Yuuri dies on his way home from class.
It unfair, he thinks as he bleeds out in a dingy alleyway, a block away from his and Phichit’s apartment. I can’t believe the last thing I did before I died was sit through two and a half hours of lecture.
The guy who pulled him into the alley and stabbed him is long gone–– along with Yuuri’s wallet and backpack. Thankfully, Yuuri’s phone is still in his back pocket. Yuuri grits his teeth and arches his back off the ground, digging into his jeans for his phone. He lets out a high-pitched yelp as he accidentally brushes against the hole in his stomach. Because he was stabbed.
He hopes that asshole criminal enjoys all fifteen dollars in his wallet, plus the calculus notes in his backpack.
Yuuri fumbles with his phone until he somehow unlocks it. It’s covered in blood at this point, and Yuuri can’t even see through the tears in his eyes.
It turns out that dying hurts.
Instead of calling 911, Yuuri calls Phichit. Yuuri isn’t going to kid himself. He’s lying in a large, rapidly growing puddle of his own blood. There’s no way he’s going to make it, and he wants to say one last thing to his best friend. He knows it’s unfair, but he wants to ask Phichit to take care of his family for him. He also kind of wants to apologize, for leaving Phichit to pay rent for their shitty apartment by himself.
Phichit picks up after two rings. “Yuuri? Are you on your way home? Can you pick up some––”
“Phichit,” Yuuri gasps. The edges of his vision are getting fuzzier, darker. “Phi–– chit. I-I’m… dying. Got mugged.”
“Fu–– where, Yuuri? Where are you?”
“Um.” Yuuri says. He doesn’t know. He can’t remember. Breathing is hard now.
“Nevermind, I have that stupid find my friends app, I’ll–– Yuuri, listen to me. Hold on until I get there, okay? It’ll just be a couple minutes, I promise, I’m running to you. Just hang on. Stay alive.”
“No, don’t… be sad.” Phichit sounds so sad. Phichit should never be sad.
“Stay alive, Yuuri.”
Yuuri tries to reply, but he’s so tired. He feels so lightheaded, woozy like that night he and Phichit crashed a frat party and drank way too much shitty American beer. Time slows down, dripping over him, thick and pitch black like molasses.
The last thing Yuuri sees before he blacks out is Phichit’s worn, familiar red sneakers pounding down the alleyway.
Yuuri wakes up to the sound of Phichit knocking loudly on his bedroom door.
“Yuuri! Yuuri, wake up!”
Yuuri blinks awake and comes face to face with a solid wall of white silk.
“What,” he says. Phichit’s pounding gets louder.
“Hey! Hey, I didn’t realize these things were nailed down, and I don’t wanna risk accidentally splintering the wood and stabbing you, so––”
“What.” Yuuri repeats. He vividly remembers dying. “I’m dead! Why are you still trying to wake me up for class? Shouldn’t that excuse me?”
Phichit’s incessant hammering pauses. “You and I both know that death isn’t an excuse to miss Professor Celestino’s final.”
Yuuri starts to giggle, which quickly morphs into hysterical laughter when he hears Phichit also laughing from–– uh.
“Phichit, where are you? Where am I?”
“You’re in a coffin, my dude,” Phichit answers. “I’m trying to bust you out.”
“I’m in a coffin?!” Yuuri pushes up against the white silk and feels solid wood underneath it. “There isn’t any air in coffins!”
“Dude. You’re dead, you don’t need air.”
“As soon as I’m out of here, you are going to sit down and tell me what the hell is going on,” Yuuri announces, “because I’m somehow one hundred percent sure that this is all your fault.”
Phichit coaches Yuuri through breaking out of his coffin and climbing out of the dirt pit he was buried in, something that Yuuri never thought he’d do but, well. Here he is, emerging from the grave like a––
“Oh, my god,” Yuuri gasps, “I’m a vampire.”
Phichit blinks at him in surprise. “You caught on fast.”
“I’ve seen Blade! I know what a vampire is!”
Phichit rolls his eyes. He leans over and starts shoveling dirt back into the hole that Yuuri just slithered out of. “Okay, so that’s not how we work, but sure.”
“You turned me into a vampire!” Yuuri looks down at his own grave. “And you dug up my grave!”
“Uh, duh? What are best friends for? Now, help me fill this back in.”
Yuuri floats through the next hour in a dazed cloud. He’s simultaneously shocked to his core,and somehow not surprised at all. He had his suspicions that something wasn’t quite right about Phichit, but he’d assumed that Phichit was just eccentric.
After they cover up Yuuri’s grave, they go to IV Drip–– their favorite coffee shop partly because it’s open 24/7 and partly because they have the best hazelnut lattes.
