Author's notes: I know that VtMB doesn't have a large fandom and that I'm about six years too late with this, but after replaying this awesome game I had loads of ideas bubbling up for a femslash fic. I just love the dark humor, snarky and weird characters and great atmosphere. It's a nice playground to experiment with different writing styles, so I decided to go for it.
Slightly AU as two characters are sired and working together, instead of a single PC. Some events will be subjected to my own interpretation. All your comments, critiques and suggestions are highly appreciated. Continuation will depend on the feedback I get.
Major thanks to Yuri-Hime-Chan for beta reading. I don't own V:tMB or any of its contents. Rating might go up in the future, so read at your own discretion.
An ominous whisper, shrouded in darkness: "I want to show you something."
And what exactly was it you wanted to show me? How I'm forced into a rundown theater full of freaks, suffering from the worst hangover ever? How you and your weirdo friend get your heads chopped off by Lucifer's pet gorilla, going down in a grisly display of fire, ash and bones? How the baby-faced businessman wants to sentence us to the same fate, but changes his mind after someone in the public gives him a piece of his?
Questions, questions, so many questions. And no answers, only orders.
At least I'm not alone in this, whatever happened to me also happened to the other woman. No, she got it considerably worse than me; her stance is extremely unsteady and her eyes dart nervously in their sockets as she squints around. I hope her condition will improve, because Prince LaCroix wants us to work together for him, to 'repay his clemency'. We need to go to Santa Monica and find Mercurio, his local agent. Without telling us what the hell is going on the Prince leaves us, just like the dozens of other vampires. Vampires… yes, they exist… and we apparently just joined their ranks.
Damn, my throat burns with thirst, can someone pass me some water? I look at the other woman, she looks at me expectantly, wearing an almost bashful grin. Something about her puts me off, but I can't put my finger on it. I feel weak on my feet, I stumble out of the theater into the alleyway to get some fresh air.
"Hah, hah, hah, ow man, what a scene!" When I spot the owner of the coarse voice I roll my eyes. Long, unkempt mane and beard, unwashed face and teeth, dirty old body warmer and ragged jeans. If it weren't for the distinctive cutting teeth you'd figure this was your average bum or drunkard.
A hobo, a wimp and a fidgety schoolgirl. Forget the comic books and movies, these vampires are a grossly underwhelming bunch.
Twenty hours later and I'm still not sure what to think of it all.
I'm lying on the double bed in our new apartment, watching the moldy, cracked ceiling while waiting for the sun to go down. For a guy wearing a suit costing five figures you'd think he could've at least borrowed us a rat free apartment. But then again, the rats are probably less of a nuisance to him.
After all I've learned today I should be frightened, but all I feel is a dull throbbing anger. What reason did he have to make me a vampi… kindred? Whatever you wanted to show me, I didn't want to see it, you arrogant bastard. What made you decide to take the scepter of God and ruin my life? You fucking killed me!
Technically killed me, that is, ironically turning me immortal in the process. If I play my cards right. Say what you want about Jack, at least he was kind enough to show us the ropes. Had it been for LaCroix we probably would've been dead right now, or frightened beasts unaware of what we are. God damn politicians… So, we're kindred, big bad vampires. We were changed into physically and mentally superior creatures, with some nifty superpowers to boot.
Yeah I know, totally huzzah, right?
There's a shit ton of rules and limitations attached to joining the undead and it's enough to make my head spin.
Obviously we don't want humans learning about our existence, for it would only attract unwanted attention to all kindred. Jack had called it upholding the Masquerade. Failure to do so will result in getting our asses sorted out by the Camarilla, a militant group of self-imposed policemen the Prince and his gorilla Sherriff belong to. Apparently the two dudes who sired us – turned us kindred, that is – did it without Camarilla consent, and to put an example the Prince – the local kindred leader of Los Angeles – sentenced them to their final deaths.
Okay, so I guess it would be best to stay on the Prince's good side for now. After our 'trial' his Sheriff gave us a neat little show of his superpowers when a group of 'Sabbat' kindred showed up to chew off our heads. Let's just say the ease he wielded his ten-foot sword with convinced me to play nice. If my bladder hadn't shriveled up and died I probably would've pissed myself. Yes that was sarcastic, but I honestly don't want to get on the gorilla's bad side. Yet.
Talking about piss, Jack also explained where my immense thirst came from. Kindred need to feed on blood to stay alive and fuel our powers. Drinking blood almost feels like taking drugs. Sucking on the artery of the poor S.O.B. had quenched my thirst like cool water on a hot summer day and filled me with an overwhelming sense of euphoria. It had bolstered my senses and physique, feeling nothing short of taking XTC.
