|Burn Those Cinders
Author: a mountain of gideon's scones PM
Clyrnin. In the end, her absolute beauty was never going to save her. She was always destined to be another statistic, no matter how great their love was. MY 300TH FIC, so yeah, reviews are appreciated. R&RRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Claire D. & Myrnin - Words: 21,756 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-22-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7663022
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
MY 300TH FIC!
Seriously, this is where we're at, my 300th and it had to be my OTP for MV, didn't it?
Vitzy …just because!
Maddi for reading it, even though she's never read MV.
Maddie for reading it
Danielle for reading it and being amazing
All you in RoseScorpius Fans to whom I've bitched about this too.
Louise (wheezy) merry Christmas!
And to each and everyone of you who ships Clyrnin.
I, um, forget things like who tells who about the disease & random information, so don't sue me for being like a bit out. So this'll be AU…slightly.
I don't own anything
The disease controls his brain for so many hours of every day, forces him into a level of insanity that results in him being unable to tell reality from fantasy. He can't tell what's going on, whether the creatures crawling over him really are…or if they're simply figments of his imagination, ways for the disease to make him think that he's going crazy. He can't remember so many things, things that make him worried in those moments of near sanity – yet not quite – but there's one thing he never forgets.
How to kill.
It's the one thing he knows to do without having to think about it, the one thing that continues to be instinctive for him no matter whether he's sane (and those moments are so fleeting, they are the greatest gift he could ever hold) or insane – the line between the two is blurring now, but he will never forget to kill. Not until he is locked inside his own body, unable to move will he be unable to kill – yet he will always retain the knowledge how to.
As the time goes by, he begins to wonder why he continues to fight to escape what is becoming the norm for him, fighting to be in the short periods of time that used to be disease contained – now he's contained into those few minutes.
Why should he bother to fight anymore?
He's just about to give up the fight, to explain to Amelie – if he can – that there's absolutely no hope for the vampires, that they're all going to suffer the disease…but then she appears.
She's a beacon of light in his otherwise dark existence, something fresh and new in his life that he knows he ought not to kill. She's lucky she arrives when he's semi-sane (as he can't remember the last time he was wholly) because otherwise he would have taken her for himself already; she seems so delectable, so utterly desirable…her blood already sings to him, lures him to her as though she's the only thing he needs.
He's intrigued by her, wondering what burns beneath the delicate membrane of her skin that has had Amelie dare to bring her to him, someone with little self-control at the best of times…and this is not the best of times, oh no, these are times of great despair and contemplation of the end.
Yet as well as desiring to kill her, to drain her body faster than she could even blink, there's the strangest sense beneath the surface that he ought to protect her; she's young and naïve, he can tell, and she's little experience in the town. After all, she would hardly only just be being brought to him if she has had these scientific abilities for her entire life under Amelie.
The shock of seeing such a young, pretty girl before him shocks him into an almost high for the recent times, pushing the disease almost – but not quite – to the submissive position. He manages to look at the girl, to try and unearth the potential in her that Amelie has so obviously seen, able to see past the flowing of her blood for one second to see an inner core of strength. For would she still be here if she lacked this?
(He doubts it.)
He presses her to discover her knowledge, a faint pinprick of hope – lest he dare use that term – in the back of his mind. Disappointment has been rife throughout his battle with the disease, halfway creations littering the lab that simply show the working Myrnin how far he has to go.
It almost makes him want to give up, relinquish his control over the beast inside of him -for whilst it looks as if he has none, he has fought for decades now, winning against complete annihilation – and allow it to overcome him, to take the remains of sanity he continues to have from him forever.
Yet the girl…she's new and fresh and even the diseased part of him can register her beauty. He loves Ada still (for how can he not since it is his fault she died?) but this girl is intriguing, vibrant, interesting to the point where he perhaps can restrain the beast within him a little longer so he can discuss with her how she thinks they can work upon this treatment.
He begins to question her on things Ada knew, things the first person to try and help him knew…and then he realises that this girl isn't the same as Ada, isn't someone who has vast, limitless knowledge about science – she's a modern scientist and has never heard of alchemy.
Somehow, he manages to rise himself entirely from the depths of his illness, manages to surface to the point where he can only see the facts of the situation, can recognise everything around him. And he sees the girl – Claire, he thinks her name is – for what she really is…a girl.
"Too much to teach her," he tells Amelie, the hope fading away as his body threatens to drop into the realm of a lack of evident fighting before he can even finish. "I don't have time to coddle infants, Amelie. Bring me someone who at least knows the basics of what I am trying to-" he tries to protest, clinging onto this minute or two of lucidity so he doesn't try and harm his longest friend.
She protests, yet he understands that he has no choice in the matter, that this girl shall learn everything from him that she ought to know, that he must waste valuable time teaching her…and, in this moment, he realises that Amelie's scared.
Amelie is scared.
He knows she knows that this is the last few months he has, that he has fought this disease for decades and there can't be long left…and it's Claire that is going to carry it on for him.
So he looks at her again and is, once again, captivated by the beauty she possesses, sees just how much potential she can have in any realm.
And then he gives in.
He fights to continue to be with her, to keep the vitality in him that allows the periods of lucidity, but it's slipping away to the point where Amelie can tell, can see that it shan't be safe for Claire to be here much longer – shan't be safe for Amelie to remain much longer.
They leave and it's just in time; he's tired and the disease is taking over, no matter how much he tries to fight. His body collapses to the ground, tears spilling down his cheeks because he knows, in these final moments, the girl shall be here for as long as he needs her, that she's never going to escape.
And he knows that there's such a chance he could kill her.
She's a flicker of vibrancy in his life, the smallest possibility that there could be a way out of this for them all, and he knows, even as he descends into darkness, there is hope.
Only if he doesn't kill her first.
She's back the next day and he knows that this is only the beginning for him, that he's going to have to struggle on through the pain of wanting to kill her – for both the sane and the insane sides of him – will continue for however long she works with him.
However long he manages to resist killing her.
This time, she's got the protection of Sam and the way that he knew she had to come, so he could fight to be there with her as much as possible, to minimise the danger…and to increase the work completion. There's so much for her to learn, he thinks in a rare moment that is entirely blissful, so much for her to absorb in such a small time, that he thinks it is near impossible for her. She's such a beacon of possibilities…yet there is always the chance that the beacon could run out and leave this devoid of even a pittance of hope.
Yet they work…and work… and work…and work…he pushes her through so much more knowledge than she could have ever thought to have learnt in such a short period of time. Already, he's aware she's capable of so much more – and, as long as he fights harder than ever before to stay with her, he can be with her for the ride. They can propel themselves into a level of accuracy he's never had before in this situation, can perhaps make another cure that lasts a little longer than before as a temporary measure.
His mind begins to spiral out of control with possibilities, possibilities of him and Claire (for he can never be without her if she learns enough to help cure the disease) making strides forwards in the world of science, possibilities of everything…and that's his downfall.
He's dreaming too much of the potential Claire has for him to recognise that he's slipping back into the clutches of the disease – and by the time he realises, it's much too late to escape them. He fights to keep control for enough time to have Sam get her out before he hurts her – as it would hurt the real him oh too much for that to happen – and, through the throngs of the disease, he clings onto the slipping dregs of his sanity. Through that, he can see how he needs to stay away from her, to contain his feral dominating side for just another few seconds so she can escape – but it's too hard for him to keep away from her.
The sweet, intoxicating, desirable smell of her blood, the speed at which it pumps through her veins, causes the residue of his control to be lost entirely as he finds himself sprinting across the room towards her. All of Myrnin has gone and left behind is the empty shell of the man who was once so great, the shell controlled by the disease that ensures he remembers nothing but the most primitive of desires – the desire for human blood.
The desire to kill.
He's slammed into a wall by Sam and he stays down, the fight almost fading out as the disease decides its high time for him to be weepy and out of control in an emotional manner, tears streaming down his face for unknown reasons.
There's not one iota of him that remains in control, not one part of him that remembers even the fact that there's been a girl here – all he can smell is the tormenting scent of a human who isn't here anymore.
And he's never felt more alone…or thirstier.
Claire runs for her life, runs and runs until she's reached Sam's car – and even then she doesn't stop, throwing herself into the passenger seat and slamming the door shut with a clatter. Her heart continues to beat wildly out of control, yet she doesn't even really register Sam as a vampire, so she doesn't think that this'll be a problem.
Her teeth chatter as she remembers the feral look in Myrnin's eyes as he looked at her, the way that he was all set to pounce as if he was a lion and she was his prey. And, she supposes, that is what it was like – yet he's a vampire and she's a lowly human to be preyed upon…and he's out of control, she can tell.
He's lost his understanding of what's right and wrong when he's in those states, she decides as logically as she can, given the circumstances. There's something wrong with him that causes him to forget everything – including her – and she's not entirely sure how it works. He seemed to almost collapse to the floor in an emotional heap after he had tried to kill her, so she didn't quite understand how everything linked together. It makes no sense to her, the suddenness of the change in him; he was oh so normal for that hour or so, bumbling along like the friendlier of people in the world…
…and suddenly it was gone.
The ferociousness of him startles her to this moment, continues to plague her thoughts with the images of a man entirely out of control. She may have only known him for a few hours, yet she already had a picture building up in her mind of his sane self, and there wasn't a hint of saneness in his expression whatsoever. It panics her that she was so close to such an uncontrollable man, someone without an inkling of how perilous he is to a human when he's in her state, and panics her more because she knows she has to go back.
It's something that sends waves of undeniable fear through her, causes her brain to go into a frenzied panic as to what – if anything – she can do to try and increase her lifespan as there's a greater chance it shall be cut short than lengthened in this current situation. Myrnin's wild, incandescent with a burning desire for knowledge, a vibrant flame that seems in danger of being burnt out if he continues to spiral downwards.
He's technically a stranger to her, but she can't help but feel as if she's known him for an infinite amount of time because it's already impossible for her to remember the time she spent in Morganville and didn't know about Myrnin. He's almost wormed his way into her thoughts irreversibly, as though no matter how much she tries to make Myrnin and the memories of Oliver fighting for the book immiscible, they won't.
He's in her head and he's not leaving.
"Claire?" Sam's voice breaks her internal monologue about just what she can do to help Myrnin and she starts upright. Her head collides with the roof and, for a split second, she sees stars, dancing in front of her, taunting her because she can't reach them. It makes her want to scream, to kick and shout as these are inanimate objects; they shouldn't be able to torment her! She's unconcerned for herself though, as she blinks once, then twice, because her first thought is whether Myrnin's experience is like this…as she can't imagine it being any worse.
"Yeah, I'm fine," she mutters as she returns to reality – or what she can call reality – and places a hand gingerly on her forehead. She supposes it shall be coming out in a raised bump soon, defined and prominent against the natural pallor of her skin, yet she doesn't care because it's only a war wound on the outside…
…it's Myrnin she needs to work on now.
