Our story begins with a whimpering teenager and a flask of blood.
Now, one would normally encounter Tyler Joseph in a silenced state, supine on his bed; his mind churning out thoughts that to some would be cause for concern. To him, however, they were just thoughts, long grown used to the way his mind simply was.
Not that he could say anything about these thoughts if asked. He may be messed up, but he's not an idiot. Nothing good could come out of spilling his guts. God's been good to Tyler: sparse struggles had come up in his life and he'd wanted to keep it that way.
'Wanted to', did not mean that it had.
Of course, he had tried. But this struggle was proving quite difficult to overcome, and the new mix of abilities - glowing eyes he sometimes could not control; long fangs that dropped when his instincts were aroused; longer nails that were getting increasingly harder to trim - didn't help much at all.
Humanity felt like a memory, a delusion, or perhaps just an elaborate lie, to Tyler now. It was too late: his soul has been sold and the sin clung desperately to his bones. He's saturated, corrupt - sold as a slave to his evils and unable to resist.
But we're getting side tracked. Back to our story.
Tyler curls himself up and lets his mind take him back to that fateful day when his life was altered irreparably.
Or rather, that fateful night.
• • •
"Josh, can I borrow your jacket?" Tyler called out from his friend's couch, feet resting on the coffee table between him and the TV. He felt like he was imposing upon something in his friend's house, but he wasn't quite certain what, causing him— in classic Tyler fashion— to act out, turning his behaviour a little pushier than he intended.
He held back a yawn as he stretched his legs a little, leaning his head back to watch the older boy attempt to stifle one of his own as he walked in. Sharp white teeth flashed full view for a moment before Josh's face twisted, and the other boy breathed out slowly.
"Sure. Just don't get it dirty." Josh said absentmindedly, eyeing his calendar as he trotted by. It was a large and garish thing, and his sister, of whom had purchased the eyesore, merely laughed in the poor boy's face when he tried to politely decline the 'gift'. Tyler scrunched up his face.
"How could I?" Tyler raised a palm to his chest in mock horror and offense. Josh rolled his eyes before giving the other boy a look. There was a pause before Tyler grinned sheepishly. "That was one time," he began, "It hasn't happened since and won't happen again." Josh kept staring. "Your face'll stay that way if you keep it up." The younger boy laughed, before changing the subject.
They didn't talk about that.
Josh shook his head and a small chuckle escaped his lips, and without further ado, he sunk into the couch beside his best friend and copied his posture.
"Feet off the furniture!" A feminine voice cried out. Both boys flinched, practically jumping off the couch in their surprise. Catching each other's eyes, they burst out into a chorus of laughter.
"How did she-"
"I've been wondering that for the past 20 years, Tyler, and I still have no clue."
Later, when it was time for Tyler to return home, he slunk away from the Dun household with a practiced ease. Josh and Tyler hadn't been friends for long, in fact they hadn’t even known each other's name until last year. They had originally seen each other around campus of course, (it was their second year, at this point, you simply didn't not know people) and hung out through their mutual friends - people like Brendon and Jon, for example - but as time progressed they found they had grown closer and closer.
People would sometimes comment on their relationship, remark at how close they were when most other males would prefer to stay in a group, but neither boy could deny that when the two of them were together it just felt right.
Of course they hung around other people too, they weren't attached at the hip, Tyler would always say, but the truth was that you were more likely to find Tyler with Josh and vice versa.
Tyler strode through the rapidly darkening landscape as he made his way home, avoiding noisy potholes and crunching gravel in a search for calm. He clutched the take out box he'd bought from a fast food place after he'd left the Dun household and let out a little sigh. Josh's house was great, really, but everyone was everywhere, all the time, and so much proximity was not something he was particularly used to.
In short, the place was nice but a little intense.
A shadowy figure seemed to match his silent steps as he rounded the corner. The days were undeniably getting cut short now, soon, perhaps, it might be cold enough for snow. With these thoughts in mind, Tyler didn't notice the lurking presence until it was moving right for him. The figure seemed to lick its lips as it neared, rubbing its palms - the sounds almost amplified in this secluded street - and Tyler found the hairs on the back of his neck to be rising as the shadow grew longer, closer.
"What's a mongrel like you doing out this late? Shouldn't you be locking yourself away for the latest change?" The presence sneered. Tyler frowned, but kept his pace. Maybe he wasn't speaking to him. "I'm talking you you, mutt, don't think you can ignore me." Scratch that, there was no one else on this street. It was getting late, the moon high in the sky, and a slight breeze blew by; no one else was around.
"Please leave me alone." Tyler sighed again, not willing to keep his tone pleasant. A small laugh drifted over to him and he fought back a shudder. It wasn't a pleasant laugh, easily comparable to nails on a chalkboard. Abruptly, the laughter stopped as the presence shifted.
