Fandom: The Old Guard (Movie 2020)
Summary: Nicky can't help assisting people in need, but this time he's being played and those duping him come with fangs. When he goes missing the whole team are frantic, particularly when they start having strange dreams, especially Joe. They have to find Nicky before it is too late.
Warnings/Tropes: Vampires, Immortal!Husbands, Nicky Whump
A/N: Yes, of course I wrote vampires into TOG – it is my mission in life to write vampires in every fandom. 😂 You're welcome 🧛😂.
Seriously though – I hope everyone enjoys reading this one, I have so enjoyed writing it. Thanks to Soph for the beta.
Links: 1 | 2 | 3 |
Chapter 2 – Beyond Reality
It probably said far too much about his lifestyle that Nicky knew exactly what he was going to find about a second after his mind started to clear. He was hanging from chains against a wall. At least no one was poking him full of holes with sharp implements this time, not yet anyway.
Shaking his head, he pushed himself up to relieve the aching in his shoulders and looked around to assess his surroundings. At a guess he was in someone's cellar. There were stone steps at the far end that went up to a door and the room was lit only by a single meagre bulb. That someone had removed his coat and shirt for him wasn't overly settling, but at least he still had his jeans and boots on.
He couldn't help remembering what he had seen before he passed out, but he had to wonder if that had been to do with hitting his head hard on the wall. The woman had to have dosed him with something or he'd hit at an awkward angle, because it took a lot to put one of them down for more than a few seconds.
Pulling on his manacles, he soon discovered they were solid and tight enough that he couldn't get his hand through. His fingers were mostly asleep where the wrist cuffs had been restricting the blood flow as he hung from them. Wiggling them back to life, he looked around for his options.
There was a dark stain on the wall next to him below a hook similar to the one his bonds were attached to, which didn't look promising. He knew dried blood when he saw it. If he didn't get himself out, he was probably going to be in a lot of trouble.
He was considering how efficiently he could smash his hand to a pulp to get out of his bonds when the click of a lock grabbed his attention. He recognised Ruth, if that was even her name, as soon as she walked through the door. The first thing that became obvious was there was no baby bump; he had been duped.
She was followed by her fake assailant and three others, two women and a man. All were dressed casually in t-shirts and yoga pants and it all seemed faintly ridiculous. If the feel of cold hard steel against his skin hadn't continually reminded Nicky that this was no game, he might have laughed.
"My, what pretty eyes you have," Ruth said as she came to a stop in front of him, "and what good shape you're in. So many people let themselves go these days."
The others spread out behind her, all eyes on him and Nicky's skin crawled. There was something about the way they were looking at him that just wasn't right.
"Where am I?" Nicky asked. "Why did you bring me here? Is your name even Ruth?"
She smiled at him for that.
"It is, actually," she said, "my parents were very biblically inclined. Abusive fuckers."
She never stopped smiling, even as her words dripped with venom.
"As to why you're here," she said, stepping towards him, "you are the prey in the trap."
He wanted to cringe away as she ran her fingers down his chest, but he wouldn't give her the satisfaction. Her touch was cold. It made him think of a corpse.
"But I'm being rude," she said, "you haven't been introduced. These are my family, I made them myself."
She turned and waved at the others.
"This is Roy," she said, gesturing to the big man, "you almost met him earlier. You're very fast you know, nearly foiled our little scheme. He makes such a terrifying mugger."
She mock shivered.
"I picked him up in London, he was a gangster weren't you sweetie?" she said.
The man laughed as if there was something really funny about that, but Nicky didn't get the joke.
"And these are Lucas and Dani," Ruth went on, "they're from Newcastle. Such a pretty pair don't you think? I only keep the pretty ones."
Nicky did not like the way she looked him up and down as she said that.
"And finally, but by no means least, this is Beth," Ruth introduced. "She is our baby, home grown Scots, but she makes up with enthusiasm what she doesn't have in years."
None of them looked much older than thirty to Nicky's eyes, but he had long since learned not to judge.
"And where do you come from with such a delicious accent?" Ruth asked him, running her finger down his chest again.
"Italy," he said.
It wasn't as if she could do anything with the information and he didn't want to annoy her, at least not yet.
"And is that husband you mentioned a gorgeous Italian like you?" she asked.
He could hear the underlying threat in her words.
"You would not like it if you tried to find out," he replied, looking her directly in the eye. "My family would not take kindly to it."
Ruth laughed in his face.
"You sound like a mafioso," she sneered. "Such little people. You have no concept of who we are or what we're capable of."
Nicky would have been perfectly happy to play the mafioso scion if he had thought it would do any good, but he had a funny feeling it wouldn't gain him any leverage here.
"Guess how old I am," Ruth said, completely changing tack.
It took him a second to catch up.
"I don't know," he said.
"Go on," she said, leaning into him again, "guess."
He threw out a number he hoped would neither insult her for being too high or too low. The woman was clearly insane. Apparently, his guess delighted her, because she laughed again, this time a much brighter sound. She turned, grinning at her companions so he could only see her profile.
"I'll be eighty-seven next month," she said, turning back to him with those luminescent, glowing eyes.
Now Nicky did shy back, head hitting the wall. He did not believe what he was seeing. Latin words of spiritual protection jumped to his lips unbidden as he reacted purely on instinct. Ruth hissed at him as the prayer fell from his mouth and his head ricocheted to the side as she slapped him hard.
