basingstoke: crazy eyes (Default)
[personal profile] basingstoke
Title: Pounce

Rating: Blood red

Pairing: Jack Harkness/Eric Northman

Fandom: Torchwood/True Blood

Beta: zvi, who is awesome.

Visual reference, Eric: This is not his bathtub.
Visual reference, Jack: He's undressing you with his eyes.

Custom crafted for Melina.


*

The horses don't like him. He scares them. It makes feeding and watering them hard when they shudder and froth every time he steps near them. Irritating. But it allows him to travel independently, which seemed like a good idea when he started this journey. He sent Pamela ahead in the train, sealed into a box as freight. He begins to think that was the wiser choice.

Texas is an arid land. He's lucky to find a stream for the horses. He must carry some water, he thinks, though it means he will slow down; if he does not, the horses may die, and then he will have to walk the rest of the way, without day shelter, in an unfamiliar land.

Eric tethers the horses for the day and seals the shutters of the wagon. He's alone out here, completely alone. He hasn't seen a human in days apart from the one tied up in the back. When that human dies, he will have to eat antelopes--if he can catch them. They jump in ways he doesn't expect. Irritating. But he must learn to adapt to this land.

When he opens the trunk, the man grunts. He smells of human fluids. Eric pulls his bound and naked body out and carries him to the stream, where he holds the man nearly underwater; the man turns his head and drinks water eagerly. Humans have such ridiculously frequent needs.

Eric splashes water over the man's body until his skin is no longer offensive to the nose. He holds the man's nose and ducks his head underwater until the man thrashes. That's the best Eric can do.

When he was young he didn't care what he smelled like. He went months between baths and never washed his clothes. Now that he's civilized, he can't abide the smell of human fluids.

Apart from blood. And now that the man is clean, he smells... delicious. Eric lifts the man out of the water and carries him back to the wagon. He sets the man on his blanket pallet and curls around him, stroking his skin, trying to decide where to bite.

"Pray..."

He doesn't talk to food. He ignores the small sounds.

"I could make this a lot more fun for us both," the man says.

He can't find where he bit the man last night. Strange. Normally he likes the inner thigh on a man, but both this man's thighs are unmarked.

"I can do things to you that you have never felt before," the man says.

Eric looks over. He doesn't sound like he's begging. Begging is normal, pleas for ransom, prayers to God. He's learned to ignore all that. Food doesn't normally sound so calm.

"Hello, beautiful, that's right. My name is Captain Jack Harkness. Normally I have a chance to introduce myself before we get so intimate." The man actually smiles.

His food is tied with his wrists behind him, rope looped around his chest and stomach, binding his arms tightly by his sides, legs bound at the ankle so that his thighs are free to open. The man arches his back and spreads his legs, displaying his hardening member. The smell of the blood as it suffuses the skin is enticing.

"Not that I've ever fucked a vampire before, but I've been places you can't even imagine--"

That's enough. Eric snaps the man's windpipe closed with a flick of his finger and thumb, silencing him permanently. As the man suffocates, Eric bites into the long vessel hidden in the thigh, draining his sweet, filling blood.

He sleeps with his head pillowed on the corpse's grey chest. The smell of human fluids is almost comforting once they're dead.

*

Eric sleeps through the long summer day, blocked sunlight pressing like a chain mail blanket on his body. He dreams of the first, cold, wild nights with Godric; he dreams of the first spurt of hot blood into his mouth, of the feral pleasure of feeding, of painting Godric's face with the flesh of their prey.

He wakes at dusk with the taste of blood in his mouth. He's been gnawing on the corpse during the night like a puppy nursing at its mother's teat.

"Good morning, beautiful."

Eric leaps to all fours with one convulsion of his muscles. The corpse is not a corpse. As he watches, the raw flesh of the man's abdomen ravels together, smoothing before his eyes.

Assessment. The rope around the man's waist has snapped, but each loop was knotted individually, and he is still bound. His strength is clearly no more than average human. Eric sinks back on his knees and tightens the ropes around the man's wrists and ankles.

He bares his fangs and finally looks into the man's eyes.

The man smiles. "And what's your name, delicious?"

"You can call me master," Eric says.

"Ooh. Promising, but really not my style."

"If I drain you again, will you return to life again?"

