***..And I donít want the world to see me
Cause I donít think that theyíd understand.
When everythingís made to be broken,
I just want you to know who I am...***
"Iris"
The Goo Goo Dolls

Standing in the Dark

Lita opened her eyes to fins herself lying in a strange bed. The room was pitch-black. She didnít even know if her eyes were truly open, or if she was awake. Lita closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. "Okay. The last thing I remember..." she thought. She had a headache. It pained her to even hear her own thoughts. "The doorbell. I answered the doorbell, and that guy was there..." All of her memories then came flooding back to her. Balth taking control of her mind. She tried to fight him, but he was too strong. Lita then saw flashes of what happened in the back of the limousine. How she allowed Balth to take her body like that. Her headache was getting worse, and her chest started to hurt. Lita then saw Lee walking into the lower chamber of Balthís mansion. Her battle with him played in her mind. "Oh my God...what did I do?" Litaís eyes filled with tears as the fight played again in slow-motion. Lita covered her eyes as she tried to stop the memories. "No!" she screamed. "It wasnít me!"

Lee ran into the room, and to her side. "Lita, Lita, calm down," he said softly. He gently touched her face, and pulled her hands away from her eyes. "Itís okay. Youíre safe now."

Lita quickly got up and moved away from Lee. Terror was written all over her face. "What are you?" she whispered. "And where am I?"

Lee lowered his head and sighed. "Itís time to tell her," he thought. Lee turned away from Lita, and stood. He couldnít look into her face when he tried to explain this. "Iím a vampire," he said. "Iíve lived for the past thousand years, and I may continue living for the next thousand." Lee walked over to the door, and hit a light switch.

Lita looked around the room. It was painted dark blue. On one side, long heavy curtains covered what Lita guessed to be the window.

"As to where you are, youíre at my house," Lee said lowly. His back was still turned to Lita. "Do you have any more questions?"

Lita looked at how hard it was for Lee, and her fright eased. "That man... I think his nameís Balthazar. He bit me. Whatís going to happen to me?"

"Nothing that I know of. Youíll be a little tired, and pale. But in a day it should pass."

Lita looked at herself, and saw that she wore her ball-gown. "I have two more questions, then Iíll let you go for a while. Question one; why did you come after me?"

Lee lowered his head. He couldnít tell her the real reason behind him risking his life for her. "I have my reasons," he said lowly. "Iíll answer any other question but that, and my feelings for you."

Her eyes widened. "Oh, okay. Question two, do you have an extra tee-shirt I can sleep in?"

Lee looked at Lita strangely. "Ye... yes." Lee walked over to his closet, and pulled out a blue tee-shirt.

As Lee gave her the shirt, Lita smiled. "Question three," she said as she looked at Lee.

"You said only two questions," Lee said.

"But you wonít answer question one. So, question three; if youíre a vampire, how come you go out in the sun?"

Lee smiled as he sat on the bed. "Theyíre all myths. We can go out into the sun, most choose not to. The night increases our powers, so, thatís why most sleep during the day. We also arenít afraid of crosses, holy water and other biblical items. Christian priests made up that lie to ensure faith in the church. We can only die one of two ways. Our heads can be cut off, and the more traditional, stabbing of the heart. Actually, any type of heart removal can kill us also."

Lita lowered her head as she remembered their fight. "Lee, Iím sorry about before..."

Lee touched her face, and smiled at her. "It wasnít your fault. Balthazar is a monster." He then stopped and looked away from the beautiful young woman in his bed. "Like I..."

"You are not a monster. Youíre my friend, and my friends arenít monsters," Lita said sternly.

"What makes you so sure?"

"ĎCause I fight monsters, and demons. I know they enjoy what they do. And I can see that you...you donít." Lita saw the strange look she was receiving from Lee, and smiled.

Lee then smiled himself. "Thank you for understanding." Lee then saw Lita stand up. "Lita, you look beautiful in that." Lee smiled as Lita blushed. "You were a real sight at the ball."

"Thank you. For everything," Lita smiled as Lee was about to walk out of the room.

