Fandom: Figure Skating RPS
Pairing: Johnny Weir/Stéphane Lambiel, Johnny Weir/Evan Lysacek, Johnny Weir/Stéphane Lambiel/Evan Lysacek
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction, the real people in it are used without their permission and I definitely don't own them or have any copyright to any part of any of them. I do not believe any of this happened, is likely to happen or should happen it is simply a story created around known facts about those involved.
Warnings: threesome, fantasy violence, explicit sex, strong language
Summary: AU from Kings on Ice in March – while in Moscow, Johnny is attacked by a creature he only thought existed in nightmares. Infected by the vampire his only hope is a group of Vampire Hunters, but some of them think it would be easier to just kill him and be done with it. With more enemies than friends he struggles for his life as well as his humanity.
Author's Notes: Thanks to Soph for the beta and the mods of vampirebigbang for running the fest. Also thanks to beadslut for the wonderful art work and dividers you can see in the fic posts and solookup for coming up with the wonderful mix (to see the mix follow the link below).
Links to other Chapters: Ch 1 | Ch 2 | Ch 3 | Ch 4 | Epilogue
My Fanfic Listings (LJ) | My Fanfic Listings (DreamW)
Artist's note: A couple of weeks ago, I didn't know there WAS such a thing as a Vampire Big Bang. One of my flisties asked if anyone might be interested in doing art for the project, and as soon as I saw beren's summary, I was hooked. Here's my humble effort to do her story justice.
Art Link: All the art is in situ in the fic, but please consider leaving feedback for beadslut at this art only post.
Mix link: Please leave mix feedback on this post
Chapter 1 Losing Self
Johnny was lost, as in very, very lost and he wasn't sure how he'd managed it. He had been walking down a perfectly normal street in Moscow on his way to an appointment with a local agent that Tara had set up. They'd specially squeezed him in that evening and they were meeting in a restaurant, because he was flying back to the States at some god forsaken hour in the morning. Why he had taken the dingy side street he had no idea, but by the time his brain had caught up with the fact that he was walking in the wrong direction it had been way too late. Where he was he had no idea and it was dimly lit and full of inky black shadows and he began to feel afraid.
"You have a strong mind, Kitten," a voice said from behind him and he span to see a man standing half in shadow; "I almost couldn't ensnare you."
"What the fuck are you talking about?" he demanded, hoping that a little ire might make the man think twice about coming anywhere near him.
He scanned the area looking for any possible bolt holes, but it seemed to be an alley with many locked doors and not a lot else.
"So pretty," the man said in a very unsettling manner.
When the man stepped forward, Johnny stepped back; he knew it was a sign of weakness, but he did not want the man any closer than necessary. If he had to run he wanted as much head start as possible. There was something about the stranger that set off alarms in Johnny's head and it wasn't just the fact the man was a creep.
"I had to work very hard to keep that pretty mind occupied while I enticed you here," the man said, smiling and showing very white teeth. "I enjoy a challenge."
Clearly the man was short of a full deck, but he was tall and broad shouldered and Johnny knew if it came to hand to hand he was well out matched. It didn't look as if the stranger had a weapon and Johnny was an athlete; he could run fast when he had to. His shoes weren't exactly made for it, but he was pretty sure he could make a dash for it. The man laughed at him, as if he knew what he was thinking.
"You can run," the man said, just standing there casually and then suddenly he wasn't ten feet away anymore, he was right there in front of Johnny, "but you can't get away."
Every muscle in Johnny's body froze as a primal terror took hold of him. The man smiled again, this time revealing long, sharp fangs and, this close, Johnny could see the red gleam in his assailant's eyes. His mind screamed at him to run, but his limbs were rigid in fear. Somewhere deep inside he knew that this was no human.
"So delicate," the creature said, reaching out and running his knuckle down the side of Johnny's face, "and yet so strong."
His breath came in short sharp gasps as the creature ran the other hand over his chest and under his coat.
"I'm going to enjoy you, Kitten," his assailant said, licking his lips; "I might even enjoy you enough to keep you. Would you like that, Kitten? Would you revel in the killing?"
Johnny wanted to say no, to protest what was happening, but he could barely breathe, let alone speak. This couldn't be real; vampires didn't exist; it had to be some twisted nightmare. He finally regained control of his body when the thing reached out to him, but it was too late; the grip that settled on his upper arms was too strong and he struggled, but he could not free himself. The vampire drew him in, pulling him closer and closer before letting go of one of his arms and using the now free hand to push his head to one side.
All he could hear was the rushing of blood in his ears as his heart beat wildly in terror, his system soaked with adrenaline. He was completely helpless and, when fangs sliced into his neck, he finally screamed. The pain was incredible as if somehow magnified by the hyperaware state the fear had put his body into, but it lasted only a few seconds before he felt himself go limp and pleasure flooded his system. He didn't want to respond; his mind was still screaming in denial, but the bite was like the sweetest, lover's caress; it lit up centres of his brain he had hardly known were there. His logical thoughts shouted at him to resist, to push away the creature assaulting him, but his physical shell seemed to be in some sex soaked haze. He felt himself getting hard even though the fear should have robbed him of that ability. It was as if his mind and his body were completely separate.
When he was released and the pleasure was suddenly cut off his body had no way to respond. His legs crumpled and he fell to the ground, just about managing to avoid taking a header into the concrete, but barely. His vision was swimming as he tried to look around and he could hear growling and shouting, but none of it made much sense. About all he could make out was that there were other people there now as well. Someone was cursing in Russian and then there was a hideously loud, animalistic screaming sound, but he could not focus on anything to figure out what was going on.
In the back of his mind a little voice tried to tell him to get up and flee, but his body just laughed at the idea. He could barely lift his head, let alone stand. Only when hands touched him did he try to get away as his fear response fired again, remembering the hands from before.
"Hold him," he heard someone say.
The hands that grabbed him firmly this time were not as inhumanly strong as before, but he was so weak and uncoordinated that they didn't need to be. Someone pushed his head to one side and he attempted to struggle, but he couldn't.
"No," was all he could manage in desperation and he didn't know if it came out in English or Russian.
"He's been bitten," the man who had given the order to hold him said.
