The explosion rumbles through the very earth underneath the studios, not so much due to the size of the device itself Liam thinks, but the several small bursts of concussive energy that come after as a significant chunk of Burbank is brought to ruin. Laura, Travis, Sam, and Liam run through the darkness of the tunnel visually aware of their surroundings, but otherwise completely uncertain of anything that has happened in the last… well, however long it’s been since things were normal.
Maybe they were never normal. That thought is enough to stop Liam in his tracks and he realizes he can’t feel the runner's high; no breaths, ragged or otherwise, and his heart doesn’t throb in his chest with exertion and anxiety because it isn’t beating at all.
“Break.” Travis states simply, collapsing in the darkened tunnel. “We need to take five and figure out what the fuck just happened.”
“What just happened?” Sam shoots back. “You may not have noticed but things have gone so far beyond fucked up and I don’t think any of us is dreaming right now.”
“Hey--” Liam starts only to have Sam continue, his voice deep with a labored tremor.
“I’m scared, okay? And I can’t even say I’m scared to death because I’m dead to death !”
Liam reaches out to him and catches Sam by the hand. At first Sam tries to pull away, but when Liam’s superior strength holds fast he only lets out a disappointed sigh. “Hey, hey…” Liam softens his voice and pulls Sam toward him, “We’re all scared, all right? Hell, I’m terrified, okay? I mean… we’re dead . Matt and Marisha are even more dead . And there are werewolves and a computer made of meat and OH FUCK IVAN...What the fuck was with Ivan?”
Sam collapses into Liam’s chest, rolling his face on his familiar shoulder. He can’t speak, not when he can feel the anxiety radiating off of Liam. Not when he feels like somehow they should all feel even worse than they do, but anymore it’s hard to feel anything. It’s hard to even think about the world outside. He feels numb in this moment to all but the steady rub of Liam’s hands on his back and the weirdly good smell of his throat.
“Okay. anxiety bros can hang out here.” Travis clears his throat dramatically and takes Laura’s hand. “We’re going to scout ahead while you to pull yourselves together, okay?”
“Just give us a half hour to catch our breath, okay? We should all rest.” Liam says with a strange calmness in his voice.
Sam whimpers into Liam’s shirt and then whispers, “We don’t breathe. We don’t need air. We’re dead.”
“Shh…” Liam strokes his fingers through Sam’s hair and holds the man against his shoulder. “Don’t go far, Travis. Something is very wrong and we should stay together. All of us.”
Travis stares at him for a moment, and then nods. “Yeah, all right.”
Liam waits until he’s reasonably sure Travis and Laura are out of earshot before leaning in and brushing a kiss on Sam’s ear. He whispers, “It’s okay, Sam. I’m here.” He kisses him again, lips lingering on the cool flesh behind Sam’s ear. Fuck he smells good. He shouldn’t smell good. Vampires can’t eat vampires, right? That seems like a bad idea. “I’m not going to let you go.”
Sam shudders, his senses tingling when Liam’s lips caress his skin. It’s a familiar sensation, one that frequently comes with arousal and guilt, but it’s different now. Is it arousing? Should he be turned on right now? It feels wrong, but not wrong enough to stop when he feels the gentle graze of a fang on his throat and shivers again. “Yeah. I’ve got you. I mean, I fed you, right? I mean… I brought you an actual human man. Holy shit, I brought you a guy to kill? Why did I do that?”
“That’s what we do now.” Liam’s voice is still oddly calm, he doesn’t even feel like what he’s done is bad. It is what it is. “We kill so we can live.” His hand cups Sam’s cheek, a surprisingly long thumb nail tracing the smoothness under Sam’s chin. “Do you really feel bad about what you did?”
Sam lets out a soft sigh, realizing it’s something he has to consciously do because strictly speaking he doesn’t need to, and wraps his arms around Liam, letting whatever is happening just happen. “No. I feel like I should feel bad, though.”
“That’s my boy.” Liam smiles reflexively, daring to taste Sam’s skin with a flick of his tongue that draws a stifled groan from Sam’s throat. He has an idea, and he's not sure that it isn't the worst he's had since waking up in the damn box. “I'm gonna try something, okay? And I want you to know that no matter what happens before sunrise, I love you very much and I hope we both get out of this. Together.”
Liam doesn’t need to flex his newfound power, and Sam is pretty sure he hasn’t even tried to be supernaturally beguiling. He can feel wetness in his eyes and when he pulls back, he's not shocked to see drips of blood on Liam’s shirt. “Apparently we can cry.” He laughs, but there's no humor in his voice, no smile on either of their faces. “Of course.” Sam says meekly. ‘You know I'll do what we need to do to get through this.”
Then Liam smiles and the cracks in his porcelain face seem smoother for just a moment. “Good.” He whispers, catching the back of Sam's head in his palm and threading his fingers in the familiar softness there. “Come here, all right? Trust me .”
Those words clue Sam in quickly, something bad is about to happen. His Liam is about to hurt him. There's a fraction of a second, as Liam once more guides his head to his bloody tear-stained shoulder, where he could easily slip away.