"Ok then," Sam's not entirely convinced but he believes Claire and starts up the engine, the soft purring noise already beginning to cause a throbbing pain behind her temple. It's her own fault, she decides as they motor on home, because if she had been focused on herself when they were getting in the car, she wouldn't have had to focus on Sam.
Something she realises as they approach the Glass House is that she's no longer one hundred percent scared of Myrnin, as she was when she entered the car; no, she's fearful of him – of course she is – yet there's a deeper belief in her that she needs to aid him recover himself. There's a core of something great within the man that she already knows she cannot abide to lose, she would abhor herself if she did, and this is what she must do.
She must help him to help himself, help him with the research to save the man with a mop of chocolate coloured curls atop his head from the squalor of wherever his illness shall take him. She can't allow the refined handsomeness of him to run dry into a pit of nothingness, to lie forgotten by the world for the rest of its days. And if this is the shallowest reason she has (and she knows how shallow it is to contemplate saving someone due to their appearance) then so be it because she's doing this.
That she's sure of.
They pull up outside the Glass House and there's no flickering of the lights that usually burn if any of the residents are in. The house is devoid of colour, almost without a soul, and Claire shivers as she looks at it because she doesn't want to enter. It's something that causes that feeling of entire desolation that rises within her, something that hurts more than almost anything because this place normally feels like home.
(Yet she already classes the lab as a second home, somewhere to learn everything she can, though she hates to admit it.)
"Can I come in for a few moments?" Sam's voice is grave, yet she doesn't register this fact. All she hears is the opportunity for a little company when she would otherwise be alone in the Glass House, feeling abandoned and isolated…
"Sure," she smiles before grimacing, due to the bump to her head, and she's all prepared to run out of the car when it stops, just to ensure that she doesn't run into any Brandon substitute. It's a terrorising thought to think that her entire life expectancy is pretty much based on how fast she can run from the car into the house, yet it dulls in comparison to what she presumes Sam is going to tell her.
She sits down in the chair she always sits in, sinking down into the depths of it to almost hide away, and waits for Sam to speak. He seems anguished about something, a certain haste to his movements – even as simple as running his hands through his hair – that she's never seen before. It's almost exhilarating to watch, yet scarier than anything before because if Sam is scared, she's got an idea that she ought to be petrified. She has no right to be even in the same league as scared if that's what Sam is.
"I shouldn't be telling you any of this," Sam mutters to himself and she can't help but feel as though she ought to be running out of the room now so she doesn't know. It's a burning feeling inside of her that she can't help but allow to rise to the surface, turning her entire mood into a panicked state of being that doesn't allow itself respite even as Sam begins to speak again.
"Myrnin is sick; he has…I'm not sure on the ins and outs of it because I was sworn to secrecy many years ago, yet I cannot allow you to be harmed," Sam tells her gravely, igniting despair that she cannot even begin to describe inside of her. "He forgets who people are, and the feral side of him is allowed to roam wild without restraints. Every residue of his humanity is lost when the disease takes control of his body – something he grapples with daily.
"He is in the most advanced stage of the disease and ought to have, if he had not have been such an instrumental figure in attempting to cute it, been locked away many years ago. I am telling you this because I want you to ensure that you are safe when you spend time with him," his voice is soft as she listens, soft enough that she's distracted from the tears streaming down her cheeks until he stops talking.
She can't believe just how far away the man in the lab is from her; whilst she quite obviously saw that there was something wrong with him, something that was inhibiting his body, she didn't realise that it was so far, that it was so complex.
"A disease?" she repeats, wiping her eyes because she's not entirely sure why she's crying, only that she feels she ought to, in a sense. There's no way that the man she saw in there both times could be so sick – he looks so young, so healthy, vibrant and vivacious, strong and dependable…why is he dying?
Sam hesitates for a second before shrugging. "She'll kill me anyway if she knows what I've told you," he mutters, once again, to himself before looking back at Claire. "A disease, yes. I'm not sure what it does or how far it spreads – or anything other than that it exists – but I know that you need to be careful…and you need to do what you can to get out of there as soon as possible. He's a danger, especially since he's been working for seventy years with the disease…and there's no cure, Claire."
She nods as he speaks, having so many more questions about how it's spreading, whether it's airborne or if humans can catch it…yet she gets the idea that Sam doesn't know. He's told her everything he knows so she has a chance of being safer in Myrnin's lab than she would without the knowledge and everything else shall have to be learned from other sources.
"Thanks, Sam," she says quietly, her thoughts roaming in so many directions: she's thinking about the complexity of the issue, about who could have it – if Michael has it – but the overriding thoughts all contain Myrnin.
She's anxious that the spark she's seen in him could be wasted, fretful that there could be nobody to cure this disease if he fails – for what does she know? As he said himself, her knowledge of symbols and other things that he requires her to understand to make progress is pitiful; she needs him to guide her towards a victorious ending, to make the leaps that she won't be able to comprehend at her tender age. She needs the almost manic edge she had a chance to see in regards to his blatant adoration for science – the sciences, as he called them, this being the old term for those few who worked within this realm in the long ago past.
She desires him to call upon his wealth of knowledge regardless of how hard it is and knows that she could be the key that aids him recalling facts and other data which could result in there being progress made. More than her simply being necessary, however, she's already beginning to get a burning desire to work with him because whilst her college professors are evidently keen on science, the high regard in which Myrnin evidently holds science was clear from afar within the first second she saw the lab.
"I'll be going now," Sam stands up and Claire jolts, having gotten so consumed in her thoughts about what was occurring that she forgot of his existence. "I'll let myself out, Claire, and know you're not going back there, not if I can help it," he doesn't elaborate as he walks out of the door and a deeper sinister feeling sweeps through her as the door slams shut.
Evidently, Myrnin has a few more secrets he hasn't deigned to tell her yet.
She goes to bed merely an hour or two later, worn out from the excess of brain power she had to use today; it was magnificent to be able to learn from someone rather than simply making useless notes. She's widened her scope of knowledge already, beginning to comprehend the purpose of things she never understood in science before, and it's all down to Myrnin.
Her thoughts drift back to Myrnin as a person as she lies in bed, rather than Myrnin the teacher as they merely had consisted of before. He's charming and sweet and absolutely one hundred percent the most dangerous vampire there is in Morganville, there's no doubt about it, seductive to the point where she's concerned she may fall for it at the wrong time.
At the wrong time, she repeats this to herself in her mind, a guilty side to her conscience spreading through as a block instantly protrudes upwards in her mind. She can't think like that – all she meant, she thinks, was that if he tried something when he was under the control of the disease, perhaps she wouldn't realise. Perhaps she wouldn't escape.
His eyes bore to the forefront of her mind suddenly, glowing slightly with the excitement of the knowledge his brain contains, sparkling with the same indescribable joy science brings to her. They're almost black, the colour of near pure coco, and they're semi reflective, at least in her mind.
She presumes they're normally sinister to look at, if you're his prey and he's after you, but she can only see the positive side to them. There's a sense of desolation in there as well – but she may simply be making this up – a sense of loneliness and almost that he's been trapped there.
As she falls to sleep, she makes herself the promise that she's going to do everything in her power to save him…and her power consists of every single fibre of her being ensuring that he's saved.
The intervening time between her sleep and her next lab trip is filled with arguments, with discussions about what's going on (and inclusive of her informing Michael about her contract with Amelie) and the staking of Sam Glass.
She's taken to the lab by Michael and forced to go inside alone because he's too young to enter with her during the hours of daylight. As the door slowly creaks open, she feels the almost auma of oppression slipping over her as the daylight is subjugated by the obscurity within the laboratory.
With her heart in her mouth, she slowly makes her way down the stars, using the last residue of the light from the outside as her guide to ensure that the most destroyed sections of the stairs aren't her chosen pathway. After all, it wouldn't be the brightest of choices to fall down the stairs in the lab of a crazy vampire, resulting in bleeding, when her only cavalry (if someone who has been a vampire a mere number of weeks can be called that) is trapped away from her for a good two more hours.
"Hello?" she calls through the laboratory, listening for sounds of movement, of something to alert her to Myrnin's presence. Yet she rounds the corner and… "Oh my God!" she cries out before clamping her hand to her mouth, having made the decision to keep all her reactions low and quiet to ensure the disease lies dormant for longer.
She can recall Amelie informing her that she would be kept safe, yet she never imagined that it would cumulate to result in such a way, with Myrnin locked in a cage (albeit with commodities that he would desire, like the teetering stack of books in the corner) whilst she's free to roam his lab…it seems to be infringing his human rights…
…or it does, until she remembers that he's not human and therefore has no rights, particularly due to his mental state of mind…as a vampire.
Her heart goes out to him as she sees the melancholy in his eyes for his being locked within the cage, sees the way that he's perfectly relaxed as if he's used to experiences like this. She's already had some pretty harsh feelings towards him yet this eradicates every residue of hard feeling she's got towards him because he never wanted her to help him, just like she never planned on helping him. They're two puppets that belong to Amelie, two people forced to do her bidding and even if they become friends, Claire knows that it's all because of Amelie's enforcement of this matter.
"You're late," Myrnin chastises her and she smiles ever so slightly, jumping out of the shock of seeing such a protruding object within the lab. It's so…vast, a shape that claims so much space within such a limited area that it cannot help but be the focal point. And it doesn't want to be a focal point, the bars thick and painted a dark, oppressive colour that almost matches the original mood within the lab.
Yet as he smiles, she feels the cloud of oppression slide away slightly, as if the happiness brought about by science and her presence is enough to raise the mood slightly. There's eternally going to be the knowledge that she could die in here, that she could be drained, end her life as a cold, white statue without a droplet of blood within her body…but she's almost over that. Because when she sees the enthusiasm he has, it's almost kicked out.
Her eyes lock on his once again as she walks forwards slowly, taking a seat when he informs her that he cannot stand up due to his statue being greater than the limitations of the cage, and she's mesmerised by everything she sees. He seems about as sane as he was yesterday, perhaps more so because the image of his pupils dilating continues to be her primary focus as she recalls the day previous, and she's confident to say that she trusts him for the moment.
It's something she really shouldn't be saying to herself, something that ought to never cross her mind, that she can trust a vampire who is suffering from an Alzheimer's of sorts, because it's the most dangerous thing she could possibly do.
His eyes glisten like jewels in the darkness and she hears words that seem distant from his mouth because the voice is like lilting music, a wave of continuous musical notes throughout the air. He's telling her to go to find keys to the doorway in the back corner that she vaguely recognises from the other day, when Amelie brought her here to see where she would be learning. It's thick and sturdy, the only thing that she can see in the laboratory that has these two attributes, and she's unsurprised to see the tarnished bronze keyhole that's sized to fit the old style keys that naturally this man has grown up with.
A random branching of her thoughts occurs as she wonders how old the man she's learning from is, whilst she's also searching over the lab for a set of keys to open the door, wishing she could mutter under her breath in regards to the futility of this, yet not daring to because she's with a vampire who has impeccable hearing.
