They took one of the modified Hummers that the Dealers had originally driven to the Underground back to Ordoghaz. Striding through the house with Selene, Michael felt himself to be hollow, that all of his insides had been dross; melted away in a fierce purification of his blood that left only the shell of his body behind. He felt fearless in his newfound emptiness and vacantly equal to the enormity of his future with Selene. For someone who had lived with the Coven as a family of sorts for so long, Selene was unscrupulous in what they took with them from the Vampyre stronghold. They stocked themselves with armloads of weaponry, blood, funds and a few changes of clothes. Unchallenged, they left the mansion in yet another expensively modified vehicle, Vampyres from all angles melting from their imposing figures into the inky shadows of the inhospitable mansion.
It was only when they were locked behind the doors of some forgotten Vampyre stronghold in the outer limits of the city that Selene and Michael considered the necessities. The location wasn't perfect considering their proximity to so many angry immortals but it would have to do until they had more time under the cover of darkness to find more suitable lodgings. Moving into yet another interrogation room, Michael wearily pulled Selene onto a metal surgical table, searching for a zip, a buckle, anything to remove her from her leather casing until she gave in to him.
"What exactly are you intending to achieve, Michael?" She said wearily, suffering his frantic attempts to remove her suit.
"That Lycan nearly severed you in half, Selene! And then Victor..." He gazed at her, in wonder of the fact that she was here with him at all. "He threw you so hard and when you didn't move- everything, the world just went red." He shook his head slowly, still tasting the bitter rage at Viktor that had exploded within him at witnessing Selene's body flung toward the pylon. His mind replayed her small figure crumpling against the solid pillar. He looked up again in surprise at the softly clipped sound of her voice, brusque at first.
"I'm fine, Michael. There's no need for the melodrama. It's nothing that the healing couldn't fix with a good donation of immortal blood." She seemed slightly embarrassed for a moment at the idea that they had exchanged blood but almost immediately, and barely detectably, her tone softened. "Besides, you were the one shot with bullets of silver nitrate. You should be--" She reached toward him questioningly with her hand.
"No, you... you must have changed that when you..."
"When I bit you." Her arm dropped away as heavily as stone by her side. What would the endless repercussions of this night hold for them? Biting him so intimately like that, she had felt his blood slide richly down her throat close to no other sensation she had experienced before. Selene wondered if he could yet understand the intricate implications of her biting him. As she had clutched him to herself in the Underground, she realised that any immortal observing would have understood Selene's unwitting possession of sorts taking place as she infused Michael with her Vampyric gift. She had claimed him and it was not a connection forged unconditionally.
"But you were shot again after that. I can't explain that. You weren't even marked; I can't begin to understand the implications of what you are." She looked up at Michael critically, examining his physique in complete, scientific wonder.
"When you changed me... You saved me, Selene." He paused, not quite understanding what he was trying to say, sensing that there was more at stake than he could comprehend just yet. "More than once and I don't have any words for that. You could have let me die. I mean, you've given up your whole world. You didn't have to kill him." He swallowed, staring at the dull gleaming metal of the stainless steel appliances surrounding them, contemplating his alternate fate. That she had saved him certainly meant something more than his mere survival to her, yet she remained characteristically abrupt in her response.
"Yet I did kill him." She looked at him, away from him, at the room around him. No matter where she looked, she knew that it would be all in relation to his presence now and she was highly unused to this self-consciousness. "The reasons why I was able to and why I did kill him are two very separate things. He would have killed you. If not tonight then he would have tried again at every other moment from now until forever. Yes, I could have let you die." She knew that for this next part, she would not be able to look at Michael even if she wanted to. Her voice was so soft that she became difficult to hear. "But you already know why I won't let that happen."
Silk whispers, like spider silk flung between them, hung heavily in the silence, echoing the falling words that remained as yet unsaid. Michael's eyes shone with this unspoken promise between them and he took a breath as if to speak but realised from Selene's uncomfortable stance that she was far from equipped to face the emotions playing across her figure. For a moment his senses swiftly overtook him and he could smell every single thing that Selene was thinking and feeling as if they were a disharmonious song slamming notes directly into his ear drums. As quickly as it had come, the gulp of olfactory illumination flashed away and he was left, as before, with his comparatively dull human nose. He shook the flash away from him, stunned. The last few days had been a tumultuous whirlwind that had struck them both with vicious speed and left no space for thought outside of survival, much less the frivolity of excess sentiment. He understood, or at least would pretend to understand the sting of her withdrawal. He knew that now was no time to push Selene and that there were worse things than waiting...
She was matter of fact. "He slaughtered my family. It never should have been about the Lycans. And so I've fought his war for all of these years. It is- was my life." A minute crack emerged in the steel veneer of her voice, "And I've lived it under false pretences. This war has made me who I am- a Death Dealer. And now... I'm not sure who I am now."
He looked at her intensely, engrossed in her words. She had so quickly netted him from the clutches of the Underworld as reason amidst a storm of madness. Was she really as uncertain as he?
And this, the only unambiguous thing existing within him right then, was so simple to see that he closed the last few centimetres between them and kissed her.
He heard the breath hiss from her slender frame as they came together and momentarily, life changingly, she kissed him back. Without the immediate threat of being hunted by Viktor, Kraven or Lucian, or escaping the Underworld as before, they came together and she kissed him back. The contact of their lips pressing into each other, even so slightly, stripped away her cool second skin and left Selene involuntarily exposed. Panicked. Electrified.
