The screams kept him up most nights. The screams from his room mates. The screams from other rooms. The screams from his own head. It was not truly the screams that bothered him, past keeping him from reaching his dreams. It was Them. Those who kept him here. They did not understand. They did not believe. They thought he was insane. Paranoid Schizophrenic was the term they used officially. The Emersons and Star had meant well. He knew. It did not stop him from resenting them for it.
He was nine years old when he had finally found his family. His true family, not the people he was born to. He had spent two glorious, joy filled weeks with them. Then she came. She ruined everything. She forced him away from them, saying they were monsters, that they were corrupting him. Then she brought him and everything changed. He knew that it was partially David's fault for not seeing in time. They died. All of them.
He did not witness Marko's death. He had been fast asleep by the pull of the sun, just as they had been. He had felt it though, on an unconscious level. When he had waken at the Emersons' house, he had known what was happening. He had forced himself to be calm though, believing that they would save him. He believed they were truly immortal. How wrong he had been. They had all fallen, one by one, like moths scorched by flame. In the end he had put on a brave, happy face. Inside he died along with them.
They could not find his parents. He had none. It was one of the things that had drawn Paul to him in the first place. He had confided in Paul, when he had found him and asked why he was alone under the boardwalk, that he was an orphan and had grown up in the system, and how horribly he was a abused and neglected until he finally escaped and hid from the people looking for him. That was what they were all about. Finding lost souls and setting them to a purpose. A dark purpose, yes, but a purpose none the less.
They kept him. Lucy was nice, she made a good mother. Not his mother though. She was well meaning when she sent him to therapists and doctors. He was traumatized, but in no way that any human could understand. Michael was wary, but tried being a good brother. He over did it. He was a pompous jerk. He helped kill them. Star. He hated her with all of his being. Sam and Grandpa understood. They knew, somehow, what he felt and why. They did not hate him. Sam had only been defending himself when he killed Dwayne. After everything had calmed down he had disappeared. He had found him collapsed in the horse pasture, crying and begging Dwayne and the others for forgiveness. Michael and Star never cried.
Grandpa died. It was murder. He was twelve then. He had been the only one home with Grandpa at the time. He had found him collapsed in the driveway, blood pouring out his neck, chest torn by claws. It was not vampires. Star and Michael accused him in front of the police of doing it to get back at them for what happened. They made no mention of vampires, but once the police investigated him they learned of his 'delusions' about teenage vampires from when he was younger. He was found not guilty due to some new forensic technology. They found wolf fur. They assumed a stray wolf had attacked Grandpa. The case was dropped but the Emersons no longer trusted him. All save Sam that was.
They shipped him to a military academy when he was thirteen. Sam disappeared. They brought him home. Sam was missing for a month before they found him. He found him. He slipped away from school to visit the cave, needing to feel close to his lost family. Sam had been there, huddled naked and bleeding in the spot Marko had fallen years ago. He was changed. He was lost. He was a wolf. The wolf. He had hid it for a year, just shortly before Grandpa's death. A wolf had attacked him in a far pasture and bit him. He thought nothing of it until he changed. Werewolves. The Frogs had a field day when they found out, but kept Sam's secret. The guilt of Grandpa's death weighed heavily on him. It broke him. He went feral by werewolf terms; unable to transform back into human form. He had hid in the only safe place he could think of.
Sam was disowned by Michael. Lucy kicked him out of the house in a fit of rage when she found out of his possible connection to Grandpa's death. He was the only one left. Sam lived with the Frogs. The Frogs died when he was fifteen. They took out the small pack of werewolves that called Santa Carla home. The same pack that had turned and then abandoned Sam, and killed Grandpa. They blew up city hall. They were dead long before the dynamite went though. They died fighting, in true Frog fashion. The day wept and even the night felt their absence. Sam disappeared again. He did not look for him.
He was seventeen when they finally had him committed to the Santa Carla Mental Health Institution. It was a fancy name for 'sanitarium'. They put people there to forget about them because they did not fit with society's views of what a person should be. They placed him there because of his fascination with death. They placed him there because he refused to give up hope. Because he refused to give up on his family. He tried to bring them back. Flesh for flesh, blood for blood, life for unlife. He killed six people before they caught him trying to kill himself. They deemed him insane. Too insane for normal prison.
He spent his days strapped to a bed in a locked ward. No one was allowed to see him. He sometimes heard faint cries that were not patients. Shouts from outside. He knew who they belonged to. Sam; he was the only one who understood. The only one who ever understood. He tried escaping but never got far. They kept him sedated. He tried to kill himself again, but they found him in time and stopped the bleeding. He was already dead. Why could they not see? He had died when they died. His body simply refused to stop moving. His brain refused to stop thinking. His spirit refused to depart this world. He hoped.
He spent his nights in a dark haze. Shadowy figures moved in the darkness of the ward. They whispered to him of life, of death, of pain, of agony, of family. He screamed himself hoarse most nights, demanding the figures to show themselves. Pleading. He needed them. When he no longer could scream, he would lay silent, staring with tears rolling down his face at the sliver of dark sky visible through the barred windows near his bed. Freedom lay beyond, he knew. If only he could reach it. The night. Flying. Riding the bikes. All freedoms denied him.
They declared him a hopeless case when he was eighteen. They moved him to a solitary room and kept him strapped to a bed there. There was no window. No freedom. They locked him away because he killed a fellow patient. Maybe he only needed one more kill? One more pound of flesh to bring them back? He still heard Sam sometimes. The place was small enough for it to be so. He was too lost in darkness to really know for sure if it was real or in his head. No shadows came to him in this room. They kept it lit so the surveillance cameras could easily keep an eye on him. The light scorched him. He was alone. He felt empty, hollow. Why would they not let him die? He wanted to be with them. Every breath was agony, though there was no pain.
He came on the eve of his nineteenth birthday. Pale hair, fierce blue eyes, rough voice. Just as he remembered. He wept when he saw him, believing him to be a hallucination. He was not real. He was dead. He had seen him, impaled on the horns of an antelope. He could not be real. He shuddered and cried when the vision reached out and caressed his face. It was just as the doctors said. It was not real. They were dead. He let out the keening of a wounded animal, begging the vision to stop tormenting him with things that were not true. David looked sad as he gazed at him. He broke the restraints as if they were nothing. He believed then. David was real. He broke down and cried in his savior's arms. He touched every part of him he could find, desperate that David would disappear, like his other dreams and delusions. He was real. He noticed nothing as he continued gazing at the painfully familiar face. He did not notice as he was picked up, as he was carried out of the asylum, past the bodies of his captors, he did not notice as they flew, free, to the cave. To his family.
He was nineteen when he realized it was real. They were real. They were alive. David was there. He explained. Magic. It spoke to its own. Only magic could call magic. Humans were not magic. Werewolves. Vampires. Life in death, in the moon, in the night. David had never been dead. He worked for years to find the answer to piece their family back together. Dead was dead, but immortals never die. Dwayne's people held the answer. David searched and found answers. They were not whole. All of them were broken. All of them were lost. All of them were healing. Sam helped. He was one of them, one of the broken, one of the healing. He was less lost over the years. He could help them find the way.
Dwayne was the worst. He was broken in mind and body. He healed both with every feeding he took from Sam. From all of them. Paul was scarred. No blood or healing could fix it. He lamented the loss of his smooth, perfect skin, but it was a lie. He was broken by Dwayne's loss more than his own. Marko was the most resilient. He was traumatized, but whole in mind and body, save a horrible scar over his heart. Sam cried the first time he met them. Laddie cried the first time he saw them again. Broken, lost, but not dead. His family was not whole, but it was healing.