Disclaimer: Feels a bit sad to be writing this one final time. But! I can always write new fics and thus more disclaimers, right? The plot and characters of the Darren Shan Saga/Cirque Du Freak belongs to the author Darren Shan. I can only lay claim to Laris and the other kids.
A/N: 'What other kids?' , well, that's why you have to read on! Enjoy, guys, one last chapter from me. Thanks for reading and following my femDarren's journey, as absurd as it's been.
By the way X-Jinxa-X, I sort of put in one of the comments that you made. You know, the 'I swear to God, Steve needs sex to live' or something like that? I just thought I'd copyright it for you here.
A final thanks to meselfi, SUSHIxMONSTER, X-Jinxa-X, iLuVmYeViLpSyChOs and LartenCrepsleyForeva123 for reviewing the last chapter. Special shoutouts go out to X-Jinxa-X, who was my first reviewer ever as well as meselfi and iLuVmYeViLpSyChOs for assisting me in certain parts of the fic. Your help was amazing, and it worked to make this fic much better than it would be if I didn't gain your help.
Epilogue: About 40 years later
"Steve... Oh God, Steve, stop teasing me..." I heard my whiney, high-pitched voice moan pathetically. My husband smirked and ran a finger down my spine.
"I have no idea what you're talking about..." he said huskily, his voice heavy and low. "But if you're saying what I think you're saying, then the answer is no. There's no way in hell I'm going to spend our long-awaited free time on a quickie."
I pouted, but stopped protesting.
He covered my mouth with his, reaching his tongue inside my mouth to taste me. I complied easily to his demanding tongue, moaning loudly as he explored the territory he already knew to be his.
"Darren, I love you..." He said in between pants as we broke off for air, resting his forehead against mine.
"I love you too, Ste-" I started to say, before being cut off by the door being shoved open violently. It bounced against the receiving wall with a resounding thud that made Steve and I wince.
"Mum, Dad! Can I have th-" our seven year old daughter stopped abruptly as she looked curiously at our sweaty faces and what we might be doing under the blanket Steve had put over us.
It only took her five seconds to figure it out. Five seconds which Steve and I spent gaping at her instead of doing what we should have - covering her mouth.
"AHHHHHH! I'M BLIND!" Ardelle screamed, running from the open door. Steve and I scrambled to put our clothes on and shush our daughter. There was no doubt that every single other vampaneze and visiting vampire in the building had heard her inhumanly loud scream.
Steve caught my eye and sighed. I smiled at him in a what-can-you-do manner and left to find my daughter.
She was busy bawling her eyes out to Evanna's twins and her brothers.
"It was horrible!" she sobbed into Laris's shoulder.
"It's okay," Laris said comfortingly, petting her head. Just days ago, Laris had turned forty, though he maintained the physical appearance of a twenty year old. After going through puberty, he started aging at the same rate that full vampires and vampaneze do. As my other two sons did. I was thankful for that. I really didn't want to outlive my children.
"What a baby," Gavius snorted. "I mean, you don't hear it, but mum and dad do it all the time."
Ardelle sniffled and said, "Do what?"
Gavius rolled his eyes. "Have se-"
Sanche, Chiron and Alec shut him up without missing a beat, each delivering a painful blow of their own to my second son. Gavius had a bit of a loose tongue. I've blamed Steve many a time for it, because obviously, that trait was inherited from him.
"What's seh?" Ardelle repeated curiously, head tilted to one side. My heart swelled over our cute little accident. Yes, that's right, she was an accident. A miraculous one. Steve, however, insists that he did it on purpose. Then again, I suppose all our children were accidents. Never once did we plan to have any of them. They sort of just... happened.
"It's what mummy and daddy do so that you can have a little sister," Steve answered cheerily. Ardelle's face lit up.
"Daddy! Mummy!" she leaped up, ran to us, then stopped right in front of us and looked at us suspiciously.
"Seh is sex, isn't it?" she pouted.
"Where did you learn that word?" I asked sharply, horrified at how much my seven year old knew. When I was seven, all I thought about was soccer - okay, okay, and Steve - so how could she know such a thing?
Ardelle's gaze became shifty. I saw her eyes slide to Gavius more than once. I glared at my brunette thirty-eight year old son.
