ONE WAY OR ANOTHER

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

BETA: Murphyangel


"What the…" Blade said.

"Look, before you say anything else… I am sorry. I shouldn't have reacted the way I did. I handled it badly," he said hurriedly but clearly enough to be understood. Blade nodded slowly as their eyes met.

"I am sorry too… I don't know why I said what I said…" Blade trailed off softly and sat up in bed. He winced slightly and Raven felt a tingle of sympathy for him, even though he had deserved every bit of what he got.

"What do you say… shall we forget it all?" Raven asked with a sexy smile in place. Blade nodded eagerly, but deep down they both knew this wouldn't be forgotten by either of them. Raven helped Blade to sit up.

"Where are your clothes?" Raven asked as he looked around the bare room. Nothing apart from the furniture was there. "Well, it doesn't matter. I'll just get you something out of the wardrobe," he decided before Blade could answer. He swaggered over to the big wardrobe and opened its two doors wide. "Hmm…" he said as he began to look for something nice for Blade to wear. He finally chose a simple pair of dark jeans and a black shirt.

"Are these alright?" he asked and held the articles up for Blade to see.

"Yeah, sure," Blade agreed and stood up. He only had his underwear on, but they were used to seeing each other without any clothing at all so they both took it in a stride. Raven threw the clothes on the bed next to Blade and said: "I'm glade we had this talk… I have to go and chat with the vampires… I guess I'll see you later." He stuffed his hands inside his jeans pockets and looked at Blade awkwardly while chewing his lip. Blade too seemed a bit uncomfortable.

"Er, yeah. See you later," he responded. With a nod Raven left the room. As the door closed behind him he let go of the sight he had been holding in. Thank god we're guys… he thought. I mean, imagine us sitting there talking it through like some old ladies over apiece of gossip?! That's disturbing… he shuttered deep in thought. He was actually glad that they didn't discuss the matter any closer. He smiled broadly, finally that was over! He had half been expecting Blade to attack him. In retrospect he thought that their talk had turned out rather well. With that thought in mind his step got a new spring in it, and he practically flew down the stairs in his hunt of vampires.


"Dracula, Ancius!" he called when he finally found the two of them together, stuffed in an old room.

"Yes?" they both answered at the same time and Raven grinned at them.

"I was wondering if you have the time to talk to me… but if you're busy I totally understand-" Ancius cut him off before he could ramble on.

"Time is all a vampire has," he interrupted. "So come sit down and tell me the latest news…" Raven rolled his eyes. Trust Ancius to be interested in gossip.

"Yeah well, it's not about something I've seen or heard, it's rather about a thought I had," Raven told them as he threw himself down in a chair carelessly and sprawled. Dracula wrinkled his nose at the sight. He himself was sitting perfectly correct with a straight back and one leg crossed over the other. Raven secretly thought he looked like a fruitcake doing that, especially with the black and red cape and all, but he didn't dare say it out loud. He'd rather live -thank-you-very-much.

"In that case, kindly spare us," Ancius said arrogantly and Dracula swatted him on his head. "Hey!" Ancius snapped but was ignored.

"Please tell us what's on your mind," Dracula said with a graceful sweep of his arm. Raven nodded.

"Yeah… Um, it's about the Holiday. As you know the humans are still a bit wary of you… the undead I mean," he added as Dracula raised an eyebrow. "So I thought that maybe we shouldn't invite any more vampires… you know, not that I don't want them to come with us but… eh, I think that perhaps the humans need a bit more time to get used to the idea. So in other words I think it's quite enough with you and Ancius there…" he trailed off and felt like a fool since he couldn't express himself better with words.

"Are you quite through with your rambling?" Ancius asked. "Good grief boy! You're worse than my late uncle… fine meal he was," Ancius mused and Raven suppressed a shudder. He really didn't need to know about Ancius killings! Dracula seemed to be pondering what he had just said. Raven tried not to fidget in his chair as he waited in the silence.

"I believe you're right… Perhaps it is too soon to be introducing my people to your other part of the family," Dracula finally said and Raven nodded gratefully.

"What do you mean?" Ancius asked him. Dracula turned to the blonde.