"What the- We're at full moon." He didn't have to turn to know that the speaker's eyes had widened. The next words confused Tyler even more. "But your scent..." Before he could react, Tyler found himself against a wall, the stranger far too close for comfort. He struggled immediately but his effort bore no success.
"What the- Let me go!" Tyler wasn't playing nice any more, all but snarling at the guy before him. But in answer, the creep just smirked, in a kind of amused disbelief, before opening his mouth to speak.
The man spoke with a lilting kind of voice, perfect pronunciation that spoke of a higher upbringing. Yet his clothes were old and tattered, but not as though he had been living bad, they were just incredibly well worn.
Tyler knew then and there that something wasn't quite right. What happens next further cemented his feeling, if only poor Tyler had realised this earlier.
"I can't believe my luck," The monster began, eyes beginning to glow brightly in the dark of the alley. It leaned closer to Tyler, forcing a reluctant whimper from the boy as the creature's sharp nails suddenly dug deep into his skin, and the sound of a single drop of blood falling against the tarmac was the only warning before its voice distorted. "You're human." The demon uttered, a sick smile on its face as its sharp fangs dropped and sunk into Tyler's neck.
Josh awoke to the clanging of metal bars. Wheeling his eyes to the left corner of the den, he whined as his brother opened his mouth to yell.
"Abigail! Open up; we're back!" His sibling barked, and if Josh wasn't still groggy from the Change he'd laugh at the way he'd described Jordan's tone.
Shaking his head before pausing to scratch at his ear, Josh rose to his feet. His straight and rather long brown hair was filled with leaves and twigs, of which tumbled out quickly to the floor without much trouble, thank goodness.
Jordan, however, was not so lucky - his dark brown hair was knotted with twigs that seemed woven into his dark shock.
His sister, Ashley, groaned lowly beside him as she too fought off the lethargy that came with each Change. The sensation was still new to her, and Josh winced in empathy. The first and last few held the worst backlash.
"Dude, quieten down, it's still early. Not everyone is up with the sun, especially since I can bet you our jailor was up late, reading, again." Ashley combed through her long hair with her fingers as she spoke. Josh wasn't sure what to call the tone she had adopted halfway through that last sentence, but he did not appreciate it. Neither did his brother, if the loud snarl was anything to go by.
But as if summoned by the very words, the far door slid open to reveal their youngest sibling.
She had obviously chugged some coffee by the way her hands were tapping at her sides - Josh could smell it even at this distance either way - but at least she was trying to hide it, the scent of soap lingering on her skin. But neither of his siblings seemed to care at this moment in time.
"You were saying?" Jordan developed a smug look.
All their heads turned sharply when the leaves behind them rustled like snakes, their parents crawling out from the den's center.
"All of you, upstairs; Josh, with me. I've received some news from Grace: apparently, it concerns Tyler." His mother said, a rare stern expression on her face. She blew some stray strands of hair from her eyes before physically ushering them from the den.
Brendon knew something was wrong as soon as he saw mother that morning. Now, he could, of course, tell with his power that something was amiss, but the tense curl of Grace's shoulders and the cooling tea she was nursing spoke louder than his sixth sense.
"G'morning?" She jumped, looking surprised to hear something outside of her head.
"Hmm, ah." Her eyes cleared a little and her hands reached out for him. Brendon eagerly moved over and the two of them shared a warm embrace. "It's-"
"-Josh's family." The thing about the Urie family was that no one needed to finish their own sentences. He still hadn't decided if that was a blessing or a curse that he didn't really have to physically speak to his mother about difficult things, his anxiety interfering with most things he had to stop and think about.
It was nice to have someone that understood and could follow his train of thought so well.
His mother nodded and let out a light groan, stretching. Brendon was awed by the way that the warm sunlight filtered over her skin from the windows, lighting up her eyes as she opened them. A tired smile graced her lips.
"I've been in constant communication with Mrs. Dun since about the end of her Change, she hadn't noticed any unusual activity in her territory and feels a little guilty; she believes that the only reason Josh's friend is part of our world now, is because her checks weren't good enough to keep out trouble. That her territorial markers weren't strong enough.
"She needs to accept that accidents happen. I know she blames herself and it’s unjustified." Brendon nodded as he grabbed some gum from his cupboard, not hesitating as he threw no less than three into his mouth. His mother's eyebrow twitched. "But you knew this, didn't you." Brendon grinned sheepishly.
"You love talking out loud, don't deny it." He popped a large bubble. Grace gave him a look.
Brendon only laughed. Slipping his earplugs in, he grabbed his phone and keys before waving to his mother - who, though she was basically psychic, did not notice until that very moment how her once hot drink was now cold.
Tyler awoke to someone calling him. At least, that's what he thought they were doing.
"Oi, fresh'n." The owner of the voice was a little gruff, and Tyler realised the uncomfortable thing he was lying on was not in fact a thing at all; that is, he was lying in a pool of his own blood. In an alley.
