Disclaimer: How many disclaimers do you think you've read by now? I won't insult you by repeating it, and if you don't know it by now, you never will.

Pairings: 2x5, 2x3, 4x3, 4x5, 1x2
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: AU, OOC, yaoi, language, lime, supernatural creatures, and itty bit of blood.
Spoilers: No, no and . . . no.

Note: My notes keep getting shorter and shorter. Anyone for a little Heero and Duo interlude?

Dance with the Demons: Of Life’s Blood
Part Thirteen
by Blue Soaring

By the time Wufei and Duo returned to Devil’s Bliss, the sun had long since crested the horizon. In the early morning, the busy city had finally fallen quiet. The happy chirping of birds and the warm rays of the sun chased away the night. Duo found himself smiling. It was hard to believe, at times like this, the darkness that plagued Duo’s life. Wufei was walking beside him, talking about something that only barely registered on the braided man’s mind.

Would it be better if none of this had ever happened? But that wasn’t even a possibility. Mariemeia had begun to watch Duo long before now . . . years, possibly. It had been only a few years since Duo had met Quatre. Heero probably had the blonde watching him. Hell, Heero was probably watching Duo himself. But why so much interest in him? Mariemeia, Lucrezia, Heero, Sally . . . and now the man from St. Jerome’s.

Mariemeia’s explanation of Duo’s abilities seemed accurate enough. She hadn’t mentioned one thing though, and Duo wisely neglected to call it to her attention. If a catalyst absorbed, magnified and transferred power, then it may well be that Duo was in fact a catalyst. But Mariemeia had said nothing about altering the power that had been drawn. And that was what Duo had done. He had stolen Sally’s life and then increased it, and yet, when Duo had given that power to the others, it wasn’t Sally’s power anymore. It was his. Duo had taken it and changed it into his own; it bore no resemblance to the power that had been Sally’s.

“ . . . and Trowa suggested Heero and Quatre join us on stage for a grand finale orgy,” Wufei said, cocking an eyebrow and looking pointedly at Duo.

“Okay, Wu -” Duo’s eyes widened as Wufei’s words sunk in. “What!?”

“Are you listening to me, Duo?” Wufei asked in a small huff.

“I am now, that’s for damn sure,” Duo mumbled under his breath.

Wufei sniffed. “Bah. You never heard a word I said.”

“Does this mean no sex?”

Both of Wufei’s eyebrows shot up.

Duo laughed. “Sorry, Wu, I was busy thinking.”


Duo sighed. “Everything. All this,” Duo waved a hand in the air, “mess.”

“Did you have a brilliant flash of insight?” Wufei asked, opening the door to Devil’s Bliss. Inside was dark and quiet. The chairs and tables had been put back into order; the floors swept clean. They picked their way through the tables and to the underground rooms as they talked.

“Huh. Do I look like I’ve suddenly got all the answers?” Duo snorted.

“You look like you haven’t slept in days,” Wufei pointed out. “The Erus was right, you do need to get some rest.”

Duo’s expression turned sour. “Yeah, yeah. Heero’s ALWAYS right.”

“He is the majority of the time.” Wufei led Duo through the red and black entry room and down the hall to Heero’s chambers.

“Where is the Eternally Annoying One anyway?” Duo asked, eying the door meaningfully.

“He’s resting with Quatre, inside,” Wufei nodded his head at the door. “Trowa is keeping watch. Lucrezia explained to the Erus what happened, Duo. He’s not happy.”

“I didn’t think he’d be jumping for joy,” Duo sighed. “So, Heero knows all about it?”

Wufei nodded.

“And the rest of you?”

Wufei opened the door, motioning Duo inside. The chestnut haired man shot Wufei a puzzled look, but went through the door. Trowa looked up from a book he was reading, smiling a little when he saw Duo. Wufei closed the door silently.

“Hey, Tro. Miss me?” Duo said, grinning.

The shifter cocked his head to the side, eyes sparkling. “It’s really very quiet without you around.”

Duo looked sadly at Wufei. “That sounds more like a complaint that I came back,” he sighed.

Trowa slid a bookmark between the pages and set the paperback down on the couch. He rose to his feet smoothly, picking up a bundle of clothes beside him.

