SERIES: Dead Life
| Hi Mom | House Rules |
AUTHOR: Jos Mous
DISCLAIMER: None of these characters belong to me, I'm not making any profit and so on and so forth.
RATING: PG-13, maybe R
Author's Note: I have two fairly consistent tendencies. The first and most obvious one being a tendency not to end my fics. The second, less obvious one is to go back to my unfinished fics, read them and feel this overwhelming urge to finish them all the same. Often I don't due to lack of inspiration. And sometimes, very, very rarely, I do.
So… Dead Life. What the Hell is it all about? So now a quick refresher. The series started rather dark with Sam slowly being driven insane. After all, Brooke died and dead people tend not to visit other people. Sam, however, was frequently visited by Brooke after her death. Simple reason for this being: Brooke is a vampire.
Sam went mad and got locked up in a mental ward.
Brooke sought out the help of original character Robin, who was also locked up, and got Sam out of the institution. Because, even though vampire Brooke hates all of mankind with a flaming passion, she does love Sam.
And Sam does love Brooke.
So, with the help of will-less Robin, Brooke nurtured Sam back to health and sanity.
And then the blonde turned her.
Brooke, however, has got one more hobby besides taking care of Sam. Torturing people and breaking their minds. Nicole was one of Brooke's victims. Then Nicole too was almost-but-not-quite-turned. Nicole, effectively, is now the same as Robin: a servant with little free will of her own.
But, of course, Sam and Brooke are not the only vamps in town. There is a local vampire clan, but Brooke and Sam don't belong to it. Brooke because she didn't want to be turned in the first place and therefore hates the people who turned and Sam because she loves Brooke.
So the two decided to start a little vampire clan of their own. The first addition after this decision was made was Rebecca. In life Rebecca was vain, arrogant and vastly overestimated her own intelligence. Brooke turned her anyway, since she had the strange feeling that Rebecca might make a good vampire.
This has not been proven as of yet since I stopped writing after that.
And in this new part, it's unlikely you're going to find out.
The doorbell rang in the Palace. Jane jumped at the unexpected sound. Even though Brooke hadn't shown her face ever since she had allowed Sam one last visit, Jane was still suspecting that one day the blonde might come back to resolve some unfinished business. And that her own daughter might come back with her. A quick look out the window, however, proved that the sun was shining brightly outside. Jane stood up from the couch and walked over to the front door. Opening it, she saw the figure of Sam waiting patiently. She seemed confident, with a large absence of insecurity and, at first glance, sane. Jane couldn't help but smile. Sam smiled back.
"Hi mom," Sam greeted, "Can I come in?"
"What about Brooke?" Jane asked.
"I'm not asking you to invite her in, don't worry," Sam said, "And before you ask, she's OK with me being here so don't expect any reprisals from her."
Jane still hesitated. There was one more question that had to be asked, even though she didn't want to ask it since she was afraid what the answer was going to be.
"Mom, look at me." Sam said, "I'm standing outside. The sun is shining. My eyes are not blood red. I do not have fangs. You don't have to worry. So, am I allowed to come in and catch up with my own mother?"
Jane smiled. "Of course you are, honey. Come in."
Sam smiled, stepped inside, then halted after making two steps.
"Of course," Sam said slowly, "it's a little known fact that vampires are able to withstand sun if they have enough strength. It's far more known that one can easily acquire contact lenses that apparently change the colour of one's pupil. And finally, vampires are able to retract their fangs if they want to." Sam turned around and looked at her mother, "Interesting info, don't you think?"
Jane stepped back. She had gone quite pale.
"I'm sorry mom. I should've said sooner, but… Well, you wouldn't have let me in, would you?"
"You're a vampire." Jane stated.
"Are you happy?"
Sam laughed, "Mom, you've got guts. Other people would've fled out that door by now. But yeah, I'm happy. Brooke loves me, I love Brooke."
Jane nodded, then chuckled, "Strange that I still care for your happiness."
"Your my mom, you're supposed to," Sam said simply, "Now, can we please relocate to the living room? I promise I won't bite, hurt or kidnap you or anyone else, OK?"
"Do I have a choice?"
Sam smiled. Her fangs were now visible. "Not really, no. But I'd appreciate it if I didn't have to control your mind, you know."
Inside the living room baby Mac McQueen/McPherson was trying to bite her little teeth into a small toy. Sam smiled at the sight, leaned forward and picked up the baby. Mac looked at her, dropped the toy and looked up at Sam with what one could consider a smile.
"I think she likes me," Sam said, smiling, "She's going to make a pretty young lady, won't she?"
