Author's note: Another older ficlet, one set during Nomak's childhood. My muse was interested in young Jared, and here's one of the ficlets that she turned out during that phase. Hope it's enjoyable, and hope you guys review. I'm shameless, I'm sorry. But reviews are like crack, I swear.

Disclaimer: Don't own, so no suing me, please. I just want to play with my favorite character. A lot. Since Nomak isn't coming back, why don't you guys give him to me? Then we wouldn't have any problems. No? Fine. Just please don't sue me.


DREAMS

Eli Damaskinos sat in his chair, slightly hunched over from age. On his lap sat a little boy, no more than five. The elder vampire was showing the little one an old globe, pointing out where he and the child were located. His long - longer than should be, but perhaps that was from age as well - fingers pointed to the Czech Republic, or the area where it would be located, and the child's much shorter fingers reached out to point there as well.

"That is where we are, Jared," the old vampire's raspy voice whispered in vampiric. Though Damaskinos rarely spoke in anything but a whisper. He looked down at the child as Jared looked up at him, clear, blue eyes inquisitive and fascinated by his father's words. Damaskinos had rising suspicions that his son had a photographic memory, for the boy remembered everything he saw.

And everything he heard, as well.

"The Czech Republic," Jared stated softly, his speech almost flawless. Damaskinos had known his son would be exceptional, and when he was older, he would be even more exceptional. And then Jared's existence wouldn't have to be hidden, something he knew his son would grow anxious for as he grew older.

Damaskinos nodded, forming a very faint, but approving smile. "Yes, now, in English," he instructed his young boy, and Jared dutifully nodded before concentrating visibly. Damaskinos was having some difficulty teaching English to Jared, but the boy was improving in his second language.

Jared finally opened his mouth after furrowing his brow, and soon the child was speaking in English, though it wasn't quite as clear as his vampiric, nor as flawless. But he was only five, and Damaskinos had time to make sure Jared was taught to speak properly in both of the main languages his kind used. After he mastered English, he would begin Latin and Greek.

His son seemed to know he hadn't spoken quite as well in English as he had in his native tongue. Icy blue eyes looked up at Damaskinos with frustration and slight fear. The boy had already learned his father was, to put it simply, a perfectionist. And he had learned that his father did not like disappointment.

The vampire overlord met Jared's clear, bright eyes and let out light sigh. "You will improve, my son," he whispered in English. He knew that the boy understood English much better than he spoke it, and hearing it more often would help him with the latter. He gave his son a light pat on the head, long fingers gentle against Jared's thin, blonde hair.

A smile as bright as his eyes lit up Jared's face, his relief too much to contain. He already showed signs of hating to disappoint. It was a good sign, and hopefully Jared's DNA would be as agreeable as his son's mind and will.

"Father, do you dream?" Jared asked, completely out of the blue, and he managed to catch his father by surprise. But his expression was genuinely curious, apparently having just thought of his question - or having just remembered it after pondering over it many nights.

Eli paused and then nodded. "Yes, my son. I dream. Though not in the same sense that you probably mean," he replied, and Jared's confused look prompted Eli to give his son a rare indulgence. "I have dreams, but when I sleep, I do not remember any dreams I may have." The elder vampire paused, trying to find a way to explain it so his son would understand. He wasn't used to explaining things to a five year old, and Nyssa had not been the same at that age as Jared was.

Jared interrupted him though, and surprised him yet again. "You mean your dreams are like hopes? Or goals?" he asked, looking up at his father with curious eyes that twinkled, as if he knew he was right but was waiting for conformation. His son was much more intelligent than Nyssa had been at that age.

It instilled pride and fear in Damaskinos, but he would not show the latter, or allow anyone, especially Jared, know it was there.

Smiling, Eli nodded. "Precisely, my son. Why do you ask?"

There was a long silence, and Jared's elation at being right was short lived. He bowed his head and chewed his lip. The child was nervous, his behavior telling Damaskinos Jared had a secret that he was afraid would displease his father.

"I have those kinds of dreams too, Father," Jared finally answered meekly. "My dreams are of greatness. I want to become a powerful warrior one day, like you were long ago," he whispered, voice still meek, fearful. "I want to be strong, able to defend us from any threat. But my dreams are far away, Father, and I don't think I can live up to them."

Damaskinos smirked wryly. If only his son knew what Damaskinos had planned for him. But he did not speak of such things, merely stroked his son's hair.

"It is alright to dream of the future, even the distant future. Dreams are not meant to be limited, my son," Eli stated, and Jared looked back up at him finally. Damaskinos offered his son another smile. "Perhaps your dreams will come true, both of our dreams. But for now, it is time for you to go back to your room," he instructed his son, and ignored the flicker of disappointment in Jared's eyes before he clung to the happiness his father's encouragement had brought.

Nyssa would be returning soon, and Damaskinos did not feel like having his two children meet just yet. It was not the time, nor the place, and Nyssa would not be pleased to know that she had to share her father's attention.

Jared nodded and hopped down from his father's lap. He waited while Damaskinos waved his hand for the familiar guard to come over and lead Jared back to his room. The boy looked back at his father before he was taken into the hallway and the door was closed, and Damaskinos saw his son smile brightly, eyes shining with his dreams.

Damaskinos smiled back, and then the smile twisted into a smirk after the door closed. His son would become a great warrior, and the first in a race of perfect vampires. Damaskinos' dreams for his son were much larger and farther away than Jared's own dreams for himself. But both their dreams would come true. Damaskinos would not let anything get in the way of that.