Disclaimer: I have never, nor will I ever, owned any character or part of Adventure Inc.
A/N: This is the last chapter, in Gabe's POV.
"You won't get another," I hear the Captain say venomously, just before his would be psycho laughter fills the air. I can feel how much it bothers Mac; how much she wants to kill the beast causing us such terror. She's afraid; I can feel—smell—that too. She's afraid that she's somewhere between being just in the nick of time and too late. She isn't too late. I'm still me.
Focusing on Mac and her beacon of emotions I manage to pull myself from the fog being unconscious poured over me. On some level I notice that his insane laughter has died and that Mac feels almost swallowed by the silent darkness.
More silent than I ever remember being able to move before, I push myself to my feet and move the few feet that's between Mac and me. "Shhh!" My tired voice rasps into her ear as I pull her closer to me. A shiver shoots down her back making her body shake slightly in my grasp. Had there been more light she would've seen the shadow of a smile painting its way across my lips as I say, "don't worry I wouldn't give him the satisfaction."
Her too tense body relaxes slightly at my words and I'm sure that there's almost a smile on her face for a brief moment as she realizes that I'm still me; no beast inside just yet. "What are we going to do?" she whispers. "Are you even strong enough to beat him?"
"I'm going to have to be," I whisper back, spying the Captain's form hiding in the shadows behind us. She knows that he's there; I can smell her fear and bravery. For the briefest of moments I wonder what it would be like to taste of her; to feel her anger, desire and fear flowing through me. I can't. She's not here to help me in that way.
"How touching?!" His voice booms through the thick darkness. Mac tenses again as I shove her behind me. His little trick had the desired effect on her, but not on me. I can hear his booted feet moving along the dust and debris ridden concrete floor as he repositions himself on the edge of the black abyss. "If you take her now, you might have a chance at beating me."
"I don't want this," I hiss through the stale air at him. I can see the smile-cocky and confident- pour over his lips as I realize that he can read me as easily as I can read Mac. "Let her go and you can…"
"Kill you?! How noble," he says moving closer, locking his golden eyes on mine, "and very tired that is?! My dear boy, if I wanted you dead you would have been ages ago."
"Why bother settling with me when you really want Judson?" I stall as I attempt to maneuver Mac towards the door.
"I must have tossed you into that wall a little harder than I thought, boy," he mused as his hand shot out at me, catching me high on my cheek. "I could have sworn we covered that subject already."
"Oh we did."
"Then kill her and get it over with," he said with a small wave of his hand as though Mac's life should mean no more to me than a squirrel lying the road dead. "Oh, don't seem so surprised, Ms. Previn, young Gabriel here has been debating it for at least the last hour or so."
Staring hard at the monster before us- a monster I don't want to become- I feel as an involuntary shuddered coursed through her once again. I want nothing more than to close my eyes and allow the hurt I feel at her unconscious wavering trust in me to run over, but I can't. He would take that as a sign. A sign that'd I'm giving in, resigning myself to a world of never ending night and ever lasting youth. I can't give that. I don't care how well he can read me.
"She wants you to," the Captain's says, clawing through my thoughts of defiance. "She wants you to be strong enough to defeat me. You do know, Ms. Previn, that if he did that I'd win, don't you?"
He sure likes the sound of his own voice, I think as I feel Mac's surprise at the brazen man's words. One way or another, this is going to end and that man will be dead.
Pulling in a deep breath to help clear my head and help me to figure out how I'm supposed to kill a…I don't know how old man, I catch the scent of something else. The salt in the air from the sea being so close by masked it but it was there; the coppery salt smell of blood…the Captain's blood from Mac's attempt at driving the wooden shard through the Captain's heart not ten minutes ago. Narrowing my eyes at the darkness behind the Captain I see it- the still slick blood glinting slightly in the almost non-existent moon light.
Ignoring that the Captain, I quickly turn and face Mac. Her fear level goes up, though she never shows it. I can smell that she's afraid of me. Pushing her invading fears from my mind I grab her by the arms and pull her in close to me.
