Fandom: Due South; Wizard!Verse
Characters: Guy Laurent, Renfield Turnbull
Timeline: Nipawin era.
Summary: Erin requested I write Vampire!Guy. I have done so. Renfield comes to Guy's rescue, when Guy has temporarily run out of willing necks to bite.
He hides his fear well, behind a mask of stoicism and scrutiny.
I smell it on him anyway.
Fear is a cloying scent; rich beyond comfort. Some of my kind are nearly addicted to it, but there are fewer than one might suspect. I, for one, cannot stand the scent. At least, not in this particular permutation -- like this, it smells almost sickly; too strong, tripping my own desire for fight or flight. There are other fears -- the thrilling fears, where there is a type of arousal, a type of excitement. But not this fear. This is true fear, and I suppose that I understand why.
He clutches his wand in his right hand, somehow wielding it as though he is not clinging to it. The urge to reassure, to soothe, is as much to decrease the smell of fear as it is a genuine desire in and of itself. I am weak, and shaky; my Drew has been fed on too recently for me to dare risk feeding again. And the Auror's sister, beautiful Myra, is not here. Not that Renfield will know of that; at least, not from me. Ah well. I have brought her ire onto myself, though she could not know of my... relative innocence in it.
I shall be much more careful with whom I flirt, from now on. I am not certain when a wizard's sister decided I am hers, but I like being hers enough that passing distractions of fancy are a much easier sacrifice than her company.
It leaves me very few options. I am too weak to go out, and I am certainly too weak to hunt animals. I am uncertain as to how I allowed myself to fall into such a state. I rarely let myself. It's dangerous, for one; I can feel the pull and desperation in my veins, in my mind, though it will be a few more hours before it becomes so overwhelming that I lose myself and become a danger.
This was why I called Renfield here.
Oh, Mountie. He is so touchingly devoted to this town, and though it does not make me proud, I know I can count on the fact that he would sacrifice a pint now rather than risk a frenzy on my part that may end the life of one of those under his protection.
I prefer nipping to glutting anyway. Too much and it makes me feel lazy, dormant, even ill.
I have only twice before fed on those of his kind. Once a witch, young and rebellious, trying to buck her parents' authority and who was willing to, as we shall say, slum it with a vampire. Once a wizard. I gorged myself on him, felt him die against the tree I pinned him against. It is difficult for a wizard to harm me, but not impossible, and I felt the damage he had done for a number of days afterwards. Unfortunately, the young vampire -- younger than I, so very new and innocent -- that had been the trophy to his arrogance could not say the same.
There was only one victim that night, and it was not the wizard.
However, I have no desire to turn this particular wizard into one.
Renfield twitches, tense and waiting for some sort of instruction. Perhaps he thinks I mean to seduce him -- it is amazing what strange rumors fly, even amongst wizards, about us. But nothing, really, could be further from the truth -- the myths you hear, I assure you, are both true and not. Whether or not feeding becomes arousing is purely upon the whims and emotions of the participants, not by any means a guarantee, and so it is true that it can be a very sexually charged experience. But it is not true that it is always so, and I am very sexually uninterested in Renfield Turnbull.
That is not to say he isn't lovely, in his own way, but it is the loveliness that comes with a purity of purpose, a determination to go against the grain. Even were he not the brother of the woman I am very sexually interested in, I think that he would summon up this feeling of tenderness and protectiveness. There is always something beautiful about ferocity, even schooled ferocity, especially when channeled into decency rather than destruction. And, for my own part, I would stand guard over that.
I don't instruct, but I do try harder not to breathe when I step into his space; even without touching, I can feel every inch of him coiled for motion, fighting or fleeing, though knowing Renfield, it would be fighting. He is not the type to flee. I am tempted to speak; to reassure aloud, but I already know that he would not believe it. He is not so foolish as most wizards; not so caught up in himself that he believes all of the rumors, but this is a man who most assuredly is not used to being on the side of the prey, in the hunter and prey equation, and I am quite certain that...
I am almost, somehow, sad when the realization hits me. He is not just doing this to keep his town safe. Even with a mask of stoicism, even with that wariness, even with that fear, there is something else there, too, though quieter than the rest.
Following on the heels of sadness is warmth, and for a moment, I almost smile.
Perceptive beast. I can smell the fear ease a little. One must wonder if some wizards do have empathy. We, my kind, do. Both self-defense and tool.
I finally put my hands on his shoulders -- the least threatening place I can possibly think of -- and grin. With my fangs. Hiding the truth of them seems somehow dishonest. "I promise, mon ami, the Red Cross needles hurt worse." It is a little joke, but perhaps enough.
Renfield stares at me, and he is still wired, like some wild thing caught on the wrong side of that equation, but after a moment, he huffs a soft breath out through his nose. "The Red Cross has a better purpose."
"I'm hurt," I answer, giving his shoulders a gentle squeeze and grinning wider. "You would have me starve?"
He wrinkles his nose. "I am here, aren't I?"
"You are." I tug the sleeve of his shirt. "You may want to unbutton that. I shall go don my nurse's garb."
I let him go, and he actually stares at me for a long moment before laughing. A small laugh, startled from him; it gives me another rush of warm affection, and finally that scent of fear is dissipating, though I doubt it will disappear entirely. Even so, I suppose I would humiliate myself to put him more at ease, even as I am starving. But I don't own a nurse's outfit. Though, my toga might serve for mortification purposes, if need be.
