Chapter 1: Feeling Heavy
It was a beautiful still night, and the sun had set not long ago, so just like usual, Viago was the first to wake. He clumsily shoved his hand out from underneath the lid of his coffin to silence his old alarm. After a few failed attempts, he finally hit the right button, groaning quietly he pulled back his hand.
Tonight felt different, Viago didn’t want to get out of his coffin today. He couldn’t quite place it, but something substantial rested against his chest. With a sigh, he rolled over onto his side, maybe just this once he’ll sleep just a little longer. It took a few minutes, but he was starting to fall back asleep when the lid of his coffin opened. Hissing Viago curled into himself,” What?”
“You normally call a house meeting,” Deacon stated as he shifted uncomfortably.
Barely lifting his head, Viago rolled his eyes,” And?”
Deacon averted his gaze for a moment before he sighed,” Is there going to be a house meeting or not?”
Flopping back down, Viago closed his eyes in frustration, “No, you all get a day off, I have nothing to say so feel free to sleep in tonight.”
After Deacon shut the lid, Viago began to relax again, shifting to his other side he felt a small smile creep across his face. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long as he felt his entire coffin shift as Vladislav abruptly opened his coffin lid.
“What’s wrong?” Vladislav asked in his usual monotone voice.
Sighing, Viago grumbled,” Nothing.”
Groaning himself, Vladislav rubbed his eyes in frustration, “Bullshit, Deacon doesn’t barge into my room while I’m having a morning orgy and not join in just for nothing.”
Lifting his head just enough to look over his shoulder, Viago raised an eyebrow,” Like I told Deacon there isn’t going to be a house meeting,” as he laid back down he mumbled,” You all have the day off, sleep in for all I care.”
“Day off? Day off from what?”
Jolting up, Viago waved his hands in exasperation,” Me, I guess, you all have a day off from me! There is no bloody house meeting, I won’t nag any of you about the stupid house chores, and you’re free to go on a Viago free hunt with Nick. Go wild for all I care. Now, will you please leave me to sleep in peace?”
Scoffing Viago ran a hand through his hair,” Why the hell not?”
Appearing out from behind, Vladislav Deacon had his arms crossed,” Cause your acting weird.”
“Oh, my-,” like a child Viago moved until he sat crosslegged,” I am not. I want to sleep in for once in my life. Why is that suddenly a crime? You both do it all the time; hell Nick does it every single night. He’s honestly almost as bad as Petyr when it comes to waking you all up.”
Pointing accusingly, Deacon said,” Exactly, you always wake us up. Always, its like clockwork. Which proves your acting weird.”
Nodding Vladislav chipped in,” This is true, I just figured you could hear the orgy and decided to for once leave me be.”
Glaring at Deacon, Viago crossed his arms,” Normally, your dead asleep in that closet of yours. Why the hell are you even awake.”
“You and your damn schedule are ingrained into my brain, and sometimes I wake up before you open my door.” Feeling even more uncomfortable, Deacon shifted his footing,” Stop changing the subject, your acting weird, and we wanna know why.”
Looking down, Viago moved his hands so he could fidget with them in his lap,” Where is Nick?”
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Vladislav breathed loudly through his nose, “Still sleeping on the couch, now before you can ask Petyr’s in his coffin tightly sealed for his morning nap. Don’t worry, I already through him a chicken so now that you’re all up to date. You can tell us what’s wrong.”
Frowning, Viago looked between both men with wide eyes; after a moment, he finally gave in. Shrugging his shoulders, he muttered,” I feel,” making a face, he scrunched up his nose,” It’s hard to describe.” Resting a hand on his chest, he continued,” I guess I feel heavy like something is weighing on my chest. It’s making my brain feel a little foggy too.”
From the doorway, leaning against the frame while drinking from a bag of donor blood like a Capri sun, Nick cleared his throat.” It sounds like depression, bro.”
“Depression?” Deacon asked.
After taking a long swig from the pouch in his hand, Nick continued, “Yeah, that shit sucks, I have it. A form of it at least, there are many different versions and or types of depression.”
Curious Vladislav asked,” What type do you have?”
Shrugging casually, Nick waved the pouch in his hand, “The one where I constantly want to kill myself.”
Taken aback, Viago nearly lept from his coffin,” Oh my satan, I didn’t know that are you okay?”
Exasperated, Deacon stumbled over his words,” You just-, you just stated you wanted to kill yourself like all the time.” Pointing at Viago, he let concern slip into his voice,” Does that mean Viago will want to do the same thing?!”
Panic started to creep across Nick’s face as the silence in the room grew thicker the longer he struggled internally to answer.
Finally, Vladislav grew impatient and yelled,” You going to answer or what?”
“Fuck um, I don’t know,” walking further into the room, Nick held the pouch closer to his chest. “How exactly do you feel, Viago?”
Shrugging Viago frowned,” As I said before, I feel heavy. My head feels like I’m walking through a fog.”
“Any like, really, really bad thoughts?”
Shaking his head, no Viago leaned back until his back rested against the lid of his coffin.
Nodding, Nick took a sip from his pouch.” I’m no expert by any means, but I think your not my level of severe.” Pulling a card from his back pocket, he handed it over to Viago,” This is my therapist Seara, Stu finally talked me into seeing her after my suicide attempt. She’s excellent, feel free to go see her whenever.”
While Viago looked the card over, Vladislav asked,” Is there anything we can do?”
“Um, sometimes my mate Stu would do things with me. Usually, to get me out of the house. We did things that normally made me happy, and it sort of worked, it depended on how deep I was. We could try that.”
Nodding Vladislav looked to Viago as he asked,” What is something you like to do?”
A small smile made its way across Viago’s face as an idea popped into his head; it disappeared shortly after, though, as he shrugged it off. “I don’t think you guys would like it.”
