a thousand more (BtVS/SVM)
Continuation of the Run!Verse
with telepath Buffy and same as ever Eric.
+a thousand more
Sometimes, living forever gets boring.
Sometimes, it gets downright tedious.
Over the years you have developed coping mechanisms to deal with the boredom. Back in the day, a little killing spree worked nicely. Then, with the dawn of the modern age, you packed up shop and moved whenever the ennui hit you.
It’s how you ended up in the New World in the first place.
You turned Pam because you were really, really bored that decade and for almost a century, her snarking and bitching and loyalty kept you entertained.
When she left you to make her own way, you went back to wandering. You built a business, kept is from anywhere between two years and a decade, and then you pulled up your stakes – Josie would laugh at this pun – and moved on.
Until 1984, when a teenage girl with a bad dye-job tumbled, quite literally into your way, knives flashing and mind slipping into yours like it had always been there.
You were enchanted.
So you kept her, because you are a greedy, selfish creature and you wanted
With her by your side, name from a song, face of an angel, tongue of a devil, the most mundane things became interesting because for all that she is unaging and part demon, a larger part of her is human and it had been a long, long time since you spent any time around one of those.
You woke in the evenings to find your room rearranged around you, or to find her dancing to the radio in her underwear. Once you rose to find the entire kitchen covered in cooling cookie trays, a grinning, flour streaked Josie in the middle of it all, cheering about how baking wasn’t all that hard, once you had it figured out.
The next night you rose to the sound of retching because apparently even Josie’s system cannot take more than two pounds of cookies a day.
She tethered you to the here and now, to things other than blood and sex and boredom. She made life interesting.
And as soon as she noticed that you actually enjoyed
her shenanigans – which was soon because she is a telepath
- she decided to make a job of it.
“I mean, as long as you’re entertained, you’re less likely to slaughter everyone and set yourself up as king of the world, so hey, public service, right?”
But then Godric came.
Or rather, you found him, locked in a basement, tired and silent in a way you’d never seen. Beaten. Worn.
You actually felt it, like a physical thing, when Josie’s laser focus shifted from you to your maker. She made him her new priority.
Keep Godric alive, keep him here, keep him bound to this plane, this body, this life. After Dallas, she took him to festivals and carnivals, took him on joyrides in Eric’s most expensive cars, signed them up for late night writing classes and spent them writing bad porn. She dragged him across the globe in search of his old haunts and made them new for him, made them shine again.
She made him tell her everything he knew about Rome while they meandered through the eternal city’s back alleys and she kissed him after every ice-cream flavor she tried, so he could taste them, too.
She let you see and hear and feel, sometimes, what they did when they were not with you, here, in Louisiana. She pulled you into your head and let you kiss Godric, too, let you feel the slide of cool flavors against her tongue.
Most of the time, though, she was too busy keeping one vampire alive, for a given value of the word, to spend much time on keeping another entertained.
It’s been months since ice-cream in Rome and you haven’t heard of nor seen them since that night. You know that they are well, can feel them thrumming steadily, one at the center of your chest, one in the back of your mind. They are alive.
But they are not here.
They are not here and you are terribly, terribly bored.
“Could you look any more annoyed? We’re going to start losing customers at this rate, Master,” Pamela chides from her place beside your ‘throne’ at the back of Fangtasia, visible to all. When you sit in this chair, you are as much part of the decoration as the red walls and the black furniture.
“Let them go,” you rumble, head propped in your hand, legs long in front of you. “As a matter of fact, kick them all out and let me burn the place down.”
She laughs, head thrown back, her black lace corset shaking with the force of it. “You wouldn’t do that,” she retorts, entirely too sure.
“Wouldn’t I?” you ask.
She nods and bends low, seductively purring into your ear. It’s all an act, all for the vermin watching, enthralled, from the dancefloor. Your fangs itch to descend, to show them what a vampire really is, outside this ridiculous fake-gothic setting, outside the costumes and rules.
