Chapter 1: Generic Middle-Europe, 1654
Generic Middle-Europe, 1654
Viago had a list. It was a paper list, despite the fact that he could easily have remembered the contents quite easily. Being a vampire did have its perks after all.
After so many years this list had become tattered and he’d had to rewrite it more than once.
This list was entitled Unfortunate Slip-Ups and it was far longer than it needed to be.
The first slip up was Johann and he was someone Viago would never forget.
The year was 1654 and Viago was twenty years old. Brought up in the gentry, he had never wanted for anything and his life was one of period-appropriate excess. His life was marvellous, or rather, as marvellous as one’s life could be when people were dying in the streets.
Of course, he didn’t need to think about that because he was rich. His only concerns were of his future, and of his possible marriages to the many women his mother felt were appropriate for him.
That was, until, the second of September.
He and his manservant, Johann, were riding their mounts back from a perfectly delightful engagement at one of his friends’ estates. The journey, whilst not being long, was certainly one that he didn’t enjoy. The path from his friend’s estate was winding, and simply too boring for words. As well as that, the weather was turning foul, and he was sure there were no stopping places for simple ages along the route.
“I feel as though you should hold gatherings at your estate, Sir.” Johann said politely, looking none too pleased at the growing clouds above them.
“Yes, perhaps.” He agreed. The weather did not look ideal. He shivered. It was rather cold, too. He removed one hand from the reins to try and adjust his collar and wavered slightly on his horse. He was not wonderful at riding, despite all of his attempts at it.
As he pulled his collar up to try and warm some semblance of his neck, there was a sudden rumble of thunder and his horse shied to the left, making him waver and lose his balance. He flew off his horse and hit the ground hard. Unable to stop, he clunked his head again a rock and fell into a deep, dark slumber.
He awoke to find Johann wrapping his head with a strip of fabric. He could feel blood trickling down his head from above his left eye and he had a pounding headache.
“Wha-“ He had absolutely no idea what had happened.
“You fell from your horse, sir.”
“I did?” His head felt funny. He reached out a hand and placed it on Johann’s face to steady himself.
“I’m sorry.” He pulled back, unsure of why he had done such a thing. There was just something about the look in Johann’s eyes that had made him want to get closer.
Maybe he was ill. “We should go.” He tried to stand, but his head swam and he tumbled, just to be caught by Johann’s waiting grip.
The other man smelled heady, and musky, in a way that Viago had never ever imagined before. He smelt good.
“Is that a… new scent, Johann?” Viago fought to keep his tone casual.
“Why, yes.” The other man gripped his arm and helped steady him on his feet. “Your mother’s taken a shine to me. It’s one of the newest from France.”
“It… suits you.”
“That’s nice of you to say, Sir.” The boy flushed pink, barely visible in the gloom overhead.
“I think we should-“
Then the other man licked his lips and Viago flushed himself. His heart was beating fast in his chest. Why was it beating so fast? Was he ill? He could feel himself leaning closer to the other man and he didn’t know why.
Just then, lightning flashed overhead and the pair broke apart.
“We should really go.” Johann said, after a pause.
He was left, confused and slightly out of breath, angsting for something he couldn’t quite grasp.
Chapter 2: Generic Middle-Europe, 1662
When you're being changed into a vampire by a hot dude, how can you say no?
Contains what could accurately be described as slight dubcon
Generic Middle-Europe, 1662
The second Slip Up was less of a slip up and more of a Life Changing Event. Regardless, it still fell under the Slip-Up category.
After a long night of cajoling and just general musical revelry down at the local pub, Viago, now twenty-eight (for this was 1662), decided to stumble home alone. He had just enough of his wits about him to realise that something was very deeply wrong when he turned the corner into an alley that led almost directly to his home and he smelt the coppery tang of blood hanging in the air.
Every one of his senses suddenly started screaming at him to run. But he did not, for his feet were frozen in place. Fear is a powerful creature and it had worked its curse on him. He was fixed in place with no hope of escape.
“Why…” A voice purred from the shadows around him, “What a precious young boy you are.”
“I am no boy,” Viago hurriedly explained, though he wasn’t quite sure why, “I am twenty-eight.”
“Why… yes you are.” The voice continued. It sounded masculine, but he couldn’t be quite sure. “And a very handsome twenty-eight at that.”
Viago blushed. He couldn’t help it! It wasn’t often that he got compliments on his appearance, for he was much slighter that some of the other men and far too feminine at points. “Thank you. Might I ask, why does it smell of blood around here?”
“Oh my darling, Viago.” The voice continued.
Viago shivered. How did the voice know his name?
“My last meal put up a bit of a fight.”
“How do you know my name?” Viago asked, suddenly. He had to know. His thirst for knowledge nearly superseded his thirst for partying.
“I know a lot of things about you, Viago. I know your favourite ale is the one that smells faintly of honey, rather than the inexpensive beer that you tend to drink with your friends. I know you prefer the company of both men and women if given the chance –“
“I do not!” Viago interrupted, blushing even harder. Even if it was somewhat true there was no chance that he would admit it. That sort of behaviour was against the law and he could end up being hanged if it was found out that he shared those sorts of proclivities. “What is it that you want?”
“I want you.” The voice was darker, if it was even possible, and even more seductive.
Viago gulped, and in a move that was perhaps not his best one of the day, fell over in a dead faint.
He woke to find a sharp pain in his neck and a curiously empty feeling throughout the rest of his body. He struggled about, trying to find something to grab onto, but couldn’t see anything. Why was it so dark?
“You know, it would hurt less if you just stopped struggling.” The same voice from before remarked as the sharp pain in his neck disappeared.
“It? What is it?”
‘Why, my darling, I am changing you into one of us.” The voice purred.
“But what is us? And who are you? And –“
“My name is Christopher, and I will become your maker. We are of a race that drinks the blood of others to stay alive far beyond the reach of normal human lives.”
Viago didn’t like that idea. It seemed far too messy. And of course, far too cruel. “Blood?”
“Yes.” Christopher said meditatively, “Human blood. It certainly is very tasty, and my darling Viago, yours is about some of the nicest I’ve ever sampled.”
“I don’t believe that is a compliment.”
“Oh, but it is!” Christopher purred, still far too close for Viago’s liking, despite the fact that the man actually couldn’t see him. “It’s rather enjoyable to drain someone dry and even more so if they taste as lovely as you, my dear.”
“Stop calling me that.” He felt like he was missing something… There was something he needed to do… He needed to get home. That was it. Why weren’t his thoughts making sense? His skin prickled uncomfortably as he tried to push the other man off him. “I need to go.”
“We’ve only just started!”
He fought to move, but the pressure holding him down was just too strong, “I need to get home.”
“Ugh.” The other man sighed, “Fine.”
Viago felt the pressure lift off him. He clambered to his feet, and touched his throat gently. It was wet and he was sure if he could actually see anything it’d be covered in blood. “Um… Thank you?”
“Your thanks will come later. We’ve only just begun.” This time, the man’s words were not even. They were honeyed, powerful, and darkly seductive.
Viago shivered again and this time it wasn’t from fear. “I-“ But any sort of resolve he had once had was seeping away. It was like it just didn’t matter anymore. He could trust this man. He wanted to trust this man. This man was here to help all the confusion go away.