And he's also insane, as shown by the way that he suddenly turns.
She hears a low, slow, seductive voice requesting for her to find the key to let him out because he doesn't like cages, and she's well aware of the fact that the lucid side of Myrnin is gone for the moment. It's like her clicking her fingers, the speed at which he has turned from the person she thinks could be really rather charming to the monster that desires to have a hold over him eternally.
He wants her to let him out.
It's so hard for her to refuse, so hard for her to continue looking for the keys yet be pretending not to be looking for them, because she wants to let him out. It's wrong for him to be trapped in there just for her to be safe, because it's his home and he needs to work on the cure – for what can she do without him? He's everything in the salvation of his race, the one who knows what to do, how to develop the cure – because he has to have made at least some advancements in seventy years of searching!
The keys almost magically appear in front of her, one bright and new key that she presumes is the key to the cage on the top, alongside a tarnished bronze key that seems to fit the door. It's her lifeline, her chance to be able to see what he wants and hopefully detract him from the way that she's found the key to release him from his prison…but then he realises she has the key.
"Claire, let me out," his tone is low and pleading, a tone that's already worming its way into her heart. He's trying to persuade her that this is what is right for both of them, that it's the brightest idea…even though she can hear the confusion slipping into his voice, hear the change between the man who was with her for a few minutes and the man who is present before her now. He's a mere shadow of who the vital, incandescent Myrnin is, a shadow of the brilliance and merely someone who knows how to kill her.
She tries to dissuade him as she runs to the door, knowing that the cage is strong enough, that Amelie wouldn't have left her here-
The cage begins to bend beneath his hands as she can see him applying pressure to one of the weaker spots on the cast iron framework. Yet she doesn't care what it's made out of right now; he's decimating an opponent that even Amelie didn't think he could escape from – what could he do to her?
Fear grips her body for the first time today as she realises she really has gotten too complacent; she allowed the image she has conjured up about what he really is like to overcome that of what the monster is. She forgot how easily he could snap, forgot how strong he was, and she didn't worry enough about what he would do if he did turn against her without Michael being present. Myrnin's the lion, able to attack his prey – her – at his leisure, launching out to attack her even as she attempts to slide the key into the lock.
A rippling sensation occurs as the door slips open of it's own accord almost as she finds herself begging it to open, begging to get an escape from Myrnin, from death. And then there's the Glass House living room before her, a room familiar in every way from the smell of tacos down to the leaving of her glass on the table…and Shane.
He's a jolt back to reality for her, a jolt back to remind her that Myrnin has charm but he's an insane vampire who can attack her, that she can never take such liberties with her life again because where would Shane be without her?
Screaming, she's dragged back into the room by Myrnin, his grip on her arm iron tight and enough to halt the blood flow into her arm, something which would be more of a cause for concern if she weren't already near positive she's close to death. As she looks in his eyes, she can see an absolute lack of recognition, a depth to the monster so deep that she cannot even begin to comprehend how deep it runs. It seems endless, limitless, and she's concerned that, this time, he's not going to come out of it. There's a certain vastness to the expression in his eyes, upon his face, that she's concerned will give her nightmares if she gets out of here alive.
He's so feral, so possessed, it's almost like seeing someone she's never seen before, someone with an absolute brokenness that's overshadowed by a certain power that's the most sinister she's ever seen. It's almost like he's been taken over by a foreign party as she looks at him, her breathing increasing as the seconds go by, and she has no idea how he's going to come back.
Yet, finally, recognition fades slowly into his eyes and the darkness is almost pushed to one side. Yet Claire can see it's still there, still present as she observes Myrnin's face slowly. Only now can she visibly see just how hard he is fighting, see the struggle he's going through to return to resume work on the cure alongside her. He's fighting against the odds to return to the world of sanity just to try and cure his people, fighting more than could ever be fathomed because it's his life that he's trying to save.
"Claire," he whispers her name, his voice low and ragged as she sees the straining of his arm as he attempts to remove his hand from her arm, tries to stop the beast wanting her blood. Well, he can never stop that; he can merely squash it beneath the surface and attempt to ensure that he keeps good enough control to prevent her death.
She sparkles so brightly to him, draws his attention so utterly to him, that he can't imagine ever killing her…even though he's well aware that this is the most likely option. He tells her that she's never going to stop coming here until they cure the disease, that she can either help him as herself, or be the brains that send an extra wave of strength through his body to fight the disease and afford those precious days of pure sanity to work wholly on the cure.
She's so vivacious, a girl with so much potential, that he musters every morsel of strength within him to return – at least partially – to her because he needs to ensure that she's not harmed by him. He's known her for such a short period of time, yet he's already concerned that he wouldn't be the same without her, that perhaps this is the girl who can help him solve the mystery of the disease for good. There may be something in this girl's brain that is the unknown key to the completion of a full strength cure, one that's beneficial to every vampire.
This young, sweet, innocent girl could be his saviour, be the one who manages to ensure he's able to learn forever – because that's all he's ever wanted, you know, to be able to absorb every bit of knowledge pertinent to science. He's never had the plans to fall in love, to be captured by the innocent glance of a human girl, and all he wants is to be able to teach himself.
And to teach her; if she's so bright to be able to do something he can't, perhaps she's got the potential to learn as much as he has in such a short period of time.
The pulsing of her blood beneath his hand almost forces the monster back out into the open and it's with, once again, all his might that he manages to force it down. They must make advancements today and he can't spend the time admiring the sweet, incandescent smell of her blood, can't allow himself the opportunity to slip. He must remain wide awake, mustn't allow himself to slide beneath the control of the disease. He must ensure that he keeps above water, that he doesn't allow the wave of oppression to rise over his head and consume him within the treacherous waters from which escape is impossible.
His eyes snap upon the dish of red crystals in the corner, the latest pitiful attempt of his to try and cure his people from the destruction of their brains, and he begins to wonder whether they would aid Claire. He thinks they work to speed up brain impulses, so that the lagging of thought procession – the reason, he believes, for the disease to be able to take hold – cannot occur…so therefore, perhaps they will be able to allow her to understand things so much quicker than even she can now.
He offers the peculiarly shaped crystals to her, their sharpened edges and irregular shapes distracting him momentarily as he watches her lick up a small number of them. He aches to be able to take them himself at this very second, to be able to pinpoint possible ideas within his own mind that he currently is unable to do, yet he must ensure that she is capable to be consuming these…after all, the majority of humans are not. This is a risk he has to take, entirely uncalculated because all ideas and attempts at rationality have been lost due to the disease; it's act or die, simple as, and he's aware that he's got little time before there is no option.
And she's fine; he can see the brightening of her eyes, see the way that her senses have picked up to become even a shadow of what his own, dulled senses are like, and it's magical to see the potential she now has. That's before it dulls into obscurity and she's back to the limited human she was before, the extra touch of something special gone from her body until she takes more – this time, she doesn't hesitate, simply accepts the fact that they're something that makes her so much more able to learn.
Then it's Myrnin's turn to take some of the drugs, his turn for the clarity of the world to be returned to him, albeit merely slightly, for these few hours, or however long the unpredictable drugs last. Yet it's his chance to be able to both teach the girl and get distracted; he's able, now, to be able to look at the girl before him and simply see her.
She's beautiful, vivacious and bright, a gleaming gem within the squalor and darkness of the lab. This place is his home, yet she seems to bring a certain radiance to it, something that he's not entirely sure is only due to her scientific abilities. There's something about her that makes him want to smile,
And, no, it's not only because she's learning what he's teaching faster than even he can keep up with.
There's something about her that intrigues him, that has him pushing and pushing to stay here because he wants her to be the one to succeed. Perhaps there's a girl here, before him, that has the capability to destroy the curse that seems to have been placed upon his assistants. Perhaps she can avoid the death that is near unavoidable due to the state of his mental health, avoid becoming another statistic to be hidden from someone else…if he survives long enough for there to be another assistant, after this one.
Finally, no matter how much of the medication he knows isn't really helping he takes, he's beginning to fall tired, to loose the edge that means he's able to think about both science and the potential (beauty) of this girl.
And so he falls.
There's a crash as there's part of him that realises that nightfall has just about arrived in the south of North America, meaning there's the presence of the vampire escort of the assistant in his lab. He's beginning to forget who she is, beginning to wonder why she's here even though he's fighting to keep the image of her in his mind.
It's slowly consumed by the disease, crumbling into tiny fragments that are unidentifiable which all too soon become dust and, just like his memory, it's gone. He can't remember who she is, can't remember why there's a man standing in his laboratory that he doesn't know, but he fights through, resisting the emergence of the killing side because he knows she needs to escape.
It's an unexplainable knowledge, something that doesn't make sense even in his distorted brain patterns, but he's got the feeling that to destroy this girl would be to destroy the sun. Life would implode forever, become unliveable if the fragile thing before him ceased to exist.
His gaze locks on her as she walks – no, runs – out of the lab with the male boy who he can't help but feel jealous of because he gets her. He's with the succulent smelling girl, has the chance to devour her for himself, and the last sane thought that runs through Myrnin's mind is that if she hadn't left when she did, she wouldn't be here anymore.
He's left writhing against the disease, straining every ounce he can, yet never advancing because he's under the control of whatever this external force is that is so much stronger than he is. It's crushing him from the inside out, leaving an empty hole, a hollow shell of something that used to be brilliant. The spark of life within him is fading to nothing, with nothing to revitalise it because there just isn't the strength within him anymore to continue to fight.
He's going to have to give in soon; he's much too dangerous to remain out in the open and there's a fear that can run through him even now that if he is revealed to have the disease, all hope is lost. There can be no leaking of his predicament, no way that his decreased mental capacity can be leaked.
He can't hurt Claire, he just can't. There's a lack of comprehension to these thoughts as he's dragged further and further beneath the blanket of almost comforting forgetting…or it would be, if he didn't remember these things.
The clarity of the memory of his killing – murdering – of Ada is too much for him, has him in a corner, rocking himself to try and dispel the most heinous of his crimes from his mind. He tries and tries, tries to grasp onto the tailends of those memories that used to manage to bring him back for short times; he thinks of his past with Amelie, his friendship with her, if such a term can be used; he thinks of his sparring with Oliver and their relationship that seems to be more hate than love.
Nothing works to bring him back: he's forced to relive that moment merely seventy years ago when he killed her over and over again without respite, the memory replaying instantly as soon as it has finished to continually torture him. Even when he screams and cries, begs and pleads for it to stop, it doesn't; it doesn't stop when he claws at the walls, doesn't stop when he begins to harm himself…it doesn't even stop when he tries to consume some of the crystals left on the table.
A bright light burns across his face as the smell of the girl reaches his nostrils, a light that seems to force the disease's control to recede ever so slightly as he stands there in a half crouch. It allows him to stem the tears, to eradicate the thoughts of Ada's death from his conscious mind, and he's granted a minute's reprieve of the disease. He's allowed a mere minute to be able to gather his thoughts about everything, about why he thinks he's been allowed out of the clutches of whatever this is.