At the beginning, when you were still half drunk with being known
after a thousand years of living in the dark, you thought this was a good idea. To flaunt
yourself and spit in the faces of the humans that didn’t believe you existed.
It’s only tedious now.
“No, you wouldn’t,” Pamela tells you, low and intimate, as if you are lovers, as if you want to rip each other’s clothes off. The two of you have not been lovers in two hundred years, almost. All for show. “Because then you’d have to bottle it, and I know how you hate that sludge.”
True Blood. Whoever claimed that it tastes like the real thing has obviously never tasted blood in their life.
You grind your teeth at the reminder that, along with Josie’s entertainment value, your only steady food source has gone. Her blood is potent and willingly given and a thousand times sweeter than that of the fangbangers you have been reduced to these past few months. They taste like they look, stale, used and cheap.
Sookie promised to taste sweet and vibrant, but Sookie denies you at every turn, always taking and never giving. You never valued Josie’s moral flexibility and willingness to adapt until you met the other telepath and realized how hard your own could have made your life for you. Sookie clings to human values, clings to her raising, to what she thinks is true and right and good. Sookie clings, most of all, to Bill Goddamn Compton, out of naiveté as much as love.
Sookie is as out of reach as Josie, so your choices are between fangbangers and True Blood.
You growl low in your throat and consider calling your telepath and ordering
her back. You are her master. She would come.
“Are you about to throw a tantrum?” Pam breaks into your thoughts, sounding entirely too amused.
“Fuck off,” you snarl, half trying to figure out if there are matches in your office. If you do it after closing, maybe spray a few hateful slogans on the walls, it could be passed off as a hate crime. Insurance might even kick in. If you gave it to Pam for new shoes, she might not rat you out.
You’re seriously considering the merit of the idea when the front door of Fangtasia opens and in comes the last person you expect.
Your maker, wearing fashionably tight jeans and a faded bandshirt, along with those blasted white-capped sneakers you’ve been seeing everywhere for decades. His cheeks look rosy and well fed and you can’t help the brief thought of at least someone is getting decent blood
The ringing laughter inside your skull is as startling as it’s been sorely missed.
Josie follows in Godric’s wake dressed in sparkly high heels, purple leggings and a white man’s shirt thrown over top, cinched tight with a broad belt. They are both so fashionable and painfully young
that they stick out like sore thumbs, turning heads as they go.
A few of the new vampires you have collected in the wake of Katrina are pointing and staring and you can hear Clancy and the others whispering names in their ears. Josie, Godric. Telepath, maker.
Godric smiles slightly and Josie cheerfully waves at the waitresses as she passes them and dissonance between the way they look and act and what they are – older than Christianity and capable of driving a man insane with nothing but the power of her mind, respectively – is jarring. It sends a pleasant shiver of dark delight down your spine.
Beside you, Pam snorts delicately. “Looks like I can stop hiding the flammables,” she remarks and then glides down the dais to peck both Josie and Godric on the cheek before disappearing to man the door in a rare show of tact.
Or maybe it’s a statement, because as Pam pointedly leaves you alone, so do the rest of your underlings turn back to their work and dinners.
And then your lost terrors reach you.That’s not very nice,
Josie laughs and something twisted flashes through you before you can hide it. Her smile wavers a bit. I’m sorry
, she says.
It encompasses six months of radio silence, of leaving you alone, of cutting you out, of simply not being there
, of making you care
and then disappearing, of making you worry
, of all gods-forsaken things.
She adds to the apology by giving you a quick kiss and a deeper than usual bow before she climbs onto the left arm of your chair and settling there, her legs crossing yours, her hand going to the nape of your neck and tangling there like it was never gone.
Something slots into place. Not in your heart, no, not that. But in your head. Some forgotten part, a warmth across old memories that you had almost forgotten already, a soft tinge to your thought processes. Your telepath, burrowing back into your mind, retaking her place, restaking her claim.
