Title: The Need (1/3)
Romance/SMUT/NC-17 (for slash/yaoi, bloodplay, HJ, oral, anal, and foul language.)
The days are blistering, the nights are freezing, and there is nothing but sand as far as the eye can see. A series of unfortunate events forces Sin and Draca through the Sanora Desert, and it quickly goes from bad to worse. Draca has miscalculated his blood supply and is on the verge of Vampyric starvation! And unfortunately, Sin is the only living being around! Couple that with a suppressed attraction flying between them, and disaster is just waiting to happen! Or... is it?
Time Line:
Fall of 2467 A.S. One year after And So He Watches.
Sin – 467 year; sDraca – 112 years; Gwen – 27 years; Kyris – 51 years
Standard Effin' Disclaimer:
This is SLASH. Otherwise known as YAOI. If you don't know what either of those mean, you obviously shouldn't be reading this. If you do, and are not a fan of it, how in the hell did you end up here?

The Need

"Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust."

While the inhabitants of Viranus live in relative peace, there is no one that would say that Viranus is a safe place. The abundance of magic that saturates the entire world shows itself in various ways – mutating animals, plants, people, and even the land itself. People commonly go missing after traveling through the untamed wilderness, never to be seen again.

One such place is an area known as the Deadlands, cutting across the continent of Ceyluris and dividing it into northern and southern regions. It is particularly notorious, because of unique properties of the land. The very soil in the Deadlands has the ability to siphon the magic and life from the land and the air above the Deadlands. It is a plain barren of life, and the draining properties forces travelers to either brave the Deadlands or take ships rounding the coast in order to avoid it. Barely any choose the former route.

Inside the ring of death is the Sanora Desert – a land where life is scarce but enduring. The days are blistering, the nights are frozen, and there is little to no civilization save for the Sand Fayth which make their home there. The Sand Fayth are the only respite to the daring traveler. The nomadic people are the only beings suited for life in the Sanora. They make their sand-born villages on the paths of the underground rivers, leaving when the water resource begins to fade. Behind them they leave the abandoned huts to slowly dissolve into the desert from whence they came.

It is in one of these deserted villages, not yet taken by the desert, that this tale begins. The village itself rests on the banks of a dried oasis, the scant trees that had grown there now whitened and dead. A pair of travelers have stumbled upon it in their journey across the sands – a welcome respite. But all is not well on this night.

He slumped against a flat outcropping of stone at the basin of the oasis, a weary sigh ripping past his lips. Shivers wracked his body, no matter how tightly he wrapped the worn traveling cloak about him. The desert night was clear and crisp – the stars bright above his head in the moonless night. And biting cold. He'd long given up fighting it. He'd resigned himself to the agonizing cold that was not just from the night air.

The Vampyre Draca lay reclined against the weather-worn rock at the bottom of the dried oasis. Far, far up the bank he could see the light of the fire Sin had managed to start. His partner had abandoned his cloak, collar, and vest – leaving him only in the black mesh shirt – and had set to work sharpening the blade of his scythe. The seraph had found a dead tree to lean comfortably against while he worked, oblivious to his partner's turmoil.

His body shuddered violently once more. Ice had seeped into his bones days ago. It was so cold. So cold that he couldn't think clearly anymore. Nothing helped. By all common sense, he should have moved up to join Sin by the fire. But he couldn't. It wouldn't have lessened the terrible chill that assaulted him from the inside.

Besides, he had reached his limit. Draca could no longer move – not without hollow pain attacking his body.

He was so, so hungry. And it was so, so cold.

As if in response to his acknowledgment, a body-jerking throb of pain followed the next tremor. He was forced to bite the inside of his lip to keep from crying out in pain. Another, larger wave of pain assaulted him as his elongated fangs sliced through the tender skin, drawing blood and reminding his body of its hunger.

They'd been traveling through the Sanora for the better part of two weeks – on their way to a client in the northern half of the continent. It had been over two weeks since he'd had a decent meal.

And that was his own fault, he supposed. He'd made a grave miscalculation, thinking that they'd spend at least two days in the bustling port town they'd landed in after departing from the Haven. That would have been ample time for the Vampyre to gorge on enough blood to last him through most of the journey. What he hadn't expected was for the ship they'd booked to round the coast to be damaged, thus forcing them to travel on foot through the Deadlands.