Her name lodges itself in his head and he's absolutely one hundred percent sure that it's because of her that he managed to escape, that the radiant light that seemed to pass over him is because of her.
Yet he knows he won't remember this when the disease controls him again, so he locks it away in the back of his mind in a place so secure he knows (hopes) it will never be broken into.
He falls to his knees, hard, as the disease is back with a vengeance, trying to destroy him, to break him down to nothing, just like the others. He's seen it, seen what they're reduced to…
…but he resists.
She doesn't listen to Michael on the way home as he lectures her about how dangerous Myrnin is, because she already knows. She's seen it firsthand just how unstable he is, just how easily he changes from the sweet gentleman he really is to the monster controlled puppet.
She's being yelled at for letting him out of his cage and she's too scared to tell her friend that she didn't do it, that he did it himself, because if she admitted that, she'd never be allowed back. Until today, she wouldn't have cared; but today, she saw the man underneath without a doubt, saw the man who is struggling harder than she could have possible imagined to come out of this as unscathed as possible…and therefore she must go back.
He's strong and vibrant beneath the disease, yet she can only hope this side of him is rescued, the intriguing man who makes things seem so lively, the sense of humour so subtle and mature that she has to recall things three or four times before she understands the wit hidden within the words, the brilliance locked inside one mere man.
And she knows he has to be saved, he needs to be saved.
The time passes and there's danger in Morganville that's nothing to do with Myrnin; there's powers in the world that are one hundred – no, one thousand – more dangerous than the man who hides in his shack…or he did, for she watched as he locked himself into the cage beneath the ground.
Things are perilous now, with one wrong move most likely to end in her death. Yet she's no chance to be able to influence what occurs in Morganville because Amelie is ensuring that she's being entirely left out of the planning, left in the Glass House and unable to influence anything, even as Shane is told he has to attend the Welcome Feast with Ysandre. All she's allowed to do is continue to work on the cure, to head to the lab every spare moment she has to try and cure the disease. Due to the nature of this Mr Bishop, however, Claire's aware that they're most likely to succumb to death anyway, even the vampires, because he's the sort of person to decimate his opponents.
Every second she isn't thinking of something, her thoughts drift to the dangers that lie ahead, what her future could be like if she doesn't help cure the disease…and therefore her thoughts turn into imagining Myrnin, thinking of how she can help him. He's chosen to lock himself away in a cage to ensure she's safe as she battles to cure the disease for the vampires, doomed himself to the final stage in an unimaginable existence because he's not safe to be allowed out by himself any longer.
And now here she is, in a position where she's unable to go to the Feast because every vampire (including Michael who isn't even taking Eve, so she's claimed Claire's last choice in Oliver) already has a partner and Amelie expressly forbade her from attending the feast alone.
The words twist and turn around over and over again in her mind as she tries to find a loophole in them for her to turn up without a vampire as her companion, trying to find a way to create an alternative universe where she could be this girl who is able to do what she wants and isn't controlled by Amelie.
Every vampire in town is controlled by her boss, she realises with a blast of anger; every single one doesn't have a mind of their own, the ability to move freely through the town-. But there is one, one without a mind that is rightfully his, one with the ability to take her where she wants to go provided he takes the cure that she's already managed to help make a good three or four hundred times stronger than before. He's able to accompany her without going insane in a vampire way, she hopes, able to accompany her and perhaps race off like someone who isn't entirely right in the head maybe, yet that isn't an issue because he would get her in.
But she doesn't want to let him out, doesn't want to chance the fact that he could be the most dangerous person possible there, even though there isn't a bad bone in his body. Deciding to make the decision on the way, she runs from the Glass House through the portal system, a shaking feeling running through her entire body as she slips from one location to another through a wormhole within the walls of the town. The fear is indescribable as she walks through the slightly neater lab towards the door at the back of the cluttered room, the door which is her way to the cells of pure, incomparable horror for broken vampires. They're all broken, dying, yet these are the ones who aren't fit to be around the others, the ones who succumbed to the disease so much faster than Myrnin did – or they accepted it before him, it could be either. These are the model of what Myrnin shall become in oh too short a period of time – and this knowledge is desolating to her because she can't imagine Morganville without Myrnin. She's already became so attached to him in her short period of time working with him, already found herself longing to go back to the lab and work with him when she's bored, just to have the crushing feeling of impossibility hit her when she remembers that he's locked himself away.
The dank, dreary dungeons are what face her as she opens the door and has no images in her mind, merely the knowledge that where she shall be going shan't be pleasant. Her eyes slowly close as the door widens enough for her body to slip through, before opening at the same speed to reveal the oppressive gloom before her.
It's one hundred times worse than before because this time she doesn't have a torch or anything to light her way; all she can do is remember which cages had vampires in and which ones she cannot afford to get within even a metre's reach because she'd be dead within a second. She's entirely reliant on her memory, on the map planted within her mind the week before when she first came to visit Myrnin. Because it's only the image of him in her mind that keeps her going past the rotting odour, past the cries and moans of the vampires past her help in here, the image of his sparkling, near reflective eyes within the too pale face that gives her an end goal to reach in this hellhole.
"Claire?" he calls her name, standing clinging to the bars as he evidently recognises her progression. He looks so lost, so innocent as he stands there that she almost stops in one of the diciest spots of the journey because looking at him is making her feel funny and she doesn't know why. Maybe it's the way that he's more than happy to see her, that she is the gem in his otherwise bleak existence, but she's not sure because it's wrong to feel like this for any reason.
"Myrnin," she greets him as she approaches his cage, spilling the news about Bishop and the Welcoming Feast instantly, along with her idea…
"That, little one, is the most skilfully cunning idea I believe you have had," he's more than gleeful at her ingenious idea, though she's not entirely sure how much it is to do with her words in comparison to him being allowed to roam free through Morganville once more. He's so excited, she can tell, and it's infectious, running through into her instantly. The atmosphere is electrostatic, an excitement racing through the air as she's beginning to come around to the idea that maybe, just maybe, it won't seriously damage her life to allow Myrnin out of his prison cell.
After all, they've got his stronger meds now and surely she'll be able to control him at least slightly.
"You have to promise to take your meds whenever I tell you, not when you think you need them," she makes him promise, something he does with a bored expression on his face that slowly brightens up when the door slides open.
"I know where we can get costumes!" he takes her by the hand as soon as he's injected himself with the medicine (because she's staying as far away from his blood as possible) and they're running through the twisted maze of cells beneath the ground, heading for the exit as he can't make it through the portal with her. She is special, special enough to be able to manipulate even that, yet that's not on her mind at the minute because he's pulling her along with him so fast that she can barely breathe.
"Myr-" she barely manages the first syllable of his name through her anaerobic respiration, her lack of oxygen impacting negatively on her body as she starts to slow.
His expression seems almost mad as he turns to look at her, huge, unreadable eyes in the pale face that evidently requires blood, but she's positive that he's not going crazy, that he's merely relishing the ability to be free of his constraints.
However, this joy seems to go too far when he sweeps her into his arms, running faster than before because he's no longer impaired by the human girl.
His arms are strangely safe as they head through risky tunnels, turning this way and that as Myrnin heads for the exit to take them to his little storage of costumes, of which she has no idea what they are. It's comfortable to be held here, close to his chest, near to his immobile heart, and nowhere near as scary as she would have thought it would be, being so close to a vampire who, to be described as sane, would need to be compared to every insane dictator in the world's history added together. And, most likely, the majority of Morganville.
"Myrnin?" her voice is low as she whispers his name, the wind getting cooler and more brutal as he seems to speed up as they near what she presumes is the exit. He doesn't respond besides tightening his arms around her, the feeling of comfort exacerbated by this action – and there's no greater fear that he's going to kill her, none whatsoever.
He's already becoming her best friend; someone she can trust even if she can't truly trust him, if that could make sense. She knows that he knows everything she needs to know – and beyond – and there's no way that there could be anyone more loyal, for he could have given up and killed her that first day. Instead, he fought back against the disease for her, stopped himself from destroying her future potential, and now they're here, heading to the feast to stand by Amelie.
He sets her down as the wind suddenly ceases, her grip on his arm tighter than she thought she had been gripping on with, shown by the slight indentations on his arm. Her heartbeat is fluttering and she's suddenly concerned that it's not only due to the exercise and the fear, yet also the proximity of Myrnin to her, something she doesn't understand because she loves Shane, remember?
"We should go," she mutters, striding off as she realises where they are, before remembering that she's with Myrnin and only he knows where he's taking her.
Naturally, he's walked in the opposite direction to her, his dirty overcoat hanging down over what appear to be striped pyjama bottoms, and she's forced to scurry along to catch up because Myrnin isn't waiting for nobody, not even her. She can't help but admire how he's coping with all of this, being out in the open Morganville for the first time since before she was born, probably, and he's gained another ounce of respect from her simply because he's so strong. He's able to cope with what's going on as if it's nothing; then again, she supposes, this situation is graver than anything else she imagines he could have faced, if someone who is supposed to be dead has returned.
He takes her back to the Glass House, somewhere she wasn't expecting simply because he said that he had secret costumes for them to wear and she hasn't exactly seen any random clothing just hanging inside of walls…well, takes her back to the Glass House is a little of a loose term; he takes her to a random Founder House and uses the portal system to reappear in the secret room. It seems like such a random place because she's been in here before and there most certainly isn't the piles of costumes he's been describing to her – seeming at least semi-sane also, which is a bonus – which has her doubting about the viability of this plan, whether she was too trusting in someone who doesn't have the ability to look after themselves.
"Myrnin?" she says his name as he looks around the walls, an intrigued expression on his face. She's concerned that he's not truly with her, that no matter how hard he fights he isn't going to get anywhere, but she needn't worry.
"Yes, little one?" he turns as he turns to face a blank section of wall, unremarkable to the point where Claire cannot say that she's ever even particularly noticed the fact that the colour of it is creamy-white.
Then he thuds it in the centre, almost as if he is restarting a heart, and he is, in a sense, because it gives Claire the fright of her life. There's a split second where she can feel her heart cease to beat, her body responding by pumping as much adrenaline around as possible, because the shock of an act of such violence – even towards an inanimate object – startles her.
She hates to admit it, but she's already forgotten how dangerous he can be.
Her heart rate increases as she tries to force herself to remember the most basic of survival rules in Morganville, especially with Myrnin; never forget that you're at his mercy, that if he snaps, you're the one who dies. There is no other way around this; your life is linked perilously close with his mood and when you're with an emotionally – and mentally – unstable vampire, the bond gets even stronger.