"Oh yes," Jane agreed nervously. She wasn't liking the fact that Sam had taken an interest in Mac and she certainly didn't like the fact that Mac really did seem to like Sam.
"And when she's about fifteen years old, she'll make a pretty young vampire."
And that was exactly what Jane had feared. Brooke had taken away her daughter. And now her daughter had just declared that she was going to take her youngest daughter away. What hurt most, however, was the knowledge that she couldn't do a thing about it. The only thing she and Mike could do was move. Preferably to a different continent.
"You're not thinking of fleeing, are you?" Sam asked, putting Mac back down in her playpen, "Brooke really gets into a bad mood when people put up a struggle. Then again, she does have a lot of fun making people pay for that so I guess it all equals out in the end," The brunette made it sound as if this was one of Brooke's affectionate little habits that Sam just found irresistibly cute.
Sam walked over to the couch and sat down on it. Then she motioned for Jane to sit down as well. She did so. In a chair some distance away from Sam.
"Why are you here?" Jane asked.
"Why do you think?"
"I don't know," Jane answered, "My only vampire experience is with Brooke and she came here to take you with us and later came here to threaten us to leave you alone."
"Brooke's a bit violent sometimes, I admit," Sam said, "It's because of the way she was turned. We may not like it, but our turning determines a lot of our personality. Brooke's turning was basically a violent accident, but mine… mine was loving and, dare I say it, beautiful."
"So are you saying that you have a lovely personality?" Jane didn't manage to keep the sarcasm out of her voice.
"Oh, I have a loving personality all right. I don't like torturing for one. But if Brooke decides to tie you up, carve pieces of flesh out of you and eat them right in front of your eyes, I'll be handing her the dinner forks. For me, Brooke comes first. After that, the rest of my family and in third place the rest of the vampire race. So, if you look at it like that, I'm still evil," Sam paused, then continued in a far more serious tone, "But I am able to care for you humans. Mackenzie means a lot to me, believe it or not. She's my little sister after all and I want to be there for her, you know. And I still care for you too."
"But if Brooke decides to torture me, you're not going to stand in her way."
"No, I won't," Sam said, "I will ask her to make it as brief and as painless as possible, maybe slip you a painkiller or two and when the pain becomes too much to bear, I'll kill you."
"That's very comforting," Jane said, now openly sarcastic.
"Gee, feeling a little hostile, are we?" Sam said amused, "Can't say I blame you, of course. Hostility is better than insanity anyway."
"Sam, why are you here?" Jane asked again.
"To see how you and Mac were doing."
"Well. We're fine. But I'd appreciate it if you would leave now."
Sam nodded and stood up.
"I've talked to Brooke about you and Mike," Sam said, "She wants to see Mac on our side as well. Of course, her plan was to kill you both and just take Mac with her. I convinced her that the two of you would make better parents than a group of young vampires," The brunette was now standing very close to Jane, "I spared both your lives when I did that. I hope you won't disappoint me by mistreating Mac in any way or by inciting her against us. I'm not as good as Brooke, you know. I'm sloppy, I'll make mistakes and it'll all last a very long time. Are we clear?"
"Are you threatening me?" Jane said, not at all feeling as confident as she sounded.
"Yes, I'm threatening you. In fact, I'm trying to get you to fear us. I love you mom. I don't want to see you end up on Brooke's rack. And she's still not very happy with you putting me in a mental institution so she'll take every opportunity she can get to put you there all the same. So if you're appropriately scared of us you won't try anything stupid, we don't have to hurt you and Mac will be having a happy childhood."
"And then it'll all work out in the end?"
"For us it will," Sam said, "And if you behave yourselves you will be getting
the closest thing you can get to a happy life."
"I don't have any choice, do I?"
"No," Sam said sadly, "Unless you want to be turned."
"That's what I thought."
Sam sighed, left the living room and then the house. A few moments later Jane could see her daughter bathed in sunlight, walking over the sidewalk and apparently whistling to herself. And at that point she realised that Sam was happy. Truly happy. Not only that, she also knew that Sam would do her utmost best to make Mac happy.
Both Jane's daughters would be leading happy lives.
Yes, they would be vampires, but they would be happy.
Jane felt an unfamiliar feeling of calm come over her when she realised that she could live with that.
NOTE: Special thanks go to Alan for pointing something out to me and for handing me a very nifty phrase for me to use. I hope he doesn't mind.
Rebecca looked at the alarm clock in confusion. It was early morning and it had just woken her up. After a few moments, she realised that today was a school day and that mom insisted on her going to school. Sighing, Rebecca lay back down. She turned her head and looked into a sleeping face. The face belonged to some Asian girl about twenty years of age. She was naked and her breathing was slightly laboured because of the loss of blood. Rebecca looked down at her own body and was slightly miffed about the fact that it still was the body of a fourteen year old.