"Look at his eyes," a second voice said; "he's half gone."
"But not completely," a third added, this one was female; he was almost sure.
"Just kill him and be done with it, Michal" the second voice said with callous disinterest.
He struggled at that, but he was held firm.
"You would make us as bad as them," the female voice said.
"We'll take him with us," the first voice finally spoke again. "Kirill, hold him tightly, I'm going to purify the wound."
The person behind him wrapped an arm around his chest and pulled his head to one side very firmly. He heard something being opened and then liquid was being poured onto his neck. At first it felt like water, but then it hit where he had been bitten and it was as if they were pouring acid onto his skin. He couldn't even scream; the pain was that encompassing and he grunted just before everything went blissfully black as he passed out.
Waking up was strange, because he still felt as if he was almost dreaming. Everything seemed vaguely blurred at the edges and his brain didn't seem to be quite connected to his body correctly. He was in the back of a moving van, that much he could work out straight away, and he seemed to be propped up in one corner of it. For a little while he just stayed exactly where he was, blinking down and trying to make something, anything, make sense.
It eventually dawned on him that he was looking at his own hands and around his wrists there seemed to be some sort of manacle. They looked very silver and had strange designs on them and for a few minutes he just stared at them. Only when he realised that the fuzziness at the edge of his vision was not going to go away did he finally lift his head. It was then he felt something cold around his neck as well and he realised there was a chain running from the short one between the manacles all the way up to what had to be a collar of some sort. The chain jangled as he moved and he found himself looking at a dark haired young woman who appeared to be watching him intently.
"Who are you?" he asked, since it seemed like a sensible question.
All the others in his head seemed to be too fanciful to start with.
"Zhanna," the woman said, still looking him over very carefully.
"Don't get attached, Zhanna," the man sitting next to her said shortly and Johnny recognised his voice as the one who had suggested killing him; "he could be dead in hours."
Zhanna didn't seem impressed by that and actually gave Johnny an apologetic smile.
"That's Anton," she said, leaning forward; "ignore him; he enjoys looking on the dark side. The man driving is Michal and the one sitting next to him is Kirill. What's your name?"
"Johnny," he replied and tried to shift a little where he was sitting, but only managed to upset his balance and start to slide.
Zhanna leant forward, gently putting him back in place as he totally failed to help himself. He seemed to be as weak as a baby.
"You will feel very weak," she told him, "I would not recommend trying to move. Do you remember what happened to you?"
The memory flashed very clearly into Johnny's head and he shivered as he remembered the fangs sinking into his skin.
"I was bitten by a vampire," he said, even though it sounded ridiculous to his ears.
"At least he's not in denial," Anton said and Johnny decided he really didn't like the man much.
Anton looked to be somewhere between thirty and forty and he had a face that did not smile easily.
"What happened after I was bitten?" Johnny asked, looking to Zhanna for answers, since she seemed willing to give them.
"We killed the monster that attacked you," Zhanna replied, sitting back once she was sure he was secure in his seat; "it's what we do, we're vampire hunters."
Of course they were; Johnny decided his night couldn't get much more bizarre.
"And me?" he asked, even though he wasn't sure the answer would be a good one.
Zhanna looked kind of sad and apologetic at that and Johnny was afraid he knew the answer.
"The bite begins the change," Zhanna told him; "you've already started to turn. We're taking you somewhere to get you help. Usually vampires kill those they bite before they can turn completely and if they chose to create more of their kind they reinforce the change over a series of nights with more bites. Since you have only been bitten once, there is a chance it can be stopped."
Anton snorted at that; clearly it was not a big chance.
"And if it can't?" Johnny asked, even though he already knew the answer, after all vampire hunters killed vampires.
Zhanna clearly realised that he understood already.
"Would you really want to be a monster?" she asked him. "The change takes away all humanity; you would kill your own friends for their blood or for one night of sex."
Johnny couldn't imagine being like that or feeling like that and he realised the truth of her words. He did not want to be a monster, but he didn't want to die either. It was hard to find anything else to say.
"Do not give up hope," Zhanna told him seriously and he wanted to believe her, he really did, but Anton's reaction had been so obvious.
Putting his head back against the van he closed his eyes and tried to pretend this wasn't happening, at least for a little while.
"Johnny," Zhanna's voice pulled him back and it was only as he realised they had stopped that it dawned on him he had been drifting completely in a world of his own.
He had barely been aware that any time had passed at all.
Zhanna was on one knee in front of him and his eyes zeroed in on the fact that she was holding a syringe.
"I'm sorry," she apologised, genuine concern for him in her voice, "but it is too dangerous for us to transfer you inside while you are awake. This will put you to sleep for an hour or so and when you wake up you will be where people can help you."
He would have objected, but she was already pushing the needle into the undamaged side of his neck before his slow moving brain caught up with what she was doing.
"If I don't make it," he said desperately, even as he felt the drug begin to kick in, "my mom ... please ... tell her ..."
The world faded out before he could get the words out.
The second time Johnny woke up he was lying down and the first thing he realised was that he was very firmly strapped to the bed he was lying on. He could barely move and he looked down at himself and realised there were reinforced leather straps over his chest, pelvis and thighs and there were cuffs on his wrists and ankles. He had been stripped to the waist and one of his arms was strapped down to his side and the other was at about 45 degrees to his body. It was on some kind of padded board for ease of access. There were tubes sticking out of the crook of his arm and they appeared to be carrying blood.
"Welcome back," said a voice that sounded far too cheerful for the situation, "Zhanna tells me your name is Johnny."
He turned his head, about the only part of his body he could move, and found himself looking at a man in a white coat. He barely remembered to nod.
"I haven't had a long term patient for a while," the man said with a smile and impeccable English, "so my bedside manner is a little rusty, I'm afraid you'll have to forgive me."
"What's going on?" he asked, confused and afraid.
This was not what he'd imagined; crosses and holy water had been more like it, not machines and mad scientists. The room was tiled white on all walls and he couldn't see the floor, but he could see the camera looking right at him.
"I'm Dr Ivanov, but you can call me Yuri," the man told him. "We're giving you a complete blood transfusion at the moment to try and get as much of the contaminant out of you as possible. The vampire infected your blood and it has started to infect the rest of you as well, but the less of it there is the better."
