Author: vampireisthenewblack PM
Say Something Else AU 'For a moment, he's there, and he's real, and it's him. I see it in the way he stands, the way his hair curls behind his ears. He's more beautiful than my memory or an image on paper can do justice.' Slash, Edward/Alec, Edward/SethRated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Supernatural - Edward & Alec - Chapters: 6 - Words: 16,337 - Reviews: 117 - Favs: 51 - Follows: 66 - Updated: 11-02-11 - Published: 03-18-11 - id: 6833534
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Déjà Vu - Chapter 3
A/N: Hello! Nice to see you back :) Here's where I get a bit nervous... I'm glossing over (ignoring) certain aspects of Twilight vampire mythology here. And we all know how noisy I am about canon mythology ;) It was difficult for me, my need to explain everything (at least to myself) so it fits both SSE canon and Twilight vampire mythology kinda did my head in for a while. There are things that shouldn't be possible that are here. Feel free to ask any questions in a review and I'll try to give you some idea of where my head was at :)
Dellaterra, my busy beta, you are awesome. Thank you. Seren, your request is a gift that keeps on giving ;) venis-envy, the fact you love these boys as much as I do, especially Alec, is EVERYTHING.
Alec leads us further into London. My hand is firmly encased in Seth's, but my eyes are on Alec up ahead. The way he moves is so familiar, yet so new. He walks with a fluidity and grace that was never there before. I want to know if the reason I can't breathe is because he's even more beautiful than I remember, or because now, outside the hotel, beyond last night's surreal encounter in the darkness, I can't fool myself that I am dreaming any longer. Seth sees him just as I do. Strangers move past us, stepping out of the way of him, so I know he's real.
He's walking almost too fast, glancing back every few steps, hurrying us along. We have to get there before the sun goes down, he insists.
He leads us into a pub as the sun is setting. The place is filling up and we take a small table toward the back where it's darker. Alec still has his hood pulled up around his face, and it's only occasionally that I catch a glimpse of the strange and chilling colour of his eyes.
I'm out of breath when I sit down. The smell of beer sickens me; the laughter and talk is too much. I can't concentrate. I have to focus on the two men I'm with. Alec is on one side of me, Seth on the other. It's too much to look at each of them in turn, so I stare down at the tabletop, marked with striated rings. My hands are on the table, the fingers of one interlocked with Seth's, those of the other picking nervously at the sleeve of my jacket as they itch to reach out and touch Alec. He's so close.
I give in to the desire to look at him. His expression is so familiar, and yet so strange in the way it forms. His skin is perfectly smooth and almost white. I don't need to reach out and touch it to know that it's as hard as stone and cold as ice. He's completely alien, yet he is still Alec, and after thinking him dead, after spending two years of my life grieving, I want him. I want to touch him and hold him and kiss him. I want to never let him go again. He almost eclipses the other man sitting at the table with us.
But not quite.
Seth's thigh doesn't quite touch mine, but I can feel the heat in it. I drag my fingers from his grip and pull both my hands into my lap. I can't reconcile the two of them here with me. I want to touch them, both of them, but neither should exist in the others world and I can't make sense of it. Instead, I sit, staring down at the table and I feel them both. Seth's warmth, and Alec's indescribable presence.
"Run and get us a round, will you, sweetheart?"
I look up at Alec's request, but he's staring across at Seth.
Seth frowns and shakes his head slowly.
Alec leans over the table and speaks in a low, smooth, reassuring voice. "If I meant to hurt him, don't you think I would've done it last night?"
Seth stares, his expression unreadable. Then he tips his head to the side, and in an action that surprises me and Alec both, he pushes aside the hood that hides Alec's face. He sits back, with his lips pressed together in a hard line and his brows drawn downward. I can read Seth as well as I ever could Alec. This is the way he gets when I cry, when—even after two years—I miss Alec so badly I can't breathe. It's the way he is just before he sheds a few tears of his own, and he's fighting them hard. I lean into him, and his arm slips around me. I don't know what to do because Alec is right here. He's watching us, and it feels wrong. Seth drags his eyes from Alec's face and kisses me once. "I love you," he whispers, gets up, reaches for his wallet, and with a last glance back, he heads for the bar.
The absence of Seth creates an unexplainable vacuum. I'm afraid to look at Alec, afraid of what I might see in his face. My insides twist. This is all wrong. He can't see me with another man. I can't do that to him.
But he's been gone for so long.
I look anyway when a cold fingertip strokes the back of my hand. I shiver and gasp as I meet his eyes. The world, the pub, the people, the sounds, the smells—they all fade until it is only Alec and I. My chest tightens further, and I try to speak, but I can't.
