[Diệp Phó] Hải Thị Thận Lâu (6)

Pairing: Diệp Phó – Diệp Khai x Phó Hồng Tuyết

Genres: fanfiction, alternate universe

Rating: 10+

Nhân vật: Diệp Khai

Chú ý: còn 1 cp khác nhưng chưa được tiết lộ

Preview:

Diệp Khai đã ở Niệm Lâu được hai ngày… hoặc hắn cho là vậy. Khái niệm thời gian trong lâu dường như bị biến dạng theo một cách hắn không thể diễn giải bằng ngôn từ mà chỉ có thể cảm nhận bằng trực giác.

Chương 1    Chương 2     Chương 3    Chương 4    Chương 5

6. Thời gian

“Phòng của khách quan vẫn là gian phòng ngài đã ở qua ở cánh đông, nếu ngài không vừa lòng, tiểu nhân có thể thu xếp gian phòng khác theo ý ngài. Xin ngài yên tâm, khi trở lên, ngài chắc chắn sẽ tìm được phòng mình, không thể nhầm lẫn. Phòng tuy không khoá nhưng tiểu nhân xin lấy tính mạng ra đảm bảo tuyệt đối không ai bước vào phòng ngài nửa bước khi chưa được ngài cho phép, kể cả tiểu nhân. Ngài có thể tự do đến bất cứ khu vực nào trong lâu, chỉ ngàn vạn lần xin ngài đừng vào căn phòng ở cuối cánh đông. Ngài cần phục vụ chi, xin cứ sai bảo, tiểu nhân xin cố hết sức thực hiện.”

Đó là những lời Vân Thâu nói với Diệp Khai, sau khi Diệp Khai quyết định sẽ lưu lại Niệm Lâu; sau khi Vân Thâu khẳng định bất kể Diệp Khai đang kiếm tìm điều gì, chắc chắn hắn sẽ tìm thấy điều đó ở Niệm Lâu; sau khi Diệp Khai, mặc kệ giọng nói trong đầu không ngừng thì thầm rằng đây có thể là một trò lừa quỷ quyệt, một cái bẫy chết người, đã lựa chọn tin tưởng Vân Thâu. Chính bản thân hắn cũng không rõ vì sao mình có thể đặt niềm tin vào một điều mơ hồ từ miệng gã thiếu niên chưa trải bao nhiêu tuổi đời. Hơn ai hết, hắn hiểu điều hắn kiếm tìm đã chết từ rất lâu, chưa kể còn do chính tay hắn chôn cất và lập mộ bia. Thế nhưng, chính hắn cũng biết rõ suốt bao nhiêu năm qua điều đó chưa từng thôi ám ảnh hắn, giày vò hắn trong mỗi giấc ngủ ngắn ngủi, trong mỗi bóng dáng hay sự vật tình cờ trôi qua đời hắn, và sâu thẳm trong đáy lòng, Diệp Khai vẫn đang tìm kiếm nó, vẫn đang trông đợi vào một phép màu, một điều không tưởng. Hắn đã điên rồi, hắn có thể khẳng định bằng tất cả chút tỉnh táo còn sót lại trong thần trí của một kẻ điên lâu năm; truyền nhân duy nhất của Tiểu Lý phi đao năm nào đã phai mờ, chỉ còn lại một kẻ mà hồi ức và tiếc nuối là tất cả những gì giữ cho hắn còn thở, còn cử động. Và Diệp Khai hài lòng với việc làm một kẻ điên, vì chỉ kẻ điên mới dám tin vào hứa hẹn từ một căn lầu mà chính sự tồn tại của nó là điều hoang đường nhất. Nó cho hắn một tia hy vọng và chỉ kẻ điên mới thấu hiểu hy vọng đối với hắn quan trọng thế nào.

Niệm Lâu cam đoan hắn sẽ tìm được điều hắn muốn tìm ở đây, chỉ là nó không hứa hẹn bao giờ và bằng cách nào.

Đúng như lời Vân Thâu nói, hắn không tốn chút sức đã tìm được chính xác căn phòng dành cho mình. Hắn không nhớ vị trí của nó trên hành lang miên man, cũng không biết cánh cửa của nó có điểm gì để phân biệt với vô số cánh cửa còn lại; kỳ lạ ở chỗ khi bước qua một cánh cửa, bỗng dưng hắn có cảm giác thôi thúc không thể lý giải, như thể đằng sau cánh cửa có một giọng nói vô thanh hay một cánh tay vô hình níu kéo ý thức hắn, nài nỉ hắn dừng chân. Cánh cửa nhẹ nhàng mở toang khi hắn mới áp bàn tay lên mặt gỗ đen bóng, bên trong đúng là cảnh tượng căn phòng hắn đã ghi nhớ, từng đồ vật đều không lệch vị trí. Trên giường vẫn còn vệt lõm do hắn đã nằm cả đêm trên đó.

Diệp Khai không nhớ vị trí phòng nhưng lại nhớ như in từng chi tiết nhỏ nhất, ngay chính bản thân hắn cũng thấy kỳ quái.

Diệp Khai đã ở Niệm Lâu được hai ngày… hoặc hắn cho là vậy. Khái niệm thời gian trong lâu dường như bị biến dạng theo một cách hắn không thể diễn giải bằng ngôn từ mà chỉ có thể cảm nhận bằng trực giác. Qua ô cửa sổ trong phòng, hắn phân biệt được ngày và đêm, nhờ vậy, hắn đếm số ngày hắn trải qua dưới nóc nhà của Niệm Lâu, mỗi ngày tương đương với một vạch trên khuôn giấy trắng tinh trải trên bàn. Giấy là hắn tìm được trong tủ cùng với bút, nghiên và một thỏi mực chưa từng được sử dụng. Bình sinh hắn mới lần đầu thấy một căn phòng trọ lại trữ sẵn giấy, bút, những món mà bình thường khách trọ muốn sử dụng đều phải báo chưởng quầy để chưởng quầy sai tiểu nhị đi mua, cứ như ý nghĩ vừa hình thành trong đầu thì đồ vật liền xuất hiện.

Đếm được ngày không có nghĩa hắn nắm bắt được thời gian. Nói không ngoa khi hai ngày vừa rồi là hai ngày dài nhất hắn từng trải qua, dài theo nghĩa đen. Ngày đầu tiên, hắn đi dọc hết hàng lang cánh đông với hy vọng nhạt nhoà rằng sẽ nhìn thấy bóng dáng gầy gò quen thuộc của Phó Hồng Tuyết đi vào một trong những cánh cửa ở đó. Hành lang dường như dài vô tận, hắn đi mãi, đi mãi vẫn chỉ thấy những cánh cửa sơn đen giống hệt nhau đều tăm tắp. Khi chân hắn đã mỏi nhừ, suýt nữa khuỵu xuống thì hắn thấy bức tường trắng đánh dấu kết thúc chiều dài hành lang cùng căn phòng Vân Thâu căn dặn hắn không được bước vào. Khác với huynh đệ của nó, cánh cửa này không khép chặt mà chừa ra một khe hở; chỉ một khe hở mảnh như sợi tơ thôi nhưng đủ ma lực để khiêu khích kẻ đứng ngoài ghé mắt nhìn trộm. Diệp Khai cảm nhận được ma lực đó như chân nhện bò dưới da và mấy lần hắn đã suýt phản bội nguyên tắc làm người của mình để đầu hàng khiêu khích. Đứng trước cánh cửa, hắn chiến đấu trong trận chiến câm lặng chống lại thôi thúc bao lâu không rõ trước khi quay bước, dứt khoát đi về hướng ngược lại.

Ước chừng một khoảng thời gian tương đương với lúc đi, Diệp Khai mới trở về phòng mình. Hắn đinh ninh lúc này đã xế chiều, mặt trời đã ngả bóng, thế nhưng khi nhìn ra cửa sổ, hắn vô cùng ngạc nhiên khi nắng vẫn mạnh hệt như lúc hắn rời phòng – khoảng đầu buổi chiều. Bóng của cây cổ thụ hắn không rõ là loài cây gì in đậm trên mặt đất khẳng định nghi hoặc của Diệp Khai…… và đảo loạn hoàn toàn cảm nhận của hắn về thời gian trôi đi.

Như thể bao trùm lên toàn bộ Niệm Lâu là một lực lượng mạnh mẽ đến mức có thể thao túng dòng chảy thời gian.

Đêm thứ hai ở Niệm Lâu, Diệp Khai gặp một giấc mộng quái dị. Ngay khi bật dậy khỏi giường với một thân đẫm mồ hôi lạnh, hắn liền chẳng nhớ được chi tiết nào từ giấc mộng. Điều duy nhất đọng lại trong đầu hắn là những điều hắn thấy trong mộng, bất kể chúng là điều gì, kỳ quái đến nỗi Diệp Khai cảm thấy sợ nếu hắn cố nhớ lại. Có lẽ không nhớ lại là điều tốt. Tim hắn đập thình thịch trong ngực và cảm giác mỏi mệt thâm nhập vào từng bắp thịt. Hắn thở ra một hơi dài, liếc ô của sổ trên tường. Trời vẫn còn tối đen như mực, vì vậy Diệp Khai nằm xuống, nhắm mắt với hy vọng sẽ ngủ lại và tiếp nối giấc mơ ban nãy. Chính vì nó để lại trong hắn một cảm giác không hề dễ chịu, hắn càng tò mò muốn biết chính xác nó là điều gì.

Diệp Khai trở mình trên giường không biết bao nhiêu lần nhưng giấc ngủ vẫn không trở lại. Mồ hôi dính dớp trên da thịt khiến hắn khó chịu, sau mấy lần đấu tranh với chính mình, hắn dứt khoát ngồi dậy. Bầu trời bên ngoài khung cửa sổ mở vẫn tối đen, không gian im ắng, đặc quánh, không một tiếng kẻng báo canh. Hắn vơ áo ngoài, khoác lên người, xỏ chân vào giày rồi bước ra khỏi cửa.

Hành lang dài hun hút được thắp sáng bởi những ngọn đèn trên tường. Sự tò mò thoáng qua trong đầu hắn, không biết những khách nhân sau cánh cửa sơn đen im lìm này đang làm gì, say giấc nồng hay cũng trằn trọc bởi mộng mị như hắn để rồi quyết định rời phòng, xuống đại sảnh tìm chút rượu để trôi qua đêm dài. Với mỗi bước chân Diệp Khai thầm hy vọng cánh cửa sẽ mở ra và hắn được gặp một kẻ mất ngủ giống như mình. Có khi bọn hắn sẽ làm mấy chén rượu và tâm trạng cả hai sẽ cùng khá lên không chừng.

Tuy nhiên, ngay cả khi cầu thang dẫn xuống đại sảnh đã ở trong tầm mắt, Diệp Khai vẫn không có cơ hội gặp bất cứ khách nhân nào. Những cánh cửa im lìm như thể đằng sau nó không phải phòng ở mà là một quan tài đá được đúc vuông vắn theo hình thể của thi hài bên trong, và hắn, Diệp Khai, là con người sống đang sải bước trong một lăng mộ khổng lồ.

Đại sảnh vẫn sáng trưng đèn đuốc như ban ngày, chỉ khác là vũ đài trống trơn, không có vũ cơ yêu kiều lả lướt thâu tóm trái tim của khách nhân. Bàn ghế không ai ngồi, nhờ vậy Diệp Khai lần đầu có cơ hội nhìn rõ căn đại sảnh này rộng lớn đến mức nào, nếu không đặt chân vào và tận mắt quan sát thì chẳng ai ngờ căn tiệm xập xệ bên ngoài hoá ra là một kỳ quan bên trong.

Vân Thâu đang ngồi ở quầy, một tay cầm bút, một tay thoăn thoắt gảy bàn tính còn cặp mắt thì chăm chú vào cuốn sổ lớn mở trước mặt. Đại sảnh trống hươ, tiếng bước chân của Diệp Khai đặc biệt gây chú ý. Hắn đi mấy bước, gã đã ngẩng đầu, bàn tay ngưng gảy, và nở nụ cười với Diệp Khai.

“Ngươi không cần nghỉ ngơi sao?” Diệp Khai thấy mình buột miệng hỏi.

“Tiểu nhân chỉ được nghỉ khi lâu ngừng hoạt động,” gã đáp, “mà như khách quan thấy đấy, Niệm Lâu không bao giờ ngừng hoạt động.”

Diệp Khai đảo mắt một vòng quanh đại sảnh. “Ta không thấy người khách nào cả, chẳng lẽ như vậy vẫn chưa tính là ‘ngừng hoạt động’ sao?”

Vân Thâu nheo mắt. “Ngài chẳng phải một vị khách đó sao?”

“Chẳng lẽ ngươi đoán trước được ta sẽ xuống đại sảnh giữa đêm hôm khuya khoắt?”

“Ngài không phải vị khách đầu tiên hay duy nhất không an giấc trong phòng mà xuống đại sảnh tìm người bầu bạn—”

“Ngươi cho rằng ta tìm người bầu bạn?” Diệp Khai cười cười, ngồi xuống chiếc bàn gần quầy nhất.

“Hoặc tìm rượu,” Vân Thâu đáp, không chút thất thố nào vì bị ngắt lời.

“Nói đúng đấy. Nếu giờ ta muốn rượu, ngươi có thể đáp ứng chứ?”

“Mong ước của ngài là mệnh lệnh với tiểu nhân. Chỉ là Niệm tửu là loại rượu duy nhất ở Niệm Lâu.”

“Thật sự không còn loại rượu nào khác sao?” Diệp Khai rên.

“Không phải khách quan muốn tìm say hay sao?” Vân Thâu hỏi ngược lại. Gã nháy mắt, một tay khum quanh miệng, nhỏ giọng, “Chỉ giữa ngài và tiểu nhân thôi, tiểu nhân tiết lộ cho ngài một bí mật nhỏ…”

Trước cử chỉ của gã tiểu nhị, Diệp Khai bật cười. “Bí mật sao? Ta thích những bí mật vì chẳng có bí mật nào mãi mãi là bí mật.”