"It is working?" he asked, kind of desperate for some sort of hope.
"You're not rejecting the new blood, which is a positive sign," Yuri told him, walking up beside him and checking the machine.
Johnny didn't feel quite so fuzzy this time, but everything still had a kind of surreal edge to it. He also felt rather warm even though he wasn't wearing a shirt and Yuri had a jacket and a roll neck sweater on.
"How long will I be here?" he asked, since he couldn't think of any other question that wouldn't have a bad answer.
"It's impossible to tell," Yuri said, not unkindly, but the man seemed to be a little short on empathy, "it differs from individual to individual. You appear to have a very strong will and I'm not going to lie to you; what I'm doing is only an aid to your own body. This is ten percent scientific and ninety percent metaphysical; a lot of it will be down to you. Whatever you do, do not give up."
It was hard to have hope when the world had just gone mad, but Johnny gave a little nod.
"How long have you been doing this?" he asked, trying to distract himself a little from his own position.
Being forcefully strapped down was not his idea of fun and he hated being confined.
"Twenty years or so," Yuri replied, checking the readout on another machine that Johnny neither understood nor recognised. "I was in medical school when my brother was taken by a vampire. Michal and his team saved the rest of my family and when I qualified I offered them my services. I have been studying vampire contamination ever since, although I very rarely have a chance to see a patient before it is too late."
Not exactly the greatest prognosis.
"Ever saved anyone?" Johnny asked next, even though he knew it was probably a bad idea.
"Just one," was the straightforward and honest answer, "a young girl, she was five at the time. She had been bitten by her mother, little more than a scratch really and she responded well to the treatments."
Johnny could feel the wadding on his neck; his wound was anything but a scratch.
"How many others have you treated?" he said and he was almost sure he didn't want the answer, but he was the kind of person who liked to know the odds.
Yuri gave him a long look then.
"Seventeen," was the eventual answer. "Vampires are messy eaters; their victims are usually dead before I see them and the ones that are brought to me are often too far gone. The one who took you must have wanted to turn you, but he was not careful about where he did it."
For a moment Johnny flashed back to the alley.
"He said he had trouble with my mind," he said, needing to pull himself out of the memory, "maybe he didn't have a choice."
That made Yuri's eyes light up with interest.
"Another mark in your favour," the doctor told him cheerfully; "there are very few with the ability to fight off a vampire mind, at least those from the Russian bloodlines. As far as we can tell vampirism originated in this part of the world, no one is sure how, but the bloodlines become weaker the further away they are from the source. Russian vampires are a lot stronger than American ones, or so I have been told."
Vampire 101 was all very well, but Johnny was having trouble with just the basic facts. His brain was still screaming this could not be real and he half expected to wake up at any moment.
"How can this be real?" he asked almost desperately.
He pulled against his bonds, needing to feel something that didn't make his head spin.
"Sssh," Yuri soothed, at his side almost instantly, stroking his hair like his mother sometimes did, "I know this is hard, but you must not give in to the fear. When my brother came at me out of the darkness, fangs bared, ready to kill me, I did not want to believe it either, but I did not allow it to break me. Your mind is your greatest weapon, do not allow it to weaken."
Johnny wanted to cry, he wanted to scream, but instead he took a deep, shuddering breath and tried to bring himself under control.
"You and I together," Yuri told him, "we will beat this."
All Johnny could do was nod and let himself believe, in the other direction lay madness.
In the end Yuri spent what had to have been hours completing the transfusion. They talked a little, but Johnny found that the procedure was making him woozy and he dozed for some of the time. Yuri was moving around doing whatever he had to do and Johnny just drifted; he only really came back to himself when Yuri walked over holding a needle.
"The transfusion is complete," Yuri told him with a smile. "You seem to be responding well, so I'm going to make you more comfortable. Unfortunately I can't take the risk of doing so when you're awake, so I'm going to put you out for a little while. When you wake up we'll see about getting you something to eat, okay?"
Johnny did not like drugs and he did not like needles, but it wasn't like he had a choice, so he nodded. He didn't even feel the needle go in and he welcomed the empty blackness that reached up for him as soon as the drug hit his system; at least he didn't have to think at all for a while.
When he woke up the next time, he was still on the bed, but the straps were gone and the bed had been moved to another position in the room. Instead of the straps there were chains like the one he had been wearing in the van, only these were attached to the wall as well as each other. The one good thing about them was that they were loose and he could move. Testing his new freedom, he slowly sat up. Someone, he assumed Yuri, had given him a shirt as well, which made him feel less like a lab rat and more like a human being.
Since they were holding him prisoner, he examined the chains. They really didn't look like they'd hold a determined man, let alone a vampire, but there were tiny designs all over them and he had the feeling their strength was not totally in their metallic content. On closer inspection the chains were not attached to the wall either, they went through it and from the looks of the scuff marks they moved in and out of the holes. It made Johnny wonder how far they could be retracted.
"Hello again," Yuri's familiar voice interrupted his investigation and he realised he had missed the door opening, "you are looking much healthier now. I've brought you some soup."
Yuri was carrying a tray and when the doctor uncovered it the scent of food reached Johnny's nostrils. What was peculiar was that most of him thought it smelt delicious, but another part was screaming it was disgusting and to get it as far away from him as possible.
"Your stomach's going to feel a little delicate," Yuri said and Johnny realised his dilemma must have shown on his face, "but just eat as much as you can. Natural human processes slow down the rate of vampire corruption, so you're going to feel a little at war with yourself."
It was an adequate description of how he was feeling, so Johnny did not question the information and just accepted it. He scooted back a bit so that he was leaning against the wall and then accepted the tray.
"Thank you," he said, feeling hungry even though he would have expected the situation to have taken away his appetite.
"Zhanna is a very good cook and I believe the soup is her mother's recipe," Yuri told him with a smile, "I will pass on your thanks. Now eat up, you need your strength."
Yuri was right, the soup was indeed delicious and full of chunky vegetables and meat and, even though he had to convince himself not to spit it out half the time, Johnny did enjoy it. He felt more than a little schizophrenic, but he did feel a bit better with food inside of him. It was such a good feeling after everything that had been happening, not matter how slight, that he actually managed to give Yuri a smile when he took the tray away.
