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a place of permanence among the stars

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It would take Hannibal thirty years to escape Danica after the first time. She carried long grudges, and she took it very personal when her favorite toy ran away.

He’d almost made it, too. He’d found a group that claimed they had a cure and he’d signed on as their first test subject. But Danica caught up and held him to the wall as her forces slaughtered his only hope.


Thirty years is eternity when you heal from almost any wound. Danica was sadistic and clever—and she hated Hannibal for finding a way out. She loaned him to anyone with only one command: don’t let him die.

Hannibal hated in a slow burn. He learned everything they taught him, building a resistance to pain. He studied all the vampires he came into contact with, their tendencies and routines, and he waited.

It took three decades, and he’d been dead longer than he’d lived before Danica. But he finally made his move as the sun rose on the anniversary of his death: the ceiling collapsed, letting in the light, and he smiled as he heard them scream.


After his escape, Hannibal wandered. He fed but didn’t kill, leaving no trail. He had no idea if any of Danica’s allies knew what happened, knew he’d survived, but he had not spent thirty years being tortured just to die after half a decade free.

Hannibal did not hunt other vampires. That was a way to be found, a way to make enemies. As far as anyone knew, he didn’t exist, and he liked it that way.


A century after Danica’s death, Hannibal met Reaper. Hannibal was hunting for supper and Reaper was trying to escape his past, though Hannibal didn’t know it at the time.

Hannibal didn’t sense Reaper or he would have taken his hunt elsewhere. As it was, he led his meal into the alley outside and did not even notice the man shadowing him until the blonde was pulled away.

He snarled and the interloper growled, lifting a gun. “What are you?” he demanded.

Jerking away, Hannibal said, “A shadow,” and leapt onto a nearby roof.

The stranger followed, raising an eyebrow as Hannibal gaped at him. “You don’t have a heartbeat,” he observed, gun pointed at Hannibal’s head. “So you’re not from Olduvai. But you were snackin’ on that girl’s neck.”

“I wasn’t gonna hurt her,” Hannibal told him. “She wouldn’t have even remembered.”

The dude’s eyes widened, but his hand didn’t even move. “No way,” he said. “You’re a fuckin’ vampire?”

Hannibal nodded. “Now. What the fuck are you?”

The man smiled. “I’m complicated. John Grimm.” He lowered the gun and held out a hand. “Call me Reaper.”


That night they ended up drinking together till dawn, sharing stories. Hannibal had heard of research into Mars but never cared about it.

“You could probably give the Daywalker a run for his money,” Hannibal chuckled, trying in vain to get drunk.

“The Daywalker?” Reaper asked.

So Hannibal kept talking, losing track of time, but he felt the sun come up. “Shit,” he said. They were in a twenty-four hour bar, but he knew he needed to sleep soon. He’d been awake for a week and in a few more hours he’d crash.

“Problem?” Reaper drained another bottle.

“Nope, no problemo,” Hannibal responded. He could probably break into the basement and sleep there. He focused back on Reaper and smiled. “So, what’re your plans for the day?”

Reaper titled his head to the side and stayed silent for a few moments. “How tired and hungry are you?” he finally asked.

Hannibal blinked. “Uh, very tired and a little hungry. Why?” He straightened in his chair. “Thinkin’ of huntin’ me, after all?”

“No. Thinking of lettin’ you feed off me.”


Hannibal had never tasted anything like Reaper’s blood. It made him immune to sunlight long enough to get home and then he collapsed on his bed.

He slept for seventy-two hours. When he woke, Reaper was leaning against the wall, eating an apple.

“Feel better?” he asked.

Hannibal nodded.


Over three weeks passed before Hannibal felt hungry again. In that time, he and Reaper left town together, with no destination in mind.

Being able to go out in sunlight was the best thing to ever happen to Hannibal. He couldn’t get enough of it.

When they sparred, Reaper always won. Hannibal was a hair faster, but Reaper had strength and training. Hannibal tried taunting him to make him lose his ever-present cool, but Reaper just smirked and kept silent.

“So,” Reaper asked one night. “Are all vampires as tame as you?”

“Nope,” Hannibal said, flipping over Reaper and lunging for his throat.

Reaper dodged and then punched Hannibal in the back of the head. He went down, but caught himself on his hands and bounced back up, getting inside Reaper’s defenses.

Excitement made him sloppy and Reaper’s hand wrapped around his throat. “Damn,” Hannibal muttered.

