Secret Fires by konel

Summary: Michael's life returns to normal, for a little while.
Categories: David, Laddie, Lucy Emerson, Marko, Michael Emerson, Paul, Sam Emerson, Star
Characters: David, Grandpa, Laddie, Lucy Emerson, Marko, Michael Emerson, Paul, Sam Emerson, Star
Genres: Character Reflection, Drama, Horror, Romance
Pairing(s): David/Michael
Warnings: Adult Themes, Blood play, Drug Use, Heavy Violence, Other potentially disturbing content, Slash (male/male parings), Smut (graphic sex scenes)
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 8 Completed: No Word count: 18319 Read: 5255 Published: 11 Apr 2015 Updated: 05 May 2015
Story Notes:
Pairing: David/Michael, PAST Michael/Star, David/Star
Warnings: Blood, Gore, Drugs, Sex, Explicit Language. Rate NC-17
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

1. Never a Lost Boy (Prologue) by konel

2. Living With Grief by konel

3. Head On by konel

4. Reincarnated by konel

5. Revelations by konel

6. Death Game by konel

7. Speck of Dust by konel

8. Interlude (David's Dream) by konel


Never a Lost Boy (Prologue) by konel

Not an hour has passed and yet Grandpa Emerson, in his haste, is loading the bodies of the boys and their sire into his truck. Not a falter in his step, a sight of unease to his face. He hoists each still body up, tossing them into the bed of his car, as if they were merely a sack of festering week-old garbage.

Michael Emerson watches from the sidelines as he spits on them for good measure, like he’s done this town a good service. Maybe he has, maybe he hasn't. Michael knows he believes he’s rid Santa Carla of what he considers to be true scum of the earth. After all, they are a dark force that has no place among them, a darkness that makes even the light hide and weep.

You see these boys, these seemingly so young boys, paid a harsh price for a life of immortality, O’ glorious immortality.

They gave their lives, were asked to embrace death and reject life, and before life had even begun for them.

“Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It’s fun to be a vampire.” This is what they were promised, what they desired. And who wouldn't, I ask? Any young girl or guy at Michael’s age would at least be tempted, would they not? Oh with them being the stereotypical, under-developed, dumb, reckless, and hormonal angst-ridden teenagers. Well the slogan rang true, for a while at least.

In the long run, however, immortality in return became unkind. After what they gave up, it still transformed them. Took the boys and morphed them into a picture of Satan, in the form of that of a child.

Beautiful and mesmerizing, “vampires” are. Yes, truly beautiful, yet killers all the same. They murder, to cling to the very thing they give up. Drink the blood of the innocent, to sate the hunger and the thrill, to ultimately tame the beast inside of them. It was sick, and Michael refused to partake in any part of it. His body, no—his entire being lashed out and rejected it, even while the demon’s blood flowed through his very veins.

Yeah, Michael knows all this because he was once one of them. Half of what they were, at least. He refused to participate in the traditional “first-kill” that turned you completely. It was never his idea to embrace immortality, however. Got suckered into handing over my soul is what he’d like to say happened.
You see, Michael Emerson was the new kid on the boardwalk. A young punk—a senior in High school from Arizona, with hopes to take up a minimum wage job in this quaint little California town. Had an idea to fix up his bike and get himself a sleek leather jacket, maybe find a summer love, you know with it being a new territory and all.

That first night on the boardwalk you could say he got more than he originally bargained for. It all happened so fast, it starting with a pretty young thing—Star, a beautiful young girl that suited his taste. Come to find out later she was merely bait for Michael, and he was the prey. Well, she being as pretty as she was, he definitely fell easily into the hands of the demon. Trotted after the girl like the dumb, love-sick puppy he was, and straight into the circle of The Lost Boys.

No matter the pain these memories bring he’ll never forget the first time he saw them, the first time he saw him. He was beautiful, striking white-blond hair, fierce blue eyes, all clad in leather, with a bad-ass smirk to match the look. He had it all, everything Michael had ever desired in his grasp. Trivial things he supposed—Looks, friends, a bike, doe-eyed Star. His name Michael came to know, oh very well, was David. David, the definition of cool, the king of this world’s undead.
Even now Michael can still feel the bond, the influence these fuckers had on him. The blood he drank from him may have sealed the deal, but it was this unnerving pull these boys had that had led him astray, left him to his own demise. Of course, he is no longer a vampire. What, with Max, the sire being killed. When the head vampire goes, they all fall with him, and Michael, Star, and Laddie had been set free.

This was just how it had to be. Michael was just simply not a Lost Boy. He had a great family, a future, and a new love.

No, never a Lost Boy. Never was, and never would be.

Living With Grief by konel

While Grandpa Emerson set about cleaning up the place, Michael remained still-bodied in the kitchen with Lucy and Star, both huddled around him sobbing relentlessly. The emotional toll had finally put both women over the edge, as Lucy’s son was once again safe and the newly human Star had her longing for freedom finally obtained. Michael, who dared a glance over at young Laddie, sat at the dining room table completely tight lipped and stiff. Of course the young boy was nothing of a chatterbox, but he looked off, uneasy. He looked the way Michael felt, a little nauseous and unsure of what had just gone down. After all the bodies of what they once had called friends, brothers, and their family were scattered about the house, and yet life still somehow managed to move on.

“Michael, my boy. I’m almost done; help me load up the last one, the Blondie.” Grandpa heaved a sigh, wiping at his sweaty forehead with physical exhaustion.

“May I ask, Dad, where you plan on taking these bodies?” Lucy spoke up, a sure cracking in her typically steady voice.

“We have to burn them, my dear. Isn't any other way, you see. Don’t decompose quite like we do.” At this, Lucy paled.

“They are, gone…right?” Michael spoke up quietly. He wasn't too sure, and who could be? With creatures who were once the definition of undead, yet so full of life.

“Oh yes, Michael, as dead as a dogs dinner.”

Nodding once, Michael tried hard to think of something, rather anything else, to ease his mind to what would come next. After shaking his head clear, he proceeded to follow Grandpa up to the room, the very room where he had impaled David through his once-beating heart. The thought of such a fresh turn of events however, provided a burst of uneasiness, to which brought a guilt-ridden Michael toppling over onto the stair’s handrails for support, knuckles turning a sickly white at the intense pressure.

“Hurry up now, Michael. Let’s get this over with.” Grandpa unabashedly called from up ahead.

“Yeah, that’s—not going to be a problem.” And so he trotted the rest of the way up the stairs, swallowing his pride, and finally managed to catch up.

As he entered the room, Grandpa, of course, had already begun to tug David up and off the animal horns that punctured him. Michael stood staring in shock, his feet suddenly unable to carry him any further. The full effect of what he had done, what they all had done, hitting him full force. He sprinted quickly to the nearest trash bin, emptying out the contents of his stomach. This of course happened to be the watery blood of a rat, Michael’s very last meal, only causing him to feel an increased sense of nausea. Grandpa had seized his actions upon hearing his grandson’s retching, following the sounds out to the bathroom to rub soothing circles into his grandson’s shoulders.

“It’s alright Michael; you just go on ahead back to your Mother and Star. I can handle this by myself.”

Michael shook his head sharply, pushing Grandpa back aside till he was able to stand back and re-enter the room. He had determinedly decided he could face what he had done. That was, until his head turned cautiously to where David lay.

He looked angelic, smiling even now meeting his true death, and the innocence which Michael had thought for sure had been lost, had somehow returned to his solemn features. Needless to say, he felt disgusted with himself. Everything immortality had tried to push onto him, the killing of innocence, he had gone and done myself as a reinvented mortal. He was now the killer. He had killed them; he had killed these poor boys.

He raised a shaky hand to his wavering face. Grandpa looked as if to speak up, but Michael quickly made a motion to silence him.
“Let me have this one,” He demanded softly. “We, uh, have some bad blood. I want this one.”

Grandpa nodded, smiled even, as if understanding that Michael must be harboring some vengeful feelings towards the boy. “Of course, Michael,” he assured. “He’s all yours.”

With a final pat to his shoulder and a side-step across a wooden floor, Grandpa strolled away, leaving Michael alone to brood.

After moments composure Michael hesitantly raised David the rest of the way off the horns, and into his careful arms. He was heavy, and cold. Colder than Michael had remembered, even when he was with them as a vampire, and it was then he began to feel true loss. He cried out, holding David’s smiling face in his hands, rocking him back and forth as he sobbed. Michael waited, waited for what would never come, the return of life to this boy, for that teasing of words that came with a curve of knowing lips.

“What the fuck am I supposed to do?” He finally choked out, having David cradled against him now for a good half hour.

Continually stared at an inert face, intently looking for any aspect of life, Michael’s efforts only earned more hot tears.

“Fuck!” He screamed out, slamming his curled fists in frustration against the wall. Through his spurt of emotion, he couldn't be bothered who heard him.

After his outburst subsided, Michael quickly stood, straightening out his shirt and running a tired hand through unruly black locks. He had to calm himself down, think this through. If he didn't, perhaps he would do something irrational, he would--

--Rationalizing the situation, Michael concluded David was innocent. He had been all along, that’s right! It was his sire, he was the demon, and he had imposed his devilish ways onto his unknowing boys. David wasn't Michael’s enemy, not really. He had only accepted him into his group of friends, into his life, his offer of immortality being something he believed to be grand, all under the influence of Max.

Max, his sire, had wrongfully desired Lucy Emerson, and it was that which led both Michael and Sam to David.

Nodding once, Michael accepted what he had contemplated to be that of truth. Hoisting David up and into his arms, he returned back down the stairs and out the door to his bike. Despite his family’s proposed suggestions, he had come to the decision that David deserved a more proper burial. A final goodbye, and if not for him, then for Michael himself.

Every part of his being wished then that he could have buried all the boys himself, but Grandpa had already disposed of them supposedly, and so Michael tried desperately not to dwell on the thought of their abysmal fate. Kick starting his bike and setting David carefully behind himself, Michael wrapped David’s arms around his waist for support before setting off. Traveling quickly through the night, Michael finally reached that cursed abandoned hotel, the one the boys were oh so fond of. It was the best resting place he could think of, the old building being more or less David’s own throne.

Once he had carried him inside, Michael realized he had no real idea where to put him. He supposed he could dig up a hole, well, anywhere in the place, but for some strange reason whenever he got to digging he kept getting a rising sense of unease.

“Oh, hell,” Michael groaned, rubbing at tired, puffy eyes. “It’s not like I’m going to be coming back here. I’ll just lay him to sleep….on the bed.”

And so he did just that, setting him down as gently as one could, pulling the covers over him softly. Michael let the lace of the canopy cloud around him, although was sure nobody would ever discover the place, much less his sleeping body.