"I always have before. But I wouldn't mind--"

Eric holds his mouth shut and bites into his throat. Spatter. He's going to have to clean the wagon. He really must remember to take his meals outside.

*

He doesn't even have both horses harnessed before the man gasps back to life again. The horses snort and start in the traces; Eric grabs the reins and glamours them into tractability. This is very annoying. He should have obtained oxen instead. They are steadier.

"Oof. Could you tie me in a different position? I'm cramping up." The man wiggles his feet.

Eric left him spread across the driver's seat for monitoring. An hour, less than that, and the man revived. That's very interesting. Eric may never have to hunt again. He likes hunting, but there's no denying this is convenient.

Eric buckles in the second horse. It snorts and lays back its ears. "They know a predator when they smell one," the man says.

Past time to go. He wasted time eating when he should have been traveling. Eric steps up into the box and shoves the man onto his stomach, face down beside Eric.

Eric glances up at the stars to be sure he's going east. He's far enough away he doesn't need to worry about much more than the direction. Eventually, he'll hit the Mississippi River, and then he simply needs to follow that south. "Gee up," he tells the horses.

"East? That's interesting. Most people are heading west," says dinner. Eric reaches over and breaks his finger and he cries out. It pops back into place a moment later.

"You haven't asked me what I am," the man says.

"You're not a vampire. You can't hurt me. You're not important," Eric says.

The man laughs. "Keep telling yourself that, beautiful."

Eric takes both sets of reins in one hand. With the other, he drags the man across the seat by the hair.

"Ooh." The man turns his head and licks Eric's rough trousers.

Eric kills him again. This time, he turns the man's head around backwards. It takes three hours by the moon before the head snaps back into its original position.

*

Just before dawn, as he cleans--he's drained the man again, and the wagon is a mess--he spots a glitter on the floor of the wagon, under the man's body. He picks it up and wipes the blood on a handful of dry grass. A gun. A tiny gun, like a child's toy. Eric smiles, delighted. The man conceals surprise after surprise after surprise.

*

"You sleep very deeply, beautiful."

Eric stretches and sits up. The man is still tied in the same knots he bore this morning. Eric finds himself disappointed.

"If you don't feed me, and water me, the blood in my veins is going to turn into sand," the man says, and coughs. He's right. He looks shriveled.

It's been two days since the stream and four since he picked the man up. He didn't bring any human fodder. "Hm," Eric says.

"I can eat rabbit or gopher or bird or fish. I can eat those oats if they're cooked. I can't eat grass."

"I know what humans eat." It's good to have a reminder, though. It's been a very long time since he kept a human. "I'm debating whether your flesh is worth the effort."

"My flesh is always worth the effort."

Eric looks at the man. He kneels over the man's body and the man still meets his eyes. "Why aren't you afraid of me?" Eric asks. There's no smell of fear. Eric misses it. It's not right, this lack.

"I don't find you very frightening."

Eric presses a finger to the man's throat and feels the slow pulse of blood there. "What happens when you die of thirst?"

"I don't know, but it sounds dull," the man says.

"Well. I'm patient." He steps out of the wagon and hitches the horses.

*

The man is counting up from one. "Five hundred two.... five hundred three... five hundred four..." It's becoming difficult to think.

Eric reaches back and drags the man up by his hair. "Ow... five hundred five," the man whispers.

"You are excessively annoying."

"Five hundred six."

Eric bares his fangs and roars at the man. The horses shriek and bolt. Wood squawks against wood, iron rattles in its socket, leather slides against his cold skin as he barely holds on to the animals. They run blindly in the darkness. The wheels bounce across the gopher-hilled prairie and Eric grits his teeth, hearing splinters, nails fly free. He will have to go back for them. He has no spare nails.

When he stops the horses, he runs back across the midnight blue ground. One nail, two, and he returns before the horses cease to shiver.

"Five hundred twenty," the man whispers.

He uses one nail to pin the man's tongue to the wagon floor, and then he continues in silence for the remainder of the night.

*

He is moving. It is daylight. The weight of the sun on his skin is increasing. He tries to open his eyes.

"I'm not a natural house pet," the man says into Eric's ear.

Then Eric burns. The sun... the sun... he feels it consuming him, peeling away year after year, pulling the magic from his skin like blood from a vein. He screams in indignation. He is too old to die like this!

