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Outride the Sun, Part One


2003, Riverside, Iowa

“Oh come on, man, you gotta be kidding me!” Jim realizes this is hardly the best argument to make with the bouncer and the barkeep both frogmarching him out of the dive, but he doesn’t really care anymore, either. “I didn’t even start it this time!”

“Just sleep it off somewhere, Kirk,” Joe says tiredly, muttering something about being “too damn old for this shit” as he slams the back door of the bar in Jim’s face.

“Yeah, well, fuck you, too!” This comes out with less heat than Jim would like—little more than an exhausted whine, really. He rubs sore knuckles under his nose, smearing some more blood over the bruised skin. “Fuck.”

Sighing to himself, he walks back to where he parked his bike—well, where he thinks he parked it, but there’s no sign of it. He walks around the entirety of the small, now largely empty and ill-lit parking lot, and it’s just not here where he left it. “Fuck!” he says again, because right now? It really just bears repeating—like, a lot.

“Are you okay?” He must be drunker than he thought because the woman seems to come out of nowhere . She looks concerned, and cute too—blonde hair, blue eyes, yellow halter and tight jeans.

“Yeaaaaaaaaah,” he says, drawing the word out slowly and trying to calm down. “I just—my bike got stolen.” He runs his fingers through his hair in genuine exasperation and because he knows it will leave him looking boyish and vulnerable, yet fuckable. He grins his most charming, little-old-me look as she walks up to him. “Think you can help me out with a lift?”

The blonde nods, lips curved in an amused, admiring smile. “I think I can do more than that, sugar.”

“Yeah?” he says, dipping his voice low the way he knows women like. “What’s your name?”

“Carol,” she answers. Abruptly, her entire face changes—eyes glinting gold, fierce ridges and protrusions expanding under her skin.

He doesn’t have time to cry out before her fangs are in his neck.


2243, San Francisco, California

Leonard can literally think of a metric shit-ton of things wrong with his life. They include, in no particular order:

1) Being seventeen.
2) Moving all the way from Georgia to California.
3) The shuttle they had to take to move there. (He doesn’t just hate flying, he loathes it with a passion usually reserved for Regalian fleaspiders and people who talk in theaters.)
4) Dad being sick.
5) His new high school.

Cochrane High, home of the Fighting Phoenixes, looks like a normal high school—a really good one, even, considering it’s private and full of kids whose parents are either at Starfleet Command or the Academy. In fact, there’s an entire program to easily transition students from here to there—and Leonard would be tempted if Starfleet didn’t, y’know, operate in space and all. But there’s just something—off—about the place, and he can’t quite figure out what it is. It makes him uneasy.

“You’re interested in medical school, I hear,” Principal Komack says as he skims through Leonard’s file. “The Fleet program would be all but made to order for you.”

“Yeah. Well.” Leonard tries to think of something else to say. Can’t. He just wants to get out of here and—okay that’s as far as he’s gotten really.

Out of here, it’s a good place to be.

“Isn’t your father in medicine as well?” Komack continues, and Leonard feels like he can’t breathe.

“Yeah,” he says, the word coming out all strangled. The principal looks at him curiously, and Leonard feels his face burning as he stands up. “Hey, isn’t it almost time for class?”

Komack punches a couple of buttons on the PADD screen and hands it to Leonard: his schedule for the fall term. “Good luck, Mister McCoy,” he says, and if his expression betrays anything like sympathy, Leonard doesn’t see it. He’s out the door as quickly as he can be, trying to find—Intermediate Vulcan.

Great. This semester is starting off just—great.

A pretty girl clad in a cheerleader uniform bumps into him as she rushes to—some place. Her backpack clatters to the ground, PADDs, feminine hygiene products, and an assortment of other personal belongings throwing themselves out of it and all over the floor.

“Crap!” She bends down, gathering them all up hastily. “Sorry, I’m—“

“My fault—” He bends down too, trying to help, feeling warm all over because of course he has to make an ass out of himself in front of a beautiful girl within five minutes of being here.

