Consequences II - Out In Left Field
In the end, Xander and Sunday hid out for two months before finally stepping inside the Circus of the Damned.
Xander almost shivered when he saw the clowns with fangs. He decided the vampires of this reality must be scarier than he'd originally thought. They had to be scary-mother fuckers, clowns on their own were bad enough, but vampire clowns was a new level of scary.
From following the papers, Xander knew this Anita Blake had showed up alive and well and had rescued Jean-Claude, which lead Xander to believe Anita was a vampire hunter in name only. Perhaps she'd tried hunting Jean-Claude and ended up his slave instead, Xander quite liked that idea.
But Xander still wasn't sure his impressions were correct, because these vampires were at least tame enough to be legal citizens here and allowed themselves to be subject to human laws. Not that Xander was planning to follow human laws, humans were cattle, nothing more. However, he and Sunday continued to hide their kills, but not because they feared the humans. Though there was a part of Xander that wanted to leave their kills open and draw the upstart humans to him so he could beat them down and make rivers of human blood.
It'd be a hell of a fight, of that Xander was certain. But Xander now knew being staked had greatly affected him, because while part of him wanted to challenge everyone, especially humans, a much larger part of him insisted on remaining hidden and therefore safe. Xander wanted to believe that was due more to dangerous remnants of his lost humanity, but it just couldn't quite make himself believe it.
Xander shrugged. The time was almost right, which was why he was here entering the Circus of the Damned to draw attention. Hopefully the vampires in this reality would be ready to back him up. If not, well he was Xander fucking Harris and he was scared of no man; mortal or otherwise.
Though he couldn't help but notice that he was coming out to other vampires, rather than challenging humanity at large first and getting the vampires to come to him. However, since he was coming out at all, he could ignore that fact.~ * ~ * ~
Jean-Claude was aware the moment two strange vampires entered his club. They weren't simply strangers, they were strange in that Jean-Claude had never encountered anything like them before.
Most vampires, even among other vampires, tried to hide their true selves away. It was the price of gaining legal status, though some were better at hiding than others, and he himself thanks to Anita and Richard was better than most. But the two in his club were not trying to hide at all. In fact, they seemed to welcome anyone and everyone to see them for what they really were.
They were both young, the male very young, but the female was still very much a babe in vampire terms herself. Yet despite that they felt very powerful, and Jean-Claude couldn't help but notice that there was a taint of true darkness which clung to them.
Jean-Claude knew he needed to introduce himself and get some information from them. Then he would decide whether to kill them or allow them into his flock, or on the off chance they were envoys of the Council, treat them with kid gloves.
Thanks to Anita he was in a better position than he'd ever been when it came to the Council. The other side of that was that also thanks to Anita several of the members were festering with anger, and merely waiting for the chance to strike back and destroy them all.
Had he been human, Jean-Claude might have sighed. It wasn't that he didn't love Anita, it was just that sometimes he didn't like her at all. He'd actually thought, or perhaps simply hoped, that when his Incubus took root and then shape inside her that maybe she would become more understanding.
So far that had yet to happen, at present Anita was too busy enjoying the role of victim. She would deny that, of course, but it was obvious to most that she actually enjoyed having certain decisions out of her hands. Were she willing Jean-Claude, in addition to numerous others, would have happily taken all those decisions out of her hands, especially since they were mostly sexual in nature. But Anita would not allow that, and Jean-Claude was beginning to suspect she never would, and because of that she would always be more miserable than necessary. Therefore all those around her would always be more miserable than necessary.
Worse still was that Anita hadn't seemed to learn anything from the experience. She took what she needed, but was almost completely unwilling (or maybe unable) to give anything back. Jean-Claude was beginning to believe that Anita was simply incapable of changing or growing.
Jean-Claude shook himself, internally, of course, because he had allowed nothing of what he was thinking or feeling to outwardly show. One didn't make it to a vampire of his status by displaying ones emotions freely.
The closer he got to the strange vampires, the more he realized that the darkness was wrapped around them like a cloak. There was something almost demonic about them. Jean-Claude knew he should be afraid, but he couldn't find that emotion in himself at the moment. He was more intrigued than anything.
