Author's note/warning/introduction/credits:

This is a fangirl's wet dream. There is hardly anything else to say about it. It is multi-chapter, super-silly, sexy hot and full of things that... makes a lot of sense.

There may be logical mishaps, inconsistencies, plot holes, and lots of random nonsense. That's fine.

Huge thanks to all beta-readers, idea contributors and helper-editors:

GreatSnapper
Digeridoodler
TPK
61wisampa
Xasha
Roadmart

I think at least 50% of the ideas came from these guys! So now you know who to blame if this is not to your taste! XD

Seriously though, thanks a lot everyone! I hope this weird thing can be enjoyed by even more people now!

Tell me what you think, but even if you don't I still love you. Kisses and hugs~

Warning: The story is rated M because of content that will show up along the course of the adventure.


BLOOD, SOULS AND SAUSAGES

VOLUME 1:

The Bloodening

XXX

Part 1 - Extreme fangirl drugs

Two months.

Kuroko was tense, and not only because of the guard she was hearing somewhere around the corner. She was standing with her back to the wall, keeping her breath controlled and her mind clear as she heard his footsteps disappear into the hallway. Her white outfit, from the jacket to the pants to the boots, was made for lightweight sneaking, and she thanked Judgment for letting her out of carrying around the heavy armor most of their paladins were required to wear. Sometimes, being smaller than the average for her age had its perks. Not that it mattered any longer; at the age of sixteen, Shirai Kuroko was about to be labeled a true deserter. If she hadn't been before, then this operation would surely mark the end of her career.

Breathing in deeply, she listened for any more sounds. Hearing none, she vanished, a sudden shimmer in the air indicating her movement through the eleven dimensions. Reappearing but a moment later, Kuroko leaned on the cellar door and listened. No sounds came from inside. Was it possible that they'd left the prison unguarded?

She teleported past the locked door and landed in the darkness inside. Nearly slipping on a wet stone, her heart jolted and she had to gather herself for a moment.

Two months since she had failed to come see her. Kuroko had waited, expecting that she had business elsewhere. She wasn't that reliant on Mikoto that she couldn't handle a few days without her attention.

But then a week passed, and another.

She had started to become uneasy when word from Academy City arrived. Judgment had outdone themselves again. The topic was Gilmore, and the news proudly claimed he had successfully captured a vampire matriarch. Great success, all hail Judgment. Kuroko did not believe it. Capturing a matriarch was like trying to blow up a mountain with a stick. It just didn't happen.

Yet she couldn't knock the idea away, not after several weeks with no word from the vampire. Even Uiharu and Saten-san hadn't heard anything. And speaking of those two, where the heck had they gone? Kuroko had lost track of them outside the fort, when Saten-san insisted on following her silly plan and Kuroko decided it would be better to split up.

Kuroko wiped her brow, starting to regret walking into this thing with no greater plan. All three of them had become certain it was Mikoto that Gilmore claimed to have captured, although it seemed impossible. There was the fact that Mikoto did not kill humans, however. Perhaps they had somehow taken advantage of that. Thus, the three of them had set off from Toaru village in order to pay the fort a visit. And after having been denied entrance, they ended up sneaking in.

The girl who now regarded herself truly as a former Judgment member teleported onwards through the cellar, but it was soon too dark and too narrow to continue like that. Calling forth her holy light, a gentle blue glow cast across the stony walls and she continued into the darkness.

Kuroko found her in the deepest, innermost prison cell in the cellar. Everything was dark, though her holy light floated behind her, lighting up the moist walls and reflecting off of the silver bars. She had no idea what to expect. She had not seen Mikoto in two months. But she was certain mere silver bars would not be enough to keep the matriarch captive. She had to be prepared for the worst.

As she approached the prison cell, someone shifted inside.

"Mikoto?" she whispered, careful not to leave any echoes.

"Ku...roko?" Her voice was coarse, and Kuroko's insides twisted. She knew to be careful, but at the moment she didn't care. She teleported inside the cage and found Mikoto sitting by the wall, staring up at her. Her loose shirt was crumpled, the same black one she'd been wearing when Kuroko saw her last. Her pants were stained in patches, but she couldn't tell if it was blood or something else.

"I'm here now." She reached out a hand and helped Mikoto to her feet. She looked disoriented, and just below the cuffs of her shirt Kuroko noticed healing puncture marks on her arms. Had she caused them herself, or did they have another vampire? Kuroko failed to imagine Mikoto letting anyone bite her like that. "Have they given you anything to eat?"

At the question, Mikoto's breath hitched. "No… get out, Kuroko." She pulled her hand away. Kuroko frowned.

"Nothing? For two whole months?"

Mikoto pulled backwards until her back hit the wall. Kuroko gave her a thorough look. Mikoto's gaze was dark, heavy with lust. Her collarbone, visible beneath the open top buttons in her shirt, was shining with sweat. She could see the tendons tensing beneath the skin of her wrists, and realized that she was witnessing something incredible.

"I want you so much." Mikoto's voice was laden with desire, and Kuroko watched as the teeth in her mouth glinted; the ones in the corner looked sharper now, like fangs.

Kuroko's gaze narrowed. She knew Mikoto was a vampire, but this was the first time she'd seen the evidence. It felt unreal, standing there in silence and just watching as the vampiric urges rose to the surface in the person before her. Normally, she'd have long since attempted to spear her heart.

Not with her though. There was a reason why she had chosen Mikoto over Judgment.

Mikoto's eyes were black and hungry, and when she grinned her fangs had grown to their full size, nicely shaped and deadly. Her body was tensing, strength surging into the limbs as her inhuman nature gained more control. Kuroko met her gaze head on.

"What are you going to do?" One wrong move from the vampire and Kuroko would do her damndest to kill her. It didn't matter if she was facing a matriarch, she would go all-out.

Mikoto moved closer, hands sliding over Kuroko's waist. She pulled in a deep breath through her nose, taking in Kuroko's scent. Kuroko's fingers touched the spikes at her thighs, ready to teleport in an instant. Mikoto slid her hands to her back and pulled her in, their bodies so close Kuroko could feel the cold radiating from the other girl.

"I want to taste you." A soft tongue touched Kuroko's neck, pulled up along the skin while a deep breath left Mikoto's throat.

"You may not eat." Kuroko stood her ground, letting the girl lick her throat, and tensing the moment her fangs brushed by the same point. "No!"

Mikoto's grip on her tightened. "Come on, just a little." She was breathing heavily, and the scent she carried was enough to make Kuroko feel light-headed. She shook it off and stayed determined.

"I know it's been long since you last ate, but you know what happens when you do." Her heart beat more harshly and Mikoto's hand stroked over her chest. She knew the vampire could sense it, and cursed herself for being unable to stay calm.

"You're excited though." Mikoto purred, playing with the buttons on Kuroko's neatly tucked shirt and letting her breath caress the wet skin on her neck. Kuroko tensed.

"Of course I am."

"Then let me taste you, just a bit." Mikoto licked her again, and her breathing deepened. A chill ran down Kuroko's spine. She could tell Mikoto was hungry, and the desire to let the girl do as she pleased was hard to fight. She knew it was urges planted into her from their close proximity, however. Mikoto was doing what was natural for her. She may have sworn to never hurt Kuroko, but having been denied a meal for over two months, she must be grating on her last reserves.

"No tasting. I am going to get us out of here." Kuroko shuddered as the sharp fangs caressed her throat again, and demanded her body to stay still. Becoming wound up would only fuel the predatory instincts of the other girl, making her seem an even tastier meal. "I swear I will get you something to eat once we're outside, but for now, try to hold back, okay?"

Mikoto answered by pressing her into the wall, using her whole body to trap Kuroko in place. "You smell so good though."

