Title: Memento
Author: Jordanna Morgan (librarie@jordanna.net)
Archive Rights: Please request the author’s consent.
Rating/Warnings: PG for implied adult situations.
Characters: Mikaela and Krul.
Setting: Pre-canon. Follows my story “Blood”, but also stands on its own.
Summary:
Mika brings Krul a little souvenir from the surface world.
Disclaimer: They belong to Takaya Kagami. I’m just playing with them.
Notes: The punchline/mental image this fic is based on was actually intended to be used in “Blood”, my assignment for the 2016 Rarepair Fest exchange. However, that story went off on its own in the buildup, until the scene I originally had in mind never ended up happening there at all. I still wanted to write it, though—so here it is as a separate piece.

 

Memento

 

The ruin had once been a quiet suburb of a town called Asakura.

In the waning light of sunset, Mikaela Hyakuya walked along a cracked road that was littered with the detritus of a vanished society. Here and there, the wreckage of a car was crashed against a tree or sagging fence. A bicycle lay halfway on the sidewalk, slowly rusting into a red-brown stain on the pavement. A child’s broken swing creaked back and forth in the breeze. Up and down the street, shattered windows of once-neat houses stared out like ghosts of the past.

All these remnants of normality were long dead, left exactly as they had been on the day of humanity’s fall… but some things still lived.

Grass and weeds grew wild in the front yards. Vines escaped the trellises to which they were once confined, crawling across everything within their spreading reach. Cherry trees arched gracefully over the street, raining soft pink petals.

Even a handful of humans survived in this place. Many of them were no older than Mika himself; children had been untouched by the plague that had reduced mankind’s numbers to a fraction. With few living adults here to guide them, they had spent these years scavenging like dogs, while trying to elude the Four Horsemen of John that would emerge from the nearby woods to stalk them.

Today, four days after Mika’s arrival with Ferid Bathory and a squad of other vampires, most of those humans remained alive—but they were no longer free.

One way or another, they all submitted quickly. For most, all it took was to see the vampires quickly take down a pair of Four Horsemen roaming the neighborhood’s deserted schoolyard. Whether it was the sight of strength they could not oppose, or the promise of safety at last from the monsters, the young ones especially did not take long to creep out of hiding and surrender.

As for those who did not surrender… they were dispatched so easily, they might as well have been asking for a merciful death. In their hearts, perhaps some of them were.

Mika paused in his steps, shuddering more at the fresh memories than at the chill wind that blew down the street.

Once again, he had watched humans die, spitting their last breaths defiantly at the vampires who put a quick end to their resistance. Worse, he had watched those vampires tear deep into human throats… and this time, he felt the monstrous hunger in himself that made him ache to do the same.

As if with a will of its own, Mika’s hand suddenly fumbled for the flap of the pouch that hung at his side, sliding underneath to draw out a vial of scarlet liquid. He flicked it open with now-practiced ease, and gulped down the precious mouthfuls of Queen Krul’s own blood that she had given him just before he left Sanguinem.

For all his mixed feelings about humans now, after learning the truth about the Hyakuya orphanage, he knew it wouldn’t be easy to see more of them die on his first mission in the outside world. He knew the sight and smell of their spilled blood would rouse the beast in him, driving home the reality of what he now was himself. He knew he would be subjected to Ferid’s insidious teasing and cajoling, as the noble tried to force him to take a human life with his own hands.

He had resisted all of that by thinking of Yuichiro. Of the disgust his adopted brother would feel, were he to see Mika do such a thing.

Yu was the reason Mika was glad to be here, in spite of it all.

At long last, Krul had sent him on a mission beyond Sanguinem, giving him his first chance to begin searching for Yu. Of course, the odds of him finding Yu on his first excursion were miniscule, and right now, he didn’t even know where to start. For the moment, it was all he could do to adjust to seeing the surface world again: the sunlight he was now forced to wear protection from, the crumbling ruins of a past normal world, of which his childhood memories were too quickly fading.

It was all he could do to bear the actions of the other vampires, and to wrestle with the hatred he had learned to feel for humans as well—when he witnessed the two species’ collision for the first time since that awful day when the orphans tried to escape.

