'Vanity of Vanities' is an original work of fiction and manga plot by Moira's Fate, graciously posted on FP.net. Please do not disrespect the author by plagiarizing this work and any work of fiction by other authors for your own pride, credibility and safety!

This work is rated R.


There was a list separate from the Books of Life and Death in the possession of the twins Sopheriel Mehayye and Sopheriel Memeth. This list had only a handful of names, but the names were meaningful and were considered often. These names had appeared in both the Books of Life and Death, but the souls had never been judged and never appropriated.

When Sumire Yukishiro's name appeared on that last, rightly called the List of Mystery, the head of the DOAS was notified. The grigori Sariel in turn called together an emergency meeting, gathering all of the members of his department together.

It had been centuries since an emergency meeting was called in Araboth, and the summons to gather startled all who worked for the DOAS. No one could quite imagine what had happened, but when all had gathered in the chief's office, there was a stunned silence when the meaning of the meeting was announced.

There were at least a hundred individuals in the office, all small and insignificant compared to their chief Sariel, the grigori giant. Chairs were set around Sariel's desk and all eyes were upon the ancient Goliath.

Gabriel, also known as Af, sat in the back of the office, surrounded by some angels and reborn souls he did not know and the few he did know he had not seen in literally ages.

'A new name has appeared on the List,' Sariel had said in all of the minds gathered in the office. 'You now know what we must do…'

There was a slight murmuring in the office. Some of the angels and reborn souls had no idea what the 'List' was and those who did were stunned.

'Some of you have been in contact with this soul, and some of you have heard rumors…'

Gabriel sat with his arms crossed before him. He already knew who it was and he thought that Sariel calling an emergency meeting was not the best thing that could have been done.

Of course, the fact that a name had appeared on the List was an important matter. It had been at least two hundred years since the last name appeared. It was not a matter to be taken lightly. But the implications and consequences of a name appearing were of the utmost importance to the DOAS.

'A task force must observe this soul and report regularly. You know what must be verified and what must be done. The ultimate goal is to collect the soul, using what means you can…'

The murmuring increased. Everyone knew… That soul must be collected. Extraneous circumstances were to be ignored. The body must give up the soul and immediately.

Gabriel sat with his eyes shut for the length of the meeting. The taskforce was assembled and on their way, the office now empty except for Gabriel and Sariel. Gabriel opened his silver eyes and looked up at Sariel who was resting his face against the back of his hands.

'You will be up for inquiry soon, Gabriel… The order has not come down yet, but its only a matter of time.'

Gabriel nodded. The worst-case scenario had just occurred. Gabriel rose to his feet.

"Are their any more details from the Twins?" Gabriel asked, his voice stern and gruff. He was angry… But he did not want to reveal how angry just then.

'The Twins feel that her name will remain on the list for now on… Protocol requires me to investigate, but the Twins have basically stated that her name will stay until the end of eternity…'

Gabriel balled his fists at his sides. "How could that be, Sariel? It makes no sense…"

Sariel looked down at Gabriel and smirked. 'But it's what you wanted, isn't it? She will never die… No… She has died, but her soul and flesh will never separate…'

Gabriel grit his teeth and turned away. "But she is… She will…"

'Yes, she will eventually turn… Like the others before her.'

"But how could this have happened? Why wasn't anyone watching over her?" Gabriel growled, his anger coming through by his words.

It seemed that Sariel sighed and Gabriel turned his head slightly to look at the giant out of the corner of his eye.

'The last one to see her was a reborn soul… Tsukasa… Ever since you were put on a new case, the upstairs departments seem to have lost interest in Sumire Yukishiro.'

Gabriel balled his fist tightly. "Have you questioned this reborn soul?"

Sariel nodded, Gabriel could see the lines of worry and weariness in the grigori's face. It was not natural for a soul born of light and clay, no matter the rank to look so old and worn.

'She wept… Tears of blood, he has told me… A sign and a warning. The reborn soul was stunned by it, but did not know what to make of it. The poor boy has never encountered such things, but he knew… That she was a changed being, damned…'

Gabriel bit his lip. Damned… The word took on a whole different meaning if the soul was still bound by its mortal body…

"So the DOAS is basically going to kill her?"

Sariel said nothing, averting his eyes nervously.

"They are forcefully going to part her soul and body… Then her soul will be judged and sent with the others to Damnation Gate, is that right, Sariel?" Gabriel hissed, he could taste blood in his mouth, a comforting feeling even though it did not seem right in his mind.

'Most likely… It is out of my hands now, Af… I can do nothing, even if I wanted to…'

Gabriel spat and turned to the door.

'Wait! Where are you going?' Gabriel heard like a blast in his mind.

"To find some answers, where else?"

And with that the black-cloaked ex-seraph left the grigori's office. Little did either think or believe that it would be for the last time in all eternity.

It was growing difficult… Everyday seemed to make things worse than the day before… The thirst…

Sumire Yukishiro sat under the lamplight of a city park during the wintertime in an American metropolis. It was very late at night, too late to be considered safe. But it did not matter anymore. She knew that if someone did attack her and try to kill her that she would continue to live on… Years had passed in a blink of an eye since the last meeting with the Prince of the Power of the Air… Since then she had come to many realizations about life, about death.

But she could not think about it any longer for her thoughts were consumed with something different altogether. An itch… A thirst.

