Title: Welcome to the Fold
Author: Janine
Fandom: Blade the Series
Pairing: Krista/Chase
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Summary: Continuation of "A Brave New World" … Krista arrives at Chase's new operation.

Note: This story is a continuation of my previous story, "A Brave New World"


Part 1
Later that night …

Krista opened her eyes as the door to the dorm room she had been assigned opened up revealing a sliver of light from the hallway and a shadowed figure hovering in the doorway before they moved all the way into the room the darkness inside enveloping them before the door closed behind them.

Chase was running her current operation out of a building that had been used by the University of Toronto years before as a dormitory but had been abandoned in favor of a newer building closer to the St. George campus. It wasn't as flashy as Marcus' operation had been but it was an extremely efficient way to deal with housing concerns for the scattered members of Chthon Chase had managed to gather together, while also ensuring that she had space to store goods, run training sessions and whatever else it was that she needed.

Krista was actually quite impressed, from a technical stand-point, with what Chase had managed to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time, though she had no plans to compliment the blonde out loud.

"How are you settling in?" Chase asked crossing over the desk at the other end of Krista's room and taking a seat. She had been drawn away immediately upon her return to the coven, forced to deal with a problem she had abandoned earlier when news had reached her from her butcher friend that a woman meeting Krista's description had just left his shop.

After her little fall that man and his store had gotten her on her feet again. Following the scent of blood to his door step had been a saving grace; he was a big man and had been able to feed her well. Luckily for him, and her, it turned out that she was still too weak to bleed him dry. As she had prepared to snap his neck he had pleaded with her, told her that he could be useful, that others like her had come to his store before looking for blood and he could send them to her or whatever else she wanted. She had been enraged and in a generally foul mood that night, but she wasn't so far gone that she didn't recognize an opportunity to network when it was presented to her. Keeping him alive turned out to be a good decision, his business proved to be a big draw for House-less accidental turns who had no idea that animal blood would do them no good in the long run, and she had recruited quite a few foot soldiers through his calls. Not to mention finally finding Krista.

"Okay," Krista responded not surprised in the least to see Chase. She almost didn't know how she had survived six months without the blonde barging in on her whenever she felt like it. "I managed to unpack," Krista continued smirking a little in the dark knowing that Chase could see it.

"I hope you didn't exhaust yourself," Chase replied playing along with Krista's little joke. The brunette didn't have much with her when she had found her earlier that evening, which meant after the five seconds it took her to unpack she must have been brooding in the darkness. It was such wonderfully Krista like behavior that Chase almost smiled.

"I think I've got my second wind," Krista replied shifting on the bed, pushing herself up until she was sitting with her back against the wall gazing at Chase. For some reason the idea of lounging in bed while Chase was in her small room made her uncomfortable.

"I know the accommodations aren't quite what you're used to, but …" Chase began.

"They're fine. A lot better than most of the places I've been sleeping lately," Krista interrupted looking away from Chase momentarily. "I actually kind of like it," Krista continued drawing her knees up and wrapping her arms around them as she spoke. "It reminds me of school."

"Where did you go to school?" Chase asked crossing her legs and settling back in the chair making herself more comfortable. Krista was in a far more sociable mood than she had seen the brunette, ever, and she would take advantage of the situation. As much as she enjoyed fighting with the ex-soldier, too much of any one thing became tedious and there was nothing she hated more than tediousness.

"University of South Carolina," Krista replied brushing some hair back off of her face trying not think about how strange it was to be discussing something as mundane as her schooling with Chase. She almost felt like exclaiming 'bomb', 'gun', 'aurora' or 'decapitation' to return some normalcy to their interaction.

"Bit far away from home," Chase commented though it did explain the accent she often caught peeking through the brunette's speech.

"Yeah," Krista nodded the southern drawl Chase had noticed showing itself in that word. "We used to live there. It's where Zack and I were born," she continued hesitating for a moment at the mention of her brother, her eyes holding on Chase for a moment as she thought about the blonde's role in her brother death.

