Author/Alias: RS & NC (kaliforniaroll@aol.com)

Title/Part Number: Darkness Kiss Chapter 1

Catagory/Warnings: Serious, dark, vamp, angst, death?

Pairings: 1+2, 3+4, 5+?

Feedback: Yes

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Heero was worried. And not to mention pissed.

If Heero was worried, the rest of the household was frantically searching for cover. If Heero was pissed, they were writing their last wills and testaments from their respective hiding places. The latter seemed like an appropriate idea for the current situation.

Quatre nervously inched his way over to Heero's desk. When Heero was disturbed in any way, his laptop provided what comfort it could. It seemed that lately Heero had been turning towards Duo for such comfort, as proof was given by the thin walls at night. Now, however, the comfort of a warm body and the subtle caress of love was to be denied in favor for that of a mechanical, cold, but reliable source. One that would not deceive, should not scheme. One that could not turn against him.

"Ah...Heero?" A light tap brought the Japanese pilot whirling around, ready to disembowel with bare, slightly shaking hands. Realizing that it was only Quatre, Heero gave a dismissive snort and turned back to his work. Quatre was worried, and visibly so. He would not give up so easily.

"Heero...you haven't eaten anything for three days."

Heero showed no signs of having heard or understood.

He tried again. "Heero, if you don't eat something, you won't be fit enough to accomplish your missions."

A reaction. Quatre sighed with relief as Heero absently reached for the already cold platter of--something or the other that had been sitting next to his laptop for a unknown amount of time. It had been distinguishable, even edible -- when first served. Now, it was nothing more than a slightly gray colored pile of cold mush that the blond pilot could have sworn was jiggling. He considered making something a little more nutritious and a little less -- alive, but decided against wasting the effort if Heero didn't care anyways.

The door quietly squeaked on its hinges, announcing a new presence into the room. Quatre felt warmth spread through his body; his courage to face the unerringly cold boy typing away at the laptop replenished. It was Trowa, there to give support as needed.

"Heero....I'm sure we're all worrying about nothing." Quatre gently moved forward to touch Heero's arm. Heero stared blankly at the speaker, with the uncomprehending gaze of perhaps a three-year-old. Feeling genuinely sorry for the obviously suffering Heero, Quatre plowed on ahead. "Because Duo might just be...going out to drink for all we know."

Trowa nodded, his flat green eyes giving nothing away to the casual observer. But Quatre, through long practice, could tell that he was skeptical of such a possibility.

"We're going to have to follow him." Heero nodded slowly at Trowa, acknowledging the wisdom of his words. Quatre bit his lip. It was necessary, but it felt....wrong, somehow. It was an intrusion upon privacy. Yet, with a sigh, he knew that moral qualms had no place in the life of a gundam pilot.

Soft footsteps resounded through the empty hall outside. With fluid grace, the Chinese pilot slid soundlessly into the room. There was no need to inform him of their discussion; he knew exactly what they were talking about. He also knew exactly the course of action they had decided to take.

Leaking of information was not something to be taken lightly, especially for people in their line of work. A leak could mean capture, torture, even death. All precautions were taken against that sort of thing, but once in a while someone on the inside would betray his comrades for glittering promises of power, influence, and wealth.

Or whatever Duo Maxwell had decided to betray his teammates for.

From Quatre's point of view, there was always the possibility that Duo wasn't doing anything wrong at all. Why should they get so worried about him going out at about three in the morning without leaving any sort of notice when in fact all he could be doing was going out for a drink?

Maybe if it was a one time thing, then it would have been forgotten. But on an nightly basis for three weeks now, Duo had been slipping out of bed at obscene times to god-knows-where. And he had expected Heero not to notice.

From Heero's point of view, the betrayal was as obvious as if Duo had personally handed them over to Oz on a silver platter with a smirk on his all-too-beautiful face. There was the fact that Heero tended to be overly paranoid sometimes; but sometimes a little paranoia did one good. Heero blinked, his concentration momentarily distracted from his gruesome little mental image as the other pilots laid out the plans.

It was decided, then.

Tonight they would find out if their beloved Deathscythe pilot was in fact a traitor.

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3:00 a.m.

