Author: Misty Flores
Teaser: It was a carousel. Set apart after centuries, in order to come full circle. A chance for happiness that Sonja and I never had. It was a different time, a different place, and yet this carousel continued to move, swirling through time, resting to come full circle at this.
Notes: the last underworld fic I'll do. Thanks for the encouragement. Happy ficcing.
"I need to go. I need to get back."
I should have realized it then.
I cannot fault myself. The change was so close, retribution and final peace for Sonja was entirely in my grasp. It lay in this man. In his own life-giving blood.
I never pondered what his attachment to the vampiress could be. I knew of Selene, and what I knew I hated. Viktor's pawn, the dark-haired, pale skinned beauty delivering death with no emotion.
She had been Viktor's cheap replacement for Sonja. The one he got 'right' - for where Sonja loved, Selene destroyed.
I had more than once sworn to spill her blood and eat her flesh.
And yet this human wanted to go back.
Go back to where? The humans? His medical ward?
It never occurred to me he meant to go back to her. For what mortal would? Vampires were decadent, cold - and yet it was where I stole him. In her world.
Could she have possible known what we wanted with him?
And he... still confused by his own mortality, naïve in his ways.
He had no idea.
"There is no going back, Michael. There's no going anywhere." Again, he seemed to process that blankly. It was a pity. To the vampires, he had been merely a tool - the vampire bitch Selene had figured out enough and protected him, if only to keep him from us. To us - had I not tasted his flesh, he would have simply been another piece of meat, hanging on a hook. Instead, the poor man had become intricately involved in a war that even sometimes failed to understand.
Until I remembered Sonja.
It always came back to Sonja.
And he, despite everything, wanted to go back - to the vampire.
I should have realized it then.
Instead, I only smiled indulgently.
"The vampires will kill you on sight, just for being what you are." Again, I received the blank, numb look. I allowed a bit of patience. He was unfamiliar with our world. "One of us." His eyes darkened, as if only by disbelieving he could prove me wrong. "You are one of us." I reiterated.
The shock had stung him, for he only watched with half glazed eyes as the needle was inserted into his arm. "What are you doing?" he rasped, then again with a panicked edge,"What are you doing?!"
"Shhh..." A small, gentle smile covered my featured, as his blood slowly seeped into the plastic tube. "Bringing an end to this conflict."
And there it was, in my hands, the key to the end of all of this, Viktor's downfall. The death of those blasted Death Dealers, and that bitch Selene, who took the place of my Sonja and perverted and destroyed it.
Michael was very nearly forgotten, until he spoke up with, "Your war has nothing to do with me."
The ludicrousness of the statement nearly brought amusement to me. Is that what they were telling him?
I forgot him then.
Michael's purpose had been fulfilled, his role was done. The price of this bloodshed had already been paid, in the ashes of Sonja's body.
There was nothing left as I took Michael's blood, injected it into my arm.
It was a defining moment. In less than an hour I would be not what I was, but reborn into the culmination of a war that had seared my soul, left me nothing but a shell of an animal.
There was no one who had suffered as I. As Sonja.
There would be retribution, and the vampires, Viktor and Sonja's pale bitch imitation, that Selene, would pay their price for the bloodshed.
"They forced you to watch her die." It was a quiet interjection, a small prick that seeped into my subconscious, and suddenly, Michael existed yet again. He stood, solemn and silent, eyes full of pity, and something else, another feeling that struck something in my chest – a mimic of a look I had long seen in the mirror. And he knew, his words would break me. "Sonja," he whispered. "That's what started this war." I could no longer look into his eyes. "I saw it happen as if I were there."
And the smile, slow and painful, emerged on my lips, a pale imitation to the smile that had graced my lips when I was in Sonja's presence.
No one suffered as I had, and yet, here was this boy, a mere child, who held the sadness in his eyes that had permanently seared my soul.
I should have known then.
And yet, even then, my heart was full of Sonja, of our destiny. It was a heartbreak I had been carrying in my heart for centuries, and in a moment of weakness, I felt compelled to share my sorrow, for someone else to understand the reason for the madness.
The words came as if rehearsed.
"We were slaves once. Daylight guardians of the vampires. I was born in servitude." Even then, amusement seemed to fill me, bitter irony causing a smile. "Yet I harbored them no ill will. Even took a vampire as my mate." His eyes flickered, as if there was something there, in that sentence, that meant more than it should have. I should have known then.
I did not.
"It was forbidden, our union. Viktor feared a blending of the species." It was if I were there again, that night. I could taste the blood and ash on my lips, feel the torn skin flame in agony on my back, see my dear, beautiful Sonja...
"Feared it enough to kill his only daughter." My heart began to beat, pound, as the words came from me, as methodical, calmly, as if it happened to someone else. A story I was sharing from a long forgotten fairy tale that only I cared to keep alive. But he felt it. Flinching as he glanced, breathing heavily in his pain – he had been there.
He had seen it.
And now, he understood.
