Part One Of New Fic (Strangers on the Hellmouth aka SOTH!Verse)
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Jun. 17th, 2011 | 06:16 am
location: United States, Wisconsin, Sheboygan
A young demoness sat watching her favorite human, William, with a fond look on her small face. He was talking in whispers to the girl's mother, the two of them wearing grim looks. Something was wrong, the little girl knew this instinctively, but was unsure exactly what. She had never seen the look of sadness and remorse on her mother's face before, and had never seen William not have a smile on his face.
"No. Mother, no. Don't make me do this. Don't leave me!" Aerithika Romani moaned in her sleep, waking her mentor and father, Demetri Black, in the other room. "I need you, Mother. Don't go."
Demetri strode into the room, and starting shaking the young demoness awake. Growling, he said, "You will wake up this instant and stop your damn noises, girl. I'm trying to sleep and you are making it damn impossible." "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, don't hurt me," Aerithika sobbed, still half asleep.
Demetri sighed, running his hands through his ebony hair. Wrapping the younger demon in his arms he whispered, "I'm not going to hurt you, Aerithika. You're my daughter, you should know that. I'm just cranky. You know how I get when I'm half asleep." He shook his head, cursing under his breath at his show of 'weakness' where it came to the girl. “What set you off this time, Aerithika?” he asked, having been woken up by his daughter’s dreams more than once over the last twenty years.
“I’m not sure,” she replied, hanging her head a bit, her crimson locks obscuring her face. “I think it’s because of what time of year it is.”
Demetri nodded, thinking back on all the years the girl had traveled with him. The dreams always came around this time of year. He grabbed her chin, “Child, it isn’t your fault. She chose to die; nothing you could have done would have stopped it. You have no reason to feel guilty. You were a child; if anyone is to blame it was her.”
Aerithika nodded, “Of course, Father.”
Aerithika’s green eyes filled with tears as her mother’s body disappeared from in front of her. Her fingers went numb and dropped the blood covered stake that she had been holding to the ground. From as far back as she could remember, her mother had been teaching her to use the weapon. “Practice” she had called it, for when she faced vampires. Every day had been the same thing, sparring with her mother and the young Watcher, William, to hone her skills, practice with weapons of all types, and especially proper staking technique. Her mother had always been her “target”, as the stake wouldn’t kill her, wouldn’t kill a Khanarin, or so Aerithika had been led to believe.
Today was special; her mother had told her again and again from the moment she had awoken. They had gone into the small village they lived near, and had a meeting with William, whom Aerithika was feeling more drawn to as the days passed. Then they went hunting, feasting on deer and rabbits. They had talked about Athens, about going there when Aerithika was a bit older, a conversation that had been a daily occurrence as far as Aerithika could remember. Her mother had led her to a small clearing, and handed her the stake, unshed tears gleaming in her eyes.
“It’s time to practice,” her mother said softly, in barely a whisper.
Aerithika nodded, though was puzzled why William wasn’t joining them as was usual. Taking the stake in hand, Aerithika lunged at her mother, her aim true as it plunged into her mother’s heart. Her eyes widened as her mother started to fade away, a pool of blood forming where she had been standing.
Aerithika glared at the young vampire in front of her, watching in disgust as he toyed with the human in his grasp. “Just finish him already, Octavious,” she growled. “We don’t have time for your games.”
Octavious smirked, continuing to toy with his human prize, fangs extended. “Make me,” he growled, taking another sip from the dying form.
A low growl was heard as Demetri stormed over to them, “we don’t have time for this, boy. You will do as we say or I will end you myself.”
Octavious glared at the elder demon, and drained the body he was holding. “You two act like what I’m doing is wrong. We’re demons, we should act like it.”
Demetri grabbed the young vampire by the throat, “Acting like demons is fine as long as you don’t draw attention to yourself. We’ve had hunters crawling all over us because of your actions in Rome, you fool. I all for desecrating holy sites like the next demon, but not when there’s a Slayer around. You almost got us killed, you imbecile.”
Aerithika sighed, wanting nothing more than to leave this area, and the danger that was surrounding them. “You will listen to us, boy,” she hissed, “or I’ll make you beg to be staked.”
Octavious smirked evilly. “I’d really like to see you try.”
Aerithika watched the young demon in front of her, trying not to feel bitterness every time she gazed upon the girl. The child wasn’t to blame for what had occurred, wasn’t to blame for her conception that blame was all on her father. Aerithika sighed, wishing that she could love the girl as much as she loved her siblings, but part of her just couldn’t.
The child was the result of a violation, an act of revenge for a crime that Aerithika hadn’t known she was guilty of. Octavious’ parting gift before he left for parts unknown. How was Aerithika to know that Aurelia had been Octavious’ mate? How was she to know that he had been holding a grudge against her the whole time she had trained him and honed him into the monster he had become?
