by dodyskin

Vaughan never made it out of the alley.

Darla lunged, she was stronger than he could have believed.

Alain died of cold before they could get him dry.

Sean seemed okay at first, but his eyes never opened.

Tiny, Beacan was so tiny, and blue. He was alone in the hotel and the sudden silence sent him running from the basement. They don't know what causes it. Sometimes they just stop.

Keary, at six, was a ball of energy and he never stopped fighting, struggling; he disappeared for days at a time by ten. Tracking him was no use. By fourteen he could smell the drink on him and by sixteen hops was drowned by the acrid tin-stink of powder. And he was walking out the door shouting, "I'll not be back." And he wasn't. The stake missed twice he was shaking so much.

Carden waited in his room and then wandered the hotel, pants wet and getting thinner. No one came back from patrol and there were no neighbours to hear him, but he stayed inside, like he was told. A good boy.

At seven, Colin got sick, ran with him through the sewers, faster than an ambulance; but by the time he was at the hospital it was done, and he heard the heart stop as he burst through the door. They tried to save him. No way he could have known. He should have known.

At eleven Teague was quiet, so quiet in his room, writing out his stories. My dad and the monsters, and the teachers were amazed by his careful, flowing script. They made books together, spent hours together drawing and writing and binding and bonding. So quiet, calm, so calm that he never thought to scream when the...

Ronan had to learn, he had to. He'd tried to keep him out of it but the monsters just kept coming. First with a wooden sword and fists, just to let him get the feel of it. He got better, and better, and then they came to take him. Traded before he was born, to a hell god in a card game in 1829.

He knew better than to go into the weapons cabinet but it didn't matter how tight they locked it up, Caedmon always found a way in. They found him in time; the bolt from the crossbow shattered his knee and he lost so much blood. They had to go away. Too many questions at the hospital and the leg just got worse. He could smell the rot. It had to come off.

Brice never quite came back from college. He'd call, every now and again, but there was no time for visits any more. Too many explanations. No time. Brice forgot, carefully. Drusilla didn't.

Colm didn't believe it. Kept asking what he did wrong, how he could fix it. Angelus snapped his neck by accident, pulling his head back too quickly as he thrust.

"You're disgusting!" Ciaran slammed the door in his face, again, and he trudged back to the dinner table and cleared up the blood and milk, spilled from tumblers and mixing into clotty mess. He just left.

Slow, not stupid, just a late developer and crying in his room. Cassidy drifted through school. Fights, always fights, and endless calls from the teachers. Lies, he tells lies, they said. Fantastic tales of vampires, and he doesn't have any friends. The lies stopped being true and the last time left him lying motionless. He was fourteen; the other driver survived.

Fearghais just disappeared. Some kind of spell, maybe, and he was no more. Just the memories and they searched together for a year. The others fell away. He never stopped, even when he saw the photographs.

Scattering the ashes. He kept meaning to but he couldn't bring himself to do it. So old now; three hundred and thirty and finally got the damn sky cars.

And the terror is like a huge clump of flesh, choking his throat from the inside out. Terror scrapes over his voice box and keeps the joy rammed down in his belly. He takes his jacket from Fred and wraps Connor up safe.


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