“Okay, before you ask,” Phichit starts, holding up a hand and counting out his fingers, “One, no, we can’t turn into bats. Two, no, you don’t get any cool hypnosis powers. Three, yes, you need to drink human blood to survive and it’s disgusting.”
Yuuri looks around at the cafe’s staff. “Should we be talking about this in public?”
“Yuuri. It’s 3 AM, we walked in covered in dirt, and you’re still in your funeral suit. If they were going to call the police, they already would have. Besides, everyone on staff is also a vampire.”
“Everyone.” Phichit sends him a sly smile. “Even your favorite barista.”
Yuuri would blush if his blood were still flowing. “Stop, oh my god.”
“Maybe now that you understand the value of life you can finally ask him out.”
“I can’t ask him out, I’m a customer! Besides, I can’t go back to my old life. Everyone thinks I’m dead.”
“Don’t worry about that. You’ve only been dead for three days and I had them bury you as a John Doe. As far as everyone knows, you’re at our apartment recovering from the flu.”
“Wow.” Yuuri takes a sip of his hazelnut latte. “You’re really good at this.”
For the first time tonight, Phichit’s calm exterior cracks. He swallows thickly. “I had to be good. It was either do this right, or lose you forever.”
Yuuri’s heart breaks. “Oh, Phichit––”
“You’re such an idiot, Yuuri,” Phichit spits, tears welling up in his eyes. “Why didn’t you get someone from campus security to walk you home? Who gets mugged literally thirty feet away from their apartment? You have pepper spray, why didn’t you––?!”
“Hey, it’s okay,” Yuuri interrupts softly, pulling his chair closer to Phichit’s. “I’m here now.”
Phichit smiles shakily, reaching for a napkin to dab his eyes with. “I know. I’m not even really angry.I’m just glad it worked. I was so worried it wouldn’t work. Immortality is really lonely.”
“Well, you won’t be lonely anymore. We have each other now.”
“Yeah,” Phichit says, smiling widely. “Yeah, we do.”
Professor Celestino figures it out the moment he sees Yuuri.
He glares at Phichit. “Really?”
“He was dying! I saved him!”
“It’s not even office hours,” Celestino sighs. “What are you two doing here?”
“Yuuri needs some help adjusting,” Phichit explains. “Also, don’t pretend like you don’t let us hang out whenever we want. We babysit your dog. You’ve basically adopted us.”
Celestino glares but he doesn’t deny it.
“Anyway,” Yuuri cuts in, “Phichit said you could help me adjust? To being, uh… to not, um––”
“You’re a vampire kid, you can say it.”
“Right. A vampire,” Yuuri echoes. “Like from Twilight?”
“Nothing like Twilight,” Celestino says. “I have never sparkled in my entire life.”
“I’ve seen your photos from the 80s, Ciao Ciao, don’t lie to me.”
Celestino glares. He lets his fangs poke out. “What can I help you with?” He grits out.
“Okay, for starters, that.” Yuuri waves at his own mouth. He opens it to reveal his own razor sharp fangs. He knows they’re razor sharp because he keeps cutting up his gums and tongue with it. “Are these retractable? How do I make them stop? Can I file them?”
Celestino gives Phichit a look. “You didn’t show him how to retract his fangs?”
“Look at how cute he is!” Phichit leans over and squishes Yuuri’s cheeks.
“I’m older than you! I’m literally an adult!”
“Sure, kid.” Celestino lets out an amused huff as he watches Yuuri and Phichit squabble for a bit. “Look, it’s like breathing in. You just––”
Celestino wrinkles his brow and his fangs recede back into his gums until they just look like particularly sharp incisors. He gives the two of them a blinding smile. “Easy.”
Yuuri copies him. The sensation of breathing in with your gums is weird and it sends a shiver down Yuuri’s spine, but at least it works. Now he can stop holding his hand infront of his mouth everytime he talks to the grocery clerk.
“That was easy,” Yuuri says. As soon as the words leave his mouth, his fangs drop back into place.
Celestino groans. Phichit laughs.
“So,” Yuuri says casually, “when do we go on our first hunt?”
Phichit drops the hamster wheel he was assembling. “Excuse me?”
“Hunt? You know, for blood?” Yuuri sets down the hamster cage instruction manual. “I’m getting pretty hungry and it’s been a couple days. How do we choose our victims?”
“Oh my god. Oh my god, Yuuri. What century are you living in? What time–– Yuuri, it isn’t the Dark Ages anymore. We don’t hunt people!”
“Sorry! You know I don’t know how these things work!”
“Killing people is wrong,” Phichit says, picking up a hamster tube.
“Okay, then how do we get blood?” Yuuri asks. “Because, again: it’s been a couple days and I’m hungry. No matter how much regular food I eat, I’m always hungry.”
