*** Your Title Here *** Disclaimers: I wanted to write a story about Vachon's life before he
became a vampire. In it, I hoped to capture the feeling of the
intensity that *is* Vachon. So, I asked myself, "What pain could he be
hiding behind those ragged curls?" The answer shaped itself itno this
story. For choosing Vachon's birthdate, the Pizzaro stuff, etc, I used
"The American People's Encyclopedia." It was an aniquated edition
(1960-something) but I figure the dates won't be far off.

Thanks to my beta reader, Rae, who did a fine job of making sure I got
things within the realm of canon.

Special permission for this to be archived at http://www.fkfanfic.com.
All others wishing to archive must ask me. It will also be appearing at
my fanfic page, located at this address:
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Rampart/1958/myfanfic.html

Oh! I almost forgot-- Vachon, Tracy and FK are not mine, and I do not
stand to profit from this in anyway.

A Spanish Tragedy
by Fleurette

Candlelight flickered in the depths of the abandoned church. Had there
been any passers-by on the street that night, they might have noticed
the slight glow through dusty stained glass. But there was no one save
the two occupants of the candle-lit room, and they were too engrossed in
their own doings to notice the world around them. As one of them
settled into a comfortable position upon the floor, the other began to
speak, pacing the floor in a slow, tireless manner. Every so often he
would pause, sipping dark liquid from a glass.

"I was born in Madrid, in the year 1505. My given name was Javier
Carlos Diego Valdez. My mother was Anna Teresa, she worked as a serving
girl in her father's tavern. He--my grandfather--used to make fun of my
name. 'Such a big name for so small a boy,' he would say. He would say
other things--things I never understood. I don't think grandfather
liked me very much. I was another mouth to feed. I used to think he
would he would be happier if I had died. Do you know what that's like?"

Silence.

"I didn't think so. I figure you had a pretty good family life--Mommy,
Daddy and their little girl. People value their children more these
days, I think. My father? Oh... I *knew* him, to be sure. Everyone
knew my father. He was the son of a merchant. His
father became rich with the spice trade. My father inherited his money
at a young age; he was younger than you are now. My mother used to talk
about him. She would tell stories about how they used to sneak off to
meet each other in the fountain in the town square.
Her eyes would glaze over and I think she thought day-dreaming would
bring him back to her. Until I was ten, I thought my father was a
powerful prince who would come to save us from our wretchedness. I
don't think he knew I existed."

Pause, accompanied by the in-take of a sharp breath.

"What happened when I was ten? Nothing of particular consequence. It
was my birthday. Mother had made me a new shirt. It was special.
She'd saved her coins for an entire year to buy the most expensive cloth
she could afford. It was blue. Blue used to be my favorite. Mother
said I could wear it for that day and then only on Church days after
that. I wore it when I to the market. But, you know what? I'll never
forget that birthday--not ever. That was the day I discovered that my
brothers hated me."

Pause.

"No. My mother did not have more sons. They were... my father's
heirs. I was younger than the oldest one by only two months. I know
what you're think, but times were different then. It didn't matter
where a wealthy spent his nights. These were his 'real' sons. I didn't
exist to him. I think they knew, though--my *brothers.* They used to
go to the market place with their governess each day. They were
spoiled from the wealth. I think their mother, Luisa Maria, could not
stand to be near them much. I know I could not."

Pause.

"Will you let me tell you why? I was getting to those details! If you
want me to tell you, then you must let me do it in my own way."

Pause.

"Okay. I accept your apology. I m sorry, too. I didn t mean to snap
at you. Where was I? Oh, yeah... my brothers. When they began coming
to the market, rumors began to fly. People said I looked Diego-- the
elder. I tried to ignore the rumors, but they would not let me. They
knew, I am sure, that their father was my father. We *did* look alike,
Diego and I. It was then that I knew they hated me. They would chase
me and beat me. I was small in those days. When they grew old enough
to carry swords, they would chase me with those, as well. I can still
feel, sometimes, the terror of running and running and knowing that
deadly steel is close behind me. Why did I run? I had no sword. What
good would a handful of rocks and pebbles do against a sword? One time,
I tripped on a loose cobblestone in the street. Juan, the younger,
stuck me with his sword. It..."