Old enough to want sex, but not developed enough to be really able to have it.
Rebecca got out of bed and gathered her clothes. It had happened one time that the girl she had taken home for a simple one-night stand had woken up before her. The scene that followed when she found out that Rebecca was still a very young teenager was one Rebecca rather forgot.
As she headed for the door she tried to remember the name of the girl now lying in her bed. She didn't manage to come up with it, however. Not that it really mattered, anyway.
Rebecca walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. The only other here was Robin, who was making herself an omelette.
"Hey Becky," the girl answered, not looking up.
"Mom and Sam up yet?"
"Hey can you do me a favour?"
"There's this girl lying in my bed right now,"
"Hey, watch your tongue! Anyway, can you drop her off somewhere?"
"Like I did with all the others you've fucked?"
"Consider it done."
"How come you're so… vocal?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, your kind doesn't exactly talk. And they certainly don't talk back."
"My Mistresses have allowed me to have a little free will of my own. That's why I'm not a braindead zombie like Nicole."
"And how far does this free will go?"
Robin thought about it for a moment. "Far enough to have thoughts of my own, but not far enough to be able to disobey my Mistresses."
"But what if you disagree with mom? What then?"
Robin shook her head. "I can't disagree with them. Their will is my will. My personal little will comes second place to that," the girl paused. "Did that make sense?"
"From your point of view, maybe."
Robin looked up from the stove. "Nicole! Breakfast!"
With rather slow motions and an expressionless look in her eyes, Nicole went into the kitchen and sat down. When Robin put some egg in front of her, she started eating it automatically.
"And how does your personal little will think about that?" Rebecca asked, indicating Nicole.
"Doesn't it… you know… sort of hurt to see one of you own kind like that?"
"Is see you're puzzled by this."
"Yeah. I just… well I just don't get you."
"Think of me as property then. I can talk and to some extent I can think, but other than that, I'm nothing more than a TV or something."
Rebecca thought about that. "No. Still doesn't help make it clearer."
Robin chuckled and started eating her breakfast. The door to kitchen opened. Rebecca and Robin looked up to see who came in, but Nicole didn't pay any attention to her surroundings. The newcomer was the Asian girl. She was still naked and looked very confused. Robin whistled appreciatively.
"Who are you?" the girl asked. "Where's Rebecca?"
"She went out," Rebecca said.
The girl's eyes unfocused some more for a moment. Then she smiled, turned around and left the kitchen.
"Jedi mind trick?" Robin said.
"Yep," Rebecca answered. "She needs to get out of here as soon as she's dressed herself."
"I'm going already," Robin said.
"You can finish your breakfast if you want."
"You say that, but I know you think the removal of that girl out of your house is a lot more important than my nutrition," Robin said. "So I find it more important as well."
Rebecca watched Robin walk of the kitchen and then, having nothing better to do, looked at Nicole. The short blonde had finished her breakfast and was now staring at nothing. On an unspoken command, Nicole stood up, walked over to Rebecca and presented her neck after which, the vampire had some breakfast as well.
Then a voice floated down from the stairs. "I did not break my mom!"
"Yes you did, Sammy."
"I did not."
Sam and Brooke entered the kitchen, arguing about something. Rebecca let Nicole go and silently ordered the girl to clean up her plate and go sit in the living room.
"Sam, think for a moment," Brooke said calmly. "Any normal person would've immediately started laying in a huge supply of holy water and looking up "Slayer" in the Yellow Pages. The fact that she just accepted it means that her spirit is gone."
"It is not!" Sam yelled, almost desperate. "I didn't do anything to her."
Brooke chuckled. "Sam, I'm the resident spirit-breaking expert here, OK? Torture doesn't have to be physical. Humans are fragile, Sammy, their minds can snap like that," she said, snapping her fingers at the last word.
"Sam, how did you feel when I died? Before I came to make you mine, I mean."
"I was in mourning, Brooke. We all were."
"Finding out in the newspaper that your stepsister, who you're secretly in love with, has been found brutally slaughtered in some obscure alley must've been pretty traumatic, right?"
"Well... sort of."
"And how do think Jane felt?"
"She couldn't have felt as bad as me."