Violet eyes cautiously cracked open, one at a time. Making sure that his evidently snoring partner was still slumbering, Duo carefully slipped out of bed and began to dress in his usual black, though not his priest outfit. Walking over to the window, he paused a minute to take a breath of the fresh night air, then glance one last time back at the figure still lying in the bed. With a regretful sigh, he eased the window opened and jumped into the dark embrace of the night.

A cobalt blue eye cracked open. Duo had forgotten one important thing: Heero didn't snore.

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Heero sat up, all pretense of sleep eliminated. His icy cobalt gaze betraying no emotion, he mechanically sat up and briskly strode to the wall opposing the bed and tapped three times. It was the signal.

After some shuffling, the three taps were returned. Without hesitating, he turned to his dresser drawer. Taking out his favorite and most effective gun, he carefully loaded it, then rested it gently on the clean white starched sheets of his bed. His gaze turned to a small nondescript shoe box resting under his bed, unobtrusively. He reached in and drew it out. Opening it, he then removed a mass of black fabric. He separated the two articles of black clothing and pulled on black jeans over his spandex, then pulled off his green tanktop and replaced it with a black tanktop. He strapped a holster on to his waist, so his gun rested on the small of his back. He pulled on black boots and laced them tightly.

With what seemed like a slight sigh of resignation, he slowly walked over to the window that had been *HIS* route of escape not so long ago. Escape from what?

The steely determination in his eyes wavered slightly. //Why, Duo?//

He closed his eyes. When they next opened, all emotion had been conveniently disposed of.

The door opened silently and the other pilots soundlessly entered. They, too, wore an assortment of black clothing. Wufei wore a baggy ensemble that vaguely resembled something a ninja would wear. He had his sword strapped to his back, but Heero didn't doubt that he had a gun somewhere on his person. Quatre had black slacks and a blazer type of thing. Trowa wore a tight black T and black jeans. Both had a shoulder holster and a gun.

Heero's icy blue cobalt gaze swept over them, chillingly. After what seemed like an eternity, he spoke.

"Let's go."

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Duo ran, enjoying the cold night air, relishing the darkness, and hating himself for doing so. He hated anything that reminded him of who he was...of what he was....

//Heh...if the other guys knew...//

If the other guys knew, then what? What would they do? What would Heero think? Shaking his head, he repressed the thought. He'd never let Heero know...not of his own free will, anyway. He glanced around, and realized that he was at a dark alleyway. Sensing a life force nearby, he grinned.

//Perfect...// So he didn't have to comb the miserable city for his victim, then. Good, better for him. The sooner he got back, the greater a chance that Heero wouldn't notice that he'd been gone at all. It was better this way, that Heero didn't know the truth about him. If he knew, Duo was sure that the Japanese pilot would be horrified. He couldn't take that sort of chance, not with Heero. The stakes were too high; he didn't know what he'd do without Heero.

He shook his mind back to the present. There was a task at hand.

A body was lying partially hidden behind a trashcan. He stalked silently toward it, hunger gnawing at his senses. Relying on his vampire senses, he could feel the life radiating from the form in front of him. Weak, but nonetheless there. The bum appeared to be dying; either from starvation or drugs he couldn't yet tell. The person's life force would be enough to tide him over until his next meal. As Duo neared the unconscious person, a stronger life force appeared behind him, drawing his attention.

//Seems like I have stumbled upon a better meal...or the better meal has stumbled upon me...//

He stopped, straining his senses. From what his supernatuarlly enhanced senses could tell him, this new arrival positively radiated life, tainted somewhat with a dark substance, but probably the best meal he would have had in a long time. The person behind him had apparently stopped as well. Was the person stalking him? Why would somebody be following him?

His stomach protested sharply, silencing his questions, or at least pushing them to the back of his mind. It probably didn't matter who the person was, anyway. Just someone caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hunger overwhelming curiosity, he prepared to strike.

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Heero quietly crept along the shadows, hoping to spot his quarry. He and the others had lost sight of Duo a little while back so they separated when they came to the city. He neared a small alley, just in time to see a dark form enter. Though the features where obscured by the blanket of darkness, the heavy braid swinging behind the figure was unmistakable.

