Ace in the Hole

Summary: AU When an arcane necromancer offers his allegiance and powers to help him defeat the vampires in the grisly war, Lucien cannot refuse. With Kraven as an unpredictable factor in the game, he needs an ace in the hole to win. [LucianxSonja & other various parings]

I: An Alliance of the Unknown






"The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats

"The Two Spirits: An Allegory" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Disclaimer: Hmmmm? Me own Underworld? Don't I wish, I would love for darling Lucian to belong to me. Yet I have Thanatos and his henchmen so that is quite comforting.

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity."

-The Second Coming, William Butler Yeats

In the vapid room of concrete walls, a man with unruly dark drown hair paced furiously back and forth across the besmirched floor, his mind whirling with troubles and concerns. After Raze's incertitude that the three vampires–Death Dealers nonetheless–were aware or not that he and some of his brethren had been following the human Michael, Lucian contemplated what do about this little kink to his plans. He didn't like the circumstances of the situation, not in the slightest yet the lycan leader could find no other option then to bury the annoying detail into the back of his mind and then proceed with his scheme.

"Lucian!" The said man whirled around to face a werewolf of lesser status, a young man around twenty-two or so years of age.

"Yes, what is it?" Lucian answered curtly, making his way towards the young lycan. His messenger shifted slightly–anxiety perhaps?–before speaking again.

"There's a man outside…waiting for you. He won't leave until he is granted an audience with you, Lucian." the lycan messenger finished automatically and one brown eyebrow arched slightly on Lucian's features.

"Did he say who he was?" The dark-haired youth shook his head.

"No, he refused to say anything about himself until he met you."

Sighing in aggravation, Lucian stormed out of the room and went to the front side of his lair–for lack of a better term–to confront this enigmatic man. When the lycan burst open the door he faced a man around the same age as he, only with skin wavering in a hue of extremely fair to irrefutably pale, hair dark as a raven's feathers and profound eyes akin to emeralds. A nicely trimmed goatee and mustache also adorned his features, another trait similar to Lucian's. He was garbed in long, flowing ebony robe that seemed suspiciously majestic, partly concealing a grey shirt and leather pants underneath. When the man saw Lucian approach, a pleased smile split across his features and solid thud of his boots echoed across the vicinity as he practically glided to Lucian.

"Hello, Lucian, leader of the rebel army of lycans," he greeted smoothly, a glint of amusement flickering in his smoky viridian eyes, "I am so pleased you decided to meet me."

"Who are you?" Lucian demanded bluntly, skipping any forms of formalities with this strange man. He seemed human, he smelled like a human yet…there was an aura of prestige and preternaturalness encasing him, making his imposing panjandrum hard to ignore.

The peculiar man smirked complacently at Lucian's brusque request, unfolding his arms while bringing them to his sides. That fleeting movement was precisely when Lucian received a glimpse of the handle of a saber peeking out of his obsidian robe. Once more, Lucian's interest was piqued and he stared expectantly at the stranger, waiting for an answer.

"I am Thanatos Wakahisa, notoriously known as 'the Reaper of All Souls'," he introduced to Lucian with a mock bow, "I have come to you, Lucian, with an offer of an alliance."

Masking his bafflement, the lycan ruler quickly remarked, "Why do you wish to align yourself with me? What is this war to you and what do you hope to gain if we win?" The smirk on Thanatos's visage remained, though his eyes took on a conniving luster as he gauged Lucian analytically.

"You still keep your wits about you and your mind sharp, Lucian," he commented approvingly, speaking this as if he was merely talking about the weather, "Excellent, I knew I was making the right choice."

As if he had sensed the lycan's apparent irritation for not answering his questionnaires, Thanatos sighed shortly. "I have been observing this war from afar for quite some time, Lucian. The vampires…I brook no desire to join in their campaign, they are sinking ship if you ask me." He chuckled mirthlessly, his deep viridescent orbs gleaming with a subtle hint of malice. "Back to the point…I know you have acquired a covert truce with the vampire Kraven but can you really trust him wholly?" His query prompted a puzzled glance from Lucian, who knew Kraven was a bit unpredictable but reckoned the ambitious vampire wouldn't do anything stupid or rash that could jeopardize his chances in lording over both vampire covens.

"In order for an allegiance to work properly and efficiently, both parties must be willing to trust and rely on each other. They have to be assured that their partner won't try to stab them in the back or plot against them along the sides. I have studied this Kraven closely and perceived he isn't the most trustworthy of ally to have."

"He's only one who can help my men kill the Elders," retorted Lucian defensively, narrowing his dusky eyes on Thanatos, "And don't think I don't know that about him. That's why I make sure I keep him in line and have him worry about being found out by one of his own than to betray me."