Where he had been discarded last night, sometime after he passed out. His hand shot to his neck. Two fingers gingerly pressed against the Bite, where teeth had sunk into soft flesh.
To his horror, that wasn't the only mark the monster had left on his body. He winced as he pulled at the collar of his shirt.
He was littered with injuries. Numerous scratch(?) marks had been engraved into his skin, not aiming to drain - they had avoided any major veins, his thighs had been left alone - just enough to draw a little blood.
His stomach was the worst.
There were long, horizontal wounds on his torso - already healing, he noted - that he didn't know what to do about. Oh, goodness, would he catch an infection and die? He hissed loudly, wincing dramatically when he pulled at parts of him where blood had melded together skin and cloth.
"Tyler Joseph." A different voice sounded, smoother than the last. Tyler forced his head to move to the source.
Two men stood over him, one more invested than the other, if the way he was leaning over him was anything to go by. The one who had spoken the second time had quite long hair for a guy, was taller and was looking around nervously.
"That is your name, right? We looked at your ID, but I honestly have no idea what kids do to get what they want these days." The shorter one grumbled. The other elbowed him.
A little confused still, Tyler nodded his head, wincing again. The one with the long hair nodded too, more to himself than anyone else, before offering out a hand. Tyler took it.
"I'm Nick and this is Chris. Welcome to immortality." He smiled lightly and Tyler saw the tips of his sharp teeth where his lips slightly opened.
"Dude that was so cliché." Chris dropped his fangs, blackening his sclera and cornea as he let loose a loud hiss. "This is how you do it."
Josh's eyes widened at the news.
Scrambling to his feet, he leaped upstairs to his room. As soon as he had finished changing his clothes he was splashing water to his face, already halfway out the door with his heels squashing the backs of his shoes flat.
Nose to the air, happy for once that his senses were still highly sensitive, Josh dashed through the streets, searching desperately for even the slightest ghost of Tyler's scent.
When he caught it, his anxiety increased tenfold. Why?
That wasn't just his scent.
It was his blood.
Now, Josh wasn't very familiar with the scent of blood, his family's healing was so rapid that they rarely had to use their first aid kit for injuries; it was mainly there for Tyler, or to keep a little semblance of normalcy.
But there was no mistaking the pungent and metallic odour that squeezed the space between his eyes. There was no mistaking the way it belonged undeniably to his friend - his human friend.
Josh's whole being felt like it had been plugged into mains electricity. He rounded a corner fearing the worst and found nothing but a dried, brown blood-shadow.
The odour led to it, and died at it.
Brendon Urie was hailed by his family and community as a genius, a prodigy, a legend among men - but today, he was incredibly and irrevocably, pissed.
The idiot Joshua hadn't shown up for school today.
Did Brendon not exist, or something? Just because he didn't like Tyler so much didn't mean he couldn't help out.
Sighing loudly, Brendon nudged Dallon. The taller boy exaggerated rolling his eyes before turning his gaze upon the teacher.
"Sir, someone told me that you left your keys in the staffroom this morning, and that Mr. Willis is planning on taking them." Dallon gave a sheepish grin. "You should probably go get them."
Brendon watched expectantly as panic gradually set into his teacher's visage. He rapped his nails on the the desk, waiting.
"Sorry, class, I have to step out for a moment." He pointed just to the left of Brendon. "You're in charge." The girl beside him preened for a second before giving the teacher a stern nod. "Good. Okay, I'll be back soon." His voice lowered dangerously, expression quickly altering to something angry. "Willis..."
Brendon smiled before patting Dallon on the back, who, in response, merely shrugged, before getting back to the homework which was certainly not due that same lesson.
Brendon frowned at the last sum his friend completed, causing Dallon to grin again.
He didn't bother fixing the answer.
Josh didn't know why Brendon had found him so easily, or why he was so willing to help.
"I thought you hated Tyler," Josh couldn't help the lilt in his voice that betrayed his confusion. "Why are you here."
"What, a brother can't help his stupid, stupid brother out?" Was the cheerful reply. Brendon knew just how to make him uncomfortable, sending obvious mixed signals.
See, while the older boy's voice was light and carefree, his scent was currently reminding Josh of a cat about to scratch, hiss and bite.
Josh groaned. "How are you even here? Don't you have school?"
"Don't you have school?" Brendon ran a hand through his hair and levelled a glare at the other brunet, not missing a beat. Josh stared back.
And so, the two of them set off.
Tyler moved his hand to rest on his now healed torso. It had been a couple hours already but his mind was still reeling.
He's a vampire. No, really.
If you had told Tyler his fate two days ago, he would've laughed in your face and asked you if you were feeling alright.
But looking at his reflection in the mirror, or lack thereof, he didn't know what to believe anymore.
He twitched as the nail clippers he was toying with slipped from his grip, falling to the floor. They had been grossly disfigured by his nails, a show of his wasted effort to trim them down. At least the hair on his face hadn't turned harder than steel too. He rubbed his chin; he should probably shave.
