Title:  Rouge
Author: elfin
Email: elfin@burble.com
Homepage: http://www.sundive.co.uk/
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Forever Knight / Moulin Rouge
Pairing: Nick/LaCroix, Nick/Christian
Archive: UF, Britslash, Red Windmill
Spoilers:  For end of Moulin Rouge
Warnings: SLASH FICTION!
Summary:  Two vampires in the audience on the final night of the Moulin
Rouge decide to help Christian

Thanks to: Tomy, as always, for beta reading

Disclaimer: characters are beloved creations of and copyright Baz
Luhrmann & Craig Pearce (MR) and James D. Parriott and Barney Cohen
(FK).  I'm just playing with them.





 

Rouge

by elfin


Paris, 1899


The final night of the Moulin Rouge, although no one knew it at the
time.

I’d come to Paris with LaCroix.  He’d wanted to come because he’d been
interested in some artist called Toulouse-Lautrec whose talent had my
master enthralled for a reason that was beyond me.

And so we sat in the audience on the opening night of something called
‘Spectacular Spectacular’.

It’s not really my thing.  I wrote with Mozart.  Everything since then
has seemed almost… soulless.

And when the spectacle started, I had my doubts that it was LaCroix’s
thing either.  I could feel his distaste through the fluctuating bond
between us.  His aspiring artist was apparently playing the part of a
musical instrument - a sitar that was only able of speaking the truth.

After the first act, I thought he was going to walk out.  He almost did.

But then… something happened, something that caught our attentions.

At the start of the second act, the door opened at the back of the stage
and the man leaning over Satine as she knelt there wasn’t the tall,
bearded Argentinean who’d played the penniless sitar player in the
previous act.  In fact, it was no actor who stood there.  From our seats
we could see the surprise on his face, the tears in his tired eyes….

The maharaja – who LaCroix had said was being acted by the owner of the
club – tried to talk his way out of it.  He gave some sort of
explanation, that his eyes did not deceive him, and that this newcomer
was indeed the penniless sitar player, but wearing a clever disguise.

The rest of the audience accepted that this new man was in fact the
original actor in a different costume, or at least that it was a part of
the play.  But the shock that we could feel coming from the stage told
both of us that this was an expected switch.

Yet, the show went on.

Except that, at the same time, it didn’t.

I knew, as my father knew, that we were no longer watching a scripted
play, but something real, something personal and intimate.

LaCroix glanced at me, his interest piquing.

The man on stage was yelling and crying, his heart breaking.  We were
all silent as he stormed down the steps, tears streaming over his
beautiful face from bright blue eyes….

And then Satine started to sing.  The words meant little to us, but to
the man who stopped in his tracks in the aisle next to us, they must
have meant the world.

The song that went between them spoke of an eternal, undying love.  A
love that had touched them and brought them together.  Her, a courtezan,
him… the sitar player.  Or a penniless something – the writer of the
play perhaps?

I was fascinated.  And I could feel LaCroix’s pulsing interest.

“The raw emotion, mon fils, the sound of his heart in his voice….”
These were just whispers from my sire’s pale lips, but I heard them
clear as a shout.

The curtains closed, and the audience stood in a loud ovation.

We waited for the inevitable curtain call that never came.

Another look passed between us, and I watched as LaCroix reached out
with his senses to find out what was keeping the stars of the night.

When he found it, he mirrored it to me.

Our penniless writer’s angelic voice was raised in pain and grief.  His
sobs reached only LaCroix and I over the cheers of the audience.

I heard his heart breaking, his soul crying out at the injustice, and I
reached with LaCroix to find the reason for this sudden change.

She was dead.  Her corpse lying in his arms.  His tears were falling to
her pale, expressionless face and mingling there with her blood.

Our angel was broken.  Somehow, fate had intervened.  Whatever they’d
suffered through to find their way back into each other’s arms had all
been for nothing.

I wanted to cry for him.