"Yes, I do. You may smell more later. Now focus." Her fingers were already holding two of her spikes. Mikoto was too close, and Kuroko got the feeling that her common sense was leaving rapidly. She was pulling in Kuroko's scent and growing high on the beat of her heart. The vampiric urges were exceptionally strong, especially after so long with no food.

Mikoto purred and moaned as she caressed Kuroko's throat with her tongue. No good. Kuroko was breaking out into a sweat. I have to… Her fingers clenched around the spikes and then Mikoto's hand snaked around them, gripping her hand. Shit! The vampire's strength was too much, forcing the spikes to fall from her grip. I got careless! Kuroko hissed, tensing against the pain in her hand.

"Mi-Mikoto!"

"I'm just… so hungry." Mikoto muttered, and her fangs scratched at the skin of her neck as she pulled Kuroko closer for a better position. Kuroko stiffened, and then clenched her teeth.

"M-Modnar Tihsllub!" With a clear voice that trembled at first, she repeated the words that all Judgment members were taught as a first basic principle of self-defense. The vampire froze, the tip of her fangs resting on Kuroko's skin. Kuroko didn't know how well it would work at this point; it may have helped Mikoto regain her senses during their intimate acts, but she always made sure to have eaten before those. Now, with this hungry beast above her, Kuroko was not so sure. She could tell Mikoto was straining against it, wanting to bite down. Kuroko moved her head enough so that the fangs were no longer touching her skin.

"Mikoto, snap out of it!" Her wrist was still being held captive, and the alluring scent of the vampire was overwhelming.

Mikoto drew a staggering breath. "I'm so incredibly hungry…"

Kuroko was relieved to recognize some sensibility in her voice.

"I know you are. But this isn't the time. You know what will happen if I give you even a little right now." With how hungry she was, the vampiric urges would flare up and Mikoto would most likely not be able to stop until her hunger was sated. That would mean one dry Kuroko.

Mikoto was still tense, but she didn't resist when Kuroko put a hand on her chest and gently pushed her away. She could feel the strength in the body under her hand and knew that she had to tread carefully. That Mikoto had so much power even after so long without blood was eerily fascinating. Mikoto stared down at Kuroko with painful longing in her dark eyes. It must have been incredible torture, being so hungry and so close to food, yet having to resist taking even a single bite. In this case Kuroko would gladly have offered a drop of blood, but she could see that the wildness was already close to surfacing. Mikoto was inches away from succumbing to the beast inside her, and one drop of blood would only make those instincts flare.

"Let us go." She reached out and grabbed Mikoto's wrist. It twitched on contact, then tensed under her touch. Mikoto was staring at her hand and Kuroko teleported them outside without waiting for an affirmative. "We should move quickly but silently."

She led the way down the cellar, past twists and turns of dark, foreboding concrete. Kuroko's holy light made them able to see.

After a minute or so, they stopped at a junction. Kuroko looked back and frowned. Pearls of sweat were forming on Mikoto's brow and Kuroko inwardly cursed. How much time did she have left before the urge became too much and she was stuck with a raging hungry vampire all the same? She weighed her chances for survival in such a scenario. Mikoto was a matriarch, one of the seven strongest vampires on earth. Even in such a reduced state, her physical strength far surpassed that of Kuroko. A vampire's body would preserve energy in case of emergency. Once a certain limit passed and the hunger became too much, all the remaining energy would be concentrated in order to boost their senses and power in a limited burst. Hopefully enough so to find their next meal before it was too late. If Mikoto passed that limit right now, Kuroko had no idea how strong she would become, and being the only possible meal within a reachable radius was not a good idea. She had fought a limitbreak vampire once before, and had survived because of superior skill. But Mikoto was not an ordinary vampire. Her power was simply too unpredictable.

Mikoto was breathing heavily. "Kuroko."

"Yes?" Kuroko had all the faith in the world in Mikoto. She knew she would do anything it took to do the right thing.

"The next person we meet is mine."

Kuroko shuddered.

"I understand." There was no use arguing. She would just have to make sure the next person they met was someone Mikoto could eat with good conscience. It was Mikoto's way of proposing a compromise. If she couldn't eat the next person they met, Kuroko would have to fight her. No doubt about it.

"We'll run through the open room. Let's go."

They teleported into the room and at once started running. Kuroko held Mikoto's hand and made sure the vampire was at her side rather than behind her to avoid the similarity of a hunt. Even so, while they ran she could feel the muscles of the other girl tensing, and her breath was growing more rigid. Perhaps there were lingering scents of blood in the cellar, and Kuroko hoped they would meet some sort of prison guard or the like. She counted her weapons; fourteen spikes, a silver gun with five bullets, ten small bottles of holy water, and her ultimate weapon, the Nottub Niw. Her forehead felt slick at the thought. She had not told Mikoto of that one. It was the most powerful weapon in Kuroko's arsenal. She was not sure how it would work against the matriarch, but it was an instant kill for other vampires. Naturally, the cost for using it compensated the power. She would be unable to cast it again for a few days, not to mention doing anything useful.

Would she have to use it on Mikoto?

Kuroko didn't notice before Mikoto's head turned and the vampire halted in her tracks, nearly pulling Kuroko off her feet. She glanced in the direction Mikoto's attention had turned to, but it was too dark. She made her light shine brighter and when she noticed what had caught the vampire's attention, her eyes widened. There, inside one of prison cells along the wall, curled up together, sat two familiar people.

"Saten-san!" Kuroko grabbed Mikoto's shoulder out of reflex, and knew at once it was too late. Mikoto's body was strung tight, her breath heaving, growling even, her pupils had shrunk and the color was already changing, becoming a brilliant red. She's at her limit!

"Mikoto!" She teleported in front of her and brandished her spikes. "You cannot eat them."

A growl of warning left Mikoto's throat, her whole body trembling. "Move."

Kuroko faced her calmly. "I will not move. Saten-san and Uiharu-san are our friends. You may not eat them."

There was a flash of pain in her expression and Kuroko realized. She's fighting the limitbreak. She must not have entirely passed it, or Kuroko was certain that words would merely have been shrugged off.

"There has to be someone else!" She attempted to reason, "Guards, prison staff, anyone! But I will not allow you to eat our friends!"

The girls in the prison cell behind her were entirely silent, thankfully. They must have caught onto the situation and Kuroko thanked them for being smart. Mikoto was pulling in air in gasps, small growls leaving her throat. Then she gritted her teeth and Kuroko stood her ground, long since past the point where she would flinch at the sight of fangs. Although it was different seeing them on Mikoto.

It happened too quickly. Out of nowhere, something exploded, and a weighted net dropped onto Mikoto. She yelped as the threads touched her skin and the weight forced her down to her knees; Kuroko realized.

"A silver net!?" It must be what they had used to capture her originally.

"Well, well!" a sly voice sounded, and Kuroko's head snapped to the door opening above them. A row of guards trailed into the room, cutting Kuroko off from Mikoto.

"Tsk." She clicked her tongue.

The fancy person at the door stepped down the staircase with a horrible grin on his face.

"I wondered how long it would take for famous Shirai Kuroko-san, the prodigy paladin vampire hunter, to show up." Gilmore walked over to Mikoto and grabbed her hair, pulling her head up. She grimaced. "Isn't our invention delicious? Silver threads wrapped into the strongest rope at the hands of the priests in Academy City. Blessed by the breath of the Pope himself. Imbued with His Holiness' blessings and the power of two different Saints. This is able to trap even the strongest of the beasts." He glanced lovingly at Mikoto, and then over at Kuroko. "How come you haven't killed her yet?"

Kuroko's insides froze.

