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 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
Chapter 11 – Battle
Roy's eyes went from human normal to a vampire glow in under a second as they fixed on Nicky.
"You're dead," Roy growled, coming to his feet far faster than was naturally possible.
"Not even close," he snarled back.
What he could not have anticipated was Roy reaching under the jacket he had been sleeping in and producing a long, vicious looking butchers' knife.
"You wanna play with knives," Roy said, grinning at him with a mouth full of fangs, "let's play."
It was obvious Roy thought he had no idea how to use the sword he was holding, so Nicky changed his stance, drawing the vampire towards him. He was waiting when Roy attacked and he dodged backwards, but discovered the first disadvantage of being up against a fully fledge fiend of the night. Nicky was fast, but Roy was faster.
Roy had once been a big man, but now he was a big vampire with vampire speed. Nicky barely got his sword in position to block Roy's strike. At which point he discovered the second disadvantage; Roy was very, very strong.
Nicky did what he had trained to do, he adapted. He span out of Roy's range, dipping and twisting in a way Roy could not predict. He got a hit in across Roy's ribs, but a snarl from the other side of the room distracted him. Ruth was going after Joe.
Icy spikes lanced through Nicky's chest and it felt as if time slowed down in his awareness even more than a fight often made it do, bringing the vampires' movements into real time. Roy was coming at him again and he brought his sword up, sending the knife blow off to the side as he twisted again, this time thrusting his blade forward. It slid into the flesh of Roy's other side, and he curled his wrists, tearing through Roy's body as he withdrew it, doing as much damage as possible.
Roy growled and stumbled, giving Nicky one moment. He could see Joe trying to use his sword on Ruth, but she was scarily fast. She was the head vampire and she was proving it. Nicky pulled out one of his knives and threw it at Ruth's back. It hit with a thud and she stiffened for a moment, turning and snarling at him, but it seemed to have annoyed her more than hurt her. However, it was all the time Joe needed.
As Ruth glared at Nicky, all humanity gone, Joe took his chance, flowing into motion. Ruth had her arms out, claws on full display. Joe brought his sword down on her wrists, slicing off her hands with one blow. Now she screamed.
Nicky felt a blade slide between his ribs and he spun away from it as his distraction cost him. He backed down the side of the bed as Roy stalked him. The pain was secondary as his body healed, but he had to adjust for the weakness the injury caused while it did.
"I'll kill you slowly," Ruth shrieked at Joe, "you'll beg for death."
Roy charged Nicky before he could check for Joe's response. He did not bring his sword up in defence this time, but in pure attack, using Roy's momentum to impale the big vampire right through the centre of his torso. It cost him, Roy's blade went through his stomach as he was forced back against the wall behind him.
He pushed the blinding agony to the back of his mind, staring into inhuman eyes that wanted to send him to hell. With every ounce of strength he had, he pulled his sword upwards, slicing through tissue and bone. It came free of Roy's body, just to the right of his neck. The vampire staggered back, injured, but very far from dead.
Chasing his advantage, Nicky freed a stake from his hip, dropped his sword onto the bed, and rammed it home into Roy's chest with both hands.
Roy froze, going completely silent, before collapsing to the floor in a heap.
Nicky wobbled, falling to his knees. There was still a knife sticking out of him. Taking hold of the handle, he pulled, yelling as the pain tried to take away his focus, before dropping it on the floor. He pulled himself to his feet using the side of the bed as his body began to knit back together. Swearing in several different languages, he grabbed his sword and staggered towards where Joe was dodging Ruth and her bloody stumps.
She was so incensed, she didn’t seem to notice him, but Joe did. He ducked and turned, drawing Ruth with him so her back was to Nicky. Nicky took out the back of her knees with a vicious, single blow and she fell as Joe pushed her back.
Sinking quickly to his knees, he pulled another stake from its holster and rammed it down into Ruth's chest with every ounce of force he could muster, even as she snarled and tried to block him with her ruined arms. He put every ounce of righteous fury he had into the blow and nothing could have stopped him.
Time seemed to almost come to a stop as the wood slid into Ruth's body, breaking bone and destroying flesh. She went instantly still.
Nicky leaned over the fallen vampire, bringing his sword round so the blade bit into her neck. He knew she could still see him, still hear him, even though the stake was through her heart.
"My name is Nicolo di Genova and in a handful of decades I will be one thousand years old," he whispered. "The man who removed your hands is Yusuf Ibrahim Muhammad Al-Kaysani, my husband, my love, my life. We met in the Crusades. I told you, you would not like it if you met my family."
The light in her eyes died, even as he pushed down on his sword. It was sharp and he was very determined. Her head rolled onto the floor with a satisfying thud. Nicky was not a vindictive person naturally, but the second easiest way onto his shit-list was to endanger his family, the only faster way was to threaten Joe. Ruth had done both.
He went to stand, but staggered and a banshee-like scream echoed from the other half of the house.