Michael felt her heart begin to pulse more quickly than the usual immortal languor and her body heat from their minor contact. The confirmation of his affect on her enhanced his own emotional charge and Michael's control began to fall. His consciousness was crushed under the weight of Selene's pulse as enhanced Hybrid hearing kicked in under the onslaught of endorphins. Her blood beat loudly in his ears, so close to him that it could almost have been his own. The idea of her blood quickening against his lips was too much for his already minimal restraint and the newfound animal within ascended. Michael slipped helplessly inside his own body, spiralling from the confines of restraint as fangs lengthened and his eyes clouded over into the darkness of the ocean depths. Michael's fangs slid gently into Selene's lower lip, her blood instantly welling over in small rivulets. The sensation of his first experience of blood as a Hybrid was incredible, intoxicating him and enhancing his hybrid senses even further. He lost any last semblance of control, suddenly and desperately consuming her in waves of crimson lust and hunger. He drank with vigour and passion that he did not know could exist for something as universal as the blood that he had met with on a regular basis as a doctor. No longer merely a commodity of life, Selene's blood coursed into him in fits of idolatrous fever. His grip around Selene tightened and she did not understand, or perhaps did not want to understand, the extent of Michael's transformation until she felt his talons pierce her skin beneath her shoulder blades.
Her eyes flew open and her hands fell back to her sides with a short gasp of startled pain. Shocked out of her reverie, Selene fell back on the only manner she was equipped with to deal with unfamiliarity. Throwing herself into analytical damage control spared her from the implications of their kiss. That she might actually want Michael back... She ignored the reason why Michael was so rapidly changing, conveniently forgetting that she was still locked against him, focussing instead on the immediate and general criticality of the moment and the black flaming rapidly across his skin, surrounding his eyes in a velvet sheen and twining with strengthening muscles down the length of his arms.
Michael was only recently turned and he would need her support if he was to even survive the period of transitions he would embark upon. She wasn't even sure of what that would entail from him in his unique state. She mentally berated herself for letting the moment escape them when there were so many things at stake. She pulled gently but firmly further away from Michael, reaching behind her back to unlock Michael's wrists in her, comparatively diminutive, grasp. What Selene's grip may have lacked in strength, it made up for in force of a different persuasion over Michael. They stood together, a parody of the lovers embrace that they had shared only seconds before, arms locked at each others sides and newly reformed chocolate eyes meeting the deepest shade of night that swirled with incoherency.
"You must come out, Michael" She took a step backward, never releasing his gaze or her grip on him, knowing that although he could ostensibly use his strength against her, he would not...at least she fervently hoped it was so as she felt the sharpened claws dig into her flesh once again. She winced at the jagged incisions into her palms.
More firmly, "Michael. You must stop this. It's quite unnecessary at this stage. I can assure you that your immediate future will hold nothing but a brutal dismissal." She gazed at him wryly with one eyebrow raised. Her dry allusion, defying the seriousness of his situation, paused his laboured breathing.
And slowly, slowly she felt, more than saw, the inkbegin to drain from his body; the coiled, vengeful energy melted and the metal leeched from his muscles into the air. Michael's head dropped to his chest. Selene peered inquiringly one last time at his slumped figure to assure herself that his transformation would continue its reversal and was only convinced when she felt his claws retract, agonizingly, from her flesh.
Selene moved across the lab, gently towing Michael past side rooms until they reached the final door; a bedroom adjacent to a basic, if utilitarian, bathroom. The safe house was small and although unused in a long time, had remained readily functional for situations such as these. For this, Selene was more than grateful, for Michael was enough for her to deal with at the present moment and she would just have to deal with shared sleeping arrangements.
She manoeuvred him into the bedroom where a quick search yielded a surplus of musty blankets. She enveloped him in as many layers as the provisions allowed, warding off the chill that overcame so many of the newly turned. But then Michael's turning had been far from regular, she mused as she pulled back from his huddled form. She moved to sit in the chair adjacent to the bed so as to monitor his state and evade any transformation dilemmas but was stopped short by his resolved tug on her arm. Once seated next to his prostrate form she looked at him guardedly until he said,
"Stay with me." Still she pulled away.
"I'm not leaving, Michael. I'll be a mere few metres away..." She trailed off.
"No. Stay with here me, please." She couldn't miss the desperation in his voice or his insistent clutch at her hand. Sliding reluctantly down beside him, they lay still, curling in toward each other, seeking warmth and... something undefined on Selene's part. They were so near that their foreheads almost rested against each other. As he fell slowly into unconsciousness she was struck by how familiar he seemed to her, she had not lain so closely with another since Raoul. How many lifetimes' ago that was.
"Why did he go?" Michael asked her, almost incoherently.
"Why did whom go?"
"Raoul. He shouldn't have left you like that." He murmured then sighed in his final resignation to sleep. Selene went rigid in shock until she realised that her movement could have easily woken him. He would need deep sleep to regain strength if he was to make it through the strain on his body that was to come. She made herself relax but it was a long time before she was collected enough to gently extricate himself from Michael's sudden, terrible insight to her thoughts and his childlike, sleeping form.