"I'm so sorry, love," he whispers, and it scares me because I should be the one to say those words.
He drops his head into his hands. When he looks up again there is a new determination in his eyes. "I never should have gone out that night. I wish I could take it back, but there's no fixing it now. And the worst thing I ever did was let you see me. That's the thing that's gonna get you killed."
He says it so casually, like death is nothing. I touch him, my fingertips against the back of his hand, sliding them up the sleeve of his coat. He's so cold, so hard. "You're a... Seth said you were—"
"Shh." Alec shakes his head and leans toward me. "Don't say it."
I feel lightheaded, torn apart as my body wants to both get closer to him, and run far away to safety.
He eases back into his seat. "Your Seth." I think he's going to ask how he knows, but he doesn't. "Where'd you meet him then?"
The question is carefully casual, but I know by the way he averts his eyes, by the tilt of his head, that it's not. Guilt twists my insides until I choke. "We've known each other since we were kids."
Alec narrows his eyes and frowns. "I know this. His dad died, yeah?"
I nod. "Yeah."
Alec looks puzzled. "Funny, that I remember that." He lifts his chin and his lower lip pouts the tiniest bit. "So what is he then?"
I don't understand the question, but I answer anyway. "He's Quileute—"
Alec shakes his head. "Nah, love." He looks at me strangely. "He doesn't smell right. Not like you do."
I stare at Alec in disbelief. "What—huh?"
He leans close and I shiver as his cold breath washes over my cheek. "He's not human," he whispers.
I jump when Seth places three full pint glasses on the table in front of me.
Alec leans back and gazes up at him with curiosity. Seth glares back for a few moments then pulls out his chair. "You're one to talk," he says as he sits down.
"What's going on?" Seth asks, his voice quiet and deceptively calm. "Why did you drag us out here? Who is this guy and why did we have to get out of the hotel? Why are we sitting in a pub?"
"He won't come here. He won't do anything in public."
Seth sighs. I hear it, I feel his leg shift against mine, but I don't look at him. I glance up at Alec and he looks at Seth with that same expression of curiosity.
"Who is 'he'?" Seth asks, his voice a little more impatient now. "This other... vampire?" He growls the last word, and it sounds like hate. "Alec. Tell us what the fuck is going on."
Alec's eyes go wide beneath his hood. "I can't," he whispers. "How the fuck do you know? What are you? I know you're not human, mate. I can hear it. I can feel it. I can smell it."
Seth stiffens. He looks profoundly uncomfortable. "Drop it. Please." He glances at me quickly, and he seems terrified. "This guy. What is he to you?"
Alec's eyes flick to me. "He smelt Edward on me this morning. He knew I didn't... Edward is one of the only things I remember from before. He knows I got close enough that Edward could figure out I wasn't right. But Alistair—he's paranoid, see? Thinks some old Italian fucker is gonna come down on him for breaking some rules. Scared of—"
"Alistair?" I don't mean to speak, but the word is out before I can stop it. My mouth is dry, and my voice breaks.
Alec stops. His fingers pick at my sleeve. "Yeah, love?" He speaks carefully, like he would to a child, and fearfully, as though that child is about to lose it.
"Are you... Is he...?" I stammer. I have to know, and yet I don't want to. I'm being eaten away inside at the thought of Alec with another man. It's not something I've had to deal with before. As far as I knew he was dead, and I was the last person to have touched him in passion. But he's not dead. And I can't get the image of him and this faceless man named Alistair out of my head.
Alec's lips twitch, and he leans toward me. His forehead hits my shoulder. "It's not like that, love. The guy's straight. And fucking old fashioned. Apparently I'm a deviant of the worst—"
I grab his arm, twisting my fingers into the fabric of his sleeve at the elbow. "Have you... Is there anyone...?" I turn my head and press my face into his hair where the hood has slipped down. I know Seth is watching me, and I do care, but I can't move. I need Alec now, and I need to know if anyone else has touched him the way I touched him.
Alec chuckles softly and shakes his head. "No one, love."
I sigh in relief, but it's tainted. Alec's been alone. He hasn't had the comfort I've found and so I cling to him, wrap my arms around him, and he lets me pull him in. "I'm sorry," I whisper as I kiss him softly on the temple, the cheek, the lips.
Gently, he pushes me away. His lips are still close to mine when he speaks. "Don't forget about your boyfriend, love."
I haven't forgotten, but I turn my head. Seth is watching us. "It's okay," he whispers. He's wearing a small smile. "It really is." He straightens in his chair. "Alec, this Alistair guy. Is he the one that..." He seems to be searching for a word. "...turned you or whatever?"