"Buried alive, for loving me." It was a wonder I had managed to keep my voice, even as the words overwhelmed me, overwhelmed him.
Staring into the mirror of my own emotions, the anger came flinging back. Viktor, and his neverending decrees. Save the innocents, do not feast on human blood.
The hypocrite who saw the werewolves as animals – and yet he had killed his own daughter, ordered his minions to decimate my entire kind-
I had had enough.
"This is his war, Viktor's. And he's spent the last six hundred years exterminating my species."
And that was that. I felt no more need to explain it to the boy. He had no understanding of the true significance of this, or the betrayal that Viktor was capable of.
Then again, perhaps he did.
He was still, quiet, until his eyes grew impossibly dark and he uttered a sentence that for one single moment, dropped the world out from under my feet.
"What are they gonna do to Selene?'
There was too much to think about, too much to plan to reflect on an insignificant young man.
I should have known then. It was in his voice, in his face, worry for a vampire that he had only known for days.
It had taken only a glance for Sonja to capture my heart.
"We have company."
I had never respected Kraven. There were times where I had barely restrained myself from killing him.
He was spineless, a slave to his passion, his own selfish wiles. He betrayed his own coven, could not even stomach the sight of blood enough to take the skin off my own arm.
He was a dangerous sort, one who was easily manipulated, stupid and prone not to ask questions. It was easier, to make him believe he was in control. Any vampire worth his salt would never have done what he did – they were blood thirty fiends, but they held their honor, their tradition, in high regard.
I never trusted him – but over the years I feared that perhaps my distrust of him waned as my distaste for him grew. It was so close to the culmination of what had taken six hundred years of dealing with the scum of the vampire clan – allowing him to take credit for absolutely nothing, using him and playing him, allowing him to believe he had some measure of control.
I was tired, I was annoyed.
And now my entire pack was under attack thanks to his incompetence.
"It's Viktor," he breathed, quaking in his shoes and breathing heavily.
He disgusted me. A vampire, a vampire for the love of GOD! And yet after all these centuries, the man still forgot he did not need to breathe.
"Yes," I responded, condescending sneer slipping over my face. "And if you had done your job, he'd still be in hibernation."
Bloody hell. There was no end to his stupidity. Just like before, I would once again have to clean up his mess, mop up his blood.
It took another glance at Michael to remind myself of the importance of this. It was not over, not yet.
Bloody hell – Viktor was here.
"Where the hell is Raze?"
There was no choice. Hold them off, take down as many as possible.
"Is there another way out?"
It was simply too much.
I suppose the incredulous expression on my face angered him, at this point, I was past caring. There were other things on my mind than this mongrel.
"I don't suppose it ever occurred to you that you might actually have to bleed to pull off this little coup?" Clamping the UV bullets into my gun, I was already halfway across the room when I threw over my shoulder, "Don't even think about leaving."
A desperate man is capable of anything. I should have remembered that.
There is nothing quite as painful as the breaking of your heart as the woman you love is burned at the stake, as you, chained to the floor, are helpless against it.
But silver, liquid silver eating you from the inside out, burning like the hell you're destined for...
It can come quite close.
There is nothing to compare to that moment.
Perhaps I accepted it too easily – instead of cursing my stupidity at underestimating a man who would kill his own sire, I could only think of Sonja.
"Silver nitrate. Weren't expecting that, were you?"
My world collapsed around me.
I had nothing but pain in my world.
And still... my last thought was of Sonja.
I failed you, Sonja. Forgive me.
Perhaps Michael's blood was a deciding factor.
Perhaps the gods were not quite ready to give up on me yet.
I do not understand why at that moment, I was suddenly struck with an incredible will to live.
And yet, there I was, brought back to earth, enveloped in agony, poison eating through me.
There was nothing on my mind other than Sonja, than Kraven.
Hate, for a wolf, can be so easily fixated. I wanted nothing more to live long enough to see Kraven dead. I had no higher purpose – I prayed for nothing more than the will to live long enough to eat Kraven's flesh.
I had failed Sonja, there was no other purpose to me.
I should have known better.
History, it seems, repeats in cycles, and while I have always believed there has never been a love greater than the passion ignited between Sonja and myself, fate, in a curious sense of irony, had other intentions.
Perhaps it was not love.
And yet, in my weakened state, I found myself unable to move, caught in a crack in a doorway as I was suddenly aware of Michael, young, helpless, naïve Michael, on the verge of getting eaten by one of my pack members.
Yet again, the Death Dealer killed a wolf. That was not what surprised me.
I should have known. I should have seen it in his eyes, his heart.
She moved quickly, on her face distinct worry, panic, breathless emotion.
"I have to get you out of here," she panted, freeing him quickly. And I could not believe it. This was Selene – Viktor's abomination, his little Death Dealer who would never be whole without causing murder, mayhem. "Viktor's on his way and he won't be satisfied until every Lycan is dead."
She was saving him? He was a Lycan... she abhorred our kind...
And Michael, he held such trust in his heart as he gazed at her, utter adoration now painting his features. "They'll kill you too just for helping me."
