Prologue: Give and Take
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Atlantis is owned by Disney.
A/N: The idea for this story came from a prompt: "Vampire!Kida (probably more like a few hundred years than thousands, but if you can find some way to make it work then go for it) is part of a community or group of vampires who are terribly and desperately secretive. They consider her important in some way, and therefore shelter her even more from the outside world. Milo is an academic obsessed with vampires. And... somehow their paths collide. The prompt gets vague around there. I don't care if you set it as an AU elsewhere in time, either. (And Queen of the Damned references certainly wouldn't go amiss.) Just... vampire!Kida/Milo, please?
But I know nothing of Queen of the Damned so this has become more of just a strange AU - an Atlantis/vampire culture mash up sort of thing that my brain has spun out.
A/N 2: Reviews are Good. This has been a subtle hint from the author - Please return to your regularly scheduled reading.Prologue: Give and Take
Give and take.
Give and take – it has been such a through line of her life, such a repeated thing, that after centuries now, little habits have unconsciously crept up on her. And it is almost a blessing, that every time something bad happens Kida relaxes a bit knowing good will soon follow. It is less pleasant, that she will tense when times are joyous – expecting trouble right around the next corner.
But give and take - it has always been thus, an unbreakable cycle.
Kida learned this truth young.
She fled from the familiar room with eyes filled with tears, not wanting to believe what just happened could possibly be true. She ran blindly, full tilt through the maze of underground tunnels that made up her home – familiarity and the balance common to her kind, somehow keeping her on her feet even as she ran faster, father from….
She choked on as sob and finally tripped falling against something – someone
. Looking up Kida recognized, even though the blur of her tears, the Headcouncilman. She started to simply murmur an apology and continue her escape but he grabbed her harshly and pulled her into one of the many rooms along the hall – and..and..she just stumbled along under his heavy hand. In this moment, she couldn’t bring herself to care, to pull away from him or even ask what he wanted.
“She died so that you may live,” he said to her as soon as the door closed. His bluntness made her heart stop beating for a moment, seemed to make time stop – because she didn’t want to think about it. Had been trying to run from it. She so desperately didn’t want this man saying these things. Making it all real. Making her again see in her minds eye her Mother splayed out upon the bed, white hair like a cloud on the dark pillow. Her Father sitting at the bedside, their hands intertwined even after Mother's delicate one had gone slack.
(And what was this too – was she the cause of Mama’s death?
“Stop this crying – this childish whimpering. Do you think so little of her Gift to you?” his grip on her arm was tight but she didn’t feel it – would probably leave bruises until she fed again. But Kida just stood there staring at him, blue eyes wide with tears streaming down. Too blindsided by this idea, this new knowledge on top of her fresh pain to even think of trying to pull away.
“It is you that needs to stop, Kavilus,” the voice of her father intoned from the doorway – a note of anger - of clear warning - she never remembered hearing before, laced throughout his normally calm tone. And everything else just seems to drop away for her in that moment she turned and saw him - because he is there, right there
, standing strong and solemn….and alive. And Kida has never felt such a startling, crystalline, gratitude towards the goddessess than she did in that moment. Because at least her father was still here, at least she still had him to cling to.
But the Head of the Council was not idle as her mind snapped back and forth and she simply stared at her living parent (and even that was such an odd and new concept to grapple with, for she had grown up, so very sheltered, in a community where people simply didn’t die. Where they were supposed to be different from those humans – whose lifespans where so short it was hard for most to relate to them
), while his fingers dug into her arm.
“We cannot coddle her – she is our Queen now,” he hissed, almost shaking her but Kida remained practically limp which seemed to frustrate him and he finally dropped her. Without his rough support, she simply fell into a pile as if her strings had been cut. “She is the center,” he yelled at her father, not noticing. “If our leader is weak, so are we all. And least you forget our past, human
,” the term was spat at the other man, like it was a terrible word, “the fall of the Atlantis enclave will trigger the fall of the others. Our kind cannot live through that again.”
Instead of coming back harsh, Father simply said quietly, “Look at her.” And after a tense moment he did.
Kida does not know what it was about her in that moment. Half curled up, half just lying there, her eyes still continually leaking tears - eyes that area the exact same color as her Mother’s were – but it seemed to sap the energy out of the Councilman’s previous fervor, his shoulders visibly sagging.
“The Ceremony is tomorrow. She will be strong then,” her father continues quietly as he now enters the room and walks towards her. “But for now Kida is just a little girl. A little girl who lost her Mother moments ago - my wife
, least you forget,” it is a gentle rebuke, but a reminder all the same, that perhaps the other man shouldn’t have taken such a tone with the, much loved, Royal Consort and Kavilus flinches slightly. “I shall comfort my child now. There is no need for a show of strength at this time – now is for mourning.” And with that he pulls her to him and they both lose track of the world for a bit, gaining as much relief as they can from shared grief and remembered joys of a tall stately woman with the strength to keep her people in balance but who never neglected her family, never left them in doubt of how much she loved them.
Kida will always remember her Mother’s loud laugh and slow smile, the way she would climb in bed next to her at night and read fairytales.
And she will never forget how her eyes had glowed the moment before she passed – how those eyes caught her identical blue orbs and she felt something. A spark – a fire – ignite in her as it died in her Mother.
Because her Father might refer to her as a child (and she still felt it in almost every way) but Kida was now thirteen, a woman by many a culture's reckoning - by the Powers of the Queens it seemed anyway.
She had been taught early, while learning her people's history, that since the beginning of the proud line of Queens there has only ever been one at a time. It had not occurred to her than to question why that was. (There was so many other things unique through her maternal line – simply the ability to bear a child of the kind with their Chosen human male – always only one, always a girl with dark skin, blue eyes and white hair, always a Queen.
) Her young mind had simply absorbed the fact at the time. It was only now that she slowly realized that as soon as she came of age the Power inherent in their long line, the Power needed to keep the flow between all of their kind steady, started to break down within her Mother and jumped to the younger valid host.
Jumped to her
She feels it – it is part of the reason why she ran. Even as her Father hugs her, as he strokes her hair and tears fall, she feels that glowing blue energy and tries to think of it as her Mother (her Grandmother, Great-grandmother, generations on and on) - and not as the thing that killed her.
And what will kill her one day too.