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Scarlet Skies

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In these parts of the woods Mikasa preferred to hunt, because for some reason, the scum of humanity usually wondered here. She had lost count of the amount of serial killers she had caught either finishing a murder or disposing of a body. It brought her an immeasurable amount of pleasure to watch the shock on their faces when she snuck up on them, when her cold hands wound around their throats and snap. She watched the life leave their eyes, and she didn’t care.

Human life was precious. Mikasa firmly believed that, especially after losing her humanity. She did not believe in the soul. Humans were simply born, lived their lives, then died. Some died later on in life, some too soon. Some lives meant nothing. Some lives would mean more extinguished. Mikasa had watched far too many people suffer because society had decided that the motion of every life is equal meant that those lives that were black with evil were allowed to exist, and snuff out the innocent.

On this night, Mikasa was hungry. She’d gone far too long without hunting, and she was starting to feel it. She usually didn’t wait this long. She had a job where she pretended to be human, where she interacted with humans and watched them attempt to fathom what she was without truly realizing. She knew she was an anomaly to them—too beautiful, too pale, too still, and eyes that were sometimes red. It was too much of a hassle to always slip in contacts, so Mikasa had decided to tell people she dyed them. Some new age ink that was injected into her eyes. Or she told them she had a genetic disorder that had given her red eyes. Whatever, people usually believed it, because there was nothing else that was rational enough as an answer.

So, she’d wistfully let the days go by. It had been a week. Even just skipping a day was dangerous. Mikasa liked to think that she was an extremely in control vampire. She had only ever lost control of herself once, shortly after her change, and that hadn’t been her fault. Her creator had been cruel and demented, had laughed as she ripped out the throat of his human friend. Once her thirst had been quenched and she had realized what she had done, she was mortified.

She killed him, then, with all the strength of being a newborn. He hadn’t seemed to really care. From then on, Mikasa had to learn about being a vampire on her own. She learnt that her thirst burned the back of her throat, made her muscles twitch and her skin itch. She learnt that she could smell every human heart close to her, whenever the thirst got bad. Her eyes were the brightest when she was thirsty, and she was the most dangerous then too.

She didn’t really have fangs, but her teeth were sharp and deadly. Her heart had stopped, so she looked like a corpse, with deathly pale skin and blue lips. She used makeup to at least look like she wasn’t a vampire, but there was only so much makeup could cover. The sun didn’t hurt her, at all. She didn’t sparkle either. She just… didn’t like the sun, the way it made her feel. It blinded her vision and made her feel uncomfortable, and whether that was a Mikasa thing or a vampire thing, she much preferred night.

So, there she was, sitting casually on a thick branch, listening to the distant footsteps drawing near. She could hear two voices, one male and one female, and they were clearly drunk. She smelt the sweetness of their blood and the tinges of arousal. She waited until they were directly below her, pleased when they decided to use the tree she was perched on to makeout. The girl was short, with thick, curly black hair and dark brown skin. The boy was taller than her, packed with muscle and shortly cropped red hair on his head. He was whispering to her, making her giggle, and she let him press her up against the tree.

So, they were just horny teens. Mikasa sighed for the human dramatics of it. She didn’t feel up to staying there and watching them have sex, so she sniffed the air to see if there was anyone else nearby. She was just about to leap through the trees when a gasp below drew her attention.

“Anthony, not here,” the girl mumbled, pulling her mouth away from his. Mikasa stilled.

“Come on, Beca. We’re totally alone here.”

Beca’s heartbeat picked up. “I said no. I don’t want to, not here and not now.”

“Bec, come on baby.” Anthony grabbed her wrists and pressed them against the tree. “It’ll be good, I promise.” He forced his mouth on her, ignoring her suddenly frightened cries for him to stop.

Mikasa didn’t hesitate. She dropped down from the tree without so much as a sound, and wrenched Anthony away from the girl. He cried out in surprise and then gasped when her hand closed his throat and squeezed. Mikasa looked at the girl. One strap of her shirt had been pulled down, but otherwise she seemed fine, if a bit shaken. “Go home,” Mikasa told her calmly. She could see her own red eyes reflected in the girl’s gaze. “And call the police.”

Beca didn’t wait. She turned and bolted, clearly not caring what happened to Anthony at all. That was okay. Mikasa turned her attention back to him. He was blue in the face, hands bloody from trying to scrape at her hand. She hadn’t even felt him struggle.

“Please,” he gasped out.

Mikasa released him and he collapsed in a heap, sputtering. She narrowed her eyes. “You’re the kid from the news a while back, in the next province. The one that doesn’t take no for an answer.” She crouched down by him and lifted his head by his hair. Yep. She recognized his face. He’d gone to court and everything, for multiple counts of rape, but had been set free without any charges. Mikasa’s body quivered in excitement. Her thirst was bad. Real bad. Being thirsty made her angry, too, and this asshole had walked right into her hungry jaws.

“I didn’t do anything wrong!” he cried out, voice shrill and weak.

Mikasa ignored him. She lifted him by one hand again, fingers tightening. He struggled but she was so much stronger than him. Snapping his neck was easy, and she hurried to press her teeth against his throat before his blood went cold, but froze when she heard the sound of metal screeching and something crashing nearby. Immediately afterwards the tantalizingly sweet scent of blood filled her nose. Not the rotting blood of the sinful—no, this blood called to her like nothing ever had. It was probably due to her thirst, but Mikasa dropped the dead guy and turned, rushing away toward that scent. It wasn’t that far, and she was quite fast.

