Title: The Prisoner
This has all been done for love.
UV 4: Elucidation
“What an amazing selection,” Michael said in deep disgust, rummaging through the groceries in front of him. “Where the hell did you get these, some reject food store?”
Jack looked down in amusement at his friend, he was sat on the floor his back leaning against the side of the armchair, his feet sprawled out in front of him, exploring the contents of the carrier bag Jack had just deposited in front of him. Every time Jack returned he could guarantee he’d find Michael either asleep on sat like this. Michael preferred sofas, he liked to lay in them and relax, he always maintained that with his length armchairs were just plain uncomfortable. Jack had just thought he was a lazy sod and said so frequently, especially as Michael often didn’t bother to get up to go to bed, but fell asleep where he lay, particularly after one of their drinking sessions.
“Best I could do mate,” he said casually, “I don’t like those bright lit supermarkets, so it’s a nice little dark corner shop for me.”
Michael looked at him quizzically, “I wonder if you pay them?” he asked and then returned hurriedly to finding something he could eat in response to Jack’s broad grin.
Jack continued watching him; he’d thoroughly enjoyed this past week with Michael. Had he known how damn passionate Michael was, he would have seduced him years ago, although he had to admit the chances of him succeeding then would have been poor. Even now, despite the evidence of their mutual desire, Michael was still struggling to come to terms with everything, and if Jack had been willing to allow himself regret, he knew that given a second chance, his first time with Michael would have been slower, and less forceful.
He shrugged mentally, what was done was done, he had what he wanted, Michael as his willing lover, and to be honest, watching his friend’s reaction to his confinement, and the stages he’d gone through to reach this resigned, but affectionate attitude towards himself had been absolutely fascinating. He had been amused by the anger and bitterness, aroused by the pleading, something Michael had been slow to recognise, but made rather effective use of now, but a little uneasy with the fortunately brief period of misery and lassitude that Michael had sunk into at the beginning. He had never seen his friend like that before and he didn’t want to again.
“Must be something there,” he declared moving to crouch down by the bag. “I was fast but I was sure I’d netted a few appetizing things.” He picked up a tin of cat food and shook his head in disbelief. “Well maybe I was a little slapdash,” he admitted.
Michael took the tin off him and laughed.
“You’re bloody hopeless,” he said affectionately. “Come to think of it you were never very efficient at getting the meals when we were on a job. Somehow, like everything else it got left to me, and thank god too if this would have been the result.”
He got up holding a tin, found the can opener, and decanted the contents into a small saucepan before placing it on the hot plate to warm through.
“No problem now,”’ Jack said easily, watching for Michael’s almost subliminal shudder as he absorbed Jack’s meaning.
Jack had hoped that Michael would ask more questions about how crossing over had changed him, but except for comments on his behaviour he had appeared totally disinterested. Jack knew that it was all a front. In the shower yesterday he’d again watched in amusement as Michael had been unable to stop staring at the way the water appeared to flow over him, not touching him, not wetting him. Michael had held his arm and moved it through the water absolutely fascinated by the effect.
“You don’t smell either do you?’ he’d asked, “nothing seems to stick to you.” and then as quickly had let Jack’s arm fall and returned to washing himself.
Michael turned the saucepan contents onto a plate and picking up a fork, flopping back down into his previous position and began to eat.
“I’m going to die of malnutrition at this rate,” he grumbled holding out the contents towards Jack. “Go on try it, see what unspeakable yuk you force feed me.”
Jack placed a minute piece on his finger and lifted it to his mouth. The mere smell made him want to retch, but he had taught himself to take in small amounts of food for appearance sake when out netting informers and moving in for the bite.
“I’ll take your word for it Mike,” he said, smiling. “Not really suitable to my palate, as you well know.”
Michael ate a little more then put his plate down and turned to face Jack.
“Jack,” he began, sighed then continued. “Jack, when are you going to let me go, you can’t hold me forever. I know you are trying to wage a war of attrition, but I’m not going to change my mind.”
Jack looked at him in amusement
“My, Mike, been swallowing a dictionary whilst I’m out?”
