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
Category: AU
Warnings: OOCish, yaoi, language, lime, violence, blood, gore, minor character death (as in I’m not killing off a character I think anyone might be even remotely attached to).
Spoilers: Lemmie think . . . ah, no.

Note: Well, it’s about time I hauled ass and wrote something, isn’t it? I’ve been nudged, repeatedly, by Dacia. Apparently, it’s been a slow week for fics. Why she chooses to nudge me, of all people, I just don’t know. And this, *gestures at fic* is my birthday present to myself. It’s on the seventeenth of September, you know. *grin*

Dance with the Demons: Mortality’s Requiem
Part Fifteen
by Blue Soaring

Duo felt his jaw drop. “What the fuck!? You - ”

/Hush, Duo,/ Heero’s voice echoed in the depths of Duo’s mind.

Turning incredulous eyes on the vampire, Duo choked on his next words. The little shit was inside his head again! Only this time, the words rang clear as if he were speaking aloud. He opened his mouth to tell Heero to get the hell out of his mind when the vampire continued.

/Listen to me for once and be quiet!/ Heero snapped. /For once . . . trust me,/ he finished, the voice in Duo’s head growing softer. He was staring straight at the man, seemingly unconcerned with Duo.

Duo clamped his mouth shut and resisted the urge to snort. He had let Heero snack on him, what was clamming up for a few minutes compared to that. And he was more than a little curious about the stranger.

Heero spoke again, this time out loud and addressing the man. “It has been a long time, though nowhere near long enough.”

The man smiled broadly. “Ah, little Heero, you wound me,” he said.

Duo blinked in astonishment.

“No,” Heero replied, “I amuse you.”

The man chuckled. “Perceptive. You have grown. Perhaps it would be wise to not call you little from now on.”

Duo risked a glance at Heero’s face, amazed at himself for staying quiet this long. His eyes had nearly popped out of their sockets when the man had called Heero ‘little’. Duo wondered idly how long the laughing stranger had left to live.

The vampire’s cobalt eyes were cold, dispassionate. “Perhaps. Wisdom never was one of your virtues.”

The man’s smiled wavered, his eyes glinting in the moonlight. He strode closer. “Be mindful, Heero. Your power has not increased so much that you could face me and hope to survive.”

The Erus had moved closer to Duo, stepping in front of him. Shielding him. Duo bristled at the protective movement. He could damn well take care of himself. Then a rustling from behind distracted him. The shifter had struggled to his knees, his shoulder reknitting itself quickly now.

“Believe what you want, Odin,” Heero said, the man’s name leaving his lips like a curse. “Call back your animal or I will have it destroyed.”

The man called Odin gave Heero an appraising look. “You will, will you? And how do you expect to accomplish that? Will you use your new plaything to drain the life from his very soul?”

/Duo, be still!/ Only that sharp command shouted in the recesses of his mind kept Duo from shooting the man right there and then.

“You cannot control him,” Odin said.

“You’re assuming,” Heero countered, refusing to fall into the formal rhythm of Odin’s speech. “One of the only two worthwhile things you ever taught me was to never assume.”

Duo could have sworn he saw a flicker of unease pass over Odin’s face, but it was gone as quickly as it had come.

“You assume that Death trusts you, do you not, little Heero? Why should he trust you, when you hide everything from him?”

Beside him, Duo felt the vamp’s body go tight with tension as Odin echoed the very thoughts that had been plaguing Duo for days.

“You have done nothing, nothing to gain his trust. You have used him, hidden from him what he is and what he could be with your childish games,” Odin continued, his voice burning icy trails through Duo’s mind. “You have not gained, you have lost.”

The were behind them had struggled to his feet, the wound fully healed. Duo sensed the first tentative brushes of the shifter’s power as he started to change again.

“Call off fur face before I turn him into a bloody pulp,” Duo said, ignoring Heero’s earlier request to remain quiet.

A smile leapt back onto Odin’s face. “Ah,” he said, cheerful once more. “He is not yet completely yours, little Heero.”

Heero’s coldly focused eyes narrowed. “Believe what you want,” he repeated.