He'd also forgotten how much Sin hated the barren plains, and how his partner would want to leave immediately in order to get through them as soon as possible. They'd left town after only after half a day, and Draca had been forced to make due with the animals he'd found along the way. That had seemed to work in keeping off the hunger for the time being. Though, it had ceased to sustain him once they entered the Deadlands and the Sanora. Draca had been banking on coming across a stray Sand Fayth – perhaps a scout. But alas, after nearly two weeks he believed the Fates were simply toying with him.

So here he sat, a Master Thief and Spy, reduced to a heap of pain and hunger and cold. He'd braved the desert through both night and day (when no suitable shelter was to be found) with only a worn traveling cloak to protect him. His strength was gone, and he was at the mercy of the pain and the ice that flooded his veins. And he knew that if he didn't get some nourishment soon, he would spiral down into that primal Vampyric rage that occurred just when his kind was at the edge of death. That thought brought him to shame – the realization that his carefully built restraint would be shattered in an instant.

This... this was why he was as far away from Sin as possible.

Sin was the only source of blood for miles, after all.

A gasp ripped from his throat and he gripped desperately at his chest as an overwhelming wave of agony tore through him at the mere thought of the nourishment he was denying himself. Draca clenched his eyes shut tight, attempting to block out the pain, the temptation – everything. He had to. Or else he was liable to attack Sin in an attempt to feed.

He wouldn't let that happen. He couldn't let that happen. If he even so much as sunk his fangs into Sin, he would more than likely drink him dry. And that sent a whole new kind of pain through him.

'Dawn,' he chanted the word over and over in his head, 'Just until dawn. I'll be all right after that.' They were nearly out of the Sanora. He'd make it if they just got out of the damned desert.

Of course, he was completely ignoring the fact that it took at least two days to cross the Deadlands.

'Damnit!' He was so cold. He almost couldn't breathe, he was so cold and in so much pain. But he wouldn't give in. He wouldn't let himself hurt Sin. He wouldn't -

There was an abrupt hiss from up the bank, and Draca's head snapped to the side on reflex. He regretted it immediately. The hint of blood in the air that followed the pained hiss set off wave upon wave of pained spasms in his body. Up on the bank, Sin had set the scythe aside, and was nursing a bleeding palm.

'Damn him!' was the thought in his head, though it was only half-coherent. His breath came in ragged gasps, from both pained and restrained want. The ailing Vampyre struggled desperately with his will, but it proved to be a losing battle. With every agonized gasp, the faint scent so Sin's blood soaked further into his system and sent his mind into a primal frenzy.

And then his worst fear came to pass. His vision went red for an instant, and then he blacked out.

He next became aware of a flash of soft blue sparks as his vision cleared and the smell of blood faded from his senses. A violent oath was choked off before it could leave his mouth. He was no more than ten feet from Sin. He had stepped into a primal rage – had almost ripped out his partner's throat. Draca stumbled. It took all of his remaining strength to stay standing. He couldn't move from where he stood. There was no going back. At least, the thief consented, Sin had used Alchemy to heal his palm. It was easier to resist the hunger as long as the assassin stayed where he was.

The Fallen Angel glanced up, finally acknowledging his presence. A raven brow rose in question. "Draca?" There was an almost inaudible concern hidden in that Omegan lilt. It took a great effort not to flinch. The Vampyre fought with his voice, trying to deter the man, but another burst of agony rocketed through him and his legs nearly gave out. Sin leapt from his position leaning against the old, dead tree, no doubt Seeing his torment.

To his horror, the seraph began to approach him. "D-Don't-"

'Don't come over here! Sin... go back...'

The assassin stopped just before him, peering intently at his spirit and the emotions running across it. Ruby eyes narrowed in confusion. "Sin," Draca rasped, frantic. He could feel his grasp on his will slipping ever so faintly away due to the man's proximity.

It would be so easy. So easy to rip into that honey-toned flesh and drink his fill of the man's blood. Would the man squirm and writhe and beg for him to stop? Would his blood taste as good as it smelled? He could practically taste -


"G-go sit down, Sin. M'fine-" He cut off with a gasp.

Sin's hand rose, reaching out towards him – or rather, his spirit – as if to touch his pain. It was a reoccurring urge that the Alchemist usually kept under tight control (usually manifested in the slightest twitch of fingertips). Draca had witnessed it many times over the years – how Sin became so entrapped in another's spirit. But for the man to reach out to him-

"Is it really this bad?" Sin murmured into the chill, "It's only been a few days since your supply ran out."