//LaCroix….//

//I know mon cher//  He turned to me, and the tenderness in his eyes was
more than I’d seen from him in a long time.  “But we must wait,” he
murmured, loud enough for only me to hear.

Reluctantly, I had to agree.  Unseen, we left the theatre, his arm
around my waist, mine around his.

We returned to the hotel and, locked together in our angel’s grief, we
made love like we hadn’t in a hundred years.

*

We waited until the next night.  Not that we had too much choice.

LaCroix found our angel.  He had been taken back to his rooms in an old
hotel directly opposite the Moulin Rouge and was sleeping under the
influence of a sedative that might have killed an elephant.

These Bohemian doctors were frightening with the way they made their
medicines.  I’d likened them, on more than one occasion, to alchemists.

Toulouse was sitting with the grief-stricken man, and it took a moment
for LaCroix to persuade him to leave us alone with his ward.  During
that time, he took a name from the Frenchman’s mind.

Christian.

I perched on the edge of the bed, and LaCroix crouched down in front of
the young man.

He was beautiful, despite the red and black rings around his eyes.  They
had wrapped an ancient but warm blanket over his cool body, and made him
as comfortable as they could.

But I knew what LaCroix was thinking.  It was the same as he had thought
about me.  This dark angel deserved more, deserved everything that our
rarely touched riches could provide him with.

LaCroix looked from Christian to me, and I felt a question in my mind,
an uncertainty.

My master, my father and often my lover wanted to keep this man with him
from now until the end of time.  He wanted to offer Christian a chance
for revenge on the world that had taken his beloved from him just when
he’d thought everything would be all right.

//He won’t replace you//

//I know//

//I won’t make the same mistakes again.  He’ll be free//

//Promise me… you won’t destroy his soul//

I felt his hesitation, his cold heart thawing a little more.  //Je
t’aime.  Je promesse//

//Merci, mon pere//

I leaned over, touched my hand to Christian’s temple.  “Christian.”  I
whispered his name as I gently stroked over his mind to wake him.  The
last thing I wanted to do was startle him, and to my caress I added a
soothing command that there was nothing to be frightened of.

I felt LaCroix’s spiking emotions as the bright, sparkling blue eyes
opened and looked straight at him.

“Who…?”  Christian’s first word was one of sudden fear.

“Ssh,” LaCroix purred as only he could when it was needed.  “My name is
Lucien LaCroix, this is my son, Nicholas.  We know what happened to you,
to your beloved Satine.”  I could see the tears welling up again in
those beautiful eyes and my still heart ached for him.

“She’s dead,” Christian whined, his own heart broken in his breast.

“I know.  Had I known….”  He could have saved her.  And I wondered at
that moment whether he would have.  He could have set them both free,
but that way, Christian wouldn’t have been his.  And it was this
innocent beauty that he wanted now.  “But I was too late, I can’t save
her but I can help you.”

“Bring her back,” he begged.  “Please, I’ll do anything….”

I was astounded.  This man didn’t know who or what we were but still we
were making him believe in us.  He still believed in fairytales then?
Even after fate had destroyed him?

Moving to sit behind him, I stroked my hand over his hair and leaned
over to kiss his temple.  He started, sat up suddenly and turned to look
at me.  I sat back, smiling as gently as I could.

“Who are you?”

“We’re vampires,” I told him quietly, ignoring the spike of denial in my
mind.  “Immortals.”

“Vampires….”  He seemed to study the word on his own lips for a time.
“What do you want with me?”  The tinge of fear, the awful pain in his
soft voice, touched me as his boyish features and raw emotions had
touched LaCroix.

“We want you to come with us.”

“As one of you.”  There seemed no surprise in his tone.  It wasn’t a
question.  He didn’t seem to care any longer.

“As one of us.”

“What makes you think I’d welcome eternity without her?  With this
pain?”

“You’ll feel different,” I murmured, wondering if I was telling the
truth.  “The pain will go away.”

Christian shook his head, but he was still looking at me.  “Can’t you
just… kill me?”