“Don’t decompose quite like we do.” Grandpa’s words echoed throughout his clouded mind.

He cursed softly and vowed to never return to look at his youthful face.

Head On by konel

Even though Michael had made that silent promise to himself, he found himself returning to where David lay almost every day after school. Most days he visited him cried over the loss of him, other days he laughed fondly at his memory. Once, Michael stupidly kissed him. That’s right, David’s cold, time-frozen, and unknowing lips against his own. He felt it was all he could offer in compliance. Michael still has no idea what possessed him to do it, maybe he was increasingly becoming the very thing he tried to stray away from. Maybe he was lost.
After about 3 months of constant visits to see him, he certainly however, became mad.
Michael’s mind began to supply thoughts to convince himself that he could revive David, as his dead body had not yet decomposed. He was dumb enough to believe it, and with a quick intake of breath had sliced into his wrist, deep enough for a steady flow of blood, and attempted to nurse him back to health. There was, of course, no stirring of his body back to life, no feeling of David’s lips moving against his wrist; and thus he deemed his reanimation a lost cause. It was after that day Michael began to feel really hopeless, and increasingly more depressed and unsatisfied with his return to human life.
Every day of school was a struggle for Michael Emerson. He rebelled in class, fucked his GPA up, and even riled up fights with other students for the hell of it. He drank, partied, took up smoking, and became distant with his once close brother and mother. Star was Star, he still made sure to take her out on dates and keep her around his arm. She was the only constant in his life, and he very much liked it that way. Maybe his time with her still reminded him of his days as an immortal. Those were the days he wished would be repeated, even if she did not.
With these lingering thoughts still within his mind, he pulled once again out of the school’s senior lot at lunch time, making the now daily route to the unknown hotel. Upon reaching the location he kicked off his bike, eagerly hopping off at the thought of spending the day with David. He eventually increased his speed to a jog, thinking he could once again discuss with him how shitty things were lately in my life, how much he missed the old days. It was a rather pitiful personal therapy.
Reaching the bedroom, however, Michael came to a screeching halt as David’s body was nowhere to be found. He stood perfectly still for what was deemed to be roughly ten minutes, shocked into utter disbelief.
“What. The. Fuck.” He finally cried out, wondering who the hell could have discovered him. Who even knew about the place? Sam? No, couldn't be. Perhaps it was those twerps, the Frog Brothers? They wouldn't think of coming here again, would they? Unless.
Michael’s stomach began to do little flips. He dashed in and out of each room in the place calling out David’s name, desperately waiting for any form of response. In his haste, and with the help of the always dimly lit rooms, he eventually managed to trip and crash into another solid entity. With quick reflexes he caught himself appropriately, clutching onto the other body and twirling himself around. His heart accelerated with anticipation, and although not the most appropriate guess, Michael’s mind dashed to the only conclusion it wanted to hear.
“Dav—,” His newly formed smile faltered.
Standing there, equally as breathless, was his beautiful Star. She didn't look surprised in the slightest to see him; if anything she seemed a little nervous to speak, creases worrying at her brow.
“Michael, I thought I’d find you here.”
Her instigation both surprised and irritated him.
“Oh you did now, did you? And why is that.” Had Star been coming here? Did she know, about David? Had she been the one to move him? He narrowed my eyes in accusing contemplation.
She, not discovering his harsh gaze in the darkness, managed to look sheepish. “I know the past haunts you. You have nightmares, and I do too, Michael! I know over time you’ll be able to let go, you’re strong, and your time may not be here yet, but…”
“But…” he replied, equally as exasperated. He didn't know where she was going with this. He didn't know why she was here. Michael just needed to find David.
She tripped a little over her words, twirling her hair between her fingers as if to buy more time. “L-Listen. Me and Laddie, we never got the—the comfort you got! Sure we all shared the same experience, but you, you got the loving family in the end.”
“And you want to find them, to return to them.” He finished for her, nodding in agreement as his mind filled in the blanks. He understood now. It had been all his girl had ever wanted, and it was only right she seek out what had been so wrongfully taken from her.
“Oh, Michael,” She sobbed, now wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him fondly. “You understand that, yes? Oh, Michael, I knew you would understand! I know this won’t be the end for us. Just give us both some time, to find them. Michael, I’ll miss you.”
Star soon became a blubbering mess on his shoulder, and so Michael wrapped his arms around her waist in support, holding her close to him. Sure, he did understand. After all, they were all lost…
“Of course, you do what you need to.”
She wiped her tears with the back of her sleeve and kissed him again.
“Michael, I love you.” Another longing peck was placed on his mouth.
“Yeah, I love you too Star.” He kissed her once more, probably the last for ages.
“I’ll see you again, I will.” And with that she disappeared into the shadows, leaving him once again, alone.
In the heat of the moment he had temporarily forgotten his search, mind still lingering around Star’s warm body, the touch of her lips. Michael tentatively raised a finger to his mouth and smiled. Yes, he would surely miss her. Caught in his own world, what happened next truly caught him off guard.
“Yu-ck.” He heard a hiss of a voice from behind him. Michael froze immediately.
There was no mistaking it, for his dreams had carried its tune long after he had attempted to push its memory aside. It simply refused to let him forget. He was sure he was going to puke.
His voice, the very voice that had so terribly haunted Michael’s soul for the last few months then spoke clearly. “What is it you see in her again, Michael? I figured you and I were one in the same, but I lost interest in about a week.”
“David.”
“Max always warned me she was a bad idea, but I suppose he did that with the boys as well. I got lonely though, thought they were all something I’d still desire in the long-run.”
“David…” Michael screeched out. He could feel tension begin to reach the surface, and he willed away any fear that arose when his hands began to shake.
“Well, the one and only.”
He couldn't even turn around to bring them face to face. Though their thread of influence abolished from his parting, though his gaze not directly upon him he had an unnameable control over Michael, and thus fear pooled into his very being. His palms were soon covered in sweat and his mouth taking in air at a rather unhealthy rate. Michael tried to take pause and gather reason to the abrupt change of the situation, yet his mouth did little to aid the process, spurting out his anxiety. “I don’t. I don’t understand, you were gone—I.”
“Michael, Michael,” He retorted easily, snapping his fingers together to light and accommodate the mood. Michael knew he was doing this to further instill fear. He knew it by the twitch of his lips, the illumination of his unworldly yellow eyes. He was being mocked. “Poor, naive Michael.”
“How?” Michael spun on his heels, growing bolder as he realized David was playing his old tricks, attempting to break him down. Parlor tricks, tricks Michael had grown all too accustomed to by now. He had not feared this beast then, and he decided he could not afford to now. Though upon the shifting of his gaze to David’s own he faltered, he tried to remain impassive about David’s unchanged appearance. His lips were upturned in an obvious snarl, exposing brilliantly playful pointed canines, while his eyes remained dark and calculating. On the days prior Michael could easily have described him as angelic, face peaceful in his eternal slumber, smile the symbol of childhood innocence. Now his young face held a hint of aggression, his once soft features crinkling as the beast began to transform. So he wanted to play. Michael Emerson could play too.
“Cut to the chase, tell me how.”
Michael made sure to raise his voice again to gain his full and undivided attention. David would know he was not playing around, and if he had his doubts, well, he would make him see who was truly in control.
As he continued to summon up all the courage he had in my body, Michael’s ears, with a keen sense now being rather unfairly thrust into darkness, picked up the clatter towards the back of the room. He could hear an irritated sigh as pockets were ruffled, the familiar click of a lighter drawn, and an inhale of breath that bore the likeness of a drag of a cigar. Three intakes of breath were taken before he spoke again.
“Why would you ask me a question like that? Why don’t you ask yourself?”
Michael’s eyebrows knitted together sharply, and among the obvious pinpricks of fear, showed noticeable uncertainty. Yes, a while back he had, at least, attempted to revive him. With not even the slightest successful result, might he add. Afterwards, relying on Grandpa’s obviously higher understanding, he accepted him dead.
David blew out another puff of smoke, eyes moving askew as if asking to disregard his former question.
“Got Nothing? ‘Course not. Well then, Michael.”
“David.”
Ah, another puff of that too thick smoke. Though his motions disgusted Michael, his body began to naturally itch for it, knowing damn well that the gang had gotten him addicted.
“What about my boys?”
“Gone.” Michael replied, in all guilt-free honesty. It was a topic he had now lingered upon far too long. Then how was it he was still here?
“Max too, huh.”
Michael shifted from foot to foot. For months he had wished for this man’s return, yet, with him standing right in front of me he could think of nothing to say, nothing to do, nowhere to crawl and hide.
David stared at him intently, looking him up and down slowly as he took in another drag. Michael held out my hand expectantly.
In his eyes Michael saw a flicker of surprise before he pulled out a cigarette, just for him, laughing in that deep throaty chuckle. God, Michael had missed that sweet, melodic sound. God, how he couldn't believe he was here, really here, right in front of him. No, he shook my head to clear such ridiculous thoughts. David’s death had changed something in him, that much was certain. He knew he felt guilt about the unfortunate circumstances that they had both been thrust into, but he could not afford to sympathize. Michael could not afford to be lured in, in any way possible. It was part of the beast’s charm.
As the silence dragged on and Michael began to take in long drags of his own cigarette, he got increasingly more nervous about what his return would mean for the future. Surely, David must hate him. After all, he had helped kill his boys. He had killed him. Michael had been full of heart and courage in the confines of demons, refusing to kill after being transformed into what could easily be considered the world’s most ruthless killing machine. Yet, his words of supposed wisdom had ultimately amounted to nothing, as he had blood on his hands all the same.
“I know what you’re thinking.” To this, Michael’s head jerked up at David’s rather abrupt outburst, eyes searching wildly for meanings in the dark. He made sure to put more distance between himself and the vampire as he understood David’s implication had been said with a hint of aggression. He caught himself, however, realizing quickly that no matter which way he side-stepped death, he was, and had been for many months, dead inside. Go ahead and kill me then, you sick bastard, he thought. Yes, Michael Emerson had died long ago anyway.
“Oh, I’m not going to kill you, Michael.”
Michael laughed freely at how casually David said it. He knew too well this man, the man who had twisted his life, emotions, and his dreams. He knew he wanted even, whether that meant his soul or not. Only a fool wouldn't think the game just beginning.
David smiled wide then, a harsh contrast to his formerly foul and unresponsive tone. Michael braced himself for the inevitable events that would follow soon after.
“No, not kill. I would never claim this gift to be such a fate. You and I both know it’s so much more.”
“You’re going to turn me,” Michael stated slowly, unsure, “Is that it? Last time, the bottle—“
“Last time I gave you a choice. This time I won’t make the same mistake.”