“You want me to bite you, don’t you?” Christopher’s voice purred, low and devastatingly deep.
“I do.” His voice was husky all of a sudden. A lick of heat settled in his belly. He'd never felt quite so drawn to another being before. “Please.”
“Oh, I do like it when you beg.”
And perhaps he did want it then, and perhaps he did want it soon after, when he could feel himself slipping away despite the bite feeling so right, but later on, when Christopher had taken his blood and was forcing his own down his throat, and even later still when liquid flame ran under his skin and he was trying to hold back screams, perhaps he had made a wrong turn somewhere that night.
Chapter 3: London, 1771
London in 1771 was… unique. It had a flavour and a culture to it quite like any other, if one ignored the crime in the streets and the sheer amount of death going on.
Everyone seemed to have smallpox. If they didn’t have that, they had influenza. If they didn’t have that they had dysentery.
Viago, frankly, was sick of it. The smell of death was getting everywhere, into his hair and his clothes. Humans didn’t smell any good when they died of the plague. Plus, try as he had to avoid them, somehow he had human friends. Human friends who were dying. He couldn’t stand it.
It had taken him… a while… to get used to the whole ‘blood drinking’ thing. Approximately about as long as it had taken for him to get really, really hungry. It had gone three days and then suddenly his hunger was the only thing he could think about, only able to focus on hearts pumping beneath skin, on blood flowing, and how good it would feel to be full up again.
Christopher had stroked his hair as he’d fed and told him, “not to think about it too much.”
The older vampire had found him later, sitting on the edge of a dock and staring out at the bay. The waves crashed gently against the shore around him.
“Tastes good, doesn’t it?” He settled down next to Viago.
“Christopher, I am an abomination against God.” Viago turned to face him, panic obvious in his eyes. If he could still cry, he would have.
“But you were created by God.” Christopher continued calmly. “Surely that doesn’t make you an abomination – but rather another form of one of his creatures?”
“Does that mean murderers are not abominations? Or men who lie with men?” Viago gasped, hardly able to believe what he was hearing. “I just murdered that man.”
“Self-preservation.” Christopher sighed. “You can hardly say you’re some sort of saint, Viago, when I met you you had been cajoling all night at the local pub. I’m sure there’s something about lust in the Bible, isn’t there?”
“It’s not the same.”
“How is it not the same? They’re all sins.” Christopher said smugly, refusing to meet his gaze. “How can you pass judgement on men who lie with other men? You begged me to turn you into one of us.”
“I did no such thing.” Viago replied, shaking with anger.
“Vampires do not forget, my dear.” He leaned close and whispered in almost a perfect parody of Viago’s voice, “Please…”
Viago pushed himself off the dock and into the water. Later, he’d realise it probably wasn’t the best idea, because Old London stench was murder to get off clothing, but he needed to get away. Christopher was baiting him, with his honeyed lies and power. He wasn’t going to fall for it.
He spent the 1740s in London, the 1750s in Rome, and the 1760s in Paris. He walked a lot at night, talked to people, and went to many libraries. Luckily (probably the only streak of luck he’d had in the whole deal), he’d managed to shake off Christopher at the end of the 1600s.
The older vampire had been staked by a vampire hunter. It happens.
He might have given the vampire hunter a certain nudge in the right direction, but murder happens.
Christopher’d been practically asking for it, after all.
He’d run into another vampire in 1781, in America. The Revolutionary War was a ghastly affair, with far too much mud for his liking, but all the bloodshed did prove to be an easy distraction for his nightly feeding. People weren’t looking for extra bodies when the death toll was so high.
Quite literally, he’d run into the older vampire.
He’d been a bat at the time (he could turn himself into a bat, how cool was that?!?!) and he’d been about to swoop down onto the head of a lone French soldier, who had been injured far away from the main battlefield, and was bleeding quite profusely.
However, he flew smack into another bat, who was trying to do exactly the same thing. He’d tumbled to the ground in full view of the French soldier, and shifted back, furious. How dare -
“What the fuck, dude.” The other bat said, as it shifted into another vampire-shaped form. “My guy. You tried to get my guy?” (Obviously, he didn’t say it like that, because of language evolution and such, but for history’s sake it was close enough.)
The Frenchman looked between them and pointed a shaky finger at the other vampire. “La mort!” He cried, and fainted dead away.
“For fuck’s sake, he’s looking to be eaten.” The other vampire huffed. “I wouldn’t normally, but want to share?”
And share they did. Vladislav was old. Far older than Viago. He’d been kicking about on their planet for a long time, since the mid-1100s. He had a heavy accent that sounded vaguely German. Or Austrian. Or Russian. Viago didn’t know. Vladislav couldn’t remember exactly when he was born, but he said there had been a lot of mud.
(There was always a lot of mud. History really had mud going for it.)
“Want to buddy up?” Vladislav said, colloquially, licking a smear of blood off his index finger. “Hang out? Keep an eye on each other’s asses?”
“Literally or figuratively?” Viago asked, with a wary glance. He’d taken some lovers, for a couple of years in Paris, but he wasn’t going to talk about that.
Vladislav simply laughed. “Come on, dandy boy, I need to wash my hair.” Vladislav had a lot of hair.
The next hundred or so years passed uneventfully. You know what they say, time goes faster the older you get!
Vladislav had an insatiable sexual appetite. The man could fuck.
Viago would often lie in his coffin, a couple of hours before dawn, and feel the vibrations of Vladislav’s ministrations coming through the walls.
They’d taken up residence in a pair of bachelor apartments in London, and lived like kings. Whoever said crime (or in their case, murder) didn’t pay had been lying through their teeth.
Viago huffed, and climbed out of his coffin. There was no way that he’d be able to get anything resembling beauty sleep with all the shaking going on. In the politest voice he could muster, he knocked on the wall and said, “Vladislav? Do you mind keeping the noise down?”
There was no reply from the wall for a few moments.
“It’s more fun if you join in!” Vladislav replied, and Viago did all he could not to bury his head in his hands.
There was a high-pitched scream from next door that could have either been from extreme pain or incredible sexual ecstasy. Viago didn’t know. It sometimes could be hard to tell the two apart. Vladislav seemed to have mastery in both.
“I’d rather not, if it’s all the same to you!” He called back through the wall as it thrummed beneath his touch.
“Boring.” Vladislav said, with a hint of an edge to his voice. “Stop being a stick in the mud. Go out and get laid.”
And considering he didn’t want to listen to his flatmate for any longer, Viago did.
It ended in a severe misunderstanding and the deaths of five prostitutes, but he can’t say he didn’t try.
just wanted to add that I'm not at all making light of Jack the Ripper - it's just a fitting thing to fit my narrative around. Jack the Ripper's reign of terror was fucking abhorrent.
Chapter 5: Wellington, 1943
Maybe it's time they get a new flatmate.
Viago wasn't melancholy. He wasn't. The fact that he could barely get out of his coffin in the morning had nothing to do with it. He didn't know when he'd been outside last, but he wasn't melancholy.
“You know, bro, I think we should talk.” Vladislav was leaning against the door to his room, quite obviously feigning nonchalance. “Also, it reeks in here. You should know.”
“Talk about what?” He lifted his head, and was surprised about how hard it was to do. “I'm fine.”
“You haven't been outside for two years and there are skeletons on your floor. That really sounds fine to me.”