“Human food is mostly for taste. We live in the 21st century! We don’t need to eat people when we have access to modern marvels like blood bags! Iron deficiency pills! Heck, pig’s blood will work if there’s nothing else and you’re starving.”
“Okay, okay! I get it!” Yuuri waves his hands. “No murder!”
“No murder,” Phichit says. He pauses. “Well. Except for the guy that mugged you. I killed him. But I didn’t, like, eat him or anything. That’s so gross. Who knows what toxins could be in his blood.”
“So, some murder is okay?”
“Some murder. Now, pass me the screwdriver. The babies are going to love their new home.”
An hour later, Yuuri goes to bed only to burst into Phichit’s room ten minutes later.
“Oh my god,” Yuuri gasps. “You’re president of the Red Cross Club! Phichit!”
Phichit laughs maniacally.
It takes weeks of adjusting, but eventually Yuuri feels confident enough that he can leave the apartment for things other than food and class. He still kind of hisses in the sunlight, but that was something that he did while he was human, too.
Two weeks later, Phichit and Yuuri are sitting at their favorite cafe, again, studying. Or, Phichit is studying. Yuuri is pretending to flip through his textbook while sighing wistfully in Viktor’s direction. Viktor catches Yuuri looking. He winks and Yuuri swears he hears his heart start beating again. He waves awkwardly and then hastily turns back to his textbook, kicking himself for being so obvious.
“You know,” Phichit says, obviously annoyed. “You could just talk to him.”
“No! No. I’m a customer and he’s busy working and… no, I can’t.”
Phichit rolls his eyes. He nudges Yuuri’s foot with his own.
“Viktor goes to this vampire youth group with me. Well–– I say youth group, but most of us have been dead for at least 30 years. You should come with me sometime. Talk to him, or make some other friends. We’re always looking for fresh blood.”
Yuuri groans. “How are your puns always so awful?”
“It’s a talent, honestly.”
Yuuri pretends to consider, but he already knows his answer. “I’ll go on the condition that you don’t make anymore puns.”
“I can’t make any promises.”
The youth group is held at the local community center. They disguise themselves as a gothic romance book club.
Yuuri is intimidated for a solid five minutes before he realizes that while Viktor Nikiforov is certainly drop-dead gorgeous and incredibly charming, he’s also a massive dork.
“What do you call a duck with fangs?” Viktor asks.
“Uh, anatomically incorrect?” Yuuri guesses.
Viktor giggles, looking like a bashful young millennial and not like a vampire who was born thousands of years ago. It’s utterly adorable. Yuuri decides to introduce himself.
“Yuuri! You’re Phichit’s friend,” Viktor says. “You come into the shop all the time. He never told me you were one of us.”
“Oh, well––” Yuuri shuffles his feet awkwardly. “It’s, uh, a recent development.”
“Oh, congratulations!” Viktor says, his whole face lighting up. “How’d you die?”
“Ah, it’s really embarrassing!”
“C’mon, Yuuri.” Viktor bats his eyelashes. “It can’t be that bad.”
“I was mugged on my way home from class, nothing glamorous.” Yuuri gestures towards Viktor. “So, uh, how about you?”
“I was a Russian prince,” Viktor says, waving a hand nonchalantly. “There was an assassination attempt, but the family doctor got there just in time to turn me.”
“You’re a prince?” Yuuri gasps.
“Well, not anymore.” Viktor pauses and shoots Yuuri a suggestive smile. “But, I could be your prince, if you’d let me.”
Yuuri lets out a high pitched whine. He sees Phichit laughing from across the room.
From then on, Yuuri attends every single Blood Sucker Support Group meeting he can make it to. Yuuri has never been a very social person, but Phichit helps him out. Everyone at the group is nice and, well, supportive.
The puns don’t stop. In fact, they get worse.
“Hi, Yuuri,” Viktor greets him as Yuuri steps into the community center. “What’s a vampire’s favorite sport?”
“Um,” Yuuri says.
Yuuri shuffles into IV Drip on a lazy Sunday afternoon, intending to get some work done and not spend hours awkwardly trying to flirt with Viktor. Nope. He’s serious this time, he has a paper due.
But, as he queues up to order his coffee, Yuuri’s resolve crumbles. Viktor did something new with his hair today. He swept his bangs up and out of his face, pinned back securely with an adorable bat hair clip. When he sees Yuuri, his entire being lights up.
“Yuuri! How’s my favorite customer?”
The man waiting in line behind Yuuri clears his throat. They both ignore him.
“I’m okay,” Yuuri says truthfully. He uses a hand to gesture towards Viktor’s hair. “I like your clip. Very fitting.”