“I don’t understand. Why are you doing this?”

“To you, it’s a fate much worse than death.”

Reincarnated by konel

Blood, that distinctly sharp metal tang. The soft haze of being injured, yet the blanket like shock that eases the blow. Familiar this all is, Michael realizes. Somehow, though his vampire life never long enough to have left such a memory.

He can feel his eyes going in and out of focus, hands clenching and unclenching around handfuls of David’s leather jacket. He acts as if he’s Michael’s life-support. Maybe now he truly is.

The scrape of his teeth against his flesh, moments ago, his ears deemed unbearable. The soft slurp of his lips working against Michael’s neck now, well, could seem like a lullaby.

Michael knows that he nurses from his wound out of exhaustion, not kindness. At first bite something had shattered in both of them. Control within David, strength within Michael. He couldn't fight it though, it proved too much. A mere few weeks David had appeared in his life, yet the fear fueled nightmares an eternity after. Michael knew he was a monster, but so was he. With that, it seemed, his fate was sealed. He was sure no matter what the life, the circumstance, his soul was always meant to collide with David’s.

The burning soon came, his senses going into overdrive at the rapid change that was overcoming his body. Michael knew it wouldn't last, however. He knew that forever after he would remain cold. It was unbearable, the thought. Perhaps worse than the blood being drawn from his neck, or even the light being taken from his eyes. The thought that once he pulled through this the world be gray. More than a color, it was a feeling. Grey—the soon to be epitome of loneliness, misery, of darkness. The way in which he saw the world would never be the same.

A damp, slick hand grasped his face, the force of it refocusing Michael’s eyes to the blond boy above him. “Stay with me, Michael.”

“Hurts,” he croaked out, voice sounding foreign even to himself. It was too rough, as if on the very edge of life. “Hurts really bad.”

“Oh,” he smiled down at Michael, bearing all blood shimmering, pointed teeth, “maybe I got a little carried away.”

Michael grimaced as he felt a hot tear slide down his sweat soaked skin, turning quickly as to not show signs of submission to the demon before him. David instead caught his face easily, forcing his head back roughly to lick a trail up a wet cheek.

“Poor baby,” he drawled out, lips twitching slightly in smug satisfaction. Michael would never understand how a man could grin so gleefully looking into a soul so broken. His mind couldn't help but ponder the idea of David being on the other side of the spectrum, David broken beneath the wicked ways of Max.

“Now, open your mouth, Michael. Got something wet for you.”

Michael closed his eyes wearily, concentrating on the throb of his head rather than the heat of David’s words. “Don’t want whatever you've got to give.”

“Will make you feel better.”

“I just want to die.”

“So impatient, we’re getting to that part now.”

Michael felt it more than he heard it. The slash of metal against skin, though it wasn't him being cut. David was right in calling his blood a comfort to his struggle, yet it was a small aid to soon to be endless pain. Michael knew he couldn't return to his family like this, not again.

“Don’t be like that. I know you want it.”

Michael’s lips curled at his disgusting comment, throat growling in a way that could only be described as feral. “Fuck you, David. You and I both know round one was a mistake.”

Michael felt tiny droplets of blood splatter against his tongue at his sudden outburst. He growled again in displeasure at his mistake, but welcomed David’s wrist to his lips as the blood began to warrant the pain away. Michael chanced a glare at him, but David only looked down at him fondly, all aggression in his eyes depleted. He bit down harder for good measure, aiming to tear at some of his veins, yet the action proved to only elicit excited responses from his elder. Further amusement flashed within his eyes, causing Michael to draw blood more rapidly in heated annoyance. As David pulled back a strand of Michael’s hair which had grown matted with blood he finally snapped, mouth opening so fast in protest that the blood in his throat gargled and spat. “I thought you wanted to end me.”

David patted at his face casually, looking down at his palm to reveal the specks of the too red blood Michael had so carelessly spewed. Michael tried hard not to shiver as he licked the mess off, stopping only to seal the blood flow from his wrist. “How, may I ask, did you come to such a conclusion? You know damn well I accepted you as my own.”

“I killed them. I helped kill them, I—I killed you.”

“And for that you must be punished. Which, by the way, just about wrapped up? You’re fucking lucky I have it for you, I’m going so very easy.”

“This is fucking easy?” Michael shouted, indignant to his reasoning. “Ripping away all that’s close to me, again? Do you realize—do you realize what would happen, if Sam—If Sam saw me now, I—“

“Oh, shut the hell up about your snot-nosed brother. He’s the one who tore you away from me, you know. He’s the one that’s leaving a stain on this dream of a life.”

“You’re insane,” Michael cried out, searching for answers in glassy eyes. “How did I fool myself into thinking that after your death, that you actually—“

“Gave a fuck about you? Let’s see, could it have been the way I accepted you without question? Gave a place for you where you finally belonged, with the perks of an endless life, an endless love? Star was mine through and through. I only gave her to you because you desired her.”

Michael raised a tired hand to his creased brow, smearing away the sweat that clumped there. Maybe David had some good intentions, but in the end he had turned lethal towards his family. He couldn't reason it, how he could sound so caring, so sure about the benefits of the darkness he had shrouded him with. How he could live with taking lives.

“I only turned on you,” he continued, “when Marko’s blood was spilt. Even then, even after you turned Star and Laddie against me, took Dwayne, then Paul—“

He turned his back on Michael then, stepped so far into the darkness that Michael had to squint to make out his still form. He heard the clatter of bottles rolling on the floor, a harsh contrast to an eerily silent room, minus his labored breath. David soon returned into the dim light body first, before revealing the now too infamous bottle of vampire “wine” clasped in his right hand.

“Do you remember,” He clicked his tongue together in mild concentration, “Your first, solid, memory as a vampire?”

Michael struggled to see what the importance of his question held, but instantly thought back to that first night besides against better judgment nagging at the back of his mind. The bottle, the actual drinking of the blood—seemed hazy. He remembered Star’s look of unmasked shock, Dwayne’s silent camaraderie, Paul and Marko edging him on….Laddie being, well, Laddie. David’s really heated, bright, and crooked smile. Still, it didn't seem right, it felt—incomplete?

“Go on,” David whispered beside Michael, causing him to recoil at his abrupt closeness. “Think further back.”

It was dark, and he remembered feeling drunk, feeling warm. It was an illusion of course, Michael hadn't really consumed alcohol, and his heart had ceased pumping blood. David had challenged him. He remembered his body screaming at him that things were moving too fast, Star there to aid his unyielding conscience. Yet, his feet carried him forward, as if under some blind influence, and the initiation began.

Michael Emerson never backed down from a challenge, especially when he knew he was being fucked with. “You’re one of us now, Michael.” Yet the boys still walked as one, laughed as one, and could be seen as one—Michael, well, still trailing behind. He didn't feel like he fit in at all, and he was angry. Michael was willing to do it all, if it meant challenging David’s authority.

Throwing one’s self over a train track, well, he didn't think would ever be in the description. Yet there Michael was, arms going numb and teeth clenching shut as he dangled over a mist covered overpass that held no sympathy. He remembered David positioning himself so his body swung next to his own, which he was sure, smile or not, was meant to intimidate him.

“Hang on!” David shouted as the tracks began to shake, noises of the oncoming train taking a deafening toll. The railroad ties shook and vibrated, and Michael watched mouth agape with shock as his hands began to slip and tremble. He was struggling with inner turmoil as he looked at the too gleeful boys around him, eyes tearing up at the smog the train was pumping out.

Paul was the first one to drop. Seconds ago Michael had only began to understand that the test was to hang on rather than simply dangle—and with the obvious dangers of the situation he was sure the boys knew the way to escape safely. Yet Paul fell, and his ears reeled trying to pick up the sickening thud that was sure was to follow. Marko was next, and then Dwayne, and Michael’s heart stopped and started as he realized David was screaming next to him. He quickly whipped his head around, causing him to readjust his grip in panic, yet David’s features were still the perfect depiction of calm.

“Let go, Michael,” he insisted, urgency rising in his voice. “Let go and become one of us!”

Then he murmured more confidence into his ear, and with a wisp he dropped—down, down. The final car passed over the tracks, and the constant clatter above began to cease. Still, the voices bellow him continued to edge him forward.

“Do it, Michael. It’s safe, come on. Michael…Michael!”

And so—Michael fell.

It wasn't abrupt either, he felt weightless. He was sure he was flying, and with a small upturned smile Michael let the wind begin to carry him down.

And then, well—he really fell.

—And it was horribly sudden, his eyes widening as his control of the situation slipped and Michael’s body tumbled at full speed. It felt like an eternity, the fall. With creeping realization he squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the loss of consciousness as he inevitably collided with the bottom.

Michael didn't, however, collide. Strong arms instead encircled him, and he looked up warily at that sharp and teasing smile. David.

“Almost,” David breathed softly, grin unyielding.

Michael’s eyes snapped open to present day, and he immediately turned to point at David accusingly.
“Before, I just...remembered waking up in my bed. I thought the initiation strange, but parts of it had to have been in my mind, I—“

“—you did better than I expected. Better than any of the others ever did, I think.”
David stopped short in front of Michael then, eyeing him with the utmost appreciation. "I knew you had a place with us, before Max had even suggested it."

Michael opened his mouth to speak, but David raised a hand to silence him.

“Even after you killed my boys, I was willing to forgive you. It's why I caught you that day, why I gave you Star, why I pushed you to reconsider after you destroyed our family bonds."

David raised a tentative hand to Michael’s face, and while Michael desperately wanted to break the hold he had on his gaze, he just couldn't bring himself to look away.

"Even now I am, as long as you’re willing to pay the price.”