Yes… the skellingtons. He'd been meaning to get to them… He just.. hadn't. “I was going to-”
“I know this Katherine thing has been important to you,” Vladislav was beginning to look a bit uncomfortable. It was clear he was getting to the end of his emotional tether, “But it's been two years and I can't keep on getting your victims for you. You're pining.”
“I'm not pining.”
“You are. But you need to deal with it. We are interviewing for a new flatmate today.”
Oh no. A new flatmate? Viago liked people, he really did, but he liked the arrangement he and Vladislav had. “Do I have to?”
“Yeah. You and I both pay rent for this flat - and by ‘you and I’ I mean just me, because you've not been doing that much lately - so we both have to make this decision.”
Viago huffed, slowly, through his teeth. “Okay. Fine.” It wasn't worth getting into a fight over.
The first interviewee was a zombie. Vladislav threw him out almost immediately. It was probably the smell.
The second was a vampire hunter. Viago didn't even know how he'd gotten into the house without realising, but they dealt with him.
It had been good to get fresh blood.
The third, a child vampire named Victoria. They knew her in passing, but found it a little bit strange.
“It'd be weird, y’know.” Vladislav mused, “People would think we were her dads or something. Too weird.”
Viago gave him an unimpressed glare. “You've been reading too many fantasy books.”
“I don't read.”
The fourth interviewee was a short ginger werewolf. He didn't even get in the door.
“You're barking up the wrong tree, mate!” Vladislav said, and shut the door firmly in his face.
“I don't - we don't… we don't even bark.” The werewolf sounded incredibly fed-up from behind the door.
The fifth interviewee was an adult vampire. After the missteps they'd had all night, it was almost a relief.
“Hi. I’m Deacon.” He eyed the interior of their house warily after they invited him in, but Viago liked him immediately. “So. Flatting?”
He was wearing the uniform of an army that Viago vaguely recognised, but he couldn’t remember what from. Something about it seemed familiar…
“Yes.” Viago set down some cups filled with the vampire hunter’s blood. It was only polite. “Vladislav seems to think that we need another flatmate.”
“And do you?”
Viago shrugged, “Negotiable.”
“Cool.” Deacon was short, stocky and clean-shaven. He looked younger than them both (at least in vampire years). “So, I’m a Nazi vampire.”
Ah. That… changed things. Even though Viago had been in a state of severe… apathy (and he wasn’t going to say ‘melancholy’, because he wasn’t sad) for two years, he’d still been fairly aware of the war. It had been hard not to be. It wasn’t even over yet, although it was beginning to peter out. But a Nazi vampire? This was going to be a problem.
“Look, no offense, man, but when you say Nazi vampire, what do you mean?” Vladislav said edgily, mouth set in a thin line.
“I mean Nazi vampire - I worked as a nationalsozialistischervampir in Germany and all.”
Viago tried to approach it tactfully. “You probably can see why we have a slight problem with that, can’t you?”
“Yeah, well it was just a hobby. Not a big deal. Just like knitting.”
“I really don’t think you can compare the two, eh.” Vladislav drawled. He suddenly seemed vaguely amused by the whole thing.
“Come on.” Deacon sat up straighter. “You two can hardly throw stones. You’re both murderers!”
“Yeah, but we kill everyone. We don’t discriminate.”
Viago nodded along with Vladislav’s words.
Deacon rolled his eyes. “Look. I started there and things.. spiraled. I couldn’t get out. They took my friend Petyr hostage and used him to start changing other humans. It was… a mess that I didn’t agree with.”
“Good motive, still a Nazi.” Vladislav shot back.
Deacon put his arms onto the table and sighed. “Okay. Okay. I understand. Look. I really need a place to stay. My coffin got fucked up in the boat ride over here and I have nowhere to go come dawn. I’ll pay rent on time and if I do something you don’t like, you can kick me out into the sun.”
He was the only viable candidate they’d had all night… Viago shrugged in Vladislav’s general direction. It was really the only option they had at this point.
Vladislav sighed, “Fine. A couple of months trial period. Just a warning, I have a torture chamber. If you say something shitty, I will put you in it.”
“You know Vlad the Poker?”
Deacon’s eyes went wide. “My mum always used to tell me the story. She said he’d hide in the woods and kidnap kids.”
“Why would I kidnap kid- what - that’s not the point -” Vladislav rolled his eyes. “Okay. I’m Vlad the Poker. That guy. The guy from the stories.”
Viago watched as Deacon jerked almost implicitly back in his chair. “Uh. That’s good to know, Mr Vlad the Poker. Can I.. can I still stay here, Mr Vlad the Poker and Mr Vlad the Poker’s Friend?”
“If you don’t call us that.” Viago shook his head. “That’s terrible. Come on.”
Deacon’s gaze softened. “I know I’m asking a ton here, but can my friend stay too? His name’s Petyr. The sun will kill him.”
“Is Petyr going to pay rent too?” Vladislav asked, raising an eyebrow at him.
“Yes.” Deacon replied. “And by that I mean maybe. Probably not. Petyr is… different.”
Vladislav sighed, clearly done with talking for the night. “Okay. Fine. Viago, you find them a place to sleep. I’m going to be somewhere that isn’t here.”
Chapter 6: Wellington, 1945 (cont)
how to make ur flatmates clean pt 1 of 10000
Wellington, 1945 (cont)
Deacon… wasn’t terrible. He had a penchant for knitting and gifted Viago a brown knitted sweater for his birthday. It smelt a bit funny and was several shades of brown (wool had been rationed, so he was making do) - but Viago treasured it all the same.
Deacon’s ‘friend’ Petyr was another story. Deacon had sat them down just before Petyr had arrived and said, “So, one day I was selling my wares. I was walking past this old and creepy castle, and I looked at it and thought, “That’s very old and creepy”.”
“Where… are you going with this?” Vladislav asked, staring absentmindedly at the mirror behind him. He wasn't reflected in it, of course, but it was the point of the thing.
“And then this creature swooped down and dragged me into its lair and bit into my neck. Just at the point of death, it held me down and forced me to drink its foul blood. And when I woke up, I found out that I was a vampire, and the creature was Petyr.”
VIago blinked. There was something very different about Deacon’s changing story and his own, but he didn't go into it. “...What is Petyr?”
“He doesn’t talk much.” Deacon explained, “But I think he’s a vampire? Just a really old one. I have a picture of him but it’s a bit stained because he did eat the artist straight afterwards.”
He withdrew a crumpled piece of parchment from inside his jacket. He was right about the bloodstains.
“Those teeth…” Viago recoiled a bit. “They’re very… sharp.”
“Yeah, I know.” Deacon nodded, and put the parchment back inside his jacket. “I couldn’t stop recoiling every time I saw him for the first few years. But he’s a sweetheart, really.”
“Is he?” Vladislav drawled and sats back in his chair. “A particularly refined blood drinker, then? Nuanced? Like the vampire stories of old?”
“Not really. He mostly flies around eating bugs and killing local livestock.”
Viago glared at Vladislav in a way that suggested that they would have to have a serious talk about new flatmates.
Vladislav looked back at him and shrugged. “That might be a problem considering we live in a city.”
“I’ll make it work.” Deacon says, “Don’t worry, he’s very quiet. Cleans up after himself really well, too.”
