Karra (karra) wrote in mountieslayer,
Karra
karra
mountieslayer

"Lilith and Al"



"Go! Go! Go! She's bolting!"

The shouted warning came over his radio an instant before the door of
the warehouse exploded in a shower of wooden splinters and twisted metal.
Ray Kowalski ducked low behind some drums and crates in the alley, cursing himself.

They should have expected this. Lady Killer was notorious
for blowing things up. Nearest they could figure, she simply enjoyed
the noise.

He looked, then rose to a crouch as he drew his gun; full loaded with
the requisite silver bullets, ignoring the tiny cuts on his face from
the splintered door. Where the hell was she?

A blur of color, too fast for the eye to track, and suddenly a figure
erupted in front of Ray. Lady Killer, the succubus in all her hellish
glory. Once she had been human, beautiful and deadly. Now...she was
no longer human. She'd made a deal with a vengence demon.
Hideously beautiful. He remembered the description another cop had once
used for succubi. So fitting. Such gorgeous creatures, corrupted and
twisted and brimming with evil. At once fascinating and repulsive, a
magnificent affront against Nature.

And for one timeless moment, Ray Kowalski was looking into a mirror.

She tensed, sniffing and tasting the air around him. With a horrified
shout he raised the gun, knowing she smelled HIM. Ellery's blood in
his veins. The stigma of the nearly undead. Lady Killer hissed, that
beautiful face becoming a mask of sheer hatred. Ray lunged -
And then the flash hit him.

Fraser was already running from the far side of the warehouse when he
heard Ray's voice. He sensed the detective's alarm, knew that Lady Killer
was there. Then came the scream.

As a mother knows by her child's cry what is wrong, so Benton Fraser
instantly recognized the tone of that agonized scream. He'd heard that
tone seven times in the two-and-a-half years he'd known Stanley Raymond
Kowalski.

But this past week had accounted for four of those times.

"Diefenbaker!"

Deaf as he was, the werewolf was as attuned to Ray as he was to Fraser
and he sensed the distress radiating off of both his pack mates. He
was off like a shot for the alley, outstripping Fraser with ease.
"Ray!"

Fraser burst into the alleyway. There was the succubus. Right before
her, trying to aim his gun with quaking hands, was his American partner.

That he was standing was noteworthy. That he was trying desperately
to defend himself against Lady Killer was nothing short of remarkable.
Fraser doubted Ray could even see right now.

"Dief! Stop her!"

Lady Killer glanced over at the interruption, another hiss escaping her
lips as she recognized the man in the red uniform running towards her.
There was no time to toy with this strange, soulful creature that was
neither vampire nor human.

She would remember the smell, though.

She lashed out, slapping Ray down to the ground even as he fired. The
silver bullet grazed her arm, producing a howl of pain as she made for
the street and the sanctuary of a crowded city. Huey and Dewey, the
officers in charge of this ruined arrest, came running out of the warehouse
and from the other end of the alley respectively. Twin curses echoed
off the buildings as they set off after the demonic woman they had been
pursuing for months and they ran past the collapsed detective and the
werewolf standing guard over him.

Fraser skidded to a halt beside the shivering figure on the ground.

Ray was twitching as tiny spasms wracked his lean frame as he paid the
price for glimpses of future events. Fraser took the gun out of his
hand, stuffing it into his own belt as he knelt and gathered the detective
into his arms. He ached for his friend's suffering, wished there was
anything he could do to dispel some of his anguish and the suspicion
these involuntary visions gleaned from the other officers.

"Shh. Shh...I'm right here, Ray. You're safe. She's gone. I have
you. Shh...Try to relax. I'm right here."

Ray was trembling violently, trying to force his throat to form words.
As he struggled for consciousness, Huey and Dewey came walking back
empty-handed and out of breath.

"What the hell happened to you, Kowalski?" Dewey all but screamed, ignoring
the fact that Ray was not just down but almost out. "What the hell were
you doing? You were our back-up! We've been tracking her for ages and
now thanks to you, we lost her, you stupid son-of-a-!"

"Detective," warned Fraser quietly, looking calmly into Dewey's stormy
eyes. "Ray experienced a flash. He can neither predict nor control them.
Lady Killer will play her hand again. We WILL stop her."

Huey, trying to rein in his impatience and disgust, turned away, shaking
his head. "He shouldn't have backed us up."

"That's not fair, Jack," Fraser replied. "Besides, you asked him to.
Has he ever refused you?"

Dewey gestured sharply. "Yeah, well, he doesn't have to worry about
it in the future."

Just then, Ray gasped. It was a pained sound. Fraser, returning all his
attention to the man he held, gently stroked Ray's spikey hair as he
tried to sooth him. Fighting his own body, Ray forced a word past his
pale lips.

"Lou..."

Fraser cocked his head and Diefenbaker whined, mimicking the gesture.
"Lieu?" Echoed the Mountie. "Leftenant Welsh?"

Ray was shaking, anxious to be understood. This past week had been hellish,
both for himself and for his best friend. The flashes had all been the
same, the same awful scene: Fraser running towards Vecchio's Riviera,
screaming a name, trying to stop...Louis. Each time more of the vision
played itself out until today, when the explosion ripped through his
undefended mind. Fraser was close to the blast. Oh, god, was he going
to be killed? Was it Lady Killer, with her love of destruction, whom
he'd just let escape? Was she trying to kill the Mountie? What had she
whispered to him just before slapping him?

"I'm not through with him yet."

Oh, god...

"Ray?"

"Louis," he slurred. He looked up at Fraser, frightened. "Who's...Lou...is?"

Fraser shook his head. He didn't currently know anyone named Louis, and
Ray couldn't mean Detective Gardino. Could he?

***

Ray Vecchio stood at his desk, waiting for his fellow detectives to get
back. He was blissfully unaware of the woman standing beside him. And
rightfully so. She was, in fact, dead. She was also Irene Zuko, the sister
of a former friend turned bitter enemy.

He smirked as Kowalski and Fraser entered, the former still walking shakily
from his vision in the alley. "So, what happened? She got the jump on
him?" He watched the other detective sit. "He have one of his bug outs?"

"They aren't bug outs," Kowalski said, his voice filled with annoyance.
"I just..."

"Freaked out so bad they lost the girl they've been chasing for weeks?"
Vecchio tilted his head, "Right?"

Irene shook her head, "Ray, you know better than that. He's...just different.
Please don't..." She stopped, realising he couldn't hear her. So what
was the point.

Kowalski suddenly nodded, violently. "Thank you!" He noticed her stare
of astonishment. "What?"

"You can see me?"

"Of course I can see you..." He glanced at Fraser who was giving him
the oddest look. "What?"

"You're talking to yourself, Ray?"

"I'm not talkin' to myself, Frase. I'm talking to h..." He pointed to
Irene. She was gone. "Where'd she go?"

"Who?" Vecchio looked around. The only woman around was Frannie, and
she was in the lunch room.

"The girl. The lady who was with you."

Fraser and Vecchio exchanged a look, Fraser's worried and full of concern.
Vecchio's full of incredulousness.