“It doesn’t matter; we’ll do it anyway, were family after all.” Resting a hand on Viago’s shoulder, Vladislav asked again,” Now, what is it you like to do?”
Perking up a bit, Viago put the card Nick gave him in one of his pockets. “I’m not very good at it, but I like to make flower crowns.”
Retracting his hand, Vladislav mumbled,” Your right, I don’t wanna do that, but if it makes you happy, we’ll go to the local gardens.” As he started to walk away, he nudged Nick,” You’re coming too, no discussion.”
Chapter 2: Flowers Speak
They all took little to no time to change clothes and leave the house. Once in the lovely summer night, they all shifted into bats to reach the local gardens quicker. The second they entered the public gate, they returned to their human form.
If he was honest with himself, Viago still felt off, and the call of his coffin back home was still in the back of his mind.
As if sensing this, Vladislav swung an arm around his waist, holding Viago close as they walked through the open field. Spotting a nice free patch, he guided him over, expressing,” This looks like a right spot.”
Viago himself nodded with a hum as he looked over all the different kinds of flowers, “These are some beautiful flowers, this summers been very kind to them.” Reaching out a hand, he caressed one of the many lilies that scattered alongside the path. Grinning, he let Vladislav tug him along.
Nick was busy eyeing what looked to be harmless beehive hidden in-between some bushes to notice the variety of flowers.
Meanwhile, Deacon, on the other hand, seemed to be very antsy. He kept looking at each of the flowers as if they had done something personally wrong to him. Eventually, he poked a set of kowhai flowers and made a face of disgust as he huffed,” They may be pretty, but none of these are right.”
Looking over his shoulder, Viago asked,” What do you mean?”
Resting his hands over his hips, Deacon grumbled,” I can’t use any of these flowers, I guess I’ll have to look for the ones I need.” Before anyone could say a word, he turned into a bat and flew off into the night.
Confused, Viago tried to follow, but Vladislav pulled him back by the back of his pants. “He’s just an ass, don’t worry.” Pointing to a few kanuka flowers, Vladislav requested,” Show me how to make a crown with these.”
With a small frown, Viago nodded but went ahead and helped Vladislav pick enough of the flower to make a decent braid. Nick followed suit with his own choice of a flower so he could learn as well.
For the most part, the lesson was done in silence apart from the minimal quiet instruction Viago gave. Vladislav wasn’t doing that horrible of a job, his skillful painter’s hand showed as he intertwined each vine. The flowers seemed to fall into just the right place as he moved them around.
Nick, however, needed all the help he could get. It was loose, and all over the place, all things said it wasn’t a terrible first attempt, but the site of it did make Viago smile. He even felt a giggle rise out of his chest while he watched Nick attempt to wear it. It hung halfway over his left eye, and when he turned abruptly in any direction, a few of the flowers fell off.
Purring under his breath, Viago leaned over and gave Vladislav a quick kiss catching the other off guard,” Thank you for doing this with me.”
If Vladislav were able to blush, he’d be a ripe tomato as he mumbled,” It’s no trouble.”
They were well into over half an hour into their little crown-making session when Deacon appeared in front of them breathing heavily. He was holding something behind his back, as he took a seat, a grin lit his face.
Vladislav hissed,” Where the hell were you?”
Smirking Deacon beamed,” I needed to find the right flowers,” from behind his back, he pulled out three completed and tightly braided together crowns. He handed one over to Nick, and it was full of a variety of sized pure white daffodils. “These are daffodils; they represent rebirth and new beginnings. I thought it was perfect seeing as you are just starting your new life as a vampire.”
Laughing Nick put it over the one he made, smiling from ear to ear, he thanked Deacon.
Turning to Vladislav Deacon handed over an intricately woven together set of rhododendron flowers. A few were a deep, almost red-pink, while a few others were a light purple. The colors blended well enough with each other it was if they were one. “These are rhododendron, and they are as poisonous as they are beautiful.” Looking away as he spoke, Deacon rubbed the back of his neck,” I thought they fit you cause your both beautiful and deadly at the same time.”
Nodding Vladislav chimed as he put it on,” This is correct, thank you.”
Deacon then adjusted himself, so he faced Viago directly; unlike the other, he shyly handed Viago his.
Viago turned it in his hands; there were several flowers intertwined with each other. Two different shades of roses, one a hot pink, another pale pastel pink. A few white camellias blended in with a couple of yellow dandelions. As he marveled over his crown, Viago whispered,” What do these symbolize?”
Shrugging Deacon looked down, fiddled with his hands,” The hot pink roses represent gratitude, appreciation, and recognition. The pastel pink means gentleness, joy, and happiness. While the white camellias are one of the many flowers that represent,” clearing his throat, he breathed out,” Love.” Scratching the back of his head, he continued,” The dandelions are just there cause well, I couldn’t quite call it your crown unless it had a little dandy in it.”
Met with silence, Deacon looked up from his hands, immediately taken aback. Viago had a few bloody tears streaming down his face, as his shoulders shook slightly. “Shit, sorry, Vi, I didn’t mean to upset you.”
Shaking his head Viago laughed with his whole body. “Nein, I’m not upset.” After putting it on, Viago leaned over until he could pull Deacon into a soft kiss. It only lasted a second, but to Deacon, it felt like an eternity cut short way too soon. “Thank you,” Viago cooed against his lips before pulling away.
Vladislav helped Viago whip away the tears off his face with his sleeve before they all pitched in to make a crown for Petyr. Within half an hour, they had gathered a few hydrangeas and weaved them together with Deacon’s expertise. Before they knew it, they were back home, all walking around proudly wearing crowns.
Petyr’s crown had to be made with purple hydrangeas; Deacon said they were perfect, for they represented a more in-depth understanding.