"Nicky," Joe was by his side hauling him up, before he could fall.
"It's okay," he assured Joe, and then he smiled.
It was like a shadow had been lifted, like the sun had come out after a storm. The feeling had nearly taking him to his knees, because it robbed him of breath in delighted shock.
"Curtains," he said, gathering himself.
He and Joe moved as one, grabbing the secondary covering on the large window together and pulling it down, before each taking a curtain and pulling it back. The light hit Ruth's head first, mouth still open and showing her lethal fangs. The skin on her cheek turned black, glowing orange like heated coals, before it began to cave in.
Nicky realised this was what they had expected to happen to him. He would have enjoyed watching her turn to ash, but a shotgun blast interrupted his thoughts and he turned to the door. There was still a fight to win.
With Joe close behind, Nicky ran across the landing and into the other bedroom. He took in the scene in one glance. Lucas was on the floor, missing one arm with a stake through his chest. The arm looked like Andy's axe's work. Booker had Beth on the end of his spiked pole, pinned against the wall, but she was snarling and clawing at the pole as he tried to keep her in place. He was struggling while Nile and Andy were busy with Dani, who was hanging from the high ceiling like a spider in the corner of the room. There was a hole in her abdomen from the shotgun blast, but she didn't seem to care.
Nicky lifted his sword and ran to help Booker. There wasn't enough room to get in a good swing, Beth was right next to a large antique wardrobe and it blocked clear access to her. Before Nicky could get to her, Beth gripped the pole sticking out of her chest and pulled herself along it. Her eyes were firmly on Booker, almost as if she hadn't even noticed there was any other danger in the vicinity.
"Drop it," Nicky ordered in Italian, knowing that Booker would understand, and Beth wouldn't as she went to do the same again.
Booker obeyed immediately, diving and rolling out of the way as soon as his hands released the pole. Nicky stepped into the space he vacated, sword ready, as Beth surged forward. She was fast, but so was he and he swung right where he knew she would be. His first blow took her head half off and she stalled, standing there in shock. Dark blood streamed from her throat as she clawed at the air in front of her, neck lolling at a dangerous angle. It almost looked like death spasms, but she did not fall.
Lifting his sword once more, Nicky went to deal the final strike when he was momentarily blinded. Light flooded the room with no warning and his sensitive eyes lanced with pain. Piercing screams filled the room along with the smell of burning flesh. He blinked, demanding his vision obey, and was greeted by the sight of Beth smouldering.
It wasn't like with Ruth, it seemed living vampires had some resistance rather than turning to ash, but Beth's skin was blackening slowly and glowing in places. She still appeared unable to move coherently as her hands shifted reflexively even as she screamed.
Target reacquired, Nicky finished what he had started. His second strike took her head clean off and it bounced against the side of the bed, landing on the floor. Her hands continued to move for several moments, as if her body had not received the message, until her skin went completely black and started to disintegrate.
There was a thud behind, and he turned to see Dani dropping from the ceiling. Blinded by the light and smouldering, the vampire had no chance against Andy's axe. Her scream turned to a gurgle as Andy's blow cleaved her chest in two and like a well-oiled machine, Nile was in there a moment later, ramming a stake into the cavity just to make sure.
"Now that's different," Booker said.
Nicky turned to see what the Frenchman was talking about and found Booker looking at his hands that had been covered in vampire gore. The remnants were turning to ash and floating away as if they had never been. Nicky looked down at himself and realised the same was happening where Roy's blood had soaked into his clothes.
"Yes," Nile said in a triumphant tone, "I don't have to throw away these pants."
Sharing a look with Joe, Nicky was almost lightheaded with relief. They'd done it. He never doubted his family in a fight, but this one had been so incredibly different there had been an undercurrent of fear.
"Good job," Andy said, giving them all a smile. "Now, let's clean up and get out of here."
The others were still upstairs, checking everything, but Nicky walked back down the hall to the kitchen, straight to the cellar door with Joe right behind him. He had to check.
The large key turned easily in the lock and the bolts slid back smoothly. He pulled the door open to the familiar room. Grabbing the smaller set of keys off the hook next to the door, he stepped inside. The one bulb still lit the whole area, but he had never seen it from this angle before. Somehow it looked smaller.
Unfortunately, it was not empty. There was a person in each set of manacles, one man and one woman. Both looked to be unconscious, possibly dead. It felt like a failure and it made Nicky's stomach twist. He hurried down the steps. As he got closer, though, he could hear their heartbeats.
As he approached the two, he took a shaky breath. They were not too late. To have allowed Ruth and her twisted family to take more innocent lives would have been soul destroying. That they had been taken at all cut him to the bone.
"They are alive," he told Joe over his shoulder.
The pair looked battered and bruised and their clothes were as torn as Bryce's had been. There was also blood on them in places and Nicky took a guess they had been the previous night's meal.
