On Their Own By: Cousin Mary
With her flowing hair, pale dress and haunted eyes, she reminded the few sleepless souls that saw her of Death itself. Unwelcome to some perhaps, but in a ward filled with those wracked with pain, the sick and the dying, some had silently beckoned her to their sides.
She could hear their hearts beating, slowly, erratically in some cases. Some of them wished for death, wished for her to come to them, but she would not grant them this. She was here for a single reason, not to feed, not to kill, but... to grant life.
As she walked down the corridor her every movement was slow and deliberate. She heard the clicking of her shoes the linoleum as she walked, so she consciously changed her gait until she was moving almost silently. Everything seemed disconnected, strange and unpleasant. The fluorescent lighting was too harsh, the smell of disinfectant too strong, and then there was the feeling of emptiness. The feeling had followed her around the city, everywhere she went: her apartment, work, back to -his- place, the hollow ache had remained. That was one of the reasons she was here now, to perhaps end that pain, to fill that void, at least partly.
'Why here?' She asked herself. 'Why her?' Why was she going to this girl's side, someone she hardly knew really, to offer something that was all at once horrible and glorious? To cheat death, to do something that she once would have been abhorred to even contemplate?
Her thoughts were interrupted as she reached her destination: Room 6. No real significance to the number, yet for a moment she stared intensely at it, as if it would answer her questions if she just looked hard enough. Realizing the pointlessness of this, she cast a quick glance down the hall and slipped into the room. The lights were off. The moon shone in through the slats of the cheap blinds. Only the sounds of the heart monitor, with its slow monotonous beeping and the wet rasping noise of the respirator echoed through the room. 'For some reason sounds always seem louder when the lights are off,' she thought. 'As if struggling to fill the darkness, with sound if not with light.' Shrugging off such fanciful musings, she took a step closer to the bedside. She closed her eyes and said a silent prayer, thanking whatever mysterious deity that had helped her survive through the day, had helped them both survive.
When she'd come stumbling home in the pre-dawn, her collar stained with blood, her life turned inside out, she'd found the tiny light on her answering machine blinking. She'd just stared down at the black box for a moment, as if she couldn't remember what it was, or why she should care. Hitting the button a voice she hadn't recognize had told her, "There's been a mistake, Tracy Vetter is still alive."
A humorless smile had curved her mouth as those words had sunk in. News of Tracy's death had been the final straw. Though they'd never been very close, the thought of her dying had shaken her to the core. Just one loss too many. It'd been more than she could take. Her world had crashed into a smoldering heap at her feet the moment she'd received notice that Detective Vetter had passed away. And then they'd told her, or rather her answering machine, that it had been a mistake.
Natalie looked down at Tracy Vetter's still form. The head wound, abdominal bleeding, probably the shock too, were killing her. Nat sat down on one of the upholstered chairs, thoughtfully provided for the grieving family members that often sat vigil in intensive care. She looked around the sterile room; the walls were painted a cheerful yellow to help shake off the sense of death, it didn't help much. There were no flowers she noticed, no one had bothered. Tracy wasn't expected to survive another night.
'Sad,' she thought. But then again, who was around to send the fallen detective flowers anyway? Her boyfriend had been killed, the only friends she knew of were Bruce, in jail for second degree murder and Jody, who'd left without a word.
'There are her parents,' Nat thought. But according to the office rumor-mill, Commissioner Vetter was a politically grasping bastard, and his soon-to-be ex-wife, a lush. "So, you're as alone as I am." Nat mumbled, not really caring if she was heard.
There was someone else who should have sent Tracy flowers, her partner, Nick Knight. Pain shot through Nat as she thought of him. After hearing of Tracy's 'death,' she'd rushed to his loft. Lost, confused... and desperate. She'd asked him to try the cure that less than a week ago she'd assured herself wouldn't work. Her heart on her sleeve, she'd admitted her love and asked for an end. To try and bring him back, or for him to bring her across. Either way, they should have been together. But that's not what had happened. She closed her eyes against the pain as she remembered:
"Damn you Nicholas!"
Nat heard the words. She tried to turn her head and open her eyes, but she was so tired, all she wanted to do was sleep. Eventually she did manage to slit her eyes open and what she saw was Lacroix taking a large wooden stick to the side of his son's head. As Nick fell unconscious to the floor, Nat gave a faint whimper.
Scooping his son into his arms, Lacroix spared her one last look. He saw that she was still alive, but made no move to help her. He just took his child and left.
Stunned, Natalie lay there a moment. She was dying. She could feel it. There was a numbness in her hands and legs, she felt light-headed and sleepy. But she couldn't go to sleep, she couldn't let herself die! But what could she do?
She cast a longing look at Nick's cordless phone, it was only across the loft, but it might as well have been clear across the country for all the good it did her. So she couldn't call the paramedics. 'They probably wouldn't have been able to get here in time anyway.' She thought. Even with an immediate transfusion she might not survive. Her eyes franticly searched the area, she didn't want to die!
Her eyes landed on her bag. Instantly something horrible occurred to her. Could she? Dare she? She took a deep breath and crawled the few feet to her black medical bag. Movement was agony, every inch like a mile.
Finally she reached it, she paused for a moment, but as the feeling of dizziness almost overtook her, her resolve strengthened. Wrenching open the bag, she pulled out her only hope: A vial of Nick's blood.
Nat shook her head to clear it, no point in rethinking that decision. What was done was done. Now she had to make another choice.
Nat had felt an emptiness in her ever since she'd come across. More than just the loss of her friends, and of Nick, this was the void her master should have filled, at least that's what she supposed. Would creating another vampire help fill it? Not that that would be the only reason to bring Tracy across. Ever since she'd stopped Nick from saving her that night, she'd felt guilty. Maybe it was meant to be this way.
Tracy was bleeding internally, somehow Nat could tell this. If she didn't act now she would die. Sighing and realizing that her logic was quite flawed but not caring, she again opened her bag. She pulled out a syringe; it was filled with another sample of Nick's blood from the supply she'd kept at the lab.
"Somehow it seems more poetic for Nick to be both our masters," Nat said, "or maybe it's because I just don't want to be wholly responsible for what I'm about to do." She added wryly, a hint of her old humor shining through.
Lifting Tracy's pale arm, Nat quickly found the vein. And with a swift push, sent a measure of vampire blood into her. Now, all she had to do was wait.
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