"I won't hurt you," I whisper in her ear- the bare skin beneath my fingers turning to goose flesh as my breath tickles her ear. "I have an idea."
"But?" she questions tilting her head up slightly to look me in the eye. Some of her fear melts when she sees that I haven't given up yet.
"We have to pretend that I killed you . . . or at the very least, tried."
"All right," she whispered letting a shaky breath escape her.
Doing my best to make the growl I let out sound real, I pulled Mac's slighter frame flush to me. Breathing in her scent one more time, I am almost as relieved as I am afraid at the level of fear in her . . . or the lack of fear in her. Her body, once tense in my grip, is loose and relaxed. She trusted me even when she was scared, I knew that, but this total giving trust was not what I expected at all.
"Get it over with, boy," the Captain says with just a hint of amusement to his voice.
"For once I agree with the man," she says softly, and I feel her almost waver in her decision to follow my lead.
"I'm sorry," I whisper. Feeling a sharper set of teeth descend in my mouth, I will myself to follow through with the plan. Careful not to cut her too deeply, I drag my new teeth over the soft, pale skin breaking it.
She doesn't respond to my words, and only hisses at the pain my teeth caused in scratching her neck. Step one, accomplished.
Keeping her body flush to mine and my lips firmly held over the scratch, I began to maneuver us toward the edges of the darkness surrounding the smell of his blood I had tracked. In another time and place being close to her like this would have been more fun than challenge. The taste and smell of her blood is almost enough to kill my concentration and the task at hand. But lucky us, we get attacked by a highly narcissistic vampire.
His calls to get on with killing Mac and joining him pull my mind away from the call her blood is sending. I can feel the Captain's eyes on us as we neared where he'd tossed the stake Mac had unsuccessfully attempted to kill the abomination of a man with. Stopping us just above the make shift stake, I take one last scrape against her neck.
"You need more," she says, not pulling away from me, "take it."
"I-I-Mac, I don't want to be like him," my lips barely leave the skin of her neck and voice is almost less than a whisper, but by the way she shudders and presses closer I know that she heard me. Step two. "Pretend to faint."
Her trust in me was never more evident than at that moment. The words no sooner left my lips and her body was as dead weight in my arms. Attempting to hide my intent, I carefully lowered us to the floor of the abandoned warehouse. The wood beneath Mac's body is cool, but the smell of blood on it is unmistakable. My fingers curl around it as I release her from my grasp.
"Dear Lord, boy, please tell me that you're tougher than Daniel ever thought of being," The Captain scolded as I turned to face him.
"She's my friend," I say, moving toward the man I never want to see again. The bit of blood from Mac was not enough to fuel my slowly changing body, but the anger of what he wanted me to do to her would be more than enough to help me rid the world of him.
"Friend . . . food," he said with a shrug, "what's the difference?"
"How could you possibly think that I would want to become anything like you?" I continued for him; my anger growing the more he speaks.
"My dear boy, I never once considered what you wanted," his voice was flat. "All I cared about was how I could use you."
"You really are a bastard," I growl, diving for him. My fingers of one hand caught into the thick fabric of his jacket as began to drive us toward the wall behind the Captain, and my other hand revealed the bloodied piece of wood from Mac's previous attempt to kill him.
"You don't care that in killing me, you kill yourself?" His back collided solidly with the wall.
"I won't die a monster," I say as I manage to shove the fragile piece of wood deep into the vampire's chest. The whole process was much easier than they show in the movies, and also much grosser. The wood with the still slick blood sank with a sick pop into the Captain's chest. Blood didn't spurt all over, but it did seep out around the wood.
"Fool," The Captain spat at me as his body fell to the ground in a heap.
"Gabe?" Mac was beside me. I hadn't heard her come to my side, felt it a little maybe, but not like before. There was no intense sense of her blood flowing through her body. There was no intense and persistent hunger sitting in my stomach. I feel so incredibly tired. "Is it over?" she asks, wrapping her arms firmly around me.
She feels warm. "Yeah," I lean further into her strong embrace, "I think so."
"Let's go home." I nod, and allow her to lead the way.