“Wanna hunt with me?” Reaper asked, letting him go.

Hannibal thought it for a moment and Reaper waited silently. “Sure,” he finally said. Not like he had anything better to do.


The first nest they went after was an offshoot of Danica’s family. Before going in, Hannibal drank three mouthfuls of Reaper’s blood. It took them six minutes to kill all thirty vampires, and neither of them had a scratch as the last bit of dust fluttered to the floor.

“Well,” Reaper said. Hannibal turned to look at him. “That was a bit anticlimactic.”

Hannibal smirked.

The first time they had sex was that night, too.


They hunted wherever the wind blew them, with no pattern and no plan. Vampires whispered of the hunter, a shadow that could not be stopped. Hannibal crowed about the stories, laughing. Reaper just sharpened his knives and cleaned his guns.

Within a hundred years, only a handful of vampires remained and humans had finally reached the stars, with help from the Vulcans. Reaper and Hannibal stayed together for another century, but then Hannibal was finally bored with Earth. All the vampires were gone except him (and maybe the Daywalker, but he didn’t check. What would the point be?). He’d been to all four corners of the globe.

“I can’t go to space,” Reaper told him, staring up at the sky.

“Because of Mars?” Hannibal asked.

Reaper nodded, focusing back on Hannibal. “King,” he said. “I don’t know if other stars will affect you like our sun. If you’re set on goin’, I can give you some vials of my blood—but once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Hannibal said, “Thank you, John.”


Hannibal planet-hopped, discovering that no species tasted as good as human, and in all his travels, he never found an equal to Reaper’s blood.

For whatever reason, only Earth’s sun seemed to affect him, so he was able to make Reaper’s gift last decades.


Hannibal was only a system over when Vulcan died. His captain didn’t hesitate to hurry and save as many evacuees as they could. Most of the Vulcans brought aboard were children and Hannibal stayed with them while the rest of the crew debated what to do. The kids didn’t scream or cry: they sat quietly and studied their surroundings and answered Hannibal’s questions—what’s your name, how old are you, do you know where your parents are?

Eight adults and nineteen children pulled from escape craft, all that might be left of an entire planet. It made Hannibal sick.

After the kids finally fell asleep, Hannibal took his notes to the adults and asked variations of the same questions. Then he went to the captain.

“We’re goin’ home,” Captain Jack told him. “We figure if there’s any camp, it’ll be there. How’re the kiddies doin’?”

“Seem stable,” Hannibal told him.

Jack studied him thoroughly and said, “You gettin’ hungry, there, King?”

Hannibal nodded, and the captain smiled. “Keep us on course,” he told the pilot. “Let me know when we’ve reached the Milky Way.” Turning to Hannibal, he said, “Follow me, kiddo.”

No blood equaled Reaper’s, but Captain Jack Sparrow’s came close. He tasted old and experienced, knowledgeable, like salt water and sea air. He made Hannibal think of home.

They’d both recognized the other as different and Jack had said, “Ain’t seen one’a your kind in a long while.”

This time, as Jack drew Hannibal in close and let him feed, he whispered, “Last chance, kiddo. ’bout time you were movin’ on.”

Hannibal nodded, one hand clenched in Jack’s shirt, the fingers of his other threaded in his hair.


Back on Earth, Hannibal drank the final vial of Reaper’s gift and walked out into the midday sun. He’d escorted the Vulcans to the embassy, been wished luck by his crew and captain, and decided to go back to New York.

On the shuttle, he saw the news feed about the Narada and the Enterprise, about Jim Kirk and Nero.

And Reaper, standing beside Earth’s hero, looking young and tired and not all a soldier that killed vampires for two hundred years.

“Huh,” Hannibal said.

He changed shuttles at the next station and headed to San Francisco.


Getting close to the Enterprise’s crew would have been hard for a human, but for a vampire it was child’s play. He hacked the system for Reaper’s—“Leonard McCoy”—room assignment then snuck in the window to wait.

He fell asleep before Reaper showed up, but woke as the door opened. His internal clock him the sun had just risen, so he slid off the bed to the furthest corner of the room.

Reaper paused in the doorway, head swiveling as he focused on Hannibal. “King,” he said softly.

“I’d come give you a kiss,” Hannibal drawled, “but there’s a puddle of light in the way.”

Chuckling, Reaper stepped all the way in and closed the door behind him. He strode across the room to pull Hannibal into his arms. “I’d been worryin’ about you.”