He looked delighted. "Could it be… you are a traitor?"

Kuroko drew a deep breath. "Mikoto has never gone on a rampage. It is our code to take out those who are a threat."

His eyes glinted. "Oh really. Our code, hm?"

Kuroko did not like the look on his face, or the way he handled Mikoto so easily.

He glanced at the vampire again, grinning. "Just north of here is a small village. I think it houses, oh, about two hundred people?" He held out an arm and one of his bodyguards pulled off the glove. Then one of them used his sword to nick Gilmore's fingers. Kuroko's eyes widened.

"What are you doing!?" A drop of blood formed out of the wound and Mikoto's breath hitched. The sight and smell of fresh blood must be enough to push her over the edge, but the man was still calm. The net must have incredible powers.

"What say you we make a little bet?" He hovered his hand above the net, like waving a sausage in front of the face of a hungry wolf. "What do you think would happen if you put a ravenously hungry matriarch into the midst of a defenseless town? Do you think our dear little Railgun will continue her speckless record of no rampaging?"

"You can't do that!" Kuroko moved forward and was met with twenty pike tips.

"Oh no?" The man grinned, lowering his hand. Mikoto's breath was intense, all attention focused on the small wound on his finger. Surely he would not let her bite him? "Then how about you stop her, as is your job?"

The drop finally fell and was caught by Mikoto's tongue. The air in the room twisted and Kuroko knew at once that she had finally broken. Electricity snapped from her bangs, the uncontrollable urge for more blood pumping adrenaline into her body. All reserves were released and the matriarch's power grew tenfold.

The man pulled the net off with a laugh, while his men hastily retreated out of the door.

"Good luck, Shirai-san." Gilmore grinned, and the door to the prison closed behind him.

"Mikoto!" Kuroko called out for her friend, but there was no doubt that the limit was passed. A single drop of blood was not enough to sate months of hunger. Mikoto was not her friend right now. She was a hungry predator, and there was prey right in front of her. Even if Kuroko escaped with Uiharu and Saten-san, Gilmore had planted the idea of a village into her head. If she failed in reaching the prey right in front of her, she would hunt for the next best thing. If she did, Mikoto would be labeled a threat and every single vampire hunter in the country would be sent to take her out.

"M-Misaka-san!" Saten-san was terrified, and Kuroko did not blame her. Mikoto's eyes were sharp, dark, and bloody red, seeing nothing but potential food. Her hair fluttered, sparks playing in the strands. Her body was strung with explosive power.

The vampire charged in and Kuroko prepared to clash.

Fighting a vampire in limitbreak was tough enough. Fighting a matriarch was impossible. Mikoto's speed was too much, like a shotgun over the floor. Not only did she possess inhuman strength, but her electric ability was just as lethal as her fangs, if not more so. Kuroko had no room for thinking. There was no use trying to find any middle ground, any way of not hurting her friend and lover. Mikoto was out to kill, and Kuroko could only defend herself. She teleported four spikes at once but none of them hit; it was as if Mikoto sensed them even as they travelled through the eleven dimensions and evaded them within a hair's width. Then her hand connected with Kuroko's face and the vampire hunter was thrown into the cell behind, back crashing against the steel bars. Her head span and she coughed, feeling nauseous. That hit alone must have given her a concussion. She teleported, doubled over as she appeared in the middle of the room, and turned around.

Uiharu and Saten-san huddled in the corner of the cell, and Mikoto grabbed the steel bars in front of her. As if they were hardly worth mentioning, the bars broke.

She's going for the easiest kill! Kuroko panicked, and picked up a handful of holy water bottles.

"Mikoto!" Crying for her attention, she pulled the plug and then teleported all of the water into the air above her head. Mikoto didn't even flinch. The fact that she didn't even care to dodge the holy water told Kuroko more than she needed.

This vampire is incredibly strong! She knew, of course, but she had never fought a matriarch. The holy water did nothing to Mikoto, and a spear of electricity was fired Kuroko's way. It was not possible to dodge quickly enough; Kuroko tried, but was still struck in her shoulder.

"Gah!" She fell to the floor as her muscles failed, and raised her head. "Uiharu! Saten-san!"

The two girls were trapped, and Mikoto was already disregarding Kuroko, having effectively taken her out of the action. Kuroko gritted her teeth and put her hands on the ground, trying to get up. Her body was paralyzed and the pain tore through her. I can't… she glared at Mikoto, who was approaching Uiharu and Saten-san at a leisurely pace, perhaps deciding which one to take first. Blue crackles of electricity danced in her bangs and the aura she exuded was intense, even from at this distance. Mikoto was a sensual vampire, that was her only solace. Some vampires preferred to rip apart their prey and brutally massacre them, or torture them while drinking their blood. Mikoto did not. She played on the senses and attraction of humans, soothing them and gently coaxing them into letting her feed. There was no saying how much time she'd spend on that particular play right now, however. Limitbreak only lasted for so long; she would have to feed before it ended, or all the reserves would be burned out. A vampire without power was basically a human, and they would die from hunger soon after unless someone willingly gave them blood.

Mikoto was approaching Saten-san and Uiharu and she looked excited. Kuroko gritted her teeth.

I can't let her!

She gathered what remained of her strength and prepared to move.

XXX

Ruiko was terrified.

"M-Misaka-san!" She pulled Uiharu into the corner and they both stared at the vampire in horror. She had never seen Misaka-san's vampire form this clearly, and to be frank, it scared the crap out of her. The girl she knew as a friend looked deadly beautiful, with a strange allure that greatly soothed her even as the power of the vampire enveloped them.

Ruiko stepped forward and covered Uiharu behind her. "If you'll take one of us, take me."

She did not know where it came from, but she put her faith in both Kuroko and Misaka-san to be able to save Uiharu. She saw the hunger flare in those inhuman eyes and Misaka-san grabbed her arm. Her fingers were icy cold and the grip was so strong Ruiko could feel her bones creak. She shut an eye closed at the pain, and Misaka-san leaned in, sniffing her hair, then dragged her tongue along her neck. One hand snaked across her midriff, over the leather belt holding up her pants.

"P-Please. Just let Uiharu go. Please, Misaka-san." Her heart was beating quickly and for some reason, she felt excited. It must have been the vampire effect. Her breath became shallow and she felt strange as Misaka-san slid her hand up her chest, pushing her backwards until her back hit the wall.

I'm trapped. Oh well. It was like it didn't even matter. Uiharu was safe, pressed into the corner and gripping the edges of her skirt so hard her knuckles were pale.

Misaka-san kept licking her throat and Ruiko wondered if it was some sort of ritual. Then, the vampire turned her slightly, and the sharp edges of her fangs brushed by Ruiko's skin.

It's going to happen. She was glad though, that it was Misaka-san.

Someone appeared beside them. It took a second for her to recognize Shirai-san, and when she did, her gut tightened. Shirai-san was holding a shining gun to Misaka-san's temple, and her body was pulsating with a white light, concentrated in her free fist.

It's her. Relief flooded her. The vampire hunter had come to her rescue.

XXX

Kuroko glared at Mikoto's face, whereas the matriarch had frozen up when the barrel of the flintlock gun touched her temple. She did not lash out at once. Kuroko hoped that meant Mikoto recognized her power. Kuroko had pulled out all her reserves, and the Nottub Niw was resting in her fist, ready to be unleashed.

Yet she wanted to try and talk first.

"Mikoto."

There was no reaction, but Mikoto still didn't bite, although her fangs were already resting on Saten-san's throat and all she needed to do was close her mouth. Up close, the weight of her presence was smothering; yet Kuroko was not powerless anymore either. Her own aura had been pumped to maximum in the hopes of pulling the vampire's attention.