"Gav?" I asked icily, crossing my arms sternly at my second son.
"Uh... Haha..." he laughed nervously, knowing that he was in trouble.
"You want a little sister, don't you, Delle?" Steve bent down to beam at his favourite - and only, but that was Steve's private joke - daughter. "So, next time, when you see daddy and mummy doing that, just shut the door quietly and leave, alright?"
"Why?" she asked.
Steve opened his mouth, then snapped it shut again. I rolled my eyes, knowing what smutty thing had almost escaped his mouth. He quickly amended. "Because then the candy god will come and give you a gift for being so good,"
"Really? Yay!" she clapped her hands excitedly.
"See?" Steve took out some candy from some pocket of his. I never know where he keeps his things. "He's rewarding you already!" he handed her the candy and she munched on it happily.
"Dad, you shouldn't bring her up on such lies..." Sanche said quietly.
"What's wrong with giving her candy? I really do want another daughter, you know. I'm so sick of men," Steve pulled a face, but I knew he was joking. He loved his sons very much. "Especially you two. Get out of here already." He said rudely to Chiron and Alec. Alec rolled his eyes.
"It's not like we're here for you, Uncle Steve," Alec said.
"And I can assure you that we're as sick of you as you are of us," Chiron said.
It wasn't hard to see which traits came from who. Alec was wild, and untamed. He was constantly dirty and getting into trouble, but at the same time knew how to shut his mouth. Chiron was proper, and refined. He was rarely seen with a hair out of place. However, when he got angry, he would resemble his mother. A lot.
"Then why are you two still here?" Steve asked. Alec and Chiron pointed to Ardelle.
"She goes off if we leave," Alec said.
"Like an alarm," Chiron added. She looked at them quizzically, wondering what they were talking about. I stiffled an urge to laugh, thinking of how fitting their words were, recalling what happened the last time Alec tried to leave.
"But we don't need them, do we, Delle?" Steve asked, stroking her hair lovingly.
"Ngee hoo (Need who)?" she mumbled through a mouthful of candy. Alec whispered something to Chiron, and Chiron started backing away and leaving quietly. He managed to get to the door before she realised what was happening. And then she was off.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" she shouted, and bolted to where Chiron was. In the minute it took her to get there, Chiron managed to open his arms wide, bend down, and catch her as she flung herself into his arms.
And all the while, I was thinking, That's just so cute.
Steve was pouting. But it was only natural that Ardelle would be so attached to Chiron and Alec, and them to her. She was only seven, and they had been adults for slightly more than thirty-eight years now, having grown up as quickly as their mother. It's no wonder they babied her. Laris and Sanche did too. And I haven't even mentioned the countless vampires and vampaneze who found her adorable.
Ardelle was the most human out of our four children, she possessed ordinary senses, average speed as well as strength, and found tasting blood disgusting. I worried about her a lot. So far there had been no indication that she was in any way inhuman, and may have the lifespan of one. That just made us more protective of her. I think we may have spoiled her a little in that way. But she wasn't spoiled in the bratty type of way. No, she was spoilt in a naïve, innocent way. She had very little knowledge of the outside world. Which was fine with me - for now.
"So, baby, you get it now? When mummy and daddy are making babies, just leave quietly, okay?" Steve asked the little girl in Chiron's arms.
"Okay!" she said cheerfully with a smile. Steve sighed in relief, handed her another candy and grabbed my arm.
"Okay, let's go," he muttered, almost reaching flitting speed in his haste to drag me to the bedroom. The last thing I saw as I was dragged out of the room was Gavius rolling his eyes.
"Wait, Steve..." I protested. He stopped abruptly and pushed me into a wall, his eyes boring into me.
"Darren. I swear to God, if we don't make love right now, I'm going to die,"
I stared at him stupidly. "...die?"
"Yes, die," he replied assertively, almost fervently. And with an utterly solemn look too.
"Huh." I said. After a few more seconds of silence, I burst out laughing. He continued to glare at me.
"Darren. It's not that funny," He said with that glare which would have made any one of his subjects frightened to the point of urinating in that spot. But to me, it just added to the humour of the situation.