“Good.” Vladislav said, and Viago just went along with it. What else was he supposed to do? They did need a new flatmate.
At least, in the midst of all of the Petyr and Deacon chaos he was beginning to deal with some of his sadness over losing Katherine.
Early one evening in May, Viago walked into their communal bathroom to wash a stain off one of his shirts. He looked up at the ceiling, noticed something was rather awry, and sighed.
“Deacon?!” He yelled sweetly, knowing that wherever in the house the younger vampire was, he’d still hear him.
“What?!” From the direction of the sound, it sounded like Deacon was in the basement with Petyr.
Fair enough. Viago tended to avoid the basement, mostly because of the bones lying around.
“Do you remember when you killed that guy in the bathroom last week?”
“For fuck’s sake, you two, can you just talk face to face?” That was Vladislav, from his bedroom. He sounded like he’d had a bad night’s sleep.
“Yeah, yeah, sorry Vladislav.” Moments later, Deacon was standing next to him, holding a bone.
Viago looked between the bone and Deacon’s face, eyebrow raised, until he realised.
“Sorry. Yeah.” Deacon threw the bone out into the hallway.
Something growled and leapt at it. Viago didn't want to know what.
“What did you want?”
“You remember when you killed a guy in here last week?”
“Yeah. Cute guy. He was nice, I thought he deserved to die somewhere that had good interior design.” Deacon gestured at the patterned wallpaper around them. “Tasty guy, though his veins were a bit leaky.”
“Cool.” Viago said. It really wasn’t. “Do you notice anything… off… about the bathroom?”
“Oh, yeah.” Deacon rubbed a bit of blood off the tap with his thumb. “Was that all?”
Viago gritted his teeth. “I’m talking about the giant moldy bloodstain on the ceiling, Deacon. Do you see that one?”
The giant moldy bloodstain was indeed giant, and moldy. Viago wasn’t even aware that blood could grow mold until then, but he was fairly sure the stain was growing a new species on it as he watched.
“Yeah… Sorry.” Deacon shrugged, “Like I said. Nice guy. Leaky veins.”
“On the ceiling, though? That takes effort.”
“I pride myself in my skill at blood drinking.”
“Deacon.” Viago fought very hard to keep his voice under control. “Clean the stain up.”
“ Why?” He raised his voice, just a little. “Do you know how much effort it takes to keep this place clean? And the stain reeks. Next time, put some newspaper down so you don’t get blood everywhere.”
“It’s a bit hard to put newspaper on the ceiling.”
Viago gritted his teeth. “You can fly, Deacon, I’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out. Clean the stain.”
“Deacon.” Vladislav yelled again, sounding incredibly fed up with both of them. “Clean the fucking stain.”
Deacon cleaned the fucking stain.
Chapter 7: Wellington, 1945 (Still cont.)
Wellington, 1945 (still cont.)
VE Day dawned with complete and utter revelry on the streets of Wellington. Unfortunately, the vamps were not around to see it because of the whole ‘burning in the sun’ thing. Viago was woken at 4.30 that afternoon by someone whooping and hollering outside. He opened the curtains gingerly, got a burn on his hand from the sun (which was still in the sky) and closed them again.
Later, when the sun was finally set, they ventured out on the town. They had not been out much in Wellington - Viago lost his appetite for partying many years before (might have been something to do with the dead prostitutes) - but that night, the city was jubilant, and so were they.
The war was basically over. Even though they’d mostly let it pass them by (Deacon, notwithstanding, but they weren’t going to talk about that), it was a relief not to feel the sheer anxiety that had permeated the city for so many years.
“We should go somewhere.” Deacon said, and narrowly avoided a pedestrian stumbling towards them.
Looked like the 6-o’clock alcohol rule had been ignored, at least for that night. It was after seven by then, surely.
“Where?” Viago asked. He straightened his collar. Dressing to go ‘out’ was always quite the struggle. Vampires have no reflection, so getting dressed up was always a mixture of trial, error, and your friends telling you that your outfit looked shit.
“Top Hat?” Vladislav suggested.
Viago knew of it, vaguely. It was on Cuba St, only a few blocks away. “You want to go partying with Americans?”
“Well, we’ll just keep on walking until we find somewhere that’ll invite us in.” Deacon decided.
He hadn’t bought Petyr along. While they were easily able to disguise themselves as humans (to a point), Petyr’s giant teeth, tightly stretched flesh and total lack of hair made disguising him a tiny bit more problematic.
They found themselves in the tavern at the Royal Oak - a less than salubrious hotel on the corner of Cuba and Dixon streets. The atmosphere was warm, friendly, and entirely without women. Deacon had disappeared at some point, and Viago wasn’t exactly sure where.
“Vlad?” Viago asked, nudging his flatmate in the ribs.
“Is this… uh…” he wasn’t exactly sure how to phrase it without annoying anyone around him. Last time he’d said something without thinking he’d been punched in the face and then he had to kill the guy and it had been such a hassle. “...are these people.. Uh… do they…”
“Do they want to fuck men?” Vladislav replied. “Probably. A lot of people do. The war’s over, Viago, go and get laid.”
And with that declaration, Vladislav wandered off into the crowd.
Viago stared after him. If he could still blush, he probably would have. It wasn’t like that. He wasn’t - ugh. Why did everyone seem to think so? New Zealand had a death penalty for that sort of behaviour.
Then again, he was a vampire, so the only thing that could kill him would be a good stabbing.
Or the sun.
The last time he’d ‘gone and gotten laid’ - at Vladislav’s insistence - had ended up with all those dead prostitutes. He didn’t exactly want that to happen again, especially now that he had put roots down in Wellington.
Humans didn’t deserve to be murdered. Feeding was another matter, of course, but at least it generally didn’t hurt them.
So. He was in a bar for… men… and he couldn’t even buy a drink. For the first time in nearly 300 years, he was almost disappointed. The vampirism thing definitely had its perks, but really didn’t live up to the fun of getting complete sozzled.
...But. If he went outside there was no guarantee that anywhere else would invite him in. And he wasn’t going to go home without celebrating on tonight of all nights.
Plus, the music wasn’t terrible in the tavern. He supposed it could have been worse.
He was on his way out of the door, having had his fill of the strange, murky bar, when he was accosted by someone on his way in. He had piercing blue eyes and looked a few years older than Viago’s ‘human’ age.
“Leaving so soon?” The stranger asked, with a very obvious glance over Viago’s body.
You didn’t have to be human to pick up social cues, and this one was rather apparent. “I- uh- guess I am. Sorry!” The words came out kinda garbled, but that was really just his schtick, wasn’t it?
“Come and have a drink with me.” The stranger continued, voice like velvet.
Ha. If only the stranger knew what would happen if Viago had a human drink.
(He’d end up vomiting blood over most of the bar, which would probably ruin the mood.) “No thanks.”
“I said, come and have a drink with me.” The stranger didn’t sound like he was joking about it anymore. He placed a hand on Viago’s chest and started pushing him back into the bar.
Anxiety thrummed under under Viago’s skin. He couldn’t just reveal his vampirism and get out of there, because the bar was packed. Without his friends around, there was no way he’d be able to hypnotise everyone to make them forget.
And humans knew how to stop vampires. Fiction had made sure of that.