My own tears surprised me.  I put my arm around his shoulders and drew
him to me, stroking my forehead against his soft hair.  He made no move
to pull away from the contact.  Both LaCroix and I were holding him in
thrall, just a little.  It was second nature to placate a victim now.
Yet Christian wasn’t to be a victim, we hoped, but a member of the
family.

It struck me then that Janette would just adore him.

LaCroix came up and sat on the edge of the bed.  “We want to help,
Christian.  God’s world has taken everything from you, has nothing left
to offer you.”  I listened to my father’s words.  They sounded so
familiar.  “We can take you away from all this.  And what would change?
You already live during the night and sleep through the day.  The taste
of blood will be more invigorating and intoxicating than your vile
absinthe can ever be.”

Christian had settled his miserable gaze on LaCroix’s pale face but he
didn’t speak.

Leaning back, I turned my head and gently nuzzled Christian’s neck,
pushing his black cardigan away from his shoulder, revealing his smooth
skin.  I could barely believe how much I wanted him, how my body ached
for the feel of him, and the vampire within me desired the taste of him.

LaCroix must have felt my need, for I sensed surprise and… a deep need
from him also.  Different.

I smiled to myself when I realised what he wanted.  To see us together.
To take Christian as his second child, and to watch as his sons made
love, fed each other and from one another.  Shared his blood.

My lust leapt in bounds.  I slipped my arm from Christian’s shoulders to
his waist, bringing us closer.  He wasn’t pulling away, but I knew that
had to have more to do with the hypnotic state he was unwittingly caught
in rather than any desire he had for me.

“I can promise you…” LaCroix’s murmuring voice spoke to him, “that we
will love you, and need you, and desire you, and never, ever leave you.
We are eternal, as you will be.  I have loved Nicholas for 800 years and
will love him for countless millennia to come.  I will love you just as
much.”

I should have felt jealousy, but I didn’t.  LaCroix’s love for me would
never waiver, and I was as willing to share him with Christian as I was
to share Christian with him.

In one moment, Christian was moving away from me, in the next, his lips
were on mine, the touch almost desperate.  I opened my mouth to his
questing tongue, sucking on him, tasting him.  My whole being seemed to
centre in upon him, and the need to know more of him started to
overwhelm me.

I could feel LaCroix near, his fingers combing into Christian’s hair,
simply watching, waiting.  Until he was ready for the vampire bite.  I
could have sired Christian, I suppose.  I had made vampires before.
Usually with disastrous consequences, but not always, and not always
consequences that I could have controlled.  There was always risk.

But I didn’t want to be his master.  I loved the idea of being his
brother.  As a master I’d have to teach him discipline, amongst other
things, and that wasn’t what I wanted.  I wanted to teach him mischief.
Just being here with him made me feel like a fledgling again.

We kissed for an age, and I longed to feel his arms around me.  I ached
to be connected to him, to know I would never lose him.  I felt
LaCroix’s humour in my mind and reached for him.

//What amuses you so?//

//You, mon fils, falling in love like this//

//I am not falling in love.  He is… special, that’s all//

//He is beautiful, mon aime.  We shall have him.  But I need to ask his
permission//

I chuckled into the bond.  //And he needs to answer.  Which he can’t do
with my tongue down his throat//

//You read my mind//

Carefully, I pulled away, parting us, drowning in the simple sound of
his whimper.

“I have to get away from here now,” he whispered to me, his eyes filling
with tears.  “Take me away from it all.  Please….”

Gently, I hushed him, stroking his shoulder and arm.  It was LaCroix who
spoke.

“Christian, we will take you from here.  We have rooms in London where
we can all stay in luxury until you are ready to travel further.  But I
must ask and you must give your permission freely.  When you’re dying,
another will ask the same question, and you have to give the same
answer, or you will die.  You won’t come back.”

Christian nodded.  “Will… will I ever be able to… return?”

“No.  You won’t ever want to.  What is there here for you, Christian?
Could you ever love another like you loved Satine?”  He shook his head
once. “This place won’t ever let go of you if you don’t escape now.”