“—Nyota,” she finishes, and they look up at the same time, meeting one another’s eyes. She really is beautiful, he thinks with a start.

“Leonard,” he says weakly. “I’m new.”

Nyota grins at him. “I noticed.” She glances up. “Agh, I’m late! Sorry again!” And then she’s off and running—towards the library, he sees with surprise.

“Huh,” he says to himself in bemusement. That’s when he notices the forgotten object on the floor. “Hey,” he calls out, picking it up. “You forgot your—” He inspects it more closely. “Stake?”

He’s not sure what to do with the thing—maybe it’s a visual aid for a presentation or something? So he slips it into his bag until he can find Nyota again, and goes back to his original goal of trying to find his class.

When he finally does get there he has a minute of stilted conversation with the teacher, and then he can sink into an empty seat in the very back row. He puts his PADD down, already programmed with all his textbooks, and selects the applet for the Vulcan class.

“Hi!” He looks up, and a green-skinned girl with a profusion of bouncing red curls grins at him from two seats over. “My name’s Gaila. What’s yours?”

“Leonard,” he says, nodding back shyly. “Hi.”

“Whoa,” says a burly boy in the row in front of them, “new kid’s not here two minutes and the Green Machine is already on him!” A couple of other boys snicker at that.

“Cut that out,” Leonard says immediately, taking in Gaila’s unhappy flush. “She’s just bein’ friendly, is all.” Compared with the flat, even cadences of the guys, his rounded drawl sticks out like a sore thumb in the brief pause that follows.

“Sure she is, hick,” the boy says at last, concluding with a derisive snort. As one, their backs turn to him collectively, and it’s like this whole symbolic thing.

I cannot get out of here soon enough, he thinks ruefully.

“Don’t pay any attention to them,” Gaila says, her cheeks still the color of ivy. “They’re idiots.”

“Alright, let’s get started,” the teacher says before Leonard can answer, and the class quiets down as he starts to take the roll. He calls out the names by rote, as if he already knows everyone here—and it’s a senior class, so yeah, he probably does.

“—And Uhura,” he concludes dryly as Nyota runs into the room belatedly. “I’m so glad you could make it on time.”

“Sorry,” the girl says. She takes a quick look around the room, and then grins widely, sliding into the seat between Leonard and Gaila. “Thank God,” she murmurs happily. “Did I miss anything?”

Gaila grins, punching a button on her PADD, and Nyota looks down at her own; clearly a message has been sent and received. Nyota looks at Gaila, then over at Leonard. He knows he’s missed something, so he just smiles at her, and tries to figure out how he’s going to give her her stake back.

“We are a very lucky class this year,” the teacher continues, and Leonard makes himself focus. “We have a cultural exchange student from Vulcan who will be auditing courses here as part of his dissertation program as well as conducting several instructional sessions for the Languages & Linguistics units on campus.” Leonard notices Nyota sitting up with interest while Gaila looks bored. “I’ll tell you more about that later in the term. Now let’s work on some group exercises.”

Immediately the students shift their desks around, forming small clusters throughout the room. Leonard’s heart sinks. He always hates this part.

“Hey, Leonard!” To his surprise, it’s Nyota. She grins at him. “Want to join us? I can hardly let you fend for yourself after running over you earlier!”

“You ran him over?!” Gaila is appalled.

“Only figuratively. Okay not so figuratively,” Nyota admits as he scoots his desk over to hers. “But still! He’s in one piece!” She turns to him, suddenly worried. “You are in one piece, right?”

“All present and accounted for, ma’am,” he answers, and the girls laugh.

They settle into their work, and it quickly becomes apparent that Nyota is a whiz at Vulcan and that Gaila, while less obviously invested, holds her own. Leonard is rusty—he only needed two semesters of Vulcan back in Georgia, not three—but both girls are helpful and he gets up to speed in short order.

“What class do you have next?” Nyota asks as the bell rings. He can feel himself flush with pleasure at their interest in his schedule.

