Karra (karra) wrote in mountieslayer,
Karra
karra
mountieslayer

"Soulmate" part I



One month later...

It had been a long, lazy Saturday morning all alone with Ray, some music,
a pot of coffee, a dwindling box of Smarties, and no plans beyond dinner
that evening. Lucia was busy in the library, Jay was happily rebuilding
the transmission on Tony's car, Turnbull had taken Mina to a country
western concert, and Dief had asked to spend the day with Ma Vecchio.
The day was theirs. And because of the partial immunity to the sun that
get possesed for a short time, they didn't have to worry about being
interrupted should the morning become a bit more active for the two of
them.
Fraser had taken what was for him a decadently long shower and was even
now finishing up toilette with a shave. He was almost done, carefully
shaving off the last bit of stubble from his chin and neck, when he felt
a small sting.

Finishing quickly, Fraser was wiping his face when he spotted the nick,
a thin line of red against the white of his throat. He made a face,
annoyed at his own carelessness, and was about to wipe it away when the
bathroom door was yanked open to reveal a wild-eyed Ray Kowalski. Fraser
blinked as Ray stepped closer, sniffing the air like a bloodhound He
was focused. Intent.
On Fraser's throat.

He was drawn to the tiny cut on the Mountie's neck, fascinated. His
eyes held a strange light and in a thrilling rush, Fraser saw that Ray's
eyes were almost blue again, almost close to normal. He stared, not
exactly sure how to gauge Ray's reaction and conduct. He'd seen Ray
fixated on things before, but this was just a tiny swell of blood.
He was startled when Ray kissed him, those long fingers tangling in Fraser's
dark hair as he massaged the back of his head. He'd been kissed by Ray
well and often, and while it was in no way unusual for the impulsive
American to randomly pounce out of nowhere, this was exceptional.
Ray was all but devouring him.

Fraser rapidly discovered being devoured was a very good thing.

An appriciative moan escaped Fraser as those talented lips moved from
lips to jaw to throat. He was shocked when Ray suddenly licked at the
trace of blood, taking it in with the last drop of shaving creme. It
didn't seem to bother the detective. Nothing would at this point. Except
stopping.
"Ray..."

He felt Ray's breath on his skin and tried to get him to look up. The
American had his prize, though, and Fraser could not pry him away.
The steam from the shower was making him dizzy.

Or maybe that was Ray...

He was not prepared when ray bit him. Hard, but not hard enough to draw
blood. Just enough to keep the small nick flowing. It really didn't
cause any pain and the newness, the closeness and intimacy such an act
ushered in was arousing unto itself and unlike any sensual contact they
had ever shared.
Still. there was a definate risk and Fraser arched his body against Ray's,
his fingers running through Ray's hair, trying to pull the detective
back. He stopped when he noticed Ray's hair was wet and...inky? And
smelled kind of...what was the word Ray used often? Rank. Definetly rank.

But those lips and those teeth banished all thought as he felt Ray drink
from him, sucking at the small wound, his long body thrusting against
Fraser's in time with the Mountie's pulse. The Constable gasped and
Ray moaned.

"Ray. Ray, don'..."

His eyelids fluttered as Ray continued to draw upon his throat. It was
so different from the last time that there was no comparison. This was
not frenzied or frantic. This was slower. Gentle. Giving.
That first time had been lust.

Now it was love.

Actually, upon consideration and reflection, it felt good. The sensation
was dizzying, true, but it felt...nice. Floaty. It occuured to him
that Ray was not trying to hurt him. He hadn't taken that much blood
and the feel of his lips and teeth and tongue on his throat was positively
stimulating. Erotic, even.
"Oh...Ray...Ray...wai..."

He only then became aware they were half lying on the floor of the bathroom,
Ray's lesser weight pinning him down. A sudden coolness as Ray drew
back, a strange movement and shift of weight and something warm and salty
hit his lips. Fraser groaned as Ray settled back into the bite and he
tasted his lover's blood. So strange that this should be arousing. A
heady elixer that was such a part of Ray. It tasted like Ray, strong
and warm with an odd tang. Fraser knew he could so easily be intoxicated.

Pressure built, pleasureful pain, and not only from the bite. Why was
this so arousing? Opening his eyes drunkenly, he lifted a hand to Ray's
wrist, not sure if he should go on or what to do about the shallow cut
that seemed to call for his attention.
"Ray?"

A momentary relief as Ray smiled down at him, a warm light in those almost-black
eyes. "Just wanted ya to see how it feels fer me...s'okay if you don't
take too much."
It was...it was an experience unparalelled. This was Ray, all of him,
body and heart and soul, gladly, freely offered to Fraser. This was
what drinking his blood felt for Ray? It was...increadable. Small
wonder he was so eager.

"You, too," he breathed as he pulled Ray back down and felt the bite
continue. Ray groaned as Fraser bit down on the wound he'd made in his
own wrist. Briefly, very briefly, he wondered about the wet, black ink
on his shirt.

Very briefly.

Maybe Ma Vecchio would keep Dief on Sunday, too.

Ray was beginning to get a little friendlier than simple bloodletting,
when a loud rining pierced the silence of the bathroom. The oven timer?
He heard Ray swear against his neck. "Shit..."

"mm...cooking?" Fraser's voice was slurred, drunk with passion.

"Well...I was..." Ray grinned at his dazed and happy lover, nipping gently.
"Screw it. I can deal with itching..."

***

Ray woke up half sprawled on Fraser's body, his hair itching like crazy.
It took him nearly a minute to remember why they were on the floor and
when he did he grinned.