Lee smiled and left Lita alone to change. Lee sat down in his living-room, and gazed at the raging fireplace. "I went after you ......... because I love you," Lee thought.

Five minutes later, Lita walked out of the room, and looked at Lee. "Lee, did we..." she said nervously.

"What?" Lee asked. He turned around and looked at Lita. The shirt she now wore came down to her mid-thigh.

"I was changing my dress, and I saw you and me... going at it in my apartment. Did we?"

Lee walked over to the kitchen, and poured a glass of tea. "Yes, and no." He walked over to Lita, and gave her the cup. "What you say happened about three weeks ago. It didnít go any further though. What we were about to do was wrong, especially at this point it in time. So, I stopped, made you forget, and put you to sleep."

Lita placed the glass she held on the small coffee table. She looked at him with slightly hurt eyes. "Did you think I didnít want to know something like this?" is that why you did that?"

"No."

"Then why?"

Lee turned his back and closed his eyes. "I had my reasons," he whispered.

"Iím not taking that as an answer this time," she said walking over to him.

Lee opened his eyes and looked at Lita. His normally green eyes were a cold, stone yellow as he looked at her. "Would you want to give yourself to something like this?" he asked as his fangs showed.

Lita stepped closer to Lee, and hugged him. "Yes. Iíd give myself to someone like you," she said as she held him.

Lee wrapped his arms around her body. He was about to touch her face when there was a rapid knock on the door. Lee stepped away from Lita, and his eyes returned to their normal green color as his fangs disappeared. He opened the door to find a young woman with long black hair standing on the other side. "Can I help you?"

"Whereís Lita?" Rei said sternly.

Lita walked to the door, and her eyes widened. "Rei... what are you doing here?" she asked it in shock.

Rei walked into the house, passing Lee. She removed her sandals, and walked over to Lita. "Did he hurt you?" she asked.

"What?" Lita asked.

Rei saw the bandage around her neck. Her eyes narrowed as she turned to Lee. "Whatíd you do to her?" she asked.

"Rei, Iím fine. Really," Lita comforted.

"Then why are you so pale? And whatís that around your neck, huh?" Rei reached up, and gently pulled the bandage down far enough to see what was under it. Reiís eyes widened as she saw the puncture wounds. "Lita..." she whispered.

Lita saw Rei take a step back, and began to shake her head. "Itís not what you think..."

"Like hell itís not." Rei then turned to Lee, who had made his way back to the fireplace. "You did this to her, didnít you?" she said, her anger beginning to show. After a short silence, Rei sighed restlessly. "Well, answer me."

Lee looked at her calmly. "Youíre going to think that I did. No matter what I say, I already know that I canít change your mind... Hino-san."

Reiís eyes widened. "Howíd you know my name?" she whispered.

"The same way you know what I am. Your family has ran that temple for hundreds of years. They all knew how to read the sacred flames... who do you think taught them?" Lee asked.

"A beast like you? I doubt that," Rei said bitterly.

"Rei, stop it right there," Lita said sternly. She looked at her friend, and sighed. "Lee helped me get away from the monster that did this to me," she said pointing to the marks on her neck. "Heís my friend, and Iíll thank you for not insulting him the way you just did."

"She doesnít have to do that Lita," Lee said. He sighed as he turned his eyes away from both her and Rei. "I know that sheís right. I am..."

"Will you stop saying that! Itís not true!" Lita yelled. Both Lee and Rei looked at Lita as tears filled her eyes. "For the last time, you, Leander Cassidine, are NOT A MONSTER! I wonít believe it," she yelled before running to a near staircase and running up stairs.

Rei watched Lita with wide eyes. "What happened to her?" she whispered.

Lee lowered his head, and watched the fire in the fireplace. "Another one of my kind. He tried to seduce her into the darkness that is our lives," Lee answered lowly. "As long as he hasnít taken her body, sheíll be safe when the sun sets. Otherwise, sheíll be under his control again."

Rei looked at Lee, and saw how much this was upsetting him too. "Iím sorry for blowing up at you. Litaís one of my best friends..."

"And all of the Sailor Senshi must stand by each other."