"Will you be able to stop?" She asked her question, gun barrel resting steady against Mikoto's head. Did she even understand her at the moment? Or was all of her energy concentrated into the urge to eat and heightening her power?

Kuroko would give her a chance. She knew Mikoto needed to eat. That it had come to this point meant that she was already balancing on the very edge. She might die in a few days if she couldn't sate that hunger, and after this outburst, she would be powerless to hunt prey.

Kuroko knew. But she didn't want to lose anyone.

That was why.

"If you bite Saten-san and drink her blood, will you be able to stop before she dies?"

She had seen vampires losing control before. Getting so pulled into the act of feeding, the power rush it gave them, that they lost all rationality. It was said that the most dangerous time to be around a vampire was when they were hungry and when they had just fed. Still high, they were not unlikely to take a second and third prey just to keep that power rising. Of course, if they didn't stop at all, at some point they would turn into ravenous monsters and would no longer be classified as vampires even by their own kind. Mikoto had told her how matriarchs usually hunted down those beings and took them out.

She had faith in Mikoto. If any vampire could control those urges, it would be her.

A low, long-winded growl escaped Mikoto's throat, like an impatient dog waiting for the clearance signal. Kuroko's guts curled. She had the gun, and she had the Nottub Niw. Together, they might be enough to take out Mikoto once her power returned to more normal levels. She had no way of knowing whether she could take her on even then though. Yet even so, that growl gave her hope. She was not being ignored.

She glanced at the girl trapped in the predator's hold. "Are you okay, Saten-san?"

Saten-san met her gaze. It wavered, but then shone with determination. "I think she needs it." She barely whispered the words, and the movement of her throat brought another growl from the vampire capturing her.

"Saten-san…" Uiharu whispered in a shiver, pressed into the wall beside the two of them. Her blouse was askew and her shoulders shook under the small cape she wore over them.

Kuroko clenched her fingers around the gun. They were deadlocked at the moment, but she had the feeling that Mikoto was growing impatient. If it came down to it, the first to strike would win this struggle.

"Mikoto." She spoke clearly. "You are to stop when we say so. Do you understand?"

Communicating with a senseless beast was usually no good. Mikoto did not answer, did not look at her. She kept staring at Saten-san, saliva dripping from her fangs.

"You may still be hungry when that happens, but if you do not stop, I will kill you." Kuroko's heart clenched; in the first place, she wondered if she even could.

Mikoto growled again, this time a lot lower. Perhaps she did not like the sound of it, but she may have agreed. Kuroko hoped that's what it meant.

She swallowed. "Good. Then please, take a drink. Slowly."

Mikoto did not wait. Her fangs sank into Saten-san's neck and Saten-san gasped; the saliva of the vampire dulled the pain and made the entire procedure feel rather good, or so Kuroko had heard.

She had never been this close to a feeding vampire without killing it. She watched as Mikoto's fangs sank all the way in, precious blood flowing up. Mikoto was calmer than she'd expected, pulling her fangs back out and then licking at the wound. Her saliva would make sure it kept bleeding, and the blood flow increased as more of it entered the wound.

"Ah-!" Saten-san was gasping, looking exalted at worst, and Kuroko kept the gun steady. Saten-san might not be able to tell them when it was too much. How much did Mikoto need in order to pass the limit and regain some of her old power? Kuroko gritted her teeth. Mikoto looked like she enjoyed it as well, eagerly lapping up Saten-san's blood. The electric sparks in her bangs snapped playfully and Kuroko could sense how her presence magnified. Watching the vampire drink was sensual, and Kuroko's heart started beating more quickly.

This is bad. She was being pulled along by Mikoto's allure, starting to feel like she wanted to be next. It looks so good. Mikoto's throat moved tantalizingly as she swallowed and it was plainly visible how the blood affected her. She seemed warmer, stronger, more beautiful by the second. Kuroko gasped down air in gulps and Saten-san moaned, clawing at Mikoto's arms. Apparently enjoying this reaction, Mikoto sucked at the wound and then poised her fangs above it again, preparing to bite once more.

Kuroko snapped out of it then. There was already so much energy in the vampire that the air literally crackled around them. Saten-san looked pale, yet lost in euphoria. Mikoto was still not full obviously, but she was no longer starving either.

"That's enough!" Kuroko pressed the gun into Mikoto's temple, finger hovering over the trigger.

Mikoto stilled, and now she finally acknowledged Kuroko's presence, glancing at her from the corner of her eyes. Yet she didn't move, and her fangs scratched on Saten-san's skin.

Kuroko pulled in deep breaths. "Mikoto. Stop." Her insides were burning, the strain of keeping her energy levels at maximum starting to get to her. Kuroko was certainly powerful, but she had her limits.

"Wanna try?"

Kuroko's throat constricted as Mikoto suddenly spoke. No doubt the meal had helped pull her out of the beastial state, but her eyes still glinted and her vampire traits were on full display.

Kuroko's eyes narrowed. "What?"

Mikoto raised a hand and pushed the gun away. Even though Kuroko was holding it in place with all her strength, it was like there was no resistance at all. She was brushed aside like an insect, and Mikoto turned towards her.

"It's delicious."

She let go of Saten-san, who collapsed to the ground. Uiharu ran to her side and pulled her head into her lap, putting a hand over the wound and starting her low chanting that would help it heal.

Mikoto closed in on Kuroko and Kuroko raised her hand with the ball of light.

"Don't make me use this, Mikoto."

"She's still alive isn't she?" Mikoto pushed her hand aside again and Kuroko realized she stood no chance. Mikoto was exceptionally powerful, especially so right after feeding. The vampire closed the distance between them and leaned down, cradling Kuroko's chin in her strong fingers.

"Here, have a taste." Their lips connected, and Kuroko recognized the metallic taste of blood. Saten-san's blood. She tried to pull away, but there was no way. She could feel Mikoto's fangs and her tongue touched one of them; more blood lingered on them. The kiss was becoming heated and Kuroko's brilliant aura faded as she let her power disperse. She knew now. Mikoto had urges, just like other vampires. But hers were highly sexual. Was it because she was a matriarch? Sharing the blood of prey with a potential mate. Kuroko felt loved, yet it also disturbed her. She put her hands on Mikoto's chest and attempted to increase the space between them.

"M-Mikoto." She pulled in a gulp of air between her eager kisses, and Mikoto, in answer, stepped even closer. "N-not now. This is not the t-time or place." Kuroko gasped as Mikoto's hand slid down her back, teeth nibbling at her lip. Her fangs were still at large, and Kuroko knew better. Mikoto had always been particular about having eaten her fill before their intimate sessions.

"Come on." Mikoto licked her lips. Kuroko twisted her arms free and tried to push her off.

"No. Not while you're still hungry. Besides, this is not the place for it."

"I want you."

"Later. Later, Mikoto! First we need to get out of here!" Kuroko fought her, and suddenly Mikoto snapped. With an angry growl she grabbed her and before she knew it Kuroko was trapped on the ground. Mikoto sat over her waist, looking down at her with dark eyes - not bloody red anymore, at least - chest rising and falling with her breaths.

God, she is beautiful. Kuroko would sin as much as she had to in order to stay with Mikoto. She was kind, strong and beautiful, everything Kuroko had longed for her entire life. Even though she was a matriarch, Mikoto had no pack of her own. She refrained from turning people and ate once a week to sustain herself, not to indulge in the power it brought. She never drank her victims dry.

Kuroko loved her so. Yet she was scared, frightened that Mikoto would lose herself and accidentally kill someone.