Fraser was down for the count, and it took Ray an agonizingly long time
to get him to their bed. He scratched at his hair, annoyed and frustrated
and hoping Fraser would wake up sooner rather than later.

He made his way towards the kitchen sink on shaky legs, determined to
stop the itching now so he could concentrate on his mountie later.

The water turned dark beneath his massaging fingers and a few minutes
later he groped for a towel, noticing a small sound from the bedroom.

Fraser woke up in bed. Ray must've dragged him in here after their escapade
in the bathroom. He smiled, remembering and looked at his shirt. A large
purple stain had spread over a quarter of it. "Ray?"

"What?" Ray's voice was muffled. The sound of someone towel drying his
hair.

"My shirt's purple."

Silence. "I'm sorry."

"Did you spill grape juice on m..." Fraser's mouth dropped open when
Ray entered the bathroom. He opened and closed it several times, barely
making a sound.

"Careful, Frayze. You'll catch flies." Ray ran a hand self consciously
over his head, sitting next to his lover. "What? What's wrong?"

"Your...hair."

"Yes?"

Fraser wondered if he didn't notice. Or if he himself was seeing something.
An affect of the blood loss. He closed his eyes and opened them. No.
It had to be Ray. "Are you...mentally fractured in some manner, Ray?"

Ray blinked with surprise. And amusement. "That's nice, Ben. Really."

"Your hair."

"Yeah. It was hurting."

"So you....purple, Ray?"

"Nightshade, actually. I haven't done the roots yet. They're gonna be
red. Mountie Red." He grinned wider. "Are you ok? You look like you're
gonna stroke out."

***

Turnbull stood at the desk across from Warfield, and glared at the young
vampire who had insulted him. A harsh, guttural word from the Prince
made the man back down.
"Marco! You shame your clan in this, our house! The Constable is my
guest."
Argued Marco, "He's a Slayer!"

"And you are a fool!" snapped Warfield. "You do not think. Henceforth,
Marco, this man's life is your responsibility in my territory. If harm
in any form befalls him, you will be to blame. The Slayers in this city
are sacrosanct, just as the Knights are."
Marco retreated with an unhappy growl leaving Turnbull with the Prince
and Zuko.
"What brings you to my house, Seeker?" asked Warfield, waving Turnbull
towards a chair at the table beside him.
"I came to warn you."

"Warn me? Isn't it your role to eliminate my kind, Renfield?"

"My role is to find a peaceful balance. There can't be one until Lilith
is stopped from this rampage."
"Rampage?" echoed Zuko. "She's been mighty quiet for a rampage."

"Last month was nothing. She just wanted to get to Elder Kowalski."

"I take it she did."

"Indeed. Kowalski drained her, almost." Turnbull clasped his hands
on the polished mahogany table before him. "The transfer of blood was
too much for a ghoulite and he vomited up her blood-"
"Such a pity," murmured Warfield. And it was. Lilith's power in a ghoulite...it
was unheard of. It might have been interesting.
"It made him very sick for a long time. We later found out, though,
that she deliberately let him drain her so that some of her power would
overtake Ray. He's been acting strangely lately and I can see her influence
in him. I'm afraid of what will happen to him when she calls again.
He may be helpless to resist her."
"Dark hair and dark eyes," said Zuko knowingly.

"Is /that/ why you've been asking him to dye his hair?" demanded Turnbull.

Frank Zuko smiled. "Partially. We really /were/ allergic to the color,
though."
"So was he, apparently."

"So what is your warning?" Prince Warfield asked mildly.

"Lilith is not dead and it's her intent to kill Caine. She's going to
use Ray as a cover and as a pawn. He has some of her power in him now
and he doesn't understand it. He barely /knows/ it." Turnbull and Frobisher
had not thought it prudent to tell him just yet.
"What do you want us to do, Seeker Turnbull?" Zuko shot back.

"I want you to alert Caine."

"Consider it done," said Warfield before Zuko could speak.

"I also want to ask you a question."

"Ask. For the sake of the House of Rachel, if I can answer, I will."

"Do you know of any possible way to save Ray Kowalski's life?"

The ancient eyes bored into Turnbull's. He stared back unflinchingly.

"I may."

As the Slayer was escorted out by Marco, Zuko turned to his Prince.
"Do you think it will work?" he asked with wry admiration for the audacious
plan.
"It may. Not many other things will at this point. That is why I'm
entrusting the job to you."

"Me?"

"Elder Kowalski was made your responsibility, Franco. He needs help
now, he just doesn't know it."
"He's dangerous."

"Perhaps, but he's an innocent and an Elder and he has great capacity
for good. He is a powerful ally, especially with the Slayer and the
Seeker at his side."
"You like him."

"More than his Mountie. He takes his role as Elder far more seriously
than I expected." Warfield cast a look at Zuko. "He must not know it
is you."
"He won't."

"Then I am satisfied."

***

One week later...

His shift was over, it was a Friday, Fraser was working late at a Consolate
function but would be home by nine - life was good. Ray Kowalski stretched
at his desk. He'd actually made a dent in his paperwork. There'd been
a lot of it, he'd been gone nearly a month. He'd have to stop doing that.

Another day like this and there might even be a light at the end of the
tunnel.
Lt. Welsh stalked by. "Kowalski!"

"Yes, sir?"

"Your hair is purple."

"Yes, sir."

"Does that strike you as particularly professional for a police detective?"

"My hair hurt, sir." He was very glad the lieutenant hadn't seen the
red.
"You ain't kidding. Dye it black, for god's sake, will you?"

"I tried, Lieu. This is what happened."