Duo’s eyes flickered first to Heero and then to Odin. The two of them were discussing him as if he were a new toy to be claimed. He felt hot rage burn deep in his stomach.

/Trust me,/ Heero repeated softly inside Duo’s mind. /Please./

Maybe it was the please that did it. Maybe Duo was just feeling generous. Heero’s touch on his mind felt hesitant and unsure, nothing at all like the Heero that he had grown to know. Duo slammed a lid on his anger, stuffing it away into a corner of his mind.

“Prove that you can control this energy, then.” Odin gestured at Duo. “Use him to save your miserable existence; destroy the shifter.”

Silence followed his challenge.

“He is not yet yours,” Odin insisted.

“No,” Heero answered. “I won’t put Duo on display for your twisted games.”

That little declaration earned Heero a few points in Duo’s book. Didn’t look like Odin was too impressed.

“You are naďve and weak,” Odin stated simply. “But very well, use him to protect yourself from me then, if you can.”

Okay, that was it. Duo brought the Glock up smoothly and fired another shot into the shifter, sending him sprawling back onto the ground from a leg wound. At the same time, he drew the Browning from underneath his coat, training it on Odin

“How about we fight to save your life, hot shot?” Duo snarled. “One more hit and your shifter is only so much meat. You wanna try your luck?” One more shot wasn’t likely to take the shifter out, but it would give Duo the chance to empty a clip into him. The math worked fine for Duo.

“Kill him then,” Odin said, unruffled. “He is only a tool, to be used and discarded when he is no longer useful.” He paused, weighing his next words. “Much like Heero has and will continue to use you, Duo,” he added, fixing his gaze firmly on the braided man.


Odin smiled. “So . . . American. Do you honestly think you mean anything to Heero? He is a killer, trained and willing. He is a monster. His only interest in you is for your power, and what he can use it for.”

Duo felt his anger spill out over, engulfing him. “No,” he said, tightening his grip on both guns. “No.”

“Yes,” Odin pressed. “He will defend you in order to keep you for himself.”

“Yeah, like I believe you,” Duo snapped though the cloud of rage that covered his brain. “And you’re telling me this because you’re my friend, right? We’re REAL good buddies.”

Heero remained quiet and still beside him. Duo could taste the vampire’s fury seething just below the surface. Why wasn’t Heero denying it? He was waiting, Duo decided. Waiting for Duo to make his own choice.

The shifter struggled to his feet, lurching towards Duo. Duo angled his body, looking at the blood-covered man that stumbled towards him. Without warning, he fired, dropping the were back to his knees. He fired again, taking out the heart. Dark blood, kill blood, surged from the ragged hole, seeping into the ground. Duo paused, coldly analyzing. He fired a last time, ensuring that the shifter would stay down for good.

“Ya know, that’s the funny thing, Odin. I’m a killer, too. Trained and willing. Now let’s talk about saving YOUR sorry ass,” Duo said through clenched teeth. The stink of fresh death assaulted his nose.

Surprise registered on Odin’s features.

“What’s the matter, old buddy?” Duo taunted. “Didn’t really expect me to off your cat?”

“He is very brazen, isn’t he, Heero?” Odin said, his smile turning wry. “You have deprived me of this evening’s entertainment,” he continued, shifting his focus back to Duo.

“Oops,” Duo said, sounding not at all contrite.

“Enough of your idiotic games, Odin,” Heero said at last.

“Enough?” Odin echoed. This was probably where Heero had picked up that annoying habit of repeating people. Duo considered that sufficient grounds to kill the man.

“Oh, but Heero,” Odin went on, “it is not enough. It is never enough.”

/Is he ever going to stop rambling?/ Duo thought to himself, partly to see if he could speak to Heero in his mind in addition to hearing him and partly out of pure frustration.

/It may take him a while,/ Heero replied dryly.

/What the fuck does he want?/ Duo asked.

/He should get around to telling us that eventually./

/Great. By the way, Heero . . . this is really fucking neat./ It scared Duo more than a little, having the vamp inside his head. Although he did have to admit that it was convenient.

