fuckvampires: (Tasty)
[personal profile] fuckvampires
The call comes minutes after his shift, as he was shuffling out of the bar, as if it was waiting for him. You have to see it, was all Gabriel would say, and although Harvestman put up the grump act, he wasn't against going. Gabe had been there for him all the times he didn't deserve it, and even though Harvestman was thoroughly done with Brisbane and everything the man put him through, Gabe was still going through the layers. He owed the Were that, at least.

He texts Arashi quick - off to see gabe. be home soon. - without bothering him with the details of where and what. He'd worry and he'd argue, and Harvestman wasn't planning on lingering. Much as he was willing to be supportive, he wasn't going to be drawn back into the mess that Micah left in his wake. Once he had suggested of going to the headquarters of what was now Gabriel's hunters, and Arashi's horrified response nixed any thought of bringing it up again. But the place was nothing like he imagined Arashi thought; from the outside it looked like a generic brick office building with few windows, and other than the wards few could see and the reinforced  steel on the doors and walls, the inside was rather similar. The reinforcements were standard; Brisbane, for all his hidden darkness, had always opersated with the goal of helping human and other alike, unlike so many others.

The wards are still keyed to recognize him as he enters, the codes on the keypad still the same. The smell of blood hits him first and freezes him, the unnatural silence that follows it causing him to step back. He reaches for his phone, pulling Arashi's info on screen and about to tap the call button, when a sound does reach his ears; the soft, distressed crying of someone trying to keep quiet.

He enters at a run and doesn't see the first body that trips him, recovering before he hits the ground to turn it over, his gut twisting before he even sees the face. It's Joan Kiel, a human woman who specialized in recovering missing children. She had three kids and normally was based in Montana. He worked with her often. When she laughed at him, which she did a lot, it was always with kindness.

The next body is Montague. While Joan looked as if she hadn't seen it coming, Monty lay twisted as if caught in trying to take action. He had no weapons on him - he never did as a demonologist, his job was just to try to understand. He was twenty-six. Harvestman never got around to asking if his boyfriend ever proposed to Monty or not.

He finds Gabriel alive, still bleeding from a head wound, his phone lying smashed beside him. Harvestman drags him behind a desk for cover and moves on. He finds a few more bodies he doesn't recognize -  a young priest and a half-formed Were - and steps over him regretfully. Someone should know their names, someone should mourn them, but he was still following the sounds of sobbing, still listening for whoever killed the ones the lay silent.

The twins are next. Mereiya was alive and awake, her tattoos glowing bright blue and kneeling as if posed, the quiet sobbing sounds turning out to be her attempts to breathe and sob at the same time, her throat all twisted up. Marn's body lay twisted before her, his fleshed withered and withdrawn as one would find on an old corpse, his chest hollow and burned. That was how Harvestman would end up, if he died with his body intact, his true death revealed in the corpse he would leave behind.

He kneels in from of her and clasps his hands on her shoulders, but it was as if she was a statue; she did not move. The tattoos in her skin made it impenetrable, her strength and power making her impossible to hurt. But  Marn had lost his magic in his turning, and stayed the same while she grew. Nothing meant more to her than her brother. Nothing he could do could save her from this.

"Mereiya," he whispered, trying to shake her. His fingers slipped off of her completely in the attempt. "Oh, god. Mereiya?"

"He told me not to move." It comes out of her throat in a hiss, her lips barely moving. "He - he killed - "

"I know," he says softly, stroking her cheek. "I know, I know, I'm so sorry. Where is he? Who's left?"

She sucked in a breath with a whimper. "The children are... in the library. Dallas - Dallas..."

Harvestman froze. No. No!

"Where is she?" he hissed. "Where is my daughter?"

"His office." Her eyes slide over to his with effort. "Don't let him - don't let him."

'I won't." He stood, shaking, with fear and rage and sorrow.  "I'm coming back, okay? I won't leave you behind."

She said nothing, but he didn't her to speak anymore. He began to run again, his feet hardly making any sound. He knew where the office was. He had known everything about Brisbane, everything but this. The Brisbane he knew would never do this, never hurt people who had trusted and relied on him, no matter how bad things got. He didn't know who he was confronting anymore, or what would happen. He didn't have a choice.

The office was big and empty and quiet. He walks in, knowing it to be the trap it was, and stops when he hears a click. He turns, expecting a gun, and stops breathing when he sees what it is instead.

Brisbane sat at his desk, one hand gripping a dagger and wearing a look of patience on his face. Charlie stood next to him, her expression blank. She had a gun in one hand and was pressing it against her own head, her finger on the trigger.