“Here,” he said, handing the bundle to Duo, “now you won’t have to steal my clothes to sleep in.”

Duo held up a piece of clothing. Black silk pants, and a matching tank. Should’ve known. Still, the material was so soft and cool against his skin . . . it was bound to be comfortable.

“This is a not-so-subtle hint to haul my ass to bed, isn’t it?” Duo said.

“Exactly,” Wufei said, smiling.

“Awfully pushy for pets,” Duo mumbled under his breath.

They were right, though. Duo felt exhausted; just mentioning the word ‘bed’ had him yawning. Glancing around, Duo resigned himself to stripping where he was. He dropped the clothes on one of the couches and shrugged out of his coat.

“What about you two?” Duo asked, fumbling with the buckles of his shoulder holster.

“Its daylight now,” Wufei said as Trowa made his way over to Duo’s side, “we’ll take turns keeping watch. Its what we usually do,” Wufei added quickly when he saw the frown on Duo’s face.

Duo didn’t like it, but he couldn’t refute the logic. With Mariemeia back in town now, along with Sally, Duo was actually a little relieved. He trusted Wufei and Trowa. With them around, he’d probably be able to get a good night’s - day’s - rest.

“Thanks, Tro,” Duo said as the shifter helped him remove both gun holsters and the wrist sheaths.

“You’re welcome,” Trowa quietly said, starting to unlace the ties on Duo’s shirt.

Again, Duo felt an urge to protest. He was pretty sure he could manage to undress himself. But it wasn’t like protesting would do any good. And right now, it was just too much of an effort. Somewhat resigned to his fate, he let Trowa slip the shirt off.

Placing his palm on Duo’s chest, Trowa said, “Sit down.”

Duo sat on the edge of the couch and tugged the sleeveless top on over his head. It settled against his skin, wonderfully cool and soft, even if it was a little snug. Trowa knelt down in front of him, untying his boots.

“Did Heero fill everyone in on what Mariemeia had to say?” Duo asked.

“Only us three,” Wufei replied, settling down on the couch where Trowa had been reading. He picked up the book and glanced at the title. “He still doesn’t think the others need to know.”

“At least I agree with that,” Duo said, bending over to unlace his other boot.

Trowa stopped mid-motion in sliding one of Duo’s boots off. A smiled tugged at the corners of his mouth, and he silently offered Duo the Derringer that he had hidden in his boot.

“I’ve probably got a dent in my leg from that,” Duo grumbled, taking the small gun and laying it with his other weapons. It was quite a sizeable pile.

“You do,” Trowa said, rubbing said dent with his fingers.

“Stupid pint-sized gun . . . .” Duo toed off his other boot, his socks, and stood. He undid his pants, automatically stepping away from Trowa and turning his back to them. He really wasn’t in the mood for casual nudity. Grabbing the silk pajamas, he shimmed out of his pants and underwear, breathing a sigh of relief. Trowa always stuck him in the tightest pants the shifter could find.

As Duo was stepping into his new sleepwear, he felt a hand ghost up his naked thigh. Naturally. As if either one of them would pass up the chance to grope him. Hauling up the pants the rest of the way, Duo turned back around, tying the strings together. He bit back a sigh and looked down, meeting the green-eyed gaze of Trowa.

“You said I was yours, Duo.” Trowa’s voice was barely above a whisper.

Duo sat back down on the edge of the couch, leaning forward so that his forehead touched Trowa’s, mimicking the panther’s gesture in the van.

“I know,” Duo said, running his fingers through the soft hair at the nape of Trowa’s neck. The texture was exactly like Wufei’s. Soft and silky didn’t describe it right. Saying it was like velvety fur wasn’t right either. It was warm and smooth, and Duo loved it. He moved his head to the side, so his lips were close to Trowa’s ear. The shifter’s warmth pressed against Duo’s face, filling his nose with his scent. Trowa smelled like heat and clean air. It was what Duo expected a forest to smell like. Fresh, and alive.

“I know,” Duo repeated. “You are mine.”