When had it started, she wondered, her mind hazing over in a dark mist. When did the thirst begin? Had it been after she left Kyoto, saying goodbye to the last member of her family? Had it been the day she stepped onto American soil after avoiding it for years? Had it been the day she had killed in self-defense?

Yes… That had to have been the time… Two years before, in the west coast city, when her body was threatened…

The details were sketchy still, as they had been after she realized that she was licking the blood of a dead man from her fingers… The kills after that had been the same way. Pictures and flashes that swept through her mind, superficial visions where she did not even recognize herself as being human any longer.

It had been in a summer city, late at night. The darkness was never something to be feared, so she had moved through it simply. But it was only by chance that someone met her in the dark. A soul who was blackened by desperation and hate, a soul that she could see burning with blue flame in the man's body.

He had grabbed her, pulling her into an alley. She carried no purse so he began rifling through her clothes of black, the dress she always wore. Fabric was ripped and there was panting, but no breath, no noise came from her. She had resigned herself, she thought, to what was happening, as if welcoming the death she knew would never come.

But there was something inside her, as her face was pressed to the wall and his body, smelling of urine, dirt and alcohol, that was stirring… She could hear his heart beat fiercely, smell his acrid breath, and feel his grimy hands, all of it awakening a thirst inside her.

Suddenly she realized that she had pushed away, pushed with a strength she did not believe she had had before. And the man, whose face was insignificant, was on the filthy alley ground. She remembered licking her lips before grabbing the man and smiling. She was so thirsty that it was driving her mad.

Her hands, which were as pale as a corpses' grabbed the man by the throat, holding him still, squeezing off the air to his lungs. He was sputtering in her grasp, frightened by what he was seeing.

And she took him, her teeth, itching it seemed, sinking into the flesh of his neck. She bit down and suddenly she thought that the sweetest water filled her mouth. A fountain of the most delicious water was in her hands, she had found the spring that would quench her thirst. She drank and drank until the fountain was purged. She was satisfied and released the fountain of her sustenance, feeling the aftertaste of a soul in her mouth.

It was blood… And she knew it… She had killed for it, with a strength that did not manifest itself until she was on the verge of madness. And it sated her thirst for months, and the repercussions did not reverberate in her mind at all. She felt no regret, guilt, hate or love, she felt only the comfort of being satiated. Clarity came to her mind and she could move on.

There were others afterward, in cases where they had crossed her path at just the wrong time. Were they innocents? That question did not cross Sumire's mind. All that mattered was her thirst and the sanity that came afterward. It was like a drug fix, without it she was on the path to madness, with it she was functioning fine. But the times between kills were becoming shorter and shorter and her thirst greater.

As she sat in the cold night of the city, she waited… The next person to pass would be hers.

But the thing that disturbed on a level was that she knew that eyes were watching her. They had been watching her for weeks now, many eyes, observing, waiting. So she was in a dilemma of sorts. To drink or not to drink. They were hiding from her so she had not seen them, but she knew they were there.

What were they going to do? Had they found out somewhere along the way that she could no longer die and was now killing to stave a thirst? Were they going to try and forcefully pry her soul from her body?

Sumire felt terribly alone in what she should do… If only Gabriel had come or Meresin… Anyone to tell her what she should do…

She could hear footsteps coming; two sets, walking gently along the snowy path before her. It was a young couple, walking through the park home, stomachs filled with a good supper, their conversation tinged with alcohol and the aftereffects of a good movie. They were arm in arm, their faces warm. Sumire did not rise from her position on the bench until they had passed, it did not seem that they had noticed her at all.

She knew she had to kill them both… And it did not bother her.

She trailed behind for a while, going into the shadows. Her feet on the snowy walkway did not make a sound, only the whisper of the hem of her dress made a noise, but the couple did not seem to notice.

Suddenly she moved, rushing forward with such a speed and force that any normal eyes could not see… The couple made a gasping noise, but before a scream could fill the air, or a cry for help both were knocking unconscious.

Sumire licked her lips and smiled fondly upon the young couple. First she took the woman, taking her hot blood quickly, leaving the faintest of a mark on her shoulder. Next was the man, handsome and young. Sumire felt a smile cross her bloody lips, she did like handsome young men… And she drank slowly, savoring the taste and the warmth.

When she had finished she wiped her mouth with the back of her black velvet gloved hand. She arranged the bodies where they lay, the young man's arm around the woman's waist. They looked like sleeping lovers, their skin pale, and their lips blue. Snow wreathed the woman's red hair, flakes catching in her eyelashes. It was a work of art, Sumire thought as she looked down at them with a smile. And she walked away, her footsteps disappearing, all traces of her presence disappearing.

She was filled, happy, and clear headed… She had taken their lives along with their souls… Those young people had died in their prime, their souls feeding a woman who was damned. They would not suffer the judgment of heaven… Their souls would sleep in Sumire's body and then be consumed…

The DOAS operatives reported back that indeed Sumire Yukishiro had become what the Twins had feared. She was what mortals would have called a vampire… But she was not, not truly, in the sense that mortals thought of vampires.

She could walk in daylight… She was not afraid of crosses, holy water, stakes or fire… She was the type of vampire that had no weakness. And the only way to destroy her would be with divine intervention.

It began after the night in New York, after she had killed the young couple. And it began suddenly.

Sumire had taken a house in New England, an old Victorian style house near the sea…and it was there that a battle occurred that even the heavens did not see coming…

updated 2.22.04