Title: Past Imperfect, Future Unprecedented
Spoilers: movies 1 & 2
Characters: Selene, Kraven, Viktor
Disclaimer: Underworld and all related characters, scenes, plotlines, etc. don't belong to me but the rest of this story does. Don't steal.
Warnings: AU, angst
Summary: What if...Kraven, not Viktor, had been Selene's sire? If Viktor had been forced to repeat Sonja's punishment on Selene? If...well, make what you will of the last one. A set of AUs
Author's Notes: [ Everything past this point was written 6-12 months ago...so when it says 'that I watched last week' or 'I can't stop thinking about it', that's in the past tense]
My inspiration for this fic was a set of two ideas:
(1) The reason Viktor was so quick to destroy everything that he loved.
Alright, so we know Viktor was superstitious in days long past, right? That's why he had William confined rather than killed. Also, he always considered himself a good person even after the atrocities he committed. That was why he turned Selene and taught her as a surrogate daughter and why he had so much regret about his actions towards Selene's family and Sonja's death.
So…why would he do that? How did he justify to himself that such horrendous actions were best for his coven? And why did he fear a blending of the species so much; what did he know and how did he know it since such a beast had never existed before?
The answer lies in his superstitious nature.
(2) The reason that William became trapped as a wolf.
Because he was an insane mass murdering monster.
Not really. XD Well, he was, but that isn't the reason. After all, Markus didn't turn into a giant bat monster when HE was changed… wait a minute…
Yeah, that's the point of this one, something that has been smashing me over the head since re-watching Underworld and Underworld: Evolution this past month for the first time since it came out.
I mean, it would make perfect sense if William was a hybrid, wouldn't it?
Kraven's Pet (v1)
…Kraven, not Viktor, had been Selene's sire?
The feminine shriek froze Viktor's steps. He had been pacing the castle, brooding about the lycans and the war and that infernal beast that had caused his daughter's death and stolen the hidden key Viktor had entrusted her with. So far he had encountered no other coven members; few would venture from their windowless rooms this far into the day.
"You will do as I say, girl!" a sharp slap and a cry of pain brought a frown the Viktor's face and his footsteps changed direction. The unknown situation had peaked his sense of curiosity, if not urgently.
"Shut up!" Another slap, this time accompanied by the sound of a falling body.
The frown deepened as Viktor drew closer and was able to identify the male attacker as Kraven. He had been a mere foot soldier in Viktor's mortal army, far beneath the conqueror's notice before the advent of Markus' gift, but Viktor had found some use for him recently. The man was far too ambitious for his own good but he kept secrets very well.
He turned the corner on soundless feet and stopped to take in the situation and curled his lip back slightly in distaste.
Kraven was standing in the center of the hallway outside of his quarters, fully unclothed save for a metal braided whip in his right hand. Blood trickled from a rapidly healing mark on his left forearm. He was standing over the huddled form of a young woman on the floor that Viktor barely looked at before dismissing as a whore. Not a courtesan, an elegant and intelligent female vampire from his original crop of followers who dispensed favors sparingly to deserving individuals, but a new born bloodless wretch who sought to better herself in the beds of men.
Such individuals were expected in any court and Viktor generally ignored their presence as he would that of a servant or slave.
"Kraven!" he bellowed from the end of the hallway, startling the other man into dropping the whip and turning around. Viktor's scowl deepened; no vampire, no soldier, should have been caught off guard by someone so close. "What is the meaning of this!"
Kraven's mouth gaped stupidly as he looked around himself. It was as if the situation were as alien to him as it was to Viktor. After several moments of stuttering and trying to come up with a viable excuse while his Lord's expression grew more and more ominous, the younger vampire fell to his knees in a belated show of respect and modesty.
"My Lord, I apologize. This…creature…required punishment. I did not intend to disturb you."
Viktor didn't bother to glance at the newborn.
"In the hallway?" Kraven flinched at the dry, scornful tone and crouched lower, suddenly acutely aware of his state of undress.
"I apologize my Lord."
Viktor's lips drew back off his fangs in distaste at the pathetic tone of his cringing subordiante.
"Do not let it happen again."
"Of course my Lord."
With that, Viktor dismissed the issue and returned to his stroll. Kraven would not repeat the offense and the situation had been much less interesting than he had thought it would be.
He ignored all sounds from behind him, including a sudden spate of vicious cursing when Kraven realized that the object of his aggression had snuck away during the conversation.