Duo felt the surge of pleasure racing through Trowa at his words, then the answering surge that flowed through his own mind. Closing his eyes, Duo took a deep breath, then pulled away from the shifter.

“You know,” Duo said, “these clothes seem to fit me amazingly well.” When he opened his eyes, Trowa’s characteristic impish smile had returned.

“They should, Heero bought them for you,” Wufei said.

Uh huh. The vampire was buying clothes for him. Duo really didn’t know what to think about that. To be pissed or to not be pissed . . . decisions, decisions.

“And you look good in them,” Wufei added.

Trowa nodded, then gracefully got to his feet. “You’re tired, Duo. Get some sleep.”

Duo put his hand on the couch, then pushed himself up. “I’m beat,” he agreed. He looked at the curtains dividing the room. “I guess I sleep there, right?”

“Do you even have to ask?” Wufei scooted down on the couch, making room for Trowa and handing him back his book.

No, he didn’t have to ask. It all still felt . . . odd, though. Duo sighed. And it starts again, his thoughts were running back around chasing themselves and nipping each other on the ass. Fuck it. He was too tired now to care. He grabbed the Glock out of its holster, making his way past the couches. Trowa raised an eyebrow but didn’t question it. Duo always slept with a gun nearby lately.

He shoved the gauzy curtain aside. “G’night, Wufei, Trowa,” he said. “Or is that good morning?”

Wufei smiled and shook his head. “Sleep well, Duo,” he said, before settling himself back on the couch. Trowa merely looked up from his book and smiled once, then went back to his reading.

Letting the curtain drop behind him, Duo walked towards the bed. Quatre lay near the center of the bed on his side, his face relaxed in what Duo assumed was sleep. Did vampires sleep? Quatre had told him that sleep was more of a convenience, but maybe in the daytime it was different.

Duo shifted his gaze to Heero. The dark haired vampire spooned Quatre, an arm flung over the smaller vamp’s chest. The blood red sheets were pulled up as far as their waists, and Duo stared at the light bronze toned skin of Heero’s chest. The contrast between Heero’s skin and Quatre’s paler tone was almost mesmerizing.

Duo felt his eyes drift over Heero’s exposed body. The dark hair falling softly around his face, the curve of his arm as it wrapped around Quatre. The hard, muscled planes of Heero’s chest were softened by the dim glow coming from the other half of the room. Duo’s gaze was drawn down to where the vampire’s body disappeared under the crimson sheet.

Jerking himself out of his self-imposed daze, Duo walked around the bed to Heero’s side. He set the Glock down on the table with his reach. His eyes wandered back to the two vampires entwined on the blood red silk.

Quatre’s blonde hair mixed with Heero’s darker shade in much the same way as their different skin tones met. Heero’s hand was splayed over the blonde’s chest, his thumb barely brushing one dusky pink nipple. Duo quietly sucked in his breath when his gaze transferred back to Heero’s chest, noticing for some reason the much darker shade of the tiny bud there.

Damn it, now was not the time! There was NEVER a time for this. Okay, he could come to grips with the fact that maybe, just maybe, he would be willing to trust Heero. Trusting him did NOT mean salivating over him. Or Quatre. It was time to sleep now, and one could not sleep when plagued by a raging hard on. At state which Duo was rapidly approaching.

Determined to push all thoughts of a half-naked Heero . . . a very accessible, half-naked Heero curled around an equally accessible and half-naked Quatre, out of his mind, he sat on the edge of the bed, facing away from them. If he kept as close to the edge of the bed as possible, and stayed facing away from them, maybe he might be able to -

“Duo . . . .” Heero’s voice was soft and heavy.

Shit. Duo heard the rustle of silk sheets against skin as the mattress moved under him. Swallowing the tight feeling that had suddenly appeared in his throat, Duo turned partly around, pulling one leg up on the bed and leaving the other firmly on the floor. He faced Heero, keeping his eyes resolutely on the vampire’s.

That may not have been such a good idea. Heero’s cobalt eyes were heavy-lidded and cloudy with . . . something. Duo tried to wrench his eyes away. And, he noted, not particularly surprised, that it was impossible to do so.

“Yeah?” Duo said, surprised when his voice sounded shaky in his ears.