He flails, blind and burning. One hand strikes the wagon. He punches the wood and it shatters into useless shards. The sun saps the reason from him; he writhes like an insect until his instinct serves him and he digs down into the ground.

He puts his hands to his eyes and finds nails. His eyes are nailed shut. Eric laughs, a ragged, airless cough, and rips them from his face. Clever, resourceful, devious human! But Eric has won; he has survived. Mother Earth protects him in the cold and the dark. He falls back into inexorable sleep.

The man is gone, as is one horse and his sole golden dollar. The second horse, tethered to the broken wagon, shudders at Eric's approach. For all that, he reports to the Duchess of New Orleans on time, just as he promised his master.

"Each century I live, I find I understand the world less," he writes Godric, some years later.

"Yes," Godric replies. "Think how little I know at my age."

Eric does not see the deathless man again for one hundred and twenty years.

*

In the first few years of the twenty-first century, when he opens Fangtasia, Eric has not forgotten his trip across the plains, because his memory is not that weak, but it's one curious memory among a great many. He is one thousand years old, more or less. He knows many things. He does not know what the man is or who he is.

He knows the voice when he hears it. "Hello, beautiful."

"What were you counting?" Eric asks.

"Heartbeats," the man says.

"Ah. That's what I thought." He looks the man up and down. "What do you want?"

"You have something of mine."

"Do I?" Eric gestures to Pam; she's at his side in a flash. She looks the man up and down. "You have something of mine," Eric says.

"I can't imagine what that might be."

"I'm at the same impasse," Eric says.

The man smirks. "I would have looked you up sooner, but I didn't know your name, beautiful. Captain Jack Harkness." He extends his hand.

Eric looks at his hand. After a moment, when the man's hand does not waver, Eric shakes it. "You owe me a horse and a gold dollar," Eric says.

"You owe me eleven liters of blood, a suit of clothes, and my gun."

"Your gun?"

"My gun," the man confirms.

"I don't know where your gun is," Eric says.

The man rubs his chin. "Well then. You'd better find it."

Pam laughs out loud and looks at Eric.

"Do you think you can threaten me?" Eric asks mildly.

"I think I know how to kill you and you don't know how to kill me."

That stops Pam from laughing. She looks from Eric to the man in nearly hidden bafflement.

"Interesting," Eric says.

"I know your name now, beautiful." The man is smiling. His eyes are a deep, warm blue.

"It's a name."

"Do you really want to worry about me, beautiful?"

Eric is one thousand years old; ergo, he is not stupid. "Come into my office," he says.

*

"Pam, please look up the current value of an 1880 gold dollar," Eric says.

"Yes sir," she says, because she is not stupid either.

The man smirks. "And the horse?"

"I paid forty silver dollars for the team."

"How?" The man's eyes are narrow, assessing.

"I wore gloves."

"You owe me a suit, a very nice suit."

"Not that nice," Eric says.

"A useful suit. Tough material."

"What make of coin? I'm finding a very wide range," Pam says.

Eric frowns. The man shrugs. "Call it a dollar, then," Eric says. "You owe me twenty-one dollars."

"Fair," the man says. He takes out his wallet and extracts a twenty dollar note and a one. "My suit?"

"Twenty dollars," Eric says. He takes the two notes and proffers back the twenty. "Deal?"

The man considers, then takes the twenty. "There's still the matter of my blood."

"Oh, you can't put a price on blood," Eric says, letting a sly smile steal over his lips. "It's illegal. Donation only."

"I don't remember volunteering."

"Assault. Statute of limitations is long over."

"Murder," the man says. Pam is having a very hard time concealing her surprise.

"You don't look dead to me."

"I can look deader," the man says. "What about my gun?"

"Fifty dollars?"

"No," the man says. "My gun."

Eric sighs. "I might not have it."

"Like I said, you do want to find it."

"Why?"

The man folds his hands under his chin. "I'm not answering any more questions," he says quietly.

Eric inhales. There is no fear in the man's scent. There is gunpowder, ozone, the faint stale stink of dried blood.

"My boots are shaking," Eric says. "All right. Let's take my car."

*

He has a number of items in storage, of course, all across the world. But things from America, things that aren't too valuable, things he's picked up along the way... he puts them in the garage. Some of the boxes are labeled. The man laughs as Eric crosses to the wooden shelves along the wall.