"That is better," Yuri told him and smiled back, "I think we are going to be very good friends."
Johnny hoped so, he really did, because the moment Yuri was his enemy, he was a monster.
"Now," Yuri said after putting the tray down on the side, "I need to examine the wound on your neck. I'm going to retract the chains a little while I do it, vampire instinct can be overwhelming and I need to make sure you cannot bite me."
It was not what Johnny wanted to hear, but he could understand the reasoning. His difficulties with the simple task of eating had shown him more than enough to realise where Yuri was coming from.
"If you sit between the holes in the wall," Yuri told him when he nodded, "this will be easier."
Johnny did as he was told and then Yuri picked up what looked like a remote control and pressed a button. He felt more than heard a low pitched hum and then chains on his restraints began to shorten. Before long he was basically pinned against the wall.
"These don't look like normal chains," he said, trying to head off the panic he felt by talking, "how do they work?"
Yuri walked over with a small dish in one hand and lent down over him.
"They are reinforced with ancient spells," the doctor told him while gently pulling off the gauze on his neck. "The world of vampires is as much about belief as it is about anything scientific, more so really, and the belief behind the spells makes them unbreakable for a vampire. Even the strongest of them could not break them."
"Met many?" he asked, doing his best not to think about the whole water feeling like acid experience of the last time someone had looked at his neck.
"A few," Yuri told him and gently began to clean his neck with something. "This is healing very fast; it will probably be gone by tomorrow night."
From the frown on the man's face, that probably wasn't a good thing.
"To be expected I suppose," Yuri said, frown clearing, "not to worry. At least it will not cause you discomfort. Now I have a few tests I would like to run, I hope you are feeling up to it."
Nodding Johnny just accepted the inevitable, after all, Yuri was his only hope.
It was really strange, Johnny knew the instant it was dawn, even though he had no way of finding it out by normal means. Yuri had run his tests and they had talked, although Johnny shied away from giving his captors any details about himself, and everything had been going fine until suddenly Johnny found it incredibly difficult to keep his eyes open. It felt as if the energy was draining out of him.
Yuri was off in the corner looking at something or other, chatting away to him in Russian and Johnny was so tired that all he could do was lie down. He wasn't even really aware when he drifted off to sleep, but it had to have happened, because his dreams inevitably took him back to the alley.
The fear that was gripping his heart felt like a vice and the pain of those fangs in his throat mixed with the pleasure this time, creeping through his body. He could feel it in every cell and it called to him, dragging him down with the mixture of heaven and hell. The thing that was biting him was nothing to what was inside his own body, trying to consume him from within, and he woke up breathing hard, almost sobbing as he tried to fight it off.
He was lying on his side in the harsh light of the tiled room and he was not alone, but his companion was not Yuri.
"Hello," Zhanna said, giving him a worried once over, "are you alright?"
Johnny was pretty sure he was further from alright then he had ever been, but that wasn't really what Zhanna was asking. He ached and he felt as if there was something alive under his skin, but he had a feeling that was a lot better than it could have been. Anton had said he could have been dead in hours and it had been plenty of hours already.
"I'll be okay," is what he decided to say, sitting up slowly and carefully.
The chains rattled and made him feel rather self-conscious, but there wasn't anything he could do about it.
"Yuri is impressed with your progress," Zhanna said and smiled at him; "you are doing very well."
"Not dead yet," he said, feeling in a rather black mood.
"Which is remarkable," Zhanna told him with typical Russian sincerity; it was the kind of thing that was hard not to believe. "Peter, the vampire who took you, was one of the old ones, we have been trying to destroy him for years. You must have intoxicated him for us to finally be able to get close enough to do it. His bloodline is very strong, that you did not turn before dawn is incredible. There is real hope for you now."
It was quite a speech and one that actually made him stop the downward spiral of his thoughts. Both Yuri and Zhanna had told him his mind was his greatest weapon and sinking into depression would not help him. He was strong; he'd fought unwinnable battles before and he was not going to give up.
"Is there anymore of that soup?" he asked, sitting a little straighter on his bed.
He was not hungry, but if eating would slow down any changes it could only be good for him. Zhanna nodded and smiled, clearly reading his thought processes from his body language.
"Of course," she said and stood up, "I will get you some. My mother would be very proud to have her recipe being put to such good use."
Johnny had the distinct impression that Zhanna's mother was no longer among the living and he could not help wondering if it had something to do with vampires. It wasn't as if vampire hunting was a profession that advertised in the papers or anything like that and he suspected a person had to have a very good reason to take it up. He did not ask though, he just gave Zhanna a half smile for the pep talk.
"Here," Zhanna said and picked something up off the bench, "it will help to see you are still yourself."
What she passed him was a hand mirror and then she walked out of the room. For a moment Johnny did not move, an irrational fear making him think he would not see a whole reflection, but he told himself he was being ridiculous and finally moved his hand so he could see himself.
Looking at his reflection in the mirror he could see he was different, in fact he couldn't help cataloguing the changes no matter what Zhanna had said. His skin was paler even than it had been and his eyes were definitely not their normal green. There was an almost yellow tinge to them that made him think of cats or wolves rather than his eyes and his cheek bones were even more chiselled than normal. At a glance someone probably wouldn't have noticed really, but he was very familiar with his own face, it was part of his livelihood and he could see it all too clearly; there was something not quite human lurking under the surface.
He could feel it and he could see it and he wondered how long he would know the difference. It was obvious he was changing, even with what Yuri had been doing to him and he couldn't help thinking he was not winning the fight. Slowly he put down the mirror and then sat back on his bed, curling his feet under him. It was hard to make himself believe that his fight was not an impossible one.
It was just before dawn on the second night, Johnny could feel the light coming, when pain ripped through his upper jaw. It felt as if knives were stabbing into his gums and even as he pushed his hand over his mouth he tasted blood on his tongue.
"Johnny, what is the matter?" Yuri asked from his usual position at one of the lab benches.