A hand strays to a spot on the leg where the wound was sustained, as if
remembering the feel of the now rusted sword point. A smaller hand
covers it.

"It hurt, but not pain like you think. It wasn't my leg that hurt
me;my heart hurt with the pain of having two brothers I could not be
equals with and a father who would never love me."

Pause.

"I'm not going to cry, so take away that tissue. I'm too far removed
from it now for tears."

Pause.

"When we were "of age," they finally managed to get rid of me. Diego
did it. I was in the square, sitting with a girl I thought I loved. I
had been working in the stable of
my grandfather's tavern. I saved gold, when I got it, and put it aside.
I waited for a day that I could ask her father for permission to marry
her. Her name was Isabella. Everyone just called her Bella. Diego saw
us and decided that he wanted to take her from me. For
weeks we fought over her, wrestling in the streets like dogs. One day,
he comes to me alone and throws his coin pouch in my face. It was
velvet--soft-- and full of money. My father's crest was embroidered
upon it. Diego told me that my father wanted to meet me
and accept me as his son. He said to come to the servants door of the
great house and show the guard the pouch. 'They have orders to let you
in,' he said."

Pause.

"It was the day I had always dreamed about--my father wanting me. When
I went to the great house, however, I was arrested. Diego told father
that I was a thief who had stolen his pouch in the market. In those
days, stealing gold from a wealthy man's son had two punishments--death
or the army, which was essentially for most people anyway. You know
which one I chose. As I left, Diego told me to never return to Madrid,
unless I returned dead. That was the last I saw of him before I went to
the New World with Pizzaro."

Pause.

"Did I ever go back? Of course, I did, eventually. As a vampire, I
spent three years in the New World before sailing back to Europe. I
went straight to Spain. Grandfather had died. Mother, too. They both
caught something that was going around, as you would say. Whatever it
was, it killed them. The tavern was gone. It burnt down. That wasn't
the worst of it, though. After learning that my mother was dead, I was
determined to tell my father the truth."

Pause.

"I don't know why. I was a vampire. It shouldn't have mattered, but
it did to me at the time. I went the great house. It had gotten
greater while I was gone. It was there I saw my Bella for the first
time since I was arrested. She was pregnant... and married to Diego.
Seeing her swollen with his offspring cut through me in a way Juan's
sword never could. I truly hated my brothers now, with all of my
being."

Pause.

"I started watching them, making my presence felt like ghostly specter
in the night. One night, Diego and Juan had gone to a play at the
theater. It was a bawdy, pathetic excuse for drama, but I went anyway.
They met two prostitutes there and throughout the play, Diego carried on
with one of them. Like father like son, I guess. It
made me ever more angry with him, though. I couldn't let him hurt
Isabella the same Father hurt my mother."

Pause.

"What do mean, what did I do? What do you think I did? I followed
them out of the theater and confronted them in a dark corner street. We
were all alone--just us three brothers. They recognized me, and Diego
drew his sword. Except this time, I was stronger than he was...
stronger than both of them. I killed them both, and took pleasure in
crushing their bones when I had drained them. It made me feel good to
break their bodies as they had broken my spirit years before."

Pause.

"I left Madrid after that, and I have never felt the need to return
there. Sometimes... sometimes, I still wonder if things could not have
been different... if my father could have loved me and if my brothers
could have been real brothers, instead of enemies."

Pause.

"Here. Take a look at this. I don't carry many reminders of my past
lives--only this locket. That's Isabella. She gave this to me when I
left for the army. She said she would always love me. I've carried it
near my heart for all the long, lonely years without her."

Pause.

"Why are you crying? You promised not to cry if I told you. Come
here, Tracy. I want to hold you."

Silence.