BLOOD-BOURNE


This is a sequel to "No Pulse".

Characters from Blade, Blade II, and Trinity do not belong to me.


She wakes screaming. Disorientation. Confusion. Half-dark. She fumbles for a weapon as the door cracks open. "Blade?" It's hesitant as though she doesn't expect him to be there.

"It's King."

She blinks fiercely until things start to gain some clarity. It's not an easy change, these dreams are rough on her and absolutely terrifying, so bad that she doesn't remember anything but the fear afterwards -and the taste of blood in the back of her mouth. As Meg's eyesight clears she can see Hannibal's form as he stands there hesitantly.

"You okay?"

"Yeah." But Meg's voice doesn't convince him and he enters her room. His weight bows the mattress as he sits next to her, close enough for comfort but not touching. Meg swings her legs over the side and leans against him as all the memories crash back against her.

It all started with a bite, that much she remembers clearly, and the process of turning. Whistler would have killed her but Blade insisted that she live even when the cure didn't work and they couldn't change her back. She'd become his link to the vampire world and he'd convinced her that she could do good in either form.

Blade just hadn't counted on the interference of Danica Talos or the resurrection of Drake, the original vampire. Meg hadn't seen all of it. She had seen Drake, and felt the utter loss of humanity as he awakened the thirst within her. But the vaccine had come through in the end and after Drake's death and Blade's near-miss, they'd cured her only to discover that some things couldn't be undone.

Meg was mostly human now. She'd retained pieces and parts of Blade's DNA within her own, a lasting consequence of his bite. The most visible were her eyes, the striking hazel that matched his own. There were other things too, but they hadn't discovered all of them yet. Neither of them really wanted to know.

Her head rested heavily against Hannibal's shoulder but he didn't shrug away from the weight. "Meg."

"Has he called?"

He hides the sudden disappointment before she can see it. "Not yet. I was just headed up this way to wake you. It's sunset."

"Sunset." Meg is trying to focus on his voice but all she can hear is the steady thrum of his heartbeat.

"Yeah, sleepy. Time to wake up." He's trying for a gentle teasing but Meg loses the words beneath the pulse of blood.

He can't see the dilation of her pupils in the darkness or sense the tug of war as she tries to reassert control over the beast that is still inside of her.

She fights with herself and finally pulls away from him. Her control is tenuous at first but finally she locks away that part of her and manages to look at Hannibal more clearly. He is already dressed for ass-kicking with a new set of body armor and a pair of khaki pants that have seen better days. He's wearing a new name badge that says SMILE! in bright cheerful letters.

"How long until we go?"

"Just waiting on you, darling."

She frowns and slides out of bed with nothing on but a slender silver chain around her neck. Hannibal chokes slightly as she reaches for clothes that are waiting on the dresser. Then she turns and gives him a slight smile. "Would you tell the others that I'm coming?"

He shakes his head as he steps past her and toward the light of the room beyond. "See, now that's just not even fair."

"Three minutes."

He grumbles something in reply and pulls the door shut behind him. Meg doesn't waste any time in flipping on the lights and heading to the small wash basin in her room. She's too pale, she can see it in the mirror and in the dark circles that are ringing her eyes. Things weren't this bad before Blade left. But since he walked out on them, she's been fighting with the dread that something awful is coming.

She splashes water through her hair and over her face, hoping that it will shock some of the beast back into the darkness. Tonight is the first night that they've had a sizable quantity of Daystar to disperse.

They've been doing tiny raids and dispersals all over Los Angeles but nothing as big as what they have planned now. Her blood finally loses some of the sluggishness of sleep and starts to quicken as she braids her hair away from her face. No matter what happens, tonight vampires will die.

The van pulls up outside of the warehouse. Lights are flickering inside. Calder is driving and looks worried as they see the lot full of cars surrounded the building.

"That's a lot of vampires."

"No sweat." Hannibal jokes. "As soon as they see me dance they'll beg for death."

Abby gives him a quirked eyebrow and hefts the small canister that's on the floorboards between her and Meg. "It should still be enough."

Calder nods but doesn't look relieved. "As long as nothing goes wrong."

"Nothing will go wrong." Abby says. "We don't need Blade for everything."

Meg tenses slightly. They've had more than a few runs of bad luck lately, including Abby spending a night in jail for a botched run and concealed weapons charges. But she is full of mixed emotions. On one hand she hunted successfully without Blade for a long time, but on the other she's afraid to admit just how much she misses and needs him. Hannibal and Abby don't understand the depth of their connection or how much it hurts her that he left her behind.

"Let's get going." She says to allay anymore thoughts that she doesn't want to think.