And almost within the same second, the wall comes crashing down around him, symbolic of so much in her life, and it leaves behind a gaping hole…into which isn't a house's attic, no, simply an elongation of the Glass House that she never knew about. It's a rapid descent of the wall, no hesitation as pieces of plaster crash down to the floor as though they've been erupted from a volcano, and they make Claire wince, concerned that it may make them beacons for attention…but from whom? There's nobody here, no vampires in the nearby vicinity – they're all already at the Feast where they shall face whatever horrors the leaders of the vampires have for them.
Claire's aware that Myrnin knows what will be happening at the Feast; after all, why else would he be so keen to get there? She's more than positive that he's absolutely one hundred percent sure what's going to be occurring in the next few hours, already most likely aware of the outcome and whether they have any chance of winning or not.
As the shudder runs through her at the mere thought of losing to Bishop, she realises that she's not going to go down without a fight. Little, sweet, innocent Claire has no need to fight but she will. She will stand alongside Myrnin and fight as hard as she can for as long as she can, even if only to save Myrnin. To be able to save that mind filled with knowledge would be more than she could do herself for the scientific world – yet she isn't going to think like that, no, she is going to fight and win.
And then, together as two scientists, Myrnin and herself can be unstoppable.
He finds the costumes he desires, one of Pierrot for himself and one of Harlequin for Claire, the elaborate detail upon the costumes taking her breath away slightly. For a few moments, she forgets about the dangerous situation into which they are going and her attention is merely grasped by the costume. She would have thought, with the little knowledge she has of these characters, she would be given the outfit of Pierrot, the apparently wholly innocent character in opposition the Harlequin.
Yet she isn't one to complain because it means she gets to go to the Feast and stand alongside her friends, rather than being the one left out with Myrnin. She isn't going to complain about going with Myrnin because he will tell her what is going on if she asks – or at least she presumes there is more chance of her finding out from him than she would manage alone, or from Amelie.
They have a connection that's growing deeper with every motion she takes to try and help him, to try and cure him from this debilitating disease. Everything she does to try and make sure that he returns to full health causes another strand to be added to the already growing bond between them, a golden connection that sparkles and shines brighter than the sun.
As she's his sun, his rays of pure brilliance in a place where darkness threatens to consume him, threatens to take him from this world and submerge him within someplace which will never let him escape. If her brilliance, her fire, is doused, he doesn't know what there will be to take her place – for what could be as irreplaceable as this beacon?
There isn't anything that could replace her.
He swallows these thoughts because there isn't time to be sentimental, isn't time for them to be able to even contemplate their friendship – because it is something that shall be over if they do not win or at least stand alongside Amelie, regardless of whether they want to die or not.
(Well neither of them wants to die, but that's not the point here.)
And then they go.
Her eyes widen as she observes the manic near game before her very eyes, mere metres from her, the movement between the vampires stunning her to a state of stillness. She can't begin to contemplate moving, even though it's in her best interests, merely because she's confident that a move by her would result in her head being pulled off by Ysandre.
It ought not to be such an almost pretty situation before her because they're against Bishop, fighting for their lives, and if Claire bothered to listen, she'd hear the struggle that was going on. However, she doesn't have the ability to watch the swift movements of Myrnin, to be enthralled as he whips and whirls around the throne like chair as well as listen to every word that is said.
There's a tension in the air that seems electrostatic, a tension that has every single hair on her body standing on end as she worries for Myrnin. He's too close to Bishop, tantalisingly near to the enemy that could rip him apart at his seams, if he so desired. It's an agonising fear that rips through her that she could lose Myrnin; the man she has grown to need in her life – because who else is going to teach her everything she desires to know? – could be so easily destroyed because he's weak…
…and then their eyes meet. In the most clichéd of movements, their eyes meet as he turns to face her for a moment, his low yet rich voice silenced in his throat as a spark flares between them.
In those jewelled orbs, she can only see the flickering of brilliance that lurks behind the cover of his body; she sees the reflection of the room behind her, the gleaming of the candles spread throughout the room, and it's like she's in a different place all together. The combination of the darkness of his irises and the brightness of the situation behind her is magical, a force of complete opposites working together to create a gleaming, entirely beautiful situation. Ying and yang, darkness and light – there's factions in the room and yet she's unconcerned, simply mesmerised by the beauty that he holds merely within his eyes.
Then there's the knowledge, the wisdom that only he could have, and she has a feeling that he's going to be putting this to good use in a moment, that he'll be utilising his incomparable knowledge in a mixture with the weaving and whirling that he's already continuing to partake in.
And then his mouth opens once again as his eyes rip away from her own, a sense of loss emerging as he looks away. She's lost the sight to be able to see the light and the dark: she's merely been left with the situation before her, Bishop with Myrnin standing before him now, his expression – as far as she can see – mocking to the point where it sends another wave of fear through her. She can tell that he's not going to be agreeable to what Bishop wants, that he's going to stand strong and true against him to support Amelie.
Or perhaps merely because he's crazy, she's not entirely sure.
The words that escape his mouth have her reacting in a multitude of ways, none of which particularly fill her with glee or excitement: it's rather on the contrary; she's pained and fearful for Myrnin as he recites random words, a mixture of swearing and utter nonsense; she's concerned that the medicine hasn't worked, that he's simply making word salad and has lost all perception as to where he is.
This feeling is heightened when she spies the silver knife twirling itself in his fingers, spies the weapon that could ignite a war more dangerous than anything she has ever seen, especially as it soars in the direction of Bishop's neck. Her attention is captured by the rise and then rapid descent of the weapon through the air, all the focus upon this, even as she's grabbed by Ysandre by the throat.
As her air supply is being cut off, she begins to scrabble with Ysandre to let her go, her attention slipping away from the danger Myrnin is facing. Everything seems to merge together as she staggers, Amelie moving rapidly throughout the small area between their people and Bishop – the people who stood when she was too consumed observing Myrnin, she supposes – and manages to remove Claire from the female vampire who most certainly scares Claire more than Myrnin ever could.
She stumbles away further and her gaze once again falls upon Myrnin as he twirls the knife to almost cradle the end that glistens with the blood from Bishop's tiny, nondescript wound. The skin has already closed over and there's a huge question in Claire – why? Why has he done this, reacted to such an extreme point that shall simply mean that there must be retaliation, that they must break out into battle?
Their eyes meet for the most fleeting of seconds and this time, there isn't a border between the light and the darkness; it's intermingled, as if there's no way to classify between what makes Myrnin shine and what leaves him as the most dangerous predator of them all. He has no barriers between the good and the evil, no barriers between the wise and the stupid and, most importantly, no barriers between the sane and the insane.
In short, she can only see the mad side to him, the truly, deeply, madly insane side that scares her, especially now, when she needs him. He was supposed to protect her, to help her now she's come face to face with evil, and yet he's simply succumbed to the disease and allowed it to take over.
His lips move as he looks away, yet she doesn't see because her attention is focused more on staying alive.
And hating Myrnin.
He runs away from the scene, laughing manically, yet the sound rings hollow in his ears. He's managed to master this appearing more insane than he actually is, a plan that has been in motion ever since Bishop came to town, and it's been so hard for him to ensure that Claire remained entirely in the dark. This had to happen; he had to appear to loose himself within the madness that continues to threaten to consume him, the madness that sweeps above his head every so often and is usually barely contained to allow him to operate.
The knife is cradled close to his chest as he runs from the room, past the mass of vampires who seem to be mobilising for reasons he can only presume to be in regards to the tension that seems at breaking point in the room. Yet this isn't his concern: Amelie made him promise that he would leave as soon as his job was complete and that is what it is, the relic of the knife containing the mere droplet of blood the reminder that this si the case.
This was his job, what he had been told to do, yet he can't help but feel guilt that he's left Claire here alone, when he brought her with him under his charge. She only came because he brought her; if he had left her at home, she wouldn't have been able to come. Sweet, helpful, little Claire: the girl who is already so integrated within his life, that he can't life without her. If anything happens to her, it shall all be his fault for he chose to allow those whispered requests of hers to attend to be fulfilled, his fault that her innocent self was taken to be amongst a web of lies and deceit because she could be safe.
Now, he's left her within the lion's den. And the lion is awake...and angry.
His run seems strange even to him as he departs the room, giving him the indication that the medicine may be beginning to reach just beyond it's peak effectiveness and he must fight to merely stay here, in a state of steadily declining memory and control until all is relinquished anyway.
All this means is that he must move to work faster, must fight with every ounce of strength he has, not just for him, oh no. This entire picture is bigger than him, it always has and it always will be. There's Amelie, the woman he has fought for time and time again for centuries, and shall continue to do so for the entirety of his days…and then there's Claire.
There's the girl with the sweet smelling blood, the girl who looks at him as if he means something, rather than merely being a sweetly (or at least sweet when he's not trying to kill them) insane vampire who is slowly losing himself into the depths of something far more dangerous than anyone could possibly imagine. She sees past that, sees through to the core of him that has the knowledge she craves, has the person that he knows she needs to get to where she needs to be in life, and every single time she smiles at him, he feels his immobile heart jump slightly.
(Even the disease can't keep that from him.)
She's strong and wilful and he finds himself thinking of her more than the other reasons he has for fighting as he summons the portal outside the City Hall to take him back to the laboratory: he finds the dulcet tones of her voice strangely soothing as he repeats random phrases she has said to him in his head, an attempt to distract his brain from engaging with the fight against the disease.
Because whilst he wants to win, he knows that if he attacks it head on, the disease will win.
It always does.
As he bounds through the door, he flicks a switch to turn every light on possible in the laboratory, heading straight for a microscope. All at once, back in his beloved laboratory, his concentration focuses on the science, there being no need for him to try and alleviate his thoughts merely because this is his focus now. He must think about the disease's cure and the cure only, think about how he can save them all from themselves.
A mere pinprick of the blood is removed from the knife and he slides it under the microscope to try and gauge whether or not it is useful to him…and all he sees is light. It's a chance for renewed hope – Bishop's blood is undamaged and disease free and may perhaps be their cure, their salvation…his salvation. It could be the thing that allows him to rectify the mistakes he has made, allow him to ensure that he can repay Claire all the good she has done for him – allow him merely to be Myrnin again, without living in constant fear of collapse.
He must check to see if it affects his blood; he must check to see whether or not the blood affects his life supply just like Bishop's. This is the most important thing within the entire operation, the thing that could make or break their entire race. If it works – if – their entire race has the potential to flourish once again, to no longer be shadows of their former selves, like he is. He would be free to smile, to no longer fret every single day whether the next episode will be the last one he can rise again from.
(As rising from the ashes is getting harder and harder every single time, so he's not sure whether he'll be able to do it again.)
But if it doesn't work…if Bishop's blood is incompatible with his, if they do not mix together, then everything has been ruined. They are unable to formulate a cure that can work without whatever it is in the elderly vampire's blood, all their attempts pitiful half measures to try and recreate what he knows will work…but it just is unable to be synthesised. If it doesn't work, they loose all hope, all possibility of their race becoming anything other than a slowly dying breed of people, destroyed by their insides because he was unable to cure them. He would leave Claire here without anyone to guide her, leave her to the mercy of the others because if he has barely clung on this long, those who care nought for human life will destroy every single human within minutes of finding out they are dying.
