Family is Blood
Yikes. It's been a year since an update. Lo siento. I'm in graduate school, working, and life things always get in the way. I've included quite a few references to past chapters with links in order to help people get back into it.
Thanks for reading!
September 16, 2007
Red Lodge, Montana
The poison of the Dead Man’s Blood coursed through her veins leaving fire in its wake. Lenore burned all over and a groan escaped her lips when she returned to consciousness. She blinked her eyes open, trying to see despite the room spinning around her. Where was she?
“Glad to see you’re awake. We need to have a chat, bitch.”
That voice…Lenore twisted in her chair, realizing that she was bound completely, and saw the hazy outline of a man. “Dead Man’s Blood, bitch.”
Yes, she was remembering now…he had found her. This must be the Hunter that had been chasing her clan over the last year. Her eyesight began to clear and she stared him down, taking in every detail of his body. He was tall with a chiseled face and dead eyes, wearing a flannel shirt and jeans. He looked like most hunters that she had observed over the years, for Lenore still dreamt of her descendants each time they died. Her line had remained strong over the centuries.
Some Hunters became obsessed with the lifestyle and abandoned normal life as their need to wipe demonic creatures off the earth engulfed them. Their lives became routine and robotic, deadening their souls.
Lenore could see that the Hunter before her had lost himself in his mission. He appeared so full of hate that there was nothing else human left of him.
“If you wanted to chat, you could have just asked,” Lenore replied, wincing at the way her voice rasped.
The man dipped a bowie knife into a jar of blood on the kitchen table and smiled. “It’s more fun this way.”
Fear struck her and she tried to twist against her bounds but her energy was depleting from the poison. Everything hurt and took too much effort. Her mind swam in pain and it was becoming more difficult to concentrate.
The Hunter walked over and sliced the knife over her chest, leaving a thin red line. Lenore gasped as more Dead Man’s Blood entered her bloodstream.
“Please…” she whispered.
He laughed and cut her again. “Now, I want you to tell me where the rest of your nest is. I’m tired of hunting you out. Time for me to end it and find a new nest to clean out.”
“Leave us…alone,” she gasped. He cut her again and again, each time asking where her family was hiding. The poison was overwhelming her senses. She tried to call to her magic but Lenore couldn’t concentrate enough to do so. Time passed and with each moment she prayed that Eli would find her.
Twin footsteps punctured the air and Lenore thanked God for answering her prayers. However, when she looked at the doorway her heart sunk.
“Sam, Dean. Come on in.” The Hunter’s voice was calm. He must have been expecting them.
It disappointed Lenore to see the young Hunter she had spoken with earlier was there. She had prayed for mercy and had hoped her attempt to talk to him would have worked. Apparently he still wanted her dead.
“Hey, Gordon. What's going on?” The other young Hunter spoke. He wore a brown leather jacket and gazed at Lenore and Gordon with assessing eyes.
“Just poisoning Lenore here with some dead man's blood,” Gordon explained. “She's going to tell us where all her little friends are, aren't you? Want to help?”
The hunter in the leather jacket looked taken aback. “Look, man…”
“Grab a knife. I was just about to start in on the fingers.” Gordon slowly sliced across Lenore’s left forearm. She shuddered in pain.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, hey, let's all just chill out, huh?” The hunter in the leather jacket spoke calmly and for the first time tonight Lenore felt a twinge of hope.
“I'm completely chill.”
Lenore wondered how Gordon could speak so calmly while torturing her. She wondered if he was insane.
The hunter that Lenore had pleaded with earlier stretched out his hand pleadingly. “Gordon, put the knife down.” He took a step forward but the other hunter stopped him with a hand to his chest.
“Sounds like its Sam here needs to chill,” Gordon spoke.
Sam. The hunter she had spoken with was named Sam. Then the leather jacket man must be Dean.
“Just step away from her, all right?” Sam asked.
A moment passed as Gordon looked from Lenore to the boys. She was gasping for breath now – the cuts along her throat made every intake of air painful.
Gordon tossed the knife on the table and Lenore silently thanked God that he had seen the error of his ways.
“You're right. I'm wasting my time here. This bitch will never talk. Might as well put her out of her misery.” As Gordon pulled a larger knife out of a canvas bag on the kitchen table, Lenore began shaking with fear. “I just sharpened it, so it's completely humane,” he added mildly.
As he moved towards her, Sam blocked Gordon.
“Gordon, I'm letting her go.”
Gordon’s arm moved swiftly to point the knife at Sam’s chest. Sam stopped and Dean took a step forward.
“You're not doing a damn thing,” Gordon warned.