"No," he whispers.

"Hello, John." Brisbane stands slowly, and sighs, like they were having a normal conversation. "I'm sorry about this. You won't believe me, but I am. I didn't want to do this."

"Please." He raises his shaking hands halfway, palms up and open. "Please, Micah, you promised me."

Brisbane nodded at the door as he slowly circled the desk. "I promised them too. I promised to protect them. I promised so many things, John. I tried so hard."

"Why are you doing this?" Harvestman moved a little too fast, and with a jerk of Brisbane's head, Charlie twitched, the gun pressing harder into her head.

"I don't have a choice." Brisbane looked as calm as ever, but there was something wrong with his eyes. They flickered back and forth between calm and pain, like a switch being flicked back and forth. "It was decided long ago, before I was born, before you were born. This is how they play the game."

"They?" Harvestman lowers his shaking hands and brushes one against his pocket, trying desperately to somehow get the call to Arashi to go through. He doesn't know if his fumbling succeeded; there's nothing more he can do.

"She said it would have to be spelled out to you, but I can't do that, John. It's against the rules." Brisbane reaches up, cupping a hand to the side of his face. Harvestman shudders, keeping his eyes open and focused on Charlie.

"Don't hurt her," he whispers.

Brisbane leans in close and brushes their lips together, and it's all he can do not to try to sink his teeth in deep. He can feel the dagger pressing against his ribs and tries not to breathe to hard. "IIf I promise you I won't, will you believe me?"

"Go to hell." When Brisbane pushes him back against the wall he doesn't resist. When he kisses him, hard, Harvestman closes his eyes and does nothing.

"I want you to live," Brisbane mutters into his neck, his free hand slipping under Harvestman's shirt and stroking the skin he had no right to touch. There was nothing tender to it; he seemed to be searching for something, the hand stilling near Harvestman's hip.  "I need you to stop me.'

Harvestman tilts his head up and tries to meet Charlie's eyes, but they remained blank and empty. As empty as Gabe's has been, he thinks, when he was forced to make that call. "Charlie, baby, I love you. I love you, and I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, for everything. If you can, don't look baby. Please don't look."

Brisbane pulled away, and Harvestman felt the point of his blade replace the hand on his skin. "Forgive me," he said softly.

"Get fucked," Harvestman snaps. He closes his eyes when the dagger slices through, but the pain of it pulls a cry from his lips he was trying so hard to hold onto. He hears Charlie scream and the gun go off, over and over, and he can't open his eyes to see why.

His legs are sliding out from under him, the floor feeling no different from air. There are hands on him now, a franic voice calling his name, but the pain is spreading too deep and he doesn't know how to make his body work again. "Arashi," he murmurs, his voice near gone. "Arashi..."


 

Date: 2014-08-18 10:54 pm (UTC)
stormbelow: (The countless fatal scar was born.)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
He'd gotten the text while he was at work, and hadn't noticed it right away. It might have gone unnoticed even longer, but Arashi tries to work his shifts around Harvestman these days, so that they would be home at the same time. Of course, the second he does see the text, he doesn't consider any risk of coming off as The Overprotective Boyfriend before he promptly calls. It goes unanswered, which surprises him exactly not at all, so he calls again. And when that call fails as well, he waits five minutes (six, generously), and does it again.

He's pacing the floor and worrying a hole through his lip with one fang (it keeps closing up and he just reopens it again, without even noticing) by the time a call actually goes through, but Arashi only gets one word out: "John--" and then goes silent and still.

It becomes apparent pretty quickly that this is a pocket call, and Harvestman probably didn't realize he'd answered it. Arashi can hear his voice, slightly muffled, but when he listens carefully he can pick out the words, don't hurt her. Someone else is speaking, a voice Arashi has only heard once, but it left him chilled enough at the time that he'll recognize it anywhere, and there's so much tension in Harvestman's voice, not just stress or anger but even more real. Arashi doesn't call out to him again, but his hand is on the nearest doorknob an instant later, wrenching it open into the nexus, his stomach bottoming out as the call goes static, but it picks up again once he's through. Just for a few seconds.

Charlie's there, he hears that much, and then the voices go so quiet that he can't hear them through the tinny feedback.

Then a scream. Gunshots.

The phone case nearly cracks in his hand, but he's at the nexus door, and he focuses on Harvestman so hard that his fingernails gouge the wood, the call dropping right as he shoves himself through. Something trips him, a sheer force grabbing at his bones, like it realized he was there too late to catch him and throw him back; dimly he recalls the wards that Harvestman told him about, the magic that exists in this place. The nexus spits him out just on the other side.