Looking down at his hands, he watched with a detached fascination as his newly hardened nails easily dug into his flesh before the skin healed just as fast, turning from red to white to pink before his eyes. He did it again. Again.
"Whoa there, don't be exhausting your healing capabilities, we're not feeding you again." Came a voice. Chris’. Tyler jolted, he'd been a little bit too far inside his own head.
"What?" His voice cracked a little.
"Y'know, blood. We can't give you any more now.” He gestured to the small flask, the one that they had given Tyler earlier, currently stashed in his jacket pocket. The thing was half-empty already, and while Tyler faintly remembered receiving it, he, worryingly, didn’t recall drinking from it. Someone in his mind tried to remind him that the jacket wasn’t his, but Nick was still talking, and Tyler focused on zoning back in, rather than dwelling on that or the lost time. “...If you're willing to hunt for some, though; you're welcome to do that. Or maybe you'd like to join us later, when the moon's out. Course, we have things to do besides that, but if you keep quiet no one will mind." Chris grinned something awful.
Tyler repressed a shudder as the other one began to speak. It was the long haired one, Nick, if he remembered correctly.
"Is that a good idea? He might get us caught even if he is quiet." Nick’s’ brow furrowed. Chris, however, easily waved him off, a smirk bleeding into his expression.
"He messes up; we stake him. It's no hassle." True to his word, Chris didn't look bothered one bit. Tyler tried not to look frightened. His Adam’s apple bobbed jerkily before he lowered his head.
"I won't mess up, so let me come with you on your..." He felt (and most likely looked) awkward, uneasy, carefully pronouncing the letters. "...Hunt." The words held pressed fear, as well as a slight lisp— the mere mention of something to eat was easily enough to drop his fangs.
Chris dropped a heavy hand onto his back, and Tyler repressed a flinch. "Perfect. See, Nick? He'll be fine, even if you weren't planning on mothering him." Tyler couldn't even hear his words, all he could think was the opportunity to sate his clawing bloodlust.
Quickly pressing his maw of teeth into his right palm in a desperate attempt to gain control again, he mouthed at the deep cuts the sharp white teeth had made without him noticing, the flesh puckering, horrifyingly wet.
Again it healed over.
It was slower this time, but still sure. His own blood had sated him, but he knew on some subconscious level that it wouldn't last.
Nick smiled at him then, with what he could best see as sympathy. "Okay then. We leave in an hour; be ready."
You have (22) missed calls
from: Josh Dun
You have (12) Messages
from: Josh Dun
Tyler where are you
whats going on
this is srs
please answer your phone
are you hurt
I'm coming to find you
Yes I'm as surprised as you are
Please pick up your phone
You have (4) missed calls
from: Josh Dun
You have (7) Messages
from: Josh Dun
we know you got bit
it's okay just pick up your phone
why won't you answer
i can help
Tyler slid into the closest club he'd found, pleading for his fangs to stay hidden. Chris and Nick hung back in the shadows, but he could've sworn he saw one of them distracted by a someone not long after they arrived.
Now, the roar of this place wasn't good for his delicate ears, them having grown way too sensitive since the Bite, but it was a welcomed pain in comparison to the intrusive thoughts attacking his mind. He felt the strong need to bite someone.
Now, asking to come along didn't feel so smart. He couldn't really bite someone, could he? He'd never even consider it if it weren't for this desperate, scrabbling need that was pressing against his skull.
But then all Tyler's thoughts stopped in their tracks, when she drew near to him. She had the kind of walk that drew your attention, hips swaying slightly and back straight like a dancer. Her feet were sure and steady, holding direction that was turning out to be him.
"Hi," was all she needed to say, her hand brushing his arm, and if Tyler were a lesser man he would've made a move for her right there and then. She was almost close enough for Tyler to smell her perfume, a faint fragrance breaking through the heavy smothering scent of the club, and he tested his balance before leaning almost unnoticeably further toward her.
"Hey," He swallowed, trying for a smile. It mustn't have looked too much like a grimace, because he was rewarded with a small grin in return that warmed his dead heart like it was still beating.
Ignoring the new heat spreading, pooling over him, he focussed on finding something to ground himself. He breathed in deeply and was blessed with a wave of her fragrance. As lights moved over her skin, he watched her muscles shift, easily visible from the breathable clothing she sported. He was transfixed.
Her scent was sweet, but he could detect a little salt, from the squeeze of the club, upon the surface of her pale skin that only seemed to make her all the more appealing. The girl pushed the blonde hair away from her eyes and Tyler was suddenly met with the most luminous azure he had ever seen.
He worried a fingernail between his teeth and repressed a shocked look when he noticed how long they had gotten already. He'd bitten them down just that morning in stress and had been amazed to find that his teeth could cut through them better than anything else he'd tried-- the broken nail clippers from before were definitely still weighing on his mind.