"Try, try again, Kowalski. This weekend."

"Got it, Lieu." He smiled as Welsh returned to his office. All day
he'd been telling everyone he'd tried to go black and failed. Truthfully,
though, he'd gone right for the purple. It had been worth it for the
look on Fraser's face. It had taken Fraser nearly a day to recover from
the shock.
"Hey, Frannie!"

"No, Ray."

"Won't even let your former older brother take you out for dinner?"

"You still eat?"

"Thanks, Frannie, I can just feel the waves of love. Yeah, I eat. Do
you want to?"
"Let me get this info to Rosetti and you can take me to the Symphony
Caf."
"Deal."

An hour and a half later, he was dropping Francesca at the Vecchio house
and upsetting Ma. It wasn't the hair, she barely commented on it (though
she thought it was a nice shade of purple), no, she was horrified by
how thin Ray had gotten since the last time she'd seen him. The end
result of her reaction was that Ray Vecchio got a smack for not telling
her and Francesca was sent to make coffee and Rosa Vecchio forced dessert
on her auxiliary son. He didn't mind. It was nice to have a family,
even if they weren't his.

His family, when they'd found out about his ghoulitism and being elder
had practically shunned him. He'd spent weeks in a funk over that. Snapping
at everyone, even Fraser.
It was eight when he left the Vecchio's and headed home. All in all,
an excellent day with the promise of turning into an excellent weekend.
He parked the GTO with his usual care and as he got to the car, he knew
there was someone nearby. Someone undead. Damn. He scanned the area.
Not one of the McGets. Maybe they were having a party. Doubtful...

"Elder."

He whirled at the soft voice. Not one of his. Shit.

The blow came from behind, slamming him to the ground between the parked
cars, the Riv and the GTO. Ray struggled to get his legs beneath him
when he was hit again.
Hard. For a moment, he saw a brightness in his mind that had nothing
to do with his vision. Then there was blackness.
***

Tony lowered his newspaper, momentarily as he heard a sickening thump.
He briefly pondered going out to see what it was, but heard the GTO start
up and shook his head. Better to wait.

Besides, the commercials were over.

***

Blinding light.

He couldn't open his eyes. Not even a crack. Whomever had nailed him
had nailed him good. He was flat on his back on something cold and hard
and damp in someplace that smelled of dust and sewage. He was restrained,
too. Prone eagle with cuffs on his wrists and what felt like rope on
his legs

How Hollywood. No need to blindfold him. He'd forced his eyes open earlier
and it was simply too bright for him to see anything without his glasses.

His head hurt like hell, as much from getting hit as from the
migraine-inducing light. How long had he been unconscious? What the
hell did whoever do this want and why?
"Hey!" he called, determined to get results. If only to drive them nuts.
Maybe get rid of this sun lamp that was going to fry him to a Polish
fritter. "Hey!"
Silence. No street sounds, nothing. Just him breathing and occasionally
cursing and struggling against the cuffs. He hated this. He hadn't
been too badly hurt - well, okay, he was hurt, but he'd been hurt worse
than this in the past - but where the hell were they? Was it Saturday?
Fraser would be going nuts trying to find him. Was it even past nine
and did Fraser even realize he'd been kidnapped? Where would he look?
He'd be stuck at the Consulate because Ray was supposed to go pick him
up when he called...He had a sudden mental image of Fraser anxiously
calling the apartment and growing more worried with each passing moment.
Oh, god, Fraser...

A whisper of a sound. Ray froze, straining his ears to catch the direction.

Another.

Another.

At least three of them. Vampires. Were they Gangrel? Back for some
weird revenge? No. They wouldn't. Calhoun had been cast out, Lilith's
judgement. Warfield had said /he/ was Gangrel Elder and as such they
couldn't hurt him.
Hell...

Was that another one?

Suddenly the mental image of another letting raced through his mind like
a runaway train - there was no stopping or turning it aside.
/Oh, my god! No! NO!/

Panic gripped Ray Kowalski. Sheer terror such as he had never before
felt. He struggled wildly, felt the cuffs cut into his wrists as a scream
rose from his throat.
"No! NO! Keep away from me! NO!"

Still no sound but him; powerful hands grasped him. He was held down
bodily, crushing grips on his arms and legs.
"NOOOOOO!" He was practically shrieking with terror. Not again. Not /again/.
Where was Fraser's dad? He'd know what to do.
A savage blow across the face almost knocked Ray out again and he reeled
from the pain and shock. He remembered Calhoun, those vicious assaults
upon body and mind that had almost killed him. Oh, god, would Fraser
find him dead? Worse yet, undead? He wasn't ready for that.
Someone else was there, moving carefully so that his body never blocked
the light. He felt a touch on his bleeding wrists, but the person resisted
any temptation to drain him that way. Ray writhed, the ropes pulling
tighter on his legs. Oh, god, get him out of here...He strained desperately,
tthrowing his head back and arching his back. For one dizzying moment
he caught a glimpse of a skylight far overhead and he saw...blue sky.

God, it was /day/ how could they be out?

Suddenly his lips were forced apart and he tasted the salty tang of blood
in his mouth. What were they doing? He struggled, but the man seized
him by the hair and smacked his head on the floor hard enough to make
him groan.
Something was forced into his mouth again. A wrist? A wrist torn open
to allow blood to flow freely. It filled Ray's mouth, wedged his jaws
open so far he couldn't even bite. Could barely even breathe.
Abruptly, he didn't mind.