"Ruthy, careful," one of her friends said, Nicky was too stunned to know who, "don't break him. Not before we've played with him."
"Sorry, Dani," Ruth said, "of course you're right, but that stung."
Nicky found his chin grabbed in a vice-like grip and his head wrenched round so he was blinking into Ruth's glowing eyes.
"Bet that husband cost you a few Hail Marys," she said, grinning and revealing she had long pointed fangs.
Nicky's logical brain did not believe what he was seeing, but the rest of him knew exactly what he was looking at.
"Vampira," he whispered.
"Ten out of ten," Ruth said, grin never wavering. "Bet we blow your contemporary little mind."
Nicky had no words. He was nearly a thousand years old, he thought he had seen everything, but the universe had chosen to throw another cat among the pigeons.
"You're pretty," Ruth told him, "I think I will keep you. It'll be so much fun to send you back to your husband once you're one of the family. Just ask Dani, she had so much fun playing with Luca."
"Never," Nicky growled out.
"Oh, but you don't get a choice," she said. "Of course, before that we're hungry, and you smell delicious."
She had never let go of his chin and he could not resist as she pushed his head to the side. He struggled, chains rattling, legs coming up to try and kick her away. It was as if she was made of stone. Nothing worked. Ruth held him against the wall effortlessly, leaning closer and closer.
As her fangs sank into his neck, he grunted in pain, but pain he could handle, it was what came next that terrified him. He was swamped by a wave of ecstasy that was not his own, one that felt so alien, so twisted that it made him whimper. Ruth was getting off on his blood and his pain and it flooded through him like the walls had been smashed between their beings.
He'd felt an echo of this before Andy and Quynh had found him and Joe, but never like this, never like he was being invaded by something so wrong.
His manacles clicked open as Roy used a key, but it did Nicky no good, he was pinned and each of his arms were grabbed by eager hands. Two bit one arm, two the other and his nightmare deepened. Even in his darkest dreams he never could have imagined.
Nicky was swirling in a haze of sick pleasure and pain and all he could think of was Joe. He was dying, bit by bit and there was nothing he could do to free himself. He struggled, but it was useless. Was this true hell? Was this his punishment for every life he had taken? These things feasted on him, passing him their warped joy at his destruction, and he clung to every memory he had of the man he loved. As their corruption seeped into him, he held to that purity.
He whispered old Italian words, but they were not messages to his god, they were messages to the other half of his soul.
"Oh no you don't," a harsh female voice snarled and something wet was pressed over his mouth.
Coppery, thick blood flowed over his tongue and he choked. It tasted old and bad and he wanted to spit it out, but a firm hand held his head and he could not resist. Eventually he had no choice but to swallow. It felt like swallowing death. When his mouth was freed, he screamed.
He screamed until his strength failed and blackness reached up to claim his soul.
Booker flew from sleep with a hand on his throat and covered in cold sweat. His mind was reeling.
He remembered the dreams, from before he had met all the others. It was something he had never forgotten even as he still occasionally connected with Quynh. This could not have been that. This had to be the alcohol that his system refused to accept for more than a few hours at a time.
Mouths, teeth, Nicky.
He went to reach for the bottle of cognac beside his bed, but stilled with his fingers around the neck of the bottle.
It had felt like those dreams. It had felt real.
He picked up his phone instead.
Nile woke up screaming. She threw herself off the couch where she had been napping while they waited for news from Copely. Their trail had gone to nothing and they were hoping technology could provide the answer. Edinburgh was decently covered by CCTV, but not all of it was state of the art and it was taking time to get to it.
"Nile, hey, it's okay," Andy said, "you're safe."
Nile knew what Andy was thinking, Quynh again. She'd dreamed of the other immortal a couple of times over the last months, drowning, always drowning. With the images spiralling around her mind now, she wished that was what she had seen.
"Nicky's not," she said.
"What did you see?" Joe was next to her like a shot.
She couldn't believe the images, but in her soul, she knew they were real.
"Vampires," she blurted out.
"You had a nightmare?" Andy asked.
She shook her head. This was no nightmare, this was a connection, only it shouldn't have been happening and it was insane.
"It was Nicky," she said, "just like before we met, just like with Quynh."
Of that she had no doubt at all.
"That doesn't happen," Andy pointed out.
"I don't care," Nile replied, "It did. What I saw, what I felt, fuck, it was horrible. They were feeding on him."
"It must have been a hallucination," Joe said.
"I know what I…"
"Not yours," Joe interrupted her, "his."
Nile couldn't exactly argue with that, she was no expert. She looked to Andy who was frowning and worrying at her lip. Nile's phone chirping in a very particular way distracted her and she pulled it from her pocket. What she saw on the screen only confirmed what she suspected.
"It's Booker," she said, not bothering to hide the fact she was in contact with their exiled member.
This was too important, too strange to play games.
"He had the same dream," she said, scanning the message again for details.
Joe and Andy passed a look.
"Tell him to come," Andy said shortly.
Joe went to the bedroom to grab his sketch book as Nile sent Booker the message.
"Describe everything you saw," he said, coming back into the room and sitting down next to Nile.
on to chapter 3