Hemoglobin

Chapter Nineteen

By Scarlet Fever

I breathed in quietly, slowly. I could smell all the people around me, smell their blood, their skin. It was driving me retarded. I sighed, putting out of my mind, which was a more difficult task than I thought. I shook my head, watching the darkness. Seifer had told me to wait with Tifa in the woods that backed onto the church. It actually felt kind of strange to be standing on the spot where I had died, where Seifer had taken my life, where he had finally brought me home. I had left the old Squall here, the one who had just been wallowing in mediocrity, pining for a love that had been extinguished all too soon. The past years of my life were so far away now. All the dumb conversations, not having to worry about what was going to happen down the road, be it five years later or five days later. But I wouldnít have changed the circumstances for the world.

I looked over to Tifa, who was patiently watching things around her. We didnít really need to wait for a signal, because we could see everything anyway. I really hoped that Zell and Selphie would be okay, but I was more worried about the small, tattooed blonde. Selphie could take care of herself, and Esemono would probably pose no threat. I was also worried about Seifer. He was taking on the task of Sephiroth seemingly on his own, and that actually frightened me. It wasnít that I didnít have confidence in Seiferís abilities, but it was more the fact that Sephiroth was a complete enigma, and his true abilities were a mystery, probably even to the people who seemed to know him best.

My ears perked up as I heard what sounded like a muffled scream. I didnít know if I was just hearing things, but I looked over to Tifa, who nodded. She must have heard it, too. I wanted to go closer to the building as soon as I smelled it, the running blood. Selphie and Zell must have been doing their part. The only thing that prevented my advance was the sickened feeling I got in the pit of my stomach. It made me want to completely vomit up my entire abdominal cavity. I could only have imagined what it must have been like for Seifer when he was pinned to that cross, the cross that Sephiroth had made for him. My lips parted in a hungered urge when I smelled more blood. I could feel my new fangs pushing out of my gums. Tifa noticed my desire, and gave me a stern look. I hung back, waiting patiently again.

Suddenly, my nose picked up the thick smell of smoke. "FireÖ" I whispered.

"Fireís as bad as the sun," Tifa muttered, casting her eyes across the silhouette of the large church. She seemed nervous, scared of the fire. Deep in my chest, I felt fear growing as well. It reminded me of the feeling I had gotten when the sun was up, but it was grittier, gnawing. I backed against a tree, wanting to get away from the heat. Even from this far away, it was burning me. I looked over to Tifa. She was standing her ground.

"Donít worry," she whispered. "Itís just a reaction. Youíre okay."

I sighed watching the doors. My eyes moved so quickly that I could actually see both of them at the same time. My eyes stopped on the large front doors when they flew open. Selphie came bounding out, the front of her long white shift dress covered in long splattered trails of blood. All of her nails were long, morphed into handy weapons. Her hands were absolutely coated in crimson gauntlets of slow running blood and bits of flesh. I so had the urge to chase after her and run my tongue across the flow. Her eyes were practically glowing in the now illuminated light, emerald against the black and yellow night. I saw Zell slowly slink behind her, holding his shoulder. He wasnít bleeding, but his arm was hanging at a strange angle. He collapsed at the bottom of the massive stone staircase. Even from my hidden position, I could hear him moan.

Tifa looked at me, nodding. She moved forward slightly, knowing that Sephiroth mustnít have been far behind. I remained where I was, flexing my gloved fingers. I looked down at my waist. A large silver dagger hung in a sling attached to my belt. Seifer said that Sephiroth had the same weakness to silver that all vampires had. I had to wear gloves to handle it, because the hilt was pure silver, as well. I could even feel it, hot against my leg, through my pants. I watched as the doors swung open again, and Sephiroth strolled out, almost casually. The flames licked at the back of his coat, the same as the one Seifer had been wearing, ivory dragons floating against black. Zell looked up at him with defiance, still holding his limp arm.

"There you are, you bad little girl. Seifer shouldnít have gotten you involved."

Zell growled low in his throat, anger sparking from his sky blue eyes. My eyes widened when I realized that he was now unarmed. Sephiroth moved quickly against Zell, the heel of his boot crashing into the blondeís cheek. I found that I could follow Sephirothís motions now, but Zell couldnít. He screamed in pain, collapsing in an unconscious heap. He moved again, but this time with slow deliberation. He stopped beside Zellís quivering body, his coat flapping in the smoke filled air. For a moment, I wondered where everyone else in this town was, why they didnít call the fire department or something. But maybe they knew betterÖÖ.

