The other night, I browsed through ALL of these Blood fics. NO NATHAN/JAMES? You people, haha. I kid. I loved the interaction between these two, and honestly, who didn't like Nathan? He was such a great character. And Nathan.James is sort of my OTP, LULZ.

Summary: All the world's a stage, and men and women merely players who strut their hour upon the stage. James.Nathan.Spoilers.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

Nathan regarded the situation before him with a bemused smirk. A damp, halfnaked James was resting on the couch, just recovered from the thrashing Saya had given him. White fingers pressed to dark temples, as if to alleviate a headache.

"Are you quite alright, James?" Nathan didn't even bother to hide his grin--James was well enough for his joking, he thought. And if not--well, when did that ever matter?

The dark-skinned chevalier lifted his head from the couch and merely glared at the elder chevalier, who stood with a hand on one hip and a book dangling from the fingers of the other. It was altogether a rather feminine pose, and James frowned.

"I am fine."

"Are you really, James?"

James despised it when Nathan used his name. He was rather put off by the elder chevalier--Nathan, who seemed to know everything that was going on. Nathan, who knew where each of his fellows had come from, but would never disclose his own origins. Nathan, who scolded him. Nathan, who never took anything seriously. It irritated him.


James allowed his head to once more rest against the sofa. Nathan's strides--rendered graceful by centuries of practice and as many on his own stages--brought him next to James. Nathan tsked softly. James inwardly groaned as he lifted his head once more.


"Well, you're wet. And you're on my nice...velvet...sofa," Nathan punctuated his words with a gentle poke to the new skin that had been taken from Schiff clones. The new hunks of James' flesh blended rather badly with his dark skin. Nathan wondered, almost absently, why no one had had the foresight to at least create one of the Schiff with James' distinctive dark flesh.

No, Nathan recanted himself. That would have been too obvious. Someone would have noticed that there was only one dark Schiff anyway.

James jumped at the prodding, standing weakly on two legs. Despite his efforts, he did seem rather spooked. Nathan laughed softly and fetched the towel he'd left by the door. James grabbed it from the elder Chevalier. The military man made quick work of drying himself with the towel, and thrust it back at Nathan when he was finished.

"And? What do you expect me do with that?"

Oh, this. James disliked this about Nathan too. James supposed it was because he was the youngest of the Chevalier--he had only served Diva for six or seven short decades. He had come from a military that had shunned him simply because of the color of his skin. James had wanted so badly to defend his country, but he quickly learned he would never be a hero--only a scapegoat.

He was lost. He met Diva; his beautiful, wonderful Diva. She had saved him, thought nothing of his outer appearance. She alone had seen the sharp, loyal mind behind James' eyes. Amshel had been present when she knighted him--for that was what it was, to serve a queen as her loyal knight; and also this puzzling man, who cleaned his bloody limbs and face after Diva had fed, while James was still weak. Nathan's soft voice and swift cleaning had calmed James' confused, rushing mind.

Whatever had possessed James to think that Nathan was any sort of decent being? There was something decieving beneath the other man's eyes.

James withdrew his arm, and started for the guest room outside of the study that the two men were currently occupying. Nathan tsked again.

"What is it now, Nathan?" he spat, angry. James wanted to get out of this room, to go dress himself and go pursue Kai, and that horrible Saya. The theatric man blinked at James' anger, bemused.

"Well, Diva's down that hallway, and I don't think Mama's quite aware of look."

Was that a hint of concern, or a taunt? James could never tell.

"Then all the more reason for me to go."

"James, no," Nathan held the young Chevalier back with one light hand on James' dark chest. The young Chevalier hid the flinch that shuddered through his frame at Nathan's touch. Half was fear--Nathan was leagues stronger than him, and half--he couldn't place.

Nathan brought his hand up to James' chin.

"You're not recovered fully. You won't make it down the hall,"

here James tried to push past Nathan,

"and I mean that."

James pushed away from Nathan, and began his trek down the hallway. True to Nathan's warning, he made it not more than a few feet when his legs gave out beneath him. Nathan shook his head--really, what was with the young ones? Solomon's escapades were endless entertaining, but Nathan did wish that the boy would quit being caught. He could see the strength in Solomon's eyes, knew the resolve was strong. But when it came down to it, could he really stand the thought that his beloved might die, and he would not be able to save her?

As he strolled down the hallway, he thought of Solomon, and of Saya. Saya. He was loyal to Diva, yes, but Saya...she had a habit of defying the script and creating her own, illogical and rather unentertaining endings. But that Chevalier of hers was quite handsome...tall, and mysterious. There seemed to be a strong touch of traveling folk in him--gypsies, Nathan inwardly laughed. If that were true, it would have figured.

Nathan deftly lifted the young Chevalier and carried him back to the sofa. James struggled in Nathan's arms, but to no avail. Light fingers pressed against James' lips.

"Shush. You're making a big deal out of nothing James, honestly."


Nathan lightly smacked James on the head.

"Fine, if you want to think I'm wrong, go ahead. But it doesn't change the fact that I'm right."

"You...,"James made the effort to lift himself upward, and his chin came to rest on Nathan's shoulder. Nathan was...warm. A soft chuckle resounded in Nathan's chest, and James jerked back down, unable to look Nathan in the eye.

"See? You need to rest," the voice, James thought, didn't fit; too masculine for such a feminine looking frame. James' eyes grew heavy--it wasn't sleep. He hadn't needed to sleep for decades. It was his body urging him to rest, to regenerate; this was not sleep, he thought. He was too far removed from that experience to even recall what it was.

"Told you so," the voice was soft, and seemed to come from very close. James thought he felt some sort of warm pressure, and something soft, press against his face. A soft voice, cooing--was it Diva? James was sure it was.


Nathan ran his hand over James' hair, tsking.

"Really now, James, did you even hear her come in the room?" he asked softly, a bemused smirk on his face.