Sorry! I know I should be focusing on "I Do" But this is another one-shot that wouldn't leave my brain.
This is inspired by my other one-shot "Evil's Last Hurrah." It's sort of a prequel I suppose, they don't quite fit together but there are parts in both that relate to each other.
It's set during the London Blitz so 1940-41. Apologies in advance if you spot any historical inaccuracies, I'm a terrible historian but I have done a bit of research so hopefully I got it right :/
Anyway, I don't own Being Human, I hope you enjoy :)
Adrenaline, focus, anticipation, the thrill of the chase. He's getting closer. He can smell her, hear the fear pounding in her veins. He's so close.
Then the world explodes around him. Walls, floors, ceilings: all being blown apart. He is falling through dust and smoke and shrapnel and the world is in slow motion until he hits the floor and everything turns black.
He stirs. There's a nagging pain in the back of his head and the million tiny cuts and bruises covering his body all throb as one. It's irritating but he's recovered from much worse in his long life. Even though his eyes are abnormally adapted to seeing in the dark it still takes a while for them to adjust and cut through the thick inky blackness that surrounds him and for him to piece together what has happened. A bomb he thinks, he dimly remembers hearing the air raid siren during the excitement of the hunt but ignoring it. Bloody wars. At first they were oh, so exciting but now he knows that if you live through enough of them they just end up being a nuisance.
He stands but immediately regrets it. It appears that what remains of the building is unstable and his sudden movement sends a cascade of dust and rubble down upon him. He groans inwardly, this suit was expensive. He looks around, he can't see any way out, it appears he's trapped. Bugger.
Then he hears it, it's faint but it's there. The familiar sound, the opening and closing of semilunar valves, the heartbeat he had been chasing. It seems he is not the only one trapped.
There she is, over in the far corner, she's a little bruised but otherwise unharmed. She's shaking, she doesn't understand what's happened, she's looking around and then she sees him. Her eyes widen and her pulse and breathing double in pace, her terror is evident. He looks at her, his head tilted to one side, and feels that old craving stir in the back of his throat and the pit of his stomach. He takes a step forward and, seeing what he is doing, she scurries backward. Her back hits an unstable wall, there is a scream, a crash and then the tang of blood hits his nostrils.
The smoke clears and he can see what's happened. Several bricks have fallen from the ceiling and landed on her leg. It's probably broken, bleeding a little, dripping steadily into the dust and debris. What a waste. And he can't afford a waste. God only knows how long he will be stuck down here, he's going to need to feed.
A creak from above forces them both to look up, it's very unstable, the bricks were just the start, if she doesn't move soon then she is going to be crushed. He inches as close as he dares.
"Take my hand." He says, maintaining eye contact. She looks at it and then at him as if to say "Do you really think I'm that stupid?" The honest answer? Yes. Why else would she be wandering the streets of London in the middle of the night? Well, that is if you counted her back garden as the streets of London.
The ceiling creaks again, he gets a little more desperate, he will not allow his only food supply to be squashed.
"Take my hand or you are going to die." He says. He can see her weighing up her options. Stay put for certain death or take the hand of the man who, not half an hour ago, had tried to kill her.
She reaches out her hand. He grabs it and pulls her to safety. It wasn't a moment too soon, in the very same instant that he pulled her away the ceiling collapsed in the exact spot where she had been laying just seconds before. For a few moments all that can be heard is her deep breathing as she recovers from the shock. He looks around and sighs. There is still no sign of a way out but the building looks a little more stable now, they shouldn't have to worry about being crushed anymore. He notices that the sweet scent of blood is still in the air.
He crouches down and examines the damage to her leg. He was right, it is broken but he doesn't care about that, all he cares about is stopping the bleeding. Stopping the waste. He shrugs off his jacket and tears off one of his shirt sleeves, it was ruined anyway, then sets to work. She's watching him, she asks him what he's doing, her voice is quiet and shaky, she is still scared of him, she has every right to be. He doesn't answer her question. He finishes tying the makeshift bandage then turns and walks away. She asks him where he is going. Again, he doesn't answer.
In ordinary circumstances he would talk to her, taunt her or perhaps even play at being nice, toy with her emotions. But these aren't ordinary circumstances. He couldn't play with his food this time, he couldn't allow a single drop to be ruined or wasted. She was livestock.
He slowly raises his hand to his mouth to salvage the rapidly drying blood that had made its way onto his fingers whilst he was dressing her wound. Waste not, want not. He laughs bitterly. What has he come to? Old Ones kill on sight, they're not dependent, they always have more than they need, but now, after years of laughing at the humans he is the one having to ration himself.
Speaking of rationing… he notices something. Half a dozen crates stacked up in the corner, undamaged by the explosion. He peeks inside and smiles, someone's not been following the rules. Tinned fruit, biscuits, jam, cereal and a rather a large amount of cigarettes and alcohol. Looks like wherever she had led him was being used as a place to store black market goods. What a stroke of luck.