He doesn't move. Even when he feels the pressure of Liam’s fangs, even when the skin is broken and the fear begins to settle in. He doesn't move.
It was in the book. Liam had only skimmed it, but the pages stuck out. A bond of blood, an oath. He could drink even a little and force himself to be bound to Sam… maybe even enough to keep the promise that sounded like lies on his lips. Just a little drink .
Liam can taste Max, and then underneath that vital essence something a feral part of him knows is his Sam. For a moment, it is bliss. The trickle is slow on his tongue without the beat of a heart to push it out. It's sweeter than even the glut he'd taken already tonight. Sam is a perfect vintage port while Chris had been a box of fucking Franzia.
Sam's fingers curl in Liam’s shirt, pulling it taut until Liam snatches it away and brings it to his bloody mouth, opening him there too with a vivid scarring bite.
“Okay, okay…” Sam whines. “That really fucking hurts and don't I kind of need my blood?” Liam responds with a throaty animalistic growl that stops further words.
The rush is even better than adrenaline, it's how he always imagined something like heroin would feel. Somehow the blood is pulsing through his veins and still a little warm even despite Sam's lack of body temperature, it is delicious.
He looks up then and he can see the fear in Sam's eyes, he can taste it on his lips. Sam whispers in a near sob. “Are you going to kill me?”
The unfeeling monster inside him doesn't even want to stop long enough to dignify the obvious answer, but under that instinct Liam knows that he won't.
God help me. Make me strong. If there even is a God that put this curse in the world. stop me.
He growls lower still when he pulls away, Sam’s blood smearing down his chin and making him look every bit the beast. “No.” He answers as softly as he can, and then shoves the hand he'd nearly taken between his thighs where the hardness in his jeans throbs for attention. “I wanted this.” He moans when Sam's fingers grab him reflexively and squeeze through the denim.
“Oh.” Sam's voice drops, recognizing the arousal and waiting for his own response to kick in. His hand shakes as he tugs open Liam’s button and forces down the fly to find him very hard and very much… well, not alive but close enough. “This is pretty kinky…”
“Bite me.” Liam groans as Sam's fingers squeeze and then stroke his cock. It's not the same as when they were warm, the pleasure isn't pinpointed on his cock but seems to follow the blood as though the very eroticism has far more to do with sharing their thirst than rubbing and fucking.
Sam almost makes a joke and then Liam leans his head to the side to fully expose himself. “I… I mean, should I?”
“God's sake…” Liam forces back the absolute bliss in his voice. “You're a monster, Riegel. We are monsters now. Do you understand that? Bite me. Drink of me. Take what you want.”
He hesitates only a second, stifling a cry when Liam’s mouth kisses and bites his free wrist. He is thirsty, and hungry, and if it makes Liam go from literally dead to eagerly thrusting into his clenched fingers… well, it can't be all bad.
The pain is intense, but Liam feels no guilt for putting Sam through it. Sam's lips suck at his throat, little baby vampire teeth piercing and chewing his flesh as Sam pushes him down to the rough tunnel floor. Liam moans around Sam's wrist, positively responding to the sudden force as Sam begins to thrust and grind against his thigh.
Sam adjusts to the new positioning, unsure if Liam pulled or he pushed, and finds his fangs at the other side of his lover's throat biting far more eagerly. It's better than sex, better than anything he's ever felt and fuck if he can imagine a time when he wasn't into this.
Liam bucks his hips and pulls away from the bloody mess he's made, content to enjoy the sensation of being consumed as Sam makes his desire all the more clear with each increasingly hard thrust. A dizzy and delirious part of his brain wonders if he could handle taking it right here in wherever they are without the benefits of lube or a bed just to feel Sam inside him completely.
Then, Sam lets up off Liam’s jugular with a wet smack of lips, moaning loud enough to project his voice down the dark corridor. “Fuck I think I'm coming. I think your blood made me come, what the fuck is even-”
Liam pushes up off the concrete and shuts his mouth with a deep kiss, both their mouths sticky and sweet with shared vitae. He pushes with his whole body, rolling Sam until he’s on top now and looking down at him with the deepest lust he's ever felt. He could do this gladly until there was nothing left. His body trembles, not weak but wholly slaked and fulfilled. For the first time in this new life he isn't hungry.
Even in the darkness Sam can see him with perfect clarity. Every crack on a face that is Liam unquestionably, but still so different, seems etched perfectly into a piece of art. Not broken by accident but a perfect image of what they are now.
“Oh God. They're fucking.” Laura’s voice echoes down the tunnel as Liam feels his cock twitch against Sam's trousers. “I am not exploring some creepy underground passage with you two covered in jizz.”
For a moment everything is still, neither moves even an inch. And then Sam breaks with an awkward laugh. “Uh. No jizz. There is some blood . No, we didn't find any rats.”
“Gimme five, okay?” Liam sighs and pulls back only to fall gracelessly on his ass. He looks at Sam, shirt ruined and blood tacky on his arms and face. He can't help but feel something inside him has changed. An hour ago, he would have thrown Sam to the wolves if it meant he would survive.
Now? No. Probably not. And in a way that feels closer to life before . It feels better, normal. Closer to, at least.