The pain was excruciating, but it only lasted a couple of seconds and Johnny was left breathing hard through his nose and wondering what the hell had happened. It was such a shock to his system that his mind neither caught up with the question nor the obvious explanation for quite a while. Only as the sharp agony slowly became a dull ache did his brain start to consider anything else and it was then, with shaking fingers that he carefully touched his gums. Opening his mouth he slowly ran the tip of his index finger around the source of the pain and then down over the long, dangerous fang that extended from his gum on the left side. With his tongue he traced the matching one on the other side.
It sent a shot of pure fear through him like an icy knife and he just sat there.
"Johnny?" Yuri prompted again.
He looked up at the doctor and slowly took his hand away from his mouth.
"Fangs," he said simply and opened his mouth so Yuri could see.
For a moment Yuri just stood there, clearly unsure what to say; they both knew that this was yet another loss in the battle he was fighting. Then he saw the doctor pull himself together.
"We must test your bite," Yuri said in a very practical tone, "it is unlikely you are contagious yet, but we should be sure."
Johnny said nothing, far too afraid that if he let himself react he would simply lose it.
It was becoming harder to think straight; when Johnny looked at Yuri and Zhanna or any of the others that came into his room it was becoming more and more as if all he could see was food. He was hungry, so hungry that sometimes all he wanted was blood and the idea of real food turned his stomach. He could not force his fangs to recede at all and he barely felt human. When Yuri walked in, late on the fourth morning and placed his breakfast on the table, just the smell made him feel sick and he knew he wouldn't be able to eat it. The smell of Yuri was far more enticing and he found himself pulling at the chains holding him to the wall. His instincts were screaming at him that he needed to kill and as alien as they were to his normal mind he was desperate.
"Kill me," he said as he perceived the reality of the situation with crystal clear clarity for just a moment.
He was almost gone; the real him was nearly submerged beneath the vampire taking over his body and he did not want to live with that. Looking up, he met Yuri's eyes and begged with the last of his will.
"If you can ask that you are not completely without hope," Yuri said simply, giving him a quick once over.
"I want to eat you," Johnny said as viciously as he knew how; he wanted Yuri under no illusions.
"You're starving," Yuri said, taking hold of his chin and lifting his head, turning it from one side to the other; "I have been giving you only enough blood to maintain you, of course you want to eat me. The blood increases the rate of transformation, but I think we are beyond stalling for time now."
Johnny snapped at Yuri's hand, he couldn't help himself, but his movements were slow and Yuri easily avoided him.
"I am going to get you some blood," Yuri told him simply; "it will help you control the need. When you are calmer we must talk about one more treatment."
It did not take Yuri long to retrieve what he needed and he came back in carrying a small cup. The smell made Johnny's nostrils twitch and he found himself leaning forward as far as he could at the wonderful scent.
"Johnny, sit back," Yuri told him, holding up the remote to the chains; "this is for you, but you have to control yourself."
It was possibly the hardest thing Johnny had ever done as every fibre of his being demanded that he strive to reach what he wanted, what he needed, but somehow he managed to make his body stop pulling against the restraints. Yuri used the remote to shorten his chains a little so that he could not surge forward again, but did not rewind them the whole way. Then the other man walked towards him and carefully held out the cup with the straw towards him. He had to keep himself under very tight control as he leant forward so that he could actually wrap his lips around the straw and he almost lost it when he sucked and the blood first touched his lips.
The blood tasted like heaven and hell all mixed up in one inseparable whole and he whimpered even as he could not stop drinking. He was not a generally squeamish person, but he hadn't exactly liked the thought of blood before, but now it was like heaven on earth. It made him tingle and it fed parts of his body and mind that were screaming out for sustenance. The whole experience literally took him away from reality for what felt like an eternity.
It took him long seconds to bring himself back under control, but when his mind finally stopped racing, he did feel less homicidal and he actually managed to force the fangs to recede, for a while at least.
"We do not have much time," Yuri told him, pulling up the chair and sitting down next to the bed, "so I will speak plainly."
"I'd rather you did," Johnny replied; one of the things he liked about the Russians was their inclination to plain speaking.
Yuri gave him a small smile for that.
"You are losing this fight," Yuri told him bluntly, "however there is one more thing we can try."
"But," he said, filling in what he knew had to be coming next.
"It is as likely to kill you as help you and if it does not kill you it could cripple you with unending pain," Yuri explained and clearly was not sugar coating any of it.
"If it does will you let Anton put me out of my misery?" Johnny asked simply; it was better to get these things sorted in advance.
"If you wish," Yuri replied with a nod.
Dying was not something Johnny really wanted to do, but given the alternatives he would rather take that route.
"So, what is it?" he asked, refusing to let himself think of ifs and maybes; this was his only chance at life and he was going to take it.
Yuri pulled something out of his pocket and the moment Johnny saw what it was he shied away and his chains clanked as he brought his hands up to try and shield himself and they came up short. The reaction was instinctive and he could feel a kind of heat coming from the cross that Yuri was holding up. It wasn't like a flame, but that was the closest Johnny could come to describing it in normal terms.
"It hurts," he said, feeling his fangs extending again at the discomfort.
He literally could not look at it.
"But it may be your salvation," Yuri told him and moved it closer.
Johnny bit his lip, feeling the heat seeping into his body, making him shake. It was as if it was touching his soul and found it unclean and it made him ache in a way that he could not completely explain.
"The vampire infection is not just a physical one," Yuri told him what he already knew; "it is spiritual as well. Holy symbols fight the destruction and this is the one closest to your soul. If we permanently inscribe it on your body it may reverse the vampire corruption."
The cross was not even touching him and he could feel the effects, he could not imagine what it would feel like in contact with his body. He could not help the gasp of relief when Yuri took the cross away and he looked back at the doctor when it was gone.
"How?" he asked.
He didn't have any fear left; the last few days had been more than he could have borne if he had let himself think about it all. The only way he could face what was happening was head on and without letting himself dwell too deeply.
"Tattoo," Yuri told him, "right over your heart."
"Can you at least make it pretty?" he asked, falling back on humour as his only defence.
Yuri grinned at him for that.
"I will see what I can do," the doctor replied and stood up. "Hang in there, Johnny; most people would be dead by now."
It was a faint comfort, but Johnny took it to heart as Yuri left the room.