Selene stopped running when she could no longer hear voices behind her, slowing to a walk and looking around warily at the unfamiliar surroundings. She didn't even realize she was gravitating towards the walls and the shadows or that she was hunched over, anticipating a blow that could not come from thin air.
Then again, Kraven could probably move fast enough to fill that air in seconds.
The urge to cry and scream at the unfairness of it all made Selene's chest ache but there were more important matters to attend to before she could give in.
Her injuries were first on the list. Numerous lash marks on her back and thighs, some of them bleeding freely, oozing bite marks on the back of her neck and one wrist, and soreness on both of her cheeks where Kraven had smacked her. That was it, thank God. He hadn't gotten any further than physical abuse. Her face was already nearly healed but it stung the worst to her pride for some reason. The other injuries were healing slowly but she could already tell they were not deadly or complicated; they would be tender for a few days or until Kraven allowed her to feed but they would heal.
Next on the list was Kraven himself. She paused next to a heavily shuttered window in an alcove, concealing herself behind its thick drapes for a moment to listen carefully for signs of pursuit. There were none.
Oh, right, he had to make himself presentable first.
A laugh tried to make its way through her throat as she remembered how ridiculous he had looked but emerged as a strangled sob. She sunk down the wall slowly, ignoring how painful it was against her back, and curled in a ball on the floor behind the drapes, crying softly.
It had been six months since her family had died at the hands –claws?- of those beasts.
Six months since Kraven had found her hiding in the woods behind the house, trying to make her way to the barn and her father, and told her they were all dead, that the animals he had been hunting were responsible.
Six months since he refused to let her go and bit her instead, turning her into a damned, Godless creature.
Since months since she had awakened on a pallet in his room, never to see the light of day again.
Five months since he had first tried to force her into his bed.
She had fought like a wild animal, kicking, shrieking, biting, and letting loose all of her wild rage at what had happened and the bloodlust raging out of her control. Kraven had been so shocked that he had let her go and limped off to sooth his bruised ego and moan over the marks she left on his skin. A different female joined him in bed that day while Selene cringed in the corner, chained like a beast.
The next night she had experienced her first beating.
Since then Kraven had taken pleasure in alternately taunting her about her lost freedom and clumsily attempting to seduce her.
Her lips curled back off delicate ivory fangs at the thought. She didn't know which was worse: when he would set a goblet of blood on the floor right outside her reach after neglecting to feed her for days at a time or when he tried to stroke her hair and sweet talk her by telling her he was all she had left now that her family was gone and that if the other vampires knew about her they would kill her on sight because she was little more than an animal.
She had often hoped that one of them would find out and kill her, end her pain.
And now…Selene buried her head in her knees with a whimper. The other vampire had seen her, she was sure of it, but he hadn't cared one way or the other. Seeing Kraven cringing at someone's feet had been a treat but now…she would have to take matters into her own hands. Kraven had finally lost patience with her and vowed to take her to bed even if he had to beat her to a pulp then tie her down to do it. And he would.
With a last whimpering sigh, she steeled her resolve and stood up, beginning to pull at the heavy shutters obscuring the noonday sun.
Viktor was interrupted from his morose thoughts once again, this time by a faint scratching noise. With an irritated frown, he went searching for the source of the noise. It was rare that even one of his subjects dared disturb him, let alone two. And what on earth were they doing? Scratching the woodwork?
It took longer to find the source of this noise than it had taken to locate Kraven and when he did he simply stopped and stared for a moment, trying to take in what he was seeing and sensing.
Someone was hiding behind the curtain, scratching at the wooden shutters. But why would-?
Then there was a slight, familiar click and suddenly Viktor was acting on panicked instinct. He threw back the heavy drapes and grabbed the figure behind them, crushing her to his chest with one arm and catching the shutter with his other as it began to sag open.
And then he had another problem.
The female vampire he was restraining let out a pained sounding squeal, beginning to thrash and struggle. He was so surprised that he nearly let go of the blinds. Didn't she know who he was?
Then she bit his arm. How dare she?! He was an elder! He snarled in outraged surprise but instead of letting go, as she probably wanted him to, he tightened his grip until he could feel her ribs bending with the pressure. Eventually, she withdrew her fangs, gasping for air.
He growled deeply, warning her into submission but, to his surprise, she did not concede immediately. Instead, she tried to pull away with a tiny panicked sound.
"Do NOT defy me." He hissed into her ear. Finally, she went limp in his grip, bowing her head in surrender. Satisfied, he released her and she took a step away, still refusing to meet his eyes but not trying to run away.