But it was the necessary first step toward his own personal goal.

Krul knew that. She knew Mika’s wish to reunite with one lowly human was ultimately his reason for surviving. Yet in spite of that, or maybe because of it—because he needed some scrap of fuel for the hope that kept him alive and by her side—she had released her pet from his leash. Upon consideration, she had even given him enough of her blood to sustain him throughout the mission, instead of leaving him to hunger until he was driven to seek human prey.

Having been granted this small degree of liberty, he would not run away. Krul knew that, as well. Even if he hadn’t been bound to her blood, he needed the vampires’ resources and vast reach to aid his private search.

And besides that…

Mika’s wandering gaze lighted upon a few dots of crimson, tangled with the green that spilled through a gap in a wooden fence. It was the first glimmer of red he had seen in days that was neither blood nor a vampire’s eyes. The source of this color, he realized, was something far gentler than those harsh reminders of his fate; something he hadn’t seen since the old world ended.

As he stepped toward it, the very faintest trace of a thoughtful smile lifted the corners of his mouth.

 

Upon his return to Sanguinem, Mikaela was debriefed with the rest of the squad. After that, he reported directly to Krul’s personal chambers, as she had instructed him to do.

The Queen was waiting for him there: unceremonious, playful, wearing nothing but her favorite flimsy lounging robe. Her wordless smile at him when he entered was more a wolfish smirk. The expression made him ache, as did the very scent of her.

For the last five days, the pre-drawn blood she gave him had sufficed, but it hadn’t satisfied him. It had lost the sweetness, the filling savor her blood offered while fresh. He was only fully aware of that now, as he smelled the fragrance of her skin and the blood beneath it—the promise of the imminent chance to drink straight from her veins once more. The very thought made his limbs tremble, his heart pound, and any coherent words instantly scatter from his mind.

Blood was not all he craved from her, but it was the first priority of his body.

Before Mika knew what he was doing, his hands were on Krul’s arms, gripping her with a bold possessiveness he had never dared before. His head dipped over her shoulder, his fangs sank deep, and he groaned as her red richness spurted into his mouth.

Krul’s surprised and delighted laugh tickled his ears as she pulled him down to her bed.

 

Later, when they lay tangled together in the sheets, Mika was content not to think. His mind was dreamy, weighed down by the fullness and pleasure his body felt on several levels. All he wanted was to rest in that untroubled state.

It would take him a while, certainly, to process the grim experiences of his first mission. He would even have to ponder that intense need which took him over when he came back to face Krul. Some small, exhausted part of his being warned it would disturb him when he could think clearly, but that time was not yet.

For now, it was enough to know things were progressing in the right direction. He had proven himself well enough to earn further chances to travel beyond Sanguinem, to search for Yu, and the Queen was pleased to reward her pet: both for his obedience in the field, and the enjoyment he gave her upon his return.

Never mind that her enjoyment was irresistibly his own as well.

…Yes, it was all definitely too much to think of then. Not in these fleeting moments when he could dwell on nothing more than the slim curves of her resting in his arms, the smoothness of her skin against his own.

Absently, Mika’s thoughts strayed to the one thing he had carried back with him from Asakura. He had entirely forgotten it in the assault of his powerful thirsts, but it was still waiting patiently in the pouch that held his now-empty blood vials.

With great reluctance, he slowly and gently untangled himself from Krul’s sleeping embrace. She did not awaken. He eased himself off the bed, and collected the scattered garments of his uniform from the floor, picking up the pouch last of all. From this he withdrew one vial that was no longer empty.

He laid his fragile souvenir on the pillow beside Krul’s own, and silently crept away to his room that adjoined hers.

 

When Krul woke up, her eyes opened to see one of the vials she had used to provide Mika with sustenance. It was now returned to her with a token of gratitude: something she hadn’t seen in countless years, a short-lived mote of beauty that could not be found in the sunless depths of Sanguinem.

Inside the vial, suspended in clear water, was the tiny, perfect blossom of a blood-red miniature rose.

The Queen smiled softly, and clutched the delicate gift to her chest.

“…Mika.”


© 2016 Jordanna Morgan