Thanatos nodded, fingering something in the pocket of his robe. "Understandable but what if after you both succeed with your plans, Kraven decides to dispatch you and appoint a new lycan leader that he himself can control. The man is power-hungry and doesn't like when he's being controlled by others."

"If he had me killed my men would see through the guise and have him butchered. None of my lycans will be a puppet on that dastard's strings."

"True, true, yet how will you know that for sure? Perhaps you death will appear to be an accident and there won't be enough evidence to incriminate him. Then what?" Thanatos let his smirk drop, replaced with a sober expression.

Lucian glared glacially at all of Thanaots's ripostes although he had to admit the man had a point. "So is that why you want to align yourself with me?" he finished, assaying to sort all the puzzles and complexities submerging themselves into his brain by this rather odd, intricate conversation he was having with Thanatos.

"Yes…and no. I have my own reasons for proposing such a proffer," stated Thanatos placidly, noticing the silent glower he was receiving from the head lycan, "If you still do not believe me…allow me to do a favor for you to earn your trust."

"And what would that be?" Lucian asked, wondering what sort of person Thanatos was to be willing–eager almost–to be forming a liaison with a pack of fractious, deadly werewolves that could easily tear his throat out if in their wolf forms.

A wicked grin slithered across Thanatos's lips, the same scheming gleam in his emerald eyes. "I am offering to resurrect your beloved Sonja...and when I do, I would like us to establish an alliance against the vampires." Regalement soon overtook his features as he watch shock and astonishment dance across Lucian's face, disbelief glimmering in his umber eyes.

"Impossible," breathed Lucian, "How can that possibly be achieved?"

Smiling like the cat that swallowed the canary, Thanatos withdrew his hand out, producing a small, besmirched rosary with a sable cross dangling in the middle.

"Revival can be accomplished…when you're a necromancer, Lucian."

"How much longer do you think the Master going to be with that werewolf?" voiced a rich, melting timbre belonging to a beguilingly dashing young man with alabaster skin and spiky jet-black hair, "It has been almost twenty minutes and we haven't heard anything from him yet."

"And he wanted to meet the leader of the lycans alone," added a dark-haired woman who seemed to be of Spanish descent, "Usually if he didn't want all of us to come with him, Master would bring Ukon along." She whipped her head around to the aforementioned man, who was staring out into the horizon, searching for any signs of his master.

"Do not question Master's orders, Blanca," Ukon responded staidly, never averting his gaze from the silhouette of the lycan hideout, "Thanatos-sama knows what he is doing; he would never commit a foolish act."

A dry cackle came from an old woman sitting on a stump of tree, who was next to the spiky-headed young man. "Aptly spoken, Ukon. Our Master is a cunning man, he can't be outfoxed by one person; it will take an army in order to accomplish that."

Before any of her so-called comrades would reply, a mental voice whipped through their minds, summoning them to duty.

All of you, come to me. Lucian has agreed to my terms and I need one of you to bring the urn.

I shall bring it, Master, the ancient woman mused inwardly, bending over to take a red violet and dun vessel and cradle the trinket in her thin arms.

Thank you, Magna. Now that has been taken care of, it's time for you to meet the leader of the lycans. I'm sure he'll be delighted to see you all.

Thanatos's minions smirked at that last bit of their leader's statement, delighted probably won't be the appropriate word for their arrival yet the necromancer's sarcasm was amusing at times.

"Time to depart," croaked Magna, huddling the urn close to her sunken breasts. As soon as the announcement left her lips, they were gone, disappearing into the wind and melting into the shadows of the night.

"O thou, who plumed with strong desire

Wouldst float above earth, beware!

A Shadow tracks thy flight of fire—

Night is coming!

Bright are the regions of the air,

And among the winds and beams

It were delight to wander there—

Night is coming!"

-The Two Spirits: An Allegory, Percy Bysshe Shelley

Well, even though I have two other stories I should be working on, this idea came out of nowhere. I really can't escape all the plot wolverines and hawks (Note: I don't receive plot bunnies, my story ideas besiege me in a more vicious manner) they attack from all ends. Next, the plot orcas will come and get me…

Thanatos: Can you please stop digressing and get to the point?

Careful, Thanatos, or I just might toss you to the fangirls.

Thanatos: -rubs temples- Just get to the point.

Anyway, before I was so rudely interrupted, I decided to work on this story as soon as I came up with it–after with some prodding from Celtic Aurora and vamplady101 (they really wanted me to write this story). There will be some various, er, alternate or unusual pairings as the story goes on so if you don't like who gets paired up with whom, don't flame me with a review or a PM. Rule number one in fanfiction: Do no piss off the author. The repercussions will be deadly.

Thanatos: Are you done yet?

I suppose so. I'm just going to add my chapters are certainly going to be longer than this, prologues tend to be rather short for me.

Thanatos: You simply enjoy inserting cliffhangers.

Ah, true. That I do.