Draca had the inescapable urge to laugh – in a sad, sardonic way, albeit. "A few days?" The bastard didn't even realize the danger he was in! His head swam for a single, frightening moment. Sin was just too close. "It's... it's been-" his voice transformed into a feral growl – predatory and hungry – and his vision tunneled.

"It's been two weeks, Sin."

There was an instant where Sin's eyes widened. The reaching hand fell as his partner attempted to backpedal away from him. Draca felt his fangs sharpen and elongate to their full extent.

And then the world descended into chaos.

There was an almost bone-shattering impact, cushioned only by the gasping body beneath him as they flew back against the dead tree near them – collapsing by the roots. The wriggling, struggling body was held still and prone with a bruising grip on a wrist and one hand lifting a jaw roughly, revealing to him that honey-toned neck. His fangs sunk home without hesitation or heed to how his prey stiffened and hissed in pain.

His blood-crazed mind snapped alert as that wonderful life giving fluid filled his mouth. Blissfully warm and darkly sweet and Sin and damned delicious. It fought back the biting cold and agonizing pain. His hand slipped from their bruising holds to wrap about a trim waist and an arching back in sheer contentment.

But deep in the back of his mind, a voice was screaming – struggling to regain control. He was attacking Sin. He was mere moments from killing Sin – from drinking him dry like he had so many others. And he couldn't stop himself. Why wasn't Sin fighting back? Why wasn't he slicing Draca's head off or doing something to stop him?

'Make me stop, please. Please, Sin, I don't want to kill you.'

Any protests shattered in the next moment. A soft touch at his nape pulled him closer, fingers brushing soothingly over his skin. There was a breathy, strained murmur near his ear. The first attempt failed, and he felt Sin swallow before trying again. "This... gift is... freely... given."

A physical shock went through him. The flavor of the blood he drank intensified into something sharp and addicting. It filled him with power and amazing warmth. A delighted groan worked its way up his throat. His body went almost completely limp, sagging into the assassin. His strength was returning faster, his body growing warmer by the second. Freely given blood was the greatest gift he could receive from another. A single goblet of freely given blood would keep him healthy for three days (as long as his more strenuous abilities were used).

As it was, Draca drank his fill in but a few – seemingly eternity-long – minutes. Reason regained control of his body, and he forced himself to dislodge from the wound. He pricked his tongue and applied a single drop to the bite. It would jump start the healing process, keeping Sin from bleeding to death.

The Vampyre found that he couldn't pull away just yet, as a lethargic haze of satiety and warmth washed over him. Instead, he let his head rest against a broad shoulder. He listened, concerned, to Sin's straining heartbeat and labored breaths over his own pounding heart and panting gasps. Draca hummed as the hand cradling the back of his neck still caressed his skin, but its movements were slower and less controlled. It had probably gone numb with blood loss.

He'd taken too much blood. Even if it was freely given, Draca had been on the verge of starvation and needed more than he would have usually. The thought made him wince. "S-Sorry," he mumbled, his voice thick and his mind sluggish. Sin turned his head, or tried to, resulting only in his face being pressed tiredly into the thief's hair. This didn't seem to bother the man in the least, for Draca felt rather than saw his half-formed grin.

"What the hell... are you... apologizing for... idiot...?" His voice seemed so far way. Tired. Dazed. But no less challenging. Sin could be downright impish when the mood struck him. Even when suffering from blood loss.

He took the bait anyway. Draca wrenched himself upright, kneeling upon the sandy ground with hands against the tree to support him. His body felt heavy in its sated lethargy and for a moment his head swam. "I'm apologizing be... cause..." His heated retort died away.

As he'd pulled back, the hand at his nape was dislodged, burning a path around and across his collarbone as it fell away. Sin was staring at him, his eyes half-lidded and dazed from the blood loss – only with a spark of something that made Draca's mouth go dry. The Vampyre swallowed thickly, realizing belatedly that his movement had brought them face to face, mere inches between them. In his state, he failed to fight down the faint blush that warmed his face. His already pounding heart started a feverish rhythm.

'Damn, you're beautiful,' his mind whispered out of pure impulse. There was a brief flicker of shock across the Fallen One's face, before his lips twitched up into a small grin. It took Draca a moment for his inert brain to process what had happened. The reverent thought had surpassed the carefully built barrier between his mind and mouth, and had been voiced in the crisp night air. His stomach squirmed in mortification, and for a moment he'd sworn his heart had stopped.

But a new urge overtook him as that small grin widened into the same genuine smile that caused his heart to stumble and his mind to go blank. His will already warped from the events of the past few weeks, Draca couldn't stop the impulse.