Duo heard the sound of sheets falling away from Heero’s body, and he saw the top of one slim hip bared out of the corner of his eye. Heero had rolled over onto his back, keeping Quatre close beside him. The blonde hadn’t stirred.

The dark haired vampire reached out slowly and tugged at the sheet Duo was sitting on. “Get in,” he said.

Duo obediently crawled under the thin sheet, facing Heero. The vampire was moving sluggishly, like it required a great deal of effort.

“Are you alright?” Duo asked. Now, he hadn’t meant to ask that. He hadn’t meant to say anything at all. Just go right to sleep. Why should he care if Heero was alright or not? He cut off that trail of thought before he answered his own question.

“Fine,” Heero answered. “It is day,” was all he offered in way of explanation.

A tiny measure of understanding hit Duo. Even if daylight didn’t knock Heero out completely, something about the time weakened him. Duo realized then how much Heero must trust him. If he wanted, Duo could have the gun in his hand and fired before anyone could stop him. Sure, they could rip him to shreds afterward, but Heero would still be dead.

“Oh,” Duo said with a tiny smile. His eyes were drawn to the small bit of fang just barely visible behind Heero’s lips. Simultaneously, he found himself wondering both what it would be like to kiss those lips and to have those fangs pierce his skin. A shiver ran down Duo’s spine, but not from revulsion.

A slight frown furrowed Duo’s brow. The fact that that thought didn’t disturb him, well, disturbed him. What was he doing, entertaining thoughts about having Heero bite him?

Heero was still watching him.

Duo rolled over onto his back, removing Heero from his immediate field of vision. He closed his eyes, but all he saw in the darkness were the twin blue flames of Heero’s eyes. Duo drifted off to sleep with that image dancing in his mind.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hours later, Duo came back into the world, sighing to himself. He was lying on his stomach, snuggling into his warm pillow. It was so comfortable, it felt like warm velvet on his cheek. He ran the hand closest to his face over the pillow. Licking his dry lips, Duo buried his face deeper into the softness.

At least, he tried to. Now that he was a little more awake, Duo realized that his pillow was a lot firmer than he remembered. He cracked open one eye, blinking a few times to bring the room into focus. Then he looked up and met Heero’s blue eyes staring down at him.

Both of Duo’s eyes shot open as he took full stock of the situation. Quatre was missing, and his ‘pillow’ was Heero’s chest . . . the, uh, chest which his fingers were absently caressing. He put a stop to that right away. He also came to the conclusion that he was practically lying on top of the vampire, and his leg was currently flung over one of Heero’s. And the warm weight on his back seemed to be Heero’s arm. Well. This was a wonderful position to wake up in. Remember the sarcasm, Duo told himself. Remember the sarcasm.

Duo stayed absolutely still. Shock. Yes, that’s it, he was shocked into stillness. And silence. That’s why he wasn’t moving. Heero’s body was hot underneath his, the heat from the vampire’s bare skin seeping though the silk of Duo’s pajamas. Bare skin? Duo shifted his body. Heero was naked. Completely naked. Completely naked in the same bed as Duo. Duo was presently wrapping himself around a completely naked Heero. The vampire looked very pleased with that fact.

“Gah!” Duo said intelligently, trying to extract himself from Heero’s embrace.

Heero merely crooked an eyebrow at him.

“What are you doing?” Duo asked furiously when Heero refused to loosen the arm he had around Duo.

“What am I doing?” Heero repeated. That was another very annoying habit the vampire had. “I woke up when the grip you had on my arm became painful, Duo,” he said. “As soon as I retrieved my arm, you latched onto me,” he continued with a smirk.

“Uh huh,” Duo said doubtfully. “Do you MIND?”

Heero sighed. “It’s just as well, I’m hungry. And if I’m hungry, you must be ravenous.”

Duo’s hand immediately flew to his neck. Heero seemed to find that very amusing. The vampire somehow managed to move down on the bed so that Duo stayed exactly where he was, but was now looking directly into Heero’s face.

“No, Duo, I didn’t intend to feed on you.” A pause. “Unless you’re offering?” His tone was teasing.

Duo grunted. “You wish. Let me up.”