Revelations by konel

“Go fuck yourself, you inept, insufferable, withering sack of soft—“
“Tell me how you really feel, Michael.” David cooed. At some point he had scooted forward to the edge of the bed, back turned.
“When I get stronger,” Michael seethed, fists bundling up in dusty antique sheets, “mark my words, I’m going to personally end you.”
David merely chuckled. “Feeling nostalgic already?”
At this Michael reeled, nostrils flaring and fingers itching to get a hold of the elder vampire. In his weak state, he settled for talking heatedly at the back of his head. “You infuriate me. All you god damn do is infuriate me and make my life miserable.”
“Lives. You mean your lives. It’s a hard S.”
Michael groaned. Though his anger proved much more prominent and feverish, panic slowly began to take hold and cloud his senses. He felt his insides clench in silent realization. What would he do now? He had said it before, he simply could not return to his family in such a state. Not again—even if they could help him. Not if it meant more tears from his mother, more disappointment from Sam.
Slapping at his face a few times, he tried to warrant his emotional and physical exhaustion away. When contemplating round one with the Lost Boys, Michael figured he had been admittedly too roused. Though he had been cautious around the gang, distrusting even, he let other emotions severely alter his judgment. His blind love for Star, and his competitive nature when facing David. This time however, Michael didn’t have Star, Sam, or even the Frogs to bail him out. David held high promises, but Michael severely doubted the validity of anything he said, as he was simply too mischievous, and too damn knowing.
When the initiation was ongoing, and Sam had been blind to Michael’s rapidly changing state, Michael had always been on edge. It was a pure, instinctual distaste he held for the Lost Boys. Star of course had done nothing but enhance his suspicions, and with the help of Edgar and Alan, Michael was able to momentarily sate his hunger, and break away from David’s sphere of influence.
Still, there had been a few instances when the brotherhood had left him feeling completely fulfilled. Upon first glance, David was a mirror of everything Michael desired to be himself. Stoic, refined, surrounded by adoring individuals, and one beautiful girl. It came with a price, to which Michael knew, but he’d be damned if he denied, given the right circumstances, that he would turn such an opportunity down.
David had also on numerous occasions proved to consider Michael an equal, and if what he mentioned true, accepted Michael and Star as an item. Though David’s words, his suggestions, they were always full of heat, laced in a teasing tone. Maybe playful, and definitely challenging, meant to entice Michael, to see how far he would go for the sake of the gang.
That damned jeweled wine bottle had done a lot in terms of the illusion that was David and his offer. As he drank, he found it had flushed him more so than David’s smile, gratified him more than Paul, Dwayne, and Marko’s adoring cheers. In that instance, it had made everything seem worthwhile.
But then Michael woke up, and damn was it an enlightening experience. Not only did he gross one hell of a hangover, but he received one that came with a whole lot of consequences, many atypical to the standard. It had changed his entire being, and through that small sickness he had momentarily seen the bad side of the other life. Soon, every event that followed seemed more and more abysmal.
Michael, who had momentarily settled down with the help of his thoughts, glanced rather reluctantly at David. His piqued curiosity was only mirrored back, as David had felt the other boys gaze and quickly provided a quirk of a smile. Michael blindly returned this, eyes quick to narrow in on the elder’s lips. Michael found it to be only genuine. He breathed once, drew his eyes back to David, and after a moment of unexpected yearning finally averted his gaze. He wasn’t too sure if it was his newly changed state, but the pull to David had definitely returned.
Draping the covers over his head, Michael instead dwelled on Star and Sam. They had definitely played an important piece in the whole fiasco, pushing him quicker to his senses and making his escape from death successful. Yet he still couldn’t help but wonder…if fate had taken a different turn…
Max had wanted his mother for his own devices, throwing himself and Sam in the mix as a means of persuasion, in the hopes of a more whole family. If his desires for his mother had never formulated, would David still desire Michael as his brother? And if the initial plan had been implemented, love for Lucy and all, would Sam truly be beside him? Did David even desire Sam…such as David supposedly desired himself?
Though differing from Max’s plan, Star had warned Michael that he was meant to be her first kill. David rejected this wholeheartedly, but it was certainly not out of the realms of possibility. If it were true, it would certainly change everything. Whether Star knew it or not, she had been, at some point, part of David as well as the Lost Boys. She served as a buffer, and without her insight, he could have surely died.
Michael wasn’t sure who had seen him first. Was it Max, Star, or David? That small tidbit of information was diminishing his perceptiveness greatly, and Michael found himself holding his head regrettably as the headache returned.
“I see the gears turning in your head already. How about instead you figure this, Michael. It’s been three days.”
Michael propped his head over the covers, glancing at David wearily. He blinked once, misinterpreting his comment, before finally giving a response. “I’m sorry?”
“Three days. You’ve been asleep for three days. Like a baby.” David snickered.
“Oh, hell—” Michael’s eyes snapped open, body lurching forward without thought until he was propelled off the bed. His exhaustion simply proved too much, and he hit the ground with a dull thud.
David stopped short in front of him, bending down slightly. “No offense, but that was rather monotonous.” He scooped Michael back up as if a mere paperweight, dumping him back onto the bed.
The quick motion sent a violent wave of nausea through Michael, and he barely had time to scramble over the side before blood spewed out of his mouth. He heaved for a few minutes, pawing at his stomach in absolute agony. “Ugh— Jesus Christ, you—unnf…don’t remember this damn hangover lasting so long last time—I seriously, you know, this fucking feels like—“
“The hangover,” David smirked, pausing to side-step over to where Michael lay hunched over, “is that what you call it? I mean I know I put my blood in that wine bottle last time, but I figure this time we’d skip formalities, so I just sank my teeth into you—“
Michael’s stomach clenched, throwing up more blood and acid as different senses engulfed him. The ghost-like feeling of David drinking from him, and the smell of the still-blood soaked sheets. When he was sure there was nothing left to puke up, he slowly sat back on the bed, careful to pose upright, and closed his eyes tiredly. Three days in this hell hole and the beast had already broken him.
He opened one eye slowly as he felt David’s hands roll up shirt.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” He grumbled in obvious resistance. Michael sat still as David tugged it off his head however, suddenly too tired to argue and way too tired to fight. He shivered as more acid crawled up his throat.
“Don’t want to get your shirt too dirty, Michael. I’m giving you more of my blood.”
At this Michael snarled, eyes immediately flashing yellow. Though still so incredibly nauseated by the idea of blood, the vampire inside him reached out, urging him to rip into David. He was disgusted by the animalistic urgency his inner beast had reacted with, and although painful bit back the raw need to sneer menacingly at David’s proposition. “Did you not just see me puke your shit up? What makes you think I want more?”
“Don’t be so melodramatic,” David drawled, pushing his wrist out closer to Michael’s lips, “You only got nauseous because you got up too quickly, three days left you too inactive. A new vampire has got to stretch his legs, his new set of teeth.”
Wherever David moved his wrist, Michael was quick to turn his head away. He kept his mouth in a firm line, careful not to reveal his aching fangs. He knew if they made an appearance, it would all be over.
“I’m not…going to give you power over me.” Michael stated, covering his mouth as he spoke. He turned confidently to David, to make sure he understood the venom in his voice, but was only met with an elevated laugh.
“Power,” David half-laughed half-questioned, crawling over Michael till he was straddling the younger boy’s hips. “You think right now, that you have an ounce of power of me? Michael, I just turned you. Every fiber of your being is now infused with me, and every decision you make hereafter will be made with a nod of approval from, you guessed it, me. ”
Michael squirmed to get out of David’s hold, but the boy above him merely pressed an index finger against Michael’s forehead, and the act held him into place. “You can’t stop thinking about me, isn’t that right?”
Michael opened his mouth to retort, but no words were able to come out. A moan instead escaped his lips as David’s finger trailed down Michael’s body, flicking a nipple.
“Funny, how in your newborn state, you’re also hypersensitive to my touch.”
“—Please,” Michael pleaded, raising a weak arm to grasp David’s wrist in opposition, “please don’t—“
“I think,” David drawled, licking his lips once before scanning his eyes over the taut, muscular body underneath him, “it’s actually kind of neat.”
Michael cried out as David rubbed over it again.

Death Game by konel

“Can you just,” Michael sighed, slapping away David’s preening hands, “sit still for a damn minute? I said I was fine. Also, may I remind you, this was your idea? What the hell are you all anxious for?”
“Can’t remember the last time I left Santa Carla.” David murmured, licking his index finger and thumb once to tame a stray piece of Michael’s hair, one which hid the scar tissue that was formerly David’s bite. He played it off as mere annoyance at the newborn’s unkempt state, but in reality he felt a swell of adoration at seeing his mark.
“Yeah? Well,” Michael began slowly, hoping his calm demeanor would elicit a truthful answer, “I can’t remember what happened last night, so.”
He jogged forward to keep up with David’s newly upbeat pace, eyes darting around to take in the scenery. He couldn't say he had ever traveled inland to where it was wooded, not by choice anyway. It made him nervous, now more than ever, that a crunching branch could produce another demon quite like the one he was currently shackled to.
“You passed out again.” David half-shrugged, looking at Michael as if he was asking the most incredulous question in the world. “You can’t expect to exert that much energy without my blood.”
Michael didn't feel all to content with David’s answer. He remembered enough to recall his own miscalculation of words, one which had left the duo heated in more ways than one.
“Your blood, huh?” It hadn't occurred to Michael that David would ever be quite this accommodating, if that’s what you would call it. It was hard to deny that he had, at one point, fit the term of what David believed to be a brother. Connection or not, Michael had taken more than he had given, and destroyed more than he had made. Yes, there had since been moments shortly after David’s re-awakening, where Michael believed David would unearth that surefire revenge. Though nothing quite as brutal as he had imagined as of yet. In fact, besides a few unwanted and unwarranted touches, David could be considered well behaved.
He had unearthed his plan to leave Santa Carla as soon as Michael had woken. Though his eyes told Michael that there was no room for negotiation, the tension the two still held couldn’t help but bubble up, make room for disagreement.
Why are you doing this, David? A weakened Michael pleaded, voice roused with sleep. What do you want from me? Where are we even going to go?
Can’t I go see my family, just one last time? I just want one more moment with Sammy.
--He’s my brother, David. You said it yourself, that means--
“I know what that means,” David sighed, teeth grinding in frustration.
“But Sam took that from me, took you from me. After I fought to get it back. After Max.”
“But I shouldn't mean this much to you,” Michael reasoned, “so why can’t you let me go?”
David curled and uncurled his fist. It was truly miraculous his patience had lasted so long. He knew the second he saw Michael that he was pure spitfire, but he had hoped with the incentive he had produced he could be swayed. After all, he was sure his ties to the boy ran deeper than blood, and that the influence between them had formed by at least some mutual interest.

“Well, Michael. Why couldn't you?”

