title: beating heart
fandom: Blood+
characters/pairings: vague one-sided David/Haji, even vaguer potential David/Joel
rating: G
warnings: stabbing and blood
summary: David watches something, and decides to give something.
notes: takes place around episode 41, when they are roasting in New York. some reference to the haji and david conversation in episode 35. also, brief reference to the City of Nightwalkers manga, but the only relevant information is the Haji does not feed on human blood.

The heat was enough to pulverize the will. They couldn't loaf around forever, though, but fortunately, most of the work they needed to do was surveillance, which could just as easily be done at dusk, or at night. During the day...

Well, he didn't blame Saya for wanting to be in bed all the time. He did, too.

Lewis was out with that reporter, and Mao had dragged Kai off to do some shopping. With little else to do, David went down the hallway to check on Saya and Haji. The door to Saya's room was partially open, so he just pushed it a little bit more. It was quiet inside, so he assumed that Saya was still asleep, and he didn't want to disturb her. Haji would disapprove.

Saya wasn't asleep, though.

Her arms were wrapped around Haji's shoulders loosely. She had pulled down Haji's collar, revealing his pale, smooth skin. A tiny line of red spilled down from where her mouth was on his neck. He stepped back. He needed to turn away, needed to not watch this. He knew... they knew that this happened. Saya... she fed on the blood of her chevalier for strength, when she awoke, and also... He knew this. Haji's head was tipped back, and his eyes were closed, his lips parted in something like ecstasy.

David walked away, went to the kitchen. That was between them. It wasn't for him to watch.

Perhaps he should call Joel. Get more orders, perhaps. He absently did the dishes, thinking about calling Joel. Thinking about what he would say to excuse his calling.

Haji's entrance wasn't entirely silent, so David knew he must have wanted to be noticed. He turned off the water, and dried his hand, and looked Haji over carefully. He didn't seem to be any worse for the wear. As always, he looked...

Well, perfect.

"I'm sorry," David said simply, and Haji inclined his head, a gesture of either acceptance or dismissal. There was something truly elegant about the lack of vocabulary in Haji's communication. "Lewis will bring back more blood when he returns."

Haji looked away, his lips quirked distastefully as if he'd just tasted something slightly sickening.

"Your ability to heal and your power are dependent on your feeding, isn't it? It's important for Saya to keep up her strength, but you shouldn't neglect yours, either. If you'd like..." He put his arm out awkwardly. It was a stupid impulse to offer it, but he wanted to do something of value.

However, Haji just looked at his arm in disgust. "That is unacceptable."

Before he could take offense, it clicked into place. "Saya forbid it? Feeding from humans... the report from Hong Kong was that you did not take human blood. How have you survived all this time, taking all the damage you have...?"

Haji just stared at him blandly.

David shook his head, and smiled. Ever since that conversation at Grey's house, he'd felt like something had been lifted from him. Perhaps it was the simple knowledge that he could slack in his duty, and the world wouldn't come crashing down. He wasn't alone in the fight... in the duty.

"Her words are absolute, are they not? She's lucky. Lucky to have you." David turned, and got a glass from the cabinet.

Haji looked down at his shoes. "No. I'm the one who is lucky."

David shook his head. "Can I ask you... Do you blame my father for what happened in Vietnam?"

"He was responsible," Haji asserted quickly. He didn't sound as if he was judging David, but he was unflinching in his assessment.

He'd had plenty of time to consider it.

"I'm surprised you trust us, then. If it was my father's fault, it is my fault. And Red Shield's fault." He took a knife from the drawer, and looked Haji over.

"Saya trusts you," he said.

David looked at Haji's bandaged hand. "She only trusts you, now. And we're responsible for..."

"She trusts her father," Haji corrected, looking away. He slipped his hand behind his back. "By extension, her family."

"A family that doesn't include you..." David said under his breath, almost unintentionally. "George..." He shook his head.

He held his arm out over the glass, and stabbed himself. He let the blood run down into the glass.

"What are you doing?" Haji asked, his voice blank.

David wondered if his voice ever reflected emotion. If it did, only Saya would get to hear it. "Donating blood."

"It's not necessary," Haji sighed, weary.

"It's no different than the blood bags we get," David argued. "And after everything you've done for us..."

"I fight to fulfill Saya's wish," Haji reminded him, and it might have been cruel, if he thought that Haji was aware of someone other than Saya enough to know what David was doing.

"You woke me up from my nightmare in England," David stated. The glass was nearly full. Haji sighed, and turned to leave the room. He came back just a moment later, carrying the first aid kit. He took David's arm, and, after a moment's hesitation, he lifted it to his lips, and licked away the excess blood.

David's eyes widened. His chest hurt; he couldn't breathe.

Haji wrapped his arm up efficiently, and put everything away neatly. He looked at the glass, and picked it up, his nose twitching.

"This wasn't necessary. But. Thank you," he said reluctantly, and he started to drink it. He drank it all down in one long gulp, licking his lips when he was done, to get every drop. He rinsed out his glass, bowed to David, and then.

Went back to Saya.

David looked down at his bandaged arm, and got up. He wanted to call Joel. He just wanted to hear Joel's voice.