She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. Chase had been there when her brother died, was probably the one who had investigated him and reported his betrayal to Marcus. Chase had once been number two on her 'to kill' list, and now … now Chase was the closest thing she had to a … an acquaintance.

"We moved when we were four," Krista continued a long moment later sighing. "I always kind of wanted to go back and see where I was born, you know," she went on shrugging and averting her gaze.

"How did you end up in the army?" Chase asked relaxing slightly. She had seen the look Krista gave her at the mention of her brother and had tensed preparing to exchange words if not more with brunette, but mercifully Krista had recovered and moved on.

She was learning, Chase could see, she was beginning to realize that her focus needed to be on the life she was living presently and not on how things had been as a human.

"Joined up to pay off my school loans," Krista replied smiling a little. "My mom was … she was not pleased. She didn't want me to go away in the first place, and then to join up to pay it off … lectured, I was lectured until she lost her voice," Krista continued her tone nostalgic and pained. She would have done anything to see her mother again, even if it was just to argue with her about something.

"I loved the service though," Krista continued a moment later. "I was only home on temporary medical leave. I never thought it'd end up being my last tour," she finished her eyes drifting up to the ceiling as the room descended into silence. She still had trouble reconciling the fact that she had survived in Iraq only to be murdered by a real estate developer 20 minutes away from her mother's house.

"I never went to school," Chase said a few moments later into the silence blanketing the room her eyes tracking around the room as she tried to imagine what it would have been like to live there, music blasting down the hallway, a book bag flung by the door, worrying about getting reports done on time. She could picture the scene, but she couldn't imagine herself in it. It was too far removed from anything she had known as human and far too conventional for her life as a vampire.

"Post-secondary or at all?" Krista asked focusing on Chase, wondering just how old the blonde was. She didn't really know much about Chase beyond the fact that she had once been married and was Australian, which was kind of surprising considering the amount of time they had spent together in the past. Then again, she hadn't been very responsive to Chase's attempts at starting conversation back then, she hadn't cared; she hadn't wanted to know. She had planned on getting away from Chase, and Marcus, and Chthon and Blade as soon as possible back then and never looking back.

As it turned out things hadn't quite been that simple.

"Post-secondary," Chase replied smirking as she looked over at Krista. "I'm not that old."

"How old are you?" Krista asked straightening up a little, crossing her legs so that she was sitting Indian style before resting her elbows on her thighs and placing her head in her hands looking very much like an attention grade one student.

"I was born in 1881," Chase replied her eyes drifting away from Krista's as she spoke, "on a farm in small back-water town called Griffith on the Murrumbidgee River," she continued a slight edge to her voice as her mind wandered back in time.

"One-hundred and twenty six years old," Krista breathed out slightly awed, still unable to properly appreciate the longevity of the hominus nocturna.

"Most of the human ones aren't worth mentioning," Chase murmured darkly her eyes narrowing. "I ran away too, as far as could get as soon as I could," she went on her eyes returning to Krista's for a moment. "I didn't have a meal card or a cartoonishly small room at a fine establishment like this to run to though," she went on standing up before Krista could ask anymore questions about her past. "There's a meeting in the lounge on the first floor at 6 p.m.," Chase continued moving towards the door. "Will you need a wake-up call?" It was almost dawn.

"No, I'll be fine," Krista replied shifting to lean against the wall once more as Chase reached the door of her room. Surprisingly she found that she would have liked to talk to Chase for longer. It wasn't until she was faced with the prospect of being alone again that she realized how long it had been since she had had a real conversation with someone, and lately since she had been around anyone for more than a couple of minutes. It was nice to talk, even if it was to Chase, but she could see the blonde begin to shut down as she talked about her past and knew that it was best to just let it drop for the moment.

"I'll see you then," Chase said watching Krista for a second longer and then she was out the door and Krista lay back on her bed, thinking that she might actually be able to get some sleep.

To be continued …