***

Michael Emerson wasn’t really what David considered an ideal mate. It was weird sometimes to think that vampires sought out an eternity with one specific partner, considering the failure rate of marriages in the human world.
After David first turned, he didn't have much incentive for this particular goal. His sire was at a point in his life where his desires for such a thing were translucent however, which meant those under him were to keep their focus on Max’s fixity of happiness, bringing his dream rather than their own to the realms of reality. Sure, a family alongside Max seemed like a fine idea, but there wasn't much room for opposition when you were an underling. David would like to say he had some power, and it was true he did over the Lost Boys, but the hierarchy never ended with him.
Though a good portion remained mere circumstance, Dwayne’s position was produced by David’s need for authority, as well as consistency. He constantly found himself unhappy blindly following Max, who managed to remain cheerful despite his never ending failures in the endeavor that was love. It left David without a mother, and half of the time without a father as well. Not that he truly considered Max to be the fatherly type. He couldn't even picture what a father would be composed of, thinking back on his blur of the life before. Yet he could gather that Max was probably the closest, if not best alternative to the ache that seemed to remain in his dead heart.
David wasn't frightened when Max returned one night after an escapade in Seattle, and discovered a boy, who appeared to be no older than David. His newly torn shirt was damp with darkened blood, skin slick, and dark eyes dull, void. Though obviously startled under the circumstances, Dwayne’s body was turned inward toward David, undoubtedly submissive. He didn't move much, and occasionally looked around the room with feigned interest, but never at the emerged Max. Dwayne seemed accepting of his compromised state, for he didn't cry, but his hand shook unbearably, and his focus seemed slight.
“You turned a mere snack?” Max finally said, disappointment eminent, but not overwhelming. He seemed genuinely curious about David’s actions rather than vexed.
“He’s not just a snack,” David chastised, eyebrows knitting in expressive annoyance, “he’s mine.”
Max laughed openly and unabashedly. He wasn't careful when he grasped Dwayne’s face to better exam him, and his eyes spoke wonders that his feelings stated the boy beneath him was sub-human.
“He looks quite frail. You realize you need to leave something in him if he is to be reanimated.”
“I got carried away,” Was all David could say, and his tone was apathetic to say the least, “but I want to keep him.”
“Well, as what, exactly?”
And suddenly, David wasn't so sure.


When he had spotted the boy, he had presumed him road kill. The incident was quick, and David had to be even quicker to act. A couple of teens, wired on god knows what, had deemed Dwayne and a boy, who couldn't possibly be older than nine, an easy target for a mugging. David wasn't sure what made Dwayne look illegitimate in terms of strength, as his size alone promised capability. Though, the boy was tackled first, and being propitious bait, had Dwayne down and out in seconds. His plea bargain was fair enough, a broken record along the lines of “I’ll give you anything,” and “you don’t want to do this, not to him!”
Which did work, to a certain extent. The leader faltered slightly, and the grip he had on the baseball bat he had conjured up loosened. This Dwayne saw, and after a quick motion to his younger companion, the two tried to overtake them. The boy, with a quick bite to the hand that enclosed him, managed to break free and slide behind Dwayne.
After Dwayne wrestled the bat from his opposition, the element of surprise on his side, a couple of wild swings sent two of the muggers running. Though one still stayed behind, the most disgruntled of the trio, and although reluctant managed to squeeze the trigger of his concealed gun.
The boy was put down first, and Dwayne’s scream did little to ease the situation. Instead a second fire rang out, and this time the smell of blood was so strong David’s fangs emerged instantaneously. By the time he arrived physically on scene, it was obvious the younger dead, and Dwayne on his way out.
David held Dwayne carefully, inwardly fighting to decide what to do next. It felt wrong to dig into him, but there was just so much blood, and it could end his suffering—
“What are you?” Dwayne strained to get out, fingers twisting every which way to hold onto David.
He had momentarily forgotten the appearance of his unearthly identifier, and managed with discomfort to retract his fangs.
“Your eyes, they’re—“Dwayne struggled, but David understood enough to dismiss him.
Dwayne was able to relax ever so slightly in David’s hold, but the inevitable was finally recognized.
“…Is he?”
David could only nod, which for a moment, seemed to kill Dwayne before the blood loss could.
“—It’s all my fault, and now I’m going to die, all because I thought I could—”
David had heard enough, the need to rip into Dwayne going beyond animalistic urges. Though Dwayne cried out, and David undoubtedly caused more suffering, he couldn't stop the sudden need to change Dwayne. Somewhere, in untapped, unattainable memories, Dwayne’s experience felt all too familiar, and David needed to remedy the loss that was being mirrored within him.
He drank till he was full, which was cutting it very thin considering, but was able to pull off in time to set to work. A couple of well-placed bites didn't provide immediate results, but David was sure as he hoisted Dwayne up that the kid would be alright come dawn.
Maybe Dwayne could be his mate. Maybe his new brother, who would be able to give David that happiness supposedly only a family could bring, or so Max said. For all David cared, Dwayne was going to be the start of something, and Max—no—nothing in the world was going to take this new beginning away.
***

“Of course you’re going to drink my blood. What the hell else are you going to live off of? I’m not betting my money on some unsuspecting couples having a sex rendezvous in an old abandoned cabin.”
“Well, I don’t know,” Michael grumbled, annoyed that they were discussing his future eating habits at all, “A deer or something?”
“I’m guessing you haven’t experienced what animal blood tastes like as a vampire.”
Michael stopped short, remembering the first time the craving got too bad, and the first blood of a rat.
He hunched over, chest beginning to heave.
“Jesus, Michael. You’re not going to throw up, not again. We've barely got enough blood in you as it is.”
“I’m fine, I’m fine.” He waved him off, signaling that he was good to keep walking. They had traveled dozens upon dozens of miles as it was, and he wasn't willing to prolong his time spent with a folklore monster in the woods. “Just go ahead of me! I’ll catch up.”
At this, David stilled completely, his gaze catching Michael’s.
“Oh, fuck off,” Michael motioned again, wishing for once that he had an ounce of David’s trust.
“I’m not going to run off, alright? Where the hell would I go, anyway? We've gone too far from Santa Carla at this point, I couldn't find my way back, even if I wanted to.”
David remained impassive, uncertain.
Michael sighed, “Believe it or not, is wasn't a walk in the park convincing Sam and his moron friends that I wasn't just some ruthless killer. I doubt I’d have the same luck come round 2.”
“Well I would chase you, you know. If you ran.”
Michael believed that, for sure.
“Yeah, I get it, David. Look, I’m not thinking about that anymore. I sort of, you know—“
He looked at David hopefully, as if his mind would supply the rest of Michael’s unfinished thought, but David just waited patiently for its conclusion.
“I need you.” His mouth finally resolved, and he regretted it the moment he said it. For something flickered in David’s eyes, maybe not noticeable to those who didn’t know him. Something was changing, and David’s eyes held the promise.

Speck of Dust by konel

“Of course you need me, Michael.” And it felt a little awkward saying it out loud.
Sure, the kid was going to be dependent on him for blood from now on. It wasn't really all that big of a deal eating for two. David had been dizzy a few times thus far, and it was true he was never completely satisfied, but what was satisfying was the reassurance that Michael would still be with him. Soon enough, once they got out of the woods anyway, David would find some civilians that no one would miss. Then the two of them would be safe, full, and content. He would make sure of it, he had a fair plan.
David just wished that Michael had meant he needed him in the other sense. He wasn't really sure what it was in particular about Michael Emerson that drew him back time and time again with such urgency, but considering the hell it took to get this far, he was kind of hoping there would be some more than outstanding sex.
Though it went without saying it wasn’t the only thing on his mind. He wanted Michael to be comfortable with him first, and with the idea of being a vampire. These ideals were just going to be extremely hard to achieve in the immediate future, as for some reason David couldn't evoke the feelings of excitement from the kill. Which was honestly becoming increasingly irritating to him, considering the kid managed to look guilt-free when it was him he was tearing into. Hell, he practically got off at the smell of David’s blood, which he supposed was fine considering it only strengthened their bond, to an extent. It was just the fact that Michael dismissed or denied his blood so often, that by the time he finally caved, he was unmistakably jaded. It wasn’t what David wanted, for either of them. No, the first time an exchange like that were to happen, whether Michael in chagrin or in bliss, would surely mean a perpetual imprint. With the utmost prudence and wisdom, David would perfect this final tie, but only as soon as Michael met him half way.
Paul, who had been considerably the nicest out of any of them, had still been able to kill civilians. He could only hope that Star and Sam, practically eons away now to Michael, hadn't left any sense of lingering morality. Surely Michael would forget them both soon, just like David forgot his dead beat Mom and Dad—or his immensely loving Mom and Dad, his memories were practically foreign at this point.
“What are you thinking about?” Michael started, and to David’s momentary incredulity he thought he sounded genuinely curious.
“Sex, mostly.” He admitted, amused when Michael’s jaw fell slack. David had been able to produce that particular response once already. Back then, with the simplest graze of teeth against the boy’s jugular. He wondered absentmindedly just how much he could stretch that mouth, open it till—
“Spare me, please.” And to his amazement, Michael didn't falter when he said it. Nor did he sound an inkling embarrassed, even though David was sure Michael was beginning to catch on to his aching desire.
“Don’t worry, Michael.” David maintained, willing to dismiss the tension if he was, “Hetero Sex. With fair skinned, fair haired, feeble minded girls. Big titted, too.”
Michael only surprised him further by appeasing his quip. “Then I suppose it’s a wonder you even gave Star the once over.”
“Hmm,” David drawled, distracted by the smoke that hung above the redwoods. It didn't look far from where they were, and there didn't seem to be enough of it to mean a big fire. All it proved to be was a depiction of someone’s privately owned getaway residence, and although it might be too soon to assume, their stay for the night. Sunrise was a few hours off, which could bring them into the next city easy, but he didn't want to push Michael as he was practically an infant.
“Star was merely a passing thought I felt I’d entertain.” Lie. It was an obvious lie, because he never let anyone into his family on mere whim. They all had a purpose with him, and he loved her just as he did any of his brothers who came before. In fact, at one point he supposed he loved her differently, so differently it could almost accumulate as more. His statement was only said in jest to arouse Michael, who he hoped that with anger would tire all the more easily.
“She’s more than that, and you know it.” Michael snarled, and David’s plan seemed to suddenly work, for he lunged forward as if to strike the elder, but his legs gave out before he could even come close.
To this David crouched low, making sure he remained at Michael’s level, who lay still on the muddied ground. His slip proved exhaustion, but he knew better than to think Michael the type to go down easy. He’d have to take it one step further, since Michael was so riled up.
“Say,” and suddenly David wasn't sure if he wanted to test Michael, or if he actually wanted to know, “Do you think me and you have things in common?”
“Absolutely not.” Michael answered quickly, too quickly. Without reason, David thought. Which only made him all the more eager to be enlightened to his thoughts.
“Humor me, Michael.” And David lent a hand to hoist Michael up, but his offer was rejected. He wished Michael didn't always have so much damn pride. It would end him some day, or he supposed, it already had. “At least think on it a minute.”
“Absolutely nothing.” Michael spat. He shoved David back with one arm, legs kicking off till he was a few feet away. Every time David moved even a mere inch forward, he scooted a full step back. Incredible, David thought, how easy it was for the both of them to revert back to this. It had been a week since his turn, around three nights since they’d left Santa Carla. He supposed Michael had been obedient when it came to certain things, like staying at an old ranger lodge for cover from the sun. Yet despite the slight nods and grunts showing this vague agreement, not much else had been shared between the two. He didn’t dare bring up blood again, as he didn’t want to bring about more distaste for the idea. And he couldn’t talk about family, never, not being such a touchy subject for the both of them. David supposed he could ask him about…school, not that he was all that interested in whatever humans gathered and talked about in that institution. It was then he realized that while there were dozens of characteristics that pulled David to Michael, he knew not of the circumstance of how each was obtained. He didn’t know what made Michael, well, Michael. Hell, he didn’t even have a foundation to start learning with, as at least half of any proposed topics were surely black listed, and the others he still didn’t believe Michael willing to share.
“Fuck,” and then Michael’s fist shook, and his eyes lit again by the fuel that was David’s choice words. He didn’t think they should have been enough for such a reaction, but time and time again they proved enough for Michael’s acute distaste. David frowned slightly, believing now he took it too far. It always amused him, seeing just how wound up he could get this boy, but not when the situation could possibly turn dire. They needed to find a safe haven, and the more he wound Michael up the more the clock would wound down.
“How do you always seem,” Michael started up again, voice softening as something dawned on him.
David took his revelation as a means to shorten their proximity, setting a dominant hand on the boy’s shoulder to hold him up. Though in an instance he slumped, mouth a now familiar slack, and David fell forward to gather him in his arms. He snapped his fingers in front of his eyes once, but Michael was far gone.
“Fuck, kid,” he growled, associating his lack of response to be the last of his energy, “you were supposed wind down, not knock out.”
***