***

Ray was unprepared for Stella's visit later that day. She stormed into
the squadroom, face in full demon mode. She pushed her way past the cops
and Francesca, and stood at Ray's desk. It took him a minute to realise
she was there. "Stel..."

"Were you ever planning on telling me about this, Ray?" She demanded,
seething mad. She dug her fingers into his shoulder, causing a tiny wince
of pain.

"'Bout what?" he countered, his mind awhirl as he tried not to panic.
About Ellery? The flashes? Talking to the dead? Lady Killer? Fraser?
It scared him to think of what she could possibly mean.

Beneath the desk, Diefenbaker growled. He didn't like anyone hurting
his pack mates.

"We get divorced and suddenly you can speak to the dead and see the future."

"Who told you -?" He stopped. Vecchio. He and Stella were an item.
Either she had pressured him into talking or he just couldn't wait to
make Kowalski look that much worse in the eyes of his ex-wife. Feeling
betrayed, he turned away, muttering, "It was trauma-induced, Stell."

"Trauma?" she sneered. "What, your turtle died?"

Vulnerable beyond words, he quietly replied, "You wanted the divorce,
not me." She stared at him, shaking her head. "Do you know what it's
like to be dumped on your ass by a Vengence Demon? The looks you get
from your co-workers? Your friends? People you want to go with?" He snorted,
prying her fingers out of his shoulder.

"What're you babbling about?"

"They start thinking, 'why couldn't he cut it? Wasn't he good enough
for her? Did he invoke D'Hoffren? blah blah blah.' I couldn't take it.
I freaked." Still lying with the best of them.

She shook her head, "Yeah, well you obviously invoked something." She
sniffed, the air first and then him. "What's that stench?"

He froze as her pale eyes narrowed and she took a step closer to him.

Thankfully, at that moment, Fraser chose to return, carrying a cup of
coffee for Ray. Fully aware of the tension in the air but chosing to
act oblivious to it, he turned his best smile on the Vengance Demon,
knowing his presence would not allow Stella to rip his partner into shreds
as tiny as she would have liked. Though she was no longer married to
Ray, being a Vengance Demon she certainly didn't want him to be with
anyone else. Certainly not happy at the same time, either.

He wouldn't have been surprised if he'd found out Stella had been the
one to give Ray the tormenting visions. It sounded like something a Vengence
Demon would do, it certainly didn't make Ray happy.

"Ah, good afternoon, Madame Kowalski," he said with a slight bow and
a respectful dip of his head. The last thing Ray needed now was his
ex on a rampage right here in the bull pen. Or in the same hemisphere,
for that matter. "I'm terribly sorry to interrupt but Leftenant Welsh
asked to see Detective Kowalski in his office immediately."

"The lieutenant can wait," she snapped. "*I'm* talking to Ray NOW.
What do I smell?"

"No, he cannot wait." Welsh's voice reached them from across the room.
"Kowalski, in here now. Ms. Kowalski, I'll beg to remind you this is
MY department and I give the orders here." He stood in the door of his
office, arms folded across his chest as he silently dared Stella to do
or say anything to challenge him.

Unused to being contradicted, Stella glared but said nothing as Ray took
his coffee and headed for the relative sanctuary of Welsh's office.
She waited for a glance or some silent signal between her ex-husband
and the Mountie, but none came. Taking a cue from Turnbull, Fraser kept
an empty, guiless smile plastered on his face as he stood next to Stella.
Then he sniffed the air, frowning and ignoring the seething demon not
a foot away.

"What is that - Diefenbaker! That's it! When we get home tonight, you're
getting a bath." It wasn't /really/ a lie. The werewolf did need a bath,
it was the full moon tonight.

Diefenbaker whined. Stella growled and stalked out, knowing she'd lost
this round.

***

"I think maybe you need some time off," Welsh suggested. He sternly stopped
Ray's protests before they even began. "You've never had one of your
flashes while on duty. Obviously, something is bugging you. Take two
weeks, figure it out. I don't want any of my detectives having breakdowns
while on duty."

"But, I feel..." Ray started, then saw Fraser's almost unnoticable nod.
"Fine. Ok. Two weeks."

***

One week later...

He lay on his couch, staring at the ceiling. He could feel this flash
coming, but was still unprepared for it. It hurt. A lot. He fell off
the couch, shaking so hard he thought his bones would break. He grabbed
hold of the arm of the couch, getting to his feet.

He tried to make it to the phone as the flash got worse, he could see
the fiery explosion. He could see Vecchio and Fraser holding Huey back,
heard shouting. Dewey? Was something gonna happen to Dewey?

"Louis..." he muttered under his breath, falling as his body started
quaking again. The stench of Ellery's blood in him was getting to him
now as well. He gasped for air, trying to get the phone. He dialed quickly,
fumbling. "Fras...Fraser..."

"I'm sorry, he's not available at the moment..." Turnbull's voice sounded
so far away. 'The phone, Ray. You're on the phone...' "Perhaps I could
be of assistance?"

"He...help me...can't...Fraser..."

"Detective Kowalski? Detective Kowa-"

Turnbull was too close to the phone for comfort when the scream came
over the line. He jumped, alarmed, and shouted into the phone.
"Detective! Detective! Sir!"

The sounds were awful. Good god, was he dying? Being killed? At least.
Turnbull quickly transferred to another phone line and dialed the 27th.
It was Frachesca who answered.

"Twenty-"

"Ms. Vecchio? Constable Turnbull. Detective Kowalski just called the
Consulate. He's on the line now. He's screaming, Ms. Vecchio. He needs
help. He's asking for help, he-"

"Hold on." Galvinized into action, Frannie put the panicking Mountie
on hold and got hold of dispatch. In seconds units were sent to Ray's
apartment, among them her brother, rudely yanked from his lunch break.

"Turnbull?"

"Ms. Vecchio? The line is still open. He's screaming."

"Units are on their way, Rennie. Can he hear you? Try to let him know.
Where's Fraser?"

"He-he's in a meeting with Inspector Thatcher and the Commissioner of-"

"Get him. Now."

"But-"

"Turnbull!"

"Right away!"

***

Fraser would never forgive him if he let anything happen to Kowalski.
Vecchio grimaced as he pulled in behind the units. They were in the building
and in front of Kowalski's door in almost no time at all. He counted
off, and three of them (himself, Dewey and Huey) kicked open the door.

Kowalski was lying on the floor, curled up. Clutching the phone as if
it were a life line. Convulsions wracked his body hard. His nose was
bleeding from who knew what. There didn't appear to be anyone in the
apartment.

Vecchio stared, shocked as Dewey finally snapped out of his moment of
stunned surprise and knelt by the fallen detective. The sudden touch
at his neck made Kowalski go limp.

Dewey felt for his pulse, weak and thready. Whatever he'd seen must've
been pretty bad. If they hadn't come, who knew what might've happened.
His nose was bleeding pretty heavily. "Get a bus rolling," he said to
Vecchio. He had to repeat it twice. "Now!"

"Frase...where's..." Ray tried to get out, choking.