Fighting our way through the Sabbat bastards afterward had felt extremely easy, like the blood was guiding me. I definitely could get used to this.
By the way, the Sabbat is a group of assholes who don't give a shit about the Masquerade and love to let their Inner Beasts run rampant. That's right, us kindred have a beast dwelling within us, desperate to get out. We have to stay in touch with our human side to prevent it from overwhelming us, something the lowlifes from the Sabbat ranks obviously have shit on. My first impression of them is wanton creatures, with no definite plan in mind save from causing as much mayhem as possible.
I look at Vixie, my imposed companion. Malkavian, what a mess. If her clothes are anything to go by she already bordered insanity before she was even sired. A Japanese schoolgirl gone bad, wearing an incredibly short skirt and skimpy top that exposes the top of her voluptuous breasts as well as her entire back and abdomen. To top the whole thing off she wears heavy, high boots with lots of laces. The whole thing screams fetish galore.
Besides, who in their right mind calls their daughter Vixie? Had they wanted her to end up in the adult industry? If the situation hadn't been so messed up it might've amused me. But no, Prince LaCroix had to force me to work together with this woman, instead of sending her to the mental ward she belongs in.
The Malk's dreamy eyes turn to me, slowly coming into focus. "The orb of death will soon sink into the sea, daughter of Sappho."
I scowl. Jack had mentioned this creepy insight Malkavians are cursed with. It took Vixie only a single glance to figure out my sexuality, immediately translating it in a befitting nickname. Sappho, some fifth century poet from the isle of Lesbos, Greece, who also preferred the company of the fair gender. Not that I'm ashamed of what I am, but she's a total stranger. Can't she just mind her own damn business?
"Is it really so difficult to speak like a normal human being?" I ask in a voice brimming with irritation.
My snarl completely bounces off her imperturbable exterior. Instead she eyes me with pity as she sits down on the edge of our bed I'm lying in. "Our poor companion," she says sympathetically, while reaching out in an attempt to caress my cheek. I swat her arm away and edge away from her. "Are you not aware we are human no more?"
I growl. "No need to rub it in." After the first dread of finding out I'm cursed and undead, only anger remains. Being undead wouldn't all be so bad, were it not for the elders who are eager to abuse the little ability we possess. Too weak to resist, but useful tools nonetheless; easy pickings. They are even worse than human politicians.
Vixie is unaware of my bubbling fury, or simply ignores it. "There won't be any more rubbing, our dearest. Our flesh is dead and our senses numb."
"Forget it." I get up from the bed and check my watch. The last rays of sun should be disappearing anytime now. It's time to find this guy named Mercurio and carry out the Prince's crappy task. After that? Far away from all this shit, hopefully. "Are you coming with me, or 'will your minds wander elsewhere'?"
A smile tugs at the corners of her lips, revealing her long teeth. "The Jester Prince ordered us to accompany the pretty daughter of Sappho, so that's where we'll wander, body and mind." Pretty huh? That one's new, is the lunatic hitting on me now? Vixie must sense my unease, or somehow read my mind, because she adds, "The Toreador blood flows thickly through your veins, pretty one." Her face displays a childish sincerity, betraying she's not in fact hitting on me, but simply stating facts.
I watch her, not sure how to handle her. The other kindred doesn't notice, her eyes have turned to the television airing the news. She watches it with an unhealthy intenseness, mumbling softly to herself. When I grab her shoulder she twitches, almost like she's awakening from a trance. She glances at the clock and smiles. "The lady at the sea is waiting, begging for us to a cast a light on her mysteries."
"Is that your way of saying 'let's go'?" I ask dryly.
She nods eagerly, then tilts her head slightly. "Will Sappho's bold daughter lead us?" The 'us' referring to only herself, of course. "Our personalities are many, but no Prince lurks among us."
I roll my eyes, instead of saying she has the leadership capabilities of a soft-boiled potato she has to shroud her words in a layer of mystery. Fucking Malks. I learn quickly though, instead of starting a verbal brawl I'm bound to lose to her sheer power of linguistics I step out of the door in silence.
If I thought vampires were annoying, ghouls are obnoxious to the point where catching that sunrise suddenly becomes a very tempting alternative.
Okay, I guess I shouldn't generalize them as a whole. Maybe not all of them are this bad, but the first two we meet are very poor representatives of their kind.