"Howíd you know?"Rei whispered.

Lee smiled. "I meet you as Sailor Mars about two years ago. And Sailor Moon had just defeated a demon, and thatís when I smelled you."

Rei looked at him strangely. "Smelled me?" she asked.

Lee chuckled as he sat down in a near armchair. "Every one has a certain sent when it comes to their blood. Lita has a honey flavored sent. Miss Moon, sheís more of a cherry."

Rei didnít believe she was about to ask this question. "What about me? What do I smell like?" she asked.

Lee looked into her eyes, and saw that she didnít believe she said that. With a straight face, he gave her a simple one-word answer. "Cinnamon."

Rei walked to the sofa, and sat down. "But I hate cinnamon," she said to herself.

Lee tried to hide the smile he was wearing. "Itís the truth." Lee then looked at the staircase. "You donít have to stay down here. Iím the only one here, and I promise I wonít hurt you." Lee then gave her a sly smile. "Miss. Cinnamon," he teased.

Rei looked at him with narrow eyes. She then remembered how playful Lita said he was. "Alright. But if youíre going to call me that, what am I going to call you?"

"Hopefully friend," Lee answered simply.

At his words, Rei was a little surprised. She then stood, and walked to the stair. "Uhhh, Friend, itís pretty dark up there. Do you have a light switch or something?" she asked.

"Thereís no need," Lita said as she stood at the top of the stairs. She slowly walked down to the center of the stairs, and looked at Rei. "Iím fine, really. You donít have to stay here."

Rei shook her head. "Iím not leaving you, until I know that youíre okay."

Lita walked over to the bed room she was in before, and sighed. "Iím feeling a little tired. Iím going to lay down."

"You do that," Lee said gently. He walked over to Lita, and nodded. "Last night was a long night for you."

Lita walked into the room, and closed the door behind her. Lee looked at Rei, and raised an eyebrow. "If you donít trust me with Lita, thereís an extra room just down that corridor." Lee pointed to the long hallway just to the left. "You should get some rest too. If I know Balthazar, itís going to be a long night."

Two hours later, Lee walked into Litaís room, and saw her standing at the window. "What are you doing up?" he asked.

"Just thinking," she said quietly. She walked over to Lee, and hugged him. "Iím scared," she whispered.

Lee lifted her head up, and looked into her eyes. "I wonít let him hurt you. I give you my word."

Lita gently reached up, and pulled his face down to hers. She kissed him deeply as she held him.

Lee wrapped his arms around Lita, and held her tightly. He then felt her hands moving their way to his waist. He pulled away from her and shook his head. "We canít..." he said lowly.

"Why?" Lita asked. Her eyes were locked with his. She touched his face, and asked her question again. "If you want me, and I want you, then why canít we be together?" she asked.

He posed that same question to himself. Without a second thought, he kissed her passionately. Lee felt Lita pull him to the bed. His hands wandered to the bottom of the shirt she wore, and her hands undid his belt and pants. Lita pulled away from Lee, and removed his shirt. She ran her hands down his muscular chest and smiled. She walked away from Lee, and over to the bed. She leaned over and started pulling the covers down. Lee wrapped his arms around her body, and pulled close. He skillfully moved his hands up her legs, and until he reached the top of her panties. He slid his hand under the garment and pushed them to the floor. Lee then slowly moved his hands up her body, lifting her shirt as he went.

Lita turned around as Lee dropped her shirt to the floor. She touched his face, and kissed him again. She laid down, and pulled Lee with her. She continued to allow her hands to explore his body, as he did the same to her. She closed her eyes as he rubbed his hand across her thigh. Lita let out a small moan of pleasure as she felt Lee playing with her. Lita reached a hand down, and under Leeís underwear.

Lee pulled away from Lita, and quickly finished stripping. He then laid next to Lita, and looked her over. His eyes widened as he felt her warm touch on his body. Lee laid on top of Lita, and kissed her passionately. He was very eager to have her. The feel of her warm body under his, sent him into a sexual frenzy. He felt her lace her legs around his, and quickly entered her. Both let out low cries of passion as they moved together. Lee leaned his head on the pillow next to hers as he felt his fangs coming into place. He reached down and pulled one of her legs around his waist as he tried to drive himself deeper into her. Lee felt Lita trying to lift his head. "Donít," he whispered into the pillow.