"He's coming. Don't move..." Dewey felt the scars on Ray's neck. He'd
been bitten, he didn't know when. Stunned, he raised his eyes to Vecchio,
only to find the Italian staring down at Ray in speechless horror.

Huey was already on the radio to dispatch. "...officer down. Get 'em
here fast, he's in extreme distress." He listened to the staticy transmission,
then turned to the other detectives. "Ten minutes at least."

"Sh-should we take 'em?" stammered Dewey, clearly uncomfortable with
this turn of affairs.

They were spared the necessity of answering when Fraser came pounding
up the stairs and into the apartment. He was sweating and winded - clearly
he'd run from the Consulate - and there was an unaccustomed fear in his
blue eyes.

'He knows...' thought Vecchio, watching his friend and one-time partner.
'Good lord, he's known all along. Kowalski's a freakin' vampire! And
Fraser's protecting him!'

The Mountie ignored them all, rushing into the living room and falling
to his knees by Ray's head. Dewey backed off as Fraser tenderly lifted
one of the clenched hands, gently working at the long fingers until he
could pry the phone from Ray's death-grip. Turnbull was still on the
line, talking inane comfort and part of the Constable's mind was grateful
to his subordinate for his obvious concern. He handed the phone off
to Dewey and shifted Ray so the wirey American lay partially on his lap.

"Get a blanket," he heard a hoarse voice order, shocked to realise it
was his own. "I need a wet cloth."

He heard them move to obey, but his whole being was focused on Ray as
he leaned far over his friend and tried to sooth away at least some of
the agony. The flashes were too intense, too powerful. They had to
get to the bottom of this, this...madness soon or Ray could be pushed
to the breaking point. Huey returned with a quilt off of Ray's bed and
he helped the Mountie spread it over the trembling form.

"Shh. Shh...I'm here. I won't leave you. I promise. I'm right here,
Ray..."

Dewey was offering him a moist wash cloth with a muttered, "Ambulance
is on the way," and Fraser carefully wiped away some of the blood on
Ray's pale face. Uncertain as to what was expected now, the 'Duck Boys'
stood side by side and watched, Dewey eventually remembering to tell
Turnbull the situation was being handled and turning off the phone.

Simultaniously, they realised that this whole time, Vecchio had done
nothing but stare in silence and they turned irritated looks on their
peer.

Ray's eyes were open, staring up at Fraser in shock and pain, hearing
the Mountie's soft assurances without understanding anything more than
the tone of voice. Fraser bit back tears. Ray's eyes were dilated,
black almost completely eclipsing blue, his face colorless, his nose
still trickling a stream of blood. Without regard for the men watching,
barely realising he moved, Fraser bent over and pressed his lips to Ray's
cold forehead, clutching his beloved friend even closer before resting
his head against Ray's.

Vecchio twitched. "Jesus Christ," he breathed before turning away.

"Ray." Fraser whispered. "Ray, I need to know what you saw. I need to
know how to help you."

"Lou...Gard..." Ray managed to choke out, his voice almost fluidic. He
coughed, his body shaking. He wanted to die, the pain was so bad. The
hell of it was, he knew he wouldn't yet. "Who's Gardin..."

"Garden?" Dewey shook his head, not understanding.

Vecchio rolled his eyes, "No, Dewey. Jeez. Gardino. Louis Gardino." He
turned to Ray, demanding. "What? What'd you see, /Stanley?/ He's back?
He a vampire? One of your demon things? What. Did. You. See??"

Fraser stared at his former partner, almost in horror. "Ray, stop it!"

"What's wrong with him, Benny? Huh?" Vecchio was shouting now. "There's
scars on his neck, he's freaking out slightly more than usual. Stella's
freaking /smelling/ him!" He and Stella had struck up a sort of relationship.
It was demanding. SHE was demanding. She had also infected Ray Vecchio
with her suspicions and now he saw how right she was...

Started Fraser, "Ray-"

"No! No, Benny!" snapped Vecchio, holding up a warning hand. "Do not
defend him! He's endangering us all by turning into some freaking undead
creature that shouldn't exist, he screws up a major bust last week-"

Sudden anger at Vecchio's unwarrented assault flooded Fraser's eyes and
for the first time in his life he did not want to hear his nickname pass
Ray's lips. "He doesn't - DIDN'T - get any type of choice, Ray!"

"Oh, right, sure, Benny. And what are we supposed to do?"

He stopped short as he realized the Mountie, usually so calm and controlled,
was glaring hard at him.

"You might offer to help him. That's at best, Ray. At worst, you could
leave him alone. Perhaps even give him a little respect for all he did
for you and your family."

Dewey gave Huey a lopsided grin, enjoying the fire works and the verbal
slap that shut up the ever-complaining Vecchio. Huey sighed, maintaining,
wishing he'd been a bit kinder in the past with his words and deeds.
Fraser was right. Ray Kowalski had played a role and played it well,
but when prodigal son Vecchio returned Kowalski's feelings had been
so easily ignored as he silently stood by and watched the corner of the
world he had so carefully built be destroyed.

Fraser opened his mouth to continue when he felt Ray's body start shaking
again. "Oh God. Help me, Jack. Hold him..."

He must have bitten the inside of his mouth because blood tainted Ray's
lips as words spilled unknowingly from his mouth. "Don't...Fraser, don't...Don't...Please,
no. Don't. Louis...stay back. Fraser! Fraser, don't! Get away!"

"Ray! Ray! What do you see?" demanded the Mountie, raising his voice
above his friend's ramblings. "Who do you see?"

Then he answered in a voice that was almost normal, if not a little confused,
"Irene," before the convulsions started.

Vecchio whirled, shocked, as Huey and Dewey knelt and helped Fraser hold
the detective down. The Canadian was murmuring softly to Ray, his words
a combination of languages and gentle sound, almost a spoken lullabye.
He did not look up as the sound of hurrying feet came from the elevator
and a uniformed officer escorted two EMT's into the apartment.

One of them, a dark-skinned woman with a veil over her head that gathered
under her chin, knelt beside Fraser, softly asking, "What happened?"

Huey answered. "He got a flash. He sees things. It just hit him really
hard this time."

She nodded, not about to judge that statement. "Let me help him." Confused
by Fraser's uniform and Stetson, she touched his arm. "Sir? Sir, you
can continue to hold him, but let me see him. Please."

Slowly, reluctantly, Fraser unwound his large frame from above Ray.
He looked into the woman's concerned eyes, tears burning his own orbs
as he whispered, "Thank you kindly."

Ray could see the dark haired woman out of the corner of his eyes. "Irene..."
He choked, trying to breathe. It was getting difficult. "Ray. Ray!" He
choked up, calling for Vecchio. He desperately needed to tell him something,
but what kept slipping from his head.

Vecchio closed his eyes, shaking his head. He couldn't turn around, wouldn't
turn around. "I'll go secure downstairs."

The medic looked up at Fraser, feeling the scars at Ray's neck. "We'll
need to know who bit him."

"Vampire named Ellery. Deceased." Fraser rubbed his eyebrow at the memory.
He could still hear Diefenbaker's snarls. The convulsions started slowing.