“Hey, hey, hey, Gordon, let's talk about this,” Dean said.
“What's there to talk about? It's like I said, Dean. No shades of gray.”
Dean nodded. “Yeah. I hear ya. And I know how you feel.”
Gordon’s head tilted to the side and his tone became threatening. “Do you?”
“That vampire that killed your sister deserved to die, but this one...”
Gordon began laughing. “Killed my sister? That filthy fang didn't kill my sister. It turned her. It made her one of them. So I hunted her down, and I killed her myself.”
Dean and Sam appeared surprised. “You did what?” Dean asked.
“It wasn't my sister anymore, it wasn't human. I didn't blink. And neither would you.”
“So you knew all along, then? You knew about the vampires, you knew they weren't killing anyone. You knew about the cattle. And you just didn't care,” Sam accused.
“Care about what? A nest of vampires suddenly acting nice? Taking a little time out from sucking innocent people? And we're supposed to buy that? Trust me. Doesn't change what they are. And I can prove it.” Suddenly Gordon lashed out, grabbing Sam’s arm, slicing the knife against it, and then pressing the knife against Sam’s throat as he dragged the hunter towards Lenore.
Lenore smelled the blood. In her weakened state, all she could think about was blood. It consumed her.
The thickness of it, the salty sweet taste, the way it would make her body strong again…
Oh sweet God, she wanted it.
Dean pulled his gun. “Let him go.” When Gordon didn’t move, Dean shouted “Now!”
“Relax,” Gordon stated calmly. “If I wanted to kill him he'd already be on the floor. Just making a little point.” He held Sam’s bleeding arm over Lenore’s face. A drop of blood dripped onto her forehead and she leaned up. Oh God, how badly her dry lips wanted to have the blood pour over her face!
Another drop fell, this time on her cheek. Lenore pulled against her restraints. Blood, she needed blood! A growl escaped her as she opened her mouth widely. Her fangs extended and her throat vibrated with guttural hungry noises.
“Hey!” Dean shouted.
A drop of blood fell into her mouth and every inch of Lenore’s body sang in joy. Blood! Oh, this sweet taste! So many long years had passed since she had human blood! She rolled it around her mouth savoring the taste.
Her magical senses exploded.
The blood. This taste. She knew this taste. This blood…it was the blood of her descendants…
As if from far away she heard Gordon arguing. “You think she's so different? Still want to save her? Look at her. They're all the same. Evil, bloodthirsty.”No
, Lenore thought. She was not evil. She would not bring harm to humans, especially to her descendant! She fought against the pain caused by the bloodlust and poison, retracting her fangs. She turned her head to the side. “No. No,” she whispered.
“You hear her, Gordon?” Sam said.
Sam’s blood called to her but Lenore fought against the bloodlust. “No! No!”
Sam pushed Gordon away. “We're done here.”
“Sam, get her out of here,” Dean ordered.
“Yeah.” Sam picked Lenore up and began carrying her out the door. Dean trained the gun on Gordon so he could not interfere.
Every step that Sam took jostled her body and her wounds pulsed with pain but Lenore did her best to ignore it. She had found one of her family members, something that had not occurred since she met Anne Campbell on the Titanic
and Drusilla before her.
“Watch your head,” Sam warned as he slowly put Lenore in the backseat of his Chevy Impala. Once he was done he got in the driver’s seat and started the engine.
“Thank you,” Lenore said softly. “Thank you.”
Sam glanced at her through the rearview mirror. “I don’t believe in hurting innocent people.” He frowned. “I mean…innocent monsters I guess.”
Lenore chuckled. She wanted to say more but she was so very tired.
Soon enough they drove back to the farmhouse where the clan was staying. Sam opened up her door and helped her out. She was still weak and needed his support, but at least she could walk.
“Lenore!” Eli shouted as he ran outside, followed by the rest of their small clan. “What happened?” He paled at seeing her wounds before directing a murderous glare towards Sam. “What did you do, Hunter?” Eli growled threateningly.
“Eli, stop.” Lenore took in a deep breath and tried to ignore the pain. “He saved me. The hunter, Gordon, the one who was following us, he was torturing me. Sam and his friend helped me.”
“Brother,” Sam corrected her.
“Brother,” Lenore repeated. A sweet smile came to her face as she realized then that she had met two of her descendants.
Eli stepped forward and embraced Lenore gingerly, careful not to hurt her. He looked at Sam with thinly veiled dislike. “Well…thank you, I suppose.”
“You all should get out of here tonight. We’ll make sure that Gordon can’t try to follow you.”
“We will. Thank you…Sam.” Lenore smiled at the hunter, shoving aside the desire to talk to him and learn more about him.