First we run into Knox, Vixie's happy golden ghoul. He's certainly a happy fellow, happy enough to completely forget the Masquerade and shout out for the whole world to hear we're vampires. Once I knock some sense into his thick skull he explains us what a ghoul is. Basically a junkie who's had a drink of vampire blood and became dependent to it. Vampire blood extends his lifetime, allows him to heal faster, sharpens his senses and bolsters his physique. All while staying completely human. Lucky bastard. Downside is that he needs his fill of blood once every month, otherwise withdrawal-symptoms will kick in.
Kindred must consider ghouls useful tools, because LaCroix' agent Mercurio is one himself. Another wonderfully underwhelming creature from the underworld. Despite the vamp's blood the idiot has managed to lose the explosives necessary for carrying out the Prince's task. And who can clean up his mess? The Prince's bitch and her lunatic sidekick, who else? Useless ghouls and their incensing whining…
Speaking about lunatic sidekicks… "The swift fleeted god's feet are not so swift."
In unison my and Mercurio's eyes roll. The Malk had been absentmindedly checking out the ghoul's apartment, so oblivious to the whole situation that I had figured she was lost in her own little world. Yet her remark indicates she had been keenly following the conversation. I sigh. "We'll get your bloody explosives back, ghoul." My eyes wander over his bruised face and tattered body. The thugs who stole his Astrolite gave him a good beating and his wounds look painful. "Need anything? We could fetch you some morphine from the hospital."
He's a useless dork, but ignoring his torment would only be fuel for my beast. So I find myself at the hospital's front desk, persuading the receptionist to let us in, visiting a friend and everything. She buys it; at least joining the undead hasn't cost me my silver tongue. And if my touched-in-the-head companion is anything to go by my good looks have been preserved as well. Yay me, I guess?
As we walk through the hospital the sound of tortured moans drift through a nearby door. Vixie immediately enters to investigate, leaving me no choice but to follow suit. We find a redheaded girl holding on for dear life. It doesn't take a doctor to see her struggle is futile, her body is as battered as Mercurio's and she's rapidly coughing up blood. But unlike the ghoul this girl doesn't have vamp's blood keeping her together.
Vixie's mind (minds?) must've followed the same route, because she rolls up her sleeve and pushes her wrist against the girl's mouth. The little redhead greedily begins sucking blood from it, guided perhaps by a subconscious drive for survival. My fellow kindred whispers soothing words in her ear, while stroking her back in an affectionate manner. "Hush little morsel, feast from our life-giving fluid." The girl visibly gains strength and soon her rasped breaths become steady enough to ask questions. We offer no answers though, no need to anger the Camarilla by compromising the Masquerade.
When we step out of the room I address her. "Was it wise to make her a ghoul? Once the blood runs out she'll crave for more. Who knows what she'll do then."
She softly chuckles. "You ask us about the wisdom of our actions? Are we both touched by the blood of Malkav?" I regard her blankly, wondering if she's either very stupid or frightfully brilliant.
We explore the hospital some more, finding some morphine bottles in an empty office. Vixie starts typing on the computer, no doubt attempting to hack it. Previous night she had already shown she's rather smart with the more roguish skills; hacking, picking locks and sneaking around all come natural to her. Not to mention that freakish invisibility superpower. For a lunatic the clever little thing is quite useful, leaving me to wonder what she was in her previous life.
As she's browsing the computer she lets out a low whistle. "Our doctor likes playing doctor with his nurses." When I cock an eyebrow she shows me an e-mail on the screen. We exchange a dark smile, no doubt thinking the same. It takes only a minute to find the good doctor, and even less to convince him to buy our silence with a small donation. Wouldn't want his dear wife finding out about his naughty games with his playful nurses, now would we?
Morphine in hand and with the prospect of a little extra spending money we leave the hospital, eager to explore Santa Monica for more opportunities.
Is it just me, or did the whole world turn crazy when we became kindred?
Between a mangled corpse on the pier, convincing a desperate thin-blood the U.S. President is the head vampire and tracking a lost bounty hunter into a house of horrors our first night certainly can't be called dull. I'm still shivering when I think of Mr. Gimble and his prosthetics made from real flesh, although the claws of fear don't pack the same punch as they used to. Perks of becoming an unliving legend, perhaps.