Half an hour later, Yuri was back and he was not alone. Johnny had never seen the man with Yuri before, but he recognised some of the things the man was carrying.
"Hello again," Yuri said with a smile, "this is Thomas and he assures me pretty is not a problem."
Johnny tried to summon up a smile as well, but was mostly sure he failed. He was so distracted that when Yuri spoke to Thomas in Russian and the man took his things over to the table, he missed the whole conversation.
"We're going to have to sedate you and strap you down," Yuri told him in a much more gentle tone, while Thomas got on with setting things up. "I'm sorry it is unlikely to last for the whole process, but it should help to begin with."
Not trusting his voice, Johnny just nodded and fought down the urge to react when Yuri produced a syringe and popped off the cap on the needle. He barely felt it when the needle went into his arm and he waited for the drug to take effect. It didn't work as well as when he had been human, but he soon felt the world becoming very fuzzy on the edge and he lay down, allowing the medication to take him the rest of way towards a restless sleep.
It was not blissful blackness any more, his metabolism was beyond that and he drifted just below consciousness, not quite aware, but also, not totally detached either. He felt a distant pain, just out of his reach, like an itch he couldn't scratch and he did his best to ignore it for a while, but, bit by bit it dragged him towards it. As he climbed closer to reality, the pain increased, as did his awareness of his surroundings and he could feel he was strapped down almost like he had been the first time he had woken in Yuri's presence. This time, however, he was even more securely held and as he instinctively tried to move he could barely twitch.
He could feel the prick of the needle buzzing over and into his skin, but it was nothing compared to the burning in his chest. The cross on his chest could have been written in fire for all the difference it made and with every movement of Thomas' inker it became worse. He could not yet open his eyes, but it was almost as if he could see it, as if it was etched on his consciousness, faint and incomplete where it was traced onto his skin, but growing stronger, becoming more permanent with every line being inked in. Its power was raging through him, trying to touch every part of him and it was agony.
"Johnny," he heard someone speaking to him in gentle tones, but his mind would not tell him who, "try not to struggle, it is almost done."
He would have laughed if he could have, but even that much control was beyond him. Every cell in his body was being consumed by the inferno, he had to struggle, it was all that was keeping him sane. He knew he could not get away, but he had to try as every second felt like an hour.
"Hold on," the voice told him and he was so far gone he could not tell if it was male or female, "just a few more moments."
He knew it was almost complete, he could feel it and see it in his mind. It was beautiful and ornate and deadly to him with its purity. The power raging inside him felt as if it was destroying his very being, but it was nothing to what ripped through his body as the last stroke completed the holy form. That was when he heard himself scream and when everything disappeared in flames so hot he was sure he would be nothing but ash. At some point after that he mercifully lost sense of what was happening to him.
Johnny did not know what was going on for some time; his mind was sort of aware, but nothing made any sense. What was real and what was just his brain showing him random things he had no idea and he drifted in a world that was neither completely false nor reality. Eventually he must have fallen asleep, because he woke up feeling much saner, cooler and more human, which made him just lie there for a while making sure he wasn't dreaming.
The fire was gone and his body ached, but it was a residual feeling, not something that was constant and perpetual. He opened his eyes and blinked at the ceiling until his eyes started working properly. It was such a natural human feeling that he couldn't really believe it; he felt almost normal.
"Welcome back, Johnny," a familiar voice said and he turned to find Zhanna in the chair.
"Hi," he replied and found that his voice croaked and all but gave out.
Surprisingly, she picked up a cup from the bedside table, reached over to him, placing a hand beneath his head, and helped him drink a little of what turned out to be water. Considering the fact that he realised his chains were loose, Zhanna's behaviour seemed on the verge of suicidal.
"Just relax," Zhanna told him with a smile, letting him lie back down as she put the cup back on the table; "you've been asleep for a few hours. Yuri has done all sorts of tests and you're coming out as human."
"Human?" he asked, not quite able to make himself accept what he had just heard.
"Almost," Zhanna replied and when he went to try and sit up, helped him.
He definitely felt human as his body complained about the movement and he was reminded of a time or two after training too hard. He looked down at the cross now tattooed on his chest in red and black; it really was kind of beautiful. It was a standard cross, but with ornate scroll work on and around it; he was impressed by the detail.
"It worked?" he could not simply let himself assume.
Zhanna smiled at him.
"One test left," she said, seemingly totally unworried about the fact that he was quite capable of grabbing her if he so chose; his restraints were that loose.
As he watched, she reached over and picked up another container that was just behind the cup; it looked like a metal flask. Johnny had never seen it before, but when the top was removed the smell hit him like a physical blow. It was blood and he reacted instantly, his feeling of normality vanished and suddenly the room brightened, his senses sharpened and he was breathing hard, trying to resist the urge to reach out. Then he panicked and pushed himself away from Zhanna, looking at the chains as if they were betraying him by being so long even as he felt the room fading back to normal levels.
"Johnny," Zhanna said, recapping the flask, "just breathe, it is okay."
"Not human," he said, shying away as she tried to touch him.
It had been an illusion; it hadn't worked; he was still a monster.
"Johnny," Zhanna repeated in a much sharper tone, making him look up at her; "we expected this, but did it hurt?"
That made him frown; he didn't understand what he was being asked.
"Hurt?" he asked, needing clarification, but then he glanced down again and he realised what Zhanna was asking.
The answer increased his confusion even more.
"I ... I don't think so," he said, putting his hand over the cross.
"I'm going to open the flask again," Zhanna said gently; "we need to be sure."
Johnny nodded; he needed to be sure as well. When the flask was opened the smell hit him again, but this time he was ready and for a few seconds he resisted it. The moment he let go, however, the room changed again and this time he felt his fangs descend as well. This time he didn't panic and Zhanna resealed the flask and with a few deep breaths he felt normal again, only he noticed he was no longer aching or particularly tired.
"No pain," he said, trying very hard to come to terms with this new development. "Why doesn't it hurt?"
"Well what did you feel when you changed," Zhanna asked, "what did you want to do?"
His lack of self control was embarrassing, but Johnny knew what Zhanna was asking.
"I wanted the blood," he said, feeling irrationally guilty, "a lot."