“Ở Niệm Lâu, mọi thứ rượu đều là Niệm tửu, và ngược lại, Niệm tửu có thể là bất cứ thứ rượu nào. Đó là điều khiến thúc phụ tự hào nhất…”

Vừa nói gã vừa với tay lên kệ, lấy xuống một vò gốm đen cỡ nhỏ được niêm phong bằng giấy đỏ. “Tiểu nhân mạn phép đoán loại rượu ngài ưa thích nhé…”

Vân Thâu đặt vò gốm và hai chiếc ly xuống trước mặt Diệp Khai. “Trúc Diệp Thanh?” gã hỏi, rót đầy hai ly rượu.

Diệp Khai không đáp, nhấc ly rượu đưa lên mũi, hít sâu, tận hưởng hương thơm của rượu trước khi uống.

Đối diện hắn, Vân Thâu cũng uống cạn ly của mình, trong lúc uống, ánh mắt gã không rời Diệp Khai.

“Lần cuối ta thưởng thức Trúc Diệp Thanh ngon như thế,” Diệp Khai thốt, “có lẽ là năm năm trước. Không có lẽ là lâu hơn, tám năm, chín năm, mười năm. Ta không nhớ được thời gian, chỉ nhớ chính xác hương vị. Hương vị của Niệm tửu lần trước đúng là tuyệt hảo, tuy nhiên nếu so với hôm nay thì không bằng.”

Vân Thâu rót đầy hai ly rượu. “Nếu vậy xin để tiểu nhân kính ngài một ly,” gã nói.

“Ta cũng kính ngươi một ly.”

Kính tới kính lui, đến ly rượu thứ năm, Diệp Khai thấy trước mắt mình tối sầm. Ký ức cuối cùng của hắn trước khi mất đi ý thức là đại sảnh bừng sáng bởi ánh nắng đổ qua ba ô cửa sổ.

Thật kỳ quái!

Còn tiếp

Chương này là bằng chứng của sự mất kiểm soát đối với ý tưởng mà bạn Joel thường gặp. Lẽ ra nó chỉ là vài đoạn văn thôi và chương 6 này sẽ có cameo của một cặp nhân vật trong tiểu thuyết bác Cổ. Kết quả là sao? Kết quả là ‘vài đoạn văn’ trở thành > 2k chữ, đủ trở thành một chương.

[ScuDeacon] The Vamp & the Tramp

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Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms: Blade Trilogy

Rating: Mature

Pairing: Deacon Frost x Joshua “Josh” Frohmeyer aka Scud

Genres: fanfiction, alternate universe

Characters: Scud (vampire), Deacon Frost (human)

Warnings: language, brief mention of tortures, stalking

Summary:  

“He’d be so fucked if he allowed the subject of his obsession to one day end up a drained, mutilated beyond recognition and maggot-infested corpse in some muddy alleyway.”

Or… Scud was obsessed with a certain human. Said human was captured and sold on the pet market. Could Scud sit still with the knowledge that his human might end up in the palm of a sadistic vampire and suffer the worst fate imagined? Hell no.

Scud shifted his weight from his left leg to his right, feeling confined and itchy all over in his fancy suit – like a claustrophobic trapped in a closed room. Ironically he had almost wrecked his wardrobe in searching for this piece which consisted of black dress pants, black waistcoat and jacket, and a wine-colored silk shirt. Never a fan of formal attire Joshua Frohmeyer was; for him it was always trashy T-shirts, ripped jeans that had a bit too many holes to consider publicly appropriate, hoodies or denim jackets and well-worn snickers. He felt comfortable and confident in his casual clothes even though his choice of fashion was frowned upon by many of his kind, who fancied showing off their status and wealth in thousand-dollar tailored suits, Rolex watches and Italian shoes. In turn, Scud snorted and sneered and retaliated with sarcastic remarks whenever he ran into one such “pompous dick” that had the urge to establish their so-called higher place in the social ladder to him by making fun of his fashion taste. This more often than not resulted in Scud limping to his shabby studio with a few broken bones that’d take hours to heal – lover, not fighter – but the young bloodsucker would do it again and again, consequences be damned. The inability to learn and zero self-preservation sense was probably the reason why Scud’s sire had left him to his own devices a couple years past. An utter failure, she had spat through gritted teeth before vanishing from Scud’s life as fast and suddenly as she had crammed herself in. To this day not once had Scud missed her; as far as he was concerned he had been doing pretty fine surviving on his own. She had been a lousy mentor he could have done without anyway.

With a soft grunt, Scud fixed the straps of his mask for like, the thirteenth time, looking for something to divert his anxiety other than biting his nails. It was one of the persevering vestiges of his human days, thanks to which he was never able to grow his claws out like his fellow bloodsuckers. It was ugly and disgusting, Scud was painfully aware, but it somewhat calmed the rushing of blood in his veins and eased the god-awful feeling of his own skin tightening on his muscles. The blaring music from the giant stereo system overhead and the mixture of various brands of perfumes and colognes did nothing but aggravating his condition. God, Scud hated this place no less than he did his suit and all the mask-wearers present here; all he wanted was to push his way to the entrance, turn the engine of his Impala on and drive the fuck home, where an unopened box of Krispy Kreme and the whole seventh season of The Walking Dead were faithfully waiting for him – die-hard (no pun intended) fanboy of a certain sexy Georgian redneck. He couldn’t, not when he had painstakingly dug this piece from the bottom of his drawer and braced himself against the hellish traffic to drive half the town here, and that was where his misery lied. He breathed noisily through his nostrils, ran a hand through his dark chocolate strands, for once styled and gelled, and flopped down on one of the plush chaise lounge lining the walls. His eyes traveled the length of the auditorium to the stage in vain hope to find the sole reason which had brought him out of the comfort of his home to this torment. He heaved a sign, having expected to find an empty stage and still being disappointed. They wouldn’t show the ‘merchandise’ before the midnight show started and now it was roughly half an hour to midnight. Pouting, Scud grabbed one of the cocktails from a bunny-masked server’s tray – he could grab the server instead and no one would bat an eye but he decided to be a gentle-vamp and settle for the drink – and decided to kill the time by judging other patrons and enjoying the privileged treatments reserved for the potential customers of this facility. O negative, with lime juice, honey and a dash of Vermouth, not his favorite but definitely not bad at all.

When Scud was on his third glass, the technicolor lights dimmed and the blasphemously loud rock music turned into a soft classical piece. Scud downed the remaining content of his glass in one gulp and instantly veered his attention back to the stage, which was carpeted in deep crimson and glaringly empty. He expected it to be occupied pretty soon. Gingerly leaving the comfortable spot he had been attached to for the last half an hour, Scud moved like a shadow towards the center stage, trying his best to avoid bumping into any of the mask-wearers. Being as conspicuous as possible, that had been his top goal since stepping through the gate. Once tonight ended, he expected no-one here to have a sliver of idea that someone of his description had entered this building. Scud found his ideally neglected corner where lights didn’t quite reach with little effort. That it also provided him with an unobstructed view of the stage came as a plus. He appeared to be on Lady Luck’s favored list at the moment; hoped it’d last until his ‘business’ was done. Leaning against the wall, he checked the glowing screen of the little multi-purpose electronic device that served as his watch. Six more minutes.

The low whirring noise of the motors was all Scud’s enhanced hearing picked out despite the cacophony of sounds flooding the auditorium. By the MC’s booming voice, the auction had commenced and the merchandise was being brought into display. From the basement under the stage ubiquitous metal cages were elevated, each of which containing a dazed-looking young man or woman in fifty shades of chains. These humans were known around Scud’s community as ‘pets’, harvested or ensnared from every nook and canny of this city, encaged and drugged so that they were pliant while the vampires examined them and bid on the ones that caught their eyes. They were always at the apex of youth – late twenties to early thirties at most – and ranging from good-looking to stunning. The vampires liked them young and healthy – to make quality food source, and their beauty made them fancy accessories for their potential masters, who would likely show them off to their peers. As a matter of fact, the price of a pet was tied to their appearance: no bidding price was ever too outrageous for an exceptionally gorgeous pet.

Truth was, Scud had never intended to keep a pet. No, it wasn’t the act of dehumanizing a living, breathing human that disturbed him at all; it was the whole masters-can-do-whatever-the-hell-they-want-with-their-pets stuff that he found pretty cringe-worthy. A number of vampires treated their pet humans kindly, just like a number of humans treated their pet animals kindly, and while some masters were simple-minded abusers, some defined and worse, exceeded, the definition of ‘depraved’. Hadn’t Scud the unfortunate to know? If he had a pet, Scud would make sure all the things he did with his pet were fun and pleasure rather than torture and pain, which he himself was outrightly against. Unlike some other bloodsuckers, Scud was pretty squeamish when it came to pain: he enjoyed being on neither the giving nor the receiving ends. Not every bloodsucker was a sadist or masochist, thank you.

Nonetheless, the bottom line was he had no pets simply because he couldn’t afford one. Not all vampires were created equal: while some lived like kings and queens, others like Scud struggled every single day to make ends meet. His meager savings and odd jobs barely managed to pay his rent and at the fifteenth of every month, he suppressed the primal urge to chomp his landlord. He wouldn’t, of course, because that’d cause a lot of trouble, and Scud loathed trouble. Forget everything you know about vampires’ preternatural ability to accumulate wealth – that’s some TV bullshit made by humans who know next to nothing about the vampire world.

Scud had told himself he could be patient if he wanted, repeating it like a mantra in his head as he waited and waited, tapping his foot on the granite tile in sync with each drop of his patience vaporized. His fingers and lips were itching for the cylindrical shape of a cigarette, which he couldn’t have because the asshole suckhead who owned this building happened to be pretty crazy about the idea of ‘going green’ and prohibited smoking on the premise. Dumbest thing Scud had ever heard. The craving for a smoke made his skin crawl underneath his suit and he chewed his lower lip until he tasted copper, all in the effort of trying not to curse verbally. Contradictory to the sloppy impression he might give, Josh Frohmeyer was quite an organized and methodical bloodsucker, so naturally he hated wasting his time. Moreover, he loathed wasting his time in a place he abhorred, among the company that would look down on and jeer at him if they were to cross paths outside these plaster walls. But waiting was Scud’s only option right now: the pets were sold in rounds and in each round, one cage was open for the customers to have a closer inspection and decide if the human was worth their dough. And the only one Scud had his eyes on was scheduled in the final rounds, which translated into some more time wasted worrying his lip and tapping his foot.

Scud strained his eyes a little but even so, he failed to get a clear view of the last cage on the right as he would like. Inhabited that cage was the reason Scud had come all the way to this hellhole instead of being at his home sweet home, a male in late-20s. Like other pets here, he was drugged and chained and slumping against the metal bars. Despite his pristine white shirt, pressed slacks and neatly combed hair, he looked worse than Scud’s fond memory of him. The young vampire was used to seeing this man three to five times a week in a more disheveled state: loose strands of sandy hair falling in front of his forehead and frosty blue eyes, his tie loosened around his open collar and his sleeves rolled up asymmetrically to his elbows. Every time Scud saw him, the man always seemed to be in a hurry to catch the last train home. So worn out by a hard day’s work that once he sat down in his seat, his tense shoulders relaxed under his creased shirt, he dozed off almost instantly, never having noticed a young, pale man in trashy tee and ripped jeans following him all the way to the threshold of his door. Scud found that image much more attractive than this pliable pet ready to be sold. His stomach twisted partly at the thought of what those vampires had done to this human during the week since he’d been abducted and partly at a peculiar gnawing feeling inside him that spelled guilt. The worm of conscience, you could say. He had been there to witness the abduction and done absolutely nothing to help. Scud was a lover, not a fighter, which was, if he was honest to himself, a poetic euphemism for ugly cowardice. He wouldn’t fare well in a one-on-one combat; what had he had against a group of three possibly older vampires?

Yes, he had just expressed concern and guilt over the misfortune befalling a human even though Joshua Frohmeyer had made a solemn vow on his first night after the turn to not give a fuck about any asses other than his own. Now that in retrospect, he realized he had spent too much time and effort on this particular human than considered healthy, and that was something considering bloodsuckers had painfully low standards for what were deemed healthy. It was clearly not fascination – fascination was when someone caught your interest and after a certain amount of time it would eventually fade. Fascination was not stalking someone from their workplace to their home week after week simply to get a look at their face because the shrine you’d built of their photos at home lacked the allure of only the living person could exude. Fascination was knowing by heart every big and small detail of someone’s life despite not having spoken a word to them. Fascination was not coming up with a plan as elaborate as it was risky and insane and that could cost your immortality with one misstep while you could be safe and enjoying yourself with comfort food and cable TV. So no, it was clear as hell not fascination; obsession was a better-suited name once he was done psychoanalyzing himself – had watched more than enough TV shows to be able to do that. Since his obsession with this man was bordering on lunacy, tonight Scud would leave this place with him strapped into the passenger seat either breathing or not.

And what Scud would do with him after that, no one could tell, not even Scud himself. If there was one blind spot in Scud’s plan, that was his action following its success.

If his crazy plan was successful. His gut feelings were assuring him that it would; this was the single most painstaking project he had ever worked on, proofreading each tiny detail to perfection. His sire would roll her eyes if she were to learn that her failure fledging was able to reach such level of dedication. On the other hand, it was also his guts that were churning with a fear that his plan would utterly fail and he wouldn’t live to see another night. Scud was a coward who was afraid of death amongst other things and he had every reason to be: after all he was still a young man in human age and a baby in vampire age. In spite of his fear, Scud remained in his post, waiting for that man’s cage to open.

Lost in his musing, Scud had missed it when it finally did and the human was dragged out of the cage. His legs seemed wobbly and he struggled to not stumble by the harsh pull of his collar. Scud looked up in time to see the host grabbed his jaw and turned his head sharply towards the audience. The human’s eyes instantly came ablaze with defiance and if it wasn’t for the cold nimble fingers gripping his jaw like vices, Scud imagined a ‘fuck you’ would be rolling from his colorless lips, following by a spit; his hands clawed vainly at the vampire’s wrist. The seams of the vampire’s lips distorted as he tried to keep his professional smile from becoming a scowl as he clenched his hand and yanked the chain, forcing the man to drop to his knees with an audible thud. Laughter roared around Scud and he caught a strings of comments, “wild”, “in need of discipline”, and “good to break”, to name a few. He snorted and checked his watch.