“I’ve got your mark on my neck, buddy,” she once told you when you realized she never fully withdrew, “I get my own claim. And it’s not like you know any telepaths that might see.”
You know Sookie now, and even she has never seen, never noticed, because she is blind to your mind entirely. You find yourself feeling almost sorry for that, even as you are glad there isn’t another mind reader sneaking around your deepest, darkest memories. I missed you
, she confesses, mercifully not out loud. You rest a hand on her thigh and let her be. As have I
, Godric echoes and this is new, three people in this web of Josie’s making. Your little part-demon has been learning new tricks. As have I,
Godrics says, yet again, and you barely have time to catch his meaning before he repeats Josie’s motions, a bow, a kiss, and then a seat on the other arm of your throne. He tangles his legs with Josie’s across yours and leans into your shoulder, smiling slightly, content and full of mischief.
They just rest there, young and beautiful and vibrant bookends, teasing you, cocooning you. Apologizing, wordlessly.
Most of the room is gaping.
Ask if you give a fucking damn.
You wrap arms around both their waists and listen as they spin tales of their exploits inside your head, showing more than telling, letting you see all that you have missed. Letting you witness your maker slowly coming back to life, laughing, playing in a way he never has for as long as you’ve been alive.
He’s lost his seriousness, you realize, his put-upon air of age and suffering. It’s why he looks so young.
Finally Josie tires of just showing
and demands, “Come on, I wanna go somewhere.”
Form the tone of her voice, she has something very specific in mind. You try to peek, but she throws you out. Godric laughs. You are beginning to enjoy this new three-way connection.
You let yourself be pulled to your feet by four small hands, let yourself be led out the visitor’s entrance, past your bemused child.
“Pammie, be a star and lock up, wouldja?” Josie hollers, making a comical show out of shoving you forward, while Godric pretends, badly, to have a hard time pulling you by the arm.
Half your reputation is probably out the window after the display, but you find yourself laughing a toothy laugh instead of being annoyed.
They drag-shove you all the way down the block and into a dark alley, where Josie jumps on your back, wrapping you up in limbs and jerking a thumb skywards directly in front of your face. You almost go cross-eyed trying to see it.
“Up ya go, bossman,” she orders and digs her heels into your sides.
You growl at her, but when Godric lifts off, you follow him into the night.
You fly, north and east, across borders, up and out, until you start to worry about making in back before the sun, but Josie clings to your neck and laughs into your mind and says, We’ll be fine
You believe her.
Gods help you, you always do.
Ahead of you, Godric suddenly drops out of the sky.
You find him again at the edge of a rocky pool in the middle of nowhere.Nearest humans are fifty miles out
, Josie explains, still silent. You are all very silent, except for the sound of her breathing and heartbeat.
Godric sits on the highest rock above the head of the little pool, his feet dangling over the edge. He’s barefoot and you don’t know where he left his shoes. You look around and find no signs of civilization anywhere, not even light on the horizon. You wonder how they found this place and then you don’t anymore because Josie’s belt is dropping to the hard ground followed by her heels and shirt and leggings and then she’s naked and shooting a quick grin at you over her shoulder before jumping.
She shrieks against the cold and Godric laughs, leaving a pile of clothes on his perch as he follows her, staying under water until the ripples of his entrance fade and then pouncing on the telepath, pulling her down.
You watch them play for a while, transfixed by their playfulness, their exuberance. You have never seen either of them like this.Hey, Eric, did I tell you?
her voice suddenly echoes. We went to that hotel where you found me, remember?
As if you could forget her, fire, blood, death and defiance, a wry smile on her lips and a knife in each hand. There’s a vampire bar now. Total dive. It’s calledThe Last Fang. Total irony, right?
“She gave a blow by blow description of the fight in the middle of the bar,” Godric adds, coming up with a spluttering blonde in his arms.
She gasps, elbows him in the ribs and then kicks both feet toward you, splashing you. “So are you coming in, or not?”
of the Wishlist is being added to Some You Lose
, because it belongs there more than here.