Duo saw the corners of Heero’s mouth twitch.

Odin had fallen silent, looking at them appraisingly. “I am truly surprised, Duo. Truly surprised. You’ve let him inside you.”

“Well, gee,” Duo said mockingly, his voice full of contempt. “Where the fuck have you been, buddy? First you tell me you’re my friend, then you suggest Heero fight your shifter - who, incidentally, looks a little dead - and THEN you’re back to trying to convince me that Heero is using me. Pick a tactic and stick with it, will ya? You’re making my teeth ache.”

Odin sighed wearily. “Very well, Duo. Heero cannot control you, though he is steadily chipping away at your defenses. You did not trust him, yet you find yourself beginning to. You distanced yourself from him, yet you somehow always find yourself back in his questionable company, most often times alone. He is inside your mind. Where do your thoughts end and his thoughts begin?”

Duo was floored. His mind balked at what he was hearing. Then he stopped, halting his rambling thoughts. What Odin had said rang true, but it was just the way things were. You meet someone you didn’t trust at first, and then you either grow to trust them or you don’t. That was life. He glanced over at Heero, willing himself to believe his own thoughts. It was his own thought, wasn’t it?

“Consider it, Duo.” Odin continued.

Duo felt something brush through his mind, blurring his vision. He blinked, trying to clear it. Heero looked at him suspiciously. It brushed through him again, matching the rhythm of Odin’s voice.

“You know what I am saying is true, Duo.” Odin said. “He is inside you, distorting your thoughts, bending them to what he wants. He knows you.”

Odin walked closer, bringing himself very near Duo. Heero opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out. His eyes widened, then narrowed with barely contained fury. Odin smiled at him once, then dismissed him, focusing all his attention on Duo.

Duo saw Heero fall slowly to his knees, eyes unfocused now. A look of intense pain crossed his features, making him clench his teeth. He looked up, searching for Duo’s face. A strangled gasp was wrenched from him as he collapsed forward, catching himself on his hands.

“What . . . what the fuck are you doing!?" Duo said to Odin, forming the words through the haze that threatened to swallow him.

“Listen to me, Duo. Listen to the truth. He wants to claim you for himself.”

“He can’t,” Duo managed to say. “He . . . can’t.” He tried to say more, but the words caught in his throat. He tried to squeeze the trigger under his finger, but his body didn’t respond. Desperate, he reached for the power that simmered just below the surface of his skin. It swirled inside him, answering his call. But it stayed coiled within, refusing to flow outward. A fine sheen of sweat broke out over Duo’s body with the strain.

“Shush, Duo, shush,” Odin said, his face inches from Duo’s. “Calm yourself. Let me show you the truth.” He lifted a hand, grazing his fingers over the shiny scar on Duo’s neck. “He has marked you. Your blood flows through him just as his mind taints yours.”

Searing pain shot from the place where Odin’s hand touched him. Where Heero’s touch had given him pleasure, Odin’s caused pain to travel through him as if his entire body was raw and stripped of skin. Duo’s mouth worked in an attempt to scream his agony, but only a strangled whimper escaped.

Heero’s ragged breathing reached Duo’s ears. The vampire was gasping in pain, his hands digging into the earth. Duo made an effort to move, unsurprised when his body again refused to obey.

“He fears you. Yes, you knew that, he told you as much. Remember the fire, Duo. The heat and the death. It was meant for you. You were supposed to die in that fire. He meant for you to die. He knew he could never control you; he envied your power.”

A heavy feeling of darkness enveloped Duo’s mind, and yet his power remained caged inside him, raging like a trapped animal. It was a lie. Heero had helped preserve his life when Mariemeia tried to destroy him.

“Ah, but Duo . . . when he could not kill you, he once again tried to own you. He has taken your mind. Ultimately, he will claim all of you. Mind, body . . . soul. You will be a husk of yourself, Duo. A toy . . . a pawn . . . a plaything for him to use as he wishes.”

No, no, no! Duo’s mind screamed under the blanket Odin had cast over him. For all that Heero had done, for all that he was, Duo had seen inside his mind. He had held Heero’s life in his hands, given to him of his own free will. He could have crushed Heero easily. He could not make the vampire completely his own, but he could have killed him. Heero had known that. Heero had trusted him.