***

He woke up in the hospital, the slow beep of the monitor was almost hypnotic.
He could feel a hand clutching his tightly, and something curled beside
him. "Frase?"

"Ray?" He whispered, quietly. Diefenbaker, in werekid form, was asleep
beside Ray. "How do you feel?"

"Funny." He sniffed, eyes falling on the IV in his arm. "What is that?
Feels funny..."

"Holy water. They said it's supposed to turn around the change. They
think it'll help." He leaned forward, "Ray. What you saw, Louis Gardino,
the Riv. Irene..." He rubbed his temple, unsure of how to proceed.

Ray spared him. "They're different. The flashes are all the same, but
getting worse. I see you running towards the Riv, screaming to...Louis.
He doesn't listen. Then it's all noise and heat and fire. I'm afraid
you're going to get killed. I didn't know this was the past, not the
future."

Fraser nodded sympathetically, stroking the thin hand he clutched. He
noticed Ray absently petting Dief, probobly not even aware he wasn't
a wolf right now. "And Irene?"

"Irene...Zuko?" He struggled to remember her last name. "She's dead."

"Yes. Her death came about a few days after Louis'. It was all part
of the same incident."

"She's...followin' Vecchio."

"They were in love."

"Still are, seems. I need to talk to her."

"How?"

Ray drew a deep breath, clearly not wanting to have to go through with
the next step. "I gotta see Vecchio, I guess."

Fraser blinked, wondering if they could somehow mobilize the National
Guard to keep the meeting civilized. "You're sure?"

"Unfortunately," sighed Ray.

Fraser echoed the sigh. "Understood."

Ray's blurred gaze finally fell to Dief. "Hey. How'd you sneak him in
here?" He noticed Fraser's nervous twitch and grinned, weakly. "What?"

"Detectives Huey and Dewey..."

"Yeah?"

Fraser shifted, uncomfortably. "They told the nurses Dief was your son,"
the lie was obviously bothering him. Ray grinned, shaking his head. "I
can almost see how someone would think that."

***

Vecchio looked up as he felt a coldness at the back of his neck. The
hairs on his neck tingled. "Irene?" he whispered, unable to see her.
There was no reply.

He felt bad about yelling at Benny in Kowalski's apartment, but he still
believed the things he'd said. He supposed it could have something to
do with his undercover assignment. He still didn't understand how they
could've thought /Kowalski/ was a good double for him.

He glanced at Frannie as she came over, "Fraser called." She had a frown
on her face. She'd heard about what had happened at the apartment. Obviously
she had some problems with it.

"What'd he want?"

"He wants you to come to the hospital. He needs to talk to you."

Without a word, he nodded, reaching for his coat.

"Ray?"

He stopped and faced his sister, bracing himself for...what? Her condemnation?
Anger? Disgust?

Arms folded, Frannie conveyed not anger, rather...disappointment. "He
may be a pain, but he's a good guy. He did a lot for Ma and the kids
while you were away, stuff he didn't have to do." She shook her head,
earrings jangling. "Get off his case."

That was all. She walked away, and suddenly he was not very proud of
this man Raymond Vecchio.

***

Entering the hospital room was an odd experience by any standards. Fraser,
in full red serge and sacred Stetson, looking, for all the world, like
a wooden soldier, was on the phone, quietly thanking Turnbull for his
assistance that afternoon and assuring the flighty constable that the
detective was doing well. Kowalski, looking scrawnier than Vecchio
remembered, was asleep on the bed with - a kid? No...it was Diefenbaker.

Ray Vecchio drew back. Despite his efforts, half-hearted though they
were, he'd never been comfortable around Dief in what the precinct simply
called 'the werekid mode.' It had always been a source of tension,
but he couldn't help it if wolfboy disturbed him.

Fraser nodded to him, hanging up the phone. "Ray. Thank you for coming,"
He hadn't been sure Ray /would/ come.

"How's he doing?" Vecchio felt nervous, not sure if it was due to Dief
or due to Kowalski or what. "He's going to be ok?"

"They think so." Fraser nodded, not sure he trusted the doctor's opinion.
"They've got him on the standard solutions for..." He made a gesture
towards the IV.

Vecchio grinned, nervously and shrugged. "Could always get Stella in
here to sniff him out."

"Oh, well that's not neccesary, Ray. Dief..." Fraser stopped. A joke.
"Ah. Understood."

"What'd you need to see me about, Benny?"

"Ray needs to talk to you. And...Irene."

"Did you tell him...?"

"Ray...he told me." Fraser's heart ached for the stricken look upon his
friend's face. Softly, he said, "He said she's following you. He can
see and speak to her."

"I...I don't know if I can go there, Benny."

The constable reached out and held the detective's shoulder in a warm
clasp.

"Will you try?"

"Guess I owe 'em that much."

With a smile that warmed the room, Fraser turned to the bed. Vecchio
felt a stab of...something, he didn't know what, just that he didn't
approve, as he watched his friend lean over Kowalski and touch his cheek,
crooning, "Ray? Ray? Wake up. I need you to wake up. Ray's here."

There came an unhappy noise as Kowalski shifted and sleepily forced his
eyes open. Fraser smiled again as his partner yawned and pushed himself
up unsteadily, his hair a riot of blond spikes.

"Gaa."

Fraser handed him some water. Ray took a sip and promptly gagged, almost
spitting it out.

"Oh, what is - ugh! You tryin' ta poisen me, Frase?"

"It's holy water."

He coughed and gagged some more. "It smells worse than sewage. Tap
water. *Please*. Even this Chicago stuff is better."

"Ray..."

"Please."

Unable to refuse, Fraser got him the requested drink and it wasn't until
Kowalski was downing the second glass that he saw her. He stopped drinking
to stare. Irene. She was close to the window, close to Vecchio, whom
he barely noticed. She seemed...posessive, protective...adoring. His
mind flashed back to a time Fraser had read poetry to him one late night
in the squad room. Culture or something Mountie-ish, he'd said. A line
sang out to him now: "...Her beauty made me glad." She was lovely.
She hadn't lived long enough. Hadn't loved enough. Even if she settled
for Vecchio.

She felt his gaze and smiled gently.

"Irene?" he asked, his voice almost a whisper.

Despite himself, Ray Vecchio turned to look at the empty space Kowalski
was staring at. Fraser looked on in sympathy, remembering.

"Yes, Ray," she replied.

"Can you help me?"

"I can try."

"I keep seein' Louis Gardino die. Yer connected, somehow, aintcha?"

"Of course we are. We love the same person, each in our way. Louis
is trying to warn you."

"Me?"

"You're the only one close to Ray and Huey that we can communicate with."

"Irene," begged Ray, "he's killin' me. The flashes are - they're gettin'
worse every time."

"Louis is frantic, Ray, because there's a threat to the people he loves
and the people they love. Louis was killed so abruptly, so brutally,
he can't escape the moment and that explosion is his whole existance,
his only means of communication."

"Wh-what about you? You..."

She stated simply: "I said goodbye."

He closed his eyes, trying to compose himself, not giving a damn what
Vecchio was thinking of him right now.