“I… I made her a promise, to write our story.”

“And you can keep that promise.  You’ll have eternity to write it.
You’ll have eternity to share it with the whole world.  Your immortality
will ensure that she never dies, but is kept alive in your memory
forever.”

I listened to LaCroix’s words, wondering if all this was really needed.
Christian was still huddled into me, pressed against me, presumably
unaware of the effect he was having.  Or maybe not.  Maybe he needed to
be close to someone just to feel alive.  Not that it would matter for
much longer.

He was turning back to me, face coming up to meet mine.  It was obvious
what he wanted and I was more than willing to oblige.  I leaned in,
covering his mouth with mine, meeting his tongue, stroking over it
wetly.

I put both my arms around him, around his waist, still sitting side on
to him.  I wanted to hold him like that forever.

//Let me take him, then you can hold him, mon fils, until the sun
explodes//

Breaking the kiss, I moved my lips to his ear.  “Answer him,” I
murmured, “come with us.”

Raising those amazing eyes to my father, Christian gazed steadily at
LaCroix, who asked the question.  “Do you give yourself willingly over
to me?”

With a glance at me, and at my nod, he told LaCroix, “yes.”

My father’s answering smile was one of joy such as I’d only seen on his
face when we’d made love.  //Hold him// he instructed me, and I knew
what he meant.

Deepening the thrall, knowing the pain LaCroix’s bite would initially
cause, I reached one hand to the side of Christian’s head and brought it
to rest between my neck and shoulder.

LaCroix reverently pulled Christian’s old, black cardigan from his
collarbone, giving himself access to the smooth, white neck.

Leaning in, he kissed the skin, lapping at it once with his cold tongue
before he opened his mouth and, pulling his lips back from his fangs, he
slipped those two razor-sharp points into the living flesh.

I felt Christian stiffen against me, the excruciating pain reverberating
along his nerve stems.  I soothed him, kissed his head, settled my mind
over his as best I could without the blood connection between us.

LaCroix drank until Christian was almost drained, on the brink of
death.  His heart beat one last time, then failed, and he sagged in my
arms.

“Come back to me,” I murmured.  “Come on, Christian, come back.  You
have to come back, I need you to.”

LaCroix added his own voice to mine, calling his newest child back into
the world.  Into a new world.

The seconds that passed seemed to be the longest of my time on earth.
But soon enough Christian jerked in my arms, mouth open but unable to
breathe.

As I watched, LaCroix put his own wrist to his teeth and tore into it,
splattering blood everywhere before offering it to Christian.

The newborn took his father’s arm in a weak grasp and drew it to his
lips, closing them over the wounds and sucking, drinking, trying to
assuage the terrible hunger he had awoken with.

After a few minutes, LaCroix pulled his wrist away, having given
Christian enough to keep him alive until we found someone he could take
completely.  When he did pull away, Christian’s gold-flecked eyes
flashed in confused fury and he turned to look at me, almost pleading.

I glanced at LaCroix, I knew better than to interfere at this stage.
But my master simply inclined his head, giving permission.

I took my arm from Christian’s waist and raised it to my mouth.  But
before I could bite, Christian’s fingers had wrapped around my wrist,
and he was drawing it to his own lips.  Uncertain that he’d be able to
make a proper feeding wound, but more than willing for him to try, I let
him take me.

His bite was imprecise, and he tore my flesh in his desperation to get
to my blood, but as he sunk his teeth into me I felt the pleasure ripple
over the pain.  I felt LaCroix move to sit behind me, and he offered me
his newly healed wrist.

I dropped my arm from Christian’s shoulders to his waist, meaning to
take it from his cooling body to link my fingers with my father’s.  But
I found I couldn’t let go.  I heard LaCroix’s amusement in my mind, felt
his laughing breath on the back of my neck where his lips were touching
the top of my spine.