Her answer? A ragged, terrified, "I know."
And then I knew.
I knew the way I knew with Sonja, the way Michael knew when he held my dreams in his head. I knew that look, the desperation, the pure need to swallow the emotion and bury yourself into the arms of your beloved-
That moment where nothing matters, not species or death or consequence. There is only Sonja, always Sonja, always love...
It had taken six hundred years, but my soul, my life, my heart, had suddenly been shifted into the scene I was watching before me.
It could not be true. There could not be another... Selene and Michael. Lucian and Sonja...
"I know what started the war..."
And he told it. As if he had been there, recounting the heartbreak and the loss, and she listened.
She listened to my world falling apart, and yet I could do nothing. I had sworn to kill this vampire, to keep her from tainting the memory of my Sonja any longer.
And if Selene died, then Michael would carry not only my own heartbreak, but that of Selene's murder.
It was happening yet again.
It was a carousel.
Set apart after centuries, in order to come full circle.
A chance for happiness that Sonja and I never had. It was a different time, a different place, and yet this carousel continued to move, swirling through time, resting to come full circle at this.
I had become witness to Romeo and Juliet, yet again conceived, yet again struggling above all odds to survive, with each other.
I was dying. That much I accepted. But I would not fail Sonja.
Not when I had the chance. She would see her will be done, she would see herself finding happiness in a vampire and a lycan who loved despite persecution, despite ignorance, despite Kraven.
Hate is an all consuming thing. Coupled with jealousy, it becomes dangerous.
I could not follow at a run, instead it was a crawl. Collapsing in mud and water, I could barely move, as my organs eroded, my brain imploded, everything inside of me, even Sonja herself, begged of me to just give in to it, set myself free.
Gunshots and chaos surrounded me, and still I crawled, smelling them, following, see them to safety with my last breath.
In the doorway, there were hacks and gurgles, dying chokes of endless pain and poison.
With a horrified realization, I understood suddenly, it was not just I making the sounds.
And I heard him. I heard the filthy bastard who spoke with spit.
I saw what I feared – a lycan on the floor, a vampiress crouched over him, touching him as delicately as one would a dying puppy.
There was no expression on her face, nothing that told of loss or horror. But it spoke in her movements, in her utter fixation with his face, the telltale blue of her eyes, as Kraven spoke, like the devil on her shoulder, whispering in her ear all of Viktor's lies.
It was a carousel, coming full circle with the vampires and the lycans.
And I was too late. I had failed Sonja, yet again.
The love that would go on after death, that had been powerful enough to create a full cycle, had come to this – a reincarnation of death, murder, betrayal, all over shadowing the love that had managed to burst through yet again.
It would not happen again.
There was no thought to my action in the events that unfolded. Had I stopped to think, I doubt I would have had the strength. I only knew what I saw, a young vampire who refused to leave a dying lycan's side, preferring to die beside him than live without him.
I saw the gun, I saw the end-
My sword entered Kraven's leg, causing his scream, a loud, high pitched yell that swarmed with cowardice and treachery.
The blow that came to my head was nothing, I had spared them a few precious moments, and as Michael's blood kept my body alive for a few more minutes, I saw Selene dismiss me just as quickly.
She had eyes only for her lycan lover, cared nothing for the vampire still alive, still capable of murder, retreating to his corner to lick his wounds like the animals he considered us.
For what I gathered was the first time, Selene, Sonja's sister in love as well as life, was at a loss as to what to do.
And then I knew. I knew what to do.
There is such a thing as destiny. A plan that for six hundred years, I had bled for, lived for, culminating into one Michael Corvin.
She knew. Staring at him with her beautiful blue eyes, just like Sonja when she made love to me, when she died, dazzling in their diamond like quality, leaking her crystal tears.
Slowly, slowly, she understood, as the hope made the blue so bright it was almost blinding, and as tenderly as one would hold a newborn infant, she took her Michael in her arms. This enemy of mine, this Selene, sank her fangs into her lycan, forgetting me, forgetting Kraven, forgetting everything but the truth.
With Michael came hope, with Michael, this carousel would swirl yet again.
"What the hell are you doing?"
I was dying. I knew this. Yet I could not suppress the smile, the joy on my face.
It had taken six hundred years, but this carousel had come. I had my Sonja, I had my victory.
Kraven no longer mattered.
I had beaten him, I had beaten him and I had beaten Viktor. For six hundred years, I had been kept alive for this very purpose, and my reward was forthcoming.
I would be with Sonja again.
"You may have killed me," I found myself whispering, soft and angry and full of despise. "Cousin, but my will is done, regardless."
They were dying words, but I would not die.
My last words were a testament to my wife, to my life – for I knew, in this carousel, we would never be beaten.
We lived in Michael and Selene, in countless others who would beat them.
In their happiness we would find our absolution.
In this carousel, our lives would begin.
The shots hit my chest, but they were of no consequence.
The darkness came, but there was a smile on my face.
Sonja, I have not failed you.