"Yes-ahahahaha! It-hah! Really is-" I said, barely fluent as I spoke between giggles. Steve glared at me for a while more before silencing me in the way he knew best. His lips were on mine before I could object. Then all that I emitted were stifled moans as he rubbed his body against mine. Four decades. Four decades and four children later and we were still acting like we were in heat.
In our mating frenzy, we failed to register the fact that we were in a public-ish place and anyone could pass by and catch us in the act - including our innocent daughter. Unfortunately, someone did creep up to us and clear his throat. Fortunately, it wasn't our daughter.
I shoved Steve away, feeling embarrassed to have been caught. The two of us were gasping from the lack of air. My lust-clouded vision slowly dissipated and I tried to focus on the person who had walked in on us.
"Still at it, huh, lovebirds?" Andy chuckled, leaning on his walking stick.
"Andy!" I said and ran up to my brother to hug him. Despite their association with us, Andy and Debbie had never joined us in becoming creatures of the undead. Alice did, which was quite a shock to us, but the lifestyle of a proud warrior suited her. Debbie, unfortunately, resisted until the end. She and Andy had brought up two beautiful children, and now had three grandchildren. But a few years ago, Debbie surrendered her worldly life to cancer, heading off to Paradise before any of us. I had cried for weeks. But it was better this way. Andy was now a hexogenarian, living out his life day-to-day and constantly visiting us. His second grandchild, Pat - His full name was Patrick, but we called him Pat - often came to visit with him, the whole family having been brought up with the knowledge of vampaneze and vampires.
"Where's Pat?" I asked, looking around our feet for my grand-nephew.
"I left him with Ardelle and Laris," Andy answered. "I thought I would greet the two of you first - and what a surprise, I find you making out like two teenagers in the hallway," he teased.
"Sorry, Grandpa," I teased back. He grinned. I took his arm and helped his age-weakened legs get him back to the recreational room where Ardelle and Pat were sure to be. Steve followed behind, pouting, as usual, at the lack of sex he was getting. Or maybe he was nursing the hard-on I'd felt from earlier, trying to get it down before we encountered the children. Who knows?
"No, I'm the Prince!" We heard Pat's voice argue indignantly as we entered the rec room.
"No way, it's me!" Ardelle argued back.
"Me Me Me!" Pat shouted at the top of his voice.
"Children, children, both of you can be the Princes!" Andy chastised, waving his walking stick at them.
"Grandpa!" Ardelle squealed in delight, rushing over to him, Pat at her heels. Andy wasn't exactly her grandpa, but she called him that because Pat did.
"Grandpa, you should be the Princess!" Pat said excitedly, pridefully, as if it was the best idea he'd ever had.
"Yes, Grandpa!" Ardelle said, their argument temporarilyforgotten in light of Pat's new, wonderful brainwave. She bounced up and down in her excitement.
"Oh, definitely, Grandpa," I agreed enthusiastically. "You would make a great Princess,"
"Says you," He glared at me sullenly. I giggled.
"Well, our resident Princess would definitely know," Vancha laughed from the door entrance, placing heavy emphasis on my title. I rolled my eyes.
"Like you can talk, stinky," a voice said from behind Vancha. Alice Burgess stepped out from behind the bulky vampire, and approached Andy. She too had been close to Debbie and was sympathetic to the aging old man who lost his wife to cancer.
"Hey Alice," Andy said, briefly embracing the muscular woman. She drew back and scanned him quickly, then released him with an approving look.
"You seem good," she noted with relief.
"I am," he answered with a smile at the woman's concern.
"Grandpa's going to be the Princess!" Pat told Alice excitedly.
"Oh?" Alice lifted an eyebrow. "Isn't he a little too old to be playing the Princess? Why don't you play the Princess?" She looked at Ardelle.
"Nuh-uh!" The seven year old objected vehemently. "I'm the Prince!"
"No, I am!" Pat said, his voice going up in volume once more.
"Be quiet! Neither of you will be the Prince! I'll play the Prince!" Gavius shouted, his patience worn thin.
"What!" both children shouted in reply. One looked like a bull who'd seen red, the other one seemed to be on the verge of tears. The latter was my grand-nephew.
"Just sit down, Gav," Laris said with a sigh. "You'll just encourage them by saying stupid things like that,"
"Indeed," Chiron agreed, taking a sip from his coffee with the same elegance with which one of his fathers had. I never understood their freakish ability to exert such grace in doing so much as holding a teacup.