"Let me see you," she whispered. She then turned face to him. "Lee, please."

Lee slowly lifted his head, and looked at Lita with his yellow eyes. Before he could say anything, Lita reached up, and kissed him deeply.

It was an hour later before both gave in to exhaustion. Lee laid with Lita, resting in his arms. "Are you alright?" he asked.

Lita looked up at him, and smiled. "Iím fine." She traced his muscular chest with her finger. "Lee, thereís something that I kinda want to tell you," she said nervously.

Lee read the look in her eyes, and sighed. "Lita, it would be easier if you didnít," he said softly. "Just know that I feel the same way." Lee leaned down, and kissed Lita. "Now I think you should get some sleep," he said with a soft glow in his eyes.

Lita smiled as she gave in to his spell. Her head rested on his chest, right over where his heart would be.

Balth sat in his private chamber, and smiled as the clock chimed seven. "Good," he said to himself. "Tonight, our game will be for eternity," he said. Balth picked up a glass of wine, and slowly drank it. "And I intend on winning."

Rei walked out of the room she was sleeping in. She walked down the corridor, and saw Lita, and Lee sitting by the fireplace. "So, what happens now?" Rei asked. She looked at Lita, and noticed that she was even paler than she had before.

"We wait for Balth to make his move," Lee said lowly.

At that moment, Lita stood, and walked over to the fireplace. She gazed at the fire, and watched to carefully.

"Lita," Rei said strangely.

"Jupiter.... Crystal...... Power...... Make..... Up," she said lowly. Lita turned around, and stood in her Sailor Jupiter fuku.

Lee looked at her eyes, and saw that again that they were glazed over. "Hell," he whispered as he backed away from Lita. "If I were you Rei, Iíd do something."

Rei looked at Lee as if heíd just lost his mind. "I canít fight her. I might hurt her," she said in protest.

Lita then attacked Lee. She tackled him to the floor, and was about to punch him, when she felt something pull her wrist back. Lita turned, and looked at Rei. Lita pulled her arm away, and bitterly looked at Rei. She then stood, and looked into her eyes. Without saying a word, Lita grabbed Rei by her throat, and started to pick her up off the floor.

"Lita, what are you doing? Weíre friends damn it," she grunted as Lita started to choke her.

Lee stood, and wrapped his arm around Litaís throat. As she struggled against Lee, Lita dropped Rei. "Sheís not the same," Lee said as he forcefully held Lita. They stood like that until Lita passed out into his arms. Lee picked Lita up, and looked at Rei. "You better change. If she comes to any time soon, sheíll try to kill the both of us, friends or not."

Rei looked at Lee, then to Lita. "Is she going to be okay?" she asked softly.

Lee nodded. "If I can kill Balthazar, yes. Iíll need your help though." Lee laid Lita on the floor, and walked over to a large door. "You might not be able to help me defeat Balthazar, but you can keep Lita off of my back until I do." Lee opened the door, and looked at the dozens of knives, and swords hanging up in the closet. He saw a no-datchi with a golden dragon as a hilt, and a dragon carved into the blade. "He wants tonight to be the end game," he said mostly to himself.

"Whatís the prize?" Rei asked as she stood in her Mars fuku.

"Lita."

Ten minutes later, Lee and Rei walked towards Balthís mansion. Rei looked around, and followed Lee, who was carrying Lita. "So, we just go in, pick a fight, beat this guy, and leave, right?" Rei asked.

"Thatís basically the plan. But itís not as easy as it sounds," Lee answered. He glanced over, and saw Rei looking at Lita. "What are you thinking?"

"About how much Lita loves you," she said. Rei walked up next to Lee, and brushed her hair away from her face. "When she first met you, Lita couldnít stop talking about how cute you were." Rei then stopped as they reached a huge mansion. "You do love her... donít you?" she asked.