The carnage that greets him is a red, stinking blur, and even if he passes bodies he might recognize, he isn't going to stop, because Harvestman isn't among them. Somewhere in the building, his ears catch the sound of someone calling out Harvestman's name, and he takes off immediately toward it, fast enough to stir the corpses as he whips past them like a hurricane. Arashi spares a single thought for what the holy living hell, but everything else in his head is singularly fixed on Harvestman.

When he reaches the office, he skids to the floor so fast that he nearly slides right past Harvestman's body, discarding the useless lump of cracked plastic that was once his phone. Arashi doesn't even acknowledge the person with him, zeroed in, and he takes Harvestman's face in his hands, trying to coax his eyes open. "John!" he says, sharp and urgent, and his heart has stopped to wait for an answer, "Jesus Christ, what happened -- John, look at me."
Edited Date: 2014-08-18 10:55 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-08-18 11:42 pm (UTC)
stormbelow: (I would sell my soul to the devil.)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
"Jesus," Arashi repeats, but this time it's barely a breath, and he drops his hands to Harvestman's shirt so that he can ball them into fists, momentarily too frightened and furious to move. Blood, he can get blood -- if he gets blood, Harvestman will be all right, so that's exactly what he's going to fucking do --

That scream brings his head up sharply, eyes wide, because that's a child screaming, that's a fucking little kid and that scream and Charlie's words hit him hard and fast. He's still here. That unimaginable bastard, he's still here, and if Arashi can unlock his hands from Harvestman's body, he's going to rip the fucker's throat out. Only, Harvestman...

"Charlie, how long does he have," he says urgently, voice tight and body tense as he stares down into those unblinking red eyes.

Date: 2014-08-19 12:06 am (UTC)
stormbelow: (When the light is almost gone)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
"Don't," he says, almost without thinking, despite the fact that he's fighting against himself to do it. He wants to just grab Harvestman and run. He can get blood. Blood is easy. Harvestman will be fine. Arashi brushes the other vampire's hair back, and his hand is shaking.

"Stay with him. Find him some blood, I don't fucking care where, until I come back."

He doesn't wait for her answer. If he hesitates a second longer, he won't go, and he knows that he won't be able to live that decision down (Harvestman will be furious especially, when this is all behind them and he's fine. He's gonna be fine). Arashi vanishes in an instant, following the sickening sounds, his vision tunneling in absolute wrath.

Date: 2014-08-19 12:50 am (UTC)
stormbelow: (When the light is almost gone)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
There are few smells in the world that are less likely to escape his notice than sulfur, but it only brings him up short for a moment. Arashi is not afraid of that smell. He has plenty of reasons not to be, and fucking Micah Brisbane is not going to be the one who changes that. It's the shimmer of magic that catches his eye in that instant that makes him change his plan, however, from simply ripping that arm off before Brisbane can even decide whether or not he wants to let that girl go.

Arashi grabs the nearest book and hurls it like a brick at the back of Brisbane's head, and dives immediately for the little girl.

Date: 2014-08-19 01:28 am (UTC)
stormbelow: (When the light is almost gone)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
"It is now," he hisses back, eyes wickedly bright. He maneuvers the girl behind himself, keeping a hand on her but his attention on Brisbane, nearly trembling with anger that is pushing close to something normally reserved for a deep, dark part of himself, where only nightmares go. That echo of a voice sparks something in him, not fear but almost a thrill, and his posture changes just slightly, ready and waiting.

"I watched you die once," he says, biting the words through bared fangs. "Your blood wasn't even worth feeding on. Do you know what you've done to him, you wretched son of a bitch?"

Date: 2014-08-19 02:03 am (UTC)
stormbelow: (When the light is almost gone)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
That casual dismissal infuriates him, and he nearly lunges at the man -- whatever he is -- without even a thought for the magical barrier that had repelled one attack already. Except it wasn't actually Brisbane who brought him down here. No matter how much Arashi wants to personally tear this monster's heart out of his chest, Harvestman is more important. Only the scream of a child had been able to tear him temporarily away from the other vampire's side, and it's the children who keep him rooted to the spot, though his eyes never leave Brisbane's face.

"Your masters are not the same as mine," he answers with a snarl, but even now he knows that this won't be the fight he wants, and he's aching to return to Harvestman before it's too late. "I'll be seeing you again."