“Xenochemistry,” he answers, checking.

“With Moskowitz?” Gaila asks. When he nods, she all but beams at him. “Awesome, so do I! Want to follow me to the lab?”

“Sure,” he says, and she grabs his hand to lead him off eagerly.

“I’ve got Computational Mechanics,” Nyota says ruefully. “See you guys at lunch?”

“Totally!” Gaila agrees, and then she’s pulling Leonard down the hall.

“Ah, er, one second,” Leonard says before he loses Nyota completely in the crowd. He fumbles with his bag. “Nyota! I, um—you dropped this,” he says as he hands her the—well, the stake.

To his surprise, she flushes darkly, her skin turning the color of coffee.

“Oh!” she says, a bit too brightly. “How clumsy of me. Thank you so much! I’ll see you later!” And then she’s running off again—back towards the library.

Leonard watches her go, blinking, then turns and rejoins Gaila.

“What was that about?” she asks curiously.

“Ah, nothing,” he answers, because if Nyota was embarrassed about it then it was hardly the gentlemanly thing to do to bring it up before her friend. “So are you good at Xenochemistry?”

“Am I?” She bounces excitedly, and goes off on a tangent about—well, he’s not sure what about, but she seems to know everything about it. This continues as she leads him to a lab table with two more of her friends. One of them is a Scottish boy their age named Montgomery Scott, and the other is a Russian kid named Pavel Chekov, who appears to be all of twelve.

This class drags on more than the Vulcan class did; it’s all introduction and safety procedures, and Leonard is bored out of his mind. He’s zoned out completely when there’s a flash of heat and a whump! sound. Startled, he and the rest of the class look over to see a surprised and pink-faced Scotty and a Pavel whose riotous curls are standing on end.

Moscowitz looks aggrieved, her hand over her face. “Okay, that’s a new record even for you two,” she says tiredly. “Go see Komack. The rest of you, open your texts to Problem Set 12.”

Leonard’s much more in his element here, and he’s able to repay Gaila for her help in Vulcan.

“Scotty usually gets me through this class,” she admits. “I’m more into computers, though.” She eyes his PADD—an older, beaten one—thoughtfully. “I could soup that up for you, if you want?”

Leonard eyes it, almost tempted. “Maybe,” he says after a moment. He wants to explain how his Dad had uploaded a not insignificant part of his own medical reference library into it, just because Leonard started getting interested in medicine about a year ago, but he can’t quite find the words.

Mercifully, Gaila doesn’t inquire further. “You can let me know if you change your mind,” she says, and then the bell rings, and second period is over. “Lunchtime!”

They share the same lunch period, so he follows her to the cafeteria, or rather, she pulls him along, her arm firmly in his. There they are met by a chastened Scotty and Chekov and another boy who is laughing at their disarray companionably.

“Leonard, this is Hikaru,” Gaila introduces them. “Hikaru, this is Leonard. I have adopted him,” she says helpfully.

“I—have been adopted, apparently,” Leonard says with a short wave. “Hi.”

Hikaru grins at him, and reaches out to shake his hand. “Nice to meet you,” he says politely. “If these bozos”—he nods his head at Scotty and Chekov—“haven’t scared you off yet, you should sit with us.”

Considering Gaila is still holding onto him—and this would be pretty awesome, he thinks, only he wishes it were Nyota being so friendly instead—this seems like a good option.

“Sorry I’m late,” Nyota says when she joins them mid-meal. “Pike wanted to see me.”

“Pike?” Leonard asks.

“He’s our librarian,” Gaila explains.

“We—have a book club,” Nyota says with that same odd note in her voice from earlier.

“Book club,” he echoes as the others exchange glances. “Right. And you’re all members?”

Da!” Pavel says eagerly. “Russian literature! Wery best!” He looks pleased with himself.

“A…Russian literature book club.” Leonard puts his fork down. He doesn’t have the sensation that they are mocking him, but he’ll be damned if a half dozen teenagers care that much about Tolstoy and Pushkin, even if they are at this school.