Michael decided that David wasn’t annoying like a baby brother was. Sam could dictate the monthly family outing to the movies, always animated, strewn with badly-paced fart jokes and quirky one-liners, and struggling to reach the PG13 rating he was starting to wish he could learn to appreciate. And David wasn’t compassionate like his Mother was. Always putting her son’s desires first and foremost, like gooey, cheese stuffed crust pepperoni pizza over her preferred Beef Satay with peanut sauce. And David certainly wasn’t loving like Star had been. Willing to sacrifice her life to some kid she barely knew, all because she thought it could aid a family she so desperately wished she could have as her own.
Yet the more Michael thought about how David wasn’t like his family, the more he realized he was exactly like them, in his own way. It was painful, at first, to associate these memories of his favorite people to one murderous beast.
Though suddenly Sam’s plea bargain of Watchmen, Mike! It’s the hottest new comic, and it’s going to sell out, so you have to get it for me since you’re my big brother! Sounded a lot like David’s rendition of You’re one of us Michael. A part of my family. I’ll take care of you as long as you follow my lead, because you’re my brother.
Or his Mother’s You can stay up one more hour, if it pleases you. You really ought to be getting to bed, baby. I’ll allow this, because I love you.
To David’s own I’ll let you have Star, since you like her so much. I want you here, and if she brings you in, that’s okay with me.

“I love you, Michael.” Star proclaimed, shyly wrapping her arms around his neck, lips a mere inch from his own.
He couldn’t forget her image in that moment, it seemed engraved into his mind. The first time a girl shared a feeling like that, and meant it. Star made him feel so warm, so whole.
Though David had evoked the same feelings. His declarations never as blunt or as desperate as Stars, it was enough to prove his love all the same.
But did David love him in the same way Star loved him?
She was the only girl Michael had ever loved, but she was also, to his knowledge, the only girl David had loved.
—But he was still able to give her up, so easily.
***

“Michael,” David sighed, patting at his back urgently. “We’re here.”
He stirred slightly, but his head didn’t raise from where it was pressed against David’s neck. It was a shame really, this being the first bout of pleasantry Michael had shown him.
“Michael,” he soothed, slipping his hand under the dirtied shirt. He massaged up and down the boy’s back until he saw the faintest fluttering of eyes. “I know you’re dead on your feet. I promise once you pick your spot you can go back to bed. Just open your eyes for a minute so you know where you are.”
Michael was able to open his eyes, slowly. He found that when he tried to take in the darkness too quickly, his vision would become all the more blurry, rendering him further disorientated. He thought the transformation to an immortal would solve this sort of issue, but his lack for proper nutrition was probably stunting him considerably.
To him, blood was still blood. It still tasted like iron, an unappealing description, but for whatever reason now, he found it enjoyable. Sort of like how alcohol was an acquired taste.
“I want some, I think. I think I need some.” Michael breathed against David’s neck, raising the fine hairs that grew there. The elder growled once in warning, but Michael only nuzzled his neck in response. It was shameful, holding onto David like this, and he was painfully aware how excited he was becoming. In that moment though, the need dismissed his sense of boundaries.
“What do you want, Michael Emerson, defective newborn of one week?” He ground out, trying to pull Michael away from his throat. The second David dropped his hold from Michael’s body however, he found the lack of support compensated by a pair of legs wrapped around his waist.
“I want you.” Michael panted, tongue snaking out to dampen his chapped lower lip. He didn’t know what he was saying, could only barely retain that he’d said it at all. He just knew that David slowed a fraction, his eyes opening in astute observation. It felt like he was going to get what he wanted, and he was okay with that, no matter the means. So he clasped both hands firmly around David’s neck, and leaned in to breathe in the scent that lingered there.
“If I gave in to the desires of that daft bitch of a demon of yours, I’d never hear the end of it.” It took a lot of force to hold Michael’s face away from his own, but he managed to do so steadily. With two fingers he pushed at lateral incisors, hoping that with enough force they would retract. Considering Michael had fallen a mere hour ago like a sack of shit, he wasn’t expecting too big of a struggle.
Though Michael never failed to surprise him, and with an unexpected punch to his gut, David hit the ground—hard. It was the shock that got him more than anything, and he blinked, astounded, as blood filled his mouth from the blunt force. Michael crawled on top of him, eyes glowing yellow, mouth feral. He had the audacity to smile, and if his ears proved tuned correctly, purr at him in approval.
David did the only thing he could think to do, and with one hand seized the front of Michael’s shirt and pulled him down with him. Michael grunted when his mouth initially touched David’s, the kiss starting too rough and his lips being stiffly shut, but the second David opened his mouth and the blood flowed through, he relaxed into the contact. His vision cleared, the edges of his sight not so blindingly yellow, restricting, and as his hunger eased and he opened his own mouth to the too-red lips, he let go.
David ran his fingers through Michael’s hair, massaging at the scalp. When he felt Michael’s tension release, his kiss turned moist, eager, and he couldn’t help but hold on all the more tightly. It was the first time to his knowledge that Michael had been so open to him, so responsive, and the second time he had ever been so vulnerable. As David bit and sucked at his lower lip, Michael let out a low moan, so low that a mere human could never hope to hear it, and David couldn’t help but moan alongside him.
Michael was awake enough to know that it was David who he was pressed flush against, David who was slipping a hand into the front of his now excruciatingly tight pants, David who was making him shudder with a flick of the wrist and a swipe of the tongue. He didn’t object when his shirt was tugged off, couldn’t find words when David stopped sucking on his tongue only to lick a wet trail down his front to his navel. He wanted this so badly, wanted David so badly, that his whole body shook at the hint of what was to come. He felt agreeable again, which could have been the after high of getting his fill of blood, but he was now becoming more accepting of the idea that maybe he felt this way on account of a fill that was purely David.
Michael closed his eyes as the rain came, and as the first droplets hit his face he thought he would feel sure somehow, of his course and of his mind. Though his newfound appreciation for blood didn’t conjure any feelings of illumination, and he still didn’t feel as though he understood in full what it meant to be a vampire, or what that meant to David. The weather still seemed as bleak as it had before, always unfortunate in its circumstance, yet somehow still, as a vampire, twice as lonely. He knew, at the very least, it was meant to feel cold. The water was supposed to hit him, and the cold was supposed to produce that feeling immediately. Now, Michael was cold-blooded. He realized he didn’t know the feeling anymore, his mind only supplied what it remembered. As a vampire, for the exchange of a new set of senses, he had lost the most basic of human sentiments.
“I can’t do this.” He murmured aloud.
“What?” David breathed, and a puff of air was sent against Michael’s dick as he spoke, causing it to twitch. “You don’t want me to suck you off?”
Michael swallowed once, David’s bluntness exciting him immediately. He contemplated letting him finish, and he wasn’t really sure why he hadn’t started already. Michael had thought it had been raining for quite a while, if his now shimmering skin and David’s see-through shirt were any indication.
“You stopped.” Michael reasoned, blinking to process it all. “You were watching me. Why were you just sitting there, watching me?”
Closing his eyes and leaning back on the muddy ground, David instead huffed out a laugh, choosing to ignore the string of questions. He clasped one hand around Michael’s still-erect penis lazily, and although Michael had watched the action carefully, he managed to jump at the feeling of David’s grasp.
“My hand fits nicely here.” David smiled, opening one eye to gauge Michael’s reaction. “Don’t you think it fits nicely? You and me.”
“Let’s—Let’s just go inside, David.” It was a first, seeing the house David has chosen for the day. He was using the word house lightly, for the windows were boarded up and the paint job long gone to make room for the overgrown plants that now resided there. “You look tired, we both are. Sunrise will be soon, we should—“
“Michael.” David said firmly, catching his attention instantly. Moving his hand up the firm chest, he paused only to rest it under the boy’s chin. “What’s wrong?”
“I just want to go inside for now.” He pressed more urgently, and he leaned over to pick up his discarded shirt, but David just grabbed his wrist easily.
“We’re sleeping down there,” David motioned with his head, “in the cellar.”
Michael wasn’t sure how he even felt shock anymore, considering what he was now, but he couldn’t help it in this instance. There was no way a cellar, much less a cellar in an old abandoned house, could be even remotely comfortable. He admittedly had no idea how vampires slept, and he guessed that a cellar was, dare he say it, remotely like what would be a cave to a bat.
“Can’t we just look around inside?” Michael knew he was pouting, just as he was sure his shoulders were visibly slumped. Daylight would be soon, and there was no time for negotiation.
“Absolutely not. I stepped in already while you were asleep, and the place is littered with garbage and coated with dust.”
“How the hell is a cellar any better?”
With one hand David motioned for Michael to be silent. “Despite the interior’s state of decay, there’s a tattered bed on the floor in one of the rooms. Not that it’s particularly clean, but it shows less wear than everything around it.”
“So you think someone’s living here?” Michael questioned, slipping his shirt back over his head. He wrapped an arm around himself wearily, suddenly on edge of the possibility of having company in the woods. They had been almost-fucking in the open, yet David didn’t bat an eyelash.
“No, I don’t think so. Well, not anymore anyway. A couple miles back we passed an old campground. There were a couple of tents set up, sleeping bags and all. Picnic area around a pit too. Whatever was here has moved out.”
“But if you’re so sure, why can’t we sleep inside?”
“First off, Michael, I can never be sure of anything anymore,” David’s voice rose slightly, which caused Michael to sit up and listen. “Not since a couple of prepubescent brats killed a member of my family inside my own home. And second—“and David was looking at Michael carefully now, or maybe he was looking through him. “—not since you.”
“I hate when you do that,” Michael blurted out immediately, unable to contain his repugnance at David’s proclamation. “When you say these vague things. Not since me? Not since I what?”
“You’re unsure about me too, in your own way.” And there David went again, picking apart Michael’s brain, as if he were the simplest of puzzles. “You think this is all child’s play. Maybe it was then, in Santa Carla. When we really could sleep all day, party all night.”
“Michael,” David continued, staring him down so intently that Michael couldn’t help but squirm in response, “you set a new standard, when the boys were killed. I used to think I knew what it meant, being a vampire. Now, I wake up so unsure. I wake up and Max isn’t around, Max, my sire, who was always so wise for his years, the king of his town, his element.”
“Now, I wake up next to the vampire Michael Emerson. Michael Emerson, who somehow still has human virtues. Michael Emerson, who can fight his desire to kill, what I once believed the pivot of our existence.”
“I’m not sure what it means now, to be a vampire,” David finished, and Michael wasn’t sure when he had stepped so close, having been enchanted by his gaze. He wrapped one arm around Michael’s neck loosely, pulling him against his chest in what Michael could only imagine as a display of affection. “But I’m going to figure it out. With you.”
Michael took in a deep breath, feeling light headed at the closeness of their contact. He tried to wiggle out of David’s grasp, but his captor just reeled him in tighter.
“Michael,” David coaxed, pressing his mouth against an ear, “do you want to go home?”
“Don’t ask me such stupid questions,” He couldn’t go home, Sam would kill him. His mother would cry. “You know I can’t.”
“I know,” David corrected, and he settled for resting his head atop Michael’s shoulder. “But if you could, would you?”
Yes.