His body leaned forward of it's own accord, and his lips captured Sin's.

His breath hitched. The feel of those full lips against his own was shocking, exhilarating. His lips moved languidly over Sin's, coaxing them into reciprocation. The Fallen Angel was slow to respond, his brain no doubt as fuzzy as Draca's own, but after a moment he began to return the kiss. This sent a new thrill down Draca's spine, warming him, and he pressed closer.

The kiss was neither gentle nor rough, but slow – languid but firm and heated. There were no ulterior motives in it, merely exploring what the other had to offer.

There was a brush of a bandaged hand at his chest, trembling with strain in Sin's weakened state and fighting to reach higher. Draca's own pale hand wrapped around it, giving the hand a squeeze before lifting it to his shoulder. Sin gave a breathy sigh against his lips as that same searching hand draped over his shoulders, trying weakly to tug him closer. Draca found that he couldn't help himself, and flicked his tongue out to taste those full lips. Had he the capacity for it, he would have been shocked as Sin's mouth opened for him. Tongues brushed slowly, searchingly – never breaking the lazy pace of the kiss. It felt so good, and he'd never imagined that-

'What the hell are you doing?' His own voice broke through the fog that had taken over his mind, sharp and clear, snapping him back to his senses. In an instant he'd sprung back, sitting upon the dusty ground, feeling as if he'd awoken from a dream.

Sin sat slumped against the tree, his eyes heavy, dull, and unfocused. He appeared on the verge of unconsciousness, the blood loss finally overpowering him. His eyes drooped and his breathing became shallow. He lost consciousness.

For many minutes Draca refused to move, his heart racing and his mind whirling. He could only stare at his partner, shocked and silent. He choked down the sheer panic that threatened to take hold of him. He forced himself to be calm, instead calculating how long it had been since the Sin's Glyph had taken effect, and how long it would be until it reactivated. If he was correct, it thankfully wouldn't be too long of a wait, and the Fallen Angel was in no danger. The Vampyre stood on shaking legs – from adrenaline and anxiety – and retrieved Sin's traveling cloak, covering him with it.

And then he fled, dashing off towards the slowly decaying village they had been resting by. He wanted to put some distance between himself and the assassin. He needed to be alone. He needed to think. And he needed to regain his composure before Sin came to.

The Sand Fayth village – with its pale huts made of hardened sand – was built half submerged in the desert sand, in order to adequately keep out the heat and sun during the day. It was the ideal shelter for him. The trouble was finding one of the little houses that was structurally safe, and would still be so by morning.

He finally located a suitable hut near the center of the village, and ducked in. The tiny one roomed shelter was pitch black, but his sensitive eyes could pick out the contours of the room easily. On reflex, his shadows went to work devouring the living creatures that had taken up residence there. Waking up to a scorpion, snake, or other such poisonous creatures was not his ideal way to start the day.

Only half-aware of his actions, Draca threw his cloak onto the dusty floor to serve as a makeshift bed. His mind was on other matters at the moment. He was nearly back to full strength, and the ice in his bones had faded completely. It was a fantastic relief. But at what cost?

'I attacked him. I drank his blood. I kissed him.' The reproachful cringe was overtaken by a shiver of pleasure as the memory of the kiss came to his mind. 'I can't believe I kissed him. And he kissed back! Damnit, this is getting me nowhere!' His mind was spinning with questions and anxious worries.

He was second guessing himself. ('It was the blood loss right? He wasn't in his right mind, right?')

He had the undeniable feeling he fucked things up. ('He's going to kill me when he wakes up.')

It had been a mistake to let the attraction he felt towards Sin continue. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he had known it would come to something like this. The Vampyre realized he'd began to pace about, and flopped back onto his traveling cloak with a growl of frustration.

'Is he going to remember when he wakes up?' (Of course he would. Sin had a thing about memories ever since losing the first century of his life.)

'Will he come looking?' (Probably. Times of peace between them were few and far between. They were both just too stubborn.)

'How's he going to... react?' (...Not even he had an answer to that one.)

'I'm an idiot,' he chided himself. Draca folded his arms behind his head, and attempted to think up some excuse or evasion for when his partner found him.

He really hoped Sin wouldn't try to kill him for this.

End Part 1. Walk on, Traveler of Worlds.

Oh goodie! Now we're getting to the good stuff! No smut in this chapter (sadly). But there is one steamy (hopefully?) kiss.

Thanks for reading, hope it was enjoyable and I'd much appreciate feedback! ^ ^