“L-let me go.” He stammered, looking for a way out.
Damn Vladislav, always disappearing when he was needed. Damn. Damn.
And then suddenly an arm reached around Viago from behind and pushed the other man out of the way. A vampiric arm. Viago could scent it on him.
Vladislav! (And about time too.)
Viago whirled around, but it wasn’t Vladislav.
This man was a stocky brunette, with deep hazel eyes. He was dressed in a suit with suspenders and no jacket. And he was staring furiously at the other man. “Back off, Joseph. The man said no.”
Viago whirled back around to see the aforementioned Joseph staring cooly back at his savior. “He didn’t actually say no.”
“And you have no idea how to read body language? Get lost, Joseph.” The other vampire seemed to have no qualms in utilising his strength, and he shoved Joseph so hard with one hand that he stumbled back and out of the door of the bar. Then he eyed Viago warily, “Want to leave? He’ll be back and he’s more pushy the second time around.”
“Please.” He couldn’t think of a better idea. Another vampire? How intriguing. At least, if they were out of the confines of the bar, he could fight back if he needed to. At least this vampire didn’t want to drag him into a crowd of humans.
“Swell.” The other vampire grinned. It was an attractive grin that settled nicely on his face. “Come on, then.”
He led Viago out of the bar. The streets were still full of other people, but they hardly gave them a second glance as they walked. Viago slowly managed to calm down and was actually feeling less-than-terrible when they reached the intersection of Willis and Dixon St.
“I’m John.” The other vampire said. “Joseph’s an arse. Sorry about that.”
“Thank you for saving me.” Viago replied, more than a little embarrassed. “I’m Viago.”
“Viago?” John snorted, “With a name like that you sound rather, uh, how do I say this? Generic middle-European?”
“I’m something like that.” In truth, it had been so long that he hardly knew where he came from anymore.
“Really? You’re quite a way from home. How’d that happen?”
And without even meaning to, he told John the whole story. His maker, an overview of his travels… Katherine…
“You travelled over 10,000 miles for a girl?” By that point, they were sitting on a bench off Lambton Quay and John was looking at him with a fair amount of amazement. “That’s some commitment.”
“I was in love.”
“It matters little now, anyway. Her heart’s taken and I’m not going to be one of those men who hang around married women.”
“That’s good of you.” He was fairly sure that John was trying to hold in a laugh. “Tell me, if your heart belongs to Katherine, why were you in that bar tonight? Place full of queers - and I mean that in a nicest possible way since I am one - and you weren’t running for the hills?”
“Well, I…” He didn’t think it was worth going into why he’d stayed. In truth, he didn’t really know himself. He lowered his gaze.
“Oh.” John raised an eyebrow at him. “Interesting.”
“I’ve not met many people who love men and women like myself before.”
“You can love both?” To see him talk about It so brazenly was… surprising. .
“Well I’ve certainly been doing something wrong if you can’t.” John stood and offered Viago his hand. “You should come home with me. Meet the wife. I’ll make no promises other than that.”
The wife? The man who saved him from a ...bar... had a wife? “You have a wife?”
“Well, I say wife, she says maker… Makes it easier, you know. For her.”
“You live with your maker?”
Thinking on his own maker hurt him. He was a man who wouldn’t have ever considered such a wholesome thing.
“I do indeed.” John smiled and waved his hand in front of his face. “You coming? I reckon she’d like you. I certainly do.”
He wasn’t sure exactly what he was walking into, but he accepted John’s hand and allowed him to pull him to his feet. It wasn’t as though he had anything to lose, and maybe (just maybe) it would get Katherine out of his head.
“Viago’s back.” Deacon said, as Viago stepped through the front door the following night. “Hey Vladislav, Viago’s not dead.”
“Cool.” Vladislav replied, from the depths of the house. “I didn’t want to find another flatmate.”
“I appreciate your concern.” Viago replied, dryly, feeling more buoyant than he had in months. “I’m not dead.”
“Wait.” Deacon held up a finger and then sniffed the air. “Holy shit, Viago had sex.”
“Viago got laid?” Vladislav added, still from the depths of the house. “About time.”
“Who was he?” Deacon asked.
“I met a very nice artist vampire and his artist wife, and we had a very nice talk about books. And art. And they let me spend the night at their place so I wouldn’t die. No sex.” Viago replied, edgily. “And smelling me? That’s creepy.”
“Sure.” Deacon teased. “And I definitely didn’t get stuck in a ditch last night.”
“Deacon did get stuck in a ditch last night.” Vladislav said. It sounded like he was knitting (or at least, trying to). (Then again, with Vladislav, no-one really knew). “And he had to cover himself with mud so the sun wouldn’t get him. It was awful. He smelled disgusting.”
“I love you too, dear!” Deacon yelled, putting far too much emphasis on it. It was loud, even for them. “Honestly, Viago, about time.”
Viago just shook his head at him and went off to his coffin.
Chapter 8: Wellington, 1960
Viago's 320th birthday, part one!
Viago had started going to night classes. Mainly because Deacon had his knitting, Vladislav had his torturing, and he didn’t have anything. Three hundred years seemed like a long time with nothing to do, and they couldn’t go out to bars every night.
The local university put on poetry classes, pottery classes, typing classes, even a French class. Viago found great enjoyment in the pottery side of things, and even managed to find a pottery wheel abandoned on the side of the road.
(It wasn’t actually abandoned on the side of the road, but the man he stole it from had been a serial killer, so he supposed it was only penance.)
He came back to the flat early one August night (about 1am, after his classes had finished and he’d wandered through the city for a bit) to find it still and dark.
Which was odd, considering the circumstances.
He unlocked the door, went inside, and still couldn’t see anyone.
(He swore, if Vladislav was trying to hold a seance again he’d just-)
But then the lights flicked on and a whole bunch of people yelled, “happy birthday!”
In all honesty, he’d completely forgotten about it.
Vladislav, Deacon and Petyr were all there, as were a couple of vampires Viago vaguely knew, and even one werewolf. It was the ginger man who’d applied to be their flatmate, all those years ago.
What was even more surprising was that John and his maker, Elizabeth, were there.
“Uh, thank you, everyone?” Viago said, still completely surprised at the reception. Most years they didn’t even bother to celebrate each other’s birthdays.
Living for over a hundred years did that to a guy.
“I’ll be honest, I’m not even sure how old I am now.”
“320.” Deacon answered, with a shrug. “There’s a vampire historian in London. I sent her some letters.”
Viago didn’t even want to know how a vampire historian - in London, of all places - knew how old he was. He was still a bit baffled as to why they’d even bothered to have a party for him. “But why?”
“Felt like it.” Vladislav replied. “And we found out that if you kill some alcoholics their blood can get you really drunk and I figured we should try that in a group setting.”
The ginger werewolf wrinkled his nose at the thought.
Eh. Viago had done worse for less.
“This is… nice.” He settled on a wary smile, and decided to run with it. He’d deal with his feelings later. “Go on. Party!”
Vladislav put a record on and then the night really took off.
Viago, deciding that he had to be polite, wandered over to John and Elizabeth. He’d not seen either of them for at least fourteen years, so it was a tad on the awkward side.
“How’d you… find me?” Viago asked. It wasn’t like he was trying to avoid talking about the Thing that had happened between them, but he’d not gone back to them after that night for a reason.