The knife lying on the side – not the one with Bishop's blood – twirls into his fingers as his other hand slides the sleeve of his billowing shirt up to allow him to slash deep into the mishmash of superfluous blood vessels, once filled with flowing blood. Now they're resorted to being filled with the blood of others, their vitality diminished to the point where he cannot remember a day he felt truly alive.
(Not that he is anymore, but that's not the issue.)
Now, the blood that flows through his veins is that of the living, those who oppose his kind greatly – yet not the blood of Claire. He has not – and most likely shall not – tasted her blood and it's something that haunts him when he's alone. He aches to be able to taste her blood, to try and see if she can help him try and be able to think for merely a minute, but he can't because how could he live with himself if he hurt her? There's something about Claire Danvers that he knows he would never be able to replace, something inside of her that would haunt him forever if he destroyed because she's so magical.
(And he doesn't think of Ada anymore, besides when she calls on him, because the person who helps him back from the disease is always Claire.)
The dark, rich, unappealing blood drips slowly onto the microscope slide, forming a congealed blob on the centre of the clear sheet of glass, and he doesn't do anything to stem the flow from his arm because why would he? There's nothing this blood is doing for him since limitless amounts of blood still doesn't quench the thirst that loiters in the back of his throat, and he may as well have a larger sample to try and see the damage to his blood and whether it can be healed.
And so he slips some of the blood from the slide onto a third slide, one with Bishop's blood on it, and he focuses the microscope to try and find even more detail than he could see anyway. It's crystal clear, the damage done to his own blood, the blood cells damaged beyond repair in some places, and he's well assured that this is down to his years of incessant attempts to try and take more and more medicine…but the second slide…
His sleeve drifts into the candle by the side of the microscope that he always uses, merely to allow an extra perspective to his vampire eyes, and it catches fire, a flame so bright and consuming that he pauses for a second to watch it. The flame destroys everything in its path, consuming the material as if it is nothing, the flames flaring as they divulge into so many colours. Scarlet, golden, burnt orange, brilliant white: the colours merge together, blinding him slightly, yet if he focuses, he can pick out each individual strange of fire lacing up his arm, threatening to destroy him…and he could let it. If this hasn't worked, if Bishop's blood is not the cure, then he could succumb to the flames, allow them to crisscross over his alabaster pale skin to send him out as a beacon of light.
The melancholy thoughts fade away as he grows impatient with the fire, deciding that he may as well be in charge of his own destiny. After all, there's the girl to think about: would she even begin to be able to contemplate what he has spent years formulating? He doubts it, therefore she needs him – and if this is the most illogical, yet conclusive, reason he has for staying alive, so be it.
He wrenches the entire shirt off, deciding that he may as well have complete control, and slings it to a side, his attention brought wholly back to the microscope slide to see whether life will be futile to live beyond today.
The blood is healthy; it's the exact same as Bishop's sample, merely with a different bouquet that makes it his blood – the damage has been healed over, repaired to it's former state and making his actual blood seem even more hellish.
There are sounds behind him and he turns suddenly, his movements seeming faster, more reactive, even to himself even though he's aware it's psychological because he hasn't actually consumed any of Bishop's blood. It's entirely in his mind, what he's feeling, and yet he can't help but feel as though there's a certain sense of newfound clarity within his disorganised mind. Claire seems to shine more than usual, he decides; her eyes glimmer with something other than merely the barely disguised fear that usually loiters, a more sinister edge to her glance as she seems almost disgusted with him.
"Claire," he stands facing her, his expression clear as he tries to read hers. She seems angry, he supposes, an indelible streak through her that seems more prominent than he would ever have thought that she could manage – after all, he wouldn't exactly say that anger would be her strongest point. "What are you doing here?"
She spits some words at him, fury driving her to new extremes as he begins to compare her to a vixen. She's bright and vibrant, strength shining through as she verbally attacks him for leaving her there alone, without him, even though it was never part of the plan for him to stay…not that Claire's aware of that fact, of course.
Then something captures his attention, a phrase sliding out of her mouth actually residing in his brain for a moment rather than him simply processing the words automatically so he can listen to the sweet chimes of her voice (he doesn't know why he likes it, really).
"Amelie was staked?" he confirms, a rush of fear spreading through him – but not for Amelie. No, his longest friend would be fine, rest assured: the fear is that if Amelie was harmed, then Claire would have been in even greater danger. She would have been exposed to ever more treacherous dangers than Amelie, more probable death, and he hates himself – absolutely despises is more accurate – for he could have saved her. If he had only taken her with him when he left, merely scooped her into his arms and damned whatever Amelie would have said afterwards, she would have been rest assured safe.
Yet here she is now, safe but untrusting of him, unsure why he ran away and left her to the point where her heart is telling her to shut down and merely hate him for what he did, leaving her there without protection. He can read in her eyes the delicate balance between trust and distrust has been upset in the wrong direction, her fear and anger distorting the true image of what is going on because she simply doesn't know.
He's lost all desire to keep to any plan that he and Amelie may or may not have had – she came when he was lost to the disease, fighting to keep his head under enough control to focus on the chess game whilst they discussed the finer, more important points of the plan, rather than what would happen afterwards. As far as he can remember (forget) he can't recall (deliberately doesn't remember) anything to do with Claire.
Those chess pieces in the corner regain his attention at the same time as he supposes she notices them, their positions marking out clearly where he stood. The white, naturally, dominates the board as he remembers back to those minutes, when he fought to concentrate solely on the game, instincts guiding him to make decisions that would always cause him to succumb to Amelie's trap, to be at her mercy. Just as he is now; he does her bidding not only because she is his friend, but because she controls him – just as she controls Claire, orders her what to do and where to go…
…it's a silly, erratic thought, but as they stand together, their attention momentarily captured by the dominating white chess pieces, he can't help but feel a kinship with her position, at how she is controlled…but why would she believe that he is as much of a captive as she is when her destiny is in his hands?
As she observes his blood beneath the microscope, his attention is dangerously distracted by the sweet smell of her hair. He cannot allow himself to get waylaid in other matters, he tells himself continually, yet the fruity scent of her seemingly satin soft hair makes him wonder what it would be like to run his hands through it. The jerky, darting looks she throws at him because she doesn't trust him enough – oh how that hurts – to be at her unprotected back merely afford him further opportunity to observe her heart-shaped face, allow him to admire the beautiful complexion she has, the colouring of her skin not particularly different to his own pallor.
(Then there's the pulsing of the blood in her neck but he's not looking at that, he's not.)
Finally she relaxes and it's a bittersweet event because whilst it shows she's willing to trust him for a few moments, it means he's limited to merely observing her back, something which both pleases him and displeases him, for it allows him a chance to eradicate the thoughts of her blood from his mind. Even with the medicine, it's becoming harder for him to ignore the siren call of her blood to the part of his brain the most affected by the disease – his control around humans and blood, events that become near impossible to avoid when he's entirely succumbed.
The point he tried to prove to her has been made: he is curable, able to be someone she can admire and trust and perhaps even love (though why he thinks of this is beyond him) if they are able to cultivate enough of the cure for the vampires. He can be hers forever, if she chooses that path, and teach her everything she could ever want to know, two bright heads working together.
Yet this isn't the focus right now: he doesn't know anything of feelings in this state, doesn't have the ability to relate how he feels inside his heart to his body because nerves have been damaged and he's not sure what he can do to sort it other than merely hope that the cure will bring that about for him. Lovely, sweet Claire, a girl with a brilliance that shines so bright from her body, a girl with the potential to get anywhere – and yet he always finds himself saying Claire and Myrnin, for he can't help but imagine himself being there.
"This is the cure?" she confirms and he draws himself back to her, in opposition to his in depth analysis of her – inclusive of her beauty and brains, of course – and merely nods. It's all he can do as he fights back from the literal edge of the point where the disease would capture his mind for a period of time, an edge to which he reached without conscious realisation because Claire distracted him, thoughts of his little bird capturing his concentration to the point where he almost lost her forever.
"Yes, this is the cure," he manages to say after a short period of time, during which he wrestles with the disease. This is not the time, he thinks, trying desperately to force the crystals to release another wave of energy that can combat any way of him giving up before he's ready to leave her.
You see, she's a beacon of brightness to his vampiric eyes, a sense of gravity weighed in with her body – yet that gravity is both good and bad. It gives him something to focus on to keep him with her, something that makes him want to keep fighting on and on to ensure that he doesn't hurt her…but when he falls, when he brings the wall of Myrnin tumbling down to reveal the monster inside, it's what attracts him to her so.
Darkness and light are the greatest of lovers, after all, and it can hardly be disputed that someone as effervescent as Claire could be missed by the monster, can it?
He stands behind her, remaining shirtless as he watches her measure out volumes of liquids too precise for his strangely weakened hands. The only time he can consciously think they are at least partially stable is when he focuses merely upon them, steadies them to ensure that what he is carrying isn't dropped and destroyed. But measuring liquids has no intrigue to him when Claire is here, unlike when he's alone and he's trying to do anything to escape the clutches of the disease, escape the chance for those painful memories to come back and haunt him, to make him realise what he's feeling for Claire is wrong because he already tried it with someone else. And how well did that work out?
There's a tension in the air that he's sure she can feel (she can) because it's breaking through the once thought impermeable walls of his body, allowing him to feel. She's bright and vital, her strength radiating from her body in huge, rhythmic waves of heat that enter his body. They pass through his skin as though it isn't present, spread through the drained, fallow passages of his body…and come to rest safely in the chambers of his heart, the channels leading up to it flooding with warmth.
For the first time since before he was turned nearly thirteen hundred years ago, his heart feels alive, vital, as if there is a purpose to it being within his frozen, unchangeable body rather than merely being a crystallised muscle. There's a purpose to its existence, rather than merely sitting in his chest cavity, and yet this leaves him more fractured than ever because he's torn about everything. There's the memory of Ada that resides in his mind, the whirring of the machine that is Ada, and also the way that he's scared for Claire's safety.
He could kill her, destroy her into smithereens right this very instant and she wouldn't be able to do anything about it. More than that, however, if there's a connection between them like this – as if she doesn't feel it, he'd wonder if there's something wrong with her, to be frank – then Bishop can use this against them. There isn't a way for him to express anything to her, even give her a hint, without alerting their enemies to anything. And could he live with himself if he survived at the cost of Claire?
He doubts that he would be able to, already.
It's a feeling that he can't describe and doesn't want to, simply because categorising it would simply make it set in stone – for all he knows, this may be the disease, the disease enticing him to her heat…but it may also be him, a catch-22 situation.