"What are you guys doing here?" I asked Vancha, surprised by his unannounced visit though not totally shocked. People visited us all the time - Andy, Evanna, Harkat, even Mika paid a visit once to see Laris.
"Alice heard that Andy was travelling here. She wanted to see him, so I followed," Vancha shrugged. He'd actually been here several days ago when Laris turned forty, though Alice wasn't. If any other person had asked him to accompany them in returning to a place he had just been recently, he would have rejected. But this was Alice we were talking about. She didn't even have to ask.
"Whipped," Steve muttered. Vancha turned his head to the Vampaneze Lord instantly.
"What'd you say?" he asked.
"Whipped," I repeated. "You really are," The Prince had admitted to me that though he had children with Evanna, he didn't have any special feelings towards her. Blamed solely on the fact that his heart was totally occupied with an ex-police inspector whom he had blooded.
"Yeah, whatever," Vancha shrugged. And though Alice had rejected him countless times, he continued to court her. That was why Alec seemed so much like Vancha. Neither knew when to quit it. Vancha continued to go out in the sun, with very little results, of course. And Alec, sometimes, would still dive off cliffs for fun. If I'm not mistaken, he even tried falling down the stream through Vampire Mountain - which I, the only other sole survivor of that horrendous ride, shivered at the thought of - but he had magic on his side. No one doubted that the hybrid vampire/vampaneze/witch would survive it.
"Now, what's all this about Princes?" Evanna's voice came from the door. A frown accompanied her comment as she watched the children and Gavius argue loudly over who was going to be the Prince. Evanna, like Vancha, had been with us to celebrate Laris's birthday and had yet to leave. Gannen continued to trail behind her in the moments she was here, much like his brother avidly - openly - stalking Alice. The only thing is that Gannen seemed to be silently courting Evanna, unlike Vancha who declared his love at every and any moment that was given to him.
"Evanna, I should be the Prince, right?" Ardelle asked the witch. The one time one of my children - Gavius - had tried to call her Aunt Evanna, the day had not ended well. It was even worse when Ardelle had called her Uncle, mistaking her for a man from her facial hair. Though Ardelle had gotten off scot-free due to her cuteness. Gavius hadn't.
"Perhaps," the witch answered, taking the little girl's hand. "Your mother certainly wanted to be a Prince instead of a Princess."
"I don't believe it," Steve muttered beside me. I turned my head to look at my husband, distracted from the oddly heart-warming display of our friends and family before us. "Our one day off from bloody Vampaneze Lord duties and we have to spend it entertaining visitors and deciding who is better suited to be a Prince," he muttered sulkily.
"I don't see why you're so sulky about it. We sleep together nearly ever night, and will probably continue to for the next few centuries," I muttered back to him, trying to make sure that my children - with their acute hearing - wouldn't catch what we were talking about.
"Yeah, but I wanted to spend a whole day doing it," Steve whined.
I rolled my eyes. "You have too much testosterone,"
"All the better to impregnate you with," he said with a wolfy grin.
I sighed, but was unable to conceal the smile on my face as I walked over to join in the argument and assert that I deserved to be the Prince more than any of them did.
Steve, having had no choice but to join us, decided that he will be the villain.
Which meant that I ended up being the Princess.
With all the guests around us, it was almost sunrise by the time we were done entertaining them and our children. It was even later by the time we'd tucked in Ardelle - who slept in her own little coffin in a room with Chiron, Laris and Alec. Laris I wasn't too worried about but when she grew older I was going to separate her from the twins. Sure, they may be her cousins, but there was something there. I knew it. And I didn't want my precious baby to be touched in any way for a long, long time. Now I knew why my mother was so worried about me staying overnight at Steve's.
"Finally," Steve groaned, dragging me into the large coffin that accommodated us both.
"It wasn't that bad," I laughed.
"You have no idea," he shook his head at my ignorance.
Then he collapsed atop me, trying not to squish me with his body weight and yet attempting to convey to me just how weary he was. "Sorry, I can't make love to you anymore. I'm too tired,"
"Liar," I said.