“Well, there’s lots of stuff besides that,” Gaila says quickly. “Like the Sherchyi La!”

Nyota chokes and starts coughing.

“Are you okay?” Leonard is concerned, then realizes the cheerleader is laughing through her coughs.

“Yeah,” Nyota says. “Fine. Good. Great. I gotta go,” and then she’s up and gone again.

“See ya,” he says to empty air.

The rest of the meal is pleasant enough; the others are friendly, but he’s starting to feel the stress of the day—and of course, it’s only half over. With a little time left over from lunch, he decides to go visit this library that houses the Russian-and-other-stuff book club.

“Hello, can I help you?” The man who greets him is older, dark hair just starting to show traces of silver. This must be Mr. Pike.

“Um, maybe.” Leonard feels foolish, and somehow let down—like he’d been expecting the man to be British and wear tweed or something. “I’m, ah—“ He seizes on the first title he can think of. “Looking for a book called Sherchyi La? Apparently the local book club likes it.”

The librarian blinks. “Local book club?”

“Yeah, that—” Knew it. No book club after all, then. “Never mind. D’you have it?”

“Well.” The librarian frowns—not forbiddingly, just awkwardly. “I can, but—you’d need parental permission.”

Okay, that’s unexpected. “Why’s that?” Leonard asks curiously.

“It’s an, ah, Orion sex manual,” Pike says.

“Oh.” The two stare at each other. Mercifully the bell rings. “I gotta go. Bye.”

“Yeah,” says the librarian, looking apologetic and embarrassed. “Bye.”

Leonard isn’t sure if he’s relieved or disappointed that his next class, Federation History, has all of them in it.

“Hi, Leonard,” Gaila says, waving at him. “Saved you a seat.”

It’s between her and Hikaru, with Nyota one row over and Pavel and Scotty behind.

He sighs as he takes the chair, putting his PADD down heavily. “Ya’ll should know that was damn embarrassing,” he says.

“What?” Hikaru says blankly.

Gaila blinks, then flushes a very deep green. “You didn’t—“

Nyota picks up her sentence and the three of them finish together. “—Go see Pike. Yeah,” Leonard concludes. “I did.” He glares at Gaila. “Sherchyi La! Really?!”

The Orion looks abashed. “It’s a good book!” she says defensively. “And I didn’t think you’d, y’know, go look it up or whatever.”

“Gaila!” Nyota looks irritated, then turns to him, apologetic. “Sorry. She’s—special.”

“Hey!” Gaila interrupts.

“And we love you,” Hikaru reassures her.

“Just the vay you are,” Pavel concludes.

And that’s why Leonard has to forgive them. The remaining classes pass, and he has to admit as he zips his PADD and other belongings into his bag after the last bell rings, his first day at school could have gone so much worse.


“I’m home,” he announces as he walks in the door.

“In here, sweetie!” Mom’s voice, calling from somewhere in the interior of their new house. He finds her in the kitchen, peering into the guts of their replicator. “Darn thing’s on the fritz again!”

“Here, let me.” Leonard dumps his backpack on the floor and turns the machine so its open panel faces him. He’s fixed this thing more times than he can count over the last two years. He replugs the sonic emitter and slams the panel shut, hard, before opening it again and twisting the plug one more time.

“Careful!” Mom says reprovingly.

He closes the panel gently this time, turns the machine around and pushes it back over to her. “There. It’s fixed.”

Mom looks at him dubiously, then punches a command into the thing. It chirps obligingly and a moment later a steaming cup of tea emerges. She takes an experimental sip.

“Told you,” he says as she makes a contented sigh. He glares at it balefully. “These things are too damn easy to mess up. You know this is the same technology they use on those goddamn transporters?”

“Language.” Mom blows on her tea. “How was school?”

“Fine. Where’s Dad?” The house is too quiet, he thinks. Dad likes sound: music playing, or a vidfeed on, or sometimes both at once if he’s lost in thought, concentrating on some work he’s brought home.