A warmth flowed through him, filling him. He choked on the first mouthful
of blood, unable to refuse and live. The second mouthful he swallowed,
the third he eagerly sucked from the open wound when the wrist was yanked
away again. He coughed, suddenly realizing what he had done. God, he
could have drunk form something as poisonous as Lilith...
Coming to himself once more, he tried to resume his struggles. If he
could only vomit, as he had done with Victoria...
Without any warning, darkness returned and he was suddenly free. He
was soon to find this was by no means a good thing as large hands hauled
him upright. The first blow landed in his stomach, doubling him over
with a bark of pain. Another shot to the head, then to the ribs, and
then he lost track as he was thoroughly and ruthlessly beaten to unconsciousness.

*****

It was cold again. Damp again, too, from the rain. Rain? It wasn't
supposed to rain until late Sunday. Had he been lying here through the
night? Ray Kowalski tried to open his eyes and was marginally successful.
He was staring at something gray and dirty. A cement wall.
Slowly, his ribs screaming, his back aching, his whole entire body protesting,
he raised his head. He was in an alley way in god only knew what side
of town. He struggled to turn his head, his nose picking up some smells
only Fraser could appreciate.
Fraser!

With an inarticulate cry he tried to stand. The sun was barely peeking
over the buildings but it was still too bright for him and he knew he
had to find help /now/. He needed to find Fraser. Let him know he was
alive.
His legs were fainting under him as he staggered to the end of the alley
and onto the sidewalk. A few people were waiting by a bus stop, among
them a cop with a cup of steaming coffee in her hands as she chatted
with a construction worker. A man in a suit tapped on her shoulder and
pointed at Ray where he leaned against a wall and the officer hurried
over.
"Sir? Sir, are you all right? Do you need help?"

He fumbled for his ID, keeping his eyes squeezed shut. "I'm a cop. Got
beat down. Where am I?"
She steadied him with one hand on his shoulder. "You need an ambulance."

"Where am I?" demanded Ray in a mumble.

"Houston West."

Not far from the Consulate. Too far for him to walk on his own.

"I need to get to the Canadian Consolate. You know where it is?" he
asked, pulling out his wallet and handing it to her.
"Yeah, a few blocks over."

"Get me there."

"You Kowalski? There's been an APB out on you since midnight on Friday!"

"Consolate. Now."

***

Fraser gingerly examined the bruises on his lover's body, trying very
hard not to aggravate them. "Nothing looks broken. You're sure they were
vampires...?" He was angry. Angry that this had happened again, that
Tony had heard /something/ but had not investigated. Angry that he hadn't
been there.

"We know our own.." Ray whispered, gasping in pain. Turnbull hovered,
not quite as concerned as he should be. "God...it was day..."

"Day walkers." Turnbull nodded. Day Walkers, vampires who had immunities
to the sun, usually stayed in sunny places. But maybe Warfield had some
stocked up. It had been difficult for him to get blitheringly hysterical
as everyone expected from Constable Turnbull. He hadn't expected Zuko
to hold Ray for so long and he wished the Elder hadn't let his men beat
Ray so thoroughly, but appearances must be maintained.

It had been difficult for Fraser and the men and women of the 27th.
The Constable was as close to a calm hysteria as Turnbull or Vecchio
had ever seen him. He had deliberately come to work an hour early, ostentatiously
to vacuum, but in truth he was waiting for Ray. Zuko had promised to
leave him someplace close to help.
Welsh arrived at the consolate, bringing Diefenbaker with him. The werechild
ran straight for Ray and climbed into his lap, never holding still long
enough for Ray to actually pet him, just sniffing and checking his other
human to his own satisfaction.
"Calm down, Dief," ordered Fraser.

Welsh watched from the doorway. "How is he?" His arms were crossed, leaning
back against the door. There were dark circles under his eyes. He'd been
up the whole weekend, aiding in the search and his relief at finding
Kowalski whole and relatively well was evident in his fond gaze.
"Sore," volunteered Kowalski.

"I believe he has a mild concussion," Fraser answered briskly. "He sustained
at least three blows to the head."

"Probably because of that hair. And don't tell me that's natural." A
brief pause. "Are those red streaks?"
Ray chuckled and instantly regretted it.

"Hospital. Now."

"Lieu - "

"Now, Kowalski."

***

Fraser had been right about the concussion. The hospital had wanted to
keep him overnight for observation. He'd said 'uh uh, no way' and had
checked out AMA.

He lay next to Fraser, the mountie's arms around him loosely. His eyes
were drooping closed. The pain killers the hospital had given him were
working quick. "Ray?" Fraser whispered, running his fingers through the
dyed hair. It was softer. Henna dye, maybe?

"Umm?" Ray could barely keep his eyes open. His jaw wouldn't close all
the way.

"Did they do anything else? He traced the tattoo, planted a kiss on Ray's
forhead. "There aren't any bites."

"No," Ray lied. "Just the beat down..." He curled into Fraser, settling
his head on the Mountie's shoulder. "'night..."

"Good night..." Fraser knew Ray wasn't being truthful. He wondered exactly
what had happened. It was evident there was more to this than what he
was saying. Still, Ray could not be pushed into things of this nature.
Fraser knew eventually the truth will out. All he had to do was wait.

Still, something was bothering him. He wasn't quite sure why, but Ray
seemed too calm for a victim of kidnapping, too unconcerned. Especially
a kidnapping by vampires. Somehow, this attack almost seemed to have
benefited him if you looked past the bruises and the concussion. Fraser
didn't understand.
Perhaps Turnbull could help.

***

Vecchio stared at Stella across the dinner table. "They found Stan."
He felt a creep of annoyance at the barely registered recognition. "Vampires."