"What's the danger? Do ya know?"

"I don't know. But it's something going on right now. Louis thought it
would end, but...there was an explosion."
His memory jarred. "Lady Killer? She likes ta blow things up. And
she wantsta kill Fraser."

"Why?"

"His testimony sent her to Purgatory."

"Purgatory?"

"Mid-security prison."

Irene almost laughed. "Is there a Heaven and a Hell, too?"

"Yeah. Irene?"

"Yes, Ray?"

"Can...can I...help you?"

"Will you tell him I'll always love him? That I'll always be with him?"

"Yeah, I can do that."

***

Turnbull turned into Fraser's office, laying the constable's mail on
the desk. Three envelopes, some postcards and a package in a brown wrapped
box. He eyed it, suspiciously. Who did Constable Fraser know that would
send him a package? There was no return address. Suspicious.

He turned to go get the Inspector when he heard a click.

***

Ray's hand suddenly went to his head, and he winced in pain. "Ow..."
He felt incredibly hot, like he was on fire. "Ow...Frase..."

Fraser looked up from trying to extricate the wolfkid from Vecchio's
jacket. "Yes, Ray?" He saw the look on Ray's face and stood up. "What
is it?"

"Dunno...Different...Turnbull." He looked, wincing, but Irene was gone
taking with her the comforting spell she had woven.

Vecchio looked at Fraser. "I'll send a squadcar over..." He said it quickly,
and rushed out. Was this what Irene and Louis were trying to warn them
about, or only part of it? And what had Irene said to Kowalski? They
could partially follow the conversation, but when Kowalski asked if he
>could help her...God, he needed to know. Needed to know Irene was alright
about Stella, about him, about...that night where she lay dying in his
arms...

He dug out his cell phone and dialed a number. "Frannie? Get the consulate
on the line. We may have a situation."
***

Ray felt Dief bound onto the bed, and looked at him through blurred vision.
"Don't lick me."

"Really, Ray..." Fraser was unnerved. Something was happening to Turnbull,
or the inspector and he felt he should go. Bt he didn't want to leave
Ray.

"You should go with him, Benny. Me and Dief'll be ok."

"Ray..."

He was panting, praying to whatever god might listen to a cop-turning-vampire
that this was not another flash. Dief was almost on top of him, the
wide gold eyes full of curiosity and concern as he looked between his
two pack mates.

"G-Go, Frase. Turnbull..."

The Mountie nodded once and ran after Vecchio, hating to leave but frightened
for his fellow constable and superior. He caught up with Ray as the
detective was running from the entrance, talking on his cell phone as
he went.
"What do you mean you can't get through, Frannie? Get whatever unit's
in the area to the consulate and have them wait for us. And keep trying
all the numbers you've got!"

He looked at Fraser as he closed the phone. "Can't get through."

The constable just nodded. 'She's cut the phone lines.'

"Lady Killer," they said simultaniously as the Riviera peeled out of
the hospital parking lot.

***

//Calm. Just Keep breathing, Ray. Yeah, this water smells like crap,
but Ellery smells worse. Think. Your brain works faster than your mouth.
Use it...//

He lay there in the bed, sensative eyes closed against the sunlight pouring
into the room, clutching a werewolf to his chest. He forced his mind
past the strange feeling of holy water warring with vampire blood in
his veins, past the pain of too many psychic images in such a short time,
to the events unfolding right now.

Then he realised that perhaps Louis was trying to tell him history was
about to repeat itself. The image was the same: Fraser running towards
an explosion. Vecchio there. The Riv. Huey would get there, too,
all the elements of the flashes being brought together again. Louis
just didn't have anything else to work with beyond the moment of his
own death...Lady Killer...She would be there. She was always there to
enjoy her own handiwork, sick little creature that she was. This wasn't
about Louis or Huey or even himself...she was after Fraser, knowing full
well he'd enter the consulate to get Turnbull and the Inspector out.
Revenge, for all that time in Purgatory...

//She's going to Hell next round// he silently swore as he reached for
the phone. "Don't let him go in." His voice sounded so strange as Vecchio
picked up the phone.

"What?"

"You let him go in, she'll kill him. Don't care how you gotta keep him
out. Don't let him go in..." weakly, he trailed off, his begging tone
leaving him with little dignity. He didn't care, so long as Fraser came
back to him. He fumbled to put the phone back in the cradle, helpless
tears burning his eyes.

His stomach was getting fluttery. Dief was patting at his face with gentle,
awkward animal movements, trying to calm him down. "Our mountie's stubborn...think
he'll listen?" 'Our Mountie?' he thought to himself.

As if in response, Dief licked his face, quickly.

***

Turnbull stood outside, holding the Queen's painting and being covered
in a blanket by a police officer. He was coughing hard. The ruins of
the consulate still burned and he saw them bringing the inspector out
on a stretcher. He shuddered.

Fraser got out the second the Riv pulled up. He could feel her watching,
and looked around desperately. He felt Vecchio's arms holding him in
place. "Ray, I'm hardly going to bolt into an empty burning building..."

"Well, I don't know that Benny. He said keep you here, and you told me
to trust him."

"Ray..."

"So I'm trusting him on your word even if I don't want to. She'll kill
you if you go near there."
"The inspector - "

"EMS has got her. You stay put. I'll cuff you to the car if you budge."

***

He was half asleep when the Gardino vision hit him again. He hands tightened
in Dief's fur, and the wolf woke up quickly. "No...wait..." he muttered,
frantic. "What're you trying...slow down..." The images were coming fast,
furious. Not the whole thing this time. Just the Riv blowing, then Fraser.
The Riv. Fraser. The Riv... "Oh God!" he sat up, breathing hard. "No..."

Dief sat on his haunches, studying Ray's face. He watched as Ray picked
up the phone again, trying to dial out.

No tone, nothing. 'She's cut the phone lines here...she knows. Damnit,
she's on to me,' he thought to himself. "Dief." He looked at the wolf,
making the wolf look right at him. "Dief, there's no way I can get outta
here without those nurses jumpin' all over me. I need you to get to the
consulate. Do /not/ let Fraser get in the Riv. Ok?"

Dief growled low in his throat.

"Run, wolf," ordered Ray. "Run for his life."

***

Fraser stared at the handcuffs, shaking his head. He really hadn't thought
Ray would call his bluff. He hadn't really gone all that far from the
car, but the ambulance carrying Inspector Thatcher was just a few yards
away and he'd only wanted to inquire after her condition, after all...Fraser
sighed, then looked at Ray talking to one of the EMS workers. He'd have
to get out of this himself.

He worked at the door handle, trying to appear non-chalant and knowing
Ray would be furious at him for even contemplating it's removal. It loosened
a bit, dropping a chip of paint that Fraser knew would earn him a good
five minutes of lecturing without any pauses for breath.
He heard a laugh. Lady Killer. Frozen to the spot, he looked around.
He couldn't see her anywhere. He could see Dief somehow a wolf again,
running towards him from down the block at full tilt.