"Myrnin," she says his name softly and he jumps infinitesimally, such a fraction that she would never notice. Both syllables of his name are softly uttered, a tinkling voice that he finds is one of the sounds he has been trying to use to draw back from the disease's clutches for weeks. It's the last thing he thinks of as the claws of insanity grasp him, pulling him below the surface, and it's what his attention is consumed by here. She's the only thing on his mind, not even the fight that must be being prepared if Amelie was staked and war was declared.
They begin work on a furthering of their current medicine, centrifuging a tiny droplet of Bishop's blood, the potential held within the shiny, crimson colouring greater than anything in this room, inclusive of himself and Claire.
(After all, they could live forever but never, ever synthesise the contents of this life source.)
And so they work, work and work until he can't work anymore, until the point comes when he's battling a silent battle that just refuses to be lost by the disease. It's creeping further and further into his mental capacity, growing roots and refusing to leave no matter how hard he tries to force it out. He's fighting a losing battle against his own brain, losing himself to, well, himself – and he knows that she can tell that he's leaving her, that there's less of him with her than before. No matter how hard he tries to stay with her, fights to avoid the descent into the gripping darkness that torments him, he can't and he's thankful that she doesn't try and keep him in the lab any longer.
They head down to the cells with a sense of urgency, a tingling in his head as he clutches onto those last truly sane moments to ensure that he doesn't harm a hair on her head. There's a lack of belief within him that she can get on without him so he must fight to stay with her, yet he knows he can't advance without the modern views of this young girl, the one with the possibility to be as great (greater?) as himself, and there must be their relationship preserved. He cannot do that if he succumbs to the beast a minute earlier.
She locks him in and he finds his eyes widening as he waits for her to leave, for her heartbeat to stop tormenting him so, yet her brilliance leaving him almost entirely without hope. He's safe where he is, of course he is, but the feeling of fear is for Claire, because if he knows Amelie, she'll be taking her prized possession on the most dangerous hunt of all, be that whatever it is.
They're in the long game, the game where he's a pawn, she's a pawn – everyone is a pawn to Amelie so long as the end result is her victory. And this is what hurts him so: he cares nought for his life, in relative terms, because he's lived forever, but this girl…she cannot be allowed to be taken by either the disease or Bishop. She's too great for that.
She begins to walk away and he mutters, "I'm so sorry, child. So very sorry I left you," beneath his breath, wondering if she can hear, as it's an inadvertent admission of his feelings for her. He's never cared for a human before – not like this – and normally, he wouldn't have given a damn for leaving her with Amelie because it was part of the plan, part of his job to leave her there simply because nothing was specified for her. Yet this girl seems to have a hold over him that even Amelie doesn't have, a side to her that makes him want to follow her no matter what she does.
The disease takes over and he's sobbing, a painful, agonising ripping of his soul as he claws anything to take the torment away. All he wants is—
His eyes snap open as his breathing regulates for a second, the image behind his eyes that of her brown, open eyes looking directly into his as her lips move to press to his.
She's his salvation, his saving grace, and the disease claims him again, yet it's nowhere near as deep. He's able to penetrate another section of his brain that he's never contemplated before, a side that offers him a small amount of lucidity amidst the insanity.
And when Bishop comes for him merely an hour later, he's unable to fight because he's sedated by the thoughts of Claire, his eternal saviour, and there's a proportion of him that wants to be taken, just to see what she'll do.
She can't quantify what she feels for Myrnin, can't put it into words because it's wrong and they're in the middle of a war, for crying out loud! She shouldn't – she can't – allow herself to contemplate her internal thoughts as they're running through darkened rooms and constricting corridors on their way to both rescue and then leave with Myrnin.
What's going on, she doesn't have a clue because all their communication methods seem to be failing. She's losing everyone that's close to her, their direction being different to hers primarily because she's no focus in this war.
Well, other than getting killed. But that's pretty obvious, to be honest.
And now it's all over; they've lost. Amelie's gone, disappeared with Sam and Oliver and whoever else into the gutters, their fleeing bodies burnt into the back of her mind like charcoal dust sticks to whatever it touches. She's been left as a tribute of sorts, she supposes, someone unimportant and unnecessary to whatever plan Amelie has for the winning back of Morganville from her Father. They've lost and she's no purpose here, yet she's being summoned forwards to Bishop, towards him and his throne, the regal, highbacked chair that summons such a presence in the room that she feels more than revolted. It's disgusting, a mark of something that he doesn't deserve to have – but how he has gotten it, how he destroyed Amelie's control over this building, is beyond her.
The figure standing alongside the elderly vampire turns slightly, his minute adjustment in position drawing her focus to his chocolate brown curls, scattered and disarrayed into a mop that's more of a crow's nest.
He did this; it was him who destroyed their plan – or Amelie's plan, she doesn't really care about who possessed the plan since she was going to have died for it, be it Amelie's or Sam's – who has now shipped her to Bishop. Just then, the anger that was present when she saw him days previously in the lab following his betrayal at the Feast flares up again, kick-starting the belief that he's the enemy here. She can't blame the disease because, as she walks past, she deliberately glances into his eyes and sees not one trace of the disease being in control: his eyes are lacking the manic, glassy edge that comes over them when he isn't in control. No, merely remorse and regret loiter in those sad eyes, emotions that simply fuel her hatred further because she can see that he knew exactly what he was doing, the consequences caused by his actions, and he's simply standing by.
She's not sure what could have been between them after that day, you know, the one where she was working and he was standing with her and a cool breeze swept over her. it clung to her skin, folded her into an inescapable blanket that almost bound her to Myrnin, allowed her to briefly feel what he felt in a way that made her understand the excruciating agony of being controlled by yourself, yet not by your conscious side. Yet that is a fragile state, a web weaved between them formed from trust and understanding: now, she doesn't understand him and she wouldn't throw him as far as she could throw a house (namely impossible), so how can she be close to him?
It's a shattering that almost seems to ring in her ears as she looks at him with supreme disgust, a darkness taking over her aura as she cannot comprehend anything about his actions. She supposes he likes to act alone, to make decisions that he feels will benefit them all, not understanding that his sense of concentration and comprehension is diminished by his mental state. His blood has been seen by her – she knows what state he's in, how perilously close he must be to joining those in the cells for good this time, not a come-between visitor who remains there merely to sleep and be protected when she isn't around.
"Claire," he mouths her name but she doesn't respond, simply turns her head away from him as she's forced towards the direction of her new "ruler" someone she's being forced to swear fealty to, though she'd much rather not.
Then again, she thought that she could fight. She made the mistake back in the lab to think that maybe – just maybe – Myrnin and herself could be a team against Bishop, that their superior brains could work together to bring out the best in one another. She already could see such brilliance in the man, wit and humour, intelligence and passion, intrigue and willingness…but he's destroyed it all now.
All he's done is leave her a broken, empty shell, someone no longer even herself as she watches the squiggling letters beneath her skin with a sick feeling in her stomach, something she's not sure she can return from.
And she doesn't realise it, but all this shows is that she'd already fallen in love with him and this is her heartbreak because he's shattered her heart into smithereens by betraying her.
He can't explain to her why he's done this, why he's handed her (and himself, in a way) over to Bishop, simply because she won't understand. In all honesty, he doesn't particularly understand the intricate workings of Amelie's mind, doesn't even know the rest of the plan particularly well because they're worried that he could spill it out, yet he's aware of enough to make an impact.
There's the need for a laboratory to work in if they're to destroy this disease; they're going to need to have the base ready to then slip more of Bishop's blood into it, and that can't be done underground. They can't protect everyone in Morganville that Claire is close to, and they can't even take her underground with them for fear of internal destruction.
(After all, even Amelie's aware of the incandescent smell of Claire's blood, something that not even her more humane followers would be able to ignore, she was sure.)
He can't allow her to be hurt. Therefore, this was the only option: for her to be captured due to his intelligence, for there to be a fight that Amelie would hopefully win, yet if she didn't as the case was, there was a back up plan. He chose to betray himself to protect her, something that continues to make sense in his twisted, illogical mind.
He's more than apologetic to her because he can't tell her what's going on and now the book is being used against her, he most certainly can't tell her, because Bishop could force her to tell him anything. Even Myrnin realises that the mission is more important than a single person, that even Claire is eclipsed, because if not, then they're all going to die a painful death.
There's the feeling that she's lost all hope, that she's got no trust in him whatsoever, something he learns as the borrowed spark from her flies from him, returning his heart to its feelingless state. She's not concerned for him any longer, doesn't give a toss and that's why they're separate.
It hurts him more than he could admit, yet he's got his work cut out now to try and act as sane as possible without being too sane…at the same time as wrestling with the disease so that he never comes near to hurting Claire. He cannot allow it.
He absolutely cannot.
She's 'forced' to work with him in the lab, yet this time she's paid which is a slight positive in a negative situation. She doesn't understand his reasoning for anything, doesn't understand how he can be so difficult with Bishop, yet he gets away with it because he's "ill" and there's no point in killing someone who could be useful. At least that's her reasoning as she thinks through why Bishop would keep Myrnin around.
"Claire?" Myrnin interrupts her thoughts and she tries her damndest to put her most fierce, angry expression on because she still hates him – she does – for what he did. She's tried her best to resist laughing at his witty jokes, tried her best to not admire him for what he's doing because she can see how hard he's struggling with his illness…she's tried everything to keep away from him entirely.
She's just failed in hating him.
"What?" she snaps, yet there's no real anger in her voice, nothing to suggest that she could hate him? How could she? She's aware that the web between them has been rebuilding itself over the past months, that she's unable to stop herself trusting him merely because he's still there, isn't he?
Everyone else has left: Eve hates her; Michael is Bishop's; Shane is in the cage – even Sam and Amelie left her alone. Myrnin is the only one left, the only sweetly insane vampire around who can make her laugh and protect her…how could she resist loving him?
"You have a little something on your face." his finger reaches out automatically to remove the flint from her skin, the flaring warmth of her cheek as he touches it startling him. He almost forgot that she is human, yet this is more than a reminder…it's a reminder of everything he's been trying to push down for months, ever since she started coming here every day, because he can't have distractions in a time when he's playing more sides than he would care to admit.
She doesn't do anything to help, merely finds her face twisting slightly to fit neatly into the cupped shape of his hand around her cheek. He's still not letting go, she realises, and it's strange how enjoyable the coolness of his skin is upon hers because, well, he's a vampire and she hates them normally.
The pallor of his skin on her rosy, flushed cheeks torments him, the striking difference as his eyes move to lock into hers leaving him desiring to reach down and kiss her, to tell her everything he's wanted to for God knows how long but not been able to due to their predicament. She's reflecting everything he knows she can see in his eyes: longing, lust, an indescribable desire to reach out and press their lips together in a way that's binding forever.
Neither of them complete their movement: both impulsively reach to press her vivid red lips to his much paler, natural ones and they collide in a way that makes it perhaps more magical, as neither of them expected it.
A shiver runs through her body as her brain processes just what her lips are instinctively doing as her hand finds itself dropping her pen and snaking up towards his neck to bring his head closer to hers. One finger twirls itself round one of his perfectly formed curls just as his other hand moves to a mirror position on the other side of her face, possessing her.