This round finished sooner than others because somehow the human’s defiance despite being under the effect of drugs had turned a couple of vampires on, especially those whom Scud knew to have pain kinks. They had come to this pet market looking not for subdued and obedient humans but the ones with a little bit of fire in them like this young man; they would make the breaking so much more fun and gratifying. Scud knew the bloodsucker who won the bid pretty well in spite of the long-horned goat mask hiding his entire face; he wouldn’t mistake that distinctly low-pitched laughter – like the gurgling sound of water in the gutter – for anyone’s. Francis had the reputation for being a sadistic bastard with an insatiable lust for fucking those who caught even his slightest interest, literally and figuratively. His sole redeeming quality was that he didn’t discriminate between males and females, white and colored, humans and vampires; as long as they were young and pretty enough and having a spirit then he would derive pleasure from breaking them apart so both their beauty and spirit were ruined beyond repair and they would be tossed away unlike trash. Plus he was old and wealthy and capable of getting away from his atrocities. And reasonably, Francis was the one whose manners and habits baby and toddler vamps like Scud taught themselves to learn by heart so that they could stay a mile from him at all cost. Scud didn’t need a much imaginative mind to visualize what hell was awaiting the young man.

He’d be so fucked if he allowed the subject of his obsession to one day end up a drained, mutilated beyond recognition and maggot-infested corpse in some muddy alleyway.

Scud straightened his gait and hurried after Francis and a handful of his closest underlings out of the auditorium to the huge parking lot. If his heart was still beating, perhaps it would have already burst through his ribcage. Scud was beyond grateful it wasn’t; the adrenaline, however, was fueling his entire being and giving him a false sense of confidence that he could take on the world.

He couldn’t, that went without saying. Scud didn’t even have the guts and strength needed to confront Francis and steal the human – his burly henchmen would beat Scud to a pulp if he so much as stood in their way and after that, tossed him into the backseat to join the human. Crouching on the cement ground, Scud hid behind one of the SUVs, watching Francis strutting to his vehicle. The human had fought his new ‘owner’ with all what was left of his might, which had earned him a heavy kick in the guts and a slap that left a bleeding cut on his left cheek thanks to a vampire’s claw. As a result, he was out cold and being dragged all the way to the car like a filthy rag doll, his shoes skidding across the cement making an irritating sound. Although his remaining life was seemingly bled dry, Scud knew his human was still kicking; Francis was a motherfucking sadist but also a sadist who had expert control of his strikes so as not to snub out the real ‘fun’ before it even began.

Scud held his breath, counting every step that led them to his designated spot, where he had planted a couple of UV bombs – his latest invention which he was proud to call his magnum opus. He had gotten the material for his bomb from the pawn shop that had given him the axe because he had spitted in the pot-belly owner’s face at the suggestion of a blowjob. Naturally Scud had sought compensation in his own way. Making the ping-pong-sized bombs had been no easy job; but a more challenging task had been getting them to where they were supposed to be. Like a damned rat he had sneaked in several days before the auction, spread the bombs in every section of the parking lot, and scurried off under the guards’ nose. The process itself was another Scud’s unsung masterpiece, and it had cost him many a night since he had to lay low and wait until it was most vacant – usually near dawn – and he could only have planted one or two at a time; otherwise they would have been discovered and his plan foiled.

And yeah, after this night, he would have to spend a couple others to retrieve the unused bombs. Couldn’t leave them here; that would be a waste and a risk Scud couldn’t afford.

X marked the spot. Scud allowed a tiny triumphant creeped to his mouth as he pressed the blue button on his watch device. Screams were heard and the nauseous smell of sizzling flesh invaded his nostrils. He dared rise to his feet to see the aftermath.

The scene presented to his vampire eyes gave Scud both the chill and thrill. Chill because this was a vampire’s worst horror:  the expensive shoes and suits remained good as new on top of a sizzling gooey mess vaguely shaped in human form. The black smoke gave off a foulest stench ever known to vampire senses. Thrill because his bombs had worked perfectly the way he’d designed: soundlessly and deadly and most importantly, there wasn’t a single clue leading back to their creator. Clean as a whistle! Scud seriously considered advertising them on the black market; someone out there, be it human or vamp, would pay dear cash for these babes.

A grip on his left ankle startled Scud in the worst way and he almost toppled over, landing face first into one of those gooey puddles. Luckily for Scud, he managed to catch his balance just in time and glancing down, he was greeted with the disfigured face of Francis the Sadist. His skin had peeled off, baring the raw muscles underneath, his eyeballs bulging, nearly falling off his sockets. He was a nightmare made flesh and briefly Scud mused, if one’s appearance reflected one’s soul, Francis’s look wouldn’t stray too far from this. But it was not in Scud’s habit to judge when the only thing he wanted was to get the fuck out of here. He produced a sprayer from his pants pocket and gave Francis a generous amount. His ankle was released from the grip as Francis was writhing on the ground and howling. After a few seconds, he joined his subordinates, another indistinguishable puddle to be cleaned off later. Scud grinned. No better cure for burned skin than a spray of garlic essence.

Some time later, Scud was racing his car through the heart of Los Angeles, his blood tuning in with the death metal on the CD player. He felt like the fucking Dark Knight at this very moment, having rid the city of its filth in the quiet depth of the night and asking for neither recognition nor celebration. It didn’t stem from an unselfish intention nor was it for the sake of goodness but hey, anyone who looked at it would say “Good riddance”, wouldn’t they? Several future asses were saved tonight and the city was one evil fewer, all thanks to the Scudster. B should be so proud of him. For the first time in his life, Joshua Frohmeyer had experienced a sense of heroism, of justice, buzzing in his every fiber from head to toe. It was like the best kind of drugs, and he was fucking on clouds nine.

Heroic or not, his act was not without reward though: in his backseat the young human was lying, unconscious and breathing shallowly but very much alive and very much…… his.

(To be continued?)

About the title, if you think Disney’s Lady and the Tramp then bingo!

Should there be a second part?

[Diệp Phó] Hải Thị Thận Lâu (5)

Pairing: Diệp Phó – Diệp Khai x Phó Hồng Tuyết

Genres: fanfiction, alternate universe

Rating: 10+

Nhân vật: Diệp Khai

Chú ý: còn 1 cp khác nhưng chưa được tiết lộ

Preview:

“Ta có thể ở lại bao nhiêu lâu?”

Không chút do dự, Vân Thâu đáp ngay, “Đến khi nào ngài muốn.”

“Tốt.”

Chương 1    Chương 2     Chương 3    Chương 4

5. Thật hư, hư thật

Trong cuộc đời mình tính đến thời điểm hiện tại, Diệp Khai đã ba lần trải qua tình trạng ‘chết lặng’. Cơ bắp toàn thân căng cứng, mọi cử động đều đình chỉ và cứ như vậy, hắn giữ nguyên tư thế đang có như thể một người đang sống sờ sờ bỗng dưng hoá thành pho tượng đá cứng ngắc với đôi mắt chăm chăm nhìn về phía trước đến quên cả chớp mắt còn ý thức hoàn toàn tắt lịm. Tình trạng đó kéo dài đến khi Diệp Khai tự mình phá vỡ câu chú – và lần trước hắn đã mất chẵn ba ngày ba đêm – hoặc ai đó giang tay kéo hắn ra.

Diệp Khai lần đầu tiên nếm trải cảm giác thế giới của hắn toàn bộ đổ sụp chỉ trong chớp mắt khi sư phụ cho hắn biết sự thật về thân thế hắn. Con trai của Bạch Thiên Vũ và Hoa Bạch Phượng, đứa trẻ lẽ ra đã mang cái tên ‘Phó Hồng Tuyết’ chất chứa toàn bộ oán thù và ủy khuất của người mẹ đã sinh ra nó; đứa trẻ lẽ ra đã lớn lên trong đủ mọi đòn roi khắc nghiệt để đến tuổi trưởng thành sẽ cầm thanh đao đen đến Biên thành báo thù; đứa trẻ lẽ ra nên gánh vác những đau khổ, tủi nhục mà ‘Phó Hồng Tuyết’ đã và đang chịu đựng. Diệp Khai nhớ rõ khi đó hắn vô cùng căm giận, căm giận đến mức muốn sát nhân, thế nhưng hắn không thể trút căm giận đó lên sư phụ – không bao giờ có thể, mặc cho sư phụ tổn thương hắn đến mức nào – và phẫn nộ cộng với đau đớn vì bị phản bội, lừa gạt suốt chừng ấy năm cuộc đời bởi người hắn tôn kính nhất trở thành một hố đen với những cánh tay mang ám chú kéo tuột linh hồn hắn xuống đáy. Lẽ ra hắn sẽ mãi ở dưới đó nếu không phải chính sư phụ lại là người kéo hắn lên, lần nữa cho hắn thấy ánh thái dương.

Giằng xé giữa ân nghĩa và căm phẫn, trong một khoảng thời gian dài, Diệp Khai không biết đối mặt như thế nào với sư phụ.

Lần thứ hai Diệp Khai không may mắn như thế. Lần thứ hai, hắn ngồi bên miệng giếng ở lối vào Biên thành, ôm lấy thi thể cứng lạnh từ bao giờ của Phó Hồng Tuyết. Không có sư phụ ở đây để kéo hắn lên, chỉ có gió và cát cùng cơn lạnh thấu xương thấm vào tủy xương bầu bạn với hắn, thấu hiểu nỗi đau câm lặng đang mỗi giây, mỗi khắc thét gào trong đầu hắn. Trong giếng chẳng còn nước, chỉ có cát sỏi, trong mạch máu Phó Hồng Tuyết cũng chẳng còn máu, chỉ có một vết đen ngòm mỗi khắc một bành trướng, lan sang và nhanh chóng chiếm trọn ngực trái Diệp Khai.

Giữ nguyên tư thế ấy, Diệp Khai bất động ba ngày ba đêm nhưng bản thân hắn không hề cảm nhận được thời gian đã trôi qua. Hắn cũng không nhớ nổi bằng cách nào hắn thoát khỏi tình trạng ấy, chỉ biết rằng trong đầu hắn dường như có một ngọn nến: ngọn nến vụt tắt, hắn chìm trong bóng tối, không vùng vẫy, không phản kháng, không ý thức, không tri giác; ngọn nến cháy sáng, hắn choàng tỉnh, lặng lẽ chôn cất Phó Hồng Tuyết, lập bia mộ và lời thề mỗi năm vào ngày này, hắn sẽ đến thăm người huynh đệ không cùng cha mẹ của mình một lần.

Rời Biên thành ngày đó, Diệp Khai chỉ mang theo mảng đen đã thay thế trái tim trong lồng ngực. Bao nhiêu năm trời, mảng đen ấy thay thế vai trò của trái tim, giữ hắn tồn tại.

Lần thứ ba chính là hiện tại, hắn nhìn thấy Phó Hồng Tuyết ngồi ở chiếc bàn trong góc trống phía tây đại sảnh. So với ký ức hằn sâu trong đầu Diệp Khai, ngoại hình Phó Hồng Tuyết không hề khác biệt: vẫn thân hình gầy mảnh dưới y phục đen đơn bạc, vẫn nước da trắng tái, vẫn ngũ quan như điêu mài, vẫn đôi mắt đen như thu trọn màn đêm và trên hết, vẫn trẻ trung như lúc Diệp Khai đặt hắn xuống ba thước đất. Khác biệt chẳng qua chỉ là thanh đao đen đến chết hắn còn nắm chặt đã không thấy bóng dáng, tuy vậy, đao khí tỏa ra từ hắn còn thuần khiết, bén nhọn và ác liệt gấp mấy lần năm xưa. Nếu ngày đó Phó Hồng Tuyết không chết trong vòng tay hắn, Diệp Khai hoàn toàn tin tưởng đây nhất định là cảnh giới mà hắn sẽ đạt được. Phó Hồng Tuyết của hiện tại không mang đao cũng phải; có thanh bảo đao nào lợi hại hơn chính bản thân hắn chứ?

Nhưng trên hết là hắn đang cười! Dù chỉ là một độ cong rất nhỏ trên cánh môi nhưng Diệp Khai có thể khẳng định Phó Hồng Tuyết đang mỉm cười. Không còn chứa đau khổ và hận thù, tròng mắt hắn phản chiếu nụ cười trên môi.

Diệp Khai từng ảo tưởng rằng hắn sẽ là người đem lại nụ cười đó cho Phó Hồng Tuyết, và ngược lại, Phó Hồng Tuyết sẽ trao nụ cười đó cho hắn, và chỉ riêng mình hắn, trong những lúc lòng ích kỷ và ham muốn chiếm hữu của hắn nổi lên.

Hiện tại, Phó Hồng Tuyết trao nụ cười đó cho người mặc áo trắng.

Giống như Phó Hồng Tuyết, y không mang kiếm nhưng toàn thân y đều là kiếm khí, phàm là kẻ học võ tất đều cảm nhận được áp lực kể cả khi y không hề phát ra nửa tia chiến ý. Nếu đao khí của Phó Hồng Tuyết hừng hực như lửa, áp đảo đối phương thì kiếm khí của người áo trắng lạnh lẽo khoét vào bất cứ yếu điểm nào đối phương vô tình lộ ra. Thân mang kiếm khí như vậy, y tựa hồ không giống một con người.

Nhưng đây là Niệm Lâu, nếu y thật sự là một vị tiên, một ác quỷ hay một thanh kiếm thì chuyện đó cũng không quá kỳ lạ. Nếu một người vốn đã tạ thế rất lâu rồi có thể ngồi ở đây thì có chuyện gì là không thể?

Tuy nhiên, đó không phải điều Diệp Khai nghĩ, hay nói chính xác hơn, trong giây phút này hắn hoàn toàn chẳng nghĩ ngợi gì cả; tất cả những gì hắn làm chỉ là nhìn.

“Khách quan, ngài vẫn ổn chứ?”

Giọng nói trong veo như nước suối đầu nguồn của Vân Thâu nhẹ nhàng kéo hắn lên khỏi hố. Diệp Khai chớp mắt, quay đầu lại và bắt gặp khuôn mặt của Vân Thâu. Gã vẫn đang mỉm cười nhưng khác với bình thường, nụ cười này của gã dường như phảng phất sự tiếc nuối trước nỗi mất mát chưa được gọi tên.