Before he could say anything she leant in further still and Tyler knew that the light dusting of red under her cheeks was undeniably mirrored on his own face. The lights moved over her skin again.
"You want to get out of here?" Her voice was sultry and suggestive and low like the hum of the club, but Tyler's heightened ears picked it up easily. He nodded his head a little dazedly, the lights running over their skin. Chris gave him a thumbs up and Nick just stared.
They weren't far from wherever she seemed to be leading him when he felt a... Dark pulse move through him. He glanced down at the girl and watched a bead of sweat run down her neck in the cool air. He could have her if he gave her the Bite. He could drink all of the blood in her veins and she'd be helpless to stop him. He could-
Tyler stumbled away from her, hand pressed against his fangs. He'd been so close to-
"S- I'm sorry." Dragging himself away, he took seven steps back before he fell. He couldn't do this. The girl looked inquisitive, and made to walk toward him. Holding out a shaking hand, Tyler signalled for her to stay where she was, unable to see himself but instinctively able to tell that his pupils were beginning to glow. He scrunched his eyes up until he saw blue in the black and his grip on his arm tightened.
He drew blood from his arm but it wasn't the kind he craved, scent foul to his senses, now.
"Are you okay? Should I get someone to-" But Tyler wasn't listening. She was so ignorant to him, no self preservation in all the ways it mattered and it'd be so easy to just lean into her outstretched palm and drink her dry-
What had he been thinking? He couldn't drink from her! He couldn't! Tyler made a whining sound in the back of his throat that soon began to thicken, to his horror, the sound becoming almost duplicated. A deep, rich tone bled through and intertwined with his own (admittedly) high and scratchy voice. He noted, absently, how her eyes lit up in curiosity. She wouldn't leave him. She wouldn't leave him and for a moment he could already hear her screams.
He scrabbled back further now, scratching his body against the concrete floor, and in a burst of strength fumbled desperately for the burner phone Nick had given him before they’d left.
He all but threw the thing at her, barely missing her head (-so much blood, he could hear it spilling against the floor all too well and Lord, he could practically taste it in the air; it was simultaneously enticing and terrifying to him.)
He couldn't go back to Chris and Nick. He hated the very idea. He'd caught himself this time, but not for long. Who could help?
His eyes widened.
The other boy was fairly strong, and had a large house fitted with both basement and attic. Tyler could stay there until he could get back to himself.
"C-call my friend, please. I n-need my friend," Eyes still tightly shut, he increased his grip on his arm, nails sinking deeper. "His name is Josh." His stutter had gotten worse and worse as he spoke and he could feel the sting of tears in his eyes.
Tyler could hear her swallow and it was so loud he could've thought that she was nose to nose with him. The blue in the black was pooling around his eyes again.
"Okay." She said finally. Tyler remained tense, coiled tight like a metal wire as he told her the number, until he heard the familiar beeping of a mobile—yet even then he didn't relax completely, still painfully aware of what he was capable of doing if he didn't repress it.
Brendon faltered in his footsteps.
"Hey buddy," he began with a sigh, tapping Josh on the shoulder. The younger paused beside him but began to fidget on the spot. "Is your phone on?"
Josh regarded him for a moment before replying, "What? Of course-" that was when his phone began to ring. Brendon popped his chewing-gum as Josh's eyes seemed to light up, yelling "Tyler!"
Eyes wide, he patted his pockets frantically in search of the ringing.
Brendon tapped him again before waving his wanted phone in front of his face.
Josh levelled him a glare, reaching for it back, but before he could act Brendon was pressing a palm onto his face to keep him back. Then, feeling like the phone was about to stop its noise, he (much to Josh's relief) pressed accept, throwing the phone into Josh's desperate hands. Fast reflexes caught it easily, Josh glaring at Brendon one last time before sharp features bled into concern.
"Tyler, tell us where you are; are you okay?" He asked quickly, somehow even more nervous than before. His hands tightened abruptly, eyes narrowing. "Who is this?" He demanded, voice a little cold. Brendon shivered dramatically. There was a pause as Josh checked his watch. "We'll be there soon, keep this phone on-" He tensed. "More importantly, stay away from Tyler-- at all costs!"
Tyler groaned lowly.
The girl had done as he'd asked, sensitive ears had easily picked up the other boy's worried voice at the end of the line. He was covered in sweat at this point, and his heartbeat (how was that even possible?) still erratic in his ears.
Carefully blinking his eyes open, he looked over at the girl. The streetlights were stagnant on her skin, but Tyler was again hit with how beautiful she looked.
"Hey, I never asked your name." He croaked out, chest frantic. After a slight flinch, she opened her mouth, revealing a small red that snaked across her lips before she spoke.
"It's Jenna. Yours?" Her eyes were bright, concerned and surveying him intensely. He swallowed.