Mikoto leaned down, stroking Kuroko's forehead. Kissed her, licking her lips. Her scent was overwhelming, attractive, the power she possessed demonic and wonderful. Kuroko felt safe in her care, but at the same time, she knew better. Mikoto might be a kind vampire, but she was still a vampire. Right now even more so than usual. Still hungry, the matriarch was pulled along by her instincts, and Kuroko could tell she was nurturing the urge to taste Kuroko. She had been saying so ever since they met. She had wanted to bite her ever since that first time, and every time they made love her desires manifested in licking and nibbling on her throat. There was no doubt to Kuroko that Mikoto wanted her blood more than anything. But that was fine.

She loved her either way.

Mikoto's fangs scraped by her cheek and the vampire's breath was becoming ragged, eager. She was turned on, and Kuroko was as well, squirming beneath her as her tongue tasted the skin of her cheek. "Don't… don't bite."

"I want you," Mikoto purred, a sound that reverberated deep into Kuroko's core. It hurt, but she had to resist.

"No. Right now, all you want is to eat."

"What's wrong with that?" She leaned down and her tongue touched Kuroko's throat, a shudder of delight travelling through her.

"You promised to stop." She had growled; Kuroko took that as a promise. "You're not starving any longer and we all need our strength in order to get out of here." She raised her hands again and pushed at Mikoto's chest. The tension in her body increased and Mikoto pulled back with a snarl, glaring down at her, fangs displayed.

Kuroko stared up at her solemnly. "I want you as well, but right now we need to get Saten-san and Uiharu to safety. Gilmore is out there as well. After…" she swallowed heavily, "after we're safe, I'll let you taste." She trembled, the idea of being bitten still traumatic. Yet she had to make Mikoto cooperate.

Mikoto looked doubtful, but Kuroko met her gaze steadily and repeated herself. "I'll let you taste. After we're out, and safe, with Saten-san and Uiharu." She would stay true to her word. Even as her eyes filled with tears on the idea of being bitten, she would not back down. Mikoto watched her, and then she stroked the tears away with her thumb.

Kuroko was relieved to see the intensity in her eyes ebb out, and the crushing aura she had been emitting withdrew somewhat. It was still stronger than normal; no doubt due to her staying in her vampire form. Kuroko stared at her and more tears ran down her cheeks.

"You are so beautiful."

Mikoto smiled, and the warmth of her gaze enveloped Kuroko in all the safety in the world. "Sorry for scaring you, Kuroko."

Kuroko's relief was so immense she could only put her arm over her eyes and let the tears roll. Mikoto stroked her arm, none of the harsh strength displayed now. Then she stood up, and Kuroko heard her walk over to the other girls.

"How is she, Kazari?"

"Eh!?" Uiharu was nervous, and Kuroko smiled despite herself. "Sh-She'll be fine, don't worry, Misaka-san! You stopped in time!"

Mikoto was so wonderful. Why would anyone want to set her up like this? Kuroko had no doubts as to Gilmore's plans. He had meant to wait until Mikoto snapped and then set her loose on the unsuspecting village, just like he'd done back there. He wanted her targeted by Judgment, and if every one of Judgment's vampire hunters was after her, even Mikoto…

Kuroko's tears stopped and she stared into the darkness of her arm with a frown. That was too easy, wasn't it? Kuroko had not even managed to scratch her. Even when she had her at point blank range with her full power at display, Mikoto had not flinched nor deemed her a great enough threat to offer her a single look. It may have been due to the state she'd been in, but Kuroko started to question it. She had heard tales of battles against wayward matriarchs from ages past. The vampire hunters had been in the hundreds, and yet it took days to wear down the vampire. In some of the tales, other matriarchs even assisted in the fight.

There was no way Mikoto would go down so easily. Would Judgment even send anyone after her? Kuroko had been sent to observe her, kill her if deemed a threat - did they really think she could? Naturally, that was before she disobeyed their orders and decided to stick with Mikoto. Really, the matriarch might as well have turned her into a pack member. Kuroko was deeply and hopelessly in love with her.

She knew it was the same for Saten-san and Uiharu. Although they had initially been scared of Mikoto, once they got to know the vampire they had grown fond of her. Of course they would. Mikoto had been out hunting when she stumbled upon Saten-san, and instead of eating her, had taken pity on her state and brought her to a doctor. That's where she met Uiharu, the cleric who'd healed her up.

"Shirai-san, are you okay?" Uiharu was above her, and gentle fingers touched her arm. Kuroko smiled tiredly.

"Yeah. I am." She removed her arm and sat up, smiling still. "We should get going."

She looked behind her, and seeing how Mikoto had picked up Saten-san, her smile grew warmer.

XXX

They left the cellar and even though they were prepared for battle, no one met them outside. Kuroko narrowed her eyes, worry gnawing at the back of her mind. As they ran through the outer layer of the prison, they did not meet a single person.

"Where did everyone go?" Uiharu seemed to have picked up the strangeness as well, looking worried.

"They're better off staying away." Mikoto's gaze was less like a beast's and more like a proper vampire now. Her pupils were still darker than the usual chestnut brown, but Kuroko found this look also attractive.

"Maybe…"

They exited the prison and ended up on the big open area separating the different buildings of the estate. At the far end was the wall, closed gates. It would be no problem for them to move past them, but there was another hurdle before that.

"Gilmore…" Kuroko's eyes narrowed. What was he doing? All alone, the high-ranked vampire hunter stood on the middle of the field. As they exited the prison doors, he turned towards them. He was wearing his armor, blonde hair spiked against the sky and glasses glinting. He carried his helmet under his arm.

"I was wondering when you'd come out."

He smirked their way, eying one after the other, lingering on Mikoto and Saten-san in her arms. "Is she dead?"

Mikoto frowned. "Kuroko, is he a…?"

Kuroko was tense. "Elite vampire hunter. Gilmore has more than two hundred kills to his name."

Mikoto's eyes narrowed. "He's more of a beast than me then."

There was no arguing that. Gilmore was also powerful. His proud stature revealed a confidence that Kuroko did not understand. Was he going to face them here, alone?

"I see you're over your desperation, Railgun." He turned towards them fully, adjusting his glasses. "Too bad I had to waste it like that. But I am surprised. You didn't manage to kill even one."

Kuroko bristled. "Mikoto does not kill!"

His smirk widened. "So I've heard. But you see, that's not going to work." He put an arm out, as if in invitation. "Fight me, Railgun."

"What?" Kuroko's eyes widened.

He stared right at Mikoto, ravenous glee in his eyes. "I have fought four of your kin. I have fought, and been killed, four times. Thus, I have the power of four matriarchs." His lips pulled even higher. "I require more."

That was insane. Kuroko stared at him in shock, and tried to make sense. He wanted to fight Mikoto? Wait, he wanted to fight her, and die? How was that logical at all?

Mikoto was glaring at him. "I'm not going to fight you. Move aside." The command of her voice was enough so that even Kuroko had the urge to listen. But Gilmore merely grinned.

"Why do you think I captured you and let you starve for two months? I wanted to fight you in limitbreak. Too bad I had to waste it. However…" He bent his neck and it made a crack. "You have not sated your hunger just yet, have you?"

Mikoto growled.

"I figured as much. How valiant of you, keeping yourself from feasting on your cute little friends. You are truly the curiosity of the vampire world at the moment." His teeth were twinkling from the excessive grinning, and his eyes looked insane. "I require your power, Railgun. I have been observing you, and you are hiding amazing potential. Even with the power of four matriarchs, fighting you in limitbreak or at the top of your power might prove a challenge." He put both arms out, displaying his armored chest as if asking for her to charge him. "I need you to kill me, Railgun!"

Kuroko was stunned; Uiharu looked shocked. Mikoto's lips pulled up into a snarl.