He grabs a bottle and a few cigarettes, retrieving his lighter from his jacket pocket as he does so. He slumps down onto the floor and tries to make himself comfortable. He wont feed tonight, he'd already done so earlier in the day. She was never going to be a necessity, merely an indulgence. He'd last. For now.
"Eat." He says, throwing a packet of biscuits at her to wake her up. She sits up and looks at them.
"Where did these come from?" She asks.
"Eat." He says again.
"I'm not hungry." She's trying his patience now and he can't afford to get angry, he'll lose it.
"Eat." He says more forcefully.
"What's the point? I'm dead anyway." She mutters.
He lunges. In half a second he has her pinned. Right hand over her mouth, the left holding her wrist, her other arm is trapped between their bodies. His face is at her throat. He can hear her heartbeat pounding frantically in his ears, feel it gushing, just below the skin. His eyes are dark, his fangs extended, all he has to do is bite down. Don't. It's the little voice of reason at the back of his head. He knows it's right but he can't stop now, he's so close.
He rapidly switches his position and bites into her wrist. She can't move, can't speak, she's frozen by fear. He could quite easily drain her right there, just take it all, but where would that leave him tomorrow? It takes all of his self control to pull away.
He takes out his pocket handkerchief and wraps it around her wrist without looking at the blood.
"What are you?" She asks.
He picks up the packet of biscuits from the floor and places them in her lap.
She's whimpering. It's something that they do. When they're sad or scared or in pain. Normally he loves it. Normally he's the one causing it. Normally it's the last sound they ever make. But not this time. That can't happen this time. But right now he is really struggling not to just go over there and tear her to pieces. She's still doing it.
"Shut up." He says.
"It's my leg," she says through gritted teeth, "it really hurts."
"You don't know the meaning of the word pain." He spits. "Be quiet or you might find out." She's smiling. It's an empty threat and she knows it, she knows he wont do anything to weaken her any more than she already is, she knows he needs her alive.
She's getting weaker. She's pale and the time that it takes for her to recover after he's fed is getting longer. He's taking little more than a mouthful now, trying to make it last. She is eating, he's making sure of that but it's not enough. And that's the other problem: they're running out of food.
He used to be an expert at keeping people alive. He remembers Nadia. For months he kept her in that cellar, taking a little every day, leaving her just strong enough to fight back just a little because that's what made it fun. She slowly lost her mind but her body remained strong, right up until the day when he got bored. And that's how it should end: on his terms, not theirs.
He looks over at her. Her with her pale face and shallow breathing and gradually fading pulse. It's not fair. She's not playing by the rules.
Now she's talking. They're not having a conversation, she's not even talking to him, she's just talking. He's seen them do this before. Mumble names of loved ones, recount stories from their childhood, make confessions of petty crimes long forgotten. He doesn't know why they do it. Perhaps it keeps them sane, perhaps it makes them worse, perhaps they just want to be somewhere else.
He hates it when they do it. It brings back old memories and stupid ideas from times, long ago when he thought differently, when he tried to change. Thinking about them, about their lives and their thoughts and their feelings.
They're just food. She's just food.
There are sounds coming from above. At first he thinks that the building is collapsing again but then he hears voices. Something is moved and then a sudden, narrow shaft of light shines down from the top of the far wall. It's so bright it nearly blinds him. He hears a stirring behind him. She's waking up.
There's a crash and a curse and a cloud of dust as one particularly large piece of rubble is moved and someone climbs down into the room.
Suddenly it's like all the rage and frustration and violence that have been bottled up for the last God knows how long explodes out of him and Fergus staggers back, clutching a newly broken jaw.
"My Lord -" He manages.
"You took your fucking time!" He can just make out Dennis, cowering at the entrance, too afraid to enter. He wants nothing more than to beat the pair of them to a pulp but that will help no one. He calms himself. "Have you got the car?" He asks.
"It's at the end of the street." Says Fergus, his jaw now healed.
"Go and get it, I'm not walking out looking like this." He says, gesturing to his ruined suit. "Besides, there is something I need to attend to." He waits until they have gone before he turns around.
She struggles weakly into a sitting position when he approaches. He can tell that she is unsure of what is about to happen and if he is honest then so is he. He crouches down so that his eyes are level with hers. He knows that she's scared but she still meets his gaze.
"Tell me your name." He says.
He is waiting in the street when Fergus pulls up with the car. He doesn't say a word when Dennis clumsily hops out of the passenger side and holds open the door to the back seat. He is silent for the entire journey home. For the first time in a long time the usually sweet tang of blood tastes bitter on his tongue.
Hope you enjoyed, Reviews very welcome.