Đây nên là sự tiếc nuối của một người đã đứng tuổi, đã trải đời, không phải của một thiếu niên mới chỉ mười sáu, mười bảy.

“Ta…”

Diệp Khai chỉ kịp thốt lên một chữ trước khi nhận thức ùa về và hắn nhớ ra vì sao mình đứng lặng ở đây, nếu không nhờ giọng nói của Vân Thâu thì chẳng biết mình sẽ chôn chân nơi này đến bao giờ. Từ lưng chừng cầu thang hắn đáp xuống đại sảnh, nhẹ nhàng như chiếc lá khô lìa cành. Len qua bao khách nhân tụ tập gần vũ đài để ngắm Điệp Vũ, hắn tiến đến góc vắng phía tây.

Diệp Khai khựng lại, nhìn chăm chăm chiếc bàn bằng gỗ đen trống trơn, không có rượu, không có món ăn, càng không có người áo trắng và người áo đen. Mặt ghế mát lạnh khi hắn đưa tay sờ.

Hắn nhớ, rõ ràng Phó Hồng Tuyết đã ngồi ở chính chiếc bàn này cùng với người áo trắng, thậm chí hắn còn cười với y. Tay trái ôm đầu, đôi môi tái nhợt của Diệp Khai không ngừng mấp máy. Không thể nào, chẳng lẽ trí nhớ không đáng tin cậy của hắn lại giở trò quái quỷ? Không thể nào! Nếu chỉ đơn thuần là trí nhớ có vấn đề thì hắn đã chẳng chết lặng giữa cầu thang như vừa rồi. Trí nhớ không thể gây ra phản ứng mãnh liệt đến nhường đó, chỉ giác quan có thể.

Vân Thâu không biết đã đứng sau lưng hắn từ lúc nào. Diệp Khai vừa ngoái đầu lại đã trông thấy gã. Gã không cười, đôi mắt đen và sáng như hắc diệu thạch nhìn thẳng vào mắt Diệp Khai.

Cơn giận không rõ nguyên cớ dâng lên, Diệp Khai túm cổ áo Vân Thâu, đồng thời áp người gã thiếu niên vào một cây cột gần đó. Trước công kích bất ngờ, khuôn mặt Vân Thâu không đổi sắc, ánh mắt gã vẫn không cố kỵ mà nhìn thẳng vào khuôn mặt Diệp Khai.

“Ngươi cũng thấy hắn phải không?” Diệp Khai quát lớn, không chút kiêng nể những khách nhân xung quanh. “Thanh niên áo đen đó ngươi cũng trông thấy phải không? Hắn đâu rồi? Hắn đâu rồi?”

Không ai để ý đến giọng quát tháo của hắn, không ai ngoái lại nhìn, tất cả đều dõi theo từng bước từng bước đôi chân tuyệt trần của Điệp Vũ thực hiện.

“Khách quan thứ lỗi, tiểu nhân không thể và cũng không được phép quản hành tung của bất cứ vị khách nào của lâu,” Vân Thâu nhẹ nhàng đáp, giọng gã chẳng chút nào giống giọng của người đang bị uy hiếp.

Bàn tay nắm cổ áo Vân Thâu thả lỏng nhưng chưa hoàn toàn buông, Diệp Khai không ngạc nhiên trước câu trả lời của gã thiếu niên. Gượm đã, gã nói vậy liệu có phải gián tiếp xác định Phó Hồng Tuyết mà hắn nhìn thấy không phải ảo ảnh hay sản phẩm của thần trí bất minh hay không? Phải rồi, nếu không nhìn thấy hẳn gã đã tỏ ra bối rối trước lời nói và cử chỉ của Diệp Khai, làm sao còn bình tĩnh thế này? Phó Hồng Tuyết là thật! Hắn đang ở nơi này và Diệp Khai có thể gặp lại hắn!

Rất lâu rồi Diệp Khai không biết cảm giác sung sướng tột cùng là thế nào. Như một cơn sóng thần nó đột ngột ập đến, nhận tràn thần trí hắn, khiến hắn quên mất nơi đây là Niệm Lâu cùng những truyền thuyết tăm tối bao quanh nó.

Hắn không biết mình đã rơi lệ cho đến khi bàn tay trắng trẻo, nhỏ nhắn như tay thiếu nữ của Vân Thâu gạt đi giọt nước mắt vừa thành hình bên khoé mắt hắn.

Đây là bàn tay của một tiểu nhị sao, ai tin?

“Ta…” Diệp Khai nghẹn ngào. “Ta… Hắn… hắn ở đâu?”

“Xin ngài thứ lỗi, đây không phải điều tiểu nhân được phép tiết lộ.”

Bàn tay Diệp Khai rơi xuống, buông thõng bên mình. Hắn đã phần nào đoán được câu trả lời trước khi Vân Thâu nói ra.

Vân Thâu chỉnh trang vạt áo trong chốc lát rồi nhìn Diệp Khai, mỉm cười. “Nhưng đây là Niệm Lâu, chỉ cần khách quan muốn tìm, có ai hay vật gì lại không tìm được?”

Đôi mắt Diệp Khai vụt sáng khi hắn ngước nhìn Vân Thâu. “Ngươi đã nói, thúc phụ ngươi muốn giữ ta ở lại.”

Vân Thâu gật đầu. “Tiểu nhân đã nói thế.”

“Điều này còn đúng không?”

“Tất nhiên là còn, thưa khách quan. Ngài là khách quý của lâu, là vị đại hiệp thúc phụ ngưỡng mộ đã lâu, được hầu hạ ngài là vinh dự của tiểu nhân.”

Diệp Khai không mảy may để ý đến lời tán dương của Vân Thâu; bây giờ hắn chỉ quan tâm một điều duy nhất. Cho dù Vân Thâu từ chối lưu hắn, hắn cũng tìm ra biện pháp để ở lại Niệm Lâu bằng được.

“Ta có thể ở lại bao nhiêu lâu?”

Không chút do dự, Vân Thâu đáp ngay, “Đến khi nào ngài muốn.”

“Được.”

Còn tiếp (?)

Fic này hoàn toàn dựa trên diễn biến phim nên nếu fan nguyên tác đọc đến chi tiết Lý Tầm Hoan đánh tráo Phó Hồng Tuyết và Diệp Khai thì xin đừng chửi bạn Joel tội nghiệp; đây hoàn toàn là tình tiết máu cún biên kịch của phim đã tạo ra.

[Rant] I Can Hear You Knocking – The Originals 4×05

Warnings: spoilers, inappropriate jokes, careless language, messing up the order of events

  • I have a distinct feeling that the fifth episode of each season starts with a flashback. Though I can’t recall what 1×05 is about (goldfish memory!), I remember pretty well that 2×05 gives us flashback with Tatia, 3×05 is Aurora’s past, her turning to be more specific, and now 4×05 graces our screens with an adolescent Klaus and Viking Mikael! How I miss the glorious sight of the Destroyer!

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  • I’m not the only who wishes to bring Mikael back to the show, am I? I’m convinced he was a much more complex character than just the brutal, sort of insane vampire dad other characters have painted him so far. A shame we don’t get to view the story through his perspective and his limited bonding time with Freya is also lamentable.
  • For a moment I thought they’d cast another boy as the young Klaus but it turns out to be the same Aiden Flowers. How he’s grown in two years’ time!
  • The aftermath of the slaughtering looks appropriately brutal but you gotta give it to Mikael: he kills these men all by himself!

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  • Ruthless as it is, there’s truth in Mikael’s words tho: who know what these men would have done to Mikael’s family if they had succeeded in invading the land?
  • Anw, back to present.
  • If there’s something worse than a demonic possession, it’s dual demonic possessions of two most powerful supernatural beings.
  • Thank the Lord the Hollow doesn’t make them go on a large-scale killing rampage. Still, poor those three unfortunate souls. While in the world people are worried about terrorist attacks, here New Orleans citizens and tourists are worried about possessed-hybrid attacks.

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  • But Klaus’s taunting the Hollow is definitely fun to watch… “Daddy drank. Mommy never loved you.” Gold.
  • … until it flips the table on Klaus. Hard.
  • Kleya is going strong in this episode.

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  • So is Freya x Keelin (there’s a ship name yet?). To the point Freya endures the antiseptic stings and stitches to have Keelin patch her up while she could have easily asked her little bros for their blood. Isn’t she drinking vampire blood all the time? I do understand this means to give these girls a moment for a ship to sail but still it isn’t very sensible.

8

  • Making Freya bisexual is a cool move. It’d be cooler if Klaus, Elijah and Kol were also bisexual (Bekah already is as far as I’m concerned). Come on, they’ve been living for a thousand years; don’t tell me they have never even considered swinging both ways. *cough* Lucien and Tristan *cough*
  • I think I’m straying a little far from the episode.
  • Anw, congratulations to Marcel for staying alive. I was afraid he would be the one to bite the dust because the stakes are high and 2. things don’t go well for those who oppose and threaten the Mikaelsons. Lucien and to a lesser extent, Aurora and Tristan, were good examples.

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  • It’s an interesting parallel that the Hollow takes the form of Mikael to appear before Klaus and the forms of Elijah and Klaus (but mostly Elijah’s) before Marcel. In Klaus’s case, it’s simple because Mikael was and always will be a dark shadow haunting his life, even long after his death. Unlike Cami, whose memories he won’t let go, Mikael’s memories are what he can’t let go, and probably will never be able to. Now, in Marcel’s case, the Hollow shapes itself in the image of Elijah, first and foremost, and later in the image of Klaus, but as the episode progresses, it chooses to remain Elijah. Interestingly, Mikael, cruel as he was, was the only father figure in Klaus’s life while both Klaus and Elijah were father figures in Marcel’s life. Marcel considered Klaus his father, but while growing up, he looked up to Elijah as well. Moreover, Klaus might be right when he said Marcel was seeking his approval in the last episode, but I’m convinced that he was also, albeit secretly, seeking approval from Elijah. That’s why he was so hurt and angry at being killed by Elijah’s hand and why the Hollow uses Elijah’s form to provoke him.

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  • So basically this episode could be dubbed ‘Daddy Issues’ instead of the vague title ‘I Hear You Knocking’.
  • Seriously sometimes I don’t get the titles at all.
  • Elijah’s words to Marcel in the dungeon are harsh though I guess he has his reasons.

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  • Actually I was tempted to type “he has every reason to” considering the two of them aren’t exactly on best terms at the moment.

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  • I’m really curious as what sort of creature the Hollow was. Of course it’s referred as a ghost but a ghost of what? A human? A witch? A psychic like Cade (that explains the mind tricks it’s using)? Something ‘not of this world’?
  • Silly me, Sofya just refers to the Hollow as “dead witch”.
  • And why does it let out a high-pitched shriek that sounds a lot like children’s when hit with Freya’s potion?
  • Sweet Haylijah moment in the bayou.

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  • “In jean shorts.”

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  • But jean shorts may not be a sensible option considering the number of mosquitoes in the bayou.
  • What beef could Sofya have with Klaus that she’s waited for 5 years to get revenge? She first made an appearance as a vampire for hire and suddenly now she has a grudge with Klaus?! Does she try to avenge Lucien or something?
  • Ooh creepy-ass vine as a gift from creepy-ass ghost.

Looking forward to the next episode. Looks like the Mikaelsons have taken their home back and returned it to its former glory.

[Diệp Phó] Hải Thị Thận Lâu (4)

Pairing: Diệp Phó – Diệp Khai x Phó Hồng Tuyết

Genres: fanfiction, alternate universe

Rating: 10+

Nhân vật: Diệp Khai

Chú ý: còn 1 cp khác nhưng chưa được tiết lộ

Preview:

Là bằng hữu cùng vào sinh ra tử, là huynh đệ bất kể huyết thống, cũng là nguyên nhân của cơn ác mộng đáng sợ nhất với hắn.

Trên hết, là một người đã chết.

“Phó… Hồng… Tuyết,” Diệp Khai khó nhọc thốt lên ba chữ.

Chương 1    Chương 2     Chương 3

4. Phó Hồng Tuyết

Diệp Khai tỉnh lại cùng với cảm giác một bàn tay lành lạnh, mềm mại vuốt ve khuôn mặt hắn. Hắn không nhớ mình đã thiếp đi lúc nào, không, chính xác thì hắn không thiếp đi. Sau ba chén Niệm tửu, hắn thấy trước mắt tối sầm rồi mất đi tri giác. Khả năng đầu tiên hắn nghĩ đến là mê dược, nhưng nếu đây là mê dược thì lạ quá, cảm giác đầu tiên khi hắn tỉnh lại không giống mê dược chút nào! Mê dược có rất nhiều loại, thế nhưng cảm giác đầu tiên khi tỉnh hầu như chỉ một: thần trí rối loạn, đầu óc bưng bưng do tác dụng của thuốc chưa rút đi hoàn toàn. Hắn dám khẳng định vì hắn tự tin mình đã thử qua rất nhiều loại mê dược trên thế gian, từ nhẹ đến nặng, từ phổ biến đến hiếm lạ. Với kẻ mất ngủ kinh niên, mê dược là giải pháp cuối cùng nhưng xem ra ngay đến nó cũng không cho hắn được giấc ngủ trọn vẹn.

Diệp Khai loại bỏ nghi vấn bị hạ dược. Hắn cảm thấy như mình vừa thức dậy sau một giấc ngủ dài không bị gián đoạn, một giấc ngủ thật sự, yên bình và không bị những ký ức xa xưa quấy nhiễu. Cảm giác thư thái không biết bao lâu rồi mới được biết đến khiến Diệp Khai gạt qua một bên vô vàn nghi vấn khi hắn thức dậy ở một nơi hắn không biết là đâu, bên cạnh một người hắn không biết là ai. Cơ bắp toàn thân thả lỏng, mắt vẫn còn nhắm, hắn cho phép bản thân buông lơi cảnh giác, hạ xuống đề phòng để tận hưởng sự chăm sóc dịu dàng từ bàn tay người lạ. Rụt rè như thể hắn sợ bàn tay chỉ là ảo giác, sẽ tan biến nếu hắn lỗ mãng, Diệp Khai chạm vào bàn tay.