He did not trust her to stay put despite her submission but refastening the shutters was impossible with only one hand and shutting out the deadly sunlight was the priority. Still, he kept his attention focused on her the whole time and was gratified when she didn't run.
Finished, he turned back around and really looked at her for the first time.
She was standing where he had left her, head still bowed and looking much like a chastised child. In fact, he realized with a start, she was young enough to be considered as such.
Apparently uncomfortable under his scrutiny, she shifted her weight slightly on bare feet then froze with a minute gasp of pain. Viktor frowned and looked more closely at the pathetic figure.
Why, she was Kraven's whore!
…She was also covered in blood.
There was very little immediately obvious but he could smell it. In fact, the front of his shirt smelled of it. Belatedly, he remembered her squeal of pain when he had grabbed her; her back must have been injured rather badly.
"Turn around, girl."
She looked up at him for the first time, peering out from behind her curtain of hair, but Viktor did not look at her eyes.
"Are…" Her voice was no more than a terrified whisper but it shocked Viktor nearly speechless. She dared to talk to him? "…A-Are you going to k-kill me?"
"Kill you?" Then he met her eyes for the first time.
Pain, hatred, anger, fear, sadness, fatigue, hunger, loneliness, and defeat dulled her gaze but beneath it he could see a core of resilience and a strong, unbroken will.
No one had ever defied him as his daughter had, as this youngling was doing. Superficially they looked little alike but he could see the similarity in her soul.
He stood frozen, spellbound with grief and surprise.
"…Sir?" This whisper was even quieter than the last and when it went unanswered, the child broke eye contact to look back at the floor.
Viktor mentally shook himself and scowled. What as he thinking about? His daughter had always been strong, never defeated as this wretched creature was. And she most definitely had never been a whore.
Still, his tone was much gentler when he repeated the order.
"Turn around, child."
This time she obeyed and Viktor actually hissed in distaste. He had seen such injuries before but never on one of his own subjects. They should be impossible for a vampire to maintain.
Her flimsy white blouse had been ripped away and the flesh on her back was torn to ribbons. It was already healing but some sores were bleeding openly from deep cuts and others looked infected, as if they had been there multiple nights. There were deep indentations on her neck that were bleeding freely and he could smell that there was blood further down her body as well but she had wrapped her tattered skirt as far around as possible to maintain her dignity.
He could not think of anything that justified punishing a newborn so severely. If her body was still acclimating to the Change, such injuries could be fatal.
"What happened? Why have you not healed yourself?"
"J-just…KILL me!" she cried out, turning back around. Viktor took a step back, startled by her sudden burst of emotion.
"I…I won't be this! I can't! And I won't…I won't be a…!" She broke down crying, and took off running away from the direction she must have come from, away from Kraven's quarters. Viktor moved to catch her but she somehow managed to dodge his first grab. His second was more successful and he pulled her to his chest, hugging her to him this time and being careful to avoid her injuries.
"There there child, calm down." She struggled in his arms but he refused to let go and eventually she gave in, sagging into his embrace and sobbing into his shoulder.
After a few minutes, she seemed to realize what she was doing and forcibly muffled her sobs, pushing away from Viktor. This time, he let her step away but maintained a hold on her shoulder.
He tilted her chin up with his free hand and she met his eyes resignedly, obviously expecting something negative from him but Viktor had no idea what. Now that her hysteria had died down she was swaying on her feet from fatigue, another malady that vampires did not generally suffer from.
Something was very, very wrong.
"Who has done this to you, young one? What do you fear?"
She blinked, evidently confused.
Viktor's expression became closed and he restrained himself from hissing in realization. Anger at this point would only scare her. She wasn't what he had thought at all.
"He…he…" tears leaked down her cheeks, unnoticed.
"Did he force you, child?" he kept his expression as gentle as he could, surprising himself with his tenderness.
"He tried." She glanced away.
"Tried…?" he prompted gently.
"He was going to…tonight."
Today. Viktor mentally corrected. She was indeed very young. The situation he had stepped in on earlier was now making much more sense. He would need to have a word with Kraven.
"Come with me, child." The servants' housing would probably be the best place for her but he would allow her to regain her composure in his quarters first. She followed him with a mixture of resignation and wariness, unaware of his intentions.
"A-are you going to kill me?"
Releasing the shutters, disobeying a soldier, disobeying an older vampire, attacking an elder…any one was a serious crime, let alone all of them.
But for some reason he was not angry.
"I will not hurt you, young one, I promise."