He shot her a sad smile. “You’re welcome.”
As he went back to her car, Lenore leaned against Eli’s chest. “I told you we could trust him.”
“You are usually correct,” Eli admitted.
Lenore laughed weakly. “Usually.”
September 30, 2007
“You’re thinking about them again, aren’t you?”
Eli’s voice interrupted her thoughts. Lenore turned away from the window and gave him a wry smile. “It’s been two weeks. I was hoping this curiosity would pass. But…it has not.”
“It makes sense that you would be interested about them. And worried.”
“Hunters are short-lived,” Lenore nodded. “But I worry about the dark forces facing those boys.”
“Are you sure your vision connected it all?”
Lenore closed her eyes and imagined the family tree that she had mentally stored in her mind. Over the years she had made too many enemies and it would be foolish to write down her family tree. Yet she had a vision of the death of each descendent and was able to know their name and catch brief glimpses of their death and their life. Over twenty years ago she had experienced an excruciatingly sinister vision of a descendant’s death. Her name was Mary Campbell Winchester, a hunter descended from Anne Campbell, the woman she met on The Titanic.
Even now, just thinking of Mary Campbell Winchester’s death, made her shiver in fear. It was a demon with yellow eyes who attacked Mary in her youngest son’s nursery. He telekinetically shoved her against the ceiling and set her on fire. Her last thoughts had been of her sons Sam and Dean and her husband John.
“I am sure,” Lenore answered Eli. “Their mother was killed by a demon.”
“Still, that is not uncommon. Hunters are often killed in their work.”
“Yes,” Lenore conceded. She pressed her lips together in a firm line. “But I remember feeling that demon’s presence through the vision. And right before she was murdered, Mary saw him doing something to the baby, Sam. I got the sense…from Mary’s feelings…that she suspected the demon was planning on doing something with her boy. She knew this demon from before. He killed her parents. She worried he would go after her sons.”
“Is it your right to play with fate?”
She understood where Eli was coming from but she glared at him all the same. So far he had talked her out of visiting the home where she, as Tara Maclay, grew up or from visiting Sunnydale; citing that Lenore could trigger something in the future. But this…this was different.
“Members of my line have been targeted by evil before. I could not save Drusilla but perhaps I could investigate this yellow-eyed demon and save those boys.”
“Lenore…” Eli shook his head and then let out a short laugh. “I know you. You’ve already decided, haven’t you?”
“I’ll return to you soon.” She gave him a sad smile.
Eli hugged her tightly. “Just be safe, Lenore. Traveling with you over the last ninety-four years…” Eli laughed again at that realization of time. “It may have been a long time but having you, having this family back, it’s made me happy. Return to us, okay?”
She kissed him on the cheek. “Always, dear one.”
November 2, 2007
Los Angeles, CA
There was no one harder to find than her brother. However, she was not surprised at all when her detective work and magic led her to him in LA. Fergus always enjoyed large glitzy locales. Where the wealthy and sinful resided, so he sought to be.
She almost considered against this course of action. In 1892
Fergus had refused to give her the powerful locket that had been a gift from Loki for her birthday, traded to Fergus when she needed his help to fight against Bilquis. She had borne witness to Fergus’ overall desire to help himself first and foremost – there was no way to know if he would help her find information on the yellow-eyed demon that threatened Sam and Dean Winchester.
Not that Lenore had decided on how to handle that particular issue. Would she kill the demon? Was it even possible to do so? Lenore once was a terror to the demonic world but swore never to do so again in 1886 after Loki’s intervention. Yet in 1912
she had killed Déshèng when he attacked the humans that turned out to be Ryan and Anne Campbell.
But with her family at risk…would she do so again?
Lenore lived with the guilt of failing Drusilla. She knew that, if she were honest with herself, the push to save her Campbell descendants was the result of that guilt of Drusilla’s turning. Did that make her intentions wrong? Or still honorable?
It was moments like now that she missed Loki. And Kali. Her lovers had also been her greatest confidants. Both provided counsel that often eased Lenore’s heart and mind.
Informants, met at demon bars, had led Lenore to find Fergus in LA. She had attempted locator spells but the King of the Crossroads Demons was impossible to find – Lenore suspected that his level of power outmatched spells. She had pondered the best way to find her brother, considering first using the law firm Wolfram and Hart. The firm had handled her accounts since Kali brought her there in India during the year 1783
. If they were once able to procure cross-dimensional Mortemzilinas
from the Quor'toth dimension for her, then surely they could inform her on the whereabouts of a demon.