Bàn tay ngưng động tác nhưng không hề biến mất. Những ngón tay thon dài, mát lạnh nhẹ nhàng đan lấy ngón tay hắn.

Trong ký ức của Diệp Khai, hắn chỉ biết một bàn tay có nhiệt độ thấp như vậy. Hiển nhiên, bàn tay đó không hề mịn màng, cũng chưa từng ban phát cho hắn nửa điểm dịu dàng bất kể hắn thèm khát điều đó thế nào.

Nếu vậy, hắn đã thật sự tỉnh chưa, hay đây là một giấc mộng đẹp đẽ, ngọt ngào và không thật?

“Khách quan, ngài đã tỉnh.”

Một giọng thiếu niên trong trẻo như suối lọt vào tai Diệp Khai. Giọng nói này sao mà quen quá, hắn đã nghe ở đâu rồi thì phải. Cả cách xưng hô trang trọng nữa, lâu lắm rồi không ai gọi hắn là “ngài”, cũng phải thôi, ai đi gọi một lão già lôi thôi, rách rưới, trong hầu bao chỉ vài đồng tiền lại nay đây mai đó là “ngài”. Diệp Khai chỉ lờ mờ nhớ mình đã ngạc nhiên thế nào khi đặt chân vào căn lầu và được tiếp đãi như khách quý bất kể bề ngoài thế nào… Căn lầu… phải, căn lầu mang tên Niệm Lâu. Còn giọng nói như thế chỉ có thể là gã tiểu nhị tuổi đời còn nhỏ nhưng ăn nói lễ độ, hơn nữa còn rất biết làm vừa lòng khách. Vân Thâu… một cái tên rất ý nghĩa.

Diệp Khai từ từ mở mắt, một gương mặt mờ mờ xuất hiện trong tầm mắt hắn. Hắn chớp mắt vài lần, đưa bàn tay không cầm tay Vân Thâu lên dụi mắt. Gương mặt Vân Thâu trở nên rõ ràng, gã đang cười, nụ cười ôn hoà, ấm áp như vạt nắng xuyên qua cửa sổ, chiếu xuống đầu vai hắn. Cảm giác chệnh choạng khi vừa tỉnh giấc đã rút, thần trí hoàn toàn tỉnh táo, Diệp Khai nhận ra hai điều: một, bây giờ là buổi sáng, xét theo cường độ của nắng thì có lẽ hiện đang là giờ Thìn. Hôm qua hắn đến Niệm Lâu vào buổi chiều, bây giờ là buổi sáng, chẳng lẽ hắn đã ngủ một đêm ở đây? Nhắc đến việc ngủ, điều thứ hai Diệp Khai nhận ra là hắn đang nằm trên một chiếc giường vô cùng êm ái, khác xa những tấm gỗ ép ngụy trang giường ở những quán trọ xập xệ hắn thường trú. Và có giường tất có phòng, hắn đảo mắt một vòng quanh phòng, thu thập những chi tiết về nơi đã chứa chấp hắn một đêm. Phòng không lớn hơn một căn phòng trọ phổ thông bao nhiêu; ngoài chiếc giường hắn đang nằm, trong phòng còn một chiếc bàn, vài chiếc ghế cùng một chiếc tủ trong góc, tất cả đều được chế tạo từ gỗ mun đen bóng. Trong không khí tản mác hương hoa nhưng hắn không thấy một nhành hoa nào, cũng không dám khẳng định đó là loại hoa gì. Giống như diện mạo của Vân Thâu, hương hoa cho hắn cảm giác vô cùng quen thuộc nhưng đào bới ký ức một hồi, hắn vẫn không tìm ra nửa điểm manh mối. Bỏ cuộc, hắn thở dài, bàn tay đang đan lấy tay Vân Thâu bất giác xiết lại. Thật kỳ lạ, tiếp xúc với da hắn nãy giờ vậy mà bàn tay của Vân Thâu vẫn hệt như ban đầu, tựa hồ thân nhiệt hắn vô phương thẩm thấu qua làn da mong manh của gã. Diệp Khai biết trên thế gian có một môn công phu kỳ dị như thế: thân nhiệt người luyện luôn luôn thấp, dù phơi mình dưới nắng nóng hay ủ trong chăn bông cũng không thể nào ấm lên. Nhưng với tuổi đời của thiếu niên này ư? Không thể nào… trừ khi gã bắt đầu luyện từ khi mới lọt lòng hoặc giả, tuổi thật của gã lớn hơn diện mạo rất nhiều.

Công phu có thể cải lão hoàn đồng Diệp Khai không phải chưa từng nghe qua.

Tính tò mò nổi lên, ngón tay Diệp Khai lần xuống cổ tay của Vân Thâu, nhưng hắn chưa kịp bắt mạch môn thì gã thiếu niên như linh cảm được ý đồ của hắn, nhẹ nhàng thu lại bàn tay.

Không rõ vì sao Diệp Khai chợt cảm thấy có chút hụt hẫng. “Đây vẫn là Niệm Lâu sao?” hắn hỏi.

“Đây vẫn là Niệm Lâu,” Vân Thâu cười đáp. “Tiểu nhân được lệnh thu xếp để ngài ở lại căn phòng này. Vì gấp gáp nên có chi sơ sót, mong ngài lượng thứ.”

Diệp Khai cười nhạt, ngồi dậy. “Chỉ sợ hầu bao của ta chẳng đủ chi trả ba ly rượu chứ đừng nói đến tiền phòng.”

“Về chi phí thì xin ngài đừng bận tâm. Được tiếp đãi ngài là vinh hạnh của lâu.”

Cười nhạt biến thành cười lớn. “Vinh hạnh sao? Một gã ăn mày như ta thì đem lại vinh hạnh gì?”

“Xin ngài đừng nói thế, danh tiếng Tiểu Lý phi đao Diệp Khai thúc phụ ngưỡng mộ đã lâu, chỉ mong được một lần tiếp đãi. Thúc phụ đã căn dặn rất kỹ, nếu là ngài thì mọi chi phí đều thuộc về lâu.”

Tiếng cười của Diệp Khai tắt hẳn, nét trào phúng trên mặt hắn cũng biến mất, chỉ còn lại sự nghiêm túc. “Tại hạ cũng rất mong được diện kiến chủ nhân Niệm Lâu để đích thân cảm tạ sự rộng lượng của người.”

“Xin ngài thứ lỗi, thúc phụ đã giao Niệm Lâu cho tiểu nhân tiếp quản, một mình ngao du sơn thủy, chưa biết chừng nào mới trở về.”

“Thật đáng tiếc,” Diệp Khai chép miệng, đứng dậy, phủi phủi những nếp nhăn không thể nhìn thấy trên y phục cũ nát đến hắn còn chẳng nhớ mình đã mặc từ khi nào. Câu hắn vừa thốt hoàn toàn không phải lời khách sáo; hắn thật sự thấy tiếc vì lỡ mất cơ hội diện kiến vị chủ nhân của căn lầu truyền kỳ này. Niệm Lâu là chốn tàng chứa vô vàn bí ẩn, đến gã tiểu nhị cũng không phải một thiếu niên tầm thường, chủ nhân của nó liệu sẽ là nhân vật thế nào, Diệp Khai rất hiếu kỳ. Tiếc là hắn còn việc muốn làm, vả lại ăn uống trên sự chiêu đãi của người chưa từng gặp mặt, hắn không quen.

Vân Thâu cũng đứng dậy, lùi lại, giữ một khoảng cách cố định với Diệp Khai.

“Tại hạ vẫn còn một số việc cần làm, không tiện làm phiền quý lâu. Nếu còn duyên hạnh ngộ rất muốn cùng thúc phụ của ngươi hàn huyên,” Diệp Khai nói.

“Thúc phụ cũng đã nghĩ đến việc này nên đã căn dặn tiểu nhân không được phiền nhiễu công chuyện của ngài. Chỉ là, trước khi rời lâu, xin ngài cho phép tiểu nhân đưa ngài đi tham quan một vòng quanh lâu. Đây cũng là dặn dò của thúc phụ.”

Diệp Khai dĩ nhiên không thể khước từ. Người ta tận tình tiếp đãi hắn mà hắn còn khăng khăng từ chối thì chẳng phải thất lễ lắm sao? Hơn nữa, hắn thật lòng muốn biết bên trong căn lầu này nhìn như thế nào.

“Xin dẫn đường.”

Vân Thâu mỉm cười, chậm rãi bước đến cửa. “Thỉnh khách quan.”

Bên ngoài cánh cửa là một hành lang dài hun hút khiến Diệp Khai không khỏi ngỡ ngàng. Hắn mường tượng Niệm Lâu rộng lớn hơn vẻ bề ngoài rất nhiều nhưng đến mức này thì hắn chưa nghĩ tới. Hai bên hành lang là những cánh cửa sơn đen giống hệt nhau, khi Vân Thâu đóng cánh cửa sau lưng Diệp Khai, nó liền gia nhập hàng ngũ những cánh cửa khác, không hề phân biệt. Trên cửa không hề có số hay bất cứ ký hiệu nào làm dấu, Diệp Khai tự hỏi bằng cách nào khách trọ có thể tìm được căn phòng của mình.

Như đọc được suy nghĩ của hắn, Vân Thâu cười, đáp, “Khách quan đừng lo lắng. Tuy những cánh cửa giống hệt nhau nhưng tiểu nhân xin đảm bảo ngài luôn tìm được căn phòng của mình. Đó là điểm đặc biệt của Niệm Lâu.”

Diệp Khai nhẹ gật đầu, không tiện hỏi sâu thêm.

Hành lang tưởng chừng không có điểm dừng, vậy mà hai người chỉ đi mấy bước chân đã đến cầu thang. Tiếng nhạc, tiếng trò chuyện huyên náo từ đại sảnh bên dưới vọng lên.

“Căn phòng ngài đã ở thuộc cánh đông,” Vân Thâu giải thích. “Niệm Lâu có bốn cánh: đông, tây, nam, bắc, tất cả đều dẫn xuống đại sảnh nơi ngài đã xem Điệp Vũ tiểu thư biểu diễn…”

Trong khi Vân Thâu tiếp tục thuyết minh, Diệp Khai chầm chậm bước xuống bậc thang.

“Ngoài ra Niệm Lâu còn một hậu viện. Bây giờ đương mùa mai nở, hậu viện một mảnh trắng xoá…”

Đến giữa cầu thang, bước chân Diệp Khai đột ngột ngưng lại còn người hắn như hoá thành một pho tượng đá. Ánh mắt hắn đăm đắm nhìn vào góc phía tây của đại sảnh.

Góc phía tây như thế nào? Chỉ là một góc ít náo nhiệt hơn phần còn lại của đại sảnh, giống như góc mà Diệp Khai đã ngồi uống Niệm tửu hôm qua.

Bàn trong góc chỉ có hai người ngồi, một người áo trắng, một người áo đen. Tuy bên người họ không thấy bóng dáng của kiếm, đao nhưng hai tấm lưng thẳng băng như thân trúc chẳng khác hai thanh kiếm, đao sắc bén đã tuốt vỏ. Người áo trắng nhất định dùng kiếm, Diệp Khai dám đem tính mạng ra khẳng định, thậm chí Diệp Khai còn có thể hình dung thanh kiếm y không mang theo cũng trắng toát, lạnh lẽo hệt như chủ nhân của nó. Còn người áo đen chắc chắn dùng đao, thanh đao vốn là vật bất ly thân của hắn cũng đen tuyền như hận thù chủ nhân nó mang trong tâm. Đây không phải suy đoán mà là điều Diệp Khai biết, cơ bản vì hắn biết người áo đen, cũng từng nếm thử sự bén nhọn của thanh hắc đao trên chính da thịt mình. Trong cuộc đời mình, Diệp Khai đã trải qua vô số thương tích nặng hơn, nguy hiểm hơn nhưng vết đao đó là thứ duy nhất để lại một vết sẹo trong lòng hắn.

Và người dùng đao chính là người duy nhất có thể tổn thương hắn.

Là bằng hữu cùng vào sinh ra tử, là huynh đệ bất kể huyết thống, cũng là nguyên nhân của cơn ác mộng đáng sợ nhất với hắn.

Trên hết, là một người đã chết.

“Phó… Hồng… Tuyết,” Diệp Khai khó nhọc thốt lên ba chữ.

Còn tiếp

[Fanfic] Doppelgängers (2)

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Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms: The Boondock Saints, Blade

Rating: Mature

Pairings: Connor MacManus x Murphy MacManus (yeah, it’s incest, or twincest), Deacon Frost x Joshua “Josh” Frohmeyer aka Scud

Genres: fanfiction, alternate universe, zombie apocalypse

Characters: Connor MacManus, Murphy MacManus, Scud, Deacon Frost

Warnings: incest/twincest, vampirism

Summary: On their journey to the south, Connor and Murphy encounters some of Murphy’s doppelgängers along the way.

Sequel to Methuselahs – might turn into a series

Scud – Joshua “Josh” Frohmeyer (Blade II)

Part I

Part II. To Wake a Vampire

With the cooler snuggled under his arm, Scud scanned the mostly vacant space, hoping to find none of the intruding signs. He let out a puff of breath in relief before tiptoeing his way to the rusty door in the left corner, avoiding stepping on all sorts of hazards littered on the ground: usual garbage, bricks, dissembled metal parts, jagged glass pieces, broken syringes, et cetera, et cetera. He was fairly sure the place had seen better days before zombie apocalypse. The bolt creaked as Scud slid it out and opened the door just enough to reveal a dark passage. He squeezed his frame through the rather small opening, wincing as the cool, damp air hit his face. He slid the bolt back in place, checking that it was secure enough to barricade intruders and descended the staircase, the soles of his boots on metal loud enough to wake the dead. The bottom of the staircase was a confined cellar lighted only by a stained bulb on the low ceiling. Scud had to crouch a little so as not to give his head a concussion. The air was stagnant, and layer upon layer of dust produced a smell that tempted his nostrils into a sneeze. Good thing Scud kind of got used to it so he was able to contain his sneeze.