"Wha-what is he saying?" Uiharu asked. "Why does he want to die?"

Kuroko frowned anew. "Mikoto…"

The vampire shook her head. "I don't know what he's up to. But we need to get past him."

"I will teleport."

Mikoto agreed. "Take Kazari and Saten-san." She handed Saten-san over to her. "I'll keep him distracted while you get them out. Then I'll follow."

Kuroko nodded. "Just be careful. Even though he's only one man, he is a seasoned vampire killer. You are not at the top of your strength right now."

Mikoto cracked her knuckles. "I know. I'll just distract him a little. Not like he can touch me anyway."

That was true. This arrogant confidence was what suited Mikoto best. She was strong, and she knew it. Just like the other matriarchs, she had complete confidence in her own power.

"Are you accepting my offer, Railgun?" Gilmore looked excited. "I'm giving you the opportunity to eat your fill. Suck me dry!"

Mikoto crouched, lowering her head. "Dream on."

She charged in. Kuroko teleported at the same time, and appeared about halfway to the gates with Uiharu and Saten-san, some distance away from Gilmore. Mikoto was already in front of him, moving with inhuman speed and leaving trails of electricity in her wake. Kuroko was about to teleport again when something incredible happened. Gilmore crouched and then launched forward as well. He met Mikoto head on with a cry of war. Mikoto dodged away, and although she was quicker, he was far too fast for a normal human. His strike caught her off-guard, and Kuroko's face drained of blood when she saw the matriarch blown away, tossed to the ground and skidding over it like she just stepped on a landmine.

"Mikoto!"

The vampire was quickly back to her feet, but the blow had surprised all of them.

"He knocked down Misaka-san?" Uiharu was stunned.

Kuroko gritted her teeth. Was he being serious when he said he had the power of four matriarchs?

XXX

Gilmore stretched his neck, grinning again. He tossed his helmet aside, rolling his shoulders. Mikoto had to admit, he did indeed look powerful in that armor.

"Do not take me lightly, Railgun. If you're meaning to come at me, you better come seriously." His grin nearly split his skull in two. "You better come to kill me, Railgun!" He stomped forward, and Mikoto tensed. Electric charges spat from her bangs and she fired a lightning strike.

"Haaah!" Gilmore roared and knocked his hand at the strike; the lightning bent off like it'd been deflected. Mikoto pulled back in shock. He bent my lightning? How is that even possible? She should have known, having been captured by this man in the first place. He had surprised her when she was out hunting that night, but she'd contributed his sneaking up on her to pure luck on his part and distraction on her part, and that damn net did the rest.

Gilmore was coming at her, grinning madly. "Are you prepared yet, Railgun!?"

Mikoto's shoulders tensed and she gritted her teeth, fangs glinting.

"That's not going to intimidate me!" He leapt at her, and she jumped - soaring into the sky and turning to fire another strike from above - yet he was already there, right in front of her. How the-!?

"Hiyaaah!" Clasping his hands into a hammer, he struck down at her head. Mikoto was knocked towards the ground like a rocket and dust and dirt exploded into the air from the impact.

"Mikoto!" Mikoto heard Kuroko scream her name, but there was no time to reassure her. She got up on all fours, coughing dust from her lungs, as Gilmore dropped down in front of her. Stiffening, she looked up, just in time to see him raise his leg.

"Is this all you've got!?" His foot swung down like an axe and she raised her hands, taking the blow head on. She managed to stop it from connecting with her head, but the strain of keeping him at bay made her arms shake.

What's with this guy? He's a human, yet- Mikoto glanced at his face, the leering grin he was giving her. He's way too strong! With a roar of defiance, she pushed the foot away and got to her feet, pulling backwards. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, she eyed him carefully. Her stomach growled.

He was still grinning, coming towards her. "Aren't you hungry, little vampire girl? I have the most delicious blood. I know it takes a lot of energy to use your abilities like that; what little you gained from the girl over there can't have been enough to sustain you for long."

She pulled back as he came nearer, looking right and left for something to help her. Nothing. Damnit!

"I am a big man. There is lots of blood flowing in my veins. You just have to claim it." He was breathing heavily, excitement rolling off of him. "Your power will spike like nothing you've ever felt before."

Mikoto gritted her teeth and put a hand into her pocket, pulling out a bullet. I have no choice! We've gotta get out of here!

She raised the bullet and aimed at him. "Let us go!"

He stopped, grin widening. Then, to her amazement, he spread his arms. The aura he was emitting was enormous, more powerful than any human she had met before. Even Kuroko in her most powerful state could not compare.

Does he really possess the strength of four matriarchs? Her eyes quivered. Having been killed four times… absorbing their strength?

She growled. That's ridiculous. If he wants to die, then so be it!

She planted her feet into the ground and fired the bullet at three times the speed of sound. The roar of thunder was enormous, the ground ripping apart between them. Yet the explosion came from behind her, and her eyes widened as she realized her railgun had just tore into the prison they escaped from. He… deflected it? Drops of sweat formed on her brow and suddenly, her knees felt weak. No way… does he really…?

Gilmore was right in front of her. His eyes were glowing, massive power rolling off his form.

"There's a good girl. How about you drain me dry now?" He licked his lips. "I want that power of yours. Such magnificent power."

Mikoto stared up at him, and he grabbed her throat, lifting her from the ground with ease.

"Mikoto!" Kuroko's voice reached her, and she glanced over, seeing the three of them stranded halfway to the gates, surrounded by guards with pikes. Kuroko could not leave Kazari and Saten-san, but she looked like she was seriously considering it.

No, stupid… you need to escape! She wanted to tell her, but she could hardly breathe. Gilmore's heartbeat was quick and excited, she could feel it in his wrist, which she grabbed onto. Even clenching with all her strength did nothing to faze the man, and she glared at him.

"You want to eat, don't ya?" He grinned, and her stomach growled again.

Mikoto gritted her teeth. "I don't want to eat you."

"Oh but you do. I can see it in your eyes." His eyes glinted. "You want to drink my blood, punish me, sate your hunger."

"Khh-" She strained against his grip, but there was no use. Shocking him was useless as well, seeing how the sparks merely ran along his arm harmlessly. What the hell am I supposed to do? Iron sand - but she could no more than bring up a single tendril of it before he clenched her throat even harder and she lost concentration due to lack of air. If he really had four of the matriarch's powers, then…

He wants mine as well?

Gilmore reached up with his free hand and released the plate on his shoulder. It fell to the ground with a thud and his exposed skin was under, brimming with blood and power.

"Come on," he said, "show me your fangs." His fingers clenched around her jaw and the strength of the grip was too much, forcing her mouth to open. She clenched her eyes shut, unable to stand watching his face any longer.

"Yes, such beautiful fangs." He stroked them with his finger, and then touched the sharp end, nicking his thumb. Mikoto hissed as the scent of blood touched her nostrils, and swallowed heavily as he dragged his fingers along her lips, leaving the taste of blood.

Don't - don't! The urge to lick her lips was overwhelming, her insides tightening into a knot. She may have just eaten, but it really wasn't anywhere near enough. The hunger ravished her insides, and especially now, the tantalizing scent of his blood trailing her lips. She gulped down air, and Gilmore was breathing heavily.

"It is impossible to resist, no? You want it so much…"

She strained in his grip again, but he was too strong.

"It's building inside you… the hunger, so strong…"

She gasped, tendrils of hunger gripping at her limbs. It's happening again!? Had she spent the energy gained from Saten-san so quickly? She bit her lip, staring at the sky. If - if I go into limitbreak once more, I won't be able to stop it, will I? She'd most likely do exactly what he wanted, and she doubted Kuroko would be able to stop her this time. With Saten-san and Kazari it was different. For this guy, she had nothing but hate. Only raw hunger would be driving her.