"What about me?" Zhanna asked simply.
Johnny frowned again; his mind was not exactly moving at top speed, what with all the sudden shocks.
"What about you?" he asked, not managing to figure that one out.
"Did you want to bite me?" Zhanna said and seemed to already know the answer.
"No," he said honestly as he thought about it; he had been afraid he might, but it had just been the fear. "I just wanted the blood."
He very distinctly remembered wanting to eat Yuri earlier in the day, so he went over the experience really carefully.
"Vampires enjoy the killing as much as the blood," Zhanna told him with a small smile; "whatever you are you are not a pure vampire, or even what you were this morning."
It was something, but was it enough.
"Is this it?" he asked, unsure how to feel.
"That is what we intend to find out," Zhanna said and patted him on the knee; "do not worry, Johnny, this is good."
He was not so sure, but before he could say or ask anything, his stomach twisted and he felt weak. He doubled over and groaned.
"Here," Zhanna said, unstoppering the flask again and holding it out to him; "the pain is withdrawal. Yuri has been feeding you small amounts of blood to prevent it so far, but after the day you've had you need more."
For a little while Johnny just looked at the flask, making himself not move and not change, but his stomach cramped again and his resolve stuttered. He took the flask and, feeling more than a little self conscious, tipped his head back and took a swig. The taste was all but orgasmic and he wanted to down it all, but he refused to just give in and with a will born of trying to land a quad even when his legs hurt so much he could barely stand he took only what he felt he needed. He handed the flask back to Zhanna before he could change his mind.
"Just one more thing for Yuri," Zhanna said, accepting the flask and closing it before putting it back on the bedside table; "if you would bite this with your fangs out."
The blood made it harder to push the vampire traits away, so Johnny did not need to try and change again. He was used to the sample material Yuri used to test his saliva for vampire venom and he bit into it without arguing. It was strangely comforting to have something familiar within the very bizarre circumstances in which he found himself, even if that was giving a sample.
"Johnny," Zhanna said quietly and placed a hand over his, "you are doing well."
It was only then he realised he had been sitting there starring at his own bite marks for some time.
"I want to go home," was all he could find to say and Zhanna just smiled at him sadly.
"Fuck!" he heard someone say outside his door in the other room.
It was very loud, so it was easy to hear and Johnny had discovered since his change that he could enhance his senses without letting the other vampire traits fully out. So far over the day and a half since the tattoo on his chest had been completed nothing else had changed. He felt human unless he consciously chose otherwise, something that Yuri was testing with glee.
"Anton, do you mind," Yuri replied, "I am trying to work."
"Well work this," Anton said and sounded more than a little upset.
There was the sound of paper hitting a desk.
"Do you realise who that is in there?" Anton asked, clearly not very happy. "This could expose us."
"Calm down, Anton," Johnny's ears picked up as he heard Zhanna, "now tell us what is the matter."
"Your lost cause, Zhanna," Anton said pointedly; "he's a fucking figure skater and he has been all over the news; the police are scouring the city for him. He's the best friend of our president's pet figure skater and national hero."
Anton did not sound impressed with figure skating in general, but all Johnny could think of was that people were looking for him. At least it made him harder to kill. He had talked with Zhanna and Yuri extensively over his time in the base and he had revealed small details, but he had deliberately chosen not to reveal that he was not quite an average citizen. He sat forward, chains jingling as he did so and listened. Someone was rustling paper.
"Johnny Weir, two time Olympian," it seemed to be Zhanna who was reading and after that she did it silently.
Johnny could only wonder what she was thinking.
"This changes nothing," she said firmly after a few moments, "he still needs our help."
"Read the end, Zhanna," Anton said coldly; "they found his bag; someone tried to sell it, that's why it is front page news. How long before they find the alley and have their forensic people all over it?"
There was more paper rustling.
"Then we will just have to make sure there is nothing for them to find," Zhanna said in a very resolute tone.
"He knew," Anton said and this time he sounded angry; "he knew they'd be looking for him and he didn't warn us."
Johnny pulled his legs up and held on to them, after all it was true, or at least he had hoped and Anton's anger unsettled him. He did not want Zhanna and Yuri to side with the man on this.
"Would you have done any different?" was the simple response Zhanna gave.
Silence was the only answer to that.
"Talk to Michal," Zhanna said eventually, "ask him to send someone out to make sure out tracks our completely covered, then we can worry about the other vampires out there like we're supposed to."
"It's the one in there I'm worried about," Anton replied and Johnny heard Zhanna sigh.
Anton was never going to be on his side.
"Johnny is not a vampire," Zhanna said and it sounded as if she thought that was an end to the matter.
Johnny doubted very much it would be.
"He has fangs, Zhanna," was Anton's next game play and proved Johnny right; "he's as good as turned."
"If that were true he'd be in severe pain," Zhanna replied vehemently; "the cross on his chest would see to that. Half the time he is completely human."
"Romantic foolishness," Anton said in a very harsh tone. "Yuri, tell her."
Johnny held his breath waiting for what was to come next; these people's opinions held his life in the balance.
"His physiology seems to have two forms; almost completely human and almost completely vampire," Yuri said, as if agreeing with Anton, "and he can change from one to the other at will. From what I can tell he does need blood to survive, but he is also still capable of ingesting normal food. He shows many of the physical signs of vampirism, but none of the sociopathic tendencies that go with them and when I tested his bite he was not infectious. I honestly can't tell you if this is some half state just waiting for the right stimulus or if he will remain this way indefinitely. All I do know is that I have never seen it before."
It sounded so up in the air, so uncertain and Johnny knew he could not live like that. If they thought he was a danger he was well aware that the hunters would not let him go and he was not foolish enough to think they weren't good at covering their tracks. It dawned on him then that if he wanted to see daylight again he was going to have to get away by himself.
Being sneaky was not something Johnny usually chose to do, but that didn't mean he did not have the right instincts. He wanted out and so he formed what passed as a plan, although barely.
"You are looking brighter," Zhanna said as she walked into the room and Johnny gave her a smile.
"I'm feeling better," he said, sitting cross legged on his bed, "your cooking is helping."