"Pam, look in the steamer trunk. You, look in this box," Eric says, shoving a plastic storage box into the man's arms. He takes down another for himself, placing it on the work bench so kindly installed by the house's previous owner.

The man shakes his head and takes the top off the box. "A hundred years and you haven't learned to file?"

"What would I sort it by?" Eric asks.

He looks at anything metal. He has a number of watches, he discovers. Mostly men's watches, his own. The women he's hunted over the years, he doesn't tend to keep souvenirs, though Pam does pull out a large pearl necklace that lights up her face with material desire.

The man holds up a pair of buff kid gloves, unworn, unsoiled. He rubs a thumb over the fine leather. No doubt he is remembering the art of fitting and donning such a glove; so is Eric. It's a useless skill he's glad to discard. The man, though, Eric wonders if he's romantic.

Pam lays a derringer on the workbench. "Smaller," Eric says.

Pam finds a 1920s Luger and a 1950s cap gun. The man finds a cutthroat razor, an engraved cigarette case, and a short stack of unopened Spam. Eric finds the gun.

He takes a good look before he says anything. He doesn't know a lot about guns--he's never been terribly interested in them--but he can tell this is unique, and not just because it looks more like brass knuckles than a firearm. It's all one piece, seamless, even the trigger. The man clears his throat. When Eric looks up, he holds out his hand.

"Where do you put the bullets?" Eric asks.

The man's eyes narrow. His fingers wiggle.

Eric folds his fingers through the grip. He caresses it, lightly, with his thumb, and points it at the man.

The man smiles. He walks steadily toward Eric, hand still outstretched, until his hand reaches the gun and their fingers intertwine. Eric does not try to hold onto it. There is still no fear in the man's smell.

"That just leaves eleven liters of blood," the man says. His pupils dilate. Lust; it could be for blood or body.

"That isn't a debt," Eric says. "It can't be repaid."

The man pulls down Eric's head and kisses him, hard, biting his lips and grabbing at his throat. Eric picks him up and slams him into the wall, not hard enough to hurt, and pulls the man's shirt open, snapping button threads.

The man laughs. "You already owe me. You can't have any more, beautiful."

"No?" Eric lifts the man onto the work bench. They're eye to eye, now, the man breathing heavily, Eric breathing only to speak. Still no fear. Eric lowers his head to the man's stomach and flickers his tongue along that warm human skin.

He doesn't often have to seduce any more. It's part of his position; humans fling themselves at him, as many as he wants, as much as he wants. It's almost boring. He doesn't have to coax the flush from their skin, doesn't have to be delicate, doesn't even have to be nice. He kisses up the man's chest to his chin, then raises his eyes to the man's. "Captain Jack Harkness, you said?"

"Pleased to meet you, Eric Northman," Jack says.

"Thank you for your blood. It was delicious."

"I aim to please."

"May I render you a service in return?"

"It would be my honor," Jack says.

He pleases Jack's skin with mouth and fingertips. He opens Jack's trousers when he hardens--interesting, he hasn't done this since zippers were invented--and swallows. He doesn't need to breathe; he sucks, as if he were feeding, and listens with satisfaction as Jack groans aloud. He hears Jack's blood pound--smells it--ah, his fangs expose themselves despite himself, and Jack cries out. Eric swallows, sucks, does not breathe, does not object when Jack knots his fingers in Eric's hair and climaxes into his mouth.

"Ah," Jack says.

Eric traces a fingertip down Jack's throat. "Priceless," he says. Pam walks up behind him and combs the knots out of his hair.

Jack's eyes flicker from Eric to Pam.

*

Pam is having a difficult time restraining her fangs. She hides them behind her closed mouth as she leans on the post at the foot of the bed. Odd; she doesn't care for male bodies.

Eric stretches for the ceiling, because that leads Jack's eyes up and down his naked torso. He bares his fangs, because that causes Jack's breath to quicken. Eric knows he is beautiful. He learned that when he was very, very young. But still, Jack looks at Pam. "Change your mind, love?" Jack asks.

"Oh, thank you ever so," Pam says. Her fangs flash against her pink lipstick.

"Control yourself, Pam," Eric says, leaning back and riding Jack's hard organ. Pam hisses, slightly. Not quite a challenge; just irritation that he thinks she doesn't know how to behave. Eric smiles down at Jack.