A low, guttural growl issues from his throat but she ignores this, her attention diverted from anything but Myrnin as she twists uncomfortably in her chair to be facing him. Part of her is telling her that this is so, so wrong, yet the rest of her screams for him to touch her, for her skin to be pressed against his because the release of energy can't be quantified. She finds her body begging for more molecules of his scent to be inhaled as she breathes, finds kissing him is more than pleasant, even as her body craves oxygen more than his scent.
He breaks the kiss for the shortest of moments, moving around to sweep her into his arms as she gasps for breath, her hair dishevelled already and the rosy spots on her cheeks more pronounced as her eyes lock back into Myrnin's. Not another word is uttered as he kisses her again, this time longer, slower, more passionate, trying to absorb everything about her in an attempt to keep the low lying monster at bay, the one that's just waiting for an opportunity to be released from its cage inside his head.
Finally, her senses return to her as one of Myrnin's arms cradles her in close to his body whilst the other tightens around her hair in a soon to be painful grip, her lips breaking away from his with a suddenness that makes the room seem eerily quiet. All the humming machines seem to have been silenced, the beating of her blood around her circulatory system the only sound she can actively hear, the expression on Myrnin's face seeming disappointed.
"What is this?" she demands and he shrugs, not putting her down, his spare hand simply moving to cover one of her own.
"This is what you desire it to be, little one," he answers in a voice devoid of emotion, truly allowing her to make her own decision as to where they stand.
Or, well, it would if her phone doesn't go off, startling her into jumping out of his arms just to find that it's her Mum, that there's an issue and she has to leave.
"I…I'll be back," she says, hesitation in her voice, but he knows that she won't be. Not because she doesn't want to be, but mainly because there's the plan that's been put into place to go off tonight, at the entire town meeting, and there's no way that she can get out of it.
There's no way she can be back here with him, when he's going to be there, when Amelie's going to be a prisoner, though everything – including Claire's presence – is down to her. This is the only reason he dared kiss her, dared to find out if she felt anything the same as him…and she does.
Pity, that it's too late for him to run after her because he has to go share out the poison, take his share in the plan that shall return Morganville to them forever.
She sits on the stage as she watches the progression of everyone into the main Founder's Square area, her heart in her throat as she sits under everyone's scrutiny. One hand rises slowly to cover her lips as she remembers those precious moments mere hours ago, those minutes where she truly thought the world was going to end because there couldn't be anything more perfect than then. She loves him, something she's sure of, and there's no way that she couldn't because, well, why would she have forgiven him if she hated him?
But where is he? She wants to talk to him, to see if it was merely a mistake on his behalf that got took too far, yet he isn't here; he's not here to talk to her. He'll be off doing his own thing to suit him, again, she thinks bitterly, the clamouring of the people below sickening her because she's well aware that they're probably not going to make it through whatever disgusting plans Bishop has for them.
Her eyes lock upon a figure in the distance and she can tell that it's Myrnin from his curly, floppy hair and the way he holds himself, though there's definitely something more than that…he's not insane, she can tell – he's what she would call drunk…but she can't recall him ever telling her that vampires could become intoxicated.
He approaches the stage and staggers up the steps, silence reining as he makes his way towards Bishop. Their eyes meet for the briefest of moments and she's both relieved and disappointed to see that there's no clear judgement whether he's acting of his own accord or if the disease is controlling him. In her heart, she doesn't want to know, but there's a very strong chance that she may have to jump up inbetween him and Bishop if it comes to that.
She's pretty damned sure that she can't live without him, even after mere hours of her realisation, whereas he's had centuries without her so he doesn't need her.
All at once, she begins to realise that there's been a plan in place all along here, that there's never been Myrnin on his own, Amelie's underground operation operating without him: he's always been following her orders, from when he abandoned her at the Feast to when he betrayed her. He never wanted to leave her, she hopes; she presumes that Amelie ordered everything and he merely had to follow.
As she's working this out, she misses the short exchange between Bishop and Myrnin that results in the biting of the latter by the former, a scream rising in her throat as he's being drained of the admittedly useless blood that keeps him alive. It's that blood that caused him to kiss her, that blood that could let them even talk about them because, let's face it, not a lot of that has happened.
She's rising out of her seat, planning on running to him as soon as she can, just as Richard pulls her back into seat and Bishop injects him with-
"My blood," he explains it with a hollow laugh, yet the expression on his face not matching that of his emitted sounds. "You're a fool, Myrnin, to think I'd fall for that poison trick."
And, with that, he leaves the man on the floor, slowly healing himself from the disease in ways that Claire can't even begin to understand. All she can begin to pick up is that he's been cured, that Bishop cured him and now he's left him to heal wholly…there's no longer the fear of the disease! And Bishop didn't kill him!
(She supposes that the age old story that you can never kill a jester is true, for why else would be here still?)
The attention is turned to her for a moment, Bishop's scrutiny even worse as she realises that she betrayed her feelings, that she showed that she couldn't live without Myrnin and therefore the logical idea would be that Myrnin cannot live without her. It's a diabolical thought that Myrnin could be tortured through her and she's about to stand and fight – or run, she's not quite sure yet – when Bishop turns away, disinterested in her.
The reason for this is revealed when a curtain descends to reveal a captured Amelie and Sam, the former of whom is held by Oliver in a silver leash. But Claire can't focus on this: her attention is primarily focused on the body of the man nearly at her feet, the one gasping and spluttering as his blood cells heal themselves through the addition of the purest form of the cure possible to them.
Yet the terror evident in Amelie's cry for Sam distracts Claire for a moment, draws her attention in towards the blonde haired woman with glistening rivulets sliding down her tears as she faces her lover, either of whom could be destroyed by the man with all the power in the situation.
"Now, now," Bishop says with a mocking smile. "We have the rebels here, naturally. I have been lenient and allowed the fool jester to live…yet who shall be punished? We must have someone who pays for the sins here, Amelie, as you well know," he speaks directly to his daughter in a manner that has Claire fearful that it will be Amelie who will be slaughtered as the example to them all.
With a small nod, Bishop steps towards Sam at the same time as Ysandre reaches out for Claire, grabbing her by the throat in a grip so tight that to escape would be to break her neck, resulting in most probable death anyway.
"NO!" screeches from the crowd are recognisable in her seemingly cotton-wool stuffed ears as her friends, all screaming for her as she's dragged towards Bishop, who is all the while grinning evilly.
"NO!" the cry from the crowd is reiterated by Amelie, the woman who stretches as far as her restraints will allow her to in order for her to reach Sam – and perhaps even Claire, the most important piece in this all. She is the one who kept everything glued together, found out the information she inadvertently passed to Myrnin who passed to Amelie who utilised it to her advantage.
(Just evidently not enough, since both her lover and her property are going to be murdered right before her very eyes.)
Claire struggles against the grip of the man whose breath sends shivers down her spine, whose touch makes her want to wash one hundred times over. She's fearful – no, she's terrified, she's absolutely petrified that she's going to die, because that's what is going to happen to Sam, so why would she be here if she wasn't as well?
She's being used to punish Myrnin, to make him realise that he can be hurt in ways other than merely physically, and she wants to be sick at the thought that her actions are causing the man's pain. He's the devil personified, she's well aware of the persona of a vampire, but she now thinks that devils are just misunderstood angels. After all, Myrnin is the most beautiful man she's met, not just in looks: his personality astounds her, his wit and intelligence greater than anything she has seen before.
"Please," she succumbs to begging as she's gripped in one hand as Bishop's head slips down to Sam's neck. "PLEASE!" she screams as she watches as Sam dies.
Fury rages through Myrnin as he lies on the floor, trying with all his might to stand, yet he's aware that he's healing. Goddammit, he thinks angrily, fighting with every single morsel of strength to be able to fight to get up, to be able to get to Claire and save her from Bishop. He's going to kill her and kill him at the same time, destroy his soul entirely because she's the person who knitted him together over the months.
The sound of her begging is the catalyst, the force that sends something through his body that has him shooting to his feet amidst the astounding pain as his body sluggishly heals. It's the sound that has him blasting towards the slumped body of Sam that's being cradled by Amelie in her arms and over him, aiming to reach the vampire before he can sink his teeth-
The shining gleam of Bishop's fangs sink deep into Claire's creamy neck and she shrieks in agony, her eyes glittering with tears as her fight back seems to decrease in strength in less than a second.
He's still metres away, his fury spurring him on through the fighting between the factions, yet not fast enough for him to reach her. She's calling out for him – he can hear her whispering his name as her voice grows lower and quieter, until his body collides with Bishop's.
She's knocked to the ground, her wound torn and bleeding profusely to such an extent where he's sure she'll be dead in a minute. This realisation has his heart ripping to shreds, yet he must vindicate her murder, must ensure that the murderer is destroyed by his own rules.
And so Myrnin cheats: he doesn't want to fight fairly; he wants to destroy the vampire and ensure that there's no way that he can ever hurt those he loves again…though the only one he loves is on the floor, unmoving.
The sword lying on the side is picked up and Myrnin swings wildly through the air, the shock factor accounting for Bishop's lack of reaction. And the landing of his head on the far side of the stage is almost anticlimactic, yet not to Myrnin.
Within the same second, he's jumping down the metres where Claire has fallen, a pool of blood around her that's stemming merely because there's no longer any blood to be shed from her body.
"Don't leave me," he begs, says anything to get her to stay because he's the sweetly insane vampire once again that she loved, the one who could show his emotions and do anything he could for her. Their eyes meet, chocolate brown to near black, and he can read right into her soul, ready anything he could want to know about her there, because she's dying and he can't do anything about it.
He cries and he shrieks for her to stay as he grips her hand, grips onto it almost enough to break her bones as her eyelids drift slowly shut. There's tears on all sides as her hand reaches out for his other, a shaking that means she can barely move it towards his, merely an inch or so further towards him. The stretching of her knuckles as she tries to match the tightness of her other hand in his is evident, yet she's hardly squeezing, her life and energy drift away, her eyelids closing fully to reveal luminous purple lids.
Her mouth remains closed as those lids flicker for a moment, offering him renewed (false) hope, the chalky paleness of her skin befitting of a vampire, her features snowy and almost unblemished.
(And they say that love is beautiful.)
In the end, all she ends up being is another war casualty, another statistic along with Sam on the list of those lost who shouldn't have been. She's not differentiated, even though she was the most powerful human in town.
She's simply a war casualty.
Yet she isn't this to Myrnin; she's the bright, vibrant, vociferous woman with the potential to be something great – to be something great with him…but that chance has gone now.
Because she's dead.
You seriously have no idea how long this took to write, literally weeks inbetween school.
I would really appreciate it if you all reviewed and do not favourite without reviewing, thank you, because this took a lot of work to write.
It's over 20,000 words and it's for my 300th fic here on FF, so yes, thank you very much.