However, being in California had led Lenore down the path of thinking of her life as Tara. At this point she – Tara – was twenty-one years old, dating Willow, and all the Scoobies were beginning to deal with having Buffy brought back from the dead. For years she had avoided temptation of visiting Sunnydale and possibly accidentally altering history by staying busy with Eli and her clan. Now that she was alone…well…that temptation was growing.
Lenore was wise enough to know that she could not interfere. Yet, she couldn’t help but reflect on a conversation that she once had with Kali the day
that they first visited Wolfram and Hart.
~Kali tossed her a sly smile. “No, but it was fun,” she laughed darkly. “Besides, I am truly tired of these Westerners. I would be tempted to kill them all if it wasn’t for what I saw in your future as Tara – that my people would become stronger than the chains that hold them and fight peacefully for their land, and spark such revolutionary thoughts that the world will change.” She smiled in a bittersweet way. “Yes, someday it will be with it.”
“It will,” Lenore agreed as she leaned into Kali and wrapped an arm around her waist. She knew that it grieved Kali to watch silently as the British control over her people grew greater with each decade. “It is a shame that you won’t get a chance to make them pay yourself,” she added.
“How do you know I won’t?” Kali smiled secretly.
Dumbfounded, Lenore asked, “What do you mean?”
“Your memories of history textbooks stated the work of Mohandas Ghandi would spark my people’s revolution – I may very well have a hand to play in it.”
Lenore frowned. “But…” she trailed off.
“But I am not mentioned?” Kali laughed. “Darling, I doubt your textbooks will know of my work."
“Well, yes,” Lenore smiled sheepishly. “But what I was thinking was that Ghandi and other succeeded in gaining their independence from Britain. So if you know that they’ll already be successful then why would you help?”
Kali clucked her tongue and tapped Lenore’s temple with two fingers. “That is why time travel is such tricky businesses, my love.” She smiled. “The Butterfly Effect is often unpredictable. Perhaps the reason why my people are successful is because I give aid to them, all because I learned through our psychic connection what was to occur.”
Not only did Lenore wonder how she should handle the yellow-eyed demon, she wondered if she should interfere with Sunnydale. Yes, Buffy was able to trying to deal with what happened, but no one really understood at this point. The Scoobies didn’t get it and Buffy was in pain.
And Willow…if she remembered correctly, it was around this time that Willow began experimenting dangerously with magic and ignoring Tara’s warnings. What if she went there and got Willow to stop before things got worse…?
Lenore squeezed her eyes shut. She was being a fool. Recalling the events dozens of times made her realize that all the events occurred because of those involved. There had never been a mysterious benefactor. No, if Lenore interfered then everything could go terribly wrong.
She had contemplated just passing through Sunnydale. So many years have passed since she last saw Willow. To rest her eyes upon her again…oh God, how marvelous that would be!
But…she knew she shouldn’t. She could not predict the result.
Besides, there was only a six months before ‘she’ died as Tara. Once that happened, Lenore could arrive and pick up where she and Willow left off.
Of course, Willow would be confused at first, but magic and weirdness was the Sunnydale way. Lenore was sure they could work things out easily.
Lenore took a deep breath and collected her thoughts. Now, she was here to find Fergus so she could discover more about the yellow-eyed demon. She needed to take care of this yellow-eyed thing now before she could find happiness in six months. And while all the thoughts of Sunnydale were painful and confusing, she realized something.
Angel was here.
While she never knew him as Tara, she remembered Willow visiting Angel in LA twice. In 1900
, after finding Angel in China and helping him to rehabilitate from drinking human blood, they had remained a strong friendship over the years. She had visited him perhaps every decade or so to check in. His recovery was an arduous one; some years he was well-put together and other years he lived off rats in the sewers. She had lost touch with him after 2001 – she knew that was the year he would go to Sunnydale. Maintaining contact with him then would have made her life incredibly complicated. The yearning to rejoin her life in Sunnydale would be too strong.
But now Angel was here. And she missed her old friend.
She didn’t know quite where to look – it wasn’t as if she knew the address of where Willow had traveled to meet Angel – but she knew the demon community. Demons talked, especially at bars. Fortunately rumor told her that a bar called Caritas was the most popular demon bar in the city. Surely she would learn of Angel’s whereabouts there.
That night Lenore dressed up in a black maxi dress
with lace sleeves. After all, if she was going to a demon bar to collect information, she needed to look good. Her reflection made her smile – it had been a while since she dressed up. She looked quite good today.
Caritas was styled like a Las Vegas lounge with bold colors and bright lights. A demon with fine cheekbones, green skin and red horns, decked out in a yellow suit, stood at the microphone introducing the next karaoke act. The fellow who went up there, a man with a crisp military-style haircut and a tail that snaked out his trousers, began singing “Sweet Caroline”. Chuckling to herself, Lenore ordered a glass of lamb’s blood from the bartender.