“Your mate found us.” John indicated towards Deacon with his head.
“And honestly, considering it’s been… what, fourteen years(???),” Elizabeth added, “Pretty damn impressive.”
“I don’t think I even told them your names.” Deacon putting any sort of effort into anything that wasn’t knitting was astounding.
“Yeah, but I am very good!” Deacon yelled from across the room, where he was talking to the ginger werewolf.
Viago rolled his eyes at him and went back to the (uncomfortable) conversation. “Fourteen years? ...Sorry about that.”
“It’s fine.” John said wryly, and rubbed a hand over his hair, messing it up. “How have you… been?”
“Good.” His voice is too loud, but he can’t seem to stop it. “Good. Very good. You know, time, doesn’t even feel like a year has passed.”
“You’ve been here all this time?” Elizabeth asked, her voice suddenly soft. “How’s Katherine?”
“Oh, Vi.” She pulled him into her arms and hugged him tightly. She smelled faintly of peaches, but with a metallic edge.
“Thought you weren’t going to pine after other people’s wives.” John said, from beside them.
“Yes… but… these things happen.”
He laughed. “It’s good to see you, Vi.” John hugged him too.
They stood there for a moment, just wrapped in their embrace. Viago could have sunk into it, let it consume him, except for one little thing.
“Stop being happy, Viago, come and meet my mate!” Deacon called, entirely ruining the moment.
Viago let go, brushed himself down and said, “I, uh, probably should…”
“We’ll be here.” John thwacked him on the back, none too gently. “Don’t catch fleas, eh?”
Viago sighed, and went to join Deacon.
Chapter 9: Wellington, 1967
Some werewolves and some tigers.
Ft, some historical accuracy!
So they’d made peace with the werewolves.
The ginger werewolf was called Anton, and he’d been around for a fair few years by that point. Werewolves weren’t immortal, exactly, they just aged a lot slower than regular humans.
“It took twenty years for me to go through puberty .” Anton said, surprisingly chipper, as he worked his way through an entire loaf of bread. “I wouldn’t recommend it.”
Yeah, Anton was alright.
(If you could ignore the ever-present smell of wet dog.)
That was, until, the Incident of 1967.
It hadn’t really been the vampires’ fault.
There had been a problem at Wellington Zoo. The vampires tended to avoid the place, because big animals smelled bad and weren’t very fun to hunt when locked in their cages, but the werewolves liked it well enough.
( Liked being the understatement of the year. They all seemed to have some kind of kinship with the animals in the place. Werewolves were weird.)
However, in the small hours of March 19th, 1967, two tigers escaped from the zoo. They were chased around the streets of Newtown until they were shot by police, which the werewolves really didn’t like.
Viago, who was just pottering about the house at four-thirty in the morning, got the fright of his life when one of the werewolves banged loudly on the front door.
He probably would have smelled said werewolf, but he was experimenting with a set of lavender candles at the time.
“Get the door, Vi.” Vladislav called, from somewhere deep in the depths of the house.
“You could always do it?”
“Get the door.” There was no room in Vlad’s voice for argument.
Viago got the door.
As soon as he opened it, a bloodied, shivering Anton fell inside. He had thick slashes down his face and arms, blood coating every inch of his exposed skin, and he smelled pretty damn good.
Usually, werewolves smelled like wet dog, but… that… was good.
“If you take a bite out of me, I swear to God I’m never speaking to you again.” Anton gritted his teeth and whined in pain as one of the scratches healed over before his eyes. “Fuc- uh, shi- uh, dammit!”
Viago swallowed, fighting back the urge to grab, bite, taste, kill - kill - KILL, shuddered, and said, “Tell me how to help you.”
“I’m bleeding all over your carpet, you idiot, get some towels.” Anton threw back his head and howled as one of the thicker cuts closed up.
Viago got some towels.
“There were these tigers-” Anton sniffed, holding a towel to the thickest cut on his forehead, “And the police- they- they- so we had to get back at them, obviously. But the tigers were scared and the police were angry-”
He bit off a sob and lapsed into silence.
Viago was sure that whatever had happened would be in the paper the next morning, so he patted Anton on the shoulder and went to find Deacon. It was probably best that he left Anton to it.
Things… went downhill from there.
Petyr got out. Petyr, being notorious for his absolute lack of self-control and love of tasty things, caused an Incident.
(Anton was not happy about nearly being murdered by a marauding nosferatu, and he fled the house, vowing to never speak to them again.)
Viago was mainly just annoyed by the blood stains in the carpet.
Chapter 10: Kaikoura, 1978
Photography had become quite the ‘in thing’ in Wellington over the previous few decades. It was a problem, of course, because the vampires only showed up in photos taken by some cameras, so they had to avoid photos taken by people at all costs.
There had been a rather unfortunate incident with a pair of tourists, a Polaroid camera and the Wellington waterfront, but those bodies had been fairly well hidden and they’d all gotten a snack out of it, so why did it matter?
That didn’t stop the flatmates from getting a camera, of course. They got two - one that could take photos of them and one that could not. There was a certain joy in holding up household objects and taking photos of them - so it looked like they were being held up by nothing at all.
They’d even managed to convince several amateur ghost hunters that ghosts were real and could levitate things.
Ghosts were, of course, real - but they didn’t need to know that.
What they did decide to do near Christmas that year was to go on holiday.
To cause some trouble.
Generally speaking, obviously, because their mere existence on the planet did cause trouble for a lot of police officers, doctors and grieving widows, but that was just a biology thing.
This trouble… was not.
They didn’t exactly start out looking for trouble. They started out looking for a holiday, and then decided to cause said trouble after that.
Here’s how it all went down.
Kaikoura was well known for its abundance of whales. Even though there wasn’t a big tourist thing around it at that time in its history, the whales were still there. There were also… other… big things that lived in the water with the whales.
Less ‘giant aquatic mammals’ and more ‘H.P Lovecraft would have a field day’.
Yeah, mythical creatures didn’t just exist on land. There were giant tentacle monsters living in the ocean and they had a lot to say. They seemed to really like Kaikoura, so they tended to congregate around there.
The boys, minus Petyr, decided to take the overnight train to Kaikoura for Christmas and hang out with the ‘whales’. Christmas was the sort of time when they would have hung out with the werewolves - because they weren’t actually that bad once you go to know them - but they still weren’t on speaking terms.
Werewolves didn’t get over grudges very easily.
For people whose natural element is on dry land, swimming without the need to come up for air is a little bit strange. It takes some getting used to.
Viago had spent a fair amount of time in London swimming around in the filthy water of the Thames - but the clean, shimmering waters of Kaikoura were a new world entirely.
It felt great.
One of the… creatures (because ‘giant squid’ didn’t seem to encompass the otherworldly, godlike dimensions of the beasts properly), called Kahurangi, brushed a tentacle through Viago’s hair.
It thought (because it couldn’t speak vocally, so it communicated via telepathy) You are satisfied, yes?
Satisfied with my life? I suppose. Deacon and Vladislav are good flatmates and Petyr’s good too when he’s trying not to kill everyone.
