|Love and Death
Author: StarLightAtTheMoon PM
Could 'Masque of the Red Death' have a - more or less - happy ending? Slash, Character Deaths. Rating might be changed for future chaptersRated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Steffan K. & Anton Prosper the 4th - Chapters: 7 - Words: 12,564 - Updated: 09-03-11 - Published: 04-21-11 - id: 6925490
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
01: Another Person's Point of View
Timeline: Starting off at the night of the Gold Chamber and then goes on from there
Disclaimer: All characters or places you recognize from 'Masque of the Red Death' belongs to Wendy Pini
Summary: Could 'Masque of the Red Death' have a (more or less) happy ending?
A/N: This is an AU (Alternative Universe) story, through which I explore how it could have gone if some things was different from the original story in the comic... not to say that I don't appreciate a tragic ending, but I got the idea for this story and it stuck to my mind and probably will be there till I've finished it... .
The young woman was walking down an empty corridor, hearing in the distance the echoing of music. It's coming from the Chamber of the night, the gold one, where people are partying. She couldn't understand how they could go on like that, knowing that on the outside there was death, as if nothing had happened. As if they didn't care at all.
She stopped by a window, and folding her arms on the window sill she stared out over the water separating the island from the shore where her home had been.
Tears began to fall down her cheeks thinking of her home, a home she had shared with her loved one. He wasn't here on the island, he had been left behind, something that she now regretted. She thought that she shouldn't have agreed when her mother had shared with her the idea, that she would go to Penumbra with her sister, Sofi, when the mother had found out that her eldest daughter had been invited to the party.
Now she wished that she'd stayed with him, that they'd spent the last moments of their lives in each other's company instead of him dying over there alone when she was on the island, living, yet feeling oddly dead inside, but probably as lonely as him.
Alana raised a blue hand to wipe away tears that were immediately replaced by new ones and emotions that had earlier been suppressed surfaced. She didn't show her sorrow when she was among the others didn't cry for what she'd lost, (would they understand anyway?), but now when she was alone she could let the tears fall with no care for what other's might think.
She was pulled out of her thoughts when the music suddenly stopped playing and everything went dead silent. Alana turned to look out at the sky outside, judging by the position of the full moon the party shouldn't be over yet in a while, but before long the music started again. Whatever had happened, it probably wasn't anything big, she thought.
Alana hadn't, and wasn't going to, take part in what was going on inside the Chambers. She had been confronted about receiving the attomons, but she had no desire to do so. She saw no point in living forever, everything and everybody she'd ever loved had died away from her. Anyway, when she thought about living forever she got the feeling that it would be kind of… dull. Doing the same things every day with no end, seeing no other than the others stuck in the mansion. A shiver went through her at the thought. That arrangement might work for some, but she didn't think that it was something she would be comfortable with.
A yawn escaped her and Alana decided that it was time to head back to her quarters. Walking she was engrossed in her own thoughts and was knocked onto her butt when she suddenly crashed into someone coming from the other direction as she rounded a corner.
Confused about the sudden collision she looked around trying to catch up with what had just happened. Her eyes stopped on a pair of legs that had been stuck into a pair of boots which just barely reached the knees. The legs took a few steps forward, halting next to her, and the knees bent. A face come into her view and it was the face of an angel.
"I'm sorry," he said. "Are you okay?"
"Yes," Alana replied, giving a small nod. Immediately very aware of the tears on her face, which hadn't dried yet, she turned from the young man wiping the tears away.
"There's no need for you to feel ashamed of crying in front of me," he said softly.
He reached out and helped her back to her feet, and meanwhile she watched him seeing that he looked sad.
"Why aren't you down at the party?" she asked as they both stood.
He flinched as if he'd been slapped in the face.
"There was an incident," he replied evasive. "Why are you wandering around?"
"I can't sleep," the young islander said.
There was, as well as a concerned tone in his voice, one that told of that he had an idea of what was bothering her.
Alana sighed, dragging her bare foot over the floor, a sure sign that she was feeling uncomfortable.
"I haven't slept very well for some time. I have bad dreams about what's going on out there." She jerked her head in the direction of the nearest window. "About my family and my friends. I don't really know anything about their fates, but in the dreams I see them die."
"I'm sorry," he said.
She looked at him, eyebrow raised.
"You're sorry?" she asked. "For what?"
"For killing them." He stared into her eyes, the sorrow in his so clear that it was heartbreaking. "If I hadn't brought the formula of the island mother wouldn't have gotten her hands on it, and she wouldn't have handed it over to Trankule." When explaining he spoke fast, this was something he needed to get of his chest and he thought that if he was interrupted he would never get it out. "I was jealous, heartbroken, and I wanted to hurt him just as much as he'd hurt me. I wasn't going to do anything with it, just keep the formula for a while, let him squirm, so that he would understand how I felt."
He took a deep breath to steady himself, blinking rapidly against the tears that were gathering in his eyes.
"You're talking about Prosper, aren't you?" Alana commented.
He sighed and closed his eyes, reliving a painful memory of just too recently.
"It wasn't your fault," she said watching his beautiful face, contorted in agony. Slowly, hesitating, his green eyes opened and he gazed at the young woman standing in front of him, a look of uncertainty on his face. "It was unintentional. It's not like you handed over the formula, was it?"
"No, mother took it when I wasn't looking."
"And you didn't give it to her knowing how she would be acting if you did?"
"I don't think that it's your fault," Alana repeated quietly.
He stopped, and she did for the first time notice that they'd been walking.
"How can you not? If it wasn't for me, your family and friends would still be alive!" he exclaimed in disbelief.
"Because of you?" she said. "Really? It seem to me like it was rather your mother and Trankule's fault, if you're to blame someone." She added quickly: "But I'm not. Mother raised me better than that."
When Alana mentioned her mother Steffan gazed at her, the guilt giving way for curiosity.
"She seems to care about you," he said softly. "Your mother, I mean."
But mixed in amidst the curiosity there was also bitterness, thinking of the care his own mother had shown him, and regret for her having passed away.
"Cared," Alana corrected him. "She was at home when…"
She didn't finish, both because of the tears rising in her eyes and because she saw how he turned his eyes to stare at the floor, the guilt back with full force.
Both the male and the female turned as a voice called the name, and they saw a female islander similar in appearance to Alana come hurrying toward them. She was smiling widely and if Alana hadn't stepped out of the way Sofi would have, and not for the first time in the last few days, thrown herself at her - probably still high on the effect the attomons would induce. Despite the efforts to keep the sister at distance, Sofi got close enough to give her a hug and a kiss on the cheek, although that had not been the intended destination for the lips.
Alana pushed the other away far enough for there to be some air between them, at which she adjusted her top and cleared her throat. She looked around to find a way out, and thanked whatever deity coming to mind when she saw the door to her quarters further down the corridor.
"I think that I should give sleep another chance after all," she spoke her thoughts. "Goodnight, handsome. Sofi."
She hurried to her quarters, looking back once and then entered, happy to have avoided the argument that she was sure would have come hadn't she left.