The three of them step out of the vehicle. Hannibal has holstered automatics on either thigh and a shotgun slung over his back. Abby has left her bow in favor of more close-range weapons, her hidden knives and two really big pistols. She hands the canister to Hannibal as Meg joins them.

Meg's dark hair is tightly braided and secured with black cord. Although her black pants are more tactical than Abby's, they are form fitting underneath a white shirt emblazoned with a massive black Samurai. Her asp is present again on one calf and in a concession to Hannibal she's also got two of the electronic pistols that the Nightstalkers invented.

She turns and scans the building. No guards, which is strange, but vampires have been feeling confident lately. The FBI had disseminated the information that Blade was dead and the undead lapped it up without question. Their overconfidence would be their downfall tonight.

"Ladies?" Hannibal says gallantly. "After you."

"Why are we going first?" Meg says softly to Abby.

Abby's eyes are already cold. "Because we're better at this."

"Wait." Calder hands a long linked cord of light grenades to them. "Don't forget these."

It's easy to get inside the warehouse. Too easy. If Abby could bristle she'd be twice her normal size and Meg can feel the uneasiness emanating from her. The heady emotion is distracting and she sidesteps away from the other woman.

Hannibal is alternating between checking out several half-naked vampires and keeping close to them.

"Are you having fun?" Abby asks him.

He grins. "Hey! No harm in looking."

"Pay attention to the job." Abby scans the floor and picks a clear spot where dissemination should cover the entire warehouse. "Meg, cover the exits. I'll set off Daystar in two minutes."

Meg nods but her skin is crawling as well. Some of Abby's wariness has transferred to her and she's just as concerned. There is something odd about the warehouse even though she can't put her finger on what it is. Hannibal claps her on the shoulder as her eyes catch sight of a huge blood wrestling pit on the floor. Vampires inside it are slipping around as the crowd cheers around them.

"Meg?"

"What?" Her eyes stay focused on the pit.

"Could you place a bet for me?"

His joking manner breaks her attention and she gives him a rough push. "Jesus, King."

They split up. Meg is staying near the exits, Hannibal going deep inside to push the confusion toward the women, and Abby doing the most dangerous and central part of their plan – dissemination of Daystar.

Meg pushes her way through the crowd as she tries to find a good spot to set off the light grenades. She can hear Hannibal saying something to Abby but can't catch the words, her focus isn't as tight as she'd like it to be. Vampires are shoving her from every side as they dance frenetically. The beat is the same tempo as her heartbeat and she can feel it throb all around her.

She staggers as someone slams into her and her asp is in her hand before she realizes it.

"Meg."

She doesn't recognize the voice at first. In fact she can't tell if she even heard it from the crowd or over her headset.

"What did you say?" She queries.

"Nothing." Hannibal replies. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing." Meg says and spins, looking fiercely at the crowd around her. No one is paying very much attention to her as her scent is still vampire enough to throw them off. She moves up a small set of stairs and checks her watch. Less than 30 seconds before Abby detonates the canister.

The lights start to flicker all around them - a laser show. Muffled shouts from the crowd as they dance in glee under the momentary darkness. Then, through the fading lights Meg sees him.

She doesn't believe her eyes at first. He's watching her from less than thirty feet away, his dark eyes completely aware of what she's carrying but absolutely unworried. He's in a white shirt with dark pants and looks so much older than the last time she'd seen him. That she's seeing him at all is so surprising that she can't turn away.

Meg chokes as she starts to step away. His gaze tightens and in that moment - his look slashes through her heart and the bottom falls out before she can catch it.

There is something in his face that tells her he is just as stunned as she is. They are motionless even as the warehouse fills with screams and gunfire around them.

A group of fleeing vampires crash into her and she slips and falls beneath them. It breaks the moment into a strange fragmented sensation and she fights her way from under them with her asp as their ash explodes outward. Other panicked vamps screams and stampede away from the explosion of ash and sparks as Meg gets back to her feet.

He's gone.

She wastes vital seconds searching but he's vanished.

"Meg!" This time it is Hannibal shouting over her earpiece.

With a single fluid movement she pulls the cable from the grenades and heaves them toward the dance floor, covering her own eyes as the first grenade blows and then the rest. UV light explodes outward taking the oncoming wave of vampires with it.

Those that survived the grenades soon succumb to Daystar, choking and screaming as the virus destroys their red blood cells. They've cleared an entire warehouse full of vampires in minutes, leaving only a few familiars and other victims. Hannibal and Abby are headed toward Meg, both erring on the side of anger.

"What the hell was that about!" Abby demands. "We lost a few because you were late."

Meg shakes her head softly. "I thought I saw him."

"Blade?" Hannibal asks, its been the only thing on her mind lately.

"No…" she says softly. "Drake."