He unbuttons his uniform shirt, though he only takes it half off, leaving it hang behind his back. I do not press my luck by asking him to take off his gunbelt, though I am not entirely certain he will be conscious at the end of this. Most people aren't at the first feeding -- they build resistance with repeated feedings to the venom that makes it a bearable, sometimes even pleasant affair. Enough to stay awake, anyway, if perhaps drifty and high. But the first time, despite not losing enough blood to lose consciousness, usually puts them to sleep. Perhaps, though, it is different for a wizard -- I have not experimented enough to know.
It appears silence is the enemy of comfort. There is fear again. This time, I keep myself carefully light. "Then again, maybe not -- I overstarched last time, it itched for a month."
I so rarely talk to this degree, but as I have heard this Auror say before -- needs must.
"Were that the truth, Guy Laurent, I am sorry not to have seen it." Renfield relaxes fractionally again, eying me. His wand is still in hand. I suppose it is a natural precaution; once I move in, once I bite, it would be far harder to dislodge me and bare fists wouldn't do it, even if my condition is weakened at the moment.
"Hm. Next time, maybe." I step in again and though every instinct I have makes me want to reach for his neck with my hand, to hold him still, I again settle my hands at his shoulders and lean in, as though this is quite simply business -- and it is -- and pause a moment there. There is that crackle of tension again, but I doubt there is any way to avoid that. "I need a step ladder."
He is not that much taller than me, but I can hear him roll his eyes in exasperation before he leans his head down a little. "This will not be a regular enough occurrence to invest in one."
"No," I agree, and I do not wait any longer. It's quite easy to find the point where I want to bite, and I wince in empathy as my teeth slide into his neck.
The reaction is not unexpected; even conversation, even comfort, even intention doesn't stop him from trying to jerk away. It is that quick, that I have the side of his head in my opposite hand, holding him in a grip I doubt he has ever experienced before, and I feel the tip of his wand dig into the back of my own neck.
He holds me at wand point; I taste his blood in my mouth.
I am the one who gives in first. Just the softest sort of pull, gentle, as gentle as I can make it; his non-dominant hand comes up and presses against my shoulder, and I ease the grip on the side of his head, mindlessly shifting my hand to rub my thumb across his temple, soothing, giving him the chance to move. He is sweating near instantly, but aside that sharp spike of terror in the air and the hard pounding of his heart, he doesn't try to jerk again. Of course, the pain is only momentary -- it goes away very quickly and though I could hurt him now, I wouldn't.
Finally, mercifully, I am satisfied that he will not tear away and end up hurting himself, and I start to feed. The air calms a little; it can be very unpleasant, when I feed too quickly. But I am not; in fact, it is almost painfully slow on my part. My body cries out for more, more quickly, the first taste enough to remind me of how famished I am. I keep it glacially slow, however.
There is still fear there, but it is fading again. Slowly, admittedly, but it is helped along by the inevitable connection that feeding brings. Not on his part, but on mine; I don't cease to be, I cannot read his thoughts, but I feel him. The current of power and the beat of his pulse. His scent, natural, under the Right Guard that he wears like a common muggle -- a rather adorable habit -- and the laundry detergent he washes his uniform in. I can smell it all; can taste it all.
The wand tip is still in the back of my neck, and I chance sliding the other arm around him, just to brace against the back of his shoulder. I am, by far, stronger than him even in this state, but I don't use that power now. I likely will have to, if he starts to drift, just to keep him upright. This would have been easier sitting, but that was too much to ask.
It is more than duty that allows this uneasy trust; it is more than hunger that brings about the almost fierce protectiveness I feel in this moment.
I think of Myra.
They taste similar, under the current of magic. But she is sharper, more exotic; he is warmer, and under all of his ferocity there is a kindness that must belong to his soul -- it does not so much have a literal taste, but I feel it there.
Myra is not without her kindness. She has it. But it is fractured, wounded, and she is all shards and vividness. Bright, but scattered; desperate to find herself. I think this is the first time she has had a chance to truly live, despite her brother's over-protectiveness, and I know what world she came from. It is not a kind one. Not to her kind. Not even, really, to itself.
I sometimes think that she must have sacrificed a great deal to keep him intact, and when the wand falls away from my neck, I do understand why. He is starting to drift; his pulse slowing down steadily, though never anywhere near a point of danger. It is not all being drugged to oblivion; some of it is trust and some of it is that warm kindness, as well. It is not the first time I have seen that innocence in him, sheltered by her from a world I often view with much disdain, but it is the closest I've gotten to it.
I am not quite done, when he gets to the point where he cannot stay on his feet; my own grip has strengthened as his knees weakened, but it's too risky to remain upright where the slightest shift might accidentally tear my teeth through the vein I am pulling from. I pull off the bite for only a moment, just long enough to get us to the floor, and then slide my teeth into the holes I already made once we are there, before more than a thin line of blood has gotten away from either of us. He is gone; asleep in my arms, warm and dead-weight, his wand sliding from his fingers to roll under my bed.
Even I know how vulnerable a wizard is without a wand. Despite the utter safety of my room, and the strength in both my senses and my limbs, I lean over him anyway, shielding him from whatever would try to take away what Myra sacrificed so much to protect; what I would sacrifice a good deal myself to protect.
She will not be happy about this. But she will at least know that I have kept guard over him.
For the moment, not the Auror or the Mountie; not even the wizard. Just Myra's Renfield. I believe I know her better in this moment than I have before, and I think I am more grateful to him for that than I am even for the rescue. Even if he will never know.