Date: 2014-08-19 02:32 am (UTC)
stormbelow: (The countless fatal scar was born.)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
Arashi stares at Gabriel, as if only just now remembering that he exists, which is not exactly inaccurate; he quickly counts the children as they gather themselves, seeing nothing to indicate that any of them are leaving someone behind. Brisbane had gone, taking the focus point of all Arashi's fury with him, and now Arashi is left with nothing but the loss and a swiftly multiplying sense of dread.

"There was a girl in the hall," he says immediately, not knowing her name but remembering her distinctly, a statue that told him the way to go, "Charlie, and -- Harvestman --"

It's like something in him snaps. Without a second thought, he grabs the skeleton key from his pocket and shoves it into Gabriel's hand. "Get them out through the first door you find." And once again he doesn't even wait for an answer, before racing back the way he came, toward Harvestman and Charlie.

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Date: 2014-11-09 03:38 am (UTC)
stormbelow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
They don't get any sleep that day, but that's to be expected. Every hour with the sun still up is spent wrapped around each other, sometimes talking, sometimes just sending thought back and forth, getting to know the connection a little better. Arashi starts to recognize where his thoughts end and Harvestman's begin, how to shield some thoughts without closing the rest off completely. They've got a ways to go, but it's a start.

Sooner or later, he can tell, he's going to trip face-first back into bed and sleep for a week, but for now they've got things to do.

They emerge from the bedroom at twilight, properly dressed, and Arashi steps gingerly over the massive bloodstains on his carpet before checking the basement door to make sure it's unlocked. The kitchen up the stairwell is dim enough for his satisfaction, and he has Harvestman's hand wrapped in his own as they head up the stairs, silent, because they've left people in the house unsupervised overnight (including small children, of all things) and he really has no idea what to expect.

Date: 2014-11-09 04:28 am (UTC)
stormbelow: (We are excuses to remain alone.)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
Not having to actually open his mouth to communicate with Harvestman saves a lot of time. At times, when the connection is really open, it's like he's seeing the world through two sets of eyes at once, and is as aware of Harvestman's perceptions as he is of his own. His fingers squeeze Harvestman's, and he runs his eyes over the weary house guests. They can handle this. First, it'll help to see about more manageable pieces.

"I think we can manage things without your supervision for a while," he informs Gabriel pointedly. "My beds are pretty comfortable. Just let Harvestman know what you want to eat." His gaze flickers to the woman in the corner with the sharp eyes -- he doesn't know her, but he ought to thank her later -- and then settle on Charlie. "You too. But we're also gonna need a specific list of what you need from Master Nicholas."

Go hug your daughter, Arashi impresses upon the other vampire, before he releases his hand.

The children are in the living room, completely within sight, and Arashi approaches them a little warily, expecting any one of them to start crying at the sight of him. It's mostly a complete lack of experience with children that's hard to shake -- they've all seen plenty of worse things already. He should be nothing special.

"Hey. My name's Arashi. I'm going for takeout, who wants what?"

Date: 2014-11-09 05:33 am (UTC)
stormbelow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
Hey. Arashi turns back to glance at Harvestman, at Mereiya behind him, lingering on her. They might feel like there's no one left in the world, but you should know better. We've got this.

The silence of the children should unsettle him, perhaps, but instead it eases some of the tension out of his own shoulders, at the very least. Harvestman might feel the edge of Arashi's less conscious thoughts flicker back to a little Japanese girl who never said a word for as long as Arashi knew her. They communicated just fine without it.

"If you think of something, tell someone," he says to the kids, before leaving them alone and returning to Harvestman's side, or close enough to maintain non-confrontational distance between himself and the magical woman he doesn't know. He's focused on Mereiya now, sizing her up, not without caution. He remembers slamming into her ward even if he wasn't in his right mind at the time.

"The next step is getting food and... whatever else." This is addressed to the room at large. "I'll go, Harvestman will stay with you. No one else will be here. But sooner rather than later, we'll talk to New York. As long as you can tell the coven what you need, they'll provide it."

Date: 2014-11-26 04:21 pm (UTC)
stormbelow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
Arashi's tension doesn't ease away quickly, but he does his best to keep it hidden; power like Mereiya's has never frightened him, as such, even when he recognizes the depth of it, but he's not thrilled about the idea of confrontations like this taking place in his house. The last time that happened, it left a hole in his ceiling and blood all over the hardwood floors. Granted, that was a demon and the blood was his own fault, but the point carries. And he's not so much of an asshole that he doesn't feel a pang of bitter empathy for the anguish she feels right now.

It's mostly that, if she hurts Harvestman, he'd have to find a way to tear her face off. That's just the way that goes, empathy or not.

Leaving Harvestman alone with this, such as it is, doesn't exactly sit well with him, but Harvestman's world is in here while Arashi's world is out there, for as long as that separation still remains to them. He knows where he'll be useful. Before he slips away, the warmth in his thoughts flutters up against Harvestman's, as a reminder. I won't be far. Tell me, if there's anything else.

He kisses Harvestman once, fighting the urge to linger, and then departs. This is going to take a while, but he'll have help. Compared to what Harvestman must deal with, Arashi's part will be easy.

Date: 2014-12-08 05:29 am (UTC)
stormbelow: (Tigers die and leave their skins)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
This particular grocery list is a bit... well, not larger, but more complex than Arashi is prepared to handle on his own, at least as expeditiously as necessary. Fortunately, he has help. He still had Harvestman's phone tucked away in one pocket, and the first person he calls with it is Kaleo and, promising to explain in greater detail at the earliest convenience which is not fucking now, enlists the help of a few of his fellow sentinels to track down the easier items, like the fish and pork, fruits and vegetables.

Silverware he gathers himself. Even if this situation is only temporary, he considers the investment worthwhile and therefore would rather collect something that he'd be satisfied with keeping after the fact. A quick stop off at a pet store allows him to pick up a large bag of natural sea salt, typically used for aquariums, but it should serve a bathtub in a pinch. He picks up a sketchpad while he's out, and a few other things.

The whole experience -- shopping for children, for the explicit purpose of keeping them happy and entertained -- is fucking surreal.

The only tricky part, really, is the corpse. And that's not so much 'tricky' as it is... well, illicit. Arashi dials gently back on his connection to Harvestman before he contacts Necropolis for help. After all, the night club quite effectively caters to a spectrum of clientele, so if they don't currently have dead people on the menu, they can easily get it. Fortunately for the little ghouls, Erasmus had brought in a fresh (such as it is) batch just the night before, and the girls are only too pleased to part with one for Arashi and Harvestman's sake.

They're less pleased when Arashi insists that they leave the coffin on the porch. How they manage to pout using their chests and make it somehow audible over the phone is beyond him.

Still, though... maybe the night's events have had an even greater effect on him than he realizes, because Arashi feels faster than ever, more weightless; the prompt acquiescence of his fellow sentinels, the genuine interest of the girls, and the subtle, ever-present warmth of Harvestman on the edge of his thoughts is enough to make him feel like he's drowning in sunlight. In a good way.

In just a few hours, he returns. It's well past midnight by then, but there are bags waiting on the veranda, a coffin propped ceremoniously up against one of the beams, wrapped in a garland of roses and accompanied by Arashi's favorite bottle of blood wine, as well as another kind that he's never seen before. He suspects it's meant for Harvestman, to congratulate him. So he gathers up as much in his arms as he can balance -- save for the coffin, of course -- and slips inside, announcing himself with more noise than he would usually make so as not to startle any of the little ones.

"Could use a hand here, if anyone's still conscious."

Date: 2014-12-15 05:22 am (UTC)
stormbelow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stormbelow
Arashi returns that embrace with a brief but deliberate nuzzle; he can't help himself, the urge to reaffirm the presence of his husband is overwhelming, as if he could somehow forget how amazing Harvestman is just by not touching him for too long. Besides, he's managed to keep things from turning into anguished chaos in Arashi's absence, and given what these children have been through, that in itself is no small feat.

As long as he doesn't think about how surreal this is, he can focus. However, through the still-developing edges of their connection to each other, Harvestman might catch little, mostly unconscious traces of nostalgia, or familiarity. There were children this small in Arashi's life once, a very long time ago. Some things tend to stick, even if he refuses to think about them.

"Master Nicholas is big on taking in strays," Arashi says to Gabriel. "No offense. Besides, he feels like he owes you, remember." Like it just occurred to him, Arashi tugs Harvestman's phone out of his pocket and tosses it back to him.

"Look, the kids aren't going anywhere tonight. Kaleo's gonna give Nicholas some warning, but you're obviously gonna need some special accommodations, and that's something you're gonna have to tell him yourself. Normally I'd heavily suggest face-to-face, but given the circumstances I think a webcam works fine, too." He makes a face, obviously disgusted that he even had to use the word 'webcam' in context. "Besides, look at them -- they're exhausted. We've got big couches and plenty of blankets."

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