Alec lets out a soft bark of a laugh. "What have you been reading?" He shrugs. "It was an accident." He lowers his voice, becomes serious. "That night... I was already fucked, love." He brushes his fingers over mine in a gesture I assume is meant to be comforting. "I was an easy meal."
My heart is pounding. I can't breathe.
"He fucked up, did something wrong."
I feel like I might choke. "I buried you," I rasp.
Alec gives me a wry smile. "Yeah, it weren't nice waking up where you left me either."
I stare at Alec in horror. An image is conjured by my imagination. Something garnered from tongue-in-cheek black comedies, blended with what I know of Alec. This picture plays like a movie in my head, of my lover punching his way out of the fresh dirt I'd put on him. Pale hands, nails encrusted with blood and dirt and splinters of his coffin, thrust out of the ground and scrabble for purchase before he pulls himself up out of his grave. His face is twisted, almost unrecognisable. Fangs are bared, and he snarls like a wild animal before he breaks into a run across the dark cemetery in search of fresh blood.
The vision breaks, and I let out a strangled moan. Seth's hand as it settles on my back is only mildly comforting. "How many people did you kill?" Seth asks quietly. I hide my face. I can't bear to look at either of them.
"Three," is Alec's whispered reply. This time he doesn't speak so coldly. "It took Alistair a couple of hours to notice there was another in the city. He found me and realised I was his mistake. He took me out of London."
I lift my head and look up at Alec. He's staring at Seth, but he glances down at me briefly before he looks away again.
"Is that all?" Seth asks.
Alec swallows, and he shakes his head almost imperceptibly. I sit up. Seth is shaking. His thigh quivers against mine. Alec won't meet my eyes.
"Two years," Seth grinds out. "How often? How many?"
Silence. Long minutes in which the noisy pub intrudes. Loud voices, laughter, music and the clink of glass against glass envelops me as I watch Alec and Seth stare at each other. Alec is as still as a statue. Seth takes deep, even breaths.
Finally, Alec licks his lips. "A lot. More at the beginning. I can go longer now without—"
"How many?" Seth reaches out across the table and takes Alec's hand in his. "Please."
"Hundreds." Alec closes his eyes.
I'm in shock. I knew he was strong enough to be capable of it... But now it's real. I can only stare at him, and at Seth, who looks as if he's about to cry.
"Sometimes it was animals... Alistair is terrified of being discovered—"
"You can live off animals?"
"If we have to," Alec stammers. "It's hard—"
"So you're okay with the fact that you've ended the lives of that many people? You're okay with being a killer?"
"You don't understand," Alec hisses. "The thirst... You can't make it go away. Ever."
"I don't have to understand." Seth grabs my hand and thrusts it at Alec, forcing him to acknowledge me. "Make him understand. This man has never stopped grieving for you, never stopped dreaming of you, has never let you go. And all that time you were murdering people. I came to know you through Edward. I came to love you through him. You don't have to be a monster. That's not the Alec I know, and it's not the Alec that Edward loves."
I know Seth's right. Alec has killed, and yet when I look at him, his eyes dry, yet rimmed in red as he fights to meet my gaze, all I see is the man I love with everything I am. Changed as he is, he's still Alec, and he's still mine.
I don't know what Seth wants from me.
I can't bear it, with them both waiting for my reaction. I can't help it when I tear my hand from their grip, shove back my chair and bolt from the table.
I don't know where I'm going, but some instinct pushes me into the crowd. The heat, the noise, all serve to confuse me further, and I fight to get away. It's too hot, and I move to where it's cool.
I end up out on the street.
I press myself into a doorway and light a cigarette. Slowly, I begin to calm, to think rationally. It's difficult, because no matter what, there are two men in there that I have to face again, and soon. I push myself to think of Seth, to suppress the bitterness I feel toward him for his attack on Alec.
It's so hard to reconcile Alec with murder. To imagine him killing people for their blood.
My vision hits again. My Alec with his face buried in the neck of a man he holds in his arms. He pulls back and lifts his face to the sky, and his mouth is stained red. It merges with the memory of his lips against my throat, his anguished cry of need for me, and I wonder then exactly what he wanted me for.
Would he have bitten me? Drunk from me? What would it feel like?
My breath comes faster.
The voice at my ear jolts me from my fantasy. The cultured accent inspires a fleeting thought of my father, but when I look, the thought disappears. The man is dark haired, and well dressed, if conservatively. These observations are also fleeting, because I know immediately who and what he is. The pale, perfect skin, the utter stillness, the impassive cold red stare.
"Alistair," I whisper.
The red eyes narrow. "How dare he," the vampire hisses, and then my entire body jolts as I am caught in a cage of strong arms and the world blurs around me.