“I’m back, D,” Scud announced, placing the cooler on the ground, causing the dust to flutter in the air. “Look what I’ve brought. I consider myself very lucky today.”

No response came out of the shadow where the feeble light of the bulb was shy of reaching. The eerie silence, coupled with the lighting and atmosphere, gave off the vibes of an old tomb which hadn’t seen daylight since forever. That it was buried beneath the earth surface didn’t really help.

A tomb for a dead man, how fitting, Scud mused. He stepped gingerly to the edge of the shadow and rummaged with his hands for a couple seconds before his fingers found an arm that was so cold and rigid that it might very well belong to a cadaver. Instead of jolting with fright, Scud smiled fondly to himself as he grabbed the arm and started pulling it out of darkness with all his strength. Inch by inch, the arm was revealed to the light, followed by the messy head, the torso under a shirt that was sullied to the point its original color was no longer recognizable, and finally the whole body. “You sure sleep like a log, D, a very heavy log,” Scud panted, a light sheen of sweat glazing his forehead, sticking his long bang together despite the generally lower temperature in the cellar. He had landed his ass on the ground and was now supporting the unconscious man’s torso with his own, slinging his left arm around the stiff shoulders. “D, wake up,” he called, patting the hollow cheek. “C’mon D, open your eyes, I brought your favorite for dinner.”

Between the cadaverous skin tone, the absence of body temperature and pulse and the unresponsiveness, Scud couldn’t decide which made the corpse in his embrace more……. corpse-like. But Scud knew as clear as the sun that Deacon Frost, his former master and suckhead in his care, wasn’t dead. Well, technically dead, but not dead-dead but rather dead-alive; he was just hibernating like a couple of animals did when winter arrived and the food supply became too scarce, the only difference being that he wouldn’t wake up at the first creak of spring and would hibernate into oblivion if no one was kind enough to put food into his mouth.

Joshua Frohmeyer considered himself kind enough; that was why he was rolling up his sleeve. The pristine white gauze had been besmirched with a shapeless maroon blotch but it was still good thanks to Murphy. Scud clucked his tongue, wishing that the older man hadn’t been so good in bandaging that now the tight knot was giving him a hard time trying to undo it with one hand and a considerable weight leaning against his torso. After some unsuccessful minutes, he resorted to using his teeth to tear the bandage. He fingered the gash, finding it dry. The bleeding had long stopped and the skin had begun to tighten in the initial process of healing. Without giving himself a proper warning, Scud jabbed his forefinger and middle finger into the wound. Blood spurted out instantly in response and although he was hissing – having low tolerance of pain used to be the reason for Josh to be jeered at and name-called various degrading terms, he was rather satisfied with the result. The tips of his fingers dipped into the crimson liquid and smeared it on the vampire’s ashen lips. The vivid red contrasted horribly with the pasty complexion, giving the vampire a look that was ridiculous and terrifying at the same time. It briefly reminded Scud of some Asian horror movie he had watched on a worn VHS as a kid (blame his double-shift, stressed-out single mother), of the ghosts with stringy black hair, skin too pale and lips too red that would haunt his sleeps for weeks to come

“C’mon D,” Scud pled, caressing the vampire’s lips, pressing a finger into the small crease between the upper and lower lips. Then he waited for his blood to drip in the cavern of the vampire’s mouth. Scud could be very patient when he needed to; after all, patience was the one factor that had made his relationship with the notoriously short-tempered Deacon Frost work through. His arm had become mostly numb when he received a reaction: the jaw twitched and the cold, dry tongue slowly licked his finger before wrapping itself around the digit. Shriveled eyelids pulled back to reveal the frosty blue Scud was all too familiar. The pupils were enlarged and unfocused while the irises were veiled; all signs pointed out that Deacon was not yet fully himself, his mind swinging back and forth between the light of consciousness and the need to feed like a relentless pendulum. Scud really shouldn’t be surprised when his finger was pricked by something pointy; he let an undignified yelp escape his lips nonetheless.

“I thought we were way past nibbling, D,” Scud complained. For some reason unclear even to himself, he kept his finger in the bloodsucker’s mouth.

A deep, animalistic growl from Deacon’s throat reverberated in the confined cellar when he allowed Scud’s finger, shimmering with a mixture of blood and saliva, to slip from his mouth. The cracking of bones immobile for too long was heard as he mechanically peeled himself off his former pet’s body and lowered his head to the source of the strong coppery tang teasing his newly awakened sense. Scud expected the pain of being punctured where his flesh was already damaged but there was none; instead, he was caught off guard by the clammy sensation of a tongue lapping his raw wound. Soon after a pair of chapped lips scraped his skin and suction applied. He felt keenly how his blood was drawn out of his veins in small but steady streams. It was odd, really, and he couldn’t say if he’d ever get accustomed to it. After the initial nick of the finger, Deacon only sucked, not bit and for that, Scud was rather grateful. The vampire held his wrist in his steely grip even though he didn’t have to; Scud wouldn’t move an inch when being fed on, a lasting habit instilled in him during his days as a pet: if he struggled he’d be hurt; if he remained still he might even gain some pleasure from the act – some shit about vampire saliva containing aphrodisiac elements, aside from anti-coagulant, he had read that somewhere, perhaps Whistler’s archives. A reimbursement of sort, and Scud certainly wouldn’t complain as he draped his other arm over the vampire’s shoulder.

Scud lost track of the time – he always did while feeding happened – and he might as well die sorely without the knowledge of the exact moment his last breath was squeezed out of his lungs and his mortal coil severed. Willingly or not, every time he allowed master to sink his teeth in his flesh, he was put in a trance that was not unlike riding a fucking drug high: everything was hazy and nothing seemed to matter as much as the sound of blood rushing in his veins in a hurry to be extracted from his body. Again, the chemical substances in vampire saliva working its magic on a calm, pliant prey. Thankfully for Scud, his bloodsucker had excellent control of his own body functions, honed over the decades, and he knew precisely the moment to stop so that no irrevocable damage was done. With one last lick Deacon loosened his grip on Scud’s wrist and lifted his head, gazing into the glassy blue eyes with his bright, piercing ones full of life from the warm, new blood in his system. Their situation was reversed: it was now the vampire that supported the human’s weight.

It wasn’t until there were lips crashing onto his own and a tongue demanding entrance with purposeful licks did Scud finally snap out of his trance and into immediate response. While his tongue joined Deacon’s in a hungry, passionate tango, his hand grabbed the back of Deacon’s head, bony fingers weaving through the dirty strands, pulling them, forcing the vampire to crane his neck backward so as to have an illusion of gaining dominance from a powerful creature that could off him with a flick of his wrist. Deacon allowed his former pet the pretense, even played along with him; he was in exceptional mood after waking from so long a slumber to a scrumptious hot meal. Not entirely satisfied but enough to keep him active for a while. Scud tasted mostly the same as he had remembered, minus the slight bitterness of nicotine; he wondered if Scud had willingly given up the killer joints or it was simply too difficult to find cigarettes in this apocalyptic world.

It was very much like feeding, when they made out, in that Scud lost track of the time until they separated at last, Scud flushed and panting heavily whereas Deacon looked pale and calm as ever, with only a gleaming sheen of saliva on his lips as evidence.

“Why didn’t you just go away?” he asked.

“What?” Scud was feeling lightheaded from the blood loss and the head-reeling kiss, so he didn’t grasp the meaning of Deacon’s question.

“I ask why you didn’t just go away,” Deacon repeated. “You’re no longer my familiar, or any vampire’s for that matter. You’re free to go wherever you want, do whatever you want. And frankly there was nothing I could do if you let me down here to rot.”

“You hit your head on something or old age’s finally catching up with you?” Scud scoffed, wrapping the wound on his arm with the bandage he had undone earlier. The human grunted in frustration as he struggled to tie the knot with only one hand until Deacon unceremoniously patted his hand away to finish the task himself. “I’m no one’s pet now, true, so whatever I’ve been doing since the world literally ended is my own free will. How many times have I already explained this to you, huh?”

“It’d be easier for you if you didn’t have to drag a desiccated body around, wouldn’t it?”

“I don’t know, D,” Scud replied, shrugging, “but I’d have better chance at survival keeping an active vampire with me in the world swamped with zombies.”

“The thing is, Scud, I can’t be active without blood—”

“That’s why I brought this,” Scud said, tapping his forefinger on the cooler. “Pocketed it among other supplies from a medical facility only infected recently. If you go on a stringent diet, it should last you a while. After that, well, there’s me.”

“I understand the free will and all but why’re you doing this?”

Scud exhaled an exasperated sigh like he was fed up with explaining himself to this muddle-headed suckhead, which, of course, he wouldn’t say out loud. Deacon’s temper had gotten tamer since their master-pet dynamics was broken but it still wasn’t something to be taken lightly.

Cupping Deacon’s cheeks with both hands, Scud said, “Because you, Deacon Frost, is a good fuck. That and yours is the only cock around that isn’t festered and falling off.”

Deacon smirked, flashing the human his gleaming fangs. Cupping the back of Scud’s neck with one hand, he brought their faces closer until their lips were merely a couple inches apart. His breath ghosted over Scud’s nose and lips, chilling and blissfully not stale. On the other hand, it didn’t give the feeling of human breath either, more like a puff of cool air than anything. With those frosty blue eyes, Deacon mesmerized the human as he got rid of Scud’s tattered jacket and slipped a hand under the shirt, drawing imperfect circles with the tips of his fingers on bare skin. Scud shivered with the touch, goosebumps raising on his skin.

“So eager to drain me right after you pumped some energy in me, huh?”

“God knows I’ve been starving,” Scud whispered, pouring truth in every syllable and capturing Deacon’s lips to punctuate. The coppery taste was still there but since Scud was too used to tasting his own blood that he wouldn’t mind. He wasted no time in decimating the chasteness of the kiss, transforming it into rough smashing of tongues and teeth. The temperature in the cellar had risen up a few notches and their clothes were in the way, so Scud sought to rid themselves of the offending garments, an incredible feat considering he did it without destroying the fabric or breaking the contact. Once they were bare skin against bare skin, Scud instantly wrapped his legs around Deacon’s waist as the vampire laid him down on their scattered clothes. As Deacon brought three fingers to Scud’s mouth, he took the cue and dedicatedly coated them with his spits. They’d need more than just saliva for proper lubrication but Scud simply couldn’t give a damn; it wasn’t like he had been lucky enough to come across an adult shop with its merchandise untrashed. A soft moan escaped his lips as Deacon dipped the first finger inside him, from the pain of having been neglected for so long rather than pain from the intrusion itself. The second and third fingers joined in easily enough since Scud had already been slick with his arousal. His body reactions spelling loud and clear how much he yearned for Deacon brought a wave of affection surging in the vampire’s cold, dead and still heart. He prepared himself by smearing the early dews along his shaft and eased his way in Scud’s entrance, kissing the human with a tenderness that surprised even himself as he did. Only when he was fully inside Scud did Deacon allow a sharp breath to be exhaled from his pale lips. He too had been waiting too long for this moment.

When Deacon entered him, Scud caught a glimpse of heaven despite knowing so damn well the likes of him would never make it there; heck, hell suited him better anyway. When Deacon began moving just seconds after – the vampire had never been renowned for his patience, deep, sure thrusts that aimed for the secret spot inside that made him lose his mind, Scud felt his heart go up in his throat, chocking him, rendering any words on his tongue incoherent groans and hisses. His jagged, gnawed fingernails dug into Deacon’s shoulder blades, decorating the plane of his back with various lines ranging from pink to crimson. The vampire grunted, his hips speeding up in response to the human’s urge.

When he came Scud didn’t know that he did as his soul seemed to disengage from his body and float to heaven, his eyes temporarily blind by the pure light there. His soul did return however, and he felt Deacon’s orgasm keenly as though it was his own. He fed on the warmth spreading inside him as Deacon rode the waves of high until he came to a halt and collapsed on top of Scud.

Thoroughly drained, as he had joked. Scud found tiny pride in his heart for that.

“How did you get injured?” asked Deacon, fingering the bandage.

They were spooning on top of their discarded clothes, Deacon being the big spoon.

“Scraped myself while running for dear life. Almost got torn apart, y’know.”

Deacon’s fingers stilled.

“But I got my ass saved by a pair of Irish brothers.”

Deacon furrowed his eyebrows. “There’s still uninflected humans out there?”

“Uninflected, yes, but human, no. They didn’t tell me what they were exactly but my money’s on ‘bloodsuckers’. They had that same hungry I-wanna-bite-you look as you when they saw my blood. But they did an awesome job keeping their teeth in check, I give them that.”

“And here I though my race had been extinct by the zombie outbreak.”

“Not your race, though, as they walked unharmed under the sun.”

Deacon scoffed. “Like the Daywalker?”

“Nah, not really. I’m pretty sure B couldn’t have been able to destroy a horde of zombies bare-handedly without breaking a sweat.”

“No vampire, pureblood or not, could. Mindless as they are, those walking corpses are a force to be reckoned with.”

“The brothers wanted me to come with them.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“I don’t know,” Scud admitted, half truth, half not. “Maybe because two’s a company and three’s a crowd and I don’t like crowds.”

“Or maybe because you already have one bloodsucker too many in your life,” Deacon chuckled dryly.

“Yeah. But they told me there was a human community in the south. You think we could go there? I drive by day and you by night.”

“You say it on the premise that I could drive.”

Scud’s eyebrows nearly shot to the ceiling. “And you couldn’t? What kind of vampire—”

“The kind that can afford drivers. I didn’t say I couldn’t; it’s been a while since I was behind a wheel. But I suppose can manage some driving with the junk you have there.”

Scud huffed. “Just make sure you won’t kill me in my sleep and we’ll be fine.”

“We’ll see about that,” Deacon replied, brushing the bangs out of Scud’s forehead to land a light kiss there. “My biological clock dictates there’s about two hours left till dawn. You could use some sleep.”

Scud rubbed his eyes as he tugged Deacon’s lower lip playfully. Releasing it, he said, “Do me a favor and haul yourself into the trunk before sunrise, will you?”

A snort was Deacon’s answer.

End

Sorry the smut is a bit short.