“What . . . are you doing . . . to him?” Duo rasped finally.

“Preventing him from interfering.”

“You’re . . . kill-killing him,” he gasped, forcing his mouth to form the words.

Odin looked down at Heero where the vampire curled in on himself, struggling. “He is trying to reach you, use your life to heal himself.” He curled his fingers in the hair at the base of Duo’s neck.

“Get the fuck . . . outta my head,” Duo said, the threat sounding weak in his ears. He fixed his gaze on Odin’s eyes, seeing for the first time the color of the empty depths. They were a dirty gray, the shade of foul water and soiled clouds.

A throbbing ache spread throughout Duo, making his legs weak. His muscles protested supporting his body. He trembled, fighting the urge to give in and fall to the ground.

“You’re . . . hurting me,” Duo said. “Let me go.”

“I am helping you,” Odin told him. “You were never meant for the likes of Heero. He is too weak, too immature to ever deserve you. No, Duo,” he said, “you were meant for greater things than being the possession of one such as he.”

The ache grew more pronounced. Duo’s chest tightened, he struggled to draw breath into his abused lungs. He felt his eyes roll up into his head as the pressure increased.

“Who . . . .” Duo’s throat closed over. He swallowed convulsively, gasping for air. “You said . . . friend.” His brain refused to work. Duo’s thoughts were fleeting, passing from one to the next with no coherency.

“Mine,” Odin said, his eyes gleaming with an inner light. “He tried to take what is rightfully mine. You are meant to be mine. Your power.” He reached up with his other hand, smoothing Duo’s hair back from his sweat-soaked face. “Your power,” he repeated, “you. Beautiful. I will take what is mine, Duo.”

Duo choked on a gasp. His body was cold, wracked with tremors. He tried to shake his head, to say no, to hear Heero in his mind. Inside him was a deep chill, tightening around his power and his heart. He coughed violently, blood speckling his lips.

“Killing . . .” Duo tried to say, weakly grabbing at Odin’s hand.

“Yes, Duo,” Odin said regretfully. “I may have to kill you. And him as well. Such a pity. But I will have what belongs to me.”

“. . . called yourself . . . friend,” Duo gasped.

Odin nodded again. “I did say I was a friend.” He smoothed his hand over Duo’s hair and smiled. “But I never said I was your friend, Duo.”

Trying to focus on something, anything, Duo thought first of Heero’s eyes; the way they burned into his mind, the searing heat of the vampire's gaze. The image was swept away by the icy feeling inside him. He labored to find the image again, franticly searching for an anchor.

“Don’t fight me, Duo. It will only hurt you more. I will have what I want, regardless of what you attempt. And Heero will die along with you. He was always more trouble than he was worth.”

Duo felt Odin lift him, gently turning him around and cradling Duo's tortured body against his chest. In front of him, Duo could see Heero curled on his side, his dark skin washed pale. The vampire shook with pain, then managed to jerk his head up, catching sight of Duo facing him. His normally vibrant cobalt eyes were dull.

Odin twisted his hand painfully in Duo’s hair, forcing his head to the side, exposing his neck and the scar Heero had given him. “You thought he was to be yours, little Heero,” Odin said mockingly, stroking the pale column of Duo’s throat. “You thought you could take him.”

Duo locked his eyes on Heero’s. He felt his power rage madly inside him, snarling viciously at being confined. It strained towards Heero, tearing great fissures in the suffocating blanket enveloping Duo’s mind.

A flicker of cold fire smoldered in Heero’s eyes. He lurched to his knees, not breaking the link with Duo. Another slash ripped through the darkness. Duo felt the energy build, burning away the ice.

Odin jerked back from Duo. “What are you doing?” he hissed.

Duo’s lips curved into a smirk. Another tear appeared in the swiftly shredding blanket. His body was still shaking, sending pain shooting through him. Odin spun him around, angry eyes boring into Duo’s. Blue-violet depths stared back at him, laughing and threatening at the same time.