“What’s funny, darling? Not a fan of bar tunes?” The green-skinned man who was at the stage earlier was now standing next to her and sipping a Seabreeze.
“Not particularly,” Lenore responded with a wry smile. “I mean, I know this bar caters to demons, but I didn’t recognize its heavy influence of evil would equate karaoke.”
“Oh-ho! Honey child, karaoke is the greatest gift to the world.” The demon winced as the singer went off-key. “Well, sometimes.”
She laughed. “I’m Lenore.”
“Lorne. Host with the most, here at Caritas. Will we be seeing you sing?”
Her nose crinkled in distaste. “I’d rather not. I really came out to find someone.”
“Ah.” Lorne eyed her dress and waggled his brows. “So it’s that
kind of night.”
“No!” Lenore laughed loudly.
“Darling, I don’t judge. I mean, our clientele is…eh, depending on the night.”
“Oh, no,” she giggled. “Really. I’m just in town trying to find an old friend.”
Lorne gazed down at her; red eyes scanning her face. “There’s something about you, Lenore. Your aura is…fascinating.”
Her cheeks blushed. “You read auras?”
“Certainly. It’s my thing. But I read them best when someone sings – I can typically read into their future.”
“My future?” Lenore all but squeaked. That idea both excited and terrified her.
“If you’re trying to find your friend, I may be able to help you.”
“I don’t know…” Lenore’s life was too complicated. She hated the idea that this Lorne fellow could see into her future. But then again, maybe he could help…
“I’m not much of a singer though,” Lenore admitted.
Lorne winked at her. “No problem, sweet thing. Let’s spice up that blood with some rum and you’ll be just fine!”
Lenore hesitated for a moment and then nodded. She could use all the help she could get.
About two drinks later Lenore was on stage and feeling uneasy – being on stage reminded Lenore of her evangelist days in the clan. The music began and Lenore began singing a Beatles tune. She watched Lorne’s expression as he observed her from the back of the row. One stanza in and she saw him begin to frown. It bothered her but she continued singing…and then she saw Lorne’s face blanch and he leaned back against the bar looking sick to his stomach.
Anxiety stirred and she left the stage, ignoring the crowd’s complaints.
“Lorne! What is it? What did you see?”
His green skin was paling. “A lot of things, sweet thing,” he replied unsteadily.
“Perilous fate at the roll of the dice,
Death and resurrection, foretold twice,
First by cold metal, then by demon hand,
Eventually given an army to command
Ruin will come to the one born first,
Quenched will be your everlasting thirst.”
Lenore gasped – this is what Heimdallr had foretold during her visit to Asgard many years ago, back in 1910
“How do you know that?” Her voice was raw with confusion, suspicion, and fear.
“It came to me…as did another vision. You were with my friend and fighting against a vampire hunter and…and I think Wolfram and Hart.”
Lenore’s eyebrows shot up her forehead. “Wolfram and Hart? No. That must be wrong. I have accounts with them!”
Lorne chuckled dryly. “Sugar, they have accounts with everyone. And the branch here isn’t exactly friendly with my friends.”
“Your friends…Wait, who was the friend you saw me with?”
“His name is Angel. He has great hair and cheekbones, and helps the helpless,” Lorne answered with a grin.
Lenore stared in shock and began laughing like a mad woman.
She waved her hand. “No, it’s just that I am not surprised that if I’m fighting it is because Angel is involved.” Lenore grinned. “He is the friend I am looking for.”
“Oh!” Lorne said brightly. “Well then, let’s head over. If Sweet Cheeks is going to be fighting lawyers again, then I better give him a head’s up.”
“Does he fight lawyers often?” Lenore asked with a puzzled look.
Lorne shrugged. “They’re evil lawyers.”
“And that is different how…?”
Lorne burst into laughter. “I think I like you.”
Wow. Been over a year since the update. You can thank some reviewers and a rainy night for this update. I've missed this story and thank you for still reading it. I purposely put hyperlinks to old chapters and lots of references to help people catch up - because even I have forgotten a good deal!
Note that a lot of the dialogue in the beginning came directly from the Supernatural "Bloodlust" episode. So far I have maintained canon compliance for the BTVS and SPN universes...although that may be changing soon ;)
Here's a timeline reference of how I have mashed up the verses:
2006 – SPN s1; BTVS s5; Angel s2
2007 – SPN s2; BTVS s6; Angel s3. Buffy characters are all 21; Dean is 28; Sam is 24