[Rant] Keepers of the House – The Originals 4×04

Warnings: spoilers, inappropriate jokes, careless language, messing up the order of events, the usual stuff

  • First, congrats to JoMo on a very successful episode. The Originals is getting better week by week, the storyline is intriguing and unpredictable, and frankly I don’t understand why some people are complaining it’s an uninteresting plot. Guess they’re just hard to please eh?
  • The opening scene treats us to a nice view of Charles Michael Davis’s muscled back. I mean, the night view of Nola is pretty and all but I’m mildly distracted by another view…
  • Just like Sofya’s attempt to distract Marcel from his distraught day, which is leaning towards success until…

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  • … Vincent comes bringing more bad news. Way to go, Vince.

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  • Last episode I thought poor Will was possessed by the blue light; turns out I was wrong and Will seems pretty willingly kidnap the kids. I’m getting vibes that this episode will be the last we see of him.
  • Yeah, this is the last we see of Will. Our token human is gone. Looks like we’re not going to have a Matt Donovan in this show, are we?

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  • On the other hand, it’s pretty ironic and tragic that Klaus, who once saved Will from Lucien’s compulsion-induced suicidal depression, is the one to severe his mortal coil.
  • In the French Quarter, Klaus, Elijah and Hayley are bringing Hope to the old Mikaelson compound to meet with Vincent. What a shame to see the once-beautiful compound become a ruin.
  • Why are there so many crows gathering at the compound, waiting to be killed by mysterious force to form a circle around Hope?!

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  • Anw, Vincent’s mojo isn’t working and Hope’s condition appears to worsen. I wonder why the way the Hollow affects Hope is a bit different from the other kids: she dreams of and draws the Hollow; she doesn’t have to be present at the scene of the ritual, she has visions of other kids and premonition of her dad’s possession. Maybe it’s because she’s very special and the Hollow wants something different from her? Taking over her body and powers, perhaps?
  • Anw it’s too early to say anything regarding the Hollow as we have just learned its name.
  • Honestly I have no idea why Klaus has to clean up the bodies of dead crows. It’s not like this place can get anymore trashed, right?
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Multitasking huh?
  • So, not only witches are involved in this evil-mojo business but humans and wolves as well, just like Eva’s narration in the last episode stated. Now, here are some question that I hope will get the answer in later episodes: if this Hollow thing has been present in New Orleans soil since Vincent summoned it (he “gave it breath” right), how come it hasn’t been mentioned once during the course of seven years? And why is it suddenly and violently active now after having laid dormant for years? Whom can it affect? Witches, wolves and humans, but what about vampires? Can’t it reach vampires as well? And does it affect Nola-born individuals or any individuals standing on Nola soil?
  • Wait a minute, the reason why the Hollow is suddenly active may be because the link with the Ancestors was severed. When Vincent summoned it, the link was weak due to the Harvest girls stuff, so that thing sneaked in and got to Eva. Then the link got stronger and so it laid dormant until Vincent and Davina planted that witch bomb to destroy the link. Plus, that bomb was created by Eva and who knows, maybe she made it under the Hollow’s influence since getting rid of the Ancestors was what it wanted. Without them, it’s easy for this wicked thing to brainwash Nola citizens.
  • Well, that’s just my theory.
  • Elijah is particularly handsome in all-dark suit. Like every time he wears all-dark suit, it’s expected his suit will be ruined.
  • The scene where he blocks the bullets for Vincent and doesn’t even flinch is just too cool. I know he’s immune to bullets and all but it still looks so badass.

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  • Elijah’s having some badass quotes this episode. I wonder if the scriptwriter(s) is secretly his stan.
  • “That’s quite the monster you got lurking in there. You want to see mine?”
  • “I will violate everything sacred under the sun in the name of rescuing my niece.” This quote gives me both thrill and chill because it’s not bluff or boast, just bare truth. For his family Elijah’s willing to become the Devil himself.
  • Nice to see Vincent and the Mikaelsons working peacefully together for the greater good.
  • I actually feel kind of… sorry for Lara. I don’t think the show means to make viewers feel for her; she has like 5–7 minutes screen time and bamf, drop dead minus the gorgeous. Maybe it’s just me, maybe the actress is really that good that she makes me feel for the wolf girl although I’m not sure if I write her name right. Lara or Laura?

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  • But short-lived Lara dear makes two points before she’s off to wolf heaven. Let’s discuss them one by one.
  1. Marcel makes himself the king and claims to protect the city and its people and maintain peace and such, and he makes good to his words; still, it doesn’t change the fact that Nola isn’t his to rule. In this aspect he’s exactly like his ‘family’ (putting it in quotation marks because Marcel’s vehemently denying it), especially a certain Hybrid whose main concern used to be getting as much power as possible (now it’s just his little girl).
  2. Another wolf blames Hayley for abandoning her pack and choosing the Mikaelsons, leading to the wolf pack disintegrating. So your alpha failed you, you felt bitter, but hello, you’re wolves, get yourselves a new alpha. Aren’t wolves good at that? Choosing the strongest wolf to be their alpha?
  • Klaus and Hope’s bonding is getting better and better by the episode. He’s super determined to become the exact opposite of his abusive father, Mikael, and this is partly thanks to a certain brave bartender who was there to believe in the good in him and wouldn’t stop encouraging him to nurture it.
  • Speaking of Mikael, it looks like we get to meet the Destroyer in the next episode.
  • More Freya x Keelin vibes this episode. They’ll make a powerful couple with intriguing contradictions: the wolf and the witch, the young one and the ancient one, the scientist and the magic user, the lone one and the family protector.
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Probably both
  • Freya’s impressing Keelin again with her magic.
  • Freya’s being the badass matriarch of the family and honestly, she’s the sister we want to have in our lives.

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  • Klaus’s worried look when Marcel gets dragged into the magic circle. Despite everything the Hybrid still cares about his first child. I’m hopeful that somewhere along the season Klaus and Marcel will mend fences and Hope will get to call Marcel “big bro”. That’ll be very cute (except the tiny fact that ‘big bro’ and auntie Bex screwed each other once upon a time).
  • .. the Hollow gets to Marcel and Klaus. Nothing surprising because we’ve already been spoiled by the synopsis of the fifth episode. Of course Freya will save her little bro but let’s hope Marcel make it out in one piece too.
  • That Klelijah moment where they casually share a drink. It’d have been perfect if Elijah didn’t look so depressed. I mean, I don’t think I have ever seen ‘disheveled’ him like this, his shirt dirtied and untucked and him drinking straight from the bottle. There’s no question he would have done the necessary evils if Vincent hadn’t found the loophole, and after that he would have been gnawed by the guilt; even if he hadn’t done it, he is still much troubled. So, to people who wonder how Elijah-stans can still stan him after what he’s done, here’s why: he will do whatever necessary to save his family, and to him it’s the ‘right’ thing to do, but he won’t feel any good from it; instead he’ll be burdened by its weight for as long as it takes for a new guilt to step in and takes the old guilt’s place, and the cycle repeats. That’s the tragedy of his character. If you think he is remorseless, we are clearly not watching the same show.
  • Hayley’s armor-piercing question and her resolution for them to “do better” for the sake of Hope are much-needed for their relationship building. I’m all for a healthy, supportive and sympathetic relation where both partners are striving to help each other to become better.
  • Finally an auntie-niece moment to end the rant on a lighter note. Imagine how wonderful and badass it’ll be if by the end of this season, auntie and niece will join hands (figuratively and literally) and use their awesome magic (maybe channel some energy from their family) to kick this vile Hollow thing’s ass all the way to oblivion.

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Looking forward to the next episode… and Mikael’s appearance.

[Fanfic] Doppelgängers (1)

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Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms: The Boondock Saints, Blade

Rating: Mature

Pairings: Connor MacManus x Murphy MacManus (yeah, it’s incest, or twincest), Deacon Frost x Joshua “Josh” Frohmeyer aka Scud

Genres: fanfiction, alternate universe, zombie apocalypse

Characters: Connor MacManus, Murphy MacManus, Scud, Deacon Frost

Warnings: incest/twincest, vampirism

Summary: On their journey to the south, Connor and Murphy encounters some of Murphy’s doppelgängers along the way.

Sequel to Methuselahs – might turn into a series

Scud – Joshua “Josh” Frohmeyer (Blade II)

Part I. Doppelgänger

“Yer alright, lad? Can ya stand?”

There was something like a jolt of electricity shooting through his entire being once Murphy’s eyes, silver and hidden behind his shades, and the kid’s met for the first time. The very same blue (that both he and Connor had once had) changing minimally when the light was reflected on the irises, Murphy noticed, and he needed no mirror to tell the kid was wearing an eerily exact replica of his own visage, from his suntanned eyebrows, half covered under his long, messy bang, the tip of his nose, to the small dip between his lips and the little mole above his mouth. Younger, but the same. Alive, but the same. Human, but the same. He saw the black pupils boring into his face enlarging as if the kid was on drugs, undoubtedly no less flabbergasted by their uncanny resemblance than he himself was. Yet Murphy masked it better; he wouldn’t have lived for a hundred odd years and was unable to conceal his emotions.

The word ‘doppelgänger’ sprung to his mind and he couldn’t help shaking his head, smiling to himself, which confused the kid even more and it was shown on his face. Feeling a twitch of guilt at that, Murphy repeated his earlier question, offering his gloved hand.

With a wince, the kid took his hand, and Murphy all but lifted him up to his feet, gently and carefully as his inhuman strength allowed. Under the tattered red jacket and baggy khaki pants, the kid was probably quite thin, if his pale gaunt cheeks and light weight were any indications. Murphy felt sorry for the kid who bore all tell-tale signs of malnourishment and fatigue; he might not have had a decent meal and good sleep since forever. Life wasn’t particularly easy for humankind these days, what with the apocalypse and the plague spreading all over the world. A dead men’s curse that was way more sinister than just massacring humans: it turned the infected into mindless starving cannibals and damned them to keep on walking and feeding even when their maggot-infested flesh had fallen off their skeletons. War, hunger and death reigned by its side like the Four Horsemen, making the earth a more dreadful place than Hell.

Connor and Murphy had been going for months without seeing an uninflected human before they encountered this boy. It was Connor who had spotted him, a living scent so thin it was mostly buried under the sea of putrefying smell, yet it struggled, and it fought in a flimsy hope to be detected, to be saved before it resigned to its fate. Connor had always had keener senses and firmer belief than his younger twin, and if there was even one survivor within their sensing radius, it was Connor that found them first and came to their rescue. This time it was no different. The undead had been but an arm’s length from ripping the boy to pieces and making him one of them when Connor tore through the mass of rotten flesh like a furious tornado, Murphy closely behind. And now, while Murphy was speaking to the human to calm him from the shock of nearly losing his life, Connor was putting the rest of the hoard to peace.

They had recently taken this job although the Lord hadn’t assigned them any task concerning it. Their job was to destroy evil, but since evil was too scarce in this apocalyptic world, they took it upon themselves to put any dead souls crossing their path to rest.

“I am Murphy,” Murphy elucidated, his tone assuring as he felt the light tremor where his hand made contact with the kid. From shock or apprehension he couldn’t tell. Maybe both. “That’s me brother, Connor. What’s yer name?”

“Josh…” the kid replied, a mere whisper. He cleared his throat and repeated, fearing the stranger hadn’t been able to hear him, “Joshua, actually. But people call me Scud, like, y’ know, stud.” He laughed nervously. He used to make this statement every time he told people his name, thinking it his trademark default introduction. It didn’t feel right as before, and he felt like an awkward teenager making a fool of himself in front of his heaviest crush.

“Or cuddle,” Murphy quipped. “Aren’t ya tha cuddly type?”

“Close but not really.” Scud wanted to scratch his perpetual bedhead and realized his right hand was still in Murphy’s. Separated by a layer of leather and yet somehow Scud could tell his hand was cool. Like way too cool for a normal human being clad in leather in the early July weather. It should have but didn’t weird him out, and Scud decided he really didn’t mind having his hand held by another; physical contact was so rare nowadays he was almost starving and he wanted it to last as long as he could manage. Besides, he wasn’t stranger to lower-than-normal body temperature after all.

Something else tickled Scud’s spidey sense. The human often prided himself on having exceptional survival instincts; otherwise he wouldn’t have made it to today, having wormed his way through the dangerous underground world of vampires and now zombie wonderland; the incident today was but a chink in his luck. That was to say Scud could sniff it out when danger was rearing its ugly head, which was about now. There was nothing ordinary, or if he dared think, human, about his saviors. From their ubiquitously pallid skin tone, Murphy’s unusually low body temperature to the ease with which his brother Connor laid waste to the zombies with no weapon other than his gloved hands. These mindless walking corpses didn’t possess much more strength than their former human selves; still, what made them the single mass-destruction force were their gargantuan number and unrivaled savagery. Scud had had the privilege to witness them decimating a whole club of suckheads, and till this day, he had never had a more harrowing experience. Yet here none of them had been able to lay a single decomposing finger on Murphy’s brother. As a matter of fact the remaining ones appeared hesitant in attacking, milky, soulless eyes darting back and forth between their destroyer and the disembodied parts scattered around their feet in a too-human manner. If Scud didn’t know so well he might be convinced they were scared.

Maybe Scud didn’t know so well as he believed.

And, if he did know better, he too should be scared by this pair of brothers. He wasn’t afraid, perhaps a little bit wary but afraid, definitely not. That Murphy and he were bearing striking resemblance might have something to do with it. To judge a book by its cover, that was Joshua Frohmeyer.

Again, Scud was no stranger to the inhuman. Had served some, had killed some, had screwed some. Had even loved one. All before another kind of undead ruled the world.

“Ya aren’t afraid o’ us, are ya?” Murphy asked, gazing toward his brother, who was sending the last of them to the afterlife.

“Well, not really…” Scud spoke, trying to not sound like he was telling a blatant lie because he wasn’t. “How can you tell? I don’t think I’m shitting in my pants or something.”

Murphy sniggered at the kid’s lack of refinement. “No, yer not. But fear has a smell an’ it’s unlike shit, I tell ya. Yer not reekin’ o’ fear though; yer reekin’ o’ fresh blood.”