"Maybe," Brooke conceded. "But then you suddenly disappear. How would Jane have reacted to that, so shortly after my death? Then you show up again, but your fears have driven you insane. How do you think Jane felt like when she saw that? Your mom and my dad are forced to put you in a mental institution, where you soon disappear again. Then I turn up. I, who was supposed to be dead. And I turn out to be a vampire who is willing to do anything to get you on my side. After that, you show up. You're still a little insane, but you're also hopelessly in love with me and Jane knows without a doubt that she has lost you to me forever. And last, but not least, you show up in all your vampiric glory and announce that Mac will be taken from her as well when the time is right. All that in so little time," Brooke was silent for a moment as she gauged Sam's reaction. "You'd need an army of therapists to get rid of those scars, you know."
"I understand," Sam said a little dejectedly.
"Hey, come on," Brooke said gently. "Jane is all right. Now that we know she's not going to do anything you can take care of her if you want. And when the time is right, we could turn her as well. How does that sound?"
Sam smiled sadly. "To you or to me?"
"It's not my choice Sam," Brooke said. "You know that."
"It's just… I care for her, you know. It's the way I was turned."
"I know Sam."
Brooke and Sam embraced each other, with the blonde making comforting sounds to the upset brunette. For a moment, Rebecca wondered why it was exactly that humans found their kind evil.
Then she remembered Brooke's highly specialised basement and the fact that Sam was a rare exception to the standard vampire rule.
The hug between Sam and Brooke loosened and Sam kissed Brooke's neck. The blonde then kissed the brunette's neck.
When they broke free of each other completely, the puncture marks quickly healed.
"Feeling better?" Brooke asked concerned.
Sam nodded. "Yeah."
"I have a guy in the basement, you know. You want to have a go at him?"
Sam smiled a little. "You know I don't go for that."
"Well… do you want me to set him free or something?"
"Do I know him?"
"Then why bother?"
There was a silence. Rebecca felt the urge to break it.
"Isn't it time for school yet?"
At that point, Sam and Brooke suddenly seemed to notice her.
"Oh hey Becky," Sam said. "Sleep well?"
"I was busy," Rebecca said.
Brooke grinned. "We heard. That's why she's asking."
Sam sat down at the table. "So tell me, was she any good?"
"She's been with girls before, you could tell that. But nothing really mindblowing," Rebecca answered.
"That's not what we heard."
"That was her, mostly," Rebecca said.
"You know, Becky, one of these days you'll have to tell us what really went through your head when I turned you," Brooke said.
"Sorry, mom. That'll remain my little secret."
It was dark, which, in some circles meant that it was hunting time. Tonight, however, Sam had decided to not go out hunting with Brooke, but had instead asked Rebecca to join her. The young vampire had been surprised by this, but had agreed all the same.
The two of them were now walking through some empty street in one of the poorer parts of town and hadn't really been hunting so far.
"What mom said this morning. About holy water. Does that really work?"
Sam snorted. "Of course not."
"Oh. But… why do people think it kills us all the same?"
Sam pondered that for a while. "There are some things everybody knows about us, right?" she said slowly, still thinking about how she was going to phrase her answer. "But have you ever wondered how it came that everybody knows those things?"
"Not really," Rebecca admitted. "It's just common knowledge, you know."
"And nobody questions common knowledge," Sam said. "Now, lemme tell you a story: Once upon a time, during those dark Middle Ages in Europe a small town was living in fear. A lot of people died in that town, but they refused to stay dead. They rose and added more and more to their numbers. The townspeople were desperate, not understanding what was going on, not knowing how to stem the tide. And then one day, a priest arrived in the town. He came all the way from Rome, he said, and he brought with him the answer to all their troubles. He came and he managed to rid the town of the undead plague. The townspeople were overjoyed and wanted to learn from the priest how he had done, so he taught them. He had done it with wood, he said, and with holy relics, like the crucifix and holy water. The Lord hates the Nosferatu, he said, and with His weapons will you be able to defeat them."
"So that's how it went?" Rebecca asked. "A priest who got lucky and misinterpreted his results?"
Sam chuckled. "The story isn't over yet Becky. For you see, in their joy the townspeople paid no attention to the colour of the priest's eyes, took no notice of the sharpness of his teeth and none of them wondered, not for one second, if maybe the undead had just moved on to another town. The End."
"Wait… are you saying we introduced all that stuff about crosses?"
"Of course we did," Sam said. "One of the most important weapons of war is misinformation. And we figured that one out a long time before the humans did."
"But what about the invite? How does that one work?"
"I'm not quite sure," Sam said. "Humans imprint their personality on things one way or the other. Every place has a different feel to it. Even the humans themselves notice that. Because a house or apartment or whatever is a place where one human or a small group of humans stays for a very long time each day, the personality of those humans will become deeply ingrained into the house. The house becomes sort of a second body and, like all bodies, it tries to keep alien and harmful things outside."