Silence is becoming something normal in the McCoy household, and it scares Leonard to death.

“He’s asleep,” Mom sighs. She looks pensive, then turns to look out the window, her back to Leonard. “He had a very long day at the hospital today.”

“More tests?” He grits the words out. Starfleet Medical has the best equipment on the planet, and if they are putting Dad through the wringer even more than Emory did back home—

“Mmm.” That’s not an answer either way, and Leonard feels the familiar weight in his gut like hot stones. “I’m going to cook tonight,” Mom says abruptly, too bright. “I did some exploring today and went to a couple of those organic stores out by Markets Ferry. How does real meatloaf and potatoes sound?”

“Sounds good, Mom.” She beams at him when he gives her his best smile. He wonders if it looks as false as it feels. “Need any help?”

“Nah,” she says. “You get started on your homework. I’ll get you and wake your father when it’s done.” She’s already pulling food and things out of the refrigerator.

He picks his backpack up again and retreats to his room. He’s mostly unpacked—well as much as he can handle for the moment, anyway. Most of his clothes are in their drawers in the chest, the rest still in boxes for storage. In this climate he has no idea when he’ll want to wear shorts again—never, maybe.

He has a couple boxes of book and vid chips on his desk, along with a handful of print volumes he’s had forever. His computer, of course. The walls are bare; he’d trashed his old holo-posters when they left Atlanta, souvenirs of concerts he went to with Jocelyn before—well, before.

The familiar heat of pain and humiliation floods through him, and he closes his eyes tight.

His room is too small, the air too stifling, and he needs to get out of here.

Leonard turns around and heads back down the stairs, calling out a farewell to Mom. He’s all but running by the time he gets to the street proper, and he doesn’t stop for a long time.


This is, of course, exactly how he meets his first vampire.

The oddest thing about it, Leonard will think much later, is how undramatic it all is.

In vids, there’s always predatory silence and the designated victim looking about all worriedly, and there’s time to realize that things aren’t as they seem, to start to feel a niggle of doubt and worry. Also, it’s always night, and somehow a Monday afternoon—even one that is overcast and threatening chilly rain—just isn’t that foreboding.

All Leonard knows is that he stops running when he develops a stitch in his side. He pauses, panting slightly, and then arms like iron are gripping him and dragging him into the gaping doorway of a nondescript building. Leonard struggles, using his height to gain some leverage, but it’s no use. He’s aware of deep, leonine growling and smells a putrid stench from the man holding him.

“Help!” he calls out as he’s dragged inside, feet skittering over the payment. “Somebody! Help!”

It’s more like being attacked by a wild animal than a person, but the—well, it’s definitely a humanoid that’s got him. He feels sharp teeth against his neck, feels his skin break, and that’s when she shows up.

“Are you kidding me?!” Nyota sounds annoyed more than anything.

“Run!” Leonard calls out, trying to break the hold around him. “Get out of here, get help!”

Nyota stays exactly where she is, stake in hand. She’s changed clothes since school—clad in dark jeans with a matching denim jacket and a gray t-shirt, with her long hair pinned up rather than held back in the ponytail she sported earlier. Her stance is defensive, and for a moment Leonard is reminded of nothing so much as a sleek panther, ready to pounce.

“Slayer!” The voice growls near his ear. Its tone is angry and—respectful? Maybe even afraid. “This is my territory, girl.”

“Um, hello? Hellmouth? This is my turf, asshole. Now let him go before I really hurt you.”

Leonard is immediately pushed away; he falls to the ground, hard. His neck is damp from the bite, and he applies pressure to the spot to stanch the flow quickly. He’s relieved that it’s a shallow wound—it aches, but his fingers are sticky rather than wet from the wound. All the same, he wonders for a moment if he hasn’t lost a dangerous amount of blood because the—man—creature—thing is like nothing he’s ever seen before. He, or it, has bulbous protrusions on his brow, and fangs jutting from its mouth. It’s dressed in Terran clothing that hasn’t been washed in a while, and its eyes are a bright yellow.