//Duo...//

Exerting all his skill, he followed Duo into the alleyway, keeping as quiet as possible. The alley was bare except for a few trashcans and a sleeping bum lying on the dirty ground. He watched as Duo approached the bum. Could the bum be the OZ contact in disguise?

But his thoughts were quickly distracted as Duo stopped a few paces before the pile of rags encasing the sleeping man and just...breathed. A thought sprung into his head:

//God, he looks good...//

Though the thought had no business in his head, it couldn't be denied. A closer glance revealed the braided pilot to be wearing black leather boots and an ankle length black trenchcoat. The trenchcoat gave no clue at what Duo was wearing underneath. Heero suddenly had an image of Duo whirling around and flashing him w/ that trenchcoat.

Heero shook it off and noticed Duo tensing up.

//Does he know I'm here?// His hand moved to his gun, his body taut and ready for whatever the other pilot might try to pull. Or so he thought.

His mind barely registered as Duo turned in a blur of motion then seemed to melt into the shadows. Before he could so much as twitch, the darkness rushed at Heero, immobilizing him. Weakly, he tried to struggle against whatever supernatural force had him its grip, and failed as his strength drained away, leaving him utterly helpless as whatever it was latched onto his neck. Faintly, he felt two pricks of pain on his neck, the world tilted; then darkness welcomed him.

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Using one of his simpler abilities, Duo seemingly became a shadow. He couldn't have his victim seeing his face, even though most likely the poor soul wouldn't live to tell about the encounter. It was better safe than sorry, he'd learned over the years. With speed that almost astonished himself, he turned and blurred into his familiar guise of dark mist, then leapt onto his prey. Without even glancing at the person's features, he latched down on the neck and began to drink greedily. As he drank, he sensed the darkness that tainted the person's blood before, only ten times greater now that he had direct contact. Whoever was his meal tonight, he was doing a favor by ending his life. Blood, tears, and anguish; all the darker emotions seemed to be an integral part of this person's life; even his darker self felt sympathetic.

Blood could tell much to those who could understand its language, which he was very capable of. Blood passed through the heart, carrying the heart's secret messages throughout the thousands of veins of the human body, through the various limbs, and organs. A brain had the option of only receiving life force and refusing messages, and was often last in learning a heart's decision. Duo knew the many secrets of the heart, but the price of understanding such a system was to forfeit his own life force. His blood no longer bore the emotions of his heart, nor the life force to sustain his body.

The human beneath him struggled futilely, but he clamped on, and the struggles subsided and the form fell limp. He smiled and continued to feed.

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Wufei turned the corner and noticed two dark forms standing in a nearby alley. From the looks of it, it appeared to be Heero and Duo, but he couldn't be sure. The farther of the two moved slightly, and he glimpsed the long chestnut braid. Yes, one of them was definitely Maxwell. He squinted at the other, and studied the silhouette of the tousled hair. The other one was most likely Yuy.

His eyes widened as he saw Duo abruptly turn in a lightening quick move and leap onto Heero, all on the space of a second. Before Duo blurred out of his vision into the shadows, Wufei could have sworn he saw Duo smile and bare sharp fangs.

//Kuso...it couldn't be!//

As he stood dumbfounded, he watched as Heero tried to fight the shadow that had him in its deadly embrace. Slowly, the Japanese pilot began to lose the battle, and fell to his knees, the dark form still latched firmly on his body. Wufei shook himself and regained some of his senses. Cursing under his breath, he ran into the alleyway and plunged his hands into the darkness encircling the form he could only guess to be Duo. When his hands didn't immediately burn off or something, he grabbed hold of something that felt like a shoulder and yanked as hard as was humanly possible. Duo didn't budge, resisting Wufei's persistent attempts to get him off with what seemed to be supernatural strength.

Glancing at Heero's contorted features, Wufei could tell that he was in pain; and was steadily losing consciousness. He strained his muscles harder, desperate. From the looks if it, if Duo didn't let go soon, Heero would probably die.

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As Duo fed, he sensed yet another life force coming up behind him. This new presence's life force was as strong as the one he was currently draining, but in an entirely different way. The newly arrived person's aura was also tainted with something dark, but not as heavily as his present victim. Well, he'd get his turn, too, as soon as Duo was finished with this one. He was faintly shocked as strong hands found his shoulders and began to pull with surprising strength. For a human. Of course, being human, the new arrival was no match for his supernatural strength; he firmly gripped his meal and ignored the annoying tugs on his shoulders, reveling the sweetness of his slowly dying victim's blood.