"Again?" She smirked. "He's practically a magnent this year." Her vengence
demon ires were up. She /hated/ discussing her ex husband. She far preferred
to publicly humiliate him.

"Yeah. I guess."

"How many times does that make?" She quipped. "Three? Seven? Fifty?"

He shrugged, trying to ignore her. When she got on a tangent like this...best
just to say, he felt for Stan.

***

Fraser opened the door to his office, slowly. He could hear Turnbull
speaking on the phone in hushed tones. "Thank you, Prince Warfield...yes,
he does seem to be better. For now..."

Fraser paused, his heart humping hard. This couldn't mean what it sounded
like. No way.

"Have you contacted Caine?"

His knees actually felt weak for a moment as the implications hit him.
What was Turnbull doing?
"Yes. Yes. Understood. Thank you."

The brief conversation was over. In an uncharacteristic display of emotion,
Turnbull let out a long sigh and lowered his head. He seemed...relieved.
Grateful. He took another long, deep breath to compose himself, then
then he returned to work with his usual misguided energy.
Fraser blinked, feeling betrayed, and in that instant, Inspector Thatcher
walked through the front door. She immediately spotted Fraser where he
stood in the door to his office and barked, "Constable!"
Fraser actually jumped, caught with a shocked expression on his face.
Turnbull whirled, catching the look his friend and superior wore and
a wave of guilt came crashing down upon him.
Fraser had heard. He'd heard, misunderstood, and now felt betrayed.

"S-sir," Fraser managed to respond.

The Inspector's eyes narrowed. "I need you to take some diction."

"Yes, sir. Right away."

He didn't glance in Turnbull's direction as he followed Thatcher into
her office.

***

He looked in the mirror over the sink and sighed. He felt fine. He was
fine. Everything was fine. He closed his eyes, not really believing that.His
Mountie hadn't said anything, but he knew Fraser was freaked because
Ray wasn't freaked by the attack. Yesterday at the hospital he'd been
calm as he gave his statement to the investigating officers. Not all
of it was untrue. He remembered nothing beyond the actual assault.
No sounds, no sight of the vampires, only being beaten to a pulp and
being force-fed blood. And now he had a totally upset Benton Fraser
on his hands. He wished Fraser's shift would get over soon, he needed
to tell him everything that happened. Fraser knew he was holding back.

The phone rang, and Ray picked it up. "Kowalski."

Silence. Heavy breathing. Great. One of those calls. Then: "Elder...."
The voice was hoarse. Harsh. But he recognised it.

"Calhoun?" He ran his hands through his hair. He didn't like the guy,
but he had saved his life once. "What's up?"

"You're in danger, Elder..." A half hysterical laugh. Calhoun sounded
drunk. "Your son's in danger. Fraser...he's not in danger..."
"What're you talking about?"

"Beware the Gangrel Antitribu." A click. Ray stared at the phone, confused.
Daywalkers, Gangrel with funny names, unhinged undead. What the hell
was going on? He dialed the consulate.

"Canadian Consulate, Constable Benton Fra..."

"Hey, Ben. Can you put Turnbull on?"
Silence. Fraser sounded uncomfortable. "He's....busy." He was lying.
"What do you need, Ray? Is everything alright?"

"Calhoun just called me. Said something about a Gangrel Anti-Trick, or
something. Know anything about that?"

"No, I...it doesn't sound familiar."

"So put Turnbull on." Ray frowned at the silence. "Ben. Fraser, what's
wrong?"
"Nothing, Ray." He could almost hear Fraser rubbing his forhead. "Hold
on."
A few moments, then Turnbull picked up the line. "Constable Renfi-"

"Turnbull, it's me. Lissen, Calhoun just hung up on me."

"Calhoun?!?"

"Yeah. What's the big deal? Calhoun. Anyway, he said I'm in danger,
Dief's in danger, but Fraser's not and then he said something about Gangrel
anti-ticks or anti-tribes or something nutso. Should I care?"
"Get out of there now! Get Diefenbaker and leave immediately! Take your
gun, Ray, and get out now!"
"Why? What the hell's wrong?"

"Calhoun is autarkis! He has no clan anymore! Lilith cast him out!
He's on a blood hunt!"
"Shit!"

"Don't use the main door! Don't take your car! Run!"

"Christ!"

He dropped the phone and ran.

Kowalski snatched up his holster from the cabinet by his bed and shrugged
into it, snatching up his jacket as he screamed for the werewolf. Grabbing
Dief on his way through the kitchen, he ran towards the fire escape.

Together, he and Dief pulled at the window. Someone had nailed it shut.
"Shit!" He pulled his cellphone out of his pocket, dialing and running
with the wolfkid at the same time.

"Can..."

"He's nailed the fire-escape shut! Whadda I do?"

"You'll have to go out the main door...be quick. Run very fast."

"He'll catch me..." Ray was running down the stairs, gripping the wolf's
hand hard.

"Not if you're fast enough. You can be, you have her blood."

***

He came out of his office the moment he heard the alarm in Turnbull's
voice. What was he telling Ray? To get out of the apartment? Why?
Fraser stared at the frantic Turnbull, not sure what to think. "What
are you telling him? What's he saying?"
There was no denying the fear in the younger man's eyes as he looked
at Fraser. "Calhoun's after him, sir. It's a blood hunt."

"Did you send him?"

"What?" Turnbull gave his superior an odd look. "Ray, where are you?"

***
"Out the door. He's not here. Where now?" Ray was breathing hard, his
heart pounding in his chest, too frightened to think.

"Consulate. If Constable Fraser's not in danger..."