Sated at last, Christian freed my arm and I, in turn, released LaCroix
to take my wrist to my own lips and lick at the deep, messy wounds until
they healed.  Christian’s eyes raked over my face, settling on where my
tongue lapped the remaining drops of my own blood.

He swept his own tongue over his reddened lips, his eyes full of
confusion.

//Go to him now, take him//

//You’re sure?//

//Of course//

With a relieved sigh that I couldn’t believe passed through my lips, I
leaned forward and sealed my mouth over Christian’s, urging him gently
back to the bed.  His arms came around my neck, keeping me with him,
like I was ever going to let him go.  His hands on my back were amazing,
touching me, not with the passion I experienced from my first night with
Janette, but with a tenderness I could barely understand.

Unfastening the two buttons on his cardigan, I pushed my hand under his
t-shirt, stroking his stomach and chest.

But I could feel him almost pulling back from me as I touched him.  His
kiss was still desperate, but my caressing him was scaring him, and so I
stopped.

I brushed my hand over the wool of his cardy and put my arm around him.
I let him lead the encounter to wherever he wanted to take it.

LaCroix left us alone, moving through to the other room despite what I
knew he wanted from us.  That he was trusting his new born to me, after
all that had passed between us in the last few hundred years, amazed and
touched me.

I wrapped Christian in my arms, reaching for him through the new,
fragile bond that would link us, mind to mind, forever; stronger than
usual between brothers because of the blood sharing at his birth.  I
soothed him, tried to take some of his grief from him.  And when he
broke the kiss, he settled his face into the crook of my shoulder and
pierced the skin with the very tips of his teeth.

Just that faint, vampiric touch was enough to drive me to the edge of
orgasm.  Realising that sex was something his anguished mind could not
even being to contemplate, I reached down and unfastened my own
trousers, holding him tightly while taking myself into my own hand and
over that edge.

When my orgasm translated through into my blood, changing the texture
and the tone, he almost pulled away from me.  But again I reached for
his mind and again my touch seemed to relax him.  There was nothing
threatening him here, nothing could hurt him any longer.

He fell asleep like that, curled into me, teeth shrunk out of me, but
his lips still touching the quickly-healed wounds.

When LaCroix came back, some two hours later, he settled down beside me
and reached over to touch his new treasure.

“We must leave here soon,” he told me, and I knew he was right.  We had
to take Christian from here while it was still dark.  We had taken a
room in the northern suburbs of Paris where we would wait until the next
night, until Christian was strong enough.  Then we would start our
journey to London.

I shifted slightly, and Christian’s black head fell to the pillow.

“He is beautiful,” LaCroix whispered.  And I nodded.  Gently, he kissed
me.  “You’re not jealous, mon fils?” he asked me worriedly.

I looked from him to the sleeping beauty in my arms, and smiled.  “No.
If anything, I am jealous of you.”

LaCroix’s face crumpled.  “Me?”

“He is bound to you now for all eternity.  You will teach him, protect
him, love him….”

“I will teach him everything I can, but I will not force him into
anything he does not wish for.  As I said, mon petit, I will not make
the same mistakes twice.  I won’t drive him from me.  And… it is the two
of us he is bound to now.  I might be his father, but you seem to be the
object of his affections.”

Sighing, stroking my palm over the jet black hair, I moved my head
once.  “Satine is the object of his affections.  Was.  It will take a
long time, I think, for him to move on from there.”

“If anyone can mend his broken heart, mon aime, you can.”


We left twenty minutes later.  I packed a small case with things I
thought he’d want – clothes and little trinkets that were around that I
thought might have come from Satine, while LaCroix gathered up every
piece of paper he could find and filed them neatly for the journey.

I could not find his typewriter, although I was sure he must have had
one, but LaCroix dismissed it.  We could easily buy him another in
London.

Finally, LaCroix took our sleeping angel from his bed, wrapped in a
blanket, and we abandoned the old hotel.  With one last glimpse at the
sails of the Moulin Rouge, now still and dark, we fled into the night.


fin
elfin

 


 

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