The Riv. Dief. Ray. Lady Killer. "Oh..." He stared at the door, not quite
sure what to do. Left without a choice, he started pulling harder at
the handle. He had a feeling he only had a few seconds to work.

Vecchio looked at the car seeing Fraser pulling at the handcuffs and
frowned. What the hell was he doing?

***

He could see it now, what was /actually/ happening. He was doubled over
on the bed, the fluttering having turned into a stabbing ache. He pressed
at the call button, but it wouldn't light up. Something was wrong, this
was not part of the visions. "Fuck...oh God..."

He managed to get his feet over the side of the bed and got up. Stumbling
towards the door, he got two feet before everything went dark.

***

Fraser got the door handle off, and ran like hell. He heard the car blow
behind him, and was thrown by the blast. There was a rush of heat and
noise from behind him, then an odd silence marred only by the sound of
a fire crackling.

She giggled. A maniacal sound that penetrated his dazed senses. Where...?
He felt hands rolling him over. His legs hurt and his head was pounding.

"Benny? Benny, can you hear me?" Ray demanded as his friend blacked out."Get
me help here!" screamed Vecchio at the swarming police and fire fighters.
"He's hurt!"
Then Diefenbaker was there, looking as sticken and guilty as a wolf could
as he nuzzled his human. An EMT was already hurrying towards them, a
fireman in tow. As he pulled the werewolf off of Fraser, one thought
slammed through Vecchio's head:
//Stanley's gonna kill me.//

***

Ray felt hands on him, lifting him back onto the bed. There was whispering.
Not good whispering. "Frase?" Something was wrong, "Fraser?"

"He's taken care of..." a voice hissed at him. "And now we're taking
care of you."

Ray had a very bad feeling about this. Something told him Lady Killer
was no longer working alone.

***

Vecchio walked towards Kowalski's room, Dief in tow. "He's gonna kill
me, isn't he Dief?"

Dief looked forlorn, he had a feeling he wasn't going to get very far
with what had happened either. He'd for some reason gone back to kid
mode. Vecchio had shrugged at that, thinking it would be easier to get
him into the hospital that way.

Benny was going to be ok, the doctors thought. He had a broken leg and
a concussion. Vecchio had practically thanked God for that.

He entered Kowalski's room, only to find it empty. He saw the empty IV
laying on the bed. There were signs of a minor struggle. "What the hell?
Stan?" He checked the bathroom.

Dief growled low, picking up a note and handing it to Vecchio before
hopping up on the bed to start rifling the sheets. Uneasily, Vecchio
opened it. The script was flowing, a woman's hand, and he held it up
to the fading sunlight to read.

'Death is but a door, Slayer. We have merely brought home what is ours
by right.'

//We? We vampires?// wondered the detective. //What the hell have they
got rights to? Stan? They could keep the little-// No. No, he didn't
dare think along those lines. Fraser would kill him.

He pulled out his cell phone and dialed the precinct. They were in a
world of trouble.

***

His teeth felt funny, like they were covered in glue. And he could feel
skin against his mouth. A wrist. Something dripped past and he gagged,
struggling. "Careful, brother...we wouldn't want to hurt you..." a voice
hissed in his ear.

He heard howling. Definetly not a wolf.

***

"Lady Killer?" Fraser asked, quietly. He was shocked that she'd managed
to do it, shocked that it had happened so quickly.

Huey shook his head, "Not her writing. We're thinking someone from Ellery."

"But Ellery's dead," Fraser shuddered, his hand on the wolfkid's shoulder,
"Dief..." He didn't want to recall the memory.

"Then one of his children," Dewey shrugged. "We'll find him, but he might
not be..." He caught a glimpse from Huey and shut up.

***

The blood was still being forced in him when a flash shivered through
him. The explosion again. Why was Louis showing him this? He'd already...

Suddenly he noticed the vampire above him shudder. Had she felt the flash
go through him? Suddenly he welcomes it. 'Bring it on, Gardino...'

The explosion ripped through his memory even as pain arched through him.
She twitched, jerking her wrist away from his mouth to let out a shriek
of pain.

//That what I sound like? Hope it kills ya, bitch.//

Pain flooded him. He could hear screaming, screaming, screaming, knew
it was himself. Fraser running towards the Riv...? It had never been
misty before. Fraser ran on, never reaching his destination and suddenly
Ray saw himself, as if he was looking into a mirror in a steam-filled
bathroom. Saw his own eyes - blue, not black. Someone was with him.

Fraser. The Mountie leaned close, smiling, looking at Ray with adoration.
Love. Desire, even.

Agony engulfed him, but that moment was worth any torment.

//Please come true,// he heard his own mind plead even as the darkness
that was such a part of him engulfed him.

***

Vecchio was driving Kowalski's GTO and hating every minute of it, visions
of a parking lot on the bottom of Lake Michigan serving to distract
him for a few moments He glanced at the mountie beside him. "Turnbull,
again...you don't have to come."

"Constable Fraser believed that I should assist you..."

"But why?"

Turnbull glanced at Vecchio, smiling strangely. Or normally, for Turnbull.
"I know a lot about the Gangrel." He caught Vecchio's confusion. "Oh,
that was Mr. Ellery's clan."

"Right. Great...uh...why?"

"They have a sizable clan in Canada, Detective Vecchio. It's standard
practice in the RCMS to keep abreast of all the families and clans."

"Great..."

***

Lady Killer entered the Gangrel hideout and watched with mild interest
as the vampires restrained the detective. She smiled, knowing that her
constable would come for him. She'd have her revenge. She had it already,
glancing at one of the vampires off in the corner, knowing full well
what had been done. Ellery had been very old, an elder of the clan,
and Ray Kowalski was the only being still in this world who had received
his legacy. Willing or not, the Gangrel could not afford to lose Ellery's
line.

And Constable Benton Fraser, who could have let her escape so easily
two years ago, who had doomed her to Purgatory, would suffer all the
more for knowing his skinny little friend was being speeded on his way
to being a vampire. The holy water might have worked. Now? She knew
there were methods for preserving life, so long as the soul remained,
but few people knew them. She was not one nor did she care to be.
What did it matter? She had sold her soul long ago.

Another vampire, Calhoun, approached her. "It worked."

"So far," she returned. She knew he didn't approve of Kowalski's presence.
He was jealous, plain and simple, and Lady Killer reveled in his frustration.

***

"So where would they hide out?" Vecchio shifted in his seat, the GTO
was to the Riv what a rock is to a chair. Uncomfortable.

"A warehouse. Far from the water. Gangrel /hate/ water. Possibly near
the zoo." Turnbull nodded, confident.

Vecchio dialed his cell. "Frannie, I need the addresses of any warehouses
near the zoo."

***

Fraser stared at his leg hanging from the sling, feeling helpless for
the first time in weeks. He felt Dief sitting next to him, staring at
the television. "Dief..." he poked the werekid's shoulder. No answer.
"Ingrate."

His head was filled with worry. He knew he wouldn't make it if they didn't
find Ray. He closed his eyes, pressing his fingers against his eyes.