"I will inform Rafael that the invitation to come with us on vacation is hereby withdrawn.," Dracula told him and Ancius groaned loudly and shook his head.

"You always have to ruin all the fun!" he groaned. "Where the hell is the fun in going on a vacation with the idle little humans?" he asked the room. Dracula and Raven shared a look before Raven leaned forward and petted Ancius on the arm in an attempt to be friendly.

"There, there. I am sure there will be other humans you can scare together with your vampire friends some other time," Raven said soothingly and in the corner of his eye he could see Dracula shaking in silent laugher but Ancius never noticed. Instead he seemed to perk up.

"You're right! I never thought of it that way! There is plenty of time, isn't there? And in the mean time I can always scare the humans at whatever place we'll end up…" Ancius feel in deep thought and Raven took that as his queue to leave.

"Thank you, Father," he told Dracula who nodded to him. "I knew you'd understand. Give Rafael and the others my best, would you?" he said. "I'll inform Midnight and Fire in person," he added.

"Yes, I will," Dracula promised and with those words Raven left the room.


Next he had to find the two vampires. Somehow he didn't think it would be all that difficult. All he had to do was listen for the room where the most noise came from. It was amazing how the two vampires managed to argue, and yet still stay alive. If he had been either one of them, he would have killed his partner a long time ago.

He had to walk to the ground floor before he found them in the living room. They were the only ones there and Raven could immediately tell why.

"I can't believe you!" Midnight shouted. "You never do anything right!" Fire seemed to take great offence to that, since he inched closer until they were only a few millimetres apart. Raven hurriedly interrupted before Fire could return the… well, fire. He'd rather not sit through another one of their arguments, he had been present to watch far too many as it were.

"Hi there!" he said loudly and stepped into the room. The two vampires snapped their heads towards him quickly. They both looked very surprised to see him there.

"Raven!" Midnight said with a small smile. "Fancy seeing you up and about!"

"Oh, so you heard about the fight?" he asked awkwardly and came to a stop in front of them.

"Did we hear?" Fire said with a snort. "The whole fucking manor heard! Not only that, but we were watching as well. Naturally I was hoping you'd win…" Midnight rolled his eyes as Raven blushed. He had been kind of out of it, so he hadn't realised at the time who might be watching.

"You got him good," Midnight commented. "At least you never do something half-way." Raven glared at him and Midnight got the hint to drop the subject. "Is there something we can do for you?" he continue and Raven nodded.

"Yes, there is actually," he said and scratched his head. Midnight raised an eyebrow.

"Bad news then, I take it?" the vampire said and Fire looked on curiously while being surprisingly quiet. Raven shrugged slightly.

"Depend on how you see it I suppose…" he said trailing off before taking a deep breath and starting again. "I am concerned over how your presence is affecting the humans and thus it has been decided by Dracula and I, that all vampires apart from Dracula himself and Ancius is to return to the castle," he said formally and Fire blinked.

"You're uninviting us?" he asked incredulously while Midnight simply looked at Raven, making him feel very guilty.

"It's nothing personal!" he told Fire hurriedly. The blonde still didn't look convinced nor happy with the news. "Look, I am sorry about this, but the humans need to get used to the idea of the undead. As it is they're scared of you guys, even though they don't admit it out loud." Midnight finally nodded and his black cape flapped slightly down at his feet as he moved.

"I heard your reasons and I see the truth in it. I too have noticed that… some of the humans are uneasy around us. Perhaps it is a good idea to give them some space." Raven nodded gratefully.

"Yeah, and look at the bright side; you don't have to follow us to some godforsaken beech and spend all day long in the sun!" he joked and Midnight cracked a smile.

"That's true. I hadn't been looking forward to that at all, I must admit."

"Well I had!" Fire said. When Raven and Midnight looked at him incredulously he stomped his foot like a child. "It's true!" he insisted.

"Whatever you say…" Midnight murmured with a roll of his eyes and Fire took a threatening step forward.

"Are you mocking me?" he hissed. Raven hurriedly walked over to the door since he could clearly see yet another argument coming up between the two of them.

"I will talk to you later, after the acclamation!" he called out. The two vampires were to busy staring each other down so they simply waved lazily too him without looking up. Raven suppressed a snort and decided that his job there was done. It was time to move on with his life.