Landing at the Bottom
pairing: Willow/LaCroix #122 in Quickie Challenge list
sequel to Fall from Grace
Quickie Challenge at http://quickie.moonlightpaths.com
disclaimer: I do not own anyone from BtVS or Forever Knight. Lyrics are for 'The Hunger' from Forever Knight soundtrack, performed by Lori Yates.
distribution: any list-archives submitted to, Twisting the Hellmouth, Quickie Challenge. Anyone else, please ask.
AU after S6 Buffy, some spoilers for 7.
Everything felt cold, her body stiffly unresponsive and prickly numb, the swirling air, the bed that she was laying on... everything was cold. There were so many sounds, the distant traffic, a few radios set to different stations, and the faint sound of somebody pacing, soft soles shushing over the floor... stone tiling, perhaps?
For a moment, she lay there, her eyes closed as she tried to remember what had happened, who she was. Her mind felt caught between the same numbness of her body and flickering images and wisps of dreams, there had been something about a person in a long pale robe? She was Willow... and she'd been walking in an alley, searching for... what had she been searching for? There had been a man, no a vampire. He'd bitten her, she could remember sharp teeth sinking into her throat.
One hand flew to her neck, wrapping around, feeling only smoothness. Her throat was undamaged, whole and smooth and still beneath her hand. Without a pulse or breath.
She was dead. But she was still here to realize that she was dead. He'd turned her into a vampire. That was bad, she could almost remember the reason, something about a blonde girl with a sharp stick...
Close your eyes
And walk the endless night to sleep
Know the lies
And no more promises to keep
She must have made some sort of noise, because the pacing stopped. If the man from the alley had turned her, and brought her here, then it could only mean that he really had decided to keep her with him. To make her part of his family, his daughter. He'd said he would give her a new family, said that she would be his daughter, but... what did that mean to him?
Angelus hadn't been a good father for any of the people that he'd turned. Spike... well, Spike had never turned a Childe, so there wasn't really any way to tell what sort of father he would be. Her own parents, her mortal parents had been terrible. Not abusive, no, abuse would have required them noticing her first. They had just sort of sailed in and out, blithely ignoring the fact that they had produced a child once upon a time. She could only hope that this man, this vampire that had turned her would take care of her, would teach her.
After all, nothing that she'd learned in Sunnydale had prepared her to BE a vampire. She pulled her knees up, her stomach clenching into a tight knot, painfully contracted. She whimpered as it clenched again, her hands white knuckled fists from the pain of it. What was happening to her now?
Light the light
And follow closely as you lead
It ends tonight
It fills the emptiness and need
You must give in, you must give in
A game that you can't win
"You're feeling the hunger. It shouldn't become so severe if you feed regularly, but since you're only just waking up... You will have many things to learn, my Childe." He was standing beside her, his pale eyes looking almost alive, eager for... something. The rest of him was frost and ashes, pale hair, deathly pale skin, dark ashen clothing. All somber colors, and also the sort of clothing that he could fight in, if desired.
She looked at him, something that felt almost like tears oozing over her cheeks, leaving a trail behind it. "It hurts... Sire. Who... are we still in Toronto?"
He settled on the bed beside her, one pale hand resting over hers, the firm calluses rough on the back of her hand. "Yes, we are still in Toronto. My name is Lucian LaCroix, you will need to know it among others. As for the hunger pains, they will ease once you've fed."
A tremor went through her body. Would she become a soul-less killer now, as ruthless and amoral as the vampire double that she'd met thanks to Anya? The idea repulsed her. Although the thought of biting into someone's throat, feeling their blood rush into her mouth, hot and sweet... it made her mouth water, and she immediately felt guilty. She clenched her hands tighter, trying to find a semblance of control. "What... I don't hear any heartbeats. What shall I eat? Or am I expected to go hunting on my own?"
He looked at her, his expression one of the most intense surprise. "You've only just woke up. You won't be ready to hunt on your own for a while. Where did you get the idea that I would go to the trouble of making a childe only to allow you to destroy yourself by hunting untaught?"
She lowered her head, staring at her knees instead of his angry eyes. For some reason, his anger hurt, made her feel unworthy. "I come from Sunnydale. We... there are vampires there, and they... I would be pretty much on my own now, if this was Sunnydale, expected to go hunt, and help in some plan for the local master to gain power, and avoid getting killed by the Slayer."
There was a noise, sort of a grating sound, and she realized that he was grinding his teeth. "This is not Sunnydale, and there are far better vampires out there. Did you think a parent would be so neglectful? So negligent with their children? What of your mortal parents, would they leave you out on your own?"
A small, bitter chuckle escaped her at his last question. "I've only seen them a handful of times in the past few years. My parents wouldn't even notice something different unless I... they wouldn't know, wouldn't care."
"Then I shall have to do better. You won't be hunting until you're ready." He put his arm around her, pulling her close as he tilted his head. "Drink now, it will help your hunger."
The darkness aches
And tears away the strongest heart
The music plays
The fire burns the soul apart
The fever breaks
Cool rain is falling on our bed
She couldn't resist the temptation. With a small noise, she was there, arms around him, lips brushing against sharp teeth as she sought his throat, seeking the carotid artery. She could taste age and power in his blood, and it had a cool, almost smokey taste to it. She drank eagerly, feeling it spread through her, strengthening her, the painful clenching of her stomach easing, relaxing as his powerful blood flowed into her.
Eventually, her body was no longer screaming in raw need and hunger, and she slowed her drinking, not wanting to take too much, not wanting to draw her sire's anger. Licking at the bite she'd left, she winced. It was a harsh, ragged tear in his flesh, looking deep and ugly. Despite that, he was relaxed, arms gentle around her as he held her near him.
"Sire? I didn't take too much, did I?" She felt all timid and nervous again, as if she'd regressed to her freshman year of high school. Part of her hadn't wanted to stop, had wanted to keep drinking from his power until she couldn't hold any more. She craved him, wanting to taste him, touch him, to be near him. To make him proud of her in a way that the Rosenberg's never had been proud of her.
The time is come
The hunger's longing to be fed
You can't turn back, you can't turn back
The night bleeds in black, The hunger
He smiled, one hand brushing over her cheek, pushing a lock of hair behind her ear. "No, you didn't take too much. I think that you'll do well in your new life."
Hope fluttered inside of her, feeling like dark red butterflies in her stomach. "How do you know? What if... I haven't exactly done wonders elsewhere."
He laid a finger over her lips, stopping her words. "Nonsense. You've accomplished a great deal. There's nothing to prevent you from accomplishing more through the centuries ahead. And I will be there for you, to guide you, to advise you, to protect you."
"Always?" She had the warmest feeling inside from his words.
You must give in, you must give in
A game that you can't win
"Always. Blood is far thicker than water, and can not be ignored. I will always be there." He had leaned closer, his words a bare whisper into her ear.
Willow smiled, finding his words the most reassuring and comforting thing she'd ever heard. "Always... not going to just fly away on business constantly, and tell me how I should be doing things based on statistics?"
"No statistics. I don't use numbers to teach my children." His hand was at the small of her back, delightfully strong and solid.
She leaned forward just the tinnest bit, her lips brushing over his. "I always wanted to belong, to have someone that would be there if I needed help."
He kissed her, more confident and overwhelming than the feather-light brush of lips that she had offered. "You belong now. You are my childe, my Willow, and I will always be there, even if I'm not in the same city. One day, years from now, you will be ready to live on your own, but not yet. Even then, you will be my Willow."
She smiled as she surrendered to his touch. She finally had somewhere to belong, someone that would be there for her. And all she'd had to do was die.
end Landing at the Bottom.