life depended on it, sweetheart . . . He pushed his fingers past the collar of his shirt, brushing them across his chest in a way that might have been seductive, if Sagara weren't so goddamn mad . . . The thing is, Mr. Sagara, I don't want you to hit me . . . All I want, is to give you a message . . . My time is my money, if you see what I mean, and I have this terrible habit of giving my time up to a certain man for free . . . It gets me in all sorts of trouble . . .

Well, then give me your fucking message and get the fuck out of my apartment! He jabbed his free hand in the direction of the door behind him.

The prettyboy laughed again. His sense of humour was really beginning to get annoying . . . The message is . . . Well, it's sort of personal . . . Mind if I whisper it in your ear? he asked coyly. You can put your big gun up to my head while I do, if it makes you feel manly . . .

The tall man glared. Hurry up.

The younger man moved fluidly towards him, and stopped inches away. He stood on his tiptoes to reach Sagara's ear, fingertips resting on his chest, and he pressed those soft lips to the shell of the other man's ear. Sure enough, the armed man pressed his gun into the boy's hair, right above his ear, his finger tight on the trigger.

The boy whispered, his breath hot against Sagara's skin. The message is this: The administration is watching you. You're walking a thin line, Mr. Sagara, a very thin line. Police Chief Saito wants to meet with you soon. He'll send word with a date, and you had better not miss it. The boy darted his tongue out to lick Sagara's ear, and the larger man pushed him away violently.

Temper, temper, the boy teased, regaining his balance easily.

Get - out. Sagara had the gun pointed at his chest again.

He giggled, and made for the door, his demeanor as casual as could be. He lingered in the doorway, much to the tenant's dismay, making doe eyes at him, his bottom lip thrust out in a way that was mathematically figured to be seductive. So long, Mr. Sagara, he said sweetly, tipping his head coquettishly. It sure was nice to meet you. With that, he stepped fully into the hall, pulling the door shut behind himself.

Once the boy was gone, Sagara put the safety back on his gun and did a sweep of the apartment. Nothing planted - nothing that he could find, and there wasn't a tracer or bug he couldn't find. No hidden explosives, no recording devices, no tiny cameras, no motion sensors - nothing. So the boy, whoever the hell he was, really had come simply to deliver Saito's message. Well.

He knew. Sagara knew that the police chief had an eye on him. Saito had been watching him for fifteen years. Saito knew that Sagara could be a real threat if he wanted to be. The problem was, Sagara didn't really care.

So that's all it takes, he thought, going to the fridge and getting a beer. He popped it open, and flicked on the light switch. Sitting down at the kitchen table was a dubious proposition - the chairs were all too rickety, so he leaned on the counter, sipping his beer thoughtfully. I pick up and move and that's all it fucking takes. He sighed. Well, I guess it makes sense. Easiest way to bring a guy down. Nail im doin' something small, and pretty soon, everything big he's done shows up, too. The beer was cold in the empty pit of his stomach. It would take longer to work its little bit of magic that way . . . But they ain't gonna nail me for this. No . . . That bastard Saito wants something . . . He ain't sayin' what, yet, but I can smell it. The administration is fucking up to something . . . Goddamn sons of bitches . . .

The beeping of the answering machine finally got through to his consciousness. That obnoxious little beep . . . He put down his beer and went to check his messages.

You have two new messages, and nine old messages, the electronic, female voice chirped at him. There was another beep, and then -

Sagara. S Nik. 9:30, t'night, you bastard, or I'll send someone over to get my order, whether you want to give or not. So you better fucking deliver. A click, another beep, and the second message -

Hi . . . I'm, um, calling for - er - Genly Ai . . . ? My name is Oren Ngele. I was given this number by a Mr. Nikolas. I hope you can help. My number is 84-922-7405. Please call. Thank you. Another click, and the same following beep.

End of messages. Another beep.

Sagara shook his head. Nikolas, you bastard . . . The man was a client, and he had the nasty habit of giving out Sagara's number to just about anyone who brought up the subject of weapons. Nikolas' other nasty habit was paying late - very late - and wanting his orders early. Sagara figured Nikolas wanted his ass kicked, but he bided his time, knowing that, soon enough, the man would give him a real reason to be angry.

He went into the spare room, and opened the the box marked NIKOLAS.' There sat Nikolas' latest order - two rebuilt semi-automatics. He'd bee holding them for almost a month, waiting for the bastard's payment. After a month, he broke down orders or sold them to someone else. Looking at the data sheet on the order, Nikolas had five more days to pay, if he didn't want to restate the order. Five more days for the man to get the money, because, in Sagara's business, there was no delivery without payment.

Sagara shut and locked the NIKOLAS box, and stood up. He sat down at the desk, and turned on his laptop. Time to do a background check on Oren Ngele.' He didn't trust Nikolas even as far as he could throw the man, but if Ngele checked out, he might consider taking the order . . .

The ride home was boring, and Okita hated doing nothing. He'd sort of hoped Sagara would show a little interest, but the prospect hadn't panned out, and the assignment had been just as boring as that sort of job always was. The hired car dropped him at home and, as he'd expected, Saito was waiting for him. The police chief had a key not because Okita trusted him, per se, but because he liked coming home to Saito, because, when Saito came to his apartment, Okita usually got laid.

Honey, I'm home! he called playfully, locking the door behind himself and going to sit on the handsome man's lap.

How did your meeting with Sagara go? Saito asked, his hands on Okita's hips.

Mmm . . . He's pretty, Okita murmured. I wanted to fuck him . . . But he didn't seem terribly interested . . .

Saito chuckled darkly. Not what I meant.

Okita pouted. Well, he didn't shoot me, if that's what you meant! The younger man leaned forward, rolling his hips against Saito's. He got the message clear a day . . . Now - Mmm . . . - stop talking so much . . .

And with that, Saito lifted Okita off his lap, and set him down beside him on the sofa. The long-haired youth moaned as the tall, dark-haired man stood.

You're not leaving . . . !

I have work to do, Saito said calmly. He walked to the door, and removed his jacket from the coat rack.

Okita pulled off one of his rings and threw it at his sometimes-lover, hitting him square on the temple. You bastard. . .

Saito chuckled. I'm bad for business, he said. Go fuck someone who'll pay you. That said, he was gone. Okita considered this suggestion and decided that it was a goddamn lovely idea. . .

Not much here, yet . . . Hopefully it sounds promising? Yes? No?
Genly Ai is the code name under which Sano operates or, really, the name new customers are given when they want to strike up a deal. Genly Ai is the name of the main character from the book The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin. It's a science fiction classic, and sort of fitting, cause I'd like to work some sci-fi in this fic. Sano doesn't know that, though. Most likely, he just opened the book, saw the same, and said, Hey, that works,' and printed up a business card. And, after all, anyone can have a business card, and you mustn't believe what's written on them . . .
Loooots of yaoi here. There is much more to come, too. Okita and Sano? What? Only in a world with Slutty Okita (TM) would this be possible. Otherwise, it isn't a pairing that I would (could!) consider.
Lastly, the title was suggested by Clarus and comes from the Smashing Pumpkins song Ava Adore. Thanks Clarus!
Again, I say, pleaaaase read and review! I crave comments - good or bad!