A/N: I think this will have about three, possibly four chapters. The title is from White Lies' song 'Death'. I own nothing!
Thirty miles out from the strip club, Kate kind of loses it.
"I don't think I was fast enough," she says, her hands pressed hard against her stomach. "Oh, God. I don't think I was fast enough."
"What?" Seth asks, glancing over at her and she doubles over, her head touching her knees. "Whoa. What?"
"My dad," she gasps, the denim of her jeans is rough against her forehead. "Before I killed him, his eyes changed. They went yellow and oh God. What if I didn't do it in time?"
"Hold on," he says as he pulls the car over. He throws it into park and turns off the engine, then turns to look at her, his hand braced on the back of her seat. "What?"
"Scott's a vampire," she says, her voice unsteady. "Scott bit Dad. Dad asked me to kill him. So I did. But…his eyes. His eyes changed before I stabbed him. What if I was supposed to kill him before they changed?"
She raises her head and looks at him. Seth stares back at her and she can see the puncture wounds on his neck, small and circular and clotted up with Seth's blood.
"I don't think I was fast enough," she says staring at his wounds.
"Yeah," he says flatly. "I wasn't fast enough either."
They drive all day and somehow they wind up at the coast. The sun's just starting to set when Seth pulls into a motel on the edge of a town. He pays for a room towards the back (with one double bed, apparently all they had) but Kate heads straight for the view overlooking the ocean.
She can feel him watching her as she walks towards the setting sun, but he doesn't follow her and she doesn't look back at him.
She stands staring at the Pacific and breathes in the ocean air. She's used to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and this is nothing like that. Bigger waves, bluer water, harsher winds. The breeze whips her hair across her face and shoulders. Tiny pinpricks of sand brush her arms and her cheeks and she closes her eyes and wishes the sand could scrub away this layer of her skin. Erase the blood and the dirt and just wipe away everything.
Absently she wonders if the culebras molt like regular snakes? Is there a Scott-shaped snake skin somewhere back in that temple? Will it crumble apart like that rattlesnake skin she found once?
Kate licks her lips and tastes salt.
When the sun has set and her skin feels tacky from the sand and sea air, she goes to the room.
Seth's left the door unlocked and he's sitting on the floor, a bottle of something obviously alcoholic in his hand. He doesn't look at her when she closes the door and locks it behind her.
His legs are stretched out in front of him and he has his shoes off. She's actually startled to see his bare feet and averts her eyes.
She heads towards the bathroom, stepping over his legs as she goes past. His hand reaches out and grabs her calf. She looks down at him. He raises his head and his eyes are red-rimmed.
"I'm sorry about Scott," he says. "And I'm sorry about Jacob."
"I'm sorry about Richie," she offers because she thinks he may actually mean what he's saying and because she is actually sorry about Richie.
Not that it really matters at this point.
He squeezes her calf and then lets her go. She goes into the bathroom, gets into the shower and cries.
They sleep for twelve hours, straight through the night and while Kate's not sure about Seth, she doesn't dream.
She wakes to see a sunbeam reflecting off the television screen while Seth snores heavily behind her. They're back to back, Seth facing the door.
Her stomach growls and she knows she needs to eat something, but she just closes her eyes and falls back to sleep.
This time, she dreams
They stay at the motel for a week. Kate swims in the pool every day in her underwear until Seth comes into the room and throws a bag at her.
"You're scandalizing the little old tourist ladies," he says.
She opens the bag and sees a new pair of jeans, some shirts and a purple bathing suit.
"Do I want to know how you got this?" she asks.
"With money, princess," he says heading into the bathroom. "It's running out fast. You got any marketable skills?"
"Does baby-sitting count?" she asks thinking of the only job that she ever got paid for.
He snorts. "Not really."
"Then no," she says.
He nods and goes to take a shower.
She changes into the bathing suit quickly while he's in the bathroom and doesn't think too hard on how it's a perfect fit.
She wakes up and freezes. She can't move. Wait. Not can't. Won't. She won't move because if she moves then they're going to find her. They're going to find her and tie her down and the ropes will cut into her skin and -
Seth snores and twitches behind her.
Kate breathes out.
It's the beginning of their second week at the motel and she can't do this anymore. She needs to move, to do something. Anything.
She needs to find her brother.
Seth takes it pretty much precisely how she thought he would.
"I have to find my brother," she says over dinner, her fingers greasy from the hamburger he'd brought back.
He pauses mid-chew and looks at her. She stares back.
"I figured," he says, his mouth full. "You can have the car."
"Seth, I don't-"
"You. Can have. The car," he says firmly.
"Thank you," she says softly. She wants to ask him to come with her, but he's very determinedly not looking at her.
He leaves the room after he finishes eating.
Kate waits up for him, but he doesn't show until morning when she's standing beside the car.
"You haven't left yet?" he asks.
"Wanted to say good-bye," she says.
He nods, then looks away. "Drive safe. Wear your seatbelt."
Kate stares at him in disbelief and then just chuckles. "Yeah. See you around, Seth."
"See you," he says quickly and then he walks away.
She gets into the car, adjusting the seat so she can actually touch the pedals. She's putting the key into the ignition when she hears footsteps. She looks over.
Seth walks up to the passenger side, leans down and asks, "You want some company?"
"That'd be nice," she says trying not to smile too broadly.
He smiles back. Then he frowns. "Fuck. Fuck this, Kate. Jesus, mother-fucking, fuck!"
He whirls away from the car and continues to curse loudly. A woman with her little boy round the corner of the motel, they spot Seth and the woman quickly herds the little boy away.
Kate leans back and just watches him. She's reminded of some of the tantrums Scott threw when he was little. Only they were slightly less profane.
When he's done, he stalks over to the car and jerks the door open violently and throws himself into the seat. He faces her, his hand cupping the back of her neck, and he pulls her close and presses his forehead to hers.
"I'm not your father," he says, "and I'm not your brother, princess."
"I'm not your brother, either," she says. "But I have to do this, Seth."
He takes a deep breath. "This is fucked up, Kate."
"Tell me about it," she breathes. "But we're gonna do it anyway."
His forehead is warm and sweat builds up where their skin touches. She raises her hand and cups his jaw, his stubble scratches her palm and something tightens and twists in her stomach.
"So, are you coming or not?" she says, her thumb catches on his rough skin as she rubs it along his jawline.
"What the hell else am I going to do?" he asks, the corners of his mouth turning up into a smirk and she can feel the motion under her hand.
He leans back in his seat away from her and she curls her hands around the hot steering wheel.
She puts her seatbelt on before they leave the motel parking lot.
He puts on his a mile later down the road.