"Right! I'll get there when I get there. Tell Fraser!"

He hung up and shoved the phone in his pocket. His head was pounding
and he was so dizzy he thought he would vomit on the spot. It was close
to lunch time. The streets were fairly busy. Good. Cover. They would
stick to the crowds.
"Pitter patter, Dief," he said, clutching the boy's small hand. They
set out at a trot, all that Ray thought he could manage at the moment.

***

"Turnbull, what exactly is going on here? Did I or did I not overhear
you conspiring with Prince Warfield not an hour ago? What do you know
about Ray's kidnapping? Is he in danger? Answer me, damnit!"
The younger man gazed up at Fraser, desperate for him to understand.

"Sir, may we speak someplace more private?"

"My office, Constable Turnbull. Now."

****

Closer. He could feel them homing in on him. How many? Calhoun was
one.

What the hell had happened with him? Autarkis? What hadn't Fraser told
him? Another blood hunt?
Guess he owed it to his Mountie to tell him all.

If he lived that long.

What had Turnbull called them? Daywalkers? What did that make the rest
of vampire kind - nightcrawlers? How many? How many? Should he call
for a car? Naa. Last time some Assassins had shot up the Riv and Ray
at the same time.
"Stick close, Dief. We gotta cross this street. They're close. Damned
close."

A car screetched to a halt in front of him and he nearly fell over with
the effort not to run into it. "Watch it!" He screamed at the driver.
Then nearly fell over again when he saw who it was. "Zuko?"

"Get in!" Zuko shoved open the passenger side door. Ray could feel Calhoun
getting closer and didn't hesitate a second. He jumped in, pulling Dief
with him. "I'm taking you to the council. You'll be safe there."

"I have to call Fras..."

"You bring the Slayer into this, and Calhoun /will/ kill him. No matter
what he said. You're too important to him not to." He shifted gears.
And a bandage on his wrist showed.

Ray saw it before the Giovanni elder could hide it. "You." He leaned
forward, sniffing deep. "It was you..."

***

Vecchio picked up his cellphone, looking at Stella with contempt. Another
lunch date ruined. He wished he'd never mentioned finding Kowalski. She
just hadn't shut up about how horrible she thought he was since. God
only knew what she'd do if she knew what he was.

"Vecchio."

"Ray." Fraser. He sounded distressed, like he'd found out some horrible
news. Oh God. That could only mean one thing.

"Fraser, is Stan all right?"

"Calhoun."

"He's back?"

"He's called a bloodhunt. The Sabbat. They're after Ray." A pause. "He
was running, on his way here from home. With Dief..."

"They haven't shown up?"

"No."

"When?"

"An hour ago."

Vecchio glared at Stella as she tried to get his attention. He poured
a cup of her special brew coffee and winced as it went down. Stuff tasted
worse than the squadroom sludge. "You called the cops?"

"No. I called you. I thought maybe he took a detour, tried to throw them
off." Something else was wrong. Vecchio could tell. That sort of strained
tone was in Fraser's voice.

"Benny? What is it? Is there something else?"

A pause. A long one. "Just...come to the consulate, please."

"On my way. You need anything?"

A snort. "Like what?"

"Anything. Coffee?"

"We have coffee here, Ray..."

"Not this coffee...."

"That'd be great. Thanks..."

He looked up to see Stella glaring at him across the table. Wiping his
mouth, he threw down his napkin and rose, kissing her on the cheek and
ignoring the steely look.
"I have to go. There's trouble and Ray may be hurt."

"I thought he was hurt already."

"Alright. Ray may be more hurt. I'll be with Benny at the Consulate
if you need me. Love you."
"Hmph."

***

Benton Fraser sat in his office and held his aching head. A blood hunt.
Another blood hunt. The last had almost killed Ray. He remembered finding
the detective in the abandoned building, his skin whiter than snow and
his body so cold to the touch that Fraser thought he would never be warm
again. Never before in his life had he been so frightened as when he
lifted Ray into his arms that day. He'd thought his lover was dead.
And now Calhoun was after him again...
"Sir?"

Turnbull handed him a glass of water and he forced a sip down his throat.
It almost gagged him.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Fraser finally managed.

"I didn't know it was Calhoun until Ray called. When he attacked Detective
Vecchio in the pass I didn't know about Lilith's order not to kill any
humans. When Lord Aja said Lilith had cast out a Gangrel I still didn't
suspect Calhoun. He was loyal. Ambitious, but loyal and he did protect
me and save Detective Kowalski."
"And Dief?"

"He has Ellery's blood. Ray is the more desireable of the two, but no
Sabbat would pass up the chance to drink an elder's blood."
Fraser considered and had he not been so completely frightened for his
lover and his werewolf friend, he would have blushed. He could understand
that viewpoint.
"Warfield? What do you have to do with Ray's kidnapping? You arranged
it, didn't you? /Why?/ You saw how Warfield's men beat him!"
"His body will heal, Constable. I'm trying to save his life."

"I don't understand."

"Victoria allowed him to drain her. Ray has more power than he understands
right now. She is turning him into her host, a being of pure Gangrel
stock that will equal her in power and stand with her against Caine."

Fraser could not find any words to answer. The Seeker hurried on.

"Warfield, all the Caanites, cannot allow their sire to be destroyed.
At my request and in concord with Prince Warfield, we have...corrupted
Ray. That kidnapping was souly to get him to ingest Caanite blood so
now he'll have as much of Caine in him as Lilith and hopefully that will
spare his life when Gehenna comes."
"He's...not an ancient. Not like Aja."

"But Lilith's blood in him is."