***

Lady Killer was the one to wake Ray up. She held his chin in her hand,
smiling. "They weren't very pleased to hear your 'son' ate their father."
She smirked. "Until I told them what would happen to the wolf child.
Then they laughed."

He was shivering cold, naked, hurting, and he could smell her. It revolted
him beyond telling. His tongue was thick in his mouth as he slurred,
"Wha-?"

"He IS your son now. Or your brother. It's not often a werewolf drinks
vampire blood. The combination is...shall we say, fascinating?"
"...dief..."

"Don't worry about the werewolf, Kowalski. Worry about what the Gangrel
are going to do with you. What I'm going to do with your Mountie-boy."

Fraser. He closed his eyes, trying to escape the reality of Lady Killer,
trying to lose himself in the memory of the last flash. //Help me.
Please, somebody help me...//

"...dief, what..." He had to concentrate on that. On something other
than his pain.

She smirked, leaning down. Tugging his ear. "He's reversing. Becoming
a human child who becomes a wolf. Should be interesting, don't you think...?"

//Damned interesting, considering Dief isn't a purebred werewolf,// thought
Ray. He was a mix of...exactly what Fraser had never quite figured out.
He drew a shuddering breath, trying to avoid her touch. She chuckled,
trailing her finger nails across his bare chest.

"Your Mountie won't be able to help you now, Gangrel."

//Gangrel?//

***

Turnbull suddenly grabbed the emergency brake, pulling on it. The car
skidded to a halt. He pointed, excitedly, at a building. "There! That's
where they are!"

Vecchio shook his head, "You're sure?" It didn't look any more remarkable
than any of the other warehouses.
"Of course."

"It's a mountie thing, right?" He ignored the look of confusion, and
called for back up. Turnbull was silent for a few moments, then said
with authority,

"They're going to be prepared for us, Detective. We have to expect resistance."

"How do you know?"

Turnbull pointed. "See there? On the roof."

"Blackbirds. Big deal."

"Ravens. Very big deal."

"Anything else you want to fill me in on before we go charging in there?"

Turnbull considered, a serious expression on his face. "Would it help
for you to know I'm a certified Seeker?"

"SEEKER!!! Why the hell didn't you say something sooner? Why didn't
you tell me?"

"You know full well we never tell anyone unless absolutely necessary."

Vecchio drew a deep breath, trying to digest this last, unexpected bit
of information. "So...what does this mean?"

"It means that if they play by the rules, and I suspect they do, given
that they are such an old and powerful clan, not to mention very solitary
creatures for the undead, they won't hurt me. Actually, since I'm neutral
territory, if there's any threat to me they'll be honor-bound to protect
me."

"Does Fraser know this?"

"Yes."

"That's why he sent you."

"Partially."

"I should call for back up," Ray flipped open his cell phone again.

Turnbull continued to stare at the building, strategizing in his head.
"Yes..."

***

Lady Killer looked up. "They're early..." She smiled. "Well. The early
bird gets the mountie."

"...you're no bird..." he muttered, letting the vision overtake him.
Vecchio. Turnbull. He smiled, weakly. This might be fun.
Then a stench assailed his senses as Lady Killer bent over him. Her
touch was foul and Ray briefly thought he'd rather have spiders crawling
on him than her hair brushing across his neck. He tried to twist away
from her grip on his chin, but she pulled him towards her with inhuman
strength.

The kiss that followed was brutal, painful, a completely unwelcome
caress that was nothing, nothing, nothing like the kiss Fraser had bestowed
upon him. That moment, that tender gesture, had become Ray's yardstick
for measuring such things.

God, he was in so much pain he wasn't even certain he was fully conscious
and now he had the queen bee of bitches molesting him. Ray knew full
well he couldn't move and couldn't stop her and he silently screamed
for help as she stole what she wanted from him. He tried to remove himself,
lose himself in the memories of the past, of the future, with...

//Fraser...//

***

"Ray?" Fraser blinked against the sudden thought in his head. He sat
up as best he could, rubbing the bridge of his nose.

Dief sat up, looking at him curiously. "I don't know, Dief..." He shook
his head. "I don't know..."

***

Turnbull led Vecchio to the door, slowly. "If I'm right, they should
let me right in."

"If you're wrong?" Vecchio did not like this idea, one bit and it showed
in his mannerism.

Turnbull sighed, obviously not as sure as he was before. "Then we die."

"Well, that's comforting."He glanced up, pretending to streatch his neck
as he again checked that their back-up was in position. It just didn't
seem like enough.

***

Ray could feel her hands on his face, and he shivered. He felt very cold.
There were teeth at his neck, not Lady Killer's. Biting him. Draining
him. 'I don't wanna die....please' His thoughts were scrambled but the
pain was real.

"Too bad, Gangrel. They need you. They want you..." Lady Killer smiled,
bitterly. "And they'll kill you when they get what they want."

"Find the wolf..." Calhoun hissed at one of /his/ children. "Bring him
here. If he has Ellery's blood, we'll need him as well."

"No. No, you can't have him....my..." Son? Was he about to say son? Part
of him wanted to laugh at the image. Another part, the greater part,
wanted to rise up and destroy these creatures defiling him. This was
no better than rape...

"...Ray...oh, Ray..."

That voice. He knew it. Oh, god, they were here. Vecchio was here.
Turnbull. /She/ was here. Louis...maybe.

It felt as if his throat was being slashed, burning pain radiated from
his head, his neck, his arms. Even his ankles. He could smell the blood
and it sickened him.

"Ray."

"Irene." It was barely a whisper.

"What can I do?" she begged, kneeling beside him.

"Lou - flash - ahhh!"

His back arched as a scream escaped his lips. Brutal hands forced him
down to the floor, held him still as the vampire at his throat kept drinking.
The gurgling, sucking, squelching noises nauseated him. His head tilted
back as he got a flash of memory. Ellery doing this to him in the grave.

He never thought the day would dawn he'd welcome the sensation of a flash.
Gardino did him proud. It was hard and fast and agony off the scale.

Screams erupted. His own voice. The vampire that had fed him. The
one feeding on him. Music to Ray's ears. He felt pressure in his face
and knew his nose was streaming blood. Good.

//don't stop, Louis, don't stop, you can't kill me//

Lady Killer watched as all the vampires that had drunk of fed to the
gangrel half breed doubled over in pain. She looked towards the door
as a flash of red caught her eye. "Mountie?"

"Seeker." A voice said, quickly. No. Not /her/ mountie. She smiled, welcomingly.
"Let him go..."

"I don't think so, seeker. Let's just say he's my bait."

***

Fraser frowned as he noticed Dief's obvious discomfort. "Diefenbaker.
What is it?"

The boy looked up at him. A whimper escaped his lips. He knew. He knew
something was wrong with Ray. Fraser paled, knowing he couldn't do anything.
Anything at all. He stroked the angular face that looked at him >so
trustingly, then gathered Diefenbaker to him as best he could and held
him tight.

***

Vecchio had his gun trained on Lady Killer, one eye on her and one on
Kowalski. Blood was rushing freely from his nose, from his wrists, his
neck. The vampires that were on him had fallen to the floor, writhing
as Kowalski convulsed in obvious agony. It was like a glimpse from the
pits of hell.