"T-Tyler." He stumbled over the word as pangs of hunger howled within him once more. He let out a whine, digging his nails into his arm again. In the corner of his eye, he saw Jenna make to move forward again, so he yelled, terrified, "Stay away!" His voice shook as she jumped, shifting back with a face of... pity?
He hung his head, sounding more defeated, in pain. "Stay away."
When Brendon and Josh arrived at the scene, Jenna was nowhere to be seen, and Tyler blanketed in a sea of blood.
"He might be a lost cause, Josh." Josh's parents exchanged glances. Tyler had remained under the blanket for quite a while now, frozen still.
If not for his breathing, you wouldn't know the boy was there. It was a good thing vampires could mimic human functions, it was a comfort to both Dun and Joseph alike.
Josh shook his head so hard it hurt. "I can't abandon him, he's my best friend." There was no need for him to elaborate on that, for pack was pack - no matter what - and his parents knew the call of family on their kind all too well.
"Oh, I know, lovely. But is that still your friend over there? What does he smell like to you?" Sympathy was present in her tone, as always, yet there was a careful glint to his mother's eyes. Josh, truthfully, couldn't deny her this - his senses had been screaming at him since he first caught Tyler's new scent.
"His scent doesn't matter; it's still Tyler." Josh's voice, however, gave him away by wavering, proof he was a little uncertain of his own words.
They just needed a little time, that was all.
His father placed a heavy hand on his shoulder, rubbing the muscle there slightly. "Decide quickly, before they come for him."
He couldn't do this. He couldn't.
Tyler sat still as stone in the Dun family's attic, eyes unseeing as Josh pushed another plate of porridge towards him, spoon in hand.
"Josh, please." It would have sounded biting five hours ago, but that was the past.
That was two bowls of porridge in the past.
"Tyler you have to eat this. How else are you planning on finding the strength to defy the urges?" Josh had barely finished his sentence when the vampire quickly spoke up again.
"Don't say that. Please." Josh, easily sensing the bloodlust coming off of the other in waves, put on a small smile. Setting down the bowl, he focused on his own scent, and pushed down the wolf's urge to do something his more human side would regret. He waved the spoon of porridge in front of Tyler's unamused visage.
"C'mon, Tyler. My dad says this will help."
"How does he know that?" The younger groaned out, head in his hands.
"You don't want to know." He deadpanned. Tyler's head shot up quickly, surprised. "But either way, I wish that I could take a picture of your face right now: you look hilarious." Josh chucked at his alarmed expression. "Chill out Dracula, I'm just joking." He gave Tyler more of the cereal.
Tyler's head fell back into his hands as he chewed. Suddenly his eyes widened. "Oh my gosh, Josh, what am I going to do for picture day?" His voice cracked, "I-I'm in photography club!" Josh winced.
"Well, on the bright side, I think vampires technically can be photographed." The wolf within him made a whining sound as Josh drew a little closer. He pushed another spoonful of porridge into Tyler's mouth.
"Just not very well." Josh's brother said, suddenly in view. His voice was loud in the small room. He was leaning against the doorframe, mentally soothing Josh’s wolf, smoothing down its bristling fur and inaudible growls.
This must truly be a strange sight for him. It was for Josh, at least: a vampire— their deadliest enemy in the supernatural world— trapped in a chair, complaining about cameras and being force-fed soft food.
Tyler twitched, his brows pulling together. "What?" Josh's brother and Tyler had gotten on well before this, but now he found himself trapped under an inscrutable gaze, weighted with something - he wasn't quite sure what, but it was certainly something - that really rubbed him the wrong way.
"I have an..." the boy ran a hand through brown curls, "Acquaintance, who said that to me once. You should try sometime. But not now. Focus on not almost killing anyone, yeah?" Tyler flinched, before a small smile was pressed onto his lips.
"Ha, ha." His laugh was dripping with sarcasm.
But honestly, that had been a relief. When Josh had found Tyler, the two had seen nothing but the red, and been so sure that Tyler had killed the girl Josh had talked to on the phone. Of course, Brendon had been quick to let them know that the blonde was alive and well, but it had still been a terrifying moment.
Speaking of blood, said liquid had been, to everyone's relief, Tyler's own.
He had dug his sharpened nails into his neck to stop the urge, yelling at Jenna to run. The vampires, Nick and Chris, had 'fed' him, sometime while Tyler had been with them, so there had been a lot of blood. They had only fed Tyler once, of course, to ensure the Bite took hold, but there was a reason vampires only had to feed roughly once a month.
To put it bluntly, the blood they drank from their victims quickly multiplied itself in a vampire's veins, utilising it to refresh their body and repair any injury. Because Tyler had been fully human not even two days ago, there hadn't been much to 'refresh' - so there had been a lot of the red stuff that had not been put to use. The blood they took stuck around, kind of like a bedbug.
Josh pushed down the strange image of Tyler as a bedbug.
They named it— or rather, him— Blurryface.