His thumb, still bleeding, trailed over her lips again and she shuddered against the strain in her body. She wanted it, so much.

"Come on, Railgun. Feed." His thumb went into her mouth and her breath hitched. Her senses were sharpening, all colors growing crisp and defined, sounds clear as crystal. She could hear the beat of his heart, excited and expectant, and the beat of Kuroko's heart, afraid and worried. All the guards, Saten-san and Kazari. His thumb touched her tongue and the taste of blood teased her tastebuds. They flared to life, and she drew a staggering breath as the adrenaline surged in her body. No! Stop! But there was no stopping it. Her chest heaved and what little reserves had managed to be preserved filled her limbs to the brim. Her eyes grew bloody red and her lips pulled into a snarl. More! Blood! I - need it! Now!

XXX

Kuroko's insides froze as she watched Gilmore playing with the vampire without a care in the world. She understood everything now. Why he had kidnapped Mikoto. Why he had starved her. Why he met them head on out here.

The man was insane, that was one thing. Another was the fact that he actually seemed to harbor the power of several matriarchs. Knocking down Mikoto so easily, making her look like a regular human girl in his grip - it was impossible. Yet she was seeing it happen. And now, he was playing another game, and that was using the fact that Mikoto was still very hungry - and had already used up a lot of energy in the fight - and was pushing her into limitbreak once more. Kuroko had never heard of a vampire entering limitbreak twice in such a short time. But Mikoto had not expended all of that reserve power when facing Kuroko; in fact, she had probably not even scratched the surface. Should I have let her bite me when we had the chance? Kuroko chastised herself, but she had not anticipated this crazy scenario.

She watched Gilmore stick his bleeding thumb into Mikoto's mouth and her heart stopped. Forcing her to eat - it was ridiculous. Nobody forced a vampire to feed. Yet he clearly was. Charges spit forth from Mikoto's body and the hunger in her eyes was somehow even greater this time. She bit down on the thumb in her mouth and Gilmore pulled his head back in a show of ecstasy.

Kuroko just now witnessed how great the burst of power in Mikoto's system was. That a vampire received a boost in strength during limitbreak was common knowledge - there were even studies on the exact numbers. But not on a matriarch. And Kuroko had never seen the comparison with her own eyes. But now, Mikoto grabbed the hand holding her in that chokehold and carefully broke the fingers away. Gilmore yelped and pulled his arm away, and Mikoto was freed. As he cradled his broken fingers, the vampire charged in and punched his gut - crushing the armor like it was nothing but glass - and sent him flying just like he had done with her.

Kuroko's insides throbbed. He has the strength of four matriarchs… then just how strong was Mikoto right now? Suddenly, Kuroko knew. Back there, in the prison, she had not been facing Mikoto's full power. Even in limitbreak, something inside her recognized Kuroko and the others as friends. That was why Kuroko had not been killed in the very first charge, and why her voice had reached her when Mikoto was about to feed on Saten-san.

A matriarch was really on a whole other level. And right now, she had no reason to hold back.

Gilmore hit the ground and Mikoto was over him the same second, crushing the armor on his chest with her fist. He coughed as the air was knocked out of him, and the ground below him cracked from the excess force. She must have broken some ribs with that hit. Kuroko's heart was racing, her head throbbing from the concussion. The guards around them were uneasy, disturbed at seeing their boss so easily beaten by the girl who up till now had seemed like an easy match for him. Mikoto picked up Gilmore by the hole in his armor easily with one arm, and then threw the man in their direction. The guards yelled and tried to avoid the flying projectile of a man, and Kuroko jumped aside, Saten-san in her arms, while Uiharu shrieked and covered her head. Gilmore hit the building behind them in an explosion of rubble, and a bolt of lightning struck him right after, striking the walls and the ground with tendrils of electricity.

Kuroko's heart hammered. "We need to move."

She pulled Uiharu with her, moving towards the edge of the building, past bewildered guards.

"Hey!" One of them swung his pike their way. "S-Stay where you are! You're hostages!"

Kuroko huffed. "Do you really think she cares?"

A blur of lightning crashed into the group of guards behind them, several of whom were thrown into the air from the shockwave. The guard in front of them looked more and more nervous, but his fear was giving him courage. Somehow. "Get to the wall. Stay there!"

Kuroko obeyed, not about to take him on under the current circumstances. Not pulling any attention towards themselves was probably better. They pulled back to the wall and the guard followed, throwing nervous glances at the battle in progress.

When the dust dispersed, Mikoto's lightning-spitting form was still standing, heaving for breath. Kuroko glanced at her, seeing the drops of sweat on her forehead and throat and the intensity of the bloodlust in her eyes. She still hasn't succumbed to it? She frowned, feeling sweaty as well. What is she doing?

XXX

Mikoto pulled in mouthfuls of air, staring at the beaten form of Gilmore by the wall. He was still conscious, and somehow, still grinning. He was bleeding too. The smell ravished her, and the urge to feed paralyzed her for a second. Then she put her hands to her head and roared, letting out an explosion of electricity that struck wildly around her.

"I see." Gilmore's voice reached her as the electricity once more returned to coil around her, and her eyes widened. "I guess this is the secret to your speckless record, hm? Even in limitbreak, you are able to fight the bloodlust." He chuckled. "Such a useless ability. Are you not hungry enough yet?"

Hungry. Her stomach tightened. Blood. She needed blood. Her eyes searched the ground and fell on a guard.

"No, not him, Railgun. Me." Gilmore's voice speared her. "You need to feed on me. You tasted my blood, did you not? Was it not delicious?"

She licked her lips, remembering the taste. Thick, savory, slightly salty. Delicious. Food. Blood. Her gaze swayed and she picked up movement in the corner of her eyes. In an instant she was on it, sinking her teeth into the guard's neck. He cried out, and she growled; too hungry, too angry, too high strung to use any tact or manners. She dug her teeth into his neck and throat, ripping off flesh until the blood sprayed over her tongue.

Loud laughter penetrated her ears and they twitched.

"Ahahah!" It was Gilmore. "I thought Shirai-san said our dear Railgun never killed?" His eyes turned darkly gleeful. "I guess that was childish wish-thinking from her part. There's no way a vampire can rise to the rank of matriarch without ever killing her prey."

Mikoto shut out his voice, concentrating on lapping up the blood. It didn't taste particularly good, and when the spray stopped and the blood merely trickled from the wound, she let the man drop to the ground. She felt great. Life was surging back into her. More. There was more than enough food here, but none that seemed tantalizing. She sought out the heart beating hardest and dug her teeth into another neck.

"Railgun." A tempting voice spoke, and she glanced at the man whose thumb she had bitten. Her lips pulled into a sneer and she dropped the man she'd just bitten. "Yesss, that's it. It's me you want. I taste a lot better than them. I can sate your hunger properly. Just drink it all up."

XXX

Kuroko, Kazari and the guard were all standing entirely still, having seen how Mikoto charged at the one guard who had tried to run. The ferocity she displayed was entirely alien. Kuroko had always thought of her as refined and gentle with her victims. Apparently, circumstances mattered. As well as the fact that limitbreak was different. Yet Mikoto did not even finish the men she bit into, and Kuroko's throat constricted.

There's so much food that she has the opportunity to be picky. Sadly, it seemed like Mikoto's refined tastes were drawn more towards Gilmore than any of his men. Did it really taste that different? She wondered for a second how her blood would taste, and pulled a sharp breath.

"Shut up!" The guard hissed, pressed into the wall beside them. He had lost his guts the moment he saw what Mikoto did to his colleagues.