But he was laughing, almost hysterically. /Why is he laughing? Is he
doing this?//

And then he saw her. Irene. A mere shimmering image. Beautiful as he
remembered. She was kneeling beside Kowalski, her hands on his face,
looking across from her, talking to someone. Gardino? What were they
doing to him?

He was distracted as Lady Killer lashed at him. He fell, quickly.

Too focused on the vampires to notice that Vecchio lay on the ground
unconscious, Turnbull called out, "Gangrel! I am a Seeker, you must listen
to me. That woman will not let you follow your codes..."

Calhoun whirled, furious at more than the interruption. A Seeker! Damn
him! Damn his presence, he could ruin it all...and he would and they
would help him to do it...

"I am a Seeker! I am the only thing that can save you when the Slayers
come for you and I demand your protection from this succubus!"

Then Turnbull ran forward to where Ray Kowalski lay on the floor amidst
his own blood and gore, insane laughter punctuating his cries of agony.

The Mountie was frightened. He heard tell of such rituals, but rarely
were they witnessed and even rarer were the witnesses who survived to
tell about it.

He knew, however, that he could trust the Gangrel to protect him from
the succubus, and to get to Ray afterwards they would have to injure
him. If they wanted to protect their clan from the RCMS, the Gangrel
would not allow anything to befall him. It was a game played many times
over the centuries and Turnbull had them in checkmate.

Lady Killer screamed in fury, suddenly realising what was transpiring.
She lunged, ready to crush the Mountie -

Calhoun blocked her path.

Turnbull glanced back, saw what was about to start and lay down on top
of Ray, seizing the smaller man's boney wrists and shielding him with
his own body. Ray stank of blood and worse as Turnbull put his head
next to the American's, covering the bite marks.

The vision suddenly slowing to a dull roar, Kowalski blinked at the face
above him. "Frase...?"

Turnbull shook his head, "No. Lie still. You're going to be all right."
He heard the door burst open as Vecchio's backup finally arrived. He
heard Lady Killer shrieking in fury and pain as they took her, then the
sullen and angry Gangrel as they, too were taken into custody.

Vecchio was at his side, suddenly, looking dizzy. "He all right?"

Turnbull looked up, "Are there paramedics outside? He's lost a lot of
blood. He still is." He suddenly sat up. "The Gangrel, I've promised
them protection..."

Vecchio shook his head, "They kidnapped a police officer, tried to murder
him. They won't get it."

Turnbull's eyes narrowed. He was a Seeker. The Chicago PD had no notion
of the depth or breadth of what he could do or why he had to let every
one of the Gangrel walk out of Hell unharmed. It was all part of the
game and balance must be maintained. He turned and met Calhoun's angry
eyes, then held the icey glare for a long moment. He nodded the slightest
bit, and while the anger did not fade, the vampire understood. That
was all the Seeker really wanted from him now that they had Ray.

***

Fraser could sense that something had changed in his wolf friend, but
he didn't know what. The wolf had been staying human for longer periods
of time. Neither he nor Leftenant Welsh could find a cause.

Perhaps now was the time to ask Sgt. Frobisher. He nodded, watching Dief
suddenly begin crying. Panicked, he held Dief to him again, "What is
it? Is it Ray?"

***

Turnbull wrapped Ray in another layer of blankets, holding him upright.
Vecchio had decided to drive them to the hospital, it seemed quicker
than waiting then ten for the ambulance to arrive. The situation was
critical.

"Tell them to have blood ready," ordered the constable, feeling faint
at the sight and smell of blood. It was so different when he was in
the Seeker role. Nothing bothered him then, not blood, not heights,
nothing. Words and action came so easily with that authority. Now that
they had Ray, he could leave that persona buried deep. He was Constable
Renfield Turnbull, RCMS, once again. "He'll need tranfusions. Many of
them."

"Got it."

"Detective."

"Yeah, Turnbull?"

"My role as a Seeker cannot be mentioned in any of your reports. I'm
going to ask you to forget what I did today."

"You did good, Turnbull. You're safe with me," promised Ray.

"Thank you."

"Kindly?" Vecchio grinned, half heartedly.

"Pardon?"

"Nothing."

***

Several minutes later...

Fraser gave a cry of alarm as Dief suddenly wrenched himself free, and
scrambled towards the door. "Dief, wait..." Ray. They must've found Ray.
He had to get down there. He pressed that nurse call button.

***

Ray felt the doctor's hands on him, and groaned in pain. "No...wait..."

"My God, how many of them were there?" the doctor demanded, looking fiercely
at Vecchio. "I'm seeing at least seven different bite patterns."

"A whole clan. Ten, maybe twelve." Vecchio winced as they threaded an
IV into Kowalski's arm. Turnbull was nowhere to be seen and given the
constable's stamina when it came to blood, Vecchio figured it had to
be a>good thing. "He'll be ok?" He had to get up to Benny, had to let
him know they'd found him.

"I don't know. He's lost so much of his own blood, taken in so much gangrel..."

"Yeah?"

"We may not be able to give him human blood."

He heard a noise, and looked up to see Dief, kid form, staring at them.
His golden eyes locked with Kowalski's. Stan's breathing was suddenly
hard, animalian, matching the werewolf's tempo. "What the hell...?"

The doctor cursed. "Get him out of here! Now!"

"Diefenbaker!" called Vecchio, trying to lay hold of the boy.

He writhed under the detective's touch and in a fluid drop to all fours,
Diefenbaker reverted back to wolf form. He turned his head to bare his
teeth at the human who feared and disliked him.

On the table, Ray twisted his head, teeth bared.

"Get him out!" screamed the doctor as frightened technicians scrambled
out of the way.

"Dief, let them save him!" argued Ray. "He is going to die without their
help."

That had an effect. The wolf stilled. Kowalski calmed as well.

"I've never seen anything like this," said the doctor, awed.

Despair replaced anger in the wolf's eyes. He sat looking mournfully
at the man on the operating table, then threw his head back and howled.

A strangled, pain-filled cry echoed his grief from the tortured throat
of Ray Kowalski.

"Dief," said Vecchio. "C'mon, boy, let's find Benny."

"It's all right..." a voice behind him said, quietly. Fraser. Dammit.
He turned to the wounded mountie. He was in a wheelchair being pushed
by an intern and Diefenbaker was all but crawling into his lap, pressing
as close to Fraser as he could. "What happened to him? What'd they do
to him?" Ray and Dief's reactions to each other had frightened him. Frightened
them all.

"I don't know..." Vecchio shrugged, unsure. "He was muttering something
about Dief being reversed on the way over. Scared the hell out of Turnbull..."

"Reversed. Oh. Oh dear..."

***

He woke up feeling a hand in his again. Smaller, clutching. Dief. He
was so cold, and blankets were practically wrapped around him. A hot
hand touched his forhead and he instinctively moved into it. "Frase?"

"Mm. Go back to sleep, Ray. You need your rest..."

"They got 'er..."

"I know."

"Love you..."

"I know..."

Tags: arc1
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