“Too late,” Duo rasped as the black veil descended over his vision. He saw a look of pure horror spread over Odin’s face. Then the energy exploded from Duo, tearing a scream of animal rage from his raw throat.

Gleefully, Duo clamped his hands down on Odin’s wrists. He felt the life pour into him, flowing over him, washing away the revolting feeling of cold violation. Duo turned the power over inside himself, filling him up until he felt his very skin would split.

Nerves singing with the rush of power, Duo reached out for Heero with one hand, loosening his grip on Odin. A cold hand tentatively touched his. Holding onto Heero tightly, more for comfort than necessity, Duo let the energy spill out of himself and into the vampire. Heero’s hand jerked in his grasp as if shocked, then relaxed.

Odin was making inarticulate screams of pain and anger. With a great heave, he wrenched away from Duo. He stood there for a fraction of a second, then abruptly gathered himself together and cut off the flow of power. Heero and Duo remained joined, sharing the stolen energy.

“You!” Odin shouted, his careful speech and manners lost. “Y-y-you, you idiots!!” He drew himself up, holding tightly to the energy he managed to save from Duo’s grasp. “Don’t fool yourselves into thinking this is over,” he growled. “I’ll have what’s mine!!”

Severely weakened, Odin was fighting to be steady on his feet. He spared Heero one last look that promised incomparable pain. His face instantly changed, assuming the pleasantly smiling countenance he had worn earlier that night. Stepping back, he melted into the shadows and was gone.

Duo shuddered, finally reining in his power and falling forward. Then Heero was there, catching him and easing both of them down to the ground. The vampire rested Duo’s head in his lap, tenderly wiping the blood from Duo’s mouth and smoothing his hair back from tired eyes.

“Duo, I-” he began.

“Shut up,” Duo croaked out, wincing slightly at the sound of his own voice. "Not now. Just not fucking right now."

Heero's eyes darkened, and Duo was startled to see sadness swimming in them. Then it was gone, his eyes blank like his face once more.

"Don't give me that look," Duo snapped, his breath wheezing. "I don't wanna deal with this now."

Heero looked indifferent.

"Oh, haul the stick out of your ass, Heero," Duo grumbled, disgusted to hear his voice come out weak. "And bring me home. I think I'm gonna pass out."

Right before his vision turned completely black, Duo saw concern and relief war across Heero's features. He chuckled to himself, then wondered darkly if he would have to kill Heero. Truth be told, he didn't want to. He didn't even think he could, regardless of Heero's abilities. Duo simply wouldn't be able to destroy him. It was getting hard to picture the world without him in it.

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

Duo awoke feeling groggy. He blinked rapidly a few times to clear his blurry eyes. Looking around, he saw that he was in his own bed at the apartment. Outside it was still dark, his curtains blowing in the small breeze from the open window. He frowned. Wufei was nowhere to be seen, but he could hear the sounds of someone moving around the apartment. Before he could haul himself up, Heero appeared in the doorway. Light streamed from the hall into the dark bedroom.

"Oh, it's you," Duo said flatly.

He hadn't expected Heero to bring him to his apartment. Made sense though. This was, technically, his home. He'd expected Heero to bring him back to Devil's Bliss. Since when had he started thinking of that as his home?

"Where is everybody?" Duo asked.

"At Bliss," came the short answer.

Duo shifted on the sheets, letting out a hissing breath when a sharp pain ran down his side. "Jesus, what ran over me?" he mumbled, mostly to himself.

Heero moved out of the doorway, settling on the bed as far away from Duo as was possible. "Odin Lowe."

Damn, Heero was full of insightful answers. Nice long ones, too. A whole two words.

"What's your problem, fang face?" Duo said, aiming for the most insulting tone he could manage. "I think I'm the one who should have an attitude."

"You do have one."

"Ha. You think this is an attitude?" He moved again, trying to alleviate the pressure on his ribs. "Listen, Heero. You've got some serious fucking explaining to do."

Heero faced Duo with a neutral expression. His eyes were dull and dark. Duo was taken aback to see that the usual light had disappeared. Even when the vampire had guarded his feelings before, his eyes had never been so dull.

"I owe you an explanation?" Heero said, his words sharp. "I wonder how long it will take before you start waving a gun around threatening to kill me."

Duo was trying to lever himself up to lean back against the headboard. He stopped mid-movement, giving the vamp a level look. "I'll get around to it."

"Go back to sleep, Duo," Heero said, getting up from the bed and dismissing him.

"Hold on a goddamn minute. How the hell did you get in here?"

"Through the door."

"Again, ha." Duo said. "How'd you get into my apartment, blood breath?"

The vampire stopped in the doorway, hand resting on the casing. He glanced back at Duo over his shoulder.

Oops. Duo felt his pulse quicken at the look in Heero's dull eyes. He didn't know if he was feeling fear or excitement. Probably both.

The vampire just stared at him for what seemed like an eternity, then he turned around and came back to the bed. He loomed above Duo silently. Duo had an uncontrollable urge to scoot away, but he was rooted to the spot.

"That's one question I can answer," the vampire said. He slid onto the bed, straddling Duo's thighs. Reaching up, he touched the slivery mark on Duo's neck.

Duo sucked in a sharp breath, filling his nose and mouth with Heero's scent. Tiny shocks of pleasure coursed through him, teasing him. He noticed somewhat sourly that he was naked under the sheets. Go figure.

"Regardless of your own ideas, Duo, you are partly mine." He ran the tip of his finger in tiny circles over the scar.

Duo's breathing became more pronounced. This wasn't going the way it was supposed to. "Stop it, Heero. Get up." Heero's proximity caused the energy inside him to stir.


"Fine then," Duo snapped. "Since you're so bent of getting me off-"

Heero's eyes widened a little at that, his hand stilling for a moment. "This?" he asked, nodding towards Duo's neck.

Christ, the vampire was annoying. "Yeah, that." Dumbass.

Intrigued, Heero laid his hand, palm down, over the scar. Duo tried to fight off the reaction, but he felt the power rise up in response to Heero's touch.

Duo growled at him, slapping his hand away. "Stop that! Anyway," he said, trying to pick up his lost train of thought. Having Heero practically sitting in his lap wasn't helping much. "Tell me what the fuck was going on with the wackjob."

"Odin?" Heero said, amused. Then his humor faded quickly. "Do you believe him?"

"What?" Duo blinked. "No. Jesus. Maybe. Look, I dunno." Duo ran his hand through his bangs and lifted his braid away from his neck. It was too damn hot in the stuffy room. The open window wasn't doing much good besides letting more warm air in.

"Just," Duo mumbled, "tell me if it's true or not."

Heero shifted again, moving further up. Great. Now the vamp WAS sitting in his lap.

"Heero . . . ." Duo said warningly. All he succeeded in doing was making the vamp smirk.

Heero ignored him, instead resting his hand over the scar on Duo's neck again. Duo glared at the vampire, lifting his arm to brush him away again. His eyes met Heero's for only a brief second, but it was enough. His arm froze. Heero's eyes were smoldering blue underneath the dullness.

Duo's throat went dry. He took a deep breath of air and tried to swallow. Heero ran his thumb gently over Duo's lips and tipped his head to the side.

Scared. Yep, at this point in time, he should have been scared shitless. But all Duo could think about was the heat coming from Heero's body; he remembered the taste of Heero's lips. Suddenly, his mouth filled in anticipation of feeling the vampire touch him. He wanted Heero's hands on his body . . . Heero's tongue in his mouth. His chest rose and fell rapidly as he took shallow breaths.

Then Heero's mouth closed over his, bringing with it delicious heat. He felt Heero pull back a little, then swipe his tongue over Duo's lips, urging them to part. He pressed forward again, dipping his tongue deep, teasing Duo with light touches. The light pressure increased, and Heero stroked the inside of his mouth, running his tongue over Duo's.

Duo groaned, helpless under Heero's infuriatingly effective assault. His nerves were burning. Even as he melted into Heero's touch, Duo was grumbling to himself in his mind. He'd get Heero back. It wasn't his fault that Heero was so fucking good at this and had turned his brain, along with his common sense, to mush. Satisfied that he'd shoot the vampire later, once his limbs were working, Duo lost himself in the kiss. He felt pleasure flowing through his veins from both the vampire's kiss and the light touch on his neck.

More. He wanted more. Ever since Heero had touched him earlier that night, he wanted to feel their combined power surging over and through him again. It was addictive. If he offered blood and power again, Heero would take it.

Heero pulled back, catching Duo's bottom lip in his teeth. He bit gently, not enough to break the skin. Duo realized at that second that his own hands were buried in Heero's hair. He gasped, mouth falling open, when Heero pressed forward, bringing his groin into heated contact with Duo's. Duo felt his blood rush and his body respond, making him painfully hard.

The vampire plunged his tongue into Duo's waiting mouth. Leaving one hand resting lightly against Duo's neck, he cupped Duo's chin with the fingers of his other, tipping his head up. Duo met his tongue with his own, letting his hands drop down to rest on Heero's chest.

Instantly, the energy surged between them. The world jerked, and Duo felt Heero's power flow into him, making his skin pulse with the sheer intensity. Heero gasped, freezing for a moment. He stoked Duo's tongue again, drawing it into his own mouth. Then, with a savage growl, he rolled off of Duo.

Duo felt the emptiness between them, but the flow of power continued. Heero picked him up and shoved him down flat on his back, tangled amongst the sheets. Duo's breath was forced out and several sharp pains reminded him he wasn't in the best of health. That thought was quickly lost when Heero filled his vision again.

Heero grasped Duo's wrists in his hands, thrusting them above the braided man's head and pinning them to the mattress. One knee rested between Duo's legs, pushing lightly against his erection.

Duo felt his eyes grow heavy. He was willing to offer everything to Heero right at that moment. Sheer pleasure coursed through him, Heero's power swirled inside him like velvet and silk.

Heero watched him with dark eyes. "Let me taste you again," he said, his voice rough. He bent his head, swiping his tongue over the first bite and making Duo groan.

Duo licked his lips, still tasting Heero on his tongue. He nodded, then swallowed. "Yes," he said, trailing off in a sharp hiss when he felt Heero's fangs pierce his skin.

Burning energy filled him, mingling with his own, and flowed back to Heero. He could feel it being drawn through his body, leaving hot trails of pleasure that faded and then pulsed again. Heero rocked forward, brushing Duo's erection with his leg.

Duo's vision faded around the edges, turning white. He was gasping, whimpering from the sensations Heero was creating. His pinned hands twisted in the sheets, clawing mindlessly at the cotton.

Abruptly, Heero released Duo's wrists, pulling away from him. Duo's eyes shot open as he felt the warmth leave his neck. He looked up, saw the darkness swimming in Heero's eyes. The power slowed to a trickle between them. Duo felt cheated.

"Wha . . . ?" Duo started to ask.

Heero sat back, skimmed a finger over the bite and then brought it up to his mouth. The tip disappeared between reddened lips. His eyes were heavy-lidded with lust. Then both of his hands were running over Duo, tracing the lines of his chest, untangling his limbs from the sheet.

Duo's eyes threatened to close and he fought to keep them open. This was something he didn't want to miss. Heero trailed his hands back up over Duo's arms, crossing them at the wrists and holding them for a moment. He let go, nodding slightly when Duo made no effort to move his arms.

He ran his hands down Duo's sides, over his stomach and across his hips. Duo felt like his skin was burning up, the combination of the vampire's hands on him and the power inside him ridding his mind of all thoughts that didn't involve sex.

A warm hand brushed over his knee. Heero backed off, trailing his hand back up Duo’s thigh. He nudged gently. Duo moaned softly as his legs were spread open, exposing him. Heero’s gaze was so heavy, he could feel it rake over his body. The vampire shifted again, settling smoothly between Duo’s legs on his knees.

The vampire touched the head of Duo's erection lightly, making the longhaired man arch his hips. He gathered the droplet of liquid at the tip on his finger, smoothed it down over the length, then wrapped his hand around Duo's arousal.