***

Ray sniffed Zuko once more, and glared at the annoyed look the giovanni
elder gave him. "Get yer nose outta my face, Kowalski." Zuko may have
to watch the ghoulite, but he didn't have to like it. Right now he was
more than willing to throw the guy to the Antitribu. Sabbat or not.

"It /was/ you." Ray accused, holding onto Dief and the door as Zuko drove
like a maniac. "Why?" And why could smell it? That was weird. That was
so...Fraser.
Zuko gave him another look. "Warfield'll explain it to you. Right after
he thanks you for fixing your hair." He gave a double take. "Purple?"

"Let me out."

"Like hell."

"Pull. Over." Ray's voice was like ice. "Pull over now. I'm not going
anywhere with..."
He heard Zuko's gun click. "You'd rather be out there with them? Fine.
Get out."
***

Fraser took the cup of coffee from Vecchio and thanked him. He took a
sip and made a face. Vecchio looked a bit hurt. "What? Not good?"
"No...it's...It's just I was unaware you preferred the taste of boiled
rats."
"It's not that bad, Benny."

"No. I didn't mean that as a figure of speech, Ray. Where did you get
this?"
"Stella." Vecchio wondered if he was really green or he just felt it.

"Ah."

"Don't tell me."

"It's just, Vengence Demons often..."

"Please, don't."

"Understood.

***

Ray stilled, knowing his options were limited. He knew when to back down
and the time was now. Zuko snickered to himself and slid the gun back
into its holster at his side. Ray swallowed, his head swimming as he
asked, "So why'd ya help me?"
"Orders. I'm your guardian angel, Kowalski."

"Since when?" he grumbled, shoving Dief over the seat into the back.

Zuko kept his eyes on the road. "Since you became elder."

"Should I thank you?"

"Just doing my job."

"Thank you." He couldn't say why, but he knew he was safe with the Giovanni
Elder. He figured Zuko didn't have much reason to eleminate him. How
much of a threat was he to anyone?
"So why'd ya beat me flat?"

"You were kidnapped. It had to look like it was real."

Ray sighed, letting his head drop into the head rest behind him. "Good
job. Your goons gave me a concussion."
"Actually, that was me."

For the sake of Dief and survival, he ignored the vampire. "I have to
get word to Fraser."
"The Slayer is safe for now. Leave him out of this."

"I have to let him know I'm safe."

"Are you?" taunted Zuko.

"You tell me."

"For now."

"That's supposed to be comforting?"

"No." Zuko grinned. "We're here."

***

Vecchio picked up his cellphone. "Vecchio."

"Hey."

"Stan. Where are you?" He gripped his phone tight, looking at Fraser.
The Mountie looked pale. "Where's Dief?"
"We're safe. We're ok." Ray wasn't very forthcoming with his location.
He sounded uncomfortable.
"Where? Where are you?"

Fraser stood up, "Let me talk to him." He took the phone from Vecchio,
holding it shakily. He hadn't realised how scared he was. He'd almost
lost him again. "Ray? What's going on?"
"Nothing, Ben. Nothing's going on. Me and Dief'll be home as soon as
this is all straightened out."
"When?"

"I don't know. Soon, I hope."

Fraser felt a pang. He hadn't felt like this since Vecchio had gone undercover.
No.God, no. "Ray, please. Where are you?"

"I'm safe, Benton. We both are."

Fraser closed his eyes. Ray called him Benton. It was part warning
and part of Ray's telling him he loved him.
"Ray," he almost stammered, desperate to keep him on the line, to hear
his voice a bit longer. "Turnbull's told me more. About the kidnapping."

"Yeah, I know. Warfield ordered it. I don't know why yet. Benton, I
gotta go. Keep the McGets safe for me, will ya?"
"Ray..."

"'Bye, Benton."

He gripped the phone. Never in his life had he felt so lost.

***

Warfield sat in his usual chair at the head of the mahogany table and
regarded the ghoulite using his phone. At least he had the sense to take
his advice and keep the Slayer out of this. He was a scrawny specimen
and right now he was so pale it was hard to tell he wasn't undead.
"I see you colored your hair," Warfield stated as Kowalski hung up the
phone. "Thank you. I hate sneezing."
"You gonna tell me what the hell's going on?"

"Soon. Would it suffice for now to tell you that you have valiant friends
who would gladly risk your ire rather than let you be lost?"
"I dunno."

"You need to sleep, Kowalski. Franco was excessive in his treatment,
I'm afraid. I have a room prepared for you and your..."
"Son."

"Son. Come. You can eat when you wake up. Then We must talk."

***

"Where would he have gone, Turnbull?" Vecchio demanded, staring the hapless
mountie down. "His parents? Is he even in town?"
"I don't know. Did you try that star..."

"They blocked it. Where would he go?"

Turnbull shook his head. "I don't know." He truly didn't. "I'll call
Warfield. Maybe he'll know."
"No." Fraser was staring out the window, rubbing his arms. He was very
cold suddenly."No, he's safe."
"Benny..."

"He's safe. He would've said if he weren't."

***

Calhoun stared at the consulate. His hair was mussed and covered in dirt.
A grin was permanently plastered on his face. He hadn't fared well in
the last month. His autarkis status had taken it's toll. He cursed softly.
He'd grown soft compared to the vampires he lead. He had been dependant
upon a clan and he had paid the price.
He'd been ecstatic to be brought in by the Antitribu. They needed an
elder. And they would fare well with Ellery's blood. They just needed
to get it.
***

Ray lay on the hard bed, staring at the ceiling. At least it wasn't a
coffin. He didn't think he could take that. Dief was asleep next to him,
and he mussed the wolf kid's hair gently. "We'll be ok..."
The wolf stirred in his sleep, whimpering. Ray nodded again. "Yeah. We'll
be ok."

He pulled the blanket over his head and wrapped himself around the little
boy that was so dear to him. Sleep, the heavy listless sleep of the
wounded, claimed him.
***

"Prince Warfield?"

"Yes, Franco?"

"The Lord Aja has arrived."

"I will speak to him first. Kowalski is more fragile than we allow for.
Allow him to sleep himself out. We must move slowly. And we must prepare
Lord Aja."
"I think Kowalski will awaken long before Lord Aja is ready, Prince."

"You are an impudent son, Franco my boy. I will accompany you to greet
the lord."
***

Ray tried to open his eyes, but they felt weighed down. Someone was watching
him, touching him. Gentle touches to his face. "Fra..." No. The hands
were too rough. Diefenbaker? No. Too old. His tongue felt thick in his
mouth. Something was wrong. Vision. Oh God, his head felt ready to explode.
/Oh God, Fraser. Please come hold me.../

His body shook, quaking in pain. He felt Dief pull back, whimpering as
he woke up. Flashing images. Dief. Lilith/Victoria. Someone he didn't
know. Vecchio. Fraser. Blood. Fraser. Screams. Fraser. Oh God. Fraser.

In his pain, he realised the Elders had no idea about his flashes. This
should be interesting.

"Ahh! God..." His head smacked the bedboard as the convulsions got worse.
Dief whined, backing away. The room swam, images coming faster. Horrible
images. Gardino's explosion. Great. Irene. Blood moons. Ellery. Victoria.
Biting Fraser...oh.

Oh. God.

Fraser...

His breathing quickened, and he /really/ hoped no one was watching.

"Interesting..." a nonfamiliar voice said, quietly. He bit back a moan,
barely noticing that his nose was bleeding. A moment of clarity in the
rushing images...he leaned in to kiss the Mountie, soft, warm lips yielding
to his, felt those big hands upon his skin trailing fire at their touch.
He felt thick, silky hair beneath his fingers. Oh, God, don't ever stop....

Fraser lowering him to the bed, kissing, feeling, stroking with wanton
posessiveness. His weight, his warmth felt so good, so real, Ray arched
himself closer to the image in his mind's eye.

"Mine," whispered Fraser, the love evident in his blue eyes. "My Ray."

Pain crashed down upon him again and he heard a voice screaming, screaming,
screaming. It was him. Dief was howling in despair, a wolf once more.
He wanted to hold the werewolf, ease this overwhelming terror, but he
couldn't move. He felt strong arms lift him carefully and hold him closely
as his body convulsed.
A stick? A rod? A baton? Swinging. Striking white flesh. Drawing
blood. Spattering on him. He saw the blood run down to a red collar,
saw a faint bite mark above the collar. Fraser. Someone had Fraser.
Was hurting him. Beating him. Pale dirty hands. An insane smile.

Calhoun.

"...no, no, no,no, nonononono! Fraser!" He tried to scream. His voice
was just a whisper. He weakly clawed at the arm holding him, barely
aware of what he was doing, just desperate for some kind of action.
"Fraser...frase..."
Aja sat on the bed in the darkened office, supporting the ghoulite prince
even as he studied him. A child. Just a child. Strange powers he
posessed, but a love as great as few men had been privleged to know.

"Shh," he whispered, as much to his trembling charge as to the anxious
werewolf. He reached out and smoothed Diefenbaker's head and scratched
behind his ears. "He is my son, garou. I would not hurt him."

"Help him...god...please..." Ray gasped, trying to grip the arm that
supported him.

"We will. Don't worry...." Aja smoothed back Ray's newly darkened hair.
"Rest."

"I gotta..."

"Rest. I have seen to the Slayer's safety."

"Who are you..."

"You'll know me soon. Rest."

***

Fraser stepped out of the consulate, immiediately aware of the fact he
was being pursued. He could smell it in the air. The rank smell of vampire
sweat and Canadian dirt. Calhoun.

He walked faster, half running towards Ray's apartment. He questioned
the wisdom of leaving on his own, but he hadn't been able to contact
Mina or Jay to alert them to this new situation and when they weren't
at their respective homes or work, they were normally at Ray's.

He's tried calling, but with Jay around that was useless. They hurt
his ears so badly he wouldn't answer them at all and Fraser hesitated
to leave a message. Ray had taken Turnbull to speak to Warfield, and
Fraser knew his presence would only serve to incense the vampire prince.

He moved quickly towards Ray's apartment, sometimes running, until the
sensation of being pursued faded. Still he hurried, anxious to get back
before Ray and Turnbull, both of whom would frown on his stepping foot
out of the Consolate.

If Calhoun couldn't find Ray or Diefenbaker it was logical to assume
he was the next viable target. That was Fraser's guess anyway, either
as bait or a hostage. All he had to do was alert the McGets and get
back to the Consolate. He would take a cab back. Night was approaching.
He ducked into the apartment building, running up the stairs and into
familiar territory. The safety of home.

A sabbat vampire was waiting for him in the apartment. Fraser froze dead
in his tracks, staring. "No."

"Where is he, Constable?" Calhoun whispered, grinning quietly.

"I don't know."

He shoulder exploded in pain as the vampire hit him. "I can smell him
on you. You drank from him...." Calhoun pulled Fraser close, sniffing
deep. "Ellery. Kowalski...Lilith."

"No..."

Calhoun grinned.
Tags: arc1
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