Hannibal inhaled his scent, savoring it. He pressed his lips to Reaper’s neck, then gently slipped his fangs into the skin. Reaper sighed, hands clutching Hannibal’s shirt.

Hannibal took five gulps of Reaper’s blood, then licked at the cuts before backing away. He started at the top of Reaper’s head and examined his body all the way down. “You look good,” he said. “Besides saving the world, what’ve you been up to?”

Reaper laughed softly. “C’mon,” he murmured, pulling Hannibal to the bed. “I’m exhausted.” Hannibal stretched out next to him and listened as Reaper spoke, all the way to when Reaper fell asleep. Hannibal stayed curled around him, listening to him breathe.

Two hundred years he’d spent with Reaper and now he felt like he was home.


Reaper slept for twelve hours. When Hannibal sensed him stirring, he got up to find him food. The replicator spit out something barely edible, so Hannibal followed his nose to the cafeteria. He snagged a good southern meal and hurried back to Reaper’s room.

The bed was empty, but Reaper stepped out of the bathroom as Hannibal closed the door. “Supper?” he asked, offering the meal.

As Reaper started wolfing it down, Hannibal said, “Last time we talked, you couldn’t go into space. What happened?”

Reaper shrugged. “Got bored enough.” Drinking the last of his lemonade, he said, “So, we talked about me. What’ve you been up to, King?”

Hannibal told him. In the sixty years since he left Earth, he’d been to the far edge of space and hundreds of worlds.

“My last ship,” he said, “the Black Pearl. We saved thirty Vulcans from the remnants of the planet.”

Reaper smiled. “We got a handful of the Elders and beamed some others up.” His eyes went distant. “I wish I could’ve met Nero face-to-face.”

Hannibal shivered and stayed quiet while Reaper tried to calm down. When Reaper finally focused back on him, Hannibal asked, “Wanna spar?”


Reaper led them to a gym on the other side of San Francisco. “I went here a couple times, back at the beginning,” he said, forcing the door open. “Then I just didn’t have enough time.”

Hannibal dodged as Reaper lunged with no warning. He laughed as Reaper spun mid-air and then met him head-on.

He’d missed this. He tossed insults and quips, and Reaper just smiled. They were evenly matched—it ended with Hannibal’s hand around Reaper’s throat and Reaper’s fingers spread over Hannibal’s heart.

“Gettin’ rusty there, boyo?” Hannibal asked.

Reaper shrugged. “Haven’t practiced much in the last few decades,” he said.


They showered and then went to a nearby twenty-four hour place for a quick meal. Hannibal didn’t actually need to eat, of course, but he still enjoyed the taste of food.

“That was fun,” Reaper told Hannibal. “I’d forgotten how much.”

Hannibal nodded, shoving steak into his mouth. Reaper grinned and did the same. “What are your plans now?” he asked

Hannibal shrugged. “I was gonna explore Earth again, see if it’s changed in the last sixty years.” He examined Reaper for a long moment. “I’d ask you to join me, John Grimm, but I think you have somewhere else to be.”

Reaper smiled.


They walked back to Reaper’s dorm together, talking about the old days. While Hannibal made himself comfortable on Reaper’s bed, Reaper drew seven more vials of his blood.

“It’ll be a few months before we head back out,” Reaper told him, pulling him close and baring his neck. “You can stay with me till then.”

Hannibal nipped at his skin before kissing him, then slipped his fangs home. Reaper spun them around and fell onto the bed, keeping Hannibal on top of him. Hannibal stayed gently latched on as Reaper stripped them both, tearing Hannibal’s shirt in the process.

Six decades apart after two centuries together—Hannibal feasted. One of the things he loved best about Reaper was how Reaper could take it all.


Hannibal woke bathed in sunlight and stretched languidly. Reaper still slept and Hannibal listened close—there, the intruding heartbeat. Right outside the door.

Reaper jolted awake as Hannibal bounced off the bed. “Jim,” he muttered. “The kid’ll crack my new code any second now.”

“Jim,” Hannibal repeated, hunting around for his pants. “The captain?”

Reaper nodded. “Call me McCoy,” he said. “Jim doesn’t know what I am.”

The door slid open just as Hannibal located the tattered remains of his shirt.

“Bones,” Jim Kirk called before seeing Hannibal and pausing midstep. “Oh.” He blinked, eyes sliding to Reaper, who hadn’t dressed at all. “You have company. I’ll come back later.” He spun in place and hurried out.

“Jim,” Reaper called after him. “We’ll meet you in the cafeteria for breakfast.”

Hannibal smirked, turning to face Reaper. “He sure is a pretty one.”

Reaper chuckled and quickly undressed Hannibal, pulling him to the bathroom for a shared shower.


Jim had a table when they made it to the cafeteria. “Go talk to your boy,” Hannibal told Reaper. “I’ll get the food.”

Reaper nodded. Hannibal added, “Also, I’ll stay till you leave again. If you still want.”

Reaper smiled and leaned in for a quick kiss. “Jim’ll bug you once he gets over the shock, so be ready for that.”


By the time Hannibal finished his orange juice, Jim Kirk was pestering him about “Bones’” past.

“Bones?” Hannibal asked.

Reaper rolled his eyes. “He’s insisted on calling me that ever since we got off the shuttle.”

Hannibal told Jim edited versions of their past, changing up enough to make it seem like they were both boys. He called Reaper “Mac” and found himself charmed by Jim’s laughter. He definitely understood why Reaper had been drawn in and stayed.

They spent hours in the cafeteria before Jim and Reaper had meetings to get to. Hannibal told Reaper he’d find a way to entertain himself and Reaper warned, “Be good.”

Hannibal saluted him and went wandering.


He picked up a PADD and researched the Narada incident. What he learned freaked him the fuck out: Earth had come very close to Vulcan’s fate because of one Romulan. And the destruction was averted because of virtually one man: James Tiberius Kirk.

Reading about it, Hannibal wished he could have met Nero face-to-face, too.


The months passed swiftly. Every night, Hannibal and Reaper would either fuck or spar or both. Hannibal met the bridge crew and Admiral Pike, sharing stories of Leonard McCoy as a boy, before the divorce and the stars.

When Captain Kirk and his ship returned to the depths of space, Hannibal said his goodbyes with hugs and slaps on the back and a single deep kiss. “Goodbye,” he whispered into Reaper’s mouth.

“Hey,” Reaper laughed softly. “We’re both immortal, King. We’ll see each other again.”

Hannibal smiled, looking past Reaper to Jim, who pretended he wasn’t watching. “One day, he’ll die. What’ll you do then, Bones?”

Reaper had no answer and Hannibal watched him go in silence.


Hannibal kept up on news about the Enterprise and her crew. He re-explored the Earth in a span of a few months, and then he started looking for a way off the planet.

He found a ship in Tortuga, the Flying Dutchman. The captain told him he’d have to work for passage, but that was fine with Hannibal. The Dutchman reminded him a great deal of the Pearl. The crew was close-knit and seemed to speak their own language, using phrases he’d only heard in old movies three centuries ago.

The first mate found him drinking one of Reaper’s vials three weeks into the voyage. Bootstrap Bill looked at him silently and then said, “Follow me to the captain.”

Hannibal knew he could take Bootstrap, but there was nowhere to go—they were far from any inhabited space. Besides, he’d agreed to follow the captain’s rules.

The captain was in his study reading an antique book. He nodded to Bootstrap and said, “Thank you, Father. I’ll see you at dinner.”

“Cap’n,” Bootstrap said, heading out with one look at Hannibal.

“You are not human,” the captain observed, closing his book.

“No, I’m not,” Hannibal agreed.

“I’ve been in contact with Captain Sparrow of the Pearl,” he said. “Jack told me you’re a good man to have in a tight spot.”

Hannibal kept quiet, but he preened a little.

“He also told me you need to feed every few weeks, but more frequently is better for you. Synthetic blood works, but not nearly as well.” Captain Turner stood and walked around his desk. “A year’s service and then we’ll take you anywhere you wish—that was our accord, yes?”

“Yup,” Hannibal said, tensing as Turner walked into his space and looked up at him from a breath away, if Hannibal breathed.

“Jack said having you feed off him was the most fun since Davy Jones’ locker.” Turner studied him in silence and Hannibal waited. “Taste me,” Turner finally commanded. “Let’s see if I’m compatible.”


William Turner tasked like Jack Sparrow. So did his wife, the lovely Elizabeth. On the Flying Dutchman, Hannibal had almost as good a time as he did with Reaper.

When his year ended, he signed a contract for another.


Hannibal left the Dutchman on a little spaceport on the edge of Klingon space. They’d docked next to the Pearl, so Hannibal tracked Jack down for old time’s sake.

Together, they had a drink with Will and Lizzie, and Hannibal didn’t actually leave for a week.

He spent the next year planet hopping again until his little ship caught an emergency hail from the Enterprise. The message said she’d fought off an attacking fleet but was dead in the water with no shields and her entire crew injured, those that weren’t dead.

Hannibal expected a trap, but then a second hail came from a frequency only he and Reaper knew.

“King,” it said. “If you hear this, I need help. The Quixienos have me and Jim, and they’re strong, King. As strong as us.” Reaper sighed. “They’ll catch up soon—I’m hid out in a closet. Just… get Jim to safety, if you can. They’ll keep ’im in one piece—they’re big on respect for the leaders.” Something boomed and Reaper finished, “Please, Hannibal. If you get this—and I know what a long-shot that is—save Jim. Take him home.” Reaper said the coordinates for the Quixienos homeworld and the message ended.

Hannibal didn’t even consider any other course but going to the Enterprise and learning everything that happened. Acting Captain Spock requested permission to accompany him. Of the bridge crew, he was the least injured—he could still stand unaided. Hannibal told him no.

“Get the ship in working order for Jim and Re—Mac,” he said. “I’ll bring ’em back.”

Hannibal hailed Will and Jack, asked for assistance with Jim’s ship; the Pearl was three days out, the Dutchman two. Hannibal gave Spock most of the supplies he had and then hurried to Quixien. Will would take care of the Enterprise and Jack would follow Hannibal to Quixien, just in case he needed backup.


Hannibal drank two vials of Reaper’s blood before landing at the Quixienos port. The authorities welcomed him and told him to enjoy his stay. He thanked them and set about exploring.

It took two days before he caught wind of Reaper’s scent—full of blood. He followed the trail to a temple in the center of the city. He commed Jack; the Pearl was still half a day away.

He knew he couldn’t wait. If he could smell the blood, then Reaper was in dire straits.

Hannibal didn’t storm the facility. He went at the middle of the day and made nice with the priests, asking questions about their religion and their god. At dusk, he requested to remain and meditate in their chapel.

The High Priest agreed, so Hannibal knelt before the altar and closed his eyes.

He heard thirteen heartbeats within the temple walls. The Quixienos had two each—so five priests or supplicants. Three other species. No, he decided after listening harder. Three priests or supplicant Quixienos, five sacrificial creatures(each with just one heart), and two humans below the floorboards. Hannibal ghosted through the temple, found a way downstairs, and located his missing friend.

Reaper was in a bad way, needles stuck all over him, blood leaving him quicker than his body could make more. A priest stood in front of him, examining a read-out. Reaper was awake, Hannibal could tell—but his heartbeat was too slow and his eyes weren’t tracking.

In the message, Reaper said they were strong. But the priest hadn’t noticed Hannibal, so his senses weren’t as keen.

Hannibal moved silently, lunging forward. He wrapped his hands around the priest’s neck and twisted. Then, just in case, he shoved his fist into the man’s body and rooted around for both hearts. Ripping them out, he stepped over the corpse and gently started removing the needles. Once the obstructions were gone, Reaper’s wounds closed fairly quickly.

Hannibal heard Jim further into the basement, but he refused to leave Reaper until his friend reacted. “Reaper,” he said. “John. C’mon, buddy. John?”

Reaper blinked a few times and shifted in Hannibal’s grip. With his blood actually staying in his own veins, he was swiftly gaining strength. Hannibal set him on the ground and said, “Just stay still. I’ll be right back with your boy.”

Jim was a little ways on, locked in a room and throwing himself against the door. The door was strong and it took Hannibal over five minutes to work it open.

“C’mon,” Hannibal said. “We have to get out of here.”

“What?” Jim asked, stumbling after him. “Where’d you come from?”

They turned the corner; Reaper had sat up and leaned against the console. “Bones!” Jim shouted, leaping forward. “Bones, are you okay?”

He nodded, lips chapped and split. He didn’t even have enough moisture to wet them yet.

“Don’t talk,” Hannibal said. He turned to Jim. “I have a ship and a friend on the way. Follow me and don’t stop.”

Jim nodded, gaze on Reaper. “Will he—Bones, will you be okay?”

Reaper smiled at him and pulled himself to his feet. Hannibal rolled his eyes and stepped up to him. “I’m carrying you, John,” he said quietly. “I have food and water on my ship, so you’ll heal just fine, but I’m carryin’ you till we get there.”

Reaper glared but didn’t argue.


The temple was quiet. Hannibal guided Jim past the priests and out into the cloying night.

Jim kept up admirably—whatever the Quixienos wanted him for, they’d treated him well. He didn’t talk, just followed Hannibal and made sure nothing followed them.

Hannibal got them all the way to his ship before any alarm was raised. The Quixienos tried shooting them down, but the Pearl was there and they got away clean.

After they hit warp, Hannibal broke out the water and replicated gruel. Reaper wolfed it down so Hannibal gave him more

“They kept druggin’ me,” Reaper explained after a liter of water. “Some sedative. And my blood—” He shuddered.

Jack hailed them. “We have more room and supplies, boyo,” he said. “Come aboard. We’ll tow your skiff.”


Reaper slept most of the way back to the Enterprise and Jim never left his side. Hannibal told him about the state of his ship and Jim calmly detailed how they’d been taken.

“It was an armada,” he said. “We—me, Bones, Uhura, and half a dozen others—beamed down to a small moon the Quixienos’ colonized. First contact and all,” he scoffed. “They attacked immediately, in space and on ground. I was the only one they never took a shot at.”

He sighed, one hand resting on Reaper’s chest, over his heart. “Bones should be dead,” he whispered. “I don’t know—so much blood.” He turned to face Hannibal. “How’d you get there?”

Hannibal looked down at Reaper, then flicked a glance to the doorway, where Jack slouched, unabashedly eavesdropping. “Me and Re-Mac,” he said. “We go back a long time. He sent me an emergency hail just after the attack, so I came running.”

Jim studied him for a long moment. “You’re not human.” He looked back at Reaper. “And neither is he.”


Reaper woke in time to be beamed onto the Enterprise. Jim hugged him when his eyes opened and gave no indication at all about his realization. Jack and Hannibal accompanied them to Jim’s ship.

The Dutchman was docked with the Enterprise, both crews working on repairs. Jack told his crew that anyone in a non-vital position should join those fixing the ship.

When they stood on the Enterprise again, Jim sighed, closing his eyes. Reaper smiled at him and Hannibal waited quietly to see where they’d go.

“Captain,” Spock said, “Welcome back. If you are uninjured, perhaps you will walk the ship to allow our people to see you.”

Jim smiled. “Good to see you too, Spock.”

Spock inclined his head. “We have all been worried about and Dr. McCoy, Jim.”

“We should go to sickbay, just to check you out, Jim,” Reaper said. “Then, if all is well, we’ll visit the crew. I should check all of ‘em, too.”

Jim agreed, so they headed on; Jack asked Spock, “Is Cap’n Turner around somewhere?”

“Yes, he is,” Spock answered. “I shall lead you to him, Captain Sparrow.”

Hannibal decided to follow Reaper. If Jim was going to demand answers—which seemed likely—then Hannibal should be there to help explain.


The sickbay was still full, but Reaper had pulled Jim into his office for a quick examination.

As Hannibal slid into the room, with no reaction from either of them, Jim asked softly, “What are you, Bones? Which species?”

Reaper sighed. “I’m human, Jim,” he replied. “Just… complicated.”

Jim caught his hand and said, “Try me, Bones. Please.”

Closing his eyes, Reaper muttered, “Damnit, Jim.”

Hannibal decided to start, to pave the way for the greatest friend he’d ever known. “I met him nearly three hundred years ago.”

Jim slashed him a glance, still clutching Reaper’s fingers in his. “What?”

“I’m a vampire,” Hannibal said. “The last. And he’s… something else.”

Reaper met Jim’s gaze. “I was born John Grimm.”

Hannibal settled against the wall, preparing for a long discussion.


A week passed before the Enterprise even approached being space worthy. Jim and Will agreed to stay until Jim’s ship made it home to Earth for complete repairs.

Reaper had pulled Hannibal into an empty room—one of the few left on the ship—that first night, after Jim learned the truth, and said, “Fuck me,” so Hannibal did. Reaper healed too quickly for any mark to linger, but Jim still glared at Hannibal anyway.

Reaper examined every crew member, barely sleeping. Hannibal lent his services to any repair team that needed them, running on no sleep. He met Reaper anytime Reaper commed him to and then they returned to their tasks.

On Friday, Reaper didn’t call him. Hannibal said, “’bout time, Jimmy-boy.”


When they docked at Earth, the Pearl and Dutchman took off. Jack kissed Hannibal goodbye before heading back to his one true love, and Will shook his hand.

Jim thanked them for their help and Jack said, “You owe me, boy.” He smirked. “One day, I’ll come collectin’.” Jim didn’t look surprised.

Reaper met Hannibal’s eyes, brow raised, and Hannibal nodded.

Two weeks after going home, Hannibal met Reaper at the bar where they’d first seen each other almost three centuries previous.

“It’s still a dive,” Hannibal said. “No surprise, huh?”

Reaper stepped up next to him and Hannibal let his steady heartbeat lull him into a near-nap.

“Jim forgave me for lying,” Reaper said suddenly. “He was hurt and angry, but now he’s more curious than anything else.” Hannibal turned to face him and Reaper continued, “Thank you. I don’t think I told you before—thank you for gettin’ Jim out.”

“I’m thinkin’ of joining back up with Jack or Will,” Hannibal said.

They stood in silence on the busy street, letting the world move around them. Reaper clearly had more to say but didn’t know how to begin, so Hannibal waited.

“Would Jim turn into a monster, you think?” Reaper finally asked. “There’s one shot left of the stuff Sam gave me.” He looked up at Hannibal with desperate eyes. “Would he be like me or like—like Sarge?”

Light rain began to fall as Hannibal considered what he knew of James T. Kirk. “What did he say?”

Reaper shrugged. “I haven’t mentioned it to him.”

Hannibal gently smacked him upside the head. “If you do, neither of you can stay in Starfleet.”

“Yeah.” Reaper sighed. “I was gonna have to move on in a few more years anyway.”

Stepping in close, Hannibal gripped Reaper’s shoulder and waited for Reaper to meet his gaze. “Whatever you choose, I’ll have your back, John.”

Reaper smiled and said, “Let’s go spar.”


Half a dozen years later, the Enterprise limped home without a captain or a CMO. Acting Captain Spock spun a story so realistic even Hannibal would have believed it.

But when he got the hail, he asked Jack to swing by a small moon far from Starfleet space and the Pearl grew by two.

“What are your plans?” Hannibal asked, dodging Reaper’s punch while Jim tried body-checking him.

Reaper shrugged. “Staying away from Earth for a few decades. No one’s lookin’ for us, but.…”

“Yeah.” Hannibal leapt straight up and came back down on Jim’s back. “You’re cocky, kid,” he said, dropping below Reaper’s grab.

Jim laughed and pushed off the ground, knocking Hannibal to the side. Reaper pinned him and Hannibal said, “Okay, you cheaters win.”

“C’mon, kiddies,” Jack called from the door. “Dinner’s served.”

Reaper climbed off Hannibal and offered a hand to help him to his feet.

“Let’s eat,” Jim said, clapping him on the back. “I’m starved.”

“So,” Jack drawled, grinning. “You heroes ready to be pirates?”

Jim looked conflicted for just a moment, eyes flicking to Reaper.

Reaper nodded. “Sure, we can try it.” He glanced at Hannibal. “I’ve been lots of things over the years.”

After a second, Jim slowly smiled. “Yeah,” he said. “Bein’ a pirate might be fun.”


Jack ran his fingers through Hannibal’s hair while Hannibal rested his head on Jack’s chest, listening to his heartbeat.

“How do you think they’ll do?” Jack asked. “Not everyone’s cut out to be a pirate.”

Hannibal chuckled, skimming his lips on Jack’s skin. “They’ll do fine, Cap’n,” he said.

Chapter Text

"Well now," he says, examining the 'man' trying to join his crew. "Ain't seen one'a your kind in a long while."

He walks around the man, studying him from every angle. "What was your name again?" he asks.

The man stares down at him, trying to mask his desperation. “Hannibal King,” he repeats. Jack’s old enough to know he’s actually screaming I have to get off this rock.

“No bitin’ any’o my crew ‘less’in they ask for it,” Jack tells him. “Savvy?”

Hannibal King, the prettiest man he’s seen since dear William, nods earnestly.

Jack smirks, stepping in close. “You’ll be sleeping in my quarters tonight, boyo. That alright with you?”

Hannibal inhales and sighs. “Yes sir, Captain,” he whispers, barely grazing Jack’s skin with his lips.

“Come on, then,” Jack says, spinning in place. “Let’s get back to the Pearl.”

His newest crewman follows half a step behind and Jack can smell salt on the air.