It's a strange sensation when Jack climaxes inside him. It's been a very long time. But now, Jack's eyes are slitted, his body is glistening with sweat--Eric leans down to inhale, cataloging the human smell, the working of glands and fluids that Eric has lacked for a very long time--and Jack relaxes beneath him.

"Pam," Jack says.

"No, really."

"Changing my offer," Jack says. He holds up his wrist.

"If my master pleases," Pam says, looking up at Eric under her lashes.

"Pam, he's my guest," Eric says, and before he finishes exhaling the extra breath, Pam is kneeling on the floor beside the bed and has bitten into the underside of the human's arm.

Eric hasn't moved. He feels Jack harden inside his body again. "See what you missed?" Jack murmurs.

Jack turns his head, mouthing Pam's sweater. Eric rocks atop his hips. Hot blood spatters from Pam's lips. She pulls away, reluctantly, at the safe point before Jack begins to weaken. "Oh no, keep going," Jack says.

Pam looks at Eric. "Oh yes. My guest," Eric repeats. Pam sucks blood from her fangs, looking down at Jack, and Jack turns his head to one side, exposing his throat.

Pam bites. Jack cries out and clutches her head to his throat. His hips buck and he draws his legs up, no longer peaceful. Eric folds down onto one arm and holds onto Jack's ass, holding them together, as Pam swallows his life down her throat.

Eric only pulls away when Jack is dead. "Eric, what just happened?" Pam asks.

"Wait and see," Eric says. He rearranges Jack's body. He goes on instinct and penetrates him, cradling Jack's knee in his elbow, and waits.

Eric feels a pulse of warmth through Jack's body, first, and then Jack breathes in. Jack cries out and convulses against him; his body clenches and Jack cries out again, louder, and climaxes. Eric grins.

"Oh! That's more like it," Jack pants.

"I apologize for my short-sighted rudeness," Eric says. Then he starts to thrust.

*

After Jack leaves, Pam changes the sheets; rather, she starts to, and then shrugs and marks the mattress for replacement. "He smelled human," Pam says.

"Yes, he did."

"What was he?"

"I don't know." Pam isn't foolish enough to think Eric knows everything, but she's still gratifyingly surprised when he's stumped. "Come, my dear," he says. "How very dull it would be if the world was predictable."

"I like it dull," Pam says.

Eric seizes her by the hair. She yelps. "Never," Eric says. "Never grow complacent, or you will die." He releases her and she rubs her head.

Eric opens his laptop and cues up the surveillance cameras. He traces the past few hours, paying careful attention as Jack slips the gun into his coat pocket, then drops his coat on the floor, then picks it back up, then removes the gun and slides it into his--well, that explains how he'd hidden it from Eric in the first place. Then walks out the front door, then ignores the waiting chauffeur, walks in the other direction, and fuzzes into static.

Eric stops, rewinds, replays. Jack fuzzes into static, then the picture resolves into the street in front of Eric's house. Eric rewinds, plays at tenth-speed. Static. He sees only pixels.

Eric cups his chin in his hand, looking at the pixels. "I believe the twenty-first century will be very interesting," he says to Pam.

*

the end.

Date: 2010-08-06 05:30 am (UTC)
northern: Jack Harkness standing in front of the round door to the Hub. (torchwood)
From: [personal profile] northern
I really enjoyed reading this! Eric's casual predator cruelty and Jack's patience.
Edited (edited for icon choice) Date: 2010-08-06 05:30 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-08-06 06:44 am (UTC)
emyrys: This is my default (Default)
From: [personal profile] emyrys
My nefarious plans in loaning you the books have come to fruition -- bwahahaha*koffkoff*

ack. that's what happens when you try to evil-laugh during on a bad allergy day :-)

I liked this story, a lot. Eric became one of my favorite characters in the books, with Pam a close second. I love seeing them interact with Jack.

Date: 2010-08-06 01:42 pm (UTC)
easilymused1956: (Default)
From: [personal profile] easilymused1956
Reading with an 'I only know Jack' POV I found this to be a great story. Blase' Jack is amazing.

Not to mention that I also adore vampires. Go Eric!

Renee

Profile

basingstoke: crazy eyes (Default)
Basingstoke

August 2014

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920 212223
24252627282930
31      

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 22nd, 2017 07:10 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios