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How Wrong We Were

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Immortality was frustrating, after a few centuries.

Sometime after his one-hundredth birthday, he'd lost track of what the difference was between his human birth date and the date of his Siring. The day he celebrated as his 'birthday' might not even land on either of those dates, it might be an average between the two. Not that it really mattered. They were as good as one in the same.

Sometime after his two-hundred birthday, he began to realize that he was going to have to work exponentially harder to amuse himself as he got older. Atop that, he had to struggle to keep up with the drastically changing world around him.

After his Sire was disposed of (subdued by a stake through his heart, and left out for the rising sun to devour; the most honorable death a vampire could earn at the hands of a human), he found himself abruptly friendless.

He had no desire to Sire a Childe of his own. Humans were boring, he'd never found one that was more interesting than a particularly amusing meal. Certainly never one he'd want to bless with the silver kiss and keep around forever. That was the problem with immortality, it meant forever, as in, without end. And while he'd split from his Sire's greater social group fairly rapidly, as was the custom of the time, things had changed. Vampires kept their Childer close at hand, some of them developed absolute harems of the weaker generation, kept them around like a shield of pathetic devotion. He wanted nothing to do with that.

He was non-traditional from the start, and that was probably what drove him into the friendship of the wolves. Well, one wolf in particular.

Youichiro was a lone wolf. He wasn't much like the rest of his pack, and he also had no desire to keep a pack of his own. He didn't want to be an alpha, he just wanted to be left alone, at least by other wolves and their pressure for him to either mate or start rampaging during the full moon and forcing the change on normal humans, an act Youichiro refused to partake in, having been changed in that way himself.

Werewolves didn't live forever, he knew that, but having Youichiro as a friend and companion made the long nights much easier. And they did have a tendency to live for several centuries. He'd outlive most humans, anyway.

His four-hundredth 'birthday' came as something of a surprise. Looking at a calendar and realizing that he had been walking this Earth and blindly adapting to the drastic changes around him for centuries left him feeling distinctly restless and uncomfortable.

He took to the night. The full moon blazed above him and he knew that meant Youichiro was out in the wilds, probably devouring some unwitting beast or other. Nothing sentient. Nothing that could be infected.

This was all irrelevant, though.

He needed a change, and change he was going to get.

The boy stumbling across his path was serendipitous, to say the last.

A human. He was not really a boy in the traditional sense of the word. He was at least as old as the human visage the vampire held. But after over four hundred years, any contemporary human was little more than an infant in the greater scheme of things. And so this was a boy to him, but one that drew his attention like a magnet, like a moth to dangerous flame.

He wanted him, in a deep and visceral way he had never felt before.

He approached the young human under the guise of friendly conversation, and he didn't need to exert any particular coercion to draw the human to him. It was strange, this sudden symbiosis between them. And when he drew the human into a dark alley to feed, he found, for the first time in four centuries, that he couldn't drain the human to a husk.

He couldn't kill this vibrant human. There were more depths to plumb. For the first time in his eternal, infernal life, he wanted to keep this human around.

"What is your name?" He asked in a blood-tainted whisper against the boy's ear.

"Sho." His new toy, his new pet answered in a lightheaded whisper. "Jinnai Sho."

Chapter Text

The only thing that saved Youichiro from a wooden stake to the heart was the wolfish reflexes that he retained for a few days after each full moon. He didn't really think about how it might not go over well, kicking open the door to Yuki's sanctuary during the daytime, until the stake had slid most of the way through his hand, leaving a number of splinters behind, and the tip of the sharpened bit of wood pressed against his chest.

"What are you doing?" Yuki hissed once he realized who was standing in the doorway. Of course no light had crept in, Yuki was still safe, but the reaction was instinctive. Youichiro couldn't really blame him. "I might have killed you, you know."

"Sorry." Youichiro grumbled, stepping into Yuki's room and kicking the door shut behind him so the vampire would stop hissing between every word. "No, wait." He follows through, dropping the stake and holding his hand close to his eyes so he could start pulling the slivers of wood out of his palm. "I'm not sorry at all. Yuki."

"What?" Yuki growled, and Youichiro could tell by the rustling sounds in the pitch dark room that Yuki had rolled over and pulled his blankets over his head again. He's not completely comatose during the daytime, obviously, but certainly sleepy and he had some trouble with coherency.

Well, it sucked to be him. Youichiro wasn't about to wait until sunset for answers. "Why is there a human passed out on our couch?"

The silence was more than enough of an answer for Youichiro, at first anyway, but by the time his hand was relatively free of splinters and he started licking the blood away (not for the first time was he thankful that his blood drew absolutely none of Yuki's attention) he was ready for a better explanation than heavy silence.

"He's not dead." Youichiro prompted, a bit more gently than his earlier accusation. "But he's got a bandage on his neck..."

"Well, I couldn't exactly leave it without a bandage."

Youichiro sighed and crossed the room to perch on the end of Yuki's bed. Yuki hissed again, but Youichiro had stopped being scared of that sound a few years back. It was only a fair warning, after all, and irrelevant to those of wolf stock.

"You've never brought a human home before," He said carefully. "I understand you have to feed, and for the most part, you know, I don't mind. I just let it go. But this..."

"What business is it of yours?" But Yuki was engaged in the conversation now, Youichiro could tell because he could hear Yuki's blankets shifting as the vampire sat up.

He might still have the wolf's senses, but all that meant in this kind of darkness was that he could sense, with help of his ears and nose and all, a faint outline of the half-dressed vampire. Yuki could most surely see him in minute detail. It wasn't really fair, but Youichiro tried not to let him bother him. It never had before, anyway.

"Are you gonna... Are you gonna make him a vampire?" Youichiro asked after a moment of consideration. And his senses were attuned enough that he caught the helpless shrug that was Yuki's most honest answer.

"I never wanted to before, you know. But he's... he's special."

"What's so special about him?" Youichiro asked skeptically. Their visitor, if he could call him that, had looked pretty typical to Youichiro. Pale and unconscious and bandaged. Normal. Human. And, as such, vulnerable.

"It's hard to explain." There was a lot unspoken in Yuki's words, and Youichiro scowled to himself.

"I guess it's a vampire thing, huh." Youichiro growled.

Yuki sighed, and the sound was so weary that Youichiro couldn't help but feel sorry for him, even if he was still mad at him.

"What am I supposed to do, then?" Youichiro asked. "What if he wakes up and wants to leave?"

"Then let him leave." Yuki whined. "He's not compelled. I don't do that. I just couldn't let him go home when he was bleeding."

Youichiro sighed and stood up, crossing to the door.

"Oh, and Youichiro." Yuki called after him just as his hand reached the door knob.

"What?"

"You ever come into my room uninvited again, I won't miss with that stake."

Wolves were pretty resilient, even in human form off the full moon. But still, a spike of wood through his heart would be pretty close to fatal.

Still, Yuki hadn't missed the first time. Youichiro had simply been able to catch it.

"Sure, Yuki." He might as well let Yuki keep his illusions of strength and accuracy in tact. "Sorry. Won't let it happen again."

His only answer was a waning grumble. The vampire was already unconscious again, his body's physical limitations overwhelming his conscious mind. Youichiro slipped out the door, closed it carefully behind himself, and gave his head a shake. He wasn't sure he'd ever understand vampires.

"I'm sorry."

The voice was unfamiliar, low but with a certain feline purr. Youichiro turned in an instinctive low stance, and his feral snarl caused the stranger to take a step back, hands raised defensively. "Are you a friend of Yamada-san?"

The human was awake.