Somehow I'm glad Vixie is with me. Her imperturbable demeanor is bolstering my confidence and it's amusing to hear her constantly analyze the world in that crazy language of hers. I still chuckle when remembering the Malk's answer when Gimble commented on her colorful language: "I color the world with the hues of my madness." Sharp Vixie, very sharp. Of course she has to hand in the little respect I gained for her by starting an animated conversation with one of the slot machines on the pier. Yeah I know, 'what the fuck'?
I'm slowly starting to get a grasp of Santa Monica and its people. Thoroughly investigating has paid off, opportunities to make an extra buck or gain information can be found everywhere. But I decide to leave them for a little while. Sunrise is just a few hours away and we still need to tackle Mercurio's little problem. The guys who stole his explosives and money have holed themselves up somewhere at the beach.
Back on said beach the crazy seer (although compared to Vixie she's the embodiment of sanity) points us to the beach house on the cliff. We spend a good five minutes discussing our strategy. There are only a couple of guys in the house, so I propose going in guns blazing. She can handle a pistol and I can lash out a good sucker punch with my baseball bat. But Vixie wants to sneak in, secure the explosives and the ghoul's money, and avoid any hostility altogether.
In the end I succumb. She's so certain that she can pull it off and eager like a little girl to prove herself, I just have to let her try it. Before she can run off I grab her by the shoulder. As I try to find the words to express myself she watches me curiously. "Just… be careful, Vixie," I finally blurt out. Lunatic or not, she's the only one on my side and I prefer keeping her there.
Her face breaks in a happy smile and she hugs me. "Garlands and confetti decorate my minds, Sappho's grumpy daughter just uttered her first benevolent words to us!"
I feel awkward and a bit bad, only know I realize I haven't been exactly nice to her. But then again, I've very little reason for being happy and kind. Besides, she's a fucking looner who's constantly creeping me the fuck out. Can you really blame me for forcing some distance by being harsh to her? Not that it works on the placid creature, no matter how hard I kick her she keeps coming back like a lost pup.
She releases me and ducks into a crouch. Before she reaches the house she has already vanished in thin air.
A few hours later the sun rises, but we are safely holed up in our apartment, its few windows boarded up to shield us from the deadly rays. Vixie hums happily to herself while getting ready for bed. Sleep is still necessary, even in undeath. She shamelessly rids herself of all her clothes, although admittedly she wasn't wearing much to begin with, and snuggles contently into the sheets.
She has done well today; she received the money and explosives without so much as alerting the thugs. A very clean job, indeed. In an attempt to be a bit nicer to her – my guilt won out on my aversion – I complimented her on it. It had been quite endearing to watch her become almost ecstatic in joy.
When I make no sign of following her into bed she raises an eyebrow in question, patting the empty spot between her and the wall. For some unknown reason she's adamant on taking the spot at the open end, so I'm forced to sleep in a prison of concrete and flesh. I roll my eyes, before stripping down to my underwear. Even though I'm dead I'm not comfortable with sleeping naked next to a complete stranger, certainly not one as weird as her. I mean, who knows what she might do?
When I'm lying on my back she rolls over to face me, watching me with twinkling eyes. "Our minds wonder, is Sappho's daughter a happy little kindred?"
"Doesn't that creepy insight of yours give you that answer?" I dryly ask her.
She scoots a bit closer, her face scrunched up in thought. "The whispers don't tell."
To avoid her cuddling up to me I shift a bit away from her. I think of her question. "Well, I don't like being the bitch of LaCroix, good intentions or not. He acts like he saved our lives, but if that guy named Nines hadn't intervened, he probably would've gotten rid of us without a spare thought."
"The Jester Prince merely preserved his manicured skin, but the Prince of Entropy also has an agenda of his own."
"Prince of Entropy…" My voice trails off as I watch her in surprise. "You talk like a fucking nutter, but the true meaning behind your words borders brilliance."
She chuckles happily, a blissful smile appearing on her face as she revels in what she takes to be compliment. She scoots even closer, forcing me to shift away even further until I hit the wall. If she gets any closer I've got nowhere to go. "My scattered minds reflect the brilliance of many." She sighs contently. "The whole world might be out to use us, but at least the strong daughter of Sappho is here to protect us."
I turn to watch her with an amused smile. "And what makes you think I won't dump you the first opportunity I get?"
Suddenly her eyes lock onto mine, displaying an uncanny sharpness filled with multiple lifetimes of wisdom. "Call it a hunch." Her face softens, perhaps finding solace in her own reassuring realization, and she falls into a deep sleep.
I lie awake for several hours, wondering what on earth the creature is that's seemingly able to read the deepest parts of my mind.