Viktor winks at him, but he’s smiling so wide his face just ends up looking scrunched up and wonky. Yuuri is charmed anyway. “Bats are adorable. Hey, what’s a vampire’s favorite holiday?”
“Uh, Halloween?” Yuuri guesses.
“Nope! It’s Fangs-giving!”
Yuuri rolls his eyes. “Okay, that one wasn’t that bad.”
Yuuri orders his coffee and then, to his own surprise, really does spend a couple hours being productive. Viktor spends all his breaks at Yuuri’s table, telling him wild stories about his past. He claims to have met Elvis, but Yuuri is calling bullshit on that one.
During Yuuri’s fifth BSSG meeting, Viktor abandons his discussion group and drags his chair over to Yuuri’s.
“They’re talking about the health benefits of drinking vegan blood versus just a regular person’s blood,” Viktor says. “And I, frankly, don’t care. Blood is blood.”
“Ah, we were just talking about movies. Sara was just telling us about this Dracula movie that came out. Apparently it’s awful.”
“So bad,” Sara says. “Just go watch the new Captain America movie instead.”
“Oh, Phichit and I already saw that. We love superheroes.”
“Really?” Viktor grins. “Who’s Dracula’s favorite superhero?”
The entire group, except for Phichit, groans in exasperation.
“Hey, Yuuri, what’s a vampire’s favorite fruit?” Viktor calls out across the empty café.
Yuuri doesn’t even bother looking up from his notes. “What?”
“So, you and Viktor are getting close,” Phichit notes one day.
“You’re too young to be having this conversation with me.”
“You know, I’m technically older than you.”
“Which one of us called blood bags ‘red juice boxes’ last week? You may be older, but I’m still the adult in this situation.”
“Then why does Ciao Ciao insist on calling you ‘Kiddo?’”
“Because he’s evil incarnate,” Yuuri answers easily. “Now shut up and let me finish my chem homework.”
It comes to a head late Friday night, just as the support group meeting is winding down.
“When I saw you, it was love at first bite,” Viktor says.
Yuuri’s face crumples with his efforts to remain unaffected. “I’m not gonna lie, that was really cute, but also the worst pickup line I’ve ever heard.”
“Cute? You think I’m cute?”
Yuuri decides to take a chance and play along. “Actually, you’re not really my type.”
Viktor’s face falls. “A-Ah, I see. Sorry for bothering you, I’ll just–– uh, go.”
He turns to leave and Yuuri panics. “Wait, no! That’s not–– I meant blood type.”
Viktor turns back, blinking in confusion. “Blood type? But, Yuuri, vampires don’t drink blood from each other. I don’t understand.”
“It was a pun!” Yuuri half-shouts, feeling thoroughly embarrassed. “I was trying to make a pun. You are definitely, definitely my type. I don’t even have a type! It’s literally just you. My type is Viktor Nikiforov, period!”
Viktor gasps, delighted. Yuuri looks around and realizes that he maybe said that last part a little too loudly. Everyone has turned from their conversations to look at him. Phichit
“Um. Do you want to go out with me?” Yuuri asks Viktor, because he’s already in too deep at this point.
Yuuri and Viktor look up with a start as the entire support group starts clapping.
“Ah, young love,” someone sighs.
“I’m two hundred years old,” Viktor says. No one but Yuuri pays him any mind. Yuuri reaches over and tangles their fingers together.
The group trickles out of the rec center slowly, until Yuuri, Phichit, and Viktor are left standing alone in the parking lot. Phichit winks at him and tells him that he’ll wait for Yuuri in the car.
“Can I walk you to your car?” Viktor asks, bouncing on his heels eagerly.
Yuuri looks over at his and Phichit’s shared car, parked only twenty feet away and under full light of a streetlamp. He looks over at Phichit, who winks at him.
“Oh no,” Phichit says. “I forgot my jacket inside! How forgetful of me! I’ll just go spend ten minutes getting it!” He turns on his heel and retreats back through the revolving doors.
“So,” Viktor says, once they're alone. “Dinner at my place tomorrow? I have some fresh blood, and if you want I can make some really good pasta.”
“That sounds amazing.” Yuuri starts a slow, meandering pace towards his beat-up Toyota. “I could bring a movie? I have What We Do in the Shadows on DVD.”
“I love that movie!”
Yuuri grins. Viktor grins back. They’re stopping in front of the passenger side of the car.
“This is ridiculous,” Yuuri says, before he leans up and kisses him. Viktor giggles into it, squeezing Yuuri’s hand. It’s adorable.
Yuuri pulls back to look at him. He’s half in love already.
“I hope you know you won’t be able to get rid of me, now,” Viktor says, bumping Yuuri’s shoulder playfully. “You’re stuck with me forever.”
“Is that a promise?”
Viktor grins, his fangs gleaming in the moonlight.