He grinned at me and kissed me, slowly, gently and yet passionately, causing me to sigh in bliss. I would guess that several centuries from now, when we were both wrinkly and old, we would still be doing this (and by that, I mean kissing). Nothing would or could ever separate us. Never.
Well, except maybe-
"Daddy, mummy! I had a night-" Ardelle shouted as she threw the door open once more. Steve groaned as we broke off the kiss. Before either of us could react, she opened her mouth wide to scream when Alec placed a hand over her mouth and Chiron carried her off.
"Sorry, Uncle Steve, Aunt Darren," They muttered hurriedly and hastily closed the door, purposely avoiding having a good look at what we were doing.
It took several minutes for me to register what had just happened - then I burst out into hysterical laughter. Steve just groaned in frustration once more, resting his head against my shoulder.
"We have several centuries to keep doing this, remember?" I said, petting his shoulder comfortingly.
"I know, I know," he smiled wryly, then kissed me once more.
When we broke apart, he said in a firm voice:
"First thing tomorrow, I'm getting the heaviest lock I can get put on our door,"
I laughed once more as he slipped off the rest of our clothes and stuck it under the door in a feeble attempt to jam the door with it, just in case Ardelle tried to interrupt us once more.
"So, Mrs Leopard," he said, climbing back into the coffin. "Ready to have more children?" he asked antagonistically.
"Always," I responded automatically, then once more started giggling at the cheesy lines. He smirked and closed the lid of the coffin, allowing no more interruptions to stop him having his way.
Darren Shan lived to a ripe, old age with her husband Steve Leopard (Leonard originally, but more commonly known as Leopard in his new life as a creature of the undead)
Despite the great foiling of his plans, Des Tiny refrained from meddling in the calm, joyful lives of his children. It was only much later that he would put his new scheme of anarchy into action, and throw the world into chaos once again.
And when that happens, a descendant of the Child Princess of the Vampires and the Lord of the Vampaneze will rise up and defeat the accursed Time Meddler, taking his place as the ruler of Destiny.
But that's another story.
Here comes the really long ending ceremony/rant.
A/N: To be truthful, I was going to end the epilogue with an "I love you, Steve," and a "I love you too, Darren," before I realised - that's how I've ended the last two chapters! Sorry guys. I'm going senile.
Laris means cheerful. Ardelle means warm and enthusiastic. Gavius means 'lord', and Sanche means 'sacred'. Those four are from Latin. Chiron means 'a wise teacher' in Greek, while Alec, also Greek, means 'The protector and helper of mankind' or something like that. (Btw, Alec and Sandy mean the same thing :D)
In case you didn't notice, all four of Steve and Darren's children are named after some people who'd been sacrificed in Darren's story. Laris = Larten, Ardelle = Arra, Gavius = Gavner and Sanche = Sam. Sam was the hard one, because I wanted to keep it all in Latin, and there were no cool Latin names that sounded like Sam. I settled for Sanche. Not really happy about it though.
I love www . cool - baby - names . com . au.
If you haven't already figured it out, I was trying to set up a love triangle between Chiron, Ardelle and Alec for future stories, or something. Though I'm not sure how it'll work. And when I planned it, I forgot that they were cousins. I think I may have also made Ardelle a bit too Mary Sue-ish. Sorry about that.
If I do make a future story about them - A very big IF - I doubt I'd post it on fanfiction . net. Simply because it'd be an OC story, not a fanfic. But if you are interested in it, I'd love to send it to you... That is, if I ever finish Chapter 1. Which you know, is another way of saying I'll probably never finish Chapter 1.
Er, for anyone who's curious, I made a picture of the descendant who kills Mr Tiny in the end as well as a picture of all of the kids. It's only a pencil sketch, and it's on lined paper, but it came out okay. The problem is: I have no idea how to use deviantart. Lol. If I somehow figure it out, I'll post it on my profile.
Finally, I want to say thanks to all the people who reviewed, and added this story to their favourites and alerts. I would name you all but won't in fear that I'll miss someone and leave whoever it is out. And I also want to thank the people who, like ninjas, read my fic and yet didn't review or add it to anything, then snuck off without allowing me to thank them. I know you're out there and I love you all the same.
And of course, to any future readers who actually went so far as to read all nineteen chapters of The Impossible - Thank you.