“I have little else to do but think,” Michael shrugged his shoulders, “and I’ve delivered these speeches to you in my head numerous times, so they are getting to be rather eloquent.”
“I must spend more time with you,” Jack laughed. “I thought I kept you pretty occupied.” He grinned, as Michael blushed. “Come and sit on the bed,” he continued reaching out to pull him up. “It’s more comfortable.”
Michael shook his head firmly. “We stay here Jack,” he said with great patience. “Come on sit down and stop avoiding the question, you’ve got to answer it. You may be almost immortal; I however am human and have a life to live. I don’t want your ‘life’ away from the light and warmth of the sun. I don’t particularly want to die either, but I’m young, I’ve hopefully got a lot of life ahead of me to enjoy.” He looked at the silent watching Jack. “Despite, or if I’m honest, perhaps because of all that has happened here, I want you in my life, but it isn’t possible is it Jack? Humans are your prey, your food source, an occasional interlude to amuse yourself with but always your inferior and for all I know soon to be done away with.”
Jack sat down slowly and looked at Michael thoughtfully. Michael had asked to be let free every day, but this was the first time he’d really spelled out his understanding of the facts so coherently. They could not really be argued with. He had wanted to avoid this discussion because he didn’t want to face Michael with his ultimate fate, and to be honest it would probably spoil the fun he’d been having with him.
“Mike, why don’t you ask me all those questions about what I’ve become, that you’ve been studiously not asking,” he said seriously.
Michael leaned further back onto the chair and sighed.
“Because I’m sure I’ll only get the sales pitch not the truth,” he answered bitterly. “I know you of old Jack, and this new you is similar to the old one but even more indifferent to the truth.”
“You do say the most charming things my love,” said Jack thoughtfully. “I sometimes wonder why you became my friend the way you talk about me?”
Michael looked at him with affection and laughed
“Cut the crap Jack.” he said cheerfully, “You know why, it’s the charm you still have in bucket loads, so stop fishing for compliments.”
Jack grinned then returned to the question. “Come on, Mike, satisfy your curiosity, it won’t harm you. I’ll try and be as honest as I can be.”
“That’s like a skunk saying he will try and smell sweet,” retorted Michael ducking as Jack aimed a blow at his head.
“Can it, Mike,” Jack grinned at him before returning to the offensive. “Come on ask.”
He watched Michael as he sat studying the carpet, his face thoughtful.
“You drink blood,” Michael stated the obvious.
Jack nodded patiently, at least it was a start.
“What does it do to you?” Michael continued.
“It fills a great desire and hunger,” Jack shivered as he spoke. ‘It’s almost the most satisfying thing of crossing. The feel of that blood rushing into your veins and arteries is so exciting and fulfilling, you feel so alive.”
“Yet you are so dead,” Michael said flatly. “Jack you don’t breathe, your heart doesn’t pump, you don’t need to blink or cough, you don’t cry. I’ve never seen you sleep or shave or comb your hair; yet you always look the same. You don’t appear to feel the heat or the cold. I don’t understand how you can still experience love and passion but I know you can. You continue to act as if you were human most of the time, but it must be different.” He stopped suddenly looking a little scared.
“I feel different,” said Jack softly, ‘everything is so exciting, I can see more about things Mike. I can see in the dark as well as you can see in the light and the dark is as comforting to me as the sun is for you. I look at you and I can see an aura around you that identifies you. I can sense some of your thoughts and emotions.”
“Do you have an aura?” asked Michael with sudden interest. “Was it what I saw in the shower, is that why we can’t see you on video, in mirrors or hear you on the phone? Do you not transmit anything of yourself? Are you essentially sealed off?” He stumbled to a halt as Jack placed a hand over his mouth.
“Oh Mike,” Jack grinned, “its all or none with you isn’t it. I’m sorry but I don’t know much yet. Some of the others have spent time investigating who and what we are, and from where we originated but I haven’t had a chance to meet them. I can only tell you what I experience, and that is that I am faster and stronger. I can fade into the night and somehow fade through doors and windows when I need to. I hear and see better than before and I am more aware of everything.” He smiled. “It beats being human, it’s the thrill, the power and the blood I suppose.”