It growls at Nyota, then rushes at her.

“Nyota!” Leonard cries, horrified, but that’s when she—well. It’s a fight, but from where he sits, sprawled ungracefully, it looks like a dance. The girl’s movements are fluid, her punches and kicks as sharp and neat as nails hammered relentlessly into a surface.

“—And that’s what you get for not listening,” she concludes as she shoves the stake through its chest, and it—dissipates into a cloud of dust. Nyota sneezes daintily, then waves a hand in front of her face. “Ugh. He needed a bath so bad. Are you okay?”

She’s focused on Leonard now, and he really wishes he could not gape like a fish as he stands up. “Um. Define ‘okay’?”

Her lips quirk upwards in a very small smile, amused but rueful. “How badly are you hurt?” She reaches out with one hand, inspecting his wound. “That’s not too bad, but we should get it taken care of. C’mon.”

“What—what was that?” he asks as she leads him back outside into the twilight. His teeth are chattering slightly. Still not used to the cold, he thinks, followed ever so slowly by, Shock. Textbook case. Body temperature lowered because of poor oxygenation. Skin discoloration to follow. Sweating. He’s mentally reciting the list of symptoms and it takes him way too long to realize that Nyota is talking—and she’s growing more concerned by the minute.

“Pike! I need some help here!” she calls out loudly, and he’s surprised that they’ve somehow arrived back at their school—that they are, in fact, almost at the library once more.

“Oh, I don’t think that’s necessary,” he says as he starts to fall, “I didn’t want—to read that—book—that badly—anyway.”


Waking up is kind of like swimming: he has the sensation of being under some surface, of wanting to break through it into easy air, but he can’t quite manage it. He can hear voices nearby, but damned if he understands a word of what they’re saying. For a while it’s like he’s suspended in a warm cocoon, like it’s a sunny afternoon in Georgia and he’s outside their house, napping on the porch swing. Mom and Dad are probably out in the orchard—peaches are ripe for picking, Dad will be getting that old ladder to climb to the top branches—

Except he won’t. Dad’s sick, they’re in California, and today was the first day of school and he met—

He opens his eyes, jerking fully awake abruptly. He’s been laid on a couch and he fumbles on the slick institutional vinyl of it as he tries to get to his feet.

“Whoa, son.” The librarian is there, looking at him with concern. “Easy. You were pretty hurt back there. I patched you up, but—“

“What happened?” Leonard demands. He reaches to feel at his neck automatically; his skin tingles slightly with the aftereffects of recent dermal regeneration. “We were attacked—!”

“—You need to take it easy,” Pike continues, voice calm and even.

“Where—?” Leonard starts to ask, but it’s all too obvious where he is, with the bookcases of old books and the computer terminals and long wooden tables. He’s at the school library, and Nyota and her friends are there.

“You’re safe,” Nyota says gently. “It’s okay.”

“Hi, Leonard!” Gaila sits at one of the computers, Scotty at her shoulder. She waves cheerfully.

“I found it! I found it!” Pavel comes out from another area of bookcases, holding an old paper book excitedly. Hikaru follows him, carrying another, heavier volume. “Oh! He’s avake! Velcome back, Leonard!”

“Um, yeah, thanks,” Leonard says, confused.

“You found it?” Pike asks, his attention immediately drawn to the younger boy and the book he carries.

Pavel lays it down on the table nearest them all, and everyone but Nyota gathers around it in a circle.

“Welcome to the Hellmouth,” Nyota says ruefully, still beside him.

“What?” Leonard asks blankly.

“It’s the feast of St. Geagnian,” Hikaru reads from the larger book. “It’s what they’ve been getting ready for.” He looks up at them all, looking stunned. “It’s, uh, the day after tomorrow.”

“Of course!” Nyota says in exasperation. “It’s the first week of school, we have our first home game coming up, Janice Rand wants to eat me alive for missing practice, and there’s a big ritual sacrifice coming up.” She flings her arms into the air in annoyance. “Hey, universe?” she addresses the ceiling. “Is there anything else you’d like to throw at me?”