Sephiroth raised his heel again, smashing it into Zellís chest. I heard a gasped breath come from him. The tall, silver haired vampire raised his leg again, but stopped, looking to the other side of the street. "Why are you just standing there, Seifer?"

Seifer was leaning against a lamppost, almost casually. "Waiting for you."

I heard Sephiroth chuckle softly. "I guess Iím not your favorite person right now."

Seifer chuckled as well. "No, you arenít."

Sephiroth slowly looked over to Selphie, who was watching him. "You think that you, that little Succubus, and Tifa can stop me?"

Seifer shrugged. "Weíve made it this far."

"You should be proud of me, my darling," Sephiroth gestured lavishly. "I got the church to side with me, something that no vampire could do."

"But you betrayed your own kind," Tifa muttered, now standing only a meter or so from Sephiroth.

"Iíve never been loyal to my kindÖ.." He spat out the last part. "I just took what I needed."

"Like me?" Seifer asked.

I guessed that Sephiroth smiled, but I couldnít tell. His back was to me.

"Like you, my pet. Youíve served your purposeÖ" With speed that made me dizzy, Sephiroth was now directly in front of Seifer, practically nose to nose. He grabbed Seiferís wrist, which got no reaction.

"What purpose would that be?" Seifer asked lowly

Sephiroth chuckled again. He leaned in, pressing his lips to his captiveís. I felt anger flush through my entire body, and I wanted to bury the hot dagger at my thigh into Sephirothís eye socket. After what seemed like a painful eternity to me, Sephiroth broke their embrace. Seifer was staring back at him, not amused.

"Oh, donít be silly, Seifer. Iím not going to just tell you. Itís so formulated!" One jerk of his wrist wrenched a cracking from Seiferís hand. My lover flinched, but didnít look away or show any more visible pain. His free, uninjured hand came up quickly, smashing into Sephirothís nose, which I heard crack. I was itching to jump in there, but I knew I was supposed to wait, so I had to content myself with being a voyeur.

"You little whore!" Sephiroth screamed angrily, squeezing on Seiferís broken wrist. "I guess itís time to show you your place, bitch."

Seifer let out a small moan, using the arm that Sephiroth had a grip on to topple him, flipping the rangy vampire over his shoulder. Sephirothís back hit the pavement with a thud. Selphie and Tifa then used this chance to pounce on him, when he was vulnerable. Selphie thrust her nails into him from behind, embedding them in his back. I could see the tips protruding through his long abdomen. He just turned, looking at her with a deadly look on his face.

"Damn freak," he muttered, grabbing her by her slender neck. He pushed her away, causing her nails to come out, and her body to go flying. She landed roughly against the stone stairs, her body crumpling. I could tell she was still alive, but she wasnít getting up. Tifa and Seifer both stared at him, ready for any kind of move that he could make.

"You know, itís almost sad that I have to kill both of you," Sephiroth mused playfully. "Both such good loversÖ.."

Tifa and Seifer both growled in displeasure, then attacked. I tried to follow the motions, but they were going too fast. I wanted to stop this before anyone else got hurt. I heard growls and moans of pain, but it was hard to tell what was going on. Suddenly, I heard Tifa scream in agony, falling onto the ground. She was holding her arm, whimpering in total agony. I bit my lip as I smelled rotting, burning flesh. I had to close my eyes and set my jaw. I used all my strength not to run to see if she was okay.

"What did you do?!" Seifer cried.

"Holy waterÖ." Tifa trailed off, her voice shaky.

I opened my eyes again. She was reclining on the concrete, holding her arm. Her hair was now loose, falling in chocolate waves around her shoulders, coating the pavement. She tried to get up, but screamed as something was flung at her. Something exploded, wet against her leg, and she writhed in agony. I didnít know if she was lucid anymore. I noticed that Sephirothís throat was dripping blood, while there was a scarlet streak across my loverís mouth. Seifer was holding his gimpy wrist at his side, staring at his maker with glowing eyes.

"I never figured you to be so cheap, Sephiroth," Seifer spat.