There was silence for a time as Michael seemed to absorb what Jack had said. He looked up at Jack and shook his head.
“Jack I don’t understand, you talk about the others, those of your kind. I’ve never seen you with another leech, not that I suppose I could tell, but how do you communicate, who leads you, who is in charge?” Michael stopped and looked uncertain. “Can you tell me that kind of thing?”
“Not really,” Jack said lazily. “I’m not sure I understand myself. I just know that there are rules, and these have been formed over hundreds of years of enmity and discord. We are obliged to follow them or suffer the consequence.”
“Jack you’ve always bucked the bloody rules ever since I’ve known you,” Michael said in disbelief. “You managed it on the Met, don’t tell me you have changed that much.”
Jack grinned, “Don’t worry Mike,’” he said cheerfully. “These are sensible rules of survival to which I am happy to subscribe, and anyway, I enjoy my role in the game.”
“Which is?” pursued Michael.
“Information gathering,” Jack grinned, “and do you know Mike, it’s so much more fun doing it this way,” and he licked his lips, “than our previous way.”
“I really don’t want to know,” Michael said unhappily and shuddered.
“But you do Mike,” Jack contradicted him, reaching forward and carding his hand through Michael’s hair. “I fascinate you don’t I? I can see it in the way you look at me sometimes, you want to know, and you want to understand. You didn’t buy the squads take on us, which is why you found it so hard to resist me.”
Michael paled; he closed his eyes and was silent briefly before gently removing Jack’s hand, and hunching forward, arms wrapped tightly round his knees.
“By not asking you, I keep managing to forget just how frightening and threatening you really are,” he said with effort. “You are so much like my Jack, yet so alien in some senses, yes you do fascinate me, but it’s the kind of fascination the snake has for its prey, very dangerous and stupid to get caught up in.”
Jack smiled at him and reached forward to hold his friend’s hands.
“My poor Mike,” he said gently. “I was so excited and curious, you are scared and frightened. You see the darkness I saw the opportunities. Please Mike just for once try and see it from my point of view.”
Michael looked at him silently, slowly shaking his head.
“I’ve tried Jack,” he said quietly. “I really have tried, but then the whole thing terrifies me, it seems to engage with that primeval fear that many of us have for the dark unknown.” He pulled his hands away from Jack and sat up back. “I know I’m going to miss you and I’m going to have to re think my life and career but the choice is join you or loose you and since I can’t even comprehend how I could make the choice to cross over, you must let me go.”
Jack got up and walked to the door, opening it, he looked at Michael who sat up, an expression of hope battling with fear and anticipated loss.
“Mike,” he said from the doorway, “you can leave now, but I will not let you go far before I track you down. I know you totally, I can sense and smell you from a distance, and you can never hide from me, so does that answer your question? You’ve asked me what is it like to cross over, and now I have to tell you that you will soon find out yourself. I am informed that you have always been considered one of us, and so have absolutely no choice in the matter.”
Jack watched as Michael’s face slowly went ashen; he closed the door and moved back to sit by his side then reached out to comfort him finding that Michael was trembling. He looked into Michael’s terrified eyes and held him tight.
“I don’t know that you’ll believe me,” he whispered, kissing him gently on his cheek. “But I’m sorry it had to be like this Mike, if only I could have persuaded you it would have been so much easier.”
Michael sat immobile, his eyes wide and staring, his body continuing to shiver.
Jack kissed him again, “Don’t worry, Mike, I’ll be with you, by your side, forever.” He licked at Michael’s throat, before descending on the quivering lips below him, his concern flowing into desire. “Let me make love to you Mike?” he asked, returning to the lips. Michael sighed, and Jack pounced, pushing his tongue in to the quivering mouth. He pushed at the tall, lean body, feeling the slow surrender, as Michael lay down, opened his lips, and reached for him.
“Together, Mike, we’ll be together,” he whispered, rubbing against Michael’s taut body, triumph and pleasure meeting, as he felt Michael’s arousal, and heard the change in his breathing.
“Together,” he murmured once more, and fell on his lover’s unresisting, compliant body.
Continued in Part 5, Regrets