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Awakening

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It was evening when Jirou’s eyes finally snapped open. He lay not in the middle of an alley, drenched in his own blood, but on a very soft bed. The room was dark, even with the light of the full moon streaming through the open curtains on the window. He could see, though – could see as well as if it were full daylight.

He shuddered, sitting up abruptly, burying his face in his hands. She had - - Alice, she was - - and she had - - and - -

It couldn’t be real.

But the light didn’t change when he looked around the room, and though he knew it must have been dark, he couldn’t tell. Jirou ran his hands through his hair, taking a deep breath – only it became more of a gasp as his hair kept going, as his hands traveled through long locks. He swept the locks in his right hand around to the front of his shoulder. His hair pooled around him, reaching all the way down his body. He stared.

The soft click of the door gave him a moment’s notice before she entered the room. Alice stood encased in a stream of light from the hallway, smiling at him like she was going to cry, and in that instant the changes to him didn’t matter.

“Oh, you’re awake!” She said, her voice overly bright as she came in and closed the door behind her. She placed a pile of clothing on the edge of the bed and walked to the window. “Your uniform got all dirty, but Cain said you could have this extra set of his clothes. He won’t give you any more, he said to tell you, so you better take care of it!”

She laughed, making her way around the bed. She wouldn’t meet his eyes, wouldn’t look at him properly. Alice stopped by the window, staring out at the full moon overhead.

“Alice…?”

She laughed again, but brokenly, like crying. He started to go to her, only to realize he wasn’t wearing any clothes. He blushes, and reached for the outfit she had brought with her.

“I am sorry, Jirou,” she whispered, so softly that he was certain he wouldn’t have heard her before… tonight. He stiffened. “I just couldn’t let you die. I didn’t want to lie to you, earlier, but you were so upset about Cassa, and I just… The time was never right. And then you were lying there, and I know it’s no excuse, and I don’t want you think like that but I just loved you too much, and – “

She stopped, shaking her head. In the reflection of the glass, he could see the tears streaming down her face even as she smiled. He pulled on the shirt and began to button it.

“I wanted you, you know,” Alice said, laughing that laugh that wasn’t a laugh again. “I wanted to tell you first, though. And now… You should know now. Our bloodline… you’re part of my bloodline, now. My guardian. Which means that you’ll live longer than I will. Someday, Jirou – someday I will die. And you will live.”

“I would die before I let you come to harm, my lady,” he said. She glanced at him then, quickly looking away. He tucked his shirt in while he waited.

“You’re going to live.” She answered, and he started to say something, but she cut him off. “You will, and you’ll have to take care of me, because I’ll be reborn as a child. I am the Sage, Jirou, one of the oldest of the Old Bloods, and my line cannot die. But Jirou… you will have to give back my blood.”

“There are worse things –“

“You’ll die.”

She said the words quickly, glancing away even from the window. Her hair fell lightly across her face, and he could not see her face to know what expression it holds. His eyes went wide.

“It’s the curse of being in my line. I live forever, remembering everything every time my guardian restores my life to me. But you…” She took a deep breath that shuddered as it went into her and shuddered worse as it came back out. “You’ll die.”

He grabbed her hand and pulled her away from the window, spinning her so that she had to face him.

“If it’s for you,” he said, staring down into her pale blue eyes. His right hand came up to rest lightly against her face. With his thumb, he brushed away the tears that had fallen. “If it’s for you, I don’t mind.”

She sighed, and turned away again. “I’m sorry. You are too kind, so…”

He put his hands on her shoulders and leaned close, whispering into her ear, “I am not simply being kind. Being with you is my happiness.”

“Jirou!”

Alice spun around, kissing him desperately. He pulled her close to him. They twisted, and fell onto the bed, his head cradled against her throat. His lips slid down her body, caressing her neck. He reached a soft, delicate part of her chest just above her heart, and his fangs sprang forth. He bit her, her body arching up to him as he drank deeply of her blood. Sweet, so sweet, like the fine peaches imported from the colonies. He could feel her heart racing, could taste it. His pulse synchronized with hers, living and breathing as one.

“Jirou…” She whispered, running her hands through his hair, down his back. He pulled his teeth away from her chest and brought them to her lips, biting his lip just a little before he kissed her, fierce and deep. She moaned as the taste of their mingled blood washed over her tongue, her hands coming to cradle the back of his head, holding him against her. He fought her for dominance, his tongue diving into her mouth. Still sweet, even with that touch of bitter now. Sweet, his sweet Alice. His hands slipped up her back, tugging ineffectually at strings and ties still pressed against the bed. Jirou leaned back, and her grip on him kept them together, but the damn strings! He growled.

Alice pushed backwards, her hands sliding down his neck and onto his arms as she separated their faces.

“My Jirou,” she said, laying back on the bed. She grabbed his right hand and guided it forwards until the tip of one of his long, sharp nails rested at the top of her gown. She wiggled her hips beneath him, sending warmth rushing to his groin and thoughts flying from his head. She laughed softly even as she continued twisting. “Please…?”

There could be no answer but action. He ripped it straight in half with a single forceful motion. Her hands plucked deftly at the buttons of his shirt and he cursed her care with them even as he recognized the necessity. She finished quickly and he pulled it off, tossing it aside. Her hands were working at his pants, warm against his skin as she forced the buttons open. He started to push them down, and –

“Alice…”

Her dress had fallen upon in her haste, and he could see her at last. She smiled at him, more charming than ever, as his jaw dropped. Even with the imperfection of his bite marks to mar her skin, she was… stunning. She giggled, and brushed the dress back farther, pulling her arms free from the sleeves.

“Make love to me, Jirou,” she whispered.

He did.