Blurryface encompassed his vampiric urges, and he was (unfortunately) always present. Not like Him— Tyler's not yet that far gone— but the concept of Blurryface is more like the essential sin of man than the being that created it. Blurryface is the sin that has remained, has thrived, ever since the devil dressed as serpent first tempted man in Eden.
Tyler knows he is cursed. He knows, deep down, that Blurryface is nothing more than what he does not wish to see within himself.
But oh, is it an ugly thought.
Because when you ask who, or what, Blurryface is, you must ask yourself the same question.
Sometimes, he dreams of water.
The water is a vast expanse, deep and still, stretching far as the eye dare see.
The sky above often mirrors this body, yet it is more often prone to veins of light, shattering in the glassy night.
The waves grow larger as time ticks by faster than he can blink, and soon the waves have eaten him. Swallowed him whole.
This is where Tyler wakes, fangs dropped and bedsheets in shreds from his claw-like nails, the tight grip on the fabric too much for such mortal matter. A hiss escapes his lips as he cradles his head in his palms. Red eyes water, distressed.
What can only be Josh soon stands before his blurry vision, and Tyler knows the other is unsure whether or not to touch him in this state. The sensation of recoiling is barely recognised as his own reflex, Tyler solely noticing a twist of muscle under Josh's skin before he feels only pain.
Brendon hasn't seen Josh since he helped him, and though he knows all is well, he doesn't want to accept his absence.
Which brings us here. In front of the other boy's house.
Dallon is hovering behind him, hands deep in his pockets like some questionable character, and in any other situation, the pure hilarity of the contrast of their heights would be enough to make him laugh out loud.
But there are more pressing matters at hand. Such as getting Tyler to stop hogging his best friend (sorry, Dallon).
Speaking of Dallon, the taller boy must have sensed his disgruntlement at the lack of response to his heavy knocks at the door, because Brendon can feel him carefully nudging his mind with a soothing sensation.
He turns his head slightly, keeping his voice low.
"Stop. Please." Dallon shrugs, and Brendon is relieved to sense a halting in his ministrations. The shorter of the two sighed contentedly, he already had enough supernatural energy altering his brain. A pop of chewing-gum, and it wasn't long before the door before the two opened with a slight whine.
Josh winced a little at the sound, before he beckoned to two inside.
“So you're telling me you've had him chained up here for this long, and you haven't invited us to help?" Brendon fell back dramatically against the living room couch, a hand to his forehead. "Josh, I thought we had something here." He cried.
Dallon snorted at the werewolf's incredulous expression, lifting his feet to rest on the coffee table.
Josh's parents weren't in, so the lot of them could afford to break the rules. Of course, for Dallon it didn't matter, the boy never seemed to get in trouble for anything. Brendon blamed his ability, and he was a little jealous of it, though he'd never admit it.
"Brendon you know that's not- I can smell the amusement rolling off you in waves, quit it." Despite his stern words, Josh's eyes were warm with fondness and mirth. Brendon grinned, patting him on the back, hard.
"So lead us to the little menace, won't you Joshie-boy!" The shortest boy's smile deepened as Josh gave him a look.
"Don't call me that; it's creepy." Brendon elbowed him roughly in the ribs. "Come on, then." The werewolf continued evenly, not winded in the slightest.
Dallon nodded, and they all rose to their feet.
This would be an experience.
A lamp beside the silhouette flickers on in the dark, and the figure chained to the bed is shot awake.
Now, the scent of sapiens has joined the static of aged wood and damp from the window, and in response, he raises his head; he breathes; he savours the scent saturating his lungs as it mingles in the senses all the while taking careful note.
His head angles and twitches at the shuffling of feet, seeing but not acknowledging the three people before him. Biting back a snarl - partly at the powerful odour of hound, partly at the fact that he has been disturbed - he allows his eyes to flash red once, twice, before deciding to lay irises dormant at brown, a brown so dark it could be mistaken for black in this comfortably low light.
Unbeknownst to his company, his vision is bleeding as he blinks, colours bending into each other and conjoining to create sensations for the mind.
But then, like a switch, Tyler is the one awake.
"Josh?" The boy's voice is raspy, and rightly so. Josh remembers the scent of the other's panic, of which practically painted the walls just the night before, well enough to wince.
It is almost night.
The sun would set soon.
Tyler's nails are lined with blood, so he brings a hand, laced with veins and armoured with small bones, to his face, to bite at the hardened claws.
Josh broke the nervous silence that had fallen, going for normalcy as he said, "Hey, so I know you don't get along, but I brought Brendon down here." Before Tyler could interrupt, Josh continued, "But Dallon's here too, so everything should be fine." At the vampire's face, Josh elaborated. "He has a useful gift." Tyler and Josh turned to the silent boy, of whom was eyeing Brendon's uncharacteristically quiet presentation. The shortest boy wouldn't meet anyone's eyes, working his jaw only by chewing his gum.