XXX

Gilmore was fascinated by the intense power present in Mikoto's gaze. He had never fought a matriarch in limitbreak before, and he was thrilled to see that their power boosted this much.

"Come on." He tempted her closer, seeing the insatiable hunger in her expression. Two months without food. No doubt she would drink him dry. She had displayed an incredible self-control up to now, but at this point the hunger must be taking over. He just needed her to feed. It didn't matter how much she beat him up, as long as she fed on him till the end.

Mikoto closed in on him, dragging in his scent and apparently approving. His heart sped up as she approached, touching his neck, then leaning in and tasting it with her tongue. "It's good, good!" He coaxed her, and Mikoto growled. He chuckled. "Yes, I know. You decide. I swear I'm good though." He dragged a sharp breath as she poised her fangs on the flesh of his neck, and his fists clenched in anticipation. Her fangs sank into his flesh and he let out a long gasp.

"Aaaah-" His heart pumped even faster, and when she started drinking his blood, his whole body shuddered. "Oh yes!" His arms flexed and he closed his eyes. As her saliva entered his bloodstream, the power started seeping into him. It didn't matter if he was too beaten up to use the power he already possessed. Soon he'd be even stronger. He breathed evenly, allowing her peace to keep feeding. All the way to the bottom. He hissed as her power entered his heart and strained as it grew inside him.

Suddenly, her hand touched his stomach through the hole she'd punched in the armor earlier, and he hissed at the pain in his cracked ribs.

"Bye."

His eyes widened as he felt the metal bullet against his skin, and panic tore through him. If you do it like that I'll really-! "Wai-" There was no time to say anything else before the world was torn apart.

XXX

The railgun fired at point blank range tore a hole through the entire building. Kuroko's throat tightened, but when Mikoto became visible again and the dust settled, she looked relieved, and Kuroko knew Gilmore was dead. Not sucked dry as he wished for, but blasted away into oblivion. Kuroko gritted her teeth, forcing her body to stop trembling.

"Wha-What the hell is wrong with that monster!?" The guard beside them screeched, and Mikoto glanced at him. Her pupils were still red, although dulled. Hunger, still hungry. Yet more controlled now. She had drank a little, probably enough to regain some senses. The guard panicked and ran, and Kuroko closed her eyes. A rush of wind passed by them, static making the hairs on her arm stand on end. The guard's cry as he was caught, and then the gurgling sound of him drowning in his own blood. Uiharu was clenching her body around Kuroko's arm, and she drew a deep breath.

When she opened her eyes, Mikoto sat hunched over on the ground, sobbing. Kuroko's heart broke and she approached slowly, despite Uiharu's protests. As she came nearer, she heard Mikoto's sobs, and saw the guard on the ground, eyes open in a panicked stare and throat ripped open. She swallowed heavily, knowing Mikoto usually refrained from such brutality.

Perhaps that was why she was crying.

"Mikoto." Kuroko spoke her name softly, and that made the vampire curl up and hide her face in her knees.

"Don't look at me."

It stung. "Why?" Kuroko wanted to reach out and hold her, but she didn't know yet what state she was in. Except upset.

"I didn't want to. I couldn't stop it. I'm so hungry," she cried, and Kuroko's gut twisted.

"Still hungry?"

"I can't eat them. It tastes horrible." She clenched her head in her hands.

"What would make them taste good?"

Mikoto hiccuped. "I can't eat like this. It's wrong. I'm just a - monster like this."

Kuroko's guts coiled. "You are not a monster!"

"Then what do you call this!?" Mikoto yelled without looking up, and Kuroko eyed the area. The guards, those who had not somehow been able to flee in the first chaos, were all knocked out or dead. Shocked, bitten, knocked senseless by shockwaves or random lightning. Gilmore was just a hole in a building.

Her stomach grew cold. "You're a matriarch. Of course-"

"Shut up!" Mikoto pressed her hands against her ears. "That's no excuse!"

Kuroko faltered, stunned into silence. Mikoto looked pale, and as she watched, the vampire matriarch doubled over and started coughing. Kuroko turned away out of respect and waited until Mikoto had thrown it all up, and just her sobbing remained. As she turned back, a pool of blood spread across the ground below her, and Mikoto stood on all fours, trembling as she cried.

Kuroko's stomach churned. She passed the limitbreak, and didn't get to replace the lost blood. She knew what this meant. Right now, Mikoto had used up all of her reserves. She had beaten the man with the power of four matriarchs at the cost of spending all of her energy. And because of something Kuroko did not yet understand, she was unable to eat the victims of the fight. She could not handle eating like a beast. It was comforting, but this also meant Mikoto was on her last sliver of life. Her aura of power was completely gone, and she somehow looked more human in that instant than Kuroko had ever seen her.

At this rate, she would die from hunger. With no special abilities, she had no hope of hunting anyone but kids and people weaker than herself. Even if she did, she would most likely not be able to eat, just like she failed in eating these men.

Kuroko knew what she had to do.

"Mikoto." She reached down and grabbed her arm, helping the girl into a sitting position. She noticed that her pupils were still red, though dulled, almost the usual brown. It would probably be that way until she could sate the ravishing hunger. Kuroko grew determined, and pulled down the collar of her shirt. "Drink."

"Eh?" Mikoto stared at her, and Kuroko moved closer, offering her neck.

"You need to eat. Come on."

For a second, Mikoto breathed heavily, looking like she had never heard anything more tempting in her life. But then she gritted her teeth, and the next second, Kuroko's head turned sideways as her cheek was slapped.

"Are you crazy!?" Mikoto looked furious. Her cheek stung, but the inhuman strength she normally possessed was really gone. "Are you asking me to kill you as well? There's no way I'm going to do that!"

Kuroko blinked. "I-I don't mean to die…"

"Well that's what you're saying, offering yourself up like that!" She glared at her, getting to her feet. "I want to eat so bad I'd drain you dry in an instant. There's no way!" She stomped past her, and Kuroko remained sitting, stunned. Then she whipped around.

"Then what? You need to eat!"

Mikoto paused, staring at the ground. "I screwed up. It's my own problem, so stop thinking about it."

And with that, she went over to Uiharu, apologized for behaving like she had, and then headed for the gates. Kuroko froze up. She's leaving!? She teleported at once, appearing in front of her.

"Wait!"

"Now what?"

Kuroko dropped to her knees and bowed, begging. "Please stay with us."

Mikoto snapped at her. "Don't you realize what a bad idea that is? One little scratch and -"

"I'll find a way!" Kuroko pressed her forehead into the dirt, tears burning in the corners of her eyes. "Please! I will help you! Just - don't leave me, please!"

If she left, Kuroko did not know if she would ever see her again. She did not think it impossible that Mikoto would simply end up refusing to eat for the time she had left, and succumb to death somewhere far from Kuroko's reach. She would not let that happen.

Mikoto stood there for a while, regarding her. And then, she put her hands forth.

"Cuff me."

"What?" Kuroko looked up, relief and confusion both settled in her expression.

Mikoto looked serious. "Cuff me up. If I'm going to be with you, I don't want it to be easy for me to bite anyone. So you better make sure I can't."

Kuroko's body felt lighter, she wants to come with us! But at the same time, she felt horrible. Yet, she knew not to argue. Pulling out her silver handcuffs, she trapped Mikoto's hands in them. The vampire hissed as the silver touched her skin and Kuroko almost pulled them off again, but Mikoto would have none of it.

Kuroko picked up Saten-san again, still knocked out from the loss of blood, and the four of them exited the gates and headed into the wilderness beyond.


Note:

If you can correctly guess where this is going, you better go check if you're psychic. At a... psychic-checker clinic.

This was the pilot! Next time, the real story starts! Probably!