"Exactly. Unfortunately for them, humans are a lot less capable of spotting vampires, so if they say that a vampire is allowed into their house, then the house is incapable of arguing."
"You make it sound like buildings are alive."
"They sort of are and they sort of aren't. It's pretty complicated."
"I think I get it, though."
The two vampires walked on in silence, passing several humans that looked very hunt-worthy, but that remained unhunted.
"Sam?" Rebecca asked, after passing one such human.
"Did you just take me out "hunting" to give me Vampire 101?"
"No. You started that little session yourself."
"Because I've been noticing your behaviour. Most of your victims are either hookers or one-night stands."
"Well… the thing is, you pay the hookers and make sure the one-nighters get home safely. That isn't typical lust-crazed-vampire behaviour, if you catch my drift."
"I know," Rebecca sighed.
"My guess would be that you're a little jealous of Brooke and me."
"I'm not jealous," Rebecca said firmly. "But I admit, I do want a girlfriend."
Sam chuckled. "And so the love Brooke and I have ingrained in our house has affected you. And I think I may know a girl for you."
"You do?" Rebecca asked sceptical.
"Ah, here we are," Sam said, ignoring Rebecca for the moment.
Rebecca looked at the house Sam had indicated. To all appearances it was the same as all the other houses. Then she looked a little closer. Suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere a wave of fear crashed over Rebecca, followed by untold terror. Soon after she found a curtain of pure evil twirling itself around her, smothering her even though she didn't need to breathe.
Next she knew, she was kneeling on the pavement, shivering, terrified and angry.
"What lives there?" she ground out.
"Are you OK?" Sam asked.
"What lives there!?" Rebecca yelled.
"A small family of humans," Sam answered, slightly confused.
"They are," Sam said slowly. "But how do you know that?"
"Can't you feel it?" Rebecca asked. "That place is simply radiating pure evil."
"No… I can't… not quite," Sam said slowly. "But I'm beginning to see why Brooke thought you'd make a good vampire."
"I have to kill them," Rebecca said resolutely, standing up again. "No, wait, I have to hand them over to Brooke. Hell, I'll do it myself. The people that live there don't deserve to."
"Wow, slow down," Sam said. "Look deeper."
"I don't have to!" Rebecca snapped. "I know what's there!"
Rebecca glared at Sam, then at the house. Once again there was that thick black mass of evil, hanging around the house. Angrily, she punched a hole through it, only to find more darkness. She waded through the dark, assaulted by terror on all sides. And then…
"Who is that?" Rebecca asked.
"Who is what?" Sam asked, smiling slightly amused.
"There's innocence there. How can there be innocence in a place like that?"
"What we have here," Sam said, making a grand gesture at the house, "is a typical case of abusive parents. The father and mother repeatedly and constantly beat and insult their teenage daughter. The father has also taken it upon himself to give his daughter some sexual education ever since she was about five years old. That is the evil you see here."
"Then we're going in there, tie up those so-called "parents" and give that girl a rusty knife to play with!"
"What do you care for humans?" Sam asked with a smile on her face.
"This isn't about caring, this is about simple right and wrong and what's happening there is wrong."
"Torturing is wrong?" Sam asked.
"Torturing your own kind, your own flesh and blood is wrong. And then saying that it's done out of love is even worse!"
"You managed to pick that up?"
Sam nodded. "You make very interesting vampire, Becky. But I fear you can't just march in there. It wouldn't really do you any good."
"Any suggestions then?"
"When I first saw that girl, she was being raped. Well, actually I made sure she got raped after I saw what was in her mind. I then saved her. I was planning to gain her trust and love and then turn her. Brooke thought I would be corrupting her if I did that, but it feels more like saving, doesn't it?"
"And now what are your plans?"
"I'm giving her to you. Human memories are easily altered. With just a few adjustments I can make her believe that it was you who saved her that night. When I've done that, do what you will with her."
"You know what I'm planning to do. I'm going to get her out of there."
"And then, perhaps, you have the girlfriend you want," Sam patted Rebecca on the shoulders. "Good luck."
Sam nodded, stared at the house for a few minutes, then walked away, leaving Rebecca alone with the house and the situation within it.
Little did the two know that they were being watched and had been watched for quite some time now.
Carmen had watched the exchange with ever-increasing wonder. Sam seemed to be superior over Rebecca, yet she treated the girl with kindness. This was unheard of in normal vampire clans, even the small ones. And then this Rebecca, she seemed to care about some complete stranger.
What was going on, Carmen didn't know. What she did know, however, was that something was wrong. Very wrong.
She decided that someone would need to do something about it.
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