Without a word he took a seat at their table, they both looked at him simply waiting.
"Might I ask why you've came to my fair city?"
They both looked a bit sour at the question, and Jean-Claude wondered why.
"We didn't mean to," the female answered. "We were happy in our reality."
Jean-Claude was both curious and disbelieving.
"Then we were killed
"But instead of winding up where ever it is bad little dead vampires end up," the male said. "We woke up here."
"Interesting," Jean-Claude said, and it was interesting, but he needed to know more before making a decision.
The male smirked. "And I got to say, man, this world sucks."
Jean-Claude was stunned.
"In our world humans know their place."
"As cattle," the female added. "For our amusement."
"But here they are up and running around like they own the damn planet again."
Jean-Claude wasn't sure how he knew, but he believed they were telling the truth. If all the vampires in this other reality were like these two, it was easy to see how humans could end up as little more than cattle.
For a moment, Jean-Claude allowed himself to think about it, but then before either Anita or Richard could pick up on his thoughts, he cloaked them and pushed them away. It wasn't that he really wanted to make humans cattle, but he could admit the idea had some appeal. Along with the appeal of being able to simply be himself once in awhile; a vampire with no masking of that fact required.
"Sounds like a lovely place," and it did, at least in part. In reality, though, Jean-Claude would not be willing to trade all vampires in this reality had gained for it. Though feeding whenever and however he wanted - he couldn't deny the appeal.
The female smiled. "It has its good points and its bad points. For example, we didn't have to hide anymore, but hunting for food isn't as easy as it was in the old days."
Jean-Claude nodded, perhaps these two could be controlled. "Finding food here is not a problem."
The two shared a grin and Jean-Claude wondered if they'd already been feeding in his City. And if they had what exactly he might do about it. Something told him that punishing these two would be harder than punishing other vampires. Perhaps even beyond his abilities.
"I'm Sunday by the way," she said. "This is Xander."
"A pleasure to meet you," Jean-Claude said, and while his voice indicated that to be true, he was still unsure if it was a pleasure or not.
Jean-Claude saw Asher approaching and felt relief rush through him, while Jean-Claude didn't believe these two were a threat to him, it was always better to have another on his side just in case.
Jean-Claude didn't know whether or not it was a good thing when he watched Xander's eyes fill with lust as he spotted Asher. That was something of a surprise, because at the moment Asher wasn't even attempting to hide the half of his face that was covered in scars. It seemed Xander did not care about the scars at all. After a moment, Jean-Claude decided it was probably a good thing, because Asher was practically preening under Xander's lustful eyes.~ * ~ * ~
Thankfully, it hadn't been truly necessary for Asher to join them. After the small-talk, they'd retreated to his office to discuss terms.
Finally, it was decided that Sunday and Xander would become a part of Jean-Claude's kiss and would willingly follow his orders. After that Jean-Claude performed the blood-oath on both of them, though he couldn't be certain the blood-oath would be any good, he'd insisted on it anyway.
The two newcomers had seemed amused the whole time, and it was painfully clear that they didn't need a Master to make their hearts beat. In fact, their hearts didn't seem to beat at all.
Therefore, Jean-Claude knew it was possible that with these two the blood-oath would be more show than binding fact. But as long as they behaved that would be acceptable.
Xander grinned as the door opened and a small blond werewolf entered the room. He'd never tasted werewolf blood, so this would be a treat.
Then Xander frowned as Jean-Claude explained that Jason wasn't for killing. Apparently these vampires couldn't kill when they feed - whether that was because of laws or something else, Xander wasn't sure. Either way, the wolf, Jason, had some fancy label, and was apparently special to Jean-Claude.
Xander barely kept himself from sighing or rolling his eyes. Food was food, but apparently it just couldn't be that simple in this reality.
As Jean-Claude continued to talk, Xander realized things in this reality fell into two categories; annoying or amusing. Drinking blood from Jean-Claude in some kind of binding, which didn't take, was amusing. Having cattle dangled in front of him and being told he couldn't actually kill was annoying.
When Sunday looked up, Xander could see the question in her eyes. He gave a small nod. For now, no matter how annoying, they would follow the rules. He couldn't help but notice that Sunday looked relieved. He wondered why, because while Jean-Claude was strong, Xander believed that he and Sunday together could take him.