They were his everything. Even now, their memory often kept him going. Their nurture still a guiding light to his innermost conflicts.
No.

If he went back, David couldn’t follow. There could be no human life alongside a vampires. He might not be family, but he was a lot of something, and Michael needed him.
Yeah, he really, really needed him.
“You’ve got to lay off the questions, alright? I’m not stupid, I get what you’re doing. And I’ll have you know, that no matter what you say, I’m too tired to get all worked up. So you might as well save it.”
“Is that a challenge? Because before, when you were asleep, you looked so fucking precious I couldn’t help myself. I thought, David, when are you going to get a chance like this? Funny really, I only had to wait a couple more hours. Though I really thought that was it—so I—“
Michael’s head whipped around so fast he got whiplash, and despite the temporary pain he wasted no time in swinging out a punch, only to be met with air.
“Come on, Mikey,” and Michael growled low, because fuck anyone who called him that besides his Sammy, “it was just my fingers.”
“I’ll fucking kill you.”
He pounced with an exceptional amount of speed at David, who hadn’t expected to exert himself considering their bout of drowsiness. Though David, now cautious with Michael’s abilities, and wise to his own, was able to roll out the way.
“Truce, Truce!” He begged, though he couldn’t help but smirk as he said it. His ill placed smile warranted a swift kick at his head, which he managed to dodge—barely. “I was only kidding, I promise. I can’t back down from a challenge, especially one from you.”
Michael punched David once more for the hell of it, anger not completely drained at the outspoken lie. It landed square on the mouth, and Michael was positive David had seen it coming, yet he didn’t move an inch.
The confession pissed Michael off more than it should have, and he knew he shouldn’t have taken it that way. Though it did prove no matter how open to him David had been as of late, there were sides to David that were still shrouded in mystery. He claimed he was uncertain about the future, but he still had the upper hand when it came to his perception of Michael. He knew how to rouse him, arouse him, and considering the path the two were about to take, he wished there was a shared sense of control.
Michael wasn’t sure how David had managed to step around him, he had been watching him so very carefully. Yet the sound of the cellar door opening resonated throughout the forest, stirring all that dwelled there, himself included. Somehow the wood had slammed so painfully against the old stepping stones that encircled the front, but the inside, coated with that fine dust, had managed to muffle David’s footsteps down the set of stairs. He looked pleased as he trudged down the darkened pit, pausing midway to share a smile with something obscured from Michael’s view. He really hadn’t the faintest idea what could sight could receive such a gesture, but the house itself was so off-putting that it didn’t seem likely he would be able to share David’s outlook.
So, he turned on his heels, ignoring David’s excited call from down below, and preceded to explore the interior of the building for himself. It was just as off-putting as the rest, the greens out front in fact hiding its flaws and making it seem cozier than it actually was. He didn’t know what it was really, or how it go to be that way. Though the inside was so dirtied and damp that you would almost think it part of the forest itself. Which didn’t make a lick of sense, because there wasn’t a source of light anywhere in the place, everything boarded up excessively to the point where it seemed damn right paranoid.
“Did you see the kitchen?” And he hadn’t, until David had stepped in. It was the nicest area in the place, and the only room that seemed to redeem it as a safe living space. It had one light, which flickered but worked all the same, a sink with running water, and a pot belly stove he couldn’t find the interest to tinker around with. Beside it was another door he could only assume to be the toilet, which meant there was no actual bedroom.
David had settled himself in the farthest corner, atop the lone mattress that looked better suited for a junkie. Michael had heard about the way vampires had slept from Sam, feet adapting to hang from the ceiling like the bats they resembled. He also knew how deep the tunnels ran back at the hotel in Santa Carla, experiencing it firsthand. He could only imagine that the cellar was the closest to that old home, and so it surprised him to see David laying there, without one single complaint.
“Get your butt to bed, Michael. This day alone has seemed like an eternity.”
“You’re sleeping here,” Michael questioned, slipping in next to David, but leaving enough room between them to lessen the intimacy, “I thought you’d want to sleep in the cellar.”
“I do. I still do,” David yawned, reaching a hand out to grasp a handful of Michael’s shirt, tugging him closer. “It’s safer, and more practical, but we sleep together.”
Michael allowed himself to be reeled in, not exactly liking the closeness, but not disliking it either. “We’re not sleeping together.”
David didn’t react much to that particular comment, not like Michael had thought he would, anyway. He knew…David wanted that. He kind of wanted that too, maybe. Or maybe his body did, in a heat of the moment type thing. He didn’t want to think about it too much, what almost happened.
“Go to sleep and we will be.”
“—David.”
“Go to sleep, Michael. I’ll be on my best behavior.”
“O-okay.” And he hated that it made him think of it more. He rolled over, partly to cut the close contact, partly to shake off the nerves that had been arisen.


Just go to sleep, Michael.
You can do this, just take it one day at a time.
***

“David.” Michael groaned, shifting on the bed in discomfort. He didn’t have the best sense of time yet, with his mental clock being reversed, but he was sure he had a couple hours of shut eye left. ”Quit it.”
“Mmm.” David mumbled, but his tongue didn’t let up from Michael’s neck.
“Jesus,” he bit out, irritable that David was even trying this after what he’d said that morning. “Fuck off, alright? You’re lapping at me like a dog. It’s too early, and it’s not even slightly turning me on.”
“You fuck off and let me sleep.” David interjected, pushing at Michael till he slid off the mattress.
“Bastard,” Michael snarled, sitting upright only to be greeted by a smaller pair of dark, marble eyes. It was an actual dog, taking up the spot he had been booted from.
It was some sort of lab mix if he had to take a stab at it. It had dark brown fur, and was around the same build as Nanook had been. Though unlike Nanook or even Thorn, it looked happy to be in his company, tail wagging excitedly at the presumption of being pet.
He reached out cautiously, still not believing dogs to be the most naturally friendly to vampires, though it licked his hand all the same. Proving itself friendly, Michael couldn’t help but pull it to him, running his fingers throughout the fur till it gave him more kisses.
“That’s a good boy, huh,” He cooed, shifting through the coat till he found the identifier he’d been looking for. “Uh…looks like—your name is—Ticks!”
“See you boys found my dog,” A new voice chimed in. “And my house.”

Shit

David, please wake up.

Interlude (David's Dream) by konel

“David, wake up!”

“Michael?” David questioned, straining to open his eyes. He fumbled to reach out to the voice of the body next to him, but there was no body to match the voice. In fact, there was suddenly more air than mattress, and with a sweep of his hand over his surroundings he realized there wasn’t even a mattress at all.

Strange. Had they moved down to the cellar?

“You’ve been sleeping for ages, man.”

“Christ,” David yawned, eyes preening open despite the uncomfortable pull of his eyelids. “What time is it? We shouldn’t—“ he suppressed another yawn, surprised at his exhaustion. Feeding Michael took it out of him, but he would have to make do. For this to work, they had to keep moving.

“Alright. I’m getting up…I’m getting up, Michael.”

Except, he was really up, feet shifted and secured tightly to the ceiling. “What the fuck?”

“Yeah, what the fuck, boss?” Marko chimed in, amused by David’s confusion. “Who in the hell is Michael?”

“Michael’s my—“

Marko?

“Your...what, boss?” Marko said quietly, confusion twisting into curiosity.

“David,” a new voice spoke carefully, “tell me you didn’t pick someone else up last night. You know like, picked UP.” The tone was laced with disapproval, and David immediately recognized it to be Paul.

“Marko?” David rasped, closing his eyes shut only to reveal the same picture when he opened them. “Paul?”

“Uh, who else?” Marko grinned, reaching forward to press his palm against David’s forehead. “Man, I know we don’t really get sick, but you look fucked up. What kind of shit did you drink?”

“I’m—I’m fucking dreaming. This isn’t—“

“Aren’t we enough for you now?” Paul pressed on, stepping forward from wherever he was perched in the darkness.

David couldn’t help but stare, trying to make sense where his mind seemed to fail him. They looked good, they looked restored—Alive. Real. Here, with him.

“—But this is a dream—“

“Okaaaaay,” Marko drawled, engulfing David’s field of vision once again. “We’re ignoring Paul’s buzzkill! I came to tell you I got the stuff you asked for, you know, the pixie dust?” He winked at the end of his declaration.

“The—shit—what?” David ground out, scrubbing a hand over his face. The name sounded vaguely familiar.

“What the hell are you—what is any of this? Oh. Yeah.”

David had forgotten, since it was a street name. The kind of name that threw off cops, while enticing the user to believe it wasn’t just some jacked up shit made in some abuser’s kitchen. He had sent Marko on a run to get drugs. How long ago that had been, he couldn’t tell.