Lee looked at Rei. He looked at Lita, and saw that she was beginning to come around. "Thereís no time to answer that," he said lowly. He put Lita on the ground, and grabbed Reiís hand. "Come on. If we leave her here, that will give us some time to get inside."

Rei looked at Lita as she and Lee ran to the mansion. "Iím sorry Lita, but this is the only way to get you back," she thought.

Lee and Rei made it down to Balthís chamber. Balth looked at Lee, and smiled. "For a moment there, I actually thought you figured out how to break my hold on her," Balth said.

"You gave you word youíd let her go," Lee argued.

Balth smiled as Lita walked to his side. "I love this century. Everyone and anyone can find a loop-hole in any, and everything," he chuckled. "You see, I did let her go, but I never said for how long." Balth then looked at Rei, and smiled. "And now youíve even brought a friend."

"Let her go," Rei said lowly. "Or I swear youíll be toast by the next dawn," she said.

"Ah, yes.... I shouldíve know she was a Hino. Theyíve always had a thing for fires, and..... cinnamon," Balth smiled.

"What is it with you people?" Rei asked annoyed. "Canít you all get that I HATE cinnamon?" she said on the verge of yelling.

Lita then jumped from Balthís side, and attacked Rei. Rei ducked to the ground, and rolled away as Litaís fist went through a stone pilar. Rei stood, and looked at Lita, who was about to attack again. "I sure hope you know what youíre doing Lee," Rei thought as she blocked a kick.

Lee drew his no-datchi, and attacked Balth. The older vampire jumped out of his chair, and drew a sword of his own. As he came down, Balth slammed his sword into Leeís. Balthís eyes glowed a bright black as a force increased his strength. Leeís eyes then also began to glow. A green fire shot out of Lee, throwing Balth back, into another room.

Rei grabbed Lita by her arm, and managed to throw her into the wall. Reiís eyes widened as she saw the antenna on Litaís tiara go up. "Oh, shit," Rei sighed as she jumped back. "Mars Firebird.....Strike!" she called as Lita released her thunder crush.

Both attacks canceled each other. Rei then saw Lita charge her. A thousand things then crammed into Reiís mind. Most of which was a memory of her grandmother. Reiís eyes then widened. "Her blood," she whispered. Her thought was interrupted when Lita punched her in her stomach. Rei doubled over, and heard what Balth said to Lee before. " I actually thought you figured out how to break my hold on her." Another voice then entered her mind. "Reiko, the only way to truly stop a vampire curse is with love. If ever a woman is cursed, the man who loves her more than life itself will have to tell her so, and purge her body of the corrupted blood," the old womanís voice said.

Rei felt Lita kick her in her stomach. Coughing up blood, Rei moved back away from Lita. As Rei moved, she felt the heel of Litaís boot scratch her face. "The only one who can say you is Lee," she whispered.

Rei then saw Lee, and Balth fight their way back to the chamber the girls were in. Rei balled up her fist, and landed three solid punched into Litaís stomach, and side. As Lita stumbled back, Rei then swept her feet from under Lita. "All the guys at my school always wondered whoís more powerful... Mars, or Jupiter...."

Lita raised her legs, and wrapped them around Reiís neck. "I am," she said.

"Weíll see about that," Rei grunted. She then kicked Lita in her face.

Lee knocked Balthís sword away from his hands, and stabbed him in his stomach. He was about to cut off Balthís head, Balthís eyes glowed brightly. "This canít save her," Balth said quickly.

"It will stop you," Lee said. He was about to bring his sword down, when something tackled him to the ground. Lee sword landed three feet away from where he landed, and Lita was standing a few feet away from both.

"Lee, nowís the time you gotta tell her," Rei called as some mysterious force was choking her. "You have to tell her, and then drink some of her..." Reiís mouth was covered by the invisible force she fought against.

Leeís eyes widened with understanding. He stood with his eyes glowing as Lita charged him. Once she was close enough, he pinned her arms down, and leaned over to her ear. "I love you Lita Kino," he whispered into her ear. He then ripped off the green choker that was apart of her fuku, and bit into her neck.