“Rewind it again.” The vampire is impatient. “We orchestrated this little stunt for a purpose, remember?”

It takes longer for the minion to perform his command than he would like; there’s not all that much footage to look at, either. Everything had happened within a few minutes, and they were lucky to get as much as they did.

“There, freeze it there!” He leans in closer, peering at the vidcam footage. “Zoom in closer.”

“Yes, Master.” The fledgling does as he bids. “There you go.”


Leonard supposes he’s lucky that he got away with his skin, but all he can really bring himself to be relieved about is that his parents seem to find nothing odd in him having gone back to school because he “forgot” a book he needed for his homework—and that it somehow took several hours for him to return.

“With the time change and all I’m surprised that’s all you forgot,” Mom says as she ruffles his hair affectionately when he comes in. He swats her hand away in mock-irritation, but really he’s afraid if she comes too close she’ll smell the smoke on him. “Sit down, it’s time for supper.”

Leonard pulls out a chair next to Dad, who yawns. “I can’t believe I’m still so tired,” he says. He has dark circles under his eyes, making his wan skin look almost yellow.

“You just need more protein,” Mom says lightly. She serves them each a heaping plate of steaming food; Leonard’s stomach growls at the scent of it. “Say Grace?”

“How about you, son?” Dad says.

Leonard nods and bends his head low. He coughs to clear his throat. “Our Father, thank you for this meal we are about to receive. Thank you for our—our family and our friends. Amen.”

“Amen,” his parents echo, and they start to eat. For a moment there’s nothing but the clinking sound of cutlery and dishes.

“So, speaking of friends,” Dad says, “did you make any today?”

“Vampires?” he asked, staring.

“And everything else that goes bump in the night,” Nyota said.

“Um. Yeah,” Leonard says after a moment. “I guess so.”

“It all started sophomore year,” Gaila said with a grin. “I was brand new, and then Nyota saved my life.”

“She makes a habit of that, seems like,” he said as he rubbed his neck thoughtfully.

“It’s kind of her superpower,” Hikaru said.

“That’s good,” Mom says. “Care to tell us about them?”

“Well,” he says slowly, “they’re really—different.”

“Ve help,” said Pavel proudly. “It’s vhat ve do!”

“Aye,” Scotty agreed. “One lass by ‘erself? It’s too bloody much! But a Slayer with a team? We can handle anythin’!”

“And we do,” Hikaru said. “Demons.”

“Interesting,” he continues.

“Witches.” Gaila all but beamed.

“Interesting, hmm?” Dad asks.

“Everything that goes bump in the night?” Nyota was strangely feral. “We’re what bumps back.”

“So, do you think you’ll like it here?” Mom asks.

Leonard remembers how they went as a group to a warehouse a few miles from the high school. How the others went in with a variety of weapons while he, Pavel, and Pike stayed outside to watch for any vampires that might have escaped. (Pavel, young as he is, is brilliant with a crossbow.)

How he helped Pike patch up the bruises and cuts after.

How Nyota grinned at him when she came out last.

“Yeah,” he says, taking a bite of mashed potato. “I think I will.”


The vidfeed replays from the new timestamp, the picture magnified to its max. It’s pixilated and blurry, but all the same, he can’t help but grin as he watches the girl dispatching the vamp with ease. “She’s amazing!”

The fledge shivers. “If that’s the word you want to use,” he mutters. “Giorgio was an old one, too.”

Jim Kirk ignores him. “She’s a Slayer. An actual challenge.” His game-face ripples out in his eagerness at the thought of a real fight. He hasn’t had one of those in—oh. Centuries. He smirks and the fledge bends closer to the computer, trying to keep out of his way. “I can’t wait.”



May. 17th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
Oh my God, you have NO idea how happy I am to see this idea turned into a full length story. It's like everything good and happy in the world has come together to have a party in my head.

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