"Not your fault," Joe whispered quietly in his ear in Italian, "we came as soon as we could."
"Nicolo," Joe said, placing a gentle hand on the small of his back, "you are remarkable, but you cannot expect the impossible of yourself. Your insistence saved them. Remember that."
Nicky wished he could think that way, but he knew what these people had suffered. Knowing that now was the time for action, not wallowing, however, he stepped forward.
Either two was too much to finish off in one go, or Ruth and her friends had been playing a sick game. Given what he knew of the dead vampire, Nicky suspected the latter.
"Hold her up," Nicky told Joe as he reached for the manacles.
However, the moment Joe touched the woman her eyes shot open and she tried to get away. It was pitiful how she hit the restriction of the manacles and seemed to shrink.
"Please, no more," she begged.
It was in French.
"Peace," Joe said gently in her own language, holding his hands up and not touching her, "we have come to help."
Only then did she seem to actually see them.
A groan from her companion made her look round.
"Paul," she said, voice desperate.
"I will get him down," Nicky promised, also in French, and quickly did as he had promised.
To prolong their suffering was unthinkable. The manacles opened easily, and he lowered the man into a sitting position before coming back up towards the terrified woman.
"May I release you?" he asked, showing her the key.
She was crying silently, and he couldn't blame her, he knew what she had been through. He wanted to help her so badly, but he remembered the fear too well. It was hard, but he waited until she nodded. Moving very slowly so as not to frighten her more, he reached up to unlock first one, then the second lock. Joe caught her as her legs gave out.
"You are safe," Joe promised her, as he helped her sit and then immediately released her, "the evil is destroyed."
"They…" she said, but she didn't seem able to complete the thought.
"We know what they were," Nicky said, slowly and calmly, refusing to add to her anxiety by showing what he was feeling. "They will never hurt anyone else."
He knew the terror, he had lived it, and he needed to reassure her.
"What is your name?" Joe asked.
"Elise," she replied quietly.
A noise made Nicky look to the stairs to see Nile.
"Okay?" she asked.
"Can you find some warm clothes?" he asked.
Nile nodded and was gone again. The stone cellar wasn't exactly warm, and their two companions were only partially dressed.
"Elise, I am Yusuf and this is Nicolo," Joe introduced in his usual charming way. "We need to get you out of here and somewhere safe, okay?"
Her eyes were big and round, but his words had slowed her weeping. After a few seconds, she nodded. Joe slowly and carefully went to help her up, while Nicky turned his attention to the man, who still seemed mostly out of it. Nicky picked him up and didn't bother trying to get any sense out of him.
"Paul," Elise said, reaching out to the man.
"He will be fine," Nicky told her.
Both their heartbeats were strong, even if Elise's was adrenalin-spike fast.
"Who is Paul?" Joe asked as he gently led her towards the stairs.
"My brother," Elise said. "He tried, he tried to protect me."
She burst into tears again, but this time she leaned into Joe for comfort. They were making progress.
Once upstairs in the light, Paul began to show signs of life as well, and they had them bundled in the clothes Nile found and drinking tea that Nicky pulled out of the boxes on the cabinet in short order. Little was said apart from a few reassuring words, but Nicky could not bring himself to leave them.
"What do we do now?" Elise finally asked.
The colour was returning to her face, although she still jumped at the slightest noise. Nicky looked to Andy who had just come into the room after giving the house a final go over.
"We take you to the hospital," she said, "and you lie about where you have been. You can make something up, or we can make something up for you. When they have patched you up, you go home and try and forget this ever happened."
"What if there are more of them out there?" Paul asked.
"You have gone your whole life without meeting one until now," Andy said, "accept the fact you will likely go the rest and never meet another. Start wearing a cross if you have to, but get on with your lives. For you this is over."
It was typical Andy, practical and to the point. Nicky doubted it would be enough this time.
"How can it be over?" Paul demanded.
"The evil that touched you is dead," Nicky stepped in, "they can never hurt you again. The darkness you felt has been driven away and you need to choose to live in the light."
Elise looked at him then, stared at him as if something was just occurring to her.
"You sound like you have felt it too," she said quietly.
He gave her a half smile.
"I have," he said and was more than grateful when Joe gently placed a hand on his shoulder.
"And you fight them," she said.
"Something like that," he replied, unwilling to outright lie. "We," he indicated the others in the room, "do our best to eradicate evil where we find it. If we come across more, we will deal with them, but this is the first time we have ever met something so inhuman."
"They … you mean?" Elise didn't seem sure what question she wanted to ask, and Nicky couldn't bring himself to put it into words.
"When they chose to attack the love of my life, they picked the wrong target," Joe said in a tone that begged no argument.
"Who are you?" Paul asked, but Elise put her hand out and touched his arm, shaking her head.
"Take a leaf out of your sister's book," Andy said. "We leave in five," she told Nicky.
He took a deep breath and he nodded. Finally, this was almost over.
On to Part 12