"DUO! STOP! YOU'RE KILLING HIM!!!"

Strange. The mortal knew his name. Was the human an acquaintance of his...other half? The sweet taste of blood washed over his tongue, its intoxicating caress convincing him to forget all else other than his victim bleeding his sweet essence into his mouth. His cloak of darkness fell away; he was too distracted with his meal to maintain it. Creating it took concentration, and he simply didn't want to spare the extra effort when taking care of the witnesses once he was finished was easy enough.

"DUO! YOU'RE KILLING HEERO!!!"

Killing....Heero? With a sudden, unpleasant jolt, he broke out of his trance. It wasn't possible...

He dimly felt his grip go lax as his fingers went numb. His victim slipped from his arms and slammed to the ground heavily. He stared at the limp form beneath him, shock winding its way through his senses. The face was too pale, pain written on those delicate features. The two wounds on his neck still streamed the sweet nectar of blood, but Duo was too horrified to smell its enticing scent. His mind could only focus on one thing, or rather, one person...

//Oh, God, what have I done?//

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Wufei barely noticed as Duo's cover of darkness disappeared, banishing all doubts on the identity of Heero's attacker. What was the oddest thing was that it appeared that Duo was...biting Heero's neck? It couldn't be....

Heero was becoming increasingly pale; if his suspicions were correct, then the Wing pilot was suffering from blood loss. Wufei did the only thing he could under the circumstances.

Pulling as hard as he could, he yelled, "DUO! STOP! YOU'RE KILLING HIM!!!"

When Duo didn't show any signs of stopping, he cried desperately, "DUO! YOU'RE KILLING *HEERO*!!!" With relief, he watched as Duo stopped, then dropped the unconscious pilot onto the cold ground with a thud. He released the braided teenager's shoulders and carefully watched him for any sudden movements that he might make. In his eyes, Duo was dangerous.

Footsteps crunched on the gravel nearby as Quatre and Trowa cautiously glanced in the dark alley, alerted by the shouting. Trowa's stoic face gave nothing away as he surveyed the scene. Quatre's eyes widened as he took in Duo's guilty expression, the unconscious Heero lying on the ground, still bleeding, and Wufei's dark expression. Hesitantly, he walked over and felt for Heero's pulse. It was there, but only faintly.

"He's still alive....but just barely."

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Duo stared at the limp body crumpled on the ground beneath him, uncomprehending. How could he do this to the one person that he loved? Shaking his head, as though to deny the scene, he shakily stumbled away from the Heero. This wasn't real. It couldn't be.

But it was, and he knew it. When Heero woke up, if he lived, that is, he would never want to see Duo again. He could imagine Heero's beautiful features contort in hatred as he said, "I hate you, Duo. You're disgusting."

Pushing back the tears that were threatening to flow, he looked at his prone lover one last time, muttering his vow. Then, before anyone could stop him, he was gone, running into the night, unheeding of the tears that had escaped, running down his cheeks.

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Trowa watched dispassionately as Duo ran off into the darkness, instead, focusing on his prone teammate. Wufei had gone after Duo, shouting for him to come back, but it seemed that the braided pilot was running faster than usual.

Trowa shrugged it off. It was probably because he was a vampire. Some part of his brain noted that he was taking it too much in stride, but he didn't care. He turned to Quatre, who was still kneeling beside the too-pale Heero.

"Let's get him to a hospital."

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As Heero lay on the white hospital bed, tubes running in and out of his arms and various other places, his skin seemed even paler, a sickly whitish grey. Quatre stood by, with a worried frown on his face. Trowa leaned leisurely on the wall beside him.

Seemingly out of curiousity, the taller boy asked casually, not really caring for the answer, "What did Duo mutter before he left?"

Quatre turned to Trowa, and for the first time that night, the green-eyed boy noticed how pale his smaller lover seemed, and the dark rings forming under listless eyes.

"He said, 'I'm sorry. I love you, Heero.'"

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