Duo surged up from the bed, propping himself up on his arms. He looked down, saw Heero's hand gliding slowly up and down his length. His breathing was rapid, shallow. The vampire's hand was hot; the energy they shared roared back to life. Duo's eyes flicked up, resting on Heero's face. Cobalt blue eyes met his, then dropped back down, watching as Duo's erection slid through the tunnel his hand made.

Head lolling back, Duo heard himself whimper high in his throat, breath hissing out from between clenched teeth. Heero quickened his pace, making Duo’s arms tremble with the effort of holding himself up. The power grew, engulfing and devouring him.

Without warning, the vampire abruptly released Duo’s erection. Dazed, Duo tried to mutter a sharp curse, which only came out as a garbled moan of protest as he clenched his eyes shut. The power still rode through him, stealing coherent thought away. Then Heero’s arms were under him, lifting. He felt his naked skin come into contact with Heero’s clothed thighs. Instinctively, Duo straddled him, one hand on Heero’s chest to steady himself, the other clutching the back of his neck.

Heero wrapped his arms around Duo, splaying his hands across his back and bringing him closer. The vampire’s breath was warm against his collarbone; the sharp tips of his fangs pressing lightly into the skin. Heero grazed his teeth up Duo’s neck, stopping over the twin pinpricks staining the smoothness. Duo tipped his head to the side, inviting and begging at the same time. Heero closed his mouth over it again, sinking his fangs into the pale skin to reopen the already healing wound.

Duo pressed himself against Heero, a strangled cry torn from his throat when he felt the velvet power course through him again as Heero began to suck gently at the wound. He rocked his body against Heero’s hardness, his mind dazed and overwhelmed by sensation. Heat and lust, power and blood. It filled Duo completely, forcing continuous moans from him, urging Heero on. Then it crashed over him, transforming the world into white hot pleasure. He screamed, arching his back sharply and pressing himself into Heero. He came as their combined power consumed him, and then Heero’s lips were sealing over his, swallowing his breath and his screams. He fell back slowly, the vampire lowering him to the bed and leaning over him.

Duo relaxed on the bed, limp-limbed and boneless. A warm, languid feeling suffused him even as he tried to slow his racing heart. He felt Heero using the sheet to wipe some of the mess off himself and Duo, then the vampire picked him back up. Heero propped himself up on the pillows, holding Duo against him. Rolling his head to the side, Duo saw that same look in Heero's eyes. Power and lust.

They stayed like that for some time, neither speaking nor moving, enjoying the last, glowing embers of power. Holding each other.

"Jesus," Duo swore once he had the state of mind to speak. He lifted a hand and covered his face. "Jesus, Jesus." He swallowed again, wincing at the ache in his throat. His body was complaining, several aches and pains from the encounter with Odin making themselves known with a vengeance. "Guess I wasn't feeling as better as I thought I was," he mumbled.

"No," Heero agreed, "apparently not."

Duo coughed, feeling the laziness in him vanishing under sore muscles. "Why the hell do I feel like shit NOW?" It was all fine and dandy while Heero's power flowed through him, but now he felt much worse than before.

"You were already weak," Heero said. He brushed a finger over Duo's neck. "This weakened you even more."

Oh. And here he was, about to suggest they do it again.

"I've called Zechs," Heero continued, "he should be here soon."

Duo felt a headache brewing. He pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes. It would have been interesting if Zechs arrived while he and Heero were . . . busy. He blew out an explosive breath of air, cursing when pain slashed through him again.

Duo's memory came rushing back once the glow of power had subsided, making him tense in Heero's embrace. He still didn't know the truth about Heero. Not that he was terribly inclined to believe what Odin had said, but truth had a way of coming from the strangest places.

"You never told me if it was true or not, Heero," Duo said, watching the vampire's face.

Heero's eyes closed, and when he opened them again, they were glinting dully. He averted his eyes, staring at the darkness beyond the open window.

Duo felt his throat close over. It couldn't be true. He couldn't have destroyed the church, killed all those people to get to him. Just to kill him. Just to own him.

on to part 16

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