Not satisfied in that way. The problem with a telepathic link with an millennia-old creature was that they weren’t super great at conveying some things with words. Kahurangi sent across a collection of feelings and memories - warmth, undulating skin, and -
WHY does everyone care so much about my sex life?! If Viago wasn’t still underwater, he probably would have yelped out loud. You, Vladislav, Deacon doesn’t care but that’s because he only cares about himself - You are millions of years old, why are you wondering about whether or not I’m getting laid?
You are an abnormal creature, like Kahurangi. It is Kahurangi’s duty to take care of you.
If Viago didn’t know better, he’d swear that the giant tentacle creature was deliberately trying to wind him up. And ‘taking care of me’ means that you must ask about my love life?
Kahurangi chortled. It wasn’t a verbal chortle, but it was very obvious in the shaking of its tentacles. Yes. Kahurangi can always conjure a sea maiden for you, if you prefer? At least one of them owes Kahurangi a favour.
No. No. No. Viago made the mistake of looking away from Kahurangi, just for a moment, and saw Vladislav… fully engrossed… with his creature, a smaller bird-beaked one called Manaia. For the love of - Is this a regular thing?
Manaia doesn’t get much of a chance to be with people of your kind. Kahurangi thought, placidly. It is exciting for it and for your friend. Would you like the same experience?
The tentacle waving around in his hair stopped for a moment and then started moving vigorously downwards. No! No. No. No. You’ll have to get Vladislav for that. Or Deacon.
Kahurangi sighed, and stopped moving. The sigh, once again, wasn’t an audible thing, but it was very obvious telepathically. Every time you come to Kahurangi you never take Kahurangi up on its offer.
Believe it or not, not every vampire wants to try the tentacle thing.
Shame. Do werewolves? Kahurangi has not had a werewolf.
Werewolves cannot breath underwater. Or, at least Viago was fairly sure they couldn’t. He’d never had the chance to find out.
That is a shame. Kahurangi repeated.
Anyway, how are things for you? How are the humans? Humans try to get us all of the time, and we look like them.
Humans hunt the - Then Kahurangi said a word that probably meant ‘whale’ in its own language, but translated across as ‘big round warm thing’. It is unfortunate. The [WHALE] are nice to Kahurangi.
I like the whales too. Do the humans ever see you?
They used to see Kahurangi and call Kahurangi ‘taniwha’. Kahurangi chortled again. They were never to know that taniwha were real and Kahurangi was not one of them. That must have been many whiles ago.
What do you do now?
Kahurangi opened its gaping maw, revealing a mouth full of large, pointy teeth. If the humans get too close, Kahurangi eats them.
That was, Viago thought with a shiver, quite enough of that.
Later, once Vladislav had finished his… forays... into the underwater realm, they rejoined each other on the beach. They were both soaked through, and in the distance, Viago could just see Kahurangi’s tentacles waving about above the water’s surface.
Deacon was still nowhere to be found.
“Where’d you last see Deacon, Vlad?” Viago looked mournfully at his shoes, which had somehow become totally filled with sand while he had been underwater.
“He was with Awhina last time I saw him.”
Deacon arrived back within the hour, sprinting madly along the beach. “Hey guys, I think I got the army after me! Might be a good idea if we run!”
And that was one of the reasons why they never went on holiday.
It turned out that Awhina - the tentacled creatures’ answer to a trickster god - had, once again, convinced Deacon to cause some trouble. Those of Kaikoura were a paranoid bunch, and were easily frightened by mysterious lights floating in the sky around December in 1978.
Some thought it was aliens, others thought it was the government, but no-one had any idea that it was just a giggling vampire with a couple of torches.
The Kaikoura lights are real!
Then, of course, there was the time with the orgy and the blood - and that was a story that was better left to the imagination.
Deacon would eventually swear black and blue that it was the fault of the werewolves.
Viago thought it was the fault of the satyrs.
Vladislav didn’t care. Orgies were his thing.
The thing about werewolves and other such similar supernatural creatures is that they go wild on a full moon.
A combination of the full moon, an aphrodisiac drug sprinkled amongst the human population of Wellington, and the once-in-a-blue-moon satyr fertile season combined to create an event that no supe in Wellington would ever be able to forget.
Vampires, of course, didn’t have a fertile season, and were hardly ruled by the full moon, but the flatmates had run into the drug on the neck of one of their victims, and everything had gone to hell from there.
It had been glorious.
And so, so bloody.
Viago stumbled home on the third day, stinking of blood, mud, and other horrifying things. Fortunately, some forward-thinking members of the Wellington paranormal community had spread a story that there was a new illness ravaging their city, so any abnormal behaviour by the supes would hoping be placed under that category.
Viago didn’t care.
It was much unlike him but his head was too foggy, too heady, too punch-drunk. He’d had so much that night and yet he wanted more.
He’d barely gotten his key in the lock when the door swung open. Vladislav was standing behind it, shirtless and bloody, with his hair all akimbo.
It was a sight for sore eyes.
The way that he was staring at Viago - it was like he wanted to -
And Viago wanted to as well - could feel it like a heartbeat under his skin - but he couldn’t. Not with his friend. If he had one line, that was it.
“You smell like wolf.” Vladislav rasped.
“I know.” Viago pushed past him, ignoring the way that his nerves ignited as soon as he touched his friend. “Don’t remind me.”
He was exhausted, physically - it felt like he could get in his coffin and sleep for a week - but he still couldn’t stop the needing.
Aphrodisiacs were a bitch.
He sidestepped the puddles of blood in the living room, and curled up on the couch. Even without vampire hearing he was sure he’d be able to hear the screaming and groaning from the other side of the house.
“Deacon?” He asked, cracking one eye open to peer at Vladislav.
The older vampire was pacing, nails biting into his palms. He didn’t looked happy. “Yes. He brought a group of university students here.”
Apathetically, Viago wondered how many bodies they’d have to clear up in the morning. He didn’t really care, but it was something to think about. “How many?”
“Five? Eight? I don’t care.”
“There’s no need to be so snippy with me. We’re both going through the same thing.”
Vladislav collapsed onto the end of the couch and bit his lip so hard he drew more blood. “We should fuck.”
Well. That was quite the sentence. “That’s the bloodlust talking, Vlad. Don’t let it consume you.”
The other vampire eyed him, one eyebrow raised. “You arrive here smelling like you have eaten an entire pack of wolves and you are telling me not to be ‘consumed’?”
“Well… that’s basically because I did.”
Vladislav groaned. It was simultaneously horrifying and arousing. “I can’t believe everyone thinks you are the one who is repressed.”
Speaking of… “Why are you not taking part in Deacon’s orgy?”
“I was.” Vladislav shrugged, suddenly looking a bit bashful. “But you were not here and the city is falling apart - so I was. Worried.”
That was the most erotic thing Viago had heard all day. It was like the bloodlust was suddenly back, and surging through his veins. He swallowed. “You worried about me?”
“Even though you clean too much, I don’t actively hate you.”
It was the nicest thing Viago had heard from him in over 200 years.
Then Vladislav grinned, beatifically, and licked the blood off his lower lip. “Now that I have given you a compliment, can we fuck?”
It wasn’t like it was a bad idea. It certainly beat going back to his room and touching himself until the aphrodisiac wore off. “You’re washing the blood off the floor when this breaks.”
“I will wash the blood off everything when this breaks.” Vladislav purred, and then pulled him into a kiss.
Something really could be said about the stamina of century-old vampires.