Dallon moved closer to Tyler. "You feel a little panicky when it gets dark, right?" His voice was smooth to his ears, and Tyler's tense muscles relaxed almost imperceptibly. "I feel I know why."
The tall boy shot a glance to the window. "You want to go out there, don't you." Tyler found himself nodding. Did he? He did have a sensation of... Wrongness, around this time, wanting to walk around more, but he hadn't connected it to wanting to be outside. "So, you know how vampires are named as creatures of the night-"
Dallon paused, seemingly mirthful. "Of course you do, you've seen movies." He muttered, mostly to himself. Then, raising his voice a little, he continued, "This is where the trope stems from." Tyler nodded dazedly.
This is where Brendon finally chose to speak up. "Dal, don't you think that's enough of your gift for now?" He pointed his chin in Tyler's general direction. "Kid looks high." His voice was easygoing, but all of them could sense his discomfort.
Dallon blinked, and saw that, yes, Tyler looked a little loopy. He erased his gift's influence immediately, casting an apologetic upturn of the lips to the other boy. The vampire just shook his head at the sudden absence, the cancellation similar to being dunked in cold water after a hot bath.
"What, exactly, was that?" He asked, voice high and a bit sceptical, shifting on the spot. Josh and Dallon exchanged a look, before Josh cleared his throat.
"I guess we have a lot of explaining to do." The werewolf began. His eyes shone a near golden hue as the light caught it. "But we'll start in the morning. Dallon," Dallon breathed out rather loudly in response, bracing. "Do it."
Tyler blacked out.
"Are you awake?"
Tyler let out a quiet whine. Someone had opened the curtains. The sun was hurting his eyes.
No, this wasn't unconsciousness. It was too familiar to be unconsciousness.
Josh shifted. The sun hit Tyler's eyes again.
Tyler sat up.
"What did you do?" He found himself saying. There was a sound that caught his attention. Blood red eyes found brown. "You brought Brendon here?" He sounded a little feverish. "Josh-"
"We've already had this little disagreement, so let's just skip it. Yes, we don't get along. Moving on...?" Brendon interrupted, again popping his gum. Tyler and Josh twitch concurrently at the sound.
Dallon just puts his head in his hand.
"Brendon," He starts. The shorter boy levels him a glare. "Nothing."
Josh decides it's his turn to speak. "Tyler, can you turn off the eyes, please?" Tyler looks surprised for a second, blinking at him, before he offers a shrug.
"If you know how to do that, let me know. I can't control that." He responded drily. Josh has the decency to look sheepish.
"Sorry." He says. Tyler waves him off.
"So, what happened last night? I want answers. Especially from you," The vampire points to Dallon, who gulps. "What did you even do?"
Josh intervenes, "So yeah, you're a vampire - did you think there weren't other supernatural stuff?" Tyler seems to consider this. After a nod directed more at himself than the others, he prompts Josh to continue. "Well, Dallon has an ability. A gift, some call it." Josh gestured to said boy. "You can probably explain it better than me. Get over here."
Dallon makes a noncommittal sound, and walks over from the doorway.
Tyler takes a shuddering breath as he suddenly feels. Sadness, anger, confusion, happiness. All at second intervals. He looks up at Dallon, a questioning expression on his face.
"I'm not sure what it should be called, but I can influence people's emotions. Emotional manipulation.
"For example, last night, I convinced you that you were tired, didn't I. You fell asleep like that." The tallest boy clicks his fingers. "I can get a little carried away though, hence why I usually have someone overseeing, not influenced by me, to make sure I don't kill the targeted person, or something." Tyler looked panicked at that last part, so Dallon tried to reassure him. "But you're already dead, so it's not like I could-" Brendon tapped him. "Y'know, I don't think that helped."
Tyler shook his head a little violently. "I'm not sure how I feel about that. But, thanks, I guess. Nights are hell." The vamp's hands grasped at his blanket. All of his senses seemed to grow when the sun went down, and a great, overbearing feeling that something was undeniably wrong surfaced, suffocating him.
"'S nothing." Dallon mumbled, embarrassed at the praise.
Bracing himself, Tyler turned to the other two. "What about you guys?"
Brendon scowled. "I'm a seer, or whatever." At Tyler's lost look, he elaborated. "I can tell what's about to happen, and find lost things, and shit." He sounded as though sharing this fact about himself was physically painful.
Josh patted him on the shoulder. "Brendon here finds that his gift can be a little... difficult, at times. Dude can't get a break." He smiled. "I'm a lycanthrope. At least for me it's one day a month, poor Brendon's hounded day and night." He made a face. "Pardon the pun."
Tyler laughed. "I was wondering why you smelt like dog. Actually, a lot of things I know about you make sense now."
"I'm not a dog." Josh mumbled, looking like a kicked puppy. Tyler laughed again.
Maybe this wouldn't be so bad.