What she found was a terrible accident, but only one car that had clearly flown off the road and tumbled down the hill, smashing into trees before coming to a stop belly up. She could hear a faint heartbeat, but only one, so she rushed to the car and dropped to her knees. Inside a woman hung in her seatbelt, hot blood dripping down the side of her face. Mikasa’s chest tightened painfully and her throat flared up, like she’d stuck a piece of hot coal down there. It took everything in her control not to act like an animal and crawl towards that puddle of blood to lap it up.

Mikasa stopped inhaling to clear her mind of that scent and climbed into the ruined car. She bent metal away to make space, then carefully tore the seatbelt and lowered the woman into her arms. She crawled out of the car and hurried away, just in case something blew up.

At the back of her mind, Mikasa was aware of how dangerous this was. She had just abandoned a kill, a feeding, to save this bleeding young woman whose blood made her want to weep, if she was still capable of weeping. Mikasa set her down on the ground and checked for injuries. They were… bad. A broken leg, severe scrapes all over her body. There was a massive gash at her temple and she was losing a lot of blood.

The woman groaned in pain.

Mikasa made the mistake of inhaling through her nose. The scents around her assaulted her senses, but nothing more so than the blood. Before she realized what she was doing, she had the woman in her arms, her teeth pressed to her throat. The woman groaned again, making Mikasa freeze like a statue.

Mikasa pulled away—amazed that she was even able to. Blurry blue eyes blinked up at her. Half the woman’s face was red with blood, but she was still somehow beautiful. It struck Mikasa in the gut, that this fragile human was beautiful. It radiated off of her, begging Mikasa to dip her head and have a taste. Instead, Mikasa cradled her head.

“Take it easy,” she forced herself to say evenly. “I pulled you out of a crash. Can you remember your name?”

Blonde brows drew together. “Annie,” she croaked out, voice weak and wavering. “Annie Leonhardt.”

Mikasa smiled. “Annie. Listen to me. You’ve lost a lot of blood. I’m going to call the ambulance, okay? You can’t move.”

Mikasa realized that she hadn’t even thought about calling for help. All she had thought about, could still think about, was drinking this woman’s blood. Draining her dry. Absolutely bloating herself with it. Her nose and her throat burnt so badly, and her eyes were redder than she’d ever seen them.

“What are you?” Annie asked her.

Mikasa frowned. “My name is Mikasa,” she answered. “Try not to speak.”

Her heartbeat was slowing down, getting weaker. Even if she called an ambulance, they wouldn’t make it in time. Annie was going to die. Her pupils were blown wide, lips parted. She was flushed with pain and fear. Mikasa could see it in her eyes, that she knew she wouldn’t make it, that she could feel her life draining away. A shaky hand lifted and grabbed at her upper arm, threading through the fabric of her shirt, staining it black with blood.

“Don’t leave me, please,” Annie begged softly. “I can’t…” she trailed off, swallowed.

Mikasa ached. She watched the subtle pulse at Annie’s throat and hungered for it. She should leave Annie there, return to her kill and drink what was left of his blood, then return to her life. She could report Annie’s accident and wait for the article in the paper, about the tragic young woman found dead, thrown from her vehicle. Normally Mikasa didn’t care. But this time… The right thing would be to leave. If she stayed, she might not be able to control her thirst. Annie’s blue eyes stared openly at her, filled with fear and curiosity.

“What are you?” she repeated.

Mikasa’s arms tightened around Annie. Her body was warm, still thrumming with blood. Mikasa knew she must have felt cold and hard against Annie’s side. “A nightmare,” she finally answered. “I did not save you, Annie. And I’m not saving you now.”

“Why?”

Mikasa couldn’t look away from her eyes. “Because I want to drink your blood,” she admitted. “So badly. I’m so thirsty, Annie. You crashed before I finished hunting. I don’t know if I can resist you.”

Annie’s brows furrowed again. “Are you… what are you?”

Mikasa chuckled. “Don’t worry about it.”

“I don’t want to die.” Clearly surprising them both, Annie released a sob. “I… fuck, I have so much I still need to do. But I’m dying, aren’t I? Either this kills me, or you do. I can see it in your eyes. You aren’t calling for help. Help won’t get here in time.”

Mikasa kept silent, not breathing. The less she smelt the blood, the better. Annie was exceptionally perceptive, which was surprising, since she should have been in severe pain and shock.

“Do you mean it?” she asked.

Annie swallowed another sob. “Mean what?”

“That you want to live.”

“I... I do.”

Mikasa growled deep in her chest. What the fuck was she doing? This was insane. But she couldn’t resist, couldn’t make herself shut up. “I can save you.” She smiled ruefully. “If I’m able to stop.”

Annie stared at her for a long second. She started to cough, and a stream of blood seeped from her mouth. She was gasping for breath, writhing in pain. She couldn’t speak anymore. Whatever was broken inside her, it had just gotten worse. The blood around them started to increase. She probably had internal bleeding. Mikasa held herself incredibly still, watching Annie’s face. Finally, Annie nodded.

“We’re not supposed to do this,” Mikasa found herself saying. “We’re not supposed to turn people whenever we want.”

Annie gasped, clenched her teeth. She gripped the front of Mikasa’s shirt, fist bleeding white, and then she went limp. Mikasa heard her heart give one more thud, and then stop. Cursing, she tipped Annie’s head to the side and bit in deep at her throat. The taste of her blood was more intoxicating than the smell had been, and she almost wasn’t able to stop. She drank and drank and drank, aroused with it, full with it. Annie’s blood tasted like life. Mikasa forced herself to pull away, to stop swallowing that sweet blood, and then lifted Annie’s wrist, and bit down. She repeated the action on the other wrist, along her arms, her throat. Injecting her with as much venom as she could. It was coated on her teeth, only released when she wanted it to be.

She set Annie down, did chest compressions until the venom reached her heart, got it beating again. She allowed herself to exhale the stale air from her dead lungs, then gathered Annie into her arms and started for home.