"You never figured me to betray you either, did you?" Sephiroth leaned in quickly, taking a fast bite at Seiferís throat. Seifer kicked him in the thigh, which sent the silver haired one flying. He grunted in displeasure, gripping Seiferís shoulder, pulling himself up. When he was standing, he yanked, popping Seiferís shoulder out of joint. The lithe blonde cried out in pain, both arms essentially useless. Seifer cried out in pain, swinging his dislocated shoulder upwards. He used his good hand to grab Sephirothís elbow, and snapped it under his palm. His opponent screamed his displeasure, grabbing Seifer by the throat with his good arm, pulling Seiferís body towards him.

"You little bitch," Sephiroth spat, actually chuckling. "Youíre still just a child. You didnít honestly think that I would go down as easilyÖ. Or as well as you do, did you?"

Seifer ferally growled, struggling against Sephiroth.

"You were truly my finest creation," The longhaired main stroked Seiferís blood splattered cheek. "And I would have liked one last roll in the hay to send you off, but unfortunately, that coward of a lover of yours showed up. Thinking that you betrayed him made him hightail, though," Sephiroth snickered, squeezing on the dislocated shoulder, causing Seifer to softly whimper. "You had so many weaknesses, my dear, and it was your downfall."

"You have weaknesses, too," Seifer panted. I noticed movement of his limp hand, beckoning me forward. I moved on silent feet. Sephiroth seemed totally unaware. I silently unsheathed the blade, the hilt burning my hand, even through the glove.

"Weaknesses? Iíd like to hear thisÖ"

Seifer smirked. "Well, you always did melt when I sucked your dickÖ."

Sephiroth laughed. "That I did." He squeezed Seiferís shoulder again.

My lover winced. "You also are too egotistical. You think that just because youíre a vampire, that nothing can hurt you, that you know everythingÖ.."

"What are you getting at, my darling?"

Seifer laughed weakly. "What you donít know sometimes can hurt you." He winked at me over Sephirothís broad shoulder.

Before Sephiroth could realize the error of his ways, I drove the hot, hot blade into his throat. As soon as it was lodged into his neck, I released the handle, its heat making me crazy. I flapped my hand back and forth in a vain attempt to cool my palm. Sephiroth made spurting, gurgling noises as he fell to his knees, grasping firmly at the handle of the blade, protruding through the back of his neck. The wound was creating a stinking, rotting smell in the air. When Sephiroth totally fell forward, his body spasming, I ran over to Seifer, inspecting his shoulder.

"Iím okay," he answered weakly. "Can you pop my shoulder back in?"

I nodded, bracing my shoulder against his chest. It was easier than I thought it would be to fix him up. He moaned lowly, then sighed, slowly moving his arm back and forth. "Thanks."

I smiled, lashing my tongue out to catch some blood from a wound Sephiroth created on his neck. I looked down at the writing man. "Is he okay?"

"Heís fine enough for me. Check on Tifa."

I ran over to her, turning my head away from the burns. They smelled terrible. "Are you going to be okay?"

Tifa grunted weakly. "Iíll be okay once I replenishÖ.." She trailed off, sucking her breath in quickly as I helped her to her feet. I craned my neck to her, offering her some blood. She sighed, accepting gratefully. I closed my eyes as she drank, her fangs tickling me, rather than causing me pain. When she was done, she smiled at me. "Thanks."

"God," I heard Selphie whisper. She sat up, holding her head. "I feel like shit."

Tifa sighed, motioning for me to set her down. I shook my head. "We should get out of hereÖ"

"Iím fine."

"Squall, Tifa will be okay. I need you to carry Sephiroth," Seifer said, kneeling beside Zell, who was unconscious. He picked him up gently. It was the most paternal thing I had ever seen Seifer do. He traced his tongue along a trail of blood emanating from the corner of Zellís mouth. "But I agree. We should leave. Selphie, are you okay to walk?" Seifer winced as he adjusted Zellís weight in his arms.

"Why do I have to bring Sephiroth?" I asked, nudging him with the tip of my boot.

"I have big plans for my blood father." It was all the explanation that Seifer would give. He was already beginning to walk in the direction of the house, whispering something in Zellís ear that I couldnít make out.

I grunted, yanking on Sephirothís arm, pulling him into a standing position, then flinging him over my shoulders, fireman style. I frowned as the silver brushed against my shoulder, burning me. I followed Seifer back to the house, leaving the heat of the fire behind me.

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