Rei was released by the force that held her. She looked at Balth as he stood, and drew a short sword. "Look out!" she screamed. She tried to run to Balth, and try to stop him, but there was some sort of invisible barrier holding her screams, and her powers back.

Litaís eyes returned to normal as Lee pulled away from her. "I love you too," she whispered. Lita touched Leeís face, and his eyes widened in agony.

Balthís laugh caught her attention. "Looks like I win, Brother," Balth said teasingly. He pushed his short sword further into Leeís back. "Thereís nothing you could have ever done to stop me," he said before disappearing.

Lee fell to him knees as felt his heart losing strength. "Lita," he whispered.

Litaís eyes widened as she caught Lee in her arms. "Donít talk," she said as her eyes quickly filled with tears.

Lee shook his head. "No, I have to thank you... for seeing who I am. Instead of what..."

"Lee, you said you were going to live for another thousand years. Donít die now. Not like this."

Rei was released from the force that held her. She ran over to Lita, and touched her shoulder.

"I truly do love you...." Lee said as his eyes rolled back into his head.

Tears poured down Litaís face as she hugged Lee. She began rocking him back and forth as she cried into his shoulder.

Rei then saw Leeís dead body age. His long dark hair turned grey, and fell out as his skin wrinkled and soon faded away. She turned away as Lita still held him in her tight embrace.

"NO!!!!!!!!!" Lita screamed as Lee crumbled into dust in her arms.

Rei knelt down and hugged Lita.

Balth stood in the back of the room, and laughed. "He never listened to me," he said mockingly.

Rei stood and looked at Balth with hate in her eyes. "Youíre toast buddy," she said as a ball of fire formed in her hand. The ball then took the shape of an arrow as a long-bow of fire appeared in her other. "Fire.....Sniper!!" she called as she pulled back the arrow.

As she released the arrow, Balth put up a shield to block the attack. he then smiled as the arrow turned around, and struck Rei.

Lita turned around as she heard Balth laughing again. She heard Lee say he loved her over and over again as she looked at his sword. She then remembered how she mentally swore that Balth wouldnít hurt Lee. Her eyes narrowed as she stood, and slowly walked toward Balth. A green glow appeared around Lita as the no-datchi flew to her hand. "You wanted me so badly...." she said as her eyes glowed with a green fire. Lita then jumped up, and attacked the barrier. She easily cut through the magic as if it were warm butter. She walked to Balth as if she were possess. "Come and get me," she said as she charged Balth.

Balthís sword appeared in his hands as he blocked the attacking Senshi. He held her off as she just missed cutting off his hand. Balthís eyes then glowed. "Donít anger me child. I will be here long after you," he shouted. He then punched Lita in her stomach, forcing blood to come up from both her mouth and nose. As she fell to her knees, Balth kicked her. Lita felt a trail of blood running down her leg. Balth saw this, and smiled. "You were carrying his child.... how quaint."

Litaís eyes glowed even brighter as she fought her way to her feet. With the no-datchi still in her hands, Lita attacked him again. This time her attacks were more vicious. Lita then swung her sword up, and struck Balth in his groin. She pulled the sword up as she pulled it back. As Balth fell to his knees, Lita stabbed him in his heart. A great amount of blood shot out of the vampire, onto her face and fuku. "When you get to hell, I hope Leeís there to kick your ass," she grunted as she pulled the sword out of Balthís chest. Lita then looked at the dying man, and gripped the sword even tighter. She then raised it over her head, and swung. She cut off his head, sending more blood everywhere.

Rei sat up, and saw Lita standing covered in her own, Leeís and Balthís blood. She struggled to her feet, and walked over to where Lee had died. "I donít think sheíll be okay. Not now," she whispered.

Lita walked over to Rei. Tears were coming from her eyes as she still held the no-datchi.

Rei looked at her friend, and nodded. "Letís get out of here. You should get some type of rest."

Lita shook her head. "No, I canít..."

"Lee would want you to," Rei cut in. "Letís at least go home." Rei put her arm around Lita, and the pair walked out of Balthís mansion, leaving Leeís ashes.