The girl, her daughter Mariah, turned to face her, her emerald eyes shining with glee as she gazed on her mother’s face. Aerithika forced herself to return the happy look, even though the child broke her heart.
Aerithika grinned at the man in front of her, watching him as he sparred with his sisters. She longed for more than from him than the friendship they shared, but knew it was impossible. He was human after all, a Watcher, and brother of the Slayer. But he called to her in a way she had only felt once before, when she was too young to understand what she was feeling. And just like then, the honey blonde object of her attention was named William. He even had the same blue eyes that she remembered drawing her in as a child.
Shaking her head, she giggled as he fell to the ground. “You’ll never survive out in the wild if you keep landing on your backside,” she said softly when he approached.
“I was distracted,” he said softly, his voice like silk, “distracted by your beauty, my lady.”
“Shame, shame, William, you should know better. Perhaps I should go elsewhere so you don’t get eaten up?”
“Ah, but who then will protect you? You’d be all alone, where some fiend from the pits could devour you. No, I shall try my best to overcome my wayward mind. Besides, I do not believe I could let you go. I find myself drawn to you. I do believe I would follow you if you left me, and then who would watch over my sisters and father?”
Aerithika smiled, nodding her head in defeat, “You win, William, for now at the very least.”
He grinned back, bowing before her before returning to his practice.
Aerithika smiled contentedly, her stomach full of blood, and her tension worked out from the demons she had just fought. With a smile she made her way back to the home she shared with her beloved William and their surrogate daughter, Isabel, the 11 year old Slayer. In her over 130 years of existence she had never felt as content as she did at that moment.
The minute she neared her home she knew something was wrong. The stench of blood and death filled her sensitive nostrils. She ran to the door, yanking it open to find a scene of death and destruction. Blood and other bodily fluids covered the floor as did the mangled corpse of Isabel. Another body was in the corner, too badly damaged to be recognized, but she knew the scent. It was her William, her husband. Blood tears started flowing down her face; they should have been safe here.
She looked around the carnage, trying to find some clue to what had happened to her family. Her eyes were drawn to the far wall. On it, written in the blood of her dear ones was a message from their killer.
“Dear Aerithika, how far you have fallen, these flesh bags died too quickly. You took from me what was mine, so I have done likewise. Octavious”
Rage overcame Aerithika, and she stormed out of the building, her anger setting it ablaze.
Pain, pain all-encompassing surrounded her. Aerithika groaned, yanking at the chains that bound her tightly. She could tell they we enchanted, otherwise she would have snapped them. She tried to remember where she was, but only fleeting images filled her mind. Death, so much death, at her hands, so many lives ended. How many bodies had fallen to her rage? How many innocents had she killed?
A figure stood in the darkness, just out of her line of sight. She knew she should know who it was, but the agony, both physical and mental, was overwhelming her. She looked closer, and saw a pair of crimson eyes watching her sadly.
“Demetri,” she said in a hoarse whisper.
“Oh, Aerithika, what did you do?” her father said, walking closer towards her bound form.
“I took vengeance,” she sobbed, the memories hitting her harder than any physical damage she had ever received. “He killed them, killed my family. She was only 11, Father, a child, with her life in front of her.”
Demetri nodded grimly, closing his eyes in pity at the wretched being his daughter had become. A monster in every respect, that which he had tried molding her into when she was young. He knew he should be rejoicing in the carnage she had caused over the last half century, but it broke his heart. That being, that force of rage and destruction that had swathed a path of death across the face of the world, was his little girl. She was better than what she had become, she always had been, and being the beast wasn’t in her nature.
His blood boiled with rage that she had to become so heartless, that she had become what he himself had once been, centuries before her birth. That she had been living with the enemy, a Watcher and a Slayer should be inexcusable, but it was who she was. That their deaths had created the hollow shell of a woman in front of him filled him with dread. She was what he had wanted, what he had trained her to be a heartless killing force. But in becoming so she had lost what she was, the pureness that for some reason had never gone away. Not until she had her world ripped away from her that is.
There was a name for her, a name he heard in whispers over the years, “The Red Death”. Oh how he had longed to meet that glorious force of darkness he had heard such tales of. He had searched her out, only to watch in dismay as his daughter brought a piece of hell unto the world.
He had acquired the help of his other children to subdue her, and had had her brought to this place, to heal, to stop the madness that had overtaken her. That had been four months earlier, and he had come to her daily, to see if there was any glimmer of recognition in her eyes. This had been the first time she had even noticed he was there, and he knew that she was far from healed.