That earned him a big grin which made him feel more than a little guilty about what he was about to do, but he had no choice.
"I can get you some breakfast if you like," Zhanna offered and went to turn around.
"Maybe in a minute," he said and made her pause, "I was wondering if you could help me first."
That earned him a raised eyebrow.
"I'd like to learn about myself," he said quickly, hoping that she would believe him, "and that includes the vampire part. Can I borrow the mirror again, so I can see what I look like?"
He gave her a nervous smile that he hoped made it look as if he was worried about what he might see, but needed to see it anyway. Since it wasn't far from the truth, he didn't have to act too much. It must have worked as well, because Zhanna gave him a fond smile and nodded.
"I'll get it," she told him and then slipped back out of the room again.
She was back in only a few seconds and handed him the mirror, which he took and immediately looked into. He looked completely human again now, if a little paler, but it wasn't his human face that was going to be useful in this. Touching the vampire part of himself scared the hell out of him, but he didn't have any choice and, taking a deep breath, he found the instincts and needs inside of himself and let them rise to the surface.
What he saw was kind of compelling and he almost forgot why he was doing what he was doing. His skin was so pale it almost glowed and his eyes literally glowed an unearthly green, with just a hint of red at the edges. His lips were also very red, as if he was wearing lipstick and when he opened his mouth his fangs looked vicious and dangerous. He knew without a doubt he was a very beautiful killing machine in this form, but he had made up his mind and he was not turning away from it now.
He had spoken to Yuri about vampire powers several times and he knew that most vampires were capable of mesmerising their victims. When he had given Yuri a detailed description of how he had been lured away from the main streets, Yuri had explained that usually victims never really knew what hit them with old vampires. Johnny just hoped he had enough instincts and power to do what he was planning.
Looking up, he fixed Zhanna with his eyes and snared her almost instantly; he could feel it. She had not been ready for him and he felt her mind in a vague, abstract way as her stare turned glassy.
"Zhanna," he said, voice strangely deep and resonant, "let me out of the chains."
He was not going for anything clever, since he had neither the experience nor the skill, he just wanted the chains off. From there he planned to deal with everything else himself. At the instruction he felt Zhanna's mind try and fight back, but he increased his concentration. He really had no idea what he was doing, but his instincts seemed to know how it was done. Zhanna didn't even blink, she just turned and walked to the lab bench, then she pulled open a draw and withdrew a set of keys.
She looked as if she was sleep walking when she came over to him. He did not like it, but he did not let up the pressure and he held out his wrists so Zhanna could unlock them for him. With his hands free he took the key and opened the cuffs on his ankles and felt around to feel for the lock on the collar. It was difficult to do since he couldn't see it, but he did not want to force Zhanna to do anything else. Eventually he managed it and then he was free. He felt his excitement spike as soon as the chains were gone and it was hard to stay calm.
Instinct told him to bite Zhanna and increase his strength, but he was stronger than his instincts and, as soon as he was free, he fled. He was up and past Zhanna before she could so much as say anything, let alone stop him and then he was out the door. He slammed it and flicked the bolt across before trying to get his bearings. Given that he had been offered breakfast he knew it was sometime in the morning, but he had no idea of what time it was. Given that and he'd never been outside the room before, he had no idea how many people there might be between him and an exit, but he knew he had to hurry.
The area outside his room was a kitchenette almost, with cupboards and a counter along one side along with a sink, a table and chairs and there were two doors other than the one he had come through. There was also a monitor that was connected to the camera inside the other room and he could see Zhanna trying to clear her head. Following instinct, he went for the door beside the cupboards and he was out into a corridor. The floor was laminate tiles of some description and was cold under his feet as he stood there looking one way and then the other. There was the hint of sunlight in one direction and it was all he had to go on, so he turned that way, which was when the alarm sounded.
It should have been obvious there would be a warning system of some kind, but for some reason he hadn't expected it and it was loud. He ran for what he hoped was the way out as fast as he could and he did not look back as he heard shouting behind him. Running, he rounded a corner in the corridor and saw what looked like an outside door, but it also looked very locked. It had that look of a door that was not often used and he realised there was little hope it would open. There was the sound of running feet behind him and he made a split second decision, calling the vampire nature he was so very afraid of to the surface and then charging for his freedom.
The door kind of just disintegrated under the force of his assault and then he was outside in an alley. As soon as the sun hit him he felt weaker and the signs of his vampire half melted away almost instantly. He stopped more in shock than anything else and looked back, which was when a bullet whizzed past his ear and his system flooded with adrenalin. His flight response kicked in full gear and he ran towards the entrance to the alley, heedless of what was below his feet.
Someone was yelling at him, but he did not stop to listen and he barely heard the second shot before he felt himself pitching forward. It was only as he hit the ground he felt the heat of pain in his side, but he refused to take any notice of it. If he stayed down he knew he would be dragged back to that room, or worse, killed and he had tasted freedom. Forcing himself to his feet, he began to run again and he was not going to stop unless someone brought him down.
He didn't know where he was going or what he was doing, but he followed what seemed to be a well developed survival instinct and just kept going. He ran and then hid and then ran and then hid and he completely lost track as the bullet wound in his side slowly leaked blood.
Johnny had no idea where he was, but he knew a police station when he saw one, even when it was Russian, and he limped towards it. He wanted to go home, he wanted to be safe, he wanted the nightmare to be over and those were the only thoughts that kept him going. His side hurt and he could feel the dampness on the material of the jacket he had stolen, not that he really remembered where he had taken it from. The sun was hurting his eyes and the combination of that and his injury was making him dizzy, but he had to make it to safety.
Swaying from side to side he probably looked drunk and people were avoiding him, but he made it up the steps of the station without falling on his face. The fact that he was barefoot in only his jeans, an open shirt and an ill-fitting jacket probably made him look like a homeless drop out, but no one tried to stop him as he staggered towards the main desk.
"Hello," he said when the severe looking woman behind the desk looked up.
The relief at having made if kind of cut off the adrenaline rush he had been running on and he felt himself beginning to sag.
"Please help me," he said as the world span in a very bad way; "I'm Johnny Weir."
Then he collapsed and the hard tiled floor came up to meet him as he summarily passed out.
On to Chapter 2