The invention of the internet was the worst.
It had been floating around for a few years by the mid-1990s, but it really became a bane of their lives in about 1997.
Vampire hunters were thoroughly entrenched within the internet. They had all the information they needed, all the historical researched they craved with the touch of a button.
The vampires, however, hated the internet.
Vladislav, having been gifted a computer by one of his thralls, had spent approximately ten minutes trying to set the thing up before throwing it through a window and crushing a passerby on the footpath below.
The resulting bloodbath had been fantastic, and very delicious, but they still didn’t have a computer.
Which in the end they didn’t even really need, because Vladislav managed to order an ancient painting of himself - from Europe - by a few well-placed phone calls and a lot of coercion.
He wanted to put it up in the main hall.
Viago and Deacon (and to an extent, Petyr) vehemently disagreed.
(Petyr didn’t really say anything when Viago asked. He just growled and bit straight through a chicken’s neck.)
“Vlad, dear, you know I appreciate your elegant visage.” Viago said, because he did - to a point, “But we can’t just have you up there. It’d be uneven. Inelegant.”
“An ego-trip.” Deacon chimed in, and then caught a rat from underneath the dining table with his bare fangs. “For you. And you don’t need it.”
“It’s not an ego-trip.”
“What is it then?” Deacon straightened up and glared at the painting again. “A nice little sojourn down memory lane?”
“Partially.” Vladislav straightened the painting and looked it up and down with a critical eye. “What do you think, Vi? Straight enough for you?”
“...mmmmm. Yes. I suppose.”
The painting wasn’t the worst thing in the world. It could have been worse. At least Vladislav wasn’t ugly. His current human thrall was, and Viago supposed it was fortunate that the painting wasn’t of him.
“Somebody’s not straight-” Deacon bit off his remark when Viago glared at him. “Touchy, touchy.”
“This is perfect.” Vladislav grimaced, in an eerie replication of his face on the painting. “The Halloween guests will love it.”
For it was, of course, Halloween.
The vampires enjoyed Halloween. It was the one time they could go out and be themselves in the city, without having to go through the rigmarole of glamouring any human that saw them eating people.
It was good, clean fun.
“What is your costume this year, Deacon?” Viago asked, primly. He, of course, had already picked his out.
“A ghost.” Deacon pulled a sheet off one of the settees. It had a large blood stain in the middle of it and looked fairly musty. “It is irony, no?”
“How is it… Never mind. Vladislav?”
“I am going to be - this. ” Vladislav pulled a mask out of a nearby cupboard. It was antique, leather, and probably rat-shaped. It was also utterly horrifying.
“What… is that?” Viago gasped, both disgusted and horrified in equal measures.
“Maybe a dog?” Deacon said, tilting his head back and forth. “A mouse?”
“It is a vole.” Vladislav replied. “I’m going to be a vole. Actually, Viago?”
“Yes?” It thoroughly annoyed him that his heart still twinged a little at Vladislav’s voice. Disgusting, disgusting aphrodisiacs. Never again.
“Shall we have a wager? If I manage to seduce someone while still wearing the vole mask, you will do my dishes for a month? If I don’t, I’ll do yours?”
“No. Never.” Viago wasn’t an idiot. Vladislav’s powers of seduction could surpass any animal mask.
“Hmph. Deacon? Want a wager?”
“No.” Deacon replied. “I want to know what Viago’s costume is going to be.”
He’d thought about it for ages, and then sewed his own. He’d gotten the sewing machine out and everything, just to make it look right. Viago was very proud of it. “I’m going to be Dracula. From Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 film. The vampire, Dracula. Isn’t that cool?”
“Ugh.” Deacon said, and pelted him with his sheet. “You’re going to be a vampire? You can’t be a vampire. Being yourself isn’t cool. Ugh!”
He, respectfully, disagreed.
(And his costume was fantastic. Even Deacon had to agree with that.)
chapter is inspired by this pic
happy halloween yall
Chapter 13: Wellington, 1999-2000
The start of the new millennium and some personal revelations.
It was a relatively calm night in Wellington - the sky a little grey but not too bad, with some faint stars twinkling through the lumps of cloud cover.
Vladislav and Viago were sitting on a holey blanket on the grass at the top of Mt Vic. Deacon was… somewhere… on the hill, but not within earshot.
The pair were surrounded by other people, mostly humans, though there were definitely a handful of werewolves around, judging by the smell.
The breeze was just strong enough that it blew away the worst of the human stink - they still smelled good, of course, but not to the point where it was any kind of threat to them or their feeding urges.
It was nearly midnight, December 31 1999. Soon it would be the year 2000.
“If the world does end,” Viago speculated, staring up at the stars with a gentle happiness, “Do you think we’d die alongside the humans?”
“What the fuck are you talking about?” Vladislav asked, but there wasn’t any kind of rage in it. He felt quite placid too, a little mollified.
“That builder - you know, the human one with the crucifix protection - he was going on and on about it yesterday evening while he was fixing the molding in the kitchen. You probably didn’t hear because you were with that nice young lady at the time.”
“Mmmm.” Vladislav mmmed, “Probably. Why is the world ending?”
“The humans think their computers will all break and it will destroy the world.” Viago said, though he didn’t really understand what he was saying at all.
“We are not going to die anyway.” Vladislav sighed, contentedly, and lay back on the rug. “Their computers breaking isn’t going to kill us.”
“You are probably right, Vlad.” Viago said, and lay down next to him.
“I usually am.”
Somewhere, in the distance, there was a scream.
“Deacon?” Viago asked, not really in the mood to care.
“Deacon.” Vladislav confirmed.
“He really should be more careful.”
“You know the humans,” Vladislav said, “They’ll find the body, and they’ll be like ‘how’d a bear get up onto Mt Victoria and also why is this body completely drained of all its blood-’ and do nothing about it. Humans only see what they want to see. Don’t worry about it.”
“Mhmmm.” Viago replied, though he wasn’t convinced.
The humans started yelling, oddly in unison, counting down from ten. Joyful, and excited, they were projecting their emotions out to the entire city. It was nearly midnight, nearly a new millennium. The vampires had both lived a long time, but they’d never seen a millennium tick over before.
“Do you think we will still be around at the start of the next millennium?” Viago asked, quietly, a little pensively in the dark.
“Obviously.” Vladislav looked over at him, eyes glittering in the dark.
“Five!” The humans around them yelled, almost drowning out the conversation.
“A new life.” Viago sighed, because he was still a little bit of a romantic at heart, even then.
“A new death,” Vladislav said, and snickered, even though the joke didn’t really make much sense.
“Three!” The crowd chanted, the excitement pulsing around them growing stronger and stronger. They all smelled so good - it was almost a feverish, heady excitement.
Viago hadn’t felt anything like it in the world before, and he’d lived for a long, long time. “Will… you… be around at the start of the next millennium? With me- with us?”
“I don’t have plans to die anytime soon.” Vladislav replied, a little huskily, and looked over at Viago with a fanged grin.
And around them, as the night exploded with bursts of fireworks, and the humans all cheered - Viago didn’t know what possessed him, but he felt so contented, and warm, and right, so he leaned over, steeled himself, and kissed Vlad.
And everything, for a moment, felt very, very right.
I updated this over a year ago.
thanks to the fam on r/wellington who helped me write this one god bless