Without waiting for Scud’s response and still holding his hand, Murphy rolled up the kid’s torn and dirty sleeve. A deep-red gash that ran from Scud’s upper arm to elbow was revealed to his sight. It looked nasty and it was weeping blood, and though it had the possibility of getting infected, it wasn’t something life-threatening. Fortunately just a flesh wound. The strong alluring metallic scent, however, was rawly fraying Murphy’s nerves. His mouth felt parched, his throat constricted and a tremor passed from his head to his toes; he was very tempted to run his tongue along the gash and gathered all the ruby nectar that was all going to waste anyway.

The mesmerized look plastered on Murphy’s countenance alerted Scud. “Uhm… Murphy?” he called, none-too-subtly attempting to yank his hand from the older man’s vice-like grip. Why was he staring at his bloody gash like he hadn’t eaten for months? What was he, a suckhead?!

At Scud’s voice, Murphy snapped out of his sanguinary trance. Grunting audibly, he let go of the human’s hand and started pacing around the place they were standing, which happened to be a medical facility. After emptying a few drawers out in a devil-may-care manner, he found a bottle of antiseptic, hopefully unexpired, and roll of clean gauze. He poured almost half the bottle on the wound, feeling a sense of guilt budding in his chest at Scud’s hiss, before bandaged the kid’s forearm to his elbow. Thankfully it didn’t require a deft hand or much skill as Murphy hadn’t had to treat a wound for decades, just rolling the gauze up the arm and making sure it was secure enough but not too tight that it hindered the blood flow. Once he was done Murphy was even a little proud of himself. Not the best dressing in the world but this would do in the meantime.

“Ya should thank yer luck that ya didn’t get infected,” Murphy told Scud, his voice coming out an octave lower than normal. “If ya did, I’d have no choice but ta put ya ta rest like ‘em corpses.”

“Thank you,” Scud mumbled, examining the knot on his bandage for a few seconds before covering it with his sleeve. “Must have hurt myself while running for my life. But no, I was incredibly lucky I didn’t get my ass bitten.”

Out of the corner of his eyes Murphy saw Connor approaching, brushing off bits of flesh from his jacket and frowning as they left stains on the leather, and turned around to call out to him. “Come, Connor, the lad’s alrigh’.”

The astounded look on his twin’s face was the same as his when Connor scrutinized the kid for any other injuries than the one Murphy had bandaged, and… perhaps to catch a glimpse of his soul, a habit he didn’t share with his brother – Murphy only dissected a human’s heart when he was certain he would sink his fangs into their neck whereas Connor wanted to see for himself how each person looked like on the inside. Under Connor’s intense gaze, the kid seemed to squirm, a tiny movement one wouldn’t notice if one weren’t a sense-freak bloodsucker. His blue eyes looking at Connor spoke of distrust, his lips pressed firmly and he was clutching his wounded arm in a defensive stance. Apparently he was more comfortable in the presence of a man whose face was identical to his.

Having realized he might be intimidating the young man with his stare, Connor cast his eyes down and he cleared his throat in an attempt to break the tension he had unconsciously created. “Glad ta hear yer unaffected.” He glanced around. “There’s enough fuckin’ body parts ‘round here.”

Sudden Murphy raised his voice, startling both Connor and the kid. “Ya wanna come with us? Yer all by yerself, aren’t ya? It’s not easy ta survive on yerself. Maybe next time ya won’t be so luc—”

Murphy didn’t know why he cut himself short once Connor placed a firm hand on his shoulder, but he did shut his trap at once. In the temporary silence engulfing the three of them Murphy already regretted his offer. Not only had acted impulsively again, making big decision without consulting with his brother first, he also had broken their vow to never have a human companion again. A human would neither adapt to the peculiar lifestyle of bloodsuckers nor feel entirely safe in the company of those whom they knew well to have a crave for their vein. Plus, the inevitable agony of outliving the human was something they could do without. Knowing all that and still, Murphy felt the need to take this lonely and vulnerable young man under their wings and give him protection and care so that never again did he have to run for his life or suffer injuries. Part of his rationality doubted if he would bear the same thought if the boy didn’t look more like Murphy’s twin than his real one. There had to be some sort of mystical connection beyond their nearly identical faces; Murphy just failed to figure it out.

Scud’s eyes flicked between his two survivors, neither of whom gave him a total sense of safety, or at least that was what his instincts had been telling him for the last hour; they were far more lethal than the living dead, or even the suckheads he had spent the greener years of his youth living amongst. Despite so, he felt inexplicably drawn to one of the brother. He wanted to trust Murphy, wanted to tail behind him, even if that meant giving up his hard-earned freedom to wear the collar – he doubted he would protest if Murphy were to clasp a literal collar around his neck or tattoo his glyph on his skin, turning Josh Frohmeyer the man back to Scud the pet all over again. And this time he wouldn’t defile his master, he would obey. Better be pet than dead, torn apart and eaten.

Nonetheless, he wouldn’t come with Murphy and Connor, not while he was still breathing and moving on his will…

Still clutching his arm close to his body, Scud fingered the fabric of his sleeve, under which he knew there wasn’t only the damaged flesh but also an unmarred glyph spelling the name of a certain suckhead in suckhead language. He hoped that Murphy only thought of it as an exotic tattoo and nothing else.

Because of it, Scud would turn down Murphy’s offer for protection.

“Nah, thanks, really appreciate it but I can’t go with you,” Scud said, kicking the cooler by his legs with a childish bore. It was the sole reason why he had come here and almost lost his damned life. “Got a place to go…… and someone to go back to.”

Those last words came out light as a breath but Connor and Murphy heard them just fine. Murphy’s eyes widened as his jaw dropped slightly. On the other hand, Connor looked calm as though he had already known the answer, anticipated it even. His hand on Murphy’s shoulder gave a reassuring squeeze, his head nodding.

Murphy felt a little knot in his chest as he watched the kid haul the cooler on his shoulders. It spiked his sense with a strong familiar smell and he briefly wondered what Scud intended to do with it.

None of his business though.

“Ya take care,” said Murphy, fully aware this was farewell. “There’s a thrivin’ human community if ya move ta tha south. We’re headin’ there.”

“I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks for this information and for saving my ass.”

With that Scud began walking away from them. Murphy’s eyes were on him until the kid’s sight completely vanished. He took little assurance in that Connor had erased the undead in the vicinity and the kid should be safe. For now.

“Wow, that kid looks like yer twin than me. Ya sure ya haven’t fathered any offsprings along the way?” Connor quipped. “Should I be worried there are little Murphies runnin’ around?”

Murphy smacked his brother’s head, laughing hard. “None that ya know o’.” He took a pause to compose himself. “The doppelgänger legend is real and we jus’ saw mine.”

“‘M envious. When do we get ta see mine?”

“Hopefully tha next time we round tha corner, find a distressed human an’ ya got ta put on yer hero hair,” said Murphy. “I kinda hoped tha kid would go with us even though after Rom’s death we swore we’d never take another human. Who knows, he might not have enough luck ta see another day.”

Connor exhaled than took in a breath – all out of human habit than necessity. “‘M pretty sure tha lad has enough bloodsucker in his life already. Saw how he fidget ‘round us?

“Wait, did ya jus’ say there are bloodsuckers other than us?”

“‘M surprised yer surprised, Murph. After all we exist, an’ tha world is swarmed with walking corpses, so I don’t get why the idea that vampires exist is far-fetched. I stole a glance at his soul, didn’t I?

Murphy chuckled. “Wish I had done tha same. That way I wouldn’t be curious by how our ‘cousin’ looks like.”

“Pretty like Twilight, minus tha sparkle,” replied Connor.

(To be continued)

Note: Please excuse my attempt to write dialogues with the Irish accent.

This takes place after the events in Methuselahs, so Connor and Murphy have been vampires (created by Judas’s blood by God’s order) for roughly a century. The setting is zombie apocalypse although it’s not like The Walking Dead (I haven’t watched that series despite Daryl Dixon’s probably Norman Reedus’s most famous role). My initial was that Connor and Murphy encountered many Myrphy’s doppelgänger, or other characters Reedus’s portrayed over the year (like Scud from Blade II, Young Man from Dark Harbor, Travis from Gossip, John Rollins from Messengers II: The Scarecrow), on their way to the south (as stated at the end of Methuselahs). I started with Scud because he seems to be a fun character to write and I ship ScuDeacon pretty hard (blame Deuces Wild for that, fun movie, just watch it); let’s see if inspiration will hit me and I may write more for other characters.

The second part is for Scud and Deacon.

 

[Rant] Haunter of Ruins – The Originals 4×03

Warnings: spoilers, inappropriate jokes (it’s ranting; what do you expect?), careless language, messing up the order of the events

  • ‘Tis a peaceful day of the Mikaelsons…
  • The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, no squirrels are eaten and it’s a lovely day in… I’m sorry, where are the Mikaelsons?!
  • In the middle of nowhere, right. Even Klaus says it out loud.

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  • Nice manor tho.
  • The Mikaelsons sure are early risers… or they just don’t have the need to sleep after sleeping for 5 years.
  • Nate just nailed Bratty Kol *thumbs up*.

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  • The way Elijah’s hands are frozen in the holding position for some seconds after Kol snatches the newspaper
  • It may have happened a lot in the dream world.
  • Klaus took the time to shower and groom himself properly. Gotta look dashing for his little girl.

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  • … but he forgets to groom his temper obviously. Perfect timing, bro (y).
  • Hope’s looking intimidated and confused. I wonder if Hayley had ever taken her to the attic to ‘meet’ her aunts and uncles or just told Hope about them. But Hayley must have shown her pictures, no?

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  • Anw, first impression isn’t so good.
  • Klaus’s looking so hurt he doesn’t dare follow his little her into the garden. Aw.
  • Ooh, flashback and even better, it’s flashback of Vincent and Eva.
  • Maisie’s beautiful af.

5

  • Eva seems so nice and sweet I can hardly reconcile this Eva with the evil witch in the second season.
  • So Sophie Deveraux had a gift of telling that a woman’s pregnant. That’s how she was able to tell Hayley was pregnant in the first season. Makes sense.
  • Vincent’s gonna be a father. Considering we haven’t heard even one mention of his kid today we can safely assume it was either stillborn or got taken away. Anw, bad things happened.
  • Oh, Will… How I miss thee. Thought he was offed by some rascal vampires in the last season finale. His status has been officially promoted to the show’s human token. Is it too much to ask the scriptwriters to please not kill him off?

7

  • Seeing Eva and Will does give me hope that perhaps we can get to meet a few old faces (but not Caroline please), namely a certain crazy redhead and her equally crazy but devoting brother. Their fates were cliffhanging in the last episode and I’d prefer the writers tight up the loose ends. In other words, if they have to get rid of Tristan and Aurora then just kill them off and be done with it.
  • Back to the Mikaelsons.
  • Klaus’s bonding with Hope seems to go rather well, except that Hope’s drawing that creepy blue circle and later seeing it.

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  • Hope’s doing magic!!! Without Freya’s teaching her any spells yet!!
  • The magic she uses to heal the butterfly is pretty much the same as Freya’s when she reunited with Finn in season 2.

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  • Kind of feel sorry for Keelin until she accuses Hayley of betraying her kind for a bunch of vampires. What has Hayley done that can be considered betraying her own kind, girl?
  • But Freya sure is brutal when it comes to protecting her family. And she’s bit cranky as well. Very much like a pre-Hope Klaus.
  • And Keeling nonchalantly reveals that she’s queer.
  • I’m not the only one sensing Freya x Keelin vibes, right?
  • And why Freya’s unhurt after she’s hit by Keelin’s car?? Weird.
  • Meanwhile Kol and Rebekah are musing their life matters over a fresh corpse. Who’s gonna clean up after, I wonder.

8

  • Pretty a foreshadowing of their leaving, which happens near the end of the episode. But it’s alright, they’ll come back soon enough, especially when trouble is brewing at home.
  • I find it extremely refreshing that the enemy this time doesn’t seem to be the Mikaelsons’ result of centuries of mistreating others, or does it?
  • Vincent’s recollection of how the book landed in his possession is creepy enough. So, was he possessed and unknowingly wrote it or it just copied the handwriting of its ‘owner’ for the sake of messing their mind?
  • Why the serpents though? Is it some sort of ancient creatures/monsters?
  • Whatever it is, let’s hope when it’s brought into the light, it won’t be a gargantuan disappointment like Cade aka the (lame) Devil.
  • Aw, look at Klaus’s reaction when Hope surprises him with a gesture of affection. 1000-year-old Original hybrid, Big Bad Wolf, everyone’s nightmare, totally baffled. You’d better get used to them, man, ‘cuz you’ll be getting a lot of them from now.
  • The blue light again.
  • Nice to see the old Strix mansion. Less nice to see it become a sacrificial ground for some creepy-ass dude that may or may not make it through the episode.
  • Creepy-ass dude whose name we may never know knocks down Marcel. Creepy-ass dude: 1, Marcel: 0

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  • Actually, make it 2 since Marcel’s a super vampire now.
  • Creepy-ass dude may be creepy af but he’s one strong witch.
  • Shouldn’t we be surprised that Hope’s among the kids targeted? No, we shouldn’t.
  • Which leads us right back to the Mikaelsons’ mansion, and Hope’s nose-bleeding. Never a not-worrying sign for a witch.
  • Can we just have a few seconds appreciating Hayley’s running out to her daughter in her underwear and Elijah’s shirt.
  • The vampire-hybrid sex earlier is hot af, and I’m not even a Haylijah Not to mention the “I love you” confessions from both of them. Hard to get a screenshot of the bedroom scene tho as they keep vamp-speeding like that.
  • Are they fighting for domination in bed?

16

  • “She needs me. I need both of you. We’re a family.” Kudos for Hayley.
  • So the family’s back to New Orleans. Freya’s probably staying home.
  • The exorcism of Eva looks creepy enough.

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  • And then there’s Will, clearly possessed, slitting an officer’s throat and driving the children to God-know-where.
  • Last but not least, Kol and Rebekah’s on their road trip (after taking a nice car from some random victim). Hope to see them again soon; they still have some bonding with their little niece to do.

Looking forward to the next episode.