Before David could really dwell on it, Marko was leaning in, close—too close. His intent was immediately noticed, and although the act felt familiar, expected, David couldn’t help but pull away before Marko’s lips reached his.

Marko frowned, a harsh contrast to his usual ear-splitting grin. “You know, you used to always kiss me back.”

His words unnerved David, so much so that he dropped rather clumsily from where he was perched on the roof of the cave. After he regained his footing, he immediately turned to comfort the sullen boy.

His boy. His marko, who he had denied a basic act of his admiration. How could he

“Jesus, Marko. Give it up.” Paul interrupted, rolling his eyes. It broke David’s temporary stupor, but the movement made his head spin. “How long ago was that? When you were a newborn? Get over it. Whether you like Star or not is irrelevant. David chose her, and we should respect that.”

And surprisingly to David, Marko’s demeanor shifted. He straightened up, frown retreating till it was a tight smile, and although he still looked defeated, the apology that resulted seemed sincere.

“Sorry, boss.” Marko offered, scratching at his nose in what could only be masked shame. “I guess I’m the buzzkill. I should know better.”

“Ah, no.” David started, beginning to feel confused again. He looked between the two boys, but they didn’t seem to share his sentiment. “I mean, you don’t have to apologize.”

Marko nodded curtly, still not quite meeting his eyes, and David couldn’t stifle the way his hand mechanically reached out to ruffle that curly mop and ease his disappointment.

“Thanks…kid.” He commended softly, grasping the bag of drugs in one hand. And, sure, it felt like dead weight, but it also felt like something, a little too real. “I’m just going to…walk around, yeah? Clear my head.”

“Uh, whatever.” Marko agreed, stepping aside to make a path for David.

He walked dumfounded down the windy path, all too aware of the stares the younger boys bore as he made his retreat. So, they too, had noticed something was off.

Unfortunately for David, the hotel was just as he remembered, making him all the more unsettled.
Even the typical surly faced Star was poised in the middle of the room to complete the picture.

“There you are. Was beginning to think you were going to sleep into the next night.”

Dwayne.

“Oh,” David shrugged, humoring the comment, “guess I must have been really fucked up.”

He then feigned disinterest, making a show not to really look at Dwayne. He knew it would hurt the boy, who, though quiet and solitary, often sought and relished his attention.

No, that was wrong. He wouldn’t hurt, he thought. Couldn’t, for he wasn’t really Dwayne, but merely a dream with a message he refused to appease. Not when the dream brought Dwayne, his beautiful creation, back and bumbling endearingly like he had on the day of his rebirth.

David cursed silently as dream Dwayne lingered beside him, fumbling with a ragged end of his shirt when the silence stretched and turned awkward. He needed a distraction, needed to wake the fuck up, but the more he pinched his arm, the more hopeless the whole situation seemed. His mind was fucking with him, even going as far as to supply blood that pooled as a result of his defiant scratching.

“So. Is that why you’re all agitated? I mean, I thought you knew. They’re kind of showy about it.”

“What?” David bit out, angry that he couldn’t manipulate his dream despite his realization.

“Oh, uh—Paul…and Marko.”

David grit his teeth as he addressed the pair who had unknowingly taken up his line of sight. Marko lay at the farthest corner of the lobby, resting upon a couch better suited for the dump. Paul, who was positioned behind the furniture, was carefully running his knuckles up Marko’s spine, then against the muscles of his shoulders, until he reached the base of his neck where he finished with a noogie. Marko seemed irritated by the other’s playfulness, until he craned his head up to look into Paul’s eyes. Whatever he saw there, seemed to comfort him, as Marko smiled toothily, and made a go at shoving the bigger boy off.

“You’re gay as all hells sometimes,” Marko laughed, and David had to really strain to hear it, he realized, since the words were meant for Paul alone.

It didn’t seem to bother Paul really, and he was able to catch Marko’s fists easily, although it was apparent Marko wasn’t intending a fight. By the third punch thrown, instead of releasing Marko’s hands as he did before, he twisted the younger around until he was flush against him, and, in a slow-moving gesture David was sure was going to turn out to be a kiss, Paul bit him, hard, at the base of his throat.

“Ow! You fuckin’ piece of—,” but Paul took off running the second his fangs released from the sun-kissed skin, and Marko was happy to chase after him.

“What?” Paul teased, always a step further it seemed, from Marker. “Just claiming what’s mine, again. I told you, I get every other freckle.”

“Yeah, but I said no biting, you dickhead.” Marko huffed, trying his best to kick at Paul in the hopes he’d lose his footing.

“Haha. Come the fuck off it, you little shit, you know you love it.”

“Bitch,” Marko retaliated, “you damn well wish!”

When David didn’t reply, Dwayne continued, even though it was obvious his attention was held elsewhere. “Listen, is everything alright? Paul and Marko said you’re acting strange.”

Huh? David paused, eyes twisting to study Dwayne briefly. When had they said that?

“No, I’m fine really, just—“ But he couldn’t stop looking.

“Jealous?” Dwayne smirked, and although David knew him too well to think it anything other than a joke, he found him to be a little too smug.

“Just confused.” David countered. Though the situation was becoming slightly foreboding, and it didn’t escape him. “But it doesn’t matter. Because it’s a stupid. Fucking. Dream.”

“Marko will always be yours, you know. You should appreciate him more, considering all that he does for you. Kid really has it out for you.” And as nice as the thought was, it enraged David. He knew Dwayne heard him when he referred to this as a dream, and he felt he was going to go crazy for it. “—but, guess there’s something about Paul too.”

“Of course there’s something about Paul.” David snarled, his resolve crumbling completely. Paul was the most sincere, and the most caring of the group. He didn’t know how he didn’t realize his brother’s interest before. He should have been there to cheer them on.

“He is Jealous of Star, though.” Dwayne motioned to her, seemingly ignoring David’s unusual bit of rage. She was perched on the bed, threading her fingers through Laddie’s long hair. Humming some tune, unknown to him, yet beautiful all the same, and he found the sound pleased him so much, that a whoosh of red hot air escaped him, and a smile couldn’t help but grace his face. She was beautiful, and he didn’t feel guilty for thinking it. He had always had a sense of pride about turning her, even if she was different, even if maybe, she wasn’t a brother. She was motherly, and he liked the way she had a certain intuition about her, cooed over the boys, and lectured them over dumb shit.

“I wish she’d let go of him.” Dwayne blurted out. He seemed embarrassed by his words, and turned fully to David in hopes to clarify. “I mean, I know what I did, what I took was wrong—“

No, David thought, upset that Dwayne seemed to regret his own. Had he always felt…?

“—that he was too young to know the loss—but” and David disagrees, he had been young and alone, they all had been, but they needed this.

“But Laddie is my problem now. She doesn’t need to mother him. We don’t…” And he paused, as if to check David was still listening, before pressing on, determinedly.

“I know what Max says, but we don’t need a mother.”

And although, for the majority of his undead life, he would say he agreed, the emotions Dwayne spurred from him now could only be connected to dread. It made him sick to hear it, sick that Dwayne regretted Laddie, Dwayne regretted Star, Dwayne possibly regretted—him?

“I know it seems that way,” and David is careful with his words, for once in his life. “that we already have so much. We almost have everything, so what else could we possibly need?”

God, he felt bile rise in his throat at his own words, the horrible twist of Dwayne’s lips downward only adding to his retching gut. When he had changed Dwayne it had been a spur of the moment thing, sure. Laddie had been the same. Though he was their problem now, he was hardly a problem at all. He just was, Laddie, and he was theirs, and there he would stay.

“If you really think that, then why do you need Michael?” And David was pulled from his thoughts immediately.

“What did you just say?”


But before he could get a proper answer, Star was kissing him. David was unsure of how she moved so stealthily, how she had appeared at just the perfect time to block him from Dwayne, but there she was, and suddenly she’s all he can see, feel, and taste.

“Star,” David called out, uneager to implore her. “Wait.” And he tugs at her hair in hopes she’ll release him, because he wants to see Dwayne, and he wants to see Paul and Marko. But pulling on her hair just makes him feel wrong, so very wrong again, as it feels too much like Michael’s.

She does release him, and in the background he can feel rather than see Marko’s irritation, Paul’s itch, and Dwayne’s dismay.

After regarding his request for a moment, she leans back in after no further instruction. Though her lips seem more different. Chapped, maybe? Tense and firm, yet somehow, still eager?

Like Michaels.

Michael, Michael—Michael, Michael, Michael. It’s always about fucking Michael.

“Wheres Michael?” He demanded, holding her at arm’s length. Dwayne didn’t deny his existence, so—

“Who?” Oh, how he’d never thought he’d hear those words coming out of those lips.

“You sure you’re okay boss?” Marko butted in.

“Yeah, I thought you slept a little too long, but maybe you didn’t sleep enough.” Paul joined in.

“No. No, I’m dreaming. I know I’m dreaming. And we are not doing this.”

“This?” Paul motions about the air, confusion crinkling his brow.

“I don’t—“ David sighs out.

“See something we don’t?” Dwayne questions, folding his arms.

“No, nothing, I—“

“You never talk to us, boss!” Marko complains.

“Yeah, like, you never consulted us about Star.” Paul nods.

“I needed help, with Laddie.” Dwayne starts, and it’s more than David can take, but the boys continue.

“Yeah, Dwayne needed you, and I needed you,” Paul continues, looking from David to Marko, “ y’know, with him.”

“Shut up, both of you.” His head is pulsating at this point, and he knows his fangs are out, and the blurring of the corners of his vision is indicated his eyes have transitioned too. “I gave you a gift, Dwayne. You gave it to Laddie, and Paul, you gave it to Marko.”

He talked faster, so as to not be interrupted. “You loved it, you all fucking loved it. Because we all had nothing, and now our something is everything. We have fun, right? We go out, we kill, we feed, we party, because that’s who we are, it’s who we always will be.”

“Sh Sh Sh, David,” Star consoles, taking David’s face in her hands. She laughs softly, and it eases his piss-poor mood slightly. “Nobody is attacking you, alright? We all love you.”

“Yeah,” And the voice seems to come from Paul, Marko, Dwayne, and Laddie all at once. “We just wish we could go back to the way it was, before.”

“Before Michael?” David corrects, suddenly realizing where the conversation is going.

“Before Michael.” Star repeats, completely stunning David.

“But, you picked him. It was you, Star. You wanted him, and you got him.”

“No, David,” she chuckles, giving him a matter of fact look, “you picked him.”

It should be wrong, but it’s all too right.

“Oh, all of you, fuck off.”

And he wakes up.
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