As Jason approached Sunday everyone, except Xander, froze when she revealed her feeding face. This puzzled Xander, but before he could open his mouth Jean-Claude was on his feet and pulling Jason back. He moved fast, faster than Xander had expected.
"Well," Sunday said, and Xander realized he'd missed something. "How do you feed then?"
Jean-Claude opened his mouth, and Xander realized that these vampires didn't change face when they ate. The downside was that their fangs never went away either. Xander wouldn't have minded that, but he kind of liked the reaction he always got when his face changed before feeding.
"I believe we shall try something different," Jean-Claude stated. "I do not want my Pomme de Sang
Another door, behind Jean-Claude's desk, opened and another small blond werewolf entered. This one was carrying a box with a wicked looking knife laying on top of it. Xander briefly wondered if Jean-Claude had some freaky mind-link with all his people. That might explain why he didn't want them killed.
The werewolf laid the box on Jean-Claude's desk and then opened it, and Xander realized what the something different was. Jean-Claude was going to bleed Jason, and then they would drink from wine glasses like civilized monsters. Xander could live with that, after all that was what the Factory had been all about.
As they waited, Xander amused himself with Jean-Claudes apparent fetish for small blond and very male werewolves. Xander played with images of them wolfing out while Jean-Claude feed or fucked them. Then Xander wondered if maybe Jean-Claude liked them wolfing out and doing him in their wolf forms. Xander realized he wasn't entirely averse to either idea, though since becoming a vampire Xander liked being on top, he'd spent too much time on bottom as a human, though admittedly not in the sexual sense.~ * ~ * ~
As they entered the room under the Circus where apparently all the vampires slept, Xander realized Sunday was upset about something. He opened his mouth to ask, but she shook her head and then glanced at the other vampires getting in to coffins, apparently to sleep for the day.
That amused Xander, while vampires in his reality did not need coffins, nor did they actually need to sleep during the day, it was amusing to see that there was two coffins for him and Sunday.
She was going through the motions of preparing to bed down for the day, so Xander followed suit. It seemed she didn't want them to know that as long as they weren't in sunlight they were perfectly functional during the day. Hell, they could even be out in sunlight as long as they were properly covered.
As Xander lay down in his coffin, he decided he agreed with her, there was no sense in giving away their advantage.
Finally, once all the others were dead to the world, and they were dead, which surprised Xander, he opened the lid and stepped out and watched as Sunday did the same.
"So now," Xander said. "What's up?"
"I wasn't going to kill him," Sunday snapped. "I wasn't even going to damage him!"
Xander knew what she was talking about, but couldn't really understand her anger. So they couldn't feed from the wolf directly, it wasn't like this world wasn't filled with people and other werewolves ripe for the feeding.
Sunday glared as Xander said what he'd been thinking.
"No there won't," she snapped, and Xander felt his hackles rise. The only thing that held him back was the fact that he knew she wasn't bitching about him just to him.
"Weren't you paying attention? Jean-Claude has all these wonderful pets, and yet we're the ones expected to lap up blood like little puppy dogs!"
"He just doesn't want us to hurt those that are special to him," Xander said trying to sound reasonable, It wasn't one of his strong points, but he thought he was doing okay. "And, hey, if I was him I wouldn't trust us either."
Sunday gave a surprised little laugh. "Okay, you have a point. But I don't like feeding this way. Nothing beats taking blood directly from the source. Nothing!"
"Hey," Xander said holding up his hands in mock surrender. "I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just saying that if we can't feed on his pets
that doesn't mean we can't feed on any live thing."
Sunday nodded. "We'll just have to continue to be sneaky about that, I suppose."
Then she turned back to the coffin, and Xander noticed she was glaring at it.
"We might as well sleep," she finally said. "There doesn't seem to be anything else to do in this reality."
Xander decided he would stay up a few more hours and check things out when he was mostly alone. There were a few humans and lycanthropes in the Circus that weren't asleep, or at least didn't need to sleep during the day, but there was so few of them that he could easily avoid them.~ * ~ * ~