Heero brought his other arm up to lay it lightly on Duo’s waist. “Why? I’m comfortable,” he said, his face only inches from the braided man’s.

“Uh . . . .” Duo was finding it hard to think. Step one: find problem. Heero was too damn close. Step two: remedy problem. Move so Heero is no longer close. Preventing factor: Heero wouldn’t let Duo move an inch away.

Duo grinned. Heero’s eyes narrowed.

Using the hand that was resting on Heero’s chest for leverage, Duo pushed himself up and over Heero. The vampire grunted as his eyes widened a fraction. Duo, however, kept moving. He rolled over Heero and onto the opposite side of the bed, away from Heero. He was quite pleased with himself.

Or, he would have been, except his foggy brain neglected to factor in one thing. Well, possibly two things. The sheet had been pulled almost entirely off of Heero, baring a continuous line of skin, including one very well formed thigh and buttock. And that led to the second thing; Duo had overlooked the possibility that Heero could and would roll with him, thusly placing the vampire directly on top of Duo, propped up on his arms, with one of Duo’s arms trapped between them.

The situation hadn’t improved.

In fact, it had gotten decidedly worse. Heero’s lower body was pressed firmly against Duo’s, and the thin pajamas he wore were not much of a barrier. Duo swallowed again. Hard.

“That worked well,” Duo said sarcastically.

“That’s a matter of opinion,” Heero replied, his breath tickling Duo’s throat and his blue eyes dancing. The blue fires in them were muted, but Duo still felt his eyes drawn inexorably to them.

“What’s with you anyways, Heero? You’re fucking GIDDY,” Duo huffed. The vampire was acting strange. Duo had seen Heero slightly miffed, pissed, confused, amused, and blank. The last of those seeming to be the dominant expression. Right now, however, Heero seemed . . . playful. That was troubling.

“We’re going hunting,” Heero breathed.

“Huh?” Duo stopped trying to maneuver his pinned arm out from under Heero.

“Howard has given me the details on the assignments that our task has forced you to neglect,” Heero said easily. “They others have taken care of the three minor ones. You and I, Duo, will complete the last. We hunt.” The vampire’s eyes were bright with excitement. Duo found it infectious.

It had been a long time since he had been asked to hunt down and destroy a renegade monster. Suddenly, Duo was a bundle of excited nerves.

“Species?” Duo asked.

“Unconfirmed. Suspected lupine or feline; possibility of humanoid eliminated.”

“Kill count?”

“Three attributed,” Heero replied. “Two together, one separate. Approximately three miles apart; suburban, exterior kills. A sixteen hour time difference between time of death.”

“You’re good at this,” Duo grudgingly conceded. “But I’m going alone.” It was worth a shot, wasn’t it? Heero couldn’t tag along EVERYWHERE.

Heero actually smiled, a full genuine smile that reached his eyes. Duo felt his stomach drop out.

“No, Duo,” Heero’s voice dropped low. “I want to hunt with you.”

“Are you going to get in my way?” Duo asked sourly. Great. His first REAL hunt in months and he had to drag along Heero the Giddy Erus. Nice to know he’d be helping Heero get his jollies.

Heero looked at him like he had said the stupidest thing in the world. Quite possibly he had.

“Okay, okay, I get it. You’re a vampire, you can hunt.” Duo tapped Heero’s nose meaningfully. “Now get up so I can get my breakfast.” His stomach growled to punctuate his words as he tried to prop himself up on one elbow.

“What would you like for your breakfast, Duo?” Heero asked, not making any movement to get up.

Duo sighed, flopping back onto the bed. “What do you want, Heero?” Damn it. He probably shouldn’t have asked that, given Heero’s current mood.

The vampire was silent for a long time. “Mariemeia is wrong,” he said finally.

What the . . . ? That was a far cry from what Duo was expecting. “Wrong?”

“Yes, wrong. You are not merely a catalyst.” Heero’s eyes had lost their playful glint and Duo felt a little disappointed. “I remember what your touch is like, Duo. For three days I watched over you, and twice you have touched me. Once, you almost owned me.” His cobalt eyes acquired that far away look that Duo had only seen once before.

Duo nodded. He only fully recalled one incident, but he knew what it was like to touch Heero’s mind. Calling it a rush was like saying the universe was big - it didn’t do it one bit of justice. He waited to see where Heero was going with this. A small part of his brain was back to screaming at him again, yelling at him that it was ridiculous that he was having a serious conversation with Heero in this situation. Duo promptly told the voice to shut the fuck up.

“The power that you take, you make it your own. And when you give that power to others, you make them yours as well.”

“I . . . I know,” Duo said. “What Mariemeia was saying sounded right, as far as it went.” He snorted then. “Like hell I was telling her that.”

The corners of Heero’s mouth turned up in a small smile. Duo half wished he would smile like he had just a few minutes ago.

“Always careful, aren’t you, Duo?” Heero’s eyes shifted back to the present.

“I kinda have to be. Everyone seems out to get me, one way or another. Makes a guy jumpy.”

The vampire shifted slightly, making Duo’s already rising shirt move even further up. Duo felt his breath catch when the bare skin of his stomach came in contact with Heero’s. What the hell was wrong with him? This was Heero, for Christ’s sake! Insanely dangerous master of creepy crawlies; hell, he was the fucking definitive creepy crawly! Duo found his heart rate escalating at an alarming pace. And it had nothing to do with fear. This had gone too far.

“Alright, get to the point or get up, Heero,” Duo demanded, trying to get his body back under control. Heero had to feel the rapid beating of Duo’s heart; he thought his ribs were going to break from the sheer force of it.

“You asked me what I wanted,” the vampire murmured.

“Yeah?” Duo’s stomach did another of those little flip-flops. So much for calming down. His mouth was suddenly dry.

The tiny voice in his head was right, this WAS ridiculous. Duo tried to blame it on some trick of Heero’s, but the vampire had done nothing that he could detect. Even his eyes, the one thing that usually held Duo captive, were just eyes now. Duo found he could look away easily, maybe get up if he wanted to; Heero wasn’t holding him down with that much force. But he didn’t want to look away or get up. He didn’t want to move an inch.

“I want to feel your touch again.”

“What!? What the hell does that mean?” Duo stared up incredulously at the vampire.

Heero’s eyes had changed again, drowning blue. “You know exactly what I mean.”

Duo narrowed his own eyes. Okay, so he did know what Heero was talking about. What the hell was he up to now?

“What the fuck are you trying to do, Heero? I almost killed you the first time, and the second time you pushed me away. Are you with us, Heero? On the same wavelength, right?”


“What?” the braided man snapped irritably.

“Just do it.”


Duo made the mistake of searching Heero’s eyes for an answer. Looking into the burning cobalt flames, Duo knew he was lost. The rest of his protests died on his lips when he felt the stirring in his mind. Once again, the world slowed down, veiled in color. But not black. This time, he saw the world through vision tinted blue.

“I want to know.” Heero’s lips moved, but Duo heard the vampire’s voice echoing in his mind.

Duo’s world sped back up. He watched the colors of Heero’s eyes blend and merge. “What do you want to know?” His voice sounded detached in his own head.

“If you can own me.”

Lifting his free hand, Duo rubbed the tip of his index finger over Heero’s lips. He opened his mind again, reaching out for the almost familiar sensation of the vampire’s touch. Duo dropped his hand down, splaying his fingers above Heero’s heart. He felt the sluggish beat echo in his mind even as he felt Heero’s power swell up and wash over him.

There was no resistance in Heero; he didn’t try to fight Duo off as Sally had. His life spilled out and into Duo, making his skin tingle and burn. Duo knew he could rip everything from Heero in that moment, take his power, take his life. The vampire was trusting him.

“Heero . . . .” Duo’s voice was husky and low with the rush of power. “I could kill you.”

Heero’s head dropped down, his hair touching Duo’s forehead. “I know,” he gasped.

Lazily, Duo felt Heero’s power mix with his own inside him. It changed, became something more, but retained some part of Heero. It blended and merged like the endless swirl of color in Heero’s eyes. The sensation was intoxicating, every nerve in Duo’s body sang with power so intense it walked the fine line between pleasure and pain. Under his hand, the beat of Heero’s heart sped up as his own heart rate slowed down. The two met in the middle.

Duo’s breathing was labored. He could take Heero’s power, but he couldn’t make it his own, not completely. Letting his eyes close, Duo started to push the transformed power away, out of his body and mind, back into Heero. A small sound deep in the vampire’s throat stopped him.

Struggling to reopen his eyes, Duo met Heero’s gaze. A fine sheen of sweat had broken out over the vampire’s body.

“Does it hurt?” Duo asked with morbid curiosity.

Heero’s lips were parted slightly. The tip of his tongue darted out to wet them. “N-no. It’s . . . like nothing I’ve ever felt before,” he said, his voice faint. The whiteness of his fangs showed in stark contrast against his lips.

A bemused smile spread across Duo’s face. He held the power back, feeling like his body would explode from the pressure. He had to release it before it killed him. An idea blossomed in Duo’s mind; a better way to return Heero’s stolen energy.

Keeping his eyes on Heero’s face, Duo tilted his head to the side, exposing his neck. The vampire’s eyes widened as comprehension dawned. A fine trembling began in Heero’s arms as he held himself above the braided man.

“Take it back, Heero,” Duo whispered.

Heero lowered his head, his lips brushing the pale skin of Duo’s neck and the throbbing pulse just below the surface.

“Are you . . . ?”

“Just do it,” Duo said with a slightly amused tone overlaying the apprehension in his voice. “Take my blood and take back your power.”

A shudder ran though Heero’s body and a groan was drawn from his throat. Duo clenched his eyes shut, waiting, not knowing what to prepare himself for. Heero’s breath was hot against his neck, then he closed his mouth over his skin. A sharp pain and then a slow burning spread out from the broken skin as the vampire’s fangs sank easily into him.

Duo’s eyes shot back open when he felt Heero begin to suck gently on the wound. He drew Duo’s blood out of his body, bringing the power with it. He could feel it slide through him, touching him in a way that was almost intimate. Duo began to tremble beneath him, sensations washing over him and threatening to drown him under their intensity.

A soft cry escaped Duo. He felt Heero’s hand cradle his cheek as he fed on his blood and their combined power. The energy flowed out of Duo from the wound at his throat, into Heero, and then back inside Duo’s body where his hand was pressed over the vampire’s heart, creating a continuous circle. It flowed though him in a brush of soft velvet.

Duo’s blue-tinted vision swam. He tried to pull himself closer to Heero, arching up towards him and whimpering as the forces inside him escalated until he was certain he would pass out.

Duo swallowed twice, forcing his voice to work. Still, all he could manage was a weak, “Heero . . . .”

Heero’s fingers were shaking where they rested against Duo’s face. He growled deep in his throat, pressing his mouth firmly over the bite. Duo quivered, his fingers digging into Heero’s skin.

Duo felt his eyes drifting closed. The energy he had drawn from Heero was rushing through him now, leaving burning trails that turned icy as they faded away, only to burn again. Then, impossibly, it grew larger, devouring him in frozen flames.

A strangled cry was brutally ripped from Duo as the power exploded over him. He wrenched his arm out from where it was pinned, clutching the vampire to him as if his life depended on it. Heero tore himself away from his neck, throwing his head back with a primitive scream. He stayed there, suspended for a single moment in time before he collapsed, rolling to lay beside Duo and dragging the sheet with him.

Duo fell back onto the bed, his breathing ragged. Twin trails of blood trickled down his neck. He peered at Heero through heavy-lidded eyes. The vampire turned his head, watching Duo with eyes swimming with power and something very much akin to lust or passion. His lips were swollen and tinted red. A small drop of blood trailed from the corner of his mouth.

Duo brought his hand up slowly to wipe away the blood on his neck. He raised his bloodstained hand in front of his face. The blue tainting his vision melted away.

“I couldn’t,” he said, focusing his eyes back on Heero, his hand still raised. “I can’t own you. And you,” Duo swallowed, pushing away the tightness in his throat